Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405

Facebook: Digby Parton

@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)

thedigbyblog at gmail
satniteflix at gmail
publius.gaius at gmail
tpostsully at gmail
Spockosbrain at gmail
Richardein at me.com


Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic

Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018 June 2018 July 2018 August 2018 September 2018 October 2018 November 2018 December 2018 January 2019 February 2019 March 2019


This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?


Thursday, August 09, 2018

Carrying A Gun Didn't Protect Rep. Collins From Insider Trading Indictment 

by Spocko

Today Rep. Chris Collins (R) NY was arrested for insider trading.  Last year he wrote an op-ed for the Washington Post that was carried in major papers around the country. The title of the OpEd was:

I’m a member of Congress and I’m going to start carrying a gun 

I wrote about it here Does Rep. Collins have insurance for a gun accident?  

Rep Chris Collins (R) photo Michael Mroziak, WBFO
My point was to question two narratives pushed by the gun lovers:
1) A good gun with a gun will protect you from a bad guy with a gun
2) Concealed carry gun owners are law abiding and responsible

For the first I pointed out that guns can't protect you when you are caught unaware. Only something like body armor or bulletproof glass can do that.

For the second I wrote about all the ways that people who break the law don't expect to be caught, and when they do, there should be penalties and consequences.
You decide to break that law and carry your gun concealed into the gun-free zone then BANG!  You didn't intend to have an accident, but you did intend to break the law by bringing your gun into a place it was prohibited.  Violating that law could mean you are not covered by insurance.
For people like Collins, breaking a law, such as bringing a gun in a gun-free zone, is an acceptable action because of the explanation given -- self protection. Even though scientific data from active shooter cases will show this explanation to rarely be the case, the "self defense" explanation is still used.  An more accurate explanation would be:
"Carrying a gun makes me FEEL safe and like a tough guy. I want to be able to shoot people who I think are threatening me or my loved ones." 
If I had followed Collins around after his op-ed I'm pretty sure I could have caught him violating the law and entering private businesses where guns were not allowed. If he was busted, and the business wanted to press charges, it would have been a misdemeanor. He probably would have claimed he forgot and that the problem was the law, not him breaking it.

False Statements Made "Knowingly and Willfully" 

Collins allegedly broke several laws in this insider trading case: Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud, Securities Fraud, Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and False Statements.

We see people complaining about politicians lying to the public and to the media.But lying to the public or the media is not a crime. If it was, President Trump would be indicted 48 times an hour.

If proved, Christopher Collins false statements are violations of  Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1001 and 2.  It carries a fine and a prison term of up to 5 years.

When you read the indictment it appears that, based on the evidence, Collins"knowingly and willfully" made a false statement to the FBI.  Here is what Mr. Collins’ lawyers, Jonathan Barr and Jonathan New, said in statement.
“We will answer the charges filed against Congressman Collins in court and will mount a vigorous defense to clear his good name,”  “It is notable that even the government does not allege that Congressman Collins traded a single share” of the company’s stock.
If Collins ends up being convicted, this will send a shock wave though political circles. How many other Congresspeople, Senators spouses, children and friends have acted on insider knowledge?

The Republicans will demand that a Democrat be indicted "to be fair" and will scream that they are being picked on by the State of New York because they supported Trump. (See NRA whining)

To muddy the waters the conservatives will push the, "both sides do it." and "It's a witch hunt to hurt Trump supporters" followed by it's only an isolated case of a "bad apple."

Even though the odds are that there are 100's cases of Republican insider trading and financial shenanigans to one Democrat one, I expect that the media will be searching for (and will be served up on a platter) cases of Democrats who should be charged for securities fraud.

The Democrats attacked will be the ones the conservatives are most worried about. BE PREPARED!  It will be important to not jump to conclusions. The appropriate response for crimes needs to first be:  "There needs to be through and transparent investigations." and Due process needs to be carried out for all involved.

We know that the Republicans will aggressively go after Democrats in this area, since they assume everyone is as corrupt as they are. In some cases they will be correct! But the people who will be digging up charges and making accusations aren't going to play fair. They will just want to hurt Democrats and distract from the massive corruption at the top.

Unfortunately, the Democrats will NOT go after Republicans for these kind of crimes. Maybe they are hoping that if they don't go after the Republicans the Republicans won't go after them.  That's not how it will play out.

 If more financial crime cases start popping up on the Republican side, the temptation is to paint all politicians with the same brush, so BE PREPARED.

Always Demand Due Process and Complete InvestigationsI expect a situation like with Al Franken and the allegations of sexual harassment will happen. There will be demands for resignations before all the facts are known.   suggest we demand due process for ALL cases of political financial shenanigans no matter which party. It's the rational thing to do and politically smart.

If the accusations turn out to be true, then we were fair, and the person well have to accept the consequences. If it turns about to be BS, we can show how the false accusations were politically motivated.

Think about all the investigations of the Clintons that didn't yield indictments. Those accusations created a sense of "something is wrong there" that has had a long lasting impact.

As much as I would like the Democrats to go after Republican financial chicanery, I don't think that will happen, but the least we can do is to be aware that the RW alt-media will use a case of their corruption to attack Democrats to set up the mainstream media for their standard "both sides do it" narrative.