The text of the latest version of the First Step Act, being circulated by proponents to law enforcement groups and obtained by Breitbart News, still allows a number of violent criminals early release under the program.
The text of the bill, which proponents still refuse to make available to the public but Breitbart News has obtained and is publishing here, is what senators intend to introduce this month as part of a final U.S. Senate push for criminal justice reform legislation.
In the corner of every page, the date Dec. 8, 2018 and time of 7:56 p.m.–which would have been late Saturday evening–are printed as the date and time this latest “discussion draft” was printed. The pdf version obtained by Breitbart News, however, dates it in the title of the pdf even newer–as a Dec. 10, 2018, which means this version is considered the latest as of Monday evening.
READ THE BILL: THE FIRST STEP ACT ‘DISCUSSION DRAFT’:
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday morning on the Senate floor said that the U.S. Senate will take this bill up before the end of the year, a political win for President Donald Trump–whose White House has been pushing the legislation. White House adviser and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program on Monday evening to push the bill, in which he said he expects Senate passage by Christmas.
Opponents of the legislation, chief among them Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), are concerned that the First Step Act may release early from prison into the general public a group of violent criminals and convicts–putting the country’s safety and security at risk.
In addition to obtaining the text of the latest version of the 149-page bill, which is marked “Discussion Draft” on every page throughout and is the exact bill–or close to it–that senators intend to take up for passage this year, Breitbart News has also obtained an analysis from the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys which found that the latest version of the bill still allows a number of violent criminals early release.
Bruce Moyer, the counsel for the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, emailed the analysis to a number of people based off this latest bill text. The crimes still eligible for early release under this latest, final version of the First Step Act, according to this legal analysis from the assistant U.S. attorneys group, includes these 37 that the organization lists out:
- Committing rape as part of a war crime – 18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(G)
- Bank robbery by force or violence including assault with a dangerous weapon – 18 U.S.C. § 2113(c)
- Drive-by shootings – 18 U.S.C. § 36
- Assaulting a law enforcement officer – 18 U.S.C. § 111(a)
- Carjacking with intent to cause death or serious bodily harm – 18 U.S.C. § 2119(1)
- Assaulting a child or infant – 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(5)
- Bank robbery by force or violence that puts the life of a person in jeopardy – 18 U.S.C. § 2113(d)
- Performing biological experiments for torture as part of a war crime – 18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(c)
- First time assault with intent to commit rape, unless have served time for certain other previous crimes – 18 U.S.C. § 3559(c)(2)(F)
- Committing torture as part of a war crime – 18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(a)
- Assisting federal prisoners with jailbreak – 18 U.S.C. § 752
- Bank robbery involving assault or putting the life of a person in jeopardy with a dangerous weapon or device – 18 U.S.C. § 2113(d)
- Performing acts of violence on aircraft pilots or other individuals on aircrafts to endanger the safety of the aircraft – 18 U.S.C. § 32(a)(6)
- Committing mutilation or maiming as part of a war crime – 18 U.S.C. § 2441(d)(1)(E)
- Threatening to assault, kidnap, or murder a federal judge or law enforcement officer – 18 U.S.C. § 115(a)(1)(b))
- Drug-related robbery even if a person is killed or suffers significant bodily injury – 18 U.S.C. § 2118(a)
- Assault with a dangerous weapon with intent to do bodily harm – 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(3)
- Trafficking crystal meth, unless also a “manager, leader, organizer, or supervisor” of the drug operation – 18 U.S.C. § 841(b)
- Racketeering, including violent crimes committed in aid of racketeering – 18 U.S.C. § 1951
- Bank robbery by force, violence, or intimidation – 18 U.S.C. § 2113(a)
- Genocide – 18 U.S.C. § 1091
- Prison guards or officers helping prisoners with jailbreak – 18 U.S.C. § 755
- Planting a bomb on or committing arson to a motor vehicle – 18 U.S.C. § 33
- Trafficking cocaine as a kingpin – 18 U.S.C. § 841(b)
- Trafficking heroin, unless also a “manager, leader, organizer, or supervisor” of the drug operation – 18 U.S.C. § 841(b)
- Assault resulting in serious bodily injury – 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(6)
- Assault by striking, beating or wounding – 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(4)
- Assault with intent to commit any felony except murder or aggravated sexual abuse – 18 U.S.C. § 113(a)(2)
- Conspiracy or attempt to engage in human trafficking, including trafficking of children – 18 U.S.C. § 1594
- Hate crimes – 18 U.S.C. § 249
- Conspiracy to assault, threaten, intimidate, or impede a federal officer or employee – 18 U.S.C. § 372
- Destruction of an aircraft, including with an explosive device or substance – 18 U.S.C. § 32(a)(1)-(4)
- Blackmail – 18 U.S.C. § 873
- Destruction of a gas pipeline (enviroterrorism) unless there was “serious risk of death or serious bodily injury” – 18 U.S.C § 60123(b)
- Extortion – 18 U.S.C. § 875
- High-speed flight from an immigration checkpoint – 18 U.S.C. § 758
- Transporting or manufacturing a firearm or explosive device for use in a riot – 18 U.S.C. § 231(B)
Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley’s office has repeatedly not answered over the course of several days whether or not the proponents of the legislation would fix it so that convicts of the above-mentioned violent crimes–and others already exposed by Breitbart News–would be fixed in the final version of the bill. But it appears as though the answer is, based off this latest version of the text obtained by Breitbart News, that the proponents do not intend to fix these loopholes allowing violent criminals early release.
To take up the bill by the end of the year on a tight legislative timeline with other major must-pass legislation like a spending bill and farm bill conference report among other priorities still looming for Congress, lawmakers would need to move fast on this legislation.
To make it worth it in the Senate, too, lawmakers would need to move extra fast so as after any Senate passage the House and Senate can come together with a conference report and get to a final product before this Congress expires. There is less than one full calendar month–and even less legislative days–before this Congress expires and the new Democrat majority takes over in the U.S. House.
So if the Senate does not move quickly enough, which there may not be enough time anyway before the new Congress takes over on Jan. 3, 2019, then the new Congress would need to start over again on this next year.