Matt Gaetz Probes: Latest News, Timeline, Who's Who

 

matt gaetz djt resized amazon public images rally

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican representing the Panhandle region of Florida, has been a fervant supporter of Donald Trump, who reportedly refused Gaetz's request for an open-ended pardon to cover unspecified matters and other associates, according to news reports.

The Justice Integrity Project is publishing a compilation of news clips about the reported federal probe of U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), right, and several of his associates, matt gaetz o Customincluding Joel Greenberg, a former Florida county tax collector facing 33 felony charges related to claims of sex trafficking, including of a 17-year-old. This compilation, arranged in reverse chronological order, is updated with new materials as they arise.

Several of the stories pertain not directly to Gaetz, but to the larger Capitol riot and pro-Trump insurrection on claims of vote theft that he advanced. The allegations of widespread vote theft that could have affected the 2020 elections have been debunked but led to the insurrection at the Capitol on Jan. 6 in Washington, D.C., and a number of follow up investigations.

This compilation focuses primarily on stories and columns directly mentioning Gaetz and his associates, including former President Trump, but includes also some material also pertaining to major stories about election integrity and voter suppression.

The materials contain some repetition because it is intended a research guide, arranged in reverse chronological order, and not as an article.

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Comprehensive New Cut-Rate Directory Opens Public Window To World Leaders' Identities

 

Longtime global affairs commentator and author Wayne Madsen last week published a comprehensive, 888-page directory of world leaders that provides a rare if not unique low-cost tool for businesses, non-profits and governments that seek to foster relationships around the world.

Madsen — author of nearly a score of previous books and also a prolific investigative reporter whose cutting-edge stories are frequently cited here by the Justice Integrity Project, as elsewhere — published the directory via the subscription news and investigative site that he publishes, The Wayne Madsen Report (WMR).

WMR announced on April 2 that the titled WMR International Political Handbook "provides information on every government in the world" regarding leaders. In an interview, he said that directory includes many government entities and personnel who are typically ignored for political reasons in other directories.

wayne madsen may 29 2015 cropped SmallMadsen, shown at left in a photo by our project taken at one his lecture appearances, said that one of his goals in the English-language directory was to provide more comprehensive information than readily available elsewhere, in part to enable American entities and their personnel to compete effectively in the international arena.

Madsen believes that well-financed foreign and domestic operatives with authoritarian and/or corrupt track records are solidifying their influence over international officials who remain unknown to many Americans with relevant interests. Former Trump White House aide Steve Bannon with his backer, billionaire Guo Wengui, a fugitive from his native China.

Madsen has frequently reported, for example, on what he regards as dangerous efforts by Trump advisor Steve Bannon to foster a worldwide neo-fascist alliance of nations and key officials. Bannon is shown at right with one of his billionaire backers, Guo Wengui, right, a fugitive from his native China. Bannon, pardoned by Trump from felony charges in a massive grifting scheme, also has been financially supported in his political efforts by the vulture capitalist Mercer family. The Italian government recently forbade Bannon from operating a global right-wing political academy in castle that he and his backers had acquired.

In the interview, Madsen expressed hope that his new directory could help provide new opportunities for both Americans and local officials to withstand such pressures by providing government information more widely. The directory, currently published only in electronic format, lists its price as $35 but is available on an introductory basis at half that cost, or $17.50, via the WMR "special studies bookstore" here:   

wmr international political handbookMadsen is a computer security and data privacy specialist, as well as an investigative journalist specializing in intelligence and technology matters. He previously served in computer security positions in the Department of State, the National Security Agency, Department of the Navy, RCA Corporation, and Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC). His reporting and military service have taken him to five continents and many small island nations, with projects that included street reporting investigating genocide in Rwanda and sex trafficking in Southeast Asia involving VIP American officials.

A former Navy intelligence officer and analyst with the National Security Agency, his first book was The Handbook of Personal Data Protection, published in 1992 by Palgrave / Macmillan while he was chief scientist at CSC. The book extended to 1,045 pages. It summarized in English the data protection laws in dozens of nations at a pivotal time when the Internet and Net-enabled services were rapidly expanding, with relevant law evolving quickly but difficult to ascertain because it was being enacted for the most part in non-English languages.

