RICO – McCarthy Calls Clinton Foundation a Racket

Editor’s Note – Once again, Andy McCarthy hits the nail on the head. The Clinton Foundation IS best defined as a RICO operation from all we are now learning. Maybe they can “justify” their actions individually, but when you collect all the parts, it is a racket.

The trouble is, would the Department of Justice consider it RICO? Would Loretta Lynch launch an investigation?

She is about to be voted upon for Attorney General finally and may win approval in the Senate, but would she act just like her predecessor, Eric Holder and avoid yet another investigation of a ‘friend of the family’ unlike Senator Menendez?

The Emerging Clinton Foundation Scandal

Posted By Andrew C. McCarthy – PJ Media

Is this the beginning … of RICO?

Okay, so that’s not quite as catchy as Edward G. Robinson’s immortal line. But it is what a good prosecutor would be asking while pondering the growing cloud around Clinton Foundation.

Among Little Ceasar’s imprints on popular culture is that Robinson’s mobster character, Cesare Enrico Bandello, inspired Congress to name its seminal anti-organized crime legislation “RICO” – the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act of 1971. The mafia was its most infamous target, but far from its only target.

RICO.Justice

RICO makes it a crime to run an organization through what’s called a “pattern of racketeering activity.” The term racketeering is extensively defined in the statute. It includes acts involving bribery, fraud, and obstruction of justice, to name just a few.

Prosecutors are fond of RICO because it enables them to unite disparate illicit or corrupt transactions into one framework, the enterprise. It need not be a mafia family or traditional criminal organization; it can be an ostensibly legitimate organization – e.g., a foundation, a labor union, a corporation, a guild – that, contrary to the image it projects publicly, commits sundry legal offenses in conducting its affairs.

As a matter of fact, if the pattern of offenses includes fraud and influence peddling, then the enterprise’s portrayal of itself as a caring, altruistic charitable foundation can be very helpful to the case. Juries do not like hypocrisy and shady dealing.HiilaryRICO

They get turned off by “charitable organizations” that turn out, in the main, to be vehicles for their principals to live lavishly, or covers for selling political influence. And juries know charitable organizations tend not to wipe their servers clean even after congressional investigators have instructed them to preserve evidence.

Plus, it is important to bear in mind that, at the moment, the political dimension of the Clinton Foundation scandal transcends the possibility of criminal or civil legal liability. Right now, the Clinton Foundation provides a stark reminder of the last enterprise these characters ran: the Clinton White House. Remember that one?

Campaign finance irregularities, selling influence (remember the Lincoln bedroom?), awarding pardons to fraudsters and terrorists for the purpose of rewarding donors and courting political constituencies, blatant obstruction of justice, and perjury.

You see the Hillary! 2016 campaign launch, you consider what we’re learning about the Clinton Foundation, and you naturally ask yourself: Do we really want to go through this again?

You consider the Clinton Foundation, you think about the State Department – Benghazi, the courting of the Muslim Brotherhood, the secret, unlawful email system, the foreign money pouring into Clinton coffers while Mrs. Clinton was making key decisions about American foreign policy – and you naturally ask yourself: What has Hillary Clinton ever run that did not turn into a debacle?

Finally, we should also consider the Obama administration’s legal standards. As I’ve recently discussed here at Ordered Liberty, the Justice Department has just filed its indictment of Senator Robert Menendez (D., N.J.) on various corruption charges. The prosecution’s theory is that Menendez accepted “things of value” in exchange for using his political influence to benefit a big time donor.

Sen. Menendez counters that he did nothing wrong – i.e., that there is no nexus between, on the one hand, the hefty contributions, private jet rides to ritzy resorts, and other posh gifts he received, and, on the other hand, the use of his office in ways that just happened to favor the donor.

We are still at a very early stage of scrutinizing the Clinton Foundation, but we can already say two things with confidence:

  1. The millions upon millions of dollars the Clinton Foundation has collected from foreign donors and others with significant self-interest in U.S. government policy – during a time when Mrs. Clinton had a key role (and the prospect of an even bigger role) in designing U.S. government policy – makes the gifts to Menendez look like chump change.
  2. To the best of our knowledge, Menendez never withheld his emails from the government or wiped his server clean.

