Sharon and disinformation – Exploring the facts

At the Post and Email, Sharon makes the following observations:

Sharon

In September 2011, a member of The Fogbow, “nbc,” reportedly procured documents from Huff’s trial for “Jack,” aka “Jack Ryan,” whose real name is believed to be Bob Haggard.  “NBC” follows the statements of Walter Fitzpatrick, Zullo and The Post & Email closely, then attempts to discredit them via disinformation.

Perhaps Sharon is not familiar with the fact that trial documents are available for download? Jack Ryan has been doing a great job at collecting the relevant documents for the many court cases involving birthers, allowing everyone to understand what is happening at these trials. He provides a great service to anyone interested in educating himself as to the details and arguments raised in the many cases that have been brought across our Nation. As to ‘disinformation’, I have yet to hear why the information I provide was flawed in any manner or form. I am always open to revise my position based on evidence.

In response to McLaurin’s contention of text-messaging during the hearing, Huff recently told The Post & Email that he and Fitzpatrick have never exchanged text messages at all.  The Post & Email asked the question without informing Huff of Fitzpatrick’s response to the same question, which was “I do not text.”

Source: Post and Email

The AG never stated that these text messages were directed to Fitzpatrick. The AG was discussing the issue of intent and argued that Darren’s actions went to the intent issue. I transcribed the following, any errors are mine:

Well, I think that, when you look at all evidence in the record there was testimony that he had been planning this, this take-over of Madisonville Courthouse for weeks. That he had gone up to Madisonville, he consulted with Fitzpatrick, he had sent text messages back saying ‘no we are not committing citizen’s arrests today’, he is coordinating with a bunch of other individuals. I believe that given all the evidence in the record..

The audio of appeal hearing in the case of 12-5581US v Darren Huff can be found here. It is well worth listening to as it explains what arguments are raised by the defense and by the prosecution. There are a few issues that may determine the outcome: 1) The traffic stop 2) the evidence collected during the traffic stop 3) the meaning of transporting a firearm in commerce. The defense is arguing that the traffic stop was unconstitutional and therefor any evidence collected is tainted. The prosecution argues that once the stop was over, the defendant continued to volunteer information and therefor not all the evidence should be tainted. At least one judge wonders if the evidence collected at the traffic stop is relevant since it addresses issues for which independent evidence and testimony had been given. Darren Huff clearly explained in various post-Madisonville interviews, that he indeed was transporting firearms across state line. The issue of intent was something the jury had to decide based on the evidence presented, and it could be argued that if the traffic stop were flawed, that the statements made by Darren to the police (“witnessing” he called it), should not have been heard. The defense also argued that Darren was not involved in transporting a firearm in commerce, and therefor the jury should not have found him guilty. (See 18 USC 213(a)(2))

(2) Whoever transports or manufactures for transportation in commerce any firearm, or explosive or incendiary device, knowing or having reason to know or intending that the same will be used unlawfully in furtherance of a civil disorder; or

[1] Civil disorder means any public disturbance involving acts of violence by assemblages of three or more persons, which causes an immediate danger of or result in damage or injury to the property or person of any other individual.

I am not sure if the ‘in commerce’ refers to the transportation, or the manufacturing for transportation, and the court’s decision should clarify some of these interesting issues. Prosecution under 18 USC 231 have been exceedingly rare. The prosecution had argued, in a motion addressing Darren’s motion for a new trial or for acquittal that:

The jury could have reasonably believed that the Defendant had the intent to conduct unlawful arrests of public officials in Madisonville on the day of the offense. A militia group conducting unlawful arrests of public officials is tantamount to a civil disorder. Thus, a rational fact-finder could find that the Defendant intended to commit a civil disorder while en route to Madisonville the day of the offense. It could also be reasonably inferred that the Defendant had that intent when he crossed the Tennessee- Georgia state line shortly before his vehicle was stopped on the way to Madisonville. Further, a rational juror could find from the Defendant’s statements and the surrounding circumstances that the Defendant knew his planned action in Madisonville was unlawful.

Source: GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL OR FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL [Doc. 175]

as to the “in commerce” component as used in 18 USC 992

Accordingly, the Defendant’s various arguments for constitutional “vagueness” and now “obscurity” with regard to Section 231(a)(2) fails to meet any of the established tests for a meritorious challenge. The language of Section 231(a)(2) could not be any clearer, or to use the language set forth in United States v. Spector, 343 U.S. 169, 172 (1952), “the commands of the statute [are] simple and intelligible” and provide clear notice to any citizen: you may not (i) transport in commerce (which is defined), such as traveling interstate, (ii) a firearm (iii) knowing, having reason to know or intending that the same will be used unlawfully in furtherance of a civil disorder (also defined in the statute).

