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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "criminal"

Scorching Hot Take: Donald Trump Is Criminally Liable For “Crimes Against Humanity” For Pulling Out of Syria

Westlake Legal Group a8636803-f428-4e76-ab5b-b516cf1d9e5e-620x317 Scorching Hot Take: Donald Trump Is Criminally Liable For “Crimes Against Humanity” For Pulling Out of Syria YPG Turkey The Kurds Syria Politics pkk nbc lunacy Human Rights Tribunal Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump criminal Crazy Allow Media Exception

Sometimes I wonder if Trump really is just special or if this kind of lunacy will continue with the next Republican. I’m gonna guess the latter.

We are currently in the middle of a tenuous ceasefire in Northern Syria between the Turks and YPG Kurds. There’s been some rattling from sources saying it’s been breached, but the AP reported last night that it’s still officially holding. The YPG are migrating south, away from the safe zone, which will likely benefit everyone long term. The border battle with Turkey and their attempt to make their own state were never going to end well. Fair or not, they reside in the legal state of Syria and that reality has to be taken into account.

Of course, because Donald Trump is in the middle of this, having pulled out a small contingent of U.S. troops over a week ago, that means we will now get some of the hottest of hot takes on the matter.

Take this for example.

If this is true, then it shows how truly unprepared and idiotic many U.S. officials are. We should be seriously scared at the incompetency being shown by anyone who would suggest this.

Before we get into the legal details here, just think about how little sense that tweet makes. This NBC reporter is asserting that Donald Trump and the United States could be criminally liable for “crimes against humanity” due to withdrawing troops from a war zone.

Further, this assumes that those who put helped foment the civil war in the first place, costing 500,000 lives, and then did nothing to protect them are somehow not liable. So Obama is off the hook, but Donald Trump is going to the Hague for pulling back 50 advisors in the middle of a decades long border dispute.

Makes sense.

As to the legal realities at play, Gabriel Malor lays it out.

What’s really going on here is that the Kurds are communicating with friendly U.S. officials in Washington to try to bait the United States into reacting against Turkey. That’s why you see tweets like this as well.

This is ludicrous. Are Turkey overstepping and causing deaths? Yes, they are. Is there any actual genocide or ethnic cleansing currently going on? No, there’s not and it helps no one to play into such hysteria. Perhaps Turkey could cross that line, but asking the YPG to pull back from a border they’ve been attacking with the insurgent PKK for decades is not “ethnic cleansing.” It’s complicated, as has been laid out in detail many times already.

And to pretend that what’s happening now is somehow the “biggest” ethnic cleansing operation of the 21st century ignores the hundreds of thousands of deaths during the Syrian civil war and the tens of thousands killed by ISIS via targeted persecution during the Obama administration.

In the end, no, Donald Trump is not criminally liable for what Turkey does. He’s not guilty of crimes against humanity for not putting U.S. troops in a meat grinder in a vain hope to stop sectarian violence. Such suggestions are patently insane.

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The post Scorching Hot Take: Donald Trump Is Criminally Liable For “Crimes Against Humanity” For Pulling Out of Syria appeared first on RedState.

Westlake Legal Group Screen-Shot-2019-08-21-at-10.25.40-AM-300x161 Scorching Hot Take: Donald Trump Is Criminally Liable For “Crimes Against Humanity” For Pulling Out of Syria YPG Turkey The Kurds Syria Politics pkk nbc lunacy Human Rights Tribunal Front Page Stories Front Page Featured Story donald trump criminal Crazy Allow Media Exception  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Philly Police Shooter Had a Long History of Criminal Activity

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New information has rolled in about the recent suspect who shot police officers in Philidelphia.

According to The Inquirer, the man who shot and injured six police officers has a long history of gun convictions and a past of trying to run away from justice. Maurice Hill, 36, is a Philadelphia native who is no stranger to crime:

Hill’s history in the adult criminal justice system began in 2001 when he was 18 and was arrested with a gun that had an altered serial number.

