November 14, 2018

PAKISTAN: Pakistani Christian Woman Asia Bibi Who Spent Eight Years On DEATH ROW For Blasphemy (Accused Of Insulting Islam), Has Been Freed. But Still In Prison For Protection From Muslim Mob.

France24 News
written by AFP staff
Wednesday November 7, 2018

ISLAMABAD - Pakistani Christian woman Asia Bibi, who spent eight years on death row for blasphemy, has been freed from jail, her lawyer said Thursday.

The country's highest court last week overturned Bibi's conviction and ordered her release, but she had remained incarcerated as the government agreed to allow a review following Islamist protests over the bitterly divisive case.

"She has been freed. I have been told that she is on a plane but nobody knows where she will land," lawyer Saif-ul-Malook said in a message sent to AFP.

A release order arrived Wednesday at the prison in the central city of Multan, where Bibi was detained, a prison official told AFP.

Her husband Ashiq Masih has appealed for Britain or the United States to grant the family asylum, while Malook has fled to the Netherlands.

Bibi's case has underscored divisions between traditionalists and modernisers in the devoutly Muslim nation.

It stems from an incident in 2009 when she was asked to fetch water while out working in the fields.

Muslim women labourers objected, saying that as a non-Muslim, she should not touch the water bowl, and reportedly a fight erupted.

A local imam then claimed Bibi insulted the Prophet Mohammed -- a charge she denies.

Blasphemy is an incendiary charge in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where even unsubstantiated allegations of insulting Islam can result in death at the hands of mobs.

Thousands of Islamists poured onto the streets in protest after Supreme Court judges overturned Bibi's conviction last Wednesday, causing Prime Minister Imran Khan's administration to sign a controversial deal.
Dutch News
written by Staff
Thursday November 8, 2018

The Dutch foreign ministry has declined to comment on reports that Asia Bibi, the Christian Pakistani woman acquitted on blasphemy charges has been released and is heading for the Netherlands.

Various reports say Bibi may have left Pakistan for the Netherlands, which was reached by her lawyer earlier this week.

ChristenUnie MP Joel Voordewind has told Dutch media he is sure Bibi is heading for Europe but could not confirm that the Netherlands is her end destination. He bases his claim on sources in Pakistan and on conversations with her lawyer Saif ul-Mulook.

Ul-Mulook arrived in Amsterdam on Monday and told a news conference later that he hopes the Netherlands will ‘invite him’ to stay. He was helped to reach the Netherlands by Dutch charity Stichting Hulp Vervolgde Christenen (HVC), which has also helped to finance Bibi’s legal defence.

‘The Netherlands calls itself a champion of human rights,’ he said. ‘If this country cannot protect me, I would rather go back to Pakistan to allow myself to be murdered by religious fanatics,’ local media quoted him as saying.

Ul-Mulook said he feared for his life in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to acquit Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of insulting the prophet Muhammad, because of a lack of evidence. She had spent eight years on death row.
Deutsche Welle (DW) News, Germany
written by Shamil Shams
Thursday November 8, 2018

Asia Bibi, a Christian woman accused of blasphemy, has been released from prison. But the fact that she must leave Pakistan lest she be killed shows the state is being controlled by Islamists, says DW's Shamil Shams.

The Pakistani state took nearly 10 years away from Asia Bibi. Born in 1971, she has spent the prime of her life in jail. Bibi, an impoverished mother of five, was incarcerated for insulting Islam in 2009, and sentenced to death in 2010.

In Pakistan, it only takes a mere accusation, a slight assertion, to put someone behind bars on blasphemy charges. At last, after a long and arduous legal battle lasting nearly a decade, Pakistan's top court acquitted Bibi on October 31. The verdict was hailed by liberals and rights activists all over the world.

The logical outcome of the Supreme Court's decision would have been Bibi's immediate freedom. But authorities were forced to keep her in prison for over a week. Hard-line Islamist groups are demanding her death, and they have taken to the streets in protest of the court's ruling.

No blasphemer has the right to live, they chant, while setting cars and shops on fire in many cities. The Tehreek-e-Labbaik (TLP) group says the judges who acquitted Bibi must be killed.

They're also urging army officials who are loyal to the Islamist narrative to revolt against the incumbent army chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

In spite of this serious challenge to its authority, Pakistan's government has not met the Islamist protesters with an iron fist. Prime Minister Imran Khan's government caved in to extremists and agreed to take legal measures barring Bibi from traveling abroad.

Pakistani authorities justified their agreement with the TLP, arguing they wanted to avoid more violence on the streets. It's possible they were only buying more time to deal with the situation. On Wednesday evening, news broke that Bibi had finally been released from prison and could potentially soon be taken out of the country to safety.

A failure of law

Bibi's heart-wrenching ordeal has proven that blasphemy remains a sensitive issue in Pakistan and, more importantly, the blasphemy laws in place since the 1980s cannot be challenged.

Opposing these laws, or demanding amendments to them, would be considered sacrilegious in Pakistan. Two prominent politicians were killed in 2011 for supporting Bibi and calling for the blasphemy laws to be reviewed.

While Bibi's acquittal by the Supreme Court was a positive step, the legal foundation on which the judges issued their verdict is problematic. They ruled that Bibi was released due to lack of evidence. The ruling doesn't set a strong legal precedence, as we know how easy it can be to fabricate evidence in countries like Pakistan.

Right now Pakistani lawmakers need to sit together and review the country's controversial Islamic-rooted legal system. I don't expect the state – of which the military is the most powerful component – to change its overall Islamic narrative that breeds extremism in the country. It obviously serves the country's ruling classes to perpetuate animosity towards India, while the Pakistani military gets the lion's share of the country's budget.

But recent events should be a wake-up call for Pakistani politicians, generals and the judiciary that legal change – if not a total overhaul of the state – is necessary. If the Pakistani government and judiciary won't undertake these measures, the state could lose its authority in the coming years, and Pakistan would be run by religious extremists from the streets.

The state can't protect itself

However, it looks like the Pakistani state has already lost most of its authority. The fact that Bibi, after being proven innocent by the highest court in the country, could not leave jail lest she be murdered by hard-liners, shows Pakistan is on the way to becoming a failed state.

Currently, there is speculation that Bibi will soon be taken out of the country, or has already been flown out. But why can't Bibi stay in Pakistan as a free citizen? Why can't she move freely inside her own country? Why is it necessary that she escape to the West? Can Pakistan function like a normal state? I think it is high time that Pakistani authorities, both civilian and military, change the dangerous course they have taken since the 1980s.

The obsession to carve "strategic depth" in Afghanistan to counter regional rival India has emaciated the Pakistani state to an extent that even the country's powerful military establishment has to bow down to jihadist proxies.
The Guardian, UK
written by Patrick Wintour
Tuesday November 13, 2018

The Foreign Office has been accused of allowing government asylum policy to be dictated to by a Pakistan mob after it was confirmed it urged the Home Office not to grant Asia Bibi political asylum in the UK out of fear for the safety of UK consular staff.

Asia Bibi, a Christian woman acquitted of blasphemy, is seeking asylum after threats to her life in Pakistan. The former UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson was among many MPs calling for her and her family to be granted sanctuary in Britain.

The acquittal of the 53-year-old Catholic farmworker by Pakistan’s supreme court last month prompted demonstrations by hardline Islamist parties in Pakistan who had campaigned for her to be hanged.

She remains in protective custody in an undisclosed location in Pakistan after the prime minister, Imran Khan, agreed to allow a petition against the court’s decision as part of a deal to halt the protests.

Her husband, Ashiq Masih, has appealed for help to Britain, Canada, Italy and the US but the UK high commissioner in Islamabad is reported to have warned he could not protect his staff if asylum was granted by the UK.

Tom Tugendhat, the foreign affairs select committee chair, asked the Foreign Office permanent secretary, Sir Simon McDonald, whether the episode “does not raise the question that either staff should be withdrawn or security increased or otherwise UK policy is effectively dictated to by a mob?”.

Tugendhat took the committee into lengthy private session after McDonald said he did not wish to give evidence in public on a such a sensitive issue

McDonald defended Britain’s efforts to find a third country to take Bibi, saying this would allow UK policy objectives to be achieved without any risk to its staff.

Tugendhat said the episode represented “one of the clearest examples of free conscience being challenged today”.

The senior Labour MP Mike Gapes said: “Given the clear inability of this new Pakistani government of Imran Khan to stop these mobs from intimidating and killing Christians in Pakistan, is it not time to reassess our relations with Pakistan? There are big concerns if religious minorities in Pakistan are not safe.”

McDonald said the Britain’s relationship with Pakistan relationship was important to both countries.

He added: “If the objective is to protect life and some other country can provide some more complete safe harbour, why should the UK not be open to working with that country?”

The Pakistan foreign office confirmed on Tuesday that it had been holding talks with the Canadian foreign ministry over granting Bibi asylum.

Confirmation of talks between the two governments came after the Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, said on Monday his government was talking to Pakistan about the case.

“We are in discussions with the Pakistani government,” Trudeau said in an interview with Agence France-Presse (AFP) in Paris, where he was attending a peace conference organised by the French president, Emmanuel Macron.

USA: Somali Muslim Men And Boys Rushed The Entrance To Valleyfair, A Family Amusement Park That Had Set Aside The Day To Honor Law Enforcement In Minnesota.

Clarion Project
written by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin
Wednesday November 7, 2018

On Saturday, September 22, 2018, while the world focused on the tragedy in Iran of the Ahvaz military parade attack carried out by ISIS, a mob of Somali Muslim men and boys rushed the entrance to Valleyfair, a family amusement park that had set aside the day to honor law enforcement in Minnesota.

The mob overcame security, jumping fences avoiding metal detectors while bringing in weapons. It was a direct, premeditated attack on police and security. Backup had to be called in along with fire trucks, ambulances and even a police helicopter. This attack should be understood as a “dry run” test (in counterterrorism parlance).

When my kids were little, we used to go to Valleyfair, just like these law enforcement families were doing this past September for a special and fun summer day. How Minnesota has changed.

The mob action occurred even after the Somali community had just enjoyed their very own special Somali day with reduced ticket prices at Valleyfair in July!

The incident has gone virtually unreported in the mainstream media. This shows that a vocal number of troublemakers have been effective in paralyzing honest reporting concerning the deepening of Somali violence in Minnesota.

The media is afraid to report the truth. Allegedly, the reason being given is that Minnesota is facing midterm elections and four Muslims are running for government positions.

Of note in the running is Keith Ellison, the Democratic nominee for attorney general (who is not Somali). Ellison, who is under investigation for domestic violence, formerly associated with the Nation of Islam, a virulently anti-Semitic organization. (When I did prison interviews in Minneapolis of Somalis, Sudanese, African Americans and others, it was the former “Nation of Islamers” who told me that they had “upgraded” to the extremist Sunni Wahhabi Islam. They were among the most violent in the jail. That was in 2005.)

Not to be forgotten in this election is Ilhan Omar, who may have committed perjury when she married her brother in order to obtain a green card for him. He now lives in the United Kingdom. Oddly, she has never been investigated with regards to this issue, to the best of my knowledge, even though she is running for the U.S. Congress (for Keith Ellison’s old seat).

