Anti-Trump protester arrested on ‘blatantly false’ charge reaches $105,000 settlement with WSP
Feb. 20, 2020 at 6:05 pm
By Mike Carter
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Washington State Patrol (WSP) has agreed to pay $105,000 to settle a civil-rights lawsuit filed by a man who claimed he was wrongly accused of assaulting a state trooper during a 2017 protest against President Donald Trump in downtown Olympia.
Kieran Moulton Shell claimed in a federal lawsuit filed last year that he was the “victim of a blatantly false pretextual” arrest during competing pro- and anti-Trump rallies held March 4, 2017, at Heritage Park.
In May 2017, two months after his arrest, Shell’s public defender filed a motion in Thurston County Superior Court seeking to dismiss the assault charge. He provided videos from the WSP, the prosecutor’s office and local media “that clearly showed Shell could not have committed the assault and that Alexander, Wright and Rosser knew exactly where Shell was when the alleged assault occurred.” Meanwhile, an investigation by the prosecutor’s office and detectives from the WSP was completed in June and concluded that Shell “did not and could not” have assaulted the trooper in Heritage Park.
Efforts to expel Rep. Shea from Washington Legislature ended
By Associated Press
Published: February 21, 2020
SPOKANE — Efforts to expel a controversial state representative from the Washington Legislature are likely over after no Republicans would sign a letter calling for state Rep. Matt Shea’s expulsion.
The Spokesman-Review reports that all 98 members of the state House of Representatives were asked Thursday to sign a letter calling for the expulsion of Spokane Valley Republican. All 56 Democrats signed the letter, but no Republicans did.
Democratic Rep. Tana Senn, one of the authors of the letter, says it likely signals the end of any effort to remove Shea from his seat.
The letter asked Democratic Speaker Laurie Jinkins and Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox to take the necessary steps to begin expulsion, although that process is not spelled out anywhere.
It cites the conclusions of an independent investigation by the Rampart Group, which alleged Shea was involved in planning political violence. Shea has denied the allegations and said he wants a chance to call witnesses to prove the allegations false. But he did not agree to be interviewed by the investigators, which the letter to leadership notes. He has refused calls from leaders of both parties to resign.
[Bloomberg's bought a Twitterbot army, and Twitter just shut down 70 of them.
Example here of a small swarm:
Twitter is suspending 70 pro-Bloomberg accounts, citing ‘platform manipulation’
By Suhauna Hussain, Jeff Bercovici
Feb. 21, 2020
Michael R. Bloomberg’s presidential campaign has been experimenting with novel tactics to cultivate an online following, or at least the appearance of one.
But one of the strategies — deploying a large number of Twitter accounts to push out identical messages — has backfired. On Friday, Twitter began suspending 70 accounts posting pro-Bloomberg content in a pattern that violates company rules.
“We have taken enforcement action on a group of accounts for violating our rules against platform manipulation and spam,” a Twitter spokesman said. Some of the suspensions will be permanent, while in other cases account owners will have to verify they have control of their accounts.
Trump wants to block Bolton’s book, claiming most conversations are classified
Tom Hamburger and
Carol D. Leonnig
Feb. 21, 2020 at 4:46 p.m. PST
President Trump has directly weighed in on the White House review of a forthcoming book by his former national security adviser, telling his staff that he views John Bolton as “a traitor,” that everything he uttered to the departed aide about national security is classified and that he will seek to block the book’s publication, according to two people familiar with the conversations.
Trump Gives Defense Department Power To Abolish Bargaining For Civilian Unions
February 21, 2020
President Donald Trump has officially granted the Department of Defense the legal authority to abolish the collective bargaining rights of its civilian labor unions representing some 750,000 workers.
Gutting the unions would provide “maximum flexibility,” Trump wrote in a memo published Thursday in the Federal Register, which was first reported by Government Executive.
Trump signed the memo three weeks ago, invoking “national security” to justify granting the Defense Department an exemption from the law giving all federal workers the right to unionize.
Tim Eyman violated campaign finance law, concealed payments, judge rules
Feb. 21, 2020
By David Gutman
Seattle Times staff reporter
Tim Eyman has been in violation of Washington campaign finance laws for at least the last seven years, concealing nearly $800,000 in political contributions, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled Friday.
Since 2012, Judge James Dixon ruled, Eyman has raised more than $766,000 to compensate himself for the political work he does — serially running anti-tax ballot initiatives. But he didn’t report any of that money to the Washington Public Disclosure Commission, as is required for political donations.
“Undisputed fact establishes that Defendant Eyman has an expectation of receiving funds toward electoral goals, which requires reporting,” Dixon wrote in granting partial summary judgment to Attorney General Bob Ferguson, in his long-running lawsuit against Eyman. “This Court hereby finds that Defendant Eyman is a ‘continuing political committee’ as that term is defined” in state law.
Armed Gun Rights Activist Turns up at House of Lawmaker Who Sponsored Weapon Restriction Bill: 'We Know Where You Live'
By Brendan Cole On 2/19/20
A guns rights advocate angered by the prospect of tougher arms laws in Virginia turned up to the house of the lawmaker who sponsored the legislation armed with two semi-automatic weapons.
Hopewell GOP Chairman and founder of Right to Bear Arms Virginia, Brandon Howard, brought a Rock Island VR60 12-gauge shotgun and a Bersa .380 Thunder handgun and as a protest, stood in front of the Alexandria house of Democrat delegate Mark Levine, The Washington Post reported.
In speech, Mulvaney says Republicans are hypocritical on deficits
Feb. 19, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. PST
Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said Wednesday night that the Republican Party is hypocritical when it comes to deficits, according to audio of an overseas speech obtained by The Washington Post.
“My party is very interested in deficits when there is a Democrat in the White House. The worst thing in the whole world is deficits when Barack Obama was the president. Then Donald Trump became president, and we’re a lot less interested as a party,” Mulvaney said at the Oxford Union to a group of several hundred people.
Mulvaney, who ran the Office of Management and Budget before taking the acting chief of staff role, said he found the growing deficit — which reached almost $1 trillion in 2019, soaring in the Trump era – “extraordinarily disturbing” but that neither party, nor voters, cared much about it. Republicans, he said, were “evolving” since Trump became president.
What national security adviser Robert O'Brien is saying about Russia briefing 'conflicts' with what lawmakers were told
By Jim Acosta, Zachary Cohen, Jake Tapper and Jason Hoffman, CNN
Updated 11:00 AM EST, Sun February 23, 2020
(CNN) National security adviser Robert O'Brien pushed back Saturday on information relayed to members of the House Intelligence Committee maintaining Russia is interfering in the 2020 election in order to benefit President Donald Trump.
O' Brien said he has seen no intelligence or analysis to support that claim, but a source told CNN that the intelligence assessment is not that cut and dry.
"The intelligence is that there is no preference right now," the official said. "Not Bernie (Sanders), not Trump," a senior national security official said.