Archive for the ‘justice’ Category

Trump’s Celebrity Celemency Show

February 20, 2020

Trump's Celebrity Celemency Show

Reality TV host, failed casino owner, litigious shady businessman, and impeachment-stained U.S. President Donald Trump has wielded his executive clemency powers to free rich celebrity felons from federal prison. While the power to grant pardons, commutations, and reprieves to federal prisoners is meant to address injustice or unfair sentences, Mr. Trump has used it to benefit people he knows — in real life, from Fox News, or through political donors, cronies, and celebrity pals.

All these former prisoners are rich white collar criminals except for a few folks championed by rich white people like realty TV star, social influencer, celebrity spouse, law student, and prisoner advocate Kim Kardashian West. In some cases a hefty contribution to the Trump campaign was a Get-Out-of-Jail-Free card. If you thought America’s rich, famous, and connected were beyond the reach of the law, you’re right – until next January, anyway.

Which convicts got sprung by Trump, and what were their crimes?

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Law & Order: Japan

February 11, 2020

Evan Hadfield of Rare Earth discussed Japan’s criminal justice system.

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Otisville Vacation

May 7, 2019

Otisville Vacation

Business Notice:

Michael Cohen, Esq., former Executive Vice President of the Trump Organization, is relocating to the federal enclave at Otisville NY, in leafy Orange County, for a 3-year residency. Please refer all future Donald Trump obstruction of justice proposals to William P. Barr, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20530-0001.

More:

“Michael Cohen, by Turns Lawyer and Witness, Becomes an Inmate,” Maggie Haberman, Ben Protess and William K. Rashbaum, New York Times

“As Cohen heads to prison, Trump is ensnared in more questions about possible illegal behavior,” Phillip Bump, Washington Post

“Hundreds of former prosecutors say Trump would’ve been charged with obstruction if he weren’t president,” Jacqueline Thomsen, The Hill

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Image (“Portrait of a Trump Lawyer”) by Mike Licht. Download copies here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com.

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Donald Trump: Above the Law?

December 5, 2017

Donald Trump: Above the Law?

John Dowd, one of President Trump’s lawyers, told Mike Allen of Axios that the president cannot be charged with obstruction of justice:

“The ‘President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case.'”

“The Articles of Impeachment against Nixon began by saying he ‘obstructed, and impeded the administration of justice.'”

— “Trump lawyer claims the ‘President cannot obstruct justice,'” Mike Allen, Axios

Presidents can’t obstruct justice? Attorney General Jeff Sessions disagrees. Back in 1999, as an Alabama senator, he said “The facts are disturbing and compelling on the President’s intent to obstruct justice,” he said, referring to Bill Clinton.

“Sessions isn’t alone. More than 40 current GOP members of Congress voted for the impeachment or removal of Clinton from office for obstruction of justice. They include Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who mounted his own passionate appeal to remove Clinton from office for obstruction of justice – Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley and Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, who was a House member at the time. In all, 17 sitting senators supported the obstruction of justice charge against Clinton in 1998 and 1999.”

— “Sessions argued in Clinton impeachment that presidents can obstruct justice,” Kyle Cheney, Politico

More:

“Trump’s Lawyer Claims the President Is Above the Law,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump’s I-am-the-law defense on the Russia investigation,” Chris Cillizza, CNN

“A bold new legal defense for Trump: Presidents cannot obstruct justice,” Sari Horwitz and Philip Rucker, Washington Post

“19 Times President Trump May Have Obstructed Justice,” Margaret Hartmann, New York Magazine

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Image: Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The U.S. Justice System Is Rigged Against the Poor

November 20, 2017

Every year 600,000 Americans leave prison after serving their debt to society, but they’re still not free. Wes Caines explains.

Video produced by Brooklyn Defender Services; illustrated by Molly Crabapple.

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Special Counsel Investigating Trump for Obstruction of Justice

June 16, 2017

Special Counsel Investigating Trump for Obstruction of Justice

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating President Donald Trump for possible obstruction of justice, reports the Washington Post. As in Watergate, investigation of the crime — in this case, Russian meddling  in the 2016 presidential campaign and possible coordination with the Trump campaign — has expanded to include the cover-up. Investigators are also looking for evidence of related money laundering by Trump associates.

