Fight or Flight: Why An Obstruction Case Against Trump Is Likely To Fail

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the known basis for an obstruction case against President Donald Trump. While much more has been learned since the appointment of the Special Counsel, there remains considerable doubt about a prosecutable case for obstruction.

Here is the column:

“The wicked flee when no man pursueth, but the righteous are bold as a lion.” Like all proverbs, this well known saying is often better understood in the abstract. Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between “flight” and “fight.” From the perspective of his critics, President Trumpevidences guilt at every turn and in every tweet. For Trump, his moves are merely the result of being a “counter puncher” who attacks when he is threatened.

The question of perception goes directly to the heart of the obstruction allegations leveled against him. Indeed, for someone approaching these questions as a criminal defense lawyer, disputes over perception can be the death of a prosecution. Crimes must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. They cannot be purely matters of perception. That has been the case regarding the obstruction allegations made against the president.

recently explored the status of the public evidence of collusion based crimes. It is now time to look at the status of obstruction of justice from information revealed in court filings, congressional investigations and witness statements. While special counsel Robert Mueller could offer new incriminating evidence in his final report, the evidentiary record remains strikingly anemic as a basis for criminal obstruction charges.

The issue is not optics but intent. Trump could not have created worse optics in his various actions and comments. He also acted inappropriately i reportedly pressuring officials to intervene either with Comey or to push to clear his name publicly. One of the most inappropriate moments came when Trump reportedly pushed Comey to go easy on Trump’s former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. However, that incident is an example of how the same conduct can have widely different explanations. Trump can easily defend his statements as showing compassion for someone who had already resigned in disgrace. He was not reportedly asking for an end of the investigation.

Thus far, obstruction remains the bomb that never went off. Mueller has not been fired, Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker did not move to limit the investigation, and Trump has not pardoned key witnesses or associates before they could cooperate or testify. More importantly, any obstruction case must meet the elements of an obstruction crime, which usually involves obstructing a grand jury or destroying evidence. As I previously discussed, there are significant problems in shoehorning these facts into the criminal code and serious implications of stretching such definitions for future cases. Here are the most cited obstruction theories.

The firing of the FBI director

Before Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, some of us opposed the appointment of a special counsel absent a cognizable crime. The firing in May 2017 changed all of that. The result was predictable and catastrophic. Many of us, including some Republican congressional leaders, called for a special counsel to open an investigation. The president had supplied the very criminal allegation that had been missing in the collusion theories.

However, the obstruction theory tied to firing Comey has not improved with time. There were ample independent reasons to fire him. As the memorandum by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had detailed, Comey was denounced by several former and current Justice Department officials for his poor judgment and violation of standard FBI procedures.

While former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote that Rosenstein felt pressured to write the memorandum, Rosenstein has stood by his assessment of Comey and the basis for his termination. Moreover, after the firing, Trump took no action to stop or curtail the investigation and appointed Christopher Wray, who is widely praised for his independence.

Russian meeting and interview

The political damage from firing Comey was magnified the next day when Trump met with Russian officials in the Oval Office. This was followed by perhaps the most disastrous press interview in our modern presidential history. The May 2017 interview with Lester Holt of NBC News would do little for an obstruction case. Yet, Trump began by giving his reason for firing Comey as a “grandstander” who left the FBI in “turmoil.” It was only later that Trump made the infamous statement, “I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story.”

However, Trump already said that he had made up his mind on Comey. He declared, “I was going to fire Comey knowing there was no good time to do it.” Indeed, he said he knew that the timing “will confuse people” and that he might “lengthen the time” of the investigation. These comments can be defended as obfuscation rather than obstruction. What Trump said to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak present more of problem. He told the Russian diplomats the very next day after firing Comey, “I just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That is taken off.”

There is no question that Trump tied his firing of Comey to his desire to reduce pressure from the investigation. However, the statement would not be difficult for a defense attorney to address. Trump met with the Russians to restart relations between the United States and Russia. He can easily claim that he was trying to show that he would not be negotiating from a weak or vulnerable position. Trump will likely claim that he was assuring the Russians that he could cut any deal and was not in anyway hamstrung in going forward. Moreover, if Trump had sought to end the investigation, he failed to act along those lines in appointing the successor to Comey.

The Trump Tower statement

The Trump Tower meeting statement drafted by the president on Air Force One was yet another example of taking a hammer to his own head. He falsely suggested that the meeting was arranged to discuss the ban on Russian adoptions. It was, in fact, arranged for the express purpose of getting some promised evidence of criminal conduct by Hillary Clinton.

The statement, however, does very little to show obstruction. First, the question is, to obstruct what? The meeting took place in June 2016, long after the Russian email hacking operations were launched against the Democrats. It has no apparent connection to any collusion. Second, it does not constitute a crime to receive this kind of evidence from foreign sources or governments. No such evidence has been reported.

Finally, and most important, the obvious defense and likely truth is that Trump was “spinning” a negative story. He is not the first president to do so. The falsehood was the description of the purpose rather than the content of the meeting. Witnesses agreed that it ended shortly after it began when it became clear that the Russians only wanted to talk about adoptions. That is not worth much as evidence of obstruction of justice.

The tweets and attacks

The final evidence often cited is the litany of hostile and conflicting public statements made by Trump on Twitter and in interviews. Trump seems to encourage witnesses like Paul Manafort, Michael Cohen, and Roger Stonenot to cooperate with Mueller while attacking every negative disclosure. Trump has continued to make damaging comments despite the universal view among his lawyers that he only harms himself and his administration.

The problem is that these controversial statements are his political modus operandi, not just with the Russia investigation but on trade, immigration, foreign policy, and virtually every sensitive topic in the news. Trump also believes in a “deep state” conspiracy against him, a suspicion fueled by internal FBI emails showing open bias against him and his election. Trump proceeded to counter punch his way into an obstruction investigation, but these public comments would make for a poor prosecution against him.

For now, the obstruction theories against the president far outstrip the available evidence of the crime. Yes, Trump could not have worked harder to build a federal obstruction case against himself. Yet, as baffling as his conduct and comments have proven over the course of this investigation, Trump appears more guilty of obsessive rather than obstructive conduct.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can follow him on Twitter @JonathanTurley.

322 thoughts on “Fight or Flight: Why An Obstruction Case Against Trump Is Likely To Fail”

  1. If self-destructive utterances were a Federal crime, the President would be sunk. But we still have freedom of speech in the US. Awkward Tweets are protected under the First Amendment. But you can look in vain for actual evidence, or even a theory of the crime of obstruction of justice that holds water for a second.

