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Hometown: Atlanta
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Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 01:19 AM
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Journal Archives

Jussie Smollett Case: Grand Jury Returns 16 Counts Against 'Empire' Actor

Source: CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Jussie Smollett is now facing deeper legal troubles after a grand jury returned 16 felony counts against the actor for falsely reporting a hate crime attack against him in January.

The grand jury returned the disorderly conduct charges on Thursday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14. The specific allegations–“false report of offense”– are Class 4 felonies.

“Jussie Smollett knew that at the time … there was no reasonable ground for believing that such offenses had been committed,” according to the indictment.

The indictment expands the case against the actor. The counts focus on allegedly false statements he made to two different Chicago Police officers. Each count covers various alleged acts that Smollett falsely described to the officers–including that he was hit by two men, that they yelled racial and homophobic slurs and poured a chemical on him.

Read more: https://chicago.cbslocal.com/2019/03/08/jussie-smollett-grand-jury-indictment/

Georgia puppy mill operator arrested after 700 dogs are rescued

Source: NBC News

A Georgia man has been arrested after more than 700 dogs were found at a puppy mill in conditions that police described as “out of control and inhumane.”

Reason Craig Gray, 58, of Nashville, was facing charges of animal cruelty and obstruction, the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement late Thursday.''

Gray ran a licensed pet-breeding business known as Georgia Puppies. It sold sold miniature breeds including teacup Yorkies and toy poodles for up to $600 per dog.

Releash Atlanta, an organization caring for eight of the rescued animals, said they "flinch at the feeling of grass under their feet" and were used to sleeping standing up.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/crime-courts/georgia-puppy-mill-operator-arrested-after-700-dogs-are-rescued-n980851

Senate Confirms 37-Year-Old To Lifetime Seat On U.S. Circuit Court

Source: Huffington Post

WASHINGTON ― The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Allison Jones Rushing, 37, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, making her the youngest federal judge in the country.

The Senate voted 53-44 to put Rushing into the lifetime court seat. Every Republican present voted for her. Every Democrat present opposed her.

Democrats raised a number of concerns with Rushing, who is a partner at the D.C.-based law firm Williams & Connolly. She worked for Alliance Defending Freedom, a conservative Christian organization that has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. She has argued that there were “moral and practical” reasons for banning same-sex marriage. And some lawmakers said she simply lacks the experience or legal ability to be a federal judge.


Trump is dramatically reshaping the nation’s federal courts. With Rushing’s confirmation, he has now gotten 32 circuit judges, 53 district judges and two Supreme Court justices confirmed. That’s so many circuit judges ― more than any other president confirmed by this point in his first term ― that 1 in 6 seats on U.S. circuit courts is now filled by a judge nominated by Trump.

Read more: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/allison-jones-rushing-trump-judge_n_5c7ee103e4b0e62f69e74912

Accused Russian Troll Farm Literally Tells Mueller They Don't Know What 'Improper Foreign Influence'

Source: Law & Crime

Accused Russian Troll Farm Literally Tells Mueller They Don’t Know What ‘Improper Foreign Influence’ Means

Concord Management and Consulting, LLC, the Russian company accused of being involved in a complex election interference operation in 2016, wants to know exactly what Special Counsel Robert Mueller thinks they did. In a Monday court filing, the firm asked the court to order the Special Counsel’s Office to file a bill of particulars that specifies exactly what they think Concord did, who they believe did it, and explain key words and phrases in the indictment.

“While providing no details about what the Concord corporate entity actually did, the Indictment simply states over and over again that the ‘Defendants and their co-conspirators’ engaged in various acts, making it impossible to determine when and where the term ‘Defendants’ includes Concord and who the co-conspirators are,” Concord stated.


Concord also claims that Mueller’s office was too vague with their language, and wants to know the meaning of key phrases like “political activities,” “interfere with elections and political processes,” and “improper foreign influence.”

“These terms have no legal meaning, and by virtue of their inclusion in the Indictment, they force Concord to speculate what their meaning might be,” the filing says.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/accused-russian-troll-farm-literally-tells-mueller-they-dont-know-what-improper-foreign-influence-means/

Rod Rosenstein says Justice Department should not release info on uncharged suspects

Source: Chicago Tribune

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said Monday he believes the Justice Department should not reveal information about people it does not charge with crimes - an ominous sign for those hoping the department will soon disclose the closely held details of special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of President Donald Trump and his campaign.

Speaking at an event about the rule of law at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, Rosenstein said, "The guidance I always gave my prosecutors and the agents that I worked with during my tenure on the front lines of law enforcement were if we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt in court, then we have no business making allegations against American citizens."

Though he asserted his comments were not about any particular case, he noted the issue was one "that we'll be discussing nationally."

For days, lawmakers and pundits in Washington have debated what should become public about Mueller's probe once it ends. On Sunday, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Democrats plan to subpoena Mueller's report and will go to court if necessary.

Read more: https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/politics/ct-rod-rosenstein-mueller-report-20190225-story.html

Should drug dealers be charged with murder? States ponder

Source: AP

Having lost his 29-year-old son to a fentanyl overdose, Dean Palozej believes dealers who peddle drugs that kill should be locked up for a very long time — for the rest of their life, in some cases.

