HSBC Shares Surge As US DoJ Removes “Sword Of Damocles” On Money Laundering

On Monday, HSBC announced its deferred prosecution agreement with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) had expired, removing the threat of criminal prosecution for money laundering which had been hanging over the company for five years. From the Financial Times.
The US Department of Justice has given HSBC a major boost by seeking dismissal of the deferred criminal charges that have been hanging over the bank since it was fined for money laundering and sanctions breaches five years ago. The move by the DoJ lifts the threat of criminal prosecution that had been a ‘sword of Damocles’ hanging over London-headquartered HSBC, as its new management team looks to put its misconduct-plagued past behind it.
HSBC said the DoJ would file a motion with the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York seeking the dismissal of the charges deferred by the agreement it reached as part of a settlement with the bank in December 2012. The deferred prosecution agreement meant the DoJ could have reopened the criminal case against HSBC if the bank had been caught breaching the rules again during that period.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 11, 2017.

Voting Rights for Human Felons Versus Bank Felons

In 2012, the Sentencing Project released a study that estimated that 5.85 million people would be ineligible to vote in the U. S. Presidential election that year because they had been convicted of a felony. In 22 states, felons lose their voting rights during incarceration, and for a set period of time thereafter. Usually, this includes while the individual is on parole and/or probation.
Eleven states in the U. S. are more harsh. They deny voting rights to ex felons who have served their time in prison and have successfully completed parole and probation.
If you’re a citizen of the United States and commit a felony, it’s a big deal. If you’re a Wall Street bank and commit a felony, it’s business as usual.
In January 2014, JPMorgan Chase was charged with two felony counts by the U. S. Department of Justice for its involvement with Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme but given a deferred prosecution agreement, meaning if it kept out of trouble for two years, the government would dismiss the charges. The bank also agreed to pay $1.7 billion into a restitution fund for the victims of Madoff’s fraud.
After reading the documents released by the Justice Department in connection with the settlement, the Los Angeles Times asked in a photo caption: ‘Bernie Madoff: Was he part of the JPMorgan ring, or was JPMorgan part of his ring?’
The Los Angeles Times had an excellent basis for asking that question. We took an in-depth look at the documents and exhibits released by both the Justice Department and the Trustee of the Madoff victims’ fund, Irving Picard, and found a labyrinthine series of frauds within frauds involving both Madoff and JPMorgan Chase. (See our article: JPMorgan and Madoff Were Facilitating Nesting Dolls-Style Frauds Within Frauds.)

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade on December 11, 2017.

DOJ Launches Investigation Into Planned Parenthood Over Fetal Tissue Harvesting Practices

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood’s controversial fetal tissue practices following a December 2016 recommendation by the Judiciary Committee contained within a 63 page report on the subject, entitled: “Human Fetal Tissue Research: Context and Controversy.”
Planned Parenthood, Louisville, KY
The committee’s report was prompted by a disturbing series of undercover videos released in 2015 by the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which appeared to show Planned Parenthood negotiating with an operative over the price of fetal tissue.
In a letter seen by The Washington Examiner, DOJ Assistant AG for Legislative Affairs, Stephen Boyd, asks Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) for an unredacted version of the committee’s report.
Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd pursued the committee’s request, formally asking Grassley and ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., on Thursday for the documents for investigative purposes and not for a formal legal proceeding, which he notes would need a Senate resolution. Boyd explained that he is requesting the documents in order to further the department s ability to conduct a thorough and comprehensive assessment of that report based on the full range of information available.” –Washington Examiner

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Dec 8, 2017.

DOJ Launches Probe Into Harvard’s Affirmative Action Admissions

The Department of Justice is taking its first tentative steps toward dismantling the 40-year-old system of affirmative action that governs admissions at US colleges and universities by opening an investigation into the admissions practices of America’s oldest and most venerated institution of higher education: Harvard.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the DOJ’s investigation into the use of race in its admissions process was inspired by a federal civil lawsuit filed in 2014 that alleged the university discriminates against Asian-Americans. The Department of Education dismissed the group’s allegations back in 2015. The lawsuit was brought by Edward Blum, a conservative lawyer who has focused on eliminating affirmative action. Blum, who successfully sheparded a case alleging the University of Texas discriminated against a white student all the way to the Supreme Court last year, laid out his arguments in a Washington Post op-ed published back in August, where he pointed out that the DOJ was already investigating incidences of discrimination against Asian Americans.
It is unfortunate that the Supreme Court has allowed universities to grant preferences to applicants based on race and ethnicity. Last year in Fisher v. University of Texas – in which Students for Fair Admissions provided counsel to the plaintiff – the Supreme Court allowed the University of Texas at Austin to continue the practice. Nonetheless, in Fisher and earlier cases, the court has been clear about the how these racial preferences must be implemented: Purposeful quotas and racial balancing are strictly prohibited. And, of course, diversity can never be a justification for invidious discrimination.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 21, 2017.

