Posts Tagged doj

Operation Choke Point Under Scrutiny

From Electronic Frontier Foundation:

EFF recently received dozens of pages of documents in response to a FOIA request we submitted about Operation Choke Point, a Department of Justice project to pressure banks and financial institutions into cutting off service to certain businesses. Unfortunately, the response from the Department of Justice leaves many questions unanswered.

EFF has been tracking instances of financial censorship for years to identify how online speech is indirectly silenced or intimidated by shuttering bank accounts, donation platforms, and other financial institutions.  The Wall Street Journal wrote about the Justice Department’s controversial and secretive campaign against financial institutions in 2013, and one Justice Department official quoted in the article stated:

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ATF White Paper Leaked, Suggests Sweeping Changes

From The Washington Post:

The “white paper” by Ronald B. Turk, associate deputy director and chief operating officer of the ATF, calls for removing restrictions on the sale of gun silencers; allowing gun dealers to have more guns used in crimes traced to their stores before the federal government requires additional information from the dealer; and initiating a study on lifting the ban on imported assault weapons.

Read the original white paper here.

Reactions:

Ammoland

Bearing Arms

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Defense Distributed Part of New Documentary

From The Verge:

In the film, Wilson is openly positive about the election of Donald Trump, which may help explain the film’s chilly reception among the liberal-leaning Sundance audience. Then again, there are plenty of reasons for people on the left — Lough included — to find Wilson unsettling. Lough interviews him at length in The New Radical, about other pioneers of the crypto movement, other libertarian radical activists, and how printable weapons level the playing field for anyone who wants a potentially undetectable plastic gun without any government oversight.

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Denver Sheriff Sued By DOJ For Not Hiring Non-Citizens

From The Denver Post:

The Denver Sheriff Department has run afoul of the U.S. Department of Justice because it made U.S. citizenship a job requirement for its deputies during a hiring spree in 2015 and early 2016.

The sheriff’s department will pay a $10,000 fine and will have to sort through old applications to identify people who were eliminated from consideration because they were not U.S. citizens, according to a news release from the justice department.

When will the insanity end?

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Angry FBI Agents Likely Source Of Leaked Emails

From Fox News:

“There are probably 100 FBI agents who worked on the investigation of Mrs. Clinton– hardworking men and women in field who gathered evidence and interviewed witnesses–…and are furious at the decision not to prosecute her,” Napolitano said on The Kelly File.

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Obama Admin Drops Charges Against Arms Dealer Who Could Blow Whistle On Libyan Arms Transfer

From Politico:

Lawyers for the Justice Department on Monday filed a motion in federal court in Phoenix to drop the case against the arms dealer, an American named Marc Turi, whose lawyers also signed the motion.

The deal averts a trial that threatened to cast additional scrutiny on Hillary Clinton’s private emails as Secretary of State, and to expose reported Central Intelligence Agency attempts to arm rebels fighting Libyan leader Moammar Qadhafi.

From Fox News:

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Signal App Subpoenaed For User Data

From Open Whisper Systems:

In the “first half of 2016” (the most specific we’re permitted to be), we received a subpoena from the Eastern District of Virginia. The subpoena required us to provide information about two Signal users for a federal grand jury investigation.

This is the first subpoena that we’ve received. It originally included a broad gag order that would have prevented us from publishing this notice, but the ACLU represented us in quickly and successfully securing our ability to publish the transcripts below. We’re committed to treating any future requests the same way: working with effective and talented organizations like the ACLU, andpublishing transcripts of our responses to government requests here.

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The Apple Case Could Violate The Thirteenth Amendment

If Apple is compelled to create a program that doesn’t exist for the government, that would be a type of slavery.

From Reason.com:

Instead, the DOJ has obtained the most unique search warrant I have ever seen in 40 years of examining them. Here, the DOJ has persuaded a judge to issue a search warrant for A THING THAT DOES NOT EXIST, by forcing Apple to create a key that the FBI is incapable of creating.

