Biggest Crimes Of The Century? Trump Pardons All!

The investigation into President Donald Trump’s administration’s ties seems so long ago now — especially considering the administration’s scandals come about weekly — but it wasn’t so long ago that Robert Mueller and his colleagues arrested, charged, and prosecuted a number of individuals who failed to cooperate. Now, Trump seems intent on pardoning every single one. Officials associated with the investigation admitted that they expected Trump to do as much.

Michael Flynn is among the most notorious of those let off the hook so far. He was also the first big pardon. Flynn had been charged with obstruction of justice after lying to the FBI about backroom dealings with Russian diplomats. He pleaded guilty at first, then tried to withdraw the plea later.

George Papadopoulos served 14 days in federal prison for lying to the FBI, and was granted a full pardon. He was an important piece of Trump’s 2016 campaign and served as foreign policy adviser.

Dutch lawyer Alex van der Zwaan collaborated with Paul Manafort on Ukraine, and was also charged with lying. He was allowed to go back to London after serving 30 days in federal prison. He was pardoned.

Speaking of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, he was one of the few prosecuted for more than just lying to the FBI (although he did that too). He was convicted for financial fraud. He was pardoned. 

Trump buddy Roger Stone was earlier granted clemency after serving part of his prison sentence for lying to the FBI. Trump later granted Stone a full pardon.

It has been long believed that Trump would pardon members of his own family, and that parade has commenced. His son-in-law’s father, Charles Kushner, was granted a pardon for 2004 charges related to tax evasion, witness tampering, and lying to the Federal Election Commission. His taxes had been filed after saying $6 million worth of political contributions were actually business expenses. Maybe he even saw them that way!

Will The Trial Of Joe Biden Become The Biggest Of The Century?

Mid-October was a tumultuous moment in the spotlight for both the Trump and Biden presidential campaigns. The New York Post — a sensational tabloid — dropped a piece on Biden’s supposed connection to the Burisma Ukraine scandal, to which the Trump administration has been trying and failing to connect Biden ever since impeachment rocked the White House. But those ideas were largely dismissed as absurd, conspiratorial nonsense. They were quickly debunked by members of Trump’s own administration.

But that certainly did not stop Fox News from asking why the host of Biden’s town hall-style meeting failed to ask about the Post’s allegations. Why ask a candidate about rumors that were never true? There was no information provided by the Post to indicate any veracity to its reports, and, as expected, the tabloid refused to provide the laptop and its supposed email treasure trove to forensics teams. 

Fox also lambasted the host of Trump’s town hall-style meeting for back and forth arguments — which the host used to separate fact from fiction. The facts are the facts, but for the most part every statement out of Trump’s mouth was fiction. Biden does not lie or misconstrue the truth nearly as often as Trump and his cronies, which is probably why his administration never caught the same heat as the Trump administration. 

These accusations were probably only aimed at accomplishing one thing: changing the corruption narrative plaguing President Trump to one plaguing Biden instead. They wanted Biden to spend more time on defense instead of promoting programs aimed at civil rights or environmental awareness during a hurricane season that has costed states many billions of dollars in hurricane damage claims. The number of named storms set records.

Although the accusations were not borne of truth, that didn’t stop the major networks from running away with them. Thankfully, fact-checkers quickly went to work.

During the same town hall, Trump repeated the false statement that the Obama administration had spied on his campaign and “got caught,” although those lies had already been debunked by federal investigations. Trump had previously said he was upset with United States Attorney General Bill Barr because he refused to indict Biden or Obama on charges — which, of course, he cannot do because there were no crimes committed. 

Trump also regurgitated lies about coronavirus, namely that it was almost behind us, that 85 percent of mask wearers get the virus, and that Dr. Anthony Fauci had said that Americans should not wear masks before reversing course — which, while true, removed the context. Fauci knew that there was a mask shortage and that, while effective, they would be more useful in the hands of healthcare providers. When the shortage ended, Fauci told Americans to buy masks.

