FBI – Michmutters

Mall of America shooting suspects nabbed after getting haircuts in Chicago

A man who allegedly fired a gun inside Minnesota’s Mall of America last week was arrested along with his accused accomplice 400 miles away in Chicago Thursday afternoon, a report said.

Shamar Alon Lark, 21, and Rashad Jamal May, 23, were busted by an FBI-led task force after getting haircuts in the Windy City, officials said at a press conference published by KARE 11.

“A week ago, we said you can’t shoot up the mall and expect to get away with it. You can’t commit these acts and enjoy the freedoms of a free society,” Bloomington Police Chief Booker Hodges said while announcing the arrests.

On Aug. 4, the suspects were among a group of people who had gotten into an argument with another group at the Nike store, prosecutors said.

After the altercation, the pair returned and Lark allegedly fired three shots inside the store, according to officials. Not one was hit by the gunfire, but the startling event at the nation’s largest shopping mall sparked a nationwide manhunt.

Shamar Alon Lark, 21, was charged with a second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon along with other felonies.
Shamar Alon Lark, 21, was charged with a second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon along with other felonies.

Lark was charged with a second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon, intentional discharge of a firearm and carrying a pistol without a permit in a public place. May was charged with aiding an offender to avoid arrest.

Three other people were also arrested for allegedly helping Lark and May escape from the mall.

The suspects were being held behind bars in Chicago ahead of an extradition hearing.

Three Minnesota residents in their early twenties were also charged in connection with the incident.
Three other Minnesota residents were charged in connection with allegedly helping the fugitives escape.
People are seen leaving the mall after shots were fired.
Shoppers evacuated the mall after shots rang out on the afternoon of Aug. 4.



Washington Post deletes tweet accusing Merrick Garland of ‘politicizing DOJ’

The Washington Post deleted a tweet promoting one of its stories on Wednesday that suggested Attorney General Merrick Garland “politicized” the Department of Justice by authorizing an FBI raid of former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate.

Garland vowed to depoliticize Justice. Then the FBI searched Mar-a-Lago,” read the headline of a story written by Justice Department reporter Perry Stein.

The headline in the tweet sparked outrage on Twitter, which apparently prompted the Jeff Bezos-owned broadsheet to remove the tweet and re-post it using a different headline.

“No, he’s in the middle of unraveling a crime spree committed by the former president of the United States. There…fixed it for you,” one Twitter user wrote.

The Washington Post deleted a tweet that suggested Attorney General Merrick Garland "politicized" the Justice Department by authorizing an FBI raid on former President Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Monday.
The Washington Post deleted a tweet that suggested Attorney General Merrick Garland “politicized” the Justice Department by authorizing an FBI raid on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida on Monday.
POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“This is so embarrassing I worry for the future of journalism,” another Twitter commenter said of the original headline.

Jay Rosen, who teaches journalism at New York University, said the original headline was “painfully under-thought” because it “seemed to say that Garland was shifting course and unduly politicizing DOJ.”

The original tweet by The Washington Post generated backlash.
The original tweet by The Washington Post generated backlash.

The newspaper on Wednesday posted a tweet which read: “Clarification: A previous tweet of this story had a headline that has changed after publishing. We’ve deleted the tweet.”

The new headline reads: “FBI’s search of Mar-a-Lago lands Merrick Garland in a political firestorm.”

FBI agents on Monday searched Trump’s Palm Beach estate — marking the first time that federal investigators descended on the private residence of a former president.

The raid was conducted as part of an ongoing federal investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents that were apparently removed from the White House in the waning days of his presidency.

Trump is also the subject of a federal inquiry into the events of Jan. 6, 2021, when his supporters mobbed the US Capitol as Congress was in session to certify Joe Biden’s election victory.

FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago on Monday as part of an investigation into Trump's handling of classified documents.
FBI agents searched Mar-a-Lago on Monday as part of an investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents.

Republicans accused the Biden administration of using the Justice Department as a tool to persecute political opponents.

Even some Democrats expressed unease with the search.

Form New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted: “DOJ must immediately explain the reason for its raid & it must be more than a search for inconsequential archives or it will be viewed as a political tactic and undermine any future credible investigation & legitimacy of January 6 investigations.”

Trump is expected to announce whether he’ll seek another run for White House. Polls show him leading the field of GOP hopefuls.

Garland has refused to comment if he authorized the FBI’s search.

The former president condemned the raid on his home.
The former president condemned the raid on his home.
GC Images

In her story, Stein writes that “some lawyers questioned why the Justice Department and FBI would execute such a high-profile search on a former president’s residence over missing documents, even if some of them are classified.”