Later, Madsen became a Senior Fellow with the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the principal author of two of its reports: Critical Infrastructure Protection and the Endangerment of Civil Liberties and Cryptography and Liberty. In that role, he was a frequent guest commentator on nearly all of the major U.S. network and cable news programs.

More recently, he has been a syndicated columnist with opeds appearing hundreds of times in U.S. newspapers and an investigative reporter on controversial topics, many of them receiving little or no coverage by mainstream media. His outlets have included controversial U.S. and international ones, including in years past RT and the Alex Jones "Infowars" show.

He has often broken with past outlets and their managements, such as Jones, when he believes the facts warrant, and has frequently received death threats as a consequence from political zealots who believe he should not break new ground on stories that reflect poorly on past outlets and their political positions.

The Justice Integrity Project has worked closely with him on many stories, including major investigations of sex scandals involving House Speaker Dennis Hastert and, separately, ones involving Jeffrey Epstein and Donald Trump.

As such, this editor is in a position to recommend strongly this new book as a highly cost-effective tool — indeed one that is vastly underpriced, considering the value of the information. The publisher's announcement is republished below.

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Trump insurrection evidence, Hill death total, impeachment anger grow

 

Shocking revelations and allegations about the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol by a pro-Trump mob along with details about a policeman killed in a mob attack fueled bipartisan efforts to impeach President Trump, who is increasingly suspected of facilitating the riot in order to reverse November election results.

nancy pelosi msnbc screengrabThe impeachment on Jan. 13 by the House of Representatives was with ten Republican votes, the largest number in U.S. history from an impeached president's own party.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), right, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) agreed — as they sought safety in the Capitol on Jan. 6 — on the dire need for Trump's immediate removal via impeachment unless he resigned or his cabinet removed him under the 25th Amendment by formally declaring Trump unfit so that Vice President Mike Pence could finish the remainder of Trump's term.

The one article of impeachment focused heavily on Trump's actions regarding the deadly Jan. 6 riot by the pro-Trump mob. Congress had been scheduled to certify in a ceremonial act the nationwide vote totals in its formal proceeding on Jan. 6 that was disrupted by the mob.

This column began as an overview of those events, but has been updated with an appendix providing a wide selection of news reports and commentary covering the mob action, arrests and impeachment covering the period up to Jan. 24, the first Sunday after the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris. Note: An additional update was published on March 1, with an editor's note below indicating several changes in the original story published on Jan. 10.

Regarding the Jan. 6 Trump-inspired riot, public dismay resulting in impeachment has doubtless been bolstered by such other factors as the slow rollout of vaccine and relief aid during the coronavirus pandemic. The ten living former U.S. secretaries of defense had issued a joint letter urging the Department of Defense not to intervene in the election, a clear signal that they feared a coup.

But a major new factor was increasingly recognition of the brutality and scope of the pro-Trump mob's action. It resulted in the killing of a Capitol Hill policeman, the wounding of an estimated 50 others, plus the deaths of four participants the protest-turned-riot that ostensibly began with a Trump speech to a capitol tiescrowd assembled on the south side of the White House. The crowd then marched east on Pennsylvania Avenue a little over a mile to reach the historic Capitol building.

Most shocking to many has been new evidence of the brutality of some protesters — including discovery of pipe bombs, explosives and plastic "ties" (as shown by the white ones in the adjoining photo of a Hill intruder) that terrorists would use to take hostages.

There exists also significant but still-evolving evidence that parts of the mob action have long been planned by Trump, top aides and allies scattered through government, quasi-government and private organizations, including Republican office-holders funded by major corporations that are now facing heat for how their political donations were being used.

Some key Trump loyalists remaining in the administration during the current wave of their colleagues' resignations deny or deflect the most serious allegations and evidence that a plot existed beyond what they call the legitimate outrage of Trump supporters that they have heard suspicions of election fraud. Trump has for months claimed fraud.

But none of the more than 60 courts that were hearing cases have found any significant evidence of it, and pressure has been growing to disbar or sue Trump's leading attorneys making such claims. Dominion Voting, one election software provider, filed a $1.3 billion defamation suit against Trump attorney Sydney Powell, and sought also her disbarment.

