Read Letter From NY Attorney General Letitia James Threatening Church Hosting Trump-Friendly Event
Pastor Paul Doyle: “It feels like she’s trying to intimidate me.”
New York State Attorney General Letitia James campaigned for office on her plan to use all the prosecutorial resources of the office to investigate and prosecute Donald Trump. [Featured Image via YouTube]
James held true to her promise, and has targeted Trump and his businesses, advancing to the point that Trump invoked his 5th Amendment privilege while excoriating what he perceives as prosecutorial misconduct in the campaign pledge and follow up.
James, however, has not limited her attack to Trump or his businesses. James also issued a letter threatening a church hosting an event by a Trump-favorable group that included Eric Trump in advance of the event warning that her office was monitoring the event and would act if any civil rights or other laws were broken. This pre-emptive attempt to chill speech has been reported, though it did not receive much national attention, with the church asserting it viewed the warning as an act of intimidation.
We obtained the letter from the church, and the letter is shocking in its threatening and bullying tone using the threat of possible investigation and prosecution in advance of the event in what reasonably could be seen as an attempt to get the church not to host the event.
The group in question is the Reawaken America Tour that has traveled through cities across the country since April, 2021, and includes former General Michael Flynn. The New York leg of the tour was originally scheduled to be held in Rochester, but after a campaign by local officials and an online petition, the owner of the Main Street Armory declined to host the event. That’s when Cornerstone Church in Batvia came into the picture.
The Legal Insurrection Foundation obtained a copy of the letter that James sent to Cornerstone Church (addressed to General Michael Flynn and event organizer Clay Clark), dated August 3, 2022.
The letter begins by reminding the church that James is “New York’s top law enforcement officer” and has “significant concerns that the ReAwaken American Tour…could spur extremist or racially motivated violence.”
These concerns center around the event’s proposed dates, which coincide with the five-year anniversary of the deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and past extremist statements made by yourselves and the other featured speakers on the tour. I am especially concerned about featured speakers’ regular allusions to white nationalist ideals connected to the “Great Replacement Theory,” a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide and efforts to replace native born immigrants. The theory is frequently linked to violent actions, including the racially motivated mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo.
There were overt threats of possible investigation and prosecution:
The Office of the Attorney General writes to remind you that New York law prohibits racially motivated violence, harassment, or interference with another person in the exercise of their civil rights. New York Civil Rights Law §79-n empowers the Office of the Attorney General to investigate acts of violence, intimidation, threats, or harassment directed at people based on a belief or perception regarding an individual’s race, color, national origin, ancestry, gender, religion, religious practice, age, disability, or sexual orientation. In addition to actual damages, any person who violates this statute can be held liable for $5,000 in penalties for each violation.
Additionally, New York Civil Rights Law §40-c prohibits discriminating against another person in the exercise of their civil rights-including theory right to peacefully protest- based on similar protected characteristics. Finally, New York Executive Law §63(12) empowers the Office of the Attorney General to take action against any business engaged in significant fraud or illegality- including the violation of New York’s civil rights laws.
The letter also singled out the content of the future speech as being objectionable to the Attorney General:
I am especially concerned about featured speakers’ regular allusions to white nationalist ideals connected to the “Great Replacement Theory,” a conspiracy theory that warns of white genocide and efforts to replace native born Americans with immigrants. The theory is frequently linked to violent actions, including the racially motivated mass shooting that killed 10 people at a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo. 1 Especially in light of this racist mass shooting, and other recent episodes of racially motivated violence in New York and throughout the country, the Office of the Attorney General is concerned that such rhetoric could contribute to violent or unlawful conduct at the ReAwaken America Tour’s upcoming event.
The letter ended with threatening language:
The Office of the Attorney General has a duty to protect New Yorkers from extremist and racially motivated violence. We stand ready to investigate any violation of the laws above and, if necessary, to enforce them to the fullest extent available. You are therefore instructed to take all necessary steps to ensure that the event complies fully with the requirements ofNew York’s civil rights laws and all other applicable state and federal statutes
Pastor Paul Doyle of Cornerstone Church which hosted the event said that there was no validity to the suggestion that the event was promoting racism or violence.
“I take exception to the words she uses, like extreme views,” he told The Associated Press. “What’s that mean? What’s extreme? We’re conservative Christians. Now we’re extreme?”
He said the letter had scared members of his congregation, a group of about 150 to 200 people, which he described as multi-ethnic and multi-racial.
“It feels like she’s trying to intimidate me. We’re a small-town church,” Doyle said.
Pastor Doyle described the letter as: “Harassment from our own government. I feel harassed. I am a law-abiding — I’m a businessman. I’m law-abiding, I’m God-fearing, and I’m hosting an event.”
[added 8-18-2022] In an email to Legal Insurrection, Pastor Doyle added:
This letter is a deliberate and arrogant act of government intimidation and harassment. The letter is filled with inaccurate and irresponsible language. The past events that the Attorney General indicates had absolutely nothing to do with this event. It clearly has a politically partisan agenda to it by calling the views of some of the speakers as “extreme”.
By carelessly using the terms “racist” and “violence” it attempts to skew people’s perspective of the agenda of the event.
I feel it is defamation of the event, its speakers, Cornerstone Church and me personally as pastor of the church.
The event which drew a crowd of approximately 3,500 people came and went without incident. “For all of the worry and concern expressed beforehand about violence, there apparently was none. “
Some highlights from the speakers:
Eric Trump was greeted by loud applause and chants of USA!!
“We had an interesting week this week … I got in my office in Trump Tower — had a great day, it’s beautiful outside, the sun is out. All of a sudden, I get a call from my team down in Mar-A-Lago —’The FBI is raiding us as we speak.’ I go, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me,’” Eric Trump said.
“Most of the time, if anybody was to get a call from somebody saying the FBI is raiding their home, they would be shocked by it. But after the first impeachment, the second impeachment … and the (Robert) Mueller witch hunt and what they do to us every single day and (New York State Attorney General) Letitia James and how they weaponize politics against our family every single day, as the FBI was raiding and rummaging through Melania’s closet, I wasn’t even shocked.”
General Flynn made some remarks as well:
“But here’s where I think the country is at. I think the country has a wall being built around it and I call these ‘bricks of fear.’ They are putting up this wall around all of us — around our individual lives, around our families’ lives, around our churches, our communities and definitely around this country.”
Flynn went on to list the “bricks of fear,” which included free and fair elections and COVID pandemic.
Flynn talked about the FBI and Department of Justice, which he said are targeting moms trying to protect their children at school board hearings.
“They’re clearly politically persecuting people. I want a rule of law in this country that’s respected. All of us do,” he said. “We need such massive reform of those institutions because we cannot continue to live like this. We teach our little kids what to do when they’re babies. That’s when we start to teach them what’s right and what’s wrong. We cannot have, in this country, a disrespect or a lack of trust in the rule of law or those institutions that are supposed to protect us.”
And by the way, there were plenty of protests to the event, which also occurred without incident.
Attorney General James’ pre-emptive attempt to chill free and lawful speech is extremely troubling, and has nothing to do with support for or opposition to Trump. The Attorney General, with her immense prosecutorial power, should be protecting freedom of speech and association, not taking substantive sides and attempting to intimidate churches or other forums from hosting lawful events.
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“The Office of the Attorney General has a duty to protect New Yorkers from extremist and racially motivated violence.”
So BLM and pantifa, as well as the Planned Parenthood thugs etc. will be put on notice as well?
Yeah, when monkeys fly out of my hindquarters. Is there a monkey pox joke there somewhere? Just askin’…..
Just see the obvious: the democrat party is a fascist party, and they’re in control of our government and in control of the GOPe. And the walls are closing in.
The best course that I took at Oberlin was “Gemany Since 1914.” In the future, I hope that they teach one called “America Since 2008.” Once could pretty much use the same syllabus with a few name changes.
Leticia… or whatever, just know you are a walking ghost. You are already executed under the law and you will be brought to the formal aspects of that soon. We got you scum bag. Don’t relax!
No mention of whether attendees will be searched for rosaries. You can’t be too careful these days. Domestic terrorists everywhere.
They should, If they have both a rosary and a firearm, they may take out the firearm and draw a bead on someone…
Reminds me of Sesame Street. They don’t have a rosary, but they do have a Rosita who prays the rosary. She wishes she could carry but is unable since she has to give 5500 Fives a minute or she will fired and Sesame will be sued.
So why are such people labeled as “liberals”? It is quite illiberal to suppress speech and to threaten others under the color of law.
It’s also not very progressive to return to the days of perpetual hunger and war while living in huts and eating bugs.
Not at all progressive in a positive American way. This letter is a threat from the Supreme Soviet of NY to cease and desist. An American will take this woman to shove it. These present day communists are out to put an end to those of us who oppose them.
tell this woman
But I really wanted to take her to the Grand Canyon….to shove it (her) off.
They’re not liberals, they are COMMUNISTS.
“The Attorney General, with her immense prosecutorial power, should be protecting freedom of speech and association”
Bless the author’s kind heart in thinking that any Democrat really means it when they take the Article VI oath to support and defend the Constitution.
They should be called communists and will if everyone starts using it when talking about them.
I stated using Socialist/Communist Party. But after a while typing all that grew tiresome and I’ve changed to SCP. But yes, that is what they are.