    We actually know how Mr. Trump behaves when he wishes to hide something. He has his good friend, the aptly-named Mr. Pecker quietly try to intimidate newspaper owners with purloined selfies and offer porn stars tons of money. He doesn’t Tweet about that kind of thing.

    If the same diligence had been exercised (beginning with the appointment of an independent special counsel) in investigation of the Clinton family’s acceptance of Russian money when Rosatom wanted to buy Uranium One and its rights to massive uranium deposits in Kazakhstan (the US uranium deposits being a red herring, so to speak) it’s entirely possible that the Clinton family Christmas card that year would have shown them in orange coveralls.

    The same is true of the Clintons, Loretta Lynch and Barack Obama, not to mention their supporting cast of flunkies, if an independent special counsel had examined in which ways they obstructed justice.

    1. Forget about Hillary and Obama. The real scoundrels who should be arrested are the coup plotters revealed by McCabe’s own damning admissions. Himself, Rosenstein, whomever was in on the plot to falsely invoke and remove the lawful president with the inapplicable 25th amendment procedure.

      Blaming Hillary & BHO for everything is foolish habit that distracts from the real adversaries at hand

      1. You conduct pre-dawn raids on Hillary and Obama a la Manafort and Stone. Roust them out of bed. Take them up to the 7th floor for a few waterboarding sessions. Voila! You have the names of the top level co-conspirators. They would have to be the wealthiest financiers and the highest security officials. The JFK hit was orchestrated by Dulles at the CIA, Hoover at the FBI, Marcello at the MOB and the Texas Oilmen. They undoubtedly had many multiple numerous supporters; both public and private; known and unknown.

  2. Turley: you don’t know what evidence Mueller has. Your speculative musings on publicly-available information and how that ultimately might relate to criminal liability are premature and reckless. You are well-aware that Mueller and his team do not leak information.

    Today’s relevant topic, and one which I would think a Constitutional scholar might focus on since it is timely, is Trump’s belief that the ability to declare a national emergency constitutes a backup plan for his failed negotiations with Congress on a border wall that most Americans do not want. He admitted there is no emergency, and facts establish that this is true. The fact that he is doing this after failing in his negotiations with Congress, and after failing to bully Congress by holding paychecks of federal workers, proves that it is a ruse. Apprehensions are the lowest since 1971, most drugs come in at portals of entry, and many more crimes are committed by native-born Americans and naturalized aliens. In fact, most “illegals” are people who entered on a valid visa, but overstayed. It is simply not illegal to seek asylum, and those who do so are not criminal. and caging asylum seekers to create a phony “humanitarian crisis” won’t fly.

    Trump simply cannot be allowed to get away with bypassing Article I of the Constitution that clearly and unequivocally provides that it is Congress’s purview to decide how taxpayer money is spent.

    1. You’re confusing the abundance of asylum seeking who are often visa overstays from countries in Asia like China Vietnam or Myanmar, who have very real fear based in very real oppression by very strong governments, which provide very genuine bases for their asylum seeking….

      with a lot of poor folks from central america who are just sick of being poor and hit the road. No they do not have visas, these caravan walkers are not going to be visa overstays, you are really confusing things.

      It’s sad such a mess exists south of our border, but if you let as many come as they want just because they would prefer to be in America, that would be like another 50 million or so. Seriously. That is not lawful and it is not desirable in the least bit.

      Now if one is a Honduran in America, perhaps one would want as many of relatives to come as possible legal or not. But , hey, sorry, I am not a Honduran, maybe you are, but our laws were made by and FOR Americans benefit not for Hondurans. Sorry! Life is unfair. And only a fool abandons advantage for nothing.

      And asylum laws that have worked really well for a long time, should not be abused by the Central Americans who could care less. Take a look at history, Germany is one example, think of all the physicists that came here from Germany before the war and helped us build the bomb. Also think of all three of these more recent examples of Vietnam China and Myanmar, show how our asylum laws have been a boon for America in helping it achieve strategic interests abroad.

    2. Anonymous cowardly complains “…bypassing Article I….”

      how rich.

      You and your Resist Anarchists have burned Article II of the US Constitution and the XII Amendment, but now you try to compel us why other select parts of the Constitution are imperative…

      written look a true…
      bigot
      charlatan
      crook
      impostor
      phony
      trickster
      actor
      backslider
      bluffer
      casuist
      cheat
      deceiver
      decoy
      dissembler
      dissimulator
      fake
      faker
      four-flusher
      fraud
      hook
      humbug
      informer
      malingerer
      masquerader
      mountebank
      pharisee
      playactor
      poser
      pretender
      quack
      smoothie
      sophist
      swindler
      two-timer
      attitudinizer
      Liberal

    3. There is a reason why the Anerican public does not “know what evidence Mueller has”.
      That’s largely because the Special Counsel has #1. Not wrapped up a 2 1/2 year investigation and #2. Nobody really knows where the OSC is at, how far along it is in adressing key questions, or when this will get wrapped up.
      In the meantime, we can keep hearing the claim that unseen and unknown evidence is there, or “might be” there, that will warrant impeachment and/or criminal charges against Trump.
      Or hear the view expressed this way, that “the lack of evidence presented does not mean that evidence is lacking”.
      At some point, there’s an expectation on the part of most people that the Special Counsel will reach and disclose conclusions about the central questions and the ostensible reason he was appointed in the first place.
      A lot of people have reached that point, and feel that the FBI and Mueller team have had suffient time, incentive, and resources to finish this and let the American public know the conclusions reached.
      And there may be roughly an equal number of people who think that a timely conclusion is not important, because Mueller knows or may know things that need not be revealed anytime soon to the public.
      That issue is more than a matter of “not leaking information”. It involves the public’s reasonable expection that the OSC complete its work and reveal its findings.

    4. Turley: you don’t know what evidence Mueller has.

      Natacha’s still plowin’ through the manure lookin’ for the pony.

      Trump’s belief that the ability to declare a national emergency constitutes a backup plan for his failed negotiations with Congress on a border wall that most

      It might upset Natacha to learn that dozens of ‘national emergencies’ have been declared in the last 4 decades.

  3. Here’s an acid test for someone who wants to talk.

    Do you approve or disapprove of the illegal attempt at coup d’etat against Donald Trump the lawful President of the United States, by McCabe and Rosenstein and other managers at FBI? such coup refereed to here by Professor Dershowitz

    https://www.mediaite.com/online/alan-dershowitz-on-mccabes-claim-doj-looked-at-ousting-trump-via-25th-amendment-clearly-an-attempt-at-a-coup-detat/

    If they don’t disapprove then there is nothing else to talk about. You either condone this unconstitutional and illegal coup attempt or not. For may part I oppose the illegal coup attempt against the POTUS. I believe the illegal coup plotters described by McCabe in his interview should be arrested immediately. The FBI must do its duty to the nation and the constitution and root out these saboteurs and plotters and stop the abuse of the agency and save its reputation.

