More to ignore, Book 61........

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Canada announces new ban on buying, sale, import, transfer of handguns & buyback of assault guns
integrate

Canada’s Prime minister today announced sweeping new legislation designed to freeze the number of privately-owned handguns in Canada and reduce the number of assault weapons currently in circulation. It will also create a “red flag” law that allows judges to require those deemed by the court a danger to themselves or others to surrender their weapons, and to revoke firearm licenses held by people with a record of domestic violence or stalking.

The legislation makes high-capacity weapons illegal by requiring all long guns to be modified so they cannot carry more than five rounds and making the sale or transfer of high-capacity magazines illegal. Maximum jail terms for smuggling or illegally transferring firearms will increase by 40 per cent to fourteen years.

In making the announcement Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the federal government had tried to work with provincial and territorial governments, but abandoned this patchwork after deciding the country needed strong consistent laws across the nation.

Handgun ownership in Canada is considerably lower than in the United States — there are currently 1.1 million legal handguns in a country of 40 million — one gun for every 36 people. Strict Canadian laws restrict open carry, which requires special permits that are very difficult to obtain.


The new legislation was tabled in the federal house of commons May 30, and is expected to pass without any complications. Both parties in the current ruling coalition are on record as long-time supporters of gun safety, and there is strong public support for such measures. The mass shooting of school children in Texas last week did not go unnoticed in Canada, and this tragedy only strengthened the resolve of Canadian politicians while boosting public support for tighter gun safety laws and regulations.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Monday announced the introduction of a bill that would place a national freeze on handgun ownership across Canada.

"What this means is that it will no longer be possible to buy, sell, transfer or import handguns anywhere in Canada," Trudeau said in a news conference.

"In other words we're capping the market," he added......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Former Trump adviser Peter Navarro says in a draft lawsuit that FBI agents served him a subpoena last week asking him to testify before a grand jury on Thursday over the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

“On May 26, 2022, two FBI special agents banged loudly on my door in the early morning hours to present me with a fruit of the poisonous tree Grand Jury Subpoena commanding me to comply with the original…illegal and unenforceable subpoena issued to me by the Committee dated February 9, 10 2022,” Navarro writes, according to a copy of the lawsuit posted online.

Navarro has thus far refused to comply with the subpoena issued by the House select committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack, despite a vote in the House last month to hold him in contempt of Congress.

Navarro said the latest subpoena was signed by U.S. attorney for Washington, D.C. Matthew Graves, seeking all documents requested by the Jan. 6 committee, as well as “any communications” with Trump or his lawyers and representatives.

His lawsuit opposing the subpoena, which Politico reports he plans to file on Tuesday, lists Graves, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and members of the Jan. 6 committee as defendants.

The New York Times also reported on the draft lawsuit Monday night, noting that Navarro plans to represent himself in the case. Asked if he would testify on Thursday, he told the Times “T.B.D.”

Navarro has asserted executive privilege in ignoring the initial subpoena from the House committee. He argues in the draft lawsuit that the U.S. attorney’s subpoena is “derivative of the fruit of the poison tree,” referring to the House subpoena.

The Hill has reached out to Graves’ office and the Department of Justice for comment. Navarro couldn’t be reached on Monday.

Courts have largely supported the Jan. 6 committee’s authority to obtain records and testimony, with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a subpoena from the panel for Trump administration records, as President Biden had waived executive privilege.

Navarro told USA Today that he was representing himself to avoid the cost of hiring lawyers, and because he had some experience writing for law journals.

“The Trump case, reasoned poorly and decided by an Obama judge, addresses only a small subset of the issues I raise in my lawsuit,” Navarro reportedly told the outlet.

The subpoena would represent the latest sign that the Department of Justice’s own investigation into the Jan. 6 attack has moved well beyond the pro-Trump rioters who stormed the Capitol to include figures in Trump’s orbit who allegedly helped plan related rallies and efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election.

The Times reported that it was the first such subpoena known to have been issued to a former White House official.