Source: GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSE TO DEFENDANT’S MOTION FOR NEW TRIAL OR FOR JUDGMENT OF ACQUITTAL [Doc. 175]
Defendant Jonathan Palozie was convicted by a jury in the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut (Covello, Ch. J.) for possession of a firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1) (1994), which provides, in relevant part, that it is unlawful for any person “who has been convicted in any court of[] a crime punishable by imprisonment for a term exceeding one year . . . to . . . possess in or affecting commerce , any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.” (emphasis added). The jury was charged that the government could carry its burden with respect to the interstate commerce element of the possession offense by, among other things, proving beyond a reasonable doubt that “the firearm allegedly possessed by the Defendant had at some time previously traveled across a state line.”
Source: US v. Palozie, 166 F. 3d 502 – Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit 1999
A lot will depend on the interpretation of ‘in commerce’ as used in the statute.

In United States v. Bass, 404 U.S. 336, 92 S.Ct. 515, 30 L.Ed.2d 488 (1971), the Supreme Court held that some nexus with interstate commerce must be shown by the government to support a conviction under 18 U.S.C. App. § 1202(a)(1). In dicta in the same opinion, Justice Marshall set forth the quantum of evidence of such a nexus which must be proved:

“The Government can obviously meet its burden in a variety of ways. We note only some of these. For example, a person ‘possesses . . . in commerce or affecting commerce’ if at the time of the offense the gun was moving interstate or on an interstate facility, or if the possession affects commerce. Significantly broader in reach, however, is the offense of ‘receiv(ing) . . . in commerce or affecting commerce,’ for we conclude that the Government meets its burden here if it demonstrates that the firearm received has previously traveled in interstate commerce.” 404 U.S. at 350, 92 S.Ct. at 524.

Source: US v Ressler 536 F.2d 208 (7th Cir. 1976)
But see
In addition to slight improvements in style, the word  “commerce” was substituted for “transportation” in  order to avoid the narrower connotation of the word  “transportation” since “commerce” obviously includes  more than “transportation.” The word “Possession”  was inserted in two places to make the definition more  accurate and comprehensive since the places included  in the word “Possession” would normally be within the  term defined and a narrower construction should be  handled by express statutory exclusion in those crimes  which Congress intends to restrict to commerce within  the continental United States.
Source:  Title 18 – United States Code — 2011 – Title 18 – CRIMES AND CRIMINAL PROCEDURE
I wish Darren well, as I personally believe that he was just boasting.

And yes, the evidence does appear to show that Huff did send text messages, just not to Fitzpatrick, but that is not how I interpret the statement by the AG.

Following that meeting, Defendant informed a friend via text message that no citizens’ arrests had been conducted that day. (R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1690.) When the friend asked if Defendant had “pull[ed] out the mussell [sic]” (id.), which was a reference to “some type of force” (R. 211, Trial Tr. at 1799), Defendant replied that he had not because Fitzpatrick had been released the night before (R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1690). Defendant explained, however, that it had not been a “wasted trip” because he had “met with the arrested to coordinate with all groups involved.” (Id. at PageID# 1690-91.) Defendant also stated, “we’re moving on to Phase 2.” (Id. at PageID# 1690.)

Walt was mentioned fleetingly, and is of no real relevance to the Huff case, other than that Darren was there in early April when Walt tried to arrest the foreman of the Grand Jury and was arrested, and traveled to Madisonville later in April, carrying several weapons. The jury was asked to determine if the available evidence supported the prosecutor’s arguments that Darren had transported firearms across state lines with the intent of them being used in disturbance. Darren himself had established the fact that indeed he had transported firearms across state lines, so the remaining component was ‘intent’ and ‘intentions’. The prosecution provided statements from two bank employees, who, after having talked to Darren, called the police, concerned about the words he had uttered.

That morning, however, Defendant made comments that were “out of the ordinary.” (Id. at PageID# 1452.) Defendant told Longmire and Dupree that, on April 20, 2010, he was going to Madisonville with members of the Georgia Militia to “take over” the city. (Id. at PageID# 1447-49, 1454; R. 210, Trial Tr. at 1471-74, 1485-86.) He explained that they were going there because Fitzpatrick had been “wrongly arrested.” (R. 209, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1448.) Defendant stated he was going to bring multiple guns, including an AK-47 rifle, and that he would be on the “front line.” (Id. at PageID# 1449; accord R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1471-73.) He also said that he would have an anti-aircraft gun mounted on the back of his truck. (R. 209, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1450, 1456; R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1473, 1480-82.) Defendant assured Longmire and Dupree that they would hear about the incident on the news. (R. 209, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1449; R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1472.)

