I have been critical of the actions taken by former FBI director James Comey in leaking FBI information after he was fired by President Donald Trump. However, his appointment by Howard University as an endowed chair of public policy represented a good opportunity for both Howard and Comey. However, his first address to the university as part of the 2017-18 convocation was a disaster for both Howard and Comey as protesters shouted profanities and disrupted the event. It was the latest example of protesters shutting down free speech on campus and the university appeared unwilling or unable to enforce basic civility rules by removing and suspending the students.
We have previously discussed the meltdown at the University of Missouri-Columbia where applications have plummeted since the controversial responses to race protests on campus, including the decision to terminate a journalism professor who encouraged students to “muscle” a student journalist. The result has been the shutting down of whole dormitories. Now the university has hit upon a new idea to raise revenue. It has effectively become a hotel and has been renting out rooms in vacant dormitories for $120 a night for football games.
Today, I will have a debate with Berkeley Professor and former Bush Administration lawyer John Yoo at Christopher Newport University’s Center for American Studies (CAS). The debate will cover Free Speech in War and Peace Time. However, the focus will be on the constitutionality and use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). This is part of the Constitution Day events at the university.
Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the recent demand by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of material in over a dozen different areas. The most intriguing is likely to be the two documents referenced by Trump personal counsel Ty Cobb in an overheard conversation at a popular D.C. restaurant. The conversation has many in the Beltway scratching their heads and a few smirking. Cobb is an experienced lawyer who sees this investigation as unlikely to produce any compelling basis for a criminal charge. Conversely, White House Counsel Don McGahn is properly concerned with the danger of establishing precedent in the area of executive privilege that could undermine future presidents. Cobb is a bit too experienced in this town to make such an amateurish mistake as discussing loudly an internal fight over the documents in McGahn’s safe — a previously undisclosed dispute. It would certainly be intriguing if the reporter was told to have lunch at BLT and bring his notebook (Technically Cobb did not leak anything in being overheard). It would have been a truly Machiavellian move against McGahn. However, there is no evidence supporting such a theory. Ifthat were the case, the reporter’s story would be highly misleading since he clearly conveyed that this was a pure coincidence and a surprise. Moreover, such an arrangement would be unethical in my view even if Cobb thought it in the best interest of the President. These remain documents under a claim of privilege and presumably there was a decision not to make the disclosure. I am inclined to give Cobb the benefit of the doubt, though that means assuming that he committed a rather rookie error.
Rachel Myrick may not have had the ideal dining experience but she may have the good lawsuit against the Longhorn Steakhouse in Fredericksburg Virginia after being bitten by a highly venomous copperhead snake while walking into the restauraunt.
Saudi Sheikh Saad al-Hajari has reportedly come out strongly against the movement to allow women in the Kingdom to drive. Sheikh Saad al-Hajari said that the ban should remain because women possess a “lack of intellect” compared to men. He explained that they have only half the brainpower of males.
While the world did not end as announced on Saturday (which has proven an incredible inconvenience for those of us having to teach next week), the Trump travel ban did end on Sunday. When the Supreme Court lifted a significant part of the injunctions imposed on the bans by lower courts, there was a surprising footnote in the short order that I discussed at the time. The Court indicated that the Trump Administration had not asked for an expedited hearing before October. That set the travel ban up for what I described as “planned obsolescence” to expire shortly before the scheduled oral argument.