A state representative who heard the story felt the same way. With a piece of legislation introduced this year, he joined lawmakers around the country who have been pushing for murder or manslaughter charges in a get-tough campaign against people who supply drugs that cause fatal overdoses, in efforts to curb the opioid overdose crisis.


Lawmakers in Connecticut, Hawaii, Mississippi and Virginia have proposed murder and manslaughter charges for overdoses this year. Several states passed such laws over the past two years, while others have taken to charging drug deaths under murder and manslaughter statutes that don’t specifically mention overdoses.

Twenty states now have so-called “drug-induced homicide” laws that carry the same sentences as murder and manslaughter, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, a nonprofit drug policy organization based in New York.

Read more: https://www.apnews.com/a5deb83c79974ff3a40188043e5a6931

Microsoft workers again upset about US military work

Source: Axios

A group of Microsoft workers is once again calling on the company to pull out of a U.S. military contract, saying they never signed up to build tools for war-making.

The letter is signed simply "Microsoft workers." A representative of the group behind it says more than 50 employees are behind the effort, but all are choosing to remain anonymous at this point.

Letter writers: "We are a global coalition of Microsoft workers, and we refuse to create technology for warfare and oppression. We are alarmed that Microsoft is working to provide weapons technology to the U.S. Military, helping one country's government "increase lethality" using tools we built. We did not sign up to develop weapons, and we demand a say in how our work is used."

Microsoft: "We’re committed to providing our technology to the U.S. Department of Defense, which includes the U.S. Army under this contract," a representative said in a statement. "As we’ve also said, we’ll remain engaged as an active corporate citizen in addressing the important ethical and public policy issues relating to AI and the military.”

Read more: https://www.axios.com/microsoft-workers-again-upset-about-us-military-work-1550872713-f7332f7d-e59d-42bb-b18e-21e277e78494.html

Former Trump lawyer slams Mueller probe, maintains president will be cleared: 'Knock it off and get

Source: ABC News

Former Trump lawyer slams Mueller probe, maintains president will be cleared: 'Knock it off and get it done'

The veteran criminal defense attorney who headed President Donald Trump's legal team during a crucial stretch of the special counsel investigation believes the entire affair will end in silence from special counsel Robert Mueller, and called the massive two-year probe into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign “a terrible waste of time.”

“I don't think there'll be a report,” John Dowd told ABC News in a wide-ranging interview for the premiere episode of "The Investigation," a new podcast focused on the probe led by special counsel Robert Mueller. “I will be shocked if anything regarding the president is made public, other than ‘We're done.’”


“I know exactly what [Mueller] has,” Dowd said. “I know exactly what every witness said, what every document said. I know exactly what he asked. And I know what the conclusion or the result is,” he said, describing the sweeping efforts by Trump’s legal team to assess the case by speaking to dozens of witnesses. Based on that knowledge, Dowd said, “there's no basis. There's no exposure. It's been a terrible waste of time.”


Dowd told ABC News that the president cooperated with the investigation, even producing communications with the White House Counsel that Mueller requested.

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-lawyer-slams-mueller-probe-maintains-president-cleared/story?id=60967234

I snipped the most important comments from the article and posted them.

White House names 3 nominees for 9th Circuit after conservative attacks

Source: CNN

After a day of attacks from commentators on the right, the White House announced Wednesday night that it planned to nominate three judges for the California seats on the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

The left-leaning 9th Circuit has been a frequent target of President Donald Trump, but when the White House last week announced its plans to renominate dozens of judges who had not received a hearing during the last Congress, those who had been previously nominated for the 9th Circuit weren't on the list.

Carrie Severino of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network referenced Feinstein and California's other US senator, Democrat Kamala Harris, in a morning tweet: "why on earth would the WH agree to tarnish its sterling legacy of circuit court judges &abandon the opportunity to improve the notorious 9th Cir to help Sens (and a would-be POTUS challenger) who are shafting him every chance they get?"

In a release Wednesday evening, the White House press office announced that Daniel P. Collins, Kenneth Kiyul Lee and Daniel A. Bress had been nominated for the 9th Circuit. But Patrick Bumatay, who had been slated for the 9th Circuit last time around, was listed to serve as a judge for the US District Court for the Southern District of California, instead of the 9th Circuit.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/30/politics/9th-circuit-court-appeals-nominees-white-house-judges/index.html

Useless Senator From Louisiana Takes To The Floor To Moan About The Saints Game

Source: Deadspin

The U.S. government entered day 35 of its shutdown today. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees have not been paid in over a month, the airline industry is on the brink of total collapse, and the lines outside food banks get longer every day. Meanwhile, Louisiana Republican Senator Bill Cassidy, who is getting paid despite the shutdown, arrived on the Senate floor today to whinge about the blown call from last weekend’s NFC title game:

This dork went on for over five minutes, stiffly making his way through an explanation of the play before coming to his point, which is that... referees should receive letter grades after each game? This is what sports radio rants would sound like if everyone who called into sports radio shows did so from outside the steam room at their country club.

The country may be being held hostage by a President and Republican party whose only goal is to erect an entirely useless monument to racism in the middle of the American desert, but at least this guy is enjoying his Friday sillies.

Read more: https://deadspin.com/useless-senator-from-louisiana-takes-to-the-floor-to-mo-1832059518
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