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Story 1: A Miracle of Divine Justice In A Dallas Courtroom: Faith, Family, Friends, Freedom, First Forgiveness — Videos

 

 

 

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I forgive you’: Botham Jean’s brother hugs Amber Guyger after she gets 10 years in prison

Former Dallas cop Amber Guyger found guilty of murdering neighbor

Botham Jean’s brother forgives, hugs convicted murderer Amber Guyger

Former officer convicted of murder in wrong-apartment killing | Nightline

10 YEARS: Reaction to Amber Guyger sentencing in Dallas County, Texas

Graphic new bodycam footage revealed in Amber Guyger trial

Key Moments from Amber Guyger’s Testimony

Neighbor of Botham Jean gives emotional testimony

Botham Jean’s neighbor Joshua Brown is overcome with emotion after recounting how he’d heard him singing gospel and Drake songs across the hall. The judge took a recess. Fired Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger is facing a murder charge in the 204th District Court at the Frank Crowley Courts Building in Dallas, Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

911 Call: Dallas cop after shooting neighbor in his apartment (WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE)

RAW VIDEO: Dallas police officer bodycam of fatal Botham Jean shooting

Amber Guyger 911 call: What was she thinking after she shot Botham Jean?

Prosecutors Make Case Against Amber Guyger During Opening Statements Of Murder Trial

Contradicting stories in deadly police shooting

Amber Guyger exchanged explicit texts with partner before deadly shooting

Full Video: Amber Guyger’s testimony

Police chief says officer will be charged with manslaughter in killing of Botham Jean

 

Judge presents Amber Guyger with a BIBLE and hugs her moments after slain accountant’s brother embraced the killer cop and FORGAVE her – while the victim’s mother suggests she use her 10 year sentence to ‘change’

  • Judge Tammy Kemp presented Amber Guyger with a Bible after the cop was sentenced to 10 years in prison 
  • The judge hugged Botham Jean’s mother Allison before embracing Guyger 
  • Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison on Wednesday for murder of Jean 
  • The 31-year-old was found guilty of murder a day earlier after fatally shooting Jean in his own apartment after mistaking it for her own
  • After sentencing, Jean’s brother, Brandt, 18, was allowed to address Guyger 
  • Brandt told Guyger that he forgives her and even embraced the sobbing officer 
  • Guyger was facing up to life in prison for the September 2018 shooting death
  • Prosecutors had urged the jury to give a punishment of no less than 28 years 
  • Her sentence was met with boos and jeers by a crowd gathered outside court 
  • Guyger was off duty from the Dallas Police Department but still in uniform when she fatally shot the 26-year-old accountant in his own home 
  • She said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below, and that she thought he was an intruder when she opened fire 

The judge who presided over Amber Guyger’s murder trial presented her with a Bible and gave her a hug just moments after the brother of slain accountant Botham Jean embraced the sobbing cop.

Judge Tammy Kemp also hugged Jean’s mother Allison after the sentencing just before she embraced Guyger and handed over her own personal Bible.

In an astonishing act of compassion, Jean’s 18-year-old brother, Brandt, had asked the judge if he could also hug Guyger after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Brandt and a sobbing Guyger then both stood up, met in front of the bench and embraced for a long period of time. The judge and the majority of the courtroom wiped away tears as they hugged.

‘If you truly are sorry, I forgive you. I know if you go to God and ask him he will forgive you,’ Brandt said to Guyger in the courtroom.

‘I love you just like anyone else. I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did. I want the best for you. I don’t even want you to go to jail.’

Outside court, Allison said Guyger’s sentence should serve as reflection and a period of time for her to change her life.

Allison went on to slam the Dallas Police Department for their handling of the murder investigation and demanded law enforcement reform in the city.

Judge Tammy Kemp (center) who presided over Amber Guyger's (left) murder trial presented her with a Bible moments after she was given a 10-year sentence for murdering Botham Jean

Judge Tammy Kemp (center) who presided over Amber Guyger’s (left) murder trial presented her with a Bible moments after she was given a 10-year sentence for murdering Botham Jean

Judge Kemp was also seen opening the Bible to a particular page and speaking to Guyger about it+36

Judge Kemp was also seen opening the Bible to a particular page and speaking to Guyger about it

Judge Kemp hugs Guyger in court+36

The judge also hugged Jean's mother, Allison

Judge Tammy Kemp embraced Guyger (left) and gave her her Bible just moments after also hugging Jean’s mother Allison (right)

In an astonishing act of compassion, Jean's 18-year-old brother, Brandt (pictured hugging Guyger), asked the judge if he could also hug Guyger after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison+36

In an astonishing act of compassion, Jean’s 18-year-old brother, Brandt (pictured hugging Guyger), asked the judge if he could also hug Guyger after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison

Guyger wiped away tears as she walked back to her seat after hugging Jean's younger brother, Brandt, on Wednesday following her 10-year prison sentence+36

Guyger wiped away tears as she walked back to her seat after hugging Jean’s younger brother, Brandt, on Wednesday following her 10-year prison sentence

Botham Jean+36

Amber Guyger's eyes were filled with tears in her booking photo shortly after she was found guilty for murdering her black neighbor in his home+36

Amber Guyger (right) was sentenced to 10 years prison on Wednesday for fatally shooting 26-year-old Botham Jean (left) in September 2018 when she claims to have mistakenly entered his apartment believing it was her own

The scene outside the courtroom was much different after news of Guyger’s sentence. A crowd reacted with anger and disbelief at the Frank Crowley Courts Building.

Nearly a dozen people chanted outside the courtroom ‘no justice, no peace!’. Activists were heard telling reporters that 10 years was not enough time for Jean’s murder.

Guyger was sentenced in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday by the same jury that convicted her a day earlier of murdering Jean.

The 31-year-old was off duty from the Dallas Police Department but still in uniform when she fatally shot the 26-year-old accountant in his own home in September 2018.

I love you just like anyone else. I’m not going to say I hope you rot and die just like my brother did. ‘I want the best for you. I don’t even want you to go to jail
Botham Jean’s teen brother Brandt

Guyger said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below, and that she thought he was an intruder when she opened fire.

Following an emotional six-day trial, prosecutors had urged the jury to give a punishment of no less than 28 years, which is how old Jean would have been if he was still alive.

Guyger’s defense attorneys had asked them to show leniency because she believed she was in her own apartment and acted out of fear.

In Texas, a murder sentence can range from five years to life in prison, but the judge also instructed jurors on a so-called sudden passion defense, which carries a range of between two to 20 years behind bars.

Guyger’s sentence was met with boos and jeers by a crowd gathered outside the courtroom.

As some of Jean’s relatives walked out of the courtroom, the group that had been outside began a chant of ‘No justice! No peace!’

The basic facts of the unusual shooting were not in dispute throughout the trial.

Guyger, returning from a 13.5 hour shift that night, parked on the fourth floor of her apartment complex’s garage – rather than the third floor where she lived – and found the apartment’s door unlocked.

Outside court, Allison (center) said Guyger's sentence should serve as reflection, and a period of time for her to change her life. Allison went on to slam the Dallas Police Department for their handling of the murder investigation and demanded law enforcement reform in the city+36

Outside court, Allison (center) said Guyger’s sentence should serve as reflection, and a period of time for her to change her life. Allison went on to slam the Dallas Police Department for their handling of the murder investigation and demanded law enforcement reform in the city

A crowd reacted with anger and disbelief at the Frank Crowley Courts Building. 'No justice, no peace!' nearly a dozen people chanted outside the courtroom around 4pm. Activists were heard telling reporters that 10 years was not enough time for Jean's murder+36

A crowd reacted with anger and disbelief at the Frank Crowley Courts Building. ‘No justice, no peace!’ nearly a dozen people chanted outside the courtroom around 4pm. Activists were heard telling reporters that 10 years was not enough time for Jean’s murder

Guyger was sentenced in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday by the same jury that convicted her a day earlier of murdering Jean+36

Guyger was sentenced in Dallas, Texas on Wednesday by the same jury that convicted her a day earlier of murdering Jean

Believing she was at her own apartment and seeing a silhouette of a figure who didn’t respond to verbal commands, Guyger said she fired two shots at Jean that killed him.

