Top Five Ways Jeff Sessions Is Expanding The Police State

As I rode into work Friday morning, I switched on the radio and happened upon The Mike Gallagher Show. I caught him in mid-sentence, complaining about malcontents who criticize the police. He was discussing the fatal shooting of Justine Damond by Minneapolis police officer, Mohamed Noor. Apropos of nothing, Gallagher quickly pivoted to another story in the news, that of Officer Scott Naff of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, who was denied service at a McDonald’s drive-thru while he was in uniform. “This is the kind of thing that police have to put up with every day!” said Gallagher, as if suffering a slight at a McDonald’s drive-thru were the equivalent of losing one’s life to a police bullet. The Police State has its fans.

There is a dangerous hero-worship of police in particular and law enforcement in general, specifically among neoconservatives. The police are always right; the civilian is always wrong. When police kill or injure a civilian, the civilian had it coming, as if the proper role of police is to serve as holy agents of karma. When the actions of a police officer are ridiculously difficult to justify, the actions are excused because “police have a hard job.”

During Donald Trump’s campaign for president, the candidate made clear his affinity for the law-and-order crowd. He praised “our men and women in blue.” He stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio, whose treatment of prisoners in his Tent City Jail (which is currently being shuttered) has been inhumane. Using examples like the city of Chicago’s bloody street violence, Trump’s campaign speeches painted a horrific picture of escalating crime in America, despite the fact that, on the whole, violent crime has been decreasing overall.

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DOJ Takes Down Dark Net Marketplaces

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday said it had shut down the online criminal market AlphaBay and one of its chief competitors, Hansa.

“This is likely one of the most important criminal cases of the year,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a press conference.

Sessions said the DOJ had seized the infrastructure and arrested the criminal market’s owner, ending speculation about why AlphaBay had recently disappeared.

On July 5, Alexandre Cazes, a Canadian citizen living in Thailand, was arrested for creating and running the AlphaBay marketplace. He reportedly took his own life in Thai custody one week later.

AlphaBay went offline around the same time as the arrest.

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Justice Department Reverses Eric Holder Policy On Civil Asset Forfeiture

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday rolled out a new civil asset forfeiture policyaimed at expanding law enforcement’s ability to seize property from people suspected of criminal activity.

The new policy allows the federal government to take all assets seized lawfully by state or local law enforcement whenever the crime causing the seizure violates federal law. The Justice Department said the change advances Sessions’ recently created task force to combat violent crime and will crack down on criminals.

Critics have argued the civil asset forfeiture seizes property from people who are innocent and are never charged with a crime. But Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told reporters on Wednesday that the aim of the change is to focus on assets related to criminal activity.

“It’s not about taking assets from innocent people,” Rosenstein said. “It’s about taking assets that are the proceeds of […] criminal activity, primarily drug dealing.”

Rosenstein added civil asset forfeiture is “not about criminal convictions, it’s about seizing the proceeds of crime. Sometimes there will be criminal prosecutions, sometimes there won’t.”

Sessions’ new policy reverses a 2015 decision by former Attorney General Eric Holder that put restrictions on civil asset forfeiture.

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U.S. Judge Narrows Travel Ban In Defeat For Trump

President Donald Trump’s temporary ban on travelers from six Muslim-majority countries cannot stop grandparents and other relatives of United States citizens from entering the country, a U.S. judge said on Thursday.

The ruling by U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson in Honolulu also opens the door for more refugees and deals Trump a fresh courtroom defeat in a long back-and-forth over an executive order that has gone all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The state of Hawaii had asked Watson to narrowly interpret a Supreme Court ruling that revived parts of Trump’s March 6 executive order banning travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days, as well as refugees for 120 days.

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FBI Documents Show ‘Flawed’ Hillary Clinton Investigation

Newly released documents from the FBI’s criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of highly classified materials highlight a “serious, but flawed investigation hindered by a lack of cooperation,” according to a new report.

Some of the 42 pages are marked “grand jury material,” indicating that the FBI considered the investigation serious enough to prosecute before a grand jury, according to a report by Fox News.

One document shows that one of Clinton’s private attorneys, Katherine Turner, had agreed to turn over one of Clinton’s non-secure Apple iPads and two of her BlackBerrys to the FBI.

However, neither smartphone had SIM cards or Secure Digital (SD) cards, the report said. A total of 13 mobile devices identified by the FBI as potentially using addresses were never located by Clinton’s lawyers, according to government watchdog group Judicial Watch’s President Tom Fitton.

Some of those devices were pounded with hammers after Clinton’s homebrew servers went down or after news that Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal’s email had been hacked, the report said.

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Top Lawmaker Demands Investigation Into Comey, Former Obama Officials For Leaks Of Classified Intel

Rep. DeSantis calls for purge of Obama holdovers

The chairman of the House National Security Subcommittee is calling on the Department of Justice to launch a formal investigation into former FBI Director James Comey’s alleged leak of classified information, according to an exclusive interview with the Washington Free Beacon in which the lawmaker also called on the Trump administration to purge all former Obama administration holdovers from government.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R., Fla.), a member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and chair of its National Security subcommittee, is urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to launch a full scale investigation into Comey’s handling of a series of potentially classified memos that were leaked to the press earlier this year.

Comey admitted in testimony before Congress that he leaked these memos in order to spur an investigation into the Trump administration’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign. Reports alleging these memos contained classified information has riled congressional Republicans and spurred new calls for an investigation into Comey.

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Lawyer Who Leaked Comey Memos Speaks: “They Were Not Marked Classified”

One day after The Hill reported that “more than half” of Comey’s leaked memos of his conversations with Donald Trump contained classified information, the Columbia University Law School professor, confidant of former FBI Director James Comey, and ultimately leaker to the NYT has spoken up, and in taking another page out of Hillary Clinton’s playbook, countered the accusation that Comey violated FBI protocol because none of the memos were marked classified.

According to CNN, Daniel Richman, with whom Comey shared at least one memo the contents of which Richman shared with New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt, said President Trump was wrong in accusing Comey of sharing classified information with journalists.

“No memo was given to me that was marked ‘classified,'” Daniel Richman told CNN. “No memo was passed on to the Times.”

Well, not quite: Richman did share the contents of one memo, he said, but “the substance of the memo passed on to the Times was not marked classified and to my knowledge remains unclassified.”

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