Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Awan Transfers $300,000 To Pakistan Under Grand Jury Indictment For Mortgage Fraud

Now, why would the FBI allow a $300,000 overseas wiretransfer to Pakistan from the federal credit union when he was under Grand Jury indictment GPS monitor order for federal credit union for mortgage fraud?


Me thinketh my #Superfans monitor the "Legal Geniuses" (trademark pending).

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Cummings and Nadler Seek Subpoenas for Trump Campaign Consultants Refusing to Deny Foreign Contacts During Election

Washington, D.C. (Dec. 14, 2017)—Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, and Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, sent a letter, below, asking their respective Chairmen, Reps. Trey Gowdy and Bob Goodlatte, to issue subpoenas for documents from two Trump Campaign data consultants—Cambridge Analytica and Giles-Parscale—after they refused to deny any communications with foreign actors during the 2016 presidential campaign.

“We understand that you declined to join the original request for documents from these companies, but this is a matter that directly affects our citizens and their exercise of their right to vote,” Cummings and Nadler wrote.  “We owe the American people robust and meaningful oversight of matters affecting the integrity of our electoral process.”

On October 26, 2017, Ranking Members Conyers and Cummings sent a letter to five data consultants—Cambridge Analytica, Giles-Parscale, Target Point, Deep Root, and Data Trust—requesting documents relating to their possible engagement with foreign actors such as WikiLeaks, communication with foreign governments, or the use of misappropriated data.

Cummings and Nadler disclosed today that three of these companies—TargetPointDeep Root, and Data Trust, below,—sent responses on the same day, using language that was nearly identical and apparently coordinated, denying any foreign contacts.

In contrast, a letter from Brad Parscale of Giles-Parscale notably failed to deny that his company had contacts  with or received information from foreign actors or governments during the 2016 campaign. 

Recent press accounts have reported that Donald Trump, Jr. emailed Parscale about his correspondence with WikiLeaks.

In addition, Cambridge Analytica refused to respond at all and thus did not deny that the company had contacts and communications with foreign actors or received any stolen or misappropriated data. 

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange confirmed that Cambridge Analytica approached WikiLeaks during the campaign to coordinate the release of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails. 

Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytics, also confirmed this outreach.

“Because the first three companies have asserted unequivocally that none of their employees had contacts with any foreign agents during the presidential campaign, we are willing to delay any further inquiry unless or until evidence to the contrary emerges,” Cummings and Nadler wrote.  “However, neither Giles Parscale nor Cambridge Analytica have denied these contacts.  We therefore request that our committees issue subpoenas to these companies to compel the production of the information they are withholding from Congress.”

If the Chairmen decline to issue these subpoenas, then Cummings and Nadler request they place this matter on the agenda for the next regularly scheduled business meeting so Committee Members may vote on motions to subpoena these documents.

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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Statement of Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler for the Hearing on “Oversight of the Federal Bureau of Investigation”

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.  Welcome to the House Judiciary Committee, Mr. Rosenstein. 

For the better part of a year, my colleagues and I have implored this Committee to conduct real oversight of the Department of Justice. 

On January 24, 2017, we wrote to Chairman Goodlatte insisting that “the Committee hold hearings on President Trump’s conflicts of interest, at home and abroad.”  Citing to experts across the political spectrum, we showed that “[t]he Administration’s attempts to address its ongoing conflicts of interest are, so far, wholly inadequate.”  Six weeks later, Attorney General Sessions was forced to recuse himself from the Russia investigation—but we have not held a single hearing on the question of conflicts of interest.

On March 8, we wrote again to the Chairman, encouraging him to call hearings on “Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election.”  Again, no such hearings were ever held.

In fact, this Committee—which during the Obama Administration held half a dozen hearings around Operation Fast & Furious, received testimony from FBI Director James Comey three times in 13 months, and detailed staff and resources to a Benghazi investigation that cost the public almost $8 million—this Committee, from Inauguration Day until four weeks ago, was largely silent in terms of oversight.

We haven’t lifted a finger on election security.  Attorney General Sessions told us on November 14 that he has done nothingto secure the next election from threats at home and abroad. 

