Big government

Pompeo Expands Clean Network Initiative to Keep Americans’ Data Safe from China

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday announced the State Department is expanding its Clean Network initiative to keep Americans’ data safe from Chinese vendors looking to exploit the data. He said there are five new lines of effort. The first is “Clean Carrier” — working to ensure that untrusted Chinese telecom companies do not provide international telecommunications services between the United States and foreign destinations. “I join Attorney General Barr, [Defense] Secretary Esper, and Acting [Department of Homeland Security] Secretary Wolf in urging the [Federal Communications Commission] to revoke and terminate the authorizations of China Telecom and three other companies providing services to and from the United States,” he said. The second is “Clean Store” — removing untrusted Chinese apps from U.S. app stores. “President Trump has mentioned impending action on TikTok, and for good reason. With parent companies based in China, apps like TikTok, WeChat, and others are significant threats to the personal data of American citizens, not to mention tools for CCP content censorship,” Pompeo said. The third is “Clean Apps” — working to prevent Huawei and other untrusted vendors from pre-installing or making available for download the most popular U.S. apps. “We don’t want companies to be complicit in Huawei’s human rights abuses or the CCP’s surveillance apparatus,” he said. The fourth is “Clean Cloud” — protecting Americans’ most sensitive personal information and American businesses’ most valuable intellectual property — including COVID-19 vaccine research — from being accessed on cloud-based systems run by Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Baidu, China Mobile, China Telecom, and Tencent. “The State Department will work closely with Commerce and other agencies to limit the ability of Chinese cloud service providers to collect, to store, and to process vast amounts of data and sensitive information here in the United States,” he said. The fifth is “Clean Cable” — working to ensure that the CCP cannot compromise information carried by the undersea cables that connect the U.S. and others to the global internet. “Huawei Marine significantly underbids other companies on multiple procurements to connect Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and Europe using Chinese state-backed underseas technology,” he said. “We can’t allow that to continue. We call on all freedom-loving nations and companies to join the Clean Network,” he said.

Kudos to Sec. of State Mike Pompeo and the rest of the Trump Administration doing this for all of us.  Excellent!!      🙂

Mike Lee: America has ‘deviated dangerously’ from country’s core values

Over the past 80 years, the country has “deviated dangerously” from what was once an obvious distinction between federal and state power, Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah said. In the new series “Fox Nation 101: The Constitution” Lee took viewers through the history and significance of America’s founding documents, highlighting the principles and core values that have shifted over the nation’s history. The “dangerous” shift began in the 1930’s, Lee said, as the country, paralyzed by the Great Depression turned toward the federal government, thereby increasing its economic role significantly. “People understandably wanted solutions to the Great Depression. It’s understandable why some people approach this from the mistaken viewpoint that it was appropriate for the federal government to do everything that it did during the New Deal era,” Lee explained. But, he went on, “I think that planted some seeds that have proven dangerous over time. A lot of it resulted in our gradual neglect of these core constitutional protections of federalism and separation of powers.” Until the enactment of the New Deal, the country “more or less respected the difference between federal power and state power,” Lee said. “And we more or less recognized and respected the difference between legislative, executive and judicial power. That started to fray during the New Deal era, when we started pulling more and more responsibilities of government away from the American people and to Washington, D.C. “This, in turn, has created a lot of other problems because when Congress found itself all of a sudden having all this power, Congress realized that it couldn’t make that much law,” the senator added. Prior to that time, a law had to be passed in the House of Representatives, later passed in the Senate, and then submitted to the President of the United States for signature or veto, Lee explained. “If the President vetoes, it and it doesn’t become law unless two-thirds of both houses override that veto,” he said, adding “We’ve deviated dangerously from that formula over the last 80 years.” Click here to watch this Fox Nation 101 series, and to sign up.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) is exactly right.  We really need to get back to basics and teach American civics.  If more Americans actually knew the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, we wouldn’t be having many of the issues we’re having today.  As it relates to what Sen. Lee is talking about here.. the particular Amendment that comes to mind is the 10th Amendment to the Constitution which states, ” The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”  In other words..  If the Constitution doesn’t specify that a function belongs to the federal government, then the federal government has NO authority in that area, and those powers/functions belong to the states.  That is the one Amendment to the Constitution in our great Bill of Rights that Congress routinely violates and ignores and nobody says anything.  IF we actually adhered to that amendment, we wouldn’t have a U.S. Dept of Education and a slew of other cabinet-level agencies.  Ironically, ever since Pres. Jimmy Carter (D) created the U.S. Dept of Education as a payoff to the teachers unions who helped get him elected, education in this country has tanked.  Again, if we followed the rulebook (i.e. the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights), we’d be doing MUCH better.  And, if more Americans knew these founding documents, and were taught actual American civics, we would be throwing a LOT of the bums in Washington D.C. out on their butts in the next election.  We recommend the following book:  “The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History” by Dr. Thomas E. Woods, which you can get in paperback on Amazon.com for under $20.  Great read!!

