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Latest Featured Reports | Monday, August 31, 2015
10 Years Later - Crawford and Katrina: 'BradCast' 8/28/15
Personal remembrances and audio from our on-air, on-the-ground 2005 coverage of Cindy Sheehan's anti-war uprising at the Bush 'ranch' in TX as Hurricane Katrina stormed ashore...
'A Crazy Man Got a Gun': 'BradCast' 8/27/15
Standing up to the NRA after Roanoke, horrifying U.S. gun death toll; PLUS: Denying global warming on Katrina's 10th anniversary; Trump's ugly nativism; Good news for Dems; Marriage dead-enders in KY...
'Green News Report' 8/27/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
10th anniv. of Hurricane Katrina; NASA warns 3 ft. of sea level rise now locked in; Obama heads to the Arctic; PLUS: Switch to clean energy will cost less than fossil fuel, says Citigroup
Previous GNRs: 8/25/15 - 8/20/15 - Archives...
Let's Go to the Phones: 'BradCast' 8/26/15
Covering a lot of ground with listener callers -- from the on-air shootings in Roanoke, VA to why Democrats shouldn't be so gleeful about Donald Trump -- and much more...
Carly's Climate Clap-Trap or The Fiorina Follies:
'BradCast' 8/25/15
Journalist David Roberts on the 'moderate', 'reasonable' GOP candidate's ridiculous climate comments and Citigroup's global warming report. Plus: Beck, Trump and Sanders...
'Green News Report' 8/25/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
July 2015 hottest month ever recorded; Record wildfires get worse; Mysterious whale deaths in WA; Oil hit hard by China crash; PLUS: Obama calls out anti-free market ideology...
Previous GNRs: 8/20/15 - 8/18/15 - Archives...
TX Photo ID Law Found Illegal, Yet Still Suppressing Voters: 'BradCast' 8/24/15
Guests: Attorney Ernest A. Canning on TX' discriminatory law; Financial journalist David Dayen on Dow 'crash'...
Sunday Toons, Untrustworthy Edition
Hillary's email; Ashley Madison's mess; Subway's Jared; Schumer's shame; Amazon agonistes; Trump's tyranny and more...
E-Cigs Are Good For You; GOP is Not: 'BradCast' 8/21/15
Also: Bernie Sanders & ignoring corporate media are good for you too...
5th Circuit Photo ID Ruling Could Leave Thousands Without Right to Vote in TX
'Good news' decision could leave 600k lawfully registered voters disenfranchised in 2016...
'No Good Evidence' Russia Behind MH17 Shootdown in Ukraine, Says Longtime CIA Analyst: 'BradCast' 8/20/15
Exclusive interview with 27-year, top CIA vet turned peace activist Ray McGovern...
'Green News Report' 8/20/15
  w/ Brad & Desi
Fox 'News' now 'cares' about environment; Hillary opposes Arctic drilling; EPA rules to cut methane; Islamic leaders call for climate action; PLUS: River toxins create intersex fish...
Previous GNRs: 8/18/15 - 8/13/15 - Archives...
Did KXL Judges Profit Off Ruling?: 'BradCast' 8/19/15
Investigative journalist Steve Horn on two judges who allowed the disturbing precedent that led to the completion and opening of the southern leg of the Keystone XL pipeline...
AT&T/NSA Whistleblower Mark Klein on New AT&T/NSA Docs: 'BradCast' 8/18/15
'They approached the phone companies before 9/11,' he says, citing new Snowden disclosures that 'vindicate' his own 2006 revelations...
'Green News Report' 8/18/15
Shell gets go-ahead to drill Arctic, Obama to visit to Arctic; July 2015 hottest on record; 'Monster' El Nino brewing; PLUS: Oregon kids sue govt over global warming...
Demise of the Death Penalty and Rise of The Donald's GOP; 'BradCast' 8/17/15
With Diann Rust-Tierney of National Coaltion to Abolish Death Penalty; Plus: 'Godzilla El Nino!' & more!...
Sunday Toons: Money Changes Everything
Another great collection this week from 'PDiddie'! On money in politics, poison in the river, Rick Perry in trouble and much more...
Happy 80th Social Security! And What's China Up To?: BradCast 8/14/15
Guest host Nicole Sandler interviews Eric Kingson on Social Security and more and Dave Johnson on China's currency manipulation...
VERDICTS IN: On ME Guv; CO Cakes; CT Death Penalty, ID 'Ag-Gag' & TX Photo ID: 'BradCast' 8/13/2015
Analyzing several recent, important rulings along with BRAD BLOG's Ernest A. Canning...
'Green News Report' 8/13/15
Half of US Forest Service budget now fighting wildfires; Australia's climate targets denounced; New Zealand ditches coal; PLUS: Free solar for African schools...
Walker, Bush Lies and Bernie's Rise: 'BradCast' 8/12/15
The Nation's John Nichols on new Walker revelations and Black Lives Matter makes Sanders a better candidate; Plus: Big news for Bernie & more!
'The Kids Who Die'
The words of Langston Hughes, spoken in a new video, capture the essence of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Please take less than three minutes to watch...
NATIONWIDE STUDY FINDS ALMOST NO VOTER FRAUD
Just 10 cases of in-person impersonation in all 50 states since 2000...
VIDEO: 'Rise of the Tea Bags'
Brad interviews American patriots...
'Democracy's Gold Standard'
Hand-marked, hand-counted ballots...
Brad's Upcoming Appearances
(All times listed as PACIFIC TIME unless noted)
Media Appearance Archives...
'Special Coverage' Archives
GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal 2012...
VA GOP VOTER REG FRAUDSTER OFF HOOK
Felony charges dropped against VA Republican caught trashing voter registrations before last year's election. Did GOP AG, Prosecutor conflicts of interest play role?...