We have not once discussed the President’s abuse of the pardon power.  While the hurricane bore down on Houston, President Trump sidelined the Office of the Pardon Attorney to pardon a serial human rights abuser who bragged about running a concentration camp in Arizona. 

And we have not held a single hearing on allegations of obstruction of justice at the White House—not for lack of evidence, but because, in the Chairman’s words, “there is a special counsel in place examining the issue,” and “several other congressional committees are looking into the matter,” and the Committee “does not have the time” to conduct this critical oversight.  I ask my colleagues to keep those excuses in mind.

Now, with the year coming to a close, with the leadership of the Department of Justice finally before us, what do my Republican colleagues want to discuss?  Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Let me repeat that:  With all of these unresolved issues left on our docket, a week before we adjourn for the calendar year, the Majority’s highest oversight priority is Hillary Clinton’s emails and a few related text messages.

As we saw in our recent hearings with the Department of Justice and the FBI, my Republican colleagues seem singularly focused on their call for a second special counsel—and, failing that, on the need to investigate the investigators ourselves.

The White House has now joined the call by House Republicans for a new special counsel to investigate the FBI.  The President’s private lawyers have done the same.  I understand the instinct to want to change the subject after the Flynn and Manafort indictments—but this request is grossly misguided, for a number of reasons.

First, it shows a fundamental misunderstanding of how the special counsel regulations work.  

Some criminal investigations pose a conflict of interest to the Department of Justice.  The Russia investigation is such a case—because of the Attorney General’s ongoing recusal and because Department leadership assisted in the removal of Director Comey, among other reasons.  In cases like these, the Attorney General may use a special counsel to manage the investigation outside of the ordinary chain of command. 

But the key here is the criminal investigation.  That’s what special counsel does.  The Department cannot simply assign a special counsel to look at things that bother the White House.  There has to be enough evidence to have predicated a criminal investigation in the first place.  Then, and only then, if the facts warrant, can a special counsel be assigned to the case.

So far, there has been no credible factual or legal claim that anybody at the Department of Justice violated any law by deciding not to bring charges against Hillary Clinton or by attempting to meet with Fusion GPS.  In other words, there is no investigation to which the Department could even assign a new special counsel. 

Second, the list of grievances raised by the Majority for review by a new special counsel also seems wildly off the mark.

For example, there is nothing unlawful about Director Comey’s sitting down to draft an early statement about the Clinton investigation—nor would it have been unethical to outline his conclusions before the investigation was over, if the clear weight of the evidence pointed in one direction.

Nor is there anything wrong with FBI agents expressing their private political views via private text message, as Peter Strzok and Lisa Page appear to have done in the 375 text messages we received last night.  In fact, Department regulations expressly permit that sort of communication.

I have reviewed those text messages, and I am left with two thoughts. 

First, Peter Strzok did not say anything about Donald Trump that the majority of Americans weren’t also thinking at the same time.  And second, in a testament to his integrity and situational awareness, when the Office of the Inspector General made Mr. Mueller aware of these exchanges, he immediately removed Mr. Strzok from his team.

To the extent that we are now engaged in oversight of political bias at the FBI, this Committee should examine evidence of a coordinated effort by some agents involved in the Clinton investigation to change the course of the campaign in favor of President Trump by leaking sensitive information to the public, and by threatening to leak additional information about new emails after the investigation was closed.

On Monday, Ranking Member Cummings and I sent a letter to the Department asking for additional materials related to these leaks, as well as to claims that these efforts may have been coordinated with former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn, and other senior figures in the Trump campaign.

Third, the President’s call for an investigation of the investigation is, at best, wildly dangerous to our democratic institutions.

On the one hand, the President’s old “lock her up” cheer seems quaint after a couple of guilty pleas by Trump associates.

On the other, as former Attorney General Michael Mukasey—no fan of Hillary Clinton—has said: the President’s continued threats to prosecute his political opponents is “something we don’t do here.”  If the President were to carry out his threat, “it would be like a banana republic.”

Finally, and most important, this investigation into the investigation cannot credibly be a priority for this Committee at this time.

