By Mike Leiby, White Mountain Independent
In the days after Floyd’s death, Americans took to the streets in Minneapolis and other cities to express their frustration and anger. Unfortunately, many of these protests have metastasized into violence in several large cities and crossed the line from lawful to unlawful.
We are now witnessing, often on live television, acts of violence against innocent people, cars being torched, stores being looted, buildings set ablaze, and more. Rioters who loot and burn stores, homes, and buildings in minority neighborhoods are hurting the very people who already are at the lower end of the economic and social spectrum.
These are all crimes under state law, and some of these actions may be federal crimes as well, as we explain below.
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On Sunday, President Donald Trump tweeted that the administration would designate Antifa, the far-left militant movement, as a “domestic terrorist organization.” But the violence is not, from what we have seen and read, limited only to Antifa, as many violent thugs don’t cover their faces or hide behind the anonymity that typifies Antifa’s despicable tactics. This declaration can help, but it is not enough.
Attorney General William Barr issued a statement Sunday on “riots and domestic terrorism.” In it, he states, “The violence instigated and carried out by Antifa and other similar groups in connection with the rioting is domestic terrorism and will be treated accordingly.
But what does labeling Antifa a “domestic terrorist” organization actually mean? Does federal law enforcement gain anything from such a designation?
First of all, it is important to understand that terrorism is a tactic. Some state and federal criminal statutes include the word terrorism, but what they really criminalize are acts of violence, like bombings.
A terrorist designation does not change the charges a federal prosecutor can make. They remain the same. However, it will certainly help prioritize attention and federal resources on Antifa and encourage better coordination among law enforcement authorities.
This is a good start, but there is more that can and should be done at the state and local level as we describe below.
Politicians have periodically sought to designate different groups as domestic terrorist organizations, but such formal designations have not occurred in the past. Instead, organizations, such as the Earth Liberation Front, have been labeled as domestic terrorist “threats” or have committed terrorist “acts.”
Due to the overbroad use of the term “terrorist,” the word itself has largely lost its meaning, resulting in a political and public disagreement on which organizations, if any, should be labeled terrorist, and why.
The term appropriately applies to Antifa.
Congress has defined domestic terrorism in a statute. Title 18, Section 2331(5) of the U.S. Criminal Code defines “domestic terrorism” as:
… activities that:
(a) Involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;
(b) Appear to be intended to: intimidate or coerce a civilian population; influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping; and
(c) Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the United States.
There is no federal statute, however, that assigns criminal penalties to domestic terrorism.
So what can be done to quell the riots and hold people accountable for the crimes they commit?
First, states and localities have the primary responsibility to investigate, arrest, and prosecute people who violate state law.
Many of these crimes have been committed in full view of the media. Many of these crimes are not whodunits. The perpetrators are proudly flouting the law, on camera. To the extent possible, local prosecutors and police can and should investigate these crimes, arrest the violators, and prosecute them.
The federal government can, and likely is already, play a role, given the scale and scope of the riots and violence, especially considering that it appears that some of this is coordinated and funded.
Barr has directed the network of 56 regional Joint Terrorism Task Forces to identify criminal organizers and instigators, and to coordinate federal resources with their state and local partners. That in and of itself is a big deal.
Barr also stated that the violent radical agitators will be apprehended and charged for their violations of federal law.
No doubt, the FBI will use many of the same investigative tools it used to investigate and solve the April 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. That too was a resource-intensive effort, but resulted in the perpetrator being brought to justice.
One law that several violent rioters may be charged with is a violation of Title 18, Section 2101 of the U.S. Criminal Code, which criminalizes interstate travel or use of interstate commerce, including mail, telephone, radio, or television, with intent to: incite a riot; organize, promote, encourage, participate in, or carry on a riot; commit any act of violence in furtherance of a riot; or aid or abet any person in inciting or participating in or carrying on a riot or committing any act of violence in furtherance of a riot.
This crime is punishable by fine, up to five years’ imprisonment, or both. There are, no doubt, other federal crimes that may have been violated, depending on the particular facts and circumstances involved.
What happened to George Floyd was horrific and criminal. Speaking out against it is justified, as long as it is done peacefully. But when protest turns to violence, it perverts the calls for peaceful, nonviolent protest and endangers everyone.
Note: Having a Democrat controlling elections is like letting a fox in the hen house:
By Lukas Mikelionis | Fox News
A county official in Arizona, whom Republicans accuse of destroying evidence to cover up “voting irregularities,” has previously defended the accused ringleader of a group of gun straw buyers in Operation Fast and Furious, the federal operation that led to the death of a Border Patrol agent in the state.
Before he was elected in 2016 as Maricopa County recorder, Adrian Fontes was an attorney representing clients in narco-terrorism and firearms scandals.
He is now at the center of a contentious vote-count procedure in Arizona’s U.S. Senate race, where Democrat Kyrsten Sinema suddenly took a lead over Republican Martha McSally, thanks to votes mostly in Maricopa County.