Criminal GOP Voter Registration Fraud Probe Expanding in VA
State investigators widening criminal probe of man arrested destroying registration forms, said now looking at violations of law by Nathan Sproul's RNC-hired firm...

DOJ PROBE SOUGHT AFTER VA ARREST
Arrest of RNC/Sproul man caught destroying registration forms brings official calls for wider criminal probe from compromised VA AG Cuccinelli and U.S. AG Holder...

Arrest in VA: GOP Voter Reg Scandal Widens
'RNC official' charged on 13 counts, for allegely trashing voter registration forms in a dumpster, worked for Romney consultant, 'fired' GOP operative Nathan Sproul...

ALL TOGETHER: ROVE, SPROUL, KOCHS, RNC
His Super-PAC, his voter registration (fraud) firm & their 'Americans for Prosperity' are all based out of same top RNC legal office in Virginia...

LATimes: RNC's 'Fired' Sproul Working for Repubs in 'as Many as 30 States'
So much for the RNC's 'zero tolerance' policy, as discredited Republican registration fraud operative still hiring for dozens of GOP 'Get Out The Vote' campaigns...

'Fired' Sproul Group 'Cloned', Still Working for Republicans in At Least 10 States
The other companies of Romney's GOP operative Nathan Sproul, at center of Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, still at it; Congressional Dems seek answers...

FINALLY: FOX ON GOP REG FRAUD SCANDAL
The belated and begrudging coverage by Fox' Eric Shawn includes two different video reports featuring an interview with The BRAD BLOG's Brad Friedman...

COLORADO FOLLOWS FLORIDA WITH GOP CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION
Repub Sec. of State Gessler ignores expanding GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal, rants about evidence-free 'Dem Voter Fraud' at Tea Party event...

CRIMINAL PROBE LAUNCHED INTO GOP VOTER REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL IN FL
FL Dept. of Law Enforcement confirms 'enough evidence to warrant full-blown investigation'; Election officials told fraudulent forms 'may become evidence in court'...

Brad Breaks PA Photo ID & GOP Registration Fraud Scandal News on Hartmann TV
Another visit on Thom Hartmann's Big Picture with new news on several developing Election Integrity stories...

CAUGHT ON TAPE: COORDINATED NATIONWIDE GOP VOTER REG SCAM
The GOP Voter Registration Fraud Scandal reveals insidious nationwide registration scheme to keep Obama supporters from even registering to vote...

