Kim Foxx, the Cook County state’s attorney who had a text interaction with Michelle Obama’s former chief of staff Tina Tchen in the Jussie Smollett case, admitted that Democrat senator Kamala Harris provides mentoring to Foxx in her efforts in Cook County, Illinois. Smollett’s charges were dropped in Chicago in return for his community service with Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
“I’m so excited that Kamala Harris has decided to run for president. I would not be where I am today without her guidance during my first run for political office, and she has continued to mentor me as I work to reform the criminal justice system in Cook County,” Foxx tweeted on January 21.
I’m so excited that @KamalaHarris has decided to run for president. I would not be where I am today without her guidance during my first run for political office, and she has continued to mentor me as I work to reform the criminal justice system in Cook County. —KF pic.twitter.com/O241FGKKMs
— Kim Foxx (@KimFoxxforSA) January 21, 2019
Kamala Harris is no stranger to legal controversy.
Democratic California senator Kamala Harris covered up a wide-ranging surveillance scheme in which a single Riverside County judge ordered hundreds of wiretaps snaring millions of phone calls and thousands of unsuspecting people across the country, according to whistleblower case evidence obtained by Big League Politics.
New evidence shows how then-California attorney general Kamala Harris’ office defied precedent to conceal and obscure the details of this illegal operation, including by “locking” a mandatory annual report on intercepted communications from public disclosure and allegedly changing the numbering system on the official report to make it impossible to identify each wiretap coming out of Riverside County. Many of these wiretaps were never explained and never resulted in action, and targets are still unnamed.
Kamala Harris served as California attorney general from 2011 to 2017, when she took her Senate seat.
Riverside County Superior Court judge Helios Hernandez, appointed by Democrat governor Gray Davis, ordered 624 wiretaps in 2014, almost five times more than any other American judge, and 44,000 people and over 2 million conversations were tapped. Hernandez even got 17 wiretap applications in one day. Some of Hernandez’s wiretaps have been found to be illegal by prosecutors, leading to the dropping of some cases and the surrender of assets seized by the feds. A federal judge said legal standards “could not have been met” with regard to the Riverside County wiretaps. Approximately 18 percent of the more than 4 million conversations wiretapped in the state of California in 2016 were incriminating.
The wiretapping scheme coincided with a period of massive revenue gains for the state of California from civil asset forfeitures overseen by Kamala Harris’ office. In 2014, Riverside County collected more than $3 million in civil asset forfeitures.
Stephanie J. Lacambra, criminal defense staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is representing a retired California Highway Patrol officer who was targeted with a wiretap, and who still has no idea why.
“It looked like the FBI and DEA were shopping because they could get this one judge in Riverside County” to sign off on wiretap orders, Lacambra told Big League Politics, referring to Riverside County judge Helios Hernandez.
Lacambra that the “specter of impropriety” led to numerous of these cases being dropped nationwide. “It looked like there was not justification for the sheer number of wiretaps coming out of this county.”
Lacambra said that her client’s wiretap “occurred during the time in which this spike in wiretaps was happening in 2015.”
“The problem lies in that the district attorney’s office that had the responsibility of issuing notice to individuals who were targets failed to notify those targets,” Lacambra told Big League Politics, noting that people were completely unaware that they were being wiretapped.
“What we’re doing right now is trying to convince the court to exercise its discretion to release the information” about her client’s wiretap, before going to the next step of a lawsuit.
“In California there is a state law that says the target of a wiretap can ask the court to release the documents…we’re trying to get that information first,” Lacambra said.
In 2015, Kamala Harris’ attorney general’s office made the unprecedented decision to release California’s Electronic Interceptions Report as a “locked” PDF not available to members of the public, according to documents obtained by Big League Politics.
An April 23, 2015 letter on Kamala Harris’ official attorney general stationery denied Lacambra’s firm’s request to see the report.
A deputy attorney general wrote on Harris’ behalf:
“Since that time, our Office has changed its security protocol regarding reports and other documents that are made available electronically to members of the public on our public web site. Now, all such reports and documents appearing on our public website are only made available to members of the public in a locked PDF format. We have made this change in orderto better protect the security and integrity of the data in our public records.
Unfortunately, given our new procedure, we are unable to provide you with an electric copy of the 2014 Electronic Interception report in a Microsoft Word format. We apologize for any inconvenience that this new change may cause for you.”
The Electronic Frontier Foundation’s persistence eventually led to the publication of the 2015 report, but problems persisted.
The report was incomprehensible in the sense that Riverside County wiretap reports did not correspond to the wiretap order numbers, and were not in correct sequential order like other counties, according to a source.
The Riverside County wiretaps had identifying numbers in the report starting at over 1,000, even though there were not more than 1,000 wiretaps from that county in 2014 or 2015, making it impossible to trace or identify some of the wiretaps, including in the case of Lacambra’s client, the retired California Highway Patrol officer. That officer’s issued wiretap number does not correspond with any of the numbers indexed in the report.
Former Mexican Defense Minister is Arrested in Los Angeles for Allegedly Protecting a Drug Cartel
More Proof that Mexico is An Institutional Dumpster Fire
Retired Mexican General Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested on October 15, 2020.
According to allegations from U.S. prosecutors, General Cienfuegos received bribes from a powerful Mexican cartel and allowed to smuggle drugs into the United States.
An indictment that was unsealed on October 17, revealed that from December 2015 to February 2017, while he served as Mexico’s Secretary of National Defense, Cienfuegos allegedly worked on behalf of a drug cartel. In working with this drug cartel, Cienfuegos earned the nickname of “El Padrino” (The Godfather) by helping the H-2 Cartel move drugs from Mexico to the U.S.
“The defendant [Cienfuegos] abused that public position to help the H-2 Cartel, an extremely violent Mexican drug trafficking organization, traffic thousands of kilograms of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States,” prosecutors contended in a letter sent to a U.S. District Court judge in New York.
“In exchange for bribe payments,” the letter argued, he allowed the cartel “to operate with impunity in Mexico” while it operated distribution networks in cities such as Los Angeles and Las Vegas and in other states such as Ohio, Minnesota, North Carolina and New York.
U.S. agents took the retired general into custody on October 15 at Los Angeles International Airport. Cienfuegos is expected to be transferred to New York.
Cienfuegos served as defense secretary from 2012 to 2018 under the administration of then-President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“The main problem in Mexico is corruption,” López Obrador declared during a news briefing on October 16 regarding the incident.
In López Obrador’s view, it is “regrettable” that someone in such a high position of government has deep connections to drug cartels.
“This is a process of progressive degradation,” López Obrador continued, “and we are trying now to figure out how deep the corruption goes.”
As of now, Cienfuegos is the most prominent Mexican official to have been arrested on drug trafficking charges. In 2019, U.S. authorities arrested Genaro García Luna, the Secretary of Public Security under the administration of former President Felipe Calderón, for allegedly being involved in drug trafficking.
According to the U.S. indictment, Cienfuegos was working with H-2, an alleged branch of the Beltrán-Leyva criminal cartel. On top of that, prosecutors claims that the retired general received bribes to shield the cartel and its leaders. He then proceeded to inform them beforehand of military actions planned against them and even used troops to attack a rival cartel.
Mexico is clearly on the ropes institutionally. With a current president (AMLO) who wants to take a “hugs not bullets” approach to crime, the country will continue to spiral into chaos as drug cartels become even more powerful. President Trump has been right all along in building a wall to protect America from the potential spillover effects of Mexico’s drug war.
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