Links

Columnists



Site Search


Entire (RSS)
Comments (RSS)

Archive Calendar

May 2021
S M T W T F S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  

Guides

How to Become a Bounty Hunter



Tag: Justice Department

White Supremacy Is Greatest Threat to U.S., Garland, Mayorkas Testify

Homeland Security Director Alejandro Mayorkas.

By Steve Neavling

The heads of the Justice Department and Homeland Security warned senators Wednesday that white supremacy is the most serious threat facing the U.S. 

In testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said the departments are cracking down on violent extremism.

“The department is taking a new approach to addressing domestic violent extremism, both internally and externally,” Mayorkas said. 

Garland said the Jan. 6 insurrection was “an attempt to interfere with the fundamental element of our democracy, a peaceful transfer of power.”

“I have not seen a more dangerous threat to democracy than the invasion of the Capitol,” Garland said. 

He added, “We will use every appropriate tool at our disposal to deter and disrupt such criminal acts and to bring their perpetrators to justice.”

The Justice Department has charged more than 430 people in connection to the deadly riot. 

Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy called the threat “uniquely dangerous” in his opening remarks. 

“Attacks and plots by domestic extremists are at historic highs, with the majority of them being planned by those on the far right espousing white supremacist and related ideologies,” Leahy said. “In 2020 alone, white nationalists and like-minded extremists conducted 67% of terrorist plots and attacks in the United States. We cannot deny we are facing a class of criminals who feel more emboldened than ever.”

Read Garland’s full comments here.

Judge Accuses Barr of Misleading Public about Special Counsel Investigation of Trump

Attorney General William Barr, via Justice Department.

By Steve Neavling

A federal judge accused former Attorney General William Barr of deceiving the court and Congress public about a Justice Department memo clearing former President Trump of potential charges following the special counsel investigation.

In a blistering decision, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the release of the memo to a government transparency group that had requested it under the Freedom of Information Act, The New York Times reports

The Justice Department had argued that the memo was exempt from FOIA because it consisted of private legal advice that helped Barr decide whether Trump should be prosecuted.

But Jackson, who reviewed the unreacted memo, said that Barr and his aides had already decided Trump would not be prosecuted before Barr even reviewed the written advice. 

“The fact that he would not be prosecuted was a given,” Jackson wrote of Trump.

Jackson also accused Barr of misleading the public about the 448-page special counsel report. 

“The attorney general’s characterization of what he’d hardly had time to skim, much less study closely, prompted an immediate reaction, as politicians and pundits took to their microphones and Twitter feeds to decry what they feared was an attempt to hide the ball,” Jackson wrote.

DOJ Releases Video of Rioters Attacking Capitol Police Officer Sicnkick

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department released videos showing rioters attacking Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick with a chemical spray during the Jan. 6 insurrection. 

Sicknick, who was trying to fend off rioters at the U.S. Capitol, died the day after the attack. He had two strokes, and his death was deemed “natural.” 

The videos are being used as evidence in the case against two men accused of assaulting Sicknick and other officers. 

The videos includes surveillance and body camera footage taken during the siege. 

Media outlets were given access to the videos, which still aren’t available for broadcasting. 

The Justice Department recently said it anticipates charging more than 500 people in connection with the riot.

The riot led to the deaths of five people, and more than 130 officers were injured. 

DOJ Expects to Charge More Than 500 Alleged Insurrectionists in Jan. 6 Riot

Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday. Photo via Shutterstock.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department anticipates charging more than 500 people in connection with the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, making it one of the largest investigations in American history, according to a recent court filing.  

“Over 400 individuals have been charged in connection with the Capitol attack,” federal prosecutors said in a court filing last week, Reuters reports. “The investigation continues and the government expects that at least one hundred additional individuals will be charged.”

The disclosure comes as the Justice Department asks judges to postpone deadlines for future prosecutions. 

“The investigation and prosecution of the Capitol attack will likely be one of the largest in American history, both in terms of the number of defendants prosecuted and the nature and volume of the evidence,” the court filings stated.

The riot led to the deaths of five people, including Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, and more than 130 officers were injured. 

U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey called the siege an act of terrorism in a case involving Charles Donohue, a leader of the Proud Boys extremists group. 

“The acts alleged in the indictment would meet, in my view, the statutory definition of a federal crime of terrorism,” Harvey said.

