Donald Trump Announces 2016 White House Bid

spaminator

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Trump seeks to raise money off news of FBI search of his Florida home
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Brian Ellsworth and Sarah N. Lynch
Publishing date:Aug 09, 2022 • 15 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

PALM BEACH — Former U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday tried to turn the news of an FBI search of his Florida estate to his benefit, citing the investigation in text messages and emails soliciting political donations from his supporters.


The unprecedented search of the home of a former president marked a significant escalation of the federal investigation into whether Trump illegally removed records from the White House as he was leaving office in January 2021. Trump continues to publicly flirt with running again for president in 2024 but has not said clearly whether he will do so.

Trump tried to paint the search of his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach as a politically motivated move by President Joe Biden’s administration even as the former president plays a key role in Republican primaries ahead of the November midterm elections that will determine control of the U.S. Congress.


“As they watch my endorsed candidates win big victories and see my dominance in all polls, they are trying to stop the Republican Party and me once more,” Trump said in a fundraising email on Tuesday. “The lawlessness, political persecution, and Witch Hunt, must be exposed and stopped.”


His Republican allies in Congress vowed to launch an investigation of the search itself, if they recapture majorities in the House or Senate in the November midterm elections.

Trump launched his Save America political action committee days after losing the 2020 election to Biden. It has more than $100 million in the bank, a formidable war chest.

Trump on Monday announced the search of his club in a statement, saying that a “large group of FBI agents” had carried it out. The FBI’s headquarters in Washington and its field office in Miami both declined comment.


The FBI earlier this year visited Trump’s property to investigate boxes in a locked storage room, according to a person familiar with the visit. FBI agents and a Trump lawyer, Evan Corcoran, spent a day reviewing materials, the source said.


Corcoran did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The search is only an investigative step and does not mean that Trump will face automatically criminal charges, or that he would be would be found guilty of any wrongdoing.

But it is a criminal offence to conceal or destroy government records, and the Government Records Act says a person convicted of violating that law will be barred from holding federal office, in addition to a prison term of up to three years.

Legal experts says it is unclear if that provision is constitutional. The U.S. Constitution sets forth the qualifications for being a president, Senator or U.S. representative, and previous Supreme Court rulings have held that Congress cannot limit the list of eligible officeholders.


That means if Trump were to be convicted he would likely challenge any attempt to disqualify him from serving in office again, perhaps to the Supreme Court where conservatives form the majority and he has appointed three of the current nine justices.

“It is not certain that the bar set forth in the Government Records Act is constitutional,” Epner said. “It is absolutely there and it would be in all likelihood something that would end up being litigated.”

The documents probe is one of several investigations that have focused on Trump since he left office, weeks after his supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, in an unsuccessful bid to overturn his election loss. Trump continues to falsely claim that the election was stolen through widespread voting fraud.


Trump remains the Republican Party’s most influential voice, though recent polls have shown a growing number of Republican voters supporting Florida Governor Ron DeSantis as a potential 2024 candidate.

The search, like any of a private residence, would have to be approved by a judge, after the investigating law-enforcement agency demonstrated probable cause that a search was justified.

It almost certainly would also be approved by FBI Director Christopher Wray, a Trump appointee, and his boss, Attorney General Merrick Garland, who was appointed by Biden. A White House official said Biden was not given advance notice of the search and referred queries to the Justice Department.
 
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spaminator

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Did Trump break the law? FBI search raises fresh questions
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Eric Tucker
Publishing date:Aug 09, 2022 • 9 hours ago • 5 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — The year was 2016, the presidential candidate under investigation was Hillary Clinton and the FBI director at the time, James Comey, laid out the factors the Justice Department weighs in deciding whether to charge someone with mishandling classified records.


Fast forward to 2022 and that tutorial proves instructive as another candidate from that election, Donald Trump, is entangled in an FBI probe related to sensitive government documents.

Whether an FBI search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence is a prelude to criminal charges is unknown. The action Monday nonetheless focuses attention on the thicket of statutes that govern the handling of government records, though the department’s own history of prosecutorial discretion — some high-profile investigations have ended without charges or in misdemeanor plea deals — makes it hard to forecast with certainty what might happen this time.

“These are statutes that have historically not been enforced to the fullest extent,” said University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck.


Much remains uncertain about Monday’s search, including precisely what documents the FBI was looking for — Trump says agents opened a safe — or why it acted when it did. But people familiar with the matter say it relates to an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the discovery of classified material in boxes of White House records the National Archives and Records Administration recovered from Mar-A-Lago earlier this year.

