US Justice Department Scrambles To Protect Disgraced US Attorney General Eric Holder From Criminal Contempt Charges

June 29, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC – The Justice Department moved Friday to shield Attorney General Eric Holder from prosecution after the House voted to hold him in contempt of Congress.

The contempt vote technically opened the door for the House to call on the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia to bring the case before a grand jury. But because U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen works for Holder and because President Obama has already asserted executive privilege over the documents in question, some expected Holder’s Justice Department to balk.

Deputy Attorney General James Cole confirmed in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner that the department in fact would not pursue prosecution. The attorney general’s withholding of documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious, he wrote, “does not constitute a crime.”

“Therefore the department will not bring the congressional contempt citation before a grand jury or take any other action to prosecute the attorney general,” Cole wrote, in the letter obtained by Fox News.

A department official told Fox News the letter was “pro forma” — or a formality — considering that ex-Attorney General Michael Mukasey in 2008 also refused to refer two Bush White House aides to a grand jury after they were held in contempt.

Republicans nevertheless blasted the Justice Department for the move. Frederick Hill, spokesman for House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, said “it is regrettable that the political leadership of the Justice Department is trying to intervene in an effort to prevent the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia from making an independent decision about whether to prosecute this case.”

Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, also wrote in a letter to Machen that the Cole letter “has put the cart before the horse.” He suggested the U.S. attorney has not yet had a chance to make an informed decision on whether to move forward with the case.

The move by the Holder Justice Department, though, means Republicans are likely to take their case to civil court as they seek documents pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious — which was already the unofficial plan. Along with the criminal contempt resolution, Republicans also passed a civil contempt measure Thursday allowing them to go to civil court to try and get an order that would compel the Obama administration to release the documents.

Issa, R-Calif., had acknowledged Thursday night that it was “very possible” the president would instruct the U.S. attorney not to prosecute Holder. He indicated Republicans would use the civil courts to get what they want.

“The House has authorized me to hire staff and legal staff who can pursue civilly through the courts to try to get a federal judge to order, separately, this discovery,” he said.

Hill also told that the next stop probably would be civil court, but he suggested the threat of criminal prosecution still looms. For now, the Obama administration can argue that its executive privilege claim over the documents protects Holder from the possibility of prosecution.

But if a civil court rules that claim invalid, Hill said, “then basically Justice has lost that shield.”

If the administration still refused to turn over the documents the Republicans want, then they could start looking at prosecution more seriously.

Republicans technically have a handful of other options if the Justice Department still refused to take the case to a grand jury.

Republicans could move to appoint a special prosecutor or even move to impeach. The last time that happened with a Cabinet member, though, was in 1876 — with the impeachment trial of war secretary William Belknap.

Hill said lawmakers are not looking at that option for Holder. They remain focused on the civil court route.

Machen and Holder also have spoken fondly of one another in public, further casting doubt on the possibility that the U.S. attorney would ever bring the case before a grand jury.

Machen is one of the two U.S. attorneys Holder tapped to lead an investigation into the recent rash of security leaks. In early June, Holder praised Machen and the other attorney as “great U.S. attorneys who have shown a willingness to take on difficult cases.”

Meanwhile, Issa continued to add fuel to the debate over Fast and Furious when he entered into the Congressional Record a letter detailing a secret wiretap application pertaining to the operation.

In the letter, Issa claimed the affidavit contained “clear information that agents were willfully allowing known straw buyers to acquire firearms for drug cartels and failing to interdict them — in some cases even allowing them to walk to Mexico.”

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Veteran Framingham Massachusetts Police Officer Harry Wareham’s License To Carry Gun Off Duty Denied After His Juvenile Criminal Record Comes To Light

April 1, 2012

FRAMINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS — Things could have gone much differently for Harry Wareham.

When he was 15, Wareham admitted “I was very dumb and I made a mistake.”

Wareham committed a crime and was found to be delinquent by a juvenile court judge.

But, instead of growing up to join a roster of repeat criminal offenders, Wareham changed his life around.

Wareham, who is now 43 years old, is a 16-year veteran of the Framingham Police Department with the rank of lieutenant.

“I’m not proud of the mistake I made,” said Wareham last week, “but I think it made me a better and more understanding police officer.”

Wareham, who wouldn’t detail the charges he faced at 15, now finds his juvenile record has been unsealed, coming back to haunt him 28 years later.

Recently, his license to carry a firearm when he is off duty was denied by the state firearms board because of what it read in that previously sealed record.

A change in the Criminal Offender Record Information, or CORI law, that goes into effect in May is opening juvenile crime records — even those that were sealed by the judge — to the firearms licensing board and other agencies.

Previously, those records were not revealed.

The law’s purpose is to limit how much a job applicant’s criminal history is available to employers.

“At the end of the day, this is something that shouldn’t have come up,” said Wareham’s lawyer, Michael Brennan.

“I feel like I made a mistake and I did my part, and now this is coming up all of a sudden,” said Wareham.

The lack of his firearms permit has not affected his job. Chief Steven Carl is allowing Wareham to carry a firearm “on the badge,” which means he can have a gun while on duty.

Carl said he has never allowed an officer to carry a gun “on the badge before,” but he said this is a special circumstance.

“He was given, more or a less, a second chance, and he took advantage of a judge’s wisdom who sealed the record,” said Carl. “Twenty-eight years later, the system has failed him. To take Harry off the road is a loss to this department and this community.”

Wareham’s early life wasn’t easy. He said he lived in an orphanage from the age of 2 until he was 10, when he was moved into the foster care system.

