Bobs and Weaves

Our Jewish Homeland Security Secretary, Alejandro Mayorkas, resembles a football running back attempting to evade tackles. In the process, however, he outright lies and misleads and attempts to deceive:


7 thoughts on “Bobs and Weaves

  1. Rep. Gaetz did an excellent job of examining the witness, however Myorkas arrogantly refused to answer the questions. I don’t think it would accomplish much to remove him from office because he would simply be replaced with another puppet carrying out Biden’s disastrous policies.

    In the last hours of his presidency Bill Clinton issued 140 pardons . On of those who had his sentence commuted was a big time drug dealer , Carlos Vignali. Mayorkas who was US Attorney played an unseemly role in this action . Here is what was reported at the time on Mayorkas’ confirmation.

    “Two Biden Cabinet picks played role in Clinton-era commutation that drew complaints of political favoritism.

    Dec. 8, 2020 Updated March 8, 2021

    By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger

    The Washington Post

    WASHINGTON – Two of President-elect Joe Biden’s top Cabinet picks played key roles in a clemency scandal that shook Los Angeles and Minnesota two decades ago, when the early release of a convicted cocaine trafficker raised complaints of political favoritism and drew sharp condemnations from prosecutors.

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, whom Biden has announced he intends to nominate as health and human services secretary, and Alejandro Mayorkas, Biden’s pick for homeland security secretary, were among several prominent Los Angeles figures who reached out to the White House about the sentence of Carlos Vignali, whose father was a wealthy entrepreneur and major Democratic donor in California.

    President Bill Clinton commuted Vignali’s sentence on his last day in office in 2001 – one of 176 last-minute acts of clemency he granted that were the subject of ongoing investigations for years.

    The episode drew criticism that the process favored the politically and financially connected – an issue resonant once again after President Donald Trump’s recent pardon of his former national security adviser Michael Flynn and his contemplation of similar acts for other friends and allies.

    The Vignali commutation drew intense scrutiny because a group of well-connected California Democrats who were friendly with Vignali’s father, Horacio – including Becerra, a congressman at the time, and Mayorkas, the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles at the time – communicated with White House officials about the matter before Clinton acted. Vignali’s father also paid $200,000 to Hugh Rodham, the brother of then then-first-lady Hillary Clinton, to help secure Vignali’s release.

    A 2002 investigation by the GOP-led House Committee on Government Reform found that the commutation was extended despite objections from the Justice Department’s pardon office and concluded that it “sent a message that there is a double standard of justice between the rich and the poor.”

    At the time, Democrats on the committee criticized the investigation as partisan and issued a minority report contesting some of its findings, through none dealt with Becerra or Mayorkas.

    Prosecutors and the judge involved in Vignali’s case have said they were deeply troubled by what they saw as political influence employed to help a convicted drug dealer.

    In an interview Tuesday, the Minnesota federal judge who sentenced Vignali said he remains distressed – even two decades later – by Clinton’s grant of clemency.

    “It was outrageous,” said U.S. District Judge David Doty, recalling that Vignali expressed no remorse at trial for his involvement in the criminal enterprise.

    Doty said that he wrote a letter to the Justice Department opposing the commutation, and that the clemency had been especially galling to him because while Vignali was freed, his Black co-defendants in the case remained in jail. He said the circumstances suggested that Vignali benefited from his financial advantages.

    “We have simple words to describe justice. In this case, it just seemed wrong to commute Vignali when the others were not getting that,” said Doty, who was appointed by President Ronald Reagan.

    Margaret Love, who ran the Justice Department’s pardon office under President George H.W. Bush and in the first five years of the Clinton presidency, said Vignali’s commutation exemplified “the complete breakdown of the pardon process,” when the Clinton administration made decisions without the traditional participation of the pardon office.

    Love said in an interview that it was understandable for Becerra to inquire about a constituent as a member of Congress, but that Mayorkas’s involvement was “harder to understand,” noting that his office had no role in the case.

    A spokesman for Becerra did not respond to a request for comment. In the past, he has said he did nothing wrong in making contact with the White House, noting that he never requested Vignali receive a commutation, only that the case be carefully considered.

    Mayorkas issued a statement shortly after the commutation apologizing for his phone call to the White House, which he called a “mistake.” He has said he did not know the details of the case and did not intend to advocate on Vignali’s behalf, but was merely inquiring about its status.

