A recent Supreme Court ruling could mean trouble for former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
The ruling in the case of an Alabama man who pleaded guilty to a gun charge could have major implications for the unrelated white-collar case against Paul Manafort in New York — by keeping him exposed to another set of charges, even if he ultimately wins a presidential pardon.
At issue in the Alabama dispute was whether the “dual sovereignty doctrine” — which allows a person to face both state and federal charges for the same offense — violates the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled it does not.
“Although the dual-sovereignty rule is often dubbed an ‘exception’ to the double jeopardy right, it is not an exception at all,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the opinion. “On the contrary, it follows from the text that defines that right in the first place.”
A Presidential Pardon No Longer Guarantees Freedom For Manfort
The ruling means that prosecutors in New York have free reign to continue their case against Manafort, who already has been convicted of federal crimes that include bank and tax fraud. Had the court ruled the other way in Monday’s case, Gamble v. United States, and eliminated the dual sovereignty doctrine, a pardon from President Trump would have left Manafort free and clear.
But since Presidential pardons can only be given for those convicted of Federal crimes and not state crimes, Manafort’s “get out of jail free card” is no longer guaranteed.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement when the indictment was announced. Manafort is facing 16 counts in that indictment, including conspiracy, residential mortgage fraud, and falsifying business records. The charges are based on allegations similar to ones related to his federal convictions.
The Gamble case, meanwhile, involved a man who was first convicted of a state gun possession charge following a guilty plea, then indicted in federal court for the same possession. He pleaded guilty in that case too, only to appeal with the argument that the federal charge violated double jeopardy.
Alito explained that the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits multiple prosecutions for the same “offence,” but “an ‘offence’ is defined by a law, and each law is defined by a sovereign.” Therefore, Alito said, “where there are two sovereigns, there are two laws, and two ‘offences.'”
Alito’s opinion was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch each wrote dissenting opinions.
President Donald J. Trump launched his re-election campaign on Tuesday June 18, and to use one the president’s favorite words it was “HUGE” on many levels!
Not only did he launch his 2020 campaign Tuesday night in Orlando Florida to roaring standing room only crowds, reminiscent of his first bid to take the White House, immediately following the kickoff, the President raised a whopping 25 million dollars in one day!
According to Fox News, that figure — raised within 24 hours of his Florida appearance – blows away what any of the Democratic candidates raised in the entire first quarter.
“@realDonaldTrump has raised a record breaking $24.8M in less than 24 hours for his re-election. The enthusiasm across the country for this President is unmatched and unlike anything we’ve ever seen! #trump2020 #KeepAmericaGreat,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted early Wednesday morning.
The president tweeted, “THANK YOU!” in response.
Trump Raised “$1 Million an Hour”
According to an RNC spokesman, the fundraising — at a clip of $1 million an hour — came through the Trump re-election campaign and joint-fundraising committees “Trump Victory” and “Trump MAGAC” (Make America Great Again Committee). A Trump campaign official told Fox News on Wednesday that the campaign raised more than $14 million, and that the joint-fundraising committees raised more than $10 million.
Minutes later, RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens tweeted, “For those keeping score, that’s more than the 5 highest polling Democrats—combined.”
Ahrens was referring to the top five polling Democratic candidates’ fundraising during the 24 hours after they announced their presidential bids. Among them, former Vice President Joe Biden raked in $6.3 million and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., brought in $5.9 million, with the others raising significantly less than that.
But none of the candidates hit $20 million even in the first quarter.
Sanders brought in $18.2 million in the first 41 days of his campaign; Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., brought in $12 million during the first three months of this year; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas raised $9.4 million; and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg raised $7.1 million.
Democratic presidential primary front-runner Biden, who announced after the first quarter, hinted this week at raising roughly $20 million so far, as he tours the fundraising circuit with a series of top-dollar events.
But the Trump campaign re-launch surpassed that in 24 hours, counting various fundraising committees, coinciding with his energetic rally in Orlando to a packed arena crowd.