Biden had previously said that he would not stand in the way of prosecution against Trump, although most legal scholars seemed to believe it could never happen. If Trump were to lose the election, surely he would resign so that Pence could pardon him for any crimes committed. We’ll have to wait and see what happens, but the outlook is grim on trials for Biden and Trump both.


Famous Crimes And Criminals You Never Heard About

How comfortable are you with your neighbors? Possibly more comfortable than you should be, if this list is anything to go by — because there are probably dozens of uncaught serial killers operating in the United States, or so our most trust authorities say. Even those criminals who were caught have a lot to teach us about the ones that might elude capture, both through their own stories and also by divining the truth from a pack of lies. 

Darren Deon Vann was caught and charged for murdering a prostitute in 2014. Most everyone thought that would be the end of his story, which is why the news never gained much traction. Since then, though, he confessed to at least six more murders. And he wasn’t just a serial killer — he also was charged and convicted for aggravated rape more than a decade ago. For his serial activities, he faces the death penalty. 

Remember when the remains of four unlucky victims were found near a Connecticut strip mall back in 2015? Or how about the three other bodies that were found in that exact same spot in 2007? William Devin Howell was caught and charged with the entire lot of murders. Howell was such a dark figure that he called his getaway 1985 Ford Econoline his murder mobile. He was given away by a cellmate after he was caught and charged for manslaughter back in 2007.

Salvatore Perrone murdered several ethnically Middle Eastern shopkeepers during business hours in Brooklyn. It was possible he was envious of their success, as his own business — and his marriage — had failed. The evidence against him was so powerful that a jury took barely a half-hour to convict him of the three counts of murder. He was nicknamed “Son of Sal” but we bet you’ve never heard of him!

Fraudulent Bankruptcy Dealings Erupt Because Of COVID: Whose Trial Will Make The Biggest Waves?

Most people probably don’t even know that bankruptcy fraud exists — but with the rise in coronavirus-related bankruptcies, these crimes are becoming even more commonplace in 2020. This type of fraud generally occurs when someone filing for bankruptcy attempts to hide or diminish their own assets in order to keep them once the bankruptcy is complete. Usually this means falsifying data on notarized or other legally binding agreements and documents.

The sheer number of people in the United States facing financial ruin because of coronavirus means that more are getting away with bankruptcy fraud. That’s a shame, because any business bankruptcy attorney worth their salt can protect those assets anyway. Many legal analysts are wondering which big company will get nailed for bankruptcy fraud this year or next — and whether or not those inevitable trials stand to become some of the biggest this century.

One of the more high-profile cases may have already been overlooked by most people because our eyes are so firmly glued to the presidential election. Former Uber engineer Anthony Levandowski told a federal bankruptcy court earlier this year that Uber should pay Google a whopping $179 million settlement instead of him. 

The argument stems from the fact that Levandowski once worked for Google before joining Uber. He also worked as an engineer for Google, most notably on its self-driving endeavors. Levandowski had a self-driving startup named Otto, which Uber purchased for hundreds of millions. The goal of that purchase was to keep Levandowski as an Uber asset for a long time to come to keep him from Google. But of course that didn’t happen. He was pushed away from both companies during legal proceedings.

When Levandowski went over to Uber, Google sued the company because it believed that Levandowski had stolen much of what he worked on just before he left. During much of the trial that followed, Levandowski pleaded the fifth — because of course he had something to hide. 

According to Uber, the company was lied to by Levandowski — who repeatedly told higher ups that he had not stolen a thing. 

Uber’s subsequent legal filing read: “If Uber had known that Levandowski had deliberately downloaded Google confidential trade secrets to use those secrets while at Uber, then Uber would not have completed the Otto acquisition and would not have entered into the indemnification agreement.”

Levandowski says that Uber should pay the settlement, and Uber says that Levandowski should have to pay. What happens next could spill over into a bankruptcy fraud case if Levandowski loses all the money he made during these transactions and federal officials find that he lied. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of the settlement, and has an estimated value of $50 to $100 million — which is a long way away from the $179 he was ordered to pay. He has additional liabilities totalling up to $500 million, complicating his bankruptcy case even further. 

