Montana Malfeasance – Jesse Newsom and Writs of Assistance

Montana Malfeasance
Jesse Newsom and Writs of Assistance

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Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
July 22, 2015

There is little doubt that the government knew that Jesse Newsom was on the road when they chose to serve a search warrant, not on him but on the premise and a vehicle. This will be explained in a subsequent article dealing with his arrest.

Shawn Hill, Special (I always get a kick out of the adjective, as applied to FBI) Agent, out of the Kalispell FBI office, served the warrant on July 10, 2015. The Warrant, signed by Magistrate Judge John T. Johnston, United States District Court, District of Montana, is, as is common with federal warrants, incomplete. There are four check boxes on the form, none of which are checked. Rather, it leaves the discretion to the server of the warrant, much like the Writs of Assistance that James Otis spoke against, about 250 years ago, when the Writs were blanket authority to search wherever they wanted to, for whatever they wanted, and carried no requirement of specificity with regard to what they were looking for. The only difference between then and now is that, now, a judge has to sign the warrant, but that appears to be a “done deal” when the FBI requests a warrant.

The Warrant did have an “Attachment B”, but “Attachment A” was conspicuously missing. Presumably, Attachment A would have been the constitutionally required “Oath or affirmation” providing the “probable cause” deemed necessary to justify the issuance of the Warrant. The Amendment also states, “particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” This Amendment, in response to what the Writs of Assistance were, includes this provision to insure that the warrant is issued to seize only what is known to exist, hence the inclusion of “particularly describing” both place and objects to be seized.

The definition of “particularly” that the Framers of the Constitution and Bill of Rights would recognize can be found in Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Here is what we find, “particularly – adv. Distinctly; singly.” So, now we can compare what was intended, at least as should be interpreted by both the People and the government, as to the wording in the warrant’s “Attachment B”. We’ll deal with just a couple of the items described to be seized, though you can review the wording of the Attachment and see that there are others that so general as to fall well outside the obvious intent of the Fourth Amendment. (image of Attachment B; text of Attachment B)

The first listed item is:

  1. Any and all firearms, destructive device, or ammunition as defined by 18 U.S.C. § 921(a), or any photographs of firearms or ammunition or of persons in possession of firearms or ammunition.

Now, the Constitution recognizes our right “to be confronted with the witnesses against[us]” (Sixth Amendment). What if that “witness” is our own camera, or pictures from friends? Is that a violation of the Fifth Amendment prohibition, “nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law“. And, what of the property that is not criminal in its nature; proof of a crime; or the proceeds of criminal activity? It is taken, as we will see, with a preposterous disregard for personal property rights — that which is supposed to be protected by the Constitution, and not to be taken just because they want to, well, fish.

Fish. Well, why would we use that word? Simply, the other item on the property to be seized raises no possible doubt that the government is “fishing”, an absolute contradiction to the intent of the Framers. From “Attachment B”:

  1. Evidence of occupancy, control, or ownership of the property to be searched, including but not limited to, received mail, outgoing mail with a return address, concealed mail, deeds, leases, rental agreements, photographs, personal ledgers, utility and telephone bills, and statements, and identification documents.

I have emphasized some of the items, but to all of them, what possible motive could there be to seize any of the listed items? Are they checking to see if he has permission to live where he lives? Are the concerned that he might not be paying his bills? Why would they want to know who he corresponds with? Federal law prohibits the government from opening mail. Is there a loophole that states that mail is sacred while in the hands of government, but is no longer sacred after it is received, or before it is sent? I can’t find one.

So, now, we can look at what was actually seized and inventoried, during the search.

  • item 5 – No trespassing sign
  • item 6 – Belt buckle
  • item 8 – Black binder [presumably with un-“described papers “contained in the binder]
  • item 10 – Camo shirt
  • item 11 – Camo hat
  • item 13 – Northwestern Energy Bill [concerned about his power usage?]
  • item 14 – Camo hat
  • item 15 – Camo pants, shirt and belt
  • item 16 – Camo Backpack
  • item 22 – Rental agreement [are they making sure that he pays his rent?]
  • item 23 – Conviction from Washington State
  • item 24 – Camo patch
  • item 25 – Boots
  • item 29 – Camo Clothing
  • item 30 – Camo Coat
  • item 39 – Catalogs
  • item 41 – Camo clothing w/ Newsome [sic] name
  • item 49 – Misc. targets
  • item 52 – Identification cards and Militia Emblem
  • item 56 – 2 empty shotgun shells

Though the other items are related to firearms, ammunition, etc., we have to wonder what those listed, above, have to do with anything that would be evidence of a crime. Power bill and rental agreement, are, perhaps, the most far-fetched. Clothing, boots, binder of paperwork — what role can these play?

