Pro Abortion

velopThe Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018, Breaking and Developing — Story 1: United States, United Kingdom and France Launched A One Time Attack Against Syria and Assad Regime — American Empire Warfare and Welfare State Military Intervention on False Flag Pretext of Chemical Attack — Where is The Evidence? — Bring All The Troops Home and Have A Big Parade — Videos — Story 2: Invincible Ignorance of Former FBI Directory James Comey: Revealed Partisan Bias And Failure To Disclose Clinton Campaign and DNC Bought and Paid For Opposition Research Was Basis of Surveillance of Trump Campaign! — Videos — Story 3: Rule 8: Tell The Truth, or At Least Don’t Lie — Buy and Read Jordan B. Peterson New Book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1061, April 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1060, April 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1059, April 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

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Breaking and Developing — Story 1: United States, United Kingdom and France Launched A One-Time Attack Against Syria and Assad Regime — American Empire Warfare and Welfare State Military Intervention on False Flag Pretext of Chemical Attack — Where is The Evidence? — Bring All The Troops Home and Have A Big Parade — Videos

Edwin Starr – War (w/lyrics + Vietnam War footage)

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, why’all
War, huh, good god
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
Oh, war, I despise
‘Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives
I said, war, huh good god, why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing say it again
War, whoa, lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart-breaker
(War) friend only to the undertaker
Oh, war it’s an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die, ah, war-huh, good god why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
War, huh
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart breaker
(War) it’s got one friend that’s the undertaker
Oh, war, has shattered many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much to short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can’t give life
It can only take it away
Oh, war, huh good god why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing say it again
whoa, lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart breaker
(War) friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But lord knows there’s got to be a better way
Oh, war, huh good god why’all
What is it good for you tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it
huh good god why’all
What is it good for
Stand up and shout it nothing
Songwriters: Barret Strong / Norman Whitfield
War lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Why Trump’s “limited strike” on Syria probably won’t work

Trump Orders Attack On Syria, Criticizes Russia And Iran

LIVE: Pentagon officials brief reporters on Syria air strikes

Mission accomplished!’ Trump touts success of Syria strike

The Monumentally Insane Thesis As to the Source of the Alleged Douma Gas Attack of Syrian ‘Rebels’

What does the US accomplish by striking Syria?

US, France and Britain launch missile strikes on Syrian weapons facilities

Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why

Syria air strikes: The mood in Damascus – BBC News

Syria strikes: 12 hours in two minutes – BBC News

100 years of chemical weapons – BBC News

Theresa May defends Syria strikes in parliament

Syria air strikes: Latest updates- BBC News

Jeremy Corbyn: Launching Syria air strikes on humanitarian grounds “legally debatable” – BBC News

Protests in and out of Parliament over UK’s Syria airstrikes | ITV News

Russia’s ambassador to UN condemns airstrikes on Syria – Daily Mail

President Trump Announces Precision Strikes In Syria | NBC News

Mattis: Assad didn’t get the message last year

President Donald Trump Bombs Syria. Again.

Syrian MOAB: The Mother of All Bullsh*t — Here We Go Again, Sparky! Just When You Thought We Learnt

My Response to the Syria Strikes: Unhelpful, but Part of a Larger Situation

Daniel McAdams on What You Need to Know About Syria

Tucker: Why is Washington united behind a war in Syria?

Tucker Carlson Goes on Epic Rant Against War in Syria

Act of War: The Real Reason Syria was Attacked

Trump launches airstrikes on Syria in response to ‘evil and despicable’ chemical attack by ‘monster’ Assad and directly challenges Putin for supporting ‘mass murder of innocents’

  • U.S. President Donald Trump announced ‘precision strikes’ on Syria in a Friday evening address
  • Strikes are in retaliation for a poison gas attack that killed up to 75 people people on April 7
  • Trump said combined operation with France and UK will continue until Assad stops using chemical weapons 
  • Warned Russia and Iran about their association with Assad, saying they’ll ‘be judged by the friends they keep’
  • British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a ‘limited and targeted’
  • French President Emmanuel Macron said the ‘red line’ set by France in May of 2017 ‘had been crossed’
  • Shortly after the attack, the Syrian presidency posted on Twitter: ‘Honorable souls cannot be humiliated’ 
  • Syrian state-run TV said three civilians have been wounded on the attack on a military base in Homs 

 

American, British and French forces launched airstrikes on two chemical weapons facilities and a military command post in Syria on Friday night in retaliation for a chemical attack that left up 75 civilians dead last week.

Donald Trump addressed the U.S. while British Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron both gave speeches justifying the use of force.

Trump delivered a national address just after 9 pm EDT as missiles rained down on three sites in Syria. He said he ordered the precision strikes in direct retaliation to Bashar al-Assad’s ‘evil and despicable’ poison gas attack on the rebel-held town of Douma.

‘This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by the very terrible regime. The evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air.’ Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House. ‘These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster, instead.’

Trump forcefully confronted Iran and Russia for aligning themselves with ‘barbarism and brutality’ and said the United States and its allies in the strike, France and Britain, are prepared ‘to sustain this response’ until Assad discontinues his use of internationally prohibited chemical weapons.

‘What kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children?’ Trump asked. ‘The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.’

Donald Trump is pictured addressing the nation on Friday evening from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, announcing retaliatory airstrikes on Syria

Donald Trump is pictured addressing the nation on Friday evening from the Diplomatic Room of the White House, announcing retaliatory airstrikes on Syria

The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria

The Damascus sky lights up with missile fire as the US, Britain and France launch an attack on Syria

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night ET

Damascus skies erupt with anti-aircraft fire after Donald Trump announced the strikes on Syria on Friday night ET

A cruise missile is pictured being launched from a French military vessel in the Mediterranean sea towards targets in Syria

A cruise missile is pictured being launched from a French military vessel in the Mediterranean sea towards targets in Syria

Part of the calculation this week has also been gaming out how Russia will respond either in the region or around the world

A chemical weapons scientific research center outside Damascus and a chemical weapons storage site and a command post west of Homs were hit in the attack that occurred in early Saturday morning local time.

Shortly after the assault, the Syrian government tweeted, ‘Honorable souls cannot be humiliated.’

State TV said the country’s air defenses shot down 13 missiles in the Kiswah area south of Damascus and claimed three civilians were wounded in the attack on the military base.

The strikes carried out by the United States consisted of more than 100 missiles, the Pentagon indicated, with Secretary of Defense James Mattis describing the number as ‘a little over double the number of weapons’ that were used in last year’s air assault on Syria.

That April 7, 2017 attack on a Syrian airbase after Assad’s confirmed use of chemical weapons on civilians consisted of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles.

Mattis said the latest round of strikes ‘sent a very strong message’ to Assad and his ‘murderous lieutenants’ and that ‘right now this is a one-time shot’ driving home a message that conflicted with the president’s.

‘That will depend on Mr. Assad should he decide to use more chemical weapons in the future,’ Mattis said of future strikes.

In a news conference that followed Trump’s remarks, Mattis confirmed that chlorine gas, and possibly sarin, was used by Assad’s forces to poison Syrians a week ago.

It was not immediately clear whether the planes were taking off from an aircraft carrier or a military base on land in video released by the French presidency

Moscow has claimed all along that the chemical weapons attack did not take place and on Friday that it had ‘irrefutable evidence’ that it had been fabricated.

The U.S. meanwhile joined France and the U.K. in pointing the finger for the attack – and their missiles – directly at Assad’s forces.

Mattis said Friday evening that he was ‘confident’ Assad’s regime conducted a chemical weapons attack.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said at an emergency meeting of the Security Council, ‘We know who did this. Our allies know who did this. Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and cover-ups.’

Defense Secretary James Mattis’ statement

Good evening. As the world knows, the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the Assad regime.

On April 7th, the regime decided to again defy the norms of civilized people, showing callous disregard for international law by using chemical weapons to murder women, children and other innocents.

We and our allies find these atrocities inexcusable. As our commander in chief, the president has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

The United States has an important national interest in averting a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, and specifically deterring the use and proliferation of chemical weapons.

Last year, in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians and to signal the regime to cease chemical weapons use, we targeted the military base from which the weapons were delivered.

Earlier today, President Trump directed the U.S. military to conduct operations, in consonance with our allies, to destroy the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons research, development and production capabilities.

Tonight, France, the United Kingdom and the United States took decisive action to strike the Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure.

Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year. This time, our allies and we have struck harder.

Together, we have sent a clear message to Assad, and his murderous lieutenants, that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable.

The 70 nations in the defeat ISIS coalition remain committed to defeating ISIS in Syria.

The strike tonight separately demonstrates international resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used on anyone, under any circumstance, in contravention of international law.

I want to emphasize that these strikes are directed at the Syrian regime. In conducting these strikes, we have gone to great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties. But it is time for all civilized nations to urgently unite in ending the Syrian civil war by supporting the United Nations backed Geneva peace process.

In accordance with the chemical weapons convention prohibiting the use of such weapons, we urge responsible nations to condemn the Assad regime and join us in our firm resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used again.

General Dunford will provide a military update.

Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.

In an effort to maintain transparency and accuracy, my assistant for public affairs, Dana White, and Lt. Gen. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, will provide a brief of known details tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

Syria air defenses strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus

Syria air defenses strike back after air strikes by U.S., British and French forces in Damascus

A fighter jet lands at Akrotiri military British Royal Air Force Base, Cyprus, on Saturday, April 14

A fighter jet prepares to land at RAF Akrotiri, a military base Britain maintains on Cyprus

An RAF Tornado comes into land at RAF Akrotiri after concluding its mission. Four Royal Air Force Tornado's took off to conduct strikes

An RAF Tornado comes into land at RAF Akrotiri after concluding its mission.Four Royal Air Force Tornado’s took off to conduct strikes

Smoke rises above Damascus after the air strikes. The US, Britain and France waged up to 120 air strikes

Smoke rises above Damascus after the air strikes. The US, Britain and France waged up to 120 air strikes

Smoke rises over the capital Damascus after air strikes struck Syria early Saturday, April 14, local time

Smoke rises over the capital Damascus after air strikes struck Syria early Saturday, April 14, local time

Trump said the purpose of the U.S.-led strike was to ‘establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use’ of such chemical weapons. But he said America does not seek ‘an indefinite presence’ in Syria and looks forward to the day when it can withdraw its troops from Syria.

In a statement, British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a ‘limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region.’

‘And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity,’ she said.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the ‘red line’ set by France in May of 2017 ‘had been crossed.’

‘We cannot tolerate the trivialization of chemical weapons, which is an immediate danger for the Syrian people and our collective security,’ Macron said. ‘This is the direction of the diplomatic initiatives put forward by France at the United Nations Security Council.’

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (right) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford (second from right) brief members of the media on Syria at the Pentagon

A photo released on the Twitter page of the Syrian governments central military media shows anti-aircraft fire through a night-vision device on the outskirts of Damascus

Loud explosions rocked Syria’s capital and and lit up the sky with heavy smoke. Hours later crowds of Assad supporters gathered in the center of Damascus in a show of defiance.

Hundreds of residents gathered in Omayyad Square, many waving Syrian, Russian and Iranian flags. Some clapped their hands and danced, others drove in convoys, honking their horns.

‘We are your men, Bashar,’ they shouted.

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said that all three areas the coalition ‘struck and destroyed’ were specific to the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons program.

The scientific research center was used for the development and testing of chemical and biological warfare technology, he said. Another target, a storage facility west of Homs, was a primary location for sarin and precursor production equipment. The third target was a chemical weapons equipment storage facility and an important command force.

General Dunford said U.S., British and French entrenched naval and air forces were involved, but for operational security, he would not be more specific than that.

The U.S. and the U.K. emphasized that steps had been taken to minimize civilian casualties.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the Assad regime 'crossed a red line' with the chemical attack in Douma. He is pictured centre with close advisers 

French President Emmanuel Macron said the Assad regime ‘crossed a red line’ with the chemical attack in Douma. He is pictured centre with close advisers

British Prime Minister Theresa May described the coalition air assault as a 'limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region'

‘We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents,’ Trump in his address said.

He also said in the remarks that lasted a little more than eight minutes that he had a message for ‘two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime’ — Iran and Russia.

‘In 2013 President Putin and his government promised the world they would guarantee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad’s recent attack and today’s response are the direct result of Russia’s failure to keep that promise,’ he said. ‘Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace.’

He added, ‘Hopefully someday we’ll get along with Russia, and maybe even Iran, but maybe not. I will say this, the United States has a lot to offer with the greatest and most powerful economy in the history of the world.’

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Saturday strongly condemned the attacks on Syria and said Washington and its allies would bear the responsibility of the raids’ consequences in the region and beyond, Iranian state media reported.

‘Undoubtedly, the United States and its allies, which took military action against Syria despite the absence of any proven evidence… will assume the responsibility for the regional and trans-regional consequences of this adventurism,’ Iran’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state media.

Russian lawmaker and the deputy head of Russia’s foreign affairs committee Vladimir Dzhabarov said Moscow was likely to call for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss the air strikes.

‘The situation is being analysed right now. Russia will demand a meeting of the U.N. security council, I am sure.’

Donald Trump said on Friday evening he had ordered 'precision strikes' on Syria in retaliation for the 'evil and despicable' poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7 (a young victim is pictured)

Donald Trump said on Friday evening he had ordered ‘precision strikes’ on Syria in retaliation for the ‘evil and despicable’ poison gas attack that killed at least 60 people on April 7 (a young victim is pictured)

A child receives oxygen through a respirator following a poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma

A child receives oxygen through a respirator following a poison gas attack in the rebel-held town of Douma

A poison gas attack killed up to 75 people that the U.S. and its allies say was carried out by Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad on April 7 in Douma near Damascus

'These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,' Trump said referring to Assad (pictured)

‘These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster instead,’ Trump said referring to Assad (pictured)

Trump also warned Russia and Iran about their association with the Syrian government. President Putin is pictured on April 12

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FRIDAY NIGHT ADDRESS TO THE NATION

My fellow Americans: a short time ago I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad. A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now underway. We thank them both.

Tonight I want to speak with you about why we have taken this action. One year ago, Assad launched a savage chemical weapons attack against his own innocent people. The United States responded with 58 missile strikes that destroyed 20 percent of the Syrian air force.

Last Saturday, the Assad regime again deployed chemical weapons to slaughter innocent civilians, this time in the town of Douma near the Syrian capital of Damascus.

This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by the very terrible regime. the evil and despicable attack left mothers and fathers, infants and children thrashing in pain and gasping for air.

These are not the actions of a man. They are crimes of a monster, instead.

Following the horrors of World War I a century ago, civilized nations joined together to ban chemical warfare. Chemical weapons are uniquely dangerous not only because they inflict gruesome suffering but because even small amounts can unleash widespread devastation.

The purpose of our actions tonight is to establish a strong deterrent against the production, spread and use of chemical weapons. Establishing this deterrent is a vital national security interest of the United States. The combined American, British and French response to these atrocities will integrate all instruments of our national power — military, economic, and diplomatic.

We are prepared to sustain this response until the Syrian regime stops its use of prohibited chemical agents. I also have a message tonight for two governments most responsible for supporting, equipping and financing the criminal Assad regime.

To Iran and to Russia I ask, what kind of a nation wants to be associated with the mass murder of innocent men, women and children? The nations of the world can be judged by the friends they keep. No nation can succeed in the long run by promoting rogue states, brutal tyrants and murderous dictators.

In 2013 President Putin and his government promised the world they would guarantee the elimination of Syria’s chemical weapons. Assad’s recent attack and today’s response are the direct result of Russia’s failure to keep that promise. Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace.

Hopefully some day we’ll get along with Russia and maybe even Iran, but maybe not. I will say this, the United States has a lot to offer with the greatest and most powerful economy in the history of the world.

In Syria the United States with but a small force being used to eliminate what is left of ISIS is doing what is necessary to protect the American people. Over the last year, nearly 100 percent of the territory once controlled by the so-called ISIS caliphate in Syria and Iraq has been liberated and eliminated.

The United States has also rebuilt our friendships across the Middle East. We have asked our partners to take greater responsibility for securing their home region, including contributing large amounts of money for the resources, equipment and all of the anti-ISIS effort. Increased engagement from our friends, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Egypt and others can ensure that Iran does not profit from the eradication of ISIS.

America does not seek an indefinite presence in Syria. Under no circumstances. As other nations step up their contributions, we look forward to the day when we can bring our warriors home and great warriors they are.

Looking around our very troubled world, Americans have no illusions. We cannot purge the world of evil or act everywhere there is tyranny. No amount of American blood or treasure can produce lasting peace and security in the Middle East. It’s a troubled place. We will try to make it better, but it is a troubled place. The United States will be a partner and a friend, but the fate of the region lies in the hands of its own people.

In the last century, we looked straight into the darkest places of the human soul. We saw the anguish that can be unleashed and the evil that can take hold. By the end of World War I, more than 1 million people had been killed or injured by chemical weapons. We never want to see that ghastly specter return.

So today, the nations of Britain, France and the United States of America have marshalled their righteous power against barbarism and brutality. Tonight I ask all Americans to say a prayer for our noble warriors and our allies as they carry out their missions.

We pray that God will bring comfort to those suffering in Syria. We pray that God there guide the whole region toward a future of dignity and of peace. And we pray that God will continue to watch over and bless the United States of America. Thank you, and good night. Thank you

Russia’s Ambassador to the United States warned the White House on Friday that military strikes against its ally ‘will not be left without consequences’.

‘Insulting the President of Russia is unacceptable and inadmissible,’ Anatoly Antonov saidl ‘The U.S. – the possessor of the biggest arsenal of chemical weapons – has no moral right to blame other countries,’ he added.

Alexander Sherin, deputy head of the State Duma’s defense committee, said Trump ‘can be called Adolf Hitler No. 2 of our time – because, you see, he even chose the time that Hitler attacked the Soviet Union,’ according to state news agency RIA-Novosti.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova, in a statement on Facebook, said the U.S. struck Syria when the country finally had a chance at peace.

‘One must be really exceptional to strike Syria’s capital when the country finally got a chance for a peaceful future,’ she wrote.

Israeli officials backed the move, with an unnamed spokesman telling Reuters that the three allies were right to enforce the ban on chemical warfare.

‘Last year, President Trump made clear that the use of chemical weapons crosses a red line. Tonight, under American leadership, the United States, France and the United Kingdom enforced that line,’ the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

‘Syria continues to engage in and provide a base for murderous actions, including those of Iran, that put its territory, its forces and its leadership at risk.’

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also backed the attack. ‘Canada condemns in the strongest possible terms the use of chemical weapons in last week’s attack in eastern Ghouta, Syria,’ Trudeau said.

‘Canada supports the decision by the United States, the United Kingdom, and France to take action to degrade the Assad regime’s ability to launch chemical weapons attacks against its own people. We will continue to work with our international partners to further investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Those responsible must be brought to justice.’

Syrian government supporters wave Syrian, Iranian and Russian flags as they chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations

Syrian government supporters wave Syrian, Iranian and Russian flags as they chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations

Syrian government supporters chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations in Damascus following the strikes

Syrian government supporters chant slogans against U.S. President Trump during demonstrations in Damascus following the strikes

Protesters stand outside Trump Tower demonstrating against military strikes in Syria, late on Friday in New York

Protesters stand outside Trump Tower demonstrating against military strikes in Syria, late on Friday in New York

U.S. air strikes had been expected since harrowing footage surfaced of the aftermath of the toxic gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma a week ago. Trump had reacted with a tweet warning Assad and his allies that the action would not go unchecked.

‘Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria,’ he declared. ‘President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay.’

Trump told reporters that the list of people he’d punish included Russian President Vladimir Putin, if appropriate.

‘Everybody’s gonna pay a price. He will. Everybody will,’ the U.S. president said.

After Russia rejected a U.S.-sponsored resolution authorizing a probe of the gas attack and vowed to shoot down U.S. missiles fired upon Syria, Trump took aim at the Kremlin.

‘Get ready Russia, because they will be coming, nice and new and “smart!” You shouldn’t be partners with a Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!’ Trump tweeted.

The White House left open the possibility of direct, military engagement with Russia after the tweet.

Russia’s deputy prime minister, Arkady Dvorkovich, just brushed the rebuke off, however, saying, according to state media, ‘We cannot depend on the mood of someone on the other side of the ocean when he wakes up, on what a specific person takes into his head in the morning.’

The French presidency on Saturday released a video on Twitter showing what it said were Rafale war planes taking off to attack targets in Syria

The French presidency on Saturday released a video on Twitter showing what it said were Rafale war planes taking off to attack targets in Syria

It was not immediately clear whether the planes were taking off from an aircraft carrier or a military base on land in video released by the French presidency

It was not immediately clear whether the planes were taking off from an aircraft carrier or a military base on land in video released by the French presidency

Moscow has claimed all along that the chemical weapons attack did not take place and on Friday that it had ‘irrefutable evidence’ that it had been fabricated.

The U.S. meanwhile joined France and the U.K. in pointing the finger for the attack – and their missiles – directly at Assad’s forces.

Mattis said Friday evening that he was ‘confident’ Assad’s regime conducted a chemical weapons attack.

Nikki Haley, the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said at an emergency meeting of the Security Council, ‘We know who did this. Our allies know who did this. Russia can complain all it wants about fake news, but no one is buying its lies and cover-ups.’

Defense Secretary James Mattis’ statement

Good evening. As the world knows, the Syrian people have suffered terribly under the prolonged brutality of the Assad regime.

On April 7th, the regime decided to again defy the norms of civilized people, showing callous disregard for international law by using chemical weapons to murder women, children and other innocents.

We and our allies find these atrocities inexcusable. As our commander in chief, the president has the authority under Article II of the Constitution to use military force overseas to defend important U.S. national interests.

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

Defense Secretary James Mattis says the U.S. and its allies have taken ‘decisive action’ against Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure

The United States has an important national interest in averting a worsening humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, and specifically deterring the use and proliferation of chemical weapons. 

Last year, in response to a chemical weapons attack against civilians and to signal the regime to cease chemical weapons use, we targeted the military base from which the weapons were delivered.

Earlier today, President Trump directed the U.S. military to conduct operations, in consonance with our allies, to destroy the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons research, development and production capabilities.

Tonight, France, the United Kingdom and the United States took decisive action to strike the Syrian chemical weapons infrastructure.

Clearly, the Assad regime did not get the message last year. This time, our allies and we have struck harder.

Together, we have sent a clear message to Assad, and his murderous lieutenants, that they should not perpetrate another chemical weapons attack for which they will be held accountable.

The 70 nations in the defeat ISIS coalition remain committed to defeating ISIS in Syria.

The strike tonight separately demonstrates international resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used on anyone, under any circumstance, in contravention of international law.

I want to emphasize that these strikes are directed at the Syrian regime. In conducting these strikes, we have gone to great lengths to avoid civilian and foreign casualties. But it is time for all civilized nations to urgently unite in ending the Syrian civil war by supporting the United Nations backed Geneva peace process.

In accordance with the chemical weapons convention prohibiting the use of such weapons, we urge responsible nations to condemn the Assad regime and join us in our firm resolve to prevent chemical weapons from being used again.

General Dunford will provide a military update.

Based on recent experience, we fully expect a significant disinformation campaign over the coming days by those who have aligned themselves with the Assad regime.

In an effort to maintain transparency and accuracy, my assistant for public affairs, Dana White, and Lt. Gen. McKenzie, director of the Joint Staff, will provide a brief of known details tomorrow at 9:00 a.m.

The Friday night assault earned tepid support from Democrats in Congress who said they are awaiting additional information from the Trump administration about the targets and goals of the strike.

Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the upper chamber’s Intelligence Committee, said, ‘While the U.S. and our allies must not turn a blind eye to Assad’s vile and inhumane attacks against his own citizens, military action in Syria must be measured, as part of a coherent strategy to prevent Assad from using chemical weapons without further destabilizing an already-volatile region or inadvertently expanding the conflict.’

Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, said that Assad’s weapons attack was a ‘brutally inhumane war crime that demands a strong, smart and calculated response.

But she argued, ‘One night of airstrikes is not a substitute for a clear, comprehensive Syria strategy.

‘The President must come to Congress and secure an Authorization for Use of Military Force by proposing a comprehensive strategy with clear objectives that keep our military safe and avoid collateral damage to innocent civilians,’ the leading House Democrat insisted in a statement. ‘President Trump must also hold Putin accountable for his enabling of the Assad regime’s atrocities against the Syrian people.’

Vice President Mike Pence briefed Pelosi and other congressional leaders by phone after skipping a reception and rushing back to his hotel in Lima, Peru.

House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell received calls notifying them of the action before the president’s address, the vice president’s communications director, Jarrod Agen, said. So did Pelosi. Pence was unable to reach Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer until afterward, Pence’s spokesman explained, because the top-ranking Democrat was on a flight.

The vice president was attending a summit in Peru on Friday in Trump’s stead. Trump called off his trip as he mulled how to respond to the attack in Syria.

House Speaker Paul Ryan meanwhile praised Trump’s ‘decisive action in coordination with our allies,’ adding, ‘We are united in our resolve.’

Senate Armed Service Committee Chairman John McCain applauded the airstrikes but said ‘they alone will not achieve U.S. objectives in the Middle East.’

‘I hope these strikes impose meaningful costs on Assad. The message to Assad must be that the cost of using chemical weapons is worse than any perceived benefit, that the United States and our allies have the will and capability to continue imposing those costs, and that Iran and Russia will ultimately be unsuccessful in protecting Assad from our punative response,’ McCain said in a statement.

Schumer said the airstrikes were ‘appropriate’ yet cautioned the Trump administration ‘to be careful about not getting us into a greater and more involved war in Syria.’

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee said there ‘is absolutely no question’ the gas attack merits a strong response. However, he said he remains concerned the U.S. will become mired in the ‘horrific and complex civil war that has been raging in Syria.

‘While these joint American, British and French strikes are morally justified against the Assad regime’s gassing of its own people, they take place with no congressional authorization,’ he asserted.

U.S. Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, also said: ‘President Trump’s decision to launch airstrikes against the Syrian government without Congress’s approval is illegal and – absent a broader strategy – it’s reckless.

‘Last week, President Trump was adamant that the U.S. was leaving Syria imminently. This week, he is opening a new military front. Assad must face consequences for his war crimes, but Presidents cannot initiate military action when there isn’t an imminent threat to American lives.’

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce said his committee would convene a hearing next week on U.S. policy for the region. ‘The administration needs to begin fully explaining its strategy for the months ahead,’ he said.

‘Military force cannot be the only means of responding to these atrocities. The U.S. must leverage strong diplomacy and serious financial pressure. That’s why, last year, the House led in passing tough new sanctions against Assad and his enablers. The Senate needs to move this legislation to the president’s desk quickly.’

‘I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest’: Theresa May’s statement in full

Theresa May's statement in full 

Theresa May’s statement in full

‘This evening I have authorised British armed forces to conduct co-ordinated and targeted strikes to degrade the Syrian Regime’s chemical weapons capability and deter their use.

‘We are acting together with our American and French allies.

‘In Douma, last Saturday a chemical weapons attack killed up to 75 people, including young children, in circumstances of pure horror.

‘The fact of this attack should surprise no-one.

‘The Syrian Regime has a history of using chemical weapons against its own people in the most cruel and abhorrent way.

‘And a significant body of information including intelligence indicates the Syrian Regime is responsible for this latest attack.

‘This persistent pattern of behaviour must be stopped – not just to protect innocent people in Syria from the horrific deaths and casualties caused by chemical weapons but also because we cannot allow the erosion of the international norm that prevents the use of these weapons.

‘We have sought to use every possible diplomatic channel to achieve this.

‘But our efforts have been repeatedly thwarted. Even this week the Russians vetoed a Resolution at the UN Security Council which would have established an independent investigation into the Douma attack.

‘So there is no practicable alternative to the use of force to degrade and deter the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian Regime.

‘This is not about intervening in a civil war. It is not about regime change.

‘It is about a limited and targeted strike that does not further escalate tensions in the region and that does everything possible to prevent civilian casualties.

‘And while this action is specifically about deterring the Syrian Regime, it will also send a clear signal to anyone else who believes they can use chemical weapons with impunity.

‘At this time, my thoughts are with our brave British servicemen and women – and our French and American partners – who are carrying out their duty with the greatest professionalism.

‘The speed with which we are acting is essential in co-operating with our partners to alleviate further humanitarian suffering and to maintain the vital security of our operations.

‘This is the first time as Prime Minister that I have had to take the decision to commit our armed forces in combat – and it is not a decision I have taken lightly.

‘I have done so because I judge this action to be in Britain’s national interest.

‘We cannot allow the use of chemical weapons to become normalised – within Syria, on the streets of the UK, or anywhere else in our world.

‘We would have preferred an alternative path. But on this occasion there is none.

‘History teaches us that the international community must defend the global rules and standards that keep us all safe.

‘That is what our country has always done. And what we will continue to do. ‘

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5614593/Donald-Trump-expected-make-major-announcement-Syria-9pm-ET.html#ixzz5CfdpDAFj

 

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Willful blindness

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Willful blindness (sometimes called ignorance of law,[1]:761willful ignorance or contrived ignorance or Nelsonian knowledge) is a term used in law to describe a situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally keeping himself or herself unaware of facts that would render him or her liable. In United States v. Jewell, the court held that proof of willful ignorance satisfied the requirement of knowledge as to criminal possession and importation of drugs.[1]:225

Description

Willful blindness is a term used in law to describe a situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability for a wrongful act by intentionally keeping oneself unaware of facts that would render liability.