    Answer carefully!

    1. If you can’t tell the difference between a constitutional process versus a coup d’état, then you are already far beyond help.

  4. The meeting took place in June 2016, long after the Russian email hacking operations were launched against the Democrats.

    Can you provide any evidence to support the allegations of DNC servers/networks being exploited by Russian email hacking operations?

    Notwithstanding Mueller’s evidence free indictment of Russian GRU/FSB personnel which will never be challenged in court.

    Italicized/bold text below was excerpted from the website turcopolier.typepad.com found within a report titled:

    WHY THE DNC WAS NOT HACKED BY THE RUSSIANS by Binney and Johnson

    The FBI, CIA and NSA claim that the DNC emails published by WIKILEAKS on July 26, 2016 were obtained via a Russian hack, but more than three years after the alleged “hack” no forensic evidence has been produced to support that claim. In fact, the available forensic evidence contradicts the official account that blames the leak of the DNC emails on a Russian internet “intrusion”. The existing evidence supports an alternative explanation–the files taken from the DNC between 23 and 25May 2016 and were copied onto a file storage device, such as a thumb drive.

    We believe that Special Counsel Robert Mueller faces major embarrassment if he decides to pursue the indictment he filed–which accuses 12 Russian GRU military personnel and an entity identified as, Guccifer 2.0, for the DNC hack—because the available forensic evidence indicates the emails were copied onto a storage device.

    The final curiosity is that the DNC never provided the FBI access to its servers in order for qualified FBI technicians to conduct a thorough forensic examination. If this had been a genuine internet hack, it would be very easy for the NSA to identify when the information was taken and the route it moved after being hacked from the server. The NSA had the technical collection systems in place to enable analysts to know the date and time of the messages. But that has not been done.

    Taken together, these disparate data points combine to paint a picture that exonerates alleged Russian hackers and implicates persons within our law enforcement and intelligence community taking part in a campaign of misinformation, deceit and incompetence. It is not a pretty picture.

    https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2019/02/why-the-dnc-was-not-hacked-by-the-russians.html

    1. Yes, I have posted that content or similar about ten times the past year and none of the anti Trump fanatics care about facts.

      1. Binney is a proven dupe of the GRU. Binney, himself, has admitted that he got conned by the GRU. All of you tin-foil hat conventioneers are Whack-A-Mole moles, to boot.

          1. Excerpted from the Urban Dictionary entry for “The Rabbit Died”:

            Phrase used to indicate that a woman is pregnant. The term originates from an early pregnancy test. It was discovered that when a pregnant woman’s urine was injected into a female rabbit, the hormonal difference would result in detectable changes in the rabbit’s ovaries. Although this form of testing was always fatal to the rabbit, no matter what the results were, the public somehow got the misconception that only a positive result killed the rabbit.

            [end excerpt]

            Take closer look at that bathing bunny, Mr. Fudd. The evidence of rigor mortis is unmistakable.

            P. S. Over-the-counter home pregnancy test kits have been available for several decades, already. Exactly how do you get internet service that far back up in the woods you’re living in?

            1. P. S. S. Can anyone else hear the banjo music playing in the background of that bathing bunny video?

              And what’s up with the indoor plumbing? Or the . . . is that a sponge or a coral?

              1. Forgive me, the translation was lost due to the hour of the night.

                It has become much clearer now.

                That bathing bunny is going to make a “run for it” come the Spring.

                The Grand Plan of a master escape like Houdini himself from the ultimate crab pot.

                The Velveteen rabbit will neither miss the banjo music nor the indoor plumbing.

                And OT: I do believe that is a coral.

            2. *cry laughs*

              This is just what I need at this hour, a few laughs. 🙂

              Btw, I have subsumed a new handle.

              Too many Anonymous’s in here makes for confusion.

              That’s a male bunny. At the end you can see his, well, anyway.

              I think you’ve lost me in translation…?

              1. But, but . . Who would inject the urine of a woman into Jack Wabbit to see if the woman were preggo?

                And you think I’ve wost you in twanswation?

                1. I come here for the Lulz. 😉

                  The Prawf’s Blawg verbal SmackDown, so to speak.

                  Way better than FB. I just need a bag of popcorn to make it puuurrrfect.

                  But smh. Congrats! You’ve officially trolled a troll.

  5. Here’s the new acid tests. Forget about the old nonsense about abortion and so forth.

    two questions

    a) do you support the removal of POTUS DJT by any means necessary including contrived impeachment now that the illegal 25th amendment coup plot by the rogue FBI agents has failed?

    b) do you support the invasion of the US by hordes of illegal immigrants from central America or do you want to protect the US national borders with a wall and any other means necessary?

    and we can settle these questions by any means necessary too.

    1. Kurtz, show us hard statistics that say border apprehensions are increasing. The truth is they’ve been dropping steadily since 2000.

      1. I dont need hard statistics for you to ignore. You say you live in LA then you know it’s true.

        People who apologize for this are complicit in the invasion of your own country.

        The invasion is not by armed belligerents rather mostly just poor illiterate people from third world countries who mean no harm per se. But, they are not allowed to come here just because they are hungry and they can swamp the boat. You guys think they pose no harm. Because you guys have a social racket which larges your share of the pie based on their numbers. It’s a racket and you are no better than boss tweed here

  6. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that FishWings has not dealt very well with Hillary’s loss. As for the border, since California has declared itself a sanctuary state and since the governor has said that everyone is welcome regardless of status, Trump should take all of the people currently in custody and send them to California. I don’t see how the 9th circuit could disagree with that.

    1. After which California can remove any objection to its being a sanctuary state by seceding from the Union.

      That way, they don’t have to worry about the Supremacy clause in the US Constitution, legalize any drug they wish, outlaw freedom of speech and the right to keep and bear arms and accept anyone they want as immigrants. The wall around California might be expensive. I suggest drones delivering PAVA bombs to disable invaders from the former Golden State until ICE can show up to apprehend them.

      Best of all, the number of people who’d actually mind if California seceded is steadily shrinking.

      1. You’ll lose most of your fresh produce. And the prices for the remainder will be exorbitant. Did you know that if you eat too much maize that hasn’t been nixtamalized you’ll get pellagra? Pellagra is a niacin deficiency that makes people violently aggressive. It was common in the former Confederate States of America as recently as The Great Depression.

        Have you ever read “The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck? The people just kept rolling along down that Mother Road till . . .

