Posts tagged ‘definitions’

Camp Lone Star – Massey Appeal Denied

Camp Lone Star
Massey Appeal Denied

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
March 27, 2017

My last article in this series was congratulations to Massey on being moved to the minimum-security camp.  After nearly two years of being treated as a threat, often being thrown in solitary confinement, just a few months after leaving the control of the US Marshal Service, he entered the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) authority.

Massey was more than willing to serve peaceably, if they didn’t mess with him.  He was just biding his time, awaiting the Appellate Court’s decision on his appeal, which was heard (oral arguments) on February 9, 2017.

Though the Decision was made on February 22, his attorney did not advise Massey of the decision until March 24.  Shortly after speaking with his attorney, he called to give me the bad news.  Massey and I agree it has become abundantly clear the judicial process has become one without consideration of written law, but rather, a tool in the persecution of those deemed unfavorable to the policies of government.

The Decision is so ambiguously written it appears the arguments Massey had set forth were never heard by the Court.  Until we receive copies of the transcript, we have nothing upon which to evaluate what transpired in the Halls of “Just US”.  We can, however, review the Decision that suggests the court seem to speak a different language than the rest of us.  We, the People, are bound by the words, as written, in the Constitution and those laws in pursuance thereof.  The Court, however, appears more inclined to the aforementioned policies.

From that Decision, we find the following:

Massey was charged with four counts of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g). He moved to dismiss on the grounds that he was complying with Texas’s felon-in-possession statute and that Section 922(g) is unconstitutional as applied to him. He also maintained that, to satisfy the jurisdictional element of Section 922(g), the government was required to prove more than just that the firearms had traveled in interstate commerce.

Here, the Court has set forth two elements of Massey’s arguments.  The First had to do with the authority of the State.  Article IV, § 4 of the Constitution states:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…

That means, even before the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, that the States could enact their own laws, so long as the were not in conflict with those law “which shall be made in Pursuance [to the Constitution]” (Article VI, cl. 2).

. Continue reading ‘Camp Lone Star – Massey Appeal Denied’ »

Freedom of the Press #7 – “Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny

Freedom of the Press #7
“Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
February 20, 2017

Let’s review this whole situation from the beginning.  After all, it has taken a month and a half to get to this point, so perhaps a refresher is in order.

On January 5, 2017, I was hand served a “Cease and Desist Letter” by an FBI agent.  Since the service was disclosed on Facebook, I wrote a “Statement with regard to  the Freedom of the Press“, on January 6.  That was followed with a series entitled “Freedom of the Press“, beginning on January 7 entitled Freedom of the Press #1 – Meeting with the FBI.  The following day, January 8, I explained the Cease and Desist Letter with Freedom of the Press #2 – Cease and Desist.

These events were preceded by a number of articles that I had written in the “Burns Chronicles” series.  In those articles, I exposed FBI informants associated with the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge outside of Burns, Oregon.  The information used to identify and expose the informants was derived from some Discovery documents I had obtained.

The original Protective Order, dated March 24, 2016, lays out the restrictions placed upon certain described individuals.  Those prohibited from “disseminating” information contained in the Discovery are described in that Protective Order:

ORDERED that, pursuant to Rule 16(d)(1) of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, defense counsel may provide copies of discovery only to the following individuals:

(1) The defendants in this case;

(2) Persons employed by the attorney of record who are necessary to assist counsel of record in preparation for trial or other proceedings in this case; and

(3) Persons who defense counsel deems necessary to further legitimate investigation and preparation of this case.

Upon my indicating to the FBI agent that hand-delivered the Cease and Desist Letter, that it was not applicable to me, the government filed a Motion to Enforce Protective Order (Expedited Consideration Requested), dated January 6, 2017.  That Motion states:

Pamala R. Holsinger, Assistant United States Attorneys, hereby moves this Court for an order enforcing the Protective Order against a third party illegally in possession of protected sensitive discovery materials in this case.

