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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Trump Is Right About “Rogue” Prosecutors

By Donald V. Watkins

©Copyrighted and Published on May 21, 2018

I am a longtime political independent. I am not on anybody’s political plantation.

I do not agree with President Donald Trump on many political issues. I did not vote for him in 2016. We are polar opposites in the political world.

However, Trump is absolutely right in his observation that some federal prosecutors have politicized the law enforcement process. This is especially true in cases where they personally dislike the “target” of their criminal investigations.

Donald Trump and I are experiencing this brand of lawlessness first-hand. Both of us have been swept up in criminal investigations that are led by “rogue” federal prosecutors who are out of control and accountable to no one.

This is not the first time America has experienced lawlessness inside federal law enforcement agencies. In 1976, the Church Committee brought this problem to the public’s attention with its Congressional Report on COINTELPRO, the FBI’s official campaign from 1956 to 1971 to smear and harass activists for social justice and equal opportunity in America. During the COINTELPRO campaign, the FBI and other federal law enforcement agencies routinely lied, cheated, and framed targeted individuals and organizations.

In my case, neophyte U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town and his minions, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lloyd Peeples and Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier Carter, have resurrected a modern-day form of COINTELPRO by: (a) readily embracing perjured testimony; (b) withholding exculpatory evidence from inquisitive grand jurors; (c) impermissibly “twisting” witness testimony; (d) ignoring the plain language in corporate governance documents, contracts, and promissory notes; (e) presenting a knowingly false and misleading narrative of key events to grand jurors; and (f) using the federal government’s law enforcement apparatus to push a personal agenda of retribution.

Town, Peeples, and Carter are leading a multi-agency federal task force that has spent eight months and thousands of manhours trying to prove a negative fact (i.e., that I engaged in criminal activity). When the credible evidence did not support their original legal theories of criminal conduct, these prosecutors expanded the scope of the investigation and desperately searched for alternative legal theories of culpability. Again, they came up empty-handed.

Town, Peeples, and Carter have repeatedly departed from the guidelines established in the U.S. Attorneys Manual for conducting proper criminal investigations. When they were caught ignoring these guidelines, they simply lied about it and pressed on.

Solving Army Private LaVena Johnson’s 2005 Murder Triggered a “Blitzkrieg” of Federal Probes Targeting Me

In January of 2016, I solved the July 19, 2005 murder of 19-year-old Army Private LaVena Johnson on a military base in Balad, Iraq, and identified General Kevin P. Byrnes as her murderer. The Army had officially labeled Private Johnson’s death a “suicide”. I used forensic evidence, private autopsy results, military records, Private Johnson’s handwritten notes, and other tangible evidence available to Army investigators to establish that she was murdered.

After meeting with President George W. Bush about Private Johnson’s “suicide” within a couple of weeks after her death, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and top Pentagon officials decided to classify Private Johnson’s death as a “national security” matter that could only be declassified with the written approval of the Secretary of Defense and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On April 8, 2005, Secretary Rumsfeld fired General Byrnes from the Army.

To this day, Private Johnson’s “suicide” investigative files remain sealed. Of the 85 suicides committed by uniformed military personnel in 2005, Private Johnson’s death was the only one that required a presidential briefing by the “CENTCOM General for Iraqi Operations”.

After I published my exclusive investigative articles on Private Johnson’s murder in January and February of 2016, the Pentagon, with the assistance of a powerful U.S. Senator, worked to discredit me by getting the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”), Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”), and U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to launch a coordinated “blitzkrieg” of federal probes into my business and personal financial affairs for the last 13 years. The senator in questioned sponsored Jay Town for his presidential appointment as U.S. Attorney. Town, in turn, agreed to spearhead the “blitzkrieg” targeting me.

General Byrnes lives and works in Huntsville, Alabama, which is where Jay Town served an assistant district attorney prior to his appointment to the U.S. Attorney’s job. The two men have ties that bind them together, which is the subject of an upcoming investigative article.

The SEC and FDIC eagerly cooperated with Jay Town, Lloyd Peeples, and Xavier Carter in their ongoing DOJ probe. The SEC even violated a federal court order by turning over attorney-client privileged document to Town’s minions, who violated Justice Department guidelines by accepting these privileged documents.

Fortunately, the IRS's probe of my tax returns for each year, from 2009 to 2014, ended on June 7, 2017 with no additional taxes due.

Politically motivated investigations are not unusual in Alabama. Former governor and convicted criminal Robert Bentley used this technique when he ordered the Alabama Banking Department to target and harass Alamerica Bank and me (as the bank’s largest shareholder) after I published news articles exposing his gubernatorial shortcomings in 2013 and his public corruption and martial cheating in 2015. The Banking Department dutifully complied with the governor's command.

In 2016, Governor Bentley ordered former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Chief Spencer Collier to investigate me for the express purpose of finding any criminal activity on my part. Collier asked Bentley whether he had “probable cause” to believe I had engaged in criminal activity, and Bentley replied, “no”. Yet, Bentley demanded a criminal investigation anyway. Collier refused and was later fired.

Ironically, the financial transactions Jay Town, Lloyd Peeples, and Xavier Carter are probing were thoroughly investigated in 2015 and 2016 by the Economic Crimes Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey following a complaint filed by a New Jersey-based disgruntled business associate (who later dismissed his complaint after he discovered it lacked merit). That investigation was professionally conducted by highly respected federal prosecutors who objectively evaluated business records and witness testimony. The New Jersey prosecutors closed their investigation with no charges filed after reviewing the same financial transactions involved in Town's investigation.

The best chance for reigning in “rogue” federal prosecutors like Jay Town, Lloyd Peeples, and Xavier Carter lies with President Donald Trump. Their modern-day COINTEPRO-style lawlessness is dangerous in a democratic society. All Trump has to do is fire these “rogue” prosecutors. He has the power to do it, and they deserve it.

PHOTO: First Assistant U.S. Attorney Lloyd Peeples heads U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town's modern-day COINTELPRO campaign. He is assisted in this campaign by Assistant U.S. Attorney Xavier Carter.

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