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Prosecutors recommend no jail time for cooperative Flynn

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Prosecutors recommend no jail time for cooperative Flynn

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser provided so much information to the special counsel’s Russia investigation that prosecutors say he shouldn’t do any prison time, according to a court filing that describes Michael Flynn’s cooperation as “substantial.”

The filing by special counsel Robert Mueller provides the first details of Flynn’s assistance in the Russia investigation, including that he participated in 19 interviews with prosecutors and cooperated extensively in a separate and undisclosed criminal probe. But the filing’s lengthy redactions also underscore how much Mueller has yet to reveal.

It was filed Tuesday, two weeks ahead of Flynn’s sentencing and just over a year after he became one of five Trump associates to plead guilty in the Russia probe, in his case admitting to lying to the FBI about conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

Though prosecutors withheld specific details of Flynn’s cooperation because of ongoing investigations, their filing nonetheless illustrates the breadth of information Mueller has obtained from people close to Trump as the president increasingly vents his anger at the probe — and those who cooperate with it.

This week, Trump accused his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, of making up “stories” to get a reduced prison sentence after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and also praised longtime confidante Roger Stone for saying he wouldn’t testify against Trump.

It’s unclear if Trump will now turn his fury on Flynn, whom Trump bonded with during the 2016 campaign.

Trump has repeatedly lamented how Flynn’s life has been destroyed by the special counsel’s probe. At one point, he tried to protect Flynn by asking former FBI Director James Comey to drop an investigation into his alleged false statements, according to a memo Comey wrote after the February 2017 encounter.

That episode, which Trump has denied, is among those under scrutiny by Mueller as he probes whether the president attempted to obstruct the Russia investigation.

Federal sentencing guidelines recommend between zero and six months in prison, and Mueller’s office said Flynn’s cooperation merits no prison time.

Prosecutors said Flynn’s early cooperation was “particularly valuable” because he was “one of the few people with long-term and firsthand insight” into the events under investigation. They noted his cooperation likely inspired other crucial witnesses to cooperate.

Mueller’s team credited Flynn with serving 33 years in the U.S. Army, including five years in combat. But prosecutors also said the long military and government service that sets him apart from all other defendants in the investigation made his deception more troublesome.

“The defendant’s extensive government service should have made him particularly aware of the harm caused by providing false information to the government, as well as the rules governing work performed on behalf of a foreign government,” they wrote.

Flynn’s case has stood apart from those of other Trump associates, who have aggressively criticized the investigation, sought to undermine it and, in some cases, been accused of lying even after agreeing to cooperate.

Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is accused of repeatedly lying to investigators since his guilty plea. Another Trump campaign aide, George Papadopoulos, is serving a 14-day prison sentence and, though he pleaded guilty to the same crime as Flynn, was denied probation because prosecutors said his cooperation was lacking.

But Flynn has largely remained out of the public eye, appearing only sporadically in media interviews or campaign events, and avoided criticizing the Mueller probe despite widespread encouragement from his supporters to go on the offensive. He has instead spent considerable time with his family and worked to position himself for a post-conviction career.

Another highly anticipated filing is expected Friday from Mueller’s office, detailing the lies that prosecutors say Manafort told them after his guilty plea.

In Tuesday’s filing, prosecutors emphasized that the conduct Flynn lied about cuts to the core of the investigation into any coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Flynn’s false statements stemmed from a Jan. 24, 2017, interview with the FBI about his interactions with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s then-ambassador to the U.S., as the Obama administration was levying sanctions on the Kremlin in response to election interference.

Mueller’s office blamed Flynn for other senior Trump transition officials making misleading public statements about his contacts with Russia, an assertion that matches the White House’s explanation of Flynn’s firing.

“Several senior members of the transition team publicly repeated false information conveyed to them by the defendant about communications between him and the Russian ambassador regarding the sanctions,” the filing said.

As part of his plea deal, Flynn said members of Trump’s inner circle, including his son-in-law and White House aide Jared Kushner, were involved in — and at times directing — his actions in the weeks before Trump took office.