There are two other Somali candidates, Muhamud Noor and Hodan Hassan. Both are not controversial and representative of the majority of the good Somali people in Minnesota. (In fact, I dedicated my fifth book which deals with Somalia, The Last Two Jews of Mogadishu Living Under Al Shabaab’s Fire, to the good people of Somalia. I can imagine how they must cringe when hearing about their delinquent brethren who have brought even more shame upon this already shame/honor-soaked community.)

The Somali mob at Valleyfair started fights, rampaging and looting among other things. Adults and children were terrified. A woman posted that she feared she would never get out of the parking lot alive. Indeed, families set out for a day of fun only to return home with traumatized children.

This mob behavior is a classic example of an enraged shame/honor group bent on destruction and obliteration of everything in its path. Since the media has failed to cover this story because of concerns for “offending” the Somali community, the media has unwittingly primed the pump for more severe violence in the future.

The worst thing that can be done when dealing with such groups is to ignore their violence and cover up what went on.

I recently wrote an article titled “The Case of Khalil Jabarin: The Palestinian Wind-up Toy” about a 16-year old Palestinian teenager who murdered a Jewish man in Israel. Jabarin is a predictable product of the Palestinian shame/honor culture and its atrocious child rearing practices.

It is no different for the Somali Muslim community, which has given Minnesota Somali youth gangs, Al Shabaab and Islamic State recruits.

I end with a recent exchange I had on the Somali Facebook page “Gubdi Fariinta” concerning female genital mutilation (FGM), which remains pervasive in Somalia and throughout its diaspora communities. Even though FGM has been outlawed in Minnesota since 1994, it is still happening.

The postings verify that the Somalis themselves know that a good portion of the political violence in the Somali community emanates from this violent practice. Just like in Muslim societies that still engage in honor killings, the violence begins at home and morphs into things like terrorism and suicide bombings.

Members of the Somali mob that attacked Valleyfair should be thought of as lethal, swarming wind-up toys who have been bred and raised in an environment that teaches hatred, vengeance and murder. Only the Somalis can stop this, and yet we hear nothing on this topic from Ilhan Omar, Muhamud Noor and Hodan Hassan as of this writing.

Editor’s note: Ilhan Omar, Muhamud Noor, Hodan Hassan, and Keith Ellison all won their election bids.
New York Post
written by David Harsanyi
Sunday November 11, 2018

The 2018 midterm will bring many new faces to Washington, but few will find as much adoration as Ilhan Omar. One of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress, Omar, who will represent Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District, is a Somali refugee with a celebrity aura and an uplifting story.

What went curiously unmentioned in all the flattering post-election coverage, however, was that Omar, who replaces Keith Ellison — a former acolyte of anti-Semitic minister Louis Farrakhan — also has some exotic notions about the Jewish people.

In a 2012 tweet, for instance, the Democrat explained that “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel. #Gaza #Palestine #Israel.”

Meanwhile, the other Muslim woman headed to Congress is Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib, the daughter of Palestinian immigrants who wants to cut aid to the Jewish state because supporting it “doesn’t fit the values of our country.”

Writer David Steinberg identified 105 news stories written in the immediate aftermath of Omar’s victory, and not a single one mentioned that she believed Jewry possessed mind-control abilities or that Israel was “evil.” No one called on the Democratic Party to distance itself from this rhetoric.

No one at the partisan Anti-Defamation League, ostensibly tasked with stopping anti-Jewish libel but in reality busy hyperventilating over every far-flung right-wing bigot with a handful of supporters, paid her any attention.

Now, it isn’t inherently anti-Semitic to be critical of Israeli political leadership or policies. The Democratic Party antagonism toward the Jewish state has been well-established over the past decade. But Omar used a well-worn anti-Semitic trope about the preternatural ability of a nefarious Jewish cabal to deceive the world.

It’s something you would expect to read in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion or hear from a professor of comparative literature at Columbia University, not a US congresswoman.

Omar had a chance to retract, or at least refine, her statement. Instead, she doubled down. “These accusations are without merit,” she claimed, blaming Jewish Islamophobia for the backlash. “They are rooted in bigotry toward a belief about what Muslims are stereotyped to believe.”

To accuse the only democratic state in the Middle East, which grants more liberal rights to its Muslim citizens than any Arab nation, of being an “apartheid regime” is, on an intellectual level, grossly disingenuous or incredibly ignorant. And when a politician singles out Jewish allies as “evil,” but ignores every brutal theocratic regime in the area, it’s certainly noteworthy.

Omar even wants the US to normalize relations with the Holocaust-denying terror-state of Iran. This seems like a fact reporters might have wanted to shoehorn into one their post-election articles.

Then again, the media has a track record of tenaciously ignoring the anti-Semitism creeping into Democratic Party politics. The left, recall, has embraced the Women’s March and its co-founders, Tamika Mallory and Linda Sarsour, even though they’re both supporters of the Nation of Islam, which has peddled anti-Jewish conspiracies about wicked Jewish influence in America.

None of the leaders of the Democratic Party has said anything about the activist wing pushing these age-old hatreds. We have not heard a peep from those who see white supremacy behind every border security measure. There are elections to win, after all. And in the contemporary liberal establishment, conceived in identity politics, even many Jews have remained dutifully silent.

In such an environment, members of the Congressional Black Caucus can maintain a relationship with anti-Semites without any blowback. Democrats have yet to explain why Maxine Waters and at least four other House Dems — who’ll all be in leadership positions come January — were seen on video schmoozing with the leader of the Nation of Islam.

Omar’s defenders will claim she’s anti-Israel, not anti-Jewish. “Anti-Zionism” has been the preferred justification for Jew-hatred in institutions of education and within progressive activism for a long time. Now it’s coming for politics. Democrats can either allow it to be normalized, or they can remain silent.

IRAN: Louis Farrakhan Visited Iran On 39th Anniversary Of 1979 US Embassy Takeover On November 4th And He Led The “Death to America” And “Death to Israel” Slogans With Audience.

Twitchy News
written by Staff
Tuesday November 6, 2018

Over at CNN, where Oliver Darcy seemed to have made it his singular goal to pressure Twitter to ban Alex Jones, “The Lead” host Jake Tapper has been the only one to point out the hypocrisy of Minister Louis Farrakhan being given free rein to post videos comparing American Jews to a termite infestation.

On Tuesday, Tapper posted a link to the Tasnim News Agency, which reported that Farrakhan had recently visited Iran on the 39th anniversary of the 1979 US embassy takeover in the Iranian capital and was spotted joining in on “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” chants.
Tasnim reported Monday:
Farrakhan visited Iran on 39th anniversary of 1979 US embassy takeover on November 4, ahead of the renewal of US sanctions against the country.

The renewed sanctions are the result of the American withdrawal from the agreement negotiated by the Obama administration, which purported to prevent Iran’s development of nuclear weapons but merely delated [sic] it.

The Iranian state TV released a video of his remarks addressing students at the University of Tehran, in which he led the “Death to America” and “Death to Israel” slogans.
It was also really weird that the media treated Alex Jones as some sort of mainstream right-wing conservative. Sucks, doesn’t it?

So we’re just going to overlook the “Death to Israel” chants and write off the Women’s March, which pulled off a gathering of millions the day after Trump’s inauguration, as just “a handful of activists”?

I ADDED THE TWEETS BELOW:

SOMALIA: al-Shabaab Islamist Militant Suicide Bombers Detonated Several Cars, Murdered At Least 20 Innocent Souls.

Reuters News
written by Abdi Sheikh
Friday November 9, 2018

MOGADISHU - Suicide attackers set off two car bombs at a hotel in Mogadishu on Friday, killing at least 22 people, police said.

The militant Islamist group al Shabaab, linked to al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack on the Hotel Sahafi, which is near the headquarters of Somalia’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID).

Hotel guards and CID officers opened fire after the blasts, police added. Then, about 20 minutes later, a third explosion from a bomb placed in a three-wheeled “tuk-tuk” vehicle near the hotel hit the busy street, witnesses said.

“Four militants who attempted to enter the hotel were shot dead by our police and the hotel guards,” police captain Mohamed Ahmed told Reuters.

“Two other militants were suicide car bombers who were blown up by their car bombs. The third car was remotely detonated. So in total 28 people died, including the six militants.”

Abdifatah Abdirashid, who took over the Sahafi from his father after he was killed in a militant attack in 2015, was among those who died in Friday’s attack, said Mohamed Abdiqani, a witness at the hotel.

“The militants who entered the hotel compound faced heavy gunfire from the hotel guards. Abdifatah Abdirashid, the hotel owner, and three of his bodyguards died,” Abdiqani said.

A Reuters photographer at the scene saw 20 bodies of civilians and burnt-out minibuses, motorbikes and cars.

Abdiasisi Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations, said the group had singled out the Sahafi for attack because of its association with the government the Islamists want to overthrow.

“We targeted it because it acts as government base. Government officials and security forces are always in the hotel,” he told Reuters.

Somalia has been engulfed by violence and lawlessness since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in the early 1990s.

November 13, 2018

USA: 19 Foreign Nationals Charged In North Carolina This Past August For Voting In 2016 Election. Multiple Defendants Voted In More Than One Election.

U.S. Dept of Justice, Eastern District of North Carolina
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday August 24, 2018

WILMINGTON, NC – Robert J. Higdon, Jr., United States Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina today announced that nineteen foreign nationals were charged with, among other crimes, voting by alien for their actions prior to and on November 8, 2016. A twentieth defendant was charged with aiding and abetting a fellow defendant in falsely claiming United States citizenship in order to register to vote.

A federal grand jury in Wilmington, North Carolina returned an Indictment charging the following foreign nationals with false claim of United States citizenship in order to register to vote, and voting by an alien:
  • Jose Cruz Solano-Rodriguez, age 41, of Mexico;
  • Guadalupe Espinosa-Pena, age 63, of Mexico;
  • Sarah Emilia Silverio-Polanco, age 35, of the Dominican Republic;
  • Elizabeth Nene Amachaghi, age 44, of Nigeria;
  • Maria Rufina Castillo-Boswell, age 31, of Philippines;
  • Dora Maybe Damatta-Rodriguez, age 64, of Panama;
  • Elvis David Fullerton, age 54, of Grenada;
  • Olive Agatha Martin, age 71, of Guyana; and
  • Kaoru Sauls, age 54, of Japan.
Separately, criminal charges of voting by an alien were filed against the following foreign nationals:
  • Jose Jaime Ramiro-Torres, age 52, of El Salvador;
  • Juan Francisco Landeros-Mireles, age 64, of Mexico;
  • Alessandro Cannizzaro, age 46, of Italy;
  • Dieudonne Soifils, age 71, of Haiti;
  • Hyo Suk George, age 69, of Korea;
  • Merius Jean, age 54, of Haiti;
  • Rosemarie Angelika Harris, age 60, of Germany; and
  • Daniel Tadeusz Romanowski, age 39, of Poland.
Also, a federal grand jury in Wilmington has returned an Indictment charging an eighteenth defendant, Diana Patricia Franco-Rodriguez, age 26, of Mexico, with fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, and voting by an alien.

Additionally, a federal grand jury in Wilmington has returned an Indictment charging Denslo Allen Paige, age 66, with aiding and abetting Espinosa-Pena in falsely claiming United States citizenship in order to register to vote.

Separately on August 14, 2018, Ramon Esteban Paez-Jerez, age 58, of the Dominican Republic, was charged and pleaded guilty to a two-count Criminal Information charging him with passport fraud and voting by an alien.

According to the Criminal Information, Paez-Jerez in 1988 was ordered deported from the United States and failed to appear for his scheduled removal. According to court records, Paez-Jerez assumed a fraudulent identity and applied for amnesty. Paez-Jerez in 1989 was granted lawful permanent status under the false identity and in 1999 was naturalized contrary to law as a United States citizen. On July 7, 2007, Paez-Jerez registered to vote in North Carolina under his fraudulent identity.

On September 16, 2009, Paez-Jerez made a false statement in an application for a United States passport when he applied under the fraudulent identity and failed to disclose his real name.

On November 8, 2016, Paez-Jerez illegally voted in the General Election of 2016 in Wake County, North Carolina, knowing he had illegally obtained United States citizenship.

Paez-Jerez faces maximum penalties of eleven years’ imprisonment, a $350,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment. Sentencing is scheduled for the term of court commencing on December 11, 2018, in New Bern, North Carolina.

If convicted of false claim of United States citizenship in order to register to vote, and voting by an alien, Amachaghi, Castillo-Boswell, Damatta-Rodriguez, Espinosa-Pena, Fullerton, Martin, Sauls, Silverio-Polanco, and Solano-Rodriguez, would face maximum penalties of six years’ imprisonment, a $350,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

If convicted of voting by an alien, Cannizzaro, George, Harris, Jean, Landeros-Mireles, Ramiro-Torres, Romanowski, and Soifils would face maximum penalties of twelve months imprisonment, a $100,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

If convicted of fraud and misuse of visas, permits, and other documents, and voting by an alien, Franco-Rodriguez would face maximum penalties of twenty-six years imprisonment, a $350,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

If convicted of aiding and abetting in falsely claiming United States citizenship in order to register to vote, Denslo Allen Paige would face a maximum imprisonment term of five years, a $250,000 fine, and a term of supervised release following any term of imprisonment.

The charges and allegations contained in the Indictments and Criminal Informations are merely accusations. An Indictment is a formal written accusation originating with the United States Attorney and issued by a Grand Jury against a party charged with a crime. A Criminal Information is a formal written accusation filed directly by the United States Attorney. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The cases are being investigated under the newly created framework of the Document and Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) in the Eastern District of North Carolina lead by Immigration and Customs Enforcement - Homeland Security Investigations, and assisted by Enforcement Removal Operations, and the Department of State - Diplomatic Security Service. The investigation as to voting fraud is ongoing.

USA: 12 Democrat Staffers In Indiana Arrested, Charged With Voter Fraud, Face A Prison Term Of Up To 2 And 1/2 Years.

BizPac Review
written by Carmine Sabia
June 11, 2017

A group of Indiana Democrats were arrested in connection with submitting fraudulent voter registrations.

Prosecutors charged 11 temporary canvassers, and their supervisor, Holiday Burke, who were working for the Indiana Voter Registration Project for submitting fraudulent voter registration applications before the 2016 election, according to the Associated Press.

The group is managed by Patriot Majority USA who has links to the Democrat Party, including to former President Bill Clinton and former Sen. Harry Reid, the AP reported.

Focused on getting out the black vote, it became the subject of an investigation in August after Hendricks County flagged around a dozen registrations as suspicious.

Prosecutors and police believe the fraud occurred because of “a very bad, ill-advised business practice” of giving canvassers a daily quota of registrations to meet, according to the AP.
A search warrant unsealed on Nov. 14 says some workers admitted to falsifying registrations, saying they faced the possibility of losing their temporary job if they didn’t register at least 10 new voters a day.

The probable cause affidavit says supervisors told canvassers “to obtain their quota by any means necessary.” Canvassers were paid $10 an hour and worked five-hour shifts.
“By giving someone a financial motive to (meet a quota) is what caused these canvassers to cut corners and do things that not only undermined the goal of having legitimate registered voters but led to a situation where we allege it bled over into criminal conduct,” Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry said.

If convicted, the defendants face a prison term of up to 2 and 1/2 years. Indiana Voter Registration Project is faced with a fine of as much as $10,000.

USA: FBI Agents Search Boyle Heights Home, City Hall Office of Los Angeles Councilman Jose Huizar.

Los Angeles Times
written by By David Zahniser, Joel Rubin, Emily Alpert Reyes and Andrea Castillo
Wednesday November 7, 2018

The scene could have been out of a movie: more than a dozen FBI agents striding out of elevators on the fourth floor of Los Angeles City Hall and descending on the office of Councilman Jose Huizar.

By lunchtime Wednesday, federal investigators had served search warrants on Huizar’s City Hall suite, one of his field offices and his Spanish Colonial Revival residence in Boyle Heights, carrying boxes of materials from at least two of those locations.

The agents’ coordinated operation, described by neighbors and a handful of city employees, delivered a serious jolt to City Hall, which has not experienced such a flurry of investigative activity in more than a decade.

The searches pose, at minimum, a serious political threat to Huizar, a City Hall veteran who is working to elect his wife, Richelle Huizar, to his Eastside council seat.

FBI Special Agent David Nanz, who supervised the search warrant at City Hall, declined to comment on what the agents were looking for, saying the warrants executed Wednesday were under seal. He said the FBI was not planning on making any arrests in relation to the warrants on Wednesday.