D'Souza Sentenced – 'Community Confinement,' DOJ Misled Judge

By Scott W. Winchell, SUA Editor

Noted Obama critic and conservative icon Dinesh D’Souza was spared actual prison time for pleading guilty to election law violations. He was fined a healthy sum, sentenced to probation for a lengthy period, and must serve an eight month stint in a ‘community confinement center’ as part of his probation.

We at SUA assert, and it is quite obvious, Mr. D’Souza was selectively prosecuted by an over zealous US Attorney and the Department of Justice, but indeed he was guilty of a dumb move, a campaign finance law felony. He freely admits that, unlike many he debates often like Bill Ayers, the infamous domestic terrorist.dsouza-ayers-debate1-620x346

However, when we look at the totality of crimes, this one ranks as one of the least impactful to the community, and it is certainly non-violent. It was a case that really did not warrant such expense and effort under normal prosecutorial discretion. It appeared then and now that it was payback.

Yes, it is a crime that goes to the core of our Republic’s existence and survival, but does the punishment meet the true deleterious effect it had on the community in this case?

Since the recipient candidate of the donations lost so badly, and the amounts were in a microscope’s spectrum (especially compared to what took place when Bill Clinton was campaigning), why was a contrite man made to be such an example? Did the dated crime warrant such fervor and obvious extraordinary effort to find something on D’Souza?

Of course not, but then again, don’t cross the ‘enforcer’ and Obama ‘protector’, Eric Holder and his DoJ!

What impact did the prosecution have in its extremely zealous pursuit of the now convicted D’Souza? Well, it seems there was some real proof of how zealous they were, exposing just why they sought to pillory him. They were afraid of leniency so they are allegedly guilty of crimes in the prosecution:

According to court documents, federal prosecutors working on behalf of Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice misled U.S. District Court Judge Richard Berman in the case against conservative filmmaker and author Dinesh D’Souza during their pursuit of 10-to-16 months of prison time for a federal felony charge.

In a reply sentencing memo submitted to the Court on behalf of D’Souza last week, his counsel argues federal prosecutors excluded and misrepresented the facts of “similar” cases in the Government’s sentencing proposal to Judge Berman, leaving out crucial facts key to fair and equal sentencing for D’Souza compared to other cases. (Read more at Townhall)

We also question the sentence. Why? Because he received what amounts to incarceration, just not in a penitentiary. Even convicted drunk drivers get less in most states and their crimes are of a potential violent nature.

It sure helps prove that if someone in law enforcement has it in for you, they will find something to nail you on with such a huge amount of laws on the books, many of which are not ‘faithfully executed’ by the very same people. In our ‘weaponized’ Obama administration, that has become all too clear.

What is a Community Confinement Center anyway? Is he going to need counseling and ‘do not do that’ classes? Will he need an intervention? What if his probation officer voted for Obama, twice? What if he continues to be an activist FOR America, unlike those who are clearly against it? It appears he will have to teach English to non-English speaking citizens?

Community confinement is a condition of probation or supervised release. It involves residence in a halfway house, restitution center, community treatment center, mental health facility, alcohol or drug rehabilitation center, or other community facility.

It looks like Dinesh was just not contrite enough, as Judge Berman felt, but why did the judge NOT admonish the prosecution and reduce the sentence further as a means to punish over zealous, ideologically driven federal prosecution?

It certainly did not comport with who D’Souza is, and that rehabilitative endeavors are a waste of tax dollars and Mr. D’Souza’s own ability to support himself and continue to be a community activist educator – isn’t that superior to being a community organizer?

Justice was certainly not blind in this case!

Dinesh D’Souza Sentenced to Probation, Community Service

By  at Breitbart

Following nearly three hours of compelling, wrangling, and heartfelt deliberations, author and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza was sentenced on Tuesday to five years of probation. He will serve the first eight months in a community confinement center, as deemed by Judge Richard Berman in the United States District Court of the Southern District of New York.

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D’Souza, 53, said he was thankful that Judge Berman passed a “fair judgment.” Speaking on his behalf, D’Souza’s attorney Benjamin Brafman said, “I’ve yet to find a case exactly like this that ends in a prison sentence, and I’m glad that this was not the first one. We are delighted that Judge Berman spared Mr. D’Souza.”