Jean had been eating a bowl of ice cream on the couch before Guyger entered his home.

Jean, who grew up on the Caribbean island nation of St Lucia, came to the U.S. for college and starting his career as an accountant.

His shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.

Guyger was arrested three days after the killing and then fired from the Dallas Police Department. She was initially charged with manslaughter before a grand jury indicted her for murder.

Fired cop’s family described her as ‘sweet’ and said she felt remorse for shooting dead Jean

Guyger’s mother Karen Guyger tearfully told jurors on Wednesday that her daughter was the youngest of three children and was sexually assaulted by a man when she was a young child.

Defense attorneys showed photos of Guyger’s family as Karen spoke and described her daughter as ‘sweet’. Karen, who has pulmonary fibrosis, said her daughter always worries about her and helps out with her medication.

Karen added that her daughter feels ‘very bad’ about shooting dead Jean and had told her mother ‘she wished she could have taken his place’.

Guyger’s sister Alana also described her as being kind, bubbly and outgoing.

‘She feels bad spending time with her family because he can’t,’ Alana said while speaking of the victim. ‘She’s one of the most genuine people.’

High school friends and former police colleagues also spoke in support of Guyger.

Maribel Chavez, a high school friend who said she met Guyger during orchestra practice, said Guyger was typically bubbly and extroverted, but that since she killed Jean ‘it’s like you shut her light off’.

She described her friend as selfless, caring and a protector of those around her.

LaWanda Clark, a former crack cocaine addict who met Guyger when she busted a drug house, testified that the cop helped her turn around her life by writing her a ticket.

While Clark was speaking, attorneys showed jurors a photo of Guyger attending Clark’s graduation from a community drug treatment program.

Clark, who is now sober, said Guyger treated her as a person and not as ‘an addict’.

The testimony in defense of Guyger came just one day after she was convicted of killing Jean following an emotional six day trial.

Amber Guyger’s mother Karen Guyger took to the stand on Wednesday and spoke in defense of her daughter. Her family and friends spoke in support of the fired Dallas Police officer on Wednesday during the sentencing phase of her murder trial

Guyger's sister Alana Guyger

Guyger's friend Maribel Chavez

Guyger’s sister Alana Guyger and her high school friend Maribel Chavez both testified on Wednesday that the fired cop was a kind, bubbly and outgoing person

LaWanda Clark, a former crack cocaine addict who met Guyger when she busted a drug house, testified that the cop helped her turn around her life by writing her a ticket

LaWanda Clark, a former crack cocaine addict who met Guyger when she busted a drug house, testified that the cop helped her turn around her life by writing her a ticket

‘How could we have lost Botham?’: Victim’s parents tearfully testify about losing their son

The defense testimony in the sentencing phase came after Jean’s parents and siblings tearfully told jurors about how they have been affected by the killing.

Jean’s father Bertrum Jean took to the stand earlier on Wednesday and broke down repeatedly in front of jurors as he spoke about never hearing his son’s voice again.

He sobbed uncontrollably several times during his testimony as he spoke of his ‘sweet boy’ and coming to terms with his death.

‘How could we have lost Botham? He tried his best to live a good honest life. He loved God, he loved everyone,’ Bertum said.

‘How could this happen to him? In hindsight what could we have done? My family is broken-hearted. How could it be possible?

‘I’ll never see him again. It’s hard not hearing his voice.’

Bertrum, who lives in the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, revealed that he still cannot bring himself to listen to videos of his son singing.

‘I’m still not ready, it hurts me that he’s not there,’ he said.

Bertrum, who is pastor in St. Lucia, also spoke of how he used to speak with his every Sunday after they had both been to church to discuss sermons.

‘My Sundays have been destroyed. Sundays are not a good day for me… because I’m not hearing his voice,’ he said.

Bertrum Jean broke down repeatedly Wednesday as he spoke about never hearing his son's voice again

Allison Jean testified Tuesday that her life hasn't been the same since her son was shot dead by Guyger

Jean’s parents Bertum (left) and Allison (right) have both taken to the stand to tell jurors about how they have been affected by the killing of their son

His wife and Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, testified Tuesday that her life hasn’t been the same since her son was shot dead by Guyger.

She said her son’s death has torn her apart.

‘My life has not been the same. It’s just been like a roller coaster. I can’t sleep, I cannot eat. It’s just been the most terrible time for me,’ she said.

‘I’ve been sick often. I have to try to keep the family together because everyone is pain. I’ve had to seek counselling. I try to pray just to help me get by.’

Allison said she spoke to her son for the last time the night before he was killed.

She described her son as an excellent student who led several clubs at school and said he created a choir just because he loved to sing. Allison also said her son was very religious and led mission trips back to his native St. Lucia.

Jean’s sister Alissa Findley also took to the stand, saying her mother constantly cries, her formerly ‘bubbly’ younger brother has retreated as if into a shell and that her father is ‘not the same.

‘It’s like the light behind his eyes is off,’ Findley said.

She said her children are now afraid of police.

‘I want my brother back. I wish I could continue our last conversation and just not let him hang up the phone,’ Findley said.

Amber Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder on Tuesday over the fatal shooting of Botham Jean in September 2018

Amber Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder on Tuesday over the fatal shooting of Botham Jean in September 2018

Amber Guyger joked about MLK’s death and made critical comments about black officers in deleted texts

During testimony on Tuesday, prosecutors revealed that Guyger had joked about Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s death and made critical comments about serving with black officers in text messages.

The text messages, which were accepted as evidence despite defense objections, that were submitted indicated that Guyger lacks sensitivity toward black people.

They include an exchange from January 15, 2018, when she was working security during the Dallas Martin Luther King Jr Day parade.

When asked when the parade would be over, she texted: ‘When MLK is dead… Oh, wait…’

She complained that the parade could take up to three hours and suggested that parade participants could be pushed or pepper sprayed.

Another exchange that she later deleted was with her ex-lover and police partner Martin Rivera dated March 9, 2018.

He texted her: ‘Damn I was at this area with five different black officers!!! Not racist but damn.’

She replied: ‘Not racist but just have a different way of working and it shows.’

On September 4, 2018, just days before Guyger shot Jean, she received a message suggesting that she would like a German shepherd that the messenger claimed was racist.

She texted back that she hates ‘everything and everyone but y’all’.

Some of Guyger’s social media posts were also shown in court – some of which were about guns and killing.

‘Yah I got meh a gun a shovel an gloves if I were u back da f**k up and get out of meh f**king a**,’ she commented on one social media post.

She shared another meme that read: ‘Stay low, go fast. Kill first, die last. One shot, one kill. No luck, all skill’.

Guyger also shared another meme that said: ‘People are so ungrateful. No one ever thanks me for having the patience not to kill them’.

Prosecutors showed jurors text messages from Guyger's cellphone that revealed her critical comments about serving with black officers and how she joked about the death of Dr Martin Luther King Jr (depicted above)

Prosecutors showed jurors text messages from Guyger’s cellphone that revealed her critical comments about serving with black officers and how she joked about the death of Dr Martin Luther King Jr (depicted above)

The showing of the messages was intended to reveal her lack of sensitivity toward black people, authorities said

The showing of the messages was intended to reveal her lack of sensitivity toward black people, authorities said

Another exchange that she later deleted was with her ex-lover and police partner Martin Rivera dated March 9, 2018

Another exchange that she later deleted was with her ex-lover and police partner Martin Rivera dated March 9, 2018

Some of Guyger's social media posts were shown in court as a jury weighs how long her prison sentence should be after she was found guilty of murdering her black neighbor+36

Guyger also shared another meme that said: 'People are so ungrateful. No one ever thanks me for having the patience not to kill them'+36

Some of Guyger’s social media posts were shown in court as a jury weighs how long her prison sentence should be after she was found guilty of murdering her black neighbor

'Yah I got meh a gun a shovel an gloves if I were u back da f**k up and get out of meh f**king a**,' she commented on one social media post

‘Yah I got meh a gun a shovel an gloves if I were u back da f**k up and get out of meh f**king a**,’ she commented on one social media post

TIMELINE OF THE AMBER GUYGER CASE

September 6, 2018: Botham Jean, a 27-year-old accountant at PwC, was sitting on his couch eating ice cream when Amber Guyger entered his apartment and shot him.