I understand the instinct to want to give cover to the President.  I am fearful that the Majority’s effort to turn the tables on the Special Counsel will get louder and more frantic as the walls close in around the President.  But this Committee has a job to do.

President Trump has engaged in a persistent and dangerous effort to discredit both the free press and the Department of Justice.  These are the agencies and institutions under our jurisdiction.  Every minute that that our Majority wastes on covering for President Trump is a minute lost on finding a solution for the Dreamers, or curbing a vicious spike in hate crimes, or preventing dangerous individuals from purchasing firearms, or stopping the President from further damaging the constitutional order.

I hope my colleagues will use today’s hearing as an opportunity to find their way back to the true work of the House Judiciary Committee.  I thank the Chairman, and yield back the balance of my time.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2017


Washington, D.C.—This evening, the House passed H.R. 1730, the “Protecting Religiously Affiliated Institutions Act,”  by a vote of 402-2.  This bill would extend protections under current federal law for “religious real property.”  Currently, Section 247 of the Federal Criminal Code prohibits both the damaging of religious property because of the property’s religious character and the intentional obstruction — by force or threats of force — of anyone’s exercise of religious beliefs. 

H.R. 1730 would clarify that threats of force against religious property are included in this prohibition.  Additionally, the measure would provide that the damaging or obstructing of such property that results in damages exceeding $5,000 constitutes a felony punishable by up to 3 years imprisonment.  Finally, the bill would clarify that real property covered by the statute includes property leased by a non-profit, religiously-affiliated organization.

The importance of this legislation is underscored by the recent upsurge in bomb threats, hate crimes, and vandalism committed against communities of faith.  For instance, more than 150 bomb threats were made against Jewish Community Centers in the first quarter of this year alone.  And, there has been an alarming surge in the number of threats, vandalism, and arson committed against mosques over the past year.

In response to House passage of this bill, Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) stated,

“Recently, our country has been experiencing a surge in hate crimes – including those committed against communities of faith. In 2016, the hate crimes statistics released by the FBI indicate that anti-Semitic hate crimes increased 20% from the prior year. 

“Our country was founded on the principles of religious liberty, and while we may disagree with the religious practices of others, it is never acceptable to use physical obstruction, force, or threats of force to deny others the right to worship. 

“I believe it is not only appropriate but necessary for Congress to strengthen our laws against these types of acts so that no American has to choose between their faith and their safety. And I am pleased that this important bill, which was adopted by the Judiciary Committee, has now been passed by the House of Representatives.”
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Monday, December 11, 2017


Washington, D.C.—Today, Rep. Jerrold Nadler, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, sent a letter, below, to Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein expressing concerns about the Department of Justice’s failure to provide documents to Democrats as part of the joint investigation initiated by Chairmen Bob Goodlatte and Trey Gowdy into last year’s review by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“We write concerning the Justice Department’s longstanding commitment to equal treatment of the Minority and Majority in Congress with respect to document production in connection with committee investigations.  We are disappointed that the Department has not honored this tradition with respect to the joint investigation initiated by Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Gowdy on October 24, 2017. 

“As you know, on November 3, 2017, Chairman Goodlatte and Chairman Gowdy wrote to you to request certain documents related to the FBI’s handling of its investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.   On December 6, 2017, Chairman Goodlatte wrote an additional letter to the Department referencing this investigation and requesting information involving a reported FISA warrant involving Carter Page and relating to Russian interference in the 2016 election.  In between, the Department of Justice appears to have engaged in extensive correspondence with our Majorities, produced 1,100 pages of documents to our committees, and promised to provide 1.2 million additional records to the committees by January 15, 2018

“Unfortunately, we did not learn of your interactions with the Majority until after Chairman Goodlatte mentioned his efforts at last week’s Judiciary Committee hearing with FBI Director Christopher Wray.  Your failure to treat us as an equal participant in this investigation, to simultaneously provide us with copies of that correspondence, or to produce these documents to our offices directly, is unacceptable and inconsistent with House rules,” the Members wrote.

