February 21, 2020

USA: A Criminal Justice Consultant Who Worked On Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Has Been Arrested For Planting Guns And Ammunition In A Tennessee Detention Center To Help Inmates Escape.

News4 WSMV Nashville published Thur Feb 20, 2020: There is growing astonishment from people who knew and worked with Alex Friedmann, the man accused of helping to stage a massive jailbreak. Jeremy Finley has more.

NewsChannel 5 published Weds Feb 19, 2020: Who is Alex Friedmann? A look at the advocate accused of with planting guns inside the Metro Jail. Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said criminal-turned-advocate Alex Friedmann masterminded an "evil" plan to hide guns inside the unfinished Downtown Detention Center.

Tennessean published Weds Feb 19, 2020: Nashville criminal justice advocate Alex Friedmann, 50, hid loaded guns when he sneaked into the incomplete Downtown Detention Center, according to Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall. Entire 10 minute news conference.
News Channel WTVF5, Nashville local
written by Laken Bowles
Wednesday February 19, 2020

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A longtime criminal justice advocate is accused of hiding guns in the new detention center as part of what authorities called a massive escape plan.

Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said Alex Friedmann hid loaded guns, various tools and additional ammunition in the new detention center over a period of several months.

Hall called the alleged escape plan extremely deliberate and “evil,” saying Friedmann put the lives of law enforcement in “imminent danger.”

Hall previously called it the "most significant security breach in Nashville history."

According to the sheriff’s office, Friedmann was arrested Tuesday night and charged with Class A Felony vandalism. He’s being held on a $2.5 million bond at Riverbend Maximum Security Institution for safekeeping, which is for inmates who have been court-ordered to Tennessee Department of Correction custody.

Hall said the bond is an indication of the seriousness of his actions, adding it was far beyond vandalism.

"This is not spray painted vandalism," Hall said.

During a press conference, Hall said he was most disturbed by the possible loss of life due to the alleged plan.

"He also put every inmate, every visitor and our entire community in jeopardy," Hall said.

Staff working inside the facility do not carry weapons, Hall added.

Friedmann was first arrested in early January and charged with attempted burglary, evidence tampering and possession of burglary tools. Metro Police say a cooler Friedmann carried into the facility contained bolt cutters, a key chit (used as a security measure to identify keys), and a schmeatic document of the building. He was arrested after a sheriff's lieutenant noticed the keys missing, reviewed security video, and then spotted a man in a yellow construction vest and taking the keys.

Friedmann is alleged to have tried to destroy the document by ripping and chewing it after he was detained.

The stolen keys have since been recovered and all 1,800 locks in the new detention center will be replaced.

Hall said Friedmann was caught just a few weeks after his office took occupancy in the facility. Before November, the facility was in the hands of general services for the government and a general contractor.

The new detention center was set to open in April, but in light of the investigation, Hall says it will be delayed.

"This will forever change how correctional facilities are built," Hall said.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Friedmann received a 10-year sentence for assault with intent to commit murder and armed robbery 1991.

Friedman's attorney, Benjamin K. Raybin, released the following statement:

"I have been representing Alex Friedmann since his arrest for attempted burglary in January. It is important to clarify that the new vandalism charge stems from alleged conduct arising last year, and not any recent actions occurring after his previous arrest. Mr. Friedmann surrendered himself immediately after being advised of the new charge last night. The keys were returned to the Sheriff’s Office several weeks ago through counsel. I am currently unable to comment on any of the factual allegations. Mr. Friedmann is presumed innocent and will respond through the appropriate legal processes.

Metro Nashville police said they're looking to identify three persons-of-interest who may have been involved in the plot.
FOX News
written by Ronn Blitzer
Thursday February 20, 2020

A former consultant for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign was arrested after he allegedly planted loaded weapons and ammunition inside a Tennessee corrections facility that was under construction in an attempt to carry out a future jailbreak, authorities said.

Criminal justice reform advocate Alex Friedmann, who was not an inmate but allegedly was plotting to help prisoners escape when the facility opened, was arrested Tuesday on one count of felony vandalism, but Davidson County Sheriff Daron Hall said during a press conference Wednesday that the allegations go far beyond that.

The opening of the Nashville detention center, which was slated for April, was indefinitely postponed after his arrest, according to the Tennessean.

“Throughout the last several weeks it was discovered that Mr. Friedmann, over many months, had developed and implemented an extremely deliberate – and in my opinion evil – plan,” Hall said during the press conference, which was broadcast by local NBC affiliate WSMV. “Understand, this plan went far beyond vandalism. Ultimately it included planting various tools, weapons, security equipment throughout this facility. All designed to assist in a massive escape plan.”

Hall went on to describe how the weapons included loaded guns and ammunition.

“What disturbed me most is not that this was about an escape,” he said. “It was also about loss of life.”

