Are Obama And Democrats Now Targeting Lawful Businesses?

U.S. Department of Commerce (Flickr)

 

Is the Obama Administration now targeting lawful businesses?

Mike Hawkins, owner of Hawkins Guns, LLC, received a notice from his bank on November 13, telling him his business account was going to be closed because he was a gun dealer. Upon visiting the bank, he was able to record a conversation with the bank official who said: “We don’t do firearms, ammunition, Uhm, (unintelligible), (unintelligible), auctioneers and check cashing companies.”

Hawkins also owns a private investigative business and, as a result, was able to look deeper into the matter and was shocked by what he found. He said:

There are many Americans across the country that have been affected by this. They may not have come forward yet, but the US Consumer Federation is getting numerous calls since my story broke and hopefully more people will come to the table with what has happened to them.

The Department of Justice released the following statement: “We do not target businesses operating within the bounds of the law and we have no interest in pursuing/discouraging lawful conduct.”

The Wall Street Journal published an article saying:

When you become a banker, no one issues you a badge, nor are you fitted for a judicial robe. So why is the Justice Department telling bankers to behave like policemen and judges? Justice’s new probe, known as “Operation Choke Point,” is asking banks to identify customers who may be breaking the law or simply doing something government officials don’t like. Banks must then “choke off” those customers’ access to financial services, shutting down their accounts.

The industries that seem to be targeted include 22 categories of business including, but not limited to: firework sales, tobacco sales, coin dealers, pawn brokers, pharmaceutical sales, and home-based charities and even “As Seen on TV” businesses.

It is true that some businesses within these categories can have questionable ethics and practices, which is true in any business. However, should banks be the judge in determining whether a business is operating within the law? Can the Obama Administration and the Department of Justice force the closing of businesses with which they disagree by shutting off their access to credit and banking services, without giving them their day in court?

Also, says the Wall Street Journal:

Unfortunately, the strategy is legally dubious. Justice is pressuring banks to shut down accounts without pressing charges against a merchant or even establishing that the merchant broke the law. It’s clear enough that there’s fraud to shut down the account, Justice asserts, but apparently not clear enough for the highest law-enforcement agency in the land to prosecute.

Alden Abbott of the Heritage Foundation describes Operation Choke Point:

Banks receive notifications from federal regulators, including the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the agency responsible for insuring bank deposits), that the government considers certain types of businesses “high risk.” Banks then are pressured, though the implied threat of government investigations, to sever ties with customers engaged in those enterprises.

In the past, banks have always worked hand in hand with law enforcement by reporting suspicious banking behavior to combat identity fraud, counterfeit debt and credit cards, and tax evasion and wire transfer fraud. However, law enforcement agencies are responsible for deciding whether suspicious activity represents actual criminal violations, not the banks. When these suspicions are realized, those accused have their day in court, as mandated by our Constitution. Now, the Justice department is punishing banks that refuse to shut down unpopular but legal industries–by threatening penalties.

Despite your political leanings, or your opinions about the businesses allegedly targeted by the Administration, we should all be concerned that a President or one political party can make decisions that affect the constitutional rights of all Americans without our input or the input of our elected officials. One day, you or your business could be targeted as well, regardless of which political party you support. Is this the United State of America, or Obama’s Nation?

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Prosecuting Clinton—The Easy And The Hard

Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com  Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

Making the case is easy—getting DOJ or the Republican hierarchy to prosecute is hard.

The case:

1) Mrs. Clinton admitted to destroying 30,000 “personal” emails after the subpoenas started coming in.

2) It is a crime under 18 U.S.C. Section 1519 (part of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act) to destroy even one communication to preclude its being subpoenaed.

3) The prosecutor “need only prove that the defendant shredded the documents, at least in part, to make life more difficult for future investigators, if and when they eventually appear,” according to T. Markus Funk writing for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

4) The obstruction of justice provision in 1519 has been used in cases of conduct viewed as being beyond the corporate-fraud scope of Sarbanes-Oxley. First example: a Pennsylvania state senator was prosecuted for destroying e-mails relating to a federal investigation (United States v. Fumo, 2007). Second example: in the case of a law enforcement officer obstructing an investigation (United States v. Hunt, 2008), the Eleventh Circuit Court judge said: “Indeed, the broad language of 1519 suggests it can be a useful tool in such arenas. But that same breadth bears no hint of any limiting principle cabining 1519 to corporate fraud cases.”

5) Mrs. Clinton worked on the Watergate House Impeachment Committee that warned Nixon not to destroy his infamous tapes lest he obstruct justice. She understands obstruction of justice and impeachment.

6) As senator, she voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, which included Section 1519, making obstruction of justice easier to prove. She understands obstruction of justice and the law.

The prosecution:

This is the really hard part. Since the Department of Justice is the logical body to bring criminal charges against Mrs. Clinton, one must realistically understand at the outset that this is not going to happen. The history during the last six years is full of shameful examples of the DOJ protecting the President and the President protecting the Attorney General. This is just a fact of life, and we have to learn to live with it. The other fact of life is that the mainstream media will ignore accusations and criminal activity on the left as much as they can get away with.

The present situation and these facts of life imply a two-pronged approach to prosecution. The first is to assume that the DOJ will be of no assistance in providing any justice–in fact quite the opposite. The second is to drive the legal action against Mrs. Clinton from within the Congress. It is important for the Congress to engage in all possible official duties that will put all the accusations against Mrs. Clinton, not just obstruction of justice, in the headlines as often as possible. Congress must do what politicians do best—draw as much attention as allowed by our leftist media. But it must be driven by the spirit of justice and the good of America—not partisanship.