Although the term was originally—and still is—used in legal contexts, the phrase “willful ignorance” has come to mean any situation in which people intentionally turn their attention away from an ethical problem that is believed to be important by those using the phrase (for instance, because the problem is too disturbing for people to want it dominating their thoughts, or from the knowledge that solving the problem would require extensive effort).

Precedent in the United States

In United States v. Jewell, the court held that proof of willful ignorance satisfied the requirement of knowledge as to criminal possession and importation of drugs.[1]:225 In a number of cases in the United States of America, persons transporting packages containing illegal drugs have asserted that they never asked what the contents of the packages were and so lacked the requisite intent to break the law. Such defenses have not succeeded, as courts have been quick to determine that the defendantshould have known what was in the package and exercised criminal recklessness by failing to find out the package’s contents.[citation needed] Notably, this rule has only ever been applied to independent couriers, and has never been used to hold larger services that qualify as common carriers (e.g., FedExUnited Parcel Service, or the U.S. Postal Service) liable for the contents of packages they deliver.

A famous example of such a defense being denied occurred in In re Aimster Copyright Litigation,[2] in which the defendants argued that the file-swapping technology was designed in such a way that they had no way of monitoring the content of swapped files. They suggested that their inability to monitor the activities of users meant that they could not be contributing to copyright infringement by the users. The court held that this was willful blindness on the defendant’s part and would not constitute a defense to a claim of contributory infringement.

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b c Criminal Law – Cases and Materials, 7th ed. 2012, Wolters Kluwer Law & BusinessJohn KaplanRobert WeisbergGuyora BinderISBN 978-1-4548-0698-1[1]
  2. Jump up^ 334 F.3d 643 (7th Cir. 2003)

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willful_blindness

James Comey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Comey
James Comey official portrait.jpg
7th Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation
In office
September 4, 2013 – May 9, 2017
President Barack Obama
Donald Trump
Deputy Sean M. Joyce
Mark F. Giuliano
Andrew McCabe
Preceded by Robert Mueller
Succeeded by Andrew McCabe (Acting)
31st United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
December 9, 2003 – August 15, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Larry Thompson
Succeeded by Paul McNulty
United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York
In office
January 7, 2002 – December 15, 2003
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Mary Jo White
Succeeded by David N. Kelley
Personal details
Born James Brien Comey Jr.
December 14, 1960 (age 57)
Yonkers, New York, U.S.
Political party Independent (2016–present)[1]
Other political
affiliations
Republican (before 2016)
Spouse(s) Patrice Failor
Children 5
Education College of William and Mary(BS)
University of Chicago (JD)
Signature

James Brien Comey Jr. (born December 14, 1960) is an American lawyer, who served as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) from September 4, 2013, until his dismissal on May 9, 2017.[2]Comey has been a registered Republican for most of his life but has recently described himself as unaffiliated.[3]

Comey was the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from January 2002 to December 2003, and subsequently the United States Deputy Attorney General from December 2003 to August 2005 in the administration of President George W. Bush. Comey appointed Patrick Fitzgerald to be the Special Counsel to head the grand jury investigation into the Plame affair after Attorney General John Ashcroftrecused himself.

In August 2005, Comey left the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and became general counsel and senior vice president of Lockheed Martin, based in Bethesda, Maryland.[4] In 2010, he became general counsel at Bridgewater Associates, based in Westport, Connecticut. In early 2013, he left Bridgewater to become a Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law at Columbia Law School. He served on the board of directors of HSBC Holdings until July 2013.[5]

In September 2013, President Barack Obama appointed Comey to the position of Director of the FBI.[6] In that capacity, he was responsible for overseeing the FBI’s investigation of the Hillary Clintonemail controversy. His role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, particularly with regard to his public communications, was highly controversial.[7] Some analysts feel that Comey’s decisions might have cost Clinton the presidency. In one of those decisions, he reopened the investigation into Clinton’s emails less than two weeks before the election.[8][9][10] Comey also received heavy criticism from Republicans, in part after it was revealed that he had begun drafting an exoneration letter for Clinton before the investigation was complete.[11]

President Donald Trump dismissed Comey on May 9, 2017.[12][13][14] Statements from Trump and the White House suggested that he had been dismissed to ease the “pressure” Trump was under due to the Russia investigation.[15][16][17] Later that month he arranged for a friend to tell the press about a memo he had written after a February 14 private meeting with the president. It said Trump had asked him to end the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn, the former National Security Advisor. The dismissal, the memo, and Comey’s subsequent Congressional testimony were interpreted by some commentators as evidence of obstruction of justice by the President, and became part of a widening investigation by Robert Mueller, the Special Counsel appointed to probe Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.[18]

Early life

Comey was born in 1960 in Yonkers, New York, to parents Joan Marie Comey (née Herald)[19] and J. Brien Comey.[20] His grandfather, William J. Comey, was an officer and later commissioner of the Yonkers Police Department.[21] The family moved to Allendale, New Jersey, in the early 1970s.[22][23] His father worked in corporate real estate and his mother was a computer consultant and homemaker.[24] Comey is of Irish heritage.[25] He attended Northern Highlands Regional High School in Allendale.[26] Comey graduated from the College of William and Mary in 1982, majoring in chemistry and religion. His senior thesis analyzed the liberal theologian Reinhold Niebuhr and the conservative televangelistJerry Falwell, emphasizing their common belief in public action.[27] He received his Juris Doctor(JD) from the University of Chicago Law School in 1985.[28]

Early career (1985–1993)

After law school, Comey served as a law clerk for then-United States District Judge John M. Walker Jr. in Manhattan. Then, he was an associate for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in their New York office. He joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where he worked from 1987 to 1993. While there, he served as Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division and helped prosecute the Gambino crime family.[29]

Clinton administration (1996–2001)

Assistant U.S. Attorney

From 1996 to 2001, Comey served as Managing Assistant U.S. Attorney in charge of the Richmond Division of the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.[10] In 1996, Comey acted as deputy special counsel to the Senate Whitewater Committee.[30] He also served as the lead prosecutor in the case concerning the 1996 Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia.[31] While in Richmond, Comey served as an Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Richmond School of Law.[28]

Bush administration (2002–2005)

U.S. Attorney

Comey was the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, from January 2002 to the time of his confirmation as Deputy Attorney General on December 11, 2003.[28] Among his first tasks was to take over the investigation into President Bill Clinton‘s controversial pardon of Marc Rich.[30] In November 2002, he led the prosecution of three men involved in one of the largest identity fraud cases in American history.[32] The fraud had lasted two years and resulted in thousands of people across the country collectively losing well over $3 million.[32] He also led the indictment of Adelphia Communications founder John Rigas for bank fraudwire fraud, and securities fraud. Rigas was convicted of the charges in 2004 and in 2005, was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison. Adelphia Corporation was forced to file for bankruptcy after it acknowledged that it took $3.3 billion in false loans. It was “one of the most elaborate and extensive corporate frauds in United States history”.[33][34][35][36]

In February 2003, Comey was the lead prosecutor of Martha Stewart, who was indicted on the charges of securities fraudobstruction of justice, and lying to an FBI agent.[10] She sold 3,928 shares of ImClone Systems, making $227,824. The next day, the Food and Drug Administration refused to accept the company’s application for Erbitux.[37] In March 2003, he led the indictment of ImClone CEO Samuel Waksal, who pleaded guilty to avoiding paying $1.2 million in sales taxes on $15 million worth of contemporary paintings. The works were by Mark RothkoRichard SerraRoy Lichtenstein, and Willem de Kooning.[38] In April 2003, he led the indictment of Frank Quattrone, who allegedly urged subordinates in 2000 to destroy evidence sought by investigators looking into his investment banking practices at Credit Suisse First Boston.[39] In November 2003, he led the prosecutions in “Operation Wooden Nickel”, which resulted in complaints and indictments against 47 people involved in foreign exchange trading scams.[40]

Deputy Attorney General

NSA domestic wiretapping

In early January 2006, The New York Times, as part of its investigation into domestic surveillance by the National Security Agency, reported that Comey, who was Acting Attorney General during the March 2004 hospitalization of John Ashcroft, refused to certify the legality of central aspects of the NSA program.[41] In order for the program to continue, the certification was required under White House procedures.[42]

In March 2004, Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Robert S. Mueller III and Comey threatened the Bush administration with their resignations if the White House overruled the DOJ finding that the domestic wiretapping under the Terrorist Surveillance Program (TSP) was unconstitutional, if such were done without a court warrant.[43] On March 10, 2004, United States Attorney General (USAG) John Ashcroft was being visited by his wife as he was treated in the intensive care unit at the George Washington University Hospital. She solicited Mueller and Comey to join them, and shortly after their arrival, they were joined by Jack Goldsmith of the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel and Patrick Philbrin. In Goldsmith’s 2007 memoir, he said Comey had come to the hospital to give Ashcroft support in withstanding pressure from the White House.[44] None of the four visitors wanted the TSP reauthorized. After the quartet’s arrival, Ashcroft refused to give his consent to its extension, despite being pressured at the hospital soon afterward by Andrew H. Card Jr.White House Chief of Staff, and Alberto R. Gonzales, then-White House counsel and future Attorney General. The two were requesting that Ashcroft waive the DOJ ruling and permit the domestic warrantless eavesdropping program to continue beyond its imminent expiration date. Ashcroft additionally informed the pair that due to his illness, he had delegated his powers as USAG to Comey.[45][42] Comey later confirmed these events took place (but declined to confirm the specific program) in testimony to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee on May 16, 2007.[46][47][48][49][50][51] FBI director Mueller’s notes on the March 10, 2004, incident, which were released to a House Judiciary committee, confirms that he “Saw (the) AG, John Ashcroft in the room (who was) feeble, barely articulate, clearly stressed.”[52]

Comey and Mueller withdrew their threats to resign after meeting directly on March 12, 2004, with President Bush, who gave his support to making requisite changes in the surveillance program.[53]

Enhanced interrogation techniques

When Comey was Deputy Attorney General in 2005, he endorsed a memorandum that approved the use of 13 enhanced interrogation techniques that included waterboarding[41] and sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours, which would be used by the CIA when interrogating suspects.[54][55] Comey objected to a second memorandum, drafted by Daniel Levin and signed by Steven G. Bradbury, which stated that these techniques could be used in combination.[54] Comey was one of the few members of the Bush administration who had tried to prevent or limit the use of torture.[56][57][58]

During his 2013 confirmation hearing, Comey stated that in his personal opinion, waterboarding was torture,[59] the United Nations Convention against Torture was “very vague” and difficult to interpret as banning the practice.[44] Even though the practice was legal at the time,[54] he strongly disagreed with the techniques and as a matter of policy, he opposed implementing them.[55][60] His objections were ultimately overruled by the National Security Council.[61]

Private sector (2005–2013)

In the fall of 2005, Comey announced that he was leaving the Department of Justice.[62] In August 2005, it was announced that Comey would enter the private sector, becoming the General Counsel and Senior Vice President for Lockheed Martin, the U.S. Department of Defense‘s largest contractor.[63] Comey’s tenure took effect on October 1, 2005,[64] serving in that capacity until June 2, 2010, when he announced he would leave Lockheed Martin to join the senior management committee at Bridgewater Associates, a Connecticut-based investment management firm.[65] Comey received a three million dollar payout from Bridgewater, and his net worth is estimated at 14 million dollars.[66][67] February 1, 2013, after leaving Bridgewater, he was appointed by Columbia University Law School as a Senior Research Scholar and Hertog Fellow on National Security Law.[68] He was also appointed to the board of directors of the London-based financial institutionHSBC Holdings,[69] to improve the company’s compliance program after its $1.9 billion settlement with the Justice Department for failing to comply with basic due diligence requirements for money laundering regarding Mexican drug cartels and terrorism financing.[70][71] Since 2012, he has also served on the Defense Legal Policy Board.[72]

Testimony before congressional committees

Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy

In May 2007, Comey testified before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and the House Judiciary subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law on the U.S. Attorney dismissal controversy.[62] His testimony contradicted that of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who had said the firings had been due to poor performance on the part of some of the dismissed prosecutors. Comey stressed that the Justice Department had to be perceived as nonpartisan and nonpolitical to function.[73]

The Department of Justice, in my view, is run by political appointees of the President. The U.S. attorneys are political appointees of the President. But once they take those jobs and run this institution, it’s very important in my view for that institution to be another in American life, that—because my people had to stand up before juries of all stripes, talk to sheriffs of all stripes, judges of all stripes. They had to be seen as the good guys, and not as either this administration or that administration.[73]

Supreme Court considerations

Politico reported in May 2009 that White House officials pushed for Comey’s inclusion on the short list of names to replace Associate JusticeDavid Souter on the U.S. Supreme Court.[74]Politico later reported liberal activists were upset about the possibility of Comey’s name being included. John Brittain of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law stated, “[Comey] came in with the Bushies. What makes you think he’d be just an inch or two more to the center than [John] Roberts? I’d be greatly disappointed.”[75]

In 2013, Comey was a signatory to an amicus curiae brief submitted to the Supreme Court in support of same-sex marriage during the Hollingsworth v. Perry case.[76]

FBI Director

Comey, President Obama, and outgoing FBI Director Robert Mueller at Comey’s nomination to become FBI Director, June 21, 2013

Comey at the Oval Office following the San Bernardino shooting, December 3, 2015

Obama receives an update from Comey and Homeland Security Advisor Lisa Monaco on the 2016 Orlando nightclub shooting, June 12, 2016

May 2013 reports became official the following month when President Barack Obama revealed that he would nominate Comey to be the next Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, replacing outgoing director Robert Mueller.[77][78][79] Comey was reportedly chosen over another finalist, Lisa Monaco, who had overseen national security issues at the Justice Department during the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on September 11, 2012.[80][81]

On July 29, 2013, the Senate confirmed Comey to a full ten-year term as FBI Director. He was confirmed by a vote of 93-1. Two senators voted present.[82] He was sworn in as FBI director on September 4, 2013.[83] President Donald Trump fired him on May 9, 2017.[12]

Police and African Americans

Comey at annual FBI and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute conference, May 25, 2016

In February 2015, Comey delivered a speech at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., regarding the relationship between police and the African American community.[84][85] He said that, “At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo – a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups”, mentioning as an example his own Irish ancestors, who he said had often been regarded as drunks and criminals by law enforcement in the early 20th century. He added: “The Irish had some tough times, but little compares to the experience on our soil of black Americans”, going on to highlight current societal issues such as lack of opportunities for employment and education which can lead young black men to crime.[84] Comey stated:

Police officers on patrol in our nation’s cities often work in environments where a hugely disproportionate percentage of street crime is committed by young men of color. Something happens to people of good will working in that environment. After years of police work, officers often can’t help be influenced by the cynicism they feel. A mental shortcut becomes almost irresistible.[84]

In October 2015, Comey gave a speech in which he raised concerns that body worn video results in less effective policing; this opinion contradicted the President’s public position.[86] Days later, President Obama met with Comey in the Oval Office to address the issue.[87] In an October 23 speech at the University of Chicago Law School, Comey said:

I remember being asked why we were doing so much prosecuting in black neighborhoods and locking up so many black men. After all, Richmond was surrounded by areas with largely white populations. Surely there were drug dealers in the suburbs. My answer was simple: We are there in those neighborhoods because that’s where people are dying. These are the guys we lock up because they are the predators choking off the life of a community. We did this work because we believed that all lives matter, especially the most vulnerable.[88]

Comments on Poland and the Holocaust

In April 2015, Comey spoke at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, arguing in favor of more Holocaust education.[89] After The Washington Post printed a version of his speech, Anne Applebaum wrote that his reference to “the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary” was inaccurately saying that Poles were as responsible for the Holocaust as Germans.[90] His speech was also criticized by Polish authorities, and Stephen D. MullUnited States Ambassador to Poland, was called to the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.[91] Applebaum wrote that Comey, “in a speech that was reprinted in The Post arguing for more Holocaust education, demonstrated just how badly he needs it himself”.[92]

Ambassador Mull issued an apology for Comey’s remarks.[93] When asked about his remarks, Comey said, “I regret linking Germany and Poland … The Polish state bears no responsibility for the horrors imposed by the Nazis. I wish I had not used any other country names because my point was a universal one about human nature.”[94]

OPM hack

In June 2015, the United States Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced that it had been the target of a data breach targeting the records of as many as four million people.[95] Later, Comey put the number at 18 million.[96] The Washington Post has reported that the attack originated in China, citing unnamed government officials.[97] Comey said: “It is a very big deal from a national security perspective and from a counterintelligence perspective. It’s a treasure trove of information about everybody who has worked for, tried to work for, or works for the United States government.”[98]

Hillary Clinton email investigation

On July 10, 2015, the FBI opened a criminal investigation into Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.[7] On June 29, 2016, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton met aboard her plane on the tarmac of the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, leading to calls for her recusal. Lynch then announced that she would “fully” accept the recommendation of the FBI regarding the probe.[7] On July 2, FBI agents completed their investigation by interviewing Hillary Clinton at FBI headquarters, following which Comey and his associates decided there was no basis for criminal indictments in the case.[7]

Release of information about the investigation

On July 5, 2016, Comey announced the FBI’s recommendation that the United States Department of Justice file no criminal charges relating to the Hillary Clinton email controversy.[99] During a 15-minute press conference in the J. Edgar Hoover Building, Comey called Secretary Clinton’s and her top aides’ behavior “extremely careless”, but concluded that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case”.[99] It was believed to be the first time the FBI disclosed its prosecutorial recommendation to the Department of Justice publicly.[99] On July 7, 2016, Comey was questioned by a Republican-led House committee during a hearing regarding the FBI’s recommendation.[100][101]

Comey’s October letter

On October 26, 2016, two weeks before the presidential election, Comey learned that FBI agents investigating an unrelated case involving former Congressman Anthony Weiner had discovered emails on Weiner’s computer between his wife, Huma Abedin, and Hillary Clinton.[7] Believing it would take months to review Weiner’s emails, Comey decided he had to inform Congress that the investigation was being reopened due to new information.[7]Justice Department lawyers warned him that giving out public information about an investigation was inconsistent with department policy, but he considered the policy to be “guidance” rather than an ironclad rule.[102] He decided that not to reveal the new information would be misleading to Congress and the public.[103] On October 28, Comey sent a letter to members of Congress advising them that the FBI was reviewing more emails. Members of Congress leaked the information to the public within minutes.[104] Republican and Democratic lawmakers, as well as the Clinton and Trump campaigns, called on Comey to provide additional details.

The Clinton campaign and numerous former officials and other commentators criticized his decision to announce the reopened investigation.[105][106][107][108][109][110] Law professor Richard Painter filed complaints with the United States Office of Special Counsel and the United States Office of Government Ethics over Comey’s letter to Congress.[111]

The investigators received additional resources so they could complete their review of the new emails before Election Day,[7] and on November 6, 2016, Comey wrote in a second letter to Congress that “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July”.[112]

Comey was broadly criticized for his actions from both the right and the left.[113][114] According to the Clinton campaign, the letters effectively stopped the campaign’s momentum by hurting Clinton’s chances with voters who were receptive to Trump’s claims of a “rigged system”.[115] Statistician Nate Silver said that Comey had a “large, measurable impact on the race”.[116][117][116][8] Other analysts, such as Democratic strategist David Axelrod, said that Comey’s public actions were just one of several cumulative factors that cost Clinton the election.[118][119] On May 2, 2017, Hillary Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour: “I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off.”[120] On May 3, 2017, Comey testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that “It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election”, but that “honestly, it wouldn’t change the decision.”[121][122]

Investigations

On January 12, 2017, the United States Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General announced a formal investigation into whether the FBI followed proper procedures in its investigation of Clinton or whether “improper considerations” were made by FBI personnel.[123]

On July 27, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee decided to request documents related to Comey, including the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton, Comey’s conduct during the 2016 election, and his release of his memo to the press.[124][125] The committee’s Republicans also wrote a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking him to appoint a second special prosecutor to investigate these issues.[126]

In September 2017, two Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, alleged that Comey planned to exonerate Hillary Clinton in her email scandal long before the agency had completed its investigation.[127] The story was confirmed by the FBI in October, which released a Comey memo dated May 2. Comey interviewed Clinton as part of his investigation on July 2. Former FBI official Ron Hosko reacted saying, “You tend to reach final conclusions as the investigation is logically ended. Not months before.” Donald Trump called it “disgraceful.” In contrast, former Department of Justice spokesman Matthew Miller wrote on Twitter, “The decision is never ‘made’ until the end, even when there’s a 99% chance it is only going to go one way.”[128]

Comey’s original draft of the exoneration stated that Clinton had committed “gross negligence,” which is a crime. However, the language was later changed to “extreme carelessness.”[129] In December, it was revealed that the change had been made by Peter Strozk, an FBI official who would later join Mueller’s probe and be dismissed after exchanging private messages with an FBI lawyer that could be seen as favoring Clinton politically.[130]

Russian election interference investigation

On the day of Comey’s July press conference, the FBI acquired the Donald Trump-Russia dossier by Christopher Steele.[7] In late July, the FBI opened an investigation into the Trump campaign.[7] Comey asked President Obama for permission to write an op-ed, which would warn the public that the Russians were interfering in the election. The President denied the request.[7] CIA Director John O. Brennan then gave an unusual private briefing on the Russians to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid; Reid then publicly referred to the briefing.[7] Comey, however, refused to confirm—even in classified Congressional briefings—that the Trump Campaign was under investigation.[7] In early October, meetings were held in the White House Situation Room; National Security Advisor Susan Rice argued that the information should be released, while Comey argued that disclosure was no longer needed.[7]

In January 2017, Comey first met Trump when he briefed the President-elect on the Steele dossier.[131] On January 27, 2017, Trump and Comey dined alone at the White House.[131] According to Trump, Comey requested the dinner so as to ask to keep his job and, when asked, told Trump that he was not under investigation. Trump has stated that he did not ask Comey to pledge his loyalty.[131] However, according to Comey’s associates, Trump requested the dinner, asked Comey to pledge his loyalty, twice, to which Comey replied, twice, that he would always be honest, until Trump asked him if he would promise “honest loyalty”, which Comey did.[131]

On February 14, the day after President Trump fired Michael T. Flynn, Comey met with the President during a terrorism threat briefing in the Oval Office.[132] At the end of the meeting Trump asked the other security chiefs to leave, then told Comey to consider imprisoning reporters over leaks and that “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go.”[132] Comey, as is usual, immediately documented the meeting in a memo and shared it with FBI officials.[132] In his Congressional testimony, Comey clarified that he took Trump’s comment to be “an order” to drop the Flynn investigation, but “that he did not consider this an order to drop the Russia investigation as a whole.”[133]

On March 4, 2017, Comey asked the Justice Department for permission, which was not given, to publicly refute Trump’s claim that his phones had been wiretapped by then-President Obama.[134]

On March 20, 2017, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirmed that the FBI has been investigating possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, and whether any crimes were committed.[135] During the hearing, the White House Twitter account posted “The NSA and FBI tell Congress that Russia did not influence the electoral process”, which Comey, when then read the tweet by Congressman Jim Himes, directly refuted.[136] Comey also refuted the President’s Trump Tower wiretapping allegations, testifying “I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the FBI”.[137]

Representative Chris Stewart asked Comey in the hearing: “Mr. Clapper then went on to say that to his knowledge there was no evidence of collusion between members of the Trump campaign and the Russians. We did not conclude any evidence in our report and when I say ‘our report,’ that is the NSA, FBI, and CIA with my office, the director of national intelligence said anything – any reflection of collusion between the members of Trump campaign and the Russians, there was no evidence of that in our report. Was Mr. Clapper wrong when he said that?” Comey responded: “I think he’s right about characterizing the report which you all have read.”[138] Press Secretary Sean Spicer and a White House tweet then highlighted this testimony as proof that Clapper was “right” there was no evidence of collusion, causing Clapper to release a statement clarifying he had been referring to the evidence as gathered in January and that more investigation is needed.[136]

On May 3, 2017, in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Comey said that Russia is the “greatest threat of any nation on Earth … One of the biggest lessons learned is that Russia will do this again. Because of 2016 election, they know it worked.”[139] He also said that Russia should pay a price for interfering.[140]

In early May, a few days before he was fired, Comey reportedly asked the Justice Department for a significant increase in funding and personnel for the Russia probe.[13] On May 11, 2017, Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe said to the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that he was unaware of the request and stated, “I believe we have the adequate resources to do it and I know that we have resourced that investigation adequately.”[141][142]

Comey had been scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11, but after he was dismissed on May 9, committee chair Senator Richard Burr said that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe would appear instead.[143] Comey spoke before the Committee on June 8.[144][145] His prepared opening statements were pre-released by the Intelligence Committee on their website one day before the official hearings.[146][147][148]

Government surveillance oversight

In his July 2013 FBI confirmation hearing, Comey said that the oversight mechanisms of the U.S. government have sufficient privacy protections.[149] In a November 2014 New York Times Magazine article, Yale historian Beverly Gage reported that Comey keeps on his desk a copy of the FBI request to wiretap Martin Luther King Jr. “as a reminder of the bureau’s capacity to do wrong”.[150]

In 2016, he and his agency were criticized for their request to Apple Inc. to install a “back door” for U.S. surveillance agencies to use. Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden stated: “Jim would like a back door available to American law enforcement in all devices globally. And, frankly, I think on balance that actually harms American safety and security, even though it might make Jim’s job a bit easier in some specific circumstances.”[151]

Comey, speaking at a cybersecurity conference in 2017, told the audience, “There is no such thing as absolute privacy in America; there is no place outside of judicial reach.”[152]

Dismissal

File:'Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI.' (C-SPAN).webm
Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe on Comey: “Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI.”

Trump’s letter firing Comey

President Trump formally dismissed Comey on May 9, 2017, less than 4 years into his 10-year term as Director of the FBI. Comey first learned of his termination from television news reports that flashed on screen while he was delivering a speech to agents at the Los Angeles Field Office.[153] Sources said he was surprised and caught off guard by the termination. Comey immediately departed for Washington, D.C., and was forced to cancel his scheduled speech that night at an FBI recruitment event.[154] Trump reportedly called Deputy Director Andrew McCabe the next day, demanding to know why Comey had been allowed to fly back to Washington on an FBI jet after he had been fired.[155]

On May 10, Comey sent a letter to FBI staff in which he said, “I have long believed that a President can fire an FBI director for any reason, or for no reason at all. I’m not going to spend time on the decision or the way it was executed. I hope you won’t either. It is done, and I will be fine, although I will miss you and the mission deeply.”[156] In the absence of a Senate-confirmed FBI director, McCabe automatically became Acting Director.[157]

Reasons for dismissal

The White House initially stated the firing was on the recommendation of United States Attorney GeneralJeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney GeneralRod Rosenstein, both men whom Comey reported to.[158] Rosenstein had sent a memorandum to Sessions, forwarded to Trump, in which Rosenstein listed objections to Comey’s conduct in the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails.[159] This allowed the Trump administration to attribute Comey’s firing to Rosenstein’s recommendation about the Clinton email controversy. It was later revealed that on May 8, Trump had requested Sessions and Rosenstein to detail in writing a case against Comey.[160][161]Rosenstein’s memo was forwarded to Trump on May 9 and was then construed as a recommendation to dismiss Comey, which Trump immediately did. In Trump’s termination letter to Comey, he attributed the firing to the two letters from Sessions and Rosenstein.[162][163] On May 10, Trump told reporters he had fired Comey because Comey “wasn’t doing a good job”.[164] White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders added that the FBI rank and file had lost faith in Comey and that she had “heard from countless members of the FBI that are grateful and thankful for the president’s decision”.[165]

By May 11, however, in a direct contradiction of the earlier statements by the White House, Vice President Mike Pence, and the contents of the dismissal letter itself, President Trump stated to Lester Holt in an NBC News interview that Comey’s dismissal was in fact “my decision” and “I was going to fire [Comey] regardless of recommendation [by Jeff Sessions and Rod Rosenstein].”[166][167] Trump later said of the dismissal “when I decided to just do it [fire Comey], I said to myself, I said ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.'”[168] In the same televised interview, Trump labelled Comey “a showboat” and “grandstander”.

