Archive for the ‘Department of Justice’ Category

From NYPost:

The deadly-but-forgotten government gun-running scandal known as “Fast and Furious” has lain dormant for years, thanks to White House stonewalling and media compliance. But newly uncovered e-mails have reopened the case, exposing the anatomy of a coverup by an administration that promised to be the most transparent in history.

Not forgotten at all.  Just depends where you live and depends if you have to deal with the armed cartels.  Also, those “newly uncovered emails” basically tell us things we already know.

A federal judge has forced the release of more than 20,000 pages of emails and memos previously locked up under President Obama’s phony executive-privilege claim. A preliminary review shows top Obama officials deliberately obstructing congressional probes into the border gun-running operation.

…internal documents later revealed the real goal was to gin up a crisis requiring a crackdown on guns in America. Fast and Furious was merely a pretext for imposing stricter gun laws.

Yup.

Only, the scheme backfired when Justice agents lost track of the nearly 2,000 guns sold through the program and they started turning up at murder scenes on both sides of the border — including one that claimed the life of US Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry.

The scheme didn’t backfire.  The operation failed, but the scheme still worked.  Southern border states now have mandatory reporting to the ATF on any purchases of more than one firearm.  Democrats got more gun control, and they got it even though Fast and Furious came to light.  They even got it by citing Fast and Furious as something that meant ATF needed more funding, more resources, and more gun laws – Democrats were saying these things during the hearings with whistleblowers.

Then Team Obama conspired to derail investigations into who was responsible by first withholding documents under subpoena — for which Holder earned a contempt-of-Congress citation — and later claiming executive privilege to keep evidence sealed.

Fascinating how that works.  Start a criminal conspiracy using government force against citizens of the US and citizens of Mexico, get caught, then claim that you’re doing an investigation and the investigation is ongoing so you can’t reveal anything about it, then claim executive privilege and you can magically never be held accountable for a conspiracy that has so far resulted in hundreds of murders.

Somewhere Warren G. Harding is upset he couldn’t think of this scam during Teapot Dome (which killed no one).

The degree of obstruction was “more than previously understood,” House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz said in a recent memo to other members of his panel.

“The documents reveal how senior Justice Department officials — including Attorney General Holder — intensely followed and managed an effort to carefully limit and obstruct the information produced to Congress,” he asserted.

They also indict Holder deputy Lanny Breuer, an old Clinton hand, who had to step down in 2013 after falsely denying authorizing Fast and Furious.

Their efforts to impede investigations included:

-Devising strategies to redact or otherwise withhold relevant information;
-Manipulating media coverage to control fallout;
-Scapegoating the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for the scandal.

The last one is a bit interesting.  The ATF definitely deserves plenty of blame as they conducted the operation, but ultimately the story from the White House was that it was “a rogue operation conducted by a handful of agents at a field office”.

We know that’s BS based off the level the White House went to protect itself, we also know it’s BS based on the resources used – namely the FBI passing felons on background checks (there are later stories about that as well – I may go back and add more links).

Talking points drafted for Holder and other brass for congressional hearings made clear that Justice intended to make ousted ATF officials the fall guys for the scandal.

“These (personnel) changes will help us move past the controversy that has surrounded Fast and Furious,” Assistant Attorney General Ron Weich wrote in August 2011.

In an October 2011 e-mail to his chief of staff, moreover, Holder stated that he agreed with a strategy to first release documents to friendly media “with an explanation that takes the air out” of them, instead “of just handing them over” to Congress.

Thomas Sowell refers to this as “telling the truth slowly“.

Obama insists Fast and Furious is just another “phony” scandal whipped up by Republicans to dog his presidency.

“Phony”.

fast and furious 2010 massacre teens

First off, via Breitbart:

Immigration activists are pushing for illegal immigrants to be granted the right to vote in New York City and say legislation to that effect could be introduced later this year.

The New York Postreports that a proposal to extend voting rights to illegal immigrants, allowing them to vote in elections for city-wide offices, was highlighted at a Black and Latino Legislative Caucus event.

“We want to expand the right to vote for everybody, not suppress the vote. What a radical idea,” Bertha Lewis, head of the Black Institute, said according to the Post. The Post notes she said they expect such legislation to be introduced in the spring.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has made extensive efforts on behalf of illegal immigrants, including offering a city identification card. According to the Post, Lewis said she sees the extension of voting rights as part of that effort.