The Republican Party objected to Fontes’ efforts to allow voters to confirm that they signed early ballots that were dropped off on Election Day, and criticized the official for opening emergency voting centers the weekend before Tuesday’s election and for mixing disputed ballots with valid ones.
The accusations of improper procedures led to a deal between Republicans and Democrats being struck in court on Friday, giving all counties in Arizona until this coming Wednesday to address problems with ballots.
“Adrian Fontes intentionally put himself above the law and the judicial process,” Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines said in a statement before the agreement. “Such a man cannot be trusted to administer elections in Arizona. We are reviewing all legal options at this time and will continue to protect the rights of every legal voter in Arizona.”
“Such a man cannot be trusted to administer elections in Arizona. We are reviewing all legal options at this time and will continue to protect the rights of every legal voter in Arizona.”
— Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines
Fontes, a Democrat, represented Manuel Celis-Acosta in 2011 following his arrest in Operation Fast and Furious, in which some federal officers aimed to sell firearms to Mexican drug cartels so the U.S. government could then track the weapons.
The accused man allegedly transferred around 2,000 weapons to the Sinaloa Cartel, including those that were allegedly used to kill Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
But Fontes dismissed the role of the ringleader, saying the gun straw buyers — those who purchase weapons for those who cannot — were just “a bunch of kids” and not a “nefarious organization.”
“A straw buyer is usually a kid who is 18-25, who needs a couple hundred extra bucks and knows somebody who knows somebody that has a way to make a couple extra bucks,” Adrian Fontes told Fox News in 2012.
“The government wants a dramatic indictment, they want the conspiracy to sound like it’s run out by highly sophisticated individuals who are involved with a particularly nefarious organization when the reality is it’s just a bunch of kids,” he added.
The main suspect in Operation Fast and Furious was arrested twice before, a report shows
In 2011, the attorney also represented Emilia Palomina-Robles, a woman who was part of the three-person group charged with an attempt to purchase a Stinger missile and other military weapons for a Mexican drug cartel.
Fontes accused the government at the time of “trying to see if they could make the charges stick” after the government kept the court filings sealed. “The government will have a tough time proving all the allegations,” he said.
The woman was later sentenced to 10 years in prison for her role in the scheme to acquire the military-grade weapons on behalf of a drug cartel.
Arizona GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines issued this statement Saturday on the controversy surrounding the U.S. Senate election:
“From the beginning, we have always had one goal: fair treatment of all voters, regardless of which county they live in.
“Today’s settlement ensures that voters in all of Arizona’s 15 counties, particularly those 11 rural counties that had not been planning to continue with ballot rehabilitation, will have their voices heard.
“I am still very disappointed in the conduct of County Recorder Adrian Fontes. His lack of respect for the rule of law and his willful destruction of evidence should not be forgotten. There must be a full accounting of his actions. We will not forget, nor allow this settlement to sweep his possible misconduct under the rug.”
Senate candidate Martha McSally on Saturday night issued this statement:
“Equal protection under the law is a fundamental constitutional right for American voters. As a combat veteran, I fought to protect it. And today, we won an important battle to preserve that right for rural voters in Arizona. I will continue fighting until every ballot is counted.”
Amid concerns of improper handling of ballots in multiple Arizona counties, radical Democrat Kyrsten Sinema stretched her lead today to some 21,000 votes over conservative candidate Martha McSally.
As of 5 p.m. today (Nov. 9th), Sinema’s vote tally is 991,189. McSally sits at 970,986. Surprisingly, Sinema is also stretching her lead in Maricopa County, usually a grave-yard for the Left. Maricopa County is going for Sinema by 595,444 to 556,076. Outside of Maricopa County, McSally leads 414,910 to 395,745. For many elections in past years, Democrats would have won elections had the GOP candidates not been saved by Maricopa County. What we’re seeing here is totally unexpected.
McSally led by 17,000 votes Wednesday. By Thursday, Sinema went ahead by 9,000 votes. There are still hundreds of thousands of ballots waiting to be processed.
As President Trump noted today, it seems that every time vote counting gets stretched out, as well as in recounts, the Democrats always seem to benefit.
The yo-yo that is the secretary of state’s precinct reporting totals is once again at 100 percent. That figure has fluctuated wildly throughout the week, leaving people to wonder what the real figure is.
Democrats are seeking to regain control of public education in Arizona as well, and in the state superintendent of public instruction race, their candidate Kathy Hobbs now leads the GOP’s Frank Riggs by some 31,000 votes.
After today’s vote counting, Democrat Sandra Kennedy has moved into second place among three candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission. The top two of the three candidates will gain election. Republican Justin Olson continues to lead with 901,431 votes. Kennedy, who had been in third place until today, now has 899,610 votes, and Republican Rodney Glassman dropped from second to third with 897,938 votes.
Every day since Election Day Tuesday, Democrats in Arizona have had the bigger day. Each day now looks like a Pima County day. Democrats heavily control the state’s second-largest county.
The Arizona Republican Party objects in the strongest possible terms to the deliberate, premeditated destruction of evidence by Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes.
