House Committee Reissues Subpoena for Trump’s Financial Records

President Donald Trump speaks to the media before departing the White House to Joint Base Andrews en route to San Diego, Calif., on March 13, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

The House Oversight and Reform Committee reissued its subpoena seeking to gain access to President Donald Trump’s financial records, according to a court filing.

The subpoena renews a request to Trump’s accounting firm Mazars USA to hand over eight years of financial records involving the former president and his business as part of a probe into allegations about the president’s financial statements.

Trump went to the federal court to challenge the original subpoena to block its enforcement shortly after it was issued in April 2019. That subpoena expired in January when new lawmakers took office.

Attorneys for each party in the case informed the judge on Tuesday that the subpoena had been reissued by the new Oversight panel to Mazars on Feb. 25. They also submitted a schedule on how the parties would proceed with the case while asking the court to set a date for a hearing.

The subpoena shows a return deadline of noon on March 11, but the lawyers said the Oversight panel “agrees to voluntarily stay the return date of the subpoena pending this Court’s resolution of the subpoena’s enforceability.”

Lawyers for Trump and Mazar did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment on the renewed subpoena.

Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) said in a memo on Feb. 23 that the committee during the 117th Congress will continue targeting Trump for its investigation into presidential conflicts of interest, saying that his financial documents are crucial to “verify key facts and tailor legislative reforms to be as effective and efficient as possible.”

“Donald Trump’s unprecedented actions as President—including his refusal to divest from his ‘complex and opaque financial holdings’—have laid bare several apparent weaknesses and gaps in the laws and regulations governing presidential financial disclosure, conflicts of interest, and emoluments,” Maloney wrote.

Trump has repeatedly called the investigations seeking his financial records a continuation of a political “witch hunt,” while his lawyers and former Solicitor General Noel Francisco have raised questions in court about whether there are any legitimate legislative purposes for issuing the subpoenas. Instead, the lawyers said the House sought the records to harass the president, “expose personal matters and conduct law enforcement activities beyond its authority.”

The case relating to the oversight committee subpoena went through months of litigation before it arrived at the Supreme Court in 2020. It was combined with a separate case where Trump was challenging a different subpoena issued by the Financial Services and Intelligence committees seeking financial records from two of his banks.

In both cases, the district courts denied his requests to block the subpoenas, and the decisions were upheld on appeal. Trump then asked the Supreme Court to review the cases.

The top court in July 2020 sent the pair of cases back to the lower courts for another review because those courts had not taken into account the “special concerns regarding the separation of powers.”

Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority opinion, said the lower courts should “perform a careful analysis that takes adequate account of the separation of powers principles at stake, including both the significant legislative interests of Congress and the ‘unique position’ of the President.”

The analysis should include considering whether the asserted legislative purpose justifies the need for the president’s information, whether the scope of the subpoena is limited enough so that it would still support the legislative objective, and looking at the evidence Congress has provided to “establish that a subpoena advances a valid legislative purpose,” Roberts said.

In a separate case, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. has obtained Trump’s tax returns after the Supreme Court ruled that it wouldn’t block the documents from being released to Vance’s office. Vance had sought the documents as part of a criminal probe.

Source: House Committee Reissues Subpoena for Trump’s Financial Records

Welcome to 1984, again

A New York Times story (accessible for subscribers only) on the cover of the Sun insert in the morning paper quoted a book writer as saying that “Trump sought to ‘remake reality through language’ during a tumultuous tenure. As she writes in her book, the former president ‘changed some of the deepest expectations about presidential language, not just when it comes to style, but also the relationship between words and reality.’

“Now officials in Biden’s administration are using Trump’s own tactics to adjust reality again, this time by erasing the words his predecessor used and by explicitly returning to ones that had been banished.”

Erasing words? Changing the meaning of words in order to change reality?

Oh come on. Will somebody come out and say it out loud?

OK, the Times writer did get around to it well down in the tale.

“It’s kind of Orwellian — that’s what it is, really,” the NYT quoted Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, as saying. “The war against the word ‘alien’ is a continuation of this effort to destigmatize illegal immigration that started in the mid-1970s. This is in a sense the culmination of that process.”