Friedmann worked with the 2016 presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., as one of several consultants who educated him on criminal justice issues. It resulted in Sanders introducing a bill aimed at eliminating private prisons. Friedmann told The Atlantic in 2015 that the bill did not go far enough to achieve that goal.

“It appears to be more for political purposes than to actually address the many problems in our criminal justice system,” he told the publication.

Sanders' 2020 presidential campaign did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

Sheriff Hall said the arrest came after an investigation stemming from a previous case involving Friedmann, who was arrested in January on charges including attempted burglary for allegedly posing as a construction worker to enter a different detention center multiple times, stealing keys, and diagraming the layout of the center, which was still being built and not in use at the time.

A press release from the sheriff’s office said that corrections officials noticed on Dec. 30 that two keys were missing. They viewed surveillance video and saw someone dressed as a construction worker who matched Friedmann’s description taking a key ring, then coming back and replacing it with two keys missing.

Friedmann, who was associate director of the Human Rights Defense Center and managing editor of its Prison Legal News publication, was released following that arrest after he posted $2,500 bond, and the case is still pending. HRDC director Paul Wright declined to comment on the allegations but told Fox News that Friedmann resigned from the organization following his January arrest.

Friedmann’s attorney Ben Raybin told Fox News that it was “important to clarify that the new vandalism charge stems from alleged conduct arising last year, and not any recent actions occurring after his previous arrest.” He said the keys were returned to the sheriff’s office and that Friedmann has been cooperative.

“Mr. Friedmann surrendered himself immediately after being advised of the new charge,” Raybin said.

Friedmann is currently in custody following his arrest, with bond set at $2.5 million. His next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 26, with an April 6 date set for the previous case.

The Nevada Independent
written by Megan Messerly
Wednesday February 12, 2020

The politically powerful Culinary Union is punching back at supporters of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who have lashed out at the union after it began distributing a one-pager to members warning that the Democratic presidential hopeful would “end Culinary Healthcare” if elected president.

Culinary Union Secretary-Treasurer Geoconda Arguello-Kline said in a statement Wednesday that Sanders supporters have “viciously attacked” the union since it began distributing a one-pager to union members that takes specific aim at the Vermont senator over his Medicare-for-all policy. The Culinary Union, which provides insurance to 130,000 of its members and their families through a special kind of union health trust, strongly opposes the creation of a single-payer, government-run health insurance system on the grounds that it would eliminate their health plan.

In distributing the flyer, the union was trying to provide “facts on what certain healthcare proposals might do to take away the system of care we have built over 8 decades,” Arguello-Kline said. “We have always stood up for what we believe in and will continue to do so.”

She also noted that the union invited Sanders to its headquarters for a town hall and took him on tours of its 60,000-square-foot state of the art Culinary Health Center and the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, a training facility for hospitality workers in North Las Vegas “to show what we have fought for and won.”

“The Culinary Union has faced some of the toughest companies who wanted to break our union, and even the President of the United States Donald Trump – and won,” she said.

Since news of the flyer broke on Tuesday night, the Culinary Union has faced attacks in the form of tweets, phone calls and emails, a union spokeswoman said.

On Twitter, the union has been derided, among other things, as “corrupt,” “incompetent” and “operating in bad faith.” The spokeswoman said the content of the phone calls and emails has largely been the same.

A spokeswoman for the Sanders campaign declined to comment Wednesday afternoon.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers and a member of the AFL-CIO, chimed in on Twitter in support of the union.
The 60,000-member hotel workers’ union, an organizing powerhouse in the state known for turning the tides in close races, has yet to announce whether it will endorse ahead of the Democratic presidential caucus in Nevada on Feb. 22. However, the flyer appears to be part of a coordinated campaign by the union to insert itself into the race — with or without an endorsement.

According to the flyer, Sanders would “end Culinary Healthcare,” “require ‘Medicare For All,’” and “lower drug prices” if elected president. It uses much softer language to describe Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s Medicare for all plan, which the union says would “replace Culinary Healthcare after 3-year transition or at end of collective bargaining agreements.”

The flyer also praises four other Democratic presidential hopefuls — former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and California billionaire Tom Steyer — for backing plans that would create a government-run public health care option that the union says would “protect Culinary Health care.”

The Culinary Union has repeatedly stressed that it believes that health care is a right, just not at the expense of the union’s gold-standard health plan, considered some of the best insurance in the state.

“Our union believes that everyone has the right to good healthcare and that healthcare should be a right, not a privilege,” Arguello-Kline said. “We have already enacted a vision for what working people need — and it exists now. Workers should have the right to choose to keep the healthcare Culinary Union members have built, sacrificed for, and went on strike for 6 years, 4 months, and 10 days to protect.”

The Nevada Independent is a 501(c)3 nonprofit news organization. We are committed to transparency and disclose all our donors. The following people or entities mentioned in this article are financial supporters of our work:
Culinary Workers Union - $7,325

BURKINA FASO: Islamist Militants Murdered Two Dozen People, And Injured 18 Others During Sunday Church Service. Islam Uses Islamist Militants To Conquer Poor Nations And Enforce Sharia Law.

