Painful lessons are the hardest ones to forget, and 2021 delivered many indelible teachings. We learned that when angry people are fed a steady diet of vicious falsehoods that their nation is being stolen from under their very noses, when they are told that the definition of heroism is rising to overturn the results of a free and fair election, they will go to disgusting and deadly lengths — overrunning the house of American democracy. We learned that even a lame-duck president in his waning days can be dangerous. In fact, it’s when an amoral narcissist is unbridled that he may do the most dam...
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With the Department of Justice giving all the appearance so of closing in on Donald Trump after a search of his Mar-a-Lago resor,t followed by the release of the warrant used which suggests the former president may face espionage charges, a Florida prosecutor suggested Trump will be looking for someone else to take the fall for him.
Appearing on MSNBC's "The Katie Phang Show" with guest host Cori Coffin, Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg claimed the ex-president looks like he is in a major legal bind.
After the host shared a clip of former FBI official Frank Figliuzzi explaining, "He can't have done this all alone and it's unlikely that he packed all those boxes, kept them in wherever they were at Mar-a-Lago, someone had to have knowledge of this and I think they're looking at other people as well," Coffin asked, "Dave, what is your take on that, whether investigators could be looking at others and Trump's circle?"
"I the agree with that and I think Trump will try to make someone into the fall guy," he shot back before joking, "Be careful, Mark Meadows."
"I do think the investigation is just beyond Donald Trump," he continued. "I think Trump has to be worried about the mole within Mar-a-Lago because there is a reason why they got a search warrant. They had someone on the inside who knew that Trump was allegedly lying about the possession of these documents and knew where it was located -- inside that safe."
"Here's the other troubling thing: based on the statutes cited, that mole may have also told the feds that Trump had destroyed documents," he added. "So, it's not just that Trump possessed documents, but that that secret source may have observed Trump destroying the documents, which is another crime altogether."
"So yeah, he's got a lot to worry about, because the one thing you know about Donald Trump, he values loyalty above everything else, even though loyalty, to him, is one-way street," he concluded.
MSNBC 08 13 2022 07 08 15 youtu.be
Appearing on MSNBC's "The Katie Phang Show" with guest host Cori Coffin, former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said that it does not appear that Donald Trump has a legal leg to stand on should the Department of Justice file espionage charges against him.
Coming on the heels of the release of the warrant used to enter Mar-a-Lago earlier in the week which allowed FBI agents to retrieve multiple boxes containing highly sensitive documents, the former prosecutor said the former president has no defense that she can see that his lawyers will be able to deploy.
"Barbara McQuade, let's talk about the word classified," host Coffin prompted. "Trump is already claiming that the papers in question were, quote-unquote, declassified. If that's true with this change anything in terms of the DOJ probe, especially if we are considering the three laws known to be used to carry out the search?"
"No, this defense will fail because the three laws that they selected to put on the search warrant don't require that the documents be classified," McQuade replied. "I think until we saw that unsealed search warrant on Friday, we expected that they would charge the statute that was used for General David Petraeus and [former NSA adviser] Sandy Berger, which does require the mishandling of classified information. Instead, they require only one charge of government records, another charge related to national defense and another concealment of records when the government comes calling for them."
"So none of those require classification or declassification -- that's a defense they will fail," she added. "I think this is going to be the incredible shape-shifting defense; we've already seen several iterations of this from first denying that he had them and then accusing the FBI of planting certain evidence and now it's the classification."
"I look forward to what is hearing what's next but it seems likely that this one is going to fail," she concluded.
MSNBC 08 13 2022 07 02 15 youtu.be
A cotton field planted at a Hollywood school to teach students about the horrors of slavery caused emotional distress to an African-American girl, according to a lawsuit seeking $250,000 in damages in California.
Rashunda Pitts says her daughter has been traumatized by the episode, according to the Los Angeles lawsuit, which alleges discrimination and negligence.
"She has uncontrollable anxiety attacks and... experiences bouts of depression when she thinks about the cotton picking project," says the suit, filed this week.
The child, identified only as S.W., started attending Laurel Span School in Hollywood in late 2017.
After an enthusiastic beginning to the term, S.W. became sullen and tired, the suit says.
A short time later, as Pitts was dropping her daughter off at school, she noticed cotton plants on the campus.
"Bewildered as to why a cotton field would be growing in Hollywood, let alone on public school property, she called the front office to speak with the principal," the suit says.
She was told "children in S.W.'s class were reading the autobiography of (reformer and abolitionist) Frederick Douglass and that picking cotton was one of the experiences that he wrote about in the autobiography."
The assistant principal to whom she spoke explained the field had been planted to give youngsters an idea of what slaves were forced to do, the suit says.
"Completely incensed with the idea that the school would have her daughter and other children pick cotton as a school exercise to identify with the real-life experience of African-American slaves, Ms. Pitts expressed her disappointment and hurt in regards to the culturally insensitive and incompetent project."
Pitts' daughter told her that her "social justice teacher... required the students to 'pick cotton' to gain a real-life experience as to what the African-American slaves had endured."
"S.W. further explained that discussion of the project in school terrified her and she (was) horrified at the idea," the claim says.
The filing says parents were not asked for permission for their children to take part, and had not been told of the project in advance.
Na'Shaun Neal, attorney for Pitts, told AFP he was seeking a quarter of a million dollars on behalf of S.W., who is now 17 years old.
According to the suit, the Los Angeles Unified School District, which oversees the school, said in a statement it regretted that an "instructional activity" had been deemed culturally insensitive.
"When school administrators became aware of a parent's concern about the cotton plant, they responded immediately by removing the plant," the statement said, according to the suit.
In a statement to AFP, a spokesperson for the school district said: "Los Angeles Unified does not typically comment on pending or ongoing litigation."