The Ranking Members requested copies of all correspondence with the Majority related to the investigation, as well as any Republican requests for documents related to the investigation. The Ranking Members also requested copies of all documents and communications related to allegations that FBI Agents in the New York office may have leaked information regarding the investigation prior to the November, 2016 presidential election.
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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Day 49.7. Theresa Grafenstine -Did the Awans Do the DHS Hack On MicroPACT

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Day 49.5. Manafort and Awan Surveillance

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Day 49.4. Judge Contreras Recuses - FISA Warrant For PP

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Today, CNN reports that candidate Donald Trump, his son Donald Trump, Jr., and others inside the Trump Organization received an email in September 2016 offering a decryption key and website address for hacked documents—weeks before WikiLeaks began publishing the contents of those documents online.  Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) of the House Judiciary Committee issued the following statement in response:

“This email is yet another sign that senior Trump campaign officials—including Donald Trump, Jr., and perhaps the President himself—may have accepted assistance and valuable information from the Russian government and its partners.  It is, of course, a crime to participate in a conspiracy to influence an election through the illegal misuse of various computer systems.  It is also a crime for a foreign national to give anything of value to a campaign for federal office.  At the very least, this email shows us that the Trump Campaign understood enough about these stolen documents to have immediately reported a crime to the FBI.  They did not, and now Donald Jr. refuses to answer questions about his extensive back-and-forth with WikiLeaks.

“It is unconscionable that that House Judiciary Republicans want to relitigate long-debunked Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories instead of this direct threat to our election system. This is part of a coordinated effort—spearheaded by the White House—to undermine and discredit individuals and institutions, such as Special Counsel Mueller and the FBI, which are investigating the President and his associates. I once again call on Chairman Goodlatte to begin the committee’s oversight work in this space without delay.”

House Judiciary Democrats have sent more than 20 letters to the Committee and GOP Leadership, and more than 40 letters to the White House and Department of Justice seeking oversight of Trump Administration misconduct, without any meaningful response. It is high time the House Judiciary Republicans join us in investigating obstruction of justice and related charges.

CNN offers correction, rewrite for Wikileaks-Trump story

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Friday, December 8, 2017

Let The Conyers Political Devouring Frenzy Commence!

Vultures eating a wildebeest - YouTube
Democratic Candidates for the 13th Congressional District
2018 Primary Election

For the last 50 years, the 13th Congressional Primary Race has always decided the outcome of the General Election, as the district has traditionally been Democratic.

Let the Conyers political devouring frenzy commence! 

DETROIT — Michigan’s Republican governor announced Friday that Democrat John Conyers’ congressional seat won’t be filled until the regularly scheduled November election, leaving it vacant for nearly a year.
Gov. Rick Snyder decided the post will effectively be listed twice on the Aug. 7 primary and Nov. 6 general election ballots. While unlikely, it is possible voters could choose one candidate to fill the vacancy until January 2019 and elect another to a full two-year term after that.
Snyder said he opted against having an earlier special election to give potential candidates ample time to decide about running, provide voters in the predominantly Democratic district more options and save money.
The 88-year-old Conyers, who was facing a House Ethics Committee investigation over claims by former staffers, cited health reasons for his resignation.
Michael Gilmore, a Detroit attorney who is running for the seat, said not having representation in the House for nearly a year is unfair to residents.
“I think it’s unfortunate that the governor thinks this is what we’re worth,” Gilmore said Friday.

The race for the seat in the district that includes parts of Detroit and some western Wayne County communities could become a free-for-all.
Gilmore said he began fundraising for his campaign in April and had planned to challenge John Conyers prior to the sexual harassment allegations.
Democratic state Sen. Ian Conyers, John Conyers’ grand-nephew, said earlier this week that he will run.
Fellow Democratic state Sent. Coleman Young II is expected on Monday to announce his intent to run, his spokesman said.
Young sought Detroit’s mayoral seat his late father, Mayor Coleman A. Young, once held, but lost to incumbent Mike Duggan in the November general election.
“He is battle-tested. This mayoral race has prepared him,” Young spokesman Adolph Mongo told The Associated Press. “He knows the issues in the 13th District. He’s been campaigning for 10 months on the issues.”
Conyers III never has been elected to a public post. Ian Conyers won a special election in 2016 for the state senate seat. Young was elected in 2010 to the Michigan Senate. He served in the state House from 2005 to 2010.