Huizar spokesman Rick Coca referred questions about the raid to Stephen Kaufman, the councilman’s lawyer. “We’re trying to assess the situation and have no further comment at this time,” Kaufman said.

Mayor Eric Garcetti declined to comment. Council President Herb Wesson, in a statement, said the events “come as a surprise to each of us.”

“We will continue to do the jobs we were elected to do and will cooperate with authorities if asked,” he said.

Huizar, first elected to the council in 2005, faces term limits in two years and had already shifted his focus to his wife’s 2020 campaign to replace him. He represents neighborhoods stretching from downtown to Eagle Rock.

One Huizar staffer, who declined to give her name, said agents walked through the unlocked front door of the City Hall office and announced that they were serving a search warrant.

“They just told us not to touch anything and put us in the conference room,” she said. “We had literally just opened the office.”

The woman said the handful of staffers who were in the office were kept in the conference room as agents searched and were not given any information about what agents sought.

On Huizar’s street in Boyle Heights, FBI vehicles showed up early in the morning, according to 21-year-old Carmen Garcia, a next-door neighbor. “When we woke up at 6, they were already parked beside the house,” she said.

Huizar’s wife came out of the house a few hours later and left. While neighbors, activists and news crews congregated outside, an agent wearing an FBI T-shirt got out of his black SUV and led a dog up the stairs and into the councilman’s home.

The search dog at Huizar’s house is trained to sniff out electronic devices, such as thumb drives or cellular telephones, that may be hidden, according to sources familiar with the search warrant.

Several agents exited the home around 1:15 p.m., including one who carried what appeared to be a thumb drive in a clear plastic bag. Agents loaded paper bags, cardboard boxes and a large black plastic tub into their vehicles before driving away.

Roughly an hour later, FBI agents streamed out of Huizar’s City Hall office, also carrying boxes and paper bags, as television cameras and news photographers recorded the moment. They silently strode down the hallway to the elevators.

The FBI investigation comes as Huizar is already under serious legal pressure. Over the last month, two former staffers have filed lawsuits alleging that he engaged in an extramarital affair with an aide and potentially illegal activities.

Mayra Alvarez, a former Huizar aide, said in her lawsuit the councilman instructed staffers to work on his wife’s planned council campaign on city time. Pauline Medina, another former aide, alleged that she and other employees were instructed to perform inappropriate tasks, including raising money on city time for his alma mater, Salesian High School in Boyle Heights.

After Medina filed her lawsuit, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, which operates Salesian High School, issued a statement saying the school administration has “no record of staff members from Councilman Huizar’s office participating in fundraising activities at the school.”

Alvarez also alleged in her lawsuit that Huizar had instructed her to alter appointment calendars from 2015 and 2016 that had been requested by The Times under the California Public Records Act, removing references to meetings with specific lobbyists and developers.

Huizar called the Alvarez lawsuit “absolute nonsense” and said Medina’s legal filing is part of a “coordinated political attack.”

Lawyer Terrence Jones, who represents both Alvarez and Medina, said he had been contacted in recent weeks by federal investigators who have “expressed interest” in learning what his clients know. He said that no interviews had been set up but that he would advise his clients to provide any information requested by investigators.

The FBI has shown an interest in Huizar over several years. In 2011, businessman Rudy Martinez told The Times he had been interviewed by two FBI agents who had asked him about repairs that he had arranged at a rental house Huizar owned in El Sereno.

Martinez had been running against Huizar at the time. Huizar’s political consultant said that year that the councilman was not under investigation. Still, two former Huizar staffers also told The Times around that time that they had met with FBI agents who had asked about the councilman’s bank accounts and other topics.

Huizar’s Eastside council district has a history of low-grade scandals involving its politicians. It was long represented by Councilman Art Snyder, who was charged with drunk driving, got into car crashes while driving city vehicles and eloped with a 19-year-old aide.

After leaving the council in 1985, Snyder became a lobbyist. Years later, he was convicted of conspiracy and money laundering.

Snyder was succeeded in the district by Richard Alatorre, who served 14 years on the council. Alatorre decided not to seek reelection in 1999 after it was revealed that he was the target of a federal corruption investigation. After leaving office, he pleaded guilty to felony tax evasion for failing to report more than $40,000 he had received from people seeking political influence.

Huizar has repeatedly won reelection by significant margins, despite his own brushes with controversy. In 2012, while driving a city SUV, he rear-ended a vehicle driven by a retired Huntington Park police officer. The city later paid $185,000 to settle the motorist’s lawsuit.

A year later, a former Huizar aide sued the city, alleging the councilman had sexually harassed her. Huizar called the allegations false but said he had been engaged in an occasional extramarital affair with the aide. He and the aide later settled privately.

On Wednesday, word of the FBI searches quickly reverberated through City Hall. Workers in the building, some of them taking photos, watched as FBI agents moved in and out of Huizar’s office.

At one point during the search, three Huizar staffers arrived and tried to enter the office. “FBI?” one said incredulously.

An agent told them to remain in the hall. Moments later, the agent invited the three staffers in and asked to see their city IDs. He then asked if they would be willing to answer some questions.

USA: 9 People Arrested, 14 Charged In Texas For Alleged Illegal Voting Scheme, Says State AG

The Daily Caller
written by Molly Prince
Thursday November 8, 2018

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Thursday that several individuals were arrested in the Lone Star state for allegedly orchestrating an illegal voting scheme in the city of Edinburg in the Rio Grande Valley.