Second stimulus check calculator: See how much money you could receive

As Congress debates the next round of federal coronavirus relief, a fresh round of stimulus checks for Americans is seeming like an increasingly likely possibility. Senate Republicans rolled out the HEALS Act — the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability Protections and Schools Act — on Monday, estimated to cost around $1 trillion. Among other measures, the package includes another $1,200 economic impact payment. The second checks will follow the same eligibility formula as the first round, according to a memo released by the Senate Finance Committee. Qualifying individuals who earn a gross adjusted income of up to $75,000 and couples earning $150,000 would receive the full $1,200 or $2,400 payments, respectively. For higher earners, the checks will be reduced by $5 for every $100 in income and phased out entirely at $99,000 and $198,000. The latest proposal also modified the stimulus checks so that families with dependents over the age of 17 who were excluded from the previous payments — a frequent criticism of the CARES Act, signed into law at the end of March — will be able to receive the extra $500. For instance, a married couple with two children could receive up to $3,400. It’s unclear whether the HEALS Act has a limit on how many dependent payments a single household can receive. The House-passed HEROES Act in May capped them at three, or an additional $1,500. Individuals who have no income and federal benefits recipients are still eligible for the full check amount. A vast majority of Americans will not be required to take any action in order to receive the money. The IRS will use their 2019 tax return if filed or their 2018 return as an alternative. The release of the HEALS Act has ignited a flurry of negotiations between congressional Republicans and Democrats, both of whom are eager for a deal as a resurgence of the virus triggers another wave of business shutdowns. That gives lawmakers just two weeks to reach an agreement on legislation: The House is scheduled to start its recess by Aug. 3, and the Senate is expected to follow on Aug. 7. But Republicans are arriving at the negotiating table hobbled by party infighting, with some conservative Republicans breaking ranks on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s plan and arguing the proposed spending is too much. Some warned that half of Senate Republicans may vote against the legislation. “The focus of this legislation is wrong,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, told reporters this week. “Our priority, our objective, should be restarting the economy.” If President Trump signs the legislation before the Senate begins its August recess next week, that could mean Americans would start to see the money at least by the end of the month, if not earlier, as the IRS already has individuals’ direct deposit information on hand. At the beginning of June, the IRS said it had distributed some 159 million payments, worth more than $267 billion. Of those checks, 120 million were sent via direct deposit, 35 million by check and 4 million were made in the form of a prepaid debit card. An estimated 26 million more individuals will be eligible to receive money under the HEALS Act, according to an estimate from the Tax Foundation. Click here to see how much money you can expect to receive under the HEALS Act.

