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New York federal prosecutors admitted to telling a ‘flat lie’ about evidence in sanctions case

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Federal prosecutors in New York admitted to telling a “flat lie” about evidence in order to win a case against a businessman accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to reports.

Prosecutors in the Southern District of New York (SDNY) attempted to block the release of evidence following a ruling last week by the U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan. Judge Nathan urged the Justice Department to open an internal probe into possible misconduct by prosecutors in the terrorism and international narcotics unit in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the SDNY.

Judge Nathan said the prosecutors made a “deliberate attempt to obscure” the truth and attempted to “bury” a key document that might have helped the defense.

Nathan’s push for a probe granted the Associated Press access to unsealed documents. At the request of the AP, dozens of private text messages, transcripts and correspondences were unsealed Monday and prosecutors were ordered to explain themselves.

The newly disclosed records showed prosecutors discussing turning over records to the defense team for Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, who was charged in 2018 with money laundering, bank fraud and violating U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran by funneling $115 million through Venezuelan front companies.

Sadr was found guilty by jurors and was convicted in March 2020, facing a maximum of 125 years in prison. However, prosecutors in the SDNY filed a motion to withdraw the conviction, citing prosecutorial misconduct, and all charges were dropped.

According to the AP, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jane Kim, wanted to introduce a bank record as evidence, but realized the document had not been shared with Sadr’s attorneys.

Kim suggested turning it over immediately to the defense, however, Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Lake, recommended they “wait until tomorrow and bury it in some other documents.”

After Sadr’s lawyers discovered the document, they complained to prosecutors.

The prosecutors came up with an excuse, saying they believed the document had already been turned over in a previous batch of records.

The prosecutors’ supervisors, Emil Bove and Shawn Crowley, then got involved, according to court records, and in an exchange of text messages, Bove admitted the prosecutors’ excuse was a “flat lie.”

Follow Annaliese Levy on Twitter @AnnalieseLevy

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Chinese Spy Balloon: Tensions rise between the U.S. and China

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A strange object was spotted Wednesday over Billings Montana. The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the strange object was, in fact, a Chinese spy balloon. According to a report from KPAX, a western Montana news outlet, the balloon had been on the governments radar for days.

On Friday, the Chinese government released a statement saying that the balloon spotted in Billings is a “civilian airship” that’s sole purpose is used to collect research on weather and that it had just blown off course. The balloon was not shot down by orders of the Pentagon due to the risk of falling debris injuring people on the ground.

Sara Carter, who has spoken frequently on the Chinese government’s threat and expansion to the West, stated on Twitter that the United States has failed to stop China from purchasing land near military installations, vital agricultural land, as well as, allowing Chinese linked companies, such as Huawei, to install technology in cellular towers. Those cellular towers are located in Montana, along side more than 150 ICBM nuclear silos.

China said, “The Chinese side regrets the unintended entry of the airship into U.S. airspace due to force majeure.” Majeure meaning that it was out of there control. It blew off course due to limited “self-steering” capabilities according the Ministry. The ministry also stated that the balloon, “deviated far from its planned course.”

This incident is adding fuel to the fire of what is already a tense relationship between the worlds two largest economies. China already lays claim to approximately 80% of the South China Sea, and is seeking full control over Taiwan after assuming full control of Hong Kong. China’s belt and road initiative has invested copious amounts of money into building infrastructure in other countries and uses it as economic blackmail. China’s transportation of fentanyl into Mexico is yet again another example of how they are seeking to damage the US.

Is this just a weather ballon that blew off course? US officials at the White House seem to be unconvinced and will continue to monitor the balloon, as reported.

UPDATED: Statement from the Pentagon was jaw dropping when a reporter asked if the public has a right to know about Beijing’s balloon.

“The public certainly has the ability to look up in the sky and see where the balloon is,” a DOD official responded.

 

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