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Steve Bannon: Congress plots criminal charge for former Trump aide

A committee investigating the 6 January Capitol riot has said it will pursue criminal charges against former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon next week.

 

Mr Bannon had been summoned to testify before the congressional panel investigating the riot on Thursday.

 

He did not appear, prompting the head of the committee to schedule a Tuesday vote to hold him in criminal contempt.

 

If convicted, Mr Bannon faces a fine and up to one year in prison. Democrats say he is trying to delay the probe.

 

Mr Bannon - a former right-wing media executive who became Mr Trump's chief strategist - was fired from the White House in 2017 and was not in government at the time of the January riot.

 

But he has been asked to testify regarding his communication with Mr Trump a week before the incident - as well as his involvement in discussing plans to overturn the election results that saw Joe Biden win the White House.

 

Mr Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC on 6 January in a failed bid to overturn the certification of Mr Biden's victory.

Hundreds of Mr Trump's supporters have since been arrested for their actions that day.

 

Subpoena documents quoted Mr Bannon as saying "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow" on the eve of the riot, which left five dead.

 

Mr Bannon has repeatedly said he has no plans to appear before the committee.

 

He has argued that executive privilege, which shields some presidential communications, protects his discussions with Mr Trump. Mr Bannon's lawyers say he will continue to resist until a court has ruled on the matter.

 

Democrats argue that Mr Bannon is employing a delaying tactic in an attempt to push back proceedings until after the midterm elections in November 2022, which may change the balance of power in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress.

 

On Tuesday, the Democratic-led investigative committee will decide whether to refer the contempt charge for a full House vote.

 

House lawmakers would then have to rule on whether Mr Bannon is in contempt. If the Democratic-majority House votes yes, the case will be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

 

While this latest development is not surprising, with Democrats controlling both Congress and the presidency, this may be a rare instance where a congressional contempt charge has some teeth.

Edited by nuckin_futz
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6 hours ago, nuckin_futz said:

Steve Bannon: Congress plots criminal charge for former Trump aide

A committee investigating the 6 January Capitol riot has said it will pursue criminal charges against former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon next week.

 

Mr Bannon had been summoned to testify before the congressional panel investigating the riot on Thursday.

 

He did not appear, prompting the head of the committee to schedule a Tuesday vote to hold him in criminal contempt.

 

If convicted, Mr Bannon faces a fine and up to one year in prison. Democrats say he is trying to delay the probe.

 

Mr Bannon - a former right-wing media executive who became Mr Trump's chief strategist - was fired from the White House in 2017 and was not in government at the time of the January riot.

 

But he has been asked to testify regarding his communication with Mr Trump a week before the incident - as well as his involvement in discussing plans to overturn the election results that saw Joe Biden win the White House.

 

Mr Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in Washington, DC on 6 January in a failed bid to overturn the certification of Mr Biden's victory.

Hundreds of Mr Trump's supporters have since been arrested for their actions that day.

 

Subpoena documents quoted Mr Bannon as saying "all hell is going to break loose tomorrow" on the eve of the riot, which left five dead.

 

Mr Bannon has repeatedly said he has no plans to appear before the committee.

 

He has argued that executive privilege, which shields some presidential communications, protects his discussions with Mr Trump. Mr Bannon's lawyers say he will continue to resist until a court has ruled on the matter.

 

Democrats argue that Mr Bannon is employing a delaying tactic in an attempt to push back proceedings until after the midterm elections in November 2022, which may change the balance of power in the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of Congress.

 

On Tuesday, the Democratic-led investigative committee will decide whether to refer the contempt charge for a full House vote.

 

House lawmakers would then have to rule on whether Mr Bannon is in contempt. If the Democratic-majority House votes yes, the case will be referred to the Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.

 

While this latest development is not surprising, with Democrats controlling both Congress and the presidency, this may be a rare instance where a congressional contempt charge has some teeth.

It is supposed to be a nation of laws.  if they do NOT hold Bannon to that for ignoring the summons then they have no power over anyone else on the Jan 6th issue

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2 hours ago, Warhippy said:

It is supposed to be a nation of laws.  if they do NOT hold Bannon to that for ignoring the summons then they have no power over anyone else on the Jan 6th issue

Pfffft 

 

It's a nation of the rich do what they want and the rest suck on it. 

 

There are tin pot dictatorship's and banana republic's where the rule of law holds more sway.

 

Oh that's right it was a tin pot dictatorship

 

 

 

 

 

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Gotta say, if I was a taxpayer in the US, I'd be pissed at the idea of Alabama using Covid Relief funds to build for-profit prisons:

 

https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-business-prisons-montgomery-kay-ivey-8a7d30c43f4e61987051368a9604fda9

 

Quote

 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Facing a Justice Department lawsuit over Alabama’s notoriously violent prisons, state lawmakers on Monday began a special session on a $1.3 billion construction plan that would use federal pandemic relief funds to pay part of the cost of building massive new lockups.