The paper’s Twitter gaffe comes on the heels of an internal drama that played out on the social media site.

One of his political reporters, Dave Weigel, was suspended for a month without pay in June for retweeting a post that was deemed sexist.

Weigel’s colleague, Felicia Sonmez, who first flagged the retweet, was fired weeks later after she criticized management and other co-workers on the social media site.



‘Daily Show’s’ Trevor Noah Brands Fox News’ Laura Ingraham ‘Super Karen’ for ‘Freak Out’ Over FBI’s Trump Raid

Reacting to the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate Tuesday night, Trevor Noah declared that “no one in America is above the law…except corporations and rich people and police and celebrities sometimes—but aside from them, nobody is above the law!”

But that being said, TheDailyShow host added, “Even the perception that the Justice Department is being used to go after your political opponents could erode people’s trust in government.” So, he said, “The only thing we can do is wait and see how the investigation unfolds. Or, if you’re Fox News, you can just freak out right now.”

With that, Noah cut to an epic montage of the most unhinged commentary on Fox and other conservative media outlets over the past 24 hours, from Laura Ingraham claiming that “the real target of this investigation” is her viewers to Dan Bongino calling the raid “ Third World bullshit.”

“First of all, as someone from the Third World, maybe leave us out of your shit for once,” the South African comedian shot back. “My man, at what point do you realize it’s happening here? It’s you!”

As for “Super-Karen” Ingraham, Noah replied, “If the FBI is going to go after Trump for stealing classified documents from the White House, then what’s to stop them from going after you when you steal classified documents from the White House? Is that the country we want to live in, when anyone can be investigated just for the crime of doing crimes?! No lo creo!”

In the end, the host said he was amazed at “how quickly MAGA world turns on law enforcement—and America as a whole—whenever it suits them,” including Marjorie Taylor Greene posting an upside-down American flag on Twitter. “What happened to, ‘If you don’t like what’s happening in America, why don’t you just leave?’”

For more, listen and subscribe to The Last Laugh podcast.



Trump Lawyers Concoct a Theory That the FBI Is Sabotaging Trump

As news broke that the FBI had seized 10 boxes of evidence while carrying out their search warrant on former President Donald Trump’s Mar-A-Lago residence, his lawyers were floating the idea that something more sinister might be going down.

Appearing Tuesday evening on Fox News, Trump lawyer Alina Habba expressed concerns about the actions of FBI personnel, alleging the possibility of planted materials.

“Quite honestly, I’m concerned that they may have planted something, you know?” the attorney said. “At this point, who knows? I don’t trust the government, and that’s a very frightening thing as an American.”

Striking a similar tone, Trump lawyer Christina Bobb took issue earlier in the day on Real America’s Voice with “not [being] allowed to observe” the search while being present during the raid on Monday on Trump’s legal behalf.

“No, there is no security that something wasn’t planted,” the lawyer said. “I’m not saying that’s what they did.”

“This was a completely unnecessary power flex. It was a weird flex,” Bobb added. “It’s quite honestly sad to see what they have done to our country.”

Asked by The Daily Beast on Tuesday whether she believes the FBI is playing tricks, Bobb said: “I have no reason at this point in time to believe anyone has made anything up.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the National Archives had already seized 15 boxes of documents “and other items” from the resort in January “that Mr. Trump should have handed over to the agency at the end of his term.”

Those boxes contained several documents that federal law requires be turned over once a president leaves office, along with archives that officials described as “classified national security information.”

A source told the newspaper that those documents included correspondence between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, among others. The discovery of those documents led to the involvement of the Justice Department. In June, Justice Department lawyers returned to Mar-a-Lago, where they sought more information about the sensitive material taken from the White House. Investigators were led to a basement where boxes of documents were stored, but investigators “looked around and eventually left,” a source told the Journal.

A June 8 letter from the Justice Department ordered Trump’s legal team to secure the room where the documents were stored. The latest search was undertaken because the FBI believed even more classified documents had been stored at the residence, the paper reported but it is unclear how or if the latest search is connected to the June visit.

The FBI raid might have caused some headaches within Trump’s orbit, but it also now gives MAGAworld allies more than enough material to cast Trump as a victim, which one current adviser sees as a path for Trump to win a second term—or, as some advisers falsely claim, a third term.

“The Biden folks love to talk about preserving ‘norms,’ and now they’re so desperate to ‘get’ Trump that they’re raiding his home and turning him into a martyr,” a Trump adviser told The Daily Beast. “They’re going to mess around and single-handedly get him re-elected.”