September 9, 2018: Guyger is charged with manslaughter and is put on administrative leave from her job. Guyger, who was still in uniform, told investigators that she had finished a 13.5 hour shift and mistakenly parked on the fourth floor instead of the third floor. She said she found the door of the apartment she thought was hers ‘slightly ajar’. She entered the apartment and fired two shots when she was a figure coming towards her.

September 13, 2018: Jean’s funeral is held at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Dallas.

September 24, 2018: Guyger is fired from the Dallas Police Department.

November 30, 2018: Guyger is indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury.

September 23, 2019: Guyger’s murder trial begins in Dallas. Over the next week, jurors were shown body cam footage and 911 call from the night of the shooting. Jurors also hear from neighbors, Dallas PD officers and crime scene analysts.

September 26, 2019: Guyger testifies in her own defense saying she was ‘scared to death’ when she encountered Jean in what she allegedly believed to be her own apartment.

September 30, 2019: Prosecutors and defense deliver closing arguments. Jury starts deliberating.

October 1, 2019: Guyger is found guilty of murder.

October 2, 2019: Guyger is sentenced to 10 years in prison.

‘I was scared he was going to kill me’: Amber Guyger sobbed as she testified during her trial

Guyger broke down in tears when she took to the stand during the trial last week and apologized for shooting dead her neighbor.

Her testimony marked the first time the public heard directly from her since Jean’s killing. She told the jury she wished Jean had been the one to kill her instead of the other way around.

During her testimony, Guyger reenacted the moment she arrived at the wrong apartment thinking it was her own.

She said she put her key in the apartment lock and the door opened because it hadn’t been fully closed.

Guyger said she immediately drew her gun because she thought someone was in her home. She testified that she was ‘scared to death’ when she opened the door fully and saw a silhouetted figure standing in the darkness inside.

She told the jury she shouted at Jean: ‘Let me see your hands, let me see your hands’.

Guyger explained she couldn’t see his hands and that he began coming toward her at a ‘fast-paced’ walk, yelling ‘hey, hey, hey’ in an ‘aggressive voice’.

She said that is when she fired her gun twice.

‘I was scared he was going to kill me,’ she said.

She said she intended to kill him when she pulled the trigger because that’s what she had been trained to do as a police officer.

During her testimony, she recounted police training that focused on learning to control suspects and the importance of seeing their hands, which kicked in as she spotted Jean.

When asked how she felt about killing an innocent man, she said through tears: ‘No police officer ever would want to hurt an innocent person.

‘I feel like a terrible person. I feel like a piece of cr**. I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life. I feel like I don’t deserve the chance to be with my family and friends.

‘I wish he was the one with the gun and had killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life. I am so sorry. This is not about hate, it’s about being scared that night.’

Guyger broke down in tears when she took to the stand during the trial and apologized for shooting dead her neighbor

Guyger broke down in tears when she took to the stand during the trial and apologized for shooting dead her neighbor

Prosecutor Jason Hermus asked Guyger to aim the gun at him like she did the night of the shooting during her murder trial

With her heavy service vest, lunch bag, and her backpack in her left arm, Guyger showed jurors how she entered the apartment the night of the shooting

With her heavy service vest, lunch bag, and her backpack in her left arm, Guyger showed jurors how she entered the apartment the night of the shooting (right). Under cross examination, prosecutor Jason Hermus asked Guyger to aim the gun at him like she did the night of the shooting during her murder trial (left)

It is relatively rare for criminal defendants to testify in their own defense at trial given prosecutors can cross-examine them. Legal experts said Guyger’s lawyers may have wanted to her to testify to make her appear human.

Defense attorneys questioned Guyger about her childhood and her aspirations to become a police officer.

‘I just wanted to help people and that was the one career that I thought I could help people in,’ Guyger said.

Guyger told the jury that police work was ‘the one thing I wanted to do since I was little’.

Prosecutors, however, cast doubt on Guyger’s grief and wondered why she didn’t call for backup instead of confronting Jean and questioned her attempts to save his life.

When prosecutors asked Guyger why she didn’t radio in for help when she thought there was a break-in at what she thought was her home, she replied that going through the doorway with her gun drawn ‘was the only option that went through my head’.

The prosecutor also grilled Guyger about why she didn’t perform ‘proper CPR’ on Jean after she shot him.

He asked about an eight-hour de-escalation training course she had taken that April, but Guyger told the jury she could no longer remember what she learned in the course.

She said she performed some chest compressions on Jean with one hand while using her phone with the other, but she also acknowledged stopping several times.

Prosecutors suggested that Guyger was less than grief-stricken in the aftermath of the shooting, saying that two days after she shot Jean, she asked her police partner, with whom she was romantically involved, if he wanted to go for drinks.

Guyger admitted that she sent flirtatious, sexually-orientated messages to Martin Rivera and talked about getting drunk. The court heard that Rivera is married and has children.She testified that they had a yearlong relationship, which she ended because it was ‘morally wrong’.

‘Super horny today’: Guyger sent explicit texts to police partner and lover the day of the shooting but later deleted them

In addition to the texts Guyger sent her lover after the shooting, prosecutors revealed during the trial that she had also exchanged sexually explicit messages and photos the day she shot dead Jean.

Prosecutors said Guyger sent a message to Rivera saying she was ‘super horny today’ and a Snapchat message saying ‘Wanna touch?’ just hours before the shooting.

Prosecutors suggested during the trial that Guyger was distracted by sexually explicit phone messages with her police partner Martin Rivera before the shooting. She also sent two text messages to him immediately after the shooting. Both Rivera and Guyger deleted the texts soon after

 

Prosecutors suggested during the trial that Guyger was distracted by sexually explicit phone messages with her police partner Martin Rivera before the shooting. She also sent two text messages to him immediately after the shooting. Both Rivera and Guyger deleted the texts soon after

Just prior to the shooting, prosecutors said Guyger was on the phone with Rivera for 16 minutes as she headed back to to her apartment.

Prosecutors made the argument that Guyger was distracted by her phone conversation with Rivera when she mistook Jean’s apartment for hers.

Rivera took to the stand during the trial and told jurors that their conversation was was mostly about police work but his memory of the call was hazy.

He denied the prosecutor’s suggestion that he had made any plans to rendezvous with Guyger later that night.

Prosecutors said that after the shooting, Guyger sent two text messages to her partner while she was simultaneously on the phone to 911 as Jean was bleeding to death on his floor.

She had texted him to say ‘I’m f**ked’ and that she needed him in the minutes after she shot Jean, the court heard.

Guyger deleted the logs of her text exchanges with Rivera from her cellphone after the shooting.

Rivera said he didn’t not know why she had done that but admitted that he had also deleted their text exchanges.

Guyger later testified that she deleted the texts between her and her partner because she was ashamed to be in a relationship with him.

She added that she had deleted texts between them before.

Guyger was shown (left) in police body camera footage (played to the jury during her murder trial on Tuesday) as first responders arrived to the Dallas apartment where she shot her neighbor Botham Jean last year+36

Guyger was shown (left) in police body camera footage (played to the jury during her murder trial on Tuesday) as first responders arrived to the Dallas apartment where she shot her neighbor Botham Jean last year

Guyger was captured on an officer's body cam standing in the corridor outside on her phone as CPR was being given to Jean inside, according to prosecutors

Guyger was captured on an officer’s body cam standing in the corridor outside on her phone as CPR was being given to Jean inside, according to prosecutors

Body cam footage showed first responders performing CPR on victim as Guyger stood outside in the hallway on her phone

In the frantic 911 call played in court early in the trial, Guyger – who was later fired from the force – can be heard saying ‘I thought it was my apartment’ nearly 20 times.