On May 19, the New York Times published excerpts of an official White House document summarizing Trump’s private meeting, the day after the firing, with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. Trump told Kislyak and Lavrov that he “just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job.” Trump added: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off”, further adding “I’m not under investigation.”[17][169][170][171]

According to reports, Trump had been openly talking to aides about finding a reason to fire Comey for at least a week before both the dismissal and the requesting of memoranda from Sessions and Rosenstein the day prior to the dismissal. Trump was angry and frustrated when, in the week prior to his dismissal, Comey revealed in Senate testimony the breadth of the counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s effort to sway the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He felt Comey was giving too much attention to the Russia probe and not enough to internal leaks to the press from within the government.[163][172] Shortly before Comey was fired, Comey had requested additional money and resources to further expand the probe into Russian interference into the Presidential election.[13] Trump had long questioned Comey’s loyalty to Trump personally, and Comey’s judgment to act in accordance to a loyalty to Trump.[173] Moreover, Trump was angry that Comey would not support his claim that President Barack Obama had his campaign offices wiretapped.[174]

Reference to tapes

On May 12, Trump tweeted “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”,[175] which the media, political and legal analysts, as well as opposition politicians, interpreted as a threat to Comey.[176]

On June 8, when Comey was asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee about the existence of tapes, he replied “Lordy, I hope there are tapes!” He added that he would have no problem with the public release of any recordings.[177]

On June 22, faced with a subpoena for the tapes that Trump alluded to, Trump issued a tweet stating “I have no idea […] whether there are ‘tapes’ or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”[178] Hours later, when asked to clarify the non-denial denial wording of Trump’s tweet regarding the tapes, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump’s tweet was “extremely clear” and that she did “not have anything to add”.[179]Questions raised for clarification on Trump’s tweet centered principally around whether Trump ever had knowledge of said tapes having ever existed and whether he is simply no longer privy to the knowledge of whether said tapes still exist; whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump having made said tapes or recordings, and; whether Trump currently has or ever had knowledge of a person or persons other than Trump currently having or previously having had in their possession said tapes or recordings. U.S. Representative for California, Democrat Adam Schiff, stated that Trump’s tweet “raises as many questions as it answers,” and that in any event, the tweet did not comply with the 23 June deadline, and that Schiff would move forward with subpoenas for the tapes, adding that “[r]egardless of whether the President intends his tweets to be an official reply to the House Intelligence Committee, the White House must respond in writing to our committee as to whether any tapes or recordings exist.”[180]

Aftermath

Comey’s termination was immediately controversial. It was compared to the Saturday Night massacre, President Richard Nixon‘s termination of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been investigating the Watergate scandal,[181][182] and to the firing of Acting Attorney GeneralSally Yates in January 2017. Many members of Congress expressed concern over the firing and argued that it would put the integrity of the investigation into jeopardy.[183] Critics accused Trump of obstruction of justice.[184]

In the dismissal letter, Trump alleged that Comey had told Trump “on three separate occasions that I am not under investigation.”[185] Fact checkers reported that while they had no way of knowing what Comey may have told Trump privately, no such assertion was on the public record at that time of Comey directly stating that Trump was not personally under investigation.[186] However, in later Congressional testimony, Comey confirmed that on three occasions he volunteered to Trump that the latter was not personally under FBI investigation.[187][188]

According to Comey associates interviewed by news organizations, Trump had asked Comey in January to pledge loyalty to him, to which Comey demurred, instead offering him “honesty”.[131][189] Comey has indicated he is willing to testify about his dismissal in an open hearing.[190] He declined an invitation from the Senate Intelligence Committee to testify before a closed-door session.[190]

On May 11, Acting Director McCabe testified before the United States Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that “Director Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does” and that “the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep and positive connection to Director Comey”. This contradicted White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who said she had heard from “countless” FBI agents in support of the firing.[191]

On May 16, The New York Times revealed the existence of a memo Comey had written after a February 14 meeting with Trump. It said that Trump had asked him to drop the FBI’s investigation into Mike Flynn, who had been fired as National Security Advisor the day before.[192] Comey later explained that he had arranged, through a friend, for the memo to be shared with the press in hope it might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.[193]

On June 8, 2017, Comey gave public testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee about his firing. When asked why thought he had been fired, he said he had been confused by the shifting explanations for it but that “I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.”[194] He said that he had made contemporaneous notes about several of his conversations with the president because “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting so I felt the need to document it.”[194]He said he had not done so with the two previous presidents he had served.

Writings

In August 2017, Macmillan Publishers‘ Flatiron Books announced that it had acquired the rights to Comey’s first book, to be released in spring 2018, in which he will discuss ethics, leadership, and his experience in government.[195] Several publishers had submitted bids in an auction conducted by literary agency Javelin.[196]

In November 2017, the title of his book was revealed to be A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies and Leadership with a release date of May 1, 2018.[197][198] The release date was moved up to April 17 because of scrutiny faced by the FBI during the Special Counsel investigation.[199] On March 18, presale orders of the not-yet-released book made it the top seller on Amazon.[200] The boom was attributed to a series of Twitter attacks on Comey by Trump, in which Trump claimed that Comey “knew all about the lies and corruption going on at the highest levels of the FBI!”[201] In response Comey tweeted, “Mr. President, the American people will hear my story very soon. And they can judge for themselves who is honorable and who is not.”[200]

Comey confirmed that the Twitter account @projectexile7 (later changed to @formerbu), which uses “Reinhold Niebuhr” as its display name, is operated by him.[202]

Post-government life

In the summer of 2017, Comey gave the convocation speech and a series of lectures at Howard University, a historically black university in Washington, D.C. During the fall of 2018, Comey will return to his alma mater, the College of William & Mary, to teach a course of ethical leadership. He will be an executive professor in education, a nontenured position at the College. Comey will join assistant professor Drew Stelljes to teach the course during the 2018-2019 academic year.[203]

Party affiliation

Although Comey was a registered Republican for most of his life, he disclosed during Congressional testimony on July 7, 2016, that he was no longer registered with any party.[1] Comey donated to Senator John McCain‘s campaign in the 2008 presidential election and to Governor Mitt Romney‘s campaign in the 2012 presidential election.[204]

Personal life

Comey and his wife, Patrice Failor, are the parents of five children.[205] They have also been foster parents.[206] He is of Irish descent and was raised in a Roman Catholic household.[207][208] Comey subsequently joined the United Methodist Church, and has taught Sunday school.[205] He is 6 feet 8 inches (2.03 m) tall.[209]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Comey

Dismissal of James Comey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Letter from President Donald Trump dismissing FBI Director James Comey

James Comey, the 7th director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), was dismissed by U.S. President Donald Trump on May 9, 2017.[1] Comey had been criticized in 2016 for his handling of the FBI‘s investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy and in 2017 for the FBI’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections as it related to possible collusion with the 2016 Donald Trump campaign.[2][3]

Trump dismissed Comey by way of a termination letter in which he stated that he was acting on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.[4][5][6] In the following days, he gave numerous explanations of the dismissal that contradicted his staff and also belied the initial impression that Sessions and Rosenstein had influenced his decision.[7][8] Trump publicly stated that he had already decided to fire Comey;[9] it later emerged that he had written his own early draft of the termination letter,[10] and had solicited the Rosenstein memo the day before citing it.[11] He also stated that dismissing Comey relieved unnecessary pressure on his ability to engage and negotiate with Russia, due to Comey’s “grandstanding and politicizing” the investigation.[12][13] Trump was reportedly “enormously frustrated” that Comey would not publicly confirm that the president was not personally under investigation.[14] After his dismissal, Comey publicly testified to the Congress that he told Trump, on three occasions, that he was not personally under investigation in the counterintelligence probe.[15]

Shortly after his termination, in a move that he hoped would prompt a special counsel investigation, Comey asked a friend to leak excerpts to the press of a memo he had written when he was FBI Director, recounting a private conversation with Trump in February 2017.[16] According to Comey, Trump had asked him to “let go” of potential charges against former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn whom Trump had fired the day before.[17][18] In light of the dismissal, the memo, and Comey’s testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee in June 2017, several media figures, political opponents and legal scholars said that Trump’s acts could be construed as obstruction of justice, while others disagreed.[19][20][21][22]

Following Comey’s dismissal, Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead the investigation into Russian meddling and related issues that Comey had supervised during his tenure.[23] Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt” on numerous occasions.[24] [25]

Background

President Barack Obama (right) and James Comey (left) in the White House Rose Garden, Washington, D.C., June 21, 2013, as Obama announced Comey’s nomination as FBI Director

The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is appointed by the President and, since 1972, confirmed by the Senate.[26] Beginning in 1976, the director’s term has been limited to ten years,[27] which is a relatively long tenure that is meant to deter political pressure.[28] The term can be extended with the approval of the Senate. Nevertheless, although the FBI director is appointed for a 10-year term, the president has the power to dismiss the director for any reason.

Before becoming FBI director, Comey, a registered Republican, served in the George W. Bush administration as Deputy Attorney General.[29] He was appointed FBI Director by President Barack Obama.[29] Comey was confirmedby the Senate in 2013 by vote of 93–1.[30]

During his tenure as director of FBI, Comey said there was a need for the Bureau to be independent from politics.[31] But, beginning in 2015 the Bureau became embroiled in investigations that affected the 2016 presidential election.[32] In March 2015, it came to light that presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had used a private e-mail server for her work as Secretary of State under President Obama. The FBI launched an investigation to determine whether Clinton had violated the law and whether national security had been jeopardized. In July 2016 Comey announced that he was not recommending that any charges be brought against Clinton. The decision was decried by Republican leaders and candidates, including then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. In late October 2016, Comey announced that the investigation was being re-opened because of additional documents that had been obtained. Two weeks later he announced that no new information had been discovered and the investigation was again being closed.[33] The announcement of the re-opened investigation was seen by many observers as unnecessary and harmful to Clinton’s campaign, and the re-closing of that investigation was also met with complaints.[32][34]

On October 7, 2016,[35] the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) jointly stated that individuals working on behalf of the Russian government had hacked servers and e-mail accounts associated with the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign, and forwarded their contents to WikiLeaks.[36] This would be confirmed by numerous private security experts and other government officials. The FBI launched investigations into both the hackings, and contacts between Trump associates and Russia.

In January 2017, Comey testified to Congress confirming Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and confirmed an ongoing investigation although he refused to comment specifically on the Trump organization. President-elect Trump stated his intention to keep Comey as the FBI director. In March, Comey finally confirmed that the FBI was investigating links between the Trump campaign and Russia. He also refuted Trump’s allegations that the Obama administration had wiretapped him.[33]

During the weeks leading up to May 9, grand jury subpoenas were issued by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Alexandria, Virginia, to associates of Michael Flynn for the purpose of obtaining records relating to the investigation of Russia’s role in the election. News outlets became aware of these subpoenas on May 9.[37]

Trump’s dismissal of Comey on May 9, 2017—four years into Comey’s ten-year term[28]—raised the issue of possible political interference by a sitting president into an existing investigation by a leading law enforcement agency,[28] as well as other issues.[which?] Although presidents have occasionally clashed with FBI directors,[38] Comey was only the second director to be dismissed since the Bureau’s foundation.[28] The only other occasion was under “dramatically different circumstances”:[39] in 1993 President Bill Clinton fired FBI Director William S. Sessions after a Justice Department Office of Professional Responsibility report—published under Clinton’s predecessor, George H. W. Bush—accused Sessions of tax evasion and other ethical lapses.[40][41]

In May, Comey gave additional testimony before the Senate regarding the Clinton e-mail investigation and the Russia probe.[33] News media reported that Comey had requested additional personnel from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to expand the probe into Russia interference.[42] Commenting on the matter, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe “said he was unaware of any such request” but left open the possibility that Comey had requested the president to shift existing resources to the Russian investigation.[43][44]

The dismissal

Comey‘s official portrait as the seventh Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

On May 8, 2017, Trump directed Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to provide advice and input in writing.[45] On Trump’s direction, on May 9, Rosenstein prepared and delivered a memorandum to Sessions relating to Comey (Sessions and Rosenstein had already begun considering whether to dismiss Comey months earlier).[45] Rosenstein’s memorandum said that the “reputation and credibility” of the FBI had been damaged under Comey’s tenure, and the memo presented critical quotes from several former attorneys general in previously published op-eds; Rosenstein concluded that their “nearly unanimous opinions” were that Comey’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was “wrong.”[5] In his memo Rosenstein asserted that the FBI must have “a Director who understands the gravity of the mistakes and pledges never to repeat them.” He ended with an argument against keeping Comey as FBI director, on the grounds that he was given an opportunity to “admit his errors” but that there is no hope that he will “implement the necessary corrective actions.”[46] Rosenstein also criticized Comey on two grounds: for usurping the prerogative of the Justice Department and the Attorney General in his July 2016 public statements announcing the closure of the investigation into Clinton’s emails, and for making derogatory comments about Clinton in that same meeting.[47] Both of these actions, he argued, were in conflict with longstanding FBI practice. To Comey’s previous defense that Attorney General Loretta Lynch had a conflict of interest, Rosenstein argued that in such a case, it is the duty of the Attorney General to recuse herself, and that there is a process for another Justice Department official to take over her duties.[48]

Termination letter

On May 9, 2017, President Trump sent a termination letter to James Comey:

Dear Director Comey:

I have received the attached letters from the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General of the United States recommending your dismissal as the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I have accepted their recommendation and you are hereby terminated and removed from office, effective immediately.

While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.

It is essential that we find new leadership that restores public trust and confidence in its vital law enforcement mission.

I wish you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

— Donald J. Trump

Reasons for dismissal

Recommendations of the Attorney General Sessions and Rosenstein

Letter from Atty. GeneralSessions recommending the dismissal

Opinion from Deputy Atty. Gen. Rosenstein (3 pages)

Sessions, in his letter to Trump, cited Rosenstein’s memo as the reason for his own recommendation that Comey be dismissed. In the dismissal letter, Trump cited the recommendations by Sessions and Rosenstein as the reason for Comey’s dismissal.[4][49] Immediately after Trump’s termination announcement. Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Sessions and other administration associates stated that Trump fired Comey solely on the recommendations of Sessions and Rosenstein.[50]

On September 1, 2017, The New York Times reported that Trump had drafted a letter to Comey over the weekend of May 4–7, 2017. The draft, which is now in the possession Special Counsel Mueller, was dictated by Trump and written up by Trump aide Stephen Miller. It notified Comey he was being fired and gave a several-page-long explanation of the reasons. The draft was described by people who saw it as a “screed” with an “angry, meandering tone”.[10] On May 8 Trump showed it to senior White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and White House Counsel Don McGahn. McGahn was alarmed at its tone and persuaded Trump not to send that letter. McGahn arranged for Trump to meet with Sessions and Rosenstein, who had been separately discussing plans to fire Comey. Rosenstein was given a copy of the draft and agreed to write a separate memo on the subject. His memo, delivered to Trump on May 9 along with a cover-letter recommendation from Sessions, detailed Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation as the reason to dismiss him. Trump then cited Rosenstein’s memo and Sessions’ recommendation as the reason for terminating Comey.[10] Trump had previously praised Comey for renewing the investigation into Clinton’s emails in October 2016.[51]

Based on other reasons

Several other reasons were soon offered. On May 9, a statement by the White House claimed that Comey had “lost the support” of “rank and file” FBI employees, so that the President had no choice but to dismiss him.[52] However, FBI agents “flatly rejected” this assertion,[53] saying that Comey was in fact relatively well-liked and admired within the FBI.[54] In testimony given to the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabecontradicted the White House’s claim that Comey had lost the confidence of the FBI rank-and-file, saying that Comey “enjoyed broad support within the FBI and does to this day.”[55] Comey, in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, objected strongly to Trump’s description of the FBI as “in disarray” and “poorly led”. “The administration chose to defame me, and more importantly the FBI,” Comey said. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”[56][57]

On May 10, Trump told reporters he fired Comey “because he wasn’t doing a good job”.[58] On May 11, Trump said that he was going to fire Comey irrespective of any recommendation from the Justice Department.[59][60] On May 18, Rosenstein told members of the Senate that he wrote the dismissal memo while knowing that Trump had already decided to fire Comey.[61] Rosenstein had been contemplating firing Comey for many months.[45]

Within a few days, Trump and other White House officials directly linked the dismissal to the FBI’s Russia investigation. During a May 10 meeting in the Oval Office with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump told the Russian officials “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job.” He added: “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off”, further adding “I’m not under investigation.”[62][12] The comments were recorded in official White House notes made during the meeting.[63][64] On May 11 Trump told Lester Holt in an NBC News interview, “When I decided [to fire Comey], I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story”,[13] while reiterating his belief that there was no proof Russia was behind any election interference.[65][66] White House officials also stated that firing Comey was a step in letting the probe into Russian election interference “come to its conclusion with integrity”.[67][68] White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders expressed the hope that firing Comey would help bring the Russia investigation to an end.[66]

Other reasons have been offered. Insider sources have claimed that Trump was furious at Comey for refusing during March to back up Trump’s wiretap accusations against former President Barack Obama, as well as not defending him from accusations of collusion with the Russian government.[69][70] According to Comey associates interviewed by The New York TimesAssociated Press, and CBS News, Trump had asked Comey in January to pledge his loyalty to him, and Comey declined to make this pledge, saying that he would give him “honesty” and what Trump called “honest loyalty”.[71][72] Trump denied that he asked Comey for his loyalty, but says such a discussion would not necessarily have been inappropriate.[73] On June 7, 2017, during an interview with MSNBC, House Speaker Paul Ryan stated that it’s “obviously” inappropriate for the president to ask the FBI director for loyalty.[74] According to sources, Comey’s unwillingness to offer personal loyalty to Trump was one of the reasons for the firing.[70][75] Another source told The Atlantic that Trump fired Comey because Trump was concerned about what Flynn would testify in court.[76] The next day, several FBI insiders said Comey was fired because “he refused to end the Russia investigation.”[77] Prior to the firing, senior White House officials had made inquiries to intelligence officials, such as “Can we ask [Comey] to shut down the investigation [of former national security adviser Flynn]? Are you able to assist in this matter?”[78] After his dismissal, Comey recounted that Trump had told him the following in March 2017: “If there were some satellite associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out, but that he hadn’t done anything wrong and hoped I would find a way to get it out there.”[79][80]

Announcement of dismissal

President Trump had the letter dismissing Comey delivered in a manila folder to FBI headquarters[69] in Washington on the evening of Tuesday, May 9, and a press statement was made by Sean Spicer at the same time.[47] Comey was in Los Angeles that day giving a speech to agents at the Los Angeles Field Office, and Comey learned of the termination through a news report being telecast while he was speaking. (Sources said he was surprised and caught off guard by the termination.) Comey immediately left for Washington, D.C., and cancelled another scheduled speech that night at an FBI recruitment event.[81]

Timing of the dismissal

Observers were suspicious of the timing of the dismissal, given the ongoing Russia investigation.[82][83][84] In an interview with CNN, President Trump’s Counselor Kellyanne Conway denied that Comey’s dismissal was part of a White House cover-up of the Russia investigation.[85] The dismissal took place just a few days after Comey reportedly requested additional resources to step up the Russia investigation; however the Justice Department denied that such a request was made.[69][42] On May 9, before the dismissal, it was revealed that federal prosecutors issued grand jury subpoenas to Flynn’s associates, representing a significant escalation in the FBI’s Russia investigation.[37][86]

Comey was scheduled to testify at the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11.[87] Andrew McCabe, as acting FBI director, gave the report instead.[88]

Other events of May 9

On the same day, May 9, President Trump hired a law firm to send a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying any business or other connections to Russia, “with some exceptions”. The law firm itself turned out to have “deep ties” to Russia, and had even been selected as “Russia Law Firm of 2016”.[89][90] No evidence was provided in the letter itself, such as tax returns.[91] The letter was a response to earlier statements by Senator Lindsey Graham stating that he wanted to know whether there were any such ties.[3]

Reactions

Media reports cast doubt on the original justification for Comey’s dismissal; Trump’s decision to fire Comey had reportedly happened first, then Trump sought “advice and input” from Sessions and Rosenstein on May 8, who responded by writing letters to justify the decision.[9][45] Sessions and Rosenstein had already been considering whether to dismiss Comey before Trump decided to do so, with their stated objectives including restoration of the FBI’s credibility, limiting public announcements by the FBI, stopping leaks, and protecting the authority of the Department of Justice over the FBI.[45]

According to an anonymous source who spoke to The Washington Post, Rosenstein threatened to resign after his letter was cited as the primary reason for Comey’s dismissal.[92] Other media noted the disconnect between the dismissal and Trump’s praise of Comey’s actions in the campaign and throughout his presidency until a week beforehand.[93]

News commentators characterized the termination as extraordinary and controversial. CNN’s legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin went so far as to characterize it as an “abuse of power”.[94] It was compared to the Saturday Night MassacrePresident Richard Nixon‘s termination of special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who had been investigating the Watergate scandal.[95] John Dean, White House Counsel under President Nixon, called it a “a very Nixonian move” saying that it “could have been a quiet resignation, but instead it was an angry dismissal”.[96] Among the two reporters noted for investigating the Watergate scandal, Bob Woodward said that “there is an immense amount of smoke” but that comparisons of the Comey dismissal to Watergate were premature,[97] while Carl Bernstein said that the firing of an FBI director overseeing an active investigation was a “potentially more dangerous situation than Watergate.”[98]

The New York Times Editorial Board published an editorial slamming the move, calling Trump’s explanation “impossible to take at face value” and stating Trump had “decisively crippled the FBI’s ability to carry out an investigation of him and his associates”.[99]

Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer renewed his call for a special prosecutor to investigate Russia’s involvement in the election and its influence on members of the Trump campaign and administration.[100][101] Republican Senator John McCain renewed his call for a special congressional committee to investigate.[102] Democratic Representative Adam Schiff observed that Sessions had previously recused himself from involvement in the Russia investigation and suggested that recommending Comey’s termination violated that pledge because Comey was the lead investigator.[103] In addition to the criticisms from Democratic leaders, some Republican leaders also expressed concern, including Richard BurrRoy BluntBob CorkerJustin Amash, and others.[104][105] Other Republican leaders came to Trump’s defense including Susan Collins and Lindsey Graham.[106]

Senator Al Franken called Sessions’ actions in recommending Comey’s dismissal a breach by Sessions of his commitment in March 2017 to recuse himself from anything to do with the investigation into ties between Trump’s team and Russia, as well as from the Clinton email controversy. Franken called Sessions’ action a “complete betrayal” of his promise to recuse.[107]

Immediate response from the White House regarding concerns from congressional leaders and the media was limited. White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told Tucker Carlson of Fox News that it was time to “move on” from accusations of collusion between Trump and Russia, but added that “Comey’s firing would not impact the ongoing investigations”: “You will have the same people that will be carrying it out to the Department of Justice. The process continues both, I believe, in the House and Senate committees, and I don’t see any change or disruption there.”[108][109] Kellyanne Conway denied that Comey’s dismissal was part of a White House cover-up.[85] Trump furthermore commented on Twitter, mocking Senators Chuck Schumer and Richard Blumenthal, saying that Schumer “stated recently, ‘I do not have confidence in him (James Comey) any longer.’ Then acts so indignant” and that Blumenthal “devised one of the greatest military frauds in U.S. history”.[110]

Post-dismissal

Criticism of Trump’s decision came immediately from various experts on governance and authoritarianism,[111][112][113][114] and various politicians from across the political spectrum.[100][101][115] Top Republican politicians supported the firing.[116] Many elected officials called for a special prosecutor or independent commission to continue the investigation into Russia’s influence on the election,[115] while some Republicans stated that such a move would be premature.[116]

Reactions from within the FBI

File:FBI Acting Chief Contradicts Trump on Comey.webmhd.webm

‘FBI Acting Chief Contradicts Trump on Comey’. Video from Voice of America.

Comey was generally well-liked within the FBI, and his sudden dismissal shocked many FBI agents, who admired Comey for his political independence. Agents were stunned that Comey was fired in the midst of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[54][53] The dismissal reportedly damaged morale within the Bureau.[54][53] The way that Comey had first learned that he had been fired—from television news reports, while he was in Los Angeles—also angered agents, who considered it a sign of disrespect from the White House.[53]

Messaging from the White House

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Trump tweet “not a threat”, Spicer says. Video from Voice of America.

News reports indicated that President Trump continued to be surprised and frustrated by the reactions to Comey’s termination, both from the political leadership and from the media.[117][118] Administration officials struggled with messaging and media reports indicated frustration among the officials in trying to keep up with the President’s thinking. Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly rattled by the changing messaging as he attempted to support the President.[119] According to media sources, morale within the White House plummeted in the days immediately following and the President isolated himself not only from the media but from his own staff.[119] Interaction between the Press Secretary’s office and the President was strained. Following the termination announcement, Sanders took over press briefings from Press Secretary Sean Spicer, because Spicer had duties with the Navy Reserve.[120] Spicer eventually resumed the briefings.

On June 9, in response to Comey’s testimony the day before, Trump’s lawyer threatened to file legal complaints against Comey for sharing his memo with Richman and the press. Kasowitz said he intends to file a complaint with the Inspector General of the Department of Justice, as well as the Senate Judiciary Committee, against Comey for revealing “privileged” information. However, the memo was not classified and Trump had not invoked executive privilege with regard to his discussions with Comey.[121] Also, the Inspector General has limited jurisdiction since Comey no longer works for the Justice Department.[122] Some commentators suggested the threat could amount to intimidation of a witness.[121] On June 28 Bloomberg reported that Trump’s attorneys are postponing the threatened complaint, although they still intend to file it eventually. The postponement is reportedly intended as a courtesy to Special Counsel Mueller and an attempt to back away from the White House’s confrontational attitude toward him.[123]

Succession

After Comey’s dismissal, FBI Deputy Director Andrew G. McCabe became the acting FBI Director.[53] Several people were interviewed to succeed Comey.[124] On June 7, 2017, on the day before Comey was to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee,[125] President Trump tweeted that he intended to nominate Christopher A. Wray as the new FBI Director.[126] Trump made Wray’s formal nomination to the Senate on June 26.[127] The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the nomination on July 20.[128] The full Senate confirmed the appointment on August 1,[129] and he was sworn in the next day.[130]

FBI investigation of Russian interference

Assurances to Trump by Comey

In the Comey termination letter, Trump asserted that Comey had told him on three separate occasions that he (Trump) was not under investigation.[131] The assertion was challenged.[132] Fact checkers reported that while they had no way of knowing what Comey may have told Trump privately, no such assertion was on the public record, and the White House declined to provide any more detail.[133] According to a May 10 article in The Washington Post, sources knowledgeable about the matter stated that Trump’s assertion as well as other assertions made by Trump about events leading up to the dismissal were false.[11][134]

However, in the written opening statement for his June 8 testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, Comey said he had assured Trump on three separate occasions that he personally was not the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation.[135] Comey said Trump repeatedly pressed for him to say so publicly.[135] Comey added that Trump’s private comments urging him to drop the Flynn probe led him to tell his Justice Department colleagues they needed to be careful.[136] Comey also indicated that he had prepared notes on each of his interactions with Trump and had arranged for them to be publicly released.[136]

Trump’s private lawyer Marc Kasowitz declared in a statement that Comey’s testimony made Trump feel “completely and totally vindicated”.[137][138] However, on June 16 following newspaper reports that the special counsel is investigating him for obstruction of justice, Trump tweeted: “I am being investigated” and called the investigations a “witch hunt”.[139] Trump’s lawyer later clarified that Trump has not been notified of any investigation.[140]

Possible existence of recordings

In a Twitter post on May 12, Trump implied that he might have recorded his conversations with Comey, saying, “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”[141] The comment was taken by many Democrats and commentators as a threat, an attempt to intimidate Comey into not discussing his conversations with Trump during intelligence committee hearings.[142][143][144][145] Trump’s hint about secret tapes created pressure on him to make any tapes and other evidence available to investigators.[141] For more than a month thereafter, in interviews and White House briefings, Trump and his spokespersons refused to confirm or deny the existence of ‘tapes’, or to comment on whether there are listening or recording devices in the White House.[141][146]

In his June 8 testimony, Comey said “I’ve seen the tweet about tapes. Lordy, I hope there are tapes!” He added that he would consent to the release of any such recordings.[147]

On June 9, members of Congress from both parties called on Trump to say once and for all whether any ‘tapes’ exist.[148] The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), called for the White House to hand over any tapes, if they exist, to the committee, and threatened subpoenas if the White House did not comply with the deadline by June 23.

On June 22, Trump tweeted “I have no idea […] whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.”[149] Commentators noted that Trump’s tweet was a non-denial denial which merely denied personal involvement in the making of recordings and denied his present knowledge and present possession of said recordings. The tweet failed to deny that recordings do or did exist, that Trump ever had past knowledge of their existence, or that they may have been made by a third party other than Trump whom Trump is or was aware of.[150] When asked to clarify Trump’s tweet several hours later, Principal Deputy White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated that Trump’s tweet was “extremely clear” and that she did “not have anything to add”.[151]

Schiff stated that Trump’s tweet “raises as many questions as it answers” and that “the White House must respond in writing to our committee as to whether any tapes or recordings exist.”[150] The White House responded on June 23 with a letter to House and Senate Committees which copied and pasted Trump’s non-denial denial tweet of the previous day.[152] On June 29, in a joint statement, the two leaders of the House Intelligence Committee said they had written to the White House to press it to comply fully with their June 9 request, adding “should the White House not respond fully, the committee will consider using compulsory process to ensure a satisfactory response”.[153]

Comey memos

On May 16, 2017, it was first reported that Comey had prepared a detailed memo following every meeting and telephone call he had with President Trump.[154][18][155]

February 14 meeting

One memo referred to an Oval Office meeting on February 14, 2017, during which Comey says Trump attempted to persuade him to abort the investigation into Michael Flynn.[154][18][156] The meeting had begun as a broader national security briefing, the day after Trump had dismissed Flynn as National Security Advisor. Near the conclusion of the briefing, the President asked those in attendance other than Director Comey to leave the room—including Vice President Pence and Attorney General Sessions. He then reportedly said to Comey “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.”[18] Comey made no commitments to Trump on the subject.[18]

The White House responded to the allegations by stating that “the president has never asked Mr. Comey or anyone else to end any investigation, including any investigation involving General Flynn,” and “this is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”[154]

Leaks to the press

The Comey memos were first mentioned in a May 16, 2017, New York Times article, published about a week after Trump had dismissed Comey as FBI director, and four days after he had implied on Twitter that his conversations with Comey may have been recorded.[141]The report cited two people who read the memos to the Times reporter.[18] The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post independently reported on the memos’ existence.[154][157]

In his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8, Comey revealed that he had been the source, through a friend (later revealed to be Columbia Law School professor Daniel Richman), of the public revelation of his February 14 memo. He said he decided to make it public in hopes that it might “prompt the appointment of a special counsel”. Robert Mueller was appointed as special counsel the next day.[16]

On May 19, another friend of Comey, Lawfare Blog founder Benjamin Wittes, came forward as the principal source for the initial New York Times story.[158]

Congressional requests

Rep. Jason Chaffetz‘s letter to FBI demanding to produce all Comey memos

After the NYT report, leaders of the House Oversight Committee and Intelligence Committee, as well as those of the Senate Intelligence Committee and Judiciary Committee, requested the production of all Comey memos, with a deadline of May 24. On May 25, the FBI said it was still reviewing the Committees’ requests, in view of the appointment of the special counsel.[159] To date,[when?] the Comey memos have still not been produced or released to the public.

