Monday, August 31, 2020
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
|Attorney General William P. Barr|
Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, August 19, 2020
Attorney General William P. Barr Announces Updates on Operation Legend at Press Conference in Kansas City, Missouri
At a press conference in Kansas City, Missouri, today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced updates on Operation Legend.
Since the operation’s launch, there have been more than 1,000 arrests, including defendants who have been charged in state and local courts. Of those arrests, approximately 217 defendants have been charged with federal crimes. These numbers exclude Indianapolis, whose operation was just announced last Friday. In addition, nearly 400 firearms have been seized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.
The Attorney General launched the operation on July 8, 2020, as a sustained, systematic, and coordinated law enforcement initiative in which federal law enforcement agencies work in conjunction with state and local law enforcement officials to fight violent crime. The initiative is named in honor of four-year-old LeGend Taliferro, who was shot and killed while he slept early in the morning of June 29 in Kansas City.
Launched first in Kansas City, MO., on July 8, 2020, the operation was expanded to Chicago and Albuquerque on July 22, 2020, to Cleveland, Detroit, and Milwaukee on July 29, 2020, to St. Louis and Memphis on Aug. 6, 2020, and to Indianapolis on Aug. 14, 2020. A breakdown of the federal charges in each district, with the exception of Indianapolis, is below.
Kansas City, MO.
Forty-three defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses. In addition to the federal charges, the operation has led to the arrests of 17 state defendants on homicide charges.
20 defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
17 defendants have been charged with drug trafficking;
Four defendants have been charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm;
Six defendants have been charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
Four defendants have been charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of violent crime;
One defendant has been charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition;
Three defendants have been charged with armed robbery;
One defendant has been charged with carjacking; and
One defendant has been charged with arson.
Sixty-one defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.
34 defendants have been charged with firearms-related offenses;
26 defendants have been charged with narcotics-related offenses;
One defendant has been charged with possession of machine gun;
One defendant has been charged with illegally dealing firearms without a license;
One defendant has been charged with the illegal sale of a firearm to prohibited person; and
One defendant has been charged with bank fraud.
Sixteen defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.
Six defendants have been charged with conspiracy to distribute controlled substances;
Four defendants have been charged with distribution of controlled substances;
Six defendants have been charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance;
Four defendants have been charged with being in possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
Eight defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
One defendant has been charged with being in possession of a stolen firearm;
Two defendants have been charged with Hobbs Act violations; and
One defendant has been charged with carjacking.
Thirty-two defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses. Two defendants remain fugitives.
22 defendants have been charged with federal drug trafficking charges;
Nine defendants have been charged with federal firearms violations; and
One defendant had been charged with carjacking.
Twenty-two defendants have been charged with federal offenses outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.
14 defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
Two defendants have been charged with possession with the intent to distribute controlled substances;
Two defendants have been charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
Three defendants have been charged with receipt of a firearm while under indictment;
Four defendants have been charged with making a false statement to a licensed firearm dealer; and
Two defendants have been charged with carjacking.
Eleven defendants have been charged with federal crimes outlined below, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses. In addition, thus far, 28 firearms have been seized.
Eight defendants have been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm;
Five defendants have been charged with possession with intent to distribute narcotics;
Four defendants have been charged with possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking;
Two defendants have been charged with making false statements to a licensed firearm dealer;
One defendant has been charged with possession of a firearm while being an unlawful user of narcotics;
One defendant has been charged with being a felon in possession of ammunition; and
One defendant has been charged with the distribution of narcotics.
St. Louis, MO.
Twenty-five defendants have been charged with federal crimes, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.
One defendant has been charged with drug trafficking and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime following the USMS’s execution of a state arrest warrant;
One defendant has been charged with robbery of an item affecting interstate commerce and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence following a joint ATF, SLMPD-initiated undercover operation targeting a known shooter;
One defendant has been charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm following ATF’s execution of a federal search warrant directed towards the residence of a suspected murderer;
21 defendants have been charged with drug trafficking offenses; and
One defendant has been charged with being a drug user in possession of a firearm.
Seven defendants have been charged with federal offenses, with some defendants charged with multiple offenses.
One defendant has been charged with being an alien in possession of a firearm while illegally or unlawfully in the United States;
One defendant, who lives in Memphis, was charged in an out-of-district federal case with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine;
Two defendants have been charged with being unlawful users of a controlled substance in possession of a firearm and making a material false statement when acquiring a firearm from a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL); and
Two cases remain under seal, but the charges are as follows:
One defendant has been charged with bank robbery
Two defendants charged with theft from an FFL.