To obtain a search warrant, the Justice Department would have had to persuade a judge that probable cause existed that a crime was committed, though what statute officials think may have been violated is unclear.

Multiple federal laws require the safekeeping of government secrets. One potentially relevant statute makes it a crime to remove classified information and retain it an unauthorized location. Another makes it illegal to mishandle national defense information, including maps, photographs and documents, or transmit it to a person not authorized to receive it.


But if past is any precedent, the mere mishandling of classified information isn’t always enough for a felony conviction — or any charges at all.

“It often comes down to whether there are aggravating factors in these cases,” said David Laufman, a Washington lawyer who as head of the Justice Department’s counterintelligence and export control section oversaw the Hillary Clinton investigation.

Those include, he said, how much classified information was mishandled, the extent to which the person knew they were in possession of classified information and how sensitive the material was and whether its exposure placed at risk U.S. national security.

The FBI said as much in 2016 when it closed without recommending charges an investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information via a private email server she used as secretary of state. Comey said agents had determined that she had sent and received emails containing classified information but that there was no indication she had intended to break the law. He said no reasonable prosecutor would have brought such a case.


To prove his point, he said a review of past Justice Department cases established that each prosecution involved some combination of: an intentional mishandling of classified records; the vast exposure of materials in a way that suggested willful misconduct, disloyalty to the U.S. or obstruction of justice.

In another notable case, former CIA Director David Petraeus was permitted in 2015 to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of the unauthorized removal and retention of classified information, avoiding prison as he admitted sharing notebooks containing government secrets with his biographer. That resolution came two years after an FBI search of his home and despite an acknowledgment by Petraeus that he knew the information he was sharing was classified.


It remains to be seen what arguments Trump might raise as the investigation progresses. His lengthy statement disclosing the search did not address the substance of the probe, complaining instead that the FBI’s action was a “weaponization of the Justice System and an attack by Radical Left Democrats.”

Christina Bobb, a lawyer for Trump, said in an interview that aired on Real America’s Voice on Tuesday that supporting documentation for the warrant remained sealed and that she had not seen it. But she said investigators said they were “looking for classified information that they think should not have been removed from the White House, as well as presidential records.”

She asserted that the president himself gets to decide what is a presidential record, and it is true that Trump could argue that as president until Jan. 20, 2021, he was the original classification authority and had declassified on his own the classified material recovered from Mar-a-Lago.


But, law professor Vladeck said, it would be a “pretty stunning” argument by Trump to claim as his defense that he had “declassified all of our crown jewels” and, by doing so, effectively admit that he was a “threat to our national security.”

And, Laufman said, “The fact that he has legal authority doesn’t mean…that anything he might have chosen to take from the White House and squirrel away at Mar-a-Lago is declassified. The declassification process does not exist in Donald Trump’s head. It’s not self-executing.”

It is also possible he might say he was unaware of the content of the boxes as they were being packed. His son Eric told Fox News that boxes were among items that got moved out of the White House during “six hours” on Inauguration Day. But even if that’s the case, he would still have had a legal obligation once he learned of the presence of classified information to return it, Laufman said.


There are other statutes that could come into play that don’t explicitly concern classified information. One particular law makes it a felony for someone in possession of government records to willfully mutilate, obliterate or destroy them. That law is punishable by up to three years in prison and says that anyone convicted of it is disqualified from holding future office, though the qualifications of who can run for president are established by the Constitution.

In any event, key unanswered questions remain, including whether the investigative focus is on “the act of keeping all this material at Mar-a-Lago” or on what the material actually is, Vladeck said.

Given that mystery, he said, “We won’t know for sure until we know for sure.”

——–

Follow Eric Tucker at


——–

This story has been corrected to show that the Petraeus case was resolved two years after a search warrant was issued, not two months.
 

Serryah

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First off, I don't care what judge you are - even Kavanaugh - no judge should be doxxed or threatened like this.


Since the order to get the warrant had to come from the head of the FBI - who was Trump appointed - and because this is so un-fucking-usual, every i would have had to have been dotted and ever t crossed.

But I'm sure the right is allowed to do this cause, well, they can?
 

harrylee

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First off, I don't care what judge you are - even Kavanaugh - no judge should be doxxed or threatened like this.