The Washington Examiner
written by Zachary Halaschak
Monday February 17, 2020

Two dozen people were killed and 18 others injured when gunmen attacked a church in Burkina Faso.

The incident happened during the Sunday services at a Protestant church in the village of Pansi, located near the border of Niger. Col. Salfo Kabore, the regional governor, said that “armed terrorists attacked the peaceful local population after having identified them and separated them from non-residents.”

“The provisional toll is 24 killed, including the pastor ... 18 wounded and individuals who were kidnapped,” Kabore added.

Last May, a group of 20 to 30 gunmen entered a Catholic church in the country and killed six people, including the priest. Last week, a pastor was kidnapped by gunmen, and another was killed in the same region of Burkina Faso.

It is not clear who is behind the attacks, but Burkina Faso has seen a dramatic spike in attacks linked to Islamist groups in the West African country. The nation is 55%-60% Muslim and roughly a quarter Christian.

The Guardian, UK
written by Jason Burke Africa correspondent
Tuesday January 28, 2020

Dozens of people are feared dead following an attack by Islamic militants on a village in Burkina Faso, the latest bloody incident in an unprecedented surge of violence across the restive Sahel region.

Details of the attack, which occurred on Saturday and targeted the village of Silgadji in the northern Soum province, were still unclear on Tuesday but a security official said casualties in the assault totalled between “10 and 30 dead”.

In many such instances, initial death tolls are revised upwards when investigators reach the often remote areas where the raids take place.

Islamic extremists were still in the vicinity of the village on Monday, a resident in nearby Bourzanga town said, citing accounts from those who had fled.

“The terrorists surrounded the people at the village market, before separating them into two groups. The men were executed and the women were ordered to leave the village,” the source said. “Security teams are trying to get to the site but access to the village has probably been booby-trapped with homemade mines, and they are having to proceed carefully.”

Though once considered resistant to the phenomenon of Islamic extremism, Burkina Faso has suffered a rapid rise in Islamist extremism in recent years, a spillover of violence in neighbouring Mali.

The number of deaths from Islamist-linked attacks in Burkina Faso rose from about 80 in 2016 to more than 1,800 in 2019.

There were more than 4,000 deaths across the Sahel reported last year, according to the UN.

Saturday’s attack follows a massacre of 36 people at two villages in the northern Sanmatenga province earlier this month.

Extremist violence in the Sahel intensified after a coalition of Islamists and local separatist tribesmen took control over much of northern Mali in 2012.

A seven-year campaign led by French troops, the deployment of hundreds of US special forces, massive aid for local militaries and a billion dollar-a-year United Nations peacekeeping operation have been unable to decisively weaken the multiple overlapping insurgencies in the region and security has continued to deteriorate.

European officials are worried the Sahel is close to a tipping point that could see an irreversible slide into violent chaos that will strengthen extremist groups and send a new wave of migrants to Europe.

There are also concerns that the US will withdraw a significant proportion of its troops deployed in Africa, possibly undermining French military efforts in the region.

On Monday French officials said they hoped “good sense” would prevail and the United States would not cut crucial intelligence and logistics support for the French force of 4,500 troops based in Mali.

The Pentagon has announced plans to withdraw hundreds of military personnel from Africa as it redirects resources to address challenges from China and Russia after two decades focused on counter-terrorism operations. Those cuts could deepen following an ongoing global troop review.

France believes it is time to increase, not ease, pressure on militants to prevent “Islamic State from rebuilding in the Sahel”, a senior French defence ministry official said.

The US currently has 6,000 military personnel in Africa, though only several hundred are deployed against militants in the Sahel.

Although some experts say a repositioning of forces is overdue, many US officials share French concerns about relieving pressure on militants in Africa.

“Any withdrawal or reduction would likely result in a surge in violent extremist attacks on the continent and beyond,” Republican Senator Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Coons wrote earlier this month.

Gen Franรงois Lecointre, chief of staff of the French armed forces, said the loss of US intelligence from intercepted communications would be the “biggest setback”.

“I’m doing my utmost to prevent this from happening,” he said, adding that French drone-based spying systems would not be operational until year-end.

France said this month it would deploy 220 additional troops to the region, despite rising anti-French sentiment in some countries and criticism at home that its forces are bogged down.

Some French analysts have dismissed the decision as a political gesture and called for greater emphasis on a strategy that addresses the failings of local states in the Sahel and broader economic issues.

Burkina Faso, one of the most impoverished countries in the world, saw a tenfold rise in those displaced by the violence over 2019, with more than 560,000 forced out of their homes by December, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council. The figure is predicted to rise to 900,000 people by April

“Burkina Faso needs more than bullets and bombs. Military engagement alone is failing to protect vulnerable communities. Donors … have not yet responded to the enormous humanitarian needs with equal emphasis,” warned NRC’s secretary general Jan Egeland, on a visit to the country this week.

Hunger is also a threat, with one in ten people in Burkina Faso likely to need food assistance by June.

Attacks on children in the Sahel have also risen dramatically over the past year. Mali recorded 571 grave violations against children during the first three quarters of 2019, compared to 544 in 2018 and 386 in 2017, according to Unicef.

Since the start of 2019, more than 670,000 children across the region have been forced to flee their homes because of armed conflict and insecurity.

Burkina Faso’s army is ill-equipped and poorly trained to deal with assaults that usually involve hundreds of highly mobile, lightly-armed militants travelling on motorbikes or in pick up trucks.

ENGLAND: A Female Muslim Convert Pleads Guilty To Plotting A Bombing Attack At St. Paul's Cathedral In London. She Said She Wanted To Kill The Kaffir At A Church On A Day Like Christmas Or Easter.

BBC News, UK
written by Staff
Friday February 21, 2020

A supporter of the banned Islamic State terror group has admitted plotting to blow herself up in a bomb attack on St Paul's Cathedral.

Muslim convert Safiyya Shaikh went on a reconnaissance trip to scope out the London landmark and a hotel.

The 36-year-old, born Michelle Ramsden, was arrested after asking an undercover police officer to supply bombs.

At the Old Bailey, Shaikh, of west London, admitted preparing an act of terrorism and will be sentenced in May.

She was considered such a threat that MI5 made her the highest-level priority for investigation in the weeks before her arrest, according to Whitehall security sources.

It meant she was subject to a level of surveillance reserved for only the most dangerous potential attackers.

Over the two months before her arrest in October 2019, Shaikh built up a relationship with two undercover officers who were posing as a husband and wife extremist team.

She messaged one of them via an encrypted social media app.

'Bomb under the dome'

"I want to kill a lot," she told the officer. "I would like to do church... a day like Christmas or Easter good, kill more.

"I always send threats. But I want to make threats real."

She sent a picture of St Paul's Cathedral to the officer and wrote: "I would like to do this place for sure.

"I would like bomb and shoot 'til death... I really would love to destroy that place and the kaffir there."

Just over a week later Shaikh, of Hayes, visited St Paul's and sent videos to her contact, writing: "I will to the bomb under the dome.

"I will also do something in hotel, then church, then kill 'til I'm dead."

Prosecutors say she gave two bags which she wanted to be fitted with homemade bombs to the female undercover officer.

Shaikh converted to Islam in 2007 after being impressed by the kindness of her Muslim neighbours but later became isolated and apparently rejected mainstream Islam.

She began to court the extremist violent ideology of IS and other jihadist groups and by 2016 Shaikh stopped attending mosques.

She was also reported to the government's Prevent programme.

In a police interview Shaikh admitted posting extremist material and plotting a bomb attack, although she said she might not have gone through with it.

In court she pleaded guilty to the preparation of terrorist acts and dissemination of terrorist publications.

Mr Justice Sweeney ordered reports ahead of sentencing on 11 May.

In November, Neil Basu, head of counter terrorism policing, said the UK's counter terrorism policing team had about 800 live counter-terrorism investigations.

He said 24 attack plots had been thwarted since the Westminster attack in March 2017.
Are you understanding what I shared with you above? Islam from their Prophet Mohammad refers to our Christian and Jewish God almighty creator of ALL LIVING THINGS as Satan the devil whose Messiah is the anti-Christ and Christian and Jews are Satan's demonic followers.

Islam also refers to Christianity as a kind of polytheism. That is patently false. God the father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit ARE ALL ONE. Jesus Christ the Son of God is THE LIVING BREATHING WORD OF GOD and the Holy Spirit is THE BREATH OF GOD.
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. [John 1:1-5 KJV]
The Father Revealed John 14: 7 “If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”

8 Philip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.”

9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.
It disgusts me that the Catholic Pope defends this garbage being taught by Islam. Christians and Jews worship the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Islam does not. Islam is not an Abrahamic faith or religion that is a lie straight out of the pit of hell. (emphasis mine)

February 19, 2020

Good Morning Everybody, Happy Hump Day! ๐Ÿช Sending A Smile Your Way. :) ♥

Hi everybody! I just wanted to say, that some of you will see the cartoon that I've shared with you above as childish. Others of you, will see this as a message to lighten up and smile. But then there are those of you, that will see the message within the message. The song that Nibbles is singing is a French lullaby song title, Frรจre Jacques. In English, the title of this song is, Are You Sleeping? I'm sharing the lyrics of this song with you below in French and translated to English.

Frรจre Jacques - (Are You Sleeping)

Frรจre Jacques, Frรจre Jacques,
Dormez-vous? Dormez-vous?
Sonnez les matines, sonnez les matines
Ding ding dong, ding ding dong.

