The Department of Justice argued in court filings Thursday that transgender legislation passed in West Virginia and Arkansas is unconstitutional.
The DOJ filed statements of interest supporting lawsuits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) against West Virginia’s House Bill 3293 and Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act,” otherwise known as the SAFE Act.
The West Virginia bill bans biological males at public schools from participating in women’s sports in middle school, high school, and college. The SAFE Act prohibits physicians from performing gender transition procedures, such as puberty blockers or “top” and “bottom” surgeries, on minors. Read More
Attorney General Mark Herring has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in a lawsuit seeking to have Virginia’s ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) recognized.
“The United States cannot continue forcing women to wait to be recognized as equal under this country’s founding document,” Herring said in a May 3 press release. Read More
President Joe Biden’s administration and the Department of Justice are reportedly preparing to challenge bills banning biological males from women’s sports, multiple sources told the Daily Beast.
“We are having conversations with the Biden administration about additional actions that they should be taking as it relates to anti-LGBTQ bills that we’re seeing in these states,” Human Rights Campaign (HRC) president Alphonso David told the Daily Beast. “But we want to make sure we don’t lose sight of how important those words are, and how important his early actions have been to support and protect LGBTQ people throughout the country.” Read More
In response to continued threats of domestic extremism following the deadly riot on Jan. 6, the Department of Justice is considering new domestic terrorism laws, an official announced Thursday.
The FBI reported an elevated risk of violence associated with domestic extremists after the attack on the Capitol and increased assaults on Asian Americans, Department of Justice (DOJ) Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brad Wiegmann told the House Committee on Appropriations.
Virginia Republican Rep. Ben Cline asked Wiegmann about his proposal to codify a domestic terrorism charge in the criminal code. Read More
The Senate confirmed civil rights lawyer Vanita Gupta to be the Associate Attorney General Wednesday.
Gupta, who will be the third-ranking official at the Department of Justice, was confirmed 51-49, with Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski joining all 50 Democrats voting in favor.
“I have looked at her record, I have had an extensive sit down with her,” Murkowski said before the vote. “I am impressed with her credentials … and the passion that she carries with her with the work that she performs.”
Murkowski acknowledged Gupta’s confirmation was contentious, but said her passion was “impactful.” Read More
A Russian national, who co-founded a global fraud operation that’s responsible for stealing more than $560 million from millions of victims was sentenced to a decade in jail on Friday, the Department of Justice announced.
Russian citizen Sergey Medvedev, 33, and Syvatoslav Bondarenko, who is from Ukraine, co-founded Infraud, court documents said, according to a Justice Department press release. Infraud, a worldwide criminal organization that engaged in financial fraud and stole identities, bragged about having more than 10,000 participants at its height, according to the press release.
Medvedev, the Russian national, conducted an “escrow” service for illegal transactions in the Infraud network starting in November 2010 until law enforcement shut down the organization in February 2018, court documents said, according to the press release. Read More
Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is “not a nice person” who “doesn’t have any friends,” according to the former lieutenant governor of New York.
Former New York Lieutenant Governor Richard Ravitch discussed the governor’s fall from grace in an interview with the New York Times after the majority of the New York Democratic congressional delegation called for Cuomo’s resignation. Read More
President Joe Biden is facing his first hurdle in ending contracts with private prisons, a major campaign promise aimed at the progressive wing of the Democrat Party.
“The Biden administration’s push to end contracts with private prisons has left federal authorities in Cleveland scrambling to find ways to house nearly 800 inmates,” according to a report by Cleveland.com. Read More
Democratic California Rep. Eric Swalwell on Monday called for “a white nationalism task force” at the Department of Justice.
“They’re going to need, I believe, at the Department of Justice, a white nationalism task force to make sure that they’re understanding at the earliest of ages how people are being radicalized, if there are in fact training camps,” Swalwell said on “MSNBC Live With Katy Tur.” Read More
The Department of Justice has opened a probe into the stock market frenzy that led to the meteoric rise of “meme stocks” such as GameStop, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Federal investigators are reportedly looking into whether market manipulation played a role in the increased volatility and meme stock surge, The Wall Street Journal reported. As part of the investigation, the Department of Justice (DOJ) subpoenaed information from stock market brokers including Robinhood, the popular investment platform that many investors used to buy GameStop, AMC Entertainment and others. Read More
A U.S. District Court has dismissed a lawsuit by Chincoteague Lighthouse Fellowship Church against Governor Ralph Northam. In April 2020, the church sued over Northam’s Executive Orders 53 and 55, which limited gathering sizes to 10 and issued a stay-at-home order. But in a January 27 decision, Judge Arenda Wright Allen dismissed the suit, saying that the complaint was moot since those executive orders no longer stand. Read More
Trump was lamenting that the Justice Department was not investigating allegations of voter fraud in various swing states. He brought up an investigation led by U.S. Attorney John Durham into FBI and CIA intelligence-gathering activities related to the Trump campaign in 2016.