It is a pretty radical idea to be expanding the right of sovereign franchise to determine one’s representatives and government to people who are not citizens of the country and not even in the country legally.

Of course it’s part of the plan.  Disenfranchise American citizens who’d vote against people who’d take their rights away and bring in more people who will vote how the leftist collectivists desire so they can finally get rid of the real problems in America – because the root cause of all those problems are Americans.

And from National Review:

I attended a hearing on Monday afternoon before District of Columbia federal district court Judge Richard J. Leon that was one of the most “extraordinary” federal court hearings I have ever attended, to use Judge Leon’s description of the case. The hearing was over the temporary restraining order (TRO) and preliminary injunction (PI) being sought by the League of Women Voters and a host of other leftist groups to stop the recent decision of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC) to allow Kansas, Georgia, Alabama, and Arizona to enforce their proof-of-citizenship voter-registration requirement.

This morning, as I predicted would happen in an article on Sunday, the U.S. Justice Department took a dive and filed a pleading in which it not only failed to defend the actions of the EAC, but agreed with the plaintiffs and consented to both a TRO and a PI. Judge Leon called the pleading “unprecedented” and “extraordinary.” He said he had never seen such a document in his entire experience as a lawyer or a judge. He was obviously astonished that the Justice Department was not defending the agency, and it was soon clear he was not going to allow DOJ to just roll over.

The League of Women Voters, which has a wonderfully innocuous name, is pushing to oppose proof-of-citizenship as a voter registration requirement.  There’s no conceivable reason why they’d want to do this unless they want noncitizens to illegally vote.

The judge issued orders just before the hearing started granting the motions of both the State of Kansas and the Public Interest Legal Foundation to intervene in the case in order to defend the EAC’s position. So Kris Kobach, the Secretary of State of Kansas, was given time to argue against the TRO motion, as was Christian Adams of PILF. The judge opened the hearing by reading into the record an astonishing letter he had just received from the chair of the EAC, Christie McCormick. It informed the court that DOJ had told the EAC that it would not defend the agency, and that it would not allow the EAC to hire its own counsel. McCormick informed the judge that she believed DOJ was not fulfilling its duty and obligation to defend the EAC and had a potential conflict of interest.

It was clear that Judge Leon was shocked at what DOJ had done. While he gave the plaintiffs 20 minutes to argue their case, he gave the lawyer from the Federal Programs Branch of DOJ only five minutes because he said that DOJ was obviously on the same side as the plaintiffs. He also said almost immediately that he would not grant a PI without a complete briefing and arguments on the case — despite DOJ wanting to consent to the PI. Judge Leon made clear that there was “no chance at all — zero” that he would do what the plaintiffs and the Justice Department wanted him to do on that issue.

Let that sink in.  The DOJ, which is charged with enforcing the law, is on the same side of this as people actively trying to circumvent the law.

We’ve known the Obama DOJ has been a political organ dedicated to the ends of the hard left since they covered up Fast & Furious, but this is the DOJ outright defending voter fraud – the same voter fraud the left will try to tell you doesn’t really exist.

Judge Leon talked about all of the cases in which the Federal Programs Branch has been involved in his courtroom, and said he had never seen the type of incomplete brief that DOJ had filed in this case. He said that those briefs “usually cover the waterfront” in terms of raising every legal argument to defend an agency. Leon was very dismissive of the DOJ’s position, its behavior, and its failure to mount a defense consistent with its usual practice. Secretary of State Kobach did a much better job than the plaintiffs in explaining why the plaintiffs had not met the standards for the issuance of a TRO. Kobach pointed out the many errors and mistakes made by the plaintiffs’ lawyer. And he laid out the evidence of noncitizens registering and voting in Kansas — which is why this proof-of-citizenship law is needed.

There is a crystal clear example of why proof of citizenship laws are needed, because noncitizens are illegally voting in elections.  And to this, the DOJ responded:

It was clear that this hearing did not go the way the plaintiffs’ lawyers and DOJ had tried to arrange it to go. They thought the fix was in. In fact, it went so badly, particularly with DOJ being called on the carpet by Judge Leon, that at the end when the plaintiffs’ lawyer got up to try to repair all the holes that Kobach had knocked in their case, the lawyer tried to compare the EAC action to Nazi Germany. He waved the EAC opinion at issue in the air and said “this is what Nazis do behind closed doors!” You know a lawyer is desperate when he tries to equate a dispute over an election administration issue to Nazi Germany.