However, despite the huge cheering crowds, and the amazing pace of the money raised, the Trump re-election campaign is going to need every dollar of the growing war chest. He faces a tough fight ahead.
The latest Fox News Poll shows Biden topping the president by 10 points and Sanders ahead of the president by 9 points.
But Trump’s campaign and the president himself have dismissed recent polling.
“Our country is soaring to incredible new heights,” Trump said Tuesday night, to loud applause. “Our economy is the envy of the world, perhaps the greatest economy we’ve had in the history of our country, and as long as you keep this team in place — we have a tremendous way to go — our future has never, ever looked brighter or sharper.”
Just a couple of days after two oil tankers were attacked in the Gulf of Oman, some U.S. allies in Europe have been reluctant to join the U.S. government in blaming Iran outright.
On Friday, following the attacks, the Pentagon released a video which they claim depicts an Iranian patrol boat full of Revolutionary Guard soldiers removing a mine from the side of one of the targeted boats in last week’s tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.
Officials from inside the Pentagon have claimed this video footage is “proof” that Tehran was indeed behind the attacks. Of course, the Islamic Republic has fiercely denied having any involvement in the attacks.
Although neoconservative war hawks in Washington like John Bolton, Mike Pompeo, and others have already started to beat the drums of war, many of their counterparts in Europe haven’t been so quick to initiate what would surely end up turning into a global conflict.
Some European governments have refused to back the validity of the Trump administration allegations and the video footage which it claims is clear proof that Iran was responsible for the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf on June 13th.
On Friday, during a press conference, Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas called into question the evidence which the U.S. government claims is proof that Iran was behind the attacks, saying the video footage was insufficient to corroborate their claims.
“The video is not enough. We can understand what is being shown, sure, but to make a final assessment, this is not enough for me,” Maas asserted.
Maas’s sentiments were was echoed by Nathalie Tocci, a senior adviser to EU policy chief Frederica Mogherini, who also emphasized that before casting blame, “we need credible evidence.”
European Union officials have called for “maximum restraint” on all sides.
Yutaka Katada, the president of the Japanese company operating the tanker, has also questioned the theory that a mine was used to carry out the attack on the boat. In contrast to the narrative currently being espoused by the U.S., Katada told reporters that members of his crew had witnessed a flying object before the explosion occurred.
“I do not think there was a time bomb or an object attached to the side of the ship. A mine doesn’t damage a ship above sea level. We aren’t sure exactly what hit, but it was something flying towards the ship”, Katada said.
Chris Williamson, a member of the British Parliament under the Labor Party, had this to say about the United States’ response to the attack: “Whether it’s an attempt to remove Venezuela’s democratic government or regime change in Iran, the USA is causing global instability in furtherance of its imperial interests. We must reject the lies being used by the Trump admin to gain public support for their disastrous plans.”
Conversely, officials inside the UK’s ruling Conservative government have backed the US assessment, with Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt declaring that the Islamic Revolutionary Corps – a designated terrorist organization by the Trump administration – was “almost certainly” behind the attack.
At the same time, officials in France have been reluctant to take sides. Although the did condemn the attack, they refrained from commenting on whether it had looked at and/or made assessments of CENTCOM’s video, US intelligence, and other evidence.
On Friday, during an interview with his favorite mainstream media broadcaster Fox News, Donald Trump insisted upon Iran’s guilt, saying, “Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat. You saw the boat at night, successfully trying to take the mine off and that was exposed. I guess one of the mines didn’t explode and it’s probably got essentially Iran written all over it.”
Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif, referred to Washington’s allegations as “sabotage diplomacy”. The Iranian mission to the United Nations implored the US and its allies in the region to stop “warmongering” and to stop its false flag operations in the Middle East.
Last week’s attacks follow another incident that occurred in May where four oil tankers were targeted close to a United Arab Emirates port. Officials from the US and the UAE also accused Iran of being behind these attacks, but Tehran has repeatedly and adamantly denied the allegations.
President Trump, in an exclusive interview with “Fox & Friends,” said he will not fire adviser Kellyanne Conway in the wake of a government watchdog’s recommendation that she be removed over violations of the Hatch Act.