Public records show that he has been arrested about a dozen times since turning 18, and convicted six times on charges that involved illegal possession of guns, drug dealing, and aggravated assault. He has been in and out of prison; the longest sentence handed him came in 2010, when a federal judge gave him a 55-month term.

The Inquirer has also reported that Hill has called his lawyer:

The police sources declined to be identified because they were not authorized to speak. Reached by phone about 9:30 p.m. Thursday evening, Shaka Johnson, the lawyer who most recently represented Hill, confirmed that Hill had a connection to the standoff.

“My client is requesting me to come to the scene,” he said.

Police say the incident happened as the Narcotics Strike Force were trying to serve Hill a search warrant on Wednesday around 4 p.m., resulting in the standoff with police. The police attempted to coax him out with bullhorns for several hours afterward.

During that time, Hill called Johnson “in a panic,” and Johnson continuously tried to tell him to surrender himself.

“I told him, ‘you gotta surrender, man,’” said Johnson according to the Inquirer.

Hill eventually gave himself up just after midnight.

The officers who were shot suffered no life-threatening injuries and were released shortly after being treated by the hospital.

The post Philly Police Shooter Had a Long History of Criminal Activity appeared first on RedState.

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What is the White House’s special envoy on hostage affairs doing at the A$AP Rocky trial in Sweden?

Westlake Legal Group ar What is the White House’s special envoy on hostage affairs doing at the A$AP Rocky trial in Sweden? white house Trump The Blog Sweden robert o'brien rapper kardashian Kanye West criminal a$ap rocky

So embarrassing. And doubly embarrassing is the fact that every righty in the country would have taken a rhetorical flamethrower to Obama if he had pulled this swampy garbage.

Read this post for background if you haven’t been following the A$AP Rocky saga. Short version: He’s a famous rapper with even more famous friends, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian, who themselves have the most famous friend of all in Donald Trump. Rocky and his pals got into a fight while visiting Sweden in which they may or may not have been the aggressors; Sweden’s holding a criminal trial for them right now to determine their guilt, as one would expect. Problem: West, Kardashian, and Trump think celebrities should get special favors from governments so Trump dialed up the prime minister of Sweden and asked if something couldn’t be done to secure Rocky’s release. Uh, no, he was told. It’d be grossly improper for a politician to meddle in a criminal proceeding.

Trump didn’t like that and naturally registered his annoyance on Twitter. After all we do for Sweden, how dare they not corrupt their judicial system for a well-connected American entertainer?

Which is where Robert O’Brien comes in. He’s the president’s special envoy for hostage affairs, the sort of person who might normally be tapped to talk to the Taliban if a soldier was kidnapped in Afghanistan or a U.S. citizen arrested in North Korea a la Otto Warmbier. What he’s doing this week is … attending A$AP Rocky’s trial. Not because we think the Swedish criminal justice system is unfair or anything, but just so that Trump can impress Kim and Kanye by showing them how seriously he’s taking this very important crisis. And, I guess, to extend a middle finger to the prime minister by treating a European ally’s judicial process as if it’s some third-world kangaroo court that needs American supervision.

As I say, no doubt Obama dispatching a U.S. crisis negotiator to the trial of a rapper as a personal favor to another rapper would sit very well indeed with the opposition party.

Whether appropriate or not, the framing of Rocky’s case as akin to a hostage situation appears to have taken hold at the White House. A senior administration official said the main motivation for Mr. Trump is continuing his track record of getting hostages freed. Mr. Trump has taken pride in the freeing of hostages from Iran, North Korea and Turkey, including Andrew Brunson, a pastor who had been held by Turkish authorities for years…

James C. O’Brien, no relation [to Robert O’Brien] and the first person to hold the [hostage envoy] position, said in a phone interview that his successor’s efforts in Sweden did not fit the job’s original framework. The envoy, he said, should work to free Americans being held without good reason, oftentimes when there are no diplomatic alternatives.

There has to have been another way of handing the situation, James O’Brien said, especially since Sweden is an ally who could be a partner in working to release an actual hostage.