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Day 49.1 Melissa Hodgman, Peter Strzok, and Andy McCabe

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Day 48.6. Jordan Highlight of the Day

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Day 48.5 Carmichael and Carpenter

U.S. regulators drop fraud case against Wall Street financier Wey 

(Reuters) - U.S. securities regulators on Friday moved to drop their fraud case against Wall Street financier Benjamin Wey, about a month after prosecutors dropped a related criminal case after a judge threw out some evidence

In a filing in federal court in Manhattan, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said its case relied on the same evidence as the criminal case, and that it believed it would no longer be able to use it.
Prosecutors and the SEC in 2015 accused Wey, the founder of New York Global Group, of making tens of millions of dollars by secretly controlling large blocks of shares through “reverse mergers” between Chinese companies and U.S. shell companies, and selling his shares at artificially high levels.
The SEC also sued Wey’s wife, Michaela Wey, who was not criminally charged.
“Today’s dismissal can only be described as a complete victory for our clients, Benjamin and Michaela Wey,” said David Siegal, a lawyer for the Weys.
SEC spokesman Ryan White declined to comment.
The criminal case against Wey collapsed in June, when U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan ruled that a huge cache of materials seized from Wey’s home and offices could not be used because they were obtained with overly broad search warrants that violated Wey’s constitutional rights.
Nathan said the seizure of items such as children’s school records, family photos and X-rays at minimum reflected “grossly negligent or reckless disregard” of the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure.

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Day 48.4. Five EB5s, Four FISA Warrants, Three Wiretaps

Judge presiding over Michael Flynn criminal case is recused

(Reuters) - The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia judge presiding over the criminal case for President Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has been recused from handling the case, a court spokeswoman said on Thursday.

According to a court filing, U.S. District Court Judge Rudolph Contreras, who presided over a Dec. 1 hearing where Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the Federal Bureau of Investigation about his contacts with Russia, will no longer handle the case.

Court spokeswoman Lisa Klem did not say why Contreras was recused, and added that the case was randomly reassigned.

Reuters could not immediately learn the reason for the recusal, or reach Contreras.
An attorney for Flynn declined to comment.

Now, Flynn’s sentencing will be overseen by U.S. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan was appointed by former Democratic President Bill Clinton.

Flynn was the first member of Trump’s administration to plead guilty to a crime uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s wide-ranging probe into Russian attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election and potential collusion by Trump aides. Russia has denied meddling in the election and Trump has dismissed any suggestion of collusion.

Flynn has agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s ongoing investigation.

A sentencing date has not yet been set, but the parties are due to return to court on February 1 for a status report hearing.

Contreras was appointed to the bench in 2012 by former Democratic President Barack Obama.
He was also appointed to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in May 2016 for a term lasting through 2023.

That court issues warrants that allow Justice Department officials to wiretap individuals, a process that has been thrown into the spotlight amid the investigation into alleged Russian interference in the U.S. election.

The most recent controversy related to FISA warrants involves Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent who was removed from the Russia investigation for exchanging text messages with a colleague that expressed anti-Trump views.

At a hearing on Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee, Republican lawmaker Jim Jordan pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray on whether a former British spy’s dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to Trump’s campaign and associates was used by Strzok to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil Trump’s transition team.

Judge Sullivan previously served on the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals under appointments by Republican Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, respectively.

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Day 48.3 Evasion, Evasion,Evasion Wray Lays an Goose Egg

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Day 48.2. It’s the Russians again - of Centreville, Maryland

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Day 48.1 Unsealed Indictments - Ft. Belvoir Smuggler's Cove?

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John Conyers's Family Is in a Bizarre Fight Over His Congressional Seat

The Detroit legend is resigning amid sexual harassment allegations. His supporters are shocked, angry, and preparing for "utter chaos."