The House of Representatives should immediately call for Articles of Impeachment against Mrs. Clinton. Such “late impeachment” after the officer has left office has not been done before in this country; but there is no constitutional reason why it could not be done–especially considering that the second penalty after removal from office, according to Article I, Section 3 of the Constitution, is the “disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States.” This penalty speaks for impeachment at any time to spare the country additional injury from a corrupt officer. Even if the impeachment is unsuccessful, it will provide a platform to start investigations, subpoena Congressional testimonies, and generally air all of the dishonor and harm Mrs. Clinton has brought to the United States.

The track record of the Republican Party is, however, wimpy at best. I expect to see Mrs. Clinton walk away from these crimes, unscathed and heroic.

The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Missouri Lieutenant Governor: More Racism In US Department Of Justice Than Ferguson Police Department

Eric Holder

On Monday, the Republican lieutenant governor of Missouri contended “there is more racism” within the United States Department of Justice than anywhere in metropolitan St. Louis. The area has been filled with tension since a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed a young black male adult in self defense.

Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg posed this question to Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder (R) Monday: “Is there more racism in the Justice Department than there is in the town of Ferguson in the police department?”

“There is more racism in the Justice Department than there is in any, yes, than anywhere I see in the St. Louis area,” Kinder answered, adding that “It is the Eric Holder and Obama left and their minions who are obsessed with race while the rest of us are moving on beyond it.”

Kinder went on to say: “The Justice Department has had an interest in fanning the flames of racial divisions since the first day Eric Holder took office. So has this president.” The lieutenant governor also told Malzberg he frequently enters the “urban core” and has had better success garnering votes in the big cities than other Republicans in the Show Me State.

The lieutenant governor’s comments come just two weeks after the Justice Department announced they would not be filing civil rights charges against Darren Wilson for shooting Michael Brown. Wilson was cleared of similar charges from a grand jury last November.

Furthermore, 20-year-old Jeffrey Williams was charged with shooting two Ferguson police officers last week, though he said he did not intend to shoot the officers themselves. St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch said he was “not 100 percent sure” Williams was telling the truth. McCulloch is the same attorney who handled Wilson’s case in November.

h/t: CNS News

Share this if you support Lt. Gov. Kinder.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Sheriff David Clarke Disgusted With Obama And Holder After Mo. Police Shooting

clarkekelly

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke slammed President Barack Obama’s tweet following the shooting of two Ferguson, Mo., police officers on Thursday night’s The Kelly File on Fox News.

Twitter/White House

Twitter/White House

Sheriff Clarke said the president’s tweet is not being well-received by him or his fellow law enforcement officers.

That might score him point with hipsters, but it’s not going over real big with me and it’s not going over real big with the American law enforcement officer.

Kelly read a tweet that summed up the inconsistency from the White House regarding the Michael Brown case:

Mike Brown got a speech and forty DOJ investigators. Two police officers get a tweet.

Clarke told Kelly that Obama “took the lazy way out” by issuing a tweet.

He didn’t have the decency to put on a suit and go to the East Room or the Rose Garden and issue a heartfelt condemnation of what’s going on in these assaults against officers.

The sheriff told the Fox News host that he expects the nation’s authority figures to back the police when necessary and not undermine them.

But what we expect — and it’s all we expect, Megyn — is we expect that responsible people in this country back us in these situations. When we’re wrong, we’re wrong. But when we’re right, I expect them to come out in very strong language, indicate that and give us some sense that at least they have our backs in these situations and they’re not looking to indict based on emotional mob rhetoric or bring criminal charges or even slam our reputations.

Kelly noted that although Officer Darren Wilson was exonerated of all charges by the Department of Justice, President Obama was not forceful in acknowledging that verdict.

h/t: BizPac Review

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Former Justice Department Official: Hillary Clinton Circumvented The Law

Photo credit: fotostory / Shutterstock.com

The man who helped four administrations interpret the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) said Hillary Clinton setting up a personal server for her personal email account during her time as secretary of state was a “circumvention” of the law.

During a press conference in New York Tuesday, Clinton said it was out of “convenience” that she used a private account rather than using a government issued account.

But Daniel Metcalfe, the founding director of the Justice Department’s Office of Information and Privacy (OIP), strongly disagrees. “What she did was contrary to both the letter and spirit of the law,” Metcalfe said in an interview with CBC News published Wednesday.

According to the Justice Department website, OIP “is responsible for encouraging agency compliance with [FOIA] and for ensuring that the President’s FOIA Memorandum and the Attorney General’s FOIA Guidelines are fully implemented across the government. OIP develops and issues policy guidance to all agencies on proper implementation.”

“There is no doubt that the scheme she established was a blatant circumvention of the Freedom of Information Act, atop the Federal Records Act,” Metcalfe asserted.

Metcalfe ran the office from 1981 to 2007, and is now an adjunct professor at the American University Washington College of Law. He is a registered Democrat.

“I would’ve said, ‘You’ve gotta be kidding me,’” Metcalfe declared when asked what he would do if he was made aware of a situation where a government official decided what to keep and what to delete on a personal server during his tenure.

You can’t have the secretary of state do that; that’s just a prescription for the circumvention of the FOIA. Plus, fundamentally, there’s no way the people at the archives should permit that if you tell them over there.

He added that as a former senator, secretary of state, lawyer, and potential 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, Clinton is well versed in how FOIA works.

Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, has decried Clinton’s statements–and has called for the former first lady to turn over her server.

Send An Email To Trey Gowdy

h/t: The Blaze

Share this if you believe Hillary Clinton was and is dishonest.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom