Intel officer Shaffer vs Obama: Former president may be hit with felony indictment due to wiretapping


Andrés Perezalonso

Andrés Perezalonso has been a contributing editor for Signs of the Times in both its English and Spanish versions since 2007 and has been a member of the editorial board of the Dot Connector Magazine since 2010. He holds a PhD in Politics, an MA in International Studies, a first degree in Communication, and has a professional background in Media Analysis. He is passionate about understanding current global events and believes this can only be achieved through an interdisciplinary approach that dares to think out of the box. He was born and raised in Mexico and currently resides in the United Kingdom.

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Former Police Officer Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison For Death Of Walter Scott

Former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager was sentenced Thursday to 20 years in prison and two years of supervised release for fatally shooting Walter Scott, an unarmed black man, during a traffic stop in 2015, according to local news reports.

Slager, then an officer in North Charleston, South Carolina, shot Scott while Scott was running away from him. A bystander captured the death on cell phone video. The killing was one of many high-profile cases of police killing unarmed black men in recent years.

At Thursday’s sentencing hearing, Slager said that he takes responsibility for Scott’s death, and Scott’s mother, Judy, expressed forgiveness.

In May, Slager pleaded guilty to violating Scott’s civil rights by using excessive force. Two other federal charges and a murder charge from the state were dropped in exchange for the guilty plea.

“Law enforcement officers have the noble calling to serve and protect,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement Thursday. “Officers who violate anyone’s rights also violate their oaths of honor, and they tarnish the names of the vast majority of officers, who do incredible work. Those who enforce our laws must also abide by them — and this Department of Justice will hold accountable anyone who violates the civil rights of our fellow Americans. On behalf of the Department of Justice, I want to offer my condolences to the Scott family and loved ones.”

Read more on the Slager case here.

CORRECTION: An early version of this article reported prematurely that Slager had been sentenced.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Exclusive: Former Congressman Harold Ford Jr. Fired For Misconduct By Morgan Stanley

Former Democratic Congressman Harold Ford Jr. has been fired for misconduct by Morgan Stanley after facing a human resources investigation into allegations of misconduct, a company spokeswoman confirmed.

“He has been terminated for conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies,” a spokeswoman for Morgan Stanley told HuffPost in an email.

At least one woman, who is not a Morgan Stanley employee but interacted with Ford in a professional capacity, was interviewed by Morgan Stanley’s HR department as part of the investigation.

In two interviews with HuffPost, the woman alleged that Ford engaged in harassment, intimidation, and forcibly grabbed her one evening in Manhattan, leading her to seek aid from a building security guard. The incident took place several years ago when Ford and the woman were supposed to be meeting for professional reasons. Ford continued to contact her after the encounter until she wrote an email asking him to cease contact.

The email, which was reviewed by HuffPost, shows that the woman emailed Ford after he repeatedly asked her to drinks. She asked him not to contact her anymore, citing his inappropriate conduct the evening where he forcibly grabbed and harassed her.

Ford replied to the email by apologizing and agreeing not to contact her. “Hey very sorry. Meant no harm,” the email reads. “And I apologize for whatever I may have said or what was said. And my overtures are strictly professional. Again I apologize didn’t mean to be inappropriate at all. Sorry that impression was left.”

HuffPost is not identifying the woman at her request but has reviewed emails that confirm her interactions with Ford and spoke to two people whom the woman confided in about the incident. One woman heard from Ford’s accuser the night of the incident and described her as “distraught, shocked, and frightened,” and said that she was concerned about any career ramifications should she report the incident.

In a statement provided to HuffPost, Ford denied the allegations: “This simply did not happen. I have never forcibly grabbed any woman or man in my life. Having drinks and dinner for work is part of my job, and all of my outreach to the news reporter making these false allegations was professional and at the direction of my firm for business purposes. I support and have tremendous respect for the brave women now speaking out in this important national dialogue. False claims like this undermine the real silence breakers. I will now be bringing legal action against the reporter who has made these false claims about me as well as Morgan Stanley for improper termination.”

Ford comes from a prominent political family in Tennessee. His father, Harold Ford Sr., held a congressional seat for 12 terms before retiring, leaving his son to run for the seat, a race which he won handily. Ford served in the House for nearly 10 years before deciding to run for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Republican Bill Frist. Ford lost that hotly contested 2006 race by fewer than three points to current Republican Sen. Bob Corker.

Since leaving Congress in 2007, Ford has worked for two financial services companies, first for Merrill Lynch and then Morgan Stanley, which he joined in 2011 as a managing director.

At the time Morgan Stanley announced the hire, The New York Times described Ford’s role as a rainmaker of sorts: “Mr. Ford will be responsible for ‘building business opportunities’ for clients, Morgan Stanley said. He will manage relationships with corporate directors, senior executives and institutional investors, as well as private clients.”  

Ford also serves as a paid on-air political analyst for NBC/MSNBC and regularly appears on the MSNBC program “Morning Joe.”

This story has been updated to include Ford’s statement.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Nets Ignore Sentencing of Former Dem Rep Who Ran Sham Charity

On Monday, former Florida Democratic Congresswoman Corrine Brown was sentenced to five years in prison for using her fake charity, that was supposed to help poor students, to funnel money into her personal bank accounts. According to reports, “she used for more than $300,000 in personal expenses, including tickets for N.F.L. games and a Beyoncé concert.” Despite how disgusting her crime was, the Big Three networks (ABC, CBS, and NBC) failed to cover it since the sentencing.

As reported by The New York Times, “A federal judge handed down the sentence in a Jacksonville, Fla., courtroom, excoriating Ms. Brown, 71, for abusing her powerful position in the House of Representatives for ‘entitlement and greed’ to support a lavish lifestyle.”

The Times noted Brown’s historic career as one of the first African-Americans to be elected in Florida for a position in national politics and her advocacy for civil rights and the poor. But they also suggested that she exploited her past: “Because of that legacy, the charity, One Door for Education, may have seemed to donors as an extension of her passion.”

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“Brazen barely describes it,” the Times quoted the federal judge. And he was right, as the explanation of the crime proves:

Ms. Brown, along with two other people, collected more than $833,000 in charitable donations, telling benefactors that their money would help students pay for college and allow schools to receive computers. But One Door for Education did nothing of the sort.

Instead, the donations were funneled into Ms. Brown’s personal bank accounts and toward extravagant items. About $330,000 of the charity’s donations paid for events that included a Florida golf tournament, professional football games and a luxury stadium box for a Beyoncé concert.

The complete blackout on Brown by the networks wasn’t really surprising. When it comes to the liberal media’s double standard in regards to political corruption, the Media Research Center has the proof in spades. As Rich Noyes exposed on Monday, the networks hyped GOP sexual harassment scandals 2 to 1 against the Democrats. And Mike Ciandella showed how in the first 24 hours of the Roy Moore allegations breaking they dedicated more time to that story than in the two months of the Bob Menendez bribery trial.

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Yemeni Former President Ali Saleh Committed a Deadly Mistake, Literally

image-Yemen President Ali Abdallah Saleh
Yemen President Ali Abdallah Saleh

Former president of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed today upon his attempt to flee the Yemeni capital Sanaa towards the bases of the US-led Coalition in Marib.

The longest-serving president in the Arab World for more than 33 years and been in the shadow policies of the Yemeni’s leading political The General People’s Congress party has committed a horrific mistake that led to his killing.

The news of the killing was contradicting until the Yemeni Ministry of Interior issued an official statement confirming the death of the former president without naming him and followed within few minutes with footage showing the body of Saleh wrapped in a rug and loaded to a pickup truck.

image-Ali Abdallah Saleh - Killed - Blurred
Graphic: Yemeni President Ali Abdallah Saleh – Killed – image blurred (original:

Saleh was attempting escape where the Saudi-led Coalition had targeted 11 army posts and checkpoints of local defense forces killing scores of the local fighters along his escape route. His convoy was made of 3 armored vehicles that fell in an ambush by the forces loyal to the Yemeni government. 

Two of his sons accompanying him were arrested and a number of his entourage were killed and injured.

Saleh’s Deadly Mistake:

Saleh felt the danger of being arrested by the Yemeni government after his inflammatory statements in support with the Saudi-led aggression against his country and when he saw that his closest aides have abandoned him so he decided to flee towards forces under the command of his cousin which joined the Saudi forces against their own country. His statement, his acts and amounting evidence against him of his involvement of directing mercenaries to create chaos in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and his agreements with Yemen’s enemies over the years made his former overt allies in Yemen as calling it a betrayal and backstabbing.

This chapter now closed opens a clear choice for the Yemeni people whom over 22 million out of 30 million of them stayed loyal to their government against the Saudi aggression and its attempt to install a puppet regime headed by Saleh’s own deputy.

Houthis are now focusing on the outside front with Saudi and its allies, no more strained by local infighting and backstabbing while they fight to defend their country.

Yemen has been under continuous criminal bombardment for the past 3 years and under inhumane siege condemned by all nations and international organizations. The suffering of the people of Yemen is massive and the crisis they’re living is unprecedented as all heads of United Nations organizations has described. Check our former report The Saudi Led Coalition is Killing Yemen Slowly, and Painfully.

Saudi Arabia is losing its cards and bets at a faster pace now:

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Former cop to be sentenced in videotaped killing of unarmed black man

North Charleston police officer Michael Slager  shooting 50-year-old Walter Scott


The former South Carolina police officer Michael Slager will be sentenced and fined this week in the federal civil rights case over the the shooting death of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man who fled a traffic stop in 2015.

Slager’s murder trial ended in a hung jury in December 2016. In May, he pleaded guilty to a federal charge of violating Scott’s civil rights, under a plea deal that dropped state charges and two other federal charges.

Slager was a North Charleston police officer on April 4, 2015, when he pulled over Walter Scott’s vehicle for a broken tail light. Scott, 50, fled on foot. Slager pursued him into a nearby field before firing multiple shots into Scott’s back, killing him. The officer maintained that Scott resisted arrest and attempted to grab his gun, and that he feared for his life when he opened fire.

