For the purpose of discussion, I thought it would be interesting to look at the similarities in the press releases given by the Department of Justice in the Matthew Hale case in 2003, and in the William A. White case this week...
TO THE CACHED STATEMENT
United States Attorney
Northern District of Illinois Patrick J. Fitzgerald Federal Building United States Attorney 219 South Dearborn Street, Fifth Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604
(312) 353-5300 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS CONTACT: WEDNESDAY JANUARY 8, 2003 AUSA/PIO Randall Samborn (312) 353-5318
WHITE-SUPREMACIST CHURCH LEADER ARRESTED ON CHARGES OF SOLICITING MURDER OF U.S. JUDGE PRESIDING OVER TRADEMARK CASE CHICAGO – Matthew Hale, the leader of The World Church of the Creator, a white-supremacist organization based in East Peoria, Ill., was arrested today on charges of soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago and obstruction of justice.
Hale, 31, of East Peoria, was taken into custody by FBI agents and members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force, early this afternoon at the Dirksen Federal Courthouse in Chicago, just before he was scheduled to appear at a contempt hearing in a civil trademark infringement case involving the organization.
Hale was charged in a two-count federal grand jury indictment that was returned yesterday and unsealed upon his arrest, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. The indictment alleges that between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17, 2002, Hale solicited an individual to forcibly assault and murder U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow and that he obstructed justice by corruptly and by force endeavoring to influence Judge Lefkow who was presiding over the trademark infringement case, TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation - Family of URI, Inc., v. The World Church of the Creator, 00 C 2638 (N.D. Il.)
Hale had been ordered to appear before Judge Lefkow at 1:30 p.m. today for a hearing to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of Court. Instead, he was expected to appear in court later today for an initial appearance on the criminal charges. Mr. Fitzgerald announced the charges with Thomas J. Kneir, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Terry Hillard, Superintendent of the Chicago Police Department. The FBI’s Joint Terrorist Task Force (JTTF) is comprised of the Chicago Police Department, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Customs Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Marshal. The United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois also assisted in the investigation. The investigation is continuing, they said.
“Freedom of speech does not include the freedom to solicit murder. Under no circumstances will anyone in law enforcement tolerate the activities of any individuals or groups that engage in conduct intended to result in the injury or death of others. The conduct alleged in this indictment is disturbing on many levels, but particularly so because it targeted a judge, whose sworn duty is to apply the law equally and fairly to all who appear before her,” Mr. Fitzgerald said. Mr. Kneir said: “As Americans, we live and abide by the rule of law. These laws are designed to protect all of our citizens, and when individuals take actions to thwart justice by intending to harm any person, those of us in law enforcement will use all available resources to prevent any harm from occurring.”
According to the indictment, The World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) is an unincorporated association that holds itself out as a religious organization “[d]edicated to the Survival, Expansion, and Advancement of the White Race.” Based in East Peoria, the WCOTC has branches and members in multiple states and in foreign countries. It disseminates information about its principles and teachings through various means, including written documents bearing the 2 WCOTC’s name and the through an Internet site bearing the WCOTC’s name. Hale allegedly controls the operations of the WCOTC and influences and attempts to influence and control many of the activities of its members, and is known within the WCOTC as its “supreme leader” and “Pontifex Maximus.”
In May 2000, the TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation – Family of URI, Inc. (TE-TA-MA), a religious organization located in Oregon that had registered the term “Church of the Creator” as a trademark with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, filed its lawsuit against the WCOTC in Federal Court in Chicago alleging that the WCOTC had violated federal trademark law by its use of the term “Church of the Creator.” The indictment alleges that Hale participated in, and at times directed, the WCOTC’s response to the lawsuit brought by TE-TA-MA. On Nov. 19, 2002, Judge Lefkow issued an order that, among other things:
• permanently enjoined the WCOTC and anyone associated with it from using
the name and mark “Church of the Creator or any colorable facsimile thereof,
including specifically World Church of the Creator, WCOTC, COTC, or the
words ‘Church’ and ‘Creator(s)’ together in the same name or mark;”
• required the WCOTC and anyone associated with it to cease using Internet
domain names using the infringing marks, and to “immediately transfer
custody and control of the domain names” used to operate the WCOTC’s
Internet site, “churchofthecreator.com,” “wcotc.com” to TE-TA-MA;
• required the WCOTC and anyone associated with it to “deliver up for
destruction (or, where feasible, removal or obliteration of any infringing
mark from) all” printed and other materials bearing the infringing marks;
• required the WCOTC within seven days to notify in writing, and by
electronic mail, all of its members of the Court’s Order, and to deliver a copy
of the Order to them;” and
• required the WCOTC to file a written report, under oath, with the Court,
within 30 days “setting forth in detail the manner and form in which the
World Church has complied with the terms of this court.”