Republicans had high hopes for Durham’s investigation when it started in April 2019, but have recently grown frustrated at a lack of public revelations from the probe. Read More
As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a self-congratulatory book tour this week, the U.S. Department of Justice requested additional data from his administration on coronavirus deaths linked to nursing homes.
According to the New York Post, the DOJ’s inquiry could reveal if the state significantly undercounted the number of COVID-19 fatalities among the residents of more than 1,000 private nursing homes. Read More
The Community Oversight Board (COB) approved a report issuing use of force consent decree recommendations. Metro Nashville Police Department (MNPD) will work with the COB to implement these recommendations. Read More
Mayor John Cooper tasked members within the Community Oversight Board to explore use of force policies following the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.
Two Minneapolis men were arrested earlier this week for attempting to aid the Islamic Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas. The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the arrests in a press release Friday.
Michael Robert Solomon, 30, and Benjamin Ryan Teeter, 22, face federal criminal complaints for “conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization.”
Solomon and Teeter planned to use revenue from delivering weapons to Hamas to fund their domestic terrorist plans. The pair intended to destroy government monuments, raid white supremacist organizations, and attack police, politicians, and media members. Read More
John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, has been coordinating with U.S. Attorney John Durham and plans to soon declassify more documents related to the Trump-Russia probe, he said Sunday.
“The question now is did the FBI have a proper predicate to begin a counterintelligence investigation at all, and that’s the issue that John Durham is looking at, and also the issue that I’m continuing to look at,” Ratcliffe said in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” Read More
by Chuck Ross FBI agents in 2015 sought authorization to surveil foreign government operatives who sought to influence Hillary Clinton, but ultimately settled for a defensive briefing given to lawyers for the Democratic presidential candidate, according to documents released on Sunday. One FBI agent involved in the investigation asked… Read More
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, subpoenaed FBI Director Christopher Wray last week for all documents related to Crossfire Hurricane, the investigation of the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.
The subpoena, issued on Aug. 6, calls for Wray to produce all of the documents related to the probe by Aug. 20.
Johnson is also demanding that Wray hand over all records that the FBI provided the Justice Department’s office of the inspector general for its scathing report on Crossfire Hurricane. Read More
Federal officials late last week announced an initiative, Operation Legend, to fight violent crime in Memphis and St. Louis.
“The most basic responsibility of government is to protect the safety of our citizens. Today, we have extended Operation Legend to Memphis and St. Louis, two cities experiencing increases in violent crime that no resident of those cities should have to accept as part of everyday life,” Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement. Read More
The Department of Justice announced the formation of a new Twin Cities Violent Crimes Task Force Wednesday in response to an “extraordinary spike in gun violence and violent crimes.”
Erica MacDonald, U.S. attorney for the District of Minnesota, said the task force will bring together federal and state resources to assist local law enforcement in investigating, arresting, and prosecuting individuals responsible for gun violence. Read More
Three more Minnesotans are facing federal arson charges in connection to the late May riots in Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Both Matthew Scott White, 31, and Mohamed Hussein Abdi, 19, were arrested on June 29 and charged with one count of arson. Read More
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) wants to open up another impeachment inquiry, this time of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr.
After calling for Barr’s impeachment last week, Cohen formally introduced a resolution Tuesday that would authorize an impeachment inquiry into Barr’s conduct. Read More
Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN-09) called for the impeachment of U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr during a House Judiciary Committee hearing last week.
In a statement released before the hearing, Cohen claimed the Department of Justice “has clearly been corrupted” under Barr’s leadership. He pointed to the recent removal of Geoffrey Berman, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, and the Justice Department’s request to dismiss its criminal case against Michael Flynn as evidence of corruption. Read More
Three Republican state senators called on U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr and the Department of Justice to investigate the Minneapolis Police Department and its response to recent unrest in the city.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-East Gull Lake) announced plans to hold a series of legislative oversight hearings beginning July 1 on state and local responses to the riots. Read More
Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said Google and its parent company, Alphabet, pose a “threat to a free and fair press in America” in a letter sent Sunday to U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr. Read More
by Peter Hasson and Chris White Department of Justice investigators who are conducting an antitrust probe targeting Google do not appear to be scrutinizing claims that the tech giant manipulates its search function, leaks about the probe and a source familiar with it indicate. Google critics argue that Google… Read More
An illegal alien who evaded capture for nearly three years was sentenced to 60 months in federal prison last week for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime.
According to a Monday statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee, a federal jury in February found Carlos Landeros-Salcedo guilty after a three-day trial and just 40 minutes of deliberation among the jurors. U.S. District Court Judge Sheryl H. Lipman sentenced him to 60 months in federal prison on June 10. Read More
A fifth former correctional officer pleaded guilty this week to using unlawful force on an inmate and then conspiring to cover it up while working as an officer for the Tennessee Department of Correction.
Jonathan York, 33, faces up to 10 years in prison for the civil rights offense of using unlawful force and up to five years for the conspiracy offense. Read More
A federal judge on Monday defended his decision not to quickly approve the Justice Department’s request to dismiss its own criminal case against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying that the department’s reversal was unusual and he wanted to consider the request carefully before ruling on it. Read More
The U.S. Department of Justice promised a “robust criminal investigation” into the death of George Floyd in a statement released Thursday.