Motivation

The New York Times reported that Comey had created the memos as a “paper trail” to document “what he perceived as the president’s improper efforts to influence a continuing investigation”.[18] Comey shared the memo with “a very small circle of people at the FBI and Justice Department.”[157] Comey and other senior FBI officials perceived Trump’s remarks “as an effort to influence the investigation, but they decided that they would try to keep the conversation secret—even from the F.B.I. agents working on the Russia investigation—so the details of the conversation would not affect the investigation.”[18]

In his June 8 testimony, Comey explained that he had documented his conversations with Trump because he “was honestly concerned he (Trump) might lie” about them. “I knew there might come a day when I might need a record of what happened,” he said.[56] The Washington Post reported that two Comey associates who had seen the memo described it as two pages long and highly detailed.[157] The Times noted that contemporaneous notes created by FBI agents are frequently relied upon “in court as credible evidence of conversations.”[18]

Legal considerations

Several Republican politicians and conservative journalists asserted that Comey could be subject to legal jeopardy for not disclosing the contents of his memos around the time he wrote them. Several legal experts, including Alan Dershowitz and Robert M. Chesney, contested this view.[160]

Anonymous officials told The Hill that 4 of the 7 memos contained information deemed “secret” or “classified”.[161][162] Comey testified that he deliberately wrote some memos without classified information so that they could be shared.[163]

Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz criticized Comey for leaking the contents of his memos to the press, saying that they were “unauthorized disclosures”.[164] White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also criticized Comey for leaking to the press and alleged that he broke the law. Sanders cited an article by the legal analyst Jonathan Turley which alleged that Comey broke his employment agreement and FBI protocol.[165]

Glenn Kessler of The Washington Post analyzed Turley’s arguments and contested Sanders’ claims that Comey’s actions were “illegal”.[165] Turley himself has contested Kessler’s legal analysis of Comey’s actions.[166] University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladecksaid that there would “no legal blowback” for Comey, unless “the memos involve ‘information relating to the national defense'” or deprived “government of a ‘thing of value'”.[167] Bradley P. Moss, a partner in the law office of Mark Zaid, argued that Comey’s actions were legally justified by laws protecting whistleblowers from unjust persecution.[168]

Pursuit of leakers

According to a Washington Post report, the memos also document Trump’s criticism of the FBI for not pursuing leakers in the administration and his wish “to see reporters in jail”.[157] The report outraged journalists and free-speech groups, who likened the statement to intimidation tactics used by authoritarian regimes. The Committee to Protect Journalists and Washington Post executive editor Martin Baron were among those who criticized the statement.[169]

Appointment of special counsel

Appointment of Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Interference with the 2016 Presidential Election and Related Matters

Immediately after Comey’s dismissal, many Democrats renewed their calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to continue the investigation into Russia’s influence on the election. Democratic attorneys general from 19 states and D.C. signed a letter calling for a special prosecutor.[170]

The White House continued to insist that no special prosecutor was necessary in the Russia investigation, instead saying that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and the next FBI director could lead the investigation.[171] The White House has also said that it was “time to move on” after the 2016 election.[108] President Trump tweeted that Democratic members of Congress calling for a special prosecutor and criticizing the dismissal of Comey are “phony hypocrites!”[172]

On May 17, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, as acting Attorney General, appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the Russia investigation.[23][173] The Trump administration cited an obscure ethics rule to suggest that Mueller might have a conflict of interest.[174] On May 23, 2017, Department of Justice ethics experts announced they had declared Mueller ethically able to function as special counsel.[175]

On June 3, Rosenstein said he would recuse himself from supervision of Mueller, if he were to become a subject in the investigation due to his role in Comey’s dismissal.[176] In that event, the third senior officer in the Justice Department would take over the supervision of Mueller’s investigation—namely, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand.[177]

Reactions from Congress

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‘Trump’s Firing of Comey Sets Off Political Firestorm’ – video from Voice of America

Several Democratic members of Congress – among them, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin, New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler, and California Rep. Maxine Waters – and some commentators suggested that Trump’s rationale for Comey’s dismissal in the interview amounted to a de facto admission to obstruction of justice.[178][179][180][181][182] Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the ranking Democratic member said it was “extremely important that Comey come to an open hearing in the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence as quickly as possible and testify as to the status of the U.S.–Russia investigation at the time of his firing”.[87]

Among members of Congress:

  • 138 Democrats, two independents (Senators Bernie Sanders and Angus King), and two Republicans (Representatives Mike Coffman[183] and Tom McClintock), called for a special prosecutor, independent prosecutor, or an independent commission to examine ties between the Russian government and Trump’s associates.[115]
  • 84 Democrats and five Republicans called for an independent investigation into Russian ties. For example, Republican Senator John McCain said “I have long called for a special congressional committee” while Democratic Representative Salud Carbajal stated, “anything less would imperil our democracy”.[115]
  • 42 Republicans, and 8 Democrats, expressed “questions or concerns” about Comey’s firing; examples of members of Congress in this group are Republican Senator Marco Rubio (“I do have questions”); Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski (“serious cause for concern”); Democratic Representative Marcia L. Fudge (“the American people deserve answers”).[115]
  • 98 Republicans, but no Democrats, were neutral or supportive of Comey’s firing.[115]
  • 141 Republicans and 11 Democrats did not release a statement.[115]

Multiple Democratic members of Congress discussed an “impeachment clock” for Trump, saying that he was “moving” toward impeachment and raising the possibility of bringing forth articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice and criminal malfeasance if proof of illegal activity is found.[184][185] Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut stated in an interview: “It may well produce another United States v. Nixon on a subpoena that went to United States Supreme Court. It may well produce impeachment proceedings, although we’re very far from that possibility.”[186]

Congressional testimony by Comey

On May 10, 2017, the day after being fired by Trump, Comey was invited to testify before a closed session of the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 16, 2017.[187][188][189] Comey declined to testify at a closed session, indicating that he would be willing to testify at a public, open hearing.[190][191] On May 17, the Senate Intelligence Committee invited Comey to testify publicly.[192] Comey accepted the invitation and testified on June 8.[193][194]

On June 7, 2017 an advance copy of Comey’s prepared congressional testimony was submitted to the Senate Intelligence Committee.[195] In it, he said that on February 14, 2017, the President attempted to persuade him to “let go” of any investigation into Michael Flynn.[17] He clarified that “I had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December. I did not understand the President to be talking about the broader investigation into Russia or possible links to his campaign.”[196] He added that Trump requested his personal loyalty, to which Comey replied he would give his “honest loyalty” to the President.[196]

Comey stated that, on three occasions, he volunteered to Trump that the latter was not personally under investigation.[196][15] Comey stated that Trump requested that he publicly declare this so that his image could be improved, but Comey also stated that he did not respond to Trump’s request with an explanation of why he would not do so; Comey testified that his primary reason for not publicly saying Trump was not under investigation was to avoid a “duty to correct” in the event Trump later became subject to investigation.[197][198]In the termination letter of May 9, 2017 Trump said “I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation….”[131]

In his live testimony, Comey was asked why he thought he was fired and he replied, “I take the president at his word that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.”[199] He took strong exception to Trump’s claims that he had fired Comey because the FBI was in “disarray” and “poorly led”, saying “Those were lies, plain and simple.”[200] Comey also confirmed that the FBI investigations had not targeted Trump personally.[201]

In June 9 and June 11 Twitter comments on Comey’s testimony, Trump accused Comey of “so many false statements and lies” and “very cowardly” leaks but added that Comey’s testimony had amounted to “total and complete vindication” of Trump. Later that day Trump held a brief news conference, during which he insisted that he did not ask Comey to end the investigation into Flynn and was willing to say so under oath. He twice dodged questions about whether there are tapes of White House conversations.[202][203]

Commentary

Scholars

A number of professors of law, political science, and history have criticized the firing and argue that Trump’s action destabilizes democratic norms and the rule of law in the U.S.[111][112][113][114][204][205][206][207] Some have argued that Trump’s action creates a constitutional crisis.[112] Parallels have been drawn with other leaders who have slowly eroded democratic norms in their countries, such as Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdoğan or Hungary’s Viktor Orbán; political science professor Sheri Berman said those leaders slowly “chipped away at democratic institutions, undermined civil society, and slowly increased their own power.”[114]

In a May 2017 essay published in The Washington PostHarvard constitutional scholar Laurence Tribe wrote: “The time has come for Congress to launch an impeachment investigation of President Trump for obstruction of justice.” Tribe argued that Trump’s conduct rose to the level of “high crimes and misdemeanors” that are impeachable offenses under the Constitution.[208][209] He added, “It will require serious commitment to constitutional principle, and courageous willingness to put devotion to the national interest above self-interest and party loyalty, for a Congress of the president’s own party to initiate an impeachment inquiry.”[208]

Duke law professor and former federal prosecutor Samuel W. Buell said that Trump’s attempt to quiet Comey by referencing secret tapes of their conversations in retaliation could be viewed as an effort to intimidate a witness to any future investigation on obstruction of justice.[191]

GW Law professor Jonathan Turley, who participated in impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton, cautioned that the Comey memo is not a sufficient basis for impeachment, and raises as many questions about Comey’s behavior as about Trump’s.[210][211]

Harvard Law professor Jack Goldsmith says that claims of “grandstanding” or “politicization” by Comey of the FBI probe into possible ties between Trump associates and Russia were unsubstantiated. Goldsmith wrote, “the only thing Comey ever said publicly about the investigation into the Russia-DNC Hack-Trump Associates imbroglio was to confirm, with the approval of the Attorney General, its existence.”[212][non-primary source needed]

New York University law professor Ryan Goodman wrote, “if President Donald Trump orchestrated the decision to fire the Director of the FBI to subvert or undermine the integrity of investigations into the Trump campaign’s possible coordination with Russia, it may amount to an obstruction of justice.”[213][214]

A report published by the Brookings Institution in October 2017 raised the question of obstruction of justice in the dismissal of Comey, stating that Trump, by himself or conspiring with subordinates, may have “attempted to impede the investigations of Michael Flynn and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election”.[215] The report put aside the subject of impeachment pending the outcome of the 2017 Special Counsel investigation by Robert Mueller.[216][217][218]

Comey memos and obstruction of justice

Legal experts are divided as to whether Trump’s alleged request that Comey end the investigation can be considered obstruction of justice.[219] Jens David Ohlin of Cornell University Law School and Jonathan Turley of George Washington University have argued that the request does not neatly fit into any of the practices commonly considered to fall under the obstruction of justice statute.[220] Michael Gerhardt of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Julie O’Sullivan of the Georgetown University Law Center argued that it is hard to prove that Trump had an intent to obstruct the investigation.[221] Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said that “it’s a very, very high bar to get over obstruction of justice for a president.”[222] Harvard law professor Jack Goldsmith noted that it was implausible to indict a sitting president, noting that “the remedy for a criminal violation would be impeachment” instead.[223] Erwin Chereminsky of University of California, Irvine School of Law, have argued that it was obstruction of justice.[224]

Noah Feldman of Harvard University noted that the alleged request could be grounds for impeachment.[225] University of Texas law professor Stephen Vladeck said that it was reasonable for people to “start talking about obstruction”.[223] Harvard law professor Alex Whiting said that Trump’s actions were “very close to obstruction of justice … but still isn’t conclusive”.[226] Christopher Slobogin of Vanderbilt University Law School said that a “viable case” could be made but that it was weak.[224] John Dean, former White House Counsel to Richard Nixon, called the memo about the private conversation with President Trump concerning the Flynn investigation a “smoking gun” and noted that “good intentions do not erase criminal intent”.[227]

Comey testimony and obstruction of justice

In Comey’s June 8 testimony, he said it was not for him to say whether Trump’s February 14 request amounted to obstruction of justice, adding “But that’s a conclusion I’m sure the special counsel will work toward, to try and understand what the intention was there and whether that’s an offense.”[228] Some legal experts have said that Comey’s testimony advanced the argument that Trump attempted to obstruct justice in his dealings with then-FBI Director James Comey.[229] Diane Marie Amann of University of Georgia, Paul Butler of Georgetown University, Brandon Garrett of University of Virginia, Lisa Kern Griffin of Duke University, Alexander Tsesis of Loyola University, and Alex Whiting of Harvard University said that an obstruction of justice case was advanced by the fact that Comey understood Trump’s words as an order to drop an ongoing FBI investigation.[229][230][231] Joshua Dressle of Ohio State University and Jimmy Gurulé of University of Notre Dame said after the testimony that “a prima facie case of obstruction of justice” had been established.[229]Samuel Gross of University of Michigan and Dressle said that there were sufficient grounds to indict Trump for obstruction of justice were he not President, but that a sitting President cannot be indicted, only impeached.[229] Samuel Buell of Duke University said, “Based on Comey’s testimony, we know to a virtual certainty that the President is now under investigation for obstruction of justice.”[231] Mark Tushnet of Harvard University said that there are “lots of pieces of evidence that could go into making a criminal case and very little to weaken such a case but nothing that in itself shows criminal intent.”[229]

Former United States Attorney Preet Bharara said in an interview with ABC News om June 11, 2017, “there’s absolutely evidence to begin a case” regarding obstruction of justice by Trump.[232] Bharara went on to note, “No one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction. [But] there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction.”[232]

Media

Many media outlets continued to be highly critical of the move. For many critics, the immediate worry was the integrity of the FBI’s investigation into the Trump administration’s ties to Russia.[233] Some commentators described Comey’s firing by the Trump administration as a “Nixonian” act, comparing it to Richard Nixon’s orders to three of his cabinet officials to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox during the Watergate investigation. A number of commentators – including Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson, former CBS Newsjournalist Dan Rather, and former New Yorker editor Jeffrey Frank – accused the Trump administration of a cover-up by firing Comey with the intent to curtail the FBI’s investigation out of fear of a possible discovery of the extent of Trump’s alleged ties to Russia.[234][235][236] Soon after Trump’s election, Benjamin Wittes writing in Lawfare had predicted a future firing of Comey, writing “If Trump chooses to replace Comey with a sycophantic yes-man, or if he permits Comey to resign over law or principle, that will be a clear bellwether to both the national security and civil libertarian communities that things are going terribly wrong.”[237] Immediately after the dismissal, they reiterated their position, stating that Trump’s firing of Comey “undermines the credibility of his own presidency” and implying that the reason given for it was probably a pretext, as Trump had previously praised Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation.[48]

Some commentators observed an emerging pattern of Trump firing government officials involved in investigating his interests: Sally YatesPreet Bharara, and Comey.[238][239]

Other media outlets were more supportive. Some sources have stated that, regardless of circumstances, Comey had lost the confidence of the political leadership on all sides of the spectrum and, therefore, his termination was unavoidable in spite of criticizing the president’s handling of it and questioning his motives.[240] Some went so far as to decry Democrats and other Trump opponents who criticized the termination after previously having criticized Comey himself for the handling of the Clinton scandal.[241] A few called for a re-opening of the Clinton investigation now that Comey had left.[242]

French daily Le Monde described the firing as a “coup de force” against the FBI.[114] German magazines Der Spiegel and Bild drew parallels with Nixon’s Saturday Night Massacre, with Der Spiegel saying that “few believe” that Comey was not fired for overseeing a criminal probe into possible ties between Trump associates and Russia.[114][243] The Economist wrote in an editorial that Comey’s firing “reflects terribly” on Trump and urged “principled Senate Republicans” to put country before party and establish “either an independent commission” similar to the 9/11 Commission, or a bipartisan select committee to investigate the Russia allegations, with either body to have “substantial investigatory resources” and subpoena power.[244]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Comey

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The Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018, Breaking and Developing Story 1: Part 2– Mentally Disturbed Shooter With Antisocial Personality Disorder Kills 17, Wounds 14, In No Gun Zone of Public High School in Parkland, Florida — St. Valentine’s Day Mass Shooting — Government Failure — Depending On Government Can Kill You — Keep Your Weapons To Protect Yourself From Criminals, Crazies, Tyrannies and Government Failures — Gun Free Zones Are Killing Zones — Videos

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PHOTO: Graphic shows details of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018.See the source imageGunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral SpringsSee the source image

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Updated February 17, 2018

Breaking and Developing Story 1: Part 2– Mentally Disturbed Shooter With Antisocial Personality Disorder Kills 17, Wounds 14, In No Gun Zone of Public High School in Parkland, Florida — St. Valentine’s Day Mass Shooting — Government Failure — Depending On Government Can Kill You — Keep Your Weapons To Protect Yourself From Criminals, Tyrannies and Government Failures — Videos

BILL OF RIGHTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (1791)

Download a PDF of the Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. Written by James Madison in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties, the Bill of Rights lists specific prohibitions on governmental power. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason, strongly influenced Madison.

One of the many points of contention between Federalists and Anti-Federalists was the Constitution’s lack of a bill of rights that would place specific limits on government power. Federalists argued that the Constitution did not need a bill of rights, because the people and the states kept any powers not given to the federal government. Anti-Federalists held that a bill of rights was necessary to safeguard individual liberty.

Madison, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, went through the Constitution itself, making changes where he thought most appropriate. But several Representatives, led by Roger Sherman, objected that Congress had no authority to change the wording of the Constitution itself. Therefore, Madison’s changes were presented as a list of amendments that would follow Article VII.

The House approved 17 amendments. Of these 17, the Senate approved 12. Those 12 were sent to the states for approval in August of 1789. Of those 12, 10 were quickly approved (or, ratified). Virginia’s legislature became the last to ratify the amendments on December 15, 1791.

The Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power. For example, what the Founders saw as the natural right of individuals to speak and worship freely was protected by the First Amendment’s prohibitions on Congress from making laws establishing a religion or abridging freedom of speech. For another example, the natural right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion in one’s home was safeguarded by the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirements.

Other precursors to the Bill of Rights include English documents such as the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the English Bill of Rights, and the Massachusetts Body of Liberties.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS – FULL TEXT

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/

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Things you hear after every US mass shooting

‘We don’t need more gun control, we need more idiot control’: Senators weigh in on Florida shooting

Florida Sen Bill Nelson calls for more gun control within hours after Florida school shooting

How Presidents have responded to school shootings

Everything the Mainstream Media News Doesn’t Want You to Know About Gun Violence

Ben Shapiro Thoughts On The Florida Mass Shooting

Gun Control Won’t Save Lives, But Internet Free Speech and a Better Education System Might

Tucker: Calls for gun control are a kind of class warfare

AR-15 at center of gun control debate after school shooting

Hannity: How to address the school security problem

R-15 at center of gun control debate after school shooting

Florida Sen Bill Nelson calls for more gun control within hours after Florida school shooting

Lionel Interviews Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America on #FloridaSchoolShooting

John Lott: The War on Guns

John Lott: “When Countries Impose Gun Bans Murder Rates Go Up”

John Lott: Why More Guns Equal Less Crime

More Guns Mean Less Crime: The Most Rigorously Comprehensive Data Analysis (2000)

Las Vegas Massacre: John Lott discusses gun laws and ownership

The Port Arthur Massacre – Australia’s Worst Shooting Spree in History (Crime Documentary)

Published on Mar 10, 2017
The Port Arthur Massacre – Australia’s Worst Shooting Spree in History (Crime Documentary) The Port Arthur massacre of 28–29 April 1996 was a massacre in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded. It occurred mainly at the historic Port Arthur former prison colony, a popular tourist site in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Australian history, and amongst the worst in the world.[3] Martin Bryant, a 28-year-old from New Town, a suburb of Hobart, was found guilty of the shootings and given 35 life sentences without possibility of parole. Following the incident, it emerged in the media that Bryant had significant intellectual disabilities. He is now imprisoned in the Wilfred Lopes Centre near the Risdon Prison Complex. Following the spree, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, introduced strict gun control laws within Australia and formulated the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996, restricting the private ownership of high capacity semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the Commonwealth, states and territories.

Norway’s Utoeya massacre: 5 years on – BBC News

BBC This World – Norway’s Massacre

Dr Susan Gratia-Hupp – Survivor of the 1991 Kileen TX Lubys Shooting Massacre

What Is An “Assault Rifle”? – You’ve Probably Been Lied To

The Difference Between SEMI-AUTOMATIC and FULLY AUTOMATIC GUNS

Assault Rifle vs. Sporting Rifle

Published on Dec 30, 2012

The media and the anti-gunners are trying to tell Americans that “assault weapons” need to be banned for public safety. The problem is, assault rifles were banned in 1986. What they want to ban now are semi-automatic sporting firearms. The firearms they want to ban account for less than 1% of the firearms used in crime. We need to stop this mindless attack on our Constitutional rights.

Full Auto vs. Semi-Auto with an AK

Inside the AK-47

What is a Bump Stock? Should it be illegal?!

 

Parkland, Florida Shooting: A Timeline From the Attack to the Arrest

By LISA MARIE SEGARRA

February 16, 2018

 As authorities piece together information in Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., details are emerging on the timeline of events that took place in and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Police released a timeline of the movements of accused shooter Nikolas Cruz Thursday. Cruz is said to have confessed to the shooting that killed 17 people and wounded 14 others. Here is what authorities say alleged shooter is alleged to have done before, during, and after the shooting:

2:19 p.m.

The suspect exited an Uber car, arriving at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School around dismissal time. Uber has confirmed to TIME that Cruz did use the service and said they are working with authorities.

2:21 p.m.

The shooter allegedly enters the school and takes his AR-15 out of a case. He begins shooting into three classrooms, returning to two of them, shot into anther classroom, then shot into two more classrooms before dropping his rifle.

2:28 p.m.

The suspect is believed to have run outside, mixing in with students who were running away from the scene.

2:50 p.m.

Police say the alleged shooter went into a Walmart and bought a drink at a Subway before leaving on foot.

3:01 p.m.

The suspect allegedly walked into a McDonald’s, sat down for a while and then left on foot again.

3:41 p.m.

Cruz was taken into custody by a police officer without incident, after the officer matched the 19-year-old’s clothing with a description being shared by authorities.

http://time.com/5162936/florida-high-school-shooting-timeline/

 

Florida school shooting: Timeline of the massacre

By Linda TrischittaContact Reporter Sun Sentinel

Nikolas Cruz showed up at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in an Uber car — with a rifle inside a duffel bag — and walked purposefully toward the campus.

A school worker recognized him as a “former troubled student,” according to a police report. He was wearing a maroon shirt, black pants and a black cap, carrying the duffel bag and wearing a black backpack loaded with ammunition.

The employee radioed a colleague to alert him that Cruz was headed toward Building 1200.

Within minutes, shooting began, ultimately leaving 17 people dead Wednesday at the school in Parkland.

On Thursday, Broward Sheriff’s Office released an arrest report and a timeline of the massacre, providing a harrowing look at the moments before, during and after the shooting.

According to Sheriff Scott Israel:

2:19 p.m. The Uber car drops Cruz off. Cruz entered the east stairwell of the 1200 building and pulled the rifle out of the case.

2:21 p.m. Cruz began shooting into rooms 1213, 1216 and 1214. He climbed the west stairwell to the second floor and shot a victim in room 1234. Cruz then took the east stairwell to the third floor, where he dropped his weapon and backpack and ran down the stairs and out of the building to toward the tennis courts and then turned south.

He stopped at a Walmart store, bought a drink at a Subway shop and continued walking.

3:41 p.m. Cruz’s next stop was a McDonald’s, where he sat briefly. Police caught up to him at 4700 Wyndham Lakes Drive in Coral Springs and took him into custody.

The police report said Cruz admitted to a detective that he shot students he saw on school grounds. He fired “well over 100 shots,” a law enforcement source told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

He said he ditched the gun, ammunition and a vest that held more bullets so he could blend into the crowd that swarmed the campus in the panicked atmosphere after the killings, the report said.

After Cruz was arrested, the school monitor identified him, as did the Uber driver.

Judge Kim Theresa Mollica on Thursday denied bond for Cruz during his first court appearance, when he wore an orange jumpsuit while shackled at his waist and ankles. He kept his face down during most of the hearing when he was told he would face 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes called his agency’s client “a deeply troubled child” who has “significant depression” after the loss of his mother in November.

REVEALED: Expelled gunman in gas mask and armed with smoke grenades ‘SET OFF fire alarm so he could draw students into halls for maximum devastation’ before shooting dead 17 people

  • Former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
  • Broward Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed that 17 people had been killed and dozens more were injured
  • Cruz was armed with at least one AR-15 rifle and had ‘multiple magazines’ when he stormed the school
  • Investigators are now looking into whether Cruz may have pulled the fire alarm to draw people into halls 
  • The teenager had been expelled from the school last year for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ 
  • Police say the shooter managed to evade police by fleeing the school with hundreds of terrified students 
  • He was tracked down in a nearby neighborhood after authorities reviewed surveillance footage 
  • Traumatized students said that once they heard reports of a mass shooting at the school they knew it would be Cruz, while one teacher said he had been identified as a potential threat to his classmates last year 
  • Some students barricaded themselves inside their classrooms while others were seen sprinting away from the school as police and SWAT teams swarmed the building
  • A student who claims to know Cruz said the suspected gunman was a ‘troubled kid’ and obsessed with guns
The teen gunman who shot dead 17 people at a Florida high school is believed to have set off the fire alarms to draw people out into the halls before he opened fire – and then managed to evade police by pretending to be one of the terrified students running for cover.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle. He was taken into custody off the school campus about an hour after the shooting broke out.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ last year.

Cruz was armed with at least one AR-15 rifle, had ‘multiple magazines’ and smoke grenades when he stormed the school wearing a gas mask and killed 17 students and staff.

The first of the 17 victims have now been identified as 46-year-old athletic director Chris Hixon and student Jaime Guttenburg. According to Local 10 News, her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home.

Investigators are now looking into whether Cruz may have pulled the fire alarm to draw people into halls so he could get a higher death toll.

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Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested after he stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

Gunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral Springs

Gunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral Springs

A number of students have said they thought they heard the fire alarm right before the first shots were fired and many were in the process of evacuating. The school had already had a fire drill earlier that day, leaving many of the students confused.

‘People were halfway down the stairwell, it just stopped, the alarm stopped. We heard gunshots coming from the first floor… and people were running upstairs. We all got upstairs and into our classroom. As (my teacher) was closing the door he was actually shot and killed right there. The door was left open the whole time so as (Cruz) walked by the door was open. He could have walked in at any time,’ a student named Alex WSNV.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown 'disciplinary reasons' last year 

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ last year

Authorities quickly started dissecting the shooter’s social media accounts in a bid to piece together a motive for the deadly shooting. Sheriff Israel reported that some of things the shooter had been posting was ‘very disturbing’.

Traumatized students said that once they heard reports of a mass shooting at the school they knew it would be Cruz, while one teacher said he had been identified as a potential threat to his classmates last year.

Matthew Walker, a 17-year-old student at the school, told WFOR-TV that all his classmates ‘knew it was going to be him.’

‘A lot of people were saying it was going to be him,’ he said. ‘A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school. It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.’

‘He was going class to class just shooting at random kids,’ he said. ‘Everything he posts (on social media) is about weapons. It’s sick.’

Math teacher Jim Gard, who taught Cruz last year, told the Miami Herald: ‘We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students and I guess he was asked to leave campus.’

Another student took to social media claiming Cruz had mental health issues that were ‘ignored by all the adults’.

‘He literally had an Instagram where he posted pictures of animals he killed gruesomely and he physically assaulted one of my friends once,’ the student added.

As a high school freshman, Cruz was part of the US military-sponsored Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at the school.

Cruz was adopted as an infant and raised by Roger and Lynda Cruz, a family member told ABC News. Family say his adoptive mother died a few months ago.

ct, wearing a maroon colored top, is taken into custody two hours after opening fire on his high school

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

A student, on a stretcher, is loaded into the back of an ambulance after the mass shooting on Wednesday afternoon

A student, on a stretcher, is loaded into the back of an ambulance after the mass shooting on Wednesday afternoon

Authorities inspect the AR-15 rifle the teen gunman used in the mass shooting on Wednesday

Authorities inspect the AR-15 rifle the teen gunman used in the mass shooting on Wednesday

The first victim of the mass shooting has been identified as 46-year-old athletic director Chris Hixon

Student Jaime Guttenburg (pictured) has also been identified as a victim, according to Local 10 News . Her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home

Student Jaime Guttenburg (pictured) has also been identified as a victim, according to Local 10 News . Her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home

Student Jaime Guttenburg (pictured) has also been identified as a victim, according to Local 10 News . Her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home

Sources told CNN that the gunman purchased the rifle in the past year and passed a required background check to obtain it.

