Illegal Alien Attempts To Assassinate Trump – Gets A Sweet Plea Deal In Vegas

Michael Steven Sandford

It’s a pretty simple case.  Here are the questions the cops would (or should) have asked, and the defendant’s presumptive answers:

Q)  Why did you try to take the police officer’s weapon?

A)  I was going to use it to shoot Donald Trump.

Q)  Did you intend to kill Mr. Trump?

A)  Yes.

As usual we have to turn to the British media for a small piece of the truth, because the American press corps is hiding it.  The Guardian tells us that a British man, who was in the USA illegally, has pled guilty to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function – in a grotesquely watered-down deal offered by the US Department of Justice. Michael Steven Sandford could get “about two years in prison” for genuinely trying to assassinate Donald Trump.  From The Guardian:

A British man has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from an incident in which he grabbed a police officer’s gun with a plan to shoot Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Las Vegas.

Michael Steven Sandford could face about two years in a US prison and be deported for his pleas on Tuesday to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function.

The 20-year-old Sandford could have faced up to 20 years in prison if he had been convicted at trial of both charges.

Court documents say Sandford acknowledged reaching for the gun while Trump was on stage 18 June at a Las Vegas strip hotel-casino.

And if you think Attorney General Loretta Lynch was not involved in okaying this deal, you had better think again.  She was.

Mind you, the man made an overt attempt to kill Mr. Trump by grabbing a Las Vegas police officer’s duty weapon and trying to take it from the officer.  A prior issue of The Guardian reported:

A British man has been detained and charged with attempting to seize a police officer’s gun at a Las Vegas rally in order to commit an act of violence against Donald Trump, authorities said on Monday.

Michael Steven Sandford was arrested at the Saturday rally after grabbing at the holster and handle of a gun at the hip of a Las Vegas police officer who was providing security at the event for the presumptive Republican nominee…

…The complaint, which was filed on Monday in the US district court for Nevada, says Sandford “knowingly attempted to engage in an act of physical violence against Donald J Trump … by attempting to seize a firearm from Las Vegas Metropolitan Department Officer”…

Not knowingly attempting to murder Mr. Trump.  But look on down the page at what Mr. Sandford told the cops:

…Sandford allegedly told a US agent, referred to in the complaint as special agent Swierkowski, that he had driven to Las Vegas from California in order to kill the presumptive Republican nominee for president.

According to the complaint, Sandford had gone to a gun range called Battlefield Vegas on 17 June in order to learn how to shoot. There, he fired 20 rounds from a Glock 9mm pistol, which, the complaint says, was the first time he had ever fired a gun…

…The document also states that Sandford told Swierkowski that if he were on the street tomorrow, he would try it again. He claimed he had lived in the US for approximately a year and a half and had been planning to attempt to kill Trump for about a year but finally felt confident enough to try it on Saturday, according to Swierkowski’s report.

He also told Swierkowski that he had tickets for a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, later that day, and planned to try to kill Trump there as well.

We don’t know if that rather explicit confession to attempted murder (with considerable premeditation, I’ll have you know) came before or after a proper Miranda Rights advisal.  If we assume (I know, it’s risky to do that) that the cops were doing proper business as it should be done, the in-custody confession came forth after Mr. Sandford waived his right to counsel.

There is a crime called Attempt to Commit Murder or Manslaughter under Title 18 in the U.S. Code, section 1113:

Except as provided in section 113 of this title, whoever, within the special maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States, attempts to commit murder or manslaughter, shall, for an attempt to commit murder be imprisoned not more than twenty years or fined under this title, or both, and for an attempt to commit manslaughter be imprison – See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/51/1113#sthash.HVZA41EK.dpuf

Interestingly, Mr. Sandford was not charged with that offense.

Mr. Sandford will not do a full two years in prison, if he is even sentenced to that much time.

I have a question:  Had President Obama or Mrs. Clinton been the intended target of such an overt attempt at assassination, would this kind of deal have been swung by the Department of Justice?

About John L. Work

John Lloyd Work has taken the detective thriller genre and woven an occasional political thread throughout his books, morphing what was once considered an arena reserved for pure fiction into believable, terrifying, futuristic, true-to-life “faction”. He traveled the uniformed patrolman’s path, answering brutal domestic violence calls, high speed chases, homicides, suicides, armed robberies, breaking up bar fights, and the accompanying sporadic unpredictable moments of terror - which eventually come to all police officers, sometimes when least expected. He gradually absorbed the hard fact that the greatest danger a cop faces comes in the form of day-to-day encounters with emotionally disturbed, highly intoxicated people. Those experiences can wear a cop down, grinding on his own emotions and psyche. Prolonged exposure to the worst of people and people at their worst can soon make him believe that the world is a sewer. That police officer’s reality is a common thread throughout Work’s crime fiction books. Following his graduation from high school, Work studied music and became a professional performer, conductor and teacher. Life made a sudden, unexpected turn when, one afternoon in 1976, his cousin, who eventually became the Chief of the Ontario, California, Police Department, talked him into riding along during a patrol shift. The musician was hooked into becoming a police officer. After working for two years as a reserve officer in Southern California and in Boulder, Colorado, he joined the Longmont, Colorado Police Department. Work served there for seven years, investigating crimes as a patrolman, detective and patrol sergeant. In 1989 he joined the Adams County, Colorado Sheriff’s Office, where he soon learned that locking a criminal up inside a jail or prison does not put him out of business. As a sheriff’s detective he investigated hundreds of crimes, including eleven contract murder conspiracies which originated “inside the walls”. While serving on the Adams County North Metro Gang Task Force and as a member of the Colorado Security Threat Intelligence Network Group (STING), Work designed a seminar on how a criminal’s mind formulates his victim selection strategy. Over a period of six years he taught that class in sheriff’s academies and colleges throughout Colorado. He saw the world of crime both inside the walls and out on the streets. His final experiences in the criminal law field were with the Colorado State Public Defender’s Office, where for nearly two years he investigated felonies from the defense side of the Courtroom. Twenty-two years of observing human nature at its worst, combined with watching some profound changes in America’s culture and political institutions, provided plenty of material for his first three books. A self-published author, he just finished writing his tenth thriller.
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4 Responses to Illegal Alien Attempts To Assassinate Trump – Gets A Sweet Plea Deal In Vegas

  1. It’s probably the legal distinction between a murder “attempted”, and a murder “intended, but not attempted”. We don’t have “thought crime” laws, so if he didn’t actually get the gun and point it at Trump, his lawyer can argue no murder was attempted.

    • John L. Work says:

      I was a Colorado law enforcement officer for nearly 20 years and spent two years following that with the public defender’s office as a criminal defense investigator. The actions here more than fulfill the necessary elements of the crime of attempted murder. It’s not necessary for him to actually have gotten possession of the weapon. The “substantial step” necessary to complete the act was his attempt to take the weapon from the officer. His confession as to his intent to kill Mr. Trump was given to the police or to the federal agent who interrogated him, according to the Daily Mail report. The authorities had plenty of evidence to take this to trial. They just didn’t want to do it. And they don’t have to do it. The AG or a District Attorney can do whatever she or he wants to do. It is also possible that the in-custody confession as to the defendant’s intent was obtained without benefit of a Miranda Advisal, which would make the confession inadmissible in Court. That would be a case buster, because the state wouldn’t be able to prove what the defendant intended to do with the weapon, had he managed to take it from the officer. But we don’t know if he was properly advised of his rights after the arrest, because it’s not in the news report. I gave the cops the benefit of the doubt that they would have played the interrogation by the book.

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