Category: Criminal law

“It’s A Good Day For You To Die”: Tennessee Man Allegedly Pulls Gun On Couple Wearing MAGA Hats

One of my favorite scenes from the comedy “The President’s Analyst” was when actor James Coburn (the overly cerebral, new-age psychiatrist) grabs an M-16 and sprays approaching lines of telephone company security guards while screaming “Take that you hostile son of a . . . ” The scene came to mind this week with the arrest of James Phillips, 57, of Cottontown, Tennessee, who reacted to a couple wearing “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hats at a Sam’s Club by pulling out a gun and threatening, “It’s a good day for you to die.” That will show those unhinged MAGA people.

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Two Nigerian Brothers Reportedly Implicated “Empire” Actor Smollett In Hoax Hate Crime

Various reports indicate that Chicago Police may be building a case against “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett for a staged and false reported hate crime that attracted widespread condemnation and outcry. Smollett claimed that white men wearing Trump’s signature MAGA hats jumped out of a car and screamed “This is MAGA country, n****r” and beat him and put a noose around his neck. Various networks and cable stations like CNN ran with the story as a horrific attack and an example of rising hate crimes during the Trump Administration. Presidential candidate Cory Booker called the attack an “attempted modern-day lynching” though he now is saying that he is “withholding his judgment.” Two Nigerian brothers have been arrested and reportedly implicated Smollett in the hoax. If true, Smollett could be looking at years in jail.

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Fight or Flight: Why An Obstruction Case Against Trump Is Likely To Fail

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the known basis for an obstruction case against President Donald Trump. While much more has been learned since the appointment of the Special Counsel, there remains considerable doubt about a prosecutable case for obstruction.

Here is the column:

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Manafort Loses Plea Deal After Judge Finds False Statements To Special Counsel

Paul Manafort added to his burgeoning record of alleged crimes and falsehoods this week with a decision from U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson that he had broken his cooperation agreement with Special Counsel Robert Mueller by making false statements and withholding information. The result could be devastating for Manafort who will now face sentencing without the benefit of the plea deal that he struck with Mueller. That could mean that, absent a pardon from President Donald Trump, Manafort could die in prison since he is looking at decades of potential jail time.

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Cohen Goes Out On The Town After Postponing Testimony Again For Health Reasons

I have been a long critic of Trump former counsel Michael Cohen whose lack of legal skills is only surpassed by his lack of legal ethics (here and here and here and here and here and here). Cohen is a serial liar and legal thug who committed various tax and fraud crimes worth millions. Cohen was given an absurdly low sentence by U.S. District Judge William H. Pauley III who fell for the latest dubious pitch of Cohen. While a teenager will get twice as much time for robbing a store for $1000, Cohen got just three years for stealing millions and lying under oath. He then was called to appear before Congress and worked a new sham as the redemptive sinner. Yet, there is always a warning of Caveat Emptor that comes with dealing with Cohen: buyer beware. Cohen has now postponed testimony repeatedly in Congress. The latest excuse was his health — a claim that was refuted by a videotape showing him enjoying a night out on the town at an expensive restaurant the night before.

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Lock Him Up? Warren Suggests Trump Will Go To Prison Before 2020

Democrats have (for good reason) criticized President Donald Trump for his signature campaign rally chant of “Lock her up” in referring to his then opponent Hillary Clinton.. Many of us objected to the display as obnoxious and demeaning to our political system. That objection apparently does not hold when a Democratic candidate, in this case Elizabeth Warren, is referencing Donald Trump as being locked up. Warren received the predictably wild applause to her suggestion in a campaign rally that Trump will be in prison by 2020.

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McCabe: Rosenstein Complained That Trump Forced Him To Justify Comey Firing

We have previously discussed the tell-all book written by James Comey. Now Andrew McCabe has cashed in on his own tell all — and not surprisingly it is scathing. The most notable allegation however concerns the memorandum written by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on why Comey should be fired. McCabe insists that he and others witnessed a visibly upset Rosenstein complain that Trump and aides pressured him to write the justification for firing Comey. The book is The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump.