Orwell, who learned the propaganda trade during World War II while working for the BBC, was a prophet. The current wordsmanship is nothing new.

As I noted in 2009:

George Orwell recognized this phenomenon and invented in “1984” the word newspeak to describe it. Newspeak was Big Brother’s way of trying to prevent “thoughtcrime” — which is why we have laws against certain hate crimes. Never mind that the act itself is a crime but it is doubly so if you have a motive that offends the sensitive ones.

And offending someone, anyone, is now the ultimate offense.

Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano doesn’t want to offend people who might want to blow us up by calling them by some offensive term like terrorist. Not she has now decided to call them the creators of man-caused disasters, like flying loaded passenger airliners into high-rise buildings.

Our one-worlder president doesn’t believe in fighting a global war against man-caused disasters. His Defense Department (They don’t call it the War Department anymore.) sent out a memo saying: “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT.] Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’”

That sounds so much better. I am relieved that the war on terror is over over there and here and everywhere.

If you subscribe to the morning paper you should be able to read the NYT account here.

“Don’t you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?” Orwell wrote in “Nineteen Eighty-Four.” “In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it.”

Welcome to 1984, again.
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Democrats should be careful what they ask for … they just might get it, good and hard

Wall Street Journal columnist Joel Zinberg today reminds us that in 2020 the Biden campaign in general and Kamala Harris specifically “maligned President Trump’s claims about the speed of vaccine development and questioned its safety and effectiveness. New York’s Gov. Andrew Cuomo cast doubt on FDA evaluations of Covid-19 vaccines and said states should conduct their own reviews. An Aug. 27 letter from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention asking governors for help setting up vaccine distribution elicited a statement from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer questioning the safety of the vaccines in development. Media ‘fact checkers’ said rapid vaccine development would take a ‘miracle.’”

Coincidentallu, Between April and December, Zinberg noted, the share of Americans who told pollsters they were likely to consent to vaccination declined from 74 percent to 56 percent.

Reuters quoted Joe Biden back in September as saying, “Let me be clear: I trust vaccines, I trust scientists, but I don’t trust Donald Trump. At this moment, the American people can’t either.”

In an editorial today the WSJ reported that on Monday two Democrat congressional representatives “sent letters pressing 12 cable and tech CEOs to drop contracts with right-of-center media outlets including Fox News. Two days later the Energy and Commerce Committee held a hearing about ‘disinformation and extremism’ in conservative media. The only notable extremism on display was the majority party’s appetite for regulating and policing the free press.”A Texas Democrat representative said at the hearing that he saw a tension between “the freedom of speech versus other peoples’ safety.”

Like what was said by Biden, Harris, Cuomo, Schumer and certain media fact checkers?

From Kimberley Strassel’s WSJ column today: “Right now, the greatest threat to free speech in this country is not any law passed by the government— the First Amendment stands as a bulwark,” says Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr. “The threat comes in the form of legislating by letterhead. Politicians have realized that they can silence the speech of those with different political viewpoints by public bullying.”

This observation came after Twitter, Facebook and others banned prominent conservatives, Twitter locked the account of the New York Post for reporting news about the Democratic presidential nominee’s son, Google and Apple dropped Parler from their app stores and Amazon banned a three-year-old book questioning transgenderism.

There is more than one way to skin a free speech cat.
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Democrats Accept 2 of 286 Amendments Sought by Republicans for $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) speaks at the weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington on Dec. 3, 2020. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Republicans have criticized Democrats for continuing to push their pandemic stimulus package while accepting little to no Republican input. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Wednesday out of 286 amendments proposed by Republicans for the $1.9 trillion spending package, only two were accepted.

“Republicans offered 286 amendments to President Biden’s massive $1.9 TRILLION spending blowout. Democrats accepted 2 of them. So much for Biden’s calls for ‘unity,’” McCarthy said in a statement.

On Feb. 19, Democrats unveiled the full text of a 591-page bill (pdf) titled the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.”

https://www.scribd.com/document/495999748/American-Rescue-Plan-Act-of-2021

House Republicans held a press conference on Wednesday in which they voiced their opposition to the Democrats’ “rescue” package that includes many items that have little to do with pandemic relief.