CRIMINAL ELECTION FRAUD COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST GOP 'FRAUD' FIRM
Scandal spreads to 11 FL counties, other states; RNC, Romney try to contain damage, split from GOP operative...

RICK SCOTT GETS ROLLED IN GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD SCANDAL
Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) sends blistering letter to Gov. Rick Scott (R) demanding bi-partisan reg fraud probe in FL; Slams 'shocking and hypocritical' silence, lack of action...

VIDEO: Brad Breaks GOP Reg Fraud Scandal on Hartmann TV
Breaking coverage as the RNC fires their Romney-tied voter registration firm, Strategic Allied Consulting...

RNC FIRES NATIONAL VOTER REGISTRATION FIRM FOR FRAUD
After FL & NC GOP fire Romney-tied group, RNC does same; Dead people found reg'd as new voters; RNC paid firm over $3m over 2 months in 5 battleground states...

EXCLUSIVE: Intvw w/ FL Official Who First Discovered GOP Reg Fraud
After fraudulent registration forms from Romney-tied GOP firm found in Palm Beach, Election Supe says state's 'fraud'-obsessed top election official failed to return call...

GOP REGISTRATION FRAUD FOUND IN FL
State GOP fires Romney-tied registration firm after fraudulent forms found in Palm Beach; Firm hired 'at request of RNC' in FL, NC, VA, NV & CO...
The Secret Koch Brothers Tapes...

Guest: Matthew Menendez of Brennan Center; Plus: House Progressives block Obama and Republicans (for now) on TPP 'FastTrack'!...
By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2015 5:15pm PT  

It was a major victory (for now) for progressives in the U.S. House hoping to block the TPP trade agreement favored by Obama and the Republicans. On today's BradCast, we explain what actually happened on Friday. (Since all you'll hear from the MSM is how "Obama suffered a humiliating defeat by Democrats!" He did, but that's not what matters.)

Then: Apparently Republicans don't understand how the whole "Laboratories of Democracy" idea for states is supposed to work. At least not based on how the disastrous ongoing experiments of Reaganist Gov. Sam Brownback (R) in Kansas are going. The state has several incredible messes on their hand, all stemming from the far rightwingers' tax cuts for the wealthy which have now resulted in a massive $400 million budget deficit which must be closed by law before next week.

But, perhaps even more extraordinary, is a law signed this week by Brownback that would, if the court system dares to disagree with him and fellow Republicans on state funding, result in the entire state Judicial system being defunded. No, seriously. Matthew Menendez, Counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice's Democracy Program, joins me to explain the insanity. And, apparently, it's as mad as it sounds! "It is incredible," Menendez tells me, as I beg him to explain how I've got it wrong. "I have never seen anything like this," he says.

Also today: Yet another major hack, this time of security clearance info for intel and military personnel. (But, again, Internet Voting and e-voting is totally security, as run by your local election official. Don't worry!); And Desi Doyen joins us with the latest Green News Report on, among other things, the G7 declaring the end of fossil fuels and Santorum v. Pope!...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/12/2015 1:24pm PT  

As you know, last week, Hillary Clinton gave a speech in Texas, calling for expanded early voting in all 50 states and for universal voter registration for all eligible U.S. citizens. During the speech, she also called out some of her potential Republican rivals vying for the GOP's 2016 Presidential nomination, among them, former TX Gov. Rick Perry who, Clinton accurately noted, "signed a law that a federal court said was actually written with the purpose of discriminating against minority voters."

She added, Perry "applauded when the Voting Rights Act was gutted [by the Supreme Court] and said the law’s protections were 'outdated and unnecessary'."

Clinton's remarks there were in reference to the Texas Republicans' draconian polling place Photo ID voting restrictions, which, after being passed in 2011, were barred by the Voting Rights Act (VRA) as discriminatory, before the statute was implemented anyway by state Republicans just hours after the U.S. Supreme Court gutted the provision of the VRA under which the TX voting restriction had been found in violation of that law. Late last year, after a full trial on the merits of the law, a federal judge subsequently found the law to be in violation of other, still-standing sections of the VRA as well as the U.S. Constitution --- and, perhaps worse still, found it to be purposely discriminatory.

