Commentary: Second Thoughts About That FBI Report of a 40 Percent Spike in Anti-Black Hate Crime

The FBI’s latest annual report on hate crimes seemed to deliver more grim news about race relations in America, announcing a nearly 40% rise in anti-black hate crimes in 2020. Major news outlets trumpeted the headline-grabbing statistic, noting that it coincided with a rise in “white nationalism” and came amid a surge in anti-black “hostility” caused by summer 2020 protests. Attorney General Merrick Garland quickly promised “a comprehensive response” by the Department of Justice.

But a closer look at the data reveals a more complicated picture. Some of the biggest increases in anti-black hate crimes occurred in Democratic Party strongholds yet, perhaps surprisingly, almost no increases were reported in major cities riven by the racially tinged protests and riots after George Floyd’s murder. It’s no surprise, then, that experts caution against using these numbers to claim an epidemic of anti-black crime – both because of the FBI data’s limitations, as well as the small absolute and relative size of the reported increase.

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Republicans Demand Update on Long-Awaited Durham Report

After two years of waiting for a federal report on allegations of Democratic spying on the Trump campaign, Republicans are demanding answers.

More than 40 Republican U.S. senators sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland Thursday requesting the release of the Durham report, the long-awaited results of an investigation into the controversial origins of the FBI investigation into Russian collusion.

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Alleged Extremists in Michigan Gov. Whitmer Kidnapping Plot Claim FBI Set Them Up

Whitmer Kidnapping Suspects

Militiamen arrested for the alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer claim the government set them up.

Court documents obtained by Buzzfeed show government informants played a crucial role in the kidnapping plot. One informant posed as a demolition expert who advised members of the Wolverine Watchmen militia where to plant explosives and even offered to get them as much as they needed. The informant was vouched for by another informant, leaving unclear how many confidential informants existed compared to actual extremists.

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Judge Stymies Feds’ Plan to Keep $85 Million in Raid Without Filing Criminal Charges

The feds faced another setback in their quest to keep $85 million in assets seized in a raid without charging hundreds of safe deposit box renters with a crime.

U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner issued a preliminary injunction July 16 in a lawsuit by several customers of Los Angeles-based U.S. Private Vaults (USPV), who alleged the FBI denied them due process by providing civil forfeiture notices that lacked “any legal basis” for seizing the contents of each box.

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Rep. Nunes Expects John Durham to Deliver Damaging Report: ‘People Are Going to Jail’

Devin Nunes John Durham

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he still expects Justice Department Special Counsel John Durham to release a damaging report on the FBI’s corrupt Russia investigation, and while it “may not be as broad as we want it to be,” it will lead to prison sentences for some former senior Obama officials.

Nunes, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, told reporter Sara Carter during her podcast Thursday that he still believes justice will be served. According to Carter, the congressman said that Durham’s report could come “as early as next week.”

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U.S. Attorney’s Office Drops Charges Against Visiting Chinese Scientist Accused of Trade Secret Theft

The Charlottesville U.S. Attorney’s office dropped all charges of trade secret theft and computer intrusion against visiting Chinese scientist Haizhou Hu. The prosecution determined that some of the trade secrets were within Hu’s authorized access while at University of Virginia (UVA).
Hu has ties to the Chinese military. The researcher works for the Chinese Key Laboratory for Fluid Dynamics at China’s Beihang University, which the Chinese government and military both fund.

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