Sunday, April 26, 2015

State-Sponsored SWATtings in Wisconsin, Courtesy of “John Doe” Investigations
...What was their crime? Exercising their First Amendment rights. The article describes how these raids were conducted as part of “John Doe” investigations into whether conservative groups had “coordinated” with Scott Walker in violation of campaign finance laws. I believe such “coordination” is First Amendment activity. If I want to take out full-page newspaper ads about how great Ted Cruz is, and I get ideas that convince me from Cruz’s campaign, I believe that should be covered by the First Amendment. But even if my pro-speech view is not accepted (and so far it has not been), the fact remains that a judge later ruled that there was no legal basis for the investigation that justified these raids, and quashed all the subpoenas.

The investigations were conducted at the behest of a prosecutor whose offices “were festooned with the ‘blue fist’ poster of the labor-union movement.” According to one prosecutor who spoke to journalist Stuart Taylor, the wife of the lead prosecutor, John Chisholm, was “a teachers’-union shop steward who was distraught over Act 10’s union reforms” — and Chisholm “felt it was his personal duty” to stop the reforms. Pursuant to the politically motivated subpoenas lacking in probable cause, prosecutors subpoenaed electronic data such as emails and conducted these abusive raids.

It’s the type of activity you would expect to see from the Stasi in East Germany. Conservative activists in Wisconsin literally do not feel safe. They think that police could burst into their homes at any moment to punish them for their First Amendment activity....

Abusing law enforcement powers to punish political opponents is a crime.
...But in Wisconsin, Democratic prosecutors were raiding political opponents' homes and, in a worse-than-Putin twist, they were making sure the world didn't even find out, by requiring their targets to keep quiet. As David French notes in National Review, "As if the home invasion, the appropriation of private property, and the verbal abuse weren't enough, next came ominous warnings. Don't call your lawyer. Don't tell anyone about this raid. Not even your mother, your father, or your closest friends. ... This was the on-the-ground reality of the so-called John Doe investigations, expansive and secret criminal proceedings that directly targeted Wisconsin residents because of their relationship to Scott Walker, their support for Act 10, and their advocacy of conservative reform."

Is this un-American? Yes, yes it is. And the prosecutors involved — who were attacking supporters of legislation that was intended to rein in unions' power in the state — deserve to be punished. Abusing law enforcement powers to punish political opponents, and to discourage contributions to political enemies, is a crime, and it should also be grounds for disbarment....

The Deep State Knows How to Protect Itself
...Just as the deep state can protect itself from litigation, it can also facilitate litigation when it so desires. John Fund and Hans von Spakovsky have done outstanding work exposing the DOJ’s practice of “sue and settle,” where it conspires with outside liberal legal groups to settle “friendly” lawsuits on terms that advance their shared leftist agenda–with a healthy dose of attorneys’ fees doled out to leftist legal activists. Thus, through fixed litigation, a federal agency can implement new guidelines and policies and justify them as “required” by legal settlements....

Trey Gowdy: Hillary Clinton wiped her server clean
Hillary Clinton wiped “clean” the private server housing emails from her tenure as secretary of state, the chairman of the House committee investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi said Friday.

“While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi, said in a statement....

...Here’s an example. The Hill reports on allegations in the International Business Times (IBT) that, as Secretary of State, Clinton turned a blind eye to substantial allegations of human rights violation in Colombia committed against workers at an oil company owned by a major Clinton Foundation donor. Notwithstanding these allegations, which were similar to ones that had led candidate Hillary Clinton to oppose a trade deal with Colombia, Clinton’s State Department touted Colombia’s human rights record and back the trade agreement, says the IBT.

The oil company in question, Pacific Rubiales, was founded by Frank Giustra, who is described as a “friend and traveling companion” of former President Clinton. Giustra has donated more than $130 million to Clinton’s philanthropies. He’s also a Clinton Foundation board member and has participated in projects and benefits for the Foundation....

Hillary's Everyday Americans: Billionaire Frank Giustra, Vladimir Putin, and Assorted Kazakh Uranium-Sheiks
...As the Russians gradually assumed control of Uranium One in three separate transactions from 2009 to 2013, Canadian records show, a flow of cash made its way to the Clinton Foundation. Uranium One's chairman used his family foundation to make four donations totaling $2.35 million. Those contributions were not publicly disclosed by the Clintons, despite an agreement Mrs. Clinton had struck with the Obama White House to publicly identify all donors. Other people with ties to the company made donations as well.

And shortly after the Russians announced their intention to acquire a majority stake in Uranium One, Mr. Clinton received $500,000 for a Moscow speech from a Russian investment bank with links to the Kremlin that was promoting Uranium One stock.