Gov. Kay Ivey has touted the plan to build three new prisons and renovate others as a partial solution to the state’s longstanding troubles in its prison system. The proposal would tap up to $400 million from the state’s share of American Rescue Plan funds to help pay for the construction.

“It’s the right thing to do,” Republican Sen. Greg Albritton said of the construction plan.

“We can’t expect people to come to work when they don’t know they’re going to be able to leave work alive. We can’t expect to house people, inmates, in conditions that are deteriorating and unhealthy. We’ve got to fix the problems. The prisons are falling in.”

But critics of the plan say the state’s prison problems go beyond building conditions — and urged the state to look to more sweeping sentencing reforms. They also argued that the state should not be using pandemic relief dollars to build prisons.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler of New York sent a letter Monday to Treasury Department Secretary Janet Yellen asking Treasury to “prevent the misuse of (American Rescue Plan) funding by any state, including Alabama” to build prisons.

“Directing funding meant to protect our citizens from a pandemic to fuel mass incarceration is, in direct contravention of the intended purposes of the ARP legislation,” Nadler wrote in the letter.

The Alabama prison construction proposal calls for at least three new prisons — a prison in Elmore County with at least 4,000 beds and enhanced space for medical and mental health care needs; another prison with at least 4,000 beds in Escambia County; and a women’s prison — as well as renovations to existing facilities.

“Remember, we are now still number one in the country for deaths,” Hatcher said of Alabama’s COVID-19 death rate that recently led the country.

Republican legislative leaders said they are comfortable they can legally use the funds because the American Rescue Plan, in addition to authorizing the dollars for economic and health care programs, says states can use the money to replace revenue lost during the pandemic to strengthen support for vital public services and help retain jobs.

Ivey and GOP legislative leaders have said using the money will enable the state to essentially “pay cash” for part of the construction and avoid using state dollars as well as paying interest on a loan.

The Department of Justice last year sued Alabama, saying the state prisons for men are “riddled with prisoner-on-prisoner and guard-on-prisoner violence.”

The department noted in a 2019 report that dilapidated conditions were a contributing factor to what it called unconstitutional conditions but emphasized that, “new facilities alone will not resolve the contributing factors to the overall unconstitutional condition of ADOC prisons, such as understaffing, culture, management deficiencies, corruption, policies, training, non-existent investigations, violence, illicit drugs, and sexual abuse.”

The state has disputed the accusations from the Justice Department but has acknowledged problems with staffing and building conditions.

Legislative leaders have said action is needed to stave off additional court intervention in the system.

“We’ve got a huge effort moving forward with a good plan. This is not some one-time fix. This is not a Band-Aid. I’m hoping that the courts will see that,” House Speaker Mac McCutcheon said.

While prison construction is the centerpiece of the special session, it also includes two policy changes: proposals to make retroactive both the 2013 sentencing standards and a 2015 law on mandatory supervision of released inmates. Bennet Wright, executive director of the Alabama Sentencing Commission, said they estimated that would allow up to 700 inmates to apply for reduced sentences.

Some lawmakers had hoped for broader reforms on sentencing and to address the state’s slow rate of paroles.

Minority Leader Anthony Daniels said he expects floor amendments to try to expand the sentencing bill, but said it’s a “start.”

“I think we need to go farther than where we are going. ... But what do you do? Do you take changing 700 lives or do you do nothing?” Daniels said.

Sandy Ray, the mother of an inmate killed in a state prison in 2019, came to the Statehouse Monday and showed lawmakers a photo of her son’s battered face following an altercation with guards.

New prisons might help, she said, but there needs to be broader changes, otherwise it’s, “still going to be the same problems in the new buildings.”

“They are still killing people in the prison system and it’s worse than it was in 2019 when my son died,” she said.

 

 

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Prosecutors: U.S. Capitol cop told Jan. 6 rioter to hide evidence

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges after prosecutors say he helped to hide evidence of a rioter's involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

 

The officer, Michael A. Riley, is accused of tipping off someone who participated in the riot by telling them to remove posts from Facebook that had showed the person inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, according to court documents.

 

Riley, 50, appeared virtually in federal court in Washington and was released with several conditions, including that he surrender any firearms and not travel outside the U.S. without permission from a judge. He was ordered to return to court later this month.

 

Riley, who responded to a report of a pipe bomb on Jan. 6 and has been a Capitol Police officer for about 25 years, had sent the person a message telling them that he was an officer with the police force who “agrees with your political stance,” an indictment against him says.

