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DOJ seeks prison time for woman who stole Ashley Biden's diary

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking prison time for Aimee Harris, the woman who stole the diary of the president’s daughter, Ashley Biden, and sold it to conservative media site Project Veritas for tens of thousands of dollars before the 2020 presidential election.

According to the DOJ, Harris was temporarily staying at the Delray Beach, Fla., residence of Ashley Biden in September 2020 when she stole the diary “containing highly personal entries” as well as tax records, a cellphone and family photographs. Harris enlisted defandant Robert Kurlander to assist her in selling the collected material.

Project Veritas, based in New York, paid Harris and Kurlander $20,000 each for the diary and other materials the pair returned to Florida to obtain. Project Veritas is a controversial media outlet known for sting operations, sending its staffers undercover to record sources and capture what they say is the true story behind the headlines.

In November, the DOJ raided two locations tied to Project Veritas and the organization’s founder, James O’Keefe.

Project Veritas never published the diary, but a different website did. O’Keefe, who said he received the diary from tipsters who found it abandoned in a hotel room, said he did not publish it because he could not verify its authenticity.

In a Tuesday letter to Judge Laura Swain, federal prosecutors requested that the court impose a sentence of four months to 10 months of imprisonment for Harris, followed by three years of supervised release. Prosecutors had previously asked for six months of home confinement, followed by three years of supervised release.

Federal prosecutors said in the letter that the revised sentencing recommendation comes after Harris has delayed her sentencing hearing date 12 times, for reasons that prosecutors described as inadequate. Harris’s initial sentencing was set for Dec. 6, 2022.

Harris, prosecutors said, sometimes gave excuses that they later found to be untrue, including saying she could not find child care. In one circumstance, the government later learned that the father, with whom Harris shares custody of the children, was available to care for the children on specific dates in question that Harris was ordered to appear in court.

Prosecutors also expressed frustration with Harris’s failure to secure a valid identification, which, they said, Harris knew was necessary in order to travel. She said at other points that she was sick but failed to produce the medical records demanded by the court.

The defendant has repeatedly and consistently engaged in tactics to improperly delay this proceeding, including misleading the Court with false information to justify belated and unmerited requests for adjournments, refusing to appear when directed, and failing to comply with court orders to disclose or produce certain information. Through this pattern of behavior, the defendant has shown a complete disregard for the Court’s orders and for the orderly administration of this judicial proceeding.

“At bottom, the defendant’s flagrant disrespect for the law, including the orders of this Court —even after pleading guilty in this case—demonstrates an abdication of responsibility for her conduct and strongly militates for an incarceratory sentence,” federal prosecutors wrote in the Tuesday letter to the court. “In particular, the defendant has shown to be completely unamenable to court supervision such that a sentence involving merely probation will not be sufficient to deter the defendant from continuing to flout the law.”

“Moreover, a sentence involving no period of incarceration would be wholly insufficient to reflect the gravity of the defendant’s conduct, including her apparent belief that she is above the law and that she need not comply with this Court’s orders.”

The prosecutors said that the revised sentencing recommendation “would send the message that breaking the law and then failing to abide with the orders of the Court during the pendency of a criminal case will not be tolerated and will have serious consequences.”

An attorney representing Harris did not reply to a request for comment.

Harris and Kurlander each pleaded guilty to one count of a conspiracy to commit interstate transportation of stolen property from an immediate family member of a former government official who was running for national office.

Source: The Hill

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