  7. There is no crime. There is no fabricated process crime. There was no counter-intelligence operation. There was no crime or legal basis on which to justify the appointment of a special counsel. There is no Russian collusion and collusion is not a crime. There is no obstruction of a crime that was not committed.

    There has been a “malicious prosecution” by Rosenstein, Mueller, Andrew Weissmann et al. Mike Nifong, of Duke Lacrosse infamy, was convicted and sent to jail for “malicious prosecution” identical to that of Mueller.

    The entire Mueller “witch hunt” has been a fraud and a hoax. The fraud and hoax has been a separate campaign within the Obama Coup D’etat in America which is the most prodigious abuse of power and political scandal in American history.

    The co-conspirators in the Obama Coup D’etat in America are:

    Sessions, Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Kadzic, Yates, Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power, Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Obama et al.
    ________________________________

    Lisa Page to Peter Strzok, “POTUS (Obama) wants to know everything we’re doing.”

    Peter Strzok to Lisa Page, “We’ll stop it.”

    Lisa Page to Congress, “The texts mean what the texts say.”

  8. If anyone else gets email ‘headline alerts’ from the NYT or the daily rundown from the WaPo, I am wondering if you notice a pattern?

    For example, I don’t recall EVER seeing email alert headlines like this one during the two terms of Obama’s “pen and phone” presidency. Do you?

    Today’s headline in the WaPo email: “Trump shows fresh disdain for the rule of law with national emergency declaration”

    Another example from back in December: Congress passed the bipartisan Criminal Justice Reform bill, and the New York Times, that emails “news alerts” for nearly every ‘news’ item that could possibly reflect poorly on Republicans or President Trump, did not find that newsworthy in the least. Not one “alert” from NYT. when the historic Criminal Justice Reform was passed… not a peep….imagine that…..

    Trump is absolutely correct when he calls them all Fake News. Because they are.

    1. It is rare when the Left target their own when it comes to really scandalous news.
      Rep. Ilhan Omar was one rare moment but even many on the Left like WaPo gave excuses

      WSJ did not. I would love to see a recall vote initiative of both Okar and AOC.
      Nancy Pelosi wouldnt object either.

      ###

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/ilhan-omars-history-of-america-11550259885

      Ilhan Omar’s History of America

      The United States as Cold War villain.

      James FreemanFeb. 15, 2019 2:44 p.m. ET
      Rep. Ilhan Omar (D., Minn.) calls for Congress to cut funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement at a news conference at the U.S. Capitol last week.
      Shortly after apologizing for anti-Semitic comments, the House freshman Democrat set about trashing America’s conduct during its successful Cold War against the Soviet empire.

      Rep. Omar’s views may not have been entirely clear to Minnesota voters last November. A public broadcasting report shortly before her November election to the U.S. House described her this way:

      Omar fled her native Somalia when she was 8 years old and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya. She came to the US as a 12-year-old and eventually settled in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis, which has long been a first stop for new arrivals in the US. There, she “fell in love with democracy” and started spending time as a community organizer until she ran for office.
      … For Omar, the inspiration to get involved in politics came from her family, who were always talking about politics, world news and democracy over meals.
      But in a New York Times report almost two months after last year’s election, her experience in America didn’t exactly sound like a love affair:

      Her arrival in this country was the first time, Ms. Omar has said, that she had confronted “my otherness” as both a black person and a Muslim. She became a citizen in 2000, when she was 17. After the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, she decided to wear the hijab, as an open declaration of her identity. But from “the first day we arrived in America,” she said, she concluded that it was not the golden land that she had heard about.
      “I think back to the orientations I went through a little over 20 years ago in the process of coming to this country, and in those orientations they did not have people who were homeless. There was an America that extended liberty and justice to everyone. There was an America where prosperity was guaranteed regardless of where you were born and what you looked like and who you prayed to,” she said, adding, “I wasn’t comfortable with that hypocrisy.”
      Many Americans are no doubt sorry our country didn’t live up to her expectations. But if Ms. Omar thought prosperity in America was guaranteed, the fault lies with those expectations. The real guarantee that has inspired millions of people to come to this land is the freedom to succeed or fail.

      And while Rep. Omar may claim that she “fell in love with democracy,” recent events suggest it was at best a temporary crush. How else to explain her recent tweet echoing the propaganda of Venezuelan strongman Nicolas Maduro as he presides over a humanitarian disaster and prevents the restoration of that country’s democracy? Wrote Rep. Omar:

      A US backed coup in Venezuela is not a solution to the dire issues they face. Trump’s efforts to install a far right opposition will only incite violence and further destabilize the region. We must support Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.
      There is no U.S.-backed coup. As the Journal’s Mary Anastasia O’Grady explained recently, the Venezuelan constitution gives the democratically elected National Assembly the power to declare Mr. Maduro’s 2018 re-election invalid. “It did so at the time because the election didn’t meet minimum democratic standards. The Lima Group of Latin American nations, Canada, the Group of Seven leading industrial nations and the European Union all refused to recognize the election for the same reasons,” noted Ms. O’Grady, adding:

      As a result, when Mr. Maduro’s first term expired on Jan. 10 there was no legitimately elected president and the seat was legally vacant. According to the constitution, the job then fell to the president of the National Assembly, Mr. Guaidó. The U.S. didn’t “anoint” him president, nor did he anoint himself; he is constitutionally obligated to accept the role for an interim period and organize a new election.
      Dozens of democracies around the world have recognized Mr. Guaidó’s government, called for a new presidential election, or both. He has the backing of the Organization of American States, the Lima Group and the European Parliament.
      The Venezuelan people are desperate to end the era of misery and hyperinflation. But this week Rep. Omar used an appearance on Capitol Hill by Elliott Abrams, the U.S. special envoy to Venezuela, to try to score political points on behalf of Mr. Maduro. RealClearPolitics has a video of the amazing exchange at the House foreign relations committee in which Rep. Omar essentially expressed the Marxist view of the Cold War. She attacked the former Reagan administration official for a 1982 atrocity in El Salvador by U.S.-backed forces that massacred hundreds of people. She didn’t mention that during the Cold War America’s communist foes massacred a hundred million people in atrocities too numerous to count.

      Here’s RealClear’s transcript:

      REP. ILHAN OMAR (D-MN): …You later said that the U.S. policy in El Salvador was a fabulous achievement. Yes or no do you still think so?
      ABRAMS: From the day that President Duarte was elected in a free election to this day, El Salvador has been a democracy. That’s a fabulous achievement.
      OMAR: Yes or no, do you think that massacre was a fabulous achievement that happened under our watch?
      ABRAMS: That is a ridiculous question.
      OMAR: Yes or no?
      ABRAMS: No.
      OMAR: I will take that as a yes.
      ABRAMS: I am not going to respond to that kind of personal attack, which is not a question.
      Rep. Omar wasn’t done. “Yes or no, would you support an armed faction within Venezuela that engages in war crimes, crimes against humanity, or genocide if you believed they were serving U.S. interests, as you did in El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala?” she asked.