She also says: ‘I’m gonna lose my job’ and ‘I am going to need a supervisor.’

‘I’m f****d. Oh my God. I’m sorry,’ Guyger says in the recording.

Throughout the call, she also spoke to Jean, called him ‘bud’ and encouraged him to stay alive.

Jurors were also shown footage from a body camera worn by one of two officers who arrived at the apartment after Guyger called 911 to report the shooting.

Officers could be seen running towards Jean’s apartment as Guyger screamed out that she was off-duty.

Guyger was standing near the front door when the officers arrived and could be heard saying: ‘I thought it was my apartment’.

The footage showed the two officers immediately rendering CPR to Jean who was shown lying on the floor surrounded by blood.

Guyger appeared to be pushed out of the apartment while the officers gave Jean first aid.

A different body cam image showed Guyger standing in hallway outside the apartment looking at her phone as CPR was being administered.

Guyger was criticized by prosecutors during the trial for not rendering aid to Jean after she shot him.

Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus asked her: ‘Why couldn’t you have given him full undivided and proper attention? You can put the phone on speaker phone’.

She replied: ‘I had so much racing through my head’.

Other footage shown during the trial showed her hugging and speaking to fellow officers on the scene, which prosecutors have argued showed she was given special treatment.

Photos taken by a crime scene analyst were shown during Guyger's murder trial on Wednesday. The analyst testified that this photo showed Guyger had a taser and stun gun strapped to utility belt when she shot dead Jean

Photos taken by a crime scene analyst were shown during Guyger’s murder trial on Wednesday. The analyst testified that this photo showed Guyger had a taser and stun gun strapped to utility belt when she shot dead Jean

This photo taken inside a crime scene van after Guyger fatally shot Jean shows her gun (far left), her stun gun (far right) and pepper spray (second from left) strapped to her utility belt, an analyst and investigator testified

This photo taken inside a crime scene van after Guyger fatally shot Jean shows her gun (far left), her stun gun (far right) and pepper spray (second from left) strapped to her utility belt, an analyst and investigator testified

Crime scene photos show Guyger had a taser and pepper spray strapped to her utility belt during shooting

A crime scene analyst, who examined the scene and took photos of Guyger after the shooting, testified that the cop had a Taser and her pistol strapped to her at the time.

Prosecutors showed photos to the jury that analyst Robyn Carr took of Guyger inside a crime scene van after she fatally shot Jean.

Guyger can be seen in full police uniform with her utility belt still strapped on.

Prosecutors pointed to Guyger’s stun gun and the analyst confirmed that it was a Taser that ‘shoots out an electric probe that gets inserted into an individual’s skin’.

She also confirmed Guyger had her pistol strapped to her at the time.

Carr seized Guyger’s gun – photos of which were also shown to the jury – as evidence in the investigation.

Texas Ranger Michael Adcock, who was among the investigators, was asked during his testimony on Thursday about the non-lethal items attached to Guyger’s belt following the shooting.

He confirmed that in addition to the Taser and gun, Guyger also had OC spray – or pepper spray – on her at the time.

Prosecutors questioned Adcock about the radio attached to Guyger’s belt, saying: ‘If an officer is in trouble and needs immediate assistance what is the primary method of communication?’

‘It’s the radio, I guess,’ Adcock replied.

The prosecutor asked: ‘If you had a cellphone could you use that as well?’ to which Adcock responded: ‘Yes, sir’.

Under cross examination, Adcock said he wouldn’t use a stun gun or pepper spray if he believed he was in a deadly force situation and would use a handgun.

Jurors were shown photos during the trial that compared Guyger's apartment layout to that of Jean's home. Pictured above is Jean's apartment in the days after his death

Jurors were shown photos during the trial that compared Guyger’s apartment layout to that of Jean’s home. Pictured above is Jean’s apartment in the days after his death

An investigator testified that the layouts of the apartment were the same and that both Guyger and Jean had their couch and TVs in the same position. Prosecutors, however, noted that the apartments looked different. Pictured above is Guyger's apartment after the shooting

An investigator testified that the layouts of the apartment were the same and that both Guyger and Jean had their couch and TVs in the same position. Prosecutors, however, noted that the apartments looked different. Pictured above is Guyger’s apartment after the shooting

Neighbors ‘often went to the wrong floor in their Dallas building’ – as investigator testified layout of the two apartments were similar and that victim’s door had a structural flaw

Footage and still images were shown in court of Guyger’s apartment that were taken by multiple investigators in the days after the shooting.

The footage showed the view of her apartment from the entryway to her home and also panned to show views of the living room.

Prosecutors made the argument that the apartment looked different to the victim’s home. They noted there were flowers on a small table and a large clock inside Guyger’s home.

But Texas Ranger David Armstrong – who was a lead investigator – testified that Guyger’s apartment had a similar layout to the neighbor she shot.

During his testimony, defense attorneys showed photos to the jury that compared Guyger’s apartment layout to that of Jean’s home.

Armstrong said both Guyger and Jean had their couch and TVs in the same position.

Photos comparing views of the hallways, parking garages and doorways on the third and fourth floor of the apartment complex were also shown to the court.

When questioned by defense attorneys, Armstrong agreed that they looked similar.

Armstrong also testified that the door of Jean’s apartment did not close properly because it had a structural flaw.

At the time of her arrest, Guyger said she had found the door of the apartment she thought was hers ‘slightly ajar’.

She claimed the door opened when she used her electronic key to enter the apartment and she believed she was being robbed when she saw Jean.

Armstrong said it appeared the screws in the strike plate of Jean’s door had been screwed in too far, which caused it to ‘bow out’.

The door of the Dallas apartment where Guyger shot dead her neighbor after saying she mistakenly thought it was her own had a structural flaw that caused it not to latch and close properly, an investigator testified. These images were taken by police during the investigation

The door of the Dallas apartment where Guyger shot dead her neighbor after saying she mistakenly thought it was her own had a structural flaw that caused it not to latch and close properly, an investigator testified. These images were taken by police during the investigation

The investigator said it appeared the screws in the strike plate had been screwed in too far, which caused it to 'bow out'. Pictured above is a photo of the strike plate that was shown to jurors on Wednesday

The investigator said it appeared the screws in the strike plate had been screwed in too far, which caused it to ‘bow out’. Pictured above is a photo of the strike plate that was shown to jurors on Wednesday

He said it meant that the door would sometimes latch but other times it wouldn't secure and close properly

The investigator said this flaw prevented the door from closing properly as it was designed to do

This flaw prevented the door from closing properly as it was designed to do, Armstrong told the court.

He said it meant that the door would sometimes latch but other times it wouldn’t secure and close properly.

Defense attorneys said Jean’s door was open the day Guyger entered his apartment and shot him dead.

Armstrong went on to testify that he doesn’t think Guyger committed a crime.

‘I don’t believe that (the shooting) was reckless or criminally negligent based on the totality of the investigation and the circumstances and facts,’ Armstrong said.

The jury wasn’t present when he said he believed she acted reasonably after perceiving Jean as a threat. The judge later ruled that the jury couldn’t hear the Texas Ranger’s opinion of the reasonableness of Guyger’s actions.

In the jury’s presence, Armstrong testified that going to the wrong apartment was common at that complex.

Armstrong said he interviewed 297 of the 349 residents living at the apartment complex. He said 46 of those residents had mistakenly gone to the wrong floor and put their key in the door before.

The percentage was higher for those living on the third and fourth floors – the same floors as Guyger and Jean – with 38 saying they had unintentionally walked to the wrong apartment.

