Trump is your biggest supporter…..until he’s not

Falling out of favor with Donny

Don’t piss this guy off

Trump is not known for the consistency of his views. In the six months since he became president, Trump has changed his mind on China, on Nato and on military intervention in Syria. On healthcare, he seems to change his mind twice before lunch.

But it’s not just the issues that have fallen victim to Trump’s caprices. It’s his colleagues and allies, too. This week it was attorney general Jeff Sessions who faced Trump’s ire.

But Sessions wasn’t the first to fall out of favor with the president. Here are some others.

Trump on Jeff Sessions Then:
“Jeff has been a highly respected member of the US Senate for 20 years,” Trump said in a statement. “He is a world-class legal mind and considered a truly great attorney general and US attorney in the state of Alabama. Jeff is greatly admired by legal scholars and virtually everyone who knows him.”

Sessions, the first senator to endorse Trump, was one of the president elect’s first cabinet nominees. Trump was happy with his choice. He was less happy after Sessions recused himself from any investigation into whether Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Sessions had earlier admitted to meeting with the Russian ambassador during Trump’s campaign.
Trump on Jeff Sessions Now:
“Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else [Session’s actions were] “extremely unfair – and that’s a mild word – to the president”

Trump on Steve Bannon Then:
“I want to win. That’s why I’m bringing on fantastic people who know how to win and love to win.”
Trump’s campaign was ailing when he decided to bring in Bannon, then Breitbart News’s executive chair. The pair swept to an unlikely victory that November. But as Bannon’s profile grew – he was sometimes portrayed as pulling the strings in the White House and was featured on the cover of Time magazine in February – Trump grew resentful. Then came the public smackdown.

Trump on Steve Bannon Now:
“I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late […] had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve. I’m my own strategist and it wasn’t like I was going to change strategies because I was facing crooked Hillary.”

Trump on James Comey Then:
“It took guts for director Comey to make the move that he made, in light of the kind of opposition he had where they’re trying to protect her from criminal prosecution. You know that. It took a lot of guts.”

James Comey had just announced that the FBI would be reviewing new emails in relation to Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while she was secretary of state. It pleased Trump. But when Comey used those same guts to investigate alleged ties between Trump’s campaign and Russia, the president was less pleased.

Trump on James Comey Now:
“He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump told Russian officials, according to a summary of the meeting acquired by the New York Times. In June, after Comey had testified at a Senate hearing about Trump allegedly interfering with the Russia investigation, Trump accused the former FBI director of making “so many false statements and lies”.

Trump on House Republican health care bill Then:

“This is a great plan […] What we have is something very, very incredibly well crafted.”

House Republicans had just managed to pass a healthcare bill with one vote to spare. But the bill proved deeply unpopular with the general public, with one poll suggesting 48% of Americans thought it was a bad idea. Trump swiftly changed his mind on the legislation.

Trump on House Republican health care bill Now:

The bill is a “son of a bitch”, CNN reported the president as saying. Trump also described it as “mean”.

Trump on Paul Manafort Then:
“Paul is a great asset and an important addition as we consolidate the tremendous support we have received in the primaries and caucuses, garnering millions more votes than any other candidate. Paul Manafort, and the team I am building, bring the needed skill sets to ensure that the will of the Republican voters, not the Washington political establishment, determines who will be the nominee for the Republican Party.”

Trump had just announced that Manafort would serve as his convention manager, and later promoted him to campaign manager and chief strategist. But Manafort was forced to resign in August as he increasingly came under scrutiny for his work representing Ukraine’s ruling political party. When Manafort became a focus for the special council and congressional committees, Trump changed his views on his former ally.

Trump on Paul Manafort Now:
This time it was Trump mouthpiece Sean Spicer who criticized a former ally. Manafort played a “very limited” role for a “very limited amount of time”, Spicer said. He later added, incorrectly: “Paul was brought on sometime in June and by the middle of August he was no longer with the campaign, meaning for the final stretch of the general election, he was not involved.”

Trump on Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein Then:

“He’s highly respected – very good guy, very smart guy. The Democrats like him. The Republicans like him.”

The president was speaking after Rosenstein wrote a memo recommending he fire then FBI director James Comey. Trump said he was going to fire Comey “regardless of the recommendation”, but praised Rosenstein’s character in writing the initial note. Trump had nominated Rosenstein for deputy attorney general on 31 January. By July, however, Trump had soured on his choice.