 

Stanley Kurtz on Trump’s latest ‘tremendous accomplishment’ and why media largely overlooked it

Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, spoke to Fox News about what he called a “tremendous accomplishment” of the Trump administration, one that the mainstream media apparently failed to notice. In an interview on “Life Liberty & Levin” that aired Sunday, Kurtz shed light on the “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule” (AFFH), a law added by former President Barack Obama to the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which the conservative scholar said has aimed to expand federal influence over suburbia. “The AFFH rule sets out a framework for local governments, states, and public housing agencies (PHAs) to take meaningful actions to overcome historic patterns of segregation, promote fair housing choice, and foster inclusive communities that are free from discrimination,” according to U.S. Housing and Urban Development website. On Thursday, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Dr. Ben Carson announced he’s stripping Obama’s AFFH Rule from the Fair Housing Act, saying the rule “was an overreach of unelected Washington bureaucrats into local communities” — a point that Kurtz echoed. “Very recently, President Trump, with the help of Secretary Carson, have in a very powerful and effective way put an end to AFFH as it was created under the Obama-Biden administration,” Kurtz explained. “This is really a tremendous accomplishment,” he added. “People say that the federal government often is under a ratchet effect, meaning it only gets bigger. Or, maybe if a Republican gets in, it stays about the same, but it never actually shrinks.” In this case, Kurtz said, “President Trump, with the help of Secretary Carson, have actually countered the ratchet effect.” Kurtz went on, “Not only have they peeled back virtually the entirety of the Obama-Biden AFFH rule, this radical overreaching rule, but they’ve even peeled back some layers that had accumulated over the original law, which weren’t really about what was in the law even before” the Obama administration began. Kurtz called the move a “brilliant stroke on the part of the Trump administration, and a “courageous action” that illustrated a “radical dichotomy between what Biden is going to offer the suburbs, which is AFFH turbocharged… and President Trump,” who essentially told the suburbs, “I’m not going to mess with your fundamental freedoms.” “Joe Biden is,” he asserted, “And there’s going to be choice like night and day.” Levin observed that the latest reversal by the Trump administration garnered little media coverage, and accused the left-leaning media of sweeping it under the rug to protect “Biden and its agenda and the Democrat Party. “They know what he has in mind when it comes to the suburbs. They know what Obama started,” Levin said, “and they also know that he needs the suburbs to win again.”

Federal judge denies Oregon’s request to stop arrests by federal agents in Portland

A federal judge on Friday denied an order sought by Oregon’s attorney general to prohibit federal agents from making arrests during the ongoing protests in Portland amid a battle between progressive local leaders and the Trump administration over the presence of federal forces. U.S. District Court Judge Michael Mosman said the state lacked standing to sue on behalf of protesters. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum sued the Trump administration last week, alleging federal agents have arrested protesters without probable cause and used excessive force. Authorities deny the accusations. The lawsuit sought a restraining order to stop federal authorities from unlawfully detaining protesters. Agents have arrested 18 people in Portland this week, the Justice Department said Friday. They face a slew of charges, including assaulting federal officers, arson, looting and damaging federal property. The agents have been “subjected to nightly threats and assaults from demonstrators while performing their duties,” said U.S. Attorney Billy J. Williams. Federal agents were sent to the city by President Trump, who has blamed local officials for not addressing the nightly gatherings while trying to project himself as a law and order president. The most recent civil unrest has occurred near the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse where fires have been set and some protesters have hurled projectiles at agents. Protesters also projected lasers on the building and tried to take down a security fence. They scattered as clouds of gas rose up and agents fired crowd control munitions, which critically injured a demonstrator this month. However, the use of tear gas and rubber bullets have set off a wave of criticism from Democratic mayors and civil liberties advocates across the country who are opposed to the deployment of federal agents to cities. “While the decision in the state’s lawsuit is disappointing, federal agents should not for a minute think their unconstitutional actions will go unanswered,” said Jann Carson, interim executive director of the ACLU of Oregon. “The ACLU will be in court again to hold federal agents accountable for their unconstitutional attacks on the right to protest.”

We applaud Judge Mosman’s excellent decision here.