Since the order to get the warrant had to come from the head of the FBI - who was Trump appointed - and because this is so un-fucking-usual, every i would have had to have been dotted and ever t crossed.

But I'm sure the right is allowed to do this cause, well, they can?
You mean like Trump and his family has been doxed over the last 6 years
 
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Tecumsehsbones

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First off, I don't care what judge you are - even Kavanaugh - no judge should be doxxed or threatened like this.


Since the order to get the warrant had to come from the head of the FBI - who was Trump appointed - and because this is so un-fucking-usual, every i would have had to have been dotted and ever t crossed.

But I'm sure the right is allowed to do this cause, well, they can?
Actually, current DoJ policy is the go-ahead has to come from the Attorney General or a deputy attorney general.
 

Serryah

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Actually, current DoJ policy is the go-ahead has to come from the Attorney General or a deputy attorney general.

I would think the FBI director would also have to approve?

In any case, doxxing is a fucking dangerous thing (not that the people commenting about this judge aren't already unhinged; they are) and there should be more severe penalties for it, IMO.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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I would think the FBI director would also have to approve?

In any case, doxxing is a fucking dangerous thing (not that the people commenting about this judge aren't already unhinged; they are) and there should be more severe penalties for it, IMO.
That level is higher than the Director. Makes sense, it's a decision fraught with politics.

I agree with you about doxxing, but to reassure you, Federal judges are protected by the U.S. Marshal's Service. Nothing's perfect, but that's pretty good security.
 

Tecumsehsbones

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Clearly in your mind it only goes one way.
That's right, it does. Doxxing is the unwanted, non-consensual publication of personal information about someone.

To say that it's "doxxing" to reveal that Trump lives at Moron-Lardo, a fact he has trumpeted as widely as subhumanly possible, is silly.
 

spaminator

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U.S. charges Iranian in plot to murder ex-Trump adviser John Bolton
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Sarah N. Lynch
Publishing date:Aug 10, 2022 • 18 hours ago • 2 minute read • Join the conversation
An image released by the FBI shows Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi of Tehran, Iran, in a 2021 image released by the U.S. Justice Department after they charged the member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps with plotting to murder John Bolton, the national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, in Washington, Aug. 10, 2022.
An image released by the FBI shows Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi of Tehran, Iran, in a 2021 image released by the U.S. Justice Department after they charged the member of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps with plotting to murder John Bolton, the national security adviser to former President Donald Trump, in Washington, Aug. 10, 2022. PHOTO BY FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION /Handout via REUTERS
WASHINGTON — The United States charged a member of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard Corps on Wednesday with plotting to murder John Bolton, a national security adviser to former President Donald Trump.


The Justice Department alleged that Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi, 45, of Tehran, was likely motivated to kill Bolton in retaliation for the death of Qassem Soleimani, a commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps killed in a U.S. drone strike in January 2020.

Iran’s mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Iran does not have an extradition treaty with the United States, and Poursafi remains at large. The FBI on Wednesday released a most-wanted poster.

An FBI wanted poster shows Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi of Tehran, Iran.
An FBI wanted poster shows Shahram Poursafi, also known as Mehdi Rezayi of Tehran, Iran. PHOTO BY FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION /Handout via REUTERS
Washington does not believe the charges should affect talks with Tehran on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal under which Iran curbed its nuclear program in return for sanctions relief, a U.S. official said on condition of anonymity.


However, it was not clear how the IRGC, a powerful political faction in Iran which controls a business empire as well as elite armed and intelligence forces that Washington accuses of a global terrorist campaign, might react to the charges.

Indirect talks between the United States and Iran wrapped up in Vienna on Monday with European Union officials saying they had put forward a final text to resuscitate the nuclear deal, which Trump abandoned in 2018.

According to the criminal complaint, Poursafi asked a U.S. resident identified only as “Individual A” to photograph Bolton, under the guise that the photos were needed for a forthcoming book. The U.S. resident then introduced Poursafi to a covert government informant who could take the photographs for a price.


Investigators said the following month Poursafi contacted the informant on an encrypted messaging application and offered the person $250,000 to hire someone to “eliminate” Bolton – an amount that would later be negotiated up to $300,000.

When the informant asked Poursafi to be more specific in his request, he said he wanted “the guy” purged and provided Bolton’s first and last name, according to a sworn statement in support of the complaint.

He later directed the informant to open a cryptocurrency account to facilitate the payment. In subsequent communications, he allegedly told the informant it did not matter how the killing was carried out, but that his “group” would require a video as proof that the deed was done.