      Whose interest is Rep. Omar serving?

      1. Ilhan Omar is part of the Obama-wing of the Democrat party. Obama’s pal Valerie Jarrett tweeted a message to Rep. Omar that ‘they had her back’ and to go for it, girl. What does that tell you? I really don’t understand why any Jew would vote for Democrats today.

        1. I really don’t understand why any Jew would vote for Democrats today.

          1. Because they always have. In for a dime, in for a dollar. Changing preferences in late middle age is quite an admission.

          2. Because rank-and-file Jews may be repelled by this awful woman, but write her off as an aberration. There isn’t a critical mass of these people to neutralize the extant antagonism Jews feel for evangelicals.

          1. Some would say Ilhan Omar is not an aberration, and holds beliefs that are in fact more mainstream in today’s Democrat party. How many other Dems, including Barack Obama, Maxine Waters, Rashida Talib, etc, have been pictured with rabid Jew hater Louis Farrakhan?None have denounced this association.

            It is interesting to note that David Duke has now aligned himself with Ilhan Omar. But we don’t hear anything about this from the mainstream media, do we? No, we only hear about David Duke when it reflects badly on Trump or a Republican.

            http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/258991

      2. civil wars are a tough and bloody business. Leftists for decades have overestimated the support had by the FMLN for its Marxist insurgency.

        Venezuela is different for a lot of reasons. Geography for starters. Size of the countries involved as well. It was feasible to suppress the FMLN insurgency in El Salvador. It is a much smaller country and it was located in close proximity to US assets in Panama. And it had a strong element of the population firmly against the FMLN. It’s not clear how strong the middle class opposition to Maduro is. A lot of them just left the country. Also it’s not clear that the US will have too much trouble from it if the Maduro government limps along a while longer. The situation in El Salvador was different in so many ways.,

        As interventions go I think El Salvador was clearly worth it and Venezuela by contrast would indeed be a big disaster. Just let the Venezuelans handle their own mess for now.

  9. More Bad Optics

    AT ROSE GARDEN PRESS CONFERENCE..

    TRUMP ADMITS HE “DIDN’T NEED TO” DECLARE EMERGENCY

    In the Rose Garden, Trump issued the national emergency declaration he has been threatening for more than a month. In the process, he basically admitted he doesn’t even really see the situation at the border as an emergency.

    The key quote came when the Q&A portion started. Trump was challenged by NBC’s Peter Alexander on why he couldn’t bend Congress to his will — as he previously said a president should be able to do — rather than take unilateral action.

    “I didn’t need to do this,” Trump said. “But I’d rather do it much faster.”

    Trump then blamed 2020 politics for Democrats not supporting wall and repeated: “I just want to do it faster.”

    If it’s truly an emergency, how can you say you didn’t need to declare an emergency? Trump basically admitted that this was a choice for him — a matter of expediency, quite literally — and not something required by events on the ground.

    This isn’t the first time Trump has suggested this is a strategy of choice rather than an imperative to act. He repeatedly held the idea of a national emergency out there as an alternative if Congress didn’t fund the wall over more than a month, in fact, when an emergency was already supposedly playing out at the border. That’s a lot of lost time in dealing with a supposed crisis.

    Edited from: “‘I Didn’t Need To Do This’: How Trump Knee-Capped His Own Case For A National Emergency”.

    Today’s WASHINGTON POST

    1. RE. ABOVE:

      Trump essentially admitted on camera that he’s declaring an ’emergency’ as an end-run around Congress. The idea being that his agenda is more important than the principle of checks and balances.

      When reporters tried to establish real statistics regarding this ’emergency’, Trump became highly combative. The truth is that real statistics indicate the border is ‘less’ of an emergency now than 20 years ago. Bill Clinton, in fact, would have been in a better position to declare a border emergency.

      Below is a link to the story above which includes a video of today’s Rose Garden press conference.

      1. “The truth is that real statistics indicate the border is ‘less’ of an emergency now than 20 years ago. Bill Clinton”

        The more people the harder it is to get them to assimilate into our economy, but that is not what you want.

        20 years ago our government didn’t do its duty. It should have built a wall and completely stopped illegal immigration. If we were proactive we may have been able to reduce the drug growth and deaths and reduce crime. Stupid policy then not to have secure borders and stupid policy now not to have secure borders.

        1. Alan, Clinton started the border fence and Bush improved on it. For that reason border apprehensions were significantly by the time Obama left office.

          1. Peter, 20 million illegals are here and the number is climbing. I think right now border apprehensions are increasing and we don’t know how many are enterring without our knowledge. We are creating a second “culture” that may not assimilate. 1-1.5 million of them are calculated to be criminals, maybe more. All are actually criminals because they have violated our laws. Those that are good hard working people that are illegal came here to escape their “culture” but when they don’t assimilate it means that they bring their “culture” here and that “culture” they left was claimed to be violent with poor economic possibilities. We want to help people up, not drag them down.

            The cost of a pourous border in the US is estimated at above $125 Billion per year. The cost of the wall is small and all the experts at protecting our border say the wall is needed. This is not self serving for they are asking for money to be spent on a wall not themselves.

            Ignorance and identity politics is leading the Democratic Party by its nose. History tells us what happens when forces such as the Democratic Party of today prevail. Maybe you think America is bad and it should disappear or be absorbed by the world so that everyone loses. I feel America is great and hundreds of millions if not billions have benefited over the world economically and politically because of the US.

            Get off the blog for a few days and read some books. Learn what distinguishes the American Revolution from the French Revolution. Read about how Lenin and then Stalin came to power and top that off with a bit of Mao. Learn how deceitful our press and many of our idols have been in providing information such as provided by Noam Chomsky and Walter Duranty just to name two. Learn how to read a newspaper. Go back and take some adult courses in logic and how to do a scientific study along with what proof really is. I find your ignorance on these things to be quite incredible and disconcerting for an adult your age.

            1. Alan, show me a good, credible source that affirms your claim that 20 million ‘illegals’ are here. Try The Wall Street Journal. Try the Cato Institute. Look at USA Today.

              I don’t think you’ll find any recognizable source that validates that number.

              And while you’re at it, find a source affirming that we spend $125 billion per year on the ‘porous border’. What does that even mean?? It’s so vague that one could twist it to mean almost anything.

