Category Archives: Dept of Justice

CA judge blocks Trump’s defunding of sanctuary cities

It’s judicial over-reach by activist judges all over again.

The AP reports that today (April 25, 2017), a federal judge, U.S. District Judge William Orrick, blocked any attempt by the Trump administration to withhold federal funding from “sanctuary cities” that refuse to cooperate with U.S. immigration authorities on deporting illegal “undocumented” aliens.

Note: William Horsley Orrick III, 63, was nominated by Obama to be U.S. District Judge for the Northern District of California. On May 15, 2013, the U.S. Senate confirmed his nomination by a vote of 56 to 41. According to Public Citizen, a non-profit, consumer rights advocacy group, Orrick, then employed by Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, raised at least $200,000 for Barack Obama and donated $30,800 to committees supporting Obama.

“Sanctuary cities” is a loosely defined term for jurisdictions — cities, counties, states — that don’t comply with immigration authorities.

Orrick issued the preliminary injunction in two lawsuits – one brought by the city of San Francisco, the other by Santa Clara County – against Trump’s executive order to defund sanctuary cities, counties, and states. The injunction will stay in place while the lawsuits work their way through court.

The Trump Administration maintains San Francisco’s and Santa Clara County’s lawsuits are premature because the federal government hasn’t cut off any money yet or declared any communities to be sanctuary cities. The administration says sanctuary cities allow dangerous criminals back on the street and that the order is needed to keep the country safe. San Francisco and other sanctuary cities say turning local police into immigration officers erodes trust that is needed to get people to report crime.

Acting U.S. Assistant Attorney General Chad Readler had defended Trump’s executive order as an attempt to use his “bully pulpit’ to “encourage communities and states to comply with the law.” But Judge Orrick contends that President Trump has no authority to attach new conditions to federal spending. And even if he could, the conditions would have to be clearly related to the funds at issue and not coercive because “Federal funding that bears no meaningful relationship to immigration enforcement cannot be threatened merely because a jurisdiction chooses an immigration enforcement strategy of which the president disapproves.”

San Francisco and Santa Clara County argue that Trump’s executive order threatens billions of dollars in federal funding for each of them, making it difficult to plan their budgets. But Readler said the threatened cutoff applies to three Justice Department and Homeland Security grants and would affect less than $1 million for Santa Clara County and possibly no money for San Francisco.

In his ruling, Orrick sided with San Francisco and Santa Clara, saying the order “by its plain language, attempts to reach all federal grants, not merely the three mentioned at the hearing. And if there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments.”

Trump’s executive order has also led to lawsuits by Seattle; two Massachusetts cities, Lawrence and Chelsea; and the city of Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area. The San Francisco and Santa Clara County lawsuits were the first to get a hearing before a judge.

Meanwhile, mayors from several U.S. cities threatened with the loss of federal grants emerged from a meeting today with Attorney General Jeff Sessions saying they remain confused about how to prove their police are in compliance with immigration policies – a necessary step for them to receive grant money.

The sanctuary city order was among a flurry of immigration measures Trump has signed since taking office in January, including a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and a directive calling for a wall on the Mexican border.

A federal appeals court blocked the travel ban. The administration then revised it, but the new version also is stalled in court.

~Eowyn

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DOJ issues ultimatum to NYC and other ‘sanctuary’ cities

trump and jeff sessions

Works for me.

From NY Post: The US Department of Justice on Friday gave New York City and eight other local governments that provide “sanctuary” to illegal immigrants until June 30 to prove they’re not violating federal law by refusing to cooperate with immigration authorities.

The ultimatums from President Trump’s administration were accompanied by an accusation that many of the targeted jurisdictions are “crumbling under the weight of illegal immigration and violent crime.”

“New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city’s ‘soft on crime’ stance,” the DOJ said in a news release.

A related letter to the director of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Criminal Justice warns that the feds could withhold funding, suspend or terminate grants, declare the city ineligible for future funding or take “other action, as appropriate.”

A City Hall spokesman called the threat “nothing new.”

“This grandstanding shows how out of touch the Trump administration is with reality,” spokesman Seth Stein said.

“Contrary to their alternative facts, New York is the safest big city in the country, with crime at record lows in large part because we have policies in place to encourage cooperation between NYPD and immigrant communities.”

Letters were also sent to officials in Chicago, New Orleans, Philadelphia and Miami; Clark County, Nev.; Milwaukee County, Wis.; Cook County, Ill., and the state of California.