Trump on Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein Now:
The New York Times said Trump was angry with the attorney general during an interview in July: “When Mr. Sessions recused himself, the president said he was irritated to learn where his deputy was from. ‘There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any,’ he said of the predominantly Democratic city. He complained that Mr Rosenstein had in effect been on both sides when it came to Mr Comey. The deputy attorney general recommended Mr Comey be fired but then appointed Mr Mueller, who may be investigating whether the dismissal was an obstruction of justice. ‘Well, that’s a conflict of interest,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘Do you know how many conflicts of interests there are?'”

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2017/jul/23/donald-trump-white-house-staff-in-out-favour-president?utm_source=esp&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=GU+Today+USA+-+Collections+2017&utm_term=236273&subid=9599609&CMP=GT_US_collection

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Emerald triangle get ready; time pay tribute to the tyrant Trump

With a promise to use “care and professionalism,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions has moved to expand a scandal-plagued program of asset forfeiture that allows law enforcement officials to seize money and goods from individuals suspected of crimes, in many cases without a criminal conviction or even a charge. While it is nice to pledge care and professionalism, aspects of this program have proved rife with abuse, and it must be reformed.

The logical foundation of asset forfeiture is recovering the proceeds of criminal activity, such as drug deals. “No criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime,” Mr. Sessions declared in a speech Monday in Minneapolis to the National District Attorneys Association. Again, it is hard to argue with the principle. But in reality, as a Post investigation showed in 2014, asset forfeiture has turned out to be an opportunity for police to seize cash and valuables from drivers stopped for minor infractions, and it often can be extremely difficult for the innocent to recover their property. The bounty is often parceled out to law enforcement agencies, creating a perverse profit motive.

In 2015, the Justice Department under President Barack Obama announced curtailment of a kind of forfeiture that allowed local police to share part of their proceeds with federal authorities. This was known as “adoptive” forfeiture, under which state and local authorities would get the seizure cases processed, or “adopted,” under more permissive federal statues, rather than stricter state laws. The 2015 order all but ended adoptive forfeiture. Now, Mr. Sessions is turning the spigot back on, as a Justice Department policy announcement on Wednesday made clear.

The Post report in 2014 revealed onerous seizures from the innocent. In one case, a 40-year-old Hispanic carpenter from New Jersey was stopped on Interstate 95 in Virginia for having tinted windows. Police said he appeared nervous and consented to a search. They took $18,000 that he said was meant to buy a used car. He had to hire a lawyer to get his money back.

While asset forfeiture is justified in huge drug busts, its abuse in highway arrests and in grabbing small sums from people has gone too far. Mr. Sessions declared in his address to the Minneapolis group: “Helping you do your jobs, helping the police get better, and celebrating the noble, honorable, essential and challenging work you do will always be a top priority of mine.” Wouldn’t it be in service of these goals to curb wrongful asset forfeitures and put in place strong protections against further exploitation by police of innocent Americans?

The Justice Department is promising to implement such protections, and Mr. Sessions said he would instruct department officials to use an “abundance of caution” for seizures involving vehicles and residences, where many mistakes have occurred. That’s not enough. Congress ought to consider legislation introduced by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) with bipartisan support that would increase the government’s burden of proof before seizing assets.

Opinion from Washington Post

Sessions greenlights police to seize cash, property from people suspected of crimes but not charged

The Justice Department announced a new federal policy Wednesday to help state and local police take cash and property from people suspected of a crime, even without a criminal charge, reversing an Obama administration rule prompted by past abuse by police.

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein said the Justice Department will include more safeguards to prevent the kind of problems that have been documented in the past. Police departments will be required to provide details to the Justice Department about probable cause for seizures, and federal officials will have to more quickly inform property owners about their rights and the status of the seizures.

“The goal here is to empower our police and prosecutors with this important tool that can be used to combat crime, particularly drug abuse,” Rosenstein said at a news briefing. “This is going to enable us to work with local police and our prosecutors to make sure that when assets are lawfully seized that they’re not returned to criminals when there’s a valid basis for them to be forfeited.”

