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Woman convicted for laughing at Trump nominee Sessions gets new trial

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A U.S. peace activist found guilty of laughing during Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ confirmation hearing early this year had her conviction thrown out on Friday and will be retried, her lawyer said.

Desiree Fairooz, 61, a member of the anti-war group Code Pink, was arrested for laughing during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in January in response to a lawmaker’s assertion that Sessions, then a Republican U.S. senator from Alabama, treated all Americans equally.

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Fairooz, a children’s librarian, shouted, “This man is evil, pure evil” as police led her out. A jury found Fairooz guilty in May of disrupting a session of Congress and demonstrating on Capitol grounds. She had been due to be sentenced on Friday.

But Chief Judge Robert Morin of the District of Columbia Superior Court overturned the guilty verdict and ordered a new trial. In his ruling, Morin said it was unclear whether Fairooz had been convicted for laughter or for speaking out as she was removed, her lawyer, Samuel Bogash, said by telephone.

“The government’s position was that laughing alone was enough to convict. But the judge made it clear that he didn’t think it was,” Morin said.

Code Pink, which often stages protests against politicians, said on its Facebook page that Fairooz denounced a retrial as a waste of taxpayers’ money.

“The only thing more ridiculous than being tried for laughing, is being tried twice for laughing,” Code Pink quoted her as saying.

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Morin did not set a trial date and scheduled a status hearing for Sept. 1. Fairooz had faced up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for each of her two convictions.

Bill Miller, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office, said two other Code Pink activists who were convicted for disrupting the hearing, Lenny Bianchi and Tighe Barry, were sentenced to 10 days in jail.

The sentences were suspended on condition that Barry and Bianchi complete six months of unsupervised probation, he said.

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(Reporting by Ian Simpson; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Leslie Adler)


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Amazon’s Jeff Bezos to donate $10 billion to fight climate change

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos said Monday that he plans to spend $10 billion of his own fortune to help fight climate change.

Bezos, the world’s richest man, said in an Instagram post that he'll start giving grants this summer to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the earth.

“I want to work alongside others both to amplify known ways and to explore new ways of fighting the devastating impact of climate change,” Bezos said in the post.

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Fox News reports wages rose faster under Obama than Trump after his campaign lashes out at predecessor

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In what was possibly a hint to remind people of his legacy this Monday, former President Barack Obama gave a shout out to the anniversary of his signing of the 2009 economic stimulus package.

“Eleven years ago today, near the bottom of the worst recession in generations, I signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history,” Obama tweeted with a photo of his signature on the bill.

https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/1229432034650722304?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.foxnews.com%2Fpolitics%2Ftrump-campaign-fires-back-after-obama-claims-credit-for-economic-boom

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‘Bill Barr is un-American’: The AG’s ex-boss explains his ‘twisted’ worldview — and why he must be ousted

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In a new piece for the Atlantic, a man who once supervised Attorney General Bill Barrpublished an incisive call for the head of the Justice Department to resign while outlining his disturbing view of executive power.

Donald Ayer, the former deputy attorney general under President George H.W. Bush, supervised Barr when he led the department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 1989 and 1990. After Ayer left deputy attorney general position in 1990, Barr replaced him and then became attorney general, a position he returned to in 2019 under President Donald Trump.

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