A few Trump supporters, including several in Congress or on Trump-supporting media like Brit Hume at Fox News, have hinted darkly (without providing evidence) that the biggest outrages in the Capitol riot were committed by leftists pretending to be Trump supporters. But that claim faces the obstacle, as seen below, that many of the rioters were captured on film bragging about their exploits and are familiar faces in right-wing and white nationalist activism.

This column provides an appendix of links to more than two dozen major news stories and commentaries on this topic published by mainstream and alternative ali alexander resized greg palastnews outlets. This editor, whose office is located within two blocks of the protest march route in the District of Columbia, has reported for years on the topic of election fraud and several of the leading figures suspected of corrupting elections. These tactics include propaganda via blogs, broadcast and social media, plus courtroom efforts necessary to steal elections.      

As one of many examples, we helped investigate in 2012 a Republican operative named Ali Akbar, a convicted felon who helped found with the help of Republican patrons the National Bloggers Club. That "club" helped orchestrate a right-wing propaganda army when useful for the patrons' election or other political interests, with the website Crooks and Liars providing an in-depth report excerpted below.

Akbar, now using the name Ali Alexander, was a speaker at last week's pro-Trump rally at the White House.

Via his association with the affiliated Proud Boys gang of white nationalists, Alexander played a significant role in organizing sinister activities in both the Georgia and Washington political events last week, according to an expose published on Jan. 9 by investigative reporter Greg Palast, a pioneering investigator of election fraud, including illegal vote suppression of racial minorities.

The Palast story Why did the Georgia GOP Team up with a riot instigator? is illustrated by the Palast team's graphic above, with Alexander shown in the upper right. This cutting-edge column by the former BBC investigative reporter and author of multiple books on election fraud is one of reports excerpted below with links to the original.

Another is the NBC News investigative report, Republican AGs group sent robocalls urging march to the Capitol by Laura Strickler and Lisa Cavazuti. It is another of the pieces suggesting that the march, mob action and failure of federal authorities to protect Congress with adequate security stemmed from a high-level plot to overthrow the elected government and certified November elections, not just the enthusiasm of ordinary Trump supporters recruited for diversion.

But many in the public have not needed investigative reports, detailed though they must be, to feel outrage at what happened, including the threats on Jan. 6 against elected leaders and staff posed by a mob that overwhelmed security and committed countless acts of mayhem and vandalism.

brian sicknickThus, excerpted below also is He Dreamed of Being a Police Officer, Then Was Killed by a Pro-Trump Mob, the New York Times profile of Brian Sicknick, left, the heroic the slain police officer, who was reported initially as bludgeoned in the head by a fire extinguisher wielder by a rioter. Authorities later cast doubt on the fire extinguisher element of the report while maintaining that he had been under attack by the mob in some fashion that continues to be investigated.

We have collected also photos and profiles of the four others initially reported as dead, all Trump supporters who died advancing their cause. They include Ashli Babbitt, right, ashli babbitta woman shot while trying to crawl through a broken door  that the mob had smashed to reach members of Congress who had been huddled for safety in the House Chamber moments before.

Highly relevant also are the accounts of how top social media platforms have suspended Trump's use of their platforms.

Trump and his supporters are crying foul or even "censorship," even though the First Amendment does not forbid private companies from setting rules for content.

Big picture? Only a comprehensive look at evidence of a high-level plot using the platforms and military as two necessary tools can illustrate that the media giants' actions need to be assessed as potential national security safeguards, not simply as subjective disagreement with Trump's politics by Twitter, Facebook, twitter bird CustomAmazon, Google and other high-tech executives. 

The track record suggests that Trump supporters will disagree with that and other interpretations. So, their point of view is reflected also in a sample of the clips below. For this rapidly evolving story, the excerpts will be updated frequently for the next few days.

 

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Sen. Doug Jones As ‘Confirmable’ Biden AG? Bad Idea!

 

Alabama’s Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones has been reported recently as at the forefront of President-elect Joe Biden’s prospects to lead the Justice Department as U.S. Attorney General.