Brafman cited several similar cases during D’Souza’s sentencing in the federal courtroom, none of which ended in jail time. Brafman posited that a punishment of incarceration did not fit the crime for which D’Souza was being judged. In the end, Judge Berman agreed.

Judge Berman also took into consideration the fact that this was the 53-year-old D’Souza’s first offense.

D’Souza was indicted by a federal grand jury in the beginning of this year for making straw donations – contributions in the names of other people – to a Republican Senatorial candidate running in the State of New York, Wendy E. Long – a move that is violation of federal campaign finance laws. D’Souza had, through two friends, donated $20,000 to Long’s campaign, an amount which exceeds the $5,000 legal limit.

The esteemed author, filmmaker, and commentator was described as a “person who cares” and who is “good at heart.” During the sentencing, D’Souza told Judge Berman, “I know what I did was wrong, and I am contrite about it.”

justice-is-blind-statueIn addition to his five-year probation sentencing and eight months of confinement in a community confinement center — or restitution center, which will likely be completed in San Diego, California where D’Souza resides — Judge Berman ordered D’Souza to undergo “therapeutic counseling.” Berman also noted that during those five years, D’Souza must carry out community service by teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) for eight hours a day, one day a week.

Attorney Michael Gaynor, who was present at D’Souza’s hearing as a spectator, told Breitbart News that “Dinesh D’Souza does not belong in jail.” He also pointed out that he had never heard a judge sentence a defendant to therapeutic counseling.

Judge Berman also ruled that D’Souza must pay a $30,000 fine within 45 days. Berman, 71, was appointed to the court by President Bill Clinton.

Assistant U.S. Attorney and Prosecutor Carrie Cohen, who had from the start of the case outlined the U.S. Government’s charge against D’Souza, argued during the sentencing that D’Souza’s “actions were premeditated” and stated that “a prison sentence is sufficient.”

Brafman rebutted that D’Souza’s act was carried out “without premeditation” and noted that, if he had planned out said action, the $25K his client had withdrawn in one lump sum from his bank would have, in fact, been drawn out in increments of “under $10k at a time” in order to avoid a currency transaction report (CTR). Thus, Brafman argued that D’Souza did not act in a manner that was premeditated.

D’Souza admitted that, in the interest of time, he had not consulted attorneys in his decision to donate to Long’s campaign in the way he did nor did he create a political action committee (PAC).

D’Souza, who is known for such documentary films as 2016: Obama’s America (released in 2012) and America: Imagine a World Without Her, which hit theaters this year, is due back in court on October 15 for the finalization of details of his sentencing.

DOJ Produces Legal Rationale of CIA Killing al-Awlaki

Editor’s Note – The killing of Anwar al Awlaki  and another US citizen, Samir Kahn by the CIA has raised questions of the legality of our government assassinating one of its citizens because he was a known terrorist operative/leader in 2011. Two questions arose.

The first was the legality of making that order, the second was whether or not it was legal for the CIA to carry out the deed. A third issue arises as well – if it was legal in the United States, was it legal in the land it was carried out in; Yemen?Drone-kills-Awlaki

Naturally, constitutional and international legal and diplomatic questions arose and many asked the Obama Administration for its legal explanation for coming to the conclusions they did and then relied upon when carrying out the assassination.

Congress demanded the rationale from Obama’s Department of Justice and just recently, the second of two documents were released finally. The first was released last year on the legality of the killing itself, and now the second provides the rationale for the CIA carrying out the order. Vice News provides us with the details below and the document can be read from a copy of the original.

You be the judge:

A Justice Department Memo Provides the CIA’s Legal Justification to Kill a US Citizen

By Jason Leopold – Vice News

“This white paper sets forth the legal basis upon which the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could use lethal force in Yemen against a United States citizen who senior officials reasonably determined was a senior leader of al-Qaida or an associated force of al-Qaida.”