Will The Trial Of Donald Trump Become The Biggest Of The Century?

You’ve probably all heard the conjecture: If Donald Trump loses the 2020 election, he could be subject to criminal charges — possibly related to tax fraud, tax evasion, or dozens of other shady acts committed while in office. This could be the reason why he’s trying to sow doubt about the legitimacy of the mail-in vote (even though he uses it himself). He wants to throw away everything after Election Day so that the courts will side with him and keep him safe in office for another four years.

It’s not difficult to forecast a landslide Biden win right now. He’s up by double digits. Trump is taking other Republicans down with him, and Fivethirtyeight’s forecast even suggests that if he loses the presidential race, then the opportunity for Democrats to slide in additional House and Senate seats increases as well. 

Here’s the problem: there’s a remarkably easy — and legal — path for Trump to not only “steal” the American election without winning either the popular vote or electoral college, but also to escape criminal prosecution in the event he loses. We’ll ignore the first scenario for now, but what that means is that Trump might not be trying to win as hard as some people think.

For now, let’s take on the second scenario: Trump loses by a wide margin and must leave office without any great turmoil erupting in his wake. If you were president and knew you could be prosecuted, what would you do? Well, history has already provided us with an example — and that’s why even Trump wouldn’t be stupid enough to let himself go to jail when he could do one simple thing: resign. Just like Nixon did.

In the days after such a resignation, Pence would undoubtedly take the oath of office. One of his first acts as president would be to pardon Trump for any and all crimes committed before or during his tenure as president. It’s as easy as that!

Massive Child Predator Investigation Still Underway in Germany

We sometimes forget that not all news comes from America. That’s certainly true when you look at sex trafficking and patterns of networked sexual abuse worldwide. One such network was uncovered only last year — and it’s focal point was a strange spot in Cologne, Germany. Local authorities were on the premises to conduct a routine search when they found something sinister on site: child pornography.

It was from that discovery that an investigation of tens of thousands of persons of interest began using hundreds of detectives. Two men were recently sentenced to more than a decade in prison for sexual abuse of minors and the distribution of child pornography. But they won’t be the last incarcerated in what just might become one of the biggest trials of the century.

The videos uncovered depicted scenes not only of sexual abuse, but extreme acts of violence perpetrated against these children. The abuse of several victims began when they were only mere months in age.

One officer said, “I think images and videos like these are always going to leave their mark on those who watch them — even experienced investigators.” Lisa Wagner is a mother herself, and became a police officer to help watch over everyone else’s children, too. But sometimes evil hides in plain sight, as was the case in Cologne. Neighbors described the arrestees as normal. 

Dozens of children involved in the predator network have been located and placed into new homes with new guardians. 87 cases in particular stand out to authorities.  Cologne State Prosecutor Markus Hartmann said, “This is not about individual cases: behind each instance of abuse lies a web of communication structures that, according to our current evaluation, aids, abets and encourages abuse.”

The real trick is finding a way not only to arrest those responsible, but also to keep them behind bars — and then mitigate future damages against children. How can law enforcement possibly target conduct that largely occurs online when Internet privacy laws and VPN software helps mask the trafficking? There are no easy answers, and legislators have been struggling with this question for decades.

Earlier this year in July, the European Commission devised a strategy to protect children, one in five of whom will be the subject of child abuse. 

In Germany, some of those incarcerated individuals might be placed in “preventative detention” once they serve their time. In other words, they will never really be released.

Borders are another obstacle to catching child predators, but thankfully the internationally community is mostly cooperative and resolute in the face of this challenge. Hartmann said, “We have had cases in Europe in which we were able to coordinate operations with our respective international partners in hours.”

