Trump: I Cannot Be Criminally Investigated While In Office

In another extreme and dubious argument in court, President Donald Trump has gone to court against to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from gaining access to his tax returns. The President’s resistance to disclosing his taxes is now legendary, including differing excuses. However, this 20-page filing contains a particularly disconcerting argument that Trump cannot be criminally investigated while he is in office. It is an argument that has little support in either the text of the Constitution or cases dealing with Article II.

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Giuliani Denies Then Admits To Asking Ukraine To Investigate Joe Biden

This morning on NPR, I discussed the latest controversy triggered by President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani. We have previously discussed the often conflicting statements made by Rudy Giuliani in this representation of President Donald Trump and the failure to follow a type of legal Hippocratic oath to first do no harm to one’s client. Last night Giuliani triggered another firestorm of criticism on CNN after he first denied speaking to Ukraine about investigating Joe Biden and then immediately contradicted himself and said that he did.

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CNN Uses McCabe To Analyze Allegations Against Trump On Whistleblower Complaint

The CNN has been criticized for its heavily anti-Trump coverage and comments over the years. It has also received widespread criticism of hiring Trump critics, including Andrew McCabe who was fired from the Justice Department and accused of an array of wrongdoing. He is also facing a recommendation for a criminal charge for false statements. This morning however CNN’s John Berman turned to McCabe to give its expert review of the serious controversy over an intelligence community complaint reportedly against Trump. CNN largely skipped over McCabe’s precarious legal position or the past complaints that he lied about past investigations.

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Report: Trump Was Subject of Whistleblower Complaint Over Security Threat

Congress and the White House are in a standoff after the Administration refused to disclose a whistleblower complaint to the Inspector General over a national security breach — a complaint that under federal law is to be supplied to Congress. There is now a Washington Post report that the Complaint concerns a “promise” made by President Donald Trump to a foreign leader that was considered so serious that it prompted an intelligence official to file the complaint and prompted the Inspector General to declare the matter an “urgent concern.” Trump has been previously criticized for disclosing classified information, including a serious breach in a meeting with Russian officials.

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Trump Retweets Fake Video Of Omar Dancing On 9-11

President Donald Trump has made a mantra of his “fake news” attack on journalists. However, he has repeatedly retweeted false stories and the most recent is particularly concerning. Trump shared an edited video made by a comedian that falsely portrayed Rep. Ilhan Omar dancing and partying on the 18th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. It triggered a chorus of objections. It was also entirely untrue.

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Fuhgeddaboudit: De Blasio At 0 Percent Support In New York City With A 58 Percent Unfavorability Rating

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has tried everything to jump start his presidential campaign which has wallowed a 0 in national campaigns. From promising to “tax the hell out of the wealthy” to free education to free health care, de Blasio has tried everything. One of this central themes has been to herald his own performance as the mayor of New York. However, a new Siena College poll shows that de Blasio is even less popular in New York city with 58 percent of New Yorkers holding an unfavorable view of him. Even more telling is the fact that his own city shows the same 0 percent support that he has nationwide for president. Even Billy Crystal mocked de Blasio in declaring “You are going nowhere. Come back and clean up this city.

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“Feel Free To Leak This”: Pelosi Blasts Judiciary Committee Over Impeachment Efforts

For over two years, I have written that the Democratic leadership had no intention to impeach Donald Trump. The problem has been that the voters gave the House back to the Democrats in part to pursue impeachment. With the House Judiciary Committee moving forward, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has become more and more direct in reminding them that this is not a real effort. The most strident statements came out of a meeting yesterday with Pelosi not only blasting the Committee (and its Chair Jerry Nadler) but telling attendees “feel free to leak this.”

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Kavanaugh Impeachment Would Be Long On Politics And Short on Principle

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the recent allegations published by the New York Times against Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Despite the drafting of an impeachment resolution, the Democratic leadership has signaled that it has no intention of moving forward with an investigation. Instead it has been the New York Times that have been on the defensive over omissions from the column. Nevertheless, most of the Democratic candidates for president have called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment.

Here is the column:

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Three Teens Killed In Possible Stand Your Ground Case in Georgia

There is another case involving a possible “Stand Your Ground” defense in the headlines this week. The latest case comes out of Georgia where three teens were shot and killed by a home owner. Stand Your Ground laws have been part of the national consciousness since George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin, even though Zimmerman did not ultimately rely on the Florida SYG law. The initial account seems to be a classic case for the common law rule that you are not required to retreat in exercising the privilege of self-defense.

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New York City Gives 1.1 Million Students Free Pass From School To Join Climate Change Protests

There is an interesting story in the New York Times that the city has decided that any of its 1.1 million public school students will be allowed to skip classes without penalties to join the global youth climate strikes to be held this Friday. As someone who has long advocated for action on climate change and opposes the Trump environmental policies, I am entirely in support of demonstrations. However, the decision raises some concerns over how the New York Public School system chooses which protests to sanction. Would students be permitted next month to attend anti-climate change protests? If not, this authority is being used in a viewpoint discriminatory manner.

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New York Times Reporter Refuses To Answer Questions About Controversial Tweet

Robin Pogrebin, New York Times reporter, just gave an interview with CNN on Tuesday morning that was striking in what was not discussed. Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, who are co-authors of the new book “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation,” have have been under attack for an opinion piece that highlighted a new and salacious allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh. The column omitted the critical fact that the woman involved in the incident reportedly has no memory of it. Pogrebin and Kelly have stated in the last 24 hours that it was an editing error and that they originally had the information in their article. As someone who has written for various newspapers as a columnist, I am perfectly willing to believe their account. Such things happen in editing. However, I was more surprised by the refusal to answer questions this morning, including Pogrebin’s alleged authorship of a controversial tweet.

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Pelosi’s Poison Pill? Speaker’s Comments Are Cited In Federal Court To Block Impeachment Inquiry

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent filings in federal court by the Justice Department opposing the effort of the House Judiciary Committee in seeking grand jury material redacted from the Mueller Report. The Justice Department is relying on the comments of Speaker Nancy Pelosi in arguing that there is no real impeachment investigation proceeding in the House.

Below is the column

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Florida Man Who Dragged A Shark To Its Death Given 10 Days In Jail

Robert Lee "Bo" Benac III was sentenced to 10 days in jail last Thursday for dragging a shark in the back of his boat and recording the encounter in July of 2017.

We have previously discussed cruel abuse of wild animals by people who then post their twisted achievements on the Internet. One such idiot is Robert Lee “Bo” Benac III who recorded the dragging of a shark to its death behind a high-speed boat. Benac was given a generous a plea deal and sentenced to only 10 days in jail. He is the third person to face charges for the disgusting videotape shoot near Egmont Key, Florida. Benac pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of aggravated cruelty to animals and violation of Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission rules. This is what you get for an open and brutal case of torturing a wild animal to its death.

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Illinois Man Convicted Of First Degree Murder In Use Of Spring Gun in Shed

There is a new spring gun or man trap case in torts. I teach such cases as part of intentional torts starting with the famous case of Bird v. Holbrook in 1825. William Wasmund, 48, was convicted of rigging a shotgun (a favorite choice of spring gunners) and killed a neighbor. He was convicted of first-degree murder and aggravated battery in the death of Jeff Spicer, according to The Southern Illinoisian.

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