Now, the wording of the Protective Order says nothing about a third party, nor does it say anything about the possession of the material is illegal.  If it were illegal, it would be against the law.  However, you can only be in violation of a Protective Order if you are among those to which the Order applies.

The government makes a rather interesting statement in that Motion, “This Court has jurisdiction to enjoin a non-party from disseminating confidential documents produced in reliance upon and subject to this Court’s Protective Order.”  However, they cite a Second Circuit Court decision, Eli Lilly & Co. v. Gottstein, 617 F.3d 186, which I addressed in a subsequent article.  It does not corroborate their claim, to the contrary, it supports the limited jurisdiction that I had already stated exists.

The Motion is supported by an Affidavit, of the same date.  That Affidavit refers to some of my articles.  In so doing, they have entered those articles, which would include the entire series, into the Court’s record.  Those specifically mentioned were from “Burns Chronicles”, to include #40, #41, and #49.  Also quoted is my statement regarding the “prohibited material” taken from #40.  That statement serves as prima facie evidence of my intent.  But, the government is insistent upon twisting the truth, in order to create a wholly different characterization of my actions.  This would allow them to charge culpability on my part.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter. To do so, I will be referring to FBI documents that I have obtained. They are marked, at the bottom left comer, “Dissemination Limited by Court Order”. So, let me make this perfectly clear- I have no intention of “disseminating” the documents, nor am I bound by any “Court Order”. I am writing about a Public Trial, which was held in September and October 2016

I had been working on a response to that Affidavit and its erroneous presumptions, though I never completed it (maybe I will, when time allows), when the government came back with a Supplemental Memorandum in Support of Motion to Enforce Protective Order, dated January 10, 2017.  That Motion has a rather interesting statement made when they refer to the Affidavit filed in support of the Motion.  It states:

In a Facebook post regarding the FBI’s February 5, 2017, visit to Gary Hunt to serve the cease and desist letter, a person asks “who is Gary Hunt?” On defendant Duane Ehmer’s Facebook account a response is posted, “He is working with our lawyers.”

The Ronnie Walker Affidavit in Support of that Motion, also filed on January 10, 2017, states:

On January 6, 2017, another individual posted a question on that same page asking “Who is Gary Hunt?” That same day, the message “He is working with our lawyers” was posted in reply from defendant Duane EHMER’s Facebook account. Sarah Redd-Buck and Duane EHMER’s Facebook accounts are not private and can be viewed by anyone accessing Facebook.

So, the Motion states, “He is working with our Lawyers” is a response to the question, “Who is Gary Hunt?”

On the other hand, the Affidavit states “a question on that same page asking, “Who is Gary Hunt?”.  Then states, “He is working with our lawyers” were posted in reply from defendant Duane EHMER’s Facebook account.”

Now, there is a subtle difference between the two, however, the Affidavit is more accurate than the statement made on the Motion.  Perhaps we should go to the source and see what was really said (this image is taken from the Affidavit):

Well, son of a gun, the question was actually asked a full 17 minutes after it was answered.  Who would believe that the FBI (Ronnie Walker) and the US Shyster (See Freedom of the Press #6 – “Tilting at Windmills” – Redux) would attempt to mislead the Judge?  This sequence begs a question, just to whom is Ehmer referring to by “He”?

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #7 – “Judicial Discretion” and Tyranny’ »

Freedom of the Press #3 – “Contemptuous Postings”

Freedom of the Press #3
“Contemptuous Postings”

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 11, 2017.

Well, even though there were many interruptions, I was working on a response to SA Ronnie Walker’s first Affidavit.  Then, on January 9, 2017, Judge Brown, in a Minute Order (See “Freedom of the Press Update – A Grateful Thank You“), told the US Attorney that what they had filed with the Court was insufficient, and they had to go back and “do over”, to justify what they were asking the Court to do.