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Woman Accused of Trying To Run Over Her Boyfriend and Then Posing With Damaged Car After Hitting Another Woman

Police in Wilmington, North Carolina are searching for Courtnay Danielle Lawrence, 22, who was allegedly caught on videotape trying to run over her former friend. Instead, another woman, Christina Benson, with the man was hit. Lawrence however was happy to pose with her damaged car even though she missed her boyfriend and sent an innocent woman flying into the air.

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Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Said He Would Use “A Bullet” On Khashoggi in 2017

The New York Times has reported that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in 2017 that he would use “a bullet” on Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That was well before his murder and contradicts the Crown Prince’s later statement that they were friends. It is one of a long line of lies made by the Crown Prince and the Saudi government to try to cover up the role of the Crown Prince. The evidence is overwhelming that the Crown Prince ordered the murder but the Trump Administration has refused to acknowledge the evidence of its own intelligence services and now has missed a deadline set by Congress. Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has a close relationship with the Crown Prince and the Administration is clearly unwilling to allow his murdering of a Washington Post journalist interfere with the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

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Did National Enquirer Extort Jeff Bezos?

In an incredible disclosure, the Amazon founder and owner of The Washington Post Jeff Bezos has released what he says was communications from the National Enquirer that sought to blackmail him into dropping an investigation into the tabloid’s motivations in targeting Bezos, a long target of President Donald Trump. The tabloid is of course owned by close Trump friend David Pecker, who is viewed by many as a thoroughly disreputable businessman. On this occasion, however, Bezos says that he has something that has long been missing: an actual letter laying out the alleged extortive pitch. In the middle of this sordid mess is an American Media, Inc. (AMI) attorney named Jon Fine, who identifies himself as the Associate General Counsel. The role of an attorney in such a matter could raise very serious bar and ethical concerns.

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DOJ Agrees To Investigate Epstein Deal . . . Sort Of

I have previously written about the disgraceful sweetheart deal given to accused serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. The deal was struck by Secretary of Labor Alex Acosta and not only succeeded in protecting Epstein from serous jail time but protecting a host of high-profile friends including Bill Clinton who were regulars at his infamous island resort. The problem is that the investigation is not being handled by the Inspector General but the oft-criticized DOJ Office of Professional Responsibility. OPR is routinely criticized for its defense of accused officials, even in some indefensible circumstances. For critics, it often seems more like OPR offers more cover than scrutiny in controversies over prosecutorial abuse. Moreover, the Epstein scandal involves serious questions of corrupt influence by powerful friends of Epstein. Such questions require serious investigative measures. OPR is more likely to find that the deal was within the scope of permissible decisions by a prosecutor like Acosta despite being widely ridiculed as an utter disgrace.

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Trump Associate: “Our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it.”

A new set of emails has become public that shows the extent of the effort to secure a Trump Tower deal in Moscow during the election. The most notable emails are between two of Trump’s associates: Michael Cohen and Felix Sater. Sater’s boasting about Trump and Putin was previously known but now the emails have been disclosed. In one email, Sater (who seems to rival Cohen in competition for the most seedy Trump associations) brags about his close contacts with Putin and how he can get the Tower approved. He then adds “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected.” He also that it would be “pretty cool to get a USA President elected” and, if successful, wanted to be the ambassador to the Bahamas: “That my friend is the home run I want out of this.” With the Mueller report now reportedly coming within the month, the emails could be used to show a strong business interest in Moscow — an interest that continued during the campaign.

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College Student Thinks She Has A Ghost . . . Instead Finds Homeless Man In Her Closet In Her Clothes

A University of North Carolina college student in Greensboro thought she had a ghost in her apartment. Clothes were disappearing and she would hear movement or knocks. However, when she finally summoned the courage to look inside, she found a man in her closet, dressed in her clothes.

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