THERE PROBABLY ISN’T A SPECIAL COUNSEL COMING FOR HILLARY, COMEY OR URANIUM ONE

Reading the actual letter (which is _not_ from Sessions), I just don’t see where the hyperbolic headlines about Sessions considering a second Special Counsel are coming from.
This strikes me, instead, as a fairly even-keeled response to a one-sided request from the Hill… — Steve Vladeck (@steve_vladeck) November 14, 2017

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd sent a letter to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Monday, indicating that career prosecutors at the Department of Justice would review controversies arising from the Clinton Foundation and former FBI Director James Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation.
The letter prompted speculation that DOJ was assembling a predicate for a criminal investigation and the appointment of a special counsel. President Donald Trump himself has publicly encouraged the attorney general to pursue a criminal probe of matters relating to the Clinton Foundation, amplifying speculation that his longtime ally would acquiesce to the pressure in a bid to revive his strained relationship with the president.
The text of the letter doesn’t quite bear that reading.
As a preliminary matter, the letter was sent to House Judiciary one day before Sessions was scheduled to testify before the panel. Committee Republicans have twice sent letters to Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein urging an investigation of a barrage of Clinton shenanigans as well as Comey’s alleged politicization of Bureau investigations relating to the Clintons. Those letters, dated July 27 and Sept. 26, both appear to have gone unanswered. Therefore, it is not unusual that the Justice Department would send its response to the Committee the day before Sessions was slated to appear, as DOJ’s silence on the request would otherwise have been a point of conflict.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on NOVEMBER 15, 2017.

BIG PHARMA MOGUL ARRESTED FOR BRIBING DOCTORS TO PRESCRIBE FENTANYL

Federal authorities arrested the billionaire founder and owner of Insys Therapeutics Thursday on charges of bribing doctors and pain clinics into prescribing the company’s fentanyl product to their patients.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) charged John Kapoor, 74, and seven other current and former executives at the pharmaceutical company with racketeering for a leading a national conspiracy through bribery and fraud to coerce the illegal distribution of the company’s fentanyl spray, which is intended for use as a pain killer by cancer patients. The company’s stock prices fell more than 20 percent following the arrests, according to the New York Post.
Kapoor stepped down as the company’s CEO in January amid ongoing federal probes into their Subsys product, a pain-relieving spray that contains fentanyl, a highly-addictive synthetic opioid. Fentanyl is more than 50 times stronger than morphine, and ingesting just two milligrams is enough to cause an adult to fatally overdose.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on OCTOBER 27, 2017.

The FBI’s Forgotten Criminal Record

President Trump’s firing of FBI chief James Comey on May 9 spurred much of the media and many Democrats to rally around America’s most powerful domestic federal agency.
***
But the FBI has a long record of both deceit and incompetence. Five years ago, Americans learned that the FBI was teaching its agents that ‘the FBI has the ability to bend or suspend the law to impinge on the freedom of others.’ This has practically been the Bureau’s motif since its creation in 1908.
The bureau was small potatoes until Woodrow Wilson dragged the United States into World War I. In one fell swoop, the number of dangerous Americans increased by perhaps twentyfold. The Espionage Act of 1917 made it easy to jail anyone who criticized the war or the government. In September 1918, the bureau, working with local police and private vigilantes, seized more than 50,000 suspected draft dodgers off the streets and out of the restaurants of New York, Newark, and Jersey City. The Justice Department was disgraced when the vast majority of young men who had been arrested turned out to be innocent.
In January 1920, J. Edgar Hoover – the 25-year-old chief of the bureau’s Radical Division – was the point man for the ‘Palmer Raids.’ Nearly 10,000 suspected Reds and radicals were seized. The bureau carefully avoided keeping an accurate count of detainees (a similar pattern of negligence occurred with the roundups after the 9/11 attacks). Attorney General Mitchell Palmer sought to use the massive roundups to propel his presidential candidacy. The operation took a drubbing, however, after an insolent judge demanded that the Justice Department provide evidence for why people had been arrested. Federal judge George Anderson complained that the government had created a ‘spy system’ that ‘destroys trust and confidence and propagates hate. A mob is a mob whether made up of government officials acting under instructions from the Department of Justice, or of criminals, loafers, and the vicious classes.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 25, 2017.

