Sessions Refuses to File Criminal Charges Against Corporate Criminals

First published on: http://crooksandliars.com/2017/05/sessions-refuses-file-charges-against

It’s an easy bet that what the Trump administration says and what it does are almost always complete opposites. The word hypocrite comes to my mind, though it seems to miss the point. No, they are much more than that because they pretend to be so moral and just in their claims. They remind me of Tartuffe from Moliere’s play of the same name, the hypocrite, the impostor with his self righteous blatherings.

One day they claim to support women’s health, the next they are slashing all funding to women’s clinics around the world. As they pretend to care about equal rights for all, they are quietly cutting LGBTQ rights in an attempt to make them invisible; much like the clearly offensive way the White House left out the Luxembourg Prime Minister’s husband from the 1st spouses EU picture last week.

Then there was last weeks announcement by White House spokeswoman Kelly Love that, “The Trump Administration has an unwavering commitment to the civil rights of all Americans.” A lovely yet ever so empty collection of words used to brace us for what would be coming in the following announcement: a complete gutting of civil rights departments across all federal government agencies. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, who audits companies with federal contracts to ensure they are not violating laws against discrimination, is soon to be but a memory. The Environmental Protection Agency has proposed cutting the Environmental Justice Program that assists citizens when there are oil or chemical spills. The Department of Education, Department of Housing and Urban Development and Department of Health and Human Services will all be cutting or slashing their civil rights programs

So when Sessions announced he would be reversing President Obama’s order that eased prosecutions for minor drug charges, and proclaimed with feigned moral conviction that it was the ethical and just action to take, I wondered just how long it would take for him to step knee deep into that giant pile of horseshit. As a reminder, this was his comment:

“Our responsibility is to fulfill our role in a way that accords with the law,
advances public safety, and promotes respect for our legal system. This policy affirms our responsibility to enforce the law, is moral and just, and produces consistency.”

For the record, it took 12 days.

On May 22nd, Citigroup agreed to pay a fine of $97.4 million for knowingly violating banking laws in regards to reporting suspicious activity of money laundering. Citigroup bought Banamex, a Mexican banking company, in 2001. From 2007 – 2012, Banamex USA intentionally hid thousands of money laundering transactions from review. According to the Boston Globe, “As part of the agreement, Banamex USA ‘admitted to criminal violations by willfully failing to maintain an effective anti-money-laundering’ compliance program, the Justice Department said.”

Banamex USA “willfully” committed “criminal” acts. In all, there were $1.3 billion dollars in remittances that should have been flagged for review according to the law. The belief of law officials is that much of this money was from the sale of illegal narcotics.

Yet, Mr. Hard On Drug Offenders – Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has chosen to not seek the harshest charges possible in this case. In fact, he’s completely dismissed all criminal charges against anyone involved. So much for a “moral and just” application of the law. Should he really want to deliver a moral and just decision, he should have fined them the full amount they laundered at the very least.

Tartuffe Sessions can mumble his sanctimonious carefully formed speeches all he wants, but he’s full of it. Once again, the leaders that be have chosen to lock up those people with a few ounces of pot, but refused to hold those making billions from said drug trade to the same standard.

But what did anyone expect but pure hypocrisy from Tartuffe…I mean Jeff Sessions and this administration?

 

Jeff Sessions Getting Rich Filling Private Prisons?

First published on: http://crooksandliars.com/2017/04/sessions-getting-rich-filling-private

It’s more than a conflict of interest. The more people Attorney General Jeff Sessions sends to private prisons, the more money he shoves in his pockets. From announcing he wants federal law enforcement agencies to bust people for a little bit of weed, to ordering federal prosecutors to find ways to convict more immigrants, Sessions is looking for ways to provide more clients to private prisons that are contracted by the federal government.

On Tuesday, Sessions announced orders to expand the prosecution of undocumented workers. Anyone caught crossing the border without inspection will no longer be charged with a misdemeanor and returned to their countries of origin. Each will now be charged with a felony and be required to be formerly deported. This process can require detention anywhere from a week to eighteen months. Plans to increase the number of immigration judges by three-fold and prosecutors are officially under way. If immigrants return after being formerly deported, they will be subject to a felony charge of re-entry after being deportation which can result in a two year prison sentence.

Additionally, Sessions ordered prosecutors to begin charging anyone “harboring” three or more undocumented immigrants with felony harboring statutes. This will mean a father with three family members can now face years of prison time for putting a roof over his families head. The undocumented with fake or stolen ID cards used to enter the U.S. and obtain employment can now be charged with felony document fraud and aggravated identity theft. Time for these charges can be two or more years.

The increase in prosecutions will lead to an increase in convictions. The Trump administration has abandoned the Obama administration’s promise to no longer contract with private prisons. Private prison companies like The GEO Group and CoreCivic Inc. lead the industry and have contracts with the federal government and specifically the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

As Attorney General Sessions fills these private prisons, he is making money. According to his latest financial disclosures required by congress, dated December 23, 2016, he divested of other investments that were found to be in conflict. In these disclosures, he also lists numerous Vanguard funds. Vanguard owns more private prison stock than any other investment management company. None of the Vanguard funds listed below were included in the divestiture.

