Can Yates Testify Without Violating Privilege or Ethics Rules?

sally_q-_yatesI previously discussed the dubious decision taken by former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates to order the entire Justice Department to stand down and not to assist the president in the defense of his first executive order on immigration. In a letter to the president, Yates said she was not convinced that the law is just or right. Yates effectively dared Trump to fire her over the immigration order and he did so.  Now Yates has volunteered to testify before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence — a hearing that was abruptly cancelled by its Chairman.  Such an appearance is relatively rare and fraught with difficult constitutional and ethical questions for Yates. She would be testifying  in the committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election.  However, she is testifying as someone who was recently in a prosecutorial position about subjects related to an ongoing investigation where no one has yet to be indicted.  Even if she can manuever around the privilege issues, she could raise serious ethical issues with her testimony.

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Oklahoma Woman Charged Three Counts Of First Degree Murder For The Deaths of Her Alleged Burglar Accomplices

87981c51-691b-4555-b913-c7e939d90098-large16x9_RODRIGUEZELIZABETHMARIEElizabeth Marie Rodriguez, 21, is facing an extraordinary set of charges of three counts of first-degree murder and first-degree burglary.  The men killed were actually her accomplices in an attempted burglary. None of the them had a gun but one had a knife and one has brass knuckles.  The homeowner’s son however did have a gun and shot and killed all three men. Prosecutors then charged Rodriguez with the deaths even though she was only the getaway driver.

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Burn Baby Burn: Trump Set To Eviscerate Obama’s Environmental Protection and Climate Change Reforms

With the health care reform defeat, the Trump Administration is moving aggressively toward new goals including tax cuts in Congress.  Today, however, he will keep another pledge and dismantle Obama orders protecting the environment and combating climate change and environmental protection. With the rescinding of the orders, Trump will place the United States in the most anti-climate change posture of any major nation, rivaling even China in the lack of hard commitments to move away from fossil fuels. Indeed, he is expected to open up new leases for coal and relax regulations to allow increased fossil fuel consumption.  As I have previously discussed, this move is not only running against the grain of other major nations but against the market itself. While other countries are moving aggressively toward clean energy and green markets, the United States will be moving aggressively backward.

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Group Calls for Prosecution of Muslim Cleric After He Reads Passage Calling For The Killing Of Jews

There is a controversy in Montreal where Jordanian cleric Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr was invited to speak at the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque and quoted a version calling for the killing of Jews.   The imam recited in Arabic the verse: “O Muslim, O servant of Allah, O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.”  People have called for his prosecution for hate speech, rekindling the debate over Canada’s roll back of free speech with hate speech and discrimination laws. Continue reading

Iowa State University Under Fire For Essay Assignment On 9-11 . . . For The Viewpoint of Al Qaeda

There has been an outcry against Iowa State University over a short essay assignment for International Studies students.  It is a firestorm that most faculty hardly expect with regard to a singe essay assignment of a minimum of 500 words.  However, students were told to “Write a paper that gives a historical account of 911 from the perspective of the terrorist network. In other words, how might Al-Qaeda or a non-Western historian describe what happened.”  There have been calls for action by the state legislature.  I hope that the state legislature will consider the impact of such action against the values of academic freedom.  Faculty often try to force students from looking at issues from different perspectives, particularly in the area of international studies.  That does not mean that the school favors Al Qaeda or belittles 9-11.

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TRUMP’S SHINING MOMENT? NEW EVIDENCE REPORTEDLY SUPPORTS TRUMP CLAIM THAT CAMPAIGN STAFF WAS SURVEILLED

Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the disclosure of the possible surveillance of Trump campaign staff and a decision to “unmask” and distribute transcripts of those interceptions.  Fox has reported that there is a “smoking gun” linking the Obama Administration.  However, Nunes later went on CNN and seemed to backtrack a bit in saying that he did not actually see the evidence.  Evidence will reportedly be brought to Capitol Hill this week.

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