Trump’s four executive orders to lower drug prices: What to know

President Trump issued a handful of executive orders Friday that aim to lower prescription drug prices through a variety of methods, including allowing medications to be imported from other countries. “I’m signing four sweeping executive orders that will lead to a massive reduction in drugs costs,” Trump said during a press briefing at the White House. “[The measures] will completely restore the prescription drug market in terms of prices.” Trump claimed drug prices had fallen under his administration for the first time in more than five decades but added that he was determined to do more. One of the orders introduced Friday would deliver rebates from drug companies directly to patients for insulin and Epipens in a bid to prevent providers from pocketing the discounts themselves while charging low-income patients unaffordable prices. Trump said the price of insulin would come down to “pennies” per day. The second order would allow wholesalers and pharmacies to legally import prescription drugs from Canada and other countries, where the president has repeatedly alleged identical drugs are available at costs as much as 90 percent lower than in the U.S. The third order would bypass pharmacy benefit managers and other “middlemen” to deliver discounts for prescription drugs directly to patients. Trump said Friday that patients often never see these discounts from the manufacturer. A final “favored nations” policy would require Medicare to purchase drugs at the same prices paid by foreign countries, which Trump said will prevent the U.S. from continuing to subsidize the cost of research and development for the entire world. Medicare will leverage its purchasing power to negotiate prices – the goal would be to find a middle ground with other countries that allegedly pay less for the same prescription drugs. This order will not be signed until the end of August, which would give the country’s largest companies time to come up with alternative solutions.

Great news!!!     🙂

Charles Hurt: Like Rats, Democrats Feeding on Despair

One of the great lessons of the 14th century Bubonic Plague was that rats make terrible pets. Even as loathed vermin scurrying along sewer ditches and darkened corners inside people’s homes, rats — and the fleas they carried — proved capable of killing tens of millions of people around the globe. The havoc they wreaked dramatically altered the course of human history. To be sure, rats are amazing, relentless, adaptable creatures. They are virtually un-killable. For every one you finally manage to execute, six more pop up in its place, each generation smarter and more efficient than the last. Anyone who has waged war on rats cannot help but marvel at their ability to outsmart humans. It is only a matter of time before we find them driving city buses and running casinos in Las Vegas. Forget drones and droids. Rats will be our doom. Even the great “Caddyshack” exterminator Carl Spackler would be no match for the modern rat. Rats feed off of clutter, thrive in confusion, cherish mayhem and reign over chaos. They are Masters of the Swamp. For four years now, Democrats in Washington have lectured the country about the paramount importance of integrity in elections. We have been hectored over and over about the sanctity of every vote. Today, these very same Democrats are desperately urging that the 2020 federal elections be conducted by the U.S. Postal Service. Set aside the shoddy record the post office has at delivering mail and the fact that it has never conducted an election in history. Just look at the small part they have played in elections already. A month after New York’s Democratic primary, races have still not been settled — because of lost ballots that have been lost, stolen or mishandled. Turns out, Democrats only care about election “interference” when they are peddling elaborate lies about how such mythical interference hurt them. Ever adaptable, Democrats quickly evolved from fretting over rigged elections to openly supporting widespread corruption of elections. Or, take the rioting, looting and firebombing in American cities today. What supposedly started as peaceful outrage over police treatment of Black citizens in America has been hijacked by anarchists hellbent on destroying the country. As decent Americans of every political stripe watch in horror as the mayhem burns out of control, Washington Democrats move quickly to capitalize on the misery. The riots are all President Trump’s fault, according to Democrats. And then it is his fault all over again when he dispatches federal resources to quell the violence that local politicians have proven incapable of managing. But never do rats thrive more lustily than during a full-blown pandemic. Nearly 150,000 Americans have already died in this once-in-a-century plague from China. The nation is truly at war against an invisible enemy. In other words, this is the perfect time for Washington Democrats to pillage for their own personal political profit. Mr. Trump, they say, was slow to address the pandemic. This, from the very vermin who paralyzed the federal government for the first two months of the pandemic in order to pursue a fraudulent impeachment trial against Mr. Trump. When Mr. Trump shut down flights of Chinese nationals into the United States, these very same Democrats accused him of being racist, “xenophobic,” and urged citizens to gather — unmasked — in New York City’s Chinatown. After all, there is no time like a plague when rats like to party it up.