He had been living in a mobile home with a student for the last three months in Lantana, about 30 miles north of Parkland, according to Fox News.

An attorney for the family Cruz lived with said he already owned the weapon before he moved in with them.

Family lawyer Jim Lewis said: ‘It was his gun. The family made him keep it in a locked gun cabinet in the house but he had a key.’

Police said the gunman started firing before he entered the school building and left behind a deadly trail.

Twelve of the people shot dead were found dead inside the school building, two more were killed just outside the school and another in a nearby street. Two other people died later after being rushed to hospital.

Police arrived at the scene to find hundreds of students fleeing the school. They later learned the shooter had concealed himself in the crowd and was among those running off the campus.

Investigators were able to identify him after trawling surveillance video. He was arrested about and hour after the shooting first broke out when police cornered him in a nearby neighborhood.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined law enforcement agents near the site of the deadly school shooting on Wednesday night and offered his condolences to the victims’ families and survivors.

He said the attack that claimed at least 17 lives was ‘just absolutely pure evil.’

Scott added that he couldn’t imagine what the families of the victims are going through. He also said he would be visiting hospitalized survivors.

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County also said at the news conference that 12 of the dead have been identified but some weren’t carrying identification and that slowed confirmation efforts. The families were being notified.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the state would cover funeral expenses for the victims and counseling for survivors.

had posted multiple photos on his Instagram of him posing with various weapons. Authorities have already started dissecting his social media accounts and reported that some of things he had been posting was ‘very disturbing’

Shocking: Victims of the shooting were being treated on the sidewalk while the gunman was reported to still be at large and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were flooding the area
 Shocking: Victims of the shooting were being treated on the sidewalk while the gunman was reported to still be at large and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were flooding the area
At around 4pm, two hours after the shooter first opened fire, police and SWAT teams took him into custody.

Aerial footage showed him wearing a maroon or burgundy colored sweatshirt as he was put in the back of a cruiser by half a dozens officers.

Meanwhile, horrifying video filmed from inside a classroom captured the moment the shooter, who was wearing a gas mask, burst in and began shooting at his fellow students as they screamed in terror.

The students were spotted sitting or lying on the classroom floor, trying to avoid being hit, as rapid gunfire was heard nearby. One girl’s hysterical screams were suddenly cut off during the shocking clip.

Desperate parents and relatives of students still locked down in the high school rushed to the scene to find out if their children were among the injured.

One mother, Michelle, whose daughter was inside, said there at least 20 students and teachers still barricaded in the school buildings. The unnamed mom said her daughter sent her a text that said: ‘There’s been a shooting in school… and it’s for real.’

‘My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,’ he wrote.

He added that he’d spoken with Florida Governor Rick Scott and ‘we are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.’

White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement: ‘The president has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida. We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.’

Police asked parents to tell children still inside to ‘remain calm and barricaded until police come to their room’.

A student, who was not identified, but claims to know Cruz told WSVN he was obsessed with guns and showed him pictures of them on his phone.

‘He’s been a troubled kid and he’s always had a certain amount of issues going on. He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling.’

He added that Cruz made him nervous.

‘I stayed clear of him most of the time. My time in alternate school, I did not want to be with him at all because I didn’t want to cause any conflict with him because of the impression he gave off.’

The incident comes just a few weeks after a 15-year-old boy opened fire at his rural Kentucky high school, killing two and injuring more than two dozen others

 

Public defender puts arm around shackled and cowering Florida gunman at his first court appearance: ‘White supremacist’ is silent as he is ordered to be held without bond for killing 17 people

  • Nikolas Cruz, 19, was ordered held without bail during his first court appearance on Thursday 
  • His public defender, Melisa McNeil, comforted him by putting a hand around his shoulder during the hearing
  • The teen faces 17 counts of premeditated murder – charges that carry the death penalty in Florida
  • Cruz killed 17 and injured more than a dozen when he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Wednesday afternoon    
  • Details are beginning to surface about Cruz, whose adoptive mother died in November from pneumonia 
  • Cruz was kicked out of the the high school last year for allegedly getting into a fight 
  • A man also reported Cruz to the FBI last year for writing an online post saying he was going to be a shooter 
  • He has also been connected to a white supremacist organization, the Republic of Florida 
  • When gunfire rang out Wednesday afternoon, several students said they knew the gunman would be Cruz
  • Many pointed to Cruz’s disturbing social media, where he allegedly posted pictures of animals he killed
  • President Trump said in a tweet Thursday morning that there were signs that the shooter was ‘mentally disturbed’ – and entreated Americans to report similar people to the authorities

A cowering Nikolas Cruz was comforted by his public defender as he was ordered held without bail during his first court appearance on Thursday, in connection to the deadly shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school on Wednesday that left 17 dead and 14 injured.

The 19-year-old wore an orange jump suit and shackles on his wrists and ankles as he was officially charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

He kept his eyes down and didn’t speak in court today, other than to confirm his name with a polite ‘yes ma’am’ to the judge.

Standing next to him was his public defender, Melisa McNeil, who comforted him by putting a hand around his shoulder.

After the hearing, Cruz’s defense team revealed that he was on suicide watch and that he understood the magnitude of his actions.

McNeill told reporters gathered outside the courtroom that her client was sad and remorseful.

‘He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being,’ she said.

She became emotional while speaking to reporters, saying she’s fully aware of the impact the shooting has had on the community, as a parent herself.

‘I had to have the exact same conversation that every parent in Broward had to have with their children this morning, then I had to walk and meet with him,’ McNeill said. ‘I’m fully aware of the impact this has on the people who live here.

According to her LinkedIn, she has worked in the homicide division of the Broward public defender’s office since 2000.

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Cruz (left and right in orange) mostly kept his head down for the brief bond hearing on Thursday

'He¿s sad. He¿s mournful. He¿s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he¿s just a broken human being,' Cruz's public defender Melissa McNeil (pictured) said after the court hearing 

‘He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being,’ Cruz’s public defender Melissa McNeil (pictured) said after the court hearing

Gordon Weekes (pictured), who is also representing Cruz, said the teen 'is deeply troubled and he has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother'

Gordon Weekes (pictured), who is also representing Cruz, said the teen ‘is deeply troubled and he has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother’

Another member of the defense team, Gordon Weeks, was brought to tears as he addressed reporters, telling them that Cruz ‘recognizes’ what he has done and is ‘deeply sad’.

‘He is dealing with the shock of all this that’s going on,’ Weeks said.

McNeill and Weeks said that Cruz suffers from autism, depression and has dealt with significant psychological problems – all without the sort of support system that most people have.

‘When your brain is not fully developed, you don’t know how to deal with these things,’ McNeil said. ‘That’s the child I’m sitting across from.’

Weeks added: ‘The child is deeply troubled and he has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother.’

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has said she is ‘certain’ prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty for the teen shooter.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel revealed on Thursday afternoon that Cruz had tried to mix in with a group of students fleeing the school before stopping at fast food restaurants after the attack.

The sheriff said Cruz headed to a Wal-Mart and bought a drink at a Subway restaurant before walking to a McDonald’s. Cruz was confronted by a police officer and taken into custody about 40 minutes after leaving the McDonald’s.

Cruz was initially taken to the hospital to be treated for ‘labored breathing’.

He was soon released to the police who spent most of the night questioning Cruz, trying to make sense of the horrific school shooting – now the third deadliest in American history.

The fact that it was the 30th mass shooting so far this year has spurred activists to call on Congress again to revamp the nation’s gun control policies. President Trump, a staunch defender of the National Rifle Association, said at a press conference on Thursday that the real issue lawmakers need to tackle is mental health, not guns.

Meanwhile, details are starting to emerge about the shooter, who recently was orphaned, stopped getting mental health treatment about a year ago and even had ties to a white supremacist group.

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School painted the picture of a weird and disturbed teen who sold knives out of a lunchbox, bragged about killing animals and was finally kicked out of school for fighting and carrying bullets in his backpack.

An FBI official also said Thursday that they were warned – not once, but twice – about the shooter. One of the warnings came in September, from a bail bondsman in Mississippi who alerted the feds about an alarming online message Cruz wrote saying he was ‘going to be a professional school shooter’ 

This photo provided by the Broward County Jail shows Nikolas Cruz, the teen suspected of killing 17 and injuring more than a dozen in a school shooting on Wednesday in Florida

This photo provided by the Broward County Jail shows Nikolas Cruz, the teen suspected of killing 17 and injuring more than a dozen in a school shooting on Wednesday in Florida

Cruz was dressed in a hospital uniform as he was seen leaving the Broward County Sheriff’s Office early Thursday morning
He was given an orange jumpsuit after arriving at the county jail Thursday morning  

He was given an orange jumpsuit after arriving at the county jail Thursday morning

Ben Bennight says he alerted the FBI to a comment shared by Cruz on one of his YouTube videos back in September. He says the FBI was quick to respond to the concerning statement, arriving at his office the very next day to find out if he knew anything about the young man.

He didn’t hear from the FBI again until after the shooting on Wednesday. At a press conference Thursday morning, an FBI official said they followed up on the report but were ‘unable to further identify the person who made the comment’.

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr also revealed that Cruz had been getting treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but hadn’t been back to the clinic in more than a year.

‘It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him,’ Furr told CNN. ‘We try to keep our eyes out on those kids who aren’t connected. … In this case we didn’t find a way to connect with this kid.’

Former President Obama tweeted on Thursday that he was 'grieving with Parkland' while calling for stricter gun control laws

President Trump and former President Obama weighed in on the tragedy with tweets on Thursday

Trump spoke about the shooting at a mid-morning press conference from the White House

Trump spoke about the shooting at a mid-morning press conference from the White House

Authorities offered no immediate details about Cruz or his possible motive, except to say that he had been kicked out of the high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which has about 3,000 students.

Officials wouldn’t say why exactly Cruz had been expelled, but fellow students said it was because he got into a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend and because he was caught with bullets in his backpack.

Authorities quickly started dissecting the shooter’s social media accounts in a bid to piece together the motive. Sheriff Israel reported that some of things the shooter had been posting was ‘very disturbing’.

In one Instagram post, Cruz posted a screengrab of Google search results for ‘what does allahu akbar’ mean. Allahu Akbar means ‘God is great’ in Arabic, and is something Islamist terrorist often shout before attacks.

He captioned the photo: ‘Well at least we know what it means when a sand durka [a racial expletive for an Arab person] says ‘allahu akbar’ [laughing face emojis].’

ABC News reported Thursday that Cruz appeared to have ties to a white nationalist group called the Republic of Florida. A spokesman for the group confirmed Cruz was a member.

Cruz's Instagram is filled with disturbing posts of what appears to be himself showing off weapons, his face sometimes covered, along with other disturbing images and captions

Cruz’s Instagram is filled with disturbing posts of what appears to be himself showing off weapons, his face sometimes covered, along with other disturbing images and captions

In one Instragram post, Cruz posted a screengrab of Google search results for 'what does allahu akbar' mean. Allahu Akbar means 'God is great' in Arabic, and is something Islamist terrorist often shout before attacks. He captioned the photo: 'Well at least we know what it means when a [racial lslur] says "allahu akbar" [laughing face emojis].'

Cause for concern: 'I'm going to be a professional school shooter.' wrote Cruz on a video that had been shared by YouTube vlogger Ben Bennight (Cruz's comment above) 

Cause for concern: ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter.’ wrote Cruz on a video that had been shared by YouTube vlogger Ben Bennight (Cruz’s comment above)

The group describes itself as a ‘white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics’ and seeks to create a ‘white ethnostate’ in Florida.

The leader of the group, Jordan Jereb, told the Anti-Defamation League that Cruz was brought into the group by another member and had participated in training exercises with the group.

Jereb said that Cruz was not ordered to pull off the shooting and that they are not a terrorist organization.

He added to ABC News that he had not seen Cruz in ‘some time’ but after the shooting on Wednesday ‘he knew he would be getting this call’.

He also said he had ‘trouble with a girl’ and he believed the timing of the attack, carried out on Valentine’s Day, wasn’t a coincidence.

A law enforcement official says he knows of ‘no known ties’ between the suspect who confessed to a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school and a white supremacist group.

Lt. Grady Jordan is a spokesman for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in Tallahassee, where the white nationalist militia known as the Republic of Florida is based.

He says his office has ‘very solid’ information on the group and ‘there’s no known ties that we have that we can connect’ 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz with the group.

Cruz suffered a major blow in November when his adoptive mother Lynda Cruz, 68, died of pneumonia. Lynda was apparently the only person Cruz was close with.

‘Lynda was very close to them,’ her sister-in-law Barbara Kumbatovic told The Washington Post. ‘She put a lot of time and effort into those boys, trying to give them a good life and upbringing.’

Lynda and her husband, who died of a heart attack several years ago, adopted Cruz and his biological brother, Zachary, after the couple moved from Long Island in New York to Broward County. Cruz was an infant when he was adopted. It’s unclear if he was adopted from the U.S. or aboard. Adopted children from abroad sometimes have issues adjusting due to neglect in their orphanages, especially children from Russia.

Tyra Hemans, a 19-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sobs as she holds signs honoring slain teachers and friends near the police cordon around the school in Parkland Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

Tyra Hemans, a 19-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sobs as she holds signs honoring slain teachers and friends near the police cordon around the school in Parkland Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

A man with a sign is seen after the news conference in the hallway outside the courtroom where Nikolas Cruz appeared via video at a bond court hearing after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

A man with a sign is seen after the news conference in the hallway outside the courtroom where Nikolas Cruz appeared via video at a bond court hearing after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

The White House flag was lowered to half-staff on Thursday in remembrance of the victims who died in the shooting on Wednesday

The shooting was the 30th mass shooting of the year, a fact that has propelled many, including Kim Kardashian, to demand Congress enact stricter gun control laws

A group of police officers stand guard in front of the entrance of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on Thursday 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, speaks to reporters at a Thursday morning press conference about the shooter

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, speaks to reporters at a Thursday morning press conference about the shooter

City, county and state officials release balloons in honor of the victims during a prayer vigil for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, Florida on February 15, 2018

City, county and state officials release balloons in honor of the victims during a prayer vigil for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, Florida on February 15, 2018

While his brother was quiet and liked to stay indoors, Cruz constantly got into trouble and appeared to have ’emotional issues’.

‘Lynda dealt with it like most parents did. She was probably too good to him,’ Kumbatovic said. ‘She was a lovely woman. She was a hard-working woman. She made a beautiful home for them. She put a lot of effort and time into their schooling, their recreation, whatever they needed. She was a good parent. And she went over and above because she needed to compensate for being a single parent.’

She added: ‘I don’t think it had anything to do with his upbringing. It could have been the loss of his mom. I don’t know.’

Longtime Cruz family neighbors Malcolm and Christine Roxburgh told the Sun Sentinel that the police came to the boy’s house many times, as he used to get in trouble and harass people. He didn’t have an arrest record though.

Malcolm Roxburgh said a neighbor across the street kept pigs, and Nicolas Cruz targeted the family.

‘He didn’t like the pigs and didn’t like the neighbors, so he sent over his dog over there to try to attack them,’ Roxburgh said. Another neighbor, Shelby Speno, said she once witnessed Cruz shooting at chickens owned by another resident.

Roxburgh’s wife said she once caught Cruz peeking in her window.

‘I said, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said he was looking for golf balls. I said, ‘This isn’t the golf course,” she said.

And, the couple said, when the boy didn’t want to go to school, he would bang his head against a cement wall. They were scared of him. ‘He could have killed any of us,’ Christine Roxburgh said.

After their mother’s death, the boys were left in the care of a family friend – but Cruz didn’t stay there very long.

Classes for the rest of the week have been cancelled at the school in Parkland, Florida (pictured above on Thursday)

There continued to be a police presence on the campus on Thursday. Investigators were no doubt continuing to comb the scene for clues

Pictured above is the Broward County Jail where Cruz is being held pending his trial  

Unhappy there, Cruz asked to move in with a friend at a mobile home park in northwest Broward. The friend’s family agreed and Cruz moved into his own room in the home around Thanksgiving.

‘The family brought him into their home,’ the family’s attorney, Jim Lewis, said. ‘They got him a job at a local dollar store. They didn’t see anything that would suggest any violence. He was depressed, maybe a little quirky. But they never saw anything violent. … He was just a little depressed and seemed to be working through it.’

Cruz brought his AR-15 rifle with him to the family’s home, where it was kept in a locked cabinet that the teen had a key to. Sources told CNN that the gunman purchased the rifle in the past year and passed a required background check to obtain it. Two federal law enforcement officials said the Smith & Wesson M&P rifle was purchased legally at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Florida. Federal law allows people 18 and over to legally purchase long guns. At 21, people can legally buy handguns from a licensed dealer.

While living with the family, Lewis started going to a school for at-risk youth. Usually every morning, the father of the family would drive Cruz to school, but on Wednesday he overslept and then gave a cryptic reason why.

‘He said, ‘It’s Valentine’s Day and I don’t go to school on Valentine’s Day,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the family is devastated and didn’t see this coming. The family’s son was a junior at the school and was there when the shooting happened. Lewis said the family is cooperating and no one there is suspected of wrongdoing, he added.

The family’s cream-colored home was empty Thursday morning but in the backyard a bullet-riddled Bud Light can was stuck on a twig of an avocado tree overlooking a creek.

How were at least 15 warning signs missed for Nikolas Cruz?

1. ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter’

Nikolas Cruz left a comment on a YouTube video back in September using his own name that simply read: ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter’

2. FBI was warned about the comment but couldn’t identify him

Vlogger Ben Bennight alerted the FBI to the comment shared by Cruz. The FBI was quick to respond, arriving at his office the next day but only after Bennight called a local field agent, revealing his initial attempts to send in a screengrab of the comment failed when the email address he found listed on the agency’s website came back with a domain error saying it did not exist. The FBI was unable to identify the person who posted the comment.

3. Bought an AR-15 age 18

After Cruz’s mother died, he eventually moved in the the family of a former classmate, where he brought his AR-15 which was kept in a locked cabinet that he had the key to. He was able to purchase the rifle in the past year and passed a required background check. Federal law allowed people 18 and over to legally purchase long guns. At 21, people can legally buy handguns from a license dealer. Cruz was also studying marksmanship in the Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

4. Troubling Instagram page 

Cruz’s Instagram page is filled with disturbing posts of what appears to be himself showing off with weapons with his face covered, asking for advice on buying firearms, and making racist comments about Muslims.

5. Was a member of a white nationalist group and came to training exercises

Jordan Jereb claims that Cruz was a member of the Republic of Florida, which aims to make Florida its own white-entho state. Jereb claimed Cruz, who was adopted, was brought up in the organization by another member and he reportedly carpooled to at least two training exercises held by the group.

6. Boasted about hurting animals

Students who say they knew Cruz claimed he liked to kill animals.

‘He was crazy because he liked to kill small things, like little animals – frogs and other animals like that and he just had a crazy mind,’ one told 10ABC news.

Another classmate claims he would tell him he shot rats with a BB gun.

7. Took knives and bullets to school

Former classmate Joshua Charo, 16, said all he ‘would talk about is guns, knives and hunting’.

Another student said he started selling knives out of a lunchbox when he started high school, while he was also found to be carrying bullet casings in his bag.

8. Was banned from carrying a backpack

Jim Gard, a math teacher, who had Cruz in his class last year, said he believes the school sent out an email warning teachers he shouldn’t be allowed on campus with a backpack.

‘There were problems with him last year threatening students and I guess he was asked to leave campus’.

9. Expelled for fighting

The deeply troubled ‘loner’ was expelled last year for ‘fighting over his ex-girlfriend’ with her new boyfriend.

10. Abusive to his ex-girlfriend

Students claim the gunman was abusive to his girlfriend

11. Stalked another girl

Mr Gard also claimed that he was taken with another student ‘to the point of stalking her’, while another student who claims to have been friends with Cruz said he had to cut him off because he started ‘going after’ and ‘threatening’ a female friend of his.

12. Peeping Tom

Neighbor Christine Rosburgh said she, and all the other neighbors, were terrified of the teen who would bang his head against a cement wall if his legal guardians tried to send him to school.

She also claims she caught him peeking in her window and when she confronted him, he said he was looking for golf balls.

‘I said, “This isn’t the golf course”.

13. Stopped his mental health treatment

Cruz had been getting treatment at a mental health clinic, but stopped about a year ago and dropped off the radar. He was showing signs of depression.

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr said: ‘It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him. We try to keep out eyes out on those kids who aren’t connected… In this case, we didn’t find a way to connect with this kid.’

14. Possible fetal alcohol syndrome

Natalie Brassard, a program director at the non-profit FASCETS, which works with FASD children, said some of Cruz’s characteristics ‘suggest that he might have been living with an invisible brain-based condition – it could have been FASD or many others.’

Conditions of FASD can range from mild to severe but can include learning disabilities, intellectual disability or low IQ, poor reasoning and judgment and a host of other issues.

15. Orphaned 

Cruz’s adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, 68, died of pneumonia in November last year. She was one of the only people that was remotely close to Cruz. His adoptive father Roger Cruz died of a heart attack several years ago.

After his mother died, he and his brother were left in the care of family friend Barbara Kumbatovich, of Long Island, New York, but unhappy there, he moved in with a former classmate in a mobile home park in northwest Broward.

Pictured above is the mobile home where Cruz had been staying with a friend's family before the shooting 

In the backyard of the home, beer cans and plates were set up as shooting targets

The backyard of the home on Easter Cay Way is littered with garden furniture and toys. Eerily, a Hot Wheels toy in a container is still beeping. A tan Kia Soul stands in the driveway

The backyard of the home on Easter Cay Way is littered with garden furniture and toys. Eerily, a Hot Wheels toy in a container is still beeping. A tan Kia Soul stands in the driveway

Above, a look at a storage shed on the property. No one appeared to be home on Thursday 

Above, a look at a storage shed on the property. No one appeared to be home on Thursday

A paper plate, apparently a shooting target, was on another tree.

Few people on the Lantana Cascades estate speak English. One neighbor who would not give his name said he only met Cruz once when the people in the house introduced him.

‘He seemed like a nice kid but it was only the once,’ the elderly man said. ‘Then he was gone. I never saw him again.’

The backyard of the home on Easter Cay Way is littered with garden furniture and toys. Eerily, a Hot Wheels toy in a container is still beeping. A tan Kia Soul stands in the driveway.

Another neighbor, whose house on a neighboring street overlooks the home where Cruz had been staying, described Wednesday night on Lantana Cascades as ‘a madhouse.’

‘Dozens of police came. It was shortly after 5pm.

‘They taped two whole streets off and made those nearest the house get out. I stayed though.

‘I saw them go in and bring a lot of stuff out, but it was dark so I couldn’t see what.’

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested after he stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested after he stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle

Authorities inspect the AR-15 rifle the teen gunman used in the mass shooting on Wednesday

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

Students called Cruz ‘weird’ and a ‘loner’ – even those who’d been friendly with him said they hadn’t seen him in more than a year since his expulsion.

Dakota Mutchler, 17, recalled Cruz posting on Instagram about killing animals and said he had talked about doing target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.

I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him.
Dakota Mutchler, Stoneman Douglas High student

‘He started going after one of my friends, threatening her, and I cut him off from there,’ Mutchler said.

He said students weren’t surprised officials had identified Cruz as the shooter: ‘I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him.’

Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior at the school, said Cruz was expelled last school year because he got into a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. She said he had been abusive to his girlfriend. Another student said that part of the reason Cruz was expelled was that he was caught carrying bullets in his backpack.

Matthew Walker, a 17-year-old student at the school, told WFOR-TV that all his classmates ‘knew it was going to be him.’

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown 'disciplinary reasons' last year 

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ last year

‘A lot of people were saying it was going to be him,’ he said. ‘A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school. It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.’

‘He was going class to class just shooting at random kids,’ he said. ‘Everything he posts (on social media) is about weapons. It’s sick.’

One teacher said he had been identified as a potential threat to his classmates last year.

Math teacher Jim Gard, who taught Cruz last year, told the Miami Herald: ‘We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students and I guess he was asked to leave campus.’

Another student took to social media claiming Cruz had mental health issues that were ‘ignored by all the adults’.

‘He literally had an Instagram where he posted pictures of animals he killed gruesomely and he physically assaulted one of my friends once,’ the student added.

Another student, who was not identified, but claims to know Cruz, told WSVN he was obsessed with guns and showed him pictures of them on his phone.

‘He’s been a troubled kid and he’s always had a certain amount of issues going on. He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling.’

He added that Cruz made him nervous.

‘I stayed clear of him most of the time. My time in alternate school, I did not want to be with him at all because I didn’t want to cause any conflict with him because of the impression he gave off.’

He’s been a troubled kid and he’s always had a certain amount of issues going on. He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling.
Anonymous classmate of the shooter

Former classmate Joshua Charo, 16, told the Miami Herald that all Cruz ‘would talk about is guns, knives and hunting’.

‘I can’t say I was shocked. From past experiences, he seemed like the kind of kid who would do something like this,’ Charo said.

‘He used to tell me he would shoot rats with his BB gun and he wanted this kind of gun, and how he liked to always shoot for practice,’ Charo added.

One student added that Cruz started selling knives out of a lunchbox when he started high school.

But Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Runcie said he did not know of any threats posed by Cruz to the school.

‘Typically you see in these situations that there potentially could have been signs out there,’ Runcie said. ‘I would be speculating at this point if there were, but we didn’t have any warnings. There weren’t any phone calls or threats that we know of that were made.’

As a high school freshman, Cruz was part of the US military-sponsored Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at the school.

 

President Trump tweeted Thursday morning, saying there were signs that the shooter was ‘mentally disturbed’.

He also entreated Americans to report similar people to the authorities.

‘So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior.

‘Neighbors and classmates knew he was such a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!’ he wrote.

Trump has cited mental health before as a cause for mass shootings, dismissing questions about gun control.

Trump spoke later in the morning about the shooting at a press conference from the White House.

Taking up the now-familiar ritual of public consolation after terrible violence, Trump spoke from the White House Diplomatic Room. In a slow, deliberate style, he sought to reassure a troubled nation as well as students’ families and shooting survivors in Florida.

‘We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also,’ Trump said. ‘No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school.’

Trump, who owns a private club in Palm Beach, Florida about 40 miles from the town of Parkland, where the shooting happened, said Thursday he was making plans to visit the grieving community.

He did not answer shouted questions about guns as he exited the room.

Staff and students walked single file outside the school as they evacuated after the shooting 

Staff and students walked single file outside the school as they evacuated after the shooting

Students were seen fleeing the building with their hands in the air, as they ran for safety from the gunman

Medical personnel tend to a bloodied victim as they help to evacuate them from the school 

Medical personnel tend to a bloodied victim as they help to evacuate them from the school

An injured female was transported from the school on a stretcher by first responders on Wednesday afternoon 

TIMELINE OF FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING

2.25pm: Gunshots ring out through the corridors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The school goes into immediate lockdown.

2.30pm: Authorities respond to an active shooter at the school in Parkland where they say the shooter is still active.

3.pm: Hundreds of students flee the school with their hands raised as SWAT arrives to tackle the ongoing situation

3.30pm: Students and teachers begin posting harrowing footage from inside the school where they are trapped and unable to leave their classrooms.

4pm: Just after 4 p.m., Broward County Sheriff’s Office announced on Twitter that a suspect had been apprehended

4.30pm: The suspect – named as Nikolas Cruz – was transported handcuffed and via ambulance to local hospital where he was placed under armed guard.

Just before the shooting broke out at 2:25pm, some students thought they were having another fire drill.

Such an exercise had forced them to leave their classrooms hours earlier. So when the alarm went off Wednesday afternoon shortly before they were to be dismissed, they once again filed out into the hallways.

That’s when police say Cruz, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets. It was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years ago.

‘Our district is in a tremendous state of grief and sorrow,’ said Robert Runcie, superintendent of the school district in Parkland, about an hour’s drive north of Miami. ‘It is a horrible day for us.’

Police arrived at the scene to find hundreds of students fleeing the school. They later learned the shooter had concealed himself in the crowd and was among those running off the campus.

Investigators were able to identify him after trawling surveillance video. He was arrested about an hour after the shooting first broke out when police cornered him in a nearby neighborhood. He had multiple magazines of ammunition on him, authorities said.

Seventeen people were killed and more than a dozen injured.

‘It’s catastrophic. There really are no words,’ said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

A local politician told DailyMail.com that the high school has high-definition surveillance cameras that captured every single shot by Cruz and authorities are pouring through them now.

The cameras allegedly picked up Cruz walking across the empty parking lot toward the school carrying his rifle, as classes were in session.

The two school resource officers, from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, are supposed to monitor the perimeter.

DailyMail.com reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment, but they did not respond.

Students released from a lockdown embrace following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Students released from a lockdown embrace following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Students are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, after a shooter opened fire on the campus

Medical personnel tend to a victim following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Medical personnel tend to a victim following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Medical personnel tend to a victim following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Terrified students barricaded themselves in their classrooms as the shooter prowled the halls, armed with an assault rifle

Terrified students barricaded themselves in their classrooms as the shooter prowled the halls, armed with an assault rifle

Frantic parents rushed to the school to find SWAT team members and ambulances surrounding the huge campus and emergency workers who appeared to be treating the wounded on sidewalks. Students who hadn’t run began leaving in a single-file line with their hands over their heads as officers urged them to evacuate quickly.