Office of the Attorney General
Press Release Number:
Friday, August 14, 2020
Despite Constant Libel of Trump, I Trust the People
By CONRAD BLACK,
Special to the Sun | August 14, 2020
The appointment of Senator Harris as Democratic candidate for vice president is a suitable final step in the increasingly goofy Joe Biden campaign, prior to next week’s virtual Democratic convention. She was a catastrophic candidate for the presidential nomination, starting out as a strong rival to the Marxist Senator Bernie Sanders, and like Mr. Biden himself and all the others except Mayor Pete Buttigieg, her candidacy sank like a rock. Almost every policy question was answered with a pious assertion of the need for “a national conversation.”
If her proposals had been acted upon, the country would have been swept by a pandemic of logorrhea. Ms. Harris favors open borders and compared the Immigration and Customs Enforcement service to the Ku Klux Klan.
She favors the entire Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Green Terror, including abolition of fracking and ultimately of fossil fuel consumption and use, and the now customary Democratic hare-brained nonsense about windmills and solar panels. (At the confirmation hearing for James Mattis as secretary of defense, she asked him how he would combat climate change.)
Ms. Harris favors free full-service public healthcare for everyone, sharply increased taxes, and the confiscation of privately owned firearms — Beto O’Rourke could soon be on every doorstep in America.
Ms. Harris has many critics among the 98% of Democrats who did not support her candidacy for president. The Left is displeased with her performance as San Francisco’s district attorney and as attorney general of California: she always called for maximum sentences and condoned the widespread American practice of prosecutors extorting or suborning inculpatory false evidence by threats of indictment if that evidence is not forthcoming, and promises of immunity from prosecution for perjury if it is.
Loyola law professor Lara Bazelon recently accused Ms. Harris in the New York Times of having “fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony, and the suppression of crucial information.”
President Trump has made serious efforts at penal reform and sentence reduction for nonviolent offenders. By contrast, Ms. Harris sent over 1,000 marijuana users to prison but acknowledged having tried it herself. Ms. Harris’s performance as a prosecutor clashes with the general current Democratic enthusiasm for defunding and discouraging the police and turning a blind eye to urban vandalism, arson, and looting.
Mr. Biden backed himself into a corner through his malapropistic aspersions of African Americans and the claims against him about molestation of women (claims Ms. Harris once endorsed), and pledged a black female candidate (or, as some have suggested, a dark-skinned person with a cervix).
Those who met those criteria were a pretty job lot. Representative Val Demings of Georgia was promising but obscure; former National Security Advisor Susan Rice is tainted by the Benghazi fiasco and her role in the persecution of General Michael Flynn, and is sometimes unacceptably abrasive. Rep. Karen Bass of California is, on her record (including her public condolences to the people of Cuba over the hardly premature death of Fidel Castro), a Communist; and unsuccessful Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacy Abrams is a deluded fabulist and would have been a preposterous choice.
In the valley of the bumbling or belligerent African-American Democratic female politicians, the half-Jamaican, half-East Indian, chronic “conversationalist,” Senator Harris wins. The Democratic National Committee and its media allies have already warned that any criticism will be portrayed as sexist and racist, but that charade has become tiresome.
The vice presidential nominee’s prospects are clouded by the apparent expectation (according to a Rasmussen poll) of 59% of Americans that, if elected, Mr. Biden will not finish his term for medical reasons (despite his well-filmed weekend bicycle ride of 75 yards).
So more than half the electorate thinks a vote for the Democrats will be for both Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris to be president. There is nothing in her performance in office or as a presidential candidate to indicate that Americans would greet a Harris presidency with equanimity.
Whatever happens, she wins. If the ticket is successful, her chances of being president are excellent. If Mr. Biden completes his term, Ms. Harris is the principal candidate to follow him. And if the Democrats lose, the ranks of defeated vice presidential candidates include many who went on to greater things: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Earl Warren, Edmund Muskie, Robert Dole, Walter Mondale, and Lloyd Bentsen.
The Biden-Harris tandem kicked off with Ms. Biden’s monstrous lie that Mr. Trump demonstrated his support for Nazism at the violent demonstrations in Charlottesville in 2017, one of the opening guns in the Democratic media character assassination of the President. What he actually said was that there was merit to the arguments of both sides in the original controversy in Charlottesville over what to do with the statue of Robert E. Lee, and that in the violence that ensued both sides were equally odious.
In the ensuing false controversy whipped up by the Trump-hating press, there were some hilarious acts of moral posturing, such as corporate raider Carl Icahn resigning from a White House cultural committee. (Mr. Trump abolished the committee as redundant.) This is where the Democrats have arrived: where they began, accusing Donald Trump of every conceivable permutation of bigotry and corruption.