Two years ago, then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. barred state and local police from using federal law to seize cash and other property without criminal charges or warrants. Since 2008, thousands of police agencies had made more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion under a Justice Department civil asset forfeiture program, which allowed local and state police to make seizures and then share the proceeds with federal agencies.

A Washington Post investigation in 2014 found that state and local police had seized almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The Post series revealed that police routinely stopped drivers for minor traffic infractions, pressed them to agree to searches without warrants and seized large amounts of cash when there was no evidence of wrongdoing.

Police then spent the proceeds from the seizure with little oversight, according to the Post investigation. In some cases, the police bought luxury cars, high-powered weapons and armored cars.

“You’re never going to eliminate allegations of abuses,” Rosenstein said, “never going to eliminate mistakes 100 percent. But I think this new policy is going to position us very well to make sure there are very few credible allegations of abuse, and where there are we’re going to make it a priority to follow up.”

The new policy from Attorney General Jeff Sessions authorizes federal “adoption” of assets seized by state and local police when the conduct that led to the seizures violates federal law. Rosenstein said that the department is adding safeguards to ensure that police have sufficient evidence of criminal activity when property is seized. Property owners will receive notice of their rights within 45 days, which is twice as quickly as required by current law. Law enforcement agencies will be required to provide officers with more training on asset forfeiture laws, he said.

State and local law enforcement officials supported the change, but Democratic and Republican lawmakers were skeptical.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) called Sessions’s policy “troubling” and said it would “expand a loophole that’s become a central point of contention nationwide.”

“Criminals shouldn’t be able to keep the proceeds of their crime, but innocent Americans shouldn’t lose their right to due process, or their private property rights, in order to make that happen,” Issa said in a statement.

Holder tweeted that Sessions’s policy was “another extremist action” and said the Obama administration policy was “a reform that was supported by conservatives and progressives, Republicans and Democrats.”

Kanya Bennett, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the action “outrageous.”

“We are talking about people who have not been convicted of a crime and are often not given a day in court to reclaim their possessions,” Bennett said. “Civil asset forfeiture is tantamount to policing for profit, generating millions of dollars annually that the agencies get to keep.”

At a meeting with county sheriffs on Feb. 7, President Trump made clear to law enforcement officials that he is a strong supporter of the civil asset forfeiture program and told the Justice Department to rescind the Obama administration restrictions.

On Wednesday, Sessions defended the reversal at a meeting with representatives from the Fraternal Order of Police, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the Major Cities Chiefs Association and other law enforcement officials who back the new policy.

“Civil asset forfeiture is a key tool that helps law enforcement defund organized crime, take back ill-gotten gains and prevent new crimes from being committed, and it weakens the criminals and the cartels,” Sessions said.

Earlier this week, Sessions told the National District Attorneys Association that “no criminal should be allowed to keep the proceeds of their crime.”

But the ACLU’s Bennett said, “The problem is that we are not talking about criminals.”

“We are talking about Americans who have had their homes, cars, money and other property taken through civil forfeiture, which requires only mere suspicion that the property is connected to a crime,” she said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/sessions-greenlights-police-to-increase-seizures-of-cash-and-property-from-suspected-criminals/2017/07/19/3522a9ba-6c99-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html?utm_term=.2092cd3ed2ce

 

First (and maybe the last) successful hate-crime prosecution under 2009 law

First federal hate-crime prosecution against the killer of a transgender person”  and it’s 2017???

The federal hate crime law passed in 2009 under Obama finally had its first case make it through the courts. 

A Mississippi gang member was sentenced Monday to 49 years in prison in the first federal hate-crime prosecution against the killer of a transgender person.

Joshua Vallum, 29, a member of the Latin Kings gang, pleaded guilty to fatally beating and stabbing 17-year-old Mercedes Williamson, whom he had dated. Vallum admitted that he killed Williamson because she was transgender and because he feared reprisal from other members of the gang, which forbids homosexual relationships.

The case marked the first time that federal prosecutors have used the 2009 Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act to charge someone for targeting a transgender victim, according to the Justice Department.

“Today’s sentencing reflects the importance of holding individuals accountable when they commit violent acts against transgender individuals,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “The Justice Department will continue its efforts to vindicate the rights of those individuals who are affected by bias-motivated crimes.”

