The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Conference Center > Law and Civil Rights

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old January 23, 2012, 09:57 PM   #1851
pcb911
Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2011
Location: North Georgia & Fl.
Posts: 44
BG, I was having the same thoughts about RICO. Everyone on every level is guilty of being involved in a illegal act if it is murder of a federal agent, illegal sales of firearms or a scheme to deprive U.S. Citizens of their rights in the future. The sad thing is that the DOJ uses RICO to get anyone that "they" want to put in federal prison. In this case, they would have to charge themselves. That won't happen.

RICO is a big broom that can sweep a very wide path. I knew a person that went to federal prison because he attended a meeting of people that had a discussion of writing a letter that was never written nor mailed. Their contention was that the intent was there under RICO. The irony was that he turned, and when the others were found not gulity. He had to be released.

Something else is a RICO will get you a Club Fed membership. A gun crime will get you a hard federal prison. They might plead to RICO so they can keep their tan.
__________________
Assume nothing.
pcb911 is offline  
Old January 23, 2012, 10:20 PM   #1852
alan
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 7, 1999
Posts: 3,737
Concerning BGutzman in post 1848 and pcb911 in post 1849 references/comments on ATF/DOJ antics re conversations with FFL's, it could well be that the antics of BATFE (ATF), and DOJ in and with regard to Fast & Furious constitute actions chargeable under RICO. That having been said, who might it be that would bring prosecution, assuming that there was anyone willing to take the thing before a Federal Grand Jury, seeking indictments.

I think, if I try, I can actually visualize, in the auditory sense of the term, the remarks that a U.S. Attorney might make before this federal grand jury, accompanied by winks and nods of course.
alan is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 12:10 AM   #1853
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,116
Could a certain loudmouthed sheriff bring it before a Grand Jury? A sheriff is a much bigger dog in the LEO hierarchy than most people think. If not a sheriff, how about a state's Attorney General?
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is online now  
Old January 24, 2012, 01:00 AM   #1854
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
Getting back to the issue of special use immunity granted by Congress - this is NOT an issue of executive privilege to be asserted by the executive branch. It is a simple question of the violation of the separation of powers insofar as Congress usurping the executive branch's prosecutorial authority. Prosecutorial authority is imbued to the executive branch. It is not imbued to the Congress, either explicitly by Constitutional provision or statute.

It was argued above that, in fact, this issue had been litigated and ruled upon by SCOTUS in the case of Ollie North, but this does not conform to my recollection at all. There was no animus between the congressional committee investigating Iran-Contra and the office of the Special Counsel - they worked closely together on the grant of immunity for Ollie North and specifically tailored it to attempt to theoretically wall off his testimony before Congress from the Counsel's investigation. This, of course, did not fly, and North's convictions were overturned on appeal because it was essentially impossible for DOJ to demonstrate that North's testimony before Congress didn't taint the investigation of him. THAT was the issue litigated in that case, not whether Congress had the legal authority to grant immunity to a witness against the wishes of the DOJ.

The issuance of immunity from prosecution is an action of prosecutorial, NOT legislative discretion, and I believe that SCOTUS will slap down any attempt by a congressional committee to grant immunity from prosecution to a witness if DOJ opposes it.
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 05:26 AM   #1855
publius42
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 9, 2002
Posts: 1,885
On Congressional grants of immunity, I found this post interesting.

Quote:
I address the problem of how Congress can provide effective oversight of the executive branch in the article. My analysis is that Congress has an inherent power to conduct investigations, which has been recognized since the Founding era. That power includes the ability to compel testimony from witnesses -- even without granting immunity for potentially incriminating testimony.

If a witness is required to give testimony that ends up being incriminating, the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination should still be applicable at a later trial. The result would be substantially the same -- the judge in the case would apply the privilege to exclude evidence that came from the congressional compulsion. The only practical difference is that Congress can't promise in advance that the evidence will be excluded. The application of the Constitution to the situation is up to the judge.
publius42 is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 08:25 AM   #1856
alloy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 11, 2008
Posts: 1,931
So many twists, where to start....??

Oh well...maybe with Cunningham's resignation...someone will eventually take a closer look into the Kingery case, the CI, and the 2000 grenade components...both internationally smuggled, and otherwise.

Maybe some simple AZ policework can accomplish what the DC types on both sides of the questioning have been unable to piece together, with some eventual straightforward answers to all the non complex questions.