U.S. District Court Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos, based on statistics supplied by the state of Texas itself, found the statute could serve to disenfranchise some 800,000 already legally registered voters in the Lone Star state (not to mention hundreds of thousands of others who had yet to register) and slammed both the discriminatory effect and purpose of the law in her written ruling. "The Court holds that SB 14 [the TX GOP's Photo ID restriction] creates an unconstitutional burden on the right to vote, has an impermissible discriminatory effect against Hispanics and African-Americans, and was imposed with an unconstitutional discriminatory purpose," she wrote, adding that the law also "constitutes an unconstitutional poll tax."

On CNN, stammering in response to Clinton calling him out in her speech, Perry failed to explain how either Clinton or Judge Ramos was incorrect. "You need a photo I.D. to get a library book, or to get on an airplane," he incorrectly asserted. (More on that below.) "I think we make it pretty easy in the state of Texas for people to vote, so, you know, again, I don't know what her beef is with the people of the state of Texas about voter I.D."

But there's another point about the TX law that neither Clinton nor Perry noted: its discriminatory effect on women, as highlighted in a Letter to the Editor from this week's Concord Monitor in New Hampshire...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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GUEST: VICE News investigative journalist Jason Leopold; Plus: MORE...
By Brad Friedman on 6/11/2015 4:45pm PT  

Lots of breaking news today on The BradCast, including the Cleveland, Ohio court which has now found probable cause to recommend murder charges in the police killing of 12-year old African American Tamir Rice; and, yet another huge security breach at a federal website. (But don't worry, Internet Voting is still totally safe, right?); Rep. Alan Grayson and other progressives say it's time to "burn up the phones" to stop TPP "Fast Track" authority in the U.S. House; And the climate science denying, "free speech loving" loons at Heartland Institute toss out an environmental journalist from their 10th annual pretend "Climate Change Conference".

Then, speaking of freedom of the press, we talk with Vice News' investigative reporter Jason Leopold on new information he's obtained on the U.S. drone killing of U.S. citizen Samir Kahn, as well as his own testimony (full video here, written testimony here [PDF]) before the U.S. House Oversight Committee last week in regard to the Obama Administration's "slow-walking" of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. He tells both them and me about the "thousands" of requests he's filed as a journalist and has had to sue to try and see fulfilled; the irony involved in his entertaining testimony before Republican legislators; and just some of the crazy news he made in the bargain.

Plus: don't miss the saddest story you'll ever hear about poor Rick Santorum's run for the 2016 GOP Presidential nomination. All on today's BradCast!...

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Dem Congressman explains why he believes the proposed trade deal is 'a continuation of the worst trade policies in the history of mammalian life'...
By Brad Friedman on 6/10/2015 5:52pm PT  

The BradCast really lives up to its name today, as I interview U.S. Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA30) on his remarks reported by The Hill today, charging that President Obama's support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) suggests he is not in touch with "the real world".

Rep. Sherman tells me that he believes the proposed (and still secret) trade pact is "a continuation of the worst trade policies in the history of mammalian life." He explains how those policies have failed the U.S. "Over the last 30 years we've gone from being the number one creditor nation to the number one debtor nation. The number one surplus nation, to the number one deficit nation in history."

"It's perhaps a coincidence, perhaps not," the Congressman tells me, "but just when our economy is getting to the point where you might see a few raises, we have this opportunity to enter into this agreement which will assure wage stagnation for at least another decade."

In regard to the secrecy surrounding the proposal, the Congressman bemoaned that it's a "one-sided propaganda machine where we get classified briefings from Administration experts and they're able to say 'I'm an economist. I've read and re-read every part of it and here's why it's great!'" But those who oppose it, he says, must "start by saying, 'I haven't been allowed to read it, but here's what I think'."

Sherman goes on to explain other concerns about the agreement, including money that he says will come out of medicare and currency manipulation by China and Japan, which the agreement does nothing about. "China gets 80% of the benefits of this deal," without even needing to be a party to it, Sherman argues. He also explains how you can help stop the deal. [Hint: He says call your Congressmember and then call them again at 202-224-3121.]