A joint statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Minnesota, the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, and the FBI’s Minneapolis Field Office said the investigation into the fatal Monday night incident is “a top priority.” Read More
The former president of Nashville-based Omnis Health pleaded guilty last week to embezzling $763,887 from the company and evading taxes.
U.S. Attorney Don Cochran for the Middle District of Tennessee said 50-year-old Robert Burton was charged in February with wire fraud and tax evasion related to his embezzlement scheme. Burton was the president of Omnis Health, which sells diabetic testing kits, from July 2013 to May 2017. Read More
Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Michael Patrick Leahy welcomed former Deputy National Security Advisor and author of “Revolution: Trump, Washington and We the People” KT McFarland to the newsmakers line.
During the third hour, McFarland talked about her new book and her contentment with positive reviews from both President Trump and his administration. She also weighed in on the new findings of the exoneration of Michael Flynn and gave testimony to the abuse of power she witnessed herself by the FBI and Department of Justice. Read More
The Department of Justice has ordered all initial immigration courtroom hearings in the month ahead to be postponed, following outcry from an unlikely coalition of immigration prosecutors, attorneys, and judges.
In a public statement issued on Twitter, the Justice Department’s Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) announced late Sunday night that all master calendar hearings scheduled between Monday and April 10 would be put on hold. The announcement marked one of the latest decisions to halt procedures due to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic. Read More
A University of Tennessee – Knoxville associate engineering professor has been arrested and indicted on three counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements for allegedly hiding his relationship with a Chinese university while receiving funding from NASA, the Department of Justice said in a statement.… Read More
The news Friday that the Department of Justice had decided not to charge former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe got me thinking once again about the legend chiseled into the façade of the Supreme Court: “Equal Justice Under Law.” Read More
Federal prosecutors in Washington, D.C., revised a sentencing recommendation for Roger Stone on Tuesday, saying the longtime Trump confidante deserves a prison sentence “far less” than the 87 to 108–month recommendation submitted Monday. Read More
The Department of Justice is reaching out to some of Google’s largest rivals to determine how the tech giant’s advertising business model is impacting the industry, The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday. Read More
An Eden Prairie woman has been sentenced to three years of probation and faces a federal indictment for faking armed robberies in order to obtain U visas for illegal immigrants. Read More
US Border Patrol announced Tuesday that Juan Carlos Alvarez-Robles, a MS-13 gang member who entered the United State illegally, was arrested by authorities in Toledo last week. Read More
On January 29, the U.S. Congress’ Committee on Financial Services will hold a hearing on whether the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is undermining the effectiveness of the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), which helps low- and moderate-income communities secure loans. At this hearing, it is critical that Members of Congress speak out against the decisionmakers who have thus far ignored the renaissance of Operation Choke Point throughout the country. The resurrection of this practice, sometimes referred to as biased banking, violates both the CRA and official OCC policy, and, if not stopped soon, will have severe ramifications for Memphis and the State of Tennessee at large. Read More
In a December letter to the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Justice Department officially determined that at least half of the secret surveillance applications the FBI sought to spy on former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page were illegal. Read More
Attorney Sidney Powell announced Friday that she has a witness to exculpatory FBI notes (known as a 302) from former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s FBI interview with Peter Strzok and another agent. Read More
America’s eyes turned to Iraq and Iran over the past few days as President Trump made a bold decision to take out one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists and faced down the Iranian government and their proxies at MSNBC, CNN, the Democratic Congress and Hollywood. Read More
The Justice Department’s watchdog will release a much-anticipated report Monday scrutinizing the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign in 2016.
Republicans have eagerly awaited the report, believing it will reveal that the FBI abused the foreign surveillance court process in order to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Democrats hope the report will show that the FBI had a sound basis to investigate the Trump campaign. Read More
Attorney General William Barr announced the beginning of a new program called Project Guardian, which is designed to prevent gun violence and enforce federal firearm laws. Read More
Attorney General William Barr said Monday that the federal prosecutor leading an investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe has made “great progress.” Read More
What began as an administrative review of the origins of the Trump-Russia investigation is reportedly now a full-blown criminal probe. Read More
Article 35 of the constitution of the People’s Republic of China guarantees “freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, and of demonstration.” Article 36 guarantees religious freedom including the right to believe in any religion. Article 37 prohibits illegal arrests and unlawful searches of Chinese citizens. Article 40 guarantees a Chinese citizen’s right to privacy of correspondence. Article 126 guarantees judicial independence without interference by any administrative organ, public organization, or individual. Read More
A defiant Andrew McCabe said Tuesday he will not “under any circumstances” accept a plea deal if indicted for lying about leaks to the press. Read More
The Justice Department’s inspector general told Attorney General William Barr on Friday that he completed his investigation into possible FBI abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act during the Trump-Russia probe, according to the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee. Read More