And that means in the future, child predators might be caught easier and faster — which means fewer victims overall. Still, the trauma these victims will endure lasts a lifetime. It does not end with the abuse, or when the abuser is finally caught and incarcerated. So the struggle continues.

VICTIMS: George Flloyd Was The Last Straw — Not The Only One Who Mattered

Many have decided to counter the BLM movement with protests of their own because they believe that George Flloyd was a felon whose life wasn’t as important as police officers who have been killed in the line or duty, or even other African Americans — “All lives matter,” they say, in the ultimate example of missing the point entirely. These protests that have expanded across the globe are not about one example of police brutality. 

They are about all examples of police brutality, regardless of race.

Many dissenters have said that the police would leave African Americans alone if they would stop doing things wrong or start obeying police orders. Tell that to Breonna Taylor, who was shot dead while sleeping in her own home. Not only was she murdered by the police who invaded her home, but they also openly admitted that they had no reason to be there (much later).

The United States has far more victims of police brutality than any other developed country in the world. One might ask, “Why is this the case?”

One reason is the obvious lack of training. A few weeks at a police academy and a cursory background check, and you’re essentially given a license to kill. 

Another reason harkens back to George W. Bush. When the United States military bought a whole bunch of equipment it didn’t need for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, it was shipped back to the United States and given to police departments across the country — whose budgets were already skyrocketing. We gave a policing organization military equipment by the truckload. What did we expect them to do? …Act timid in full body armor?

But those are just secondary reasons. The underlying cause of many killings is racism, pure and simple. We kill African Americans a far disproportionate rate to Caucasians. That’s why defunding the police will soon be on dockets across the country, and why at least one has already been disbanded.

WEIRD CRIMES: Missouri Man Arrested After Licking Walmart Products

Not everyone is taking the novel coronavirus outbreak seriously. The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has notified thru-hikers to stay away from the trail because the AT has become the “opposite of social distancing.” This is because day hikers have flooded the trail in historic numbers after becoming bored at home. College kids on Spring Break refused to leave Florida beaches despite the likelihood of transmitting the coronavirus in high numbers.

And then there are the people who lick grocery products to say to the world, “I’m not scared of you, COVID-19!”

Thankfully, they get arrested for being imbeciles.

Cody Lee Pfister used social media to distribute a video of him licking various Walmart products. He can be heard asking, “Who’s scared of coronavirus?” The video quickly went viral for all the right reasons, and Pfister was arrested and charged. Even citizens of other countries called the Warrenton Police Department to report Pfister’s callous actions toward the rest of society. He was charged with making a terrorist threat — because police are taking incidents like these very seriously.

Lieutenant Justin Unger of the Warrenton Police Department said, “We take this incident very seriously, especially with this infection disease and the state that the country is in. We take these things seriously to protect our community.

One criminal complaint alleged that Pfister “knowingly caused a false belief or fear that a condition involving danger to life existed.”

Criminal defense attorney Patrick J. Coyne defended Pfister’s actions by reminding the public that the World Health Organization had yet to classify the coronavirus outbreak as a pandemic at the time the video was recorded. He said, “Public conduct that was immature on March 10 looks completely differently through the lens of today.”

Others have been arrested and charged for making coronavirus-related terrorist threats as well. One New Jersey man purposely coughed on a grocery store employee after the two had a minor confrontation. George Falcone, the criminal cougher, laughed in the worker’s face. Falcone said he was infected with the virus. 

We can expect more incidents such as these, in large part because the president and the media continue to compare the novel coronavirus to the seasonal flu, which is actually a much less fatal and much less infectious illness. Were the coronavirus outbreak to be left to its own devices, millions would likely perish, and the economy would be ruined — which is why Trump’s desire to let the coronavirus run amuck so he can reopen the economy makes very little sense.

TRUMP ACQUITTED: But Mitt Romney Breaks Ranks With Republicans To Convict

The impeachment trial of the century has turned out the way everyone expected. Straight down party lines. Every Democrat voted to convict President Donald Trump on abuse of power. Surprisingly, however, one brave Republican senator decided to break from the rank and file and side with Democrats: Mitt Romney. Not so surprisingly, Senate Republicans quickly moved to censure him.