English Version:
Are you sleeping, are you sleeping?
Brother John, Brother John?
Morning bells are ringing, morning bells are ringing
Ding ding dong, ding ding dong.

๐Ÿ’– BONUS ๐Ÿ’–

February 18, 2020

USA: Today, President Trump Signed Executive Grants Of Clemency Granting Full Pardons And Signed Executive Grants Of Clemency Granting Commutations To The Following Individuals.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Today, President Donald J. Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency granting Full Pardons to the following individuals: Edward DeBartolo, Jr., Michael Milken, Ariel Friedler, Bernard Kerik, Paul Pogue, David Safavian, and Angela Stanton. In addition, President Trump signed Executive Grants of Clemency granting commutations to Rod Blagojevich, Tynice Nichole Hall, Crystal Munoz, and Judith Negron.

Edward DeBartolo, Jr., is a successful businessman, real estate developer, and member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. During the 23 years that he owned the San Francisco 49ers, the team won an unprecedented 13 division titles and 5 Super Bowl Championships. In 1998, he was convicted for failing to report a felony regarding payment demanded for a riverboat casino license, and he was sentenced to 2 years’ probation. Mr. DeBartolo did not allow his conviction to define his life. He remained a generous philanthropist and passionate supporter of numerous charitable causes, including charter schools like the Brooks DeBartolo Collegiate High School, and anti-gang violence initiatives. His exceptional compassion and warmth define his character to this day. Mr. DeBartolo treated players and coaches as part of his family. Many prominent individuals from the National Football League have strongly advocated for this pardon, including Joe Montana, Jim Brown, Jerry Rice, Steve Young, Ronnie Lott, Charles Haley, Derrick Brooks, Fred Dean, Robert Kraft, Jerry Jones, and Roger Goodell. They have been joined in their support by other notable figures and organizations, including Pastor Darrell Scott, Kareem Lanier, Paul Anka, and the Urban Revitalization Coalition.

Michael Milken, one of America’s greatest financiers, pioneered the use of high-yield bonds in corporate finance. His innovative work greatly expanded access to capital for emerging companies. By enabling smaller players to access the financing they needed to compete, Mr. Milken’s efforts helped create entire industries, such as wireless communications and cable television, and transformed others, like home building. Mr. Milken’s work also democratized corporate finance by providing women and minorities access to capital that would have been unavailable to them otherwise. In 1989, at the height of his finance career, Mr. Milken was charged in an indictment alleging that some of his innovative financing mechanisms were in fact criminal schemes. The charges filed against Mr. Milken were truly novel. In fact, one of the lead prosecutors later admitted that Mr. Milken had been charged with numerous technical offenses and regulatory violations that had never before been charged as crimes. Though he initially vowed to fight the charges, Mr. Milken ultimately pled guilty in exchange for prosecutors dropping criminal charges against his younger brother. As a result, Mr. Milken served 2 years in prison in the early 1990s. Since his release, Mr. Milken has dedicated his life to philanthropy, continuing charitable work that he began before his indictment. Over the years, Mr. Milken—either personally or through foundations he created—has provided hundreds of millions of dollars in critical funding to medical research, education, and disadvantaged children. Mr. Milken’s philanthropy has been particularly influential in the fight against prostate cancer and has been credited with saving many lives. This pardon has widespread and longstanding support, including from the following individuals: Dr. Miriam Adelson, Sheldon Adelson, David Bahnsen, Tom Barrack, Maria Bartiromo, Ron Burkle, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, William Ford, Josh Friedman, Rudy Guiliani, Josh Harris, Rabbi Marvin Hier, Ray Irani, Robert Kraft, Richard LeFrak, Randy Levine, Howard Lorber, Representative Kevin McCarthy, Larry Mizel, Arte Moreno, Rupert Murdoch, Sean Parker, John Paulson, Nelson Peltz, Steven Roth, David Rubenstein, Larry Ruvo, Marc Stern, Steven Tananbaum, Ted Virtue, Andrew von Eschenbach, Mark Weinberger, and Gary Winnick.

Ariel Friedler was a successful entrepreneur, and built a successful technology company that employed more than 150 people and served more than 41 million students, staff, employers, and government constituents worldwide. In 2014, while serving as President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr. Friedler pled guilty to conspiracy to access a protected computer without authorization and served 2 months in prison. As a result of this incident, he was forced to sell the company that he had dedicated his life to building. During the investigation, his time in prison, and after his release, Mr. Friedler expressed deep remorse for his actions. Since his release, Mr. Friedler has volunteered his time and expertise to promoting veterans issues and helping former prisoners reenter and rejoin society. In recognition of his rehabilitation, the State of Florida restored his license to practice law. Among those who support this grant of clemency are former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Rabbi Katz of the Aleph Institute.