Of those arrested so far, more than 40 are members or associates of right-wing extremists groups like the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys. 

Senate Confirms Lisa Monaco as President Biden’s Deputy Attorney General

Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco

By Steve Neavling

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday confirmed President Biden’s nominee, Lisa Monaco, as deputy attorney general, the top two spot at the Justice Department. 

Monaco, 53, who served as assistant attorney general for national security and White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser under President Obama, was confirmed in a 98-2 vote. 

Sens. Ted Cruz and Rand Paul voted against confirmation. 

Monaco was among Obama’s potential nominees for FBI director.

As deputy attorney general, Monaco will oversee the Justice Department’s operations and supervise the FBI and Bureau of Prisons. 

Monaco is known as a consensus-builder with experience on cyber issues. 

Biden’s pick for associate attorney general, Vanita Gupta, could be confirmed this week. 

Merrick Garland Remembers Oklahoma City Bombing on 26th Anniversary

Attorney General Merrick Garland. (Photo: DOJ)

Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged to crack down on domestic violent extremists in a speech commemorating the 26th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing that killed 168 people. 

Garland, who led the prosecution of bomber Timothy McVeigh and his accomplice Terry Nichols, said the same brand of domestic extremism still exists. 

“Although many years have passed, the terror perpetrated by people like Timothy McVeigh is still with us,” Garland said at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum. “The Department of Justice is pouring its resources into stopping domestic violent extremists before they can attack, prosecuting those who do, and battling the spread of the kind of hate that leads to tragedies like the one we mark here today.”

Garland spoke about white supremacy during his confirmation hearing earlier this year, citing the Oklahoma City bombing. 

“I supervised the prosecution of the perpetrators of the bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building, who sought to spark a revolution that would topple the Federal Government,” Garland told lawmakers in February. “If confirmed, I will supervise the prosecution of white supremacists and others who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, a heinous attack that sought to disrupt a cornerstone of our democracy, the peaceful transfer of power to a newly elected government.”

Read Garland’s full speech here.

More Than 410 Alleged Insurrectionists Arrested in Ongoing Probe of Jan. 6 Riot

Alex Gakos/Shutterstock.com

By Steve Neavling

The FBI has arrested more than 410 people accused of participating in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. 

A CBS News review of 369 cases found that 163 suspects have been indicted by grand juries. 

According to the Justice Department, more than 100 alleged insurrectionists have been charged with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees.

More than 35 of the suspects have been charged with bringing a dangerous or deadly weapon into the Capitol. 

About 30 suspects are accused of conspiring to coordinate with others, and at least 56 have been connected to extremists groups such as the Proud Boys, Oath Keepers and Three Percenters. 

Of those arrested, at least 38 are current or former military members. 

Investigators have executed more than 900 search warrants and are reviewing more than 15,000 hours of surveillance and body cam footage and have collected about 1,600 electronic devices. 

The alleged riots hail from at least 45 states. Of those, Texas had the most suspects (38), followed by Florida (31), Pennsylvania (30) and New York (26). 

Federal authorities previously said about 800 people stormed the Capitol, and the FBI has pledged to track down as many of the suspects as possible. 

In March, FBI Director Christopher Wray said the bureau has received more than 270,000 digital media tips. 

“With their help, we’ve identified hundreds of suspects and opened hundreds of investigations in all but one of our 56 field offices,” Wray said. 

DOJ Investigating Rep. Gaetz for Alleged Sexual Relationship with Teenage Girl

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida.

By Steve Neavling

The Justice Department is investigating U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., for a sexual relationship he allegedly had with a 17-year-old girl, The New York Times reports

The investigation is trying to determine whether Gaetz, a 38-year-old conservative firebrand and close ally of former President Trump, violated federal sex trafficking laws. The probe began under then-Attorney General William Barr. 

Gaetz denied the allegations on Twitter and in media interviews, saying he and his family “have been victims of an organized and criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name.”

“We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals,” Gaetz tweeted. The planted leak to the FBI tonight was intended to thwart the investigation.”

Gaetz repeated his denials on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News program, which the host later called “one of the weirdest interviews I’ve ever conducted.”

The investigation is part of a broader probe of allegations against Joel Greenberg, a former county official in Florida who was arrested last year on charges of sex trafficking of a minor. 

https://twitter.com/ArtValley818_/status/1377073895421870082