The attorney general’s Election Fraud Unit arrested nine people following an ongoing probe into “a coordinated effort by political workers to recruit people who agree to fraudulently claim residential addresses so they could vote in specific city of Edinburg municipal races,” according to a statement from Paxton’s office.

“Illegal voting, particularly an organized illegal voting scheme orchestrated by political operatives, is an affront to democracy and results in corruption at the highest level,” said Paxton. “Each illegal vote silences the voice of a law-abiding registered voter.”

Paxton identified the nine individuals as Guadalupe Sanchez Garza, Araceli Gutierrez, Brenda Rodriguez, Rosendo Rodriguez, Cynthia Tamez, Ruby Tamez, Belinda Rodriguez, Felisha Yolanda Rodriguez and Jerry Gonzalez, Jr. He also asserted that more arrests are expected in the future and urged anyone with further information to come forward.

“My office will continue to do everything in its power to uncover illegal voting schemes and bring to justice those who try to manipulate the outcome of elections in Texas,” he continued.

Paxton noted that 33 individuals in 2018 have been prosecuted for election fraud violations. In Texas, voting in an election illegally is a second-degree felony that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to another press release from Paxton’s office.

Star Telegram, Texas
written by Deanna Boyd and Anna M. Tinsley
October 24, 2018

A Fort Worth woman recently indicted on voter fraud charges paid others involved in the scheme with funds provided by a former Tarrant County Democratic Party leader, court documents filed this week say.

After learning about a state investigation, Leticia Sanchez — one of four women arrested and indicted on voter fraud charges — allegedly directed her daughter to send a text message to others in the scheme, urging them not to cooperate with investigators, state officials say.

The allegations are made in the state’s notice of intent to introduce evidence in Sanchez’s criminal case, where state officials say she was among those who collaborated to vote for certain down-ballot candidates with a number of north side residents’ mail-in ballots.

The notice, filed Tuesday, states that Sanchez engaged in organized criminal activity in collaboration with her three co-defendants; Stuart Clegg, a former executive director for the Tarrant County Democratic Party; and others.

It also includes allegations that Sanchez faxed applications for mail-in ballots — many obtained fraudulently — using a fax machine belonging to former Fort Worth councilman Sal Espino. The notice does not implicate Espino as being part of the scheme.

This is the latest development in a case the Texas attorney general’s office describes as an ”organized voter fraud ring” in Fort Worth.

Local Democrats say canvassing voters occurs every election cycle. Attorneys for Sanchez say they believe this case is politically motivated and they expect it to eventually be dismissed.

Earlier this month, four women were arrested — Sanchez, her daughter, Leticia Sanchez Tepichin, and Rosa Solis and Laura Parra — after being indicted on more than two dozen felony counts of voter fraud.

Officials allege the women were paid to target older voters on the city’s north side “in a scheme to generate a large number of mail ballots and then harvest those ballots for specific candidates in 2016.”

The notice did not specify which candidates the suspects were allegedly paid to support, but it noted that Sanchez and others marked down-ballot candidates “without the voter’s knowledge or consent.”

AG officials have said these charges “are in connection with the 2016 Democratic primary, but the case has connections with the 2015 city council election.”

AG spokesman Jeff Hillery declined to comment when asked if any other charges would be filed.

This development comes as early voting for the Nov. 6 midterm election is underway. Voters may vote early through Nov. 2. Election Day is Nov. 6.

Voter fraud allegations

The notice said Sanchez distributed payments “from funds received from Stuart Clegg” to more than four women for engaging in “activities” such as “fraudulent altering (mail-in) applications and submitting them again by fax.”

“There was no conspiracy to defraud any election,” Clegg told the Star-Telegram on Wednesday.

Clegg said that, as a consultant, he has hired canvassers through the years to “work legally in Texas elections.” He said workers are trained to follow the law. And, in general, money he received from campaigns that subcontracted with him was used to pay the workers.

“We’ve trained them to follow the law and instruct them as best as we can but, like anything, we’re not with the actual worker the whole time,” he said. “I don’t believe the allegations the attorney general is making.

“I know Leticia. I know that she’s a woman of fine character and I have no reason to believe that she would do anything illegal,” Clegg said. “Obviously, if I thought she was going to do anything illegal, I wouldn’t have hired her and I don’t believe that she did.”

In fact, he said, “I would turn them in myself if I thought that (accusations of vote harvesting) was true.”

Fax machine

The notice states that Sanchez obtained or directed others to obtain signatures from elderly voters under false pretenses and/or intimidation, caused innocent or non-responsible third parties to forge signatures of incapacitated or absent voters and forged signatures on mail-in ballot applications.

It alleges she also maintained a file of 2015 applications, many of them obtained fraudulently, which she then altered and submitted again by fax in 2016, “generating fraudulent mail ballots that the voter did not request.”

One of those voters, an upset Anita Garay, went to Espino’s office to find out why Sanchez had caused her signature to be forged on an application for the 2015 Fort Worth city council election, the notice states.

“Garay had found out that Sanchez used the fax machine/copier at Espino’s office to fax her application to elections,” the notice states.

Espino said he let the election workers use his fax machine at work, then known as Reunion Title.

“That’s allowed by law,” Espino said Wednesday. “All the folks I worked with were always told to follow the law.”

Ballot ‘harvesting’

The notice states Garay confronted Sanchez at her home the next day and that Sanchez tried to intimidate the voter by threatening to involve her attorney.

When Sanchez learned that state police investigators were interviewing voters in Tarrant County and members of her “vote harvesting group,” she directed Tepichin to send a text message to the crew “conveying a message from Sanchez and Stuart Clegg to not cooperate with investigators,” the notice states.