DCG

Drain the Swamp: First Clinton-State Dept. staffer indicted for treason

20 days ago, on March 29, 2017, Candace Marie Claiborne, 60, became the first Clinton-era State Department employee to be indicted by a federal grand jury on treason charges — conspiring to defraud the U.S. government, concealing contact and pay-to-play schemes with foreign spies, obstructing an official proceeding, and making false statements to the FBI.

According to YourNewsWire, prosecutors warn Claiborne is “the first of many” corrupt Clinton-era State Department employees who will be brought to justice by a reinvigorated Department of Justice in the Trump administration.

In a press release on March 29, 2017, the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs announced the March 28 arrest and indictment of U.S. Department of State employee Candace Marie Claiborne for:

  • Obstructing an official proceeding;
  • Making false statements to the FBI; and
  • Concealing numerous contacts that she had over a period of years with foreign intelligence agents.

The federal charges against Claiborne were announced by:

  1. Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord for National Security
  2. U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia
  3. Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Mary B. McCord said:

“Candace Marie Claiborne is a U.S. State Department employee who possesses a Top Secret security clearance and allegedly failed to report her contacts with Chinese foreign intelligence agents who provided her with thousands of dollars of gifts and benefits. Claiborne used her position and her access to sensitive diplomatic data for personal profit. Pursuing those who imperil our national security for personal gain will remain a key priority of the National Security Division.”

U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips said:

“Candace Claiborne is charged with obstructing an official proceeding and making false statements in connection with her alleged concealment and failure to report her improper connections to foreign contacts along with the tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits they provided. As a State Department employee with a Top Secret clearance, she received training and briefing about the need for caution and transparency. This case demonstrates that U.S. government employees will be held accountable for failing to honor the trust placed in them when they take on such sensitive assignments.”

Assistant Director in Charge Andrew W. Vale said:

“Candace Claiborne is accused of violating her oath of office as a State Department employee, who was entrusted with Top Secret information when she purposefully mislead federal investigators about her significant and repeated interactions with foreign contacts. The FBI will continue to investigate individuals who, though required by law, fail to report foreign contacts, which is a key indicator of potential insider threats posed by those in positions of public trust.”

According to the affidavit in support of the complaint and arrest warrant, Claiborne began working as an Office Management Specialist for the Department of State in 1999. She has served overseas at a number of posts, including embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Iraq, Khartoum, Sudan, and Beijing and Shanghai in China. As a condition of her employment, Claiborne maintains a Top Secret security clearance. Claiborne also is required to report any contacts with persons suspected of affiliation with a foreign intelligence agency.

Despite such a requirement, the affidavit alleges, Claiborne failed to report repeated contacts with two intelligence agents of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), even though these agents provided tens of thousands of dollars in gifts and benefits to Claiborne and her family over five years, including cash wired to Claiborne’s USAA account, an Apple iPhone and laptop computer, Chinese New Year’s gifts, meals, international travel and vacations, tuition at a Chinese fashion school, a fully furnished apartment, and a monthly stipend. Some of these gifts and benefits were provided directly to Claiborne, while others were provided through a co-conspirator.

Claiborne noted in her journal that she could “Generate 20k in 1 year” working with one of the PRC agents, who, shortly after wiring $2,480 to Claiborne, tasked her with providing internal U.S. Government analyses on a U.S.-Sino Strategic Economic Dialogue that had just concluded.

Despite allegedly confiding to a co-conspirator that the PRC agents were “spies,” Claiborne willfully misled State Department background investigators and FBI investigators about her contacts with those agents. Claiborne also instructed her co-conspirators to delete evidence connecting her to the PRC agents.

The maximum penalty for a person convicted of obstructing an official proceeding is 20 years in prison. The maximum penalty for making false statements to the FBI is five years in prison. If convicted of any offense, the sentencing of Claiborne will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

At her court appearance on March 29, Claiborne pleaded not guilty before the Honorable Magistrate Judge Robin M. Meriweather. A preliminary hearing is set for April 18.

The FBI’s Washington Field Office is leading the investigation into this matter. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John L. Hill and Thomas A. Gillice for the District of Columbia and Trial Attorney Julie Edelstein of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.

When she was Obama’s secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, too, betrayed the public trust of her Top Secret security clearance, as well as engaged in pay-for-play schemes with foreign governments and individuals via her Clinton Foundation. Let’s hope Candace Marie Claiborne is the first of many arrests to come of State Department officials, to eventually culminate in the arrest of Hillary herself.