House Launches Probe Into Comey’s Handling Of Clinton Email Investigation

Much like Hillary’s former IT consultant Paul Combetta who admitted to deleting Hillary’s emails despite the existence of a Congressional subpoena, it seems as though James Comey has just had his very own “oh shit” moment.
After months of inexplicable delays, the chairman of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S. C.), announced moments ago a joint investigation into how the Justice Department handled last year’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server.
Among other things, Goodlatte and Gowdy said that the FBI must answer for why it chose to provide public updates in the Clinton investigation but not in the Trump investigation and why the FBI decided to “appropriate full decision making in respect to charging or not charging Secretary Clinton,” a power typically left to the DOJ.
“Our justice system is represented by a blind-folded woman holding a set of scales. Those scales do not tip to the right or the left; they do not recognize wealth, power, or social status. The impartiality of our justice system is the bedrock of our republic and our fellow citizens must have confidence in its objectivity, independence, and evenhandedness. The law is the most equalizing force in this country. No entity or individual is exempt from oversight.
“Decisions made by the Department of Justice in 2016 have led to a host of outstanding questions that must be answered. These include, but are not limited to:
FBI’s decision to publicly announce the investigation into Secretary Clinton’s handling of classified information but not to publicly announce the investigation into campaign associates of then-candidate Donald Trump; FBI’s decision to notify Congress by formal letter of the status of the investigation both in October and November of 2016; FBI’s decision to appropriate full decision making in respect to charging or not charging Secretary Clinton to the FBI rather than the DOJ; FBI’s timeline in respect to charging decisions. ‘The Committees will review these decisions and others to better understand the reasoning behind how certain conclusions were drawn. Congress has a constitutional duty to preserve the integrity of our justice system by ensuring transparency and accountability of actions taken.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 24, 2017.

Spot The Odd One Out: ‘War On Drugs’ Edition

USA, USA, USA!!!
As we noted previously, the over-criminalization of America is a relatively recent trend. As Holly Harris notes:
It wasn’t always like this. In 1972, for every 100,000 U. S. residents, 161 were incarcerated. By 2015, that rate had more than quadrupled, with nearly 670 out of every 100,000 Americans behind bars.
The over-criminalization of America is rooted in federal laws and regulations, and state and local governments have followed suite. here is Harris’s account:
The burgeoning U. S. prison population reflects a federal criminal code that has spiraled out of control. No one – not even the government itself – has ever been able to specify with any certainty the precise number of federal crimes defined by the 54 sections contained in the 27,000 or so pages of the U. S. Code. In the 1980s, lawyers at the Department of Justice attempted to tabulate the figure ‘for the express purpose of exposing the idiocy’ of the criminal code, as one of them later put it. The best they were able to come up with was an educated guess of 3,000 crimes. Today, the conservative Heritage Foundation estimates that federal laws currently enumerate nearly 5,000 crimes, a number that grows every year.
Overcriminalization extends beyond the law books, partly because regulations are often backed by criminal penalties. That is the case for rules that govern matters as trivial as the sale of grated cheese, the precise composition of chicken Kiev dishes, and the washing of cars at the headquarters of the National Institutes of Health. State laws add tens of thousands more such crimes. Taken together, they push the total number of criminally punishable offenses in the United States into the hundreds of thousands. The long arm of the law reaches into nearly every aspect of American life. The legal scholar Harvey Silverglate has concluded that the typical American commits at least three federal felonies a day, simply by going through his or her normal routine.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 19, 2017.

Trump To Scrap Crucial Obamacare Insurer Subsidy

Update: Late Thursday, the administration said it would immediately stop paying what are known as cost-sharing reduction subsidies. The payments go to health insurers in the Affordable Care Act to help lower-income people with co-pays and other cost sharing. Without them, insurers have said they’ll dramatically raise premiums or pull out of the law’s state-based markets.
According to Bloomberg, the White House said the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services both concluded that there is no appropriation for cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies under Obamacare. ‘The bailout of insurance companies through these unlawful payments is yet another example of how the previous administration abused taxpayer dollars and skirted the law to prop up a broken system,’ the White House said in the statement.
The payments will stop immediately, with no transition period, Acting HHS Secretary Eric Hargan and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Seema Verma said in a statement. They next payments were due next week.
‘Congress has not appropriated money for CSRs, and we will discontinue these payments immediately,’ the department said.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 13, 2017.

Federal Judge Upholds Trump’s Arpaio Pardon

A federal district judge in Phoenix has accepted President Donald Trump’s pardon of former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Wednesday, confirming that the controversial tough-on-crime sheriff and early supporter of Trump’s presidential bid will walk free with no legal record after being found guilty of contempt in July for refusing to honor a 2011 court order.
At the request of lawyers representing both Arpaio and the Department of Justice, Judge Susan Bolton dismissed the guilty verdict against Arpaio with prejudice, meaning it cannot face another legal challenge, according to AZ Central.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.