Rep. Jason Smith (R-Mo.), who serves as the Republican Leader of the House Budget Committee, called the $1.9 trillion package a liberal “wish list” because so little of the total funds are going to fighting the effects of the pandemic.

“It’s very simple. We’re here today because Pelosi, Schumer, and Biden decided to use a pandemic to push forward a progressive wish list; items to reward political allies, friends, and donors at the expense of the American working class,” Smith said.

He said that less than 9 percent of the $1.9 trillion is allocated for COVID health spending and only 5 percent is marked to fund the extra needs at schools amid the pandemic.

“Why is it that this package spends more than 25%, according to the Congressional Budget Office, on items that kill millions of jobs,” he added.

The Republican Study Committee (RSC), the largest conservative caucus on Capitol Hill, released a fact-sheet on items “Democrats are hoping the public won’t find about [sic]” that are included in President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion stimulus bill.

Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), the RSC’s newly elected chairman, said in a memo sent to caucus members that Democrats have included items of “special interest pork and other liberal goodies” in the proposal.

“If that’s not bad enough, Nancy Pelosi plugged in a $200 million earmark for an underground tunnel in San Francisco for Silicone Valley employees,” Banks said. “This is a bailout to the special interest groups that gave them power.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) said another reason why the GOP will oppose the package is because it does not help get kids back to school full time.

“That’s not what this $1.9 trillion liberal wish list, giveaway bill does and that’s why we’re strongly opposing it, and we’re also pushing to expose just what is really in this bill,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said the $1.9 trillion package will provide “bold COVID relief to Americans nationwide” and criticized Republicans for obstructing Democrat efforts.

“Republican leaders are reportedly ‘maneuvering’ to get every single Republican member to oppose urgent, bold COVID relief. Every single one! Make no mistake: Democrats are working to quickly deliver the American Rescue Plan and big, bold COVID relief,” Schumer said.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said the Democrat’s rescue package was not addressing the issues that would help reopen the economy.

“Only about 1% of the Democrats’ partisan plan goes to vaccines. Only about 5% of its K-12 funding would even go out this fiscal year. Democrats are not addressing the urgent needs of a re-opening America. They started with a preconceived liberal wish-list and worked backward,” McConnell said.

Source: Democrats Accept 2 of 286 Amendments Sought by Republicans for $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

Judge Blocks Enforcement of Biden’s Moratorium on Most Deportations

The U.S.-Mexico border where the fence becomes a small barbed wire fence, west of Nogales, Ariz., on May 23, 2018. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

President Joe Biden’s administration cannot enforce a pause on most deportations until further notice, a federal judge ruled late Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton, a Trump appointee, agreed to issue a preliminary injunction that was requested by the state of Texas.

Acting Homeland Security Secretary David Pekoske directed in a memorandum on Jan. 20 “an immediate pause on removals of any noncitizen with a final order of removal … for 100 days.” Texas officials sued, alleging the pause violated an agreement between the state and the federal government reached during the Trump administration, and that the Department of Homeland Security has a responsibility to promote the removal of illegal aliens.

Tipton said Tuesday that arguments by Texas officials that they would incur financial costs from having to detain immigrants who otherwise would have been deported and from an increase in unaccompanied children requiring public education were legitimate.

“The Court finds Texas has established by a preponderance of the evidence that it could reasonably expect a 100-day pause to lead to a significant number of criminal aliens and unaccompanied children moving freely within and into Texas who would otherwise be removed,” he wrote in the 105-page decision.

“The 100-day pause will lead to a significant number of criminal aliens moving freely within and into Texas who otherwise would have been removed. Criminal aliens and state offenders have a demonstrable propensity to recidivate. Therefore, the 100-day pause will cause Texas unanticipated detention facility costs,” he added.

A preliminary injunction blocks an order temporarily until the case at hand is resolved or until a superseding decision is issued.

Tipton expressed general opposition to nationwide injunctions but cited precedent in other cases. He, therefore, issued a nationwide injunction of the deportation pause.

https://www.scribd.com/document/495874680/Gov-Us-Court-Stx-Sd-1811836850

The stay of the pause will remain in place pending a final resolution of the case or until a further order from a federal court, such as an appeals court.