See also:

~Eowyn

U.S. attorney general says sanctuary cities may lose federal grants

triggered

Twofer: Save money and liberals’ heads explode.

From MSN: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Monday that cities and states that protect immigrant illegal alien felons from federal immigration laws may lose grants from the Justice Department.

Failure to deport aliens who are convicted of criminal offenses puts whole communities at risk, especially immigrant communities in the very sanctuary jurisdictions that seek to protect the perpetrators,” Sessions told a White House news briefing.

His statement drew swift pushback from New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who said his office would continue helping local governments “have the tools they need to protect their immigrant communities.”

Sessions said the Justice Department would withhold, and potentially claw back, grants to so-called sanctuary cities and other localities, such as counties, that are not in compliance with federal immigration law.

Sessions, who heads the Justice Department, said one of his agency’s offices was expecting to award more than $4.1 billion in grants this fiscal year. Sanctuary cities help illegal immigrants avoid deportation by limiting cooperation with federal immigration authorities and other agencies.

“I strongly urge our nation’s states and cities and counties to consider carefully the harm they are doing to their citizens by refusing to enforce our immigration laws and to rethink these policies,” Sessions said.

He gave as an example Kate Steinle, who was shot to death in San Francisco two years ago by illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez, who had already been deported five times and had seven felony convictions.

The city had earlier released Sanchez from custody even though immigration authorities had filed a request that he be kept in custody until they could pick him up for removal, Sessions said.

In his response to Sessions, Schneiderman, a Democrat, called the Republican president’s immigration polices “un-American.”

“Despite what Attorney General Sessions implied this afternoon, state and local governments and law enforcement have broad authority under the Constitution to not participate in federal immigration enforcement,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “As my office’s legal guidance makes clear, President Trump lacks the constitutional authority to broadly cut off funding to states and cities just because they have lawfully acted to protect immigrant illegal alien families.”

Schneiderman said that public safety depends on trust between law enforcement and those they serve, but that Trump’s policies “only serve to undercut that trust.”

Last week, Maryland’s Democratic-controlled House of Delegates approved legislation to bar police statewide from checking the immigration status of individuals they arrest or from keeping them locked up longer than otherwise warranted at the request of federal agents seeking to deport them. The state’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, has said he would veto the bill if it came to his desk.

The Maryland measure was in line with dozens of municipalities and local jurisdictions across the country that have declared themselves sanctuary cities, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington.

So far no such statewide designations have been enacted. President Donald Trump in January signed an executive order seeking to withhold federal funds from local governments that limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities.

DCG

California police chief sends letter to illegal aliens he won’t enforce immigration laws

Carlos G. Basurto, the police chief of Windsor in northern California, is in open defiance of the Trump administration’s immigration policy and laws.

Basurto has penned a letter in Spanish assuring the illegal aliens in his town — including those who are criminals — that they will not be deported because his agency will not enforce federal immigration laws.

From Judicial Watch, March 2, 2017:

The chief of police in an upscale northern California town has issued a letter in Spanish to illegal immigrants in his city assuring them that they’re safe from deportation because his agency “will not engage in federal immigration enforcement activities.” Police in Windsor, which is situated about 60 miles north of San Francisco, will not arrest or detain any person for immigration violations or conduct “sweeps” to locate those “illegally present in the United States,” the letter states.

Windsor’s police chief, Carlos G. Basurto, reveals in the letter that he is the grandson of illegal immigrants and knows that an overwhelmingly large percentage of illegal aliens are good, decent and hard-working. “I am committed to provide them and all other segments of our community with a safe and healthy community for all to enjoy and prosper and to have a feeling of equality,” the chief writes to illegal aliens in his municipality of about 28,000 residents. Basurto concedes that in his 28 years in law enforcement he’s seen illegal immigrants who are violent gang members, drug dealers, murderers, rapists, human traffickers and child abusers. “To think that this does not exist and that all immigrants are good people, is to be either naïve, uninformed or in denial,” the chief writes, confirming that “there is a segment committed to violence, drugs and domestic terrorism.”

With that said, the top law enforcement official in this California town vows to protect illegal aliens from federal authorities, even those with minor offenses. “Our community involves and includes everyone,” Chief Basurto writes. “I don’t want anyone, and I emphasize anyone, to be afraid to call upon us for assistance, information, advice or to report any crime or issue in our town.” The reassurances continue; “If you are an undocumented immigrant in the Town of Windsor, you do not need to fear the officers of the Windsor Police Department nor assume that they have any reason to bother you, detain you or arrest you for simply being undocumented. Your immigration status is completely irrelevant to us.” He adds that his agency collaborates with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to apprehend “serious or violent criminals” under the condition that ICE refrain from arresting any person based on immigration status or low-level offenses.