In a statement on Twitter on Wednesday, Bolton thanked the Justice Department for taking action.

“While much cannot be said publicly right now, one point is indisputable,” he said. “Iran’s rulers are liars, terrorists and enemies of the United States.”
1660223884079.png
 

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Trump refuses to answer questions in N.Y. attorney general probe
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Karen Freifeld
Publishing date:Aug 10, 2022 • 17 hours ago • 3 minute read • 79 Comments

NEW YORK — Former U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he refused to answer questions during an appearance before New York state’s attorney general in a civil investigation into his family’s business practices, citing his constitutional right against self-incrimination.


Trump, his son Donald Trump Jr. and daughter Ivanka Trump had fought unsuccessfully to avoid appearing for testimony in state Attorney General Letitia James’s probe into whether the Trump Organization inflated real estate values to obtain favourable loans and understated asset values to get tax breaks.

“I declined to answer the questions under the rights and privileges afforded to every citizen under the United States Constitution,” Trump said in a statement issued roughly an hour after he arrived in a motorcade to the attorney general’s office in lower Manhattan for the deposition behind closed doors.

The Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protects against self-incrimination. Trump’s decision not to answer questions still could carry consequences. Should the investigation lead to a trial, jurors could take his silence into account. Politically, it also could give adversaries ammunition about whether Trump has something to hide as he mulls another run for the presidency in 2024.


James has said her investigation has uncovered significant evidence that the Trump Organization, which manages hotels, golf courses and other real estate, gave banks and tax authorities misleading financial information to obtain benefits.

Trump did not leave the attorney general’s office until about six hours after he arrived, suggesting he faced questions for much of the day.

Trump, a Republican, in his statement again denied wrongdoing and sought to portray the investigation by James, a Democrat, as part of a years-long vendetta against him by her and others including the news media.

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?'” Trump said in his statement. “Now I know the answer to that question.”


Trump added, “When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded, politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors, and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

In the statement, Trump also made disparaging comments about James and violent crime in New York state.

Trump attempted to link the state attorney general’s investigation to Monday’s FBI search of his Florida home Mar-a-Lago, which represented an escalation a federal probe into whether he illegally removed records from the White House as he left office in January 2021.

A spokeswoman for James declined to comment on the deposition. A lawyer for Trump did not respond to requests for comment.


Trump agreed in June to testify in the three-year investigation, but only after court decisions rejecting his argument that he should not have to do so because the probe was politically motivated.

His lawyers also argued that Trump’s words could be unfairly used against him in a related criminal probe led by Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg in which James also is involved. Two top prosecutors in that case resigned in March, with one saying Bragg was skeptical of bringing charges against Trump. A Bragg spokeswoman on Wednesday said that criminal probe continues.

Trump raised his fist as he left Trump Tower on Wednesday morning, wearing a blue suit with a flag pin on his lapel, before heading to the attorney general’s office. New York City police officers and Secret Service personnel stood guard as the motorcade transporting him arrived.


‘THE MOB TAKES THE FIFTH’
Trump has in the past disparaged people for exercising their Fifth Amendment rights.

“The mob takes the Fifth,” Trump said during a 2016 campaign rally. “If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

In that instance, he was discussing people who had exercised their Fifth Amendment rights in a probe relating to Democrat Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official correspondence during her time as secretary of state. Clinton was Trump’s opponent in the presidential election that year.

Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump also testified in recent weeks in James’ probe, according to a person familiar with the matter. Reuters could not determine whether they also refused to answer questions. Their brother Eric Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment more than 500 times when he testified in October 2020.

Monday’s FBI search related to the National Archives and Records Administration, which safeguards presidential records that belong to the public, and whether classified documents were kept at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Trump has faced a slew of legal troubles since leaving office. He also continues to claim falsely that the 2020 election that he lost to Democrat Joe Biden was stolen through widespread voting fraud.
 

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U.S. confirms search of Trump's Florida home, asks court to unseal warrant
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Sarah N. Lynch
Publishing date:Aug 11, 2022 • 16 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Justice Department asked a judge on Thursday to make public the warrant that authorized an FBI search of Donald Trump’s Florida home, after the former president attacked the search as an act of political retribution.


Attorney General Merrick Garland confirmed for the first time that agents had searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach. The search is part of an investigation into whether he illegally removed records from the White House as he was leaving office.