Also in the show, I explain again why I believe we're on the cusp of a Progressive Era in this country and a bunch of listeners call in to tell me whether I'm right or wrong about that...

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Guest: Police officer-turned-U. of SC asst. professor Seth Stoughton...
By Brad Friedman on 6/9/2015 5:12pm PT  

On today's BradCast, I was joined by Seth Stoughton, former cop and now asst. professor at the University of South Carolina School of Law, to discuss the "Guardian v. Warrior" cop mentality as displayed in this past weekend's viral video of a pool party gone bad in suburban McKinney, TX.

Stoughton, who teaches criminal law and police regulation, analyzed the video for Talking Points Memo and explained what lessons might be learned from both the behavior of the helpful ("guardian") cops seen in the video and the other ("warrior") cop mentality as displayed by McKinney Officer Eric Casebolt who is seen inappropriately roughing up and threatening a number of African-American teens during the incident.

"Originally the warrior mindset referred to the mental tenacity, the sheer determination that an officer had to have to survive a life and death struggle," Stoughton tells me. "Now what we see, the warrior mindset refers to a more hyper-vigilant, often-aggressive approach to policing where everyone that the officer deals with is a potential threat."

But our discussion is much broader than all of that, as we talk about how these lessons apply to police everywhere in the U.S., whether the spate of recent videos of racist and/or rogue cops might actually be good news over all, and what are some steps that may improve things for everybody in the future.

Also today: Quantifying the startling epidemic of shootings by police in the U.S.; Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleads "not guilty"; Breaking news about marriage equality out of Arkansas; And climate change deniers gather to continue deluding themselves at a "climate change conference" sponsored by fossil fuel-funded Heartland Institute loons in Washington, D.C...

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Guest: Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock...
By Brad Friedman on 6/8/2015 5:14pm PT  

Investigative journalist Tim Shorrock joins me on today's BradCast to discuss his disturbing new article at The Nation on "How Private Contractors Have Created a Shadow NSA: A new cybersecurity elite moves between government and private practice, taking state secrets with them."

It's an issue, as I note during the show, that is particularly troubling giving the history of my family and me being targeted by defense contractors in years past.

Shorrock, author of the book Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing, describes the unprecedented privatization of our national security apparatus and how "the public is badly misled by the media" during debates about intelligence policies when "former" intelligence officials are presented to the public as experts without disclosure of their continuing financial ties to the industry.

Plus: As the Republican Party continues to make itself irrelevant, progressive ideas are quickly becoming mainstream ideas and Democrats like Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are eager to capitalize on it. And, speaking of irrelevance, GOP 2016 candidate Rick Santorum attacks the Pope(!) for daring to speak up about saving humanity by taking action on global warming...

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Guest: Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project...
By Brad Friedman on 6/5/2015 3:58pm PT  

You'll be shocked to hear on today's BradCast about the completely predictable blow-back from the GOP after Hillary Clinton displayed the temerity to call for restoring and even expanding voting rights for all American citizens 18 years of age and older. (As we covered in depth on yesterday's BradCast.) Yes, Republicans really do not care for democracy, apparently.

And, yes, a new Progressive Age is dawning, whether you've realized it or not --- even as "conservatism" is quickly disappearing. (Which also explains why Republicans hate democracy.)

Speaking of the dawning of a new Progressive Age, former Ohio state prosecutor Dan Riffle of the Marijuana Policy Project joins us to discuss this week's remarkable "Marijuana Vote-a-Rama" in Congress, and the Republicans and Democrats who are finally coming on board to end the government tyranny and prohibition. A fascinating discussion of where we've been, where we now are and how we got here.

Plus: A very moving --- and ironic --- lesson one blogger improbably learned via Caitlyn Jenner...

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Guest: Lauren Pagel of Earthworks Action...
By Brad Friedman on 6/4/2015 6:00pm PT  

Oh, look! NPR says "EPA Finds No Widespread Drinking Water Pollution From Fracking"! Politico reports "EPA: Fracking's no big threat to water"! And wingnut Washington Times declares "EPA: Fracking doesn't harm drinking water"!