Tipton had twice blocked the order for two weeks at a time before making the new decision.

The Biden administration didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters in January that the order halting deportations “will allow the administration to review and reset enforcement policies and ensure that resources are dedicated to the most pressing challenges, and that we have a fair and effective enforcement system rooted in responsibly managing the border and protecting our national security and public safety.”

Approximately 6,000 noncitizens subject to a final order of removal are currently detained nationwide, according to the government, which alleged only some of those would be released from custody during the pause. Many are detained by local authorities, who may or may not work with federal immigration officials.

Defendants had asked the judge not to issue the injunction, writing in a filing in mid-February that Pekoske’s memo did not violate federal law and that Texas lacked standing.

“Texas has failed to show it will be harmed by the temporary removal pause at all, let alone irreparably, as is required for injunctive relief,” government lawyers asserted. In addition, they said, “multiple statutory provisions expressly preclude review in district court, and over the substantive and procedural issues raised here.”

Source: Judge Blocks Enforcement of Biden’s Moratorium on Most Deportations

Exclusive: Former ICE Chief Says Immigration Law Becoming Meaningless

Former acting ICE Director Tom Homan speaks at an event for Angel families and sheriffs outside the Capitol building in Washington on Sept. 25, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

The former acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) says the new administration’s steps to narrow the criteria for immigration enforcement are “just ridiculous.”

“It’s almost like it’s not illegal to be illegally in the United States anymore,” Tom Homan told The Epoch Times on Feb. 18.

Homan retired during the Trump administration, after directing the agency responsible for interior immigration enforcement and deportations as well as investigations into human trafficking and cross-border crime.

He’s concerned the Biden administration is rendering immigration law meaningless.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Feb. 18 announced new enforcement priorities that will focus on three groups of illegal immigrants: national security threats such as known or suspected terrorists; those who crossed the border illegally after Nov. 1, 2020; and public safety threats who are convicted of aggravated felonies.

Any ICE agent who encounters an illegal immigrant who falls outside of the three categories must get pre-approval from their field office before taking any action.

“They say it’s public safety, but it’s only the worst of the worst,” Homan said. “When it comes to assault, when it comes to robbery and burglary, and all these other crimes that they’ve taken off the table, they’ve pretty much sent a message to the rest of the world [that] it’s OK to enter the country illegally—as long as you don’t commit a few of the most serious crimes, you’re free to stay, because ICE isn’t looking for you.”

He argues that crimes such as driving under the influence should be considered a public safety issue.

“I was a police officer. I know what it’s like to run upon a scene of a deadly DUI—it’s terrible. And they’ve obviously never talked to an angel mom or angel dad whose child was killed by someone here illegally that was driving drunk,” Homan said.

A DHS official said the new guidelines for ICE are to help the agency focus its limited resources on “cases that the public cares about.”

The official said ICE arrests aren’t expected to drop under the new guidelines. “It’s just a question to us of reallocating resources to the cases that really, truly matter,” the official said.

But Homan said ICE was already prioritizing public safety threats.

Ninety-two percent of the almost 186,000 individuals that ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations removed in fiscal 2020 had criminal convictions or pending criminal charges, according to ICE’s end-of-year report.

ICE also conducted more than 103,000 interior arrests—just under 30 percent fewer than in fiscal 2019, due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Approximately 90 percent of those arrested had a criminal conviction or charge, according to the report. Those arrested included aliens with criminal charges or convictions for 1,837 homicide offenses, 37,247 assault offenses, and 10,302 sexual assault or sex offenses.

“Every crime committed by an illegal alien is a preventable crime,” Homan said. “If we had true border security, true immigration enforcement—if we actually enforced immigration laws in this country and secured our border—thousands of crimes every day could be prevented because they’re not here.”

Part of ICE’s job is to track down and remove the 672,000 fugitives who have been ordered removed by a federal immigration judge but are still in the United States.

But the new DHS directive says ICE agents must first get clearance from supervisors if they encounter illegal immigrants who aren’t convicted criminals during operations.

The decision to then arrest the individual, or not, needs to take into account whether the person might be suffering from a serious physical or mental illness, a DHS official said.