The latest data of Vanguard funds’ portfolio information is dated February 28, 2017. The following are a list of funds owned by Jeff Sessions that was from Vanguard’s website:

  1. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Admiral Shares – consists of both GEO Group and CoreCivic, Inc. stocks worth over $164,000,000. Sessions investment value is from $15,001 – $50,000.
  2. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Admiral Shares – same fund as above, but Sessions lists investment value between $1,001 – $15,000.
  3. Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares – consisits of stocks from The GEO Group and CoreCivic, Inc. valued at over $173,500,000. Sessions shows investments valued from $15,000 – $50,000.
  4. Vanguard Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares – contains GEO Holdings Corporation stock valued at over $4,400,000. Sessions owns $1,001 – $15,000 of this fund.

If he still owns these funds, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is making policy that he will financially profit from. This blatant lack of morals and ethics shows once again how Sessions is not fit to be the U.S. Attorney General.

The latest data of Vanguard funds’ portfolio information is dated February 28, 2017. The following are a list of funds owned by Jeff Sessions that was from Vanguard’s website: Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Admiral Shares – consists of both GEO Group and CoreCivic, Inc. stocks worth over $164,000,000. Sessions investment value is from $15,001 – $50,000. Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Admiral Shares – same fund as above, but Sessions lists investment value between $1,001 – $15,000. Vanguard Small-Cap Index Fund Admiral Shares – consisits of stocks from The GEO Group and CoreCivic, Inc. valued at over $173,500,000. Sessions shows investments valued from $15,000 – $50,000. Vanguard Total International Stock Index Admiral Shares – contains GEO Holdings Corporation stock valued at over $4,400,000. Sessions owns $1,001 – $15,000 of this fund. If he still owns these funds, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is making policy that he will financially profit from. This blatant lack of morals and ethics shows once again how Sessions is not fit to be the U.S. Attorney General.

Update: GEO Holdings Corporation is a Japanese company and not part of the GEO Group.

Does Sessions Own Stock in Private Prisons?

By Gage Skidmore from Peoria, AZ, United States of America – Jeff Sessions, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=51185110

On February 5, 2017, I wrote an article concerning the Trump Administration’s intentions to use private prisons for housing immigrants. Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that ICE would indeed house their detainees in these private prisons.

A policy of this magnitude doesn’t just happen overnight. We are literally talking about arresting and detaining over 11 million undocumented immigrants. Each deportation hearing will take anywhere from three to eighteen months or longer. That means lots of tax payer dollars will be needed.

The GEO Group and CoreCivic (formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America), who have 85% of the private prison business, lobbied hard with Republicans and Trump in 2016. After President Obama announced the federal government would no longer use private prisons to house their inmates, these companies were in a panic to find clients to fill their jails. They found their mark in Republicans and Trump with their anti-immigrant rants.

In 2016, CoreCivic tended to spend its money in lobbying, though they never once listed the specific Congress members they lobbied. The GEO Group on the other hand, lobbied and gave directly to candidates and PACs.

The fact that our elected officials are taking money from prisons is beyond reprehensible. It is without ethics or morals, and I intend in future articles to dime out every single one of them. But for now, I will only list those related to the Trump Administration for the purpose of this specific argument.

Money to Trump:

The GEO Group gave $170,000 to the Trump Victory PAC, $5,000 to Donald J. Trump and $50,000 to Rebuild America Now PAC which supported Trump. They also gave over $300,000 more to various PACs that supported Trump as well as Republicans in general.

CoreCivic only gave $2,500 to a Republican PAC that supported Trump.

It is entirely possible and highly probable, thanks to Citizens United, that millions were given through PACs not required to show who their donors are, also known as “dark money.” It is also not known if Trump or family members have investments in these companies since they refuse to release their financial information.

2016 Lobbying money:

CoreCivic spent over $1.6 million lobbying Congress, while The GEO Group spent just over $800,000.

2016 Lobbying Contributions:

CoreCivic gave Donald Trump $250,000 to party with at his inauguration.

Money to Sessions:

As mentioned in my previous article, The GEO Group directly lobbied then Senator Sessions to the tune of $120,000. This was done through an Alabama law firm by the name of Bradley Arant Boult and Cummings LLP. This firm further gave Sessions a direct contribution of $7,500 for his 2014 race.

Additionally, Sessions took in a donation of $1,000 from the U.S. Immigration Reform PAC led by Mary Lou Tanton, wife of John Tanton. Tanton is the founder of the Federation for Immigration Reform (FAIR), a group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a hate group. The SPLC further states on its website that Tanton is a white supremacist and eugenicist. Julie Kirchner, former executive director of FAIR, is now the chief of staff at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency though it remains to be seen what experience if any she has in regards to this agency.

Finally, it is well known that the largest owner of both CoreCivic and The GEO Group stock is the Vanguard Group. They currently own 17.61% of The GEO Group and 15.75% of CoreCivic. And it just so happens that Sessions owns some of that stock. At least he did in 2015. This is the latest record he gave the Senate for disclosure. Seems he’s failed to report 2016. So maybe he could have sold it, but that remains to be seen. Updates regarding sales of his investments for 2016 are available, and Vanguard is not listed on any of them. Disclosures for the White House staff are of course unavailable. After all, if it’s good enough for Trump…

There are many Vanguard mutual funds, money markets, etc., and not all of them contain these private prison stocks. One that does is Vanguard Selected Value Inv. This fund, at last report, consists of 2.74% of The GEO Group stock or 2,054,900 shares. Attorney Jeff Sessions listed ownership of this stock in his 2015 disclosure report. He also reported that his wife owns the same stock.

So the question remains, are we going to let them get away with this?

All information is readily available on the FEC, Senate and House databases. Check it out before Trump makes it disappear.