But is that what the EPA really said in their new draft assessment of the known effects of oil and gas hydraulic fracturing on drinking water? Earthworks Action's Lauren Pagel joined me on today's BradCast to try and help set the record straight. Wish us luck.

Also today: Hillary Clinton joins the Democratic fight for democratic rights. We cover her speech today at Texas Southern University on restoring voting rights suppressed by Republicans and the Supreme Court, and expanding those rights to include 20 days of early voting in every state and automatic universal registration for all citizens 18 years of age and older.

Plus: The indicted former TX Gov. Rick Perry jumps in to the 2016 GOP race; Jeb Bush finally agrees to follow the law (eventually); Georgetown University divests from coal (for what it's worth) and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, which happens to be on almost all of the above...

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Guest: D.R. Tucker of Washington Monthly...
By Brad Friedman on 6/3/2015 3:35pm PT  

No, "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people" is not global warming, as scam artists like Rush Limbaugh and fellow climate change denier Sen. James Inhofe would like you to believe. The greatest hoax was the one set in motion by Ronald Reagan some 35 years ago --- and its still in play today, unfortunately.

But that hoax may be coming to an end. (Emphasis on may). Washington Monthly blogger (and too-occasional BRAD BLOG guest blogger) D.R. Tucker joins us on today's BradCast to discuss what he describes as the Republican Party, Fox "News" and "wingnut radio" becoming "the snake that consumes its own tail."

Plus: The New York Times deeply misinforms America again; Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee (RI) gets into the 2016 Presidential race...for some reason; Jeb Bush continues to blatantly flout campaign laws; And FOIA goes on 'trial' in the U.S. House. All of that and more on today's BradCast...

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Guest: Heidi Hess of CredoAction...
By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2015 5:08pm PT  

The USA Freedom Act passes as a long overdue replacement to the Patriot Act. Mitch McConnell weeps and Rand Paul raises money. That's good. But is it a good bill and will it end mass government surveillance by the NSA?

Then, we've finally learned if disgraced U.S. District Judge Mark 'Wife-Beater' Fuller, set to 'resign in shame', will receive a federal retirement pension. Heidi Hess of CREDOAction.com joins us to discuss that, her organization's complaint against Fuller at the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the five vacancies now on Alabama's federal court (which Republicans are trying to keep vacant for as long as possible.)

Plus some good voting news in Vermont and maybe in Wisconsin; the bizarre disposition of the Dennis Hastert indictments; and Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report with the climate change positions of four new candidates in the 2016 race...

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By Brad Friedman on 6/2/2015 12:43pm PT  

U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller "will not qualify for either a judicial salary or be eligible for a judicial pension," according to a statement just released by the bi-partisan leaders of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee. His resignation from the federal bench "in shame", as the statement describes Fuller's stated intention to step down as of August 1, will disqualify him from any further payment for his role on the federal judiciary.

In their statement, posted in full below, committee chair Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and ranking member Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) make clear that they were prepared to consider impeachment of the federal judge, prior to the resignation letter he tendered to the President over the weekend.

Fuller, a 2002 George W. Bush-appointee to the federal bench in Alabama's Middle District, was arrested last August on charges of beating his wife at a hotel room in Atlanta. Prior to that, he had been most well known for overseeing the controversial trial of Alabama's former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman.

"It is a rare occasion when the U.S. Congress impeaches a federal judge and removes the accused from the bench, but it is a necessary tool to protect the integrity of our judicial system," the two high-ranking Congressmen say in their joint statement. "However, the House Judiciary Committee was prepared to initiate impeachment proceedings against Judge Fuller pending the recommendation of the Judicial Conference of the United States, and the Committee strongly encouraged the courts to expedite the investigation into Judge Fuller's misconduct."

On Monday, as we reported in detail, following a nearly 10-month probe of the incidents surrounding the disgraced Judge's arrest in 2014, the 11th Circuit Court's Judicial Conference issued an order [PDF] stating that the matter "might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment."

Unless he had voluntary stepped down, impeachment would have been the only way to remove Fuller from his lifetime appointment to the bench, despite the charges of domestic abuse. Judge Fuller submitted his resignation to the President late last week in advance of the publication of the Judicial Conference's order, but questions had remained about whether he had struck a deal that would allow him to accept a retirement pension after stepping down from his $200,000/year job.