Elsewhere, on cable news on Tuesday night, several Trump backers cast doubt on the legitimacy of law enforcement activity at the former president’s estate.

Fox News host Jesse Watters suggested that the FBI is engaging in illegal activity.

“What the FBI is probably doing is planting evidence, which is what they did during the Russia hoax,” Watters asserted, pejoratively referring to the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, a habit among Fox’s primetime hosts. “We also have a hunch they doctored evidence to get the warrant.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also baselessly ginned up fears about evidence tampering.

Referring to the “fake FBI,” Gingrich said on right-wing activist Charlie Kirk’s show, “You’ll notice they didn’t allow anybody on the Trump side into Mar-a-Lago. So we have no idea whether or not they planted evidence.”



Donald Trump says FBI conducting search of Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida

WASHINGTON — Multiple sources confirm to ABC News that former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate was raided by FBI agents on Monday.

The sources told ABC News that the search began at around 10 am

The former president put out a statement Monday evening saying federal investigators were there and that they had even gotten into his safe. Trump was not there at the time of the search.

Sources tell ABC News that the search for Mar-a-Lago was related to the 15 boxes of documents that Trump took to his estate when he departed the White House — some of which the National Archives has said was marked classified.

MORE: Republicans speak out against FBI raid of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate

In January, Trump handed over the documents to the National Archives, and attorneys for Trump said they were searching for any more records they may have.

Law enforcement sources told ABC News the FBI activities at Trump’s compound are court authorized.

The action marks a dramatic escalation in law enforcement scrutiny of Trump and comes as he has been laying the groundwork to make another bid for president.

“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said in his statement.

ANALYSIS: What we know, don’t know about Mar-a-Lago raid

Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson declined to comment on the search, including about whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized the search.

A Biden White House official confirmed to ABC News Tuesday morning they received no advanced notice of the FBI raid.

Federal law bars the removal of classified documents to unauthorized locations, though it is possible that Trump could try to argue that, as president, he was the ultimate declassification authority.

There are multiple statutes governing classified information, including a law punishable by up to five years in prison that makes it a crime to remove such records and retain them at an unauthorized location. Another statute makes it a crime to mishandle classified records either intentionally or in a grossly negligent manner.

The probe is hardly the only legal headache confronting Trump. A separate investigation related to efforts by Trump and his allies from him to under the results of the 2020 presidential election and the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the US Capitol has also been intensifying in Washington.

And a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia is investigating whether Trump and his close associates sought to interfere in that state’s election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Copyright © 2022 ABC News Internet Ventures.



FBI Director Christopher Wray is guiding the agency the wrong way, fast

Christopher Wray’s disingenuous testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, before he left early on the FBI’s private Gulfstream 550 jet, speaks volumes about the need to defund the FBI — or at least dump its unctuous director.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and his team of Republicans expected to have the chance to ask a second round of questions.

Grassley pleaded for just an extra 21 minutes.

But Wray took an early mark, dismissing the committee’s constitutional obligation to ensure he answers questions under oath to ensure the FBI complies with the law and is accountable to the American people.

What was so urgent that he had to leave after just three and a half hours?

Was he taking a long weekend in the Adirondacks where his family has a summer home?

It’s worth examining the exchange with Grassley in detail.

“We just heard a half hour ago about you having to leave at 1:30,” Grassley grizzled. “We were going to have seven minutes [each] for first round [questions and] three-minute second rounds. I’ve got seven people on my side of the aisle want their additional three minutes. Is there any reason we couldn’t accommodate them for 21 minutes?”

FBI Director Christopher Wray shakes hands with Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen.  Chuck Grassley
Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley Grassley pointed out that Wray has a private jet and can leave any time.
AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta

Wray replied smoothly: “Senator, I had a flight that I’m supposed to be high-tailing it to outta here, and I had understood that we were going to be done at 1:30, so that’s how we ended up where we are.”

Grassley pointed out that the FBI director has a private jet at his disposal and can leave any time he likes.

“If it’s your business trip you’ve got your own plane. Can’t it wait a while?” I have asked
Wray replied, “To be honest, I tried to make my break as fast I could to get right back out here.”

Grassley, “You took more than five minutes.”

Wray laughed and the silence that followed only emphasized the disrespect to all senators, but especially to Grassley, the president pro tempore emeritus of the Senate.

Democratic chairman Dick Durbin came to Wray’s rescue, expressing his appreciation that it was Wray’s “third appearance in two years before this committee.”

And every appearance a waste of time, that simply showcased that Wray is a master of evasion. On some of the most serious questions of national security and the politicization of the FBI, Wray had nothing to say. Like Mister Magoo, he sees nothing.

no answers

Unlike most things on Capitol Hill these days, the politicization and repeated failures of the FBI are a bipartisan concern.

Director Christopher Wray
Wray refused to classify the flood of illegal migration at the southern border as a “national security threat.”
Getty Images/Alex Wong

In the short time they had with Wray, senators from both sides had urgent questions. Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein and Republicans Marsha Blackburn and Grassley were concerned about the FBI’s botching of the Larry Nassar case. Why, when Nassar was convicted in 2016 of sexually abusing US gymnasts, did Wray wait until 2021 to fire one of the agents involved in slow-walking the case?

Grassley complained about a lack of transparency over why the Department of Justice had decided a jury wouldn’t convict FBI agents for their handling of the investigation.
Other Democrats were concerned about the FBI not investigating complaints about Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.

Wray had no answer, nor to questions about Afghan evacuees considered significant security threats after being brought to the US in last year’s bungled withdrawal from Kabul.
“I can’t sit here right now and tell you we know where all of them are located at any given time,” he said.

Wray refused to classify the flood of illegal migration at the southern border as a “national security threat.”

When asked what the FBI was doing to track down 56 suspected terrorists that have crossed the border this year he waffled about “sharing watchlist information” and “investigating any number of individuals.”

Hunter Biden
Wray also refused to agree with one senator’s assertion that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not “Russian disinformation.”
The Washington Post via Getty Images

He refused to admit that the Russia collusion hoax — in which the FBI treated seriously palpably false allegations that then-candidate Donald Trump was a Russian agent — was in fact a “hoax”.

He refused to agree with Sen. Blackburn that Hunter Biden’s laptop was not “Russian disinformation,” and didn’t respond to whistleblower allegations of an FBI coverup of derogatory information related to the Bidens in October 2020.

He refused to explain to Sen. Ted Cruz why the FBI had blacklisted patriotic historical American symbols such as the Betsy Ross flag, the Gadsden Flag and the Gonzales battle flag as “militia violent extremism” in training documents.

When Sen. Josh Hawley asked why the FBI was “snooping around the concealed carry permit records” of Missourians, he had nothing.

When Sen. Tom Cotton asked why no FBI agent had thought to enforce the law broken by abortion activists parading outside the homes of Supreme Court justices, Wray was impatient: “Our agents are up to their necks enforcing all sorts of laws.”

Christopher Wray
Wray is required to reimburse the cost of a coach class airline fare for personal trips.
Getty Images/Alex Wong

When the hearing ended at 1:30, Wray ambled over to Grassley to shake his hand. The microphones picked up some of the exchange.

Grassley, a courtly row-crop farmer from Butler County, Iowa, who has a shrewd Columbo-esque tendency to ask “just one more thing,” leaned forward: “I assume you’ve got other business.”

“Yeah,” Wray said.

And off he sauntered, minions in tow.

Grassley’s staff did not know where Wray was going after the hearing and FBI public affairs did not respond to an email Sunday by press time.

But the luxury FBI Gulfstream Wray uses was recorded on Flightradar24 making the one hour and 12 minute flight later that afternoon to bucolic Saranac Lake in the Adirondacks, which happens to be a favorite summer destination since his childhood, when he used to hike the High Peaks and fish for trout, according to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Wray, 55, who attended the Buckley School on the Upper East Side and the private Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., graduated from Yale University, the alma mater of his father, Cecil Wray, who was Adirondack Park Agency Commissioner for 14 years.

The FBI’s Gulfstream made another trip to Saranac Lake on Thursday, June 2, returning to Washington, DC on Sunday, June 5.


While there has been controversy over the FBI director commandeering a plane originally intended for counterterrorism use, Wray’s predecessor James Comey used it as his private conveyance as well.

The director is required to reimburse the cost of a coach class airline fare for personal trips, a significant discount on the several thousand dollars an hour it costs to operate the Gulfstream, which is considerably more convenient than Delta.

Wray ensured his testimony was useless, but if he did cut short his testimony to go on vacation at a time when his agency is under fire from all sides, then that is an act of disrespect and insubordination which requires a firm rebuke, or what is the point of Senate oversight?



Alleged bias in Hunter Biden probe ‘deeply troubling’: FBI Director Wray

Allegations that biased FBI agents shielded first are Hunter Biden from criminal investigations are “deeply troubling,” FBI Director Christopher Wray was forced to admit Thursday under grilling from Republican senators — before cutting the Q&A short by claiming he needed to catch a flight.

The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) noted that Wray wasn’t flying commercial and pleaded in vain for the FBI chief to reschedule the departure of his government jet.

But before leaving, Wray was pressed by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) about whistleblower claims against Tim Thibault, assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s DC field office, and FBI supervisory intelligence analyst Brian Auten.

Kennedy confronted Wray with allegations against the two FBI workers that Grassley revealed last month.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill August 4, 2022.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testifies during a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Hart Senate Office Building on Capitol Hill Aug. 4, 2022.
Getty Images

“Isn’t it true that Mr. Thibault — Agent Thibault, excuse me — and [Auten] covered up derogatory information about Mr. Hunter Biden while working for the FBI?” Kennedy asked Wray point-blank Thursday.

“I want to be very careful not to interfere with ongoing personnel matters,” Wray replied. “I should say that when I read the letter that describes the kinds of things that you’re talking about, I found it deeply troubling.”

An image of Hunter Biden from his laptop.
Wray was questioned about alleged bias in agents’ probing of Hunter Biden.

Kennedy also cited to Wray a variety of Thibault’s social media barbs against Republicans, which resembled the anti-GOP attacks by FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page during the bureau’s investigation of possible Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

Grassley’s July letter to Wray said Auten and Thibault allegedly were involved in “a scheme” to “undermine derogatory information connected to Hunter Biden by falsely suggesting it was disinformation.”

Auten “opened an assessment which was used by an FBI Headquarters (‘FBI HQ’) team to improperly discredit negative Hunter Biden information as disinformation and caused investigative activity to cease,” Grassley wrote.

“[V]erified and verifiable derogatory information on Hunter Biden was falsely labeled as disinformation,” Grassley wrote, citing unnamed whistleblowers.

Thibault, meanwhile, allegedly tried to kill off a valid avenue of investigation of possible Hunter Biden criminality.

Sen.  John Kennedy pauses for reporters as senators rush to the chamber for votes ahead of the approaching Memorial Day recess at the Capitol
GOP Sen. John Kennedy questioned Wray during the hearing at the Capitol Thursday.

“In October 2020, an avenue of additional derogatory Hunter Biden reporting was ordered closed at the direction of ASAC Thibault… [when] all of the reporting was either verified or verifiable via criminal search warrants,” Grassley wrote.

“Thibault allegedly ordered the matter closed without providing a valid reason as required by FBI guidelines…. [and] subsequently attempted to improperly mark the matter in FBI systems so that it could not be opened in the future.”

Kennedy on Thursday cited some of Thibault’s social media messages and asked the FBI director, “Do you know how this looks to the American people?”

“I will tell you that what you’re describing is not representative of the FBI … where I see patriots working their tails off with tremendous integrity and objectivity,” Wray said.

Kennedy asked Wray to confirm whether or not Thibault was involved in the ongoing investigation of Hunter Biden for possible tax fraud, unregistered foreign lobbying and money laundering — but Wray wouldn’t directly answer.

“Did he or does he work on the FBI investigation of Mr. Hunter Biden?” Kennedy asked.

“The investigation that you’re referring to is going to — and I need to be a little bit careful because we’re talking about an ongoing investigation — is being run out of our Baltimore field office, working with the Delaware US attorney who’s a holdover from the prior administration,” Wray tried to deflect.

Sen.  Chuck Grassley listens as the panel hears from election officials and Justice Department officials about the rise in threats toward elected leaders and candidates, at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022.
Sen. Chuck Grassley’s letter to Wray last month concerning conduct by FBI agents was discussed during the Thursday hearing.

Kennedy followed up, “So I’m confused, Chris, with your answer. Did he work, or does he work on the Hunter Biden investigation?”

Wray again avoided a direct answer, saying, “As I said, that the Hunter Biden investigation is being run out of the Baltimore field office.”

Thibault’s alleged social media activity included a retweet of a Lincoln Project message that called Donald Trump a “psychologically broken, embittered and deeply unhappy man” and tweet saying that he wanted to “give Kentucky to the Russian Federation.”

Hunter Biden recently cut the IRS to check for about $2 million in an acknowledgment that he failed to pay taxes on a windfall of foreign income. The funds reportedly were provided by Hollywood lawyer Kevin Morris, but it’s unclear what strings are attached and the repayment doesn’t prevent prosecution.

The first son’s overseas dealings gained significant attention this year when the Washington Post and New York Times in March belatedly verified documents from a former Hunter Biden laptop that were first reported by The Post in October 2020.

Hunter Biden leaves after President Joe Biden awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 17 people during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in July.
Hunter Biden, the son of President Joe Biden, was discussed during the Senate Judiciary hearing Thursday.