According to court papers, in mid-December 2016, Kushner directed Flynn to reach out to several countries, including Russia, about a U.N. Security Council resolution regarding Israeli settlements. During those conversations with Kislyak, Flynn asked Russia to delay or vote against the resolution, a request the Kremlin ultimately rejected.

Flynn also admitted that later in December 2016 he asked Kislyak not to retaliate in response to the Obama administration sanctions, something he initially told FBI agents he didn’t do. Flynn made the request after discussing it with deputy national security adviser K.T. McFarland, who was at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, and being told that Trump’s transition team did not want Russia to escalate the situation.

Flynn was forced to resign his post on Feb. 13, 2017, after news reports revealed that Obama administration officials had warned the Trump White House about Flynn’s false statements. The White House has said Flynn misled officials— including Vice President Mike Pence — about the content of his conversations.

Flynn also admitted to making false statements about unregistered foreign agent work he performedfor the benefit of the Turkish government, a matter Mueller’s team cited in Tuesday’s filing. Flynn was under investigation by the Justice Department for the work when he became national security adviser.

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Read the court filing: http://apne.ws/CMG15me

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Follow Chad Day and Eric Tucker on Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChadSDay and https://twitter.com/etuckerAP

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Guns and Crime

Authorities: Los Angeles deputy lied about sniper assault

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Authorities Los Angeles deputy lied about sniper assault

NOQ Commentary:

Lies told against police are rampant. It’s imperative that law enforcement maintains as much credibility as possible, especially among their own. Time, credibility, and manpower was wasted over a strange and clearly unnecessary ploy by a sick individual.

Mistakes happen and the wrong people can be given positions of power. It happens in every organization, including law enforcement. But we can’t let the idiocy of the few taint the selfless dedication of the many.

Story:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles County deputy lied when he said he was shot in the shoulder while standing in a sheriff’s station parking lot last week and will face a criminal investigation, authorities said.

“The reported sniper assault was fabricated” by Deputy Angel Reinosa, Assistant Sheriff Robin Limon said at a news conference late Saturday.

Reinosa, 21, made a frantic radio call Wednesday claiming he’d been shot by someone in a nearby building as he walked to his car outside the Lancaster station, prompting a huge police response. Deputies set up a perimeter and SWAT officers went door-to-door inside a sprawling building complex to search for the shooter.

At the time, investigators believed Reinosa’s bulletproof vest saved his life but that a bullet grazed him. A department statement the next day said a single round hit the top of Reinosa’s shoulder, damaging his uniform shirt but failing to penetrate his flesh.

But no bullets were recovered from the scene and detectives saw “no visible injuries,” Capt. Kent Wegener said Saturday night.

Much of the young deputy’s statement “was self-serving and didn’t make a whole lot of sense,” Wegener said. “There were many things that didn’t add up.”

Reinosa eventually admitted making up the story and using a knife to cut the two holes in his shirt, Wegener said.

Reinosa has been relieved of his duties and could face charges for filing a false report about a crime, officials said. He didn’t explain his motive for the fabrication, Wegener said.

Reinosa had been with the LA County Sheriff’s Department for a year and joined the Lancaster station in May for patrol training.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris told the Los Angeles Times on Sunday he had been informed by sheriff’s officials that Reinosa had been struggling in his first year in the field — a probationary training period that all deputies must complete before becoming full-fledged deputies. Sheriff’s officials wouldn’t immediately confirm that account.

“He was not advancing through the training program at an adequate pace,” Parris told the newspaper. “There had been a lot of attention on him.”

Parris declined to elaborate further on Reinosa’s performance but said the deputy was scheduled to be transferred from the Lancaster station and speculated that he had been unhappy about the pending move.

The mayor visited Reinosa in the hospital and then gave a press conference on the incident Wednesday night detailing the ongoing investigation.

Parris said he was “embarrassed” after learning Saturday evening that the whole ordeal was a hoax.