    A representative for Mayorkas noted that he reiterated his regret over the episode in sworn testimony before the Senate in 2009 when he was nominated by President Barack Obama to lead U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, adding that he stands by that testimony. He noted that Mayorkas was confirmed on a unanimous voice vote to that position.

    A spokesman for the Biden transition team declined to comment.

    Neither Vignali, now 49, nor his father, Horacio Vignali, 75, responded to requests for comment.

    After his release from a federal prison in Safford, Ariz., Vignali has been affiliated with some of his father’s parking lot companies, public records show. In 2018, he filed paperwork with the state of California to form a company that he indicated would be in the cannabis business. Records show that the company’s registration has been suspended.

    Vignali was convicted in 1994 of involvement in a drug ring that shipped hundreds of pounds of cocaine from Los Angeles to Minnesota, where it was converted to crack and sold on the streets, according to media accounts and the congressional report. He was one of about 30 members of a drug trafficking circle jointly indicted by federal officials after what was billed as the largest drug investigation in Minnesota history.

    He was convicted of three counts, including conspiring to manufacture, possess and distribute cocaine. Because of his commutation, Vignali served six years of a 15-year sentence. Many of his co-defendants were not released and continued to serve long terms, according to the Los Angeles Times and the congressional report.

    According to the House investigation, Horacio Vignali began a full-court press to build ties to California politicians and lobby for his son’s release soon after he was found guilty.

    An Argentine immigrant who became wealthy in real estate, Horacio Vignali had large property holdings in Los Angeles, as well as parking lots and body shops – and a $9 million mansion that previously belonged to the actor Sylvester Stallone, the report recounts. He also began making large campaign donations to California politicians and hosting well-known outdoor barbecue fundraisers.

    Among his political contributions: $11,000 to Becerra’s political action committee, as well as nearly $6,000 to Becerra’s campaigns for Congress and his unsuccessful 2001 Los Angeles mayoral bid, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    In November 2000, Becerra wrote to the White House asking for a “full evaluation of this case to determine if justice has been achieved,” noting that Vignali’s parents were “dear friends” and “solid, upstanding members of the Los Angeles community” convinced of their son’s innocence, according to the House report.

    Becerra then made a series of phone calls to top administration officials, including a phone call to the White House Counsel’s Office on Jan. 19 – the day before Clinton left office – to inquire about the case, the inquiry found.

    Becerra has said he never pressed for the commutation, but merely asked that the case be carefully considered – including whether the sentence was overly harsh. He said he was moved by the pleas of Vignali’s father and other respected members of the community who also supported leniency, including Cardinal Roger Mahoney, the archbishop of Los Angeles. (Mahoney later said he regretted his involvement.)

    “What I wanted to know was, ‘Can you give him some information?’ ” Becerra told the Los Angeles Times in 2001 of his last-minute call to the White House. “If I was going to try to put pressure on, I would have tried to call the president.”

    After the Vignali episode, Becerra was reelected to Congress eight more times, and then nominated by California Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, and confirmed to the job of state attorney general in 2017. He was elected to that role two years later.

    It was Becerra who brought the Vignali case to the attention of Mayorkas.

    According to the House probe, Becerra called Mayorkas in early 1999 and asked him to look into Vignali’s case. Mayorkas then twice called prosecutors in Minnesota to inquire about the matter, one of whom told him Vignali was a “major player” and “bad news,” the congressional investigation found.

    Over the next two years, Mayorkas had a number of meetings with Horacio Vignali, who told him of his anguish over his son’s imprisonment, Mayorkas later told congressional investigators.

    As Clinton was preparing to leave office in January 2001, Mayorkas told investigators, Horacio Vignali asked him to call the White House and inquire about his son’s pending petition for commutation.

    Mayorkas told investigators that he made the call after consulting with the Justice Department about whether such contact was allowed and receiving permission.

    He said he told White House lawyers that he did not know the details of Vignali’s case, but that he knew his parents to be good people.

    White House lawyers told the committee that they came away believing Mayorkas supported the move – which they found notable, given his role in law enforcement – and that it weighed heavily in their decision to recommend granting the petition.

    The congressional inquiry concluded that Mayorkas had “acted inappropriately” by talking to the White House about a case with which he had no involvement. However, the report added, of those involved in the episode, he was also the one who “most clearly accepted responsibility and apologized for his actions.”

    A month after Vignali was released from prison, Mayorkas wrote a letter to his staff in which he said that the phone call to the White House had been a “mistake” and that he was “sorry” he had made it.

