ConWebBlog: The Weblog of ConWebWatch

your New Media watchdog

ConWebWatch: home | archive/search | about | primer | shop

Saturday, January 9, 2021
WND Gets Its Trump Pardon of Corrupt Ex-Congressman
Topic: WorldNetDaily

For years, WorldNetDaily -- a stanuch supporter of corrupt former Texas congressman Steve Stockman -- has been lobbying for President Trump to pardon Stockman following his conviction on various and sundry financial crimes. Columnist Rachel Alexander has long been pushing the conspiratorial idea that Stockman was a victim of the "Deep State" (and also tried to insert herself into Stockman's defense by signing onto an amicus brief); in August 2019, for example, she huffed that Stockman "was convicted due to an improper trial against him, with prosecutors presenting incorrect information to the jury and getting the judge to agree to prohibit him from producing helpful evidence," and was also the victim of "a drive-by political hit" by a "corrupt cabal" at the Justice Department.

Alexander was still at it in her Dec. 7 column, declaring that Stockman was "was one of the left's recent victims of the deep state"and touting how "conservatives are urging that President Trump pardon Stockman, because he's been able to obtain no justice through the justice system. The deep state is still heavily entrenched in the DOJ, and the left still controls much of the judiciary."

Alexander also cited as among "notable political prosecutions" those of Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Dinesh D'Souza, lamenting that "for the most part, people just shrugged them off thinking those targeted would eventually beat the charges." Actually, D'Souza pleaded guilty to violating election law (because he did), and Arpaio was found guilty of criminal contempt because that's what he did.

Well, Alexander and WND got their wish; Trump commuted Stockman's prison sentence just before Christmas. Bob Unruh's article on the commutation predictably played down the crime and emphasized the defense that judge and jury rejected. He invoked right-wing activist Craig Shirley's conspiratorial claim that Stockman's conviction was "an Obama hit job on conservative nonprofits" -- a defense he has made elsewhere and which, frankly, doesn't say much about the way conservative nonprofits are run -- and repeated Alexander's previous plea that Stockman should have been released from prison to reduce his exposure to coronavirus, since he was "among the non-violent, non-sex crime prisoners whose health conditions and the conditions within our federal prison system make them 'sitting ducks' for a fatal COVID-19 virus infection."

So having achieved that, Alexander devoted her Dec. 28 column to lobbying for another pardon:

As it becomes obvious that President Trump may not be able to overcome the fraud stopping him from winning reelection, he is pardoning and commuting the sentences of conservatives wrongly targeted through the legal system. Last week, he commuted the sentence of conservative former Congressman Steve Stockman, who had served almost three years of a 10-year prison sentence.

Now he needs to pardon Jon Woods, a conservative former Arkansas state legislator. Woods is serving an 18-year sentence for process crimes involving a Christian college. Sound familiar? The left loves to target conservatives involved with Christian activities, and if they can't get them on real crimes, they get them on "process crimes." Woods was found guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. That's right, no real crime, just the fact something was mailed, some phone calls were made and some money was spent while what he was accused of was happening. For example, "money laundering" sounds scary, but all it means is he used a cashier's check to pay for something coming out of his own bank account (he was paying back someone for something unrelated) because it was a large check and the recipient required it.

But what Alexander dismisses as "process crimes," the prosecutors pointed out were bribery and kickbacks:

Between approximately 2013 and approximately 2015, Woods used his official position as a senator to appropriate and direct government money, known as General Improvement Funds (GIF), to two non-profit entities by, among other things, directly authorizing GIF disbursements and advising other Arkansas legislators – including former State Representative Micah Neal, 43, of Springdale, Arkansas – to contribute GIF to the non-profits.  

Specifically, Woods and Neal authorized and directed the Northwest Arkansas Economic Development District, which was responsible for disbursing the GIF, to award a total of approximately $600,000 in GIF money to the two non-profit entities. 

The evidence further showed that Woods and Neal received bribes from officials at both non-profits, including Oren Paris III, 50, of Springdale, Arkansas, who was the president of a college.  Woods initially facilitated $200,000 of GIF money to the college and later, together with Neal, directed another $200,000 to the college, all in exchange for kickbacks.

To pay and conceal the kickbacks to Woods and Neal, Paris paid a portion of the GIF to a consulting company controlled by Randell G. Shelton Jr., 39, of Alma, Arkansas.  Shelton then kept a portion of the money and paid the other portion to Woods and Neal.

Paris also bribed Woods by hiring Woods’s friend to an administrative position at the college. 

An Arkansas columnist has already deconstructed Alexander's column and her Stockman-esque defense of Woods: "She defends Ecclesia College, recipient of money it never should have received and all those who played along. Because see, they are 'conservatives,' and all is forgiven if you are a Trumper, no matter how crooked. And Jon Woods was the FIRST Arkansas legislator to endorse the sociopath in chief."

Alexander also said of Ecclesia, the Christian college at the center of the scandal: "Ecclesia is a respected college, whose board members have included WallBuilders founder David Barton, author Eric Metaxas and singer Pat Boone."Actually, none of those people are respected Christians: Barton is a discredited historian, Metaxas has gone off the deep end for Trump, and Boone is a virulent and dishonest Obama-hater.

Alexander concluded by declaring that "Trump has another opportunity to bring justice here." Actually, it seems that Woods is, if anything, less deserving of a pardon than Stockman -- not that it might keep him from getting one from Trump, of course,

Posted by Terry K. at 1:10 AM EST

Newer | Latest | Older

Bookmark and Share

Get the WorldNetDaily Lies sticker!

Find more neat stuff at the ConWebWatch store!

Buy through this Amazon link and support ConWebWatch!

Support This Site

« January 2021 »
1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Bloggers' Rights at EFF
Support Bloggers' Rights!

News Media Blog Network

Add to Google