“At the same time, I’m grateful we don’t have a sniper running around,” the mayor told the newspaper. “And I’m really proud of how the Sheriff’s Department handled it. There was no attempt to cover it up.”

Deputies searched through the night for the sniper inside the block-long, four-story structure with many windows that overlook the sheriff’s facility in downtown Lancaster, a desert city of about 160,000 people north of Los Angeles.

Tactical teams worked their way through the building, evacuating some people and having others shelter in place, officials said.

Deputies cleared other nearby buildings, including a library. Authorities urged residents to avoid the neighborhood.

Metrolink train service was halted in the area.

The search was called off Thursday and authorities said the shooter was still at large.

“Our deputies responded to a cry for help and did exactly what they have been trained to do to protect our civilian staff, residents and community,” said a department statement Sunday. “Our community and other first responder partners worked side by side with us to move quickly, effectively and efficiently. There is no shame in that.”

The statement concluded: “The actions of one individual are not indicative of who Lancaster Sheriff’s Station Deputies are.”

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Guns and Crime

Why is CBP evading a mandate to collect illegal immigrant DNA?

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Why is CBP evading a mandate to collect illegal immigrant DNA

There is a tool that will assist law enforcement agencies across the country to match crimes to illegal aliens who commit them. This tool is efficient, effective, and most importantly it’s mandated by law. But nine years after what was intended to be a 1-year delay, border patrol still isn’t collecting DNA samples from all apprehended illegal aliens. One whistleblower is asking why this is still the case.

Mark Jones, the internal whistleblower within the U.S. Border and Customs Protection, has been trying to draw attention to this problem for months. Last week, he was on with Laura Ingraham on Fox News to discuss the issue. The “exigent circumstances” that made the Department of Homeland Security the only law enforcement group to not implement mandatory DNA sampling was due to time. It took 15 minutes for the initial collection and processing. From there, it took 2-3 days for the sample to be cross-referenced against a crime database. But the Obama administration gave DHS a pass because they were overwhelmed.

Today, the problem is worse. Those exigent circumstances are greater now. But the need is also greater as thousands of illegal immigrants are released into the interior every day. We have a way to stop much of the flow of criminals, but we’re not using this tool. It’s just something that’s slipped through the cracks, but it can be fixed immediately. All acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan has to do is send a memo that the 1-year delay from a decade ago is no longer in effect. Problem solved.

President Trump should immediately order McAleenan to require all illegal immigrants to have their DNA samples collected and cross-referenced against crime databases before anyone is released to the interior. This is just common sense.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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Culture and Religion

Moving left into the province of propagandists, the AP avoids the pesky issue of due process

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Moving left into the province of propagandists the AP avoids the pesky issue of due process

More akin to being authoritarian propaganda, a media source ignores an important civil liberty while casting opinion as fact.

Trying to come up to speed on what is going on in the world each morning is quite often akin to the “kawoosh” seen in the Star Gate genre, with a sudden onrush of stories and opinion pieces cast as ‘fact checks’. It’s also important to stay out of any type of echo chamber on either side, thus we check what AllSides would consider to be ‘Centrist’:

A Center media bias rating does not always mean neutral, unbiased or reasonable, just as “far Left” and “far Right” do not always mean “extreme” or “unreasonable.” A Center bias rating simply means the source or writer rated does not predictably show opinions favoring either end of the political spectrum.

Please note that as they state in their FAQ, a centrist bias rating doesn’t mean neutral or unbiased, just that it supposedly doesn’t favor either side. The problem is the Associated Press has been moving inexorably left exemplified by two stories from this weekend.

Due process, what’s that?

