The Department of Justice Inspector General’s report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton server and e-mail investigation was released Thursday. Inspector General Michael Horowitz found that although then FBI Director James Comey had deviated from FBI protocol, it was done without political bias. Thursday’s report said that Comey’s move to hold a press …
Tag: James Comey
Jun 15 2018
Apr 17 2018
In a Beat special report, MSNBC Chief Legal Correspondent and host of “The Beat,” Ari Melber breaks down why Former FBI Director James Comey’s new book doubles down on major mistakes from 2016, including his handling of the Clinton probe, why Comey clearly doesn’t get it – and is plowing into new mistakes in his …
Apr 13 2018
Unless you’re totally detached from the news, you most likely know that former FBI Director James Comey wrote a book. That book revealed a lot, much o which we already knew but now confirmed by a person directly involved with Donald Trump and his cabal. Comey is not by any definition of the word a …
Apr 11 2018
It was reported last night by MSNBC host Rachel Maddow that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had asked the FBI’s general council, Dana Boente, to testify in the investigation of the Russian connection to the Trump campaign. The letter from Boente to Associate Deputy Attorney General Scott Schools is dated Jan. 2, when Boente was still …
Jun 11 2017
Former FBI Director James Comey testimony on Thursday was watched by 19.5 million people and a million or so more streamed it on line. Needless to say, “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert had his way with the testimony Thursday night with the usual hilarious results.
Jun 08 2017
Former FBI Director James Comey testified, under oath, this morning before the Senate Intelligence Committee and started with stating the the White House lied and defamed him and the FBI by saying the bureau was in chaos and that he had lost FBI employees’ trust. For nearly three hours, Mr. Comey was questioned by committee …
May 11 2017
It’s hard to know where to start with Trump’s latest stunt to distract from the Russian connection of his campaign. The one thing of which we are certain is that Trump is an inveterate liar and he can’t keep his lies straight. In his interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, he repeated each of his lies …
May 10 2017
Steve Benen over at Maddow Blog, notes that there are plenty of television and cable programs that depict life in the White House that makes the viewers wonder which one is closest to realty. He thinks it may be HBO’s “Veep” staring Julia Louis Dreyfus. Unfortunately, this White House is imitating art. According to the …
May 10 2017
There are a lot of Hillary supporters out there that think the firing of FBI Director James Comey was justice. Perhaps, there is a little satisfaction there but it was hardly the motive for the sudden dismissal. It is quite obvious that the real reason that Trump fired him was not his mishandling of the …
Nov 01 2016
Up Date: 11/1/2016, 16:30 According to Pro Puclica, an ethics complaint has been filed against Rep. Jason Chafetz (R-UT) for releasing information provided to him by FBI Director Comey. Representative Chaffetz, in an ill-planned partisan attempt, released information that compromised the integrity of the FBI, when he irresponsibly tweeted out that the case investigating Secretary …
Jul 24 2015
Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced a 33 count indictment against Dylann Roof on federal hate-crime charges for the June 17 killing of nine African American worshipers in Charleston, South Carolina This leaves a bigger question that was asked by Jenna McLaughlin at “The Intercept,” why wasn’t Roof charged with terrorism?
Some media outlets, lawyers, public figures and activists have called for Roof to be charged not just with a hate crime, an illegal act “motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias,” but with the separate label of domestic terrorism. Critics contend that the label of terrorism is too often only applied to Islamic extremists, and not white supremacists or anti-government anarchists. Many were outraged after FBI Director James Comey balked at the term during a June 20 press conference, telling reporters he didn’t see the murders “as a political act,” a requirement he designated as necessary for terrorism.
Roof’s crime certainly seems to fit the federal description of domestic terrorism, which the FBI defines as “activities … [that] involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law … appear intended to (i) intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping.” [..]
It turns out there was one major obstacle in charging Roof with domestic terrorism: The crime does not exist. [..]
Even when the USA Patriot Act, post 9/11, redefined terrorism to include domestic crimes, the provision simply allowed the government to investigate more broadly what it called “terrorism.” Actually charging someone with domestic terrorism remains a separate matter. Even criminals who use bombs or send money to ISIS – or Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev – are not charged with the crime of terrorism. [..]
But shootings, regardless of motivation, intention or number of deaths, likely don’t count. “It doesn’t seem like a shooting would fit,” says Faiza Patel, co-director of the Brennan Center’s Liberty and National Security Program. “Or else a lot of crime would get caught up” in the terrorism net, she tells me.
There are, however, “aggravating factors” to be considered during sentencing, which prosecutors usually list on a formal indictment, and which can be used to determine whether the death penalty is justified, and those include “substantial planning and premeditation,” to”cause the death of a person” or “commit an act of terrorism.”
In Roof’s case, the DOJ did not mention terrorism as an aggravating factor, but did reference (pdf) “substantial planning and premeditation to cause the death of a person” for several of his charges.[..]
Lynch did not explain why “terrorism” was not listed as an aggravating factor in Roof’s indictment, though she did emphasize that the DOJ views hate crimes as “the original domestic terrorism.” She noted that Roof’s case, including his “discriminatory views towards African Americans” and his decision to target “parishioners at worship,” made his crime a clear-cut case of a federal hate crime. [..]
Lynch was asked whether or not there should be a federal domestic terrorism penalty to help bridge the gap between crimes like the shooting of five military personnel in Chatanooga, Tennessee – which was immediately branded as terrorism, by law enforcement and media alike – and Roof’s case, which was not. Lynch acknowledged the argument that leaving out the word terrorism may cause people to feel like the government “doesn’t consider those crimes as serious.”
Ms. McLaughlin is incorrect in her statement that “domestic terrorism” does not exist in the law. This FBI’s definition of 18 U.S.C. § 2331 which defines “international terrorism” and “domestic terrorism” for purposes of Chapter 113B of the Code, entitled “Terrorism”:
“International terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
Occur primarily outside the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S., or transcend national boundaries in terms of the means by which they are accomplished, the persons they appear intended to intimidate or coerce, or the locale in which their perpetrators operate or seek asylum.*
“Domestic terrorism” means activities with the following three characteristics:
Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law;
Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and
Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.
18 U.S.C. § 2332b defines the term “federal crime of terrorism” as an offense that:
Is calculated to influence or affect the conduct of government by intimidation or coercion, or to retaliate against government conduct; and
Is a violation of one of several listed statutes, including § 930(c) (relating to killing or attempted killing during an attack on a federal facility with a dangerous weapon); and § 1114 (relating to killing or attempted killing of officers and employees of the U.S.)
And just as a note, to those in this piece who don’t think that guns are not “dangerous weapons,” well, they are
By his own statement and the fact that Rev. Clementa Pinckney was an elected state official, Dylann Roof’s acts, under this definition, is clearly an act of terrorism.
The argument against the charge of terrorism by a young white man who was clearly influenced by the politics of racial hatred is specious. It is clearly indicative of the Obama administration and its Justice Department think that black lives do not matter as much as instilling the fear in US citizens of attacks by those who have been influenced by Islamic extremism. Racism is political and it is an extremist view and it is endemic in this country. it is long past time that the law is brought down to bear on the greater threat that racism is to Americans and our democracy.