Breaking: This Huge Development In The Trayvon Martin Shooting May Just Close The Case

Images Credit: Orlando Sentinel

After a lengthy investigation extending almost to the third anniversary of the fatal shooting of Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, the U.S. Justice Department is bringing its civil rights probe to an end.

ABC News reports that Attorney General Eric Holder and his legal team at Justice will not file civil rights charges against George Zimmerman, the man who killed the teen during a confrontation in 2012.

“Federal prosecutors concluded there is not sufficient evidence to prove Zimmerman, a neighborhood watchman in Sanford, Fla., intentionally violated Martin’s civil rights, sources told ABC News.”

You’ll recall that the state of Florida prosecuted the neighborhood watch volunteer, trying to convict him for murder and manslaughter. After a highly emotional trial that drew international attention, a jury acquitted Zimmerman in the summer of 2013.

In protests surrounding the racially charged trial, Al Sharpton played a major role in supposedly speaking for the Martin family. In a separate post, Western Journalism this morning reported on a new investigative video from conservative activist James O’Keefe, dealing with the anti-Sharpton sentiment expressed by some people involved in the controversial Martin case.

As ABC notes of the just-announced decision at Justice:

“Privately and publicly, Justice Department officials have been telegraphing all along that they were unlikely to file charges against Zimmerman.

And in November 2013, Holder said the case against Zimmerman “in substantial part was resolved” with his acquittal months earlier.”

In April 2013, as the Orlando Sentinel reported, Trayvon Martin’s parents settled a wrongful death lawsuit against the homeowners’ association of the subdivision where Zimmerman was on patrol when he shot the 17-year-old. The amount of that settlement was said to have been more than $1 million.

With its findings in the Trayvon Martin case now a matter of public record, the Justice Department is continuing its investigation into possible civil rights violations in connection with the Michael Brown police-involved shooting in Ferguson, Missouri.

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

The Price Of Speaking Truth To Power: $80 Million

Holder Obama

Leftists love using the phrase “speaking truth to power.” But when Standard and Poor’s, the respected credit ratings service, told the truth about the federal government’s out-of-control spending, power came crashing down on its head.

In August 2011, S&P lowered America’s credit rating below AAA because it found that the government’s ability to manage its finances had become “less stable, less effective and less predictable.” This set off a firestorm within the White House. The Treasury Department publicly attacked the report, and then-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner called the CEO of the company and threatened them. According to reports of the conversation, Geithner promised that the company would be “looked at very carefully” and would “be held accountable for that.” Harold McGraw III, the CEO of S&P’s parent company, said in a sworn deposition that Geithner said: “Such behavior could not occur without a response from the government.” The response came; and it was swift, harsh, and costly.

The Obama Administration unleashed Attorney General Eric Holder on the company. In August 2013, the Department of Justice sued the company for fraud in their ratings of mortgage-backed securities in the years leading up to the financial crisis of 2008. According to the DOJ’s theory, S&P ratings of the securities were tied to relationships they had with the investment firms. The government was threating the company with $5 billion worth of fines. There was no mention of the fact that other credit rating services also rated the same securities as safe. The New York Times noted that “S&P, one of three major agencies offering advice to investors about the quality of debt investments and the only one to face a Justice Department lawsuit, stood out as the rare company to actually follow through and fight the government.” It is clear that the actions of the DOJ were in response to the company’s decision to warn Americans about the coming debt crisis.

S&P decided to fight back by making motions in court demanding documents, emails, and other information connecting the White House, the Treasury Department, and the Department of Justice, in an effort to connect the dots between the credit downgrade and the actions of the DOJ. Not surprisingly, DOJ opposed those motions in court, castigating the effort as a “fishing expedition.” Turning the screws, the DOJ, again in the words of the New York Times, “invoked an obscure federal law passed a quarter-century ago after the savings and loan scandals. The law, the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989, or Firrea, requires a lower burden of proof than criminal charges and empowers prosecutors to demand unusually large penalties: up to $1.1 million per violation.”

Faced with the threat to the future stability of the company, S&P was forced to settle to get the Obama Administration off their backs. This week, we discovered that the cost of speaking “truth to power” is about $80 million — the amount of money S&P will be forced to fork over to the government for speaking the truth about the country’s financial mess.

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

Sharyl Attkisson To Sue Federal Government For $35 Million

sharylattkisson

Former CBS correspondent Sharyl Attkisson, who has done groundbreaking work on the Fast and Furious scandal, is suing the United States Department of Justice for $35 million in damages, alleging the government hacked into her computer between 2011 and 2013.

Attkisson detailed the hacking in a new book entitled Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against The Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation and Harassment in Obama’s Washington. She writes in the book that a source who is “connected to government three-letter agencies told her that her computer was hacked into by a ‘sophisticated entity that used commercial, non-attributable spyware that’s proprietary to a government agency.’”

Howard Kurtz of Fox News noted that three separate forensic exams showed that this happened between 2011 and 2013.

Attkisson told The Washington Examiner Friday she hopes “to get information that sheds light on a number of problems I’ve been dealing with.”