Armstrong also said that 93 of the residents had parked on the wrong floor in the parking garage on previous occasions. He said 76 of those residents lived on the third or fourth floor.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7531081/Amber-Guyger-sentenced-10-years-prison-murder.html

Story 2: The REDS or Radical Extremist Democrat Socialiasts Leading the Charge In Impeachment Inquiry — Trump’s Real Crime Was He Won The 2016 Election — Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden’s Stopping Ukraine Investigation of Burisma — A Pattern of Corruption — Videos

UPDATE October 4, 2019

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Oct 4, 2019

UKRAINE SCANDAL EXPLAINED: Chalkboard on DNC Collusion, Joe Biden, Soros, Trump & More

Glenn explains EVERYTHING you need to know about the Ukraine scandal. And it goes MUCH further than Hunter and Joe Biden, and their involvement there. This timeline gives you all the facts and proof you need to show that there was DNC collusion, not collusion with President Trump, during the 2016 election. Democrats worked with Ukrainian officials to investigate “dirt” on Trump, and Glenn shows you EVERYTHING — including how even George Soros is involved — in a way that’s easy to understand.

Sean Hannity breaks down the Biden-Ukraine timeline

The Joe Biden-Ukraine Controversy, Explained

Lou Dobbs 10/2/19 | Breaking Fox News October 2, 2019

Biden’s Ukraine Scandal Explained I Glenn Beck

Paradigm: Fraud allegations against Biden family

Donald Trump rages against ‘stone-cold crooked’ Joe Biden after claiming he’s ‘less smart now than he ever was’ in wild White House defense of his ‘perfect’ Ukraine call

  • Donald Trump said he has a duty to report any corruption from Joe Biden
  • During a tirade in the Oval Office Wednesday, he threw insults at the former vice president, calling him and his son ‘stone-cold corrupt’
  • ‘I think Biden has never been a smart guy and he’s less smart now than he ever was,’ he said
  • Insults come as he continues to defend a call he had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July
  • In the call he brought up Biden, which the president said was to discuss potential corruption with son Hunter Biden’s Ukraine business dealings 
  • Trump posted a video parody to his Twitter feed Wednesday that mocked Biden for claiming he never discussed overseas business with his son
  • The video included a photo of the Bidens on a golf course with a Ukrainian oil executive 

Donald Trump railed against political rival Joe Biden on Wednesday, claiming in an Oval Office tirade that he ‘has never been a smart guy.’

Hours later during a joint press conference with Finland’s president, he called the former vice president and his son Hunter Biden ‘stone-cold crooked.’ 

The president said he had a duty to report corruption, which is why he feels it necessary to bring up potential corruption by Biden and his son Hunter Biden in Ukraine.

Trump’s most recent political crusade has involved a tar-and-feather operation against the Bidens, based on unproven claims that they used the vice presidency to turn a profit through Hunter’s business deals in China and Ukraine.

‘I have a duty to report corruption and let me tell you something, Biden’s son is corrupt and Biden is corrupt,’ Trump told reporters gathered in the Oval Office Wednesday. ‘I think Biden has never been a smart guy and he’s less smart now than he ever was.’

Biden said Wednesday in Las Vegas that there is ‘zero’ evidence he engaged in any ‘corrupt’ activities with Ukraine, where he once used $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees as bait to force the firing of a prosecutor who was investigating an energy company where his son held a lucrative board seat.

During a joint press conference with Finland's president on Wednesday, President Donald Trump called former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden 'stone-cold crooked'

President Donald Trump said Joe Biden ‘has never been a smart guy and he’s less smart now than he ever was,’ as he continued to call the former vice president ‘corrupt’
‘There is zero, zero, zero evidence of any assertion being made,’ Biden told MSNBC. ‘Nobody has ever asserted that I did anything wrong except he and what’s that fella’s name, Rudy ‘Hudy’… Giuliani. That’s it.’

Although Biden has been slipping in polls recently, he is still the Democratic frontrunner in a crowded primary field.

The president’s assertion of Biden’s corruption comes as the Democrat-controlled House opens an impeachment inquiry centered around a call Trump had with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in late July.

The call became a hot topic after a whistle-blower revealed a complaint he made that alleged Trump pressured Zelensky to investigate Biden and his son’s business dealings in Ukraine.

In a transcript of the phone call, released by the White House, Trump does urge Zelensky to probe potential corruption linked to the Bidens – but also in the context of the 2016 elections.

The president passed up an opportunity on Wednesday to clarify what he wanted Zelensky to do with respect to the Bidens. After filibustering, he impatiently sniped at a Reuters reporter to ask Finnish President Sauli Niinistö a question instead.

Hunter Biden accepted a board position with Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas firm, in 2014 – while his father was still serving as vice president.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7530523/Trump-defense-perfect-Ukraine-call-Biden-corrupt-smart-was.html

Trump avoided answering a question during a press conference on Wednesday about what he wante dUkraine's president to do when he raised the Bidens' 'corruption' in a July phone call

Trump avoided answering a question during a press conference on Wednesday about what he wante dUkraine’s president to do when he raised the Bidens’ ‘corruption’ in a July phone call

Trump says Biden's corruption in Ukraine stems from his son, Hunter Biden's (left) business dealings there. Hunter accepted a position on a natural gas firm's board in Ukraine in 2014 –  while his father was still vice president

Trump says Biden’s corruption in Ukraine stems from his son, Hunter Biden’s (left) business dealings there. Hunter accepted a position on a natural gas firm’s board in Ukraine in 2014 –  while his father was still vice president

The move raised eyebrows in Washington for potential conflicts of interest, but the administration at the time dismissed it, claiming Hunter could do whatever he pleased business-wise as a private citizen.

Biden also claimed he never discussed his son’s role in the foreign company, but Hunter contradicted that in an interview this summer, recalling a 2015 conversation with his father about his position with Burisma.

Trump also posted a parody video to his Twitter feed on Wednesday that poked fun at Biden, in an attempt to discredit his assertion he didn’t talk to his son about Ukraine.

The short video included Biden telling a reporter in Iowa last month, ‘I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.’

The video cuts cut to a Nickelback music video for the song ‘Photograph,’ edited to use a photograph of Joe and Hunter golfing with a Ukrainian oil executive.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

LOOK AT THIS PHOTOGRAPH!

 

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A video the president posted Wednesday on his Twitter feed shows this photo of the Bidens with a Ukrainian energy executive

Schiff Got Early Account of Accusations as Whistle-Blower’s Concerns Grew

CreditCreditErin Schaff/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Democratic head of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, learned about the outlines of a C.I.A. officer’s concerns that President Trump had abused his power days before the officer filed a whistle-blower complaint, according to a spokesman and current and former American officials.

The early account by the future whistle-blower shows how determined he was to make known his allegations that Mr. Trump asked Ukraine’s government to interfere on his behalf in the 2020 election. It also explains how Mr. Schiff knew to press for the complaint when the Trump administration initially blocked lawmakers from seeing it.

The C.I.A. officer approached a House Intelligence Committee aide with his concerns about Mr. Trump only after he had had a colleague first convey them to the C.I.A.’s top lawyer. Concerned about how that initial avenue for airing his allegations through the C.I.A. was unfolding, the officer then approached the House aide. In both cases, the original accusation was vague.

The House staff member, following the committee’s procedures, suggested the officer find a lawyer to advise him and meet with an inspector general, with whom he could file a whistle-blower complaint. The aide shared some of what the officer conveyed to Mr. Schiff. The aide did not share the whistle-blower’s identity with Mr. Schiff, an official said.

“Like other whistle-blowers have done before and since under Republican and Democratic-controlled committees, the whistle-blower contacted the committee for guidance on how to report possible wrongdoing within the jurisdiction of the intelligence community,” said Patrick Boland, a spokesman for Mr. Schiff.

In his whistle-blower complaint, the officer said Mr. Trump pressured the Ukrainian government to investigate a host of issues that could benefit him politically, including one connected to a son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

reconstituted transcript released by the White House of a call between Mr. Trump and President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine backed up the whistle-blower’s account, which was itself based on information from a half-dozen American officials and deemed credible by the inspector general for the intelligence community, Michael Atkinson.