So begins a 22-page, heavily redacted, previously top-secret document titled “Legality of a Lethal Operation by the Central Intelligence Agency Against a US Citizen,” which provides the first detailed look at the legal rationale behind lethal operations conducted by the agency. The white paper [pdf below] was turned over to VICE News in response to a long-running Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against the Justice Department.

It’s one of two white papers the Justice Department prepared in 2011 after lawmakers demanded to know what the administration’s legal rationale was for targeting for death the radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a US citizen. The first white paper, released last year, addressed why the targeted killing by the US military of an American abroad was lawful. This second white paper addresses why it was lawful for the CIA to do so. Neither white paper identifies Awlaki by name.

Anwar al-Awlaki, left, in a 2010 video, and Samir Khan, shown in North Carolina in 2008.
Anwar al-Awlaki, left, in a 2010 video, and Samir Khan, shown in North Carolina in 2008.

The May 25, 2011 document is based on a 41-page Justice Department memo that lays out the government’s legal basis for targeting Awlaki without affording him his right to due process under the US Constitution. For years, the Obama administration was pressured by lawmakers to share the memo, but officials refused — and wouldn’t even confirm that such a memo existed.

One of the most controversial legal arguments advanced in the white paper is the justification for civilians at the CIA engaging in hostilities abroad. The 1942 Supreme Court decision in Ex Parte Quirin, which is footnoted in the white paper, says that “by universal agreement and practice, the law of war draws a distinction… between those who are lawful and unlawful combatants.

“[A]n enemy combatant who without uniform comes secretly through the lines for the purpose of waging war by destruction of life or property” is an example of a belligerent who is an “offender against the law of war subject to trial and punishment by a military tribunal.”

‘They clearly realize they needed to come up with their independent justification of why [the CIA] has public authority to kill.’

Because CIA personnel are not part of the armed forces when they engage in hostilities, they are deemed to be unlawful combatants. The white paper acknowledges this, but argues that the CIA officers who are unlawful combatants are not war criminals as long as they comply with the laws of war.

The government is “very concerned with the status of the CIA,” said international law expert Kevin Jon Heller, a professor of criminal law at the School of Oriental and Criminal Studies at the University of London. “There’s absolutely no question that if any of these CIA agents involved in Anwar al-Awlaki’s killing ever went on vacation in Yemen or ever went on vacation in a state that has universal jurisdiction over war crimes, they could be arrested and prosecuted for murder. They certainly have committed murder under the laws of other states. Whether they have committed murder under American domestic law is another question.”

The white paper outlines five possible legal authorities that might prohibit the CIA from using lethal force against a US citizen abroad: three statutes (the foreign murder statute, conspiracy to murder an individual outside the US, and the War Crimes Act) and two constitutional provisions (the Fourth Amendment, which prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and the Fifth Amendment, which guarantees due process).

It relies on the 2001 Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) and the relatively unknown legal doctrine known as the “public authority justification” to explain why the CIA’s actions are not unlawful, concluding that there is no law prohibiting the CIA from killing a US citizen in Yemen based on the facts of his particular case — redacted from the white paper — described by the CIA to the Justice Department.

Individuals typically use the public authority justification in criminal cases, arguing that the government authorized their actions. For example, a person wearing a wire for the FBI might be violating a state’s eavesdropping law. However, if the defendant successfully uses the public authority justification, he would not be found guilty even though he clearly violated the law. The white paper concedes that the public authority justification has rarely, if ever, been used to justify the government’s own acts.

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Heller says he agrees with the legal analysis of the public authority justification, but only as it pertains to the military’s lethal actions abroad — not the CIA’s.

According to the white paper: “Given the assessment that an analogous operation carried out pursuant to the AUMF would fall within the scope of the public-authority justification, there is no reason to reach a different conclusion for a CIA operation.”

homepage_targeted_assassinations_1Heller told VICE News this is the “sum total” the white paper says about the CIA’s public authority justification, and that the government falls short of making its case. Still, he says, the white paper is significant “as it indicates [the Justice Department] knew they had to talk about the CIA specifically, and knew they couldn’t just lump in the military and the CIA together.