“I’m not ganna fire her. I think she’s a terrific person. She’s a tremendous spokesperson,” Trump said.
The Hatch Act limits certain political activities of federal employees. In an explosive report released on June 13, the day before the Fox interview the Office of Special Counsel (which is separate from the office with a similar name previously run by Robert Mueller) cited Conway for repeatedly violating the law with political statements about Democratic presidential candidates in media interviews and on Twitter.
Trump, though, said, “It looks to me like they’re trying to take away her right of free speech.” He even suggested he would not counsel Conway to tone it down.
“It doesn’t work that way,” Trump said, arguing that Conway was merely responding to political attacks against him. “A person wouldn’t be able to express themselves, and I just don’t see it.”
Trump noted that he will be getting a briefing on the findings.
Special Counsel’s Office Defends Its Findings on Conway
Special Counsel Henry Kerner, meanwhile, defended his office’s work in an interview with Fox News. Still, he was deferential to Trump, making clear the decision on whether to fire Conway is his, and his alone to make.
“We respect his decision and, of course, the president has any option he’d like—to reprimand or not to reprimand,” Kerner said. “It is up to the president’s discretion and we respect that.”
In the interview, Kerner said, “I am a Trump appointee—I have no animus toward Kellyanne whatsoever. My job is to make sure the federal workforce stay as depoliticized and as fair as possible.”
Julian Castro Wants Kellyanne Terminated
Meanwhile, former Obama Housing and Urban Development Secretary and current Democratic presidential candidate, Julian Castro, wants to hear those famous two words from Trump regarding Kellyanne – “You’re fired.”
Castro told Fox News that White House adviser Kellyanne Conway should be fired for violating the Hatch Act, which interestingly enough, is the same federal law that Castro himself was found to have violated in 2016.
In 2016, the same office that is now leveling its recommendations at Conway, “concluded that Secretary Castro violated the Hatch Act by advocating for and against Presidential candidates,” the OSC wrote in a letter to Obama. “Secretary Castro’s statements during [a televised] interview impermissibly mixed his personal political views with official agency business despite his efforts to clarify that some answers were being given in his personal capacity.”
Castro was responding to a question from Katie Couric in an interview that focused on HUD policy before pivoting to the then-upcoming 2016 presidential race.
“Now, taking off my HUD hat for a second and just speaking individually, it is very clear that Hillary Clinton is the most experienced, thoughtful, and prepared candidate for president that we have this year,” Castro told Couric.
The Obama White House took no action, and OSC did not recommend Castro’s termination. Castro, pressed by Baier, argued that his case was different from Conway’s, primarily because his violation was an isolated episode and he tried to learn from it.
“Instead of saying, ‘Look, I’m going to take these efforts to make sure that doesn’t happen again,'” Castro said, “she said, ‘To hell with that, I’m going to keep doing it. They said she had repeatedly done that. That’s the difference.”
Trump stands by his support of Conway, insisting that she is merely exercising her right of free speech, and that in each of the incidents in the report, she did not give spontaneous political commentary, but was responding to specific questions from the press about his Democratic rivals. He said, what are you supposed to do [when asked about democratic candidates] say, “‘I can’t answer, I can’t answer’?”
After weeks of speculation, allegations, and accusations, the Defense Department finally released the assailants in action, responsible for attacking several oil tankers within the last month steaming their way through the narrow and strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The indisputable evidence presented by the U.S., is a brief black and white surveillance video of an Iranian gunboat removing an unexploded mine that had been previously attached to a Japanese owned oil tanker seriously damaged as it steamed in international waters within the Gulf of Oman early Thursday morning.
Moreover, the visual captures an Iranian sailor alongside the hull of the damaged “Kokuka Courageous” standing in the gunboat and carefully removing the unexploded mine, before speeding off.
The surveillance video was taken on board the USS Bainbridge, a guided-missile destroyer which rescued 21 sailors from the stricken Japanese-owned tanker.