By his own admission, Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey to obstruct the investigation into Russian links to the Trump campaign, and the president appears to have asked top intelligence officials to refute charges of Russian coordination with his 2016 campaign. On Thursday, an RNC statement and a tweet by the president confirmed the existence of the obstruction probe. The president’s personal legal team merely condemned the leak, not denying the obstruction probe itself. Mr. Trump conflated the issues of 2016 campaign coordination with the obstruction investigation, claiming it’s all a “witch hunt.”

More:

“Mueller Seeks to Talk to Intelligence Officials, Hinting at Inquiry of Trump,” Michael S. Schmidt and Matt Apuzzo, New York Times

“Even Trump’s Aides Blame Him for Obstruction Probe: ‘President Did This to Himself,'” Lachan Markay, Asawin Suesaeng, Spencer Ackerman, Daily Beast

“Trump thinks ‘they’ created his legal problems. He created his legal problems.” Ezra Klein, Vox

“Trump: ‘You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history,'” Rebecca Savransky, The Hill

“GOP Sen. Tells Trump: Investigation Is ‘Not A Witch Hunt, No,'” Matt Shuham, TPM Livewire

“What the law says about ‘obstruction of justice,'” Shannon Vavra, Axios

“Meet the all-star legal team who may take down Trump,” Rebecca Tan and Alex Ward, Vox

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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DOJ Names Special Counsel for Trump-Russia Investigation

May 18, 2017

DOJ Names Special Counsel for Trump-Russia Investigation
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel for the investigation of links between Russia and the Trump Campaign. Mr. Mueller served many years as a U.S. Attorney, and prosecutions he led included those of Manuel Noriega, crime boss John Gotti, and the Lockerbie Pan Am bombing case. He was FBI Director from 2001 to 2013. The current investigation encompasses President Trump’s abrupt firing of James Comey, Mr. Mueller’s successor.

More:

“Deputy attorney general appoints special counsel to oversee probe of Russian interference in election,” Devlin Barrett, Sari Horwitz and Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post

“What the Special Counsel Appointment Means,” Matt Ford, The Atlantic 

“Robert Mueller, New Special Counsel, Is Known for Independence,” Michael D. Shear, New York Times

“How presidents normally greet special investigators vs. how Trump does,” Jeff Stein, Vox

“Trump: Special Counsel Part of Biggest ‘Witch Hunt’ in U.S. History,” John T. Bennett, Roll Call

“How a Special Counsel Alters the Russia Investigation,” Charlie Savage, New York Times

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Deportation Force!

April 18, 2017

Deportation Force!

President Trump seems bent on fulfilling his campaign promise to round up millions of your neighbors and deport them. But how? The administration can appoint more administrative judges to rubber-stamp deportation orders, and private contractors can make a buck from imprisoning millions in new concentration camps, but who will round up all those people? Where’s the promised Deportation Force? How can you quickly recruit and hire 5,000 new Border Patrol agents and 10,000 more Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents?

Easy. Just lower the standards. A Department of Homeland Security memo suggests ending polygraph and physical fitness tests and eliminating Spanish language skills from the entrance exams.

More:

“Trump administration moving quickly to build up nationwide deportation force,” David Nakamura, Washington Post

“To Detain More Immigrants, Trump Administration to Speed Border Hiring,” Vivian Yee and Ron Nixon, New York Times

Related:

“ICE immigration arrests of noncriminals double under Trump,” Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post

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Image manipulated by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Slavery to Mass Incarceration

January 12, 2017

“Slavery to Mass Incarceration,” a short video by the Equal Justice Initiative. Narrated by Bryan Stevenson, illustrated by Molly Crabapple. Directed by Jim Batt; sound design by Kim Boekbinder.

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Baltimore

May 11, 2015

“Nobody got in nobody’s way
So I guess you could say
It was a good day
At least a little better than the day in Baltimore”

— Prince

More:

“Prince Is Dropping a Song, Guitar Solo for Baltimore,” Asawin Suebsaeng, Daily Beast

“Prince takes the stage for ‘Rally 4 Peace’ show in Baltimore,” Lacey Johnson, Reuters
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