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Trump Indicted in Florida - 37 Counts

Donald Trump has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Florida investigating his retention of classified documents after he left the White House and then obstructing the Government's attempt to reclaim them.

People with knowledge of the Indictment say there are seven counts against him, including conspiracy to obstruct, willful retention of documents and false statements. [Update: They were wrong, he faces 37 counts]

It is a first for the United States. The first time a former President has been indicted for a federal crime.

Update: Trump has already responded on his social media platform claiming to be "an innocent man, an innocent person." That much is true, at this moment he is and will remain innocent, until he is found guilty by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

He is expected to appear in federal court in Miami on Tuesday. More to come.

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Donald Trump and His Emails

Donald Trump is on a downward legal spiral. But oh, the irony, if he goes down on emails after all the years he spent maligning Hillary and urging she be "locked up" over her emails.

The report in the New York Times today about how he tried to pressure Assistant AG Jeffrey Rosen (who later became Acting Attorney General) to support his baseless claim of election fraud is very damaging.

Are the emails the final nail? (They are available here). The Times says the emails show:

Mr. Trump pressured Mr. Rosen to put the power of the Justice Department behind lawsuits that had already failed to try to prove his false claims that extensive voter fraud had affected the election results.


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George Floyd: Protests, Violence and Official Inaction

Bump and Update: Protesters have set a Minneapolis police precinct on fire. The police are no longer there. There are no sirens and no one coming to put out the fire. Their philosophy seems to be we are outmanned, we're heading out and they're on their own. There are thousands of people in the streets.

The sad thing is that attention is being drawn from such a legitimate protest. People will focus on the violence of the protesters rather than the actions of the police that precipitated them. [More..]

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Judiciary Comm. Sends Complaint About Avenatti to DOJ

The Chair of the Judiciary Committee, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) has referred Michael Avenatti and Julie Swetnick to the Department of Justice for a criminal probe of their allegations that Swetnick observed Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh acting inappropriately at high school parties. Grassley alleges both of them made false statements.

Swetnick's affidavit is here. Here is Grassly's letter.

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Donald Trump Condones Police Misconduct

The Wall St Journal reports (free link via the Capitol Journal)Donald Trump told a gathering of police officers:

“When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon—you just see them thrown in, rough—I said, please don’t be too nice,” Mr. Trump said, prompting laughter and applause from the audience of law enforcement officers. “Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody—don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, OK?”

That comment was over the top for acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg, who sent out an agency-wide email repudiating it:

Mr. Rosenberg wrote that although he is certain no “special agent or task force officer of the DEA would mistreat a defendant,” Mr. Trump’s comments required a response.

“I write to offer a strong reaffirmation of the operating principles to which we, as law enforcement professionals, adhere,” the memo says. “I write because we have an obligation to speak out when something is wrong. That’s what law enforcement officers do. That’s what you do. We fix stuff. At least, we try.”

USA Today has more of Rosenberg's memo to DEA agents: [More...]

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Report on DEA Misconduct

USA Today reviews the results of recent investigations into how DEA has handled the misconduct of its agents and finds the treatment too lenient for serious instances of misconduct.

Here are the 52 pages of logs from 2010 to 2015 showing the punishment meted out for agent misconduct.

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Six Officers Charged in Freddie Gray's Death

Six officers have been charged in Freddie Gray's death. The van driver was charged with second-degree "depraved heart" murder. The charges against the others include involuntary manslaughter, assault and false imprisonment and misconduct in office.

In a news conference, the state’s attorney in Baltimore, Marilyn J. Mosby, described repeated mistreatment of Mr. Gray. Time and again, she said, officers abused him, arresting him without grounds and violating police procedure by putting him in handcuffs and leg restraints in the van without putting a seatbelt on him.


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Murder Charges Filed Against S.C. Police Officer

A South Carolina police officer has been charged with murder in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man. The shooting was captured on video. The man was running away and the officer fired 8 shots, striking him in the back.

The officer, Michael T. Slager, 33, said he had feared for his life because the man had taken his stun gun in a scuffle after a traffic stop on Saturday. A video, however, shows the officer firing eight times as the man, Walter L. Scott, 50, fled.

...“When you’re wrong, you’re wrong,” Mayor Keith Summey said during the news conference. “And if you make a bad decision, don’t care if you’re behind the shield or just a citizen on the street, you have to live by that decision.”


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Silk Road: DEA and Secret Service Agent Charged With Fraud

A former DEA and Secret Service agent have been charged in Baltimore with stealing bitcoins while working undercover on the Silk Road investigation.

The former agents are Carl Mark Force IV, who worked for the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Shaun Bridges, who worked for the Secret Service.

Mr. Force is being charged with wire fraud, theft of government property and money laundering; and Mr. Bridges is being charged with wire fraud and money laundering, according to an affidavit filed in the United States District Court in San Francisco.

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OIG Report on DEA Agents' Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Via Politico, the Office of Inspector General has issued a report on sexual misconduct allegations against agents in four law enforcement agencies in the Department of Justice, including the DEA, FBI, ATF and Marshals Service.

The full report is here. It's over 100 pages long, so I've summarized the more salacious parts below: [More...]

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When The Prosecutor Lies

Law Prof Glenn Reynolds (author of Instapundit)has an excellent article about prosecutorial misconduct in an op-ed in today's U.S.A. today. It's titled, "Prosecutors Save Themselves first."

Defending any criminal case is hard enogh, even when your prosecutor plays it straight.What happens when they lie? Prosecutors have immunity for most things, including withholding evidence, faking opinions and reports.They rarely, if ever, even get a slap on the wrist.

Glenn writes about a California case called " the California case of "The People v. Efrain Velasco-Palacios." In the course of plea bargaining, the prosecutor came up with a translated document, to which he attached a false confession. Eventually, the DA copped to what he did, and the client's charges were dropped. The prosecutor's punishment? None. He's still prosecuting cases in the same office. [More...]

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Guards Laugh as Inmate Dies: Colorado to Pay $3 Million

Colorado has agreed to a $3 million settlement to the family of a mentally ill inmate who died while having seizures as guards stood around laughing. The event was captured on a six hour video.

Denver civil rights attorney David Lane, who represented the family, had this to say:

"The death of Christopher Lopez was easily preventable and was caused by a mentality that the lives of prisoners are worthless. Hopefully, this settlement sends a message not just to Colorado prison authorities but to prison and jail authorities all over the country that the human beings they incarcerate must be treated like human beings."

Three guards were fired, five were disciplined and the Colorado Department of Corrections said:

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