Not faulting Issa, but there seems to be a few DOJ safeguards against him taking the investigation to a certian level of clarity.
__________________
Quote:
The uncomfortable question common to all who have had revolutionary changes imposed on them: are we now to accept what was done to us just because it was done?
Angelo Codevilla
alloy is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 11:18 AM   #1857
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
I read above several references to prosecuting one or other F&F players under RICO statutes. And while I will allow that it may well be that several actors may very well have committed ongoing criminal acts comprehended by RICO, I remind y'all that RICO statutes exist at the federal level and prosecution under them falls under the exclusive purview of the DoJ, with all that entails.
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 11:58 AM   #1858
C0untZer0
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4,555
It seems to me that in the past, when there is an change in what party occupies the White House there generally has been a tendency to let bygones be bygones, and not prosecute appointees or directors in fed agencies for "past" transgressions.

I don't know if there will be a republican in the White House, but I think that , besides the actual field agents working these operations, criminal charges should be pursued against teveryone involved - but especially the people who thought up the idea in the first place...
C0untZer0 is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 12:50 PM   #1859
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
There's one fly in that ointment C0unt. Obama will likely issue pardons to all involved in F&F before he leaves office. There isn't likely to be anyone around who could actually be indicted.
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 01:23 PM   #1860
C0untZer0
Junior member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2011
Location: Illinois
Posts: 4,555
Wait, the President can't issue pro-active pardons can he?

Charges would have to be brought first and if they are brought within the statute of limitations, but after the former president leaves office - I can't see how the president who is in office at the time the crimes are committed can pardon them.

An adminstration that brings charges in the first place, obviously is not going pardon the people it brings cases against.
C0untZer0 is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 01:47 PM   #1861
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,957
No, I don't think the Presiden can issue pardons before convictions are entered.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 02:13 PM   #1862
zxcvbob
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 20, 2007
Location: S.E. Minnesota
Posts: 4,116
Ford preemptively pardoned Nixon. I don't know if that's a special case or a precedent.
__________________
"The only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is with a good guy with a gun"
zxcvbob is online now  
Old January 24, 2012, 02:26 PM   #1863
Spats McGee
Staff
 
Join Date: July 28, 2010
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 4,957
According to watergate.info, the House Judiciary Committee passed the Third Article of Impeachment on July 30, 1974, and Nixon announced his resignation on August 8, 1974. Nixon's resignation letter is dated August 9. The Pardon Proclamation was dated September 8, 1974.

That certainly does raise the issue of a pardon prior to conviction. I stand corrected.
__________________
A gunfight is not the time to learn new skills.

If you ever have a real need for more than a couple of magazines, your problem is not a shortage of magazines. It's a shortage of people on your side of the argument. -- Art Eatman
Spats McGee is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 02:43 PM   #1864
armoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,736
Follow that line for a moment - imagine if the President could issue pardons to anyone he wants to when ever he wants to, whether a conviction has been reached or not. Presidential pardons would become the things of gangsters dreams, apply for one now for anything you may do in the future. Will we have scholarships for Presidential Pardons? Can you hold one indefinitely for future use, the ultimate Monopoly Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card? Are the largest campaign donors rewarded with such a card, especially if one is the CEO of a "troubled asset"?
If it has been abused before, it has been/is being/will be seriously abused by the current monarch-in-chief.
__________________
http://czfirearms.us/ same original CZForum, new location.
armoredman is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 02:51 PM   #1865
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
armoredman, the POTUS has absolute pardon authority. For an example of how a big campaign donor influenced the President to issue a pardon, google Marc Rich pardon or Denise Rich.

The only check on a President's pardon authority is Congress's power to impeach, his own desire to be reelected, and/or his desire to keep his presidential legacy and reputation untarnished. Aside from that, it's anything goes, albeit outright sales of pardons probably falls under federal anti-bribery and anti-racketeering statutes.