“We want them [ICE] to think about ties to the community, whether the individual has family here in the United States, U.S. citizen family members, and other considerations,” the official said.

Homan said DHS is telling ICE agents to ignore removal orders from immigration judges.

“At what point can the executive branch tell the judicial branch that their legal orders are meaningless?” he said.

“It’s ridiculous for a law enforcement officer to have to call a supervisor for permission to enforce the law. The law is black and white. Name a state trooper that needs to get approval to write a speeding ticket.”

On Feb. 22, attorney general nominee Merrick Garland testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee and was asked whether he believed illegal entry into the United States should remain a crime. The immigration court system sits within the Department of Justice.

“I just haven’t thought about that question,” Garland said. “I think the president has made clear that we are a country with borders and with a concern about national security. I don’t know if a proposal to decriminalize but still make it unlawful to re-enter. I just don’t know the answer to that question. I haven’t thought about it.”

President Joe Biden has undone several border security measures that the Trump administration had put into effect, including temporarily suspending deportations of illegal aliens, reversing President Donald Trump’s ban on travel from terror-prone countries, halting border wall construction, and issuing a sweeping immigration package to Congress that includes amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.

Homan asserts that the Biden approach is “never going to solve the immigration crisis, and so the border will continue to be out of control.”

He expects an imminent humanitarian crisis at the border.

“During the last surge [in 2019], Border Patrol said 50 to 60 percent of their manpower is no longer on the border because they’re changing diapers, making hospital runs, taking care of families, [with] half or more [agents] no longer on the line,” he said.

“President Biden was vice president during the first surge in FY14 and ’15. How did we stop it? We stopped it by building detention facilities and detaining people until they saw a judge. So he forgot all the lessons learned and now he’s trying to stop detention.”

ICE detention facility capacity has been decreased from 52,000 to 15,000 illegal aliens.

Source: Exclusive: Former ICE Chief Says Immigration Law Becoming Meaningless

Trump Is Back in the ‘Political Arena,’ Says Sebastian Gorka

President Donald Trump talks to reporters before departing with his family from the White House to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida for the Thanksgiving holiday, in Washington on Nov. 21, 2017. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

Former President Donald Trump is “back in the political arena” after going silent following Jan. 20, said his former political adviser, Sebastian Gorka.

In an interview with Sky News, Gorka remarked that following the Jan. 6 Capitol riots, he believed Trump would disappear for months.

“This man has to disappear for a while … before he can get back in politics,” Gorka said. “But that all changed” when he was impeached in the House for allegedly inciting violence on Jan. 6, he added.

The impeachment, Gorka asserted, allowed Trump to move “back into the political arena” sooner.

He cited the establishment of Trump’s “Office of the 45th President,” his first political endorsement of Sarah Sanders for Arkansas governor, held interviews with media outlets about the passing of radio host Rush Limbaugh last week, and the move to speak at Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) over the weekend. Trump is slated to deliver a speech on Sunday, Feb. 28.

“Donald Trump is back and is the de facto conservative kingmaker,” he proclaimed, without elaborating on the former president’s next moves or whether he will run for office in 2024.

“None of the rising stars in the conservative movement” can generate the same interest as Trump, he argued.

sebastian gorka 2
Sebastian Gorka speaks at the Turning Point USA Teen Student Action Summit in Washington on July 25, 2019. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

According to a slew of recent polls, Republican voters view Trump quite favorably. Some polls have found that a significant number of GOP voters would be willing to join a Trump-backed political party if he breaks off from the Republican establishment.

Meanwhile, Republican members of Congress who voted to impeach, convict, or took other actions against Trump in recent weeks have been censured or condemned by local Republican Party groups.

About a week ago, the former president issued a statement that strongly criticized Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), calling on him to rescind his leadership position while saying that Republicans won’t take majorities in the Senate under his leadership. It came after McConnell suggested in an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal that Trump could face criminal prosecution for his Jan. 6 speech.

Trump also issued a lengthy statement via email criticizing the Supreme Court’s Monday decision not to block his taxes from being released to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.