Joe Biden’s involvement in his son’s business deals generally is murky and they continue to present conflicts of interest for the president.

Emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop indicate that his father, then vice president, attended a 2015 DC dinner with a group of his son’s associates from Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan. A photo depicts Joe Biden posing with the Kazakhstani group and one day after dinner, Vadym Pozharskyi, an executive at Ukrainian gas company Burisma, emailed the then-second son to thank him for the opportunity to meet his father. Hunter Biden earned a reported $1 million per year to serve on Burisma’s board while his father led the Obama administration’s Ukraine policy.

Russian billionaire Yelena Baturina, an alleged attendee of the 2015 dinner and the widow of a former mayor of Moscow, has not faced US sanctions this year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, despite Biden sanctioning many other members of Russia’s elite.

In China, Joe Biden allegedly was involved with his son’s dealings with CEFC China Energy, which the Washington Post reported paid Hunter Biden and his uncle Jim Biden $4.8 million in 2017 and 2018. Former Hunter Biden business partner Tony Bobulinski says that he spoke with Joe Biden in May 2017 about the deal and a May 13, 2017, email says that the “big guy” would get a 10 percent equity stake in a corporate entity established with CEFC. Bobulinski alleges that the president was the “big guy.”

Also in China, Hunter Biden cofounded an investment firm called BHR Partners in 2013 less than two weeks after flying with his father to Beijing aboard Air Force Two. Hunter introduced Joe Biden to BHR CEO Jonathan Li in the lobby of a hotel in China’s capital. The fund is controlled in part by state-owned entities. Hunter Biden’s attorney Chris Clark said less than a week after President Biden’s November summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping that the first son divested his 10% stake in BHR Partners, but Hunter Biden and the White House provided no further details and online business records indicate that Hunter Biden still owns the 10% stake.



4 former and current Louisville police detectives federally charged in Breonna Taylor raid | WDRB Investigates

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — The US Department of Justice charged four former and current Louisville police officers with federal crimes in connection with the fatal raid on Breonna Taylor’s home in 2020.

Former detectives Joshua Jaynes and Brett Hankison and current officers Kyle Meany and Kelly Goodlett face charges that include civil rights offenses, unlawful conspiracies, unconstitutional use of force and obstruction, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a news conference Thursday.

The action caps a federal investigation that looked at how police obtained the search warrant for Taylor’s apartment, something a prior state investigation by Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s office did not pursue. Cameron has said that aspect was part of the Justice Department’s work.

The indictments made public Thursday allege that Jaynes and Meany “drafted and approved what they knew was a false affidavit to support a search warrant for Ms. Taylor’s home,” Assistant US Attorney General Kristen Clarke said in Washington. “That false affidavit set in motion events that led to Ms. Taylor’s death when other LMPD officers executed that warrant.”

While Jaynes, Hankison and Meany were federally indicted, Goodlett was “charged on information,” which typically means she has pleaded guilty or plans to. She was charged with one count of conspiracy.

Goodlett has a hearing scheduled in US District Court on Aug. 12. It is unclear if she has retained a defense attorney.

Louisville Metro Police Department Chief Erika Shields said in a statement that she is beginning termination procedures against Meany and Goodlett. Hankison and Jaynes have already been fired.

“While we must refer all questions about this federal investigation to the FBI, it is critical that any illegal or inappropriate actions by law enforcement be addressed comprehensively in order to continue our efforts to build police-community trust,” according to the statement.

Attorney Brian Butler, who represents Meany, declined to comment. Meany is accused of lying to the FBI.

Hankison was the only officer previously charged in the raid. A Jefferson County Circuit Court jury found him not guilty of wanton endangerment charges earlier this year.

Attorney Stew Mathews, who represented Hankison in his state trial, said Hankison turned himself in earlier today but didn’t have any additional information.

Jaynes attorney Thomas Clay declined to comment.

Jaynes, Meany and Hankison face a maximum sentence of life in prison.

In a statement, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said that “after two long years of relentless investigations, today’s indications are a critical step forward in the process toward achieving justice for Breonna Taylor. My thoughts are with Ms. Tamika Palmer, Breonna’s mother, and all those who loved and cared for Breonna.”

Fischer said he understood many people feel the case has taken too long, but there “can be no shortcuts to due process, no shortcuts to justice.”

Taylor’s family and other supporters welcomed the Justice Department’s announcement. At a news conference in Jefferson Square Park, the hub of protests in 2020 after Taylor’s death, attorney Ben Crump alluded to a well-known saying of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

“As Dr. King said, the moral arc of the universe is long, but it bends toward justice,” Crump said. “Well, today, it bent toward Breonna Taylor.”