 

The indictment spells out how Riley sent dozens of messages to the unidentified person, encouraging them to remove incriminating photos and videos and telling them how the FBI was investigating to identify rioters.

 

Riley's attorney did not immediately respond to a reporter's message seeking comment.

 

In a statement, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the department learned of the investigation against Riley several weeks ago and placed him on administrative leave when he was arrested Friday. Manger called the indictment a “very serious allegation” and said the department's Office of Professional Responsibility was also opening an internal investigation.

 

His arrest and the accusation that an active duty Capitol Police officer was trying to obstruct the investigation into the attack is particularly notable because many of his colleagues were brutally beaten in the insurrection. The riot left dozens of police officers bloodied and bruised as the crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol, quickly overrunning the overwhelmed police force.

 

One officer was beaten and shocked with a stun gun repeatedly until he had a heart attack; another was foaming at the mouth and screaming for help as rioters crushed him between two doors and bashed him in the head with his own weapon.

 

More than 600 people face charges in the Jan. 6 attack, in which a mob loyal to then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, battled police and tried to stop the certification of the election victory for President Joe Biden.

 

In the days after the attack, scores of rioters flaunted their participation in social media posts that bragged about their ability to get inside the Capitol. But then many started realizing it could be used as evidence and began deleting it.

 

An Associated Press review of court records has found that at least 49 defendants are accused of trying to erase incriminating photos, videos and texts from phones or social media accounts documenting their conduct as the pro-Trump mob stormed Congress and briefly interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.

 

Experts say the efforts to scrub the social media accounts reveal a desperate willingness to manipulate evidence once these people realized they were in hot water. They say it can serve as powerful proof of people's consciousness of guilt and can make it harder to negotiate plea deals and seek leniency at sentencing.

 

Riley told the rioter that the scene was a “total s---show.” “I'm glad you got out of there unscathed. We had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad,” the officer wrote, according to the complaint.

 

When the rioter said through messaging that he didn't think he'd done anything wrong, Riley responded, according to court papers: “The only thing I can see is if you went into the building and they have proof you will be charged. You could always articulate that you had nowhere to go, but that's for court.”

 

Later in January, after two had discussed their love of fishing, Riley told the man to get off social media.

 

“They're arresting dozens of people a day,” he wrote, according to the posting. “Everyone that was in the building. Engaged in violent acts or destruction of property and they're all being charged federally with felonies.”

 

Making digital content vanish isn't as easy as deleting content from phones, removing social media posts or shutting down accounts. Investigators have been able to retrieve the digital content by requesting it from social media companies, even after accounts are shut down. Posts made on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are recoverable for a certain period of time, and authorities routinely ask those companies to preserve the records until they get court orders to view the posts.

 

Despite initial criticism that Capitol police did not do enough to stop the rioters, Riley is the first Capitol police officer to be charged with a crime involving the insurrection.

But several current and former police officers were arrested on riot-related charges, including two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the attack. In July, authorities arrested an off-duty Drug Enforcement Administration agent accused of posing for photographs in which he flashed his DEA badge and firearm outside the Capitol during the riot.

 

Other law enforcement officers were investigated for their presence at the Capitol that day or at Trump's rally before the riot. In January, an Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behavior in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot.

 

In September, Capitol Police said officials had recommended disciplinary action in six cases after an internal review of officer behavior stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The department's Office of Professional Responsibility had opened 38 internal investigations and was able to identify 26 of the officers involved, police said in a statement at the time. In 20 of the cases, no wrongdoing was found.

 

It isn't clear whether Riley was among the officers who were referred for disciplinary action.

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19 minutes ago, nuckin_futz said:

Prosecutors: U.S. Capitol cop told Jan. 6 rioter to hide evidence

WASHINGTON -- A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges after prosecutors say he helped to hide evidence of a rioter's involvement in the Jan. 6 insurrection.

 

The officer, Michael A. Riley, is accused of tipping off someone who participated in the riot by telling them to remove posts from Facebook that had showed the person inside the Capitol during the Jan. 6 attack, according to court documents.

 

Riley, 50, appeared virtually in federal court in Washington and was released with several conditions, including that he surrender any firearms and not travel outside the U.S. without permission from a judge. He was ordered to return to court later this month.

 

Riley, who responded to a report of a pipe bomb on Jan. 6 and has been a Capitol Police officer for about 25 years, had sent the person a message telling them that he was an officer with the police force who “agrees with your political stance,” an indictment against him says.

 

The indictment spells out how Riley sent dozens of messages to the unidentified person, encouraging them to remove incriminating photos and videos and telling them how the FBI was investigating to identify rioters.

 

Riley's attorney did not immediately respond to a reporter's message seeking comment.