The Democratic press made no reference whatever to the shooting of 21 African Americans in Washington, D.C. in one incident last weekend, but the Democratic mayor, the egregious Muriel Bowser, ignored the shooting and complained that her ban on assemblies of more than 50 persons was sometimes not observed. World-famous Michigan Avenue in Chicago was smashed up which at least caused the hopeless mayor, Lori Lightfoot, to acknowledge for the first time that some of the peaceful protesters were committing crimes, but she publicly warned her police chief not to “bait” her.
The Big Apple naturally has the most incompetent mayor of all: Bill de Blasio blamed his city’s skyrocketing violent crime rate on the summer and the coronavirus. His abrupt chopping of the entire crime prevention unit and of $1 billion from the city police budget, of course, had nothing to do with it.
New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, ducked his own responsibility in sending COVID-19 sufferers back to homes for the elderly and blamed unspecified Trump regulations and visitors and nurses for 19,000 deaths in those facilities, a number greater than the combined total of coronavirus fatalities of Germany and Canada, countries which have a total population of 120 million.
In Washington, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi returned to her script of four years ago and incanted: “With Trump, all roads lead to Putin.” She said that it didn’t matter that China favors Mr. Biden in the election because the United States has no problems with China.
For nearly four years the Democrats and the self-shamed legions of their national political media accomplices have had no narrative except constant, 360 degrees, stentorian defamation of the president. It is the most protracted and despicable performance of a major American party in opposition since the Democrats betrayed their own president (Lyndon Johnson), spuriously destroyed President Nixon, and completed the trifecta by withdrawing all aid to Indochina and consigning it to the tender mercies of the North Vietnamese Communists and Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge.
In 12 weeks we will have the election result; I trust the people.
CMBLetters@gmail.com. From American Greatness.
Friday, August 7, 2020
People do not have the right to riot
By Seth Barron, NY POST, August 2, 2020
Protesters in Gotham and other cities around the nation are so used to getting their way, they’ve been spoiled. Their illegal occupation of our streets and parks has become so routine that the protesting class throws tantrums when it faces consequences, however rarely that happens.
Last week’s arrest of Nikki Stone, wanted for alleged serial vandalism of police cameras, was a case in point. The 18-year-old homeless woman was marching in a “peaceful,” though non-permitted, march down Second Avenue when plainclothes NYPD officers arrested her and put her in an unmarked van.
Stone had been filmed on multiple occasions painting over NYPD security cameras around City Hall Park during the last month’s occupation. Her alleged actions suggest a flagrant lawlessness and enmity against the public good.
Yet Stone became a cause celebre, with supporters claiming she had been “disappeared,” as if by a right-wing regime in Latin America circa 1982. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted: “There is no excuse for snatching women off the street and throwing them into unmarked vans.” Cable host Chris Hayes called it “kidnapping.”
The City Council’s Progressive Caucus claimed that “this arrest was a tactic meant to intimidate protesters and discourage civil disobedience.” Lawmakers accused Mayor Bill de Blasio of failing to hold “the NYPD accountable for the brutality unleashed on those exercising” fundamental rights.
Back in the real world, plainclothes officers with unmarked cars arrest wanted suspects like Stone every day, because it is the most effective way to approach them without tipping them off and letting them escape. It is only “kidnapping” if one believes that law enforcement, operating with judicial warrants, has no authority to bring criminals to court.
Moreover, progressive councilmembers radically confuse “civil disobedience” and “First Amendment rights.”
The First Amendment protects the right “peaceably to assemble,” but that doesn’t mean you can block traffic any time you want to. Ask Chris Hayes if you can sit in his MSNBC office or studio for a week in the name of your favorite cause.
Civil disobedience means intentionally breaking the law to draw attention to the (alleged) unfairness of the law. But de Blasio has been so spinelessly indulgent of anti-cop protests, allowing wildcat marches to take place every day, all over the city, that the protesters have come to believe that they have the right to break the law. When confronted, they exhibit the outrage of a pampered toddler denied a toy at nap-time.
Similarly petulant, VOCAL-NY, a government-funded nonprofit, is stamping its feet because the city is no longer planning to pay for the construction of its new headquarters. VOCAL-NY was the prime mover behind the “Defund the Police” encampment, marches, and protests that dominated downtown in the run-up to the city budget deal. The group’s chief organizer, Jawanza James Williams, proudly declared: “We will occupy. We will not leave here until the mayor listens to us!!!”
VOCAL-NY receives about $500,000 from the city each year, mostly for drug-abuse-prevention and other health programs. Taxpayers didn’t allocate money to the group so it could establish an illegal campsite, stage marches across the Brooklyn Bridge, harass and attack law enforcers, destroy public property, or demand abolition of the police. Members of the group went to the homes of local politicians, and even the home of Speaker Corey Johnson’s boyfriend, screaming at them.
When Johnson removed several million dollars in capital spending that had been earmarked for VOCAL-NY to build a new headquarters, the group shrieked that he was being spiteful and violating their constitutional rights: “There can be no place in New York City’s politics for this kind of attack on our First Amendment rights.” Yeah, cry more.
