Thursday, September 12, 2019

Last Call For It's All About Revenge Now, Con't

Former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe’s legal team has been notified that the Justice Department authorized prosecutors to seek an indictment against him for lying to investigators, according to two people familiar with the matter, though it remains unclear whether McCabe will be charged.

McCabe’s team was notified of Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen’s decision in a message Wednesday, which said, “The Department rejected your appeal of the United States Attorney’s Office’s decision in this matter. Any further inquiries should be directed to the United States Attorney’s Office,” one person familiar with the matter said.

McCabe’s team was told last month that line prosecutors had recommended charges, and later, that D.C. U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu had endorsed that decision, a person familiar with the matter said. Last month, McCabe’s team had appealed to Rosen in what was considered one of the final efforts to persuade officials not to move forward and seek an indictment from a grand jury. The legal team had been waiting to hear back.

The notification comes as a federal grand jury investigating McCabe was suddenly recalled this week after a months-long hiatus — an indication its members would likely be asked soon to consider bringing charges. But the panel was let go Thursday with no immediate signs of an indictment — a sign they might have balked, been asked to return later or filed a determination under seal.
To bring an indictment, prosecutors would have to convince 12 of the 23 grand jurors to sign onto the decision. If grand jurors turn them down, it is possible for prosecutors to call in a new group, though they would then have to start the process over.

The decision, whenever it is made clear, is likely to inflame partisan divisions and once again thrust the Justice Department to the center of a political combat zone.

It's possible that the grand jury refused to return any indictments, but more likely the grand jury has a lot of work to do, and it will take a few days for the full slate of charges to be worked through.  Certainly the Trump regime wants to go through with charges as McCabe's appeal was rejected.

They'll get their charges eventually, maybe as soon as tomorrow or Monday.

Again, McCabe will not be the last Obama holdover involved in the Mueller investigation to be charged.

Gunmerica, Corporate Citizen Edition

Republicans constantly blocking gun safety and background check laws are starting to get the attention of corporate America, with 145 CEOs signing on to a letter demanding GOP Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell act on pending House legislation passed by Nancy Pelosi and House Dems.

Signatories to a letter sent Thursday include the heads of such major retailers, tech firms and financial institutions as Levi Strauss, Twitter, Uber, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Yelp, Bain Capital and Reddit. The letter pointed to mass shootings in recent weeks — including those in El Paso; Dayton, Ohio, and Gilroy, Calif. — but also called out a broader epidemic of gun violence that kills 100 Americans each day and wounds hundreds more.

“As leaders of some of America’s most respected companies and those with significant business interests in the United States, we are writing to you because we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country,” the executives wrote.

“Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety."

[Read the letter here]

Corporate America has increasingly weighed in on — or been forced to reckon with — pressing social and political issues such as immigration and abortion. With regard to gun violence, companies in the retail and banking sectors have considered whether to overhaul their policies or distance themselves from the vast firearms industry. Gun sellers have come under acute pressure to limit the weapons sales, especially since 24 people were killed at two separate shootings in Walmart stores this summer.

A recent Washington Post-ABC News poll found Americans across party and demographic lines overwhelmingly support expanded background checks for gun buyers and allowing law enforcement to temporarily seize weapons from troubled individuals. The poll found 86 percent of Americans support implementing “red flag” provisions that allow guns to be taken from people judged to be a danger to themselves or others. In addition, 89 percent support expanding federal background checks to cover private sales and gun-show transactions.

Still, some companies have faced backlash after changing their gun policies or speaking out on the issue. Sales at Dick’s Sporting Goods declined after the company overhauled its sales rules following the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., last year, with some customers calling for a boycott and dozens of employees walking off the job. More recently, as Walmart came under scrutiny after two of its stores became crime scenes, the National Rifle Association and gun rights groups encouraged members to stop shopping at retailers that tightened their open carry policies.

Specifically, Thursday’s letter urged the Senate to pass a bill requiring background checks on all gun sales plus a strong red-flag law that would allow courts to issue extreme-risk protection orders. Earlier this year, the Democratic House passed legislation that would require background checks on all gun sales, including unlicensed sales arranged at gun shows or online. But similar efforts have stalled in the Senate.

Walmart didn't sign this particular letter, but this is still a pretty big array of CEOs across multiple sectors of the economy.  I don't know how much this will affect the Senate, probably zero, but it would have far more effect if any of these companies stopped giving money to Republican Senate candidates.

Nothing will come of this, of course, but it remains notable.

Deportation Nation, Con't

As I've been warning for years now, as soon as the Trump regime had the logistics in place for mass detentions and deportations like it has been building for the last 18 months, with camps, ICE recruits, and the private for-profit prison industry leading the way to run the show, the Trump regime was always going to eventually use that machinery on US citizens it felt were undesirable. 

Now the regime is signaling the time to turn that dark power against the US people has arrived, and the purge will start with America's homeless population.

A team of Trump administration officials toured a California facility once used by the Federal Aviation Administration this week as they searched for a potential site to relocate homeless people, according to three government officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the private tour.

President Trump has directed aides to launch a major crackdown on homelessness in California, spurring an effort across multiple government agencies to determine how to deal with sprawling tent camps on the streets of Los Angeles and other cities, officials said.

Trump is expected to visit California on Tuesday and Wednesday. One administration official with knowledge of Trump’s visit to California said there were discussions about an announcement related to California’s growing homeless problem next week, but a second official said that any decision could be premature and that it was not on the current schedule for the trip.

Trump has asked aides to figure out “how the hell we can get these people off the streets,” one senior administration official said.

The FAA facility toured by administration officials is located in or near Los Angeles, but its precise name or whereabouts — or whether it is a current or former government facility — were not immediately known.

It also remains unclear how the federal government could accomplish getting homeless people off the streets of Los Angeles, or what legal authority officials would use to do so.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the administration is considering razing tent camps, creating new temporary facilities or refurbishing government facilities as part of Trump’s directive on homelessness. The changes would attempt to give the federal government a larger role in supervising housing and health care for residents

Pay attention.  This is the part where people disappear off the streets and get put in facilities run by ICE, citizenship be damned.  We'll get rid of homelessness by rounding up the homeless and putting them in camps.

And then maybe they go away.

Some administration officials expressed skepticism that the federal government wanted to get in the business of operating a large homeless shelter in Los Angeles. There were also questions about the feasibility of turning the FAA facility into a shelter and how it could legally be done.

One administration official with knowledge of Trump’s visit to California said there were discussions about a homelessness announcement next week.

Senior administration officials said that forcing people into new facilities was not under consideration, with one official telling The Washington Post: “We’re not rounding people up or anything yet. You guys in the media get too ahead of yourselves.”

We're not rounding people up or anything yet.

It's like a bad sci-fi cable movie, only it's real.

Los Angeles officials were blindsided by news of the sweeping plans being considered by the administration for the city’s homeless population. Some had thought White House officials were arriving this week to simply learn more about the issues.

The administration’s delegation divulged little information to city officials about what they were doing in Los Angeles when they were not with city representatives.

“They were very cagey with us about what they were doing,” said a Los Angeles city official who spoke on the condition of anonymity to be candid. “Our only understanding from them coming into this was they wanted to poke around and learn more about what we were doing out here. All this stuff about cracking down and sweeping people out of skid row was a total surprise to us.”

The Trump administration team also met for an open-ended discussion about homelessness with the Los Angeles police union, according to an official with direct knowledge of the meeting, which was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

Gotta get the cops in on the fun.  If you ever entertained the thought that this was going to stop with undocumented immigrants, have I got hundreds of years of authoritarian history for you.


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