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Tag: obstruction of justice

Former DEA Agent Sentenced to 13+ Years for Perjury, Obstruction, Theft

Former DEA Agent Chad Allan Scott. Photo: St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office

By Steve Neavling

A former DEA agent was sentenced Thursday to more than 13 years in prison on nine charges related to official misconduct. 

Chad Allan Scott, 53, of Covington, La., was convicted in August 2019 and June 2021 of perjury, obstruction of justice, theft, and other charges. 

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Scott obtained a conviction against an alleged drug dealer by committing perjury and directing others to commit perjury. To take possession of a truck that a drug dealer bought him, he falsified forms. And worried about an investigation against him and two other law enforcement officers, he and the others conspired to throw evidence of their misdeeds into the swamps outside New Orleans. 

He also stole money and possessions from suspects in drug cases. 

“Chad Scott wielded his police powers to victimize the very citizens he had sworn to serve and protect, eroding the community’s trust in law enforcement and undermining the rule of law,” Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Nicholas L. McQuaid said in a statement. “Today’s sentencing shows that law enforcement officers who betray the public’s trust will be held accountable and punished accordingly.”

DEA Administrator Anne Milgram added, “Chad Scott took an oath to serve his community with integrity, but rather than use his badge to protect his community, he used it to break the law. This goes against everything that the Drug Enforcement Administration stands for. Scott betrayed the very people he was entrusted to protect and today he is being held accountable for his crimes.”

Douglas A. Williams, Jr., special agent in charge of the FBI’s New Orleans Field Office, said the case against Scott shows “that no one is above the law.”

“Corrupt officials who break the law and breach their oaths will be prosecuted and sent to prison, even if they come from within the ranks of federal law enforcement,” Williams said. 

3 U.S. Marshals Charged in COVID-19 Vaccination Dispute with Judge

A federal judge charged three members of the U.S. Marshals Service with contempt of court and obstructing justice over a dispute about COVID-19 vaccinations in South Dakota. 

U.S. District Judge Charles Kornmann lashed out at the supervisory law enforcement officers on Monday for allegedly permitting a deputy marshal to escort prisoners from a courtroom after refusing to disclose whether she had been vaccinated, The Washington Post reports.

The agency’s Chief of Staff John Kilgallon, South Dakota Marshal Daniel C. Mosteller, and Deputy South Dakota Marshal Stephen Houghtaling were charged in the dispute. 

“This was such an outrageous thing to do,” the judge said. “Nothing like this that we could find has ever been done in this country. If it is the marshals’ position that they can override court orders, they are badly mistaken.”

Kornmann is asking the U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute the case. 

In a letter to federal officials in March, Kornmann said he expects to be informed of the vaccination status of people who work in the courthouse. 

“We are not talking about politics or conspiracy theories. We are talking about science and protecting all of us who serve the public here as well as the jurors, lawyers and parties who come to this building,” Kornmann wrote. “If you are refusing to take the vaccines, I want to know that so I can decide what further action is required on my part.”

Mueller Defends Special Counsel Investigation, Saying It Wasn’t ‘a Witch hunt’

Former special counsel Robert Mueller testifies before congress.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former special counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday rejected repeated claims by President Trump that the investigation into Russia’s election interference was a witch hunt.

The defense of his investigation came during several hours of testimony before two congressional committees.

“Your investigation is not a witch hunt, is it?” Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., asked.

“It is not a witch hunt,” Mueller responded.

During most of the hearings, Mueller stuck to his pledge to narrow his responses to his widely reported final report. But that didn’t mean the hearings were without new information.

Earlier in the day, Mueller suggested he did not pursue charges against Trump because of the Justice Department’s position that a sitting president can’t be indicted.

“And I’d like to ask you the reason, again, that you did not indict Donald Trump is because of OLC (DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel) opinion stating that you cannot indict a sitting president, correct,” Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., asked.

“That is correct,” Mueller said at 10:50 a.m.

But three hours later, Mueller corrected his earlier statement.

“Now, before we go to questions, I want to go back to one thing that was said this morning by Mr. Lieu who said, and I quote, ‘You didn’t charge the president because of the OLC opinion’,” Mueller said. “That is not the correct way to say it. As we say in the report, and as I said at the opening, we did not reach a determination as to whether the president committed a crime.”

During the hearing, Mueller emphasized that one of the most alarming discoveries was the breadth of Russia’s interference during the presidential election. In his opening statement, Mueller said the investigation found “sweeping and systematic” Russian interference during the 2016 election.

He repeated the report’s conclusion that there was not ample evidence that Trump’s election team colluded with Russia.

But, Mueller stressed, the report did not exonerate Trump on obstruction, contradicting the president’s insistence that the special counsel team concluded he did nothing wrong.

“Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the president committed a crime,” Mueller said. “That was our decision then and it remains our decision today.”

How to Watch Mueller’s Long-Awaited Testimony Before Congress

Robert S. Mueller III testifies before Congress.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited testimony before Congress begins Wednesday morning and includes two separate hearings.

Mueller’s first appearance begins at 8:30 a.m. in front of the House Judiciary Committee. That will be followed by another two hours before the House Intelligence Committee.

Mueller will be accompanied by Aaron Zebley, a longtime aide granted permission to assist Mueller with questions.