That’s in part because Jones (shown with Biden in a file photo) has served as a presidentially appointed federal prosecutor, holds a longtime relationship with Biden — and also is considered more readily “confirmable” by Senate Republicans than other top options.

doug jones joe biden cropped

A closer look at the senator’s career suggests that these supposed strengths do not meet the requirements of the job, including a passion for reform, and are likely to blow up into controversy.

Indeed, one of his former law partners, the prominent Alabama attorney Thomas T. Gallion III, published a book this year surveying nearly seven decades of official corruption in the state — and names Jones as part of a "Cabal" working with powerful Republicans in moneymaking schemes that flagrantly violate the law, legal ethics and other core values of justice and democracy.

The book, Shadow Government, Southern Style: A Saga of Political Corruption From DC to Dixie, was first published in May by Gallion, a partner in the Montgomery firm Haskell Slaughter. Among other posts, he has been County Attorney for Montgomery County (encompassing the state capital) since 1985.

Gallion (shown below at left) identifies as a Republican. But his book is a non-partisan slam at those whom he regards as corrupt, including Jeff Sessions, President Trump's first Attorney General after decades as Republican senator and prosecutor in Alabama. Other targets of Gallion include the recent two-term Republican Alabama Gov. Bob Riley (2003-2011), and longtime Bush Family political aide Karl Rove, a White House senior advisor to President George W. Bush.

Breaking News: Politico, Biden to tap Merrick Garland for attorney general, Tyler Page, Josh Gertein and Kyle Cheney, Jan. 6, 2021. Washington Post, Biden to merrick garlandnominate Merrick Garland, Obama’s last Supreme Court nominee, for attorney general. President-elect Joe Biden plans to nominate Merrick B. Garland, right, a Democratic casualty of the bitter partisan divide in Washington over court nominees, to become the next attorney general, according to people familiar with the decision.

Regarding Jones (who failed to respond to our invitation this week to comment for this column), Gallion drew on his extensive study of the senator's career to pose near the end of his book a page-long series of questions that he challenged Jones to answer under oath.

thomas gallionMentioning such allegations does not mean they are true, of course. Nothing like Gallion's allegation has surfaced in national reporting about Jones's unsuccessful campaign for Senate re-election this fall or regarding the Biden-Harris Transition Team appointment process to pick an Attorney General.

That lack of national coverage for allegations against Jones continues as of this writing. That's so, at least for now, even though the Gallion book is receiving good reader reviews and it reports about legal skullduggery of a kind often suspected in Alabama. That's a state where one-party domination creates lucrative opportunities for those close to office-holders and thwarts checks-and-balances, as evidenced by the ouster of the state's governor and House speaker for unrelated scandals in recent years.

More generally, Stealing Our Democracy: How the Political Assassination of a Governor Threatens Our Nation, published in June by former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, also examines Alabama's political scene.

Siegelman, below right, a Jones client and a Democrat who served from 1999 until the Republican Riley took office in 2003, was imprisoned on corruption charges in 2007 in what became a notorious case worldwide because of allegations supported by whistleblowers and legal scholars that he and others had been framed for political reasons.

For such reasons, this column argues against the conventional wisdom that a Jones nomination would be non-controversial, aside from criticism from the left and civil rights groups that he is a white man and has a political track record that is too moderate.

Don SiegelmanAnd if any senators from either party dared dig beyond the surface?

A confirmation proceeding, if a chair permitted witnesses repeating their statements cited below, could well become explosive, rivalling the Clarence Thomas and Brett Kavanaugh court confirmations. With such witnesses, a hearing might well tarnish top figures in the Obama-Biden administration for failures to clean up what are reliably reported as shocking levels of official corruption in Alabama in recent years. 

It took many years until nearly the present even for Gallion and Siegelman to penetrate the inherent secrecy of the Justice Department in such sensitive matters.

So, it is no surprise or embarrassment that one of major Washington Post stories, as of this writing, Biden narrows attorney general list, portrayed Jones as perhaps the most readily confirmable of attorney general candidates, in part because of perceptions that he is a moderate who gets along with most Republicans.

Read further for a deeper view.