              1. Peter, no one has an exact number of illegals so we take estimates and 20 million is one estimate and 10 million is another. In things of this nature the estimates are generally on the low side especially when reported by groups that wish the number to be low. 10 or 20 million is way too many and should have been stopped long ago. Citizens of this country should start by coming in legally.

                Show me a source that has an accurate count that uses a reliable methodology. You can’t and that is a big problem.

                Again we are dealing with numbers that contain many variables so none of them are totally reliable. What you wish not to believe is that many of these illegals use public resources such as schools and hospitals. They take jobs from others and then we pay unemployment insurance for those that have lost their jobs. Crime costs money. Get it through your head. They are illegal. Come in legally and if you are good for the country you are welcome to get citizenship here.

                Your fact checkers only look at one side of the coin and consist of people that do not have in depth knowledge. They are paid to come up with the best answer that suits the ideology of the one paying them.

                Here is one site pickd off the net. I don’t think you can provide a better estimate of costs though you might find a different number. Can you prove your source is better than this one that states $116 Billion using a much small number of illegals?

                https://www.watchdog.org/national/analysis-illegal-immigrants-cost-taxpayers-billion-annually/article_b51222e8-8b7b-11e8-8546-37063af1f318.html

                Or try this one that states $750Billion over a lifetime.

                https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/3/illegal-immigrants-cost-taxpayers-750-bil

                It’s the taxpayers dime so you have the obligation to prove the costs do not exist.

                1. Alan, I mentioned before that I live in Los Angeles. We know where immigrants are living. City officials are aware of what’s happening in districts. It’s not like millions hide in plain sight.

                  Cops know which districts speak the most Spanish. Building inspectors know which districts have the most violations. Social Workers know which districts are neediest.

                  American cities have several measures of estimating population counts. By cross checking statistics on charts, cities can measure a number of activities indicating ‘where’ people are.

                  Crime, Medical Emergencies, Water & Power Usage, Sales Tax Revenues, Vehicle and Foot Traffic, Trash Collections, Postal Deliveries, Parking Violations & Tows, Public Transit and most notably School Enrollments indicate ‘where’ people are.

                  It’s true across America: Texas, Chicago, New York and Miami. Municipal officials ‘know’ where activity is. And cities employ Spanish Speaking officials to learn where immigrants are.

                  So this idea that ‘No one knows how many illegals are here’ presumes every city is totally ignorant of common indicators. Like no one keeps statistics. Like city employees never visit the districts they serve.

                  And I guess if you’re a Republican you might presume everyone in government is dumb. That would justify your ‘Starve The Beast’ perspective.

                  So maybe in that context one could say “Cities are dumb”. “They don’t really know who’s living where”. But that’s a dumb assumption.

                  1. You have a very overblown opinion of your abilities and the abilities of the authorities to know the things you talk about.

                    Why don’t you provide us the names of the people that are counting the illegals in Los Angeles based on actual counts where reaonable certainty of status exists. I have never heard a more ridiculous explanation. This is why you do so poorly when discussing economic questions. You have no idea how one collects data.

                    1. Sluggo said, “Why don’t you provide us the names . . . ”

                      Ridiculous creature. Go ask ICE to name names. Ridiculous creature.

                    2. “Go ask ICE to name names. ”

                      Diane, you are ridiculous. ICE doesn’t count the names.You should learn who does what ,where and when.

    2. Peter H shills: “Today’s WASHINGTON POST”

      Fun fact about WahPooh:

      ###

      “Big media’s identity crisis, latent for years, is now on full display”

      https://www.dailynews.com/2019/02/09/big-medias-identity-crisis-latent-for-years-is-now-on-full-display/amp/

      The saga surrounding the Washington Post is just one of the latest signs of what is—and isn’t—happening to the news industry.

      Take the Post’s self-serious Super Bowl ad, touting its “Democracy Dies in Darkness” motto. It was recently revealed that the ad was only run, after a crash production process of around a week, in the wake of owner Jeff Bezos’s decision to nix a seven-figure ad for his Blue Horizon space company—a decision that emanated from his mistress’s work on the spot.”

      🔥🔥🔥

      Peter, please keep referencing WaPo…it provides an untold amount of fodder for mocking your “arguments”

      1. Estovir, your comments are not unappreciated by me. They tend to reinforce every bad impression we have of Trump supporters. You are only playing to them.

        No first time reader is going to find your comments reasonable or nuanced. Instead they seem to ooze with poisonous venom; as though written by the most bitter of conservatives. The type of ‘creep’ women describe as ‘scary’ .

        1. Time to appreciate the lightning rod AOC has become for the Left

          ###

          https://pjmedia.com/trending/did-alexandria-ocasio-cortez-put-her-boyfriend-on-the-public-payroll-rumors-swirl/

          Did Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Put Her Boyfriend on the Public Payroll? Rumors Swirl

          On Friday morning, a remarkable screenshot surfaced on Twitter showing that Riley Roberts, the boyfriend of Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), appears to have a congressional “staff” email address. A calendar invite lists his name, Ocasio-Cortez’s congressional phone number, and the email address.

          Luke Thompson, a podcast host and former staffer for the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), posted the photo on Twitter. “While you were having a nice Valentine’s Day, [Ocasio-Cortez] decided to put her boyfriend on staff – drawing a salary on the taxpayer’s dime. Nice to see her adapting to the swamp so quickly.”

          Various outlets have reported that Riley Roberts, head of marketing at HomeBinding.com, is Ocasio-Cortez’s squeeze. He attended her swearing-in and can be seen on the right side of the photo below.

          Ocasio-Cortez shot down the insinuation but confirmed that the screenshot showing the email address is legitimate.

          “Actually this cal designation is a permission so he can have access to my Google Cal. Congressional spouses get Gcal access all the time. Next time check your facts before you tweet nonsense,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

          “He’s not your spouse,” Thompson shot back. “Is he being paid? At what level? It says ‘staff’ not spouse or boyfriend. Furthermore he doesn’t appear to be in any groups and the House doesn’t use Google. Are you giving him access to your official calendar? Why does he have his own email address?”

          Ocasio-Cortez did not respond to these questions, nor did she respond to multiple requests for comment from PJ Media.

          Saikat Chakrabarti, Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff, responded, “He’s not paid. We have no volunteers in the office. He’s not doing any government work. He can see her calendar just like spouses/partners/family members in other congressional office. Check your damn facts before you report bullshit. Lazy journos need to learn to do their jobs.”

          Thompson found an internal House listing for Riley Roberts.

          Club for Growth analyst Andrew Follett explained the pickle Ocasio-Cortez is in.