Well, why is the DICTATORSHIP OF COMMUNIST CHINA called “THE PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC” since the people have no voice, no freedom, no rights? Same kind of in-your-face mocking lie!
I heard growing up (long ago) that any place labeled “The People’s Republic” was neither.
This is the woman who sued NYC and the NYC police department for breaking up a BLM riot and spent months denigrating the police. Sure, it is inevitable that things you wouldn’t wish to have happen would happen, but it was a god-damn BLM-riot-warzone, not Brown Shirt goons creating another Kristallnacht.
This is how radicals suppress dissenting views that are clearly protected by the First Amendment
That’s one hell of a letter. At least the AG is honest about her intentions to investigate and potentially criminally prosecute speech she and govt find to be unfavorable. It’s nice that our political opposition is becoming overconfident enough to stop hiding their beliefs and intentions. Here the AG specifies the speech she will prosecute in advance of the event which makes her intent to dissuade the speakers very transparent.
Here the AG specifies
the speech she will prosecutethe crimes she will commit in advance of the event
Lol, I’m pretty sure it was Roberts himself, he thought he could intimidate one of the Judges cause he was not in favor of overturning Roe, he’s at best a chicken, worse, a traitor
It seems very 1970 East Germany of them.
I assume that any day now she will be sending similar letters to the Nation of Islam and to the Black Hebrew Christian movement, as well as to various imams in the state of New York, all of his members have been implicated in violent attacks on visibly Jewish New Yorkers, inspired by their antisemitic rhetoric.
I would have replied: Thank you for your concern. We are eager to comply. Please send us the current official list of what we are allowed to disagree with.
“It feels like she’s trying to intimidate me.”
That’s only because she is. How dare you and your congregants have views that differ from hers? What do you think this is, a free country or something?
As the state top’s law enforcer, she should not use her own heckler veto to curb free speech!
She would fit in well with Stalin’s team.
Poor thing is such a puppet…
too busy kissing Merrick’s arse & searching melania’s wardrobes for phake Gucci handbags
remind you that New York law prohibits racially motivated violence, harassment, or interference with another person in the exercise of their civil rights.
Ummm, she might want to look in the mirror while reading that last part….
I am especially concerned about featured speakers’ regular allusions to white nationalist ideals
And that’s still within their First Amendment rights to express. PERIOD. The Constitution doesn’t give a D**N about your concerns. And tells you, as a gov’t agent, to go take a flying leap.
It feels like she’s trying to intimidate me.
That’s because she IS.
is extremely troubling
No. It is offensive to the idea of “a republican form of government” and should have James in an orange jumpsuit. If the gov’t won’t do that, then it’s time for the people to remove her from office with prejudice and as much violence as is necessary.
I’d respectfully tell this loathsome Marxist POS to go pound sand…sideways.
In exactly those words, with the cameras and microphones getting the whole thing.
Its surely no coincidence that so many of our fascist persecutors and oppressors in government are black and/or female.
“Nice little church you have here. Be a shame if something were to……HAPPEN to it.”
Many of either cannot handle power or responsibility. One feels rather than thinks, the other is filled with the blind rage of wanting to “get it over on The Man”.
In addition to the obvious threats to the host, this letter was clearly meant to draw the attention of the Left’s shock troops, Antifa and BLM, to the event on hopes that they would crash it and attack the participants, this giving James an excuse to wail about “right wing violence” at such meetings. I’m reminded of the media mindlessly repeating the phrase “the increasingly violent Tea Party rallies” – when the violence was coming from those attack[ng the rallies. It’s always our fault.
Prior restraint much?
And… by how wide a margin will the voters re-elect her?
What do the voters have to do with it? It’s NY State. She wasn’t elected, she was selected.
Not true. She was elected, and there is no reason to suspect there was any funny business.
She was elected to NY State office; there is every reason to know that there was funny business, without having to name or identify exactly what.
One can begin with running Full Beria, without getting disqualified from the race, let alone the office.
Given the percentage of the state population in the urban blue districts, I’m guessing any D will win statewide by a pretty large margin. And yet, things never improve.
How was it that Einstein defined insanity?
Was the letter sealed with a kiss?
Marxist pushing her White Supremacists theory, their boot is at our throats. There has to be nothing in the program talking about races at all. But they are pushing this racism onto DJT every chance they get.
Government power is derived from the people. If the people decide the NY AG is violating Federal or state law against them
they should act and arrest those responsible.
Not through the government, that’s how.
James is acting just like a Mississippi AG in the 1950’s bullying a black church hosting a civil rights event.
This bullying insufferable b***ch has more in common with Bull Connor than she’ll ever admit.