3 Also on Nov. 19, 2002, Judge Lefkow denied the WCOTC’s request to stay enforcement of the court’s order pending appeal. On Dec. 13, 2002, Judge Lefkow issued an order granting TE-TA-MA’s motion for a rule to show cause why the WCOTC should not be held in contempt of the court’s order on Nov. 19, and ordered that Hale appear before the Court today at 1:30 p.m. to show cause why he should not be held in contempt of court.
The indictment alleges that between Nov. 29 and Dec. 17, 2003, Hale, acting with intent that another person engage in felony conduct -- specifically, forcible assault and murder of Judge Lefkow – and under circumstances strongly corroborative of that intent, did solicit that other person to engage in such conduct. It also alleges that during the same period, Hale corruptly and by force endeavored to influence Judge Lefkow in the discharge of her duty while she was presiding over the trademark lawsuit.
If convicted of soliciting murder, Hale faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000, and the obstruction of justice count carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Court, however, would determine the appropriate sentence to be imposed under the United States Sentencing Guidelines. The government is being represented by Assistant United States Attorney David Weisman. The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
WILLIAM A. WHITE
TO THE PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CRT
OCTOBER 22, 2008 (202) 514-2007
WWW.USDOJ.GOV TDD (202) 514-1888
U.S. Department of Justice
United States Attorney
Northern District of Illinois
Patrick J. Fitzgerald
United States Attorney
219 South Dearborn Street, 5th Floor
Chicago, Illinois 60604
AUSA Michael Ferrara (312) 886-7649
Randall Samborn (312) 353-5318
SELF-PROCLAIMED WHITE-SUPREMACIST WILLIAM WHITE INDICTED
FOR ALLEGEDLY SOLICITING VIOLENCE AGAINST HALE JURY FOREPERSON
CHICAGO-A self-proclaimed white-supremacist who was arrested last week in Roanoke, Va., was indicted yesterday by a federal grand jury in Chicago for allegedly soliciting injury to the foreperson of a federal trial jury in Chicago that convicted another white-supremacist in 2004, federal law enforcement officials announced today. The defendant, William White, was indicted on one count of solicitation, the same charge that was filed against him in a criminal complaint that led to his arrest last Friday, announced Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
White, 31, also known as "Bill White," of Roanoke, remains in federal custody without bond in Roanoke pending transfer to Chicago to face prosecution. He was scheduled to appear at 3:30 p.m. today (Eastern Time) in Federal Court in Roanoke. No date has been set yet for him to appear in U.S. District Court in Chicago.
According to the indictment, White created and maintained a website, "Overthrow.com," which was publicly accessible on the Internet. The Web site purported to be affiliated with the "American National Socialist Workers Party" (ANSWP), and claimed the organization was comprised of a "convergence of former [white supremacy] 'movement' activists who grew disgusted with the general garbage that 'the movement' has attracted and who formed the ANSWP under the Command of Bill White." Members of the ANSWP were described as "National Socialists...who fight for white working people."
Between Sept. 11 and Oct. 11, 2008, White allegedly used the website to solicit another person to injure Juror A on account of Juror A's role as the foreperson of the jury that convicted Matthew Hale, the leader of a white-supremacist organization known as the World Church of the Creator, who was found guilty and sentenced to 40 years in prison for soliciting the murder of a federal judge in Chicago.
The indictment alleges that as part of the solicitation, inducement and endeavor to persuade a person to use, attempt to use or threaten the use of force against Juror A, White caused derogatory comments and personal information about Juror A, including Juror A's home address and phone numbers, to be posted on the Overthrow.com website on September 11. The solicitation allegedly occurred under circumstances strongly corroborating White's intent that another person engage in criminal conduct using, attempting to use or threatening the use of force against Juror A.
White allegedly was aware that individuals associated with the white-supremacist movement, who were the target audience of his website, at times engaged in acts of violence, directed at non-whites, Jews, gays and persons perceived by white-supremacists as acting contrary to their interests.
Prior to the alleged solicitation against Juror A, White on multiple occasions allegedly caused postings to the website disclosed what purported to be the home address and/or personal identifying information of individuals who were targets of criticism on the Internet. Certain of these postings during the same time period expressed White's desire that acts of violence be committed against these specific individuals, including author and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, individuals known as the "Jena 6" and a Canadian civil rights lawyer.
The Government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Ferrara. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Roanoke is providing local assistance.
If convicted, White faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The Court, however, would determine the appropriate sentence to be imposed under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.