Source: Free Market Shooter blog, by Duane
Yesterday, President Trump met with the National Sheriff’s Association at the White House. Like so many Trump comments, this one took a strange turn when Trump (jokingly or not) threatened to “destroy the career” of a Texas state Senator:
During the meeting, Rockwall County, Texas, Sheriff Harold Eavenson told President Trump about a piece of asset forfeiture legislation he believes would aid Mexican drug cartels…here’s the full conversation:
Eavenson: “There’s a state senator in Texas that was talking about legislation to require conviction before we could receive that forfeiture money.”
Trump: “Do you believe that?”
Eavenson: “And I told him that the cartel would build a monument to him in Mexico if he could get that legislation passed.”
Trump: “Who is that state senator? I want to hear his name. We’ll destroy his career…”
Though the major point of conversation was about Trump’s threat to a state legislator, the bigger story should be the implicit support Trump gave to civil asset forfeiture, whether he realized it or not. And if you are not aware what civil asset forfeiture is, it is (surprisingly) something that is agreed by both sides of the aisle to be unjust and unconstitutional, and rightfully so.
Civil asset forfeiture is defined by Wikipedia as “a controversial legal process in which law enforcement officers take assets from persons suspected of involvement with crime or illegal activity without necessarily charging the owners with wrongdoing.” The practice is commonplace in the war on drugs, but it can be extended to almost anything.
What it means is that the government can essentially seize any of your assets it can find (be it in a bank account, or cash/gold/whatever you have in a safe or under the mattress), label them a part of a “criminal investigation,” and keep them indefinitely, without sufficient due process for the citizen to challenge the seizures, and whether you are ultimately charged with a crime or not.
Martin Armstrong of Armstrong Economics explains how police have every reason to seize assets, largely because these civil asset forfeitures are literally funding police departments:
Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. According to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.
The police have been violating the laws to confiscate assets all over the country. A scathing report on California warns of pervasive abuse by police to rob the people without proving that any crime occurred. Even Eric Holder came out in January suggesting reform because of the widespread abuse of the civil asset forfeiture laws by police.
Bloomberg News has reported now that Stop-and-Seize authority is turning the Police Into Self-Funding Gangs. They are simply confiscating money all under the abuse of this civil asset forfeiture where they do not have to prove you did anything. Prosecutors are now instructing police on how to confiscate money within the grey area of the law.
A class action lawsuit was filed against Washington DC where police were robbing people for as little as having $100 in their pocket. This is getting really out of hand and it has indeed converted police into legal criminals or “gangs” as Bloomberg News calls them.
And Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkreig even cites the Huffington Post, of all places, which detailed the case of two bakers who did not commit any crime, but had their assets (and lives) ruined by the IRS, because they were able to legallyseize the business’s assets by just believing that they may have been engaging in criminal activity, with absolutely no evidence to support their claim:
Categories: Collectivism - For the Greater Good, of course