Were Americans ever fit for stateless government?

Jacob Hornberger recently posted an article discussing his reasons why he considers the advent of the US national security state to be the worst thing the government has ever done. Bad as they are, the income tax, the federal reserve act, and government schooling don’t come close. His reason: The US national security state has ‘the power to kill Americans (and others) without risk of any criminal or civil liability. . . . All that US officials have to do is relate the killing to ‘national security’ and that’s the end of the matter.’
He’s correct. According to a Department of Justice white paper, any ‘informed, high government official,’ not necessarily the president, can kill anyone, without any due process. As Glenn Greenwald wrote in 2013, during the Obama administration,
The president’s underlings compile their proposed lists of who should be executed, and the president – at a charming weekly event dubbed by White House aides as “Terror Tuesday” – then chooses from “baseball cards” and decrees in total secrecy who should die. The power of accuser, prosecutor, judge, jury, and executioner are all consolidated in this one man, and those powers are exercised in the dark.
According to the New York Times the government asserts that the ‘Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of due process [is] satisfied by internal deliberations in the executive branch.’
Do you suppose that’s a little-known footnote in the Constitution? Possibly it’s an outgrowth of the unratified Living Constitution, possessing ‘properties of an animate being in the sense that it changes.’ Somehow it always changes in favor of the state.

This post was published at GoldSeek on Wednesday, 4 October 2017.

Coverup? FBI, DOJ Refuse To Comply With Congressional “Trump Dossier” Subpoena

In what looks like a naked coverup meant to obscure the fact that the Department of Justice’s decision to launch a criminal investigation into possible Russia-Trump collusion was based on a lie, Reuters reports that the DOJ and FBI are resisting a Congressional subpoena from to turn over documents that would reveal details about how the infamous “Trump dossier” factored into their decision to launch said investigation.
Despite receiving the subpoena from US Intel Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, the FBI is steadfastly refusing to turn over the documents because the agency says they would purportedly compromise an ongoing criminal investigation (the FBI’s investigation into Mueller). More likely, the agency’s intransigence stems from fears that the one Russia collusion narrative that Democrats have actively worked to suppress could come back to haunt them.
The U. S. House of Representatives Intelligence Committee issued subpoenas in August seeking ‘any and all documents’ about both agencies’ dealings with former MI6 officer Christopher Steele, according to a letter seen by Reuters from committee chairman Devin Nunes, a Trump supporter. Steele compiled the so-called Trump dossier, which Trump was told by FBI director James Comey contained salacious material about the businessman-turned president. Trump and his associates have said the dossier’s contents were false.
As we noted earlier this month when the subpoenas were first filed, the now-infamous Trump dossier was provided to the FBI even though it contained knowingly inaccurate allegations. Russia-born financier and Putin opponent Bill Browder revealed as much during an explosive piece of testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee over the summer that was multilaterally ignored by the media, when he claimed that the document was indirectly financed by a ‘senior Russian government official.’

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 29, 2017.

Pushback

A very brave law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, named Amy Wax has published the astounding argument that human beings in America would benefit from adopting ‘bourgeois values’ and behaving accordingly. Bourgeois (Boozh-wah, for the underspeeched) may be an unfortunate term-of-art, since it came to be used as a pejorative back in the old hippie days – something that Ms. Wax might remember, since she is a Baby Boomer – but what else might you call this bundle of traditional values: honesty, fidelity, thrift, temperance, punctuality, fortitude, gratitude, dedication, kindness, loyalty, et cetera?
A glance at Amy Wax’s credentials might induce a head-snap.
Amy Laura Wax received a B. S. summa cum laude in molecular biophysics and biochemistry from Yale in 1975. She was then a Marshall Scholar in Philosophy, Physiology, and Psychology at Somerville College at Oxford University. She earned an M. D. from Harvard Medical School in 1981, training as a neurologist, and received a J. D. from Columbia in 1987, where she was an editor of the Law Review. She was a Law Clerk to the Honorable Abner J. Mikva, U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1987-88. From 1988-94, she served as Assistant to the Office of the Solicitor General in the U. S. Department of Justice, where she argued 15 cases before the United States Supreme Court. Wax was a member of the Legal Affairs Committee, American Academy of Neurology from 1986-1992. In 1994, she joined the faculty of UVA [U. of Virginia]. She taught courses in civil procedure, labor law, and poverty law and welfare policy. She became Class of 1948 Professor of Scholarly Research in Law from 2000-01. After becoming a visiting professor to Penn Law School in 2000, she joined its faculty in 2001.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on September 18, 2017.