Garland, the nation’s top law enforcement official, said he had personally approved the decision to order the search.

His confirmation was highly unusual, since U.S. law enforcement typically does not discuss ongoing investigations. But it came after Trump himself announced the search on Monday night, alleging that it was an act of political retribution by Democratic President Joe Biden.

Garland said the Justice Department had asked a court to publish a sealed search warrant “in light of the former president’s public confirmation of the search, the surrounding circumstances and the substantial public interest in this matter.”


It was not clear whether Trump’s legal team would object to the release of the warrant, which could shed light on the nature of the investigation.

In a statement on his Truth social network, Trump said: “My attorneys and representatives were cooperating fully, and very good relationships had been established. The government could have had whatever they wanted, if we had it.”

ESCALATING PROBE

The unprecedented search marked a significant escalation in one of the many federal and state probes Trump is facing from his time in office and in private business.

FBI agents visited Trump’s property earlier this year to investigate boxes in a locked storage room, according to a person familiar with the visit. The agents and a Trump lawyer, Evan Corcoran, spent a day reviewing materials, the source said. A second source who had been briefed on the matter told Reuters that the Justice Department also has surveillance footage from Mar-a-Lago in its possession.


Garland’s Justice Department has faced fierce criticism and online threats this week following the search. Trump supporters, and some of his fellow Republicans in Washington, have accused Democrats of weaponizing the federal bureaucracy to target Trump.

The FBI said an armed person had tried to breach its office in Cincinnati early on Thursday in what it called a “critical incident.” Local law enforcement said officers traded shots with a male suspect wearing body armor.

Garland condemned the attacks on employees of the FBI and Justice Department. “I will not stand by silently when their integrity is unfairly attacked,” he said.

Some Democrats, meanwhile, have criticized Garland for being overly cautious in investigating Trump over his attempts to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden.


Republican reaction to Garland split between those ready to attack the attorney general and the FBI for the Trump search and others who warned against rhetoric that could undermine federal law enforcement.

“I have been ashamed to hear members of my party attacking the integrity of the FBI agents,” Representative Liz Cheney, the Republican vice chair of the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol by Trump supporters, wrote on Twitter. “These are sickening comments that put the lives of patriotic public servants at risk.”



Republican Senator John Cornyn mocked Garland for suggesting the search could have been conducted quietly.

“Who would possibly believe that an application and issuance of search warrant for a former President’s home and subsequent search could be done ‘quietly?'” the Texas Republican asked on Twitter.
 

spaminator

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Ex-police officer gets 7-plus years in prison in Jan. 6 case
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael Kunzelman
Publishing date:Aug 11, 2022 • 14 hours ago • 4 minute read • Join the conversation

WASHINGTON — An off-duty Virginia police officer who stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan, 6, 2021, with a fellow officer was sentenced Thursday to more than seven years in prison, matching the longest prison sentence so far among hundreds of Capitol riot cases.


Former Rocky Mount Police Sgt. Thomas Robertson declined to address the court before U.S. District Judge Christopher Cooper sentenced him to seven years and three months in prison. Cooper also sentenced Robertson to three years of supervised release after his prison term.

Federal prosecutors had recommended an eight-year prison sentence for Robertson. His sentence equals that of Guy Reffitt, a Texas man who attacked the Capitol while armed with a holstered handgun.

Robertson gets credit for the 13 months he has already spent in custody. Robertson has been jailed since Cooper ruled last year that he violated the terms of his pretrial release by possessing firearms.

The judge said he was troubled by Robertson’s conduct since his arrest — not only his stockpiling of guns but also his words advocating for violence. After Jan. 6, Robertson told a friend that he was prepared to fight and die in a civil war and he clung to baseless conspiracy theories that the 2020 election was stolen from then-President Donald Trump, the judge noted.


Sentencing guidelines calculated by Cooper recommended a prison term ranging from seven years and three months to nine years.

“It’s a long time because it reflects the seriousness of the offences that you were convicted of,” the judge said.

In April, a jury convicted Robertson of attacking the Capitol to obstruct Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential victory. Jurors found Robertson guilty of all six counts in his indictment, including charges that he interfered with police officers at the Capitol and that he entered a restricted area with a dangerous weapon, a large wooden stick.

Robertson’s lawyers said the Army veteran was using the stick to help him walk because he has a limp from getting shot in the right thigh while working as a private contractor for the Defense Department in Afghanistan in 2011.