In our first example, the esteemed Associated Press that labels itself as ‘independent’ produced a long piece on Gun Confiscation SWATing also known as ‘Red Flag’ Gun Confiscation. With an almost tangential reference to the infringement on Constitutional rights several paragraphs in on the piece, and only casting it as the contention of other law enforcement leaders while ignoring the fact that laws for Involuntary Civil Commitment already exist:

Involuntary civil commitment

Involuntary civil commitment is the admission of individuals against their will into a mental health unit. Generally speaking, there are three reasons why an individual would be subject to involuntary civil commitment under modern statutes: mental illness, developmental disability, and substance addiction. In the case of mental illness, dangerousness to self or others defines the typical commitment standard, with almost all states construing the inability to provide for one’s basic needs as dangerousness to self. In terms of process, every state provides for a hearing, the right to counsel, and periodic judicial review, while most states have statutory quality standards for treatment and hospitalization environment.

Source: Ralph Reisner, Christopher Slobogin, and Arti Rai, Law and the Mental Health System: Civil and Criminal Aspects (2009), pp. 704-705.

[Emphasis added]

They avoid any real discussions on critical Constitutional principles such as due process [5th amendment], searches and seizure [4th amendment], private property rights and of course the 2nd amendment. They spend an inordinate amount of time in what could be characterized as a one-sided infomercial for the destruction of due process and gun confiscation.

The headline for the piece was a masterful casting as the destruction of civil Liberties as a ‘tool’, while hedging their bets on this ‘tools’ effectiveness: ‘Red flag laws’ offer tool for preventing some gun violence.

Note the use of the phrase ‘some gun violence’ as a subtle hint that other measures against the cause of liberty will be needed. Authoritarianism never sleeps in keeping people safe and enslaved.

Opinion as a ‘fact check’

Our second example of authoritarian media bias also does a masterful job subtly casting opinion as fact in one of the national socialist media’s interminable ‘fact check’ diatribes. Once again we turn to the ‘independent’ Associated Press with a piece entitled: AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s swerves on economy, guns and migrants .

We’ll leave some of their use of ‘Newspeak’ on the subject of illegal Invaders and other issues to emphasize this excerpt on the subject of ‘gun’ violence:

TRUMP: “I don’t want people to forget that this is a mental health problem. … Just remember this: Big mental problem, and we do have a lot of background checks right now.” — remarks Sunday to reporters in Morristown, New Jersey.

THE FACTS: He’s oversimplifying the role of mental illness in public mass shootings and playing down the ease with which Americans can get firearms.

Most people with mental illness are not violent and they are far more likely to be victims of violent crime than perpetrators, according to mental health experts. They say that access to firearms actually is a big part of the problem.

[Emphasis added]

How are the terms ‘oversimplifying’ and ‘playing down’ even close to being statements of fact? What numerical values translate to ‘big part’? Does the staff at the ‘independent’ Associated Press know the difference between fact and opinion? For example, it is a fact of history that the National Socialist German Workers’ Party or ‘Nazi’ Party was in fact the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

Whereas the descriptions layered on by the AP could hardly be considered factual in nature. As is usually the case, they couldn’t help themselves in also including a plug for the destruction of due process, touting something they would resist when it comes to their common sense civil liberties.

Their ‘FACT CHECK’ also included a push for Gun Confiscation SWATing, emphasizing the words of an executive of the American Psychological Association while forgetting the fact that media sources such as the ‘independent’ Associated Press contribute to the problem of Media Contagion.

The Bottom-Line: The equivalent to the media of ‘red flag’ gun confiscation

Since it’s been established that there is a direct connection between the mass murder tragedies and media coverage, would esteemed ‘independent’ sources such as the Associated Press agree to the ‘red flag’ gun confiscation equivalent for them: Prior Restraint?

They would most certainly object to the destruction of their civil liberties while they cheer for the same in the case of Gun Confiscation SWATing. Perhaps they need to understand that double standards are the grease that makes the slippery slope so dangerous. The whole point of the ‘first they came for..’ sentiment is that we who stand for freedom have to defend all aspects of liberty, Including the common sense civil right of self-defense.

Only defending one basic human right means that all the others will be soon swept away, with only one remaining on the chopping block.

We are currently forming the American Conservative Movement. If you are interested in learning more, we will be sending out information in a few weeks.

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