The Death Of Free Speech Is Imminent: Government Begins Censorship Of Media Through Disingenuous Means

The death of free speech is imminent. Anyone with access to a computer and the internet can see that the United States mainstream media is nothing more than a propaganda machine designed to brainwash the masses into a lemming-like agreement with the government.
And now, it’s oh-so-ironic that the same government that tells the media what to report on in order brainwash the public is seeking to quiet those who disagree and label them as ‘propaganda.’ Some may call it fake news, others just want a different opinion rather than the left-leaning media hysteria we are accustomed to. But now, media outlet RT (Russia Today), founded in Russia will have to register with the United States as ‘foreign media;’ which will forever give it the inaccurate title of ‘propaganda.’
This doesn’t apply to merely the Russian version of the news outlet, but the American-run and operated site as well. According to The Hill, in a report on Monday, RT did not name the company that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has compelled to file paperwork under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but blasted the edict as overreaching.

This post was published at shtfplan on September 12th, 2017.

The Government Begins Censorship Of Media Through Disingenuous Means

The death of free speech is imminent. Anyone with access to a computer and the internet can see that the United States mainstream media is nothing more than a propaganda machine designed to brainwash the masses into a lemming-like agreement with the government.
And now, it’s oh-so-ironic that the same government that tells the media what to report on in order brainwash the public is seeking to quiet those who disagree and label them as ‘propaganda.’ Some may call it fake news, others just want a different opinion rather than the left-leaning media hysteria we are accustomed to. But now, media outlet RT (Russia Today), founded in Russia will have to register with the United States as ‘foreign media;’ which will forever give it the inaccurate title of ‘propaganda.’
This doesn’t apply to merely the Russian version of the news outlet, but the American-run and operated site as well. According to The Hill, in a report on Monday, RT did not name the company that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has compelled to file paperwork under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, but blasted the edict as overreaching.

This post was published at shtfplan on September 12th, 2017.

Trump Asks Supreme Court To Overturn Lower Court’s Travel-Ban Ruling

BREAKING: Supreme Court temporarily blocks appeals court ruling that limits Trump's refugee ban pic.twitter.com/7QQIiDfS2v
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) September 11, 2017

Update (2:30pm): The Supreme Court has sided with the Trump administration and blocked the 9th Circuit’s ruling, according to Reuters.
Three months after the Supreme Court first temporarily OK’d a partial revival of the Trump administration’s second travel ban, the White House is returning to the high court to ask it to overturn a lower court ruling preventing full enforcement of a portion of the ban that temporarily blocks refugees from entering the US.
According to the Hill, the Department of Justice on Monday asked the Supreme Court to stay the part of a ruling last week by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that barred the government from prohibiting refugees that have formal assurances from resettlement agencies or are in the U. S. Refugee Admissions Program from entering the US.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 11, 2017.

Republicans Furious After Trump’s DOJ Declines To Charge Lois Lerner

In what amounts to another act of inexcusable negligence by the Department of Justice, former IRS bureaucrat Lois Lerner – the woman who President Barack Obama put in charge of weaponizing the agency as a tool to suppress Tea Party groups – has escaped being charged for her role in the wide-ranging conspiracy, which involved at least five other employees.
The decision is the culmination of five years of lawsuits brought by conservative groups against Lerner and the IRS, which successfully forced the agency to release the names of 426 nonprofit groups that were systematically targeted for additional scrutiny. The scandal was first disclosed to the public in 2012, but evidence obtained by conservative groups revealed that Lerner and another high-ranking IRS official knew about it years before.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 9, 2017.

FED SAYS DEA AGENTS SLEEPING WITH CRIMINALS ON GOV’T PROPERTY NOT A SECURITY RISK

A Drug Enforcement Administration chief granted a security clearance to a special agent who had an affair with a convicted criminal in DEA offices and in his official vehicle, a government watchdog reported Thursday.
Then DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart looked the other way when her subordinate reinstated the unnamed special agent’s security clearance, even though she was aware of his ‘serious misconduct,’ according to the Department of Justice’s Inspector General (IG).
‘We concluded that Leonhart acquiesced to [Acting Chief Inspector Chuck Whaley’s] flawed decision to intervene in the security clearance process, and therefore she shares responsibility for it,’ the report said.
The report said the special agent admitted in 2013 that he:
– ‘Carried on an extramarital affair with a woman who was a convicted criminal;’

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on SEPTEMBER 7, 2017.