According to federal statutes, specifically, 10 U.S. Code §311, Jesse is a member of the United States Militia, by law. And, the statute, though it excludes certain people, does not exclude those convicted of a felony (yes, Jesse has been convicted of a felony, but that will be covered in a subsequent article). So, why would they take clothing and other objects associated with militia? It is their law that binds him to that obligation as United States Militia.

We can only hope that Jesse has some civilian clothes, so that he doesn’t have to run around naked. And, we can contemplate, since many of these items cannot be associated with criminal activity, in any way, that he has been denied his property, “without due process of law“.

Now, I used the term “fishing”, earlier. So, let’s continue the journey into the fishing elements of this story. First, we will consider Mr. “A”. Mr. “A” was contacted by cell phone, while the agents were still at Jesse’s house. Mr. “A” was in town, Great Falls, when he received the call. He agreed to meet them at Jesse’s home. They waited until he arrived and then Special (there we go, again) Agent Mark D. Seyler, out of Helena FBI office, asked him questions, as Mr. “A” told me, they already had answers to. Did you know that Jesse was in a militia, and such. It appears that his “interview” was intended more as a threat, intimidation, or a warning.

From Jesse’s home, they went to the home of Mr. “B”. Here, it was a bit different, as they acknowledged that Mr. “B”‘s “name showed up on paperwork” that was taken during the search. Mr. B. did a good job of playing a government official with many, “I don’t recall”, or “I didn’t know that”. This, I suppose, is the first confirmed catch from the government’s “fishing expedition”. We can little doubt that there are many more names that will come under their scrutiny — to see how many more they can catch.

However, at one point, the agent stated that “about 10% of militia participants might be prone to violence”. They led Mr. “B” to the understanding that they didn’t consider him in that 10% (ha, ha, ha), and it appears that they were, again, attempting to intimidate or discourage Mr. “B”.

From what I have seen in the past, taking paperwork to expand their understanding of the militia networking is a new tactic, and though their pursuit has nothing to do with criminal activity. It is intelligence gathering, by unlawful use of search warrants and intimidation.

7 Comments

  1. Randy Eaton says:

    dont forget the fact that the warrant also states that photos of persons with firearms are to be seized. that means anyone. it also means they can and will use any photos found , as cause to investigate ANYONE. not just Jesse.

  2. DAN III says:

    Gary,

    I acknowledge your vast and deep understanding of the United States Constitution, as written. However, when I read your essays involving constitutional law and the violation of such by federal magistrates and badged employees like those of the FBI, I am convinced the Constitution is dead ! The rule of law is gone and the power of the federal leviathan, the “gun of government”, both figuratively and actual, is what now governs this nation.

    To read the Declaration of Independence today, it’s claims, accusations and justifications against King George III are as applicable against the tyranny of the federal leviathan today, as they were against the Crown over 200 years ago.

    Are we not far from resolving these issues of tyranny by other than peaceful means ? I often wonder.

    • ghunt says:

      Dan, I have, for a long time, believed that there is only one way to return to constitutional government. Habeas Corpus has not been suspended, it has been ignored — as if it didn’t exist (http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/HC06.htm). It was intended by the framers to be the means by which the people could challenge unconstitutional laws.
      I have written a petition (http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/youhavetreadonme/index.htm), similar to the Olive Branch Petition, to advise the representatives that they have failed in their task, if they don’t make changes. I sent my three copies to my Representative and both Senators. I got no reply. That is exactly what was done back in 1775, and then the colonists knew that the Parliament would not abide by the British Constitution.
      I have also written a Declaration of Dissolution of Government (http://www.outpost-of-freedom.com/blog/?p=359), which is exactly what the Declaration of Independence was, though named differently, as their intention was to separate rather than dissolve.
      When enough people have satisfied themselves that there is no other recourse, then the act of restoration will begin.

  3. […] was silent until I receive a letter from an inmate in FCI Littleton saying that Jesse had read the article that I had written about him, and that he liked it. This lead to establishing communications with […]

  4. […] I. Jesse Newsom & Writs of Assistance [7/22/15] […]

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