Deep in the three-page letter the chief acknowledges that illegal entry to the United States is against the law, but his personal convictions evidently allow him to look the other way. His grandparents came from Mexico and worked in the fields and ranches of California and when he was in junior high he and his brother worked in the prune fields to earn money for school clothes. This taught Basurto to appreciate immigrant workers. “We also knew that most, if not all of these people, emigrated here from other countries to do this work, for little pay, in hopes of making a better life for themselves and their families,” the chief writes. “In essence, I can relate to these people, because like many of us in this town, we are these people.”

Guaranteeing illegal aliens that they’ll be shielded from federal authorities technically constitutes a sanctuary city, but Windsor officials say this could bring consequences under the new administration so they’re keeping it quiet. A local Spanish newspaper article reports that town manager Linda Kelly, a seasoned government official, has recommended that Windsor keep its sanctuary practices under the radar because President Donald Trump has threatened to cut federal funds to sanctuary cities. Instead, Windsor will adopt a resolution that omits the word sanctuary, instead declaring the town to be a united community that values diversity and the contributions of all residents.

Report outlaw police chief Carlos Basurto to the DOJ:

~Eowyn

Cornell protesters demand funding, housing for illegals

cornell-university-logo

From Campus Reform: Students and faculty members at Cornell University demanded funding, housing, and sanctuary for illegal immigrant students and scholars during a demonstration Thursday.

Students and faculty gathered on the Arts Quad for “Sanctuary Now Cornell: Solidarity against Tyranny,” a public protest in support of illegal immigrants and hosted by the Cornell Coalition for Inclusive Democracy (CCID).

According to The Cornell Daily Sun, roughly 250 to 300 people attended the event, during which they asked the university to provide an “alternative funding source” for illegal immigrant students regardless of whether those students are protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

In addition, CCID said the university must provide shelter in the form of “housing and basic resources to stay on campus” for illegal and international students who are being advised not to travel, as well as provide temporary research positions to international scholars “fleeing dangerous situations abroad.”

“CCID demands the immediate implementation of these measures, which draw on the best aspects of Cornell and Ithaca’s abolitionist and sanctuary traditions,” CCID wrote on the Facebook event page for the protest. “Cornell has a duty to create an atmosphere of dignity, human rights, and academic freedom.”

The protesters asked for traditional sanctuary campus measures as well, such as noncompliance with immigration detainer requests and refusal to seek immigration status information during police work.

History professor Russell Rickford, an organizer of the protest, led a number of chants, including “No ban. No wall. Sanctuary for all.”

“Our endangered community members still lack explicit assurance that the institution that took them in will protect them,” Rickford said to the crowd. “That’s shameful.”

Joe Margulies, a government and law professor, compared the deportation of illegal immigrants to the Palmer Raids, which were conducted by the U.S. Justice Department in 1919 and 1920 to expel foreign radical leftists and considered by many to be the peak of the Red Scare.

“The truth is most people will never stand with you; you will always be in a minority,” Margulies explained. “But, the truth is, we look back on those periods now as periods of grave injustice, where time has turned against what was done. And you don’t need the majority; what you need is a very dedicated, involved minority.

Notably, interim president Hunter Rawlings has already outlined steps the college has taken to address the concerns of the protesting group. On January 29, he released a statement promising to “honor [Cornell’s] commitments” to DACA students, provide legal assistance to international scholars detained while traveling and illegal immigrant students, and “continue to protect the privacy of our student information and records from unauthorized or unlawful intrusion.”

In December, Rawlings assured students he would continue to give funding to students who lost DACA status under the new Trump administration.

DCG

FBI Director Comey rejects President Trump’s claim of Obama wiretapping

It is reported that on Saturday, March 4, FBI Director James Comey — whom Trump had retained from the Obama administration — asked the Department of Justice to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that, during the 2016 campaign, his phones had been illegally wiretapped by the Obama administration.

A wiretap cannot be directed at a US facility, without finding probable cause that the phone lines or internet addresses were being used by agents of a foreign power.

If the report about Comey is true, this means a rebellion by an unelected Executive branch official against a sitting President who is his superior. It also means that Trump’s presidency is effectively over.