Bernard Kerik courageously led the New York Police Department’s heroic response to the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, as Commissioner of the New York Police Department. He embodied the strength, courage, compassion, and spirit of the people of New York and this great Nation as he served alongside first responders at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the attack. In 2010, Mr. Kerik was sentenced to 4 years’ imprisonment for tax fraud and for making false statements. Since his conviction, he has focused on improving the lives of others, including as a passionate advocate for criminal justice and prisoner reentry reform. His 30 years of law enforcement service and tenure as Commissioner of the New York City Department of Correction have given him a unique understanding and perspective on criminal justice and prisoner reentry reform, and he remains an invaluable contributor to these endeavors. Mr. Kerik is the recipient of countless awards for meritorious and heroic service, including a Presidential Commendation for Heroism from President Ronald Reagan. Among others, this pardon is supported by Rudy Giuliani, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Geraldo Rivera, Charlie Daniels, Chief Paul Cell, Judge Ray Reddin, Former Chief of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department John Comparetto, Representative Peter King, Christopher Ruddy, Chief and Mrs. Eddie Gallagher, and Sidney Powell.

Paul Pogue was the owner of a successful construction company and made significant charitable contributions every year. An audit by the Internal Revenue Service discovered that Mr. Pogue had underpaid his taxes over a 3-year period by approximately 10 percent. Immediately upon learning of the tax deficiency, Mr. Pogue paid restitution, interest, and penalties. To avoid the cost and burden of fighting the charges, which could have put at risk the jobs of the 150 people employed by his company, Mr. Pogue agreed to plead guilty and was sentenced to 3 years of probation. Despite his conviction, Mr. Pogue never stopped his charitable work. For more than 30 years, he has provided significant humanitarian aid to countries around the world, including Africa, India, and Mexico, all while continuing to help his fellow Americans in times of need. Mr. Pogue is the founder of two non-profit organizations. One constructs churches, clinics, schools, and orphanages in developing countries. The other provides disaster relief to communities in need. Following Hurricane Harvey, his charity provided critical support to Texans rebuilding their lives in the wake of the storm. In addition, Mr. Pogue’s non-profit flies medical teams into disaster areas and flies people in need of medical treatment to doctors and hospitals. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Mike Buster, Steve Dulin, Robert Morris, Jack Graham, and James Robison are among the many people who support this grant of clemency.

David Safavian has dedicated his life to criminal justice reform after serving nearly a year in prison. Mr. Safavian was convicted of making false statements and of obstructing an investigation into a trip he took while he was a senior government official. Having served time in prison and completed the process of rejoining society with a felony conviction, Mr. Safavian is uniquely positioned to identify problems with the criminal justice system and work to fix them. Mr. Safavian is a fierce advocate for policy changes that improve public safety, protect families and victims, and reduce recidivism, including the First Step Act, which provides prisoners with a second chance through rehabilitative programs, fair sentencing, and smart confinement. The District of Columbia restored his license to practice law, and his pardon is supported by several prominent individuals, including Van Jones, Matt Schlapp, Mercedes Schlapp, Doug Deason, Mark Holden, Topeka Sam, Dan Schneider, and Jessica Jackson.

Angela Stanton overcame a difficult childhood to become a champion for redemption and rehabilitation for all who strive for a better life. In 2007, she served a 6-month home confinement sentence for her role in a stolen vehicle ring. Today, Ms. Stanton is a national best-selling author, widely acclaimed television personality, and proponent of criminal justice reform. She works tirelessly to improve reentry outcomes for people returning to their communities upon release from prison, focusing on the critical role of families in the process. This pardon is supported by Alveda King.

In light of the decisions these individuals have made following their convictions to work to improve their communities and our Nation, the President has determined that they are each deserving of full pardons.

In addition, the President is commuting the sentences of four individuals who have paid their debts to society and have worked to improve their lives and the lives of others while incarcerated.

Rod Blagojevich was the Governor of Illinois from 2003 until 2009, when he was charged with, among other things, offering an appointment to the United States Senate in exchange for campaign contributions. He was convicted of those charges and sentenced to 14 years in prison. Although the Seventh Circuit reversed some of his convictions related to the Senate appointment, it did not alter his 14-year sentence. He has spent 8 years in prison. People from across the political spectrum and from varied backgrounds have expressed support for shortening Mr. Blagojevich’s sentence, including Senator Dick Durbin, Reverend Jesse Jackson, Sr., former Representative Bob Barr, Representatives Bobby Rush and Danny Davis, former Attorney General Eric Holder, and Bishop Byron Brazier. Additionally, more than a hundred of Mr. Blagojevich’s fellow inmates have written letters in support of reducing his sentence. During his confinement, Mr. Blagojevich has demonstrated exemplary character, devoting himself to improving the lives of his fellow prisoners. He tutors and teaches GED classes, mentors prisoners regarding personal and professional development, and speaks to them about their civic duties. Notwithstanding his lengthy sentence, Mr. Blagojevich also counsels inmates to believe in the justice system and to use their time in prison for self-improvement. His message has been to “keep faith, overcome fear, and never give up.”