According today's statement from Goodlatte and Conyers, so long as he leaves by August 1, he will not receive any compensation from the federal government thereafter...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Or, what BRAD BLOG readers knew long ago...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2015 6:14pm PT  

Those shocked about the indictment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) wouldn't be so surprised had they been long time readers of The BRAD BLOG. As to the resignation of "wife-beating" U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller (R-AL), well, no surprise there either. Only question is whether he'll face any real accountability or continue living off the federal dole for the rest of his life, even after the 11th U.S. Circuit's Court's Judicial Conference has found "grounds for impeachment".

Special coverage of both breaking news stories on today's BradCast --- a show that we were never supposed to do, since we were supposed to be off and traveling today! Just had to come back early for these. You're welcome!

Tune in for exclusive audio about alleged "blackmail", "bribery" and "immoral acts" by Hastert from the sworn 2009 testimony of FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. And the remaining questions about whether the disgraced Judge Fuller is actually going to make out like a bandit despite his announced resignation.

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As 11th Circuit recommends potential removal by Congress, U.S. District Court judge resigns 10 months after arrest on battery charges, continues to receive tens of thousands from taxpayers...
By Brad Friedman on 6/1/2015 2:32pm PT  

[This article now cross-published by Salon...]

Over the weekend, the news broke that U.S. District Court Judge Mark E. Fuller (Middle District of Alabama), who was arrested almost one year ago after allegedly beating his wife bloody in an Atlanta hotel room, has finally submitted his resignation from the federal bench to President Obama. Previously, through his attorneys, Fuller had strenuously refused to step down, declared his innocence, and insisted that a 5-judge Special Committee convened by the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to investigate the matter would eventually clear him of wrongdoing.

It appears instead that the panel has found "grounds for impeachment" instead. That finding has been "unanimously adopted" by the Circuit's full Judicial Council which is sending its report and recommendations to the U.S. Judicial Conference. That body, in turn, may then decide whether to recommend the U.S. Congress take up such rare proceedings. Without a federal judge voluntarily stepping down, impeachment by Congress is the only way to remove a sitting federal appointee to the bench.

Fuller, who would not otherwise be eligible to draw retirement pension for another three years, will continue to draw a salary from taxpayers for two more months --- just as he has for the last 10 months --- despite having had his caseload reassigned to other judges in the immediate aftermath of his arrest a the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Atlanta in early August of 2014.

"Justice was not served here," said Rep. Terri Sewell (D-AL) in a statement over the weekend in response to the news of Fuller's resignation. Alabama's only Democratic Congressmember had long been calling for impeachment proceedings.

"Fuller failed to uphold our most fundamental values," she said. "Perhaps the only consolation is that he has chosen to spare his family and our nation of the expense of a drawn out impeachment process." The rest of the state's Congressional contingent, including its two Republican U.S. Senators who had originally supported Fuller's appointment in 2002, had also called for him to step down. Many offered statements approving of his decision over the weekend to finally step down.

Despite the tendered resignation, however, impeachment proceedings could still legally be carried out in the U.S. House, though the likelihood of that may now somewhat diminished.

We have covered Fuller, who was appointed to his lifetime position on the court in 2002 by George W. Bush, in great detail since news of his arrest became public. (See links to many of our noteworthy articles in the saga at the bottom of this piece.) Prior to his arrest, Fuller was perhaps best known for having sentenced Alabama's former Gov. Don Siegelman (D) to some seven years in federal prison on questionable "bribery" related charges. That, despite the Judge's own long-apparent conflicts of interest in the case. Before being named to the court, Fuller served as a political operative as the head of the Alabama GOP and his office, when he served as a state prosecutor, had been investigated and criticized for improprieties by the former Governor long before Fuller oversaw Siegelman's trial...