How bad is it exactly when asking that people who are eligible to vote be asked to prove they are eligible to vote since there are people illegally voting?

And how far have we fallen as a country when the Department of Justice is out saying that any state that wants to abide by elections law, when it has evidence of ongoing illegal voting and states demanding justice, will instead call them Nazis?

Eric Holder’s calling it quits.

And congress is still proceeding with looking into Fast and Furious, now years later.

The contempt of Congress case against Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. — the first sitting Cabinet member ever to face such a congressional rebuke — will continue even after his resignation takes effect, but it’s unlikely he will ever face personal punishment, legal analysts said Thursday.

Mr. Holder, is expected to announce his resignation later Thursday, and Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said the timing is not accidental: A federal judge earlier this week ruled that the Justice Department will have to begin submitting documents next month related to the botched Fast and Furious gun operation in a case brought by Judicial Watch.

“I don’t think it’s any coincidence he’s resigning as the courts are ruling the Fast and Furious information has to be released,” Mr. Fitton told The Washington Times.

It’s not a coincidence.  He’s quitting so he can dodge criminal charges that would stick.

Last month’s news:

A federal judge has ordered the Justice Department to provide Congress with a list of documents that are at the center of a long-running battle over a failed law enforcement program called Operation Fast and Furious.

In a court proceeding Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson set an Oct. 1 deadline for producing the list to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

He’s quitting so the Democrat-held senate can force a successor through, just in case the Democrats lose the senate in the mid-term elections.

He’s also quitting so that he won’t be in office and thus will be eligible for presidential pardons.

holder fucks

He stonewalled long enough to slither out of office, but no doubt his successor will be a miserable leftist as well and Holder will be back as a consultant or advisor or in some other role where he can continue his schemes.

From Katie Pavlich:

Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit pursued against the Department of Justice by government watchdog Judicial Watch, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia has ruled documents being withheld from Congress under President Obama’s claim of executive privilege must be turned over. Obama made the claim on the same day Attorney General Eric Holder was voted in criminal and civil contempt of Congress in June 2012.

It’s been a very long road to this point, but now there’s an order to comply.

The documentation DOJ is required to now turn over is a “Vaughn index” of “all requested Fast and Furious materials from a June 2012 Judicial Watch FOIA request.”

A Vaughn index must: (1) identify each document withheld; (2) state the statutory exemption claimed; and (3) explain how disclosure would damage the interests protected by the claimed exemption.” In ordering the DOJ to provide Judicial Watch the Vaughn index, the Court ruled, “In this circuit, when an agency is withholding documents under exemption claims, courts require that the agency provide a Vaughn index so that the FOIA requester – at a distinct informational disadvantage – may test the agency’s claims.”

Of course, the problem is going to be that the documents will all be “lost”.  The DOJ will simply have gone through a dozen hard drive crashes and documents will never be returned or found and will all be “accidentally” destroyed somehow.

Lois Lerner

Lois Lerner’s probably already working over at DOJ.

The Obama DOJ has already shown it will murder people and arm narcoterrorist cartels.  The Obama administration has destroyed evidence over much less than an international conspiracy to murder.  Why would they follow a judge’s order?  And why would any incriminating documents still exist?  They’ve had years now to cover up their crimes and destroy evidence because those seeking the truth are limited to legal means, while the criminals in the White House and DOJ are totally free to commit crimes free of all repercussions.

But they’re still the most transparent administration ever.  Sort of like how Michael Moore is the world’s fittest man.

I guess the blacked-out stacks of pages DOJ sent to the House Oversight & Reform committee will be the closest we’ll probably see, but reminds us again of the thugs in the adminstration we’re dealing with:

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

From Politico, a glowing retrospective on what a wonderful angel Eric Holder is and how everyone who questions his actions is racist.  Fast and Furious has been rendered a footnote to the left.