Tynice Nichole Hall is a 36-year-old mother who has served nearly 14 years of an 18-year sentence for allowing her apartment to be used to distribute drugs. While in prison, Ms. Hall has completed a number of job-training programs and apprenticeships, as well as coursework towards a college degree. In addition, Ms. Hall has taught prison educational programs to other inmates. She has accepted responsibility for her past behavior and has worked hard to rehabilitate herself. Among those who support this grant of clemency are Clemency for All Non-Violent Drug Offenders Foundation, Alice Johnson, Dan Schneider, Matt Whitaker, Adam Brandon, Kevin Roberts, Brett Tolman, and John Hostettler.

Crystal Munoz has spent the past 12 years in prison as a result of a conviction for having played a small role in a marijuana smuggling ring. During this time, she has mentored people working to better their lives, volunteered with a hospice program, and demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to rehabilitation. The Texas A&M Criminal Defense Clinic, the Clemency for All Non-Violent Drug Offenders Foundation, Dan Schneider, Matt Whitaker, Adam Brandon, Kevin Roberts, Brett Tolman, John Hostettler, and Alice Johnson are among the many who support this grant of clemency.

Judith Negron is a 48-year-old wife and mother who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for her role as a minority-owner of a healthcare company engaged in a scheme to defraud the Federal Government. Ms. Negron has served 8 years of her sentence and has spent this time working to improve her life and the lives of her fellow inmates. Her prison warden and her counselor have written letters in support of clemency. According to her warden, Ms. Negron “has always shown herself to be a model inmate who works extremely well with others and has established a good working relationship with staff and inmates.” This grant of clemency is supported by the Clemency for All Non-Violent Drug Offenders Foundation, Dan Schneider, Matt Whitaker, Adam Brandon, Kevin Roberts, Brett Tolman, John Hostettler, and Alice Johnson, among others.
The Daily Wire
written by Ryan Saavedra
January 1, 2020

Senior White House Adviser Jared Kushner has endured significant criticism from the media, Democrats, and from factions of the political Right for his presence in the Trump administration. However, many of the criticisms that Kushner has faced fall apart upon a close examination of facts and reality.

The biggest criticism that Kushner has faced from factions of the political Right during his time in the Trump administration is that he is too liberal. Many of the criticisms that he is too liberal are based off the fact that Kushner tries to work with as many parties as possible when working to solve an issue, as maximum cooperation is the easiest way to achieve success.

Those who claim that Kushner is too liberal often overlook many of the victories that he has secured for Trump which often fall directly in line with causes that conservatives champion. Those victories include:
  • Kushner played a decisive role in Trump’s 2016 victory: Trump, who has proven to be much more conservative than beloved former Republican President Ronald Reagan, won in 2016 thanks in large part to Kushner. Forbes reported in 2016 that Kushner’s role in running the Trump campaign’s data operation “eventually tipped the states that swung the election.”
  • Kushner is among the biggest pro-Israel advocates in the White House: Any notion that Kushner is liberal is quickly dispelled by the pro-Israel agenda that he has advocated for in the White House. Kushner’s pro-Israel advocacy comes at a time when far-left extremists have normalized anti-Semitism into the Democratic Party. The New York Times reported that Kushner’s advocacy for pro-Israel policy positions stems in part from his family surviving the Holocaust and Nazi persecution. Growing up, Kushner learned about how his family had been persecuted by Nazis and thus learned that protecting Israel was essential to the survival of the Jewish people. The Times notes that Kusher has played a key role in shaping Trump’s policy agenda with regard to Israel. Kushner also played a key role in Trump’s recent executive order that protects Jewish students from anti-Semitism.
  • Kushner has been tasked with securing Trump’s biggest campaign promise: The construction of the border wall: Securing the Southern border and building a border wall to stop the massive flow of illegal aliens into the United States was Trump’s biggest promise during 2016. However, Trump’s promise has been stalled due to large partisan opposition and Democrat-appointed far-left activist judges who have issued numerous injunctions and rulings in effort to stop the administration. Trump has since turned to Kushner and instructed his son-in-law to make sure that it gets done.
Another criticism that Kushner has faced is that he does not possess enough relevant work experience to hold the position that he currently holds in the White House. However, Kushner’s business experience in real estate has helped him to secure trade deals that were central to the Trump administration, including:
  • Kushner was a key player in securing the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA): U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters in October 2018: “I’ve said before, and I’ll say again, this agreement would not have happened if it wasn’t for Jared.”
  • Kushner is a key player in securing new trade deals with China: After seeing how Kushner was successful in securing USMCA, Trump instructed him to work on getting a new trade deal secured with China, which Kushner was successful in achieving.
A third criticism that Kushner has faced is kind of combination of the first two criticisms. Kushner has had to deal with critics who have claimed that he does not have the political experience necessary to navigate the partisan nature of Washington, D.C., and does not understand what the Republican Party needs because he was supposedly too liberal. Again, Kushner’s track record silences his critics:
  • Kushner was a key player in securing Trump’s victory in 2016: As previously mentioned in this report, Kushner played a key role in Trump winning in 2016. Forbes reported in 2016: “A year ago he had zero experience in politics and about as much interest in it. Suddenly he sits at its global center. … No resources at the beginning, perhaps. Underfunded throughout, for sure. But by running the Trump campaign–notably, its secret data operation–like a Silicon Valley startup, Kushner eventually tipped the states that swung the election. And he did so in manner that will change the way future elections will be won and lost.”
  • Kushner worked with Democrats and Republicans to secure criminal justice reform, which expanded the tent of the Republican Party: The New York Times reported that Kushner was the “administration’s driving force behind the bill.” The bill’s passage has increased Trump’s approval rating among the black community, which is a key demographic for the Democrat Party. Recent polling from Emerson and Rasmussen Reports shows that Trump’s approval rating sits at 34%, which is up significantly from the 8% of black voters who voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton in 2016.
  • Kusher was deemed as such an asset to the Trump campaign in 2016 that he was asked to help Trump’s re-election campaign in 2020: The Washington Post reported last year that Kushner was Trump’s “hidden campaign hand” and that when campaign manager Brad Parscale wanted to talk fundraising strategy for the campaign that the first person he went to was Kushner. In his unofficial advisory role to the campaign, Kushner has instructed senior political advisers to the campaign to provide to him a 10-year plan for how Republicans can win over inner city voters, which demonstrates his keen political foresight in understanding where the GOP needs focus its energy to dominate the political landscape for future generations.
The other area that Kushner has dealt with criticism is in negative press over things he advised Trump on, which he was criticized over at the time but later turned out to be right on the issue.