There is no authority for the government to compel a nonparty to its case to do its work, against the nonparty’s will, and against profound constitutional values. Essentially, the DOJ wants Apple to hack into its own computer product, thereby telling anyone who can access the key how to do the same.

If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment.

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P.W. Arms Sues ATF Over Ammo Ban

From Guns.com:

P.W. Arms, Inc., a wholesaler in Redmond, filed suit against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in a Seattle federal court on Dec. 18. The lawsuit alleges the ATF incorrectly classified the ammo 7N6, a 5.45x39mm rifle round, as “armor piercing” and in turn prohibited it from importation after permitting the company to do so.

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Senator Kaine’s Gun Control Bill

From The Federalist:

Kaine’s proposed law, entitled the “Responsible Transfer of Firearms Act,” places a criminal federal liability on anyone who transfers a firearm to an individual prohibited from possessing one by federal law, according to a fact sheet provided by Kaine’s office. Under current law, only federal firearms licensees (FFLs) are criminally liable if they sell a gun to a prohibited individual. Kaine’s law would extend that criminal liability to private individuals as well.

 

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ATF Claims It’s Not Subject To FOIA

From Guns.com:

“The ATF is not an ‘agency’ within the meaning of the FOIA, 5 U.S.C. § 552(f)(1), and is, therefore, not a proper party defendant,” the agency wrote in its answer to a complaint filed in federal court in June.

Attorney and Second Amendment scholar, David Kopel, said he didn’t know the reasoning behind the ATF answer. “I have no idea what ATF’s argument on that point is,” he said. “There is no separate FOIA law for ATF, and they are plainly an agency within the meaning of the statute.”

 

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Many Vets Are On Gun Ban List

From Townhall.com:

According to Grassley’s office, the VA “reports individuals to the gun ban list if an individual merely needs financial assistance managing VA benefits,” keeping them from exercising their Second Amendment rights. (Bolding is mine)

“The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is effectively a national gun ban list and placement on the list precludes the ownership and possession of firearms. According to the Congressional Research Service, as of June 1, 2012, 99.3% of all names reported to the NICS list’s “mental defective” category were provided by the Veterans Administration (VA) even though reporting requirements apply to all federal agencies.

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DOJ Wants Ares Armor Case Against ATF Dismissed

From Examiner.com:

Lawyers for the Department of Justice submitted a memorandum Friday in the United States District Court, Southern District of California, in support of defendant’s motion to dismiss Lycurgan, Inc., dba Ares Armor vs. B. Todd Jones [successor name to be substituted], in his official capacity as Head of the San Diego Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The case involves Ares’ contention that ATF erred and overstepped its authority in declaring the firm’s EP80 polymer precursor receivers (“80 percent receivers”) to be complete receivers, and thus “firearms” as defined by the Gun Control Act of 1968.

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FDIC Backtracking on Targeting of “Risky” Gun Businesses

From The Daily Signal:

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has acknowledged its role in Operation Choke Point and is taking dramatic steps to reverse its policies in targeting legal and legitimate industries that are disfavored by the Obama administration.

From The Washington Times:

In an effort to put an end to Operation Choke Point — a financial task force that was created by the Obama administration to “choke out” businesses it finds objectionable like gun shops — the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued a letter Wednesday saying all banks should examine their customer relationships on a case-by-case basis and not by industry operational risk.

“The FDIC is issuing this statement to encourage institutions to take a risk-based approach in assessing individual customer relationships rather than declining to provide banking services to entire categories of customers,” the FDIC said in a letter to its financial institutions released Wednesday.

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Critics of Obama Admin to Testify on New Attorney General Thursday

From Townhall.com:

Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson, who has been repeatedly targeted by the Department of Justice for her work on Benghazi and Operation Fast and Furious

Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, who has been an outspoken opponent of Attorney General Holder’s vilification of law enforcement

George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley, who has been highly critical of the Obama administration’s abuse of executive power

True the Vote founder Catherine Engelbrecht, who has been targeted by both the DOJ and the IRS for opposing Obama administration policies and for promoting Voter I.D. laws

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