This region of the world is perhaps one of the most politically sensitive regions on earth, a vital oil route and merchant shipping lane, responsible for 1/3 of the world’s oil exports.
A U.S. official told Fox News an Iranian gunboat approached the Kokuka Courageous later in the day and removed the unexploded triangular-shaped limpet mine, the same type of mine used to damage four other tankers in the Gulf of Oman last month.
The official went on to say that the Iranian vessel did not bear any military markings, flags or identifiable uniforms, however the class of vessel reordered on the video, is well known by the U.S. military called a fast inshore attack craft (FIAC), the same type of ship used by Iran in recent years to harass American warships in the Persian Gulf.
In another incident Thursday, a Norwegian-owned vessel called the “Front Altair,” was also attacked in the Gulf of Oman, and perhaps even more ominous, its crew (according to U.S. officials), is now being held in Iran.
Cmdr. M. Kathryn Devin, the USS Bainbridge’s commanding officer, said of the rescues. “This is what we’re out here for, our mission is to ensure maritime safety and to answer the call for aid when we can.”
In a news conference on Thursday afternoon, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo addressed the escalating and unprovoked attacks on merchant oil tankers by Iran, calling the attacks a “blatant assault.”
Adding, “This assessment is based on intelligence, the weapons used, the level of expertise needed to execute the operation, recent similar Iranian attacks on shipping, and the fact that no proxy group operating in the area has the resources and proficiency to act with such a high degree of sophistication.”
On Friday President Trump continued where Secretary of State Pompeo left off in an interview with “Fox & Friends,” the President armed with the video evidence once again condemned the terrorist régime stating, “We don’t take it lightly.”
Adding, “Iran did do it and you know they did it because you saw the boat,” he said, before pointing to a video that showed an Iranian vessel removing an unexploded mine attached to a Japanese-owned oil tanker.
The President continued, “They’re a nation of terror and they’ve changed a lot since I’ve been President, I can tell you.”
The terrorist régime, of course, denies the attacks, in a news release at Iran’s U.N. Mission the régime rejected the claims made by the U.S., despite the video evidence stating, “Iran stands ready to play an active and constructive role in ensuring the security of strategic maritime passages as well as promoting peace, stability and security in the region.”
From the Department of Adding Insult to Injury, the Democratic leadership in California, led by Governor Gavin Newsom, has agreed to grant eligibility for the state’s Medicaid program to low-income, undocumented, illegal adults aged 19 to 25.
Effective January 2020, these foreign freeloaders will enjoy a privilege denied to many hard-working American taxpaying citizens who do not qualify for Medi-Cal.
The West Coast liberals are openly pandering to what they regard as their future voting bloc, with the expectation that these intruders will topple Republican political opponents at the next presidential election.
The 2020 California state budget is $213 billion. “Extraordinary” state budget surplus funds will be used not to help veterans or homeless Americans but to reward lawbreakers who have entered the country without bothering to become naturalized legally.
First-year costs are pegged at $98 million and give California the dubious distinction of being the first U.S. state that rewards criminal behavior by subsidizing some 90,000 illegal aliens’ healthcare expenses.
Health Access is an organization which touts itself as “California’s Health Consumer Advocacy Coalition.” This group is helping illegals get benefits reserved for the citizenry.
Liberal mouthpiece Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, commented on the new laws which give preference to folks who are gaming the political system:
“While it’s not all we sought, it will provide a real tangible difference for people, especially for those around and below poverty and for middle income families who don’t get any help under the federal law.”
Too bad those families aren’t actual Americans. Under the new rules, a four-member family earning as much as six times the federal poverty level – more than $150,000 a year – would be eligible to receive approximately $100 each and every month from the state government to lower their monthly health insurance premiums.
Even worse, the California Assembly has drafted a new bill that would cover all undocumented migrants over the age of 19 who reside in that state. This expansion of Gov. Newsome’s gift to non-citizen scofflaws, which caps Medi-Cal eligibility at age 25, is projected to cost a whopping $3.4 billion (with a ‘b’).
