“On the Holmes Front,” with Frank Holmes
Few newspapers recorded it, but last March saw one of the greatest bank robberies in U.S. history. The perpetrators got away with $86 million worth of cash and goods, but they didn’t leave it there. They stole passwords, personal records—even someone’s cremated remains.
They stole so much, it took them five days to clear out all the loot.
Unfortunately, this heist was pulled off by our own government. To make matters worse, the FBI apparently lied to a federal judge in order to pull it off.
It all began 18 months ago, when FBI agents cleaned out all 1,400 safe deposit boxes entrusted to U.S. Private Vaults in Beverly Hills.
Over the last few years, the service had busted a handful of people who stashed the proceeds of illegal funds in the highly-secured building. They had come to suspect the owners of money laundering for the drug trade…but the Biden administration decided to take it one step further: They wanted to take everything belonging to all 700 customers.
That would be like “police barging into a building’s 700 apartments and taking every tenant’s possessions when they have evidence of wrongdoing by nobody but the landlord,” wrote the liberal Los Angeles Times.
The plan sounded so extreme that U.S. Magistrate Judge Steve Kim only agreed to sign off when the affidavit promised they just wanted to inspect the boxes, not confiscate what was in them. “The warrants authorize the seizure of the nests of the boxes themselves, not their contents,” it said. (Emphasis in original.)
Once they got the green light, FBI agents raided the institution and, over five days, removed everything in sight. They carted off gold, silver, jewelry, and someone’s cremation urn. They also took pictures of vaccination records, passwords, a prenuptial agreement, immigration statuses, bank statements, and somebody’s last will and testament.
But there’s no honor among thieves.
The Biden administration decided it wanted to keep the ill-gotten gains—in apparent direct contradiction to their promises to the judge.
Under their new policy, the government would confiscate the contents of any box that amounted to at least $5,000—the minimum amount covered by the Asset Forfeiture Policy Manual.
The FBI wouldn’t even say if it had any evidence that any specific box-holder had done anything wrong. But court records show the FBI claimed the store laundered drug money—because one of the customers was from Chicago, and “Chicago, Illinois is a hub of both drug trafficking and money laundering.”
They claimed any cash wrapped in rubber bands may be “proceeds” of drug activity. They had drug-sniffing dogs smell cash—something they had no legal right to do—and claimed some of the money smelled of marijuana…although marijuana is legal in California, and the smell may have spread out from two of the boxes which were owned by legal marijuana dealers.
Biden’s agents want to keep almost $1.5 million in cash they seized from two brothers, because one of them had “been in contact with” people accused of robbery—confiscating their savings by playing six degrees of separation from crime.
The federal judge was outraged that he had been lied to. Last June, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said the government’s case “provides no factual basis for the seizure of Plaintiffs’ property whatsoever.”
The rightful owners have sued.
“The warrant application did not even attempt to argue there was probable cause to seize and forfeit box renters’ property,” said court papers filed by Robert Frommer, who’s representing a few of the victims. “The government did not know what was in those boxes, who owned them, or what, if anything, those people had done.”
The FBI relented a bit and let the owners reclaim their property—if they submitted to an investigation and proved their innocence.
For instance, Paul and Jennifer Snitko kept their private belongings in the box, because their area is vulnerable to the wildfires that sweep California thanks to its environmental policy. “It was scary to learn that we had to submit our personal information. We didn’t do anything wrong,” said Jennifer. But Biden torched their privacy and made their most cherished possessions go up in smoke.
Another victim, Joseph Ruiz, an unemployed chef, lost $57,000. Rather than return it, the government accused him of being a drug dealer, claiming it found traces of narcotics on his money. But that shouldn’t surprise anyone, since 90% of all U.S. currency has traces of narcotics.
Eventually, the FBI returned 430 of the 700 owners’ belongings.
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Republicans are outraged by the Great Biden Bank Robbery.
“The FBI misled a judge, obtained a warrant to raid hundreds of safe deposit boxes” and “searched the belongings of a saxophone player, an interior designer, a retired doctor, a flooring contractor, and many others — who did nothing wrong!” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio.
-Misled a judge.
-Obtained a warrant to raid hundreds of safe deposit boxes.
-Searched the belongings of a saxophone player, an interior designer, a retired doctor, a flooring contractor, and many others — who did nothing wrong! https://t.co/YZ2j0rcaDP
— Rep. Jim Jordan (@Jim_Jordan) September 26, 2022
Other elected officials agreed with Jordan. The dishonest raid represented an unbridled “abuse of power,” said Rep. Dan Bishop, R-N.C. “We can’t let ourselves become desensitized to these stories of FBI misconduct.”
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“Still can’t get over how the FBI literally robbed a bank here,” said Mollie Hemingway, editor-in-chief of The Federalist and a Fox News channel personality. “I remember when the FBI caught bank robbers, now they are the bank robbers,” replied one of her readers. Even one accused the Biden administration of pulling off “the largest bank heist in American history.”
As usual, the Biden administration insists it did nothing wrong. “At no time was a magistrate misled as to the probable cause used to obtain the warrants,” protested FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller.
But what was really behind this raid?
Was this a set-up to help the IRS seize undeclared assets?
Was it an attempt by Joe Biden to pay for his multi-trillion-dollar agenda without raising taxes?
What will happen when Biden hires 87,000 new IRS agents, whose sights are set on you?
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The American people deserve to know the answers to all of these questions. If Republicans take over Congress, they should investigate the Biden Bank Heist, along with his endless stream of scandals and his general fitness to hold office.
The GOP has to let Biden know there’s a new sheriff in town.
Frank Holmes is a veteran journalist and an outspoken conservative that talks about the news that was in his weekly article, “On The Holmes Front.”