Hearing loud bangs as the shooter fired, many of the students inside hid under desks or in closets, and barricaded doors.

‘We were in the corner, away from the windows,’ said freshman Max Charles, who said he heard five gunshots. ‘The teacher locked the door and turned off the light. I thought maybe I could die or something.’

As he was leaving the building, he saw four dead students and one dead teacher. He said he was relieved when he finally found his mother.

‘I was happy that I was alive,’ Max said. ‘She was crying when she saw me.’

Noah Parness, a 17-year-old junior, said he and the other students calmly went outside to their fire-drill areas when he suddenly heard popping sounds.

‘We saw a bunch of teachers running down the stairway, and then everybody shifted and broke into a sprint,’ Parness said. ‘I hopped a fence.’

Sen. Bill Nelson told CNN that Cruz had pulled the fire alarm ‘so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall.’

‘And there the carnage began,’ said Nelson, who said he was briefed by the FBI.

Students released from a lockdown are overcome with emotion following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

The scene was reminiscent of the Newtown attack, which shocked even a country numbed by the regularity of school shootings. The December 14, 2012, assault at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 26 people: 20 first-graders and six staff members. The 20-year-old gunman, who also fatally shot his mother in her bed, then killed himself.

Not long after Wednesday’s attack in Florida, Michael Nembhard was sitting in his garage on a cul-de-sac when he saw a young man in a burgundy shirt walking down the street. In an instant, a police cruiser pulled up, and officers jumped out with guns drawn.

‘All I heard was ‘Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” Nembhard said. He said Cruz did as he was told.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined law enforcement agents near the site of the deadly school shooting on Wednesday night and offered his condolences to the victims’ families and survivors.

Scott said that he couldn’t imagine what the families of the victims are going through. He also said he would be visiting hospitalized survivors.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the state would cover funeral expenses for the victims and counseling for survivors.

The school will be closed for the rest of the week.

Gunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral Springs

Majory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Parkland, west of Boca Raton, in Florida 

Majory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Parkland, west of Boca Raton, in Florida

South Florida remained on edge on Thursday. Miami’s main criminal courthouse building was put on lockdown after an unspecified threat was reported, Miami-Dade County’s state attorney said on Twitter.

Another Broward school briefly also went on lockdown after reports of a shooting, which turned out to be unfounded, local media reported.

A law enforcement officer is assigned to every school in the Broward County district, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High board member Donna Korn told a local newspaper. The sheriff’s office also provides active shooter training and schools have a single point of entry, she said.

‘We have prepared the campuses, but sometimes people still find a way to let these horrific things happen,’ Korn said.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is in Parkland – Florida’s safest city last year.

It’s also a lucrative area to live because the schools are so good.

The incident comes just a few weeks after a 15-year-old boy opened fire at his rural Kentucky high school, killing two and injuring more than two dozen others.

It’s the 30th mass shooting of the year and the third-deadliest school shooting in American history, behind Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech.

PICTURED: Fourteen students, geography teacher, coach and athletic director shot dead in Florida high school massacre

Jaime Guttenberg, 14, was described by relatives as a 'kind-hearted, sweet' girl. She attended the school with her younger brother who survived and rushed home afterwards

Senior Nicholas Dworet was a gifted swimmer who had his sights set on 2020 Tokyo Olympics success. His devastated college student girlfriend is among those grieving his death. Friends said he was not just a talented athlete, but a 'good guy' who will be missed

Martin Duque, 14, was missing for hours on Wednesday and his frantic family desperately appealed for him to get in touch on social media. On Thursday, his older brother Miguel confirmed his death. Martin was a freshman

Martin Duque, 14, (left) was missing for hours on Wednesday and his frantic family desperately appealed for him to get in touch on social media. On Thursday, his older brother Miguel confirmed his death. Martin was a freshman. Meadow Pollack, 18, (right) was preparing for college. Her father was at the school on Wednesday and showed her photograph around in the hope that she would be found alive

Alyssa Alhadeff, 15, (seen right) was eulogized by her mother who said she was a talented soccer player and creative mind. 'All she had to offer the world was love... I just sent her to school and she was shot and killed,' she said

Luke Hoyer, 15, was described as a 'precious' child by his grandparents who confirmed his death. They found out about the shooting on television. They said he was a 'good kid' who 'never got in trouble'

Luke Hoyer, 15, (left) was described as a ‘precious’ child by his grandparents who confirmed his death. They found out about the shooting on television. They said he was a ‘good kid’ who ‘never got in trouble’. Joaquin Oliver, 17, (right) was also killed. Joaquin was a Venezuelan immigrant who came to the US with his family for a ‘better future’, they said on Thursday

Gina Montalto, 15, was described as a 'light and joy'. She and Jaime, another victim, volunteered at a local project called The Friendship Initiative where they acted as buddies for children with special needs. Gina's mother Jennifer shared pleas to find her on social media on Wednesday

Carmen Schentrup, 16, was also killed in the shooting. Carmen was a gifted student who last year was named as a semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. It includes students who score above average in their SATs or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

Alex Schachter, 14, was also killed.  His mother died when he was a child and he attended the school in Florida with his brother, who survived. The teenager's father Max said he was a 'sweetheart of a child' who 'just wanted to do well and please his parents'

Helena Ramsey, 17, was described by relatives as a 'reserved' and studious girl who was due to go to college next year
Alex Schachter, 14, (left) was also killed.  His mother died when he was a child and he attended the school in Florida with his brother, who survived. The teenager’s father Max said he was a ‘sweetheart of a child’ who ‘just wanted to do well and please his parents’. Helena Ramsey, 17, (right) was described by relatives as a ‘reserved’ and studious girl who was due to go to college next year

Geography Scott Beigel, 35, was shot dead as he tried to lock the door of his classroom again after letting a group of fleeing students in to hide. They were running away from the gunman.

Aaron Feis, 37, died acting as a human shield. The track coach had thrown himself on top of the kids to stop the bullets from hitting him. He was a former student and was also a security guard at the school where he had worked for eight years

Geography Scott Beigel, 35, (left) was shot dead as he tried to lock the door of his classroom again after letting a group of fleeing students in to hide. They were running away from the gunman. Aaron Feis, 37, (right) died acting as a human shield. The track coach had thrown himself on top of the kids to stop the bullets from hitting him. He was a former student and was also a security guard at the school where he had worked for eight years

Athletic director Chris Hixon, 49, was also killed shielding students

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5394229/Florida-high-school-shooting-plunges-city-mourning.html#ixzz57DvLUr9N

POLAND-US-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-POLITICS-CRISIS-OBAMA

Saul Loeb/Getty Images

The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history has tragically just taken place at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The nightmarish attack claimed the lives of 49 Americans, and wounded 53 more.

Many Americans are rightly searching for answers about what went wrong and how do we prevent more from occurring.

In the midst of all this confusion and national soul-searching, some startling claims have been made about the mass shootings in the United States compared with the rest of the world.

One of the more extravagant was that the frequency of shootings in the U.S. is more than one a day, meaning that there have purportedly been 173 mass shootings in 164 days in 2016:

However, the source massshootingtracker.org qualifies a “mass shooting” as any shooting incident with more than 4 injuries.

An article in the New York Times by Mark Follman of Mother Jones, on the other hand, clarifies that this coding of data can be misleading:

For at least the past decade, the F.B.I. regarded a mass shooting as a single attack in which four or more victims were killed. (In 2013, a mandate from President Obama for further study of the problem lowered that threshold to three victims killed.) When we began compiling our database in 2012, we used that criteria of four or more killed in public attacks, but excluded mass murders that stemmed from robbery, gang violence or domestic abuse in private homes.

Our goal with this relatively narrow set of parameters was to better understand the seemingly indiscriminate attacks that have increased in recent years, whether in movie theaters, elementary schools or office parks.

The statistics now being highlighted in the news come primarily from shootingtracker.com, a website built by members of a Reddit forum supporting gun control called GunsAreCool. That site aggregates news stories about shooting incidents — of any kind — in which four or more people are reported to have been either injured or killed.

Much like the massshooting.org data, the shootingtracker.com data characterizes any shooting incidents with four or more victims as a “mass shooting.”

Such claims have been used to promote the argument that mass shootings at such a frequency don’t happen in other nations (with stricter gun control and even gun bans), and furthermore, that the higher rate is a justification for increased gun control measures of various kinds.

The president made the claim that mass shootings don’t happen in other countries after the heinous Charleston shooting, which killed nine people.

“I say this every time we have one of these mass shootings. This just doesn’t happen in other countries,” President Obama said.

The president also made the statement in Paris, the site of a recent armed ISIS attack that killed 130 civilians, and the location of Charlie Hedbo magazine attacks that killed 12 people and injured 11 people in January.

So, are the president’s claims true?

The following is a chart of mass shooting statistics, when corrected for population. It shows that the U.S. has comparable frequency to other nations when accounting for its large population size. It should also be noted that the U.S. by far has most armed citizens in the world.

Screenshot - 6_18_2015 , 9_43_12 PM

OECD data. Archived at: http://archive.is/f4gbv

The Rampage Shooting Index. Taken from a now-defunct website, assembled data from around the world to construct a per capita mass shootings index that controls for population differences. [Update: Archived data based on OECD and other statistics can be found here.]

And since we’re just talking about members of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), we can assume these 34 countries are sufficiently “advanced” to enter into the discussion.

The bottom line: The United States falls from number one due to its frequency of 38 mass shootings from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013 (which would be number one without correcting for population) to number seven.

Security Magazine commented on the data findings:

Between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2013,there were 413 fatalities from mass shootings in the 34 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). From the five-year period of 2008-2012, there were 373 total spree shooting fatalities.

According to the OECD’s latest version of the Rampage Shooting Index, a pair of deadly shootings in Switzerland in early 2013 pushed the U.S. out of the top five OECD nations for the most per capita fatalities, but the U.S. continues to have the most rampage shooting deaths (one reason could be its size – The U.S. population accounts for 25 percent of the OECD total). However, the U.S. saw a drop in mass shooting deaths from 93 in 2012 to 68 in 2013.

The U.S.’ index of 0.12 per 5,000,000 places it behind Norway (recall the Anders Breivik massacre), Finland, Slovakia, Israel, and Switzerland – at half the ratio.

Another thing one might note: The top 5 countries for mass shootings per capita all have “restrictive” gun policies.

https://ijr.com/2015/12/348197-paris-attack-claim-mass-shootings/

 

Mass shootings in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Total U.S. deaths by year in mass shootings: 1982 to 2016[1]

The United States has more mass shootings than any other country.[2][3][4][5] A mass shooting is usually defined as a shooting resulting in at least four victims, excluding the perpetrator.[6] When the definition is restricted to four or more people dead, data shows 146 mass shootings between 1967 and 2017, with an average of eight people dead including the perpetrator.[7] The perpetrator generally either commits suicide, is killed by law enforcement, or is restrained by unarmed civilians.[8]

Frequency

Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, site of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, resulting in 59 deaths and 546 non-fatal injuries.

The frequency in which mass shootings occur depends upon definition. In recent years, the number of public mass shootings has increased substantially, even though there has been a massive decrease in gun related deaths.[9]Studies indicate that the rate at which public mass shootings occur has tripled since 2011. Between 1982 and 2011, a mass shooting occurred roughly once every 200 days. However, between 2011 and 2014 that rate has accelerated greatly with at least one mass shooting occurring every 64 days in the United States.[10]

A report by USA Today stated that there were mass killings every two weeks and that public mass killings account for 1 in 6 of all mass killings (26 killings annually would thus be equivalent to 26/6, 4 to 5, public killings per year).[11]Mother Jones listed seven mass shootings, defined as indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed,[12] in the U.S. for 2015. The average for the period 2011–2015 was about 5 a year.[13] An analysis by Michael Bloomberg‘s gun violence prevention group, Everytown for Gun Safety, identified 110 mass shootings, defined as shootings in which at least four people were murdered with a firearm, between January 2009 and July 2014; at least 57% were related to domestic or family violence.[14][15] This would imply that not more than 43% of 110 shootings in 5.5 years were non-domestic, though not necessarily public or indiscriminate; this equates to 8.6 per year, broadly in line with the other figures.

Other media outlets have reported that hundreds of mass shootings take place in the United States in a single calendar year, citing a crowd-funded website known as Shooting Tracker which defines a mass shooting as having four or more people injured or killed.[16] In December 2015, The Washington Post reported that there had been 355 mass shootings in the United States so far that year.[17] In August 2015, The Washington Post reported that the United States was averaging one mass shooting per day.[18] An earlier report had indicated that in 2015 alone, there had been 294 mass shootings that killed or injured 1,464 people.[19] However, an article from Russia Today stated that 42 percent of the incidents involved zero deaths, and 29 percent one death.[20] Shooting Tracker and Mass Shooting Tracker, the two sites that the media have been citing, have been criticized for using a criterion much more inclusive than that used by the government—they count four victims injured as a mass shooting—thus producing much higher figures.[21][22]

Contributing factors

There are several factors that work together to create a fertile environment for mass murder in the United States.[23] Those factors include: failure of government background checks due to incomplete databases and staff shortages,[24][25] relatively high accessibility of guns,[23][26][27] acute copycat phenomenon,[26] desire for fame and notoriety,[23][26] widespread chronic gap between people’s expectations for themselves and their actual achievement,[23] and individualistic culture.[28] It is debated whether mental illness is a factor.[29][30][31] Many of the mass shooters in the U.S. suffered from mental illness, but the estimated number of mental illness cases has not increased as significantly as the number of mass shootings, which tripled from 2011 to 2014.[26]

Deadliest shootings

The following are the 20 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history (c. 1949 onwards).

  Was previously the deadliest mass shooting.
Incident Year Deaths Type of weapon(s) used Reference(s)
1 Las Vegas shooting 2017 59 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifles [32][33]
2 Orlando nightclub shooting 2016 50 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle [32][33]
3 Virginia Tech shooting 2007 33 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [32]
4 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012 28 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle and bolt-action rifle [32]
5 Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017 27 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle [34][33]
6 Luby’s shooting 1991 24 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [32]
7 San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre 1984 22 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [32]
8 University of Texas tower shooting 1966 18 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [32]
9 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting 2018 17 Semi-automatic rifle [35]
10 San Bernardino attack 2015 16 (including both perpetrators) Semi-automatic rifles [32][33]
11 Edmond post office shooting 1986 15 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [32]
Columbine High School massacre 1999 15 (including both perpetrators) Multiple weapons [36]
13 Binghamton shootings 2009 14 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [36]
14 Camden shootings 1949 13 Handgun [36]
Wilkes-Barre shootings 1982 13 Semi-automatic rifle [36]
Fort Hood shooting 2009 13 Handguns [36]
Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013 13 (including the perpetrator) Shotgun and handgun [36]
18 Aurora shooting 2012 12 Multiple weapons [36][33]
19 Geneva County massacre 2009 11 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [36]
20 GMAC shootings 1990 10 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle [32]
Red Lake shootings 2005 10 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [36]
Umpqua Community College shooting 2015 10 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [36]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_shootings_in_the_United_States

Jordan Peterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jordan Peterson
Peterson Lecture (33522701146).png

Peterson at the University of Toronto, 2017
Born Jordan Bernt Peterson
June 12, 1962 (age 55)
EdmontonAlberta, Canada
Residence TorontoOntario, Canada
Citizenship Canadian
Education Political science (B.A., 1982)
Psychology (B.A., 1984)
Clinical psychology (Ph.D., 1991)
Alma mater
Spouse(s) Tammy Roberts (m. 1989)
Children 2
Website jordanbpeterson.com
Scientific career
Fields Psychology
Institutions
Thesis Potential psychological markers for the predisposition to alcoholism (1991)
Doctoral advisor Robert O. Pihl

Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologistcultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormalsocial, and personality psychology,[1] with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief,[2] and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.[3]

Peterson grew up in FairviewAlberta. He earned a B.A. degree in political science in 1982 and a degree in psychology in 1984, both from the University of Alberta, and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University in 1991. He remained at McGill as a post-doctoral fellow for two years before moving to Massachusetts, where he worked as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department at Harvard University. In 1998, he moved to the University of Toronto as a full professor. He authored Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief in 1999, a work which examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and motivation for genocide.[4][5][6] His second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was released in January 2018.[7][8][9]

In 2016, Peterson released a series of videos on his YouTube channel in which he criticized political correctness and the Canadian government’s Bill C-16. He subsequently received significant media coverage.[7][8][9]

Childhood

Peterson was born on June 12, 1962, and grew up in FairviewAlberta, a small town northwest of his birthplace Edmonton, in Canada. He was the eldest of three children born to Beverley, a librarian at the Fairview campus of Grande Prairie Regional College, and Walter Peterson, a schoolteacher.[10] His middle name is Bernt (/bɛərnt/ BAIRNT), after his Norwegian great-grandfather.[11][12]

When he was 13, he was introduced to the writings of George OrwellAldous HuxleyAleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Ayn Rand by his school librarian Sandy Notley—mother of Rachel Notley, leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party and 17th Premier of Alberta.[13] He also worked for the New Democratic Party (NDP) throughout his teenage years, but grew disenchanted with the party due to what he saw as a preponderance of “the intellectual, tweed-wearing middle-class socialist” who “didn’t like the poor; they just hated the rich”.[10] He left the NDP at age 18.[14]

Education

After graduating from Fairview High School in 1979, Peterson entered the Grande Prairie Regional College to study political science and English literature.[2] He later transferred to the University of Alberta, where he completed his B.A. in 1982.[14] Afterwards, he took a year off to visit Europe. There he developed an interest in the psychological origins of the Cold War, particularly 20th century European totalitarianism,[2][15] and was plagued by apocalyptic nightmares about the escalation of the nuclear arms race. As a result, he became concerned about mankind’s capacity for evil and destruction, and delved into the works of Carl JungFriedrich NietzscheAleksandr Solzhenitsyn,[10] and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.[15] He then returned to the University of Alberta and received a B.A. in psychology in 1984.[16] In 1985, he moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology under the supervision of Robert O. Pihl in 1991, and remained as a post-doctoral fellow at McGill’s Douglas Hospital until June 1993, working with Pihl and Maurice Dongier.[2][17]

Career

From July 1993 to June 1998,[1] Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals.[14] Former Ph.D. students: psychologist and teacher from Harvard Shelley Carson, and author Gregg Hurwitz, recalled that his lectures already were highly admired by the students.[8] In July 1998, he returned to Canada and took up a post as a full professor at the University of Toronto.[1][16]

His areas of study and research are in the fields of psychopharmacologyabnormalneuroclinicalpersonalitysocialindustrial and organizational,[1] religiousideological,[2] political, and creativity psychology.[3] Peterson has authored or co-authored more than a hundred academic papers.[18] Peterson has over 20 years of clinical practice, seeing 20 people a week, but in 2017, he decided to put the practice on hold because of new projects.[7]

In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario.[10][16][19] He has also appeared on that network on shows such as Big Ideas, and as a frequent guest and essayist on The Agenda with Steve Paikin since 2008.[20][21]

Works

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, in its intrapsychic or internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted, unwittingly, chaos returns. We will do anything — anything — to defend ourselves against that return.

— Jordan Peterson, 1998 (Descensus ad Inferos)[22]

In 1999, Routledge published Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory for how we construct meaning, represented by the mythical process of the exploratory hero, and provides an interpretation of religious and mythical models of reality presented in a way that is compatible with the modern scientific understanding of how the brain works. According to Craig Lambert writing in Harvard Magazine, it synthesizes ideas drawn from narratives in mythologyreligionliterature, and philosophy, as well as research from neuropsychology in “the classic, old-fashioned tradition of social science“.[22]

Peterson’s primary goal was to examine why individuals, not simply groups, engage in social conflict, and to model the path individuals take to support their belief systems (i.e. ideological identification[14]) that results in pathological atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide.[22] He explores the origins of evil, and also posits that an analysis of the world’s religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality.[23][2]

According to Peterson, there exists a struggle between chaos (characteristic of the unknown) and order (characteristic of explored, mapped territory). Humans with their capability of abstract thinking also make abstract territoriality—the belief systems which “regulate our emotions“. A potential threat to an important belief triggers emotional reactions which are potentially followed by pathological attempts to face internal chaos, and “people generally prefer war to be something external, rather than internal … than re-forming our challenged beliefs”. The principle in between is logos (consciousness), and heroic figures are those who develop the culture and society as intermediaries between these two natural forces.[22]

Harvey Shepard, writing in the religion column of the Montreal Gazette, stated: “To me, the book reflects its author’s profound moral sense and vast erudition in areas ranging from clinical psychology to scripture and a good deal of personal soul searching. … Peterson’s vision is both fully informed by current scientific and pragmatic methods, and in important ways deeply conservative and traditional”.[24] The psychologists Ralph W. Hood, Peter C. Hill, and Bernard Spilka, in their book The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach(2009), stated that in regard of the relationship of five factor model to religion, the “dynamic model for the tension between tradition and transformation has been masterfully explored by Peterson (1999) as the personality basis for what he terms the architecture of belief”.[25]

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

In January 2018, Penguin Random House published Peterson’s second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The work includes abstract ethical principles about life, written in a more accessible writing style than is Maps of Meaning.[7][8][9] To promote the book, Peterson went on a world tour.[26][27][28] As part of the tour, Peterson had an interview on Channel 4 News, which went viral, receiving over six million views on YouTube.[29][30] Following the Channel 4 News interview, 12 Rules for Life was ranked the number one bestselling book on Amazon.com in the United States, number one in Canada and number four in the United Kingdom.[31][32] It also became the No. 2 nonfiction book on The Wall Street Journals Best-Selling Books list, and the No. 1 nonfiction e-book.[33]

Melanie Reid, in her review of 12 Rules for Life for The Times, says the book is “aimed at teenagers, millennials and young parents”. Summarising it, she states: “If you peel back the verbiage, the cerebral preening, you are left with a hardline self-help manual of self-reliance, good behaviour, self-betterment and individualism that probably reflects [Peterson’s] childhood in rural Canada in the 1960s.”[34] Bryan Appleyard, also writing for The Times, describes the book as “a less dense and more practical version of Maps of Meaning.” He says it is “a baggy, aggressive, in-your-face, get-real book that, ultimately, is an attempt to lead us back to what Peterson sees as the true, the beautiful and the good — ie God.”[35] Hari Kunzru of The Guardian said the book collates advice from Peterson’s clinical practice with personal anecdotes, accounts of his academic work as a psychologist and “a lot of intellectual history of the ‘great books‘ variety”.[36] Julian Baggini, in a review of the book for the Financial Times, writes: “In headline form, most of his rules are simply timeless good sense. … The problem is that when Peterson fleshes them out, they carry more flab than meat.”[37]

Other projects

In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures (“Personality and Its Transformations”, “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief”[38]) and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 800,000 subscribers and his videos have received more than 35 million views as of January 2018.[39] He has also appeared on The Joe Rogan ExperienceThe Gavin McInnes ShowSteven Crowder‘s Louder with CrowderDave Rubin‘s The Rubin ReportStefan Molyneux‘s Freedomain Radioh3h3Productions‘s H3 PodcastSam Harris‘s Waking Up podcast, Gad Saad‘s The Saad Truth series and other online shows,[40] discussing the Bill C-16 controversy, identity politics, and his work as a psychologist. In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has 37 episodes as of January 10, 2018, including academic guests such as Camille PagliaMartin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker,[41] while on his channel he has also interviewed Stephen HicksRichard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others. Peterson supported engineer James Damore in his action against Google.[9]

In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto. He used funds received via the crowd-sourced funding website Patreon after he became embroiled in the Bill C-16 controversy in September 2016. His funding through Patreon has increased from $1,000 per month in August 2016 to $14,000 by January 2017 to more than $50,000 by July 2017.[13][39][42]

Peterson with his colleagues Robert O. Pihl, Daniel Higgins, and Michaela Schippers[43] produced a writing therapy program with series of online writing exercises, titled the Self Authoring Suite.[44] It includes the Past Authoring Program, a guided autobiography; two Present Authoring Programs, which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program, which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.[45][46] The Self Authoring Programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. Pennebaker demonstrated that writing about traumatic or uncertain events and situations improved mental and physical health, while Latham demonstrated that personal planning exercises help make people more productive.[46] According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.[10]

In May 2017, he started a new project, focusing on the psychological significance of the Biblical stories,[47] a series of live theatre lectures in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Genesis as patterns of behavior vital for personal, social and cultural stability.[9][48]

Critiques of political correctness

Peterson’s critiques of political correctness range over issues such as postmodernismpostmodern feminismwhite privilegecultural appropriation, and environmentalism.[40][49][50] Writing in the National Post, Chris Selley said Peterson’s opponents had “underestimated the fury being inspired by modern preoccupations like white privilege and cultural appropriation, and by the marginalization, shouting down or outright cancellation of other viewpoints in polite society’s institutions”,[51] while in The SpectatorTim Lott stated Peterson became “an outspoken critic of mainstream academia”.[15] Peterson’s social media presence has magnified the impact of these views; Simona Chiose of The Globe and Mail noted: “few University of Toronto professors in the humanities and social sciences have enjoyed the global name recognition Prof. Peterson has won”.[52]

According to his study – conducted with one of his students, Christine Brophy – of the relationship between political belief and personality, political correctness exists in two types: PC-Egalitarianism and PC-Authoritarianism, which is a manifestation of “offense sensitivity”.[53] The first type is represented by a group of classical liberals, while the latter by the group known as “social justice warriors[10] who “weaponize compassion“.[2] The study also found an overlap between PC-authoritarians and right-wing authoritarians.[53]

Peterson considers that the universities should be held as among the most responsible for the wave of political correctness which appeared in North America and Europe.[52] He watched the rise of political correctness on campuses since the early 1990s,[54] and considers that the humanities have become corrupt, less reliant on science, and instead of “intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation”. From his own experience as a university professor, he states that the students who are coming to his classes are uneducated and unaware about the mass exterminations and crimes by Stalinism and Maoism, which were not given the same attention as fascism and Nazism. He also says that “instead of being ennobled or inculcated into the proper culture, the last vestiges of structure are stripped from [the students] by post-modernism and neo-Marxism, which defines everything in terms of relativism and power“.[15][55][56]

Of postmodernism and identity politics

And so since the 1970s, under the guise of postmodernism, we’ve seen the rapid expansion of identity politics throughout the universities, it’s come to dominate all of the humanities — which are dead as far as I can tell — and a huge proportion of the social sciences … We’ve been publicly funding extremely radical, postmodern leftist thinkers who are hellbent on demolishing the fundamental substructure of Western civilization. And that’s no paranoid delusion. That’s their self-admitted goal … Jacques Derrida … most trenchantly formulated the anti-Western philosophy that is being pursued so assiduously by the radical left.

— Peterson, 2017[55]

Peterson believes that postmodern philosophers and sociologists since the 1960s,[49] while typically claiming to reject Marxism and Communism, because they were discredited as economic ideologies as well by the exposure of crimes in the Soviet Union, have actually built upon and extended their core tenets. He states that it is difficult to understand contemporary society without considering the influence of postmodernism which initially spread from France to the United States through the English department at Yale University. He argues that they “started to play a sleight of hand, and instead of pitting the proletariat, the working class, against the bourgeois, they started to pit the oppressed against the oppressor. That opened up the avenue to identifying any number of groups as oppressed and oppressor and to continue the same narrative under a different name … The people who hold this doctrine – this radical, postmodern, communitarian doctrine that makes racial identity or sexual identity or gender identity or some kind of group identity paramount – they’ve got control over most low-to-mid level bureaucratic structures, and many governments as well”.[55][18]

He emphasizes that the state should halt funding to faculties and courses he describes as neo-Marxist, and advises students to avoid disciplines like women’s studiesethnic studies and racial studies, as well other fields of study he believes are “corrupted” by the ideology such as sociologyanthropology and English literature.[57][58] He states that these fields, under the pretense of academic inquiry, propagate unscientific methods, fraudulent peer-review processes for academic journals, publications that garner zero citations,[59] cult-like behaviour,[57] safe-spaces,[60] and radical left-wing political activism for students.[49] Peterson has proposed launching a website which uses AI to identify and showcase the amount of ideologization in specific courses. He announced in November 2017 that he had temporarily postponed the project as “it might add excessively to current polarization”.[61][62]

Peterson has criticized the use of the term “white privilege“, stating that, “being called out on their white privilege, identified with a particular racial group and then made to suffer the consequences of the existence of that racial group and its hypothetical crimes, and that sort of thing has to come to a stop. … [It’s] racist in its extreme”.[49] In response to the 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, he criticized the far right‘s use of identity politics, and said that “the Caucasians shouldn’t revert to being white. It’s a bad idea, it’s a dangerous idea, and it’s coming fast, and I don’t like to see that!” He stated that the notion of group identity is “seriously pathological … reprehensible … genocidal” and “it will bring down our civilization if we pursue it”.[63] He has also been prominent in the debate about cultural appropriation, stating it promotes self-censorship in society and journalism.[64]

Of Bill C-16

On September 27, 2016, Peterson released the first installment of a three-part lecture video series, entitled “Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law”.[13][65] In the video, he stated he would not use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty as part of compelled speech, and announced his objection to the Canadian government‘s Bill C-16, which proposed to add “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to similarly expand the definitions of promoting genocide and publicly inciting hatred in the Criminal Code.[65][66]

He stated that his objection to the bill was based on potential free speech implications if the Criminal Code is amended, as he claimed he could then be prosecuted under provincial human rights laws if he refuses to call a transsexual student or faculty member by the individual’s preferred pronoun.[67] Furthermore, he argued that the new amendments paired with section 46.3 of the Ontario Human Rights Code would make it possible for employers and organizations to be subject to punishment under the code if any employee or associate says anything that can be construed “directly or indirectly” as offensive, “whether intentionally or unintentionally”.[68] Other academics challenged Peterson’s interpretation of C-16,[67] while some scholars such as Robert P. George supported Peterson’s initiative.[13]

The series of videos drew criticism from transgender activists, faculty and labour unions, and critics accused Peterson of “helping to foster a climate for hate to thrive”.[13] Protests erupted on campus, some including violence, and the controversy attracted international media attention.[69][70][71] When asked in September 2016 if he would comply with the request of a student to use a preferred pronoun, Peterson said “it would depend on how they asked me … If I could detect that there was a chip on their shoulder, or that they were [asking me] with political motives, then I would probably say no … If I could have a conversation like the one we’re having now, I could probably meet them on an equal level”.[71] Two months later, the National Post published an op-ed by Peterson in which he elaborated on his opposition to the bill and explained why he publicly made a stand against it:

I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words “zhe” and “zher.” These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.