Holder, people close to him say, isn’t much hurt by the criticism over Wall Street, Gitmo, KSM or even the leaks; he remains confident that his decisions ultimately reflected the priorities of his boss. The same cannot be said for the 2012 vote by the GOP-controlled House to hold him in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over emails and documents linked to the Fast & Furious operation—a Justice-led gun sting that resulted in the death of a veteran Border Patrol agent in 2010. The vote was unenforceable. But no other sitting Cabinet member had ever faced a similar rebuke, and it remains the sorest of subjects with Holder.

Holder views the vote as emblematic of Republicans’ disrespect for Obama and himself, and he thinks that race is one, but not the only, factor in their attacks. Two people in his orbit told me he has described appearing before congressional committees as an experience akin to staring at a hostile “wall of Southern men.” (For the record: All of the 22 Republican members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are white, 21 are male and more than half are from Southern or border states).

“It was all about politics and had nothing to do with law enforcement,” insists former Holder spokesman Matt Miller. “They wanted to get his head.”

Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, ICE Agent Jaime Zapata, and hundreds of Mexicans are dead because of Holder’s ATF.

fast and furious 2010 massacre teens

No one has been held accountable for those hundreds of deaths since Holder simply chose to stonewall.  The left said nothing about Fast and Furious until Holder was held in contempt, and then started lying about it and protecting the Obama administration and the “survivor” Attorney General.

Holder is so disgusted with Rep. Darrell Issa, the aggressive California Republican who chairs House Oversight, that aides find it hard to keep Holder sitting still during the necessary prep sessions. Holder often commiserates about his grillings, via text messages and email, with a group of supportive African-American journalists and public figures, including Rev. Al Sharpton; Juan Williams, the NPR commentator turned Fox contributor; former CNN analyst Roland Martin; Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post; NPR’s Michele Norris; and her husband, Broderick Johnson, a White House aide—a cadre that often encourages Holder to push back harder than his more cautious in-house advisers.

Issa, in a 2012 letter to Holder, denied any other motives than “legitimate Congressional inquiry” and accused Holder of stonewalling to prevent a “co-equal branch of government” from performing its “Constitutional duty.” Members of Issa’s committee have shown no signs of backing off either.

This is what Holder sent to the Oversight & Reform committee:

That's not a print of Malevich's "Black Square".

Thousands of pages of redactions with no information.  Lies upon lies upon lies, and Holder is mad because someone dares to hold him accountable for the actions of his department and the coverup he has engaged in.  Holder, a racist, screams “white people!” if someone questions him.  Holder’s feelings are hurt because he was called out for the hundreds of dead Mexicans and two US agents killed by his operation.  Yet the left’s violent ideological blinders only allow them to see Holder’s hurt feelings in a vacuum, as though nothing has happened.

The entire Politico piece can be best summed up with: “Holder is good.  Republicans are racist and hate him for no reason.  Everything else is a lie.”

The facts of the past are entirely rewritten by the left.

From Katie Pavlich over at Townhall:

Last week the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, through the power of Dodd-Frank, passed a rule giving the agency unprecedented power to shut down businesses, no matter what the reason, at any time it wishes through a cease-and-desist order. Further, the rule puts businesses at the mercy of the CFPB and they cannot go back into operation until government approval or a court ruling is made over an issue. Subsequently because bureaucratic decisions and court rulings take a substantial amount of time to happen, businesses cannot survive during those waiting periods.  Here are the details:

In a notice published in today’s Federal Register, the CFPB has announced that it has adopted its interim final rule on temporary cease-and-desist orders (C&Ds) without change. The final rule takes effect on July 18, 2014.

The CFPB is authorized to issue temporary C&Ds under Section 1053(c) of Dodd-Frank. That provision authorizes a temporary C&D as an adjunct to a cease-and-desist proceeding brought under Section 1053 against a covered person or service provider. A temporary C&D is effective immediately upon service and remains in effect unless modified or terminated administratively by the CFPB or set aside on judicial review.

So they can shut any business down at any time.

regulations grow freedom dies

1053(c) of Dodd-Frank is almost incomprehensible.

(c) SPECIAL RULES FOR TEMPORARY CEASE-AND-DESIST PROCEEDINGS.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Whenever the Bureau determines that the violation specified in the notice of charges served upon a person, including a service provider, pursuant to subsection (b), or the continuation thereof, is likely to cause the person to be insolvent or otherwise prejudice the interests of consumers before the completion of the proceedings conducted pursuant to subsection (b), the Bureau may issue a temporary order requiring the person to cease and desist from any such violation or practice and to take affirmative action to prevent or remedy such insolvency or other condition pending completion of such proceedings.