Vallum was previously sentenced to life in prison for the slaying under state charges in Mississippi, where Vallum stabbed Williamson and beat her with a hammer after driving her into the state from Alabama. Because Mississippi lacks hate crime legislation, Jackson County prosecutors sought the cooperation of federal authorities to see if such charges could be pursued.

The 2009 law, which President Barack Obama signed into law, expanded federal hate crime laws to include acts motivated by the victim’s real or perceived gender, gender identity, sexual orientation or disability. It is named for Shepard, a 21-year-old gay Wyoming man who was killed in 1998 after being beaten and tied to a fence, and for Byrd, a 49-year-old black man murdered in Texas that same year by white supremacists who dragged him behind their truck and decapitated him.

The sentence comes amid growing concern about violence against transgender people, particularly transgender women. At least 22 transgender people, most of them women of color, were killed in 2016, according to the Human Rights Campaign, an LGBT rights group. It also comes as groups have questioned the Trump administration’s commitment to LGBT rights.

Shortly after his confirmation, Sessions reversed course on Obama-era guidance requiring schools to let transgender students use restrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identities. Sessions also recently let stand a court order blocking an anti-discrimination provision in the Affordable Care Act that applied to transgender people. As a senator, Sessions opposed the Matthew Shepard act, which he said at the time inappropriately singles out a specific group for special protections.

According to the Justice Department, Vallum decided to kill Williamson after learning that a friend had discovered Williamson was transgender. In May 2015, Vallum drove to Williamson’s home in Alabama, lured her into his car, and drove her to his father’s home in Lucedale, Miss. While Williamson sat in the passenger seat, prosecutors said, Vallum used a stun gun to incapacitate Williamson and then stabbed her repeatedly with a 75th Ranger Regiment pocket knife.

Williamson tried to escape, prosecutors said, but Vallum chased her into the woods, where he repeatedly hit her in the head with a hammer.

When the Justice Department announced in December that Vallum had pleaded guilty to hate crime violations, LGBT rights groups lauded the department’s actions.

“The Department of Justice’s leadership on hate crimes prevention is essential for stemming the epidemic of violence facing the transgender community,” the Human Rights Campaign said in a statement. “We urge the incoming Trump administration to continue to enforce this important law and to commit to protecting the rights of LGBT Americans facing violence in their communities.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2017/05/16/gang-member-who-killed-transgender-woman-he-was-dating-is-first-to-be-sentenced-under-federal-hate-crime-law/?utm_term=.899ce27639cd

Jeff Sessions has a new “after harvest” vacation spot picked out for you

supermax

Hey wait! I thought you said this was a discount flight to Cabo

On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave the green light to the continued use of privately run prisons, even though the Obama administration had moved to phase them out as no longer necessary given the declining prison population. Sessions said in a memo that the last administration went against long-standing Justice Department policy and practice and “impaired the Bureau’s ability to meet the future needs of the federal correctional system.”

On the same day, the White House suggested he’d more aggressively go after marijuana.

“It’s pretty safe to say that most people assume that the Sessions Justice Department is likely to scale back some of the reforms that were implemented under the Obama administration,” said Nancy La Vigne, director of the justice policy center at the Urban Institute. Sessions, who said last year that “good people don’t smoke marijuana,” warned at his January confirmation hearing that illegal drugs were bringing “violence, addiction and misery” to America, and he pledged to dismantle drug trafficking gangs.

He did sponsor legislation to reduce sentencing disparities between powder and crack cocaine — a gap seen as disadvantaging black defendants. But last year, Sessions opposed bipartisan criminal justice overhaul efforts and has said that eliminating or reducing mandatory minimum sentences weakens the ability of law enforcement to protect the public.

That focus on drug crimes surfaced in the 1980s when Sessions served as United States attorney for the Southern District of Alabama. Drug cases accounted for 40 percent of his office’s convictions, according to a Brennan Center analysis, with Sessions overseeing the prosecution of defendants, including Key West, Florida, residents who smuggled marijuana into Alabama aboard a shrimp boat.

Tougher enforcement of drug laws could be welcomed by some law enforcement officials, including Justice Department prosecutors who felt hamstrung in recent years in their ability to seek long sentences.

from Washington Post and AP

Uncle Jefferson Beauregard Sessions jr wants you 

uncle-sam