Mr. Trump, who has focused his ire on Mr. Schiff amid the burgeoning Ukraine scandal, wasted no time in trying to use the revelation about the whistle-blower’s attempt to alert Congress to try to denigrate his complaint. In a news conference in the East Room of the White House after this article was published, Mr. Trump called it a scandal that Mr. Schiff knew the outlines of the whistle-blower’s accusations before he filed his complaint.

“Big stuff. That’s a big story,” Mr. Trump said, waving a copy of the article in the air. “He knew long before and helped write it, too. It’s a scam,” the president added, accusing Mr. Schiff of helping the whistle-blower write his complaint. There is no evidence that Mr. Schiff did, and his spokesman said he saw no part of the complaint before it was filed.

The whistle-blower’s decision to offer what amounted to an early warning to the intelligence committee’s Democrats is also sure to thrust Mr. Schiff even more forcefully into the center of the controversy as a target of Mr. Trump’s.

Earlier Wednesday, Mr. Trump said Mr. Schiff should be forced to resign for reading a parody of the Ukraine call at a hearing, an act Mr. Trump has called treasonous and criminal.

“We don’t call him shifty Schiff for nothing,” Mr. Trump said. “He’s a shifty, dishonest guy.”

Mr. Schiff’s aides followed procedures involving whistle-blower’s accusations, Mr. Boland said. They referred him to an inspector general and advised him to seek legal counsel.

Mr. Schiff never saw any part of the complaint or knew precisely what the whistle-blower would deliver, Mr. Boland said.

“At no point did the committee review or receive the complaint in advance,” he said. He said the committee received the complaint the night before releasing it publicly last week and noted that that came three weeks after the administration was legally mandated to turn it over to Congress. The director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, acting on the advice of his top lawyer and the Justice Department, had blocked Mr. Atkinson from turning over the complaint sooner.

Image
CreditCarolyn Kaster/Associated Press

In response to questions, spokeswomen for Senators Richard M. Burr of North Carolina, the Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, and Mark Warner of Virginia, its Democratic vice chairman, said it was standard procedure to refer whistle-blowers to the relevant inspectors general.

 

The C.I.A. officer first had a colleague take his concerns — in vague form — to the C.I.A.’s general counsel, Courtney Simmons Elwood, who began a preliminary inquiry by contacting a deputy White House counsel, alerting the White House that complaints were coming from the C.I.A.

As C.I.A. and White House lawyers began following up on the complaint, the C.I.A. officer became nervous, according to a person familiar with the matter. He learned that John Eisenberg, a deputy White House counsel and the legal adviser to the national security adviser, was among those scrutinizing his initial allegation.

Contacts in the National Security Council had also told the C.I.A. officer that the White House lawyers had authorized records of Mr. Trump’s call with Mr. Zelensky to be put in a highly classified computer system, meaning that the lawyers who were now helping the C.I.A. investigate the officer’s allegations were the same ones implicated in them. The officer has alleged that White House aides’ decision to store the call records more restrictively was itself an abuse of the system.

The C.I.A. officer decided the complaint he had brought to Ms. Elwood was at risk of being swept aside, prompting him to go to the lawmakers who conduct oversight of the intelligence agencies.

He followed the advice of Mr. Schiff’s aide and filed his complaint to Mr. Atkinson. And though Mr. Maguire blocked him from forwarding it to Congress, he did allow Mr. Atkinson to notify lawmakers of its existence.

The complaint was filed in consultation with a lawyer, officials said. “The intelligence community whistle-blower followed the advice of legal counsel from the beginning,” said Andrew Bakaj, the lead counsel for the whistle-blower. “The laws and processes have been followed.”

 

By the time the whistle-blower filed his complaint, Mr. Schiff and his staff knew at least vaguely what it contained.

Mr. Schiff, after a private letter and phone call to Mr. Maguire, publicly released a letter seeking the complaint and suggested it could involve Mr. Trump or others in his administration. Mr. Schiff followed up by subpoenaing documents from Mr. Maguire and requesting him to testify before the intelligence panel.

Officials in Mr. Maguire’s office, who did not know the details of the complaint, were puzzled why Mr. Schiff went public right away, eschewing the usual closed-door negotiations.

But letters from the inspector general and Mr. Maguire had made clear to the House Intelligence Committee that the Justice Department and the White House were blocking Mr. Maguire’s office from forwarding the complaint.

Congressional officials insisted that Mr. Schiff and his aides followed the rules. Whistle-blowers regularly approach the committee, given its role in conducting oversight of the intelligence agencies, Mr. Boland said.

“The committee expects that they will be fully protected, despite the president’s threats,” Mr. Boland said, referring to the whistle-blower without identifying his gender. “Only through their courage did these facts about the president’s abuse of power come to light.”

Nicholas Fandos contributed reporting.

A Guide to Impeachment

Updated Oct. 3, 2019


One or Two More Thoughts about Hunter Biden’s Employment History . . .

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden depart after a pre-inauguration church service in Washington, U.S., January 18, 2009. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Just a note or two to follow up on Monday’s gargantuan timeline about Hunter Biden’s employment, work, and connections and deals going back to the early 2000s . . .

“Hunter Biden isn’t running for president, Joe Biden is!” Er, yes, and the whole point is that if Hunter Biden wasn’t the son of Joe Biden, then he would not have been hired at such a lucrative rate by MBNA, various universities and hospitals, Chinese institutional investors, Chinese private-equity fund Bohai Capital, Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming, Burisma Holdings, and other institutions. The issue is not merely that Hunter worked for shady people and institutions, it’s that he worked for shady people and institutions who wanted to influence or profit from changes to U.S. policy.

You’ll notice that when Joe Biden is discussing allegations of corruption about someone else, his general attitude is that the legal technicalities matter little. “Come on, man! Give me a break! Malarkey!” When the questions are about Hunter Biden, his campaign hides behind the generic statement, “The Obama-Biden administration created and upheld the strongest ethics policy of any presidency in American history.” Surely, there couldn’t be a flaw, loophole, or oversight in the Obama administration ethics policy, right?

Hunter Biden and his ex-wife Kathleen went through a messy divorce in late 2016 and early 2017. (If you think a messy divorce automatically reflects bad personal character, I have some unfortunate news to tell you about the current president.) But Monday’s timeline focused on two financial issues discussed in the legal papers for that divorce. The first is that giant 2.8 karat diamond given to Hunter Biden by Chinese energy tycoon Ye Jianming. The second is Hunter’s ex-wife contended in the divorce papers that the couple “owed more than $300,000 in back taxes.”

“But what about Trump’s kids?” Fine, let’s talk about Trump’s kids. Some of us griped about entrusting sensitive negotiations with Russian officials to a young family member with no government or foreign policy experience back in 2017. But that doesn’t make the Biden situation right, and the prospect of nominating Biden puts Democrats in the position of arguing, “Replace the current socially unacceptable influence-peddling with a return to the old socially-acceptable influence-peddling.”

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/one-or-two-more-thoughts-about-hunter-bidens-employment-history/

The Senator from MBNA

From the past, a look at Joe Biden’s connections.Note — Barack Obama’s choice of Joseph Biden as his running mate is likely to bring up lots of old stories about the long-time senator from Delaware. In 1998, someone called me to talk about the sale of Biden’s house, which had been a minor issue in his reelection campaign two years earlier. But when I traveled to Delaware, I found there was more to it than met the eye, and it was just part of Biden’s close, intertwined relationship with MBNA, the giant credit-card company based in his home state. (MBNA was bought by Bank of America in 2006.) This is the story from The American Spectator in 1998:

In the 1996 campaign, a Republican businessman named Raymond J. Clatworthy challenged Joseph Biden’s run for a fifth term as senator from Delaware. By many accounts, Clatworthy ran a hapless, hopeless race. He tried to portray Biden as a soft-on-crime liberal. It didn’t work. He tried to portray Biden as a big-government tax-and-spend liberal. That didn’t work, either. He even brought in Hollywood GOP icon Charlton Heston to campaign for him in all three of Delaware’s counties. Still no luck; the popular Biden maintained a strong lead in the polls going into election day.