I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.[72]

In response to the controversy, academic administrators at the University of Toronto sent Peterson two letters of warning, one noting that free speech had to be made in accordance with human rights legislation and the other adding that his refusal to use the preferred personal pronouns of students and faculty upon request could constitute discrimination. Peterson speculated that these warning letters were leading up to formal disciplinary action against him, but in December the university assured him that he would retain his professorship, and in January 2017 he returned to teach his psychology class at the University of Toronto.[13]

In February 2017, Maxime Bernier, candidate for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, stated that he shifted his position on Bill C-16 after meeting with Peterson and discussing it.[73] Peterson’s analysis of the bill was also frequently cited by senators who were opposed to its passage.[74]

In April 2017, Peterson was denied a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for the first time in his career, which he interpreted as retaliation for his statements regarding Bill C-16.[75] A media relations adviser for SSHRC said “[c]ommittees assess only the information contained in the application”.[76] In response, The Rebel Media launched an Indiegogo campaign on Peterson’s behalf.[77] The campaign raised $195,000 by its end on May 6, equivalent to over two years of research funding.[78]

In May 2017, Peterson spoke against Bill C-16 at a Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs hearing. He was one of 24 witnesses who were invited to speak on the bill.[74]

In August 2017, an announced event at Ryerson University titled “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses”, organized by former social worker Sarina Singh with panelists Peterson, Gad Saad, Oren Amitay, and Faith Goldy was shut down because of pressure on the university administration from the group “No Fascists in Our City”.[79] However, another version of the panel (without Goldy) was held on November 11 at Canada Christian College with an audience of 1,500.[80][81]

In November 2017 a teaching assistant (TA) at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) was censured by her professors and WLU’s Manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support for showing a segment of The Agenda, which featured Peterson debating Bill C-16, during a classroom discussion.[82][83][84] The reasons given for the censure included the clip creating a “toxic climate” and being itself in violation of Bill C-16.[85] The case was criticized by several newspaper editorial boards[86][87][88] and national newspaper columnists[89][90][91][92] as an example of the suppression of free speech on university campuses. WLU announced a third-party investigation.[93] After the audio recording of the meeting in which the TA was censured was released,[94] WLU President Deborah MacLatchy and the TA’s supervising professor Nathan Rambukkana published letters of formal apology.[95][96][97] According to the investigation no students had complained about the lesson, there was no informal concern related to Laurier policy, and according to MacLatchy the meeting “never should have happened at all”.[98][99]

Personal life

Peterson married Tammy Roberts in 1989.[13] They have one daughter and one son.[10][13] He became a grandfather in August 2017.[100]

Politically, Peterson describes himself as a classic British liberal.[101][15] He is a philosophical pragmatist.[48] In a 2017 interview, Peterson identified as a Christian,[102] but in 2018 he did not.[103] He emphasized his conceptualization of Christianity is probably not what it is generally understood, stating that the ethical responsibility of a Christian is to imitate Christ, for him meaning “something like you need to take responsibility for the evil in the world as if you were responsible for it … to understand that you determine the direction of the world, whether it’s toward heaven or hell”.[103] When asked if he believes in God, Peterson responded: “I think the proper response to that is No, but I’m afraid He might exist”.[7] Writing for The SpectatorTim Lott said Peterson draws inspiration from Jung’s philosophy of religion, and holds views similar to the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich. Lott also said Peterson has respect for Taoism, as it views nature as a struggle between order and chaos, and posits that life would be meaningless without this duality.[15]

Bibliography

Books

Journal articles

Top 15 most cited academic papers from Google Scholar and ResearchGate:

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jordan_Peterson

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 980, October 10, 2017, Story 1: The Enablers of Sexual Predators Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton Both Blame The Victims While Defending Them — Hillary Hypocrisy — Videos — Story 2: Meet Nicholas Dudich Liar for Big Lie Media New York Times — Project Veritas Strikes Again — Videos

Posted on October 10, 2017. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Assault, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Media, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Scandals, Senate, Social Networking, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for cartoons on harvey weinstein and bill clintonImage result for harvey weinstein girlsImage result for Bill Clinton and harvey weinsteinImage result for cartoons about harvey weinstein

Statement from Secretary Clinton on Harvey Weinstein:

 

Story 1: Pleading Progressive Predator Harasser Harvey (Girl & Gun Grabber & Baby Killer Supporter) Caught on Tape  — The Enablers of Sexual Predators Harvey Weinstein and Bill Clinton Both Blame The Victims While Defending Them — Hillary Hypocrisy — Videos —

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Harvey Weinstein Donated $100K to Planned Parenthood in May

Scandal-ridden Hollywood mega-producer Harvey Weinsteinattended Planned Parenthood’s gala fundraising event in May and donated $100,000 to the abortion chain that claims to be at the forefront of women’s rights.

Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company Sunday after the New York Timesexposed allegations of sexual harassment by several actresses. Subsequently, he was also accused of rape by several women featured in a New Yorker article.

The producer and his wife – fashion designer Georgina Chapman – were present at the event on May 2 that celebrated the 100th anniversary of Planned Parenthood, reportsMRCNewsBusters. At an art auction to benefit the abortion vendor, Weinstein purchased a Cecily Brown painting, for $100,000.

Artnet says about Brown’s artistic style:

Characterized by overt sexual imagery and an Abstract Expressionist gestural style, Brown’s work has emerged some of the most influential of her generation. Her large-scale canvases often feature figures engaging in sexual acts under a veil of color, as seen in Sweetie (2001), a semi-abstracted couple captured mid-coitus and rendered in bright pinks and purples.

The gala fundraiser, held in New York City, featured the presentation of the organization’s “Champion of the Century” award to failed Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein was joined by female celebrity attendees Meryl Streep, Julianne Moore, Scarlett Johansson, and Chelsea Handler in giving Clinton a standing ovation.

In her acceptance speech, Clinton criticized the Trump administration for wanting to defund Planned Parenthood because it continues to perform abortions. The former secretary of state has said unborn babies have no constitutional rights.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/10/10/harvey-weinstein-donated-100k-planned-parenthood/

From Aggressive Overtures to Sexual Assault: Harvey Weinstein’s Accusers Tell Their Stories

Multiple women share harrowing accounts of sexual assault and harassment by the film executive.

ince the establishment of the first studios a century ago, there have been few movie executives as dominant, or as domineering, as Harvey Weinstein. As the co-founder of the production-and-distribution companies Miramax and the Weinstein Company, he helped to reinvent the model for independent films, with movies such as “Sex, Lies, and Videotape,” “The English Patient,” “Pulp Fiction,” “The Crying Game,” “Shakespeare in Love,” and “The King’s Speech.” Beyond Hollywood, he has exercised his influence as a prolific fund-raiser for Democratic Party candidates, including Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Weinstein combined a keen eye for promising scripts, directors, and actors with a bullying, even threatening, style of doing business, inspiring both fear and gratitude. His movies have earned more than three hundred Oscar nominations, and, at the annual awards ceremonies, he has been thanked more than almost anyone else in movie history, just after Steven Spielberg and right before God.

For more than twenty years, Weinstein has also been trailed by rumors of sexual harassment and assault. This has been an open secret to many in Hollywood and beyond, but previous attempts by many publications, including The New Yorker, to investigate and publish the story over the years fell short of the demands of journalistic evidence. Too few people were willing to speak, much less allow a reporter to use their names, and Weinstein and his associates used nondisclosure agreements, monetary payoffs, and legal threats to suppress these myriad stories. Asia Argento, an Italian film actress and director, told me that she did not speak out until now—Weinstein, she told me, forcibly performed oral sex on her—because she feared that Weinstein would “crush” her. “I know he has crushed a lot of people before,” Argento said. “That’s why this story—in my case, it’s twenty years old; some of them are older—has never come out.”

Last week, the New York Times, in a powerful report by Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, revealed multiple allegations of sexual harassment against Weinstein, a story that led to the resignation of four members of his company’s all-male board, and to Weinstein’s firing from the company.

The story, however, is more complex, and there is more to know and to understand. In the course of a ten-month investigation, I was told by thirteen women that, between the nineteen-nineties and 2015, Weinstein sexually harassed or assaulted them, allegations that corroborate and overlap with the Times’ revelations, and also include far more serious claims.

Three women—among them Argento and a former aspiring actress named Lucia Evans—told me that Weinstein raped them, allegations that include Weinstein forcibly performing or receiving oral sex and forcing vaginal sex. Four women said that they experienced unwanted touching that could be classified as an assault. In an audio recording captured during a New York Police Department sting operation in 2015 and made public here for the first time, Weinstein admits to groping a Filipina-Italian model named Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, describing it as behavior he is “used to.” Four of the women I interviewed cited encounters in which Weinstein exposed himself or masturbated in front of them.

Weinstein admits to groping a woman, in a recording secretly captured during an N.Y.P.D. sting operation.

Sixteen former and current executives and assistants at Weinstein’s companies told me that they witnessed or had knowledge of unwanted sexual advances and touching at events associated with Weinstein’s films and in the workplace. They and others describe a pattern of professional meetings that were little more than thin pretexts for sexual advances on young actresses and models. All sixteen said that the behavior was widely known within both Miramax and the Weinstein Company. Messages sent by Irwin Reiter, a senior company executive, to Emily Nestor, one of the women who alleged that she was harassed at the company, described the “mistreatment of women” as a serial problem that the Weinstein Company was struggling with in recent years. Other employees described what was, in essence, a culture of complicity at Weinstein’s places of business, with numerous people throughout the companies fully aware of his behavior but either abetting it or looking the other way. Some employees said that they were enlisted in subterfuge to make the victims feel safe. A female executive with the company described how Weinstein assistants and others served as a “honeypot”—they would initially join a meeting, but then Weinstein would dismiss them, leaving him alone with the woman.

Virtually all of the people I spoke with told me that they were frightened of retaliation. “If Harvey were to discover my identity, I’m worried that he could ruin my life,” one former employee told me. Many said that they had seen Weinstein’s associates confront and intimidate those who crossed him, and feared that they would be similarly targeted. Four actresses, including Mira Sorvino and Rosanna Arquette, told me they suspected that, after they rejected Weinstein’s advances or complained about them to company representatives, Weinstein had them removed from projects or dissuaded people from hiring them. Multiple sources said that Weinstein frequently bragged about planting items in media outlets about those who spoke against him; these sources feared that they might be similarly targeted. Several pointed to Gutierrez’s case, in 2015: after she went to the police, negative items discussing her sexual history and impugning her credibility began rapidly appearing in New York gossip pages. (In the taped conversation with Gutierrez, Weinstein asks her to join him for “five minutes,” and warns, “Don’t ruin your friendship with me for five minutes.”)

Several former employees told me that they were speaking about Weinstein’s alleged behavior now because they hoped to protect women in the future. “This wasn’t a one-off. This wasn’t a period of time,” an executive who worked for Weinstein for many years told me. “This was ongoing predatory behavior towards women—whether they consented or not.”

It’s likely that women have recently felt increasingly emboldened to talk about their experiences because of the way the world has changed regarding issues of sex and power. These disclosures follow in the wake of stories alleging sexual misconduct by public figures, including Bill O’Reilly, Roger Ailes, Bill Cosby, and Donald Trump. In October, 2016, a month before the election, a tape emerged of Trump telling a celebrity-news reporter, “And when you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything. . . . Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” This past April, O’Reilly, a host at Fox News, was forced to resign after Fox was discovered to have paid five women millions of dollars in exchange for silence about their accusations of sexual harassment. Ailes, the former head of Fox News, resigned last July, after he was accused of sexual harassment. Cosby went on trial this summer, charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a woman. The trial ended with a hung jury.

On October 5th, in an initial effort at damage control, Weinstein responded to the Times piece by issuing a statement partly acknowledging what he had done, saying, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” In an interview with the New York Post, he said, “I’ve got to deal with my personality, I’ve got to work on my temper, I have got to dig deep. I know a lot of people would like me to go into a facility, and I may well just do that—I will go anywhere I can learn more about myself.” Weinstein went on, “In the past I used to compliment people, and some took it as me being sexual, I won’t do that again.” In his statement to the Times, Weinstein claimed that he would “channel that anger” into a fight against the leadership of the National Rifle Association. He also said that it was not “coincidental” that he was organizing a foundation for women directors at the University of Southern California. “It will be named after my mom and I won’t disappoint her.”

Sallie Hofmeister, a spokesperson for Weinstein, issued a statement in response to the allegations in this article. It reads in full: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. Mr. Weinstein obviously can’t speak to anonymous allegations, but with respect to any women who have made allegations on the record, Mr. Weinstein believes that all of these relationships were consensual. Mr. Weinstein has begun counseling, has listened to the community and is pursuing a better path. Mr. Weinstein is hoping that, if he makes enough progress, he will be given a second chance.”

While Weinstein and his representatives have said that the incidents were consensual, and were not widespread or severe, the women I spoke to tell a very different story.

2.

Lucia Stoller, now Lucia Evans, was approached by Weinstein at Cipriani Upstairs, a club in New York, in 2004, the summer before her senior year at Middlebury College. Evans wanted to be an actress, and although she had heard rumors about Weinstein she let him have her number. Weinstein began calling her late at night, or having an assistant call her, asking to meet. She declined, but said that she would do readings during the day for a casting executive. Before long, an assistant called to set up a daytime meeting at the Miramax office, in Tribeca, first with Weinstein and then with a casting executive, who was a woman. “I was, like, ‘Oh, a woman, great, I feel safe,’ ” Evans said.

When Evans arrived for the meeting, the building was full of people. She was led to an office with exercise equipment and takeout boxes on the floor, where she met with Weinstein alone. Evans said that she found him frightening. “The type of control he exerted, it was very real,” she told me. “Even just his presence was intimidating.”

In the meeting, Evans recalled, “he immediately was simultaneously flattering me and demeaning me and making me feel bad about myself.” Weinstein told her that she’d “be great in ‘Project Runway’ ”—the show, which Weinstein helped produce, premièred later that year—but only if she lost weight. He also told her about two scripts, a horror movie and a teen love story, and said one of his associates would discuss them with her.

“At that point, after that, is when he assaulted me,” Evans said. “He forced me to perform oral sex on him.” As she objected, Weinstein took his penis out of his pants and pulled her head down onto it. “I said, over and over, ‘I don’t want to do this, stop, don’t,’ ” she said. “I tried to get away, but maybe I didn’t try hard enough. I didn’t want to kick him or fight him.” In the end, she said, “He’s a big guy. He overpowered me.” At a certain point, she said, “I just sort of gave up. That’s the most horrible part of it, and that’s why he’s been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it’s their fault.”

Weinstein appeared to find the encounter unremarkable. “It was like it was just another day for him,” Evans said. “It was no emotion.” Afterward, she said, he acted as if nothing had happened. She wondered how Weinstein’s staff could not know what was going on.

After the encounter, she met with the female casting executive, who sent her the scripts, and also came to one of her acting-class readings a few weeks later. (Evans does not believe that the executive was aware of Weinstein’s behavior.) Weinstein, Evans said, began calling her again late at night. Evans told me that the entire sequence of events had a routine quality. “It feels like a very streamlined process,” she said. “Female casting director, Harvey wants to meet. Everything was designed to make me feel comfortable before it happened. And then the shame in what happened was also designed to keep me quiet.”

Evans said that, after the incident, “I just put it in a part of my brain and closed the door.” She continued to blame herself for not fighting harder. “It was always my fault for not stopping him,” she said. “I had an eating problem for years. I was disgusted with myself. It’s funny, all these unrelated things I did to hurt myself because of this one thing.” Evans told friends some of what had happened, but felt largely unable to talk about it. “I ruined several really good relationships because of this. My schoolwork definitely suffered, and my roommates told me to go to a therapist because they thought I was going to kill myself.”

In the years that followed, Evans encountered Weinstein occasionally. Once, while she was walking her dog in Greenwich Village, she saw him getting into a car. “I very clearly saw him. I made eye contact,” she said. “I remember getting chills down my spine just looking at him. I was so horrified. I have nightmares about him to this day.”

3.

Asia Argento, an actress born in Rome, played the role of a glamorous thief named Beatrice in the crime drama “B. Monkey,” which was released in the U.S. in 1999. The distributor was Miramax. In a series of long and often emotional interviews, Argento told me that Weinstein assaulted her while they worked together.

At the time, Argento was twenty-one and a rising actress who had twice won the Italian equivalent of the Oscar. Argento said that, in 1997, one of Weinstein’s producers invited her to what she understood to be a party thrown by Miramax at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc, on the French Riviera. Argento felt professionally obliged to attend. When the producer led her upstairs that evening, she said, there was no party—only a hotel room, empty but for Weinstein: “I’m, like, ‘Where is the fucking party?’ ” She recalled the producer telling her, “Oh, we got here too early,” before he left her alone with Weinstein. (The producer denies bringing Argento to the room that night.) At first, Weinstein was solicitous, praising her work. Then he left the room. When he returned, he was wearing a bathrobe and holding a bottle of lotion. “He asks me to give a massage. I was, like, ‘Look, man, I am no fucking fool,’ ” Argento said. “But, looking back, I am a fucking fool. And I am still trying to come to grips with what happened.”

Argento said that, after she reluctantly agreed to give Weinstein a massage, he pulled her skirt up, forced her legs apart, and performed oral sex on her as she repeatedly told him to stop. Weinstein “terrified me, and he was so big,” she said. “It wouldn’t stop. It was a nightmare.”

At some point, Argento said, she stopped saying no and feigned enjoyment, because she thought it was the only way the assault would end. “I was not willing,” she told me. “I said, ‘No, no, no.’ . . . It’s twisted. A big fat man wanting to eat you. It’s a scary fairy tale.” Argento, who insisted that she wanted to tell her story in all its complexity, said that she didn’t physically fight him off, something that has prompted years of guilt.

“The thing with being a victim is I felt responsible,” she said. “Because, if I were a strong woman, I would have kicked him in the balls and run away. But I didn’t. And so I felt responsible.” She described the incident as a “horrible trauma.” Decades later, she said, oral sex is still ruined for her. “I’ve been damaged,” she told me. “Just talking to you about it, my whole body is shaking.”

Argento recalled sitting on the bed after the incident, her clothes “in shambles,” her makeup smeared. She said that she told Weinstein, “I am not a whore,” and that he began laughing. He said he’d put the phrase on a T-shirt. Afterward, Argento said, “He kept contacting me.” For a few months, Weinstein seemed obsessed, offering her expensive gifts.

What complicates the story, Argento readily allowed, is that she eventually yielded to Weinstein’s further advances and even grew close to him. Weinstein dined with her, and introduced her to his mother. Argento told me, “He made it sound like he was my friend and he really appreciated me.” She said that she had consensual sexual relations with him multiple times over the course of the next five years, though she described the encounters as one-sided and “onanistic.” The first occasion, several months after the alleged assault, came before the release of “B. Monkey.” “I felt I had to,” she said. “Because I had the movie coming out and I didn’t want to anger him.” She believed that Weinstein would ruin her career if she didn’t comply. Years later, when she was a single mother dealing with childcare, Weinstein offered to pay for a nanny. She said that she felt “obliged” to submit to his sexual advances.

Argento said that she knew this contact would be used to attack the credibility of her allegation. In part, she said, the initial assault made her feel overpowered each time she encountered Weinstein, even years later. “Just his body, his presence, his face, bring me back to the little girl that I was when I was twenty-one,” she told me. “When I see him, it makes me feel little and stupid and weak.” She broke down as she struggled to explain. “After the rape, he won,” she said.

In 2000, Argento released “Scarlet Diva,” a movie that she wrote and directed. In the film, a heavyset producer corners the character of Anna, who is played by Argento, in a hotel room, asks her for a massage, and tries to assault her. After the movie came out, women began approaching Argento, saying that they recognized Weinstein’s behavior in the portrayal. “People would ask me about him because of the scene in the movie,” she said. Some recounted similar details to her: meetings and professional events moved to hotel rooms, bathrobes and massage requests, and, in one other case, forced oral sex.

Weinstein, according to Argento, saw the film after it was released in the U.S., and apparently recognized himself. “Ha, ha, very funny,” Argento remembered him saying to her. But he also said that he was “sorry for whatever happened.” The movie’s most significant departure from the real-life incident, Argento told me, was how the hotel-room scene ended. “In the movie I wrote,” she said, “I ran away.”

Other women were too afraid to allow me to use their names, but their stories are uncannily similar to these allegations. One, a woman who worked with Weinstein, explained her reluctance to be identified. “He drags your name through the mud, and he’ll come after you hard with his legal team.”

Like other women in this article, she said that Weinstein brought her to a hotel room under a professional pretext, changed into a bathrobe, and “forced himself on me sexually.” She said no, repeatedly and clearly. Afterward, she experienced “horror, disbelief, and shame,” and considered going to the police. “I thought it would be a ‘He said, she said,’ and I thought about how impressive his legal team is, and I thought about how much I would lose, and I decided to just move forward,” she said. The woman continued to have professional contact with Weinstein after the alleged rape, and acknowledged that subsequent communications between them might suggest a normal working relationship. “I was in a vulnerable position and I needed my job,” she told me. “It just increases the shame and the guilt.”

4.

Mira Sorvino, who starred in several of Weinstein’s films, told me that he sexually harassed her and tried to pressure her into a physical relationship while they worked together. She said that, at the Toronto International Film Festival in September, 1995, she found herself in a hotel room with Weinstein, who produced the movie she was there to promote, “Mighty Aphrodite,” for which she later won an Academy Award. “He started massaging my shoulders, which made me very uncomfortable, and then tried to get more physical, sort of chasing me around,” she recalled. She scrambled for ways to ward him off, telling him it was against her religion to date married men. (At the time, Weinstein was married to Eve Chilton, a former assistant.) Then she left the room.

A few weeks later, in New York City, her phone rang after midnight. It was Weinstein, saying that he had new marketing ideas for the film and asking to meet. Sorvino offered to meet him at an all-night diner, but he told her he was coming over to her apartment and hung up. “I freaked out,” she told me. She called a friend and asked him to come over and pose as her boyfriend. The friend hadn’t arrived by the time Weinstein rang her doorbell. “Harvey had managed to bypass my doorman,” she said. “I opened the door terrified, brandishing my twenty-pound Chihuahua mix in front of me, as though that would do any good.” When she told Weinstein that her new boyfriend was on his way, Weinstein became dejected and left.

Sorvino said that she struggled for years with whether to come forward with her story, partly because she was aware that it was mild compared to the experiences of other women, including another actress she spoke to at the time. (That actress told me that she locked herself in a hotel bathroom to escape Weinstein, and that he masturbated in front of her. She said it was “a classic case” of “someone not understanding the word ‘no’. . . I must have said no a thousand times.”) The fact that Weinstein was so instrumental to Sorvino’s success also made her hesitate: “I have great respect for Harvey as an artist, and owe him and his brother a debt of gratitude for the early success in my career, including the Oscar.” She had professional contact with Weinstein for years after the incident, and remains close friends with his brother and business partner, Bob Weinstein. (She said that she never told Bob about his brother’s behavior.)

Sorvino said that she felt afraid and intimidated, and that the incidents had a significant impact on her. When she told a female employee at Miramax about the harassment, the woman’s reaction “was shock and horror that I had mentioned it.” Sorvino appeared in a few more of Weinstein’s films afterward, but felt that saying no to Weinstein and reporting the harassment had ultimately hurt her career. She said, “There may have been other factors, but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it.”

5.

In March, 2015, Ambra Battilana Gutierrez, who was once a finalist in the Miss Italy contest, met Harvey Weinstein at a reception for “New York Spring Spectacular,” a show that he was producing at Radio City Music Hall. Weinstein introduced himself to Gutierrez, who was twenty-two, remarking repeatedly that she looked like the actress Mila Kunis.

Following the event, Gutierrez’s agency e-mailed to say that Weinstein wanted to set up a business meeting as soon as possible. Gutierrez arrived at Weinstein’s office in Tribeca early the next evening with her modelling portfolio. In the office, she sat with Weinstein on a couch to review the portfolio, and he began staring at her breasts, asking if they were real. Gutierrez later told officers of the New York Police Department Special Victims Division that Weinstein then lunged at her, groping her breasts and attempting to put a hand up her skirt while she protested. He finally backed off and told her that his assistant would give her tickets to “Finding Neverland,” a Broadway musical that he was producing. He said that he would meet her at the show that evening.

Instead of going to the show that night, Gutierrez went to the nearest N.Y.P.D. precinct station and reported the assault. Weinstein telephoned her later that evening, annoyed that she had failed to appear at the show. She picked up the call while sitting with investigators from the Special Victims Division, who listened in on the call and devised a plan: Gutierrez would agree to see the show the following day and then meet with Weinstein. She would wear a wire and attempt to extract a confession or incriminating statement.

The next day, Gutierrez met Weinstein at the bar of the Tribeca Grand Hotel. A team of undercover officers helped guide her through the interaction. On the recording, which I have heard in full, Weinstein lists actresses whose careers he has helped and offers Gutierrez the services of a dialect coach. Then he presses her to join him in his hotel room while he showers. Gutierrez says no repeatedly; Weinstein persists, and after a while she accedes to his demand to go upstairs. But, standing in the hallway outside his room, she refuses to go farther. In an increasingly tense exchange, he presses her to enter. Gutierrez says, “I don’t want to,” “I want to leave,” and “I want to go downstairs.” She asks him directly why he groped her breasts the day before.

“Oh, please, I’m sorry, just come on in,” Weinstein says. “I’m used to that. Come on. Please.”

“You’re used to that?” Gutierrez asks, sounding incredulous.

“Yes,” Weinstein says. He later adds, “I won’t do it again.”

After almost two minutes of back-and-forth in the hallway, Weinstein finally agrees to let her leave.

According to a law-enforcement source, Weinstein, if charged, would have most likely faced a count of sexual abuse in the third degree, a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of three months in jail. But, as the police investigation proceeded and the allegation was widely reported, details about Gutierrez’s past began to appear in the tabloids. In 2010, as a young contestant in a beauty pageant associated with the former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Gutierrez had attended one of his infamous Bunga Bunga parties. She claimed that she had been unaware of the nature of the party before arriving, and eventually became a witness in a bribery case against Berlusconi, which is still ongoing. Gossip outlets also reported that Gutierrez, as a teen-ager, had made an allegation of sexual assault against an older Italian businessman but later declined to coöperate with prosecutors.

Two sources close to the police investigation said that they had no reason to doubt Gutierrez’s account of the incident. One of them, a police source, said that the department had collected more than enough evidence to prosecute Weinstein. But the other source said that Gutierrez’s statements about her past complicated the case for the office of the Manhattan District Attorney, Cyrus Vance, Jr. After two weeks of investigation, the District Attorney’s office decided not to file charges. The D.A.’s office declined to comment on this story but pointed me to its statement at the time: “This case was taken seriously from the outset, with a thorough investigation conducted by our Sex Crimes Unit. After analyzing the available evidence, including multiple interviews with both parties, a criminal charge is not supported.”

“We had the evidence,” the police source involved in the operation told me. “It’s a case that made me angrier than I thought possible, and I have been on the force a long time.”

Gutierrez, when contacted for this story, said that she was unable to discuss the incident. According to a source close to the matter, after the D.A.’s office decided not to press charges, Gutierrez, facing Weinstein’s legal team, and in return for a payment, signed a highly restrictive nondisclosure agreement with Weinstein, including an affidavit stating that the acts Weinstein admits to in the recording never happened.

Weinstein’s use of such settlements was reported by the Times and confirmed to me by numerous sources. A former employee with firsthand knowledge of two settlement negotiations that took place in London in the nineteen-nineties recalled, “It felt like David versus Goliath . . . the guy with all the money and the power flexing his muscle and quashing the allegations and getting rid of them.”

6.