The House voted last month to hold Navarro and Dan Scavino, another Trump adviser, in contempt of Congress for defying subpoenas from the Jan. 6, voting almost entirely along party lines. Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), the two Republicans serving on the committee, were the only members of their party to back the resolution.

Navarro was subpoenaed by the committee in February after passages from his own book appeared to show he was involved in plans to delay certification of the presidential election.

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.), a member of the Jan. 6 committee, said at the time that Navarro and Scavino “have blown us off completely.”

“If 90 percent of success in life is just showing up, then 90 percent of acting in contempt of congress is not showing up by failing to respond to multiple subpoenas you’ve been lawfully served,” he said.

“The rest of contempt is not turning over documents you’ve been ordered to produce and acting with open disregard and scorn for the rule of law, Congress and representatives of the American people.”
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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....This town is about quiet country life, surrounded by ranches and abundant wildlife. But the one thing residents are most proud of and devoted to are their children.

“I knew all the little kids that died,” said restaurant server Sergio Guerrero, who greeted with familiarity every customer arriving here. “I even used to give them [each a quarter] for the candy machines.”

A little girl came to check on him and he got down on his knees and hugged her.

“Be strong,” the girl told him.......
 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The first courtroom test for Special Counsel John Durham ended in defeat Tuesday as a federal jury found a Democratic attorney not guilty of making a false statement to the FBI about allegations of computer links between Donald Trump and Russia.

The jury deliberated for about six hours before acquitting Michael Sussmann, 57, on the single felony charge he faced: that he lied when he allegedly denied he was acting on behalf of any client in alerting the FBI to claims that a secret server linked Trump and a Moscow bank with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

During a two-week trial in federal court in Washington, Durham’s prosecutors argued that Sussmann was acting on behalf of the Clinton campaign and an internet executive when he took two thumb drives of data and white papers on the purported link to FBI General Counsel James Baker about six weeks before the 2016 presidential election.

Sussmann’s defense said the case was flawed on a variety of grounds, including that prosecutors could not prove with certainty exactly what the cybersecurity lawyer and former federal prosecutor said to Baker.

Sussmann’s attorneys also stressed that there was no evidence the Clinton campaign authorized Sussmann to go to the FBI, although he and researchers working for Clinton appeared to have spent an extensive amount of time dealing with the server allegations and were actively encouraging The New York Times to write about the issue in the closing weeks of the presidential race.

Sussmann showed no evident reaction to the not guilty verdict, although he was masked as most trial participants have been throughout. A prosecutor asked that all 12 jurors be polled and they all confirmed the acquittal.


After U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper gaveled out the trial, Sussmann’s two lead attorneys, Sean Berkowitz and Michael Bosworth, embraced.......
 
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Ten Thousan Marbles

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Supreme Court in disarray, law clerks lawyering up
Dartagnan

The third pillar of our esteemed federal system is entering a chaotic phase as the investigation into the premature and embarrassing leak of Justice Alito’s draft opinion overruling Roe v Wade heats up. The focus at present is on the individual justices’ law clerks, the folks who actually do the lion’s share of the research and writing that informs the Court’s learned pronouncements.
.........
As CNN’s Joan Biskupic reports, apparently no one has yet copped to sending the Alito screed to Politico, despite what had to have been a tense meeting with Chief Justice Roberts, who is busy watching his judicial legacy circle the bowl.

(CNN) Supreme Court officials are escalating their search for the source of the leaked draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade, taking steps to require law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits, three sources with knowledge of the efforts have told CNN.

Some clerks are apparently so alarmed over the moves, particularly the sudden requests for private cell data, that they have begun exploring whether to hire outside counsel.



The fact that no one has voluntarily confessed to the deed has doubtlessly fostered an environment of intense suspicion as each of the clerks (typically graduates of the finest Ivy League law schools, as Biskupic notes) now face the potentially intrusive prospect of having their phone activity scrutinized. For her article Biskupic apparently spoke to multiple lawyers with knowledge of the internal inquiry’s parameters, backhandedly confirming that the court continues to leak like a sieve. Those lawyers report that the clerks are (sensibly) concerned about such intrusion into their personal lives and are seeking legal counsel as to how best to handle the issue.