Last edited by csmsss; January 24, 2012 at 03:09 PM.
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 03:11 PM   #1866
pcb911
Member
 
Join Date: February 10, 2011
Location: North Georgia & Fl.
Posts: 44
If my memory serves me, Holder handled the pardon that is mentioned above.
__________________
Assume nothing.
pcb911 is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 03:21 PM   #1867
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
pcb, it's better than that. In sworn testimony before a congressional committee, Holder claimed to know next to nothing of it, yet multiple independent investigations revealed his fingerprints pretty much all over it. You can be quite well assured that this particular AG knows the pardon racket inside and out.
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 03:52 PM   #1868
Mr. James
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 10, 2001
Location: The Old Dominion
Posts: 1,521
Hmm. Folks have mentioned RICO, and dismissed it because it would require the DOJ to prosecute itself, essentially. RICO, however, has civil provisions.

Quote:
RICO creates a civil cause of action for "any person injured in his business or property by reason of a violation of section 1962." 18 U.S.C. § 1964(c).

What are the elements of a RICO cause of action? To state a RICO claim under § 193 there must be:
1. A person who engages in,
2. A pattern of racketeering activity,
3. Connected to the acquisition, establishment, conduct or control of an enterprise.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/2212888

Perhaps the Terry or Zapata families, or some of the others hurt by this criminal conspiracy would have a cause of action. Just spitballin' here!
__________________
"...A humble and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." Ps. li

"When law and morality contradict each other, the citizen has the cruel alternative of either losing his moral sense or losing his respect for the law." —Frederic Bastiat
Mr. James is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 03:59 PM   #1869
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
Sadly, that won't put any of the criminal actors into the pokey.
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 05:28 PM   #1870
armoredman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 22, 2007
Location: Arizona
Posts: 3,736
Quote:
armoredman, the POTUS has absolute pardon authority. For an example of how a big campaign donor influenced the President to issue a pardon, google Marc Rich pardon or Denise Rich.
I understand that, but that is usually AFTER the fact - I am thinking if his pardon authority truly is limitless, then he might as well auction off pardons for any future crimes as a campaign fundraiser, that is, if it hasn't been done already. Which, as my cynicism grows, probably has been done a thousand times.
__________________
http://czfirearms.us/ same original CZForum, new location.
armoredman is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 05:40 PM   #1871
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
Who is talking about FUTURE cimes? The discussiin vis a vis pardons has been about pardons for crimes already committed but as yet uncharged. Big difference. And as was pointed out above, there is already precedent for that (Ford's pardon of Nixon in 75).

Further, the sale of pardons would constitute the violation of numerous federal laws and expose any President to impeachment trial and the possibility of subsequent criminal charges.
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 05:51 PM   #1872
brickeyee
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 29, 2004
Posts: 3,342
Quote:
Further, the sale of pardons would constitute the violation of numerous federal laws and expose any President to impeachment trial and the possibility of subsequent criminal charges.
Similar to lying before a grand jury or in a deposition?
brickeyee is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 06:06 PM   #1873
csmsss
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 24, 2008
Location: Orange, TX
Posts: 2,979
Yup..But no former president has ever done that, has he?
csmsss is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 07:23 PM   #1874
gc70
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 24, 2005
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 2,470
Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
The issuance of immunity from prosecution is an action of prosecutorial, NOT legislative discretion, and I believe that SCOTUS will slap down any attempt by a congressional committee to grant immunity from prosecution to a witness if DOJ opposes it.
It is probably appropriate to refine the terms being used. Technically, 18 USC § 6002 does not provide for "immunity from prosecution" (as demonstrated by Oliver North's prosecution after his immunized testimony), but it does provide for immunity from the use of such testimony in a prosecution (North clearly won on that point). That concept of immunity has been fully upheld by SCOTUS (US v Hubbell).
Quote:
In Kastigar v. United States, 406 U. S. 441 (1972), we upheld the constitutionality of §6002 because the scope of the “use and derivative-use” immunity that it provides is coextensive with the scope of the constitutional privilege against self-incrimination.
Hanah Volokh's law review article on Congressional immunity actually supports the premise that the grant of immunity does not conflict with prosecutorial authority. She makes the point that, even without a grant of immunity, the Fifth Amendment would bar the use of compelled testimony in a subsequent court case and the prosecution would be in no worse a position than if the testimony had never been given.
gc70 is offline  
Old January 24, 2012, 07:44 PM   #1875
Aguila Blanca
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 6,188
Quote:
Originally Posted by csmsss
Yup..But no former president has ever done that, has he?
"It depends on what the meaning of 'is' is."
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Reply

Tags
atf , fast and furious

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:02 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.39689 seconds with 8 queries