Following his arrest, Fuller was able to strike a plea deal for a pretrial diversion program with the state court in Georgia in order to have his criminal record entirely expunged after just 24 weeks of once-a-week domestic abuse counseling and a court-ordered drug and alcohol evaluation. He was offered the deal by the judge on the premise that the incident at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta --- when his wife called 911 in tears, asking for help and claiming that "he's beating on me!" --- was his first infraction. Records from his messy divorce in 2012, however, suggest that there were very similar incidents of physical abuse, as well as drug and alchohol abuse, involving his first wife and their children during the first marriage.

"We sent the wrong message to victims of domestic violence by allowing a federal judge to collect a paycheck --- without managing a caseload --- and ultimately having his record expunged," said Sewell over the weekend...

Judge Fuller's first wife, Lisa Boyd Fuller, had accused Judge Fuller of having an affair with his then court bailiff, Kelli Gregg who he would marry shortly after his divorce from Lisa was finalized. The records from those proceedings were sealed over her "strenous objections". During the incident at the Ritz-Carlton hotel last year, Kelli accused her husband of having an affair with a court clerk.

Though Fuller's two-sentence resignation letter delivered to the President stated that "It has been an honor and privilege to serve," it's likely that the timing of his decision was meant in hopes of avoiding the embarrassment of impeachment by Congress...

--- Click here for REST OF STORY!... ---

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Guest: Miles Grant of the National Wildlife Federation...
By Brad Friedman on 5/29/2015 3:05pm PT  

[I'm on the road today, so this BradCast was taped yesterday, just prior to the indictment of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert. For some quick thoughts on that, please see this article from last night. More when we return next week, no doubt. - BF]

President Obama says the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement is "the most progressive trade agreement the world has ever seen." Maybe. But if we can't see it, how can we know? Democrats (lots of them) say the trade pact is anything but progressive. So who's right? Who can tell when it's all being done in secrecy? We discuss on today's BradCast.

Then I'm joined by Miles Grant, Communications Director of the National Wildlife Federation and blogger at TheGreenMiles.com, to talk about his recent piece on the nation's "Roads to Nowhere" and whether voters really want more of them. We discuss why new, expanded roads don't solve traffic woes and why there's such a disconnect between politicians' billion-dollar new road projects and the public's desire to repair the ones we already have.

Plus: A recent IRS data hack holds lessons (again) for Internet Voting proponents; Seattle literally rejects Shell Oil's shit, and much more on today's BradCast!

Download MP3 or listen online below...

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Flashback to BRAD BLOG coverage of bribery, blackmail allegations by FBI translator/whistleblower Sibel Edmonds from years past...
By Brad Friedman on 5/28/2015 11:04pm PT  

Oh, man...

CHICAGO (AP) — Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep an unidentified person silent about "prior misconduct" by the Illinois Republican who was once third in line to the U.S. presidency, according to a federal grand jury indictment handed down on Thursday in Chicago.

The indictment, which does not describe the misconduct Hastert was allegedly trying to conceal, charges the 73-year-old with one count of evading bank regulations as he withdrew tens of thousands of dollars at a time to make the payments. He is also charged with one count of lying to the FBI about the reason for the unusual bank withdrawals.

Each count of the indictment carries a maximum penalty of 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
...
Hastert withdrew a total of around $1.7 million in cash from various bank accounts from 2010 to 2014, and then provided it to the person identified in the indictment only as Individual A. Hastert allegedly agreed to pay the person $3.5 million, but never apparently paid that full amount.

Specifically, the indictment reads, the payoffs were to cover up "past misconduct by defendant against Individual A that had occurred years earlier." That "years earlier" part could be important here. See AP's story for much more, including the 7-page indictment itself.

I'll be on the road for a few days as of Friday for some long-scheduled family obligations, so I won't be able to delve much into this for the moment. However, we covered a number of questions about Hastert and criminality in some detail here as far back as 2006. At the time, many seemed to think such questions were outlandish. Much of our coverage stemmed from allegations made about Hastert by former FBI translator-turned-whistleblower Sibel Edmonds. She had charged, years ago, that Hastert was mixed up with shadowy Turkish interests and even suitcases full of cash, generally speaking. For example, from the 241-page transcript [PDF] her sworn video taped testimony during a 2009 case, Edmonds claimed Hastert was involved in...

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