    “I allowed my compassion for the parents to interfere with my judgment,” he wrote.

    During his 2009 confirmation process, Mayorkas testified that he had not intended for the White House to conclude that he necessarily supported the commutation. He said his comments were “construed, and not unfairly so” as a sign that he backed the move. He reiterated that his outreach had been a “mistake.”

    In 2014, he was confirmed again by the Senate to the role of deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. His current nomination has been backed by various figures in law enforcement, including Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, the president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association.

    Bill and Hillary Clinton released statements in February 2001 saying they were unaware that Rodham, the then-first-lady’s brother, had been paid by Horacio Vignali, and received another $200,000 related to a separate pardon.

    They said they were “deeply disturbed” and had “insisted” that Rodham return the funds.

    In an interview Monday, Rodham said he paid back the money long ago and noted that Vignali has not been charged with crimes since his release from prison. “It seems to me we did everything correctly,” he said.

    He said he spent about four months researching the case and submitted an application based on the facts and the law, adding that he believes the case was misrepresented by Republican lawmakers for political purposes.

    “I believe there should be a place in the law for clemency and mercy,” Rodham said.

    He said the Vignali commutation was different from Trump’s willingness to pardon his own friends and allies – a posture he said threatened the entire system.

    “He will make it so that you won’t be able to do it anymore,” Rodham said.”

    Here is a letter to the editor I wrote back in 2001 regarding the Vignali matter:

  2. Abbott has done more to secure border than Mayorkas

    by Max Mallhi

    July 26, 2023 04:00 PM

    While President Joe Biden’s Justice Department is suing Texas for refusing to remove floating marine barriers in the Rio Grande, people continue to ask how many more congressional hearings it will take until Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas finally acts on the authority and responsibilities delegated to him by the president. As of now, it seems that Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) is more fit for the job of DHS secretary than Mayorkas, considering he has done much more to defend our southern border.

    On Wednesday, House Democrats tossed softballs to Mayorkas at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing. Ranking member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) asked Mayorkas nonsensical questions such as, “Is the border open, Mr. Secretary?” Nadler alleged an underpinning motive, claiming House Republicans will use the hearing to impeach Mayorkas “at the behest of the most extreme MAGA Republicans” and that the hearing was simply another “exercise in political theater for the right-wing outrage machine before the August break.”

    If Nadler is unable to comprehend why Republicans continue to seek accountability from Mayorkas through multiple hearings, he must be made to look at the fact that Biden’s DHS has abandoned governors in our border states to do the federal government’s job while shifting the burden on them for having to deal with drug cartels, illegal immigration, human trafficking, and other terrorist-linked crimes. At the same time, they have made it impossible for states to do so efficiently, dragging them into legal battles over their actions.

    But Abbott has been committed to tackling the problem head-on with numerous initiatives to defend our border.

    hrough Operation Lone Star, Abbott announced a comprehensive package of border security deterrence strategies, designated Mexican cartels as terrorist organizations through Executive Order GA-42, and deployed M-113 armored personnel and the Texas Tactical Border Force while working with like-minded governors to seek the deployment of National Guard troops. The Texas legislature has dedicated almost $2 billion to securing the safety of Texans and, in doing so, has safeguarded people all around the country from the dangerous consequences of a weak border.

    Mayorkas, on the other hand, has continued to downplay the threats of illegal immigration at our southern border while allowing more people to enter illegally than in the 12 years of the Obama and Trump administrations combined. He has also released illegal immigrants through programs such as “Alternatives to Detention” and issued guidance that has made it more difficult for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to detain and deport illegal immigrants already in the U.S. Not only has this increased threats to our national security, but it also allowed the emergence of the Chinese-facilitated fentanyl crisis, with enough fentanyl entering the country to kill everyone.

    The stark contrast between the actions of Abbott and Mayorkas tells the whole story, making it extremely reasonable to consider impeaching Mayorkas. If anything is apparent in this legal battle, it is that Abbott seems to be the DHS secretary America never had.

    1. Fred, I hope those floating buoys he is using in the river will ultimately pass legal muster. I know Biden is taking him to court on this; and it seems this is something the federal government would not ordinarily allow the states to decide or to do unilaterally.

    1. TCFan, I think Gaetz has an impressive skill set. I hope he has a future that is bigger than his current role.

      The establishment GOP timidity with regard to impeaching these characters is completely indefensible.

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