Our thanks to veteran D.C. columnist Charles Hurt for that spot-assessment of what the Dems are doing right now..  Charlie can be reached at churt@washingtontimes.com or @charleshurt on Twitter.  Excellent!!      🙂

Missouri governor says pardon likely if St. Louis homeowners charged

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says he is prepared to exercise his pardon powers if prosecutors bring criminal charges in the case of a St. Louis couple who brandished firearms at a group of protesters outside their home. Parson, a Republican, told a St. Louis radio station Friday that he thinks a pardon is “exactly what would happen” if Mark and Patricia McCloskey are hit with charges in the June 28 incident captured on video and seen by millions. He later added that based on what he knows about the case, “I don’t think they’re going to spend any time in jail.” The McCloskeys, who are both attorneys, displayed guns as Black Lives Matter protesters walked onto the private street where they live. The protesters were headed to the home of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. State prosecutor Kim Gardner launched an investigation, saying, “we will not tolerate the use of force against those exercising their First Amendment rights.” St. Louis police seized a rifle from the couple’s home pursuant to a search warrant. Parson told 97.1 FM the McCloskeys “did what they legally should do,” according to The Hill newspaper. “A mob does not have the right to charge your property,” he said, according to the paper. “They had every right to protect themselves.” Parson linked to the interview on Twitter and added the comment, “We will not allow law-abiding citizens to be targeted for exercising their constitutional rights.” Gardner has not disclosed whether she intends to file charges, but several leading Republicans — including President Trump, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Parson — have criticized her for even deciding to investigate the couple. Parson cited Missouri’s “castle doctrine” law that justifies lethal force for those protecting their homes. Hawley is seeking a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of Gardner. A spokeswoman for Gardner declined comment, citing the ongoing investigation.

This is playing out exactly as we predicted.  This self-serving, anti-gun, pro-criminal, liberal Democrat St. Louis City prosecutor Kim Gardner (D) has bitten off more than she can chew.  Sure, she’s getting her 15 mins of fame, and adoration from the criminal community.  But, she’s failing at her job.  So, kudos to Gov. Mike Parson (R-MO) for basically saying he’ll pardon the McCloskeys if any charges are brought against them, and to Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) for asking the DOJ to investigate Ms. Gardner.  After all, she FAILED to do her job when cops arrested 35 rioters during the post-George Floyd riots in St. Louis.  She just let them all go, without bringing any charges….which is her flipping job!  Instead, she’s going after law-abiding gun owners who were rightfully exercising their 2nd Amendment rights in protecting their home from the mob.