Last week’s Times story disclosed a complaint to the Weinstein Company’s office of human resources, filed on behalf of a temporary front-desk assistant named Emily Nestor in December, 2014. Her own account of Weinstein’s conduct is being made public here for the first time. Nestor was twenty-five when she started the job, and, after finishing law school and starting business school, was considering a career in the movie industry. On her first day in the position, Nestor said, two employees told her that she was Weinstein’s “type” physically. When Weinstein arrived at the office, he made comments about her appearance, referring to her as “the pretty girl.” He asked how old she was, and then sent all of his assistants out of the room and made her write down her telephone number.

Weinstein told her to meet him for drinks that night. Nestor invented an excuse. When he insisted, she suggested an early-morning coffee the next day, assuming that he wouldn’t accept. He did, and told her to meet him at the Peninsula in Beverly Hills, where he was staying. Nestor said that she had talked with friends in the entertainment industry and employees in the company who had warned her about Weinstein’s reputation. “I dressed very frumpy,” she said.

Nestor told me that the meeting was the “most excruciating and uncomfortable hour of my life.” After Weinstein offered her career help, she said, he began to boast about his sexual liaisons with other women, including famous actresses. “He said, ‘You know, we could have a lot of fun,’ ” Nestor recalled. “I could put you in my London office, and you could work there and you could be my girlfriend.” She declined. He asked to hold her hand; she said no. In Nestor’s account of the exchange, Weinstein said, “Oh, the girls always say no. You know, ‘No, no.’ And then they have a beer or two and then they’re throwing themselves at me.” In a tone that Nestor described as “very weirdly proud,” Weinstein added “that he’d never had to do anything like Bill Cosby.” She assumed that he meant he’d never drugged a woman. “It’s just a bizarre thing to be so proud of,” she said. “That you’ve never had to resort to doing that. It was just so far removed from reality and normal rules of consent.”

“Textbook sexual harassment” was how Nestor described Weinstein’s behavior to me. “It’s a pretty clear case of sexual harassment when your superior, the C.E.O., asks one of their inferiors, a temp, to have sex with them, essentially in exchange for mentorship.” She recalled refusing his advances at least a dozen times. “ ‘No’ did not mean ‘no’ to him,” she said. “I was very aware of how inappropriate it was. But I felt trapped.”

Throughout the breakfast, she said, Weinstein interrupted their conversation to yell into his cell phone, enraged over a spat that Amy Adams, a star in the Weinstein movie “Big Eyes,” was having in the press. Afterward, Weinstein told Nestor to keep an eye on the news cycle, which he promised would be spun in his favor. Later in the day, there were indeed negative news items about his opponents, and Weinstein stopped by Nestor’s desk to be sure that she’d seen them.

By that point, Nestor recalled, “I was very afraid of him. And I knew how well connected he was. And how if I pissed him off then I could never have a career in that industry.” Still, she told the friend who referred her to the job about the incident, and he alerted the company’s office of human resources, which contacted her. (The friend did not respond to a request for comment.) Nestor had a conversation with company officials about the matter but didn’t pursue it further: the officials said that Weinstein would be informed of anything she told them, a practice not uncommon in smaller businesses. Several former Weinstein employees told me that the company’s human-resources department was utterly ineffective; one female executive described it as “a place where you went to when you didn’t want anything to get done. That was common knowledge across the board. Because everything funnelled back to Harvey.” She described the department’s typical response to allegations of misconduct as “This is his company. If you don’t like it, you can leave.”

Nestor told me that some people at the company did seem concerned. Irwin Reiter, a senior executive who had worked for Weinstein for almost three decades, sent her a series of messages via LinkedIn. “We view this very seriously and I personally am very sorry your first day was like this,” Reiter wrote. “Also if there are further unwanted advances, please let us know.” Last year, just before the Presidential election, he reached out again, writing, “All this Trump stuff made me think of you.” He described Nestor’s experience as part of Weinstein’s serial misconduct. “I’ve fought him about mistreatment of women 3 weeks before the incident with you. I even wrote him an email that got me labelled by him as sex police,” he wrote. “The fight I had with him about you was epic. I told him if you were my daughter he would have not made out so well.” (Reiter declined to comment, but his lawyer, Debra Katz, confirmed the authenticity of the messages and said that Reiter had made diligent efforts to raise these issues, to no avail. Katz also said that Reiter “is eager to coöperate fully with any outside investigation.”)

Though no assault occurred, and Nestor completed her temporary placement, she was profoundly affected by the incident. “I was definitely traumatized for a while, in terms of feeling so harassed and frightened,” she said. “It made me feel incredibly discouraged that this could be something that happens on a regular basis. I actually decided not to go into entertainment because of this incident.”

7.

Emma de Caunes, a French actress, met Weinstein in 2010, at a party at the Cannes Film Festival. A few months later, he asked her to a lunch meeting at the Hôtel Ritz in Paris. In the meeting, Weinstein told de Caunes that he was going to be producing a movie with a prominent director, that he planned to shoot it in France, and that it had a strong female role. It was an adaptation of a book, he said, but he claimed he couldn’t remember the title. “But I’ll give it to you,” Weinstein said, according to de Caunes. “I have it in my room.”

De Caunes replied that she had to leave, since she was already running late for a TV show she was hosting—Eminem was appearing on the show that afternoon, and she hadn’t written her questions yet. Weinstein pleaded with her to retrieve the book with him, and finally she agreed. As they got to his room, she received a telephone call from one of her colleagues, and Weinstein disappeared into a bathroom, leaving the door open. She assumed that he was washing his hands.

“When I hung up the phone, I heard the shower go on in the bathroom,” she said. “I was, like, What the fuck, is he taking a shower?” Weinstein came out, naked and with an erection. “What are you doing?” she asked. Weinstein demanded that she lie on the bed and told her that many other women had done so before her.

“I was very petrified,” de Caunes said. “But I didn’t want to show him that I was petrified, because I could feel that the more I was freaking out, the more he was excited.” She added, “It was like a hunter with a wild animal. The fear turns him on.” De Caunes told Weinstein that she was leaving, and he panicked. “We haven’t done anything!” she remembered him saying. “It’s like being in a Walt Disney movie!”

De Caunes told me, “I looked at him and I said—it took all my courage—but I said, ‘I’ve always hated Walt Disney movies.’ And then I left. I slammed the door.” She was shaking on the stairs down to the lobby. A director she was working with on the TV show confirmed that she arrived at the studio distraught and that she recounted what had happened. Weinstein called relentlessly over the next few hours, offering de Caunes gifts and repeating that nothing had happened.

De Caunes, who was in her early thirties at the time, was already an established actress, but she wondered what would happen to younger and more vulnerable women in the same situation. Over the years, she said, she’s heard similar accounts from friends. “I know that everybody—I mean everybody—in Hollywood knows that it’s happening,” de Caunes said. “He’s not even really hiding. I mean, the way he does it, so many people are involved and see what’s happening. But everyone’s too scared to say anything.”

8.

One evening in the early nineties, the actress Rosanna Arquette was supposed to meet Weinstein for dinner at the Beverly Hills Hotel to pick up the script for a new film. At the hotel, Arquette was told to meet Weinstein upstairs, in his room.

Arquette recalled that, when she arrived at the room, Weinstein opened the door wearing a white bathrobe. Weinstein said that his neck was sore and that he needed a massage. She told him that she could recommend a good masseuse. “Then he grabbed my hand,” she said. He put it on his neck. When she yanked her hand away, she told me, Weinstein grabbed it again and pulled it toward his penis, which was visible and erect. “My heart was really racing. I was in a fight-or-flight moment,” she said. She told Weinstein, “I will never do that.”

Weinstein told her that she was making a huge mistake by rejecting him, and named an actress and a model who he claimed had given in to his sexual overtures and whose careers he said he had advanced as a result. Arquette said she told him, “I’ll never be that girl,” and left.

Arquette said that after she rejected Weinstein her career suffered. In one case, she believes, she lost a role because of it. “He made things very difficult for me for years,” she told me. She did appear in one subsequent Weinstein film, “Pulp Fiction,” which she attributes to the small size of the role and Weinstein’s deference to the filmmaker, Quentin Tarantino. (Disputes later arose over her entitlement to payment out of the film’s proceeds.) Arquette said that her silence was the result of Weinstein’s power and reputation for vindictiveness. “He’s going to be working very hard to track people down and silence people,” she explained. “To hurt people. That’s what he does.”

There are other examples of Weinstein’s modus operandi. Jessica Barth, an actress who met Weinstein at a Golden Globes party in January, 2011, told me that Weinstein invited her to a business meeting at the Peninsula. When she arrived, he asked her over the phone to come up to his room. Weinstein assured her it was “no big deal”—because of his high profile, he simply wanted privacy to “talk career stuff.” In the room, Barth found that Weinstein had ordered champagne and sushi.

Barth said that, in the conversation that followed, he alternated between offering to cast her in a film and demanding a naked massage in bed. “So, what would happen if, say, we’re having some champagne and I take my clothes off and you give me a massage?” she recalled him asking. “And I’m, like, ‘That’s not going to happen.’ ”

When she moved toward the door to leave, Weinstein lashed out, saying that she needed to lose weight “to compete with Mila Kunis,” and then, apparently in an effort to mollify her, promising a meeting with one of his female executives. “He gave me her number, and I walked out and I started bawling,” Barth told me. (Immediately after the incident, she spoke with two individuals who confirmed to me that she related her account to them at the time.) Barth said that the promised meeting at Weinstein’s office seemed to be purely a formality. “I just knew it was bullshit,” she said. (The executive she met with did not respond to requests for comment.)

9.

Weinstein’s behavior deeply affected the day-to-day operations of his company. Current and former Weinstein employees described a pattern of meetings and strained complicity that closely matches the accounts of the many women I interviewed. The employees spoke on condition of anonymity, they said, because of fears about their careers in Hollywood and because of provisos in their work contracts.

“There was a large volume of these types of meetings that Harvey would have with aspiring actresses and models,” one female executive told me. “He would have them late at night, usually at hotel bars or in hotel rooms. And, in order to make these women feel more comfortable, he would ask a female executive or assistant to start those meetings with him.” She said that she was repeatedly asked to join the meetings but refused.

The female executive said that she was especially disturbed by the involvement of other employees. “It almost felt like the executive or assistant was made to be a honeypot to lure these women in, to make them feel safe,” she said. “Then he would dismiss the executive or the assistant, and then these women were alone with him. And that did not feel like it was appropriate behavior or safe behavior.”

One former employee said that she was frequently asked to join for the beginning of meetings that, she said, had in many cases already been moved from day to night and from hotel lobbies to hotel rooms. She said that Weinstein’s conduct in the meetings was brazen. During a meeting with a model, the former employee said, he turned to her and demanded, “Tell her how good of a boyfriend I am.” She said that when she refused to join one such meeting, Weinstein became enraged. Often, she was asked to keep track of the women, who, in keeping with a practice established by Weinstein’s assistants, were all filed under the same label in her phone: F.O.H., which stood for “Friend of Harvey.” She said that the pattern of meetings was nearly uninterrupted in her years working for Weinstein. “I have to say, the behavior did stop for a little bit after the groping thing,” she said, referring to Ambra Battilana Gutierrez’s allegation to the police, “but he couldn’t help himself. A few months later, he was back at it.”

Two staffers who facilitated these meetings said that they felt morally compromised by them. One male former staffer said that many of the women seemed “not aware of the nature of those meetings” and “were definitely scared.” He said most of the encounters that he saw seemed consensual, but others gave him pause. He was especially troubled by his memory of one young woman: “You just feel terrible because you could tell this girl, very young, not from our country, was now in a room waiting for him to come up there in the middle of the day, and we were not to bother them.” He said that he was never asked to facilitate these meetings for men.

None of the former executives or assistants I spoke to quit because of the misconduct, but many expressed guilt and regret about not having said or done more. They spoke about what they believed to be a culture of silence about sexual assault inside Miramax and the Weinstein Company and across the entertainment industry more broadly.

10.

Weinstein and his legal and public-relations teams have conducted a decades-long campaign to suppress these stories. In recent months, that campaign escalated. Weinstein and his associates began calling many of the women in this story. Weinstein asked Argento to meet with a private investigator and give testimony on his behalf. One actress who initially spoke to me on the record later asked that her allegation be removed. “I’m so sorry,” she wrote. “The legal angle is coming at me and I have no recourse.” Weinstein and his legal team have threatened to sue multiple media outlets, including the New York Times.

Several of the former executives and assistants in this story said that they had received calls from Weinstein in which he attempted to determine if they had talked to me or warned them not to. These employees continued to participate in the article partly because they felt there was a growing culture of accountability, embodied in the relatively recent disclosures about high-profile men like Cosby and Ailes. “I think a lot of us had thought—and hoped—over the years that it would come out sooner,” the former executive who was aware of the two legal settlements in London told me. “But I think now is the right time, in this current climate, for the truth.”

The female executive who declined inappropriate meetings told me that her lawyer advised her that she could be exposed to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuits for violating the nondisclosure agreement attached to her employment contract. “I believe this is more important than keeping a confidentiality agreement,” she said. “The more of us that can confirm or validate for these women if this did happen, I think it’s really important for their justice to do that.” She continued, “I wish I could have done more. I wish I could have stopped it. And this is my way of doing that now.”

“He’s been systematically doing this for a very long time,” the former employee who had been made to act as a “honeypot” told me. She said that she often thinks of something Weinstein whispered—to himself, as far as she could tell—after one of his many shouting sprees at the office. It so unnerved her that she pulled out her iPhone and tapped it into a memo, word for word: “There are things I’ve done that nobody knows.”

 

Weinstein Dropped $100K at 2017 Planned Parenthood Gala

At a recent Planned Parenthood gala, Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein appeared to paint himself as a staunch supporter of women – even though allegations now claim he was anything but.

On Oct. 8, Weinstein was fired by The Weinstein Company following a New York Times story in which several women accused him of sexual harassment. Two days later, on Oct. 10, The New Yorker published a follow-up piece where three women accused him of rape.

Back in May, Harvey Weinstein and his wife, fashion designer Georgina Chapman, attended Planned Parenthood’s 100th-anniversary gala in New York City.

 

May 2017: Harvey Weinstein and his wife at the 100th Anniversary Gala for Planned Parenthood

 

At the celebration, Planned Parenthood awarded former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton the Champion of the Century Award. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein gave Clinton a standing ovation at the event where she insisted on the “morality” of “reproductive health care” (aka abortion) and stressed “trusting and valuing women.”

“Protecting access to the full range of reproductive health care. It is a health issue, of course, it is a core economic issue. Women in every corner of our country understand that intimately. And anyone who wants to lead should also understand that fundamentally, this is an issue of morality,” Clinton said. “I wish it were common ground, but I know for sure it is higher ground. And I believe, as you do, that trusting and valuing women is the right and moral position to take.”

 

https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/culture/katie-yoder/2017/10/10/weinstein-dropped-100k-2017-planned-parenthood-gala

The Dying ‘Dinosaur’ Defense

Harvey Weinstein being set in his ways doesn’t explain away the sexual harassment charges against him.

 By Robert Schlesinger, Managing Editor for Opinion | Oct. 6, 2017, at 5:08 p.m.

The Dying ‘Dinosaur’ Defense

The New York Times on Thursday evening published a devastating and detailed account of famed Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein serially engaging in sexual harassment of and predatory behavior toward women of all ages with whom he had, or might have had, business relationships. “Across the years and continents, accounts of Mr. Weinstein’s conduct share a common narrative: Women reported to a hotel for what they thought were work reasons, only to discover that Mr. Weinstein, who has been married for most of three decades, sometimes seemed to have different interests,” the Times’ Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey reported. Those interests reportedly involved most definitely non-business things like massages, bathing and sex.

The whole story, which goes into stomach-churning detail is a must-read; it cites “dozens” of sources and reports that he’s reached at least eight settlements with women on these matters and quotes women ranging from the famous (Ashley Judd) to the little-known, low-level job seekers. I was struck, however, by one explanation proffered by Lisa Bloom, a lawyer advising him (emphasis mine):

Ms. Bloom, who has been advising Mr. Weinstein over the last year on gender and power dynamics, called him ” an old dinosaur learning new ways.” She said she had “explained to him that due to the power difference between a major studio head like him and most others in the industry, whatever his motives, some of his words and behaviors can be perceived as inappropriate, even intimidating.”

Ad executive Donny Deutsch noted this line of defense on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Friday morning; a regular guest of the show, Deutsch told viewers that he’s “known Harvey for years,” adding, “These stories have been legend in Hollywood for years.” He went on (again, emphasis mine):

One of Harvey’s defenses, and it speaks for itself, is that he grew up in the ’70s and ’80s and this was behavior – status quo, which I’m not going to comment on.
But I do think that there’s a sea-change happening … that women are going to feel much more empowered and that behavior is going to become more and more – certainly … There’s still so far to go for women in the workplace, but there is a sea-change happening.

And I get that. Imagine being a creature of the 1970s or 1980s and being suddenly thrust into 2017. It would be disorienting and scary; how would you know how to act? Consider all of the things you might find shocking and incomprehensible: personal computers and the revolution they’ve wrought, email, the world wide web, e-commerce and social media. Video cassette recorders (ask your parents) were novel in the 1970s with compact discs and DVDs still on the horizon, not to mention the proliferation of cable channels and the ability to stream movies, television shows and music. Mobile phones big boxy things and smart phones (and tablets) were the stuff of science fiction. Navigation was done with paper maps rather than something called GPS. You could smoke in restaurants, bars … and on airplanes. Medicine didn’t include miracle devices like MRIs and CT scans. And drinking while driving was in many cases just fine (seriously).

And, of course, it’s not acceptable – whether under the law or under accepted social convention – to extract sexual gratification from those over whom one holds professional power.

So yeah, the “dinosaur” defense would explain away a lot … if someone had just awoken from a decades-long coma; or been otherwise suddenly transported through time. But the 1980s are long passed, and the country’s changed quite a bit. And its people have changed with them. I’m not unsympathetic to the idea that judging people of another era by modern standards is tricky, but people who live in the modern era can rightfully be judged by contemporary mores.

So color me skeptical of the “he grew up in the ’70s and ’80s” defense if, say, Weinstein has used a computer or smartphone; streamed any kind of media; watched any television channel beyond ABC, NBC and CBS; gotten an MRI or CT scan; or been in a vehicle as someone driving him has gotten directions from something other than a paper map without stopping and gaping in shocked amazement.

Because the thing about the 1980s is that they were three decades ago – and the thing about dinosaurs is that they died out when times and their surrounding environment changed. That this kind of behavior is unacceptable in 2017 isn’t a revelation or surprise; it’s as much an accepted part of life as the machines let us us plug in and communicate from virtually anywhere. If people like Weinstein have had the capacity to adopt to the conveniences of life like iPhones they can damned well adjust to the inconveniences like understanding that women are something more than available pleasures to be sampled at their whim – and, more, that sorry you can no longer enjoy “the abusive thrill gained not from sex but from the imposition of your will on someone who has no ability to resist or defend themselves from you, an exertion of power on the powerless,” as Rebecca Traister put it Thursday night.

Weinstein has admittedly not been alone in reportedly finding the transition to modernity trying. See also Roger AilesBill O’ReillyPresident Grab ‘Em By the Pussy … the list is not short. And that’s just the rich and famous; imagine how long the list would be if we could include every petty abuser of their position who found themselves a notch higher on the totem poll than someone they saw as an object.

You know who else found that transition taxing? The women who have been assaulted and intimidated and coerced over the years.

Change is hard. But it’s also tangible; and to have lived the last three decades is to understand that and to lose the “dinosaur” defense.

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/thomas-jefferson-street/articles/2017-10-06/retire-harvey-weinsteins-dinosaur-defense-in-sex-harassment-charges

 

Hillary Clinton condemns longtime Democratic donor Harvey Weinstein

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Clinton issued a statement condemning Weinstein’s behavior and praising women who came forward
  • Many Democratic officeholders announced their intention to return or donate Weinstein funds, but Clinton’s statement made no mention of contributions

Washington (CNN)Hillary Clinton condemned disgraced Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein on Tuesday, marking her first public comments on the matter since reports of his alleged predatory behavior broke five days ago.

“I was shocked and appalled by the revelations about Harvey Weinstein,” Clinton said in a statement through her spokesman Nick Merrill. “The behavior described by women coming forward cannot be tolerated. Their courage and the support of others is critical in helping to stop this kind of behavior.”
Weinstein is a longtime associate of the Clintons and a major Democratic Party donor who bundled funds for the party’s political campaigns, including supporting both of Clinton’s presidential bids.
Clinton’s statement makes no mention of Weinstein’s sizable donations to her own war chest.
The allegations against Weinstein have renewed a debate about sexual harassment in the workplace and drawn attention to Clinton, the Democrats’ 2016 standard-bearer who made the treatment of women a key plank of her presidential campaign.
Representatives for the former secretary of state and former President Bill Clinton had previously not responded to requests for comment about Weinstein, whose ties to the Clintons go back years, from the Clinton presidency to the former first lady’s successful campaign for Senate.
Clinton spoke in California Monday night as part of her book tour and did not address the allegations, nor was she asked about them during the 90-minute event.

Democrats disavow

Many Democratic office-holders quickly repudiated Weinstein, with some going so far as to send donations given by Weinstein to charity.
Clinton’s former running mate, Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, said on CNN Tuesday morning that people should condemn Weinstein and said he anticipated Clinton would say something eventually.
Kaine noted Clinton has spoken out about sexual harassment often. During the campaign, Clinton spoke out about the issue and went after President Donald Trump over the allegations of sexual assault against him. Trump pushed back by touting similar allegations against her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Early in the campaign, the former secretary of state was asked about some of those accusations and her own assertions that victims who allege assault should be believed. In the context of allegations against her husband, Clinton said, “I would say that everyone should be believed at first until they are disbelieved based on evidence.”
Clinton’s condemnation Tuesday came after years of links between the Clintons, Weinstein and the Democratic Party.
In 2015, the Clintons rented a home next to Weinstein in the Hamptons, and Weinstein served as a connector between Hollywood stars and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign.
Weinstein raised about $1.5 million from 1990-2016, according to data from the campaign finance-tracking Center for Responsive Politics, and was involved in fundraisers for Clinton’s effort, some of which she headlined.
Prior to Tuesday’s announcement, longtime Hillary Clinton aides were confused by the former secretary of state’s silence on the issue, questioning — in private — why she had not weighed in at all.

Bombshell allegations

A bombshell report in The New York Times detailed decades of sexual harassment by Weinstein, and just three days after its publication, Weinstein was fired by the company he founded.
On Tuesday, The New Yorker published a major story in which several women alleged sexual assault by Weinstein. Through his representative, Sallie Hofmeister, Weinstein denied “any allegations of non-consensual sex.”
The reports have put Democrats under pressure to disavow Weinstein and return or donate contributions from him to charity.
Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy, for example, said in a CNN interview on Sunday that Democrats should give any money they received from Weinstein back.
The offices of former President Barack Obama and former Vice President Joe Biden declined to comment as well. Weinstein was a bundler — someone who gathers donations from others into large sums — for the Obama-Biden 2012 effort.

Gwyneth Paltrow, Angelina Jolie and
Others Say Weinstein Harassed Them

“This way of treating women ends now,” Ms. Paltrow said as she
and other actresses accused the producer of casting-couch abuses.

When Gwyneth Paltrow was 22 years old, she got a role that would take her from actress to star: The film producer Harvey Weinstein hired her for the lead in the Jane Austen adaptation “Emma.” Before shooting began, he summoned her to his suite at the Peninsula Beverly Hills hotel for a work meeting that began uneventfully.

It ended with Mr. Weinstein placing his hands on her and suggesting they head to the bedroom for massages, she said.

“I was a kid, I was signed up, I was petrified,” she said in an interview, publicly disclosing that she was sexually harassed by the man who ignited her career and later helped her win an Academy Award.

She refused his advances, she said, and confided in Brad Pitt, her boyfriend at the time. Mr. Pitt confronted Mr. Weinstein, and soon after, the producer warned her not to tell anyone else about his come-on. “I thought he was going to fire me,” she said.

Angelina Jolie said that in the late 1990s, she rejected Mr. Weinstein’s unwanted advances in a hotel room.CreditStefan Rousseau — WPA Pool/Getty Images

“I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” Ms. Jolie said in an email. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.”

A New York Times investigation last week chronicled a hidden history of sexual harassment allegations against Mr. Weinstein and settlements he paid, often involving former employees, over three decades up to 2015. By Sunday evening, his entertainment company fired him.

On Tuesday, The New Yorker published a report that included multiple allegations of sexual assault, including forced oral and vaginal sex. The article also included accounts of sexual harassment going back to the 1990s, with women describing how intimidating Mr. Weinstein was.

Several days ago, additional actresses began sharing with The Times on-the-record stories of casting-couch abuses. Their accounts hint at the sweep of Mr. Weinstein’s alleged harassment, targeting women on the way to stardom, those who had barely acted and others in between. Fantasies that the public eagerly watched onscreen, the women recounted, sometimes masked the dark experiences of those performing in them.

The encounters they recalled followed a similar narrative: First, they said, Mr. Weinstein lured them to a private place to discuss films, scripts or even Oscar campaigns. Then, the women contend, he variously tried to initiate massages, touched them inappropriately, took off his clothes or offered them explicit work-for-sex deals.

In a statement on Tuesday, his spokeswoman, Sallie Hofmeister, said: “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein. Mr. Weinstein has further confirmed that there were never any acts of retaliation against any women for refusing his advances. He will not be available for further comments, as he is taking the time to focus on his family, on getting counseling and rebuilding his life.”

Even in an industry in which sexual harassment has long persisted, Mr. Weinstein stands out, according to the actresses and current and former employees of the film companies he ran, Miramax and the Weinstein Company. He had an elaborate system reliant on the cooperation of others: Assistants often booked the meetings, arranged the hotel rooms and sometimes even delivered the talent, then disappeared, the actresses and employees recounted. They described how some of Mr. Weinstein’s executives and assistants then found them agents and jobs or hushed actresses who were upset.

His alleged behavior became something of a Hollywood open secret: When the comedian Seth MacFarlane announced Oscar nominees in 2013, he joked, “Congratulations, you five ladies no longer have to pretend to be attracted to Harvey Weinstein.” The audience laughed. According to a 2015 memo by a former Weinstein Company executive that The Times previously disclosed, the misconduct continued.

More established actresses were fearful of speaking out because they had work; less established ones were scared because they did not. “This is Harvey Weinstein,” Katherine Kendall, who appeared in the film “Swingers” and television roles, remembers telling herself after an encounter in which she said Mr. Weinstein undressed and chased her around a living room. Telling others meant “I’ll never work again and no one is going to care or believe me,” she reasoned at the time, she said in a recent interview.

Ms. Paltrow, 45, is now an entrepreneur, no longer dependent on securing her next acting role. But she emphasized how much more vulnerable she felt at 22, when Mr. Weinstein had just signed her up for a star-making part. On a trip to Los Angeles, she received a schedule from her agents for the hotel meeting with Mr. Weinstein.

There was no reason to suspect anything untoward, because “it’s on the fax, it’s from C.A.A.,” she said, referring to Creative Artists Agency, which represented her.

When Mr. Weinstein tried to massage her and invited her into the bedroom, she immediately left, she said, and remembers feeling stunned as she drove away. “I thought you were my Uncle Harvey,” she recalled thinking, explaining that she had seen him as a mentor.

After she told Mr. Pitt about the episode, he approached Mr. Weinstein at a theater premiere and told him never to touch Ms. Paltrow again. Mr. Pitt confirmed the account to The Times through a representative.

Soon after, Mr. Weinstein called Ms. Paltrow and berated her for discussing the episode, she said. (She said she also told a few friends, family members and her agent.) “He screamed at me for a long time,” she said, once again fearing she could lose the role in “Emma.” “It was brutal.” But she stood her ground, she said, and insisted that he put the relationship back on professional footing.

Even as Ms. Paltrow became known as the “first lady of Miramax” and won an Oscar for “Shakespeare in Love” in 1999, very few people knew about Mr. Weinstein’s advances. “I was expected to keep the secret,” she said.

In 1999, Ms. Paltrow won an Oscar for her role in “Shakespeare in Love,” a film produced by Mr. Weinstein, center. CreditMonica Almeida/The New York Times

Like several of the other women interviewed for this article, she felt she had to suppress the experience. She praised Mr. Weinstein publicly, posed for pictures with him and played the glowing star to his powerful producer. Yet their work relationship grew rockier over the years, she said, and she distanced herself. “He was alternately generous and supportive and championing, and punitive and bullying,” she said.

Now, with the process of tallying the size and scope of Mr. Weinstein’s abuse allegations underway, Ms. Paltrow and others said they wanted to support women who had already come forward and help those in similar situations feel less alone.

“We’re at a point in time when women need to send a clear message that this is over,” Ms. Paltrow said. “This way of treating women ends now.”

Tomi-Ann Roberts

Tomi-Ann Roberts, now a psychology professor, said Mr. Weinstein harassed her in 1984, when she was an aspiring actress. Today she researches sexual objectification, an interest she traces back in part to that encounter. CreditMark Reis for The New York Times

In 1984, when Tomi-Ann Roberts was a 20-year-old college junior, she waited tables in New York one summer and hoped to start an acting career. Mr. Weinstein, one of her customers, urged her to audition for a movie that he and his brother were planning to direct. He sent scripts, then asked her to meet him where he was staying so they could discuss the