From left: John Conyers, Jr.; John Conyers III; Ian Conyers. Photos by Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call, Aaron J. Thornton/Getty, and Wikipedia user Jenniemarie73
On Monday morning around 200 people, including clergy, politicians, and community leaders, packed into the pews of the Hartford Memorial Baptist Church in northwest Detroit, a 100-year-old institution that claims a place at the forefront of the civil rights movement and once hosted W.E.B. DuBois. Standing before an enormous pipe organ and stained glass windows, Michigan State Representative Sherry Gay-Dagnogo led a rendition of the black spiritual “I Shall Not Be Moved” (Just like the tree that’s planted by the waters, I shall not be moved / Though all Hell assail me, I shall not be moved), then thanked God for the opportunity “to lift up a man who has done so much—not only for the 13th District, not only for the state of Michigan, but for our country...” She was still mid-sentence when the crowd interrupted with an eruption of applause. Several minutes later the prominent Detroit political activist Sam Riddle led the church in a raucous chant. “In Detroit, we fight back!” Riddle proclaimed. “In Detroit,We! Fight! Back!
Conyers quickly admitted to the financial settlement while denying the sexual harassment claims, but as the accusations piled up a chorus of politicians across the country and in Michigan, including numerous Democrats, called on him to resign.
On Tuesday morning, the congressman, hospitalized reportedly for stress-related issues, called into The Mildred Gaddis Show, a popular Detroit radio program, to address his constituents: “I am retiring today,” he said, though he again denied the harassment allegations. “I have great family here,” he continued, “and especially my oldest boy, John Conyers III, who incidentally I endorse to replace me in my seat in Congress.”
Conyers joined a long list of men who have lost their positions of prominence and power due to allegations of sexual assault and harassment—a list that has since grown to include Minnesota senator Al Franken. But in Detroit, where Conyers’s stature as a living civil rights icon is unmatched, his abrupt retirement left a large segment of the city reeling, with many supporters alleging a failure of due process that amounted to implicit racism. “In America you’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty,” National Action Network Michigan chapter president Reverend Charles E. Williams II told me, “but if you’re black you’re guilty until proven innocent.The battle over who will replace Conyers—who has held his House seat for more than a half-century—is also a family drama. Though the congressman endorsed his son, the elder John’s grand-nephew Ian Conyers also intends to run for the seat. “I expect for it to be utter chaos,” the Reverend David Bullock, a prominent Detroit civil rights activist, told me. “I think this creates a huge void and power vacuum that we have not prepared for and are unprepared to deal with.”
John Conyers III is the 27-year-old son of the legendary congressman and his wife Monica Conyers, a former Detroit city council member who served prison time after pleading guilty to taking bribes in a massive Detroit government corruption scandal. (Riddle, the political activist who supported Conyers at the church rally, was also implicated.) Until this week he had virtually no public profile, although in 2010, when he was 20, he gained some local notoriety after it emerged that he had been driving a government-registered Cadillac Escalade in his father’s district. After parking the vehicle in downtown Detroit, Conyers III reported two laptops and $27,000 worth of concert tickets—a sum so high likely because of Conyers III’s connection to rapper Big Sean’s Finally Famous crew—had been stolen in a break-in.
In 2013, Conyers III released a rap single, “Rich Glorious,” in which he references the incident. His bio on Huffington Post, where he’s listed as a contributor, describes him as a former intern with the Israeli embassy and “a partner at Detroit’s first minority run hedge fund” who “he has partnered with major film studios, record companies and book publishers” in LA as a consultant. His Twitter bio links to EIA All Weather Alpha Partners, a Detroit hedge fund. (I reached out by phone and email to confirm his employment there, but did not get an immediate response.)
On Wednesday NBC News reported that in February Conyers III was arrested in California for alleged domestic abuse. After reportedly going through his girlfriend’s computer, Conyers III “body slammed her” and “spit on her”; when she tried to call police, he allegedly chased her then ended up cutting her arm with a knife, according to the complaint. Conyers III told police that his girlfriend was intoxicated, she initiated a shoving match, and that she was cut by the knife in a struggle after she threatened him. He was not charged over the incident. A Detroit TV station also reported that Conyers III, who was seen driving a family vehicle to the airport Tuesday morning, has had his driver’s license suspended a half-dozen times, including for the past two and a half years.
“If JC is endorsing him, I just say I wish him the very best,” Shawn Campbell, who worked in Conyers’s Detroit office from 2006 to 2016, told me. “After witnessing him”—Campbell said he was familiar with Conyers III after having seen him frequently around the office— “I’m pretty sure he has a pretty decent understanding of what goes on.”

