The Department of Justice printed the below press release on Wednesday:
Today, a federal jury convicted five defendants – Lauren Handy, 28, of Alexandria, Virginia; John Hinshaw, 67, of Levittown, New York; Heather Idoni, 61, of Linden, Michigan; William Goodman, 52, of Bronx, New York; and Herb Geraghty, 25, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – of both offenses in a two-count indictment charging them with federal civil rights offenses in connection with an alleged reproductive health care clinic invasion in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 22, 2020. The defendants were each convicted of a felony conspiracy against rights and a FACE Act offense.
The announcement was made by U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Graves, Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke, for the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, and Acting Special Agent in Charge David Geist, of the FBI Washington Field Office’s Criminal and Cyber Division.
The defendants each face up to a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $350,000. U.S. District Court Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who presided over the trial, ordered the defendants immediately detained as required by statute. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
As the evidence at trial showed, the defendants, engaged in a conspiracy to create a blockade at the reproductive health care clinic to prevent the clinic from providing, and patients from receiving, reproductive health services. As part of the conspiracy, Handy, Hinshaw, Idoni, Goodman, and Geraghty, traveled to Washington, D.C. from various northeast and midwestern states, to meet with Handy and participate in a clinic blockade that was directed by Handy and was broadcast on Facebook.
According to the evidence, Handy, Hinshaw, Idoni, and Goodman forcefully entered the clinic and set about blockading two clinic doors using their bodies, furniture, chains and ropes. Once the blockade was established, their activities were live-streamed. The evidence also showed that the defendants violated the FACE Act by using a physical obstruction to injure, intimidate and interfere with the clinic’s employees and a patient, because they were providing or obtaining reproductive health services.
The case is being investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office, with valuable assistance from the Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI’s Pittsburgh Field Office. The case is being prosecuted by the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the Public Corruption and Civil Rights Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the District of New Jersey, District of Massachusetts, Eastern District of Michigan, Eastern District of New York, and Southern District of New York; and FBI Field Offices in Newark, New York City, Boston, and Detroit provided valuable assistance.
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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