ORLANDO, Fla. — When Florida’s parole board reviewed his case last fall, it had been decades since Stephen “Steve” Maxwell last resembled the “bad boy” sentenced to prison for a crime spree in the 1970s, his longtime friend Nancy Watson said.Maxwell was eligible for parole on robbery, battery and kidnapping charges. The state Commission on Offender Review decided not to grant it at the time, but indicated he would likely be released this December. Instead, Maxwell, 68, died in April from complications of COVID-19 at Sumter Correctional Institution in Bushnell.“I just keep thinking, if only,” W...
Donald Trump's one-time acting attorney general lobbied the White House to pardon clients of a conservative "dark money" group, in possible violation of the law.
Matthew Whitaker, who served in various roles in the Justice Department from September 2017 to February 2019, went to work for the conservative FreedomWorks organization recommending individuals for pardons and commutations, and a filing from the activist group shows he was paid $400,000 in unspecified "consulting" fees, reported The Daily Beast.
“Federal law requires disclosure from those who are paid to lobby for pardons,” said Kedric Payne, senior director of ethics and lobbying law specialist for the nonpartisan watchdog Campaign Legal Center. “This matter raises red flags because there appears to be extensive paid lobbying, but no evidence of lobbying registration. The public has a right to full disclosure about who is lobbying our public officials.”
Whitaker was directly involved in clemency negotiations with the White House possibly as late as Trump's last full day in office, but he never registered as a lobbyist and FreedomWorks never listed clemency issues in its 2020 lobbying reports.
“Other lobbyists tied to Trump have reported massive income lobbying the administration for pardons," said Paul S. Ryan, vice president of litigation at government watchdog Common Cause. "Any failure by Whitaker to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars received to lobby the Trump administration warrants close scrutiny."
The House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack has just released a massive 22-page report against the former DOJ official who attempted to assist then-President Donald Trump in overturning the results of the November 2020 election. That report urges Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the full House to find Jeffrey Bossert Clark in criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to comply.
"The Chairman of the Select Committee repeatedly advised Mr. Clark that his claims of privilege are not well-founded and did not absolve him of his obligation to produce documents and provide deposition testimony," the report reads. "The Chairman repeatedly warned Mr. Clark that his continued non-compliance would put him in jeopardy of a vote to refer him to the House to consider a criminal contempt referral. Mr. Clark's failure to testify or produce responsive documents in the face of this clear advisement and warning by the Chairman constitutes a willful failure to comply with the subpoena."
If the full House votes to refer Clark to the Dept. of Justice he could be prosecuted for criminal contempt.
"According to documents and testimony gathered by the Select Committee, in the weeks leading up to the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol, Jeffrey Bossert Clark participated in efforts to delegitimize the results of the 2020 presidential election and delay or interrupt the peaceful transfer of power," the damning report adds. "As detailed in a report issued by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee (hereinafter ‘‘Senate Report’’) and press accounts, after numerous courts throughout the United States had resoundingly rejected alleged voter fraud challenges to the election results by the Trump campaign, and after all states had certified their respective election results, Mr. Clark proposed that the Department of Justice (DOJ) send a letter to officials of the State of Georgia and other States suggesting that they call special legislative sessions to investigate allegations of voter fraud and consider appointing new slates of electors."
In violation of DOJ policy and after a direct admonition from the Acting Attorney General of the United States, Mr. Clark also met with White House officials, including then-President Trump, to discuss efforts to delegitimize, disrupt, or overturn the election results. To further these efforts, President Trump considered installing Mr. Clark as the Acting Attorney General, a plan that was abandoned only after much of the DOJ leadership team and the White House Coun- sel threatened to resign if Mr. Clark was appointed.
The House is expected to vote on referring Clark to DOJ for prosecution Wednesday.
DOJ is now prosecuting former Trump advisor Steve Bannon for criminal contempt of Congress.
This is a breaking news and developing story.
The dress sword carried by Napoleon Bonaparte when he staged a coup in 1799 will go under the hammer at the weekend with five other weapons that belonged to the French emperor, US auctioneers announced.
The lot, which will be put up for auction from December 3 to 5 by the Illinois-based Rock Island Auction Company, is valued at $1.5 million to $3.5 million.
The sword, with its scabbard, is the "crown jewel" of the collection, said the auctioneers, who will host the sale both in person and online.
The weapon was made by Nicolas-Noel Boutet, who was director of the state arms factory in Versailles.
After being crowned emperor, Napoleon is believed to have presented the sword to general Jean-Andoche Junot, but the general's wife later was forced to sell it to pay off debts.
It was then recovered by a London museum. A US collector was its last owner, but the man recently died, according to the auction house.
In May, France celebrated the bicentennial of Napoleon's death.
The famed Corsican is one of the most divisive figures in French history, his huge contribution to the creation of the modern state set against his imperialism and war-mongering.
© 2021 AFP