I will assume that they were up late, as they did make the deadline of providing a Memorandum, supported by an Affidavit, in Response to Judge Brown’s Order.  So, let’s look into the minds of these well-paid defenders of justice (just kidding).  We will deal with the Memorandum, though it will refer to, in one instance, the Affidavit.  There is no need to address the Affidavit.  It is simply a review of recent events with regard to this matter, but does provides a smidgen of hearsay supported by another smidgen of hearsay.  When one is desperate, one digs deep.

Now to the Memorandum; I will include all pertinent text, I will underline and address the more significant parts..

The United States of America, by Billy J. Williams, United States Attorney for the District of Oregon, and through Ethan D. Knight, Geoffrey A. Barrow, Craig J. Gabriel, and Pamala R. Holsinger, Assistant United States Attorneys, hereby submits this supplemental memorandum in support of the Government’s Motion to Enforce Protective Order.

On January 6, 2017, the government filed a Motion to Enforce Protective Order seeking an order from this Court enjoining third party Gary Hunt from further dissemination of discovery materials subject to this Court’s March 4, 2016, Protective Order. The Motion was supported by the Affidavit of FBI Special Agent Ronnie Walker.  On January 9, 2017, this Court directed the government to file a supplemental memorandum addressing the following issues:

Well, I suppose they could be, at once, be paying attention and not paying attention.  The Cease and Desist letter stated, “dissemination and publication of any excerpts of that material“.

To which I responded in “Freedom of the Press #2 – Cease and Desist“, when I wrote, “Holsinger has added a new twist by separating ‘dissemination’ from ‘publication of any excerpts’ with an ‘and’, making them separate and distinct elements.  However, the Order only addresses dissemination.”

So, we are back to dissemination.  Readers will recall that I have consistently stated that I was “excerpting, not disseminating“.  Of course, I first drew that distinction back on October 15, 2016, in “Burns Chronicles No 40 – Allen Varner (Wolf)“.  So, are there two elements, each different from the other, as in the Letter, or, only one element, as in the Protective Order?  Again, we must look at the letter of the law, and not what some government attorney wants it to be, at any given moment.

This is what Judge Brown has ordered the US Attorney to address.

1. The Court’s authority to enjoin the actions of a third party under the existing terms of the Protective Order and without advanced notice to the third party and an opportunity for that third party to be heard;

2. The Court’s jurisdiction to compel an individual who is not present within the district of Oregon to respond to the government’s arguments raised in the Motion via an order to show cause or other form of order; and

3. Whether the Court should amend the existing Protective Order in any respect to address the issues raised in the government’s Motion.

Now, these three items were deficient in this latest attempt to intimidate me into acquiescing to their unlawful demands.  Thankfully, Judge Brown saw through their charade and held their feet to the fire.

Now, let’s be clear that I don’t disagree with the title of this next section.  I think that it is easily understood that any Court has the authority to enforce its own lawful orders.  As an example, Mexico has the right to enforce its own lawful orders, within its own jurisdiction.  Come to think of it, so does California.  Even the Ninth Circuit Court can enforce its own awful orders, within its jurisdiction.  Now, the Ninth Circuit, coincidentally, includes both Oregon and California.  However, the Oregon District, while fully able to enforce its lawful orders within its own jurisdiction, it is not able to enforce in another jurisdiction, such as Mexico, or California.

Let’s see what the legal eagles in Portland have to say.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #3 – “Contemptuous Postings”’ »

Freedom of the Press #1 – Meeting with the FBI

Freedom of the Press #1
Meeting with the FBI

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 7, 2017

On the morning of January 5, 2017, I received a phone call from Special Agent Matthew Catalano, out of the Chico, California, FBI Office. I recognized the name from my research. It appears that he has been assigned to do Internet investigations on Gary Hunt. His research included articles in Mainstream Media that mentioned my name, and my own articles. However, I do know that he has been reading the “Burns Chronicles” series, as most of the earlier ones are in evidence in the Ammon Bundy, et al, trial discovery.

