National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request this morning with the Federal Bureau of Prisons seeking photographs of Jeffrey Epstein and all records regarding his incarceration at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in New York and the circumstances of his apparent suicide.
Besides any photographs or video surveillance of Epstein and his cell, the documents requested include those that would show why Epstein was put on suicide watch, why he was taken off suicide watch, the log records of correctional officers checking on Epstein, visitor logs, why he did not have a cellmate, and why he was ever put in any cell that would enable him to hang a makeshift noose from the ceiling or fixture.
“NLPC calls upon the Bureau of Prisons and the Justice Department to immediately release the records requested as a matter of law, public transparency, and accountability,” said Paul … Read More ➡
President Trump would be making a huge mistake in commuting the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois.
Yesterday, Trump said, “I am thinking very seriously about commuting his sentence so that he can go home to his family after seven years…I thought he was treated unbelievably unfairly.”
It is hard to see how Blagojevich was treated unfairly. Blagojevich is corrupt to the core. He is not the victim of anything except his own guile. If anything, he was underprosecuted. There were additional allegations of misconduct, some of which were uncovered by the National Legal and Policy Center, for which he was never prosecuted.
Let’s remember why Blagojevich is in prison. Among other crimes, he actually tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. If he were not arrested in time, Blagojevich would have likely sold the seat to then-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. for $1.5 million in campaign … Read More ➡
In an “exclusive interview,” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) told New York Daily News reporters Chris Sommerfeldt and Jason Fisher that she and her former Chief of Staff Saikat Chakrabarti are “in conversation” with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) about a Complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center in March. (Matter Under Review #7575)
Of course, the FEC doesn’t have conversations with Respondents to Complaints. It conducts investigations. By confirming that she and the other Respondents are interacting with the FEC, Ocasio-Cortez confirmed the existence of an investigation, contrary to assertions of some of her supporters. From the article:
Ocasio-Cortez dismissed the complaint as a political hit job.
“All of these things were filed by these fringe, Republican groups. It’s a tactic they use and it’s very common,” she said. “It’s a form of legal trolling.”
The accusation that NLPC is a “Republican” group would come as a … Read More ➡
From the Washington Examiner by Alana Goodman:
Two organizations linked to Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her outgoing senior aides are the subject of a Federal Election Commission investigation into alleged campaign finance violations, the Washington Examiner has learned.
The FEC opened an official case on March 7 to examine complaints against Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress, two campaign committees started by Ocasio-Cortez’s former chief of staff Shaikat Chakrabarti, according to an FEC confirmation letter disclosed to the Washington Examiner. The matter was assigned a case number and remains open. Ocasio-Cortez also sat on the board of Justice Democrats from December 2017 to June 2018, the Daily Caller reported.
The original FEC complaint was filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, a government watchdog group, and claimed the Justice Democrats and Brand New Congress PACs were engaged in “an elaborate scheme to avoid proper disclosure … Read More ➡
From the New York Post today by Mary Kay Linge and Jon Levine:
The Feds are looking into possible campaign finance misdeeds by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff and lead rainmaker, who suddenly resigned Friday, federal sources told The Post.
The inquiry centers on two political action committees founded by Saikat Chakrabarti, the top aide who quit along with Ocasio-Cortez spokesman Corbin Trent,the sources said. Trent left to join the congresswoman’s 2020 re-election campaign.
The two PACs being probed, Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, were both set up by Chakrabarti to support progressive candidates across the country.
But they funneled more than $1 million in political donations into two private companies that Chakrabarti also incorporated and controlled, according to Federal Election Commission filings and a complaint filed in March with the regulatory agency.
Also from the article:
The complaint filed by the National Legal and Policy Center, … Read More ➡
From the Washington Examiner today by Alana Goodman:
A powerful, long-serving Republican congressman blocked a federal crackdown on predatory lenders targeting military members while his wife was working for a firm that lobbied for one of the nation’s top lender trade associations, according to financial disclosures.
Rep. Mac Thornberry of Texas was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee when he pushed to delay new restrictions under Military Lending Act that sought to protect military service members from predatory lending practices. A study conducted by the Department of Defense found that 11% of military members had been subjected to predatory loans, leading to personnel discharges at a cost to the department of $14 million a year.
Under the rules, lenders, banks, and credit card companies were required to cap interest rates at 36% annually and are prohibited from providing continual payday loans or requiring service members to submit to mandatory … Read More ➡
Tomorrow, former Special Counsel Robert Mueller will testify before the House Judiciary Committee and the House Intelligence Committee about his two-year investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.
While the Justice Department yesterday ordered Mueller to stay within the confines of his report, there are unanswered questions about Mueller’s conflict of interest that have not been answered but are the subject of a pending FOIA lawsuit by the National Legal and Policy Center.
President Trump has repeatedly said Mueller has a conflict for a number of reasons, such as a dispute with membership fees at Trump’s Virginia golf club, his relationship with fired FBI Director James Comey, not getting appointed by Trump to head the FBI, and his law firm’s work with the Clinton Foundation. Here’s what Mueller should be asked:
- On May 16, 2017, you had an interview with President Trump in the White House about the vacancy
… Read More ➡
Lost amid the uproar over President Trump’s rebuke of four radical “women of color” in the House of Representatives is the possibility that he was entirely justified. For months, these freshmen lawmakers, hyped by the media, have used their office to undermine enforcement of our nation’s laws, especially those related to immigration, labeling anyone who disagrees with them as a “racist.” One of these pugilists, Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., stands out as an especially nasty piece of work.
A lawyer by training, Tlaib, born in 1976, occupies the Detroit-area congressional seat held for decades by John Conyers. Like the other three members of her vapid, publicity-hungry “squad” – Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) – she makes no secret of her loathing for America’s identity and laws. Indeed, as a Muslim born to Palestinian parents, Tlaib proudly identifies with their foreign identity. “I’m more Palestinian … Read More ➡
From the Washington Examiner, by Alana Goodman:
A watchdog group is asking the Maryland attorney general to investigate whether Rep. Elijah Cummings and his wife used a charity for improper self-enrichment, according to a copy of the complaint obtained by the Washington Examiner.
The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, which leans conservative, filed the complaint on Monday against the Center for Global Policy Solutions, a nonprofit organization founded by Cummings’ wife, Maya Rockeymoore.
The complaint asked Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh to investigate the financial relationship between the Center for Global Policy Solutions and Rockeymoore’s for-profit consulting firm, Global Policy Solutions LLC.
The similarly named entities shared an address, phone number, projects, funding sources, and had a cost-sharing arrangement that raises questions about a “potentially improper financial benefit to Ms. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings and her husband, Representative Elijah Cummings,” the complaint asserts.
Click here to read the rest … Read More ➡
Donald Trump’s enemies have gotten creative lately in examining his past for evidence of lawbreaking. But their creativity has its limits. In Richmond, Va. this morning, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit unanimously dismissed a lawsuit filed two years ago by the attorneys general for Maryland and the District of Columbia accusing Trump of illegally profiting from his continuing financial interest in the Trump International Hotel, located blocks from the White House. The suit alleged that he violated the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause barring presidents and other federal officials from accepting gifts or money from foreign and domestic government officials without congressional approval. The claims, wrote Judge Paul Niemeyer, were too “attenuated” and “abstract” to merit legal standing.
The Emoluments Clause (actually three separate clauses) of the U.S. Constitution is one of our primary safeguards against political corruption. The most relevant portion here, … Read More ➡