Warranty questions

Jaynes asked a judge to approve a search warrant for Taylor’s home a day before the early-morning raid on March 13, 2020. He claimed in an affidavit presented to Jefferson Circuit Judge Mary Shaw that a postal inspector verified that drug suspect Jamarcus Glover, who had dated Taylor, was using Taylor’s home to receive parcels.

Glover was at the center of a narcotics probe by Louisville police. The warrant for Taylor’s home was executed around the same time that police served other warrants on suspected drug houses in the city’s west end — some 10 miles away, Garland noted.

“The affidavit falsely claimed that officers had verified that the target of the alleged drug trafficking operation had received packages at Ms. Taylor’s address,” Garland said. “In fact, defendants Jaynes and Goodlett knew that was not true.”

Tony Gooden, a US postal inspector in Louisville, told WDRB News in May 2020 that Louisville police didn’t confer with his office. He said a different law enforcement agency asked his office of him in January 2020 to investigate whether any potentially suspicious mail was going to the unit. The local office concluded that there wasn’t.

“There’s no packages of interest going there,” Gooden said.

Garland also accused police of covering up their “unlawful conduct” after Taylor’s death. He said Jaynes and Goodlett “conspired to knowingly falsify an investigative document” after the shooting and “agreed to tell investigators a false story.”

Jaynes’ indictment claims that in April or May 2020 he tried to get an LMPD officer identified as “JM” to say that he had previously told Jaynes that Glover had been receiving packages at Taylor’s home. However, “JM” had told Jaynes in January of that year that he had no information to support that, according to the indictment.

The indictment says Jaynes and Goodlett provided a “false Investigative Letter” to criminal investigators around May 1, 2020.

Around May 17, Jaynes texted Goodlett that a criminal investigator wanted to meet with him after Gooden’s account refuting the information in the warrant affidavit was reported, according to the indictment. (WDRB published the postal inspector’s remarks on May 15.)

The indictment says Jaynes and Goodlett met the night of May 17 in Jaynes’ garage, where Jaynes allegedly told Goodlett “that they needed to get on the same page because they could both go down for putting false information in the Springfield Drive warrant affidavit.”

During that meeting they “agreed to tell investigators a false story,” the indictment says.

Then, on May 19, Jaynes “falsely claimed” to LMPD Public Integrity Unit investigators that “JM” told him and Goodlett in January that Glover was receiving packages at Taylor’s apartment, according to the indictment.

The indictment says Goodlett made a similar claim to investigators for the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office in August 2020. And it says Jaynes told FBI investigators in June 2022 that “JM” had “made a nonchalant comment” that Glover was receiving “mail or Amazon packages “at the Springfield Drive apartment.

‘No package history’

LMPD’s internal investigation found that Louisville officers asked two members of the Shively Police Department to check with a postal inspector. They were told no packages were being sent to Taylor’s home.

In a May 18, 2020, interview with LMPD’s Public Integrity Unit, Shively Police Sgt. Timothy Salyer said he asked Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, an officer who was shot and injured in the Taylor raid, about the search warrant affidavit after reading it following the shooting.

“Sgt. Mattingly stated he told Detective Jaynes there was no package history at that address,” Salyer told investigators, according to a summary of the interview.

The summary said Mattingly initially reached out to Salyer and Detective Mike Kuzma of the Shively department in mid-January 2020, at Jaynes’ request, to find out about packages going to Taylor’s apartment. Salyer said he was asked because he had a good relationship with a Louisville postal inspector.

In his interview, Salyer told LMPD investigators that he notified Mattingly that “no packages had been received at the address and the post office did not receive any packages either.”

Salyer said he later was contacted by two other LMPD officers — Detectives Mike Nobles and Kelly Hanna — about any packages going to Taylor’s home and said he “told them the same information,” according to the summary.

On April 10, 2020, about a month after Taylor was fatally shot by police, Salyer said he received a text from Jaynes, again asking about any packages going to Taylor’s home.

“(Salyer) told Detective Jaynes there were no packages in months delivered to the address and the location was flagged if any were detected and the Postal Inspector would be notified,” the summary said.

Jaynes also asked if Glover was receiving any “mail matter” and Salyer said he would check.

“Sgt. Sayler (sic) was confused as to why Detective Jaynes contacted him almost a month after the shooting incident inquiring about packages being delivered to the address,” according to the summary.

Nobles said he was confused about the “conflicting information on the affidavit as well,” the summary says.