“The new phenomenon of ‘headhunting’ prosecutors and AGs—who try to take down their political opponents using the law as a weapon—is a threat to the very foundation of our liberty,” he said. “That’s what is done in third world countries. Even worse are those who run for prosecutorial or attorney general offices in far-left states and jurisdictions pledging to take out a political opponent. That’s fascism, not justice—and that is exactly what they are trying to do with respect to me, except that the people of our country won’t stand for it.”

Source: Trump Is Back in the ‘Political Arena,’ Says Sebastian Gorka

People’s Rights leader arrested for alleged law enforcement threats

A Las Vegas man linked to anti-government activist Ammon Bundy has been arrested for allegedly threatening the lives of a police detective and a prosecutor who both handle domestic terrorism cases.

Joshua Martinez, 32, who runs Bundy’s burgeoning People’s Rights network in Nevada, faces stalking and harassment charges related to the alleged social media threats against Metro Detective Kenneth Mead and Chief Deputy District Attorney Michael Dickerson, according to a criminal complaint.

Dickerson obtained a felony gun conviction against Martinez in 2019, and Mead had a courtroom encounter with Martinez in that case. Martinez was sentenced to probation.

Last Wednesday Martinez posted a Facebook photo of a flag-draped coffin carried by uniformed officers with the caption, “How police officers take out their trash,” the complaint alleges. Next to the photo, Martinez said, “I can’t wait to see the news and hear that Detective Kenneth Mead is in that casket.”

Another post that day featured a photo of Dickerson with the statement, “This is Michael Dickerson. He is Detective Kenneth Mead’s bitch. Dickerson, I hope you and Mead die a slow and painful death… Mead, I have a message for you — Molon Labe.” The Greek phrase, which means come and take them, is regarded as an expression of defiance for some gun rights activists.

The complaint alleges that Martinez threatened Mead with the intent that Mead be “placed in reasonable fear of death or substantial bodily harm.”

In an interview with the Review-Journal days before his arrest, Martinez said his main effort with Bundy’s group was holding Las Vegas police accountable when they stop people on the streets. He has posted videos on social media of police during stops, sometimes challenging their actions.

“We don’t believe in bowing down to police,” he said. “We’re anti-corrupt government. Not just anti-government. We need government.”

Martinez, dressed in blue jail garb, chains and a mask, made a brief appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on Tuesday. When a judge told him the district attorney’s office might have a conflict of interest in the case because Dickerson is one of the victims, Martinez responded “I’ve been targeted. I understand.”

A deputy public defender representing Martinez said she planned to raise the conflict issue in court papers.

Four felony charges

Martinez, who is being held at the Clark County Detention Center on $1 million bail, is facing four felony charges — aggravated stalking, challenge to a fight with use of a deadly weapon, stalking with use of the internet or electronic communication and possession of a firearm by a prohibited person. He also faces two misdemeanor harassment charges.

Police found a shotgun they allege was in his possession when they executed a search warrant last week. His plea deal sentence in the 2019 gun case prohibits him from having guns.

Deputy District Attorney Eckley Keach, who is prosecuting the stalking case against Martinez, said his office is taking the threats seriously.

“The goal is to make sure that justice is done, not only for the named victims in this case but also to ensure that the community is protected against people who choose to threaten to harm others,” Keach said.

In a Review-Journal story on the broadening spectrum of extremismpublished Feb. 20, Martinez said that Bundy’s newest grassroots group, about 415 members strong in Nevada, prefers a “bullhorn” over violence.

“We try to keep things peaceful,” he said. “Ammon wants everything peaceful.”

But the criminal complaint alleges Martinez between June 1, 2017 and February 18, 2021 “unlawfully” engaged in social media conduct against Mead and Dickerson that “would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, or harassed.”

On the day of the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill riot, Martinez posted on Facebook: “This is Detective Kenneth Mead with the Metropolitan Police Department. He is an enemy of the constitution and has tried to make my life a living hell but has failed. To any activist here in Las Vegas, please keep an eye out for him. I also have his resume just in case you want more intel on him. Contact me for more information.”

The post included three screen shots of Mead, according to the complaint.

History of violence

“In a later post, Martinez wrote, “The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.”

Martinez added more in the comments on that post: “How can you gain your rights back by working with a tyrannical government? You can’t take down the palace using the kings tools. Name a people who have gained their rights back by being peaceful. Violence is what moves history.”