The judge said he agreed with jurors that Robertson went to the Capitol to interfere with the joint session of Congress on Jan. 6. Robertson was an “active and willing participant,” not “some bystander” who got swept up in the crowd, Cooper said.

Robertson travelled to Washington on that morning with another off-duty Rocky Mount police officer, Jacob Fracker, and a third man, a neighbour who wasn’t charged in the case.

Fracker was scheduled to be tried alongside Robertson before he pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge in March and agreed to cooperate with federal authorities. Cooper is scheduled to sentence Fracker next Tuesday.

Prosecutors have asked Cooper to spare Fracker from a prison term and sentence him to six months of probation along with a period of home detention or “community confinement.” They said Fracker’s “fulsome” cooperation and trial testimony was crucial in securing convictions against Robertson.


Robertson’s lawyer, Mark Rollins, sought a prison sentence below two years and three months. He questioned the fairness of the wide gap in sentences that prosecutors recommended for Robertson and Fracker given their similar conduct.

Robertson served his country and community with distinction, his lawyer told the judge.

“His life already is in shambles,” Rollins said.

Robertson and Fracker were among several current or former law enforcement officers who joined in the riot. Prosecutors say Robertson used his law enforcement and military training to block police officers who were trying to hold off the advancing mob.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Aloi said Robertson was prepared for violence when he went to the Capitol and did a “victory lap” inside the building, where he posed for a selfie with Fracker.


“The defendant is, by all accounts, proud of his conduct on Jan. 6,” she said.

Jurors saw some of Robertson’s posts on social media before and after the riot. In a Facebook post on Nov. 7, 2020, Robertson said “being disenfranchised by fraud is my hard line.”

“I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting a counter insurgency. (I’m) about to become part of one, and a very effective one,” he wrote.

In a letter addressed to the judge, Robertson said he took full responsibility for his actions on Jan. 6 and “any poor decisions I made.” He blamed the vitriolic content of his social media posts on a mix of stress, alcohol abuse and “submersion in deep ‘rabbit holes’ of election conspiracy theory.”

“I sat around at night drinking too much and reacting to articles and sites given to me by Facebook” algorithms, he wrote.

The town fired Robertson and Fracker after the riot. Rocky Mount is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of Roanoke, Virginia, and has about 5,000 residents.

Roughly 850 people have been charged with federal crimes for their conduct on Jan. 6. More than 350 of them have pleaded guilty, mostly to misdemeanour offences, and more than 230 have been sentenced so far.

Robertson’s jury trial was the second for a Capitol riot case; Reffitt’s was the first. Jurors have unanimously convicted seven Capitol rioters of all charges in their respective indictments.
 

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Armed man who tried to breach Ohio FBI building shot dead
Two news media identified him as Ricky Shiffer, 42, who may have had extreme right-wing views.

Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Kanishka Singh
Publishing date:Aug 12, 2022 • 1 day ago • 2 minute read • 26 Comments

An armed man who tried to breach the FBI building in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Thursday was shot dead by police following a car chase, a gun battle and a standoff in a cornfield northeast of town, officials said.


Police had yet to identify the dead man and during a pair of news briefings declined to comment on his motive. The New York Times and NBC News, citing unnamed sources, identified him as Ricky Shiffer, 42, who may have had extreme right-wing views.

A man by that name forwarned of the attack on Truth Social, the medium created by former President Donald Trump.

“If you don’t hear from me, it is true I tried attacking the F.B.I., and it’ll mean either I was taken off the internet, the F.B.I. got me, or they sent the regular cops … ” the message said.

His posts, including others expressing extreme views, were taken down shortly after police told reporters the Cincinnati suspect had been killed.

NBC News, citing two unnamed officials familiar with the matter, said the suspect was at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington during the assault by Trump supporters on Jan. 6, 2021.


The New York Times, citing two law enforcement officials familiar with the matter, reported investigators were looking into whether he had ties to extremist groups.

Some Trump supporters claim a grievance with the FBI over his entanglements with the agency which have included its probe into Russia’s support for his 2016 presidential campaign and the court-authorized search of his Florida home on Monday.

The FBI has been the subject of online threats since its agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into documents removed from the White House when Trump left office in January 2021.

FBI Director Christopher Wray, who has described homegrown violent extremism as the most significant security threat to the United States, issued a statement following Thursday’s events decrying “unfounded attacks on the integrity of the FBI.”