 

In a statement, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Tom Manger said the department learned of the investigation against Riley several weeks ago and placed him on administrative leave when he was arrested Friday. Manger called the indictment a “very serious allegation” and said the department's Office of Professional Responsibility was also opening an internal investigation.

 

His arrest and the accusation that an active duty Capitol Police officer was trying to obstruct the investigation into the attack is particularly notable because many of his colleagues were brutally beaten in the insurrection. The riot left dozens of police officers bloodied and bruised as the crowd of pro-Trump rioters, some armed with pipes, bats and bear spray, charged into the Capitol, quickly overrunning the overwhelmed police force.

 

One officer was beaten and shocked with a stun gun repeatedly until he had a heart attack; another was foaming at the mouth and screaming for help as rioters crushed him between two doors and bashed him in the head with his own weapon.

 

More than 600 people face charges in the Jan. 6 attack, in which a mob loyal to then-President Donald Trump stormed the Capitol, battled police and tried to stop the certification of the election victory for President Joe Biden.

 

In the days after the attack, scores of rioters flaunted their participation in social media posts that bragged about their ability to get inside the Capitol. But then many started realizing it could be used as evidence and began deleting it.

 

An Associated Press review of court records has found that at least 49 defendants are accused of trying to erase incriminating photos, videos and texts from phones or social media accounts documenting their conduct as the pro-Trump mob stormed Congress and briefly interrupted the certification of Democrat Joe Biden's election victory.

 

Experts say the efforts to scrub the social media accounts reveal a desperate willingness to manipulate evidence once these people realized they were in hot water. They say it can serve as powerful proof of people's consciousness of guilt and can make it harder to negotiate plea deals and seek leniency at sentencing.

 

Riley told the rioter that the scene was a “total s---show.” “I'm glad you got out of there unscathed. We had over 50 officers hurt, some pretty bad,” the officer wrote, according to the complaint.

 

When the rioter said through messaging that he didn't think he'd done anything wrong, Riley responded, according to court papers: “The only thing I can see is if you went into the building and they have proof you will be charged. You could always articulate that you had nowhere to go, but that's for court.”

 

Later in January, after two had discussed their love of fishing, Riley told the man to get off social media.

 

“They're arresting dozens of people a day,” he wrote, according to the posting. “Everyone that was in the building. Engaged in violent acts or destruction of property and they're all being charged federally with felonies.”

 

Making digital content vanish isn't as easy as deleting content from phones, removing social media posts or shutting down accounts. Investigators have been able to retrieve the digital content by requesting it from social media companies, even after accounts are shut down. Posts made on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms are recoverable for a certain period of time, and authorities routinely ask those companies to preserve the records until they get court orders to view the posts.

 

Despite initial criticism that Capitol police did not do enough to stop the rioters, Riley is the first Capitol police officer to be charged with a crime involving the insurrection.

But several current and former police officers were arrested on riot-related charges, including two Virginia police officers who posed for a photo during the attack. In July, authorities arrested an off-duty Drug Enforcement Administration agent accused of posing for photographs in which he flashed his DEA badge and firearm outside the Capitol during the riot.

 

Other law enforcement officers were investigated for their presence at the Capitol that day or at Trump's rally before the riot. In January, an Associated Press survey of law enforcement agencies nationwide found that at least 31 officers in 12 states are being scrutinized by their supervisors for their behavior in the District of Columbia or face criminal charges for participating in the riot.

 

In September, Capitol Police said officials had recommended disciplinary action in six cases after an internal review of officer behavior stemming from the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. The department's Office of Professional Responsibility had opened 38 internal investigations and was able to identify 26 of the officers involved, police said in a statement at the time. In 20 of the cases, no wrongdoing was found.

 

It isn't clear whether Riley was among the officers who were referred for disciplinary action.

10 years minimum for this if not 20. A severe message needs to sent.

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2 minutes ago, Hamhuis Hip Check said:

10 years minimum for this if not 20. A severe message needs to sent.

I think the cat is kind of out of the bag here. The number of police officers and law enforcement officials who are part of groups like the Proud Boys is alarming.

 

As for this particular officer. This is a betrayal of the law, the country, his fellow officers, the general public which he has sworn to protect. There cannot be a reasonable penalty that is too severe.

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1 minute ago, nuckin_futz said:

I think the cat is kind of out of the bag here. The number of police officers and law enforcement officials who are part of groups like the Proud Boys is alarming.

 

As for this particular officer. This is a betrayal of the law, the country, his fellow officers, the general public which he has sworn to protect. There cannot be a reasonable penalty that is too severe.

Having to serve his sentence in gen pop?

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  • DonLever changed the title to USA Politics/Election Thread: Biden, Harris, Trump, Democrats, Republicans, et al

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