Utah Governor Gary Herbert said, “Sometimes we don’t like his style, but it’s hard to overlook the successes that he’s had.” Herbert voted against censuring Romney. Of course, the idea that we can censure someone simply for voting their conscience is objectionable to say the least. What happened to the idea of a country before a political party?

Romney said of the decision to convict Trump: “This has been the most difficult decision I have ever had to make in my life. I have gone through a process of very thorough analysis and searching, and I have prayed through this process. But I don’t pretend that God told me what to do.” 

“The president did in fact pressure a foreign government to corrupt our election process,” he said. “And really, corrupting an election process in a democratic republic is about as abusive and egregious an act against the Constitution — and one’s oath — that I can imagine. It’s what autocrats do.”

Much of the argument over whether or not Trump’s actions were impeachable came down to interpretation over the Constitutional phrase “high crimes and misdemeanors,” which, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t actually mean crimes the way we traditionally think of them. When the Founding Fathers wrote this into the Constitution, it was meant to describe a public officer who had broken the trust of the people. Which is exactly what the discussion should have been about.

But as they so often do, Republicans twisted the discussion with misinformation and conspiracy theories regarding Obama doing the exact same thing when he was in office or the government of Ukraine trying to get Hillary elected. Neither are true, but that’s how Trump got away with ripping the Constitution to shreds, time and time again.

Romney admitted that he had read Alexander Hamilton’s thoughts on impeachment (and the meaning of high crimes and misdemeanors) in Federalist No. 65. This was how Romney determined that the president was guilty of the crime and should be removed from office immediately. His Republican colleagues instead decided to put party first, and protect the president — thereby increasing their own chances for reelection in a country whose Republicans strongly support him.

One Week Into The Trial Of President Donald J. Trump

We’re one week into the trial of our current president, and the Democrats have wrapped up their impassioned cries for rational thought during a highly partisan process. Adam Schiff weaved the various elements of Trump’s corrupt dealings with Ukraine much better than expected. But will a great speech or two make a big difference in the outcome? Not a chance. This is a president whose supporters are more than willing to go down with the sinking ship, no matter what history will them of them.

Schiff hasn’t been kind to his Republican colleagues, either. He went so far as to say that they might expect history to mount their heads “on a pike” for voting alongside the president after the trial is complete. 

But he knows that’s exactly what will happen.

The Democrats have used every fact at their disposal — and there are a lot of them — while the Republicans are expected to continue their gradeschool logic: the president of Ukraine says there was no pressure and he didn’t know the aid was withheld during a July phone call, plus Trump didn’t actually commit a crime. (But he actually did violate the Impoundment Control Act by withholding congressionally appointed funds, soooo…)

Jonathan Turley wrote for The Hill: “Murkowski, who is being courted by both sides, could again find herself aggrieved by an argument from counsel if, as widely expected, the White House frames its case around a widely discredited theory that impeachment requires a criminal allegation.”

We know that the Founding Fathers did not agree with that statement, which is why Turley describes further: “In both the Clinton and Trump impeachment inquiries, I addressed that theory as historically and constitutionally unsupportable. Yet Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz will make the argument as the core of the defense. It is a particularly baffling decision given not only Attorney General William Barr’s rejection of the theory but also the Democratic and many of the Republican senators. So the White House is making an argument that the vast majority of senators in the jury have already rejected, including Republican senators coming forward this week.”

But then again, that helps define our point: When you can’t argue against a long list of facts, you form arguments that are based on long-ago debunked or discredited ideas. “High crimes and misdemeanors,” in case you were wondering, were used by the writers of the U.S. constitution to describe acts by public officials that violated the public trust — not actual crimes. The definition has changed over time, of course, allowing the corrupt to form arguments that are not, in actuality, based on any fact at all.

So far, it seems to be working quite well for the defense.