Back to the phone call. He told me that he had a letter from Portland that he wanted to deliver to me. He asked if I was going to be in Chico, which is about 25 miles away, and I seldom go there. I told him no. He then offered to meet me at the local Sheriff’s Office. That is about 15 miles from me, so I said that I would be glad to meet him in a restaurant, here in Los Molinos. That was agreed to. I then asked him if he had a warrant. He said that there was no warrant, only the letter. We then arranged the meeting, and he then informed that he was bringing a fellow agent along with him.

As arranged, we met at the restaurant just before noon. We sat in the front booth, my back toward the window and daylight in their faces.  There was an older man in the booth immediately behind them, and once he heard the words “F B I”, he turned towards us and listened, intently. Apparently, FBI presence in Los Molinos (population about 1200 and rural) is not quite an everyday occurrence.

After introductions, they ordered coffee and me, iced tea. Then, he handed me the Letter. I asked the agent what statute that bound me to the Cease and Desist portion of the letter. He answered that he didn’t know. When I asked him what he thought of the verdict in the Portland Group One trial, he answered that he was surprised by it and by the election results (Presidential). I had the distinct impression that he was pleased with the election results. We discussed the Roviaro decision (See “Informants – What to do About Them #2“) and I wondered, aloud, why the government chose to intentionally out Mark McConnell when Oregon State Police (OSP) Officer Beckert testified. He seemed somewhat surprised that the government outed McConnell, so it appeared that he had not followed the trial.

I told him that no informants had received any serious threats, though McConnell, and his girlfriend, Shannon Vita, had displayed weapons when they went to a restaurant where Jon and some friends were eating. (See “Informant Mark McConnell Receives Surprise Christmas Gift From Activist Jon Ritzheimer“)

I explained to Catalano that for over twenty years, I have always had respect for the FBI, as they have always been courteous and respectful (I know that many will disagree with this), with the exception of the Hostage Rescue Team (HRT). I explained to him about how the HRT overrode the regular negotiators in Waco, resulting in the deaths of over 80 people. He said that he was only 4-years old at that time, making him about 31 years old, now.

. Continue reading ‘Freedom of the Press #1 – Meeting with the FBI’ »

Burns Chronicles No 53 – Plea Withdrawal – A Privilege or a Right?

Burns Chronicles No 53
Plea Withdrawal – A Privilege or a Right?

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
January 2, 2017

On October 12, 2016, Ryan Payne submitted to the Court a Motion to Withdraw his Plea Agreement.  This was filed over two weeks before the Jury verdict (October 27, 2016), finding the defendants “Not Guilty” of the charges that included Payne in the original Indictment.

Payne pled guilty, in a Plea Agreement, on July 19, 2016.  In the hearing on the Plea Agreement, when asked how he pled, he stated, “In pursuing that effort [the occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge], I understand I — I have come to understand that folks who were — who work for the Government, that that Constitution ordained, perceived my actions as threatening or intimidating.  And, thereby, I – I understand myself to have been guilty of the charge that I’m charged with.

Clearly, he did not say that he was guilty.  He said that he understood himself “to have been guilty of the charges“.  So, we have to wonder why the equivocation that was apparent in his statement to the Court.  And, we will get to that.  However, let’s continue from where we are.

The Court (Queen Judge Anna Brown) gave her Order Denying Defendant Ryan Payne’s Motion to Withdraw Guilty Plea.  From that document, we can get some dates with regard to the timing of Payne’s plea agreement and other contributing factors.

            Standard

Judge Brown sets out the “Standard” upon which the Court is to determine if a plea should be withdrawn.  The citations she uses are all from the 9th Circuit, as they should be.

“Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11(d)(2)(B) provides that a defendant may withdraw a plea of guilty prior to sentencing if he “‘can show a fair and just reason for requesting the withdrawal.’” United States v. Mayweather, 634 F.3d 498, 504 (9th Cir. 2010). “The defendant has the burden of demonstrating a fair and just reason for withdrawal of a plea.” United States v. Davis, 428 F.3d 802, 805 (9th Cir. 2005). “‘Fair and just reasons for withdrawal include inadequate Rule 11 plea colloquies, newly discovered evidence, intervening circumstances, or any other reason for withdrawing the plea that did not exist when the defendant entered his plea.’” Mayweather, 634 F.3d at 504 (quoting United States v. Ortega–Ascanio, 376 F.3d 879, 883 (9th Cir. 2004)). “‘While the defendant is not permitted to withdraw his plea ‘simply on a lark,’ the ‘fair and just standard’ is generous and must be applied liberally.’” Mayweather, 634 F.3d at 504 (quoting United States v. McTiernan, 546 F.3d 1160, 1167 (9th Cir. 2008)).

You will note that the standard is based upon “fair and just”, and that the burden is on the defendant.  However, the last citation makes clear that the “‘fair and just standard’ is generous and must be liberally applied.”

Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 53 – Plea Withdrawal – A Privilege or a Right?’ »

Burns Chronicles No 35 – From the Law Giver: “the law as I give it to you!”

Burns Chronicles No 35
From the Law Giver: “the law as I give it to you!”

jury-05

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 25, 2016

Having obtained a copy of the Jury Instructions, as given to the jury in the U. S. v. Ammon Bundy, et al, by Judge Anna Brown.  I had sought them, as I was curious as to whether the instructions, at least, conform to the laws.  In Camp Lone Star #31 – The Case of Kevin KC Massey – Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute, an example of what is referred to as “Pattern Jury Instructions”, and how the wording of the instructions is contrary to the wording of the Statute.  So, let’s delve into Anna Brown’s mental state and cognitive abilities in advising the jury on the “letter of the law”.  (A PDF format of the Jury Instructions.  References will be to {page} number.)

What is the Law?

Regarding the obligation of the jury, with regard to their deliberations, on {4}, she says:

“Upon your return to the jury room, it is your duty to weigh and to evaluate all of the evidence calmly and dispassionately and, in that process, to decide what the facts are.  To the facts as you find them, you must apply the law as I give it to you, whether you agree with the law or not, which is just as you promised to do in the Oath that you took at the beginning of the case.”

John Peter Zenger was tried in a New York court, in 1735.  He had violated the written law on sedition by an article he had printed.  Though in violation of the working of the law, the jury acquitted him, and in so doing, vacated the law.

Later, when the Constitution was written, the jury’s action in that trial provided an understanding that the People were the final arbiters of the laws enacted by Congress, as the colonists did with regard to Crown written laws.

Now, I do not intend to discuss FIJA (Fully Informed Jury Association), though I would suggest that you would find them a source for what was intended to be the role of a jury in our justice system.  I am going to provide an historical context as to what “jury” meant in the age of the Founders, and what one State did to assure that the original intent would be adhered to.

Maryland ratified their Constitution on November 11, 1776.  From that Documents Declaration of Rights, we find:

III. That the inhabitants of Maryland are entitled to the common law of England, and the trial by Jury, according that law, and to the benefit of such of the English statutes, as existed at the time of their first emigration, and which, by experience, have been found applicable to their local and other circumstances

XVII. That every freeman, for any injury done him in his person or property, ought to have remedy, by the course of the law of the land, and ought to have justice and right freely without sale, fully without any denial, and speedily without delay, according to the law of the land.

XIX. That, in all criminal prosecutions, every man hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him; to have a copy of the indictment or charge in due time (if required) to prepare for his defence; to be allowed counsel; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have process for his witnesses; to examine the witnesses, for and against him, on oath; and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty.

Now, those are the only references to juries, and I will suggest that it was understood by everyone, in all of the colonies, that the jury could judge both facts and law.  To support this, we also find that the People are the ultimate authority under that Constitution.

I. That all government of right originates from the people, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole.

II. That the people of this State ought to have the sole and exclusive right of regulating the internal government and police thereof.