After voting irregularities were discovered during the early voting period, the Arizona Republican Party sent a formal, written request to all county recorders in Arizona, including Fontes, to preserve all evidence of such irregularities. These irregularities include the creation of so-called “emergency voting centers” when no emergency existed; and an inconsistent method for rehabilitating early ballots.
Specifically, the Arizona Republican Party notified Fontes of these irregularities, that there may be a legal challenge based on these irregularities and inconsistencies, and that the law, therefore, required the county recorders to set aside the disputed ballots to allow the legal process to play out in due course.
Instead, Fontes intentionally destroyed the evidence. He directed his office to mix the disputed ballots in with the undisputed ballots—thereby ensuring that there could be no review of voting irregularities. Fontes’s decision was made deliberately, after receiving the letter from the Arizona Republican Party and being informed of his legal duty to preserve evidence.
Chairman Jonathan Lines issued the following statement: “Adrian Fontes intentionally put himself above the law and the judicial process. Such a man cannot be trusted to administer elections in Arizona. We are reviewing all legal options at this time and will continue to protect the rights of every legal voter in Arizona.”
MEDIA ADVISORY: AZ GOP Press Conference Regarding Ongoing Litigation
PHOENIX — Arizona Republican Party Chairman Jonathan Lines and Arizona Republican Party attorney Kory Langhofer today will speak to the press regarding today’s hearing.
WHO: AZ GOP Chairman Jonathan Lines and Attorney Kory Langhofer
WHAT: Press conference regarding today’s hearing
WHERE: Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County; 101 W Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85003
WHEN: Today, Friday November 9, 2018 at 1:30pm
New Results of the U.S. Senate Vote Count: So far today, McSally has gained about 3,000 votes, interestingly enough just one day after the Superior Court hearing. Does this mean some Democrat shenanigans have been brought to a halt?
Saturday, Nov. 10, 1:41, 6 p.m.
Just in is this statement from McSally Campaign CEO Jim Bognet on the current state of the Arizona senate race:
“With half a million ballots left to count we remain confident that as votes continue to come in from counties across the state, Martha McSally will be elected Arizona’s next Senator.”
From The Arizona Conservative:
Sinema owes her lead to over-performing in Maricopa County, which is where Republicans usually run up the score in statewide elections. Sinema has a shocking lead of 28,000 votes over McSally who is dominating the majority of the state’s rural counties. Voter turnout was 60 percent in Maricopa, up from 45 percent the previous election.
Sinema has 551,000 votes in Maricopa County. McSally has 523,000, and this could cost her the election, but we certainly hope not. The conservative cities surrounding Phoenix and Tempe should be making a big difference for the Republican, but we’re still waiting for that red wave to emerge from Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert.
In 2016, John McCain won Maricopa County with 55 percent of the vote to Ann Kirkpatrick’s 40 percent. McCain received more than 653,000 votes to Kirkpatrick’s 475,000. Does this mean that a lot of McCain voters went Democrat? No way to tell yet.
Arizona Legislature: Currently the GOP has a 17-13 in the Senate and a 31-29 lead in the House
A Message from Jonathan Lines, Chairman, Arizona Republican Party
Wow. What an incredible night. My friends, we made history last night.
First and foremost, we re-elected our great governor, Doug Ducey. You should know that Governor Ducey is more than just an incredible governor. Over the last month, he has worked incredibly hard on behalf of our ticket. This last weekend, the governor and I visited over a dozen Republican party headquarters, events and pancake breakfasts. He campaigns with the same singular focus that we see on the 9th floor every day.
We’re so fortunate to have him as our governor, and no one works harder to lift up our party than he does.
After the Governor’s victory was declared, the winning didn’t stop. Steve Gaynor will be our new Secretary of State. Mark Brnovich, our state’s top cop, will serve 4 more years as Attorney General. Kimberly Yee, who served so honorably as our Senate Majority Leader, will be a great State Treasurer. And while we don’t have an official call yet for Superintendent of Public Instruction, Corporation Commission or Mine Inspector, we believe that all are poised for victory.
But I want to give a special shout-out to my friend Martha McSally. Tens of millions of dollars landed in Arizona to tear her down and lie about her record. And while the race is too close to call…I am confident that when the dust settles, she will be the first female United States Senator from Arizona.
Congratulations, Martha. I’ll be honored to be your constituent.
We have had a historic cycle, and together, we defended the desert. Together, we made over 5 million phone calls, knocked on over a million doors and trained thousands of new activists and Republican volunteers. We made history last night…and we are going to make history again in 2020.
Thank you for the honor of serving as your chairman. I’ll go into battle with all of you, any time.
Editor’s Note: Chairman Lines and his team are doing the best job of communicating to the base and exposing the Left than any previous state GOP leadership group. Congratulations on a phenomenal job! Keep doing what you’re doing! Well-deserved kudos also go to Ayshia Connor and Torunn Sinclair (of the McSally campaign) as well!
Here are some excellent post-election articles well worth taking the time to read:
The American Spectator:
***Percentage of Precincts Reporting: 99% according to AZ Secretary of State website***
U.S. House Races
Secretary of State
Superintendent of Public Instruction
Arizona Corporation Commission
State MIne Inspector