A new report on a government spying operation conducted by partisan bureaucrats should outrage and scare Americans everywhere. It shows what can happen when, as the report says, partisans “weaponize” a government agency and use its powers to advance “political goals.”
Americans already have seen that when federal bureaucrats such as Lois Lerner or Samantha Power do that with the fearsome power of the IRS and our intelligence agencies, we face a threat to our liberty and the democratic process that is unparalleled in our history.
The 88-page report by Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel details the notorious “John Doe” investigations that went after almost every conservative, nonprofit organization in Wisconsin (the state chapter of Club for Growth among them) for supposed violations of campaign finance laws.
Read more by Hans von Spakovsky at DailySignal.com
Wisconsin’s infamous John Doe investigation was more sinister and politically driven than originally reported.
A Wisconsin Attorney General report on the year-long investigation into leaks of sealed John Doe court documents to a liberal British publication in September 2016 finds a rogue agency of partisan bureaucrats bent on a mission “to bring down the (Gov. Scott) Walker campaign and the Governor himself.”
The AG report, released Wednesday, details an expanded John Doe probe into a “broad range of Wisconsin Republicans,” a “John Doe III,” according to Attorney General Brad Schimel, that widened the scope of the so-called John Doe II investigation into dozens of right-of-center groups and scores of conservatives. Republican lawmakers, conservative talk show hosts, a former employee from the MacIver Institute, average citizens, even churches, were secretly monitored by the dark John Doe.
Read more by Matt Kittle at maciverinstitute.com
On Wednesday, the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) released an 88-page report on the abuses of the John Doe process by members of the Government Accountability Board and others. The report describes an intelligence-gathering operation by rogue liberal government officials for the purpose of silencing the conservative movement in Wisconsin. The DOJ investigation was prompted by the leak of court-ordered sealed information to The Guardian by unknown operatives of the John Doe investigation in an effort to sway the US Supreme Court to allow the illegal intelligence gathering operation to continue.
“As this report describes in detail, the systemic and pervasive mishandling of John Doe evidence likely resulted in circumstances allowing the Guardian leak in the first place, and now prevents prosecutors from proving criminal liability beyond a reasonable doubt,” the DOJ report said. “Moreover, DOJ is deeply concerned by what appears to have been the weaponization of GAB by partisans in furtherance of political goals, which permitted the vast collection of highly personal information from dozens of Wisconsin Republicans without even taking modest steps to secure this information.”
Read more by James Wigderson at RightWisconsin.com
Leftwing groups are freaking out about Scott Pruitt, Oklahoma’s Attorney General and Donald Trump’s nominee for the EPA. It is safe to say that the collective meltdown over Pruitt is greater than over any other Trump pick. You probably have no idea why and it has nothing to do with climate change.
Superficially, progressives are saying that Pruitt is a climate change denier and has no business managing the agency he sued so often. But that’s just cover.
The real reason has everything to do with money.
Read more by Erick Erickson at theresurgent.com
As reported by Fox News on Wednesday, congressional investigators claim the Obama Administration funneled billions of dollars to left-wing activist groups—such as the National Council of La Raza, National Urban League and National Community Reinvestment Coalition—through a slush fund scheme of the Department of Justice.
“Findings spearheaded by the House Judiciary Committee point to a process shrouded in secrecy whereby monies were distributed to a labyrinth of nonprofit organizations involved with grass-roots activism,” reports Fox.
Read more by Amanda Prestigiacomo at dailywire.com
I’ve already written about the despicable practice of “civil forfeiture,” which allows governments to confiscate the property of innocent people who have not been convicted of any crime.
And I’ve cited great columns on the issue from George Will and John Stossel., as well a sobering report on the topic from the Wall Street Journal.
Now the Institute for Justice has a video that should outrage any decent person.
It’s examples of government thuggery like this that make me a libertarian. You should be one as well.
Read more by Daniel J. Mitchell at Townhall.com
The US Department of Justice has been considering whether people should be prosecuted for the offense of climate change denial.
“This matter has been discussed. We have received information about it and have referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action on,” said Attorney General Loretta Lynch, responding to a question from green activist Sen Sheldon Whitehouse at a Senate Judiciary Hearing.
Read more by James Delingpole at breitbart.com
At the beginning of this year, Attorney General Eric Holder attempted to close an exploitable loophole in asset forfeiture laws. State and local law enforcement agencies often sought federal “adoption” of seizures in order to route around statutes that dumped assets into general funds or otherwise limited them from directly profiting from these seizures. By partnering with federal agencies, local law enforcement often saw bigger payouts than with strictly local forfeitures.
The loophole closure still had its own loopholes (seizures for “public safety,” various criminal acts), but it did make a small attempt to straighten out some really perverted incentives. But deep down inside, it appears the DOJ isn’t really behind true forfeiture reform. In fact, it seems to be urging local law enforcement to fight these efforts by pointing out just how much money these agencies will “lose” if they can’t buddy up with Uncle Sam.
– From the post: How the Department of Justice is Actively Trying to Prevent Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform
It’s been a while since I’ve reported on the lawless and barbaric practice of civil asset forfeiture. However, just because it hasn’t been a focus doesn’t mean it isn’t happening. Indeed, it appears the same federal agencies that couldn’t find a bank executive they didn’t want to coddle, take particular pleasure in harassing and abusing average Americans generally, and small businesspeople in particular.
Read more at LibertyBlitzkrieg.com
Ted Cruz on Monday implied that if given the opportunity, he will take Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton out of the public eye once and for all.
“I’ve got slightly different government housing in mind for her,” Cruz told a rally for his presidential campaign in Irvine, Calif., in reference to the prospect of Clinton entering the White House. He did not elaborate on what he had in mind, though past comments make it clear. He said in March that he would “absolutely” seek to prosecute Clinton if the current Justice Department refuses to do so.
Read more by Rudy Takala at WashingtonExaminer.com
During her appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted that she asked the FBI to examine whether the federal government should take legal action against so-called climate change deniers. Attorney General Lynch is not responding to any criminal acts committed by climate change skeptics. Instead, she is responding to requests from those frustrated that dissenters from the alleged climate change consensuses have successfully blocked attempts to create new government programs to fight climate change.
These climate change censors claim that the argument over climate change is settled and the deniers’ success in blocking congressional action is harming the public. Therefore, the government must disregard the First Amendment and silence anyone who dares question the reigning climate change dogma. This argument ignores the many reputable scientists who have questioned the magnitude, effects, and role of human action in causing climate change.
Read more by Ron Paul at RonPaulInstitute.org