Other Conyers supporters echoed the same sentiment: If John Conyers was supporting his son, it must mean something. “I mean Conyers has served for 52 years and he knows what it takes to be in Congress,” said Williams II. “Let me put it this way: At the end of the day that’s his wish, and because that’s his wish it’s worth taking a look at.”
Yet it isn’t totally clear that Conyers III will in fact run: On Tuesday night, the would-be successor—who has not otherwise spoken publicly since his father’s retirement—praised the achievements of his dad on Twitter and said he was honored “that my father endorses me as his successor in his congressional seat.” But he also said, “I have not concluded if I will be a candidate,” adding that he expects to make the decision by the end of the year.
Whether Conyers III runs or not, the election to fill the open seat, the date of which will be set by Republican Governor Rick Snyder, will also feature Ian Conyers, the congressman’s grand-nephew and John III’s cousin. Ian is a 29-year-old who worked as the Democratic Party treasurer for Conyers's district and last year was elected as Michigan’s youngest-ever state senator. He announced his candidacy even before Conyers announced his retirement—effectively preempting the endorsement of his cousin.

Ian Conyers has said that his grand-uncle had actually encouraged him to run, but Monica Conyers, at least, took sharp offense to her grand-nephew’s announcement. “Please know that I don’t like the opportunist (sic) or disrespect,” she posted on Facebook, the Free Press reported on Tuesday. “One you did not consult with our family before you made such an announcement. Ian Conyers is not endorsed by the Congressman. Nor is he authorized to make any statements or comments on behalf of him.”
Yet many in Detroit—even some adamant Conyers supporters—are wary of a political dynasty, and question the ability of either potential family successor to fill such an enormous seat.
“Truth of the matter is it takes more than half a teaspoon of sperm & derivative DNA to replace Congressman #JohnConyers,” Riddle wrote on Twitter.
Coleman Young II, a longtime state senator who recently lost a bid for Detroit mayor, will also run, his mayoral campaign manager, longtime Detroit political consultant Adolph Mongo, told me. (“I could get a high school student if they’re going to push his son,” Mongo said of Conyers III.) More than a half-dozen other names are also being floated, including two Detroit city council members, a former Wayne County sheriff, and current and former state lawmakers from both Detroit and nearby suburbs.
The biggest concern, said Bullock, was that the flood of candidates would end up producing a winner—African American or otherwise—who is not a powerful voice for black issues in the same way Conyers was for decades. “I think we need someone who is in that tradition,” he said, citing Conyers’s persistent leadership on issues like slavery reparations. “We run the risk not only of losing a man and a legacy but losing a political tool.”
But days after the abrupt retirement, many Conyers supporters are still coming to terms with the sudden, ugly departure of a man who had become an institution. Despite the claims by multiple women, a large contingent of former Conyers staffers remain unwavering in their support: Campbell and another former staffer, a woman in her 20s who worked in the Detroit office and spoke on the condition of anonymity, strongly doubted the allegations, including those made by original accuser Marion Brown, who told the Today show that the now ex-congressman “just violated my body” and repeatedly invited her to hotels to proposition sex.
Even Detroiters who believe the accusations feel they’ve lost a legend.
“You’re talking about a man who put the Humphrey-Hawkins job act [a bill requiring the government to guarantee employment levels] up almost every year for the last 20 years,” said Williams II. “I mean he believed, optimistically, that the world would stop for Martin Luther King once a year… He was like the Mr. Smith that went to Washington that stayed in Washington for 52 years.”
Bullock said he was deeply disappointed by the way the congressman resigned, appearing to hide behind his lawyer as the scandal mounted and then retiring in an apparent political maneuver. But he still recognized the gravity of Conyers’s departure.
“It’s a major loss," he said. "I don’t think there’s room in politics for mourning, but I think there should be.”
Trevor Bach is a journalist based in Detroit.

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