But, I wouldn’t want you to take my word for it, so let’s look at their 1867 Constitution.  This was ratified after the chaos and turmoil created by the Civil War.  Apparently, concerns over the acceptance of the past understanding of both the jury process and the authority of the People, we find these changes in the new Constitution, ratified on September 18, 1867.  Again, from the Declaration of Rights:

Article 1.  That all Government of right originates from the People, is founded in compact only, and instituted solely for the good of the whole; and they have, at all times, the inalienable right to alter, reform or abolish their Form of Government in such manner as they may deem expedient.

So, they have the right (not the Legislature) to alter or reform.  However, it does not say how that would be accomplished.

So, since the power resides with the People, they have provided, and reinstituted, a means by which those laws enacted by the legislature can be judged by the people.

Art. 23. In the trial of all criminal cases, the Jury shall be the Judges of Law, as well as of fact, except that the Court may pass upon the sufficiency of the evidence to sustain a conviction.

For a final affirmation of what was intended, and readily understood, back in 1852, we have an “Essay on Trial by Jury“, by Lysander Spooner.  We find Spooner’s explanation of the right to judge the laws in Chapter I, Section I (page 4 of the PDF.):

“FOR more than six hundred years that is, since Magna Carta, in 1215 there has been no clearer principle of English or American constitutional law, than that, in criminal cases, it is not only the right and duty of juries to judge what are the facts, what is the law, and what was the moral intent of the accused; but that it is also their right, and their primary and paramount duty, to judge of the justice of the law, and to hold all laws invalid, that are, in their opinion, unjust or oppressive, and all persons guiltless in violating, or resisting the execution of, such laws.”

He goes into a greater explanation, though I believe that this is sufficient for our purposes.  Unfortunately, today, the Rules being used by the Court allow the Judge to deny that which is in the Constitution, by the intent of the Founders, and clearly what was understood to be the right of the jury, without question.

However, as we see by the instructions, the Rules and the words of Judge Anna Brown obviously circumvent the intent of the Constitution.  And, isn’t that what this trial is about?

Later, on {4}, she says:

“Because you must base your verdicts only on the evidence and on the Court’s instructions, it remains essential that you not be exposed to any information about the case or to the issues it involves beyond what has been received here in open court in your presence and the presence of the parties.”

She reaffirms that her “instructions” must be obeyed, and, by the way, don’t think very hard.  I’ll do that for you”.

Government’s Use of Informants

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 35 – From the Law Giver: “the law as I give it to you!”’ »

Camp Lone Star #31 – The Case of Kevin KC Massey – I – Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute

Camp Lone Star #31
The Case of Kevin KC Massey – I
Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute

kc-now

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
October 17, 2016

It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is today, can guess what it will be tomorrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

James Madison, Federalist #62            

Do we simply accept the government interpretation of a law, without consideration for the grammatical structure(incoherent, or just misrepresented?)? If so, do we simply rely upon the enforcers of the law to tell us what we may, and what we may not, do?

Gary Hunt, October 17, 2016               

We will begin with a brief discussion of the legal/historical context of what result in Kevin “KC” Massey standing trial for “felon in possession of a firearm.  The, we will go into detail, including excerpts from the transcripts, of KC’s trail in Brownsville, Texas.

Kevin Massey organized what became known as Camp Lone Star (CLS), located on the property of Rusty Monsees.  The property abuts the Rio Grande River, about six miles southeast of Brownsville, Texas.  Massey had lived on the Monsees property for months, prior to the incidents that will be described.

The area in which the Camp was located is well known as a crossing point for illegal immigration.  The Camp was established to discourage illegal crossings, primarily to persuade those attempting to cross to return to the south shore of the River.  On occasion, the illegals were detained and turned over to United States Border Patrol (BPS).

Camp Lone Star was the most successful private, permanent, border operation along the entire southern border until the events described below began to unfold.  Though it only covered a few miles of common crossing areas, it was a full-time operation and reduced, significantly, crossings within its area of operation.

