Chapter I, Chapter II, Chapter II supplement, Chapter III, Chapter IV, Chapter V, Chapter VI, Chapter VII, Chapter VIII , Chapter IX, Chapter X, Chapter XI, Chapter XII , Chapter XIII, Chapter XIV, Chapter XV, Chapter XVI, Chapter XVII, Chapter XVIII, Chapter XIX, Chapter XX, Chapter XXI, Chapter XXII, Chapter XXIII, Chapter XXIV and Chapter XXV.
John Dowd, President Trump’s former lead lawyer on the Mueller investigation who is reported to have discussed presidential pardons with attorneys for Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, has direct experience in successfully obtaining presidential pardons for embattled political figures.
In the waning weeks of the Clinton Administration, Dowd moved quickly to prepare a petition for a presidential pardon for former Arizona Governor J. Fife Symington III.
In late 2000, Symington was facing a federal retrial on bank and wire fraud charges related to his work as a commercial real estate developer prior to being elected Arizona governor in 1992. Federal prosecutors offered Symington a choice of either pleading guilty to one felony account with no prison time and paying a $60,000 fine, or stand trial on 17 charges.
Dowd had represented Symington during the initial criminal trial in 1997. The jury returned six guilty verdicts and Symington resigned as governor. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison but never spent a day behind bars. The judge allowed Symington to remain free pending an appeal.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals over turned the verdicts in 1999 ruling that the trial judge improperly removed a juror that had refused to participate in deliberations while insisting that Symington was innocent of all charges.
“Throughout this investigative and prosecutive nightmare, Fife Symington has been open, candid and forthright in dealing with the allegations against him,” Dowd wrote in an affidavit attached to the pardon petition. “He conducted himself with great courage, dignity and grace in the face of public ridicule and humiliation.”
Dowd claimed that Symington “demonstrated every day his respect and support for our system of laws, notwithstanding the terrible injustice visited upon his and his family for 10 years.”
“He put the people of Arizona first by resigning his office in the face of unjust jury verdict,” Dowd wrote.
Two former Interagency Hotshot Crew supervisors have published a research paper on the Yarnell Hill Fire disaster that concludes human errors were the primary factors that lead to the death of 19 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshots on June 30, 2013.
“Did they all perish in a predictable, and therefore, avoidable death-by-fire incident? Indeed, per the conclusion of these authors, they did,” Fred Schoeffler and Lance Honda state in the paper.
Their conclusion directly contradicts the findings of the Serious Accident Investigation Team that was contracted by the state of Arizona to review the incident. The SAIT concluded that there was “no indication of negligence, reckless actions, or violations of policy or protocol.”
Mr. Schoeffler was superintendent of the Payson Interagency Hotshot Crew for 27 years. He is suing the U.S. Forest Service for air-to-ground voice recordings and transcripts from the afternoon of June 30 in the moments leading up to the deaths of 19 out of 20 members of the crew.
Mr. Honda retired as a wildland firefighter in 2009 with 39 years experience including the last 12 years as superintendent of the Prineville (Ore.) Interagency Hotshot Crew.
The paper, entitled “Epic Human Failure on June 30, 2013“, was published by Springer International Publishing AG. The authors state that the crew’s leadership failed to follow well-known wildfire safety rules and that directly contributed to disaster.
“Almost every WFF (wildland firefighter) agrees that the (Yarnell Hill Fire) tragedy would have been impossible for 19 men to have died accordingly had they held to these tried-and-true WFF Rules,” the authors state.
The authors also state that Granite Mountain’s history of poor decisions was well known to other Interagency Hotshot Crews and that the disaster, horrific as it was, was not a surprising outcome.
“This was the final, fatal link, in a long chain of bad decisions with good outcomes, we saw this coming for years,” the paper quotes an unnamed Hotshot crew superintendent as saying during an October 2013 visit by wildland firefighters to the box canyon where the men died. Mr. Schoeffler was at the gathering.
“About 8 other Hot Shot Superintendents spoke and stated they had all attempted unsuccessfully over the years through peer pressure to get the (Granite Mountain Hotshots) to alter their unsafe actions,” the paper states.
RIMROCK, AZ–InvestigativeMEDIA and MiningWatch, Canada, today sent a joint letter to the U.S. and Canadian ambassadors to Peru asking them to seek information from Peruvian officials about last April’s detention of John Dougherty and Jen Moore in Cusco, Peru.
Mr. Dougherty is the owner and editor of InvestigativeMEDIA and Ms. Moore is the Latin American Coordinator for Ottawa-based MiningWatch, Canada.
Peruvian National Police and immigration authorities detained Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore on the street after the screening of InvestigativeMEDIA’s documentary “Flin Flon Flim Flam” at Cusco’s Municipal Cultural Center on Friday, April 21. The film had been dubbed into Spanish and Quechua.
The film documents Toronto-based Hudbay Minerals’ worldwide operations and highlights its deployment of the Peruvian National Police to beat and teargas protesters near its Constancia open-pit copper mine near Uchucarco, Peru in November 2014.
Hudbay confirmed in May that it continues to have a contract with the Peruvian National Police to provide security services.
Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore were taken to police headquarters and held for more than four hours and pressured to sign statements. Mr. Dougherty refused to sign any documents without an English-speaking attorney present. There was no warrant issued for their arrest.
The next day, the Peruvian Interior Ministry issued an inflammatory press release (English translation) accusing Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore of inciting civil disturbance that is punishable by expulsion from Peru for up to 15 years. The press release noted that Hudbay has all permits to operate in Peru.
Prior to their arrival in Peru, anonymous articles published in a Cuscso newspaper alleged that Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore were preparing “to ambush” Hudbay. Subsequent articles accused the two of inciting violence after several Hudbay copper concentrate transport trucks caught on fire.
“We believe the stigmatization in the press and by a public authority, along with the police harassment, illegal and arbitrary detention and our ongoing legal prosecution is a result of the privatization of the public security apparatus in Peru and about state authorities and Hudbay Minerals trying to exert control over what information communities living around the company’s Constancia mine have access to,” the joint letter to the ambassadors states.
The letter requests the ambassadors to ask the following questions to Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights:
- Why were Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore subjected to this sort of surveillance, harassment and criminalization?
- Why were police tracking their movements from April 18 to 20?
- Why did the police fail to duly notify Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore and allow them the appropriate time to respond to any concerns about their migratory status, if that was indeed the concern, and instead illegally and arbitrarily detain them for four hours on April 21?
- On what basis did the Interior Ministry publicly accuse Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore, on April 22, of having incited local campesino populations to violence and demonize them as a threat to public order, internal order and even national security.
Mr. Dougherty and Ms. Moore left Peru prior to a hearing that was scheduled for Monday, April 24. Both are currently represented by separate legal counsel. Police released an April 22 initial report that documented the screening of the film in several communities near Hudbay’s Constancia open-pit copper mine. No other evidence has been released as of June 20.
Canada’s National Observer published an excellent story Friday, May 12, about InvestigativeMEDIA’s owner John Dougherty’s recent detention in Peru along with Mining Watch, Canada’s Jen Moore. Here’s the link: http://www.nationalobserver.com/2017/05/12/news/detained-and-accused-peru-canadian-activist-suspects-foul-play