Patterico's Pontifications


Report: Trump Wants Individual Who Leaked About His Trip to The Bunker Prosecuted

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:12 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This sounds exactly like Trump:

President Donald Trump has told advisers he wants to find and prosecute the person who leaked the fact he went to the White House bunker as protests escalated in Washington, D.C. earlier this month, according to three sources who spoke to The New York Times. The president later claimed that he had gone into the bunker only for an “inspection,” something he’d done several times before. Attorney General William Barr contradicted that statement on June 8, stating that the Secret Service took Trump into the bunker because of “violent demonstrations” outside the White House.

Um, prosecuted for what exactly?


Officer Charged With Murder In The Death Of Rayshard Brooks

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:41 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The announcement was made this afternoon:

The Atlanta Police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks at a Wendy’s parking lot last week was charged with felony murder, and the other officer on scene was charged with aggravated assault, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced Wednesday.

The decision comes just five days after Brooks was shot twice in the back in Atlanta during an attempted arrest. Officer Garrett Rolfe, who shot at Brooks three times, faces 11 charges in all, and officer Devin Brosnan, who was also on scene, faces three charges.

After shooting Brooks, Rolfe said “I got him” and kicked him, and Brosnan then stood on Brooks’ shoulder, Howard said. The officers did not provide medical aid to Brooks for more than two minutes after he was shot, Howard said.

Their demeanor after the shooting “did not reflect any fear or danger of Mr. Brooks, but reflected other kinds of emotions,” Howard said.

Three of the counts against Rolfe are for aggravated assault related to a bullet he fired that hit an occupied vehicle nearby in the Wendy’s lot. Brosnan’s three charges include two counts of violations of oath of office.

Before his encounter with Brooks, Rolfe had already faced complaints against him:

Rolfe was reprimanded in a September 2016 use-of-force incident involving a firearm…No other details were provided.

He also has four citizen complaints on his record, none of which resulted in disciplinary action. Records also show that Rolfe, who was hired in 2013, was involved in five vehicular accidents. One resulted in an oral admonishment and another in a written reprimand, while the rest led to no disciplinary action.

Rolfe’s record also shows an additional use-of-firearms incident, in 2015, without note of any disciplinary action.

Law enforcement believes the shooting was justified:

But some law enforcement leaders said the shooting was justified and protected by Georgia law — which allows a person to use deadly force “only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person.”

Steven Gaynor, the president of the Cobb County Fraternal Order of Police, defended the shooting by saying Brooks posed a threat and had assaulted the officers as he was getting arrested.

“(Georgia law) specifically gives (the officer) the right based on the aggravated assaults and the threat (Brooks) poses to the public and to the officers there,” Gaynor said. “It specifically gives them by law the right to shoot him. (Brooks) chose to make those actions. He chose to to do what he did.”

There is conflicting opinion about the dangers of the Taser that Brooks took from one of the police officers:

The Taser is designed to be less lethal than a firearm, but it can be fatal in some circumstances.

Just two weeks ago… Howard charged several Atlanta Police officers with aggravated assault after they allegedly used a Taser — referred to in the arrest warrant as “a deadly weapon” — on two college students.

“The training we have had for over 20 years tells us if they take your baton or your Taser, it now becomes one step more that you have to use deadly force,” Gaynor said. “Because those can be used against you to incapacitate you and then take your weapon.”

The attorney for the Brooks family told CNN said earlier this week that a taser is not a deadly weapon.

In 2017, Reuters published a comprehensive look at Tasers as a cause or contributor in individual deaths.


Bolton Draws the Ideal Judge in Trump Administration Lawsuit to Stop His Book

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:21 am

John Bolton could not have gotten a better draw for this case if he had handpicked the judge himself.

That is a great, great draw for Bolton. Because Judge Lambert has been outspoken about the problem of courts being too deferential to the executive on classification claims. From 2013:

Federal courts are “far too deferential” to the executive branch’s claims that information classified on national security grounds and shouldn’t be released to the public, a prominent federal judge said Monday.

Speaking at a conference for federal employees who process Freedom of Information Act requests, U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth said his fellow jurists usually rubber-stamp agency claims that disclosing information would jeopardize national security.

“It bothers me that judges, in general, are far too deferential to Exemption 1 claims,” Lamberth said, referring the language in FOIA that allows for withholding of information classified pursuant to an executive order. “Most judges give almost blind deference on Exemption 1 claims.”

. . . .

“A lot of the courts have been very hesitant to do very much in that area because there is this constitutional problem” of the judiciary intruding into the traditional executive branch domain of national security, Lamberth told the American Society of Access Professionals training conference in Arlington, Va.

Lamberth, who sits in Washington, D.C., said his views were informed by “a couple of really horrible examples” of intelligence agency misconduct that might have been more quickly exposed and addressed if courts held a more “robust” interpretation of FOIA rights.

That is gooooood for Bolton.

In 2007, I described the book Irreparable Harm by Frank Snepp as one of five books that changed my life, because it “made me understand that sometimes government agents sometimes classify information just to keep themselves from being embarrassed.” The book describes Snepp’s legal fight over his book Decent Interval, which was a scathing indictment of the CIA’s missteps in Vietnam, particularly our abandonment of our allies in country after the Saigon airlift. Snepp fought a losing battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court over the government’s ability to withhold information they claimed was classified but was really done so to prevent embarrassment. (Some people of a particularly authoritarian bent believe that avoiding embarrassment to the government is actually a legitimate interest that justifies classification. Many of these people are involved in classification decisions. Josef Stalin could not have agreed more.) Snepp lost, and the government was able to seize profits from Decent Interval and subject Snepp’s future books to prepublication review.

From Frank Snepp’s experience, I know that even when government classifies information in bad faith to keep the public learning from their missteps, courts can be far too deferential to such bogus classification claims. Judge Lamberth is Bolton’s best chance in this very tough legal environment. This will be interesting indeed — and if (as I suspect) the Trump administration has been using the classification system to keep material from public view that is not sensitive for any reason other than that it embarrasses Donald Trump, I think Judge Lamberth is the one judge we can count on to get to the bottom of it.

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