“They clearly realize they needed to come up with their independent justification of why [the CIA] has public authority to kill,” Heller continued. “Unfortunately, the memo doesn’t really tell us anything because of the way it’s been redacted. If the question is, Where does the CIA get their authority to use lethal force abroad?, given that’s the necessary condition for them to avoid this foreign murder statute, this memo doesn’t tell us anything. It could be there. But if it is, it’s behind a redaction.”

Although the white paper says that the CIA expressed to the Justice Department that it preferred to capture “this target,” the agency assessed that a capture operation in Yemen “would not be feasible at this time.”

“The CIA has further represented that this sort of operation would not be undertaken in a perfidious or treacherous manner,” the white paper says.

A footnote states that the white paper “addresses exclusively the use of force abroad, in the circumstances described herein. It does not address legal issues that the use of force in different circumstances or in any nation other than Yemen might present.”

Still, the logic and legal rationale could be applied to the same types of lethal operations against Americans in other countries who the government may determine are part of al Qaeda or an “associated force” of the terrorist organization.

Obama Admin – Transparency, Redaction, and Delay…

Editor’s Note – The “Most transparent administration ever” is the mantra of the Obama Administration, and they laud the fact that the White House Visitor List is available – elsewhere, not so…

Ask the Citizens Commission on Benghazi with their myriad requests for information on Benghazi. Ask Karen and Billy Vaughn about ‘Extortion 17’. Ask the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, ask the House Ways and Means Committee.Capture2

Look at all the scandals – all of them still unsolved and/or not concluded from Fast & Furious, to the IRS, from the AP to Fox News reporters, it’s always opaque at best.

The reason is always – NO TRANSPARENCY! All we see is redaction, lies, deflections, demagoguery, distractions, delays, finger pointing, the blame game, the fifth… and then there all those unbelievable statistics on jobs, GNP, the debt, ObamaCare, HHS, wage disparity, etc. – lies, damn lies, and those rascally  statistics.

The most [REDACTED] administration in history

BY GENE HEALY – Washington Examiner

Good news: thanks to a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Monday, the “most transparent administration in history” is going to have to tell American citizens when it believes it’s legally entitled to kill them.

The lawsuit arose out of Freedom of Information Act requests by two New York Times reporters for Office of Legal Counsel memoranda exploring the circumstances under which it would be legal for U.S. personnel to target American citizens. The administration stonewalled, asserting that “the very fact of the existence or nonexistence of such documents is itself classified,” and a federal district judge upheld the refusal in January 2013.

Issa-600A month later, however, someone leaked a Justice Department “white paper” on the subject to NBC News, forcing a re-examination of the question in light of changed circumstances. On Monday, the three-judge panel held “it is no longer either ‘logical’ or ‘plausible’ to maintain that disclosure of the legal analysis in the OLC-DOD Memorandum risks disclosing any aspect” of sensitive sources and methods.

In matters of transparency, the Obama Team can always be counted on to do the right thing — after exhausting all other legal options and being forced into it by the federal courts.

When “peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room” after then-press secretary Robert Gibbs floated the “most transparent administration” line at an April 2010 presser, the administration should have taken the hint. But it’s one soundbite they just can’t quit. Gibbs’ successor Jay Carneyrepeated it just last week, as did the president himself in a Google Hangout last year: “This is the most transparent administration in history …. I can document that this is the case.”

Actually, any number of journalists and open government advocates have documented that it’s not. As the Associated Press reported last month: “More often than ever, the [Obama] administration censored government files or outright denied access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way. In the hope-infused afterglow of his first inauguration, President Obama declared, “for a long time now, there’s been too much secrecy in this city,” and ordered his attorney general to issue newly restrictive standards for government use of the “state secrets privilege,” which allows the government to shield national security secrets from civil or criminal discovery. Attorney General Eric Holder pledged that the administration would not “invoke the privilege for the purpose of concealing government wrongdoing or avoiding embarrassment.”GretaVanSustern-RedactedDocs224x199

Easier pledged than done, apparently. Earlier this year, in a case involving a Stanford graduate student erroneously placed on a no-fly list, we learned that the government had cried “state secrets” to cover up a paperwork error. Holder himself assured the court that assertion of the privilege was in keeping with the new policy of openness. When the presiding judge found out the truth, he said: “I feel that I have been had by the government.”