          Rumors swirled that Ocasio-Cortez tried to get Thompson banned from Twitter.

          Jordan Haverly, director of communications for Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.), shared the official policy declaring that “Only U.S. House of Representatives Members, Officers, Employees, Fellows, Interns and Contractors who have received permission under the appropriate Hiring Authority are authorized users of the House’s electronic mail systems and resources.”

          In the aftermath, Riley Roberts deleted his LinkedIn profile.

          The Washington Post’s Jeff Stein tweeted that “there’s no evidence” Ocasio-Cortez hired Roberts. Thompson shot back with the photo of Roberts’ name in the House database.

          Thompson also poked fun at Ocasio-Cortez. “Also, being told to check facts before tweeting nonsense by [Ocasio-Cortez] is just perfection,” he tweeted, mocking her disastrous rollout of the “Green New Deal,” along with many other public snafus.

          ###

          That WaPooohh…defending darkness when light is thrown their way!

      1. just the sound of WaPo employees complaining that Jeff Bezos spent millions of dollars on a Super Bowl ad while cutting their employee benefits and layoffs

        ###

        Mutiny? Washington Post reporters complain to Jeff Bezos about benefits and maternity leave after $5 million Super Bowl ad

        https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/washington-post-reporters-complain-about-pension-salary-maternity-leave-after-jeff-bezos-spends-5-million-on-super-bowl-ad

        Not all Washington Post reporters were impressed with the newspaper’s $5.25 million Super Bowl ad.

        Some criticized the Post’s owner Jeff Bezos for the ad promoting journalism, suggesting the money would have been better spent raising salaries and providing other benefits to its employees.

        “Now unfreeze our pensions, pay an equal wage, and strengthen maternity benefits,” Dan Zak tweeted late Sunday night to Bezos.

        [Opinion: 6 Super Bowl commercials you have to see to believe]

        Now unfreeze our pensions, pay an equal wage, and strengthen maternity benefits. https://t.co/l5yUBlsS2G

        — Dan Zak (@MrDanZak) February 4, 2019
        Zak, 35, has been with the Post for 14 years and covers local, national, and foreign news.

        Another Post employee, Abigail Hauslohner, said that while she is proud to work for the Post, she wishes she would have had more maternity leave time and equal pay to her male colleagues.

        “I wish … that I didn’t have to give up my vacation & sick days & go wks w/out a salary in order to take leave w my infant daughter as I’m doing right now,” Hauslohner tweeted. “We need more parental leave. And we need equal pay.”

  10. KEY PASSAGE OF THE PROFESSOR’S COLUMN:

    “Trump could not have created worse optics in his various actions and comments”.

    This one sentence explains all the trouble Donald Trump has had with ‘not just the Russia Probe’, but Mainstream Media as well. Long before he got the Republican nomination, Trump was creating bad optics.

    At that first Republican debate Trump made completely inappropriate jokes about Megyn Kelly’s periods. In a normal world, those jokes should have ended his campaign. It was obvious that Trump was seriously immature. Since then ‘Me Too” has made such jokes unthinkable.

    During the primaries Trump pursued a deliberately DIVISIVE campaign. His speeches, at rallies, were nothing more than angry, improvised rants. The crowds attending his rallies were overwhelming White and angry like Trump. Trump clearly enjoyed stoking the anger of crowds. He still enjoys it.

    Yet for a political novice, Trump made no effort to assure us he understood how government works. There were no earnest speeches addressing specific issues aside from immigration.
    Trump made no attempt to show he even ‘cared’ about government. Nor did Trump display any serious interest in the Social Sciences.

    It was early in the primaries when journalists noticed that Trump had no regard for facts. Trump was making false assertions every day and even doubling-down on them. This was something new to presidential campaigns. We had never seen a candidate make false claims with such abandon. Of course the media turned hostile!

    Before Trump had the nomination, columnist David Brooks made a prophetic observation. To paraphrase Brooks wrote, “Not only does Trump grasp the true extent of his ignorance, but he lacks the curiosity to even learn what he doesn’t know”.

    Brooks’ analysis of Trump was validated when said candidate made not one but ‘two’ super-incrminating statements: “I love Wikileaks” and “Vladimir Putin if you’re listening..”

    These utterances were shocking to close observers of politics. By praising Wikileaks, Trump gave his approval to shadowy foreign hackers. By calling on Putin, Trump publicly sought assistance from a generally hostile foreign leader.

    Therefore it should come as no surprise that FBI personnel regarded Trump as a possible stooge for Russia. The FBI would have been clueless had they not entertained those suspicions. The media would have been clueless had they not explored the possibility.

    As Professor Turley notes, “Trump could not have created worse optics”.

    1. Could it be that we have been lied too? If the media corporations were really liberal, Trump would be sitting in New York collecting rent from his Moscow towers, and fighting off State Attorney Generals for being a con-man.

      1. Fishbreath “Could it be that we have been lied too?”

        You consistently voted for Bill and Hillary. That you were gullible to fall for their lies like a prostitute chasing a $100 Bill in a Trailer Park ala James Carville, well, thats on you cupcake

            1. Since you pretend to know everything, maybe you can tell me how many guilty pleas have come from Trump’s top people. So they all plead guilty because? That’s some fraud ya got there. If it’s not going anywhere, why are those people going to jail? Oh, that’s right…it’s a witch hunt right? So they plead guilty just to see how a federal prison looks from the inside. They heard they have good food? If you were going 55 and a cop pulls you over and you knew you were not going 100, would you just plea guilty?

              1. Since you pretend to know everything, maybe you can tell me how many guilty pleas have come from Trump’s top people.

                We’ve been over this. Nearly all the guilty pleas have been in re process crimes which arose from the investigation itself. It’s quite a perpetual motion machine. The rest have concerned Paul Manafort’s tax returns, Michael Cohen’s tax returns, Paul Manafort’s wire transfers, and Michael Cohen’s taxi medallions. These are all matters Trump would have no reason to know anything about.

              2. Fishhead, if a FBI leadership cadre had pulled this on Obama then you guys would have went nuts and staged riots over it. And riots is what should be happening now to protest this outrage.

                Those who support a democratic election of a president should be very concerned about what’s happened here. The threat is not from Russia it is from the American bureaucracy itself.

              3. So FishWings, if lying to investigators is an indictable crime as we see in Mueller’s investigation, that means Andrew McCabe is certain to be indicted for multiple instances of lying under oath as he tried to cover up his own misdeeds? He’s going down too, right? How about the other liars and leakers like Clapper and Brennan and Comey, Strzok, Rosenstein? That’s how it’s supposed to work, right?