From the New York Times, March 5, 2017:

The F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, asked the Justice Department this weekend to publicly reject President Trump’s assertion that President Barack Obama ordered the tapping of Mr. Trump’s phones, senior American officials said on Sunday. Mr. Comey has argued that the highly charged claim is false and must be corrected, they said, but the department has not released any such statement.

Mr. Comey, who made the request on Saturday after Mr. Trump leveled his allegation on Twitter, has been working to get the Justice Department to knock down the claim because it falsely insinuates that the F.B.I. broke the law, the officials said.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment. Sarah Isgur Flores, the spokeswoman for the Justice Department, also declined to comment.

Mr. Comey’s request is a remarkable rebuke of a sitting president, putting the nation’s top law enforcement official in the position of questioning Mr. Trump’s truthfulness. The confrontation between the two is the most serious consequence of Mr. Trump’s weekend Twitter outburst, and it underscores the dangers of what the president and his aides have unleashed by accusing the former president of a conspiracy to undermine Mr. Trump’s young administration.

The White House showed no indication that it would back down from Mr. Trump’s claims. On Sunday, the president demanded a congressional inquiry into whether Mr. Obama had abused the power of federal law enforcement agencies before the 2016 presidential election. In a statement from his spokesman, Mr. Trump called “reports” about the wiretapping “very troubling” and said Congress should examine them as part of its investigations into Russia’s meddling in the election.

In addition to being concerned about potential attacks on the bureau’s credibility, senior F.B.I. officials are said to be worried that the notion of a court-approved wiretap will raise the public’s expectations that the federal authorities have significant evidence implicating the Trump campaign in colluding with Russia’s efforts to disrupt the presidential election.

Mr. Comey has not been dealing directly with Attorney General Jeff Sessions on the matter, as Mr. Sessions announced on Thursday that he would recuse himself from any investigation of Russia’s efforts to influence the election. It had been revealed on Wednesday that Mr. Sessions had misled Congress about his meetings with the Russian ambassador during the campaign.

Mr. Comey’s behind-the-scenes maneuvering is certain to invite contrasts to his actions last year, when he spoke publicly about the Hillary Clinton email case and disregarded Justice Department entreaties not to.

It is not clear why Mr. Comey did not issue a statement himself. He is the most senior law enforcement official who was kept on the job as the Obama administration gave way to the Trump administration. And while the Justice Department applies for intelligence-gathering warrants, the F.B.I. keeps its own records and is in a position to know whether Mr. Trump’s claims are true. While intelligence officials do not normally discuss the existence or nonexistence of surveillance warrants, no law prevents Mr. Comey from issuing the statement.

In his demand for a congressional inquiry, the president, through his press secretary, Sean Spicer, issued a statement on Sunday that said, “President Donald J. Trump is requesting that as part of their investigation into Russian activity, the congressional intelligence committees exercise their oversight authority to determine whether executive branch investigative powers were abused in 2016.”

Yesterday, former George W. Bush administration attorney general Michael Mukasey told ABC’s “This Week” that, based on his reading of certain news reports, he believes President Trump is likely correct that there was surveillance on Trump Tower for intelligence purposes, but incorrect in accusing Obama of ordering the wiretapping. Mukasey said the wiretapping was “conducted at the behest of” Obama’s attorney general Loretta Lynch and the Justice Department.

Mukasey said if there were a wiretap on Trump Tower, it would mean that there was suspicion “somebody in Trump Tower may have been acting as an agent of the Russians for whatever purpose. Not necessarily the election, but for some purpose.”

Also yesterday, Chair of the House Intelligence Committee Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) announced Congress will investigate President Trump’s claim that his phones were illegally tapped by the Obama administration. The head of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), however, was less specific, saying his panel “will follow the evidence where it leads, and we will continue to be guided by the intelligence and facts as we compile our findings.” (New York Post)

But what good would a Congressional investigation be if the FBI Director and the Justice Department already declared Trump’s accusation to be in error?

In a statement, Obama’s spokesman Kevin Lewis denied that Obama or the White House had ordered any such surveillance:

“A cardinal rule of the Obama Administration was that no White House official ever interfered with any independent investigation led by the Department of Justice. As part of that practice, neither President Obama nor any White House official ever ordered surveillance on any U.S. citizen. Any suggestion otherwise is simply false.”

trump-wings

Please pray for President Trump.

Please pray for America.

See also “Former AG Loretta Lynch and Senate Democrats call for subverting President Trump with marches, blood, and death“.

~Eowyn