New York Times: “Dennis Hastert has not been indicted on a charge of sexual abuse, nor has he been indicted on a charge of paying money he was not legally allowed to pay. The indictment of Mr. Hastert, a former House speaker, released last week, lays out two counts: taking money out of the bank the wrong way, and then lying to the F.B.I. about what he did with the money. Does that make sense? Conor Friedersdorf of The Atlantic, for example, is worried that the indictment constitutes government overreach, punishing Mr. Hastert for concealing payments whose disclosure he may have thought would be damaging to his reputation, but which were not illegal.”
Arizona Republic: “An Arizona real-estate developer was arrested last week on fraud and bankruptcy charges stemming from an alleged scheme to hide $17 million in assets. Alex Papakyriakou, also known as Alex Papas, 57, of Phoenix is accused of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bankruptcy-related offenses, including concealing assets and falsifying records, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. The indictment, filed in Arizona, alleges Papas used more than $150 million from investors and $250 million in bank loans to buy and build shopping centers, mostly in Arizona, between 1997 and 2008.”
Washington Examiner: “President Obama is threatening to veto a law that would allow Congress to sue him in federal courts for arbitrarily changing or refusing to enforce federal laws because it ‘violates the separation of powers’ by encroaching on his presidential authority. ‘[T]he power the bill purports to assign to Congress to sue the President over whether he has properly discharged his constitutional obligation to take care that the laws be faithfully executed exceeds constitutional limitations,’ the White House Office of Management and Budget said”
Fox News: “Wind energy facilities have killed at least 67 golden and bald eagles in the last five years, but the figure could be much higher, according to a new scientific study by government biologists”
A federal law called the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act provides for the protection of the bald eagle and the golden eagle prohibiting the “taking” of eagles. The term “take” includes killing an eagle. See 16 U.S.C. 668c; 50 CFR 22.3. The civil penalties for violating the Act include a maximum fine of $5,000 or one year in prison. Second convictions have a penalty of a $10,000 fine or up to two years in prison. Killing an eagle can also be a felony with a fine up to $250,000 or two years in prison. Fine double if the killer is an organization.
Although killing eagles is a crime ignored by President Obama and Eric Holder you better not kill a duck without a permit or you may be prosecuted. Obama’s Department of Justice chartered a helicopter to fly over land in North Dakota looking for dead ducks. The federal duck police spotted two dead ducks in a pond on land owned by Oilman Bud Brigham, the head of Brigham Resources. The ducks had drowned in oil run off ponds. The feds charged Bud with crimes and prosecuted him. If convicted he could have been imprisoned for up to six months for each death.
The judge threw out the case as absurd. He said the federal duck police were trying to criminalize the following activities that result in dead ducks: driving, owning a building with windows. farming and owning a cat.
See “Oil Companies Prosecuted for Avian Deaths but Wind Companies Kill Birds With Impunity.”
In 2007 former constitutional law professor Barack Obama answered a question about the President’s authority to unilaterally cause the U.S. to take military action.
Q. In what circumstances, if any, would the president have constitutional authority to bomb Iran without seeking a use-of-force authorization from Congress? (Specifically, what about the strategic bombing of suspected nuclear sites — a situation that does not involve stopping an IMMINENT threat?)
OBAMA: The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.
Obama was also asked about the ability of the federal government to conduct searches without a warrant.
Does the president have inherent powers under the Constitution to conduct surveillance for national security purposes without judicial warrants, regardless of federal statutes?The Supreme Court has never held that the president has such powers. As president, I will follow existing law, and when it comes to U.S. citizens and residents, I will only authorize surveillance for national security purposes consistent with FISA and other federal statutes.
Arizona Republic: “A two-year federal investigation into Danny’s Family Car Wash involving alleged immigration fraud, identity theft and financial violations came to a head Saturday with raids on 16 locations in the Valley. Amber Cargile, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman, said special agents with ICE Homeland Security Investigations started executing federal search warrants and arrest warrants at 11 a.m. Cargile said the warrants were served at the company’s locations as well as the company’s outside staffing-services provider, HR Betty.
Read also “Federal agents raid 16 Danny’s Family Car Wash locations in criminal investigation.”
Pittsburgh Post Gazette: “On Monday, Attorney General Eric Holder, a liberal in a hurry, ordered all U.S. attorneys to simply stop charging nonviolent, non-gang-related drug defendants with crimes that, while fitting the offense, carry mandatory sentences. Find some lesser, non-triggering charge. How might you do that? Withhold evidence — e.g., about the amount of dope involved. . . . In other words, evade the law, by deceiving the court if necessary. “If the companies that I represent in federal criminal cases” did that, said former Deputy Attorney General George Terwilliger, “they could be charged with a felony.”
Investors Business Daily: “Confirming again that its reform is a disaster, the White House has stopped yet another provision of the law before it can take effect. This time it’s caps placed on patients’ out-of-pocket expenses. . . . So, like a monarch who exercises absolute power, the administration, which has no constitutional authority to write or change laws, delayed the deadline. Because it felt like it.”
Courthouse News: “The $11 billion planned merger of US Airways and American Airlines would likely mean higher ticket prices, fewer seats and more fees for passengers, the Justice Department and six states claim Tuesday in a federal antitrust action. In the lawsuit filed in Washington, D.C., the Justice Department and the attorneys general of six states and the District of Columbia sued US Airways Group and American’s parent company, AMR Corp., to block the proposed merger.”
USA Today: “The FBI gave its informants permission to break the law at least 5,658 times in a single year, according to newly disclosed documents . . . . Agents authorized 15 crimes a day, on average, including everything from buying and selling illegal drugs to bribing government officials and plotting robberies.”
The days when the United States was subject to the rule of law are gone. The federal government breaks the law with impunity and the President, the Department of Justice and Congress does nothing.