April 27, 2019
Arresting this guy as a terrorist for Google searches and draft emails he never sent was one of the craziest things I had ever seen. It looked as though they had created some kind of new law on the spot to charge him with planning terrorism based on the theory that maybe he could have been thinking about terrorism, theoretically.
Basically, he had searched some terms in Google regarding where politicians live, how much security they have, etc., and had a draft email saying he would like to kill people (unspecific people). He also had a list of names of people he didn’t like. None of that is illegal. It does not in any way amount to a plan to commit terrorism. He had no records of a plan to commit any specific act.
They rushed his house with SWAT and found some guns that weren’t properly registered and some pills he didn’t have a prescription for and announced that he was plotting a terrorist attack.
They dropped all the terrorism-related charges, because they were insane and nonsensical, but then said they were still going to hold him because of pills and guns (even though they only found out about the pills and guns when they raided him on false pretenses, which means all of that should be thrown out because we have a Fourth Amendment).
The fact that a federal judge is ordering him released proves that our justice system at least sort of still maybe works a little bit. But the fact that they ever arrested him in the first place shows that we are teetering on the brink of a situation where anyone can be arrested for anything, without even giving a clear explanation.
A federal judge in Maryland said Thursday that Christopher Hasson, a Coast Guard lieutenant accused of plotting a domestic terror attack, will be released from detention.
Hasson had been indicted on weapons and drug charges, but did not face any charges related to terrorism or attempted murder — a point his public defender made as she argued that the government’s continued detention of him was unlawful. He pleaded not guilty last month on the weapons and drug charges.
Judge Charles Day agreed that the government had not met a standard for continued detention but said he still had “grave concerns” about Hasson’s alleged actions, which included amassing an arsenal of guns and tactical gear and searching online for the home addresses of two Supreme Court justices.
Hasson’s defense attorney will propose options for supervised release at a future hearing.
“He’s got to have a whole lot of supervision,” Day said. “Somebody who’s got eyes and ears on him like nobody’s business.”
Prosecutors say Hasson is a white supremacist who had a hit list that included prominent Democratic politicians as well as several journalists from CNN and MSNBC.
Hasson conducted an internet search for “are Supreme Court justices protected” before searching for the home addresses of two unnamed justices, court documents revealed.
The documents say Hasson espoused extremist and white supremacist views, and searched online for the “best” gun with which to kill African Americans.
Prosecutors say that in August 2017 Hasson searched “white homeland” and “when are whites going to wake up.” Months later he allegedly searched “please god let there be a race war.”
Hasson was first charged in February and faces counts of unlawful possession of two improperly registered silencers, possession of a narcotic opioid and possession of 17 firearms as an unlawful user and addict of a controlled substance. If convicted on all four counts, he could receive 31 years in prison. There is no federal domestic terrorism statute under which he could be charged.
Hasson’s public defender Elizabeth Oyer told the court, “I fear that through the vivid imaginations and colorful writing of the prosecutors, the case has developed a profile that does not line up with the facts.”
Oyer referenced President Donald Trump multiple times, comparing her client’s racial slurs and targeting of Democrats and the media to similar views that the President has taken.
Oyer said the list of names Hasson had allegedly assembled didn’t amount to a hit list but “looks like the sort of list that our commander in chief might have compiled while watching Fox News in the morning.”
She added that while the racial slurs Hasson allegedly used in private writings were condemnable, they are now part of the “national vocabulary.”
“Donald Trump uses similar epithets in his everyday language and tweets,” Oyer said.
Thomas Windom, an assistant US attorney, showed multiple photos of Hasson’s guns stashed in a closet feet from his bed, and at one point, lifted a weighted vest that police had recovered.
“This is combat gear. There is no reason to have this,” Windom said. “The defendant intended to … take his weapons and go.”
“There is no reason to have this”?
Is that the new way to attack gun rights?
“If you have weapons, you must be planning terrorism, or why else would you have them”?
Windom also described how Hasson had made the two illegal silencers “clandestinely” with a drill press. The silencers were coated with gunpowder — showing that Hasson had used them, Windom said.
“He intended to use them in a sniper attack,” Windom said. “These are pure killing devices.”
All guns are “pure killing devices.”
That is what a gun is.
A pure killing device.
And that is why our Founding Fathers ensured our right to possess them.
In court Thursday Oyer accused prosecutors of “cultural bias” in their fixation on Hasson’s weapons cache, saying he was a hunter and 30-year member of the military who until 2016 had lived in North Carolina, where gun ownership is more accepted.
Oyer also downplayed the steroids found in Hasson’s possession, saying he had used them in the past but was not taking them at the time of his arrest.
Day sympathized with the prosecutors’ position, saying they faced a “very difficult, challenging set of facts,” but ultimately determined that the charges Hasson faced should not warrant continued detention.
“I do not find that detention is appropriate,” Day said.
What an utterly bizarre spectacle.
But understand: these things just keep getting weirder and they keep getting worse. This guy doesn’t have a real lawyer, so he is probably going to get screwed on some trumped up “drugs plus guns” charges (despite the violation of his Fourth Amendment). But the next time this happens, they will push through some new fake terrorism thing.
What they were looking to do here was set a precedent, but it turned out it was just too goofy.
They are no doubt searching for the next target.
So be careful.
Oh and another thing: this guy had emailed the now deceased Harold Covington, who I believe was a federal informant, which is probably what got him on the radar.
If you’re going to email any known far-right figure – even one who is solid – don’t use your real email, or one that can be connected to you at all.
lol @ Queen Maxine.
Outrage! Judge Day ordered release of a white supremacist who threatened to kill me, Speaker Pelosi, Leader Schumer, Rep. AOC, Rep. Omar, pres candidates, & journalists! 15 guns found in his home & he has ties to other neo-Nazis. Why is Barr silent? What must we do? My statement: pic.twitter.com/71EZJuxyxs
— Maxine Waters (@RepMaxineWaters) April 26, 2019