By far the biggest criticism that Kushner has had to deal with was his support of Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey, which eventually led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

While the decision was controversial at the time, in hindsight it was the correct move as Comey has since been found to have been an utter disgrace to the FBI with his leadership and for allowing his agency to engage in criminal conduct against Trump through its doctoring of evidence in the FISA process.

Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel summarized Comey’s time at the FBI by highlighting just a few of the damaging things that had been revealed about him, including the fact that he was “fired for cause; found guilty of ‘insubordinate’ acts (IG on Clinton case); found guilty of ‘dangerous’ behavior (IG on memo leak); in charge of an FBI that deceived the FISA court.”
Strassel’s tweet preempted Comey’s recent interview on Fox News where anchor Chris Wallace sliced and diced him on national television.

Kushner’s successes for the administration, while often ignored by the media, have been noticed by all the right people in Trump world.

One of Kushner’s biggest defenders is the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., who said, “Jared has defied his critics every step of the way. They attacked him on the campaign, but he never wavered and helped my dad build an innovative campaign operation unlike anything that’d ever existed before—and we won. The attacks have continued in the West Wing but he’s kept delivering for the President’s agenda, and for the American people.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY) also championed Kushner’s work, saying, “Jared has been a consistent, principled fighter not just for the president’s agenda, but most importantly for America. Intelligent and determined, his presence in the West Wing has been critically important and effective.”

David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, also spoke highly of Kushner, saying, “For decades the conventional wisdom was that there were limits on how much the U.S. could support Israel, notwithstanding that Israel was America’s greatest friend and ally in the Middle East. Jared broke that flawed paradigm: we worked together to properly realign and strengthen the U.S. relationship with Israel while Jared simultaneously helped to guide and strengthen our other relationships in the region.”

“Jared disproved the ‘zero sum game’ theory that a stronger relationship with Israel meant a weaker U.S. presence in the Gulf,” Friedman added. “He showed that the U.S. can be stronger on all fronts.”

Cliff Sims, former campaign aide and former Special Assistant to the President, said, “From criminal justice reform to the USMCA to overhauling the VA, when Jared puts his focus and energy into something, his track record shows he gets it done. It’s hard to take his critics seriously when the results so easily prove his effectiveness.”

A source close to former White House strategist Steve Bannon added, “Most of the negative press that Jared got hit with after the election came from Steve Bannon and his allies. We now know that Steve was pushing lies. Steve ended up losing a lot of friends and Jared earned a whole new army of allies. I guess Steve isn’t the brilliant strategist that he fancies himself.”

Another crucial champion is Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, who is close with the Trump administration and focused on making the Republican Party attractive to young voters.

“Jared has been relentless in helping fulfill the president’s agenda,” Kirk said. “He has done more for this country in three short years than the entire entrenched political class has done in the last 40 years.”

UPDATE 2/18/2020 at 7:31pm: Added tweets below.
UPDATE 2/18/20 at 11:01pm: Added tweets below.
UPDATE 2/21/2020 at 1:47pm: Added info below.