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In Memoriam: Post Editor, JIP Co-Founder Robert Alden, 1932-2020

 

Longtime Washington Post editor Robert Ames Alden died at age 87 in June, leaving an inspiring leadership legacy in journalistic and other civic affairs. Of particular note here, he was one of five founding directors of the Justice Integrity Project (JIP) a decade ago and provided active encouragement and other support until his final illness. 

He died on June 1 at his home in McLean, Virginia, from what his widow, Diane Alden, described as complications from Alzheimer's.

Robert Ames Alden (Marie Marzi Washington Post photo) He retired from the Washington Post in 2000 after more than 48 years as an editor, making him the longest-serving editor in the paper’s history until that point and one who had been personally involved in some of its more notable coverage.

As night news editor in 1963, for example, he put together the Post's first extra edition since Pearl Harbor to cover the assassination of President Kennedy. As world news editor in 1974, Alden was the principal architect for the layout of the Post’s coverage of the resignation of President Nixon.

Alden is shown in Washington Post photo at right by Marie Marzi.

Culminating a seven-year effort in 1975, he co-founded and later led the National Press Foundation to improve journalism education. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was the leading advocate among National Press Club members for the admission of women into the Club, where he served as president in 1976.

Toward the end of a 1984 appearance on C-SPAN, he showed a mock souvenir edition of the Post that highlighted his leadership as Club president, among other career highlights to that point. The main headline extolled his "persistence."

The first native Washingtonian to lead the Press Club, he began his career as a sportswriter for the Cleveland Press in 1947. He helped innovate the use of more statistics in baseball coverage (think of the category RBI: runs batted in) and was an award-winning writer.

Also, he was a visionary community leader in planning a town green, central park, library, outdoor stage, community center and theater for McLean, VA, whose Alden Theatre now carries his name in recognition of his volunteer service.

robert alden 1959 post photo resizedAlden, shown at left in a 1959 Washington Post photo, earned bachelor and master’s degrees from the George Washington University, where he won the university's top history award as a student for 17 years in the 1950s and 1960s.

In 2005, university officials bestowed a distinguished alumnus award and described Alden as “a living legend” in Washington journalism.

This editor attended that ceremony with him after meeting him the previous evening at the Press Club bar, where he had exercised his raconteur's gift to describe his encounters with the great and near great through the decades, including such officials as Lyndon Johnson, heavyweight boxing champion Rocky Marciano, and film stars Gary Cooper and Elizabeth Taylor.

In early 2010, Alden joined with four others (former U.S. Navy captain and businessman Ron Fisher, and former White House correspondents John Kelly and John Edward Hurley, plus this editor) in co-founding the Justice Integrity Project to investigate complex, under-covered news stories of importance. The bios, one of the most heavily read sections on this website, are here.

Our initial focus was on politically motivated federal prosecutions and similar actions by the U.S. Justice Department involving issues of unwarranted secret pressures. One controversy then was the "U.S. attorney firing scandal," whereby eight and by some counts nine presidentially appointed U.S. attorneys were fired because they acted ethically -- in refusal to use their regional criminal powers either to bring dubious cases against political targets or to protect friends of the president and his advisors.

Such cases are again much in the news, as evident in the controversies surrounding Attorney General William Barr and such defendants as Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort, Roger Stone and Michael Cohen and such forced-out officials as FBI Director James Comey, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and recently ousted New York U.S. Attorney Jeffrey Berman, below at right. Berman was head of New York's Southern District, which holds broad jurisdiction over Wall Street and many of President Trump's interests, supporters and several high profile suspected criminal confederates. 

geoffrey berman sdnyAt the outset of our project a decade ago, one such case arose out of the U.S. attorney firing scandal was the longstanding federal corruption investigation of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman. He had been his state's most popular Democrat. He became a target by Alabama Republicans in the state attorney general's office from the first month that he assumed office in 1999. It was no coincidence that Bush senior advisor Karl Rove was pressuring the Justice Department personnel to use their powers for political purposes after Rove had been a consultant to Alabama business interests during their successful 1990s effort to flip the state's supreme court from all-Democrat to all-Republican.

Siegelman underwent relentless prosecution on dubious corruption charges ramped up during the Bush presidency beginnning in 2001. The core charge against Siegelman was that he had founded a foundation before his governorship to advocate for better K-12 funding in Alabama and that he had reappointed businessman Richard Scrushy, a donor to the foundation, to a state board on which the Republican Scrushy was already serving under previous Republican governors. 