“The envoy’s presence in Sweden is a tweet come to life,” James O’Brien, the vice chairman of Albright Stonebridge Group, a global consulting firm, said.

Robert O’Brien gamely tried to defend his presence at the trial to reporters who asked why a hostage negotiator was involved in a non-hostage non-negotiation situation: “I also help free people that are held by governments, so unjustly detained Americans.” But that’s just it. There’s no evidence that Rocky has been unjustly detained, whatever Kanye might think about the situation. And there’s no reason to believe that he will, or should, go free if he’s convicted.

There’s this too:

On Wednesday, the United States Embassy in Stockholm asked that the three defendants be released from detention and allowed to reside at a hotel for the duration of the trial, according to a spokeswoman for the Swedish Prosecution Authority, who called the request unusual.

Not gonna happen, Swedish officials told the Times. Trump had also asked about Rocky potentially being released on bail, whereupon he was informed that Sweden doesn’t do bail since it would be unfair to criminal defendants who can’t afford to pay. It’s the Swedes who have insisted repeatedly during this process on treating a rich, famous defendant the same as everyone else and our supposedly populist president who’s repeatedly asked for special privileges on his behalf.

But so what, you might say? If the White House can help out an American who’s in trouble, so much the better. Right, but the thing is that Rocky isn’t the only American out there who’s in trouble. Dan Drezner points to this list of U.S. citizens currently detained in several sh*thole countries — i.e. not Sweden — who might benefit from a presidential-level intervention in the person of Robert O’Brien. But they aren’t getting that, at least not this week, because the Kardashian family and their presidential enabler are preoccupied with a cause celebre. Exit quotation from Drezner: “President Trump has always prioritized celebrity over the national interest. This episode merely gilds the lily.”

The post What is the White House’s special envoy on hostage affairs doing at the A$AP Rocky trial in Sweden? appeared first on Hot Air.

Westlake Legal Group ar-300x153 What is the White House’s special envoy on hostage affairs doing at the A$AP Rocky trial in Sweden? white house Trump The Blog Sweden robert o'brien rapper kardashian Kanye West criminal a$ap rocky  Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Florida County Found a Great Way to Comfort Shelter Dogs During Fireworks

For dogs who have a hard time with loud noises like thunder or fireworks, Independence Day is a time of high anxiety. This is especially true of shelter dogs who have been through quite a lot in their lives and have to spend the night in the shelter without a person comforting them during the scary noises.

In Brevard County, Florida, they’ve come up with a great solution. Inmates on the chain gang or work release will be spending the peak firework hours of the 4th of July with the animals playing with, reading to, and feeding them treats.

They announced this on their Facebook page after a flood of citizens volunteered to come in to comfort the pups.

BREVARD COUNTY JAIL INMATES WILL BE COMFORTING DOGS AT THE ANIMAL CARE CENTER DURING 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS Recently…

Posted by Brevard County Sheriff's Office, Florida (Official) on Saturday, June 29, 2019

As you can see from the comments on that Facebook post, the people of Brevard County are thrilled about the program. It is well documented that programs that pair prisoners with difficult-to-adopt animals benefit both groups, and this promises to be an evening in which the inmates and dogs can help each other and make the community a better place.

The post Florida County Found a Great Way to Comfort Shelter Dogs During Fireworks appeared first on RedState.

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This Alabama abortion bill goes too far, says … Pat Robertson?

Westlake Legal Group p-2 This Alabama abortion bill goes too far, says … Pat Robertson? The Blog Supreme Court SCOTUS Rape Pro-Life Pat Robertson John Roberts incest criminal Alabama Abortion

It’s a political disaster, a gift to the left.

Why would a red state pass a maximalist abortion bill, knowing how leery John Roberts has proved himself to be of overturning paradigm-shifting liberal initiatives? He had the votes to blow up ObamaCare in 2012 and he switched sides, seemingly fearing that a party-line vote in the Supreme Court would wreck what’s left of the Court’s institutional legitimacy as a neutral arbiter that stands above politics. Overturning Roe would be several orders of magnitude more earthshaking than overturning ObamaCare would have been, yet Alabama’s daring him to do it for a bill that bans abortion almost completely, with no rape or incest exceptions.