VOCAL-NY, like many other ostensible “charities,” is used to taking millions of dollars in taxpayer funding for explicitly political activity. They’ve gotten used to it — because no one in charge says no.
Johnson insists that the money was removed as a fiscal measure and had nothing to do with the way that VOCAL-NY portrayed him as a cop-loving bootlicker during the budget process, embarrassing him ahead of a possible mayoral run, or that they threw paint at his boyfriend’s front door. But VOCAL-NY, and the protesters who want to dictate the time and manner of their arrests and the clothing of their arresting agents, need to relearn a key lesson of toddlerhood: Actions have consequences.
Seth Barron is an associate editor of City Journal.
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Former New York Times opinion editor blasts cancel culture as 'social murder' on Bill Maher's show
‘Twitter is the assigning editor of The New York Times’
Former New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss ripped cancel culture and had some parting shots at her former employer during her appearance on "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday.
"We're used to criticism. Criticism is kosher in the work that we do," Weiss told Bill Maher. "Criticism is great. What cancel culture is about is not criticism. It is about punishment. It is about making a person radioactive. It is about taking away their job."
"The writer Jonathan Rauch [of The Atlantic] called it social murder. And I think that's right," she said.
"It's not just about punishing the sinner. It's not just about punishing the person for being insufficiently pure," Weiss explained. "It's about this sort of secondary boycott of people who would deign to speak to that person or appear on a platform with that person."
"And we see just very obviously where that kind of politics gets us," she continued. "If the conversation with people that we disagree with becomes impossible, what is the way that we solve conflict."
"That's an enormous problem because what it's meant is the collapse of moderates," the former Times writer said. "It's meant the collapse of the center and the retribalization of this country and the whole deal with this country, the reason that it's exceptional with all of its flaws is that we depart from history."
"We say that clannishness, tribalism, that we can overcome that, that there's something bigger than lineage or kin or the political tribe we belong to," she said on the HBO talk show. "And I think what we're seeing right now, and it's a very scary moment, is a kind of returning to the mean of history. And I think it is up to us to defend the ideas that made this country unique and a departure of history."
Weiss said that "politics has come to supplant religion," where people on the right see President Donald Trump as a "deity," and people on the left who believe "anything less than defunding the police or abolish the police to choose the issue of the day, makes you something like a heretic."
Weiss resigned from The New York Times last month with a scathing public letter to publisher A.G. Sulzberger. Weiss wrote that her "forays into Wrongthink have made me the subject of constant bullying by colleagues who disagree with my views." She alleges that coworkers called her a "Nazi and a racist," making for a "hostile work environment."
"Still other New York Times employees publicly smear me as a liar and a bigot on Twitter with no fear that harassing me will be met with appropriate action," she wrote. "Showing up for work as a centrist at an American newspaper should not require bravery."
Weiss also talked about her fiery departure from the New York Times and provided some criticisms of the newspaper of record.
"The reason that Twitter is the assigning editor of The New York Times is because the printing press isn't the printing press anymore. It's because the printing press is in each one of our pockets," Weiss said.
"To do our job well, writers and editors, we need to have a level of bravery and thick skin and fearlessness," she said. "And when you're living in fear of an online mob, you know, all it takes is a dozen people to repeat a lie about you — that you're a racist, that you're a transphobe, that you're a bigot — for that lie to become true and that's extremely dangerous."
This week's episode of "Real-Time" also featured Harper's Magazine columnist Thomas Chatterton Williams, who was one of 150 liberal writers, journalists, and academics who signed an open letter calling for an end to cancel culture. Others who signed the open letter include Weiss, "Harry Potter" creator J.K. Rowling, philosopher Noam Chomsky, and feminist Gloria Steinem.
"What strikes me about it is the pushback is coming from liberals and almost everyone who signs this letter ... is a liberal!" Maher said. "Bari, the fact that you -- they call you a centrist or right-winger! I mean, if a hip, millennial, Jewish bisexual girl living in San Francisco is not a liberal ... who is, these days?"
"What we're trying to say with the letter – and what Thomas did in forming it – was saying what's happening now with this growing culture of illiberalism is different from criticism," Weiss stated.
Williams said that "cancellation" isn't about "bringing down elites back to Earth" but instead causes an "onlooker effect" that has "a chilling and stifling and narrowing influence on all of our behaviors."
Maher panel blasts 'cancel culture': It's a form of 'social murder'
'If a conversation with people that we disagree with becomes impossible, what is the way that we solve conflict?' Bari Weiss asked
Former New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss and Harper's Magazine columnist Thomas Chatterton Williams appeared on "Real Time with Bill Maher" on Friday to explain the open letter they penned decrying "cancel culture."