Despite his frustration, Clatworthy stuck to the issues. He had to; early in the race, he had vowed to stay away from personal attacks. Then, less than two weeks before election day, one of Clatworthy’s campaign consultants ran a so-called “push poll” in which campaign workers call voters ostensibly to learn their opinions but in truth to spread damaging information about the candidate’s opponent. Clatworthy’s callers said that earlier in the year Biden had sold his house to a top executive of the Delaware-based credit card company MBNA. The price, they said, was twice the home’s value, suggesting that MBNA had bought off Biden as well as his house.

#ad#Biden disputed the claim and provided the local paper, the Wilmington News-Journal, with an appraisal of the house fixing its value at $1.2 million–exactly the price that the MBNA executive, a man named John Cochran, had paid. The home deal, it appeared, was on the up-and-up.

Biden called the accusation “immoral and unethical,” and in short order the whole thing blew up in Clatworthy’s face. The Delaware state Republican chairman called Clatworthy’s campaign “crazy” to suggest that Biden had sold his house in a sweetheart deal. Clatworthy’s press secretary told the News-Journal that the home sale was “not an issue we’re going to deal with in this campaign.” And Clatworthy was forced to fire the consultant who came up with the idea.

It is perhaps not necessary to add that Clatworthy lost big when election day came around. Biden captured 60 percent of the vote, and Clatworthy returned to his businesses in Dover. According to the pundits and pollsters, the episode left many in Delaware with a strong distaste for negative politicking; at the very least, it seems unlikely that anything like the Biden house caper will be repeated anytime soon.

But as much as he bungled the issue, it turns out Clatworthy was on to something: Biden and MBNA have indeed developed a pretty cozy relationship. John Cochran, the company’s vice-chairman and chief marketing officer, did pay top dollar for Biden’s house, and MBNA gave Cochran a lot of money–$330,000–to help with “expenses” related to the move. A few months after the sale, as Biden’s re-election effort got under way, MBNA’s top executives contributed generously to his campaign in a series of coordinated donations that sidestepped the limits on contributions by the company’s political action committee. And then, a short time after the election, MBNA hired Biden’s son for a lucrative job in which, according to bank officials, he is being groomed for a senior management position.

Of course, lots of members of Congress have intimate ties to corporations in their states or districts. And lots of companies encourage their employees to make big campaign contributions (MBNA has given more to some Republicans than it gave to Biden). And certainly lots of children of influential parents end up in very good jobs. But the Biden case is troubling because all those ingredients come together in one man–along with a touch of hypocrisy. After all, this is a senator who for years has sermonized against what he says is the corrupting influence of money in politics.

Joe’s Money Crunch It has become a minor ritual each year in Washington: political observers scan the latest financial disclosure reports from Capitol Hill and marvel at how many members of the Senate are millionaires. The list is headed by names like Kennedy and Rockefeller, but it also includes lawmakers like McCain, Helms, and Murkowski. In all, at least 39 of the 100 members of the Senate qualify for membership in the millionaires’ club.

On the liabilities side, Biden had a loan of between $15,000 and $50,000 from the Senate credit union, plus another loan of between $15, 000 and $50,000 against the cash value of those Connecticut Mutual policies. He also owed between $15,000 and $50,000 on a line of credit from the Beneficial National Bank in Wilmington (he had just that year paid off a loan of between $1,000 and $15,000 with the Delaware Trust Company). And he co- signed two loans totaling between $100,000 and $250,000 for his sons’ college educations. Biden would have had a negative net worth were it not for the value of his home. Although disclosure rules do not force senators to list the value of their personal residences, Biden chose to include a letter noting his “good faith estimate” that he had between $500,001 and $1,000,000 in equity in his home. Of course, to get that money he would have to sell the house, a lovely old mansion on three and a half acres of what used to be a du Pont family estate outside Wilmington. Biden bought the house in 1975 but had been thinking on-and-off about selling it for years; he almost sold it before his disastrous run for the presidency in 1988. But the deal didn’t happen until MBNA came along.

BIG SPENDERS

Not too many years ago, MBNA was a relatively minor player in the credit card business. Today, it is the second-largest issuer of Visa and Mastercards in the country, and some analysts believe it will eventually overtake Citicorp to become the nation’s biggest credit-card bank.

MBNA president Charles Cawley created his company’s extraordinary success by focusing on something called the “affinity card” business. The idea is simple: MBNA markets cards to people who identify with groups or organizations to which they belong. Members of the National Education Association, for example, can get an NEA credit card–issued by MBNA. Fans of the Green Bay Packers can get a green-and-gold team card. Even luxury auto enthusiasts can get an MBNA-issued Jaguar owners card. MBNA has invented hundreds of different affinity cards and is always coming up with more. “They are the affinity business,” says Franklin Morton, a Chicago-based analyst who tracks MBNA’s fortunes. “They created the concept, they figured out how to market the hell out of it, and before anybody else figured out how to do it, they owned it.”

MBNA’s success has bred an extraordinary corporate culture, almost a cult of Cawley. “Many of the people in management and skill positions work very long hours,” says one observer. “They seem very committed, very dedicated to Cawley.” Others note that top officers all live close to each other, and MBNA encourages them to display the outward signs of success, like houses, clothes, and cars. “There’s a stress on putting your best foot forward,” another observer says. “Appearances matter.” But MBNA is perhaps best known for another corporate personality trait: its extravagant spending.

One recent profile in Barron’s magazine called Cawley & Co. ” plastic emperors.” Certainly they pay themselves royal salaries. According to documents on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in 1996 Cawley received a compensation package worth about $6.6 million, a figure significantly higher than that of chief executives at other credit card firms. (MBNA’s chairman, Alfred Lerner, is less active in the company’s affairs than Cawley; he received $6.4 million.) John Cochran received compensation of nearly $4.3 million. Two other top executives topped the $3 million mark.

And they spend as much on their toys as they do on their salaries. According to Barron’s, the company maintains an extensive collection of antique automobiles, plus four Lear jets, plus two Gulfstream jets, plus a private golf course. There’s also a warm-weather hideaway in Boca Raton and MBNA’s “summer headquarters” in Camden, Maine, where Cawley has bought a $2.75 million home on the waterfront. “Moored in Camden’s picturesque harbor,” Barron’s reports, “you can see MBNA’s classic yacht, Affinity; its state-of-the-art cruiser, Impatience; as well as its snazzy sportfishing boat, So Far So Good and its power launch, Deliverance.”

SOLD!

MBNA was originally based in Maryland, but in the 1980s moved to Delaware to take advantage of that state’s more liberal interest laws. Almost all of Cawley’s team of top executives moved to the Wilmington area, but John Cochran stayed behind at his home in northern Maryland, commuting to the company’s new headquarters. It appears that was not a workable long-term arrangement; by many accounts, Cawley wants his top aides close to him and to the office. According to MBNA officials, the company asked Cochran to move to Delaware.

At the same time, Biden was looking for a buyer for his house. How the two got together is not clear. When asked, an MBNA spokesman declined to offer any details, saying only, “That’s a very personal question.” However it happened, in February 1996 Cochran bought Biden’s house for $1.2 million.

The price was not twice the home’s value, as Raymond Clatworthy’s pollsters claimed, but there is evidence to suggest it was a pretty darned good deal for Biden.

The appraisal that Biden gave the News-Journal during last year’s campaign–showing that the house was worth $1.2 million–was done several years earlier, at the time Biden took out loans for his sons’ education. In January 1996, as the purchase deal was under way, another appraisal was made, also putting the house’s value at $1.2 million. A spokesman for Cochran provided TAS with a copy of that appraisal.