The California Senate likes Newsome’s proposal to cover 19-25 year-olds but also wants to tack on seniors 65 and older. In response to citizen concerns over the increased expenditure, Sen. Maria Elana Durazo brushed the issue aside, rationalizing that the state’s budget surplus has been projected to be $21.5 billion.
What’s a few billion dollars among future constituents, after all? Golden State Democrats obviously don’t give a fig about the epidemic of homelessness that is dragging their once-great state down into the status of a third-world country.
Members of the California legislature claim that more than half (1.8 million) of the 3 million residents who don’t have any health insurance live in the U.S. illegally. Almost half of those 1.8 million undocumented aliens have income low enough to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits.
As if this weren’t enough punishment for legal Californians, leadership is scheming to make them pay for the perks coming to all those undocumented residents by imposing fines on anyone who doesn’t buy a health insurance policy.
This twisted plot would perpetuate the Obama-era federal tax penalty applied to those unwilling or unable to purchase one of his “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) insurance plans. Republican legislatures under President Trump voted in 2017 to repeal that punitive federal law which targeted the very people now destined to receive special treatment in California: poor folks.
However, the big difference between the low-income citizens slated to get something for nothing in California next year and those affected by the deceitful and flawed Obamacare program is that ACA impacted legal citizens while Gov. Newsome and his Democratic cronies are helping people who shouldn’t be living in the U.S. in the first place.
GOP State Senator Jeff Stone put into words what many others are thinking about these patently unfair laws:
“We’re going to penalize the citizens of this state that have followed the rules, but we’re going to let somebody who has not followed the rules come in here and get the services for free. I just think that’s wrong.”
Bleeding-heart liberals are using all the buzzwords they can to gain sympathy for their unfair and politically biased healthcare initiative. In this statement from Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, note the complete absence of the word “illegal” (“undocumented” is so much easier to swallow, isn’t it?) and the use of the emotionally-loaded word “beloved:”
“For California’s immigrant communities, today’s budget deal is bittersweet. The exclusion of undocumented elders from the same healthcare their U.S. citizen neighbors are eligible for means beloved community members will suffer and die from treatable conditions. And the exclusion of many immigrants from the Earned Income Tax Credit will perpetuate the crisis of economic inequality in our state.”
If you want to talk about economic inequality, Ms. Buiza, let’s take a deep dive into why you want tax-paying citizens to pay for illegal aliens’ health insurance?
President Trump was pressed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on whether he sought the removal of Special Counsel Robert Mueller and why he didn’t answer questions from Mueller about obstruction.
At one point during the heated exchange, Trump accused Stephanopoulos of “being a little wise guy” with the line of questioning.
“Wait a minute. I did answer questions. I answered them in writing,” Trump said, after being asked by Stephanopoulos why he would not answer questions in person from Mueller’s investigators.
Stephanopoulos answered, “Not on obstruction.”
To which Trump quipped back, “George, you’re being a little wise guy, OK, which is, you know, typical for you,” Trump said.
“Just so you understand. Very simple. It’s very simple. There was no crime. There was no collusion. The big thing’s collusion. Now, there’s no collusion. That means they set, it was a setup, in my opinion, and I think it’s going to come out.”
McGahn’s Testimony Is Irrelevant
Earlier in the interview, Trump said it “doesn’t matter” that his former White House counsel Don McGahn told Mueller that Trump wanted Mueller removed over an alleged conflict of interest.
“The story on that very simply, No. 1, I was never going to fire Mueller. I never suggested firing Mueller,” Trump said, adding McGahn “may have been confused” when he testified to Mueller.
“I don’t care what he says, it doesn’t matter,” Trump said, prompting Stephanopoulos to ask why McGahn would “lie under oath.”
“Because he wanted to make himself look like a good lawyer,” Trump said, insisting he never said Mueller should be removed.
While both former VP Joe Biden and President Trump were in Iowa on campaign stops, the two do not mince words, hurling barbs at one another from a few miles away.