Most major broadcast networks will carry the hearings live. Even Fox News, despite earlier reports, will be airing the testimony. Also covering the hearings are C-SPAN, CNN, and MSNBC, both on television and online.

Mueller will be given a 30-minute break after the three-hour House Judiciary Committee meeting that begins at 8:30 a.m.

As predicted, President Trump called the hearings “a rigged Witch Hunt.”

What to Expect from Mueller’s Testimony Before Congress This Week

Special counsel Robert Mueller Mueller.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Robert Mueller, the special counsel who investigated Russian election interference, will testify before two U.S. House committees on Wednesday.

Mueller reluctantly agreed to testify after Democrats issued a subpoena.

So what should Americans expect?

Democrats are hoping Mueller’s testimony will provide new and compelling evidence against Trump. Republicans plan to excoriate Mueller over what they consider FBI bias against the president.

If history is any indication, Mueller will be factual, dispassionate and nonpartisan.

Mueller has already said that everything he knows about the investigation is inside his 448-page report. So it’s unlikely Democrats will get dramatic, new testimony.

Mueller has repeatedly said he found no evidence that Trump colluded with Russia. But Mueller’s report makes clear that Trump may have obstructed justice and that the special counsel did not pursue charges against the president because of the Justice Department’s position that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.

On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on Face the Nation that he plans make clear to Americans that there’s “a pretty damning set of facts that involve a presidential campaign in a close race welcoming help from a hostile foreign power.”

“Who better to bring them to life than the man who did the investigation himself?” Schiff asked.

Reluctant Mueller to Testify Before House Committees; Trump Declares ‘Presidential Harassment’

Special counsel Robert Mueller. Photo via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former special counsel Robert Mueller has reluctantly agreed to testify in open session before Congress on July 17.

Mueller will appear before the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees after being issued a subpoena to discuss the Russia investigation.

Mueller undoubtedly will be questioned about evidence that President Trump obstructed justice. In his final report, Mueller documented 10 instances of Trump trying to thwart the investigation. But Mueller did not conclude whether the president’s actions amounted to a crime, citing a Justice Department policy preventing the indictment of a sitting president.

The decision to press forward belongs to Congress.

Last month, Mueller insisted he would not testify.

“Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report,” Mueller said on May 29. “It contains our findings and analysis, and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully, and the work speaks for itself. The report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress.”

In a letter to Mueller on Tuesday, Reps. Jarrold Nadler, D-N.Y., and Adam Schiff, D-Calif., chairman of the committees, addressed the special counsel’s reluctance to testify.

“The American public deserves to hear directly from you about your investigation and conclusions,” the chairmen wrote. “We will work with you to address legitimate concerns about preserving the integrity of your work, but we expect that you will appear before our committees as scheduled.”

After the announcement of Mueller’s plans to testify, Trump tweeted, “Presidential Harassment.”

The hearings could accelerate impeachment proceedings in the House.

Comic Publisher to Transform Mueller Report into a Graphic Novel

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, via FBI.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s not easy getting Americans to read Robert Mueller’s dense, 450-page report.

A San Diego-based comic publisher may have found a way to make it more digestible – turning the dense report into a graphic novel half its size.

IDW Publishing is planning to publish an illustrated version of the report, which is the result of a two-year investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Spoiler alert: Mueller does not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice.

Shannon Wheeler, an award-winning New Yorker cartoonist, is drawing the illustrations. The graphic novel is being written by veteran journalist Steve Duin.

IDW Publishing brands the graphic novel as “a comprehensive, understandable, and readable graphic novel version of the book every patriot needs.”

“Shannon and Steve have done an incredible job taking the rotten ingredients catalogued by Robert Mueller and turning them into a delicious satirical feast,” the book’s editor, Justin Eisinger, said. “It’s funny. It’s maddening. But it’s a great resource for anyone that wants to be informed about the findings of the most important law enforcement document created in our lifetime.”

Here’s how the publisher describes the book:

See Trump berate his Attorney General. Watch a petulant Commander-in-Chief lob insults at the White House counsel. Witness the “witch hunt” as it happened, cataloged as only the top lawman in the country could!

This staggering laundry list of questionable contacts, misleading statements, unreported engagements, and possible coordination — enough to stun any student of the U.S. Constitution — is laid bare with a cold, satirical edge.

You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. You may Tweet in anger. But most importantly, you will be reading the report for yourself!

AG Barr: Mueller ‘Could’ve Reached a Decision’ on Whether Trump Obstructed Justice

AG William Barr speaks with CBS News.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Even though Robert Mueller said a Justice Department policy prevents charging a sitting president, Attorney General William Barr said the former special counsel could have declared whether President Trump broke the law.

In a CBS interview aired Thursday evening, Barr said nothing stopped Mueller from deciding whether Trump obstructed justice.

“I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” Barr said. “He could’ve reached a conclusion.”

Barr made the comments a day after Mueller spoke publicly for the first time since the two-year special counsel investigation began in 2017. Democrats in Congress believed Mueller had suggested during the press conference that Congress should investigate the special counsel’s findings.

Barr said he wasn’t so sure that’s what Mueller was saying.

“I’m not sure what he was suggesting, but the Justice Department doesn’t use our powers to investigate crimes as an adjunct to Congress,” Barr said.
Mueller said he didn’t reach a conclusion on whether the president obstructed justice because “a president cannot be charged with a federal crime while he is in office.”