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Los Angeles California Police To Ignore State Law To Protect Unlicensed Illegal Immigrant Drivers – Who Are 5 Times More Likely To Be Involved In Fatal Accidents And More Likely To Flee Scene Of A Crime

March 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – The Los Angeles Police Department will soon start ignoring California state law, which requires police to impound the vehicles of unlicensed drivers for 30 days.

The majority of unlicensed motorists in Los Angeles are immigrants who are in the country illegally and have low-income jobs. The LAPD says the state’s impound law is unfair because it limits their ability to get to their jobs and imposes a steep fine to get their car back.

As long as drivers can produce some form of I.D., proof of insurance and vehicle registration, they’ll be allowed to keep their car. Police Chief Charlie Beck insists that it’s simply leveling the playing field.

“It’s about fairness. It’s about equal application of the law,” Beck told a Los Angeles TV station earlier this month.

Opponents of Beck’s decision are furious and refer to studies showing unlicensed drivers are among the most dangerous on the road. Indeed, a 2011 AAA study titled “Unlicensed to Kill” finds they are five times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes and more likely to flee the scene of a crime.

The decision has angered Don Rosenberg, a resident of Los Angeles County, who lost his 25-year old son, Drew, in a 2010 accident caused by an unlicensed driver in San Francisco, a city with lax impound policies. The driver, who tried fleeing the scene, had previously been pulled over but was allowed to retrieve his car after a short time, months before the accident.

“It doesn’t matter to me who killed my son– what their nationality was. It was the fact that if the law were followed, he’d be alive today,” Rosenberg told Fox News.

Los Angeles District Attorney Steve Cooley wrote Chief Beck, saying his policy would be “invalid” in light of state law, which states a vehicle “shall be impounded.” But supporters of Beck’s decision say, regardless of the law, he’s doing the right thing for illegal immigrants who cannot yet obtain driver’s licenses here.

“A low-income person doesn’t have the ability to pay the fees after 30 days to get their car back,” said Cardinal Roger Mahony, former Archbishop of Los Angeles and an immigration activist. “Basically, we’re just creating more punitive problems for them.”

The L.A. Police Commission voted in favor of the new policy 4-1 last month. The LAPD says officers will begin implementing it in a matter of weeks. The city attorney has also sided with Beck’s decision.

Immigrant advocates say the controversy highlights the need to provide provisional driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants.

Don Rosenberg says he’d favor that, as long as the police enforce state law by impounding unlicensed drivers’ cars when pulled over. But he believes that the city is pandering to the Latino community and doesn’t hold out hope that the policy will change anytime soon.

“It’s more important that people who are in the country illegally get to drive than it is that people who are here get to live,” he said.

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Canada Thought To Be Too Dangerous For Visit By Bush Era War Criminal Dick Cheney – Speaking Engagement Canceled

March 13, 2012

TORONTO, CANADA – Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney canceled a Canadian speaking appearance because of security concerns sparked by demonstrations during a visit he made to Vancouver last fall.

Cheney was scheduled to talk about his experiences in office and the current American political situation at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on April 24.

But Ryan Ruppert of Spectre Live Corp. said on Monday that Cheney and his daughter Elizabeth had begged off through their agent.

“After speaking with their security advisers, they changed their mind on coming to the event,” Ruppert said. He said they had “decided it was better for their personal safety they stay out of Canada.”

Last Sept. 26, Cheney was forced to stay holed up in the Vancouver Club for seven hours before it was deemed safe for him to leave. Demonstrators blocked the entrances and at one point scuffled with police.

Cheney critics accuse him of endorsing the use of water boarding and sleep deprivation against detainees while serving in former President George W. Bush’s administration.

Before the Vancouver event, Human Rights Watch urged the federal government to bring criminal charges against Cheney, accusing him of playing a role in the torture of detainees.

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President Obama’s Drunk Driving Illegal Immigran Uncle Due In Massachusetts Court To Face Carges

March 1, 2012

FRAMINGHAM, MASSACHUSETTS – U.S. President Barack Obama’s uncle is heading into a Massachusetts courtroom on Thursday for allegedly driving drunk. However, his lawyers will be asking the judge to toss out any statements he made to police as well as the results of his blood-alcohol test.
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Onyango Obama, 67, the half-brother of the president’s late father, was arrested in Framingham, Mass. in August. A police officer said Obama made a rolling stop at a stop sign, nearly crashing his sport utility vehicle into his cruiser, reported The Associated Press.

Police said he registered a 0.14 on a blood-alcohol test, nearly double the state’s legal limit of .08. Obama pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The arresting report from the police officer said Obama “would not allow me to speak and continued to interrupt me,” as previously reported. It claimed Obama “continued arguing the point with me. He felt that his ‘stop’ was adequate enough, though he did acknowledge that he should have yielded to me as I was in a main lane of travel that he was attempting to enter.”
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The report said the officer asked Obama, who is reportedly an illegal immigrant, how much he had to drink, to which he initially said nothing, it claimed. The officer allegedly told Obama there was a strong odor of alcohol on him, to which he reportedly admitted he had only one beer. When the officer, however, told Obama his behavior indicated he was intoxicated, Obama allegedly claimed he had two beers.

The officer said while he attempted to conduct a field sobriety test, Obama would disobey orders and begin the test before being receiving instructions. Obama allegedly stumbled when the police officer asked him to perform a nine-step walk and had trouble on a horizontal gaze test, which required him to follow an officer’s finger. The officer said he subsequently placed him under arrest.

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