President Trump Looking to End Obama’s Housing Policy

During his recent address in the Rose Garden, President Donald Trump noted that he intends to put an end to Barack Obama’s fair housing rules that would “abolish the suburbs.” The president went on an extended commentary during his July 14 comments in the Rose Garden, and in one segment he mentioned Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rules, which would put the federal government in the driver’s seat in planning and approving construction of housing in every sector of the country. The AFFH rule, proposed in 2015 by Julian Castro, who was then Obama’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, was met with stiff resistance the moment it was unveiled. National Review’s Stanley Kurtz was shocked by the rule and called it “massive government overreach.” He added that it that it “gives the federal government a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood — imposing a preferred racial and ethnic composition, densifying housing, transportation, and business development in suburb and city alike, and weakening or casting aside the authority of local governments over core responsibilities, from zoning to transportation to education.” Kurtz continued saying that the rule would give the federal government the power to force racial quotes on every community in America. “AFFH obligates any local jurisdiction that receives HUD funding to conduct a detailed analysis of its housing occupancy by race, ethnicity, national origin, English proficiency, and class (among other categories),” he wrote, and continued: Grantees must identify factors (such as zoning laws, public-housing admissions criteria, and “lack of regional collaboration”) that account for any imbalance in living patterns. Localities must also list “community assets” (such as quality schools, transportation hubs, parks, and jobs) and explain any disparities in access to such assets by race, ethnicity, national origin, English proficiency, class, and more. Localities must then develop a plan to remedy these imbalances, subject to approval by HUD. By using its power to approve banking and funding, the federal government would necessarily have the ability to tell suburban areas who will be allowed to live in their neighborhoods and what kind of homes they can build to force immigrant and low-income residents into every neighborhood. In the end, the rule would destroy wealth and lower property values. But in the last few weeks, the Trump administration has been talking about formally ending the program put in place during the Obama era. Trump read from Joe Biden’s platform, which the Democrat has proposed ahead of the DNC convention period. “Abolish – in the suburbs, you’re going to abolish the suburbs with this,” Trump said in advance of reading Biden’s platform on housing policy. “Enforce Obama-Biden’s radical AFFH – that’s the AFFH regulation that threatens to strip localities of federal affordable housing funds unless they change their zoning laws to fit the federal government’s demands,” Trumps said, reading Biden’s plans. “So, what you have – I mean, I’ve been watching this for years in Westchester, coming from New York. They want low-income housing built in a neighborhood,” Trump opined. “Well, I’m ending that rule. I’m taking it out, so – I spoke with Ben Carson the other day. We’re going to be taking it out. I’ve watched that whole thing go, and now they want to make it twice as bad in the suburbs – in the suburbs,” he said. “Mothers aren’t happy about that. Fathers aren’t happy about that. They worked hard to buy a house, and now they’re going to watch the housing values drop like a rock, and that has happened. It dropped like a rock. So, we’re not going to do that; we’re going to do the exact opposite,” he concluded. Trump spoke of the AFFH rules the next day, as well. In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump added that abolishing “the American way of life” is part of Joe Biden’s radical platform for 2020. “Joe Biden and the Radical Left want to Abolish Police, Abolish ICE, Abolish Bail, Abolish Suburbs, Abolish the 2nd Amendment – and Abolish the American Way of Life. No one will be SAFE in Joe Biden’s America!” he wrote:

Agreed..  This is a nightmare for anyone living in the suburbs!  Kudos to President Trump and Sec of HUD (Dr) Ben Carson, for their efforts to bring an end to this insanity.

Gregg Jarrett: Armed couple who defended St. Louis home when threatened shouldn’t be prosecuted