On August 29,  2014, there was a shooting incident where three of the CLS Team were patrolling the border, on private property, and with the consent of the owner’s representative.  A Border Patrol agent shot at one of the Team, who never raised his weapon and who then placed it on the ground, without the need for a command from the agent.  When the other Team members and BPS agents came together for the BPS to “investigate” the shooting by their agent, the CLS Team members cooperated, fully, with the investigation.

The only violation of any sort was the agent shooting, in violation of BPS policy.  However, it appears that the agent has not been subject to any hearing or punishment because of his actions.

. Continue reading ‘Camp Lone Star #31 – The Case of Kevin KC Massey – I – Challenging the Interpretation vs. the Wording of a Statute’ »

The Bundy Affair – #16 * The Legal Shotgun

The Bundy Affair – #16
The Legal Shotgun

legal-shotgun-shell

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 28, 2016

In a related article, “Burns Chronicles No 30 – Officer? What Officer?“, I addressed a common element to the Indictments from Oregon and Nevada.  You may also want to refer back to that article to see how the federal government has, over the years, expanded its authority (jurisdiction) well beyond what the Constitution granted to that government.  The article covered the extent of the Oregon Indictment, but only the common charge of violation of 18 US Code § 372.  The Nevada Indictment goes a bit further.  It charges the accused with violation of 18 US Code § 371 and endeavors to provide some substance to the charge, which was not done in Oregon.

We will start with the charge of violation of 18 US Code § 371, which reads, in the Indictment:

COUNT ONE

Conspiracy to Commit an Offense Against the United States

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 371)

Paragraphs 1 through 153 are incorporated herein in full…

So, what does US Code § 371 say?

18 U.S.C. § 371 – Conspiracy to commit offense or to defraud United States

If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

It is interesting that this really overlaps 18 US Code § 372, the statute addressed in the previous article in that it says, “to commit any offense against the United States”.  Now, § 372 is an offense against the United States, so why is there a charge that is already incorporated in another charge?

My guess is that it is what I refer to as a “legal shotgun”.  In the Branch Davidian trial, Sarah Bain explained there were so many charges against the Davidians that the jury felt they had to find the Davidians guilty of something.  So they took the charge with the lowest punishment, and found them guilty of that Count.  So, if you throw enough peanut butter at a wall, some of it will stick.  Not a very good concept of justice, but the government knows how human nature works.  You could call it a “chicanery conviction”.

. Continue reading ‘The Bundy Affair – #16 * The Legal Shotgun’ »

Burns Chronicles No 30 – Officer? What Officer?

Burns Chronicles No 30
Officer?   What Officer?

bank-robber

Gary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 26, 2016

In the Indictments, both in Oregon and Nevada, there is one Count that raises some serious questions.  The exact wording, to the extent of understanding the charges being made, is as follows:

For Oregon:

COUNT 1

(Conspiracy to Impede Officers of the United States)

(18 u.s.c. § 372)

On or about November 5, 2015, and continuing through February 12, 2016, in the District of Oregon, defendants…

It then goes on to list the Defendants and makes some rather general accusations, WITHOUT naming “Officers” or, how they were impeded.

Next, we look to the Nevada Indictment:

COUNT TWO

Conspiracy to Impede or Injure a Federal Officer

(Title 18, United States Code, Section 372)

Then, they go into a narrative, missing, of course, any named “Officers”, or any specific acts that constitute impeding.

The statute cited reads:

18 U.S.C. § 372 : US Code – Section 372: Conspiracy to impede or injure officer

If two or more persons in any State, Territory, Possession, or District conspire to prevent, by force, intimidation, or threat, any person from accepting or holding any office, trust, or place of confidence under the United States, or from discharging any duties thereof, or to induce by like means any officer of the United States to leave the place, where his duties as an officer are required to be performed, or to injure him in his person or property on account of his lawful discharge of the duties of his office, or while engaged in the lawful discharge thereof, or to injure his property so as to molest, interrupt, hinder, or impede him in the discharge of his official duties, each of such persons shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six years, or both.