John Roberts is not going to risk the legacy of “The Roberts Court” to save a bill like that. It’s ludicrous that any legislator in Alabama thinks he might after the lessons of 2012.

Joe Cunningham’s explanation for the bill is more sensible. Maybe Alabama doesn’t expect SCOTUS to uphold it, he wonders. Maybe the point was just to make the boldest, most provocative pro-life statement they could, fully expecting that the Court would tear it up eventually. Why you’d want to do that instead of passing a bill that stands a real chance of overcoming Roe on a Court with five conservative members escapes me utterly.

We’d like to say “No abortion. Ever.” But that’s a tough sell in those cases. So Georgia, I believe very wisely, left those [rape and incest] exceptions in. Alabama, however, is an entirely different story…

I’ll be upfront about it: I don’t like the bill. In fact, I don’t think it’s a bill. I think it’s a stunt.

I’m not totally sure if it’s just a reactionary bill to say “We’re better than Georgia!” or “We’re way better than the infanticide supporters in the Democratic Party!” but it’s a bill that seemed to have been written to generate headlines and a Supreme Court challenge. It does not look like the work of a serious Pro-Life movement…

I don’t even think this bill, if it’s signed into law, makes it to the Supreme Court. I think it will get struck down in circuit court and the Supreme Court just won’t take it up. It’s not the fight they want to have because it’s so farcical.

That’s possible. Unquestionably, John Roberts would prefer to see this bill sunk at the appellate level and for SCOTUS to ignore it. The way the Supreme Court works, though, is that any four justices — four, not five — can force the Court to take an appeal. If I were a member of SCOTUS’s liberal wing worried about the five conservatives eventually striking down Roe when presented with a more moderate bill like Georgia’s, I’d leap at the chance to take the Alabama case and force John Roberts to make his stand on abortion on that unfavorable terrain. Dare him to vote to strike down Roe knowing that it would mean women in Alabama who got pregnant through rape would be forced to carry their rapists’ children to term.

There’s no earthly way Roberts would pull the trigger. Probably not Kavanaugh either. Maybe not even Gorsuch. Erick Erickson, surveying the various pro-life bills that have passed lately, goes so far as to say it’ll threaten Trump’s reelection if Kavanaugh and/or Gorsuch provide votes in favor of upholding Roe. I think he’s kidding himself — social conservatives won’t abandon Trump under any circumstances, especially if Kavanaugh’s and Gorsuch’s votes aren’t decisive. (And they almost certainly wouldn’t be.) But I do think this issue can improve lefty turnout at the margins and maybe keep some progressives who’d otherwise balk at a centrist nominee like Biden inside the Democratic tent.

And needless to say, if SCOTUS does vote to uphold Roe and strike down Alabama’s bill, there’ll be no second bite at the apple next term. The Court doesn’t like wrestling with Roe. If they’re forced to do it again soon, that’ll be the last attempt for years, for good or ill.

The only sense I can make of Alabama’s bill is if it’s part of a “package strategy.” That is, maybe the state legislature hopes and expects that its maximalist bill would be taken up along with Georgia’s more middle-ground “heartbeat bill” and considered by the Court in tandem in revisiting Roe. SCOTUS could rewrite Roe so that the Georgia bill is upheld while the Alabama bill is struck down, treating the latter as a token concession to pro-choicers. The Alabama bill, in other words, would be legal cannon fodder while the Georgia bill advances and ultimately defeats Roe. There’s no guarantee that the Court will consider both bills, though; it may be that Alabama’s bill is taken up whereas Georgia’s bill isn’t. In fact, maybe that’ll be the conservatives’ leverage in convincing the liberals not to take the appeal of the Alabama bill. “If you force us to rule on Alabama,” Roberts might tell them, “we’ll vote to grant cert for the Georgia bill too.” What would RBG et al. do then?

The post This Alabama abortion bill goes too far, says … Pat Robertson? appeared first on Hot Air.

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