“One of the items the FBI is withholding is information surrounding a case they opened on my computer intrusions, which lists me as the victim.

“Yet they never told me they opened the case, never interviewed me, and won’t produce material relevant to the case or the case file. The case has to progress through court and, historically, the government drags it out (at taxpayer expense). So it’s unclear when, if ever, we might receive the documents to which we are entitled.”

The 2012 recipient of the Emmy and Edward R. Murrow awards for investigative reporting is partnering with conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch for the lawsuit. The suit asks for, in part:

“Any and all records concerned, regarding or relating to Sharyl Attkisson. Such records include, but are not limited to, records of background checks of Sharyl Attkisson, records of communications, contacts, or correspondence between Sharyl Attkisson and employees, officials or agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and records of investigations concerning or regarding Sharyl Attkisson as a victim…”

The lawsuit was filed in November. Attkisson said at the time, “That I’ve had to sue to get my own FBI file is concerning. This administration has a terrible record in respecting the First Amendment rights of journalists.”

h/t: Hot Air

Image Credit: Twitter

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

Attorney General Eric Holder Reveals New Limits On Profiling For Law Enforcement

Eric Holder

On Monday, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) issued revised guidelines prohibiting federal law enforcement agencies from profiling on the basis of religion, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

The DOJ released a revised version on Monday of its “Guidance Regarding the Use of Race by Federal Law Enforcement Agencies.” The initial guidelines prohibited profiling solely on the base of race and ethnicity.

“Profiling by law enforcement is not only wrong, it is profoundly misguided and ineffective, because it wastes precious resources and undermines the public trust,” said Attorney General Eric Holder about the revised guidelines, according to NBC News.

“Particularly in light of certain recent incidents we’ve seen at the local level – and the widespread concerns about trust in the criminal justice process which so many have raised throughout the nation – it’s imperative that we take every possible action to institute strong and sound policing practices.”

A formal statement is expected from the Justice Department later today. A DOJ official told ABC News exactly what would be entailed in the revised policy:

  • Expand the characteristics it protects to include prohibitions on profiling on the basis of gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity, in addition to race and ethnicity
  • Apply not only to federal law enforcement officers, but also state and local law enforcement officers while participating in federal law enforcement task forces
  • Eliminate the broad carve-outs for law enforcement activities related to protecting national security or the integrity of the borders
  • Maintain the stringent 2003 standard governing routine or spontaneous law enforcement decisions
  • Require that in making routine or spontaneous law enforcement decisions like traffic stops, federal law enforcement officers may not use race, ethnicity, gender, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity to any degree, except that officers may rely on a listed characteristic in a specific subject description

NBC News notes that the new policy will apply to several components of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the United States Coast Guard, but not to airport screening, anyone crossing the border, or the United States Secret Service.

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

What Holder’s Justice Department Just Did Suggests Further Favoritism For Black Radicals

St L arch

Recall back in 2008, during the voting that led to Obama’s election, how the New Black Panther Party and two of its members were charged with voter intimidation for their conduct outside a polling station in Philadelphia?

There was even video showing the Panthers, King Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson, clad in black and brandishing what appeared to be a club, scowling at people as they entered the voting place.

In a highly controversial move that outraged many concerned with voter intimidation and potential fraud, the Department of Justice later narrowed the charges against Shabazz and dismissed the charges against the New Black Panther Party and Jackson.

Now, in an action reminiscent of what it did some six years ago, Holder’s DOJ appears to be going easy on two members of the New Black Panther Party who allegedly plotted to blow up the St. Louis Gateway Arch and carry out political assassinations…all in the name of protesting the Ferguson shooting and grand jury decision.

As Western Journalism told you last week, an undercover police operation in St. Louis busted the pair who:

reportedly planned to blow up the city’s iconic Gateway Arch and kill two prominent figures in the Michael Brown shooting case in Ferguson, which has sparked protests nationwide.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis were indicted last week on federal weapons charges but authorities expect more charges to be filed against the duo relating to the alleged plot.

According to the Washington Free Beacon, the two Black Panther suspects are apparently not being hit with federal terrorism charges, as might be considered appropriate in the case.

The communist and racist New Black Panther Party plotted to bomb St. Louis’ Gateway Arch and assassinate local law enforcement officials, but the Justice Department so far has limited its prosecution of the group to an indictment of two members on minor gun charges.

The soft treatment for activities that normally would have brought federal terrorism charges appears to be part of efforts by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department to “go soft” on the racist group, according to former Justice official J. Christian Adams.

J. Christian Adams has long been a critic of Holder’s DOJ for the stark appearance of favoritism it has shown toward the New Black Panthers and its radical members. Via freebeacon.com:

Adams’ 2011 book, “Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department,” includes a photograph of then presidential candidate Barack Obama marching in Selma, Alabama, with members of the New Black Panther Party in March 2007.

Since the Justice Department stepped into the investigation, the St. Louis Police Department has reportedly withheld comment on the case.

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