CHICAGO — An agency that oversees police accountability in Chicago wrongly withheld records about a police misconduct allegation following a domestic disturbance report last year at the home of former police Superintendent Eddie Johnson, the Illinois attorney general’s office has ruled. The case represents the latest example of Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s administration resisting public scrutiny of city government despite her campaign pledge to “bring in the light” and promote transparency. The attorney general’s office ruling, issued Nov. 30, found the Civilian Office of Police Accountability “imp...
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Trump-appointed judge orders sanctions against Mike Lindell for 'frivolous' election lawsuit: report
On Thursday, Bloomberg Law reported that MyPillow CEO and pro-Trump election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell and his attorneys face sanctions for a "frivolous" lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election.
The decision was handed down by federal judge Carl Nichols, an appointee of former President Donald Trump.
"A federal judge in Washington on Thursday imposed sanctions on Lindell and his former lawyers as part of a decision throwing out the CEO’s defamation lawsuits against Dominion Voting Systems Inc. and Smartmatic Corp., which were falsely placed at the center of a vast conspiracy theory after the election," said the report.
"Lindell, an outspoken supporter of former President Donald Trump, filed his suit after the companies sued him for defamation over his election-fraud claims," said the report. "Nichols said the CEO failed to properly allege a conspiracy by the two companies or back up his claim that they defamed him. The judge also partially granted Smartmatic’s motion for sanctions and fees. The amount will be decided later."
Lindell has repeatedly claimed, with no evidence, that he is on the verge of "reinstating" Trump to office with his legal actions.
"The CEO claimed in his suit that Dominion and Smartmatic 'weaponized' the courts in an act of 'lawfare' to silence him," the report noted. "Lindell has said all the evidence of the conspiracy he alleges is on his website and that the Supreme Court will eventually expose it and rule in his favor."
Capitol rioter who sat in Pence's seat on Jan. 6 faces prison sentence after pleading to felony obstruction
A California man who was among the rioters occupying the U.S. Senate chambers during the January 6 has pleaded guilty to felony charges and faces substantial prison time.
Christian Alexander Secor, 23, of Costa Mesa, California, pleaded guilty in the District of Columbia to obstruction of an official proceeding, according to the Department of Justice. Secor, who is to be sentenced on October 7, faces a statutory maximum of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
But under Secor’s plea agreement, the DOJ maintains the defendant should receive a prison sentence of 51-to-63 months, which if imposed would be among the longest handed out to date. But the agreement also states the Secor “does reserve the right to challenge that finding “solely on the grounds that his offense did not involve causing or threatening to cause physical injury to a person or property damage.” If that position prevailed, Secor would face 21 to 27 months in prison under the guidelines.
The FBI alleged in its arrest documents that “at approximately 2:47 p.m., after another rioter had jumped over the railing in the Senate Gallery to the Senate Floor, (Secor) left the Gallery and went to the door of the Senate Floor on the second story of the building. The defendant then made his way to the Senate Dais and sat in the seat that had been occupied by Vice President Mike Pence approximately 30 minutes earlier.
“While the defendant occupied the seat at the Senate Dais-and while other rioters were present inside the Senate Chambers and the U.S. Capitol building---the joint session to count and certify the votes of the Electoral College for the 2020 Presidential Election could not continue.”
According to court documents, Secor sent a text message on November 3, 2020 – Election Day -- stating, “We’re gonna win bigly and if we don’t we’re taking this ship down in flames.”
“In preparation for the events of Jan. 6, he messaged another individual on Jan. 5, 2021, stating that he “brought a gas mask” to Washington and that he “Wouldn’t be surprised if conservatives just storm the police and clobber antifa and the police but that’s wishful thinking.”
And Secor tweeted, "the facade of a free country are [sic] evaporating before our eyes. What an exciting time to be alive." And that "The institutional attacks on this demonstration are something out of the Arab Spring. More reason to go by any means necessary!"
On the evening of Jan. 6, Secor boasted about what took place that day on Twitter, saying, among other things, “One day accomplished more for conservatism than the last 30 years.”
You can read the criminal complaint here.
On Thursday, POLITICO reported that things got heated at a meeting between a policy committee of Republican senators and a Google executive, in an argument over Gmail's algorithm regarding political emails.
"The Senate Republican Steering Committee, the policy arm of the Senate GOP, had invited Google’s chief legal officer, Kent Walker, to discuss a recent study that found the company has disproportionately filtered Republican lawmakers’ emails into hidden spam folders compared to emails from Democratic lawmakers. Walker said there is no bias in how Google deals with spam," reported Emily Birnbaum and Marianne Levine. "The group lunch grew unusually tense, according to three people familiar with the meeting, granted anonymity to discuss private matters."
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) alleged of the meeting, “The lunch was spirited. Google deflected, refused to provide any data, repeatedly refused to answer direct questions.”
"The researchers behind the North Carolina State University study have denied that Google’s filtering is related to political discrimination, concluding it has more to do with factors like past user behavior," noted the report. "Walker reiterated to senators that filtering bias is unrelated to political affiliation and pointed out that the North Carolina State researchers said the discrepancies likely have to do with Gmail’s weighing of 'past user behavior,' meaning Gmail marks emails as spam based on how users have marked emails before. The same study showed that Outlook and Yahoo disproportionately flagged Democrats’ emails as spam."
The confrontation is part of an ongoing claim on the right that tech platforms are being used to target and silence conservative opinions. This idea, circulated for years, is baseless and not supported by evidence — in fact, studies show Republicans have benefitted greatly from the way many social networks boost content, and Facebook even axed a planned algorithm update to reduce fake news out of fear it would reduce traffic to right-wing sites.
Nonetheless, this controversy has fueled bipartisan momentum for antitrust legislation to rein in the power of tech companies, with one major bill to do so passing the Senate Judiciary Committee in January.