President Trump unleashed an arsenal of insults at Joe Biden on Tuesday, June 11, as the potential 2020 foes were in Iowa for a series of dueling political events, calling the former vice president “weak mentally” and claiming he hopes to run against him next year.
The President, as he departed the White House on Tuesday for the Hawkeye State, blasted Biden as a “loser” and a “dummy.” This came as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination went on a string of Iowa campaign visits where he repeatedly took swipes at Trump.
Speaking to reporters, the president dismissed Biden’s attacks.
“When a man has to mention my name 76 times in his speech, that means he’s in trouble,” Trump said. “I have to tell you, he’s a different guy. He looks different than he used to, he acts different than he used to–he’s even slower than he used to be.”
“Off the Trash Heap”
“Joe never got more than 1 percent except for when Obama took him off the trash heap,” Trump said, referring to the 2008 Democratic primary. “It looks like his friends from the left are going to overtake him pretty soon.”
Biden, though, is leading the Democratic primary field by double digits in recent national polls. Nevertheless, Trump said he hopes to run against Biden in the 2020 general election.
“I’d rather run against, I think, Biden than anybody,” Trump said. “I think he’s the weakest mentally and I like running against people who are weak mentally.”
Trump, who will be 73 on Friday, has repeatedly said he would “easily” beat Biden in 2020 and has poked fun at the former vice president’s age while giving the 76-year-old new nicknames including “Sleepy Joe” and “1 percent Joe.”
Trump’s comments came ahead of his and Biden’s visit to Iowa on Tuesday. Biden at his own event on Tuesday, criticized Trump’s record with farmers and American families.
“America’s farmers have been crushed by his tariff war with China. No one knows that better than Iowa,” Biden said. “He thinks he’s being tough. Well, it’s easy to be tough when someone else is feeling the pain.”
And Biden asked, “how many farmers across this state and across this nation have had to face the prospect of losing their business, of losing their farm because of Trump’s tariffs?”
The president directly responded to Biden’s attack on Tuesday at the White House, saying he is “the best thing that has ever happened to farmers.”
“Nobody has treated farmers better than Trump,” he said. “The farmers are my best friend.”
Trump went on to blast Biden, a former vice president and a former senator from Delaware for almost four decades, as “a dummy” over his past remarks about China not being a “competitor” for the United States.
“Joe Biden thought China was not a competitor. Biden is a dummy. Joe Biden thought China was not a competitor of ours,” Trump said, claiming that China “ate our country alive during Obama and Biden.”
It sounds like Trump is already running against Biden, and if these comments are any indication, should Biden get the nomination, it seems like it is going to be a nasty scrap between these two, one that might just end up “behind the woodshed,” as Biden once threatened!
While American sit on the edge of their seats wondering whether House Democrats will go forward with impeachment proceedings against President Trump, most American’s say that they expect that Trump will win re-election in 2020, according to a poll released last week.
The CNN poll conducted by SSRS revealed that 54% of Americans – including those who disapprove of his performance as president – believed that Trump would likely win in next year’s 2020 election. Just 41% of those polled said that they expect him to lose. This most recent number represents a considerable shift from last December when 51% of people said they believed Trump would be defeated in 2020.
The shift comes mostly from individuals who disapprove of the president. Last week’s poll also revealed that 67% of those who disapprove of the president said they thought he would lose –down from 81% of individuals from the same cohort who were polled seven months ago.
Although the Democrat’s desire to defeat Trump in 2020 certainly isn’t lacking in its voracity, many younger Democrats have expressed that they’re concerned more about policy issues of the Democratic presidential candidate.
In an entirely different poll that was also released last week – this time by Public Policy Institute of California – 48% of Democrats and left-leaning voters in California stated that it’s more important to vote for candidate who’s likely to defeat Trump, whereas 42% said that choosing a candidate whose views closely match their own is most important.
Of the individuals polled who were between 18 and 44 years-old, 51% reported having a preference for candidates who holds similar views to their own, compared to 52%
Of those ages 18 to 44, 51% said they would prefer a candidate with similar views, compared to 52% of those 45 and over who said they prefer a candidate who has the best chance at defeating Trump.
