Michael Tracey Profile picture
Nov 29, 2022 8 tweets 3 min read Read on X
Federal public defender convincingly argues that the FBI used an unprecedented "modern-day general warrant" to seize personal data of anyone who "could have been" in the approximate vicinity of the Capitol on Jan 6. "Defending democracy" by obliterating bedrock civil liberties
The warrant was "fatally over-broad and devoid of particularity, and therefore impermissible under the Fourth Amendment." There was never any particularized probable cause cited by FBI -- making it certain that searches were conducted on people who committed no crime whatsoever
Rather than establishing any basis for probable cause that subjects of the search had committed a crime, the government relied on hypothesis and conjecture that merely "equated presence at the Capitol with criminal activity" -- bizarrely invoking "the pandemic" in its reasoning
In other words, to obtain its general warrant and seize the personal data of thousands of people without establishing any particularized probable cause that they had engaged in criminal activity, the government simply "equated presence to criminality"
But because this Jan 6 investigation is the most important in the history of human civilization or something, and Democracy™ as we know it hangs in the balance, expect these brazen, precedent-setting abrogations of the Fourth Amendment to be largely ignored -- or cheered
Rebecca Fish -- Assistant Federal Public Defender in Tacoma, WA -- did an excellent, thorough job on this motion. Well worth reading documentcloud.org/documents/2316…
As recently as November 3, a brand new Jan 6 defendant was arrested. FBI agent writes that he/she attempted to use the same "geofence warrant" (general warrant) to establish this suspect's criminality, but failed. Then tried facial recognition software, and failed. But pressed on
The suspect's criminal conduct is alleged to be that he walked into the Capitol at 2:50pm, took a selfie with his wife (who was also arrested), and then walked out at 3:00pm. These were the fruits of an extensive investigation by an agent in the FBI's "Joint Terrorism Task Force"

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More from @mtracey

Apr 13
Trump, standing alongside Mike Johnson, confirms he supports Ukraine “aid” in the form of a “loan” that will almost certainly never be paid back. Trump had already floated this savvy idea weeks/months ago through his top surrogate and first 2024 Senate endorser, Lindsey Graham
Trump supporters and opponents alike have long been convinced that Trump is a virulent opponent of Ukraine "aid" -- but this has always been a total canard. In fact, Trump evidently wants to open the floodgates to limitless Ukraine "aid" by reintroducing a version of "Lend-Lease"
There's now an argument to be made that Trump is even more "pro-Ukraine" than Biden, by demanding the reintroduction of "Lend-Lease," which would presumably allow for long-term provision of US "aid" without needing incremental approval by Congress of supplemental appropriations
Read 5 tweets
Feb 1
Trump finally elaborates on his Ukraine position. He says he'll get the European countries to match what the US is sending to Ukraine. That's not a call for cutting off arms to Ukraine -- it's a call for increasing arms. He also once again brags that he increased funding to NATO
John Bolton and other war pundits are going around warning that Trump will abandon Ukraine and withdraw from NATO. They did the exact same thing in 2016 -- then Trump did the opposite when in power. They perpetually need a fantasy version of Trump to fuel their angsty obsession
A segment of Trump supporters, especially online, also need a fantasy version of Trump to fuel their devotion. In their fantasy, Trump really *will* abandon Ukraine and withdraw from NATO, despite four years in power of doing the exact opposite: and bragging about it, even today!
Read 8 tweets
Jan 10
When a strange event occurs, the media's real job is to chastise random people on social media for reacting strangely to the event -- and to spin it as yet another instance of "dangerous" speech being allowed to proliferate online -- instead of figuring out what actually happened Image
It's so boringly formulaic: sit on Twitter collecting the wackiest reactions to aggregate into a Very Important News Article about unapproved speech putting unknown persons in "Danger." Then throw in an obligatory quote from the ADL, and there's your edgy Rolling Stone web item
This account is quoted in the article merely as an unnamed "influencer" whose Dangerous Speech is supposedly influencing untold millions of people online. Apparently the definition of "influencer" is "whoever's tweets enable you to rattle off a quick web item in under 20 minutes" Image
Read 4 tweets
Dec 29, 2023
It's really wild that the Maine Secretary of State just seized the power to unilaterally block presidential candidates from the ballot, based on a brand new non-judicial administrative procedure she literally just made up herself, supposedly to enforce the federal 14th Amendment Image
Shenna Bellows, who was never popularly elected statewide, says the usual rules of evidence don't apply to her newly-invented procedure, which is governed by Maine administrative law, therefore authorizing her to accept the Jan 6 Committee Report as admissible probative evidence Image
Using her newly-invented personal administrative procedure, Bellows decrees a newly-expansive definition of "insurrection" for the State of Maine, watering down the concept to the point of asserting that an "insurrection" need not feature weapons or "involve bloodshed" Image
Read 9 tweets
Nov 30, 2023
According to Bob Woodward, Trump began "wondering aloud" in 2017 whether Netanyahu was "the obstacle to peace," rather than the Palestinians

Bibi then showed Trump a video of Mahmoud Abbas saying crazy stuff. Rex Tillerson said the video was a fabrication by Bibi to trick Trump Image
Tillerson said in 2019 that dealing with Netanyahu required "a healthy amount of skepticism," as Israel repeatedly gave "misinformation" to Trump. "You've been played," Tillerson recounted telling Trump. "It bothers me," he said, that such a close ally "would do that to us" Image
Netanyahu wrote in his memoir that on Trump's first trip to Israel as president in 2017, he "blurted out, Bibi doesn't want peace"

It was then that Bibi displayed the video to Trump that Tillerson said was fabricated

By all accounts, Bibi's ploy was successful in tricking Trump Image
Read 4 tweets
Nov 27, 2023
By what authority does the State of Florida have the ability to forge an "alliance" with a foreign country? Image
This resolution in the Florida State Senate was introduced by a Democrat representing Boca Raton. A version of it was then unanimously passed by the entire state legislature in a special session earlier this month called for by DeSantis
The final version of the resolution strengthens the language, clarifying that in addition to the longstanding "alliance" with Israel, Florida also has a longstanding "bond," as well as the third-largest Jewish population in the US (after New York and California... womp womp) Image
Read 5 tweets

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