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Guns and Crime

Charges laid on Douglas Haig



Just days after Judge Cadish unsealed the second person of interest, that person has been charged. Douglas Haig, an Arizona native, has been charged with conspiracy to manufacture and sell armor-piercing ammunition without a license. The charge carries up to five years in prison. This would be the first criminal charge place in relation to the Las Vegas Shooting.

Review Journal: Prosecutors charge Arizona man who sold ammo to Las Vegas shooter

According to a criminal complaint, the FBI determined that “two unfired cartridges bearing Haig’s fingerprints” were found in Paddock’s suite at Mandalay Bay, and the cartridges are classified as armor-piercing ammunition.

Court records show that a warrant for Haig’s arrest was issued Friday morning by a U.S. magistrate judge in Las Vegas.

Haig appeared in a Phoenix courtroom Friday afternoon, hours after holding a news conference with his lawyer, who told reporters he did not expect his client to face charges.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Michelle Burns released Haig on his own recognizance. He must remove all weapons, ammunition and related equipment from his home by 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Haig told agents he reloads ammunition but does not offer reloaded cartridges for sale to his customers. He also said none of the ammunition recovered at Las Vegas crime scenes would have tool marks on them consistent with his reloading equipment.

“Reloaded ammunition refers to ammunition that is manufactured from component parts, including previously fired cartridge cases,” according to the complaint.

The FBI executed a search warrant at Haig’s home on Oct. 19 and seized over 100 items, according to the complaint.

“Laboratory analysis confirmed that some of the ammunition recovered during the search at Haig’s residence was in fact reloaded armor-piercing ammunition,” according to the document, which also alleges that the two .308-caliber cartridges found in Paddock’s suite with Haig’s fingerprints “had toolmarks consistent with the reloading equipment recovered in Haig’s backyard workshop.”

My Take

Charges finally came and perhaps we are only seeing these charges because of the documents that were unsealed revealing his name as a person of interest. Perhaps the public will find a scapegoat in Douglas Haig. But that would imply that the public is following the story as much as they should. With Trump, who has time to wonder about one of the most horrific crimes of our time? Whether Douglas Haig is guilty or not, it’s dangerous for the public to make him a scapegoat.

He is charged with a very limited crime, meaning he had no part in Stephen Paddock’s rampage. Again, Haig’s crimes are only alleged. Perhaps he can show reasonable doubt in court. Or it will get dropped in a plea deal. We don’t know and we shouldn’t jump to conclusions especially if we have limited knowledge of firearms like most of the media does. As always, innocent until proven guilty.

Guns and Crime

Attorney General Sessions sets guidelines for judges to dismiss deportation cases



Attorney General Sessions sets guidelines for judges to dismiss deportation cases

Most conservatives are aware of the open floodgates of illegal immigrants coming into the country. Many are not aware that there’s another open floodgate in the legal system itself through which activist judges dismiss deportation cases freely and frequently. Attorney General Jeff Sessions just made a move to change that.

The new guidelines for judges to have “specific and circumscribed” reasons for dismissing case, including an inability to prove the case or exceptional circumstance of need. In other words, judges can’t dismiss deportation cases because they simply want fewer people deported.

Sessions limits ability of judges to dismiss deportation cases a deportation case is dismissed, it does not grant legal immigration status. The Department of Homeland Security can re-file charges to attempt to spark deportation procedures, but the practice of dismissing cases has often given immigrants time to pursue different avenues of obtaining legal citizenship, according to Reuters.

A group representing immigration lawyers with cases before the Justice Department, the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, slammed Sessions’s latest decision as the latest move by the attorney general to undermine the independence of judges in the agency.

My Take

There is a fine line being drawn here. On one hand, it’s good that fewer deportation cases are dismissed. On the other hand, the judiciary must be trusted to make decisions based on the law. Are there activist judges? Yes. Are there good judges who will be affected by this since now they have to demonstrate their reasons for dismissing cases? Yes.

I’m just glad to see Sessions in the news for doing his job rather than for being attacked by his boss.

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Guns and Crime

Ford’s requirement that Kavanaugh testifies first is extremely fishy



Fords requirement that Kavanaugh testifies first is extremely fishy

There are certain protections put into place by the Constitution and the laws of the land for those accused of crimes. One important protection is that the accused goes last. The defense presents their case last and makes the final argument. That’s how things work in the United States of America.

While Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh is not on trial and has not been charged with a crime, he is definitely facing the court of public opinion as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee over claims by Christine Blasey Ford that he sexually assaulted her over three decades ago. There’s nothing that states his testimony must follow Ford’s, but it definitely should. He’s the one being accused. His fate is the one in question. His past is the one being challenged.

Ford’s legal team has set three terms they want met before she’ll sit before the Senate Judiciary Committee. She wants only the Senators to question her – no lawyers or aides. She doesn’t want Kavanaugh in the room when she testifies. Lastly, Kavanaugh should be questioned before her.

The first two stipulations are reasonable and even logical. If she is indeed a victim, she won’t want to badgered by a female aide or attorney and she probably never wants to be in the same room as Kavanaugh again. If she, her legal team, and/or Democratic leadership are using this accusation for purely political reasons, these first two stipulations also make sense. It’s better for optics if she’s questioned by powerful men and they want the cameras on her, not on Kavanaugh’s reactions to her testimony.

It’s the last stipulation that makes this seem totally political. There is no reasonable explanation outside of political manipulation for her to only testify after Kavanaugh goes first. If she’s telling the truth, her testimony wouldn’t change whether he goes before or after her. In the scenario where she truly is a victim of Kavanaugh, having him testify first is unorthodox, unnecessary, and unreasonable.

If, on the other hand, this is all being positioned for political maneuvering, it absolutely makes sense that the Democrats want her to speak last. In sales, negotiations, poker, and political manipulations, the party that goes first is at a disadvantage. They are forced to speculate rather than respond. This is why in court, the accused goes last. They must hear the evidence and claims against them in order to defend themselves.

Kavanaugh is the accused. He must be allowed to hear the accusations directly from the accuser before testifying in his own defense. The fact that Ford’s corner seems adamant about doing it all backwards is, to me, a very concerning indicator that this has nothing to do with the truth and everything to do with stopping Kavanaugh’s confirmation for purely political reasons.

For more of the backstory:

Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford’s team lays out terms it wants for potential Senate interview, sources say | Fox News Blasey Ford’s legal team has asked the Senate Judiciary Committee to agree to certain terms before she sits down for a potential interview over her accusation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her decades ago, two sources told Fox News on Thursday night.

Among the terms: Only members of the committee — no lawyers — can question her; Kavanaugh cannot be in the room at the time; and Kavanaugh should be questioned first, before he has the opportunity to hear Ford’s testimony.

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Guns and Crime

Comey: Manafort deal “may represent that we’re in the fourth quarter” of Mueller investigation



Comey Manafort deal may represent that were in the fourth quarter of Mueller investigation

The long ordeal that has surround Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 election may be over soon according to speculation by former FBI Director James Comey. The plea deal made by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort is a key indicator to Comey.

The “ordeal” component isn’t the investigation itself. Mueller and his team have remained professional and relatively quiet outside of the required public disclosures. In this investigation, the ordeal is how the media has handled it, taking every reported action, rumor, and nuance and turning it into fodder for many news cycles.

If Comey is correct, Manafort may be the final step before major indictments are made from within the Trump campaign or the administration itself.

James Comey talks Kavanaugh, Mueller investigation – and says he’s not worried about his emails Marsh asked him where he thinks the Mueller investigation is at currently, Comey said there’s “an argument to be made that the conviction – the plea and cooperation by Paul Manafort – may represent that we’re in the fourth quarter.”

“The way you normally do investigations is you work from the bottom up, and so they’re getting pretty high,” he said. “But again, the reason I’m hesitant to even say that is [because] Bob Mueller’s conducted his investigation like a pro – you know nothing about it except through his public filings, and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. And so I can’t say with certainty where he is.”

The White House has been quietly confident that Manafort doesn’t have or won’t spill dirt on them. Unlike other past employees who have been turned, Manafort has been conspicuously untouched by the President’s ire. As of today, President Trump has not gone after Mueller the way he’s gone after former attorney Michael Cohen, former adviser Omarosa Manigault, or others who have been in Trump’s orbit and eventually turned against him.

If this really is the fourth quarter, it could be a long one for America. Mueller has demonstrated patience and is known for his meticulous nature. This one might go into overtime before we know much more than we do now.

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