The message, sent in Spanish, translated stated: “Hello, there is a group of malicious people investigating our work. We have been told by our boss, Mr. Stuart, that we should not give any information. Just give them the phone number of the lawyer who is in charge of this matter. If anyone has contacted you, asked any type of questions, please tell us immediately so we can let the lawyer know. Notify immediately.”

“I would tell anybody it’s a good idea, before you talk to investigators, to make sure you talk to an attorney,” Clegg said. “Isn’t that just general sense?”

The state’s notice also accuses Sanchez of illegally voting by marking ballots or encouraging others to mark ballots in more than a dozen instances without the voter’s consent or knowledge.

She is only charged, however, with one count of illegal voting and 16 counts of providing false information on an application. She also is accused in the notice of committing, or aiding others in committing, more than 100 counts each of forgery, tampering with a governmental record and providing false information on an application.

Regarding the voter harvesting allegations, Clegg said “when Republicans do it, it’s campaigning. When Democrats do it, it’s harvesting. At the end of the day, what we’re talking about is helping people who want to vote to go vote legally,” he said. “How is that harvesting?”

Political move?

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has weighed in on this investigation, in 2016 tweeting: “Largest Voter fraud Investigation in Texas History Underway in Tarrant County. We will crush illegal voting.”

Attorneys representing Leticia Sanchez Tepichin have said this case — which they note was announced just weeks before the Nov. 6 midterm election — is a political move designed to prevent minorities from heading to the polls this election.

Regarding the new documents, “this is really more of the same,” Greg Westfall, who along with Frank Sellers is representing Tepichin, said in an email. “The document is full of allegations — inflammatory allegations that are intended to appear convincing because they use so many words.

“The fact that this is publicly filed during early voting, I am sure, is no mistake. Just like the indictments they handed down the week before early voting, they will have to one day try to prove it. I can’t comment further because rather than providing discovery, they were apparently working on this document.”

USA: California Democratic City Council Candidate Among Three Charged With Voter Fraud

Bakersfield.com
written by The Bakersfield Californian
Tuesday November 6, 2018

Bakersfield City Council candidate Gilberto de la Torre is crying foul over the Kern County District Attorney's Election Day announcement that he was being charged with election fraud.

"This might cause people not to want to vote for Gilberto de la Torre," the Ward 1 candidate said, referring to himself in the third person. "It may cost me a few votes."

In an unusual Election Day twist, de la Torre was among three in Kern County charged with voter fraud in connection with the 2016 election, according to the District Attorney's office.

De la Torre was challenging incumbent Willie Rivera; Marvin Dean was also in the race.

Oddly, the press release from the DA's office announcing the charges never mentioned they stem from the 2016 election, leading some to conclude that the fraud happened Tuesday. The press release went on to state that the DA's office is investigating "scores of claims concerning voter fraud."

De La Torre, John Byrne and Fernando Osorio were charged with misdemeanor voter fraud, prosecutors said in a news release. Additionally, Robert Lopez Jr. was charged with perjury, a felony.

Deputy District Attorney Chris E. Dominguez said the DA's Public Integrity Unit is examining more than 100 cases of potential voter fraud stemming from the 2016 election.

Dominguez said the timing of the charges was in no way intended to impact De La Torre’s election. He said it just happened that he was one of the people determined to have violated the Elections Code.

"We were not even aware that he was running today," Dominguez said.

De La Torre and Byrne are charged under subsection (b) of Elections Code 18560, which states "being entitled to vote at an election, votes more than once, attempts to vote more than once, or knowingly hands in two or more ballots folded together at that election."

De la Torre told The Californian he was interviewed by the DA's office in June 2017. He said he went to the DA's office voluntarily and was not led to believe at that time he would be charged. He said he still has not been charged.

"They weren't specific about what I might have done," he said. "I didn't vote twice — I vote by absentee, and it's not possible. I'm a U.S. citizen, born in East L.A. So I don't know."

In 2016, De La Torre was one of 25 candidates to run for mayor.
23ABC News, Bakersfield
written by Joe Conroy
Thursday November 8, 2018

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A 2018 candidate for Bakersfield City Council is facing voter fraud charges.

On Tuesday, the District Attorney's office announced that three people had been arrested on those charges, including Gilberto De La Torre, a candidate for the Ward 1 seat currently occupied by Willie Rivera.

De La Torre on Thursday told 23ABC News he has yet to be charged with anything and isn't sure if the allegations are related to his 2016 mayoral bid or this year's race for city council.

"I was interviewed by detectives in June 2017 for voter fraud from the 2016 mayor race," De La Torre told 23ABC by phone. "I answered all of their questions and they said they would contact me if they had any other questions. I haven't heard from them since."

De La Torre said he doesn't know what he's being formally charged with or even if he's been charged yet. He said he has no court date scheduled either.

Deputy District Attorney Christ Dominquez, who is prosecuting the case, told 23ABC that he can't comment on the case other than to say the code section sited by the press release would give a general idea of what De La Torre and two others are accused of.

The press release sent by the D.A.'s office stated that De La Torre was being charged with violations of Election Code § 18560(a) or (b), which are misdemeanors.

In California, that code section refers to individuals who:

"(a) Not being entitled to vote at an election, fraudulently votes or fraudulently attempts to vote at that election"
"(b) Being entitled to vote at an election, votes more than once, attempts to vote more than once, or knowingly hands in two or more ballots folded together at that election"
Kern County Superior Court shows De La Torre is charged with the (b) section of that code. John Byrne is also being charged with the same section, while Fernando Osorio is being charged with the (a) section.

As of November 8, according to Kern County Superior Court, none of the three people accused of voter fraud -- including De La Torre -- have any pending court dates set.