As Defendant was speaking, Longmire noticed that Defendant had driven a different truck to the bank than the one he normally drove. (R. 209, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1451-52.) The new truck was painted camouflage and had a “Georgia Militia” emblem on the door. (Id. at PageID# 1452, 1456.) When Defendant left the bank, he told Dupree that it had been nice knowing her and suggested that he might not ever see her again. (R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1475.) Longmire and Dupree both believed that Defendant was serious and were so concerned by his statements that they each separately contacted law enforcement authorities. (R. 209, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1452-53; R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1472, 1475-78.)

Others, similarly concerned by the rhetoric, appear to also have expressed their concerns to law enforcement. Law enforcement could not have known that on the day in question, only a handful of people would show up. It’s easy to argue, in retrospect, that the police presence was excessive, however given the statements made by Huff to his bank manager and teller, I am not going to second guess.

To follow up on those reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Special Agent Charles Reed spoke with Defendant at his residence on April 19, 2010. (R. 210, Trial Tr. at PageID# 1670-72.) Defendant confirmed that he was planning to go Madisonville the next day. (Id. at PageID# 1672.) Defendant explained that he intended to conduct some citizens’ arrests there. (Id. at PageID# 1678.) He said that he and other militia members would “try to take back” Madisonville and Monroe County and “possibly” even Tennessee and the United States. (Id. at PageID# 1672.) Defendant described the situation as “us against them,” with the “them” being government officials in Madisonville. (Id.)

Furthermore, when Darren had been pulled over in a traffic stop, he voluntarily provided the police with much additional information that helped the prosecution in making its case.

I have tried to warn Darren several times to not speak out publicly as anything he says can only be used against him, but the damage had already been done.

Zullo is of little interest to me, as his ‘posse’ has failed miserably when it rejected the suggestions by John Woodward. If they had pursued this avenue, they too would have likely run across the Xerox Work Centre and found that most of the artifacts their ‘experts’ had claimed to be evidence of forgery, were actually caused by simple algorithms and work flow.

As to Walt’s claims about the foreman of the grand jury, I have provided, legal, legislative and historical information that established that in TN, the foreman of the grand jury is hand selected by the Judge, not from the jury pool but from anyone who meets the requirements to serve as a juror. In other words, the judge need not appoint the foreperson from the randomly selected pool, nor is he constrained from re-appointing said foreperson for multiple consecutive periods of 2 years.

If this is claimed to be disinformation, then I am sure that an argument can be presented to address my findings and conclusions? I am always open to well argued responses.

Walt also has claimed that he observed a judge hand picking the Grand Jury, and I pointed out how a more reasonable explanation exists where the Judge follows the procedures outlined in the Tennessee Code Annotated and the TN Rules of Criminal Procedure.

As to ‘the takeover that never happened’, again I would like to point out that Darren was not convicted for a ‘take over’. The police presence during that day made it all but impossible for the few who had shown up to make a difference. We may never know what the outcome could have been were it not for the police presence that day.

As to the Grand Jury itself, in Tennessee one can bring information to said grand jury and according to the rules, the foreman and two others will hear the arguments and decide whether or not to bring it to to the full grand jury. Their decision is binding and final.

40-12-104.  Application to testify by person having knowledge of commission of offense.

(a) Any person having knowledge or proof of the commission of a public offense triable or indictable in the county may testify before the grand jury.

(b) The person having knowledge or proof shall appear before the foreman. The person may also submit the sworn affidavits of others whose testimony the person wishes to have considered.

(c) The person shall designate two (2) grand jurors who shall, with the foreman, comprise a panel to determine whether the knowledge warrants investigation by the grand jury. The panel may consult the district attorney general or the court for guidance in making its determination. The majority decision of the panel shall be final and shall be promptly communicated to the person along with reasons for the action taken.

(d) Submission of an affidavit which the person knows to be false in any material regard shall be punishable as perjury. An affiant who permits submission of a false affidavit, knowing it to be false in any material regard, is guilty of perjury. Any person subsequently testifying before the grand jury as to any material fact known by the person to be false is guilty of perjury.