Malcolm X once observed: “I don’t even call it violence when it’s in self-defense; I call it intelligence.” A St. Louis couple — Mark and Patricia McCloskey — recently chose to arm themselves for self-defense after a mob entered their property and allegedly threatened their lives. They insist they were acting justifiably and … yes … intelligently. They were also acting lawfully — as long as they were in fear and reasonably believed that the force of weapons they displayed was necessary to defend themselves from an imminent threat of harm. That is the law. As a logical extension of the Second Amendment right to bear arms, Missouri embraces a well-known common-law principle called the Castle Doctrine. The state’s expansive interpretation permitted the McCloskeys to use physical force to defend themselves and their home while on their own property, without requiring them to first retreat. There is some case law in Missouri that suggests that the couple would not have been permitted to shoot solely in defense of their property. However, the McCloskeys neither fired their weapons nor claimed they were protecting merely their land. Indeed, they say that several members of the mob were armed and vowed to set their home ablaze and murder them. If true, the couple was completely entitled under the law to brandish (and potentially use) physical force in self-defense. Patricia McCloskey told Sean Hannity on his Fox News show: “[They said] they were going to kill us. They were going to come in there. They were going to burn down the house. They were going to be living in our house after I was dead.” The McCloskeys explained that they first called 911 but no police arrived. They were left to defend themselves. Mark McCloskey told KSDK-TV that “the only thing that stopped the crowd was my rifle.” How is it possible, then, that St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner is investigating the McCloskeys but not the mob that allegedly knocked down a wrought-iron gate and knowingly trespassed (signs were posted) on the McCloskey’s property? This is backward. Repeated threats of physical harm uttered by the mob would constitute an assault under the law. Yet, Gardner appears to be poised to charge the homeowners with assault over their right to defend against an alleged assault. Legally, this is not just senseless, but insane. It is well-established that a person is allowed to threaten force if he or she is threatened. The perpetrators do not suddenly become helpless victims when they are averted. The idiocy of Gardner’s reasoning was explained to Fox News by Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, who stated that Gardner “has a record of making politically motivated decisions not based on the law.” No kidding. Schmitt called Gardner’s record in prosecuting violent crime “abysmal.” As chief prosecutor, Gardner cares more about defending criminals than helping victims. To her, justice is an antiquated bromide. This should come as no surprise, since Gardner’s 2016 election was funded, in part, by considerable cash funneled through a Super PAC backed financially by far-left billionaire George Soros. Gardner’s tenure has been notable only for the slew of lawsuits against her for allegedly ignoring public records requests. (Gardner appears to believe that the public is not allowed to read public records.) Her low conviction rate in prosecutions has brought solace and smiles to criminals. In a statement, Gardner called the mob “peaceful protestors who were met by guns and a violent assault.” There are two inconvenient problems with her remarks. First, Gardner has completely ignored or dismissed the evidence of the trespass and the McCloskey’s chilling account of the mob’s threats of arson and murder. Second, by publicly declaring the couple guilty of assault, she has demolished any presumption of innocence for the accused. The Constitution protects free speech, assembly and peaceful protests. These are cherished rights. But the First Amendment does not give license to demonstrators to transform themselves into criminals who engage in acts of threatened violence or other lawless conduct. The riots, looting, assaults, and murders that have escalated out of control in many cities across America in the aftermath of the George Floyd tragedy are not an excuse under the law to victimize innocent people and destroy property. Late last week, authorities armed with a search warrant seized the rifle that Mark McCloskey was shown holding the night of June 28. His wife’s pistol was already in the possession of their attorney. The seizure, together with Gardner’s statement, leaves little doubt that the McCloskeys will soon be facing criminal charges by an elected prosecutor who seems determined to abuse her power by capitulating to the demands of the mob. Gardner can’t possibly prevail if charges are brought. But I suspect that is not her objective. Prosecution of the McCloskeys serves a political nostrum. It would conform perfectly to the prevailing orthodoxy of liberal outrage that no one is now permitted to question without being condemned and/or canceled. We are told we must all recognize and affirm that disagreement, however well-reasoned, is no longer tolerated. Ideological purity must be elevated, as dissent is suffocated, we are told. The civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was a legendary proponent of nonviolence. But he was not an absolutist. King well understood the moral and legal necessity of self-defense in a society that is not always civilized. King made this clear when he wrote: “The principle of self-defense, even involving weapons and bloodshed, has never been condemned, even by Gandhi.” Kimberly Gardner is not condemning self-defense as much as she is canceling it for purely political reasons driven by self-interest and self-promotion. She has no business being a government prosecutor if she harbors such contempt for the law.

Agreed 100%!!  Thanks to Gregg Jarrett for that spot-on legal analysis.  Gregg is a former defense attorney and adjunct law professor. He is the author of the No. 1 New York Times best-selling book “The Russia Hoax: The Illicit Scheme to Clear Hillary Clinton and Frame Donald Trump.” His latest book is the New York Times bestseller “Witch Hunt: The Story of the Greatest Mass Delusion in American Political History