“You are therefore instructed…? Where does she get the right to “instruct” people holding an event for people she disagrees with politically to do anything? Sounds like a government official intimidating someone over that speech and a lawsuit against that hack. Where do these unqualified women like James, Foxx, Mosely etc come from and can we send them back?
She should be prosecuted for conspiring to violate constitutional rights under color of law enforcement. There are statutes to punish this very thing.
Title 18, Sections 241 & 242 & 42 U.S. Code, 1985
The laws are there for a purpose! USE THEM FOR HEAVEN’S SAKE!! FILE SUIT!!!
Very interesting. Please prepare a template letter for any concerned citizen (whether at a church, a school board, etc) to use to make a criminal referral whenever this Attorney General or any other law enforcement official engages in impermissible intimidation.
If you research the history of this law, you will find that it has a medium good record of successful conviction when applied by the federal government against state government actors, and it has a zero record of success when invoked by a common citizen or corporation against government at any level.
There’s no way James would issue such a letter to a church hosting a leftist-friendly group.
This is the same AG who aided and abetted Cuomo’s draconian regulations against free exercise of religion which were rejected by SCOTUS on Thanksgiving Day 2020
She should be removed from office for harassment and intimidation of persons and organizations with viewpoints and objectives different than her own. Clearly, she’s abused the authority of her Office.
There are many legal methods for removing an Attorney General who is acting illegally. This includes numerous New York and Federal conspiracy and abuse of official office statutes; federal hate crime statutes; filing with the New York State Legal Bar to suspend or revike her law license, etc.
If she’s so hell bent on stopping racially motivated violence then how come the guy who sucker-punched the old Asian woman on the streets of NYC is out walking around after doing the same thing more than 40 times?
There is a very easy solution to this problem. When you have an event lined up and advertised and ready to go, be sure to let people know that they will be bused (or otherwise taken or directed to drive to) another location (stating the miles involved). I’ve been in situations where this was done and it turned out to be a very wise thing to do. It prevents a lot of problems at the final gathering site and leaves would-be rioters and nosy “authorities” from taking any legal action against the people attending. What works best is to issue paid tickets to the event with a heads-up on the back of the ticket that they will be directed to another site when they arrive at the highly advertised site. Usually rioters don’t want to pay for a ticket so this alone prevents a lot of miscreants from attending. And those miscreants who do pay for a ticket just means we’ve profited off them… and it means that FEWER miscreants will be in attendance for all the bother of having to travel to an unknown destination when they get to the originally advertised destination. And in case genuine supporters cry foul after buying a ticket and not wanting to travel to yet another site, be sure to offer a money-back guarantee should they decide not to attend. I’ve done two events this way and they have worked out very well with very few asking for a refund. Most people see the need for this in order to stay safe from rioters and other squirrel-headed nuts such as the one named in this article.
If a white state AG sent this to a black church the DOJ and FBI would be investigating and arresting them most likely.
It is a disgrace she acts this way under authority of law.
Hold the event no matter what. Bring lot’s of cameras, record everything, hire effective security – hells angels? Point out the agents provocateur and remove them, after identifying them. And tell this fascist to GTFHS
Do churches even talk about Jesus any more? Asking for a Friend.
She really makes you want to be an AG just like her when you grow up!
James is a low IQ filthy racist nigqer!
Cant stand that demon witch!
That is uncalled for.
Turn it down, fibbie. You glow like a firefly on crank.
Well, considering he is a Pastor I guess it’s a bit over the top for him to tell Tish to sod off.
Getting less play is that this was relocated to a church outside Buffalo after the owner of the prior up-State venue, the Rochester Mainstreet Armory, “bowed to public pressure” and withdraw permission for the event there … after a similar looking letter from local govt.
See “Main Street Armory Cancels…” in Spectrum local news
“Rochester Armory Bows to Public Criticism…” from WXXI — Roc public radio and TV
and “Local Leaders Call For…” in Rochester First
“We don’t want it here. We don’t want it in the City of Rochester. We don’t want it in the county of Monroe. We don’t want it in the State of New York,” said Monroe County Legislator Mercedes Vazquez Simmons.
You can also see letters from the Democratic Caucus of the County Legislature, and Monroe County Legislature Offfice of the President (also D party.)
Prior restraint, threat of “action”, disparagement and calumny by association (if not Slander or Liabel legally), partisan action under color off govt authority, blah, blah, blah. The claims, tone, and even some wording is the same. It’s like these people coordinate.
Does govt action against people with orange hair count as discrimination? (Asking for a friendly alt timeline.)
Oompa Loompa rights!
The NY AG’s letter is the most un American, thuggish attempt to strong arm speech by a government official I have ever seen.
The fact that every Bar Association (starting with the NYS Bar Association) is not immediately calling for her resignation or impeachment shows the complete corruption of our legal institutions.