Martinez has a history of creating disturbances at the federal courthouse in 2017 while supporting the Bundy family during the criminal case stemming from an armed standoff with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. In October 2018, he was found guilty of disorderly conduct, fined $500 and ordered to stay away from the courthouse.

Both Ammon Bundy and his father Cliven Bundy were among those charged in the April 2014 armed showdown near the Bundy ranch over the federal agency’s roundup of his cattle. But a federal judge later found government misconduct and dismissed the high-profile case.

The younger Bundy made headlines recently for anti-government actions in Idaho and elsewhere in the Northwest, as part of People’s Rights efforts to organize against coronavirus restrictions and other perceived government overreaches.

He told the Los Angeles Times that the new grassroots network had about 50,000 people in 35 states, and he described it as “neighborhood watch on steroids.”

The Southern Poverty Law Center suggested that Ammon Bundy is attempting to build a “network of right-wing, often anti-government activists” that can be mobilized quickly if needed.

Bundy also was regarded as one of the leaders of the deadly 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Oregon.

Source: People’s Rights leader arrested for alleged law enforcement threats

Opinion: Lies the Supreme Court Told Me

Children ride scooters across the plaza at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on March 17, 2020. (Tom Brenner/Reuters)

Commentary

In a fashion we must now regard as entirely predictable the Supreme Court of the United States has dismissed (i.e., thrown out) the various state challenges to the 2020 presidential election.

Any decisions on these challenges were determined by the majority to be “moot” because the election had already been decided, and Donald Trump has conceded to Joe Biden. (Associate Justices Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch objected in varying degrees.)

In other words, a stolen presidential election—if it happens, we don’t really know in this case—has an almost immediate statute of limitations, although the results of that election can affect hundreds of millions, if not, as in the case of the United States, nearly the entirety of humanity.

This is true, apparently for a majority of the Supremes, although all sorts of crimes, some not particularly onerous, have statutes of limitations that can go on for years.

Go figure.

The Supremes also cited the issue of “standing,” a term of legal “art” that has always struck me, despite all the precedents on which it is supposedly based, as wide open for biased interpretation of the most self-serving sort. One person’s “standing” can be another’s closed door, almost at will and certainly by vote of a “majority.”

If I sound cynical about the Supreme Court, I have to admit I am. It’s even true of the law in general, which I want to believe in and admire, but increasingly no longer do.

In the real world, legal results tend to mirror A.J. Liebling’s 1960 comment in The New Yorker about the press: “Freedom of the press is guaranteed only to those who own one.”

The law belongs to those who have the deepest control of a society at the time.

We want lady justice to be blind but in actuality she’s a cyborg with all-seeing, rotating night vision similar to the kind you might find on many urban street corners today from Beijing to Chicago, using the latest algorithms to isolate presumed enemies of the state.

And, yes, I am no lawyer. I haven’t taken even one course in the law and spent my time in college and graduate school studying now questionable white men like John Milton.

But over my decades as a Hollywood screenwriter and then founder and CEO of PJMedia I employed many lawyers—some very good and some not so much—and came to understand the limitations on what they did.

Contracts, it turned out, weren’t worth much more than the paper they were written on unless both parties wanted to honor them. Enforcing infringements, unless they were hugely egregious, was rarely worth the expense and effort.

Lawsuits—win or lose— tend to take over your life in highly deleterious ways. Few want to get involved.

The Supreme Court is the apotheosis of this system—an organization that puts its finger in the air to see which way the wind is blowing (assuming that’s even necessary) and then writes its opinions based on pre-conceived notions designed to offend the lowest number.

Sadly, it is the last place to look for justice in a Presidential election—or anything, really, that tilts against that prevailing wind.

They wouldn’t even, as Clarence Thomas requested, explore the blatantly unconstitutional malfeasances in various states where unelected officials clearly and unlawfully superseded the legislatures in changing election law by fiat, something we would think would only happen in totalitarian countries.

But it happened here, my friends, several times. We could cite the Supreme Court for dereliction of duty … or we could look elsewhere for justice.