"That's what similarly situated individuals would do in virtually any other government investigation," said one appellate lawyer with experience in investigations and knowledge of the new demands on law clerks. "It would be hypocritical for the Supreme Court to prevent its own employees from taking advantage of that fundamental legal protection."

The irony of the Supreme Court’s law clerks potentially litigating what are essentially privacy issues as a result of a leaked decision that itself overtly revokes the right to privacy is inescapable. The Supreme Court has already affirmed that warrantless smartphone searches violate the right to privacy (in fact, Justice Roberts wrote that opinion for a unanimous court). So any litigation about these issues will simply further highlight the fact that the government can’t intrude on your smartphone communications without a warrant based on “probable cause”, but can intrude on and dictate your right to decide your reproductive decisions with no cause whatsoever.

As a practical matter, the process for such cases could conceivably take months if not years before the aggrieved clerks’ avenues of appeal were exhausted (and the high Court would almost certainly have to recuse itself from a case in which its own integrity was at issue). Meanwhile, the bare fact of who leaked the draft opinion would remain unknown to all but the culprit, lost in the fog of such appeals based on privacy concerns.

All in all, it sounds like a recipe for quite the hostile work environment at the Supreme Court.

 

Ten Thousan Marbles

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The ever-humiliating Durham investigation gets humiliated again as jury acquits Sussmann
Hunter

Three years ago, Donald Trump's campaign of vengeance against anyone who provided evidence of his own potential crimes led to Trump lackey Bill Barr appointing a special counsel to examine how the evidence of the 2016 Trump campaign's coordination with Russia had been assembled. Special counsel John Durham scrambled to produce anything that would portray the Trump-Russia investigation in a bad light, and in the end, burped out an attempted face-saving charge against Democratic-linked lawyer Michael Sussmann for ostensibly lying to the FBI about his connections to the 2016 Clinton campaign when he contacted the FBI over Trump-Russia concerns.

It was a farcical charge from the beginning, which legal experts and experts on Robert Mueller's probe of Russian hacking both said repeatedly. Durham's key “witnesses” couldn't keep their own stories straight, and after three years and $40 million spent, a jury politely told Durham today to go home already. Lawyer Michael Sussmann was acquitted by a jury today, as expected.

...........
The entire premise of the Barr-ordered investigation of the Russia investigation was to discredit the Mueller report and push back, at Trump's frothing insistence, on all those in government who dared collect evidence that members of his campaign and inner circle
did attempt to collaborate with a Russian espionage campaign against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Of key significance in that investigation were the repeated attempts by Trump allies to cover up evidence of those interactions—and Trump would later pardon those who lied to investigators on his behalf.

Durham's case against Sussmann, however, was egregiously ridiculous. It seemed obviously constructed as a face-saving move after his investigation failed to come up with any evidence of the supposed anti-Trump conspiracy that Trump's team insisted was the "real" reason federal intelligence and law enforcement officials had reported Trump-Russia ties.

Durham has also repeatedly taken actions that appear more focused on propping up pro-Trump conspiracy theories, including seemingly avoiding evidence that contradicted his own case. The probe became a vehicle for asinine conspiracy theories in which the federal government was alleged to be working against Trump as part of the deep state, and so forth—an overarching conspiracy that Trump's allies have used in response to every report of potentially criminal wrongdoing by Trump, and one that asserts that Russia is "innocent" of attacks on American elections but was framed by, according to various versions, a malevolent Ukraine, disgruntled intelligence services, or the Clinton campaign itself.


Marcy Wheeler has been following Durham's probes from the beginning and has repeatedly lambasted Durham's moves as incompetent at best; she notes today that Durham's other less-followed case "has signs of the same problems as this one." Durham indicted Igor Danchenko, a source who contributed information for what is now known as the Steele dossier, and for lying to the FBI in a shoddily assembled case that similarly appears to be based more on revenge than evidence.

Durham now says he is "disappointed" in the jury's ruling, which is always a good way to end a three-year-long witch hunt founded solely on Donald Trump’s desire to punish anyone who tries to hold him accountable for potential crimes.