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Archive for January 4th, 2018

Legal Pot in Limbo After Sessions Invites Federal Crackdown

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared marijuana to heroin, blamed pot for spikes in violence and declared that “good people don’t smoke it,” just threw the blossoming  cannabis industry into chaos.

The longtime, zealous opponent of pot is rolling back Obama-era directives that discouraged federal prosecutors from busting growers and sellers in states where laws permit medicinal or recreational marijuana use.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

In a memo to U.S. attorneys Thursday, Sessions told U.S. attorneys they are once again permitted to pursue marijuana prosecutions in any state because federal law prohibits the possession and sale of pot.

“It is the mission of the Department of Justice to enforce the laws of the United States, and the previous issuance of guidance undermines the rule of law and the ability of our local, state, tribal, and federal law enforcement partners to carry out this mission,” Sessions said in a statement. “Therefore, today’s memo on federal marijuana enforcement simply directs all U.S. Attorneys to use previously established prosecutorial principles that provide them all the necessary tools to disrupt criminal organizations, tackle the growing drug crisis, and thwart violent crime across our country.”

A total of 36 states have legalized marijuana for either medicinal or recreational use.

The impact of Sessions’ memo won’t be immediately clear because enforcement is up to the discretion of each federal prosecutor.

Trump Fires Back at Bannon with Cease-And-Desist Letter

Steve Bannon, via Twitter

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to former White House chief adviser Steve Bannon, claiming he violated a non-disclosure agreement signed as part of working on Trump’s campaign.

ABC reports the letter orders Bannon to refrain from making disparaging comments about Trump or his family. 

The notice was sent on the same day that excerpts of a new book about the Trump campaign and administration were revealed in the Guardian. Bannon, who was forced out of the White House after seven months on the job, mocked Trump, his family and the campaign’s inner circle, accusing some of them of breaking the law.

“You have breached the Agreement by, among other things, communicating with author Michael Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members, and the Company [the Trump campaign], disclosing Confidential Information to Mr. Wolff, and making disparaging statements and in some cases outright defamatory statements to Mr. Wolff about Mr. Trump, his family members,” Trump attorney Charles Harder wrote.

In the excerpts, Bannon said it was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” for Trump’s son Donald Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner and then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort to meet with a Russian lawyer at the Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Bannon also suggested there was “zero” chance Trump was not aware of the meeting.

Allegations that Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia to interfere in the presidential allegations prompted the appointment of a special counsel, Robert Mueller, in May. Since then, four members of Trump’s inner circle have been indicted – and two have already pleaded guilty and plan to cooperate with the special counsel’s team.

Feds Request Records for $285M Loan to a Kushner Family Company

President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A $285 million loan that Deutsche Bank issued to one of Jared Kushner’s family companies just a month before Election Day has raised the eyebrows of federal prosecutors.

Brooklyn-based prosecutors requested record related to the loan, which provided Kushner Cos., a real estate company, $74 million more than what was paid for the property, the Washington Post reports

Calling it a “routine” transaction, a spokesman for the firm said the company is cooperating with federal officials.

In October 2016, the company entered into a refinancing deal connected to the 2015 purchase of four primarily empty retail floors of the former New York Times.

Kushner, the son-in-law of Trump, was simultaneously running the company while helping lead the campaign. 

Trump Allies: Mueller’s Grand Jury Is Unfair Because It’s Predominately Black

File photo of President Trump protesters in Ypsilanti, Mi. Photo by Steve Neavling.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The sputtering campaign to discredit the Trump-Russia investigation opened up a new line of attack – the demographics of the grand jury charged with handing down indictments for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

An unnamed Trump associate and witness who “recently testified” grumbled to a New York Post columnist that the grand jury was mostly African American and looked like “a Black Lives Matter rally.” 

The only white man in the room was a prosecutor.

“The grand jury room looks like a Bernie Sanders rally,” the source said. “Maybe they found these jurors in central casting, or at a Black Lives Matter rally in Berkeley.”

Eleven of the 2o jurors are black and two were wearing “peace T-shirts,” making it impossible for Trump to get “a fair shake,” the witness complained.

Following the New York Post column, Fox & Friends c0-host Brian Kilmeade joined the attack.

The grand jury is “not even emblematic of something that might be, perhaps, demographically pursuing justice,” Kilmeade said.

The demographic makeup should be no surprise. The grand jury meets Fridays in Washington D.C., where nearly half of the residents are black.

Since Mueller impaneled the grand jury in August, it has handed down indictments against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner Richard Gates on charges of money laundering and conspiracy and failing to register as foreign agents.

As the investigation intensifies, so too do the attacks. Trump has referred to the probe as a political “witch hunt.”

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