Roger L. Simon is an award-winning novelist, Oscar-nominated screenwriter, co-founder of PJMedia, and now, editor-at-large for The Epoch Times. His most recent books are The GOAT” (fiction) and I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasnt Already” (nonfiction). He can be found on Parler as @rogerlsimon.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Birdpuk.com.

Source: Opinion: Lies the Supreme Court Told Me

GOP Launches Election Integrity Push to Make it ‘Easier to Vote and Harder to Cheat’

A voter arrives at a polling place in Minneapolis, Minn.  on March 3, 2020. (Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC), an umbrella group for GOP state lawmakers and secretaries of state, launched an effort Wednesday to shore up election integrity.

The RSLC wrote in a Feb. 17 statement that the measure is meant to “restore the American people’s confidence in the integrity of their free and fair elections by convening leading policymakers to share and discuss voter-centric current laws and future reforms that make it easier to vote and harder to cheat.”

John Merrill, RSLC co-chair and Alabama’s Secretary of State, said that reforms are needed if Americans are to have confidence in their elections.

“While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to anything, every state in the nation should be working to assess and improve their respective election laws,” Merrill said.

Michigan state Senator and commission co-chair Ruth Johnson added, “The COVID-19 pandemic created unprecedented challenges and exposed that our election processes are far from perfect.”

“The good news is that states are truly the laboratories of democracy, and we can all learn from what others do well as we try to provide assistance to the leaders across the country that are spearheading the effort to reform our elections,” she said.

Key reform principles that will guide the commission’s work include ensuring voter roll accuracy and securing absentee and mail-in voting.

“Every eligible United States citizen who is a legal resident of their state and has properly registered, should be able to vote without any encumbrance and absentee and mail-in voting options should be encouraged,” the RSLC said. “States should, however, look to strengthen these methods through proper signature verification (matching signatures against voter registration records, not ballot applications), photo ID submission, and timely ballot return requirements.”

Some of the controversies that swirled around the 2020 election include claims that state officials and judges made changes that weakened security around mail-in balloting in violation of state election laws, which are the domain of state legislatures.

Epoch Times Photo
Voters line up for the first day of early voting outside of the High Museum polling station in Atlanta, Georgia on Dec. 14, 2020. (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Other principles that the commission will use in its work on shoring up elections integrity include increasing transparency for in-person voting and streamlining the canvassing process.

“In-person voting should be an orderly and transparent process that provides citizens a recourse when they think the law is not being followed,” the RSLC said. “Giving Americans the tools to better scrutinize their elections will strengthen trust in the system and lead to more voter participation.”

A number of the contest-of-election lawsuits filed by former President Donald Trump and his allies in the wake of the Nov. 3 vote contained allegations that Republican poll watchers were denied meaningful access to observe various stages of vote tabulation.

But some moves to strengthen election integrity have been denounced as covert attempts at voter suppression, with The Washington Post running a recent editorial  that argued, “nothing in the 2020 election experience suggests that wide-scale use of mail-in ballots, the provision of drop boxes or the rollout of automatic voter registration pose major risks to voting integrity.”

The Wall Street Journal ran an editorial on the RSLC initiative on Feb. 16, countering the view presented by The Post.

“As states reconsider their election rules in the wake of the pandemic, Democrats have begun shouting that voter suppression is on the march,” the editorial board wrote. “They stress ballot access but not ballot integrity. Both are important, as the Jimmy Carter-James Baker commission on federal election reform explained in 2005.”

“If the RSLC can deliver best practices, drawing from red and blue states and covering hot-button issues and mundane details like ballot preprocessing, it could give state lawmakers a good push in the right direction,” they argued.

Following the historic turnout and increased mail voting in 2020, Republican and Democrat lawmakers across the country have been pulling in opposite directions by introducing legislation that either reduces barriers—and guardrails—to voting or seeks to strengthen election integrity, which can also make casting a vote more effortful or burdensome.

The Brennan Center for Justice, an advocacy group that pushes for progressive policies, counted 106 bills in 28 states designed to tighten voting standards so far this year, a significant jump from last year. At the same time, 35 states introduced a total of 406 bills to make voting less restrictive, also up from last year.

Source: GOP Launches Election Integrity Push to Make it ‘Easier to Vote and Harder to Cheat’