The result? A seven-year sentence imposed on both defendants after Siegelman's second trial despite massive evidence including whistleblower revelations that the prosecution had been hoked up to remove him from elective politics, particularly because of his planned re-election campaign in 2006. 

Alden provided vital advice to the project on that story, which was published May 2009 as front page exclusive by the Huffington Post under the title Siegelman Deserves New Trial Because of Judge’s ‘Grudge’, Evidence Shows.  Another headline, $300 Million in Bush Military Contracts Awarded to Judge’s Private Company, pointed the way to the trial judge's conflict of interest and likely financial corruption, both factors that helped explain the vast number of irregularities in the prosecution and courtroom procedures.

Our project, JIP, published scores of stories on the Siegelman / Scrushy case that generating many hundreds of thousands of page views. Among the headlines were: 

  • Siegelman's Judge Accused Of Beating Wife, Affair With Clerk
  • Wife-Beating Siegelman Judge Resigns, Ends Horrid Career With Civic Lesson 
  • Alabama Judicial Scandal Could Taint Many Cases, Not Just Siegelman's 
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High Courts Disgrace Themselves To Help GOP Rig U.S. Voting During Pandemic

 

supreme court CustomConservative majorities in the Wisconsin and U.S. Supreme Courts ruled separately on Monday to rig the April 7 elections in Wisconsin with the effect — and doubtless the intention — of helping Republicans win the presidential swing state and retain control of the state legislature by stifling Democratic votes in November.

Under the cover of a global Covid-19 pandemic, the decisions by the high federal and state courts this week forced many Wisconsin voters, especially those in the Democratic stronghold of Milwaukee, to choose between risking their lives and exercising their right to vote.

Although judges knew these cruel high stakes from their briefing materials, few other Americans realize that a key reason for the needless risk-taking in Wisconsin was because an ultra-conservative Wisconsin justice, Dan Kelly (below at left) was on the ballot for a 10-year term.

wisconsin map with largest cities CustomBoth state and national Republicans want Kelly's election-rigging skills to remain on the Wisconsin court so that it can continue its national leadership in using a pretense of legality to justify election thefts far into the future.

Legislative control is especially important during the once-every-10-year census in 2020 because the census results trigger the power for state legislatures to gerrymander congressional and legislative districts for the next decade.

Donald Trump, the impeached president, is desperate to remain in unaccountable power. He has successfully stalled congressional scrutiny mandated by the Constitution and long precedents, in part because friendly Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court have stayed indefinitely the most significant lower-court rulings about his finances and allegations of his obstruction of justice. The court refuses to hear arguments on these vital cases, claiming the pandemic prevents its work, even while it needlessly forced Wisconsin voters to risk their lives by in-person voting at crowded polling places instead of availing themselves of absentee ballots. 

In same spirit of stacking the courts at the state level, Trump has used his national broadcast pandemic news conferences and his Twitter feed to urge support for Kelly, as reported by Fox News (Trump makes last-minute push for Wisconsin Supreme Court justice. Kelly ran in a "non-partisan" election against lower court state Judge Jill Karofsky (shown at right of Kelly).

daniel kelly jill karofsky CustomTrump's Election Day Tweet (shown below) sought to fool voters by suggesting that gun rights is the big issue. Insiders know that Republicans want Kelly for voter suppression and other election rigging.

With the current financial and news crunch, few mass media outlets provide enough coverage of regional politics and courts anymore to describe, much less thwart, nefarious schemes that unfold in Wisconsin and elsewhere under the veneer of legitimate, good-faith litigation.

Furthermore, few reporters and their outlets dare to ascribe in blunt, understandable terms the apparent motives of supreme court judges, federal or national, who are typically accorded great deference as eminences even when their skulduggery and conflicts are obvious.    

Ten years ago, the Justice Integrity Project was founded to expose prosecutorial and judicial corruption of this kind.

The sinister actions of these judges deserve not just exposure, but effective follow-up to ensure whatever accountability the increasingly broken American constitutional system can muster.

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