While Democrats are starkly split along age lines and by policy preferences, it remains entirely unclear as to whether it will affect voter turnout in the general election. Currently, former Vice President Joe Biden remains at the front of the pack among Democratic presidential hopefuls. Biden, who’s clearly to the right of candidates like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders, represents the Democratic party’s center-left, establishment wing.
Meanwhile – despite a growing economy – President Trump continues to garner low job performance ratings. According to the CNN/SSRS poll, those who disapprove of Trump cite his behavior as the reason why. The top reasons for disproval were lying at 13%, incompetence at 11%, and racism at 11%.
Freshman democratic congresswoman, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, has been “schooled” by an FBI counterterrorism official after she suggested that white supremacists are getting a pass by the agency.
Earlier this week the controversial representative from New York, incorrectly suggested Muslims get charged with terrorism because they are treated as foreign, while white supremacists get “off the hook.”
AOC used a hearing on Tuesday to suggest that Muslims are being treated differently in the U.S., including getting charged with terrorism for criminal acts, while white supremacist attackers avoid being charged with “domestic terrorism” for similar crimes.
Michael McGarrity, the assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, set the record straight for the freshman Democrat, explaining that the authorities can’t charge people with a “domestic terrorism” charge simply because such a charge does not exist in U.S. laws.
“You’re using the word ‘charge,’ as I said before there’s no domestic terrorism charge like 18 USC § 2339 ABCD for a foreign terrorist organization,” McGarrity explained. “What we do both on the international terrorism side with the homegrown violent extremists and domestic terrorism, we’ll use any tool in the toolkit to arrest them,” McGarrity said.
There Is No Statute for “Domestic Terrorism”
“You’re not going to find an actual charge of domestic terrorism out there if you look at Title 18, McGarrity added after repeated questioning by the Democrat.
Ocasio-Cortez went on to point to the San Bernardino shooting or the Orlando pulse nightclub shooting as specific cases where the perpetrators were “charged as domestic terrorist incidents,” a claim that McGarrity clarified as incorrect.
“So, because the perpetrator was Muslim they’re — doesn’t it seem that because the perpetrator is Muslim that the designation would say it’s a foreign organization?” Ocasio-Cortez asked during the hearing.
According to ABC News, which detailed how Ocasio-Cortez conflated two different terms — in neither of the two cases she referred to were the perpetrators “charged” as “domestic terrorists” and were instead charged as “homegrown violent extremists,” a term given to criminals in the U.S. who draw inspiration from “foreign terrorist organizations” such as ISIS or Al-Qaeda.
By the same token, and under current law, white supremacist attackers could be charged as “homegrown violent extremists” as long as they are tied to a foreign terrorist organization as designated by the U.S. government, though no such case has ever been found.
No white supremacist attackers have been charged with “domestic terror” simply because such a term does not exist in US law. As a lawmaker, one would think a Congresswoman would know that. Where appropriate, such attackers have been charged with, and convicted of “hate crimes.”
As AOC again tried to say that the perpetrators in the Pulse and San Bernardino attacks, where branded “domestic terrorists” simply because they were Muslims, McGarrity again tried to correct her.
“No, that is not correct, that is not correct,” McGarrity responded, adding that the law doesn’t differentiate between religions while noting that the FBI would normally classify those radicalized by the global Jihad as foreign terrorists.
“Some of the definitions I think we’re using, we’re talking past each other,” McGarrity added.
Although being corrected by FBI officials several times, it seems that AOC still didn’t get it, and would not let go of her incorrect narrative, taking a victory lap on social media, saying “First the FBI witness tried to say I was wrong. I tried to be generous + give benefit of doubt, but then we checked. I wasn’t.”
“Violence by Muslims is routinely treated as ‘terrorism,’ White Supremacist violence isn’t. Neo-Nazis are getting off the hook,” she added.
However, she failed to cite the information she “checked” and how the FBI official was wrong during the hearing.