Now, our concern, as much as with the Indictments lacking specificity, is the Statute, itself.  So, let’s first trace the history of the Statute, and then we will look into just who an “Officer” might be.

. Continue reading ‘Burns Chronicles No 30 – Officer? What Officer?’ »

Liberty or Laws – Are You a Voter, or, an Elector?

Liberty or Laws?

Are You a Voter, or, an Elector?

 

latino-polling-placeGary Hunt
Outpost of Freedom
September 6, 2016

During this current election cycle, a matter has constantly recurred, that of the federal government mandating, primarily through the District and Circuit Courts, who can vote and what requirements, if any, are necessary to do so.

To understand what has gone wrong, we will have to look to the Constitution, what was required to vote in national elections in the past, and how the federal government has supplanted the States regarding the authority over who may vote.  There is also concern about the Electoral College, so we need to see what was intended when the Constitution was written.  It is necessary to follow this history of voting to understand just how Article IV, § 4 of the Constitution has become moot.  The pertinent part of that Article reads:

The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government…

So, let’s begin with references to voting and elections in the Constitution.  In Article I (Legislative Branch), we find:

Section 2 — The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

Well, clearly, it is the prerogative of the State to determine what “Qualifications [are] requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.”  The federal then yields to the state’s authority concerning who is qualified to vote in federal elections.  The use of the term “Electors”, in this section, is what most would simply call “voters”.  They elect the Representatives, but their qualifications are based upon the qualifications that State has set for its most “numerous Branch.”  There is no such condition for the Senate, like the Senators, prior to the 17th Amendment, were chosen by the state legislatures.

Next, we see that the Constitution leaves a degree of discretion to the federal government, though quite limited:

Section 4 — The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing Senators.

It says that “Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations…”, though since it refers to itself, when it says “alter such regulation”, it can only refer to “The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections…”  Otherwise, the previous (Section 2) provision would be without substance.  The same power or authority cannot be granted to two different parties, the federal government and the State governments.  That would be contrary to any practical possibility that both would agree to any acceptable determination of who could vote, especially if one had the guarantee of a Republican Form of Government.  As we will see, the states that existed in 1874 had diverse requirements.  There was some commonality, but the federal government could only intervene to assure that such voting was done timely, not done at a place that would limit access to voting, and of the manner (not requirements), such as paper ballots.  At that time (before the Seventeenth Amendment), the state legislatures elected the Senators.

Next, we have:

Section 5 — Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members…

Now, there is another grant to the federal government, but only to “Judge… the Elections“.  That, obviously, could only extend to judging the results of the elections, as they cannot be judged before being completed.  This would include Returns.  The Qualifications, of course, is to satisfy the requirements regarding who may serve in the House of Representatives and the Senate, found in Article I. Section 2, clause 2 and Section 3, clause 3.

Initially, Article II (Executive Branch) set forth the method by which the President would be elected:

Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves.  And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate.  The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted.  The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President.  But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice.  In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President.  But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

Now, in the election of the President, the Electors are selected according to the “Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct“.  In the subsequent section on the “Electoral College“, the disparity of this method has become problematic.  However, we can see that the federal government may only “determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes.”

This procedure was changed in 1804 with the ratification of the 12th Amendment.  The Constitution had the second highest vote receiver as Vice-President, and it was determined that the two highest vote getters, running in opposition to each other, would then share the responsibilities of the Executive Branch of Government.  The 12th Amendment changed the voting by the Electors to one vote for President and one vote for Vice-President, rather than, as described above, where they voted for “two Persons.”

The only other amendment to affect the election of the President was ratified in 1961 as the 23rd Amendment; it simply gave Washington, D.C., the District of Columbia, the ability to participate by allowing it to select Electors for the election of the President and Vice-President, just as the States.

. Continue reading ‘Liberty or Laws – Are You a Voter, or, an Elector?’ »