Such order may include any requirement authorized under this subtitle. Such order shall become effective upon service upon the person and, unless set aside, limited, or suspended by a court in proceedings authorized by paragraph (2), shall remain effective and enforceable pending the completion of the administrative proceedings pursuant to such notice and until such time as the Bureau shall dismiss the charges specified in such notice, or if a cease-and-desist order is issued against the person, until the effective date of such order.

There’s more, but it’s the same kind of legalese gibberish that basically means if there’s something questioned in a terms of service agreement or contract, a business can be shut down.

Ms. Pavlich points out some more things going on with this:

The new rule comes on the heals of revelations the Department of Justice has been smothering firearms dealerships and other “high risk” entities out of business by “choking” banks and stripping funding through Operation Choke Point.

Consumer groups are pushing back against the rule and issuing a warnings to businesses everywhere about what the rule means for them. The United States Consumer Coalition in particular is sounding the alarm:

“This unprecedented rule created by the CFPB grants the agency unilateral authority to literally shut down any business overnight. It is a doubling down of Operation Choke Point (OCP), the Administration’s program to target lawful industries by intimidating banks from doing business with them. This rule allows the CFPB to immediately issue a cease-and-desist order, which terminates all business practices — and a hearing doesn’t have to be granted for 10 days, effectively shutting down businesses for at least 10 days. This is a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ tactic of the Administration that goes against every historical notion of justice under the law in America.”

A quick primer on Operation Choke Point:

The Obama administration, after failing to get gun control passed on Capitol Hill, has resorted to using its executive power to try to put some in the firearms industry out of business, House Republican investigators say.

The assertion is included in a report recently released by California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Citing internal Justice Department documents, the committee concluded that the administration used a program known as Operation Choke Point to target legal companies that it finds “objectionable.”

The program was started in 2013 to protect consumers by “choking” alleged fraudsters’ access to the banking system. The Justice Department essentially forces banks and third-party payment processors to stop accepting payments from companies that are considered “high risk” and are supposedly violating federal law.

However, the documents released by Issa’s committee show the federal government lumped the firearms industry in with other “high-risk” businesses including those dealing with pornography, drug paraphernalia, escort services, racist materials, Ponzi schemes and online gambling.

So basically the Orwellian-named Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is going to have the ability to shut down any business, any time, and we’ve already seen this administration using financial schemes to target businesses they find politically undesirable.

But what’s the best part about the Consumer Financial Protection People’s Defense Bureau?  They can’t be stopped – they’re funded by the Federal Reserve, and thus can’t even be reigned in by congress defunding them.

Republicans and Democrats on Captiol Hill continue to fight over whether the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau should be subject to the congressional appropriations process — that is, whether Congress should directly control how much money the fledgling agency can spend each year.

In the meantime, the CFPB funds itself through a bank account at the New York Fed.

Under the Dodd-Frank law, the CFPB gets its money from transfers from the Federal Reserve System, up to specific caps set by the law. The Fed can’t turn down requests under that cap.

The caps are fixed percentages of the Fed’s operating expenses, which works out to the following:
–10% of Fed operating expenses in fiscal 2011 or $498 million
–11% of Fed operating expenses in fiscal 2012 or $547.8 million
–12% in fiscal 2013 or $597.6 million
–12% each fiscal year thereafter, subject to annual adjustments for inflation

So they’re a completely unaccountable, self-funded government group who’ve just made up the rule that they can shut down any business at any time, giving themselves virtually unlimited power to unilaterally destroy any company or enterprise.

Via Breitbart, Eric Holder’s gunrunning ATF is planning to use drones:

Attorney General Eric Holder admitted Tuesday that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was in the process of looking at the use of domestic drones.  …

“Within the Department, the only component that uses these vehicles at this point is the FBI,” Holder explained. “The ATF in the process of working through to see if they want to make use of them.”

And via the Daily Caller, Eric Holder getting mad at being called out for being held in contempt.  Full video of the exchange between TX Rep Louie Gohmert and Mexican-cartel-arms-merchant General Eric “You Don’t Wanna Go There” Holder:

Gohmert is entirely too nice to Holder, and unfortunately seems to try to address a couple too many points as his time runs out.