It is customary for appraisers to evaluate homes in relation to similar properties in the area, or “comparables.” In the case of Biden’s house, the appraiser compared the home to another large old house about a quarter of a mile away. That house–which was in similar condition–was judged to be worth $1,013,000. It sold in August 1995 for $800,000 (it should be noted that the house did not have a pool, which Biden’s does; on the other hand the house had central air conditioning, which Biden’s did not, and it was on a larger lot). The appraiser also looked at two other newer houses in the area. One was appraised at $1,230,000 and sold for $1,007,500. The other was appraised at $1,163,000 and sold for an even $1 million. In all three cases, the homes sold for a good deal less than their appraised value. In comparison, it appears Cochran simply paid Biden’s full asking price. And, according to people familiar with the situation, the house needed quite a bit of work; contractors and their trucks descended on the house for months after the purchase.

A spokesman for Biden says there was nothing out of the ordinary in the purchase. “Senator Biden sold his house in Delaware at the appraised value,” the spokesman said. “That’s a matter of public record.” An MBNA spokesman says the same thing. “There was an independent appraisal done by Mr. Cochran’s mortgage company,” the spokesman says. “That appraisal was equal to the sales price.”

It appears that MBNA indirectly helped Cochran buy the Biden house. According to a statement in the company’s filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission–in which it is required to detail the compensation of top officers–in 1996 MBNA reimbursed Cochran $330,115 for expenses arising from the move. The statement says $210,000 of that was to make up for a loss Cochran suffered on the sale of his Maryland home. An MBNA official declined to comment on the payment.

Was the home sale a sweet deal for Biden? If you talk to people involved in real estate in the Wilmington area, you’ll quickly find that few want to approach the question. “I wouldn’t touch that with a ten- foot pole,” said one agent. Another declined to say anything. And a third agent said only, “In my opinion, (Cochran) overpaid.” None wanted to be identified by name.

BUNDLES OF JOY

A few months after the sale, during the 1996 senatorial race, MBNA cemented its ties to Biden when company employees began showering him with campaign contributions. According to Federal Election Commission records, MBNA became by far Biden’s biggest single source of contributions. Company employees gave him $62,850 in the 1996 cycle, while the second-biggest contributor gave just $21,000.

Judging by the timing of the contributions, it appears that there was a concerted effort among top MBNA executives to support Biden. For example, according to Federal Election Commission records, on April 16 MBNA executive vice-president and chief technology officer Ronald Davies sent in $1,000.

Kenneth Boehl, another top executive, also sent in $1,000 on the 16th. And senior vice-president Gregg Bacchieri. And William Daiger, another executive vice-president. And David Spartin, the vice-chairman and company spokesman.

The next day, April 17, vice-chairman and chief financial officer Scot Kaufman sent $1,000, as did Bruce Hammonds, MBNA’s vice-chairman and chief operating officer. And John Hewes, senior executive vice-president of MBNA’s credit division. And vice-chairman and chief administrative officer Lance Weaver. On April 18, MBNA general counsel John Scheflen sent in $1,000. On April 20, group president David Nelms sent in $1,000, as did vice-chairman Vernon Wright. On April 22, John Cochran sent in $1,000. So did senior executive vice-president Peter Dimsey. And finally, on April 26, Charles Cawley sent in his $1,000.

The law allows individuals to give $1,000 to a candidate during the primary phase of a campaign and another $1,000 during the general election phase. Once the primary contributions had been made, MBNA’s second wave of donations appeared in late August. On the 25th, Gregg Bacchieri gave another $1,000. On August 27, John Cochran sent in his $1,000, as did William Daiger and another top official, Robert Desantis. On the 28th, Ronald Davies sent $1,000, along with Bruce Hammonds and David Nelms. On the 29th, David Spartin sent in his $1,000, as did Vernon Wright and Kenneth Boehl (Boehl’s wife Kathleen also sent in another $1,000 on the 29th). On the 30th, John Scheflen sent his $1,000.

The contributions fit an established MBNA pattern. In 1995, the Wilmington News-Journal reported that Scheflen wrote a memo to top staffers advising them to make specific contributions during the 1994 campaign. According to the paper, the memo “advised MBNA executives which candidates to give to, how much to give and when to give it–and to send photocopies of their checks to the bank’s general counsel.” Scheflen reportedly sent a follow-up memo asking to be informed in writing if an employee decided not to give. If you do not plan to make any suggested contributions,” Scheflen wrote, “I would appreciate it if you would so note.”

The practice is known as “bundling,” and it is something that troubles campaign finance watchdogs. “When you bundle the individual contributions,” says Ellen Miller of the public interest group Public Campaign, “you can give more than with a political action committee.” And the practice raises another question: Are the contributions truly voluntary? ” When you do it in the workplace, many people feel there are unwritten rules, and certain pressures that can be applied with a wink and a nod,” says Kent Cooper of another public interest group, the Center for Responsive Politics. ” You might feel coerced into giving.”

MBNA officials say there was no such coordination or coercion in the 1996 Biden contributions. When asked why many top executives contributed the same amount at the same time, spokesman David Spartin responded, “We all know each other very well. We all talk among each other, and made our contributions.”

Such help is particularly valuable for Biden, a longtime advocate of campaign finance reform, because Biden does not accept money from political action committees. He has also been a vocal critic of bundling. The practice makes a politician beholden to rich companies, Biden said during a debate on finance reform in 1993. “You are much less indebted to the 200 electricians who gave you two bucks apiece,” Biden said, “than you are to the 50 du Pont family members who gave $2,000 apiece.” (In 1996, du Pont contributions to Biden were dwarfed by those from MBNA.) When asked about Biden’s acceptance of MBNA contributions, a spokesman for the senator would say only that Biden “is proud of the support he has received from the business community in Delaware.”

MYSTERY JOB

A few weeks after Biden was re-elected in November 1996, there came yet another tie between the senator and MBNA when the company hired Biden’s son Hunter (the younger Biden is a Yale Law School graduate who was admitted to the bar this year). MBNA officials seem delighted with their new executive.

“Hunter Biden is an outstanding young man,” a bank spokesman says. “We’re very fortunate to have him here at MBNA.”

Beyond that, the company is not eager to talk. First, a spokesman declined to discuss Biden’s salary. Then, when asked what young Biden is doing for the bank, the spokesman paused and said, “That’s not something we get into details on.” When pressed, the spokesman said, “He’s a talented young guy that we are grooming for a management position.” The spokesman said Hunter Biden has been “moving around the bank” as part of his introduction into the business. Hunter Biden himself declined to discuss his salary or his job.

REFORM? ME?

In 1993 Joe Biden, along with fellow senators John Kerry and Bill Bradley, sponsored a campaign finance bill that would have, among other things, sharply limited the influence of political action committees and the practice of bundling. In March of that year, Biden appeared before the Senate Rules Committee to testify on behalf of his proposed reforms. He was openly critical of other bills that would have imposed less severe restrictions. Such moderate measures, Biden said, were “like moderate chastity. There ain’t no such thing.”

Then Biden told the committee about an experience he had in 1972, during his first run for the senate. He was just 29, with a chance to become the second-youngest senator in American history. But he needed some quick cash for campaign ads. Looking for support, he visited a group of rich businessmen.

Biden said they asked him, “Joe, what’s your position on capital gains?” Biden said he knew what to say to get the donations he desperately needed. I knew the right answer for $20,000,” Biden said. “I knew the right answer for $30,000. I knew the right answer for $40,000.” But as Biden tells the story, he wouldn’t say what the fat cats wanted to hear, and went away with nothing. It was a tough call, one that could have cost him the election. But Biden said he learned an important lesson about “the manner in which money corrupts.”

It might be interesting to hear the young Joe Biden’s reaction to a case that would arise twenty-five years later. A top executive of a rich and spendthrift company buys the home of a financially strapped senator, paying a generous price. After that, virtually the entire top management of the company gets together in a coordinated campaign to donate money to the senator, getting around campaign contribution limits. And then, after the senator is re-elected, the company hires the senator’s son.

What’s the right answer for that?

https://www.nationalreview.com/2008/08/senator-mbna-byron-york/

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