The two men caught spying on President Donald J. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate last month have been convicted of wiretapping and sentenced to a 20-year prison term at Camp Blaz, Guam, a JAG source told Real Raw News.
As reported in February, Trump’s Delta Force protection detail caught the suspects sitting in a van with surveillance gear parked across the road from the estate. The duo, later identified as former intelligence assets, claimed to be tourists from New Hampshire on a sightseeing safari through Florida. Delta seized the van and its contents — parabolic microphones, drones, and infrared cameras — and brought the occupants, Eric Scholz, a former FBI special agent who in 2017 resigned from the Bureau following allegations he had planted child pornography on personal computers of Trump supporters, and Ira Hamutal, a former Mossad agent who got fired for flashing his privates at female co-workers, to a JAG processing center in Florida. From there, they were sent to Camp Blaz, which White Hats have nicknamed GITMO 3.0.
On March 9, they pleaded “not guilty” before a U.S. Marine Corps Staff Judge Advocate, claiming their “abductors” had violated their civil and constitutional rights. They stuck to their tourist story, saying they’d been exercising their 1st Amendment rights from a public easement, not private property, when “Trump’s people bum rushed” them and gave them a beatdown.
Per the 1st Amendment, taking photographs and video of things plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right — including transportation facilities, private dwellings, the outside of federal buildings, and police and other government officials carrying out their duties. YouTube is replete with “1st Amendment auditors” engaged in this activity.
The suspects told the Staff Judge Advocate they were being detained against their will and were victims of unlawful detainment and kidnapping.
The Staff Judge Advocate said while photography is, in most cases, a protected right, wiretapping, especially in a “two-party” consent state like Florida, is a second-degree felony that carries a 2-20 year sentence.
“And since you were both caught with a parabolic dish jutting out the passenger window, aimed at Mar-a-Lago, it’s beyond reasonable that you were involved in the unlawful interception of communications. We retrieved the audio you both recorded from the vehicle, and while it’s innocuous, it doesn’t excuse your actions, taking into account, how should I put this, your past affiliations,” the Staff Judge Advocate said.
He did, however, offer them an out.
“If you’d be so kind as to reveal who hired you and have supporting evidence, I’d be inclined to exercise some leniency in this matter,” he said.
But Scholz and Hamutal wouldn’t budge.
The Staff Judge Advocate expressed disappointment in their decision and imposed the maximum sentence — 20 years imprisonment.