In fact, the Obama administration has driven state secrecy to new levels of absurdity. We’re not even allowed to know who we’re at war with, apparently, because letting that secret slip could cause “serious damage to national security.”

Over the last year, thanks in large part to illegal leaks, we’ve learned that we’re living in a [REDACTED] republic. In the president’s version of “transparency,” the Americans have no right to debate even the most basic public questions — like the legal standards for spying on or killing American citizens — unless, of course, that information leaks, at which point the administration “welcomes” the debate.

Impeach Holder – Reps. to Introduce Resolution

Editor’s Note – With all the media time now spent on the ObamaCare implosion and our lying President, his administration continues it ways in other areas. But after such a long list of DOJ shenanigans over the past five years, the House is now positioned to impeach Eric Holder.

Here at SUA, we have been calling not only for his impeachment, but for him to also lose his law license forever. It may not move forward, and we doubt he would ever be convicted in the Senate, but the bell must be rung on him. We support these impeachment steps wholeheartedly.

House Republicans to call for Eric Holder impeachment

By John Bresnahan – Politico

A group of hard-line conservative House Republicans will introduce a resolution on Thursday calling for the impeachment of Attorney General Eric Holder.

But there is no sign yet that Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) or other House GOP leaders will act on the measure.

eric-holder-impeach-250x244Rep. Pete Olson (R-Texas) and 10 other House Republicans — including Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann and Florida Rep. Ted Yoho — have drafted four articles of impeachment against Holder.

These include allegations that Holder violated federal law by refusing to comply with a congressional subpoena over the botched Fast and Furious gun-walking program; “failed to enforce multiple laws, including the Defense of Marriage Act, the Controlled Substances Act, and the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986,”; did not prosecute IRS employees over allegations the agency improperly handled the applications for nonprofit status by conservative political groups; and misled Congress over whether he was aware of a search warrant issued for the emails of FOX News reporter James Rosen.

“This was not a decision that I made lightly,” Olson said in a statement. “Since the House voted in 2012 to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt, the pattern of disregard for the rule of law and refusal to be forthright has only continued. The American people deserve answers and accountability. If the Attorney General refuses to provide answers, then Congress must take action.”

(QUIZ: How well do you know Eric Holder?)

Boehner’s office declined to comment on the Olson impeachment resolution, referring calls to House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.). Goodlatte’s panel would conduct any impeachment hearings against Holder.

In his own statement, Goodlatte was noncommittal on whether he planned to move forward with the resolution, although he did say that Holder should resign for the good of the Justice Department.

“Under Attorney General Holder’s watch, there has been a lack of leadership and a politicization of the Justice Department. Scandals from the Fast and Furious gunwalking operation to the seizure of reporters’ emails and phone records in national security leaks investigations have undermined the Department’s credibility and the American people’s trust. Attorney General Holder has also politicized the rule of law by refusing to enforce laws he doesn’t like.”

Goodlatte added: “The only way to restore credibility at the Department of Justice is through an improvement in the quality of leadership. President Obama should make a change in the leadership of the Department of Justice to restore the confidence of the American people in our nation’s top law enforcement agency.”

(PHOTOS: Eric Holder’s career)

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment on the impeachment resolution.

But Matthew Miller, a former top Holder aide as DOJ, dismissed it as laughable.

“The first thing I’d say is that I can’t believe they didn’t include Benghazi and the Black Panthers because this is a list of every other Republican bugaboo and conspiracy theory,” said Miller, now a communications consultant on K Street.

“The best thing that could happen to Democrats would be for Republicans to bring this up. The more time they spend on this, the crazier and more out of touch they would look.”

The House approved civil and contempt resolutions against Holder in June 2012 over the Fast and Furious program, the first time that has been done to a sitting Cabinet member. DOJ refused to enforce the criminal contempt resolution, as previous administrations have done. The civil contempt citation is mired in a legal fight in federal court between Justice and House attorneys.

No Cabinet officer has been impeached by the House since Secretary of War William Belknap was impeached in March 1876 , despite the fact that the he resigned minutes before the House vote. The Senate held a trial for Belknap, acquitting him on all five charges. Belknap was never criminally prosecuted over the allegations.