When asked if she was going to issue a show-cause order as to why Jaynes shouldn’t be held in contempt for providing false information in an affidavit, Judge Shaw said she was “concerned but deferring to the FBI investigation.”

Jaynes was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in January for being untruthful. He appealed to the police merit board, which upheld the termination in June 2021, and then to Jefferson Circuit Court.

A judge also upheld the firing, ruling this June that the “crux of this case is the truthfulness of Mr. Jaynes’ statement in the search warrant affidavit.”

Clay, his attorney, has appealed that ruling.

Hankison was indicted on two counts of deprivation of rights for firing into a bedroom window in Taylor’s apartment that was “covered with blinds and a blackout curtain” after “there was no longer a lawful objective justifying the use of deadly force.”

He also faces charges for shooting through a wall of Taylor’s apartment and into a neighboring unit, endangering three people, including a then-3-year-old boy.

Taylor was inside the apartment with her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker.

LMPD has claimed that while Jaynes obtained a “no-knock” warrant, police repeatedly knocked on Taylor’s door and announced themselves before knocking it in.

Walker has said he never heard police announce themselves and believed the couple was being robbed. He fired a shot, hitting Mattingly in the leg.

Police responded with 32 shots, hitting Taylor six times. The 26-year-old died at the scene.

No drugs were found in her home.

The former detectives who fired the shots that struck Taylor — Mattingly and Myles Cosgrove — were not charged because they didn’t know about the false information in the search warrant, Garland said.

After the arrests, Mattingly said in a tweet: “The FBI used tactical teams to raid 4 officer’s/former officer’s homes early this morning over the Breonna Taylor case. It’s political theater. These officers had cooperated. There was no need for this show of force.”

This story may be updated.

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Feds–NBC New York

Federal authorities are investigating whether a man arrested with a loaded assault rifle outside the Brooklyn home of an outspoken Iranian dissident was part of a plot to target or kill her, two law enforcement officials said.

Police arrested a Yonkers man — Khalid Mehdiyev — on Thursday with an AK-47-style weapon and 66 rounds of ammunition near the home of Masih Alinejad.

Alinejad is a well-known Iranian writer and dissident who last year was the alleged target of a kidnapping plot by Iranian agents, the FBI said. Iran has denied wrongdoing, calling the past kidnapping allegations “baseless.”

The FBI and NYPD are now looking into why Mehdiyev, 23, was seen near her home last week. Investigators said he had been seen walking around Ella’s Alinejad’s property several days last week, and at least once attempted to one her front door. She was not home at the time.

Suspect in possible assassination plot of Iranian dissident identified by senior law enforcement officials in doorbell camera footage.

Suspect in possible assassination plot of Iranian dissident identified by senior law enforcement officials in doorbell camera footage.

“Shocked to learn that an assassin with a loaded AK47 came my home in Brooklyn,” she tweeted Sunday. “Last year, the Islamic Republic, tried to kidnap me, now they want to kill me. I’m grateful to federal agents but the Administration must do more to protect US citizens.”

According to a complaint filed late Friday by federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, Mehdiyev allegedly admitted the assault weapon was his and then asked for a lawyer, after first claiming he had traveled from Yonkers to Brooklyn in search of an apartment.

The Subaru used by Mehdiyev had Illinois plates, and had been issued a parking ticket near the Brooklyn residence the week before, court documents said.

Mehdiyev was pulled over around 3 pm by the NYPD at the corner of Dorchester Road and Rugby Road after going through a stop sign, an NYPD spokesman said.

He was allegedly driving with a suspended license and police said they later found a loaded AK-47 in the back seat. Prosecutors said serial numbers on the weapon had been defaced.

Mehdiyev is charged with a federal weapons count. The FBI and NYPD are looking into whether he was surveilling Alinejad’s home and whether he was acting alone.

An Iranian intelligence officer and three members of an Iranian intelligence network have been charged in Manhattan with plotting to lure a US resident and human rights activist from New York City to Iran. NBC New York’s Jonathan Dienst reports.

In July 2021, the FBI said it had uncovered an Iranian kidnapping plot to target Alinejad – allegedly to take her from her home, transport her to South America and then fly her back to Iran. Alinajed was moved to safe houses during the investigation for her protection of her, officials said at the time.

Alinejad has a huge following on social media given her outspoken criticism of the Iranian regime – especially on the issue of women’s rights.

An FBI spokeswoman confirmed Mehdiyev’s arrest but referred questions to an SDNY spokesman, who late Saturday offered no additional comment beyond the details included in the criminal complaint.

Attempts to reach Mehdiyev’s attorney were not immediately successful.