“Violence and threats against law enforcement, including the FBI, are dangerous and should be deeply concerning to all Americans,” Wray said.

The Ohio incident began early on Thursday when the suspect unsuccessfully tried to enter the FBI’s visitor screening facility. He then fled the area in a white vehicle, heading northbound on Interstate 71, the FBI said.

A chase ensued and the suspect fired his weapon at a state trooper, Ohio State Highway Patrol spokesperson Nathan Dennis told a news briefing.

The vehicle eventually came to a stop in Clinton County and gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and police, he said, before a lengthy standoff that ended with the suspect being shot six hours after the initial assault in Cincinnati.

“Throughout the day today law-enforcement officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect. After a time the negotiations failed,” Dennis said.

“The suspect then did raise a firearm toward law enforcement and shots were fired by law enforcement officers on the scene,” Dennis said. He said the suspect died at the site and no police were wounded.
 

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Trump Organization, CFO's tax fraud trial set for October
Author of the article:Associated Press
Associated Press
Michael R. Sisak
Publishing date:Aug 12, 2022 • 20 hours ago • 3 minute read • Join the conversation

NEW YORK — Capping an extraordinary week in Donald Trump’s post-presidency, a New York judge ordered Friday that his company and its longtime finance chief stand trial in the fall on tax fraud charges stemming from a long-running criminal investigation into Trump’s business practices.


Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan scheduled jury selection for Oct. 24 in the case, which involves allegations the Trump Organization gave CFO Allen Weisselberg more than $1.7 million in off-the-books compensation, including rent, car payments and school tuition.

Lawyers at a hearing Friday suggested the trial could last several months.

Merchan denied requests by Weisselberg’s lawyers and the Trump Organization to throw out the case, though he did drop one criminal tax fraud count against the company citing the statute of limitations. More than a dozen other counts remain. Weisselberg’s lawyers argued prosecutors in the Democrat-led Manhattan district attorney’s office were punishing him because he wouldn’t flip on the former president.


Merchan rejected that, saying that evidence presented to the grand jury “was legally sufficient to support the charges in the indictment,” and that those proceedings were properly conducted, their “integrity unimpaired.”

If the schedule holds, Weisselberg and the Trump Organization will be on trial during the November midterm elections where Trump’s Republican party could win control of one or both houses of Congress. At the same time, Trump has been laying the groundwork for a potential comeback campaign for president in 2024.

The criminal trial is just one of several legal concerns playing out in real time in Trump’s orbit. FBI agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida in an unrelated probe Monday, and on Thursday, he and the U.S. Department of Justice called for the public release of search warrant documents.


Trump sat for a deposition Wednesday as New York Attorney General Letitia James wraps up a parallel civil investigation into allegations Trump’s company misled lenders and tax authorities about asset values. Trump invoked his Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination more than 400 times.

Trump has not been charged in the criminal probe, but prosecutors have noted that he signed some of the checks at the centre of the case. Trump, who has decried the New York investigations as a “political witch hunt,” has said his company’s actions were standard practice in the real estate business and in no way a crime. James is a Democrat.

Weisselberg and the Trump Organization have pleaded not guilty.

The most serious charge against Weisselberg, grand larceny, carries five to 15 years in prison. The tax fraud charges against the company are punishable by a fine of double the amount of unpaid taxes, or $250,000, whichever is larger.


Weisselberg, who turns 75 on Monday, is the only Trump executive charged in the yearslong criminal investigation started by former Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who went to the Supreme Court to secure Trump’s tax records. Vance’s successor, Alvin Bragg, is now overseeing the investigation. Several other Trump executives have been granted immunity to testify before a grand jury in the case.

Prosecutors alleged that Weisselberg and the Trump Organization schemed to give off-the-books compensation to senior executives, including Weisselberg, for 15 years. Weisselberg alone was accused of defrauding the federal government, state and city out of more than $900,000 in unpaid taxes and undeserved tax refunds.


In the months after Weisselberg’s arrest, the criminal probe appeared to be progressing toward a possible criminal indictment of Trump himself, but the investigation slowed, a grand jury was disbanded and a top prosecutor left after Bragg took office in January — though he insists it is continuing.

Although the criminal investigation is separate from James’ civil investigation, which could lead to a lawsuit and fines for Trump and his company, her office has been involved in both investigations. James has dispatched several lawyers to work with Manhattan prosecutors, and it was evidence uncovered in the civil investigation that led to criminal charges against Weisselberg.