The officer was not wearing a body camera. However, the shooting was captured on camera by a bystander. The recording, viewed over 1 million times online, begins just seconds after Slager begins shooting and shows Scott breaking away after struggling with Slager over the officer’s Taser. Slager then began firing at Scott’s back from 17 feet away. Five out of eight bullets hit him.

The video also showed Slager picking the Taser up off the ground and dropping it near Scott’s body, in what prosecutors said during the trial was an attempt to plant evidence. Slager denied that, testifying he was following his training in accounting for his weapons.

Slager claimed the physical confrontation took place before the recording started. He was fired from the North Charleston police force when the video became public.

Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence, arguing that Slager committed second-degree murder and should be punished for obstructing justice. They say Slager repeatedly lied to authorities and in court, including not initially telling police he shot Scott in the back while he was running away.

Slager’s attorneys said the offense amounts to voluntary manslaughter. They argued Slager never lied, but the traumatic situation affected his recollection.

“A Swiss cheese memory is a symptom of stress, not an indication of lying,” his attorneys wrote in court papers, citing expert testimony.

Justin Bamberg, the attorney for the Scott family, told AP he believed Slager deserves a life sentence.

“I think everybody’s just ready to close this chapter of life and start the next chapter,” Bamberg told USA Today. “But all of them end the same way, and that is that Walter’s not here.”

Scott’s family said he owed $18,000 in child support and may have run for fear he would be jailed. The Coast Guard veteran and father of four had three stints in jail due to child support arrears.

The video of Scott’s shooting provoked Black Lives Matter protests nationwide. North Charleston settled a proposed wrongful death lawsuit with the Scott family for $6.5 million. As a result of the settlement, South Carolina lawmakers approved regulations requiring law enforcement to adopt body cameras and provided millions in state money for their purchase.

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Former Colorado Police Chief Pleads Guilty to Weapons Theft

LEADVILLE, COLO. – A former police chief in a small Colorado town has pleaded guilty to charges of stealing weapons from his department and its evidence room and then selling them to pawn shops.

Fifty-two-year-old Michael Robert Leake pleaded guilty Friday to charges of theft and providing false information to a pawnbroker.

Leake was accused of taking weapons from the city of Leadville, where he was chief from 2009 until he resigned in 2015.

John Bryan, spokesman for Lake County District Attorney Bruce Brown, says Leake faces up to four years in prison at his sentencing in February.

Bryan says Leake was also accused of taking a city-issued check for more than $2,200 for ammunition and depositing it in his own account.

Prosecutors began investigating in 2016 after other city officials noticed irregularities.

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Brock Turner, Former Stanford Swimmer Convicted Of Sexual Assault, Files Appeal

Brock Turner, a former Stanford University student, sparked nationwide outrage last year when he received a jail sentence of just six months after being convicted for sexually assaulting an unconscious, intoxicated woman beside a dumpster. 

Now, Turner is appealing. 

In a brief filed Friday to California’s 6th District Court of Appeal, Turner’s lawyers contend that the trial was “a detailed and lengthy set of lies,” The Associated Press reported

Turner’s relatively light sentence ― he could have faced up to 14 years in prison ― came after he was convicted on three felony sexual assault charges in March 2016. He was released after three months

His lawyers hope to reduce Turner’s obligation to register as a sex offender for life. The lawyers’ brief also criticizes Judge Aaron Persky for not instructing jurors to consider lesser charges and for excluding character witness testimony that might have been favorable to Turner, the San Jose Mercury News reported

Turner, a swimmer who had hoped to compete in the Olympics, was arrested in 2015 for sexually assaulting a woman outside a fraternity party, having been caught by two graduate students riding their bikes past the scene. Turner, who was 19 at the time, claimed the woman ― referred to as Emily Doe throughout the trial ― had consented to the sexual encounter. 

In their appeal, Turner’s lawyers also objected to the way Deputy District Attorney Alaleh Kianerci referred to the incident. By saying it occurred “behind a dumpster,” the brief argues, Kianerci “implied moral depravity, callousness, and culpability on the appellant’s part because of the inherent connotations of filth, garbage, detritus and criminal activity frequently generally associated with dumpsters.” 

While Emily Doe’s position might have been obscured from certain angles behind the trash bin, the graduate students who found her approached from a different angle, where they could see her. 

Emily Doe was found partially clothed, with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit. She had reportedly been unconscious for three hours. 

A poignant, 7,200-word letter she wrote to Turner and read aloud in court captured national attention when it was published by BuzzFeed. CNN’s Ashleigh Banfield read the letter in full on the air, and 18 members of Congress read it on the House floor

The case highlighted an epidemic of campus sexual assault and lenient sexual violence policies at colleges including Stanford.

“Brock Turner received a fair trial and was justly convicted,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen told the Mercury News. “His conviction will be upheld. Nothing can ever roll back Emily Doe’s legacy of raising the world’s awareness about sexual assault.” 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

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Former national security adviser Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI

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