              4. 1. Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich: Sentenced to 14 years in prison for political corruption.
                2. Tony Rezko: Sentenced to 10 and a half years for corruption and kickbacks.
                3. Courtney Dupree: Democratic fundraiser convicted of bank fraud.
                4. Willie Shepherd: Obama bundler plead guilty to assault.
                5. John Corzine: Top Obama fundraiser currently under FBI investigation. Obama’s “Wall Street guy.”
                6. Shervin Neman: Obama bundler currently under investigation for fraud.
                7. Abake Assongba: Obama bundler under investigation for fraud.
                8. Alberto and Carlos Cardona: Obama bundlers with ties to a Mexican fugitive accused of attempted assassinations.
                9. Solyndra: First company to receive taxpayer backed loans from Obama. Solyndra’s investors are Obama bundlers. The FBI raided Solyndra
                10. Bill Ayers: Unrepentant domestic terrorist. Early Obama backer. Fellow board-member of the Woods Foundation. 4th of July pal.
                11 Do I need say more. If we rack up the number of people associated or working with Obama that have been associated with criminal acts Obama might just top the list.

                Fishwings, all wings. No body. No brain.

                1. Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra says: February 15, 2019 at 5:56 PM

                  FYI, insulting people isn’t really much of an argument.

                  1. I don’t know your problem Diane. I had to list just 10 of Obama’s associates in crime to demonstrate to fishwings that his comment wasn’t too bright. No insult with regard to fishwings. Fishwings have no body and no brain.Do you wish to debate that?

            2. Rather, sabotage and insubordination by an arrogant and out of control FBI managerial stratum that needs to be corrected.

              Their actions were and are an ongoing profound threat to whatever sort of democracy is constituted by the election of a president here.

              Rosenstein, despicable! Wearing a wire to entrap his new boss?
              Is there anyone who is safe from entrapment if the POTUS isnt?
              The bureaucratic tyrants will only grow bolder uncorrected!

          1. FishWings says: February 15, 2019 at 2:50 PM

            “MAGA……Mueller Ain’t Going Anywhere.”

            Yeow! That’s gotta hurt.

            (Outstanding work, FishWings.)

          2. Oooh, good one, Fishy….”MAGA….Mueller Ain’t Going Anywhere…”

            Let me ask you this, Fishy….you believe in LGBT rights and freedoms, correct?

            And when you use that acronym, are you SURE you know what that stands for? Because I’m just sayin’… “LGBT” may not always mean what YOU think it means…

            Liberty
            Guns
            Beer
            Trucks

            So, Fishy….Be careful out there 😉

    2. What’s amusing about this blather is that David Brooks and Peter Shill are admirers of Barack Obama, who sat in legislative bodies for 12 years failing to establish himself as a maven in any area of public policy. He also failed to reach any professional milestones in teaching or law practice (beyond being hired by someone). No scholarly articles published, no tenure, no partnership granted, nada. He did, however, run the Chicago Annenberg Challenge into the ground.

      1. Tabby, your critiques of Obama always presume a right-wing media perspective. What’s more, there’s always the not-so-subtle hint that Obama was merely an empty suit who benefited from Affirmative Action policies.

        Yet Obama was able to speak in perfect paragraphs and sound like he honestly cared about matters of government. Those are qualities that Trump has never come close to conveying.

        Regarding David Brooks, he is actually a conservative who was generally quite supportive of George W and Mitt Romney. Which highlights a telling phenomenon: ‘A number of conservative pundits came out early ‘against’ Donald Trump including Jennifer Rubin, George Will and the late Charles Krauthahammer’.

        Therefore commentors like Tabby, (AKA ‘DSS’ and ‘Absurd’) must ask themselves why so many conservative pundits never boarded the Trump train.

        1. There is a big difference between conservative republicans and Trump supporters. One has principles in what they believe in, the other has no concept of principles.

          1. Fishy says, “There is a big difference between conservative republicans and Trump supporters. One has principles in what they believe in, the other has no concept of principles.”

            No, the big difference is that Trump supporters are willing to accept both Trump AND 90% of what Conservative Republicans want agenda/policy-wise. While so-called hard-core “conservatives” like David Brooks, Jennifer Rubin, Bill Kristol, Michael Steele, that loudmouth Anna Navarro on The View, etc. are willing to give up 100% of the conservative agenda AND the judiciary AND would rather put a Democrat like Hillary Clinton in office rather than support Trump who is actually delivering the conservatives what they want, big time.

            THAT’s not standing on “principle” — that’s falling-on-your-face stupid. NO Democrat would EVER “stand on principle” and allow a Republican to gain power the way so-called “principled conservatives” are lauded for doing. THAT’s pure idiocy in politics…and the Democrats fully understand this (mostly b/c Democrats have no principles except grabbing and holding onto power at any cost).

            That’s the difference, Fishy.

            1. There is a difference between David Brooks and a conservative Republican.
              Brooks is not a liberal Democrat, and as such is the The New York Times token Republican.
              Brooks could only be considered a “conservative” by those who aren’t familiar with his writing and statements, or those who want to label anyone not neatly aligned with their own left-wing views as “conservative”.

          2. The days of letting adversaries call the strategy are over.

            Also there are ideas and there are interests. Both are important in context.

            Let me tell you, a mature strategist knows when to not let ideas get in the way of interests.

            When you let an adversary be your boss, he will tell you to regard interests when you should be concerned about ideas, and vice versa, that is, think too much about ideas when it’s time-critical to instead focus on interests.

            This is an art not a science.

        2. Regarding David Brooks, he is actually a conservative who was generally quite supportive of George W and Mitt Romney.

          No, he was an amateur social critic. He’s only ‘conservative’ in the sense that he takes no interest in a half-dozen shticks prevalent in the Democratic Party. He’s employed by Judy Woodruff so she doesn’t have to hire an authentic exponent of a starboard viewpoint. He’s a shill. Same deal in re his employment at The New York Times. The Sulzberger’s employ an authentic, if pusillanimous, advocate of conservative ideas, one Ross Douthat. A census of the Twitter followings of Times employees discovered that they follow people much like themselves and that only 10% of the staff follows their in-house conservative columnist. He’s not a shill. He’s an excuse. (The Times, unlike the Graham-era Post, has a long history of recruiting wretched columnists).

          ‘A number of conservative pundits came out early ‘against’ Donald Trump including Jennifer Rubin, George Will and the late Charles Krauthahammer’

          The crevasse that’s opened up between those who fancy themselves conservative opinion journalists and actual conservative voters is pretty amusing and an interesting topic of discussion. It’s not an indication of much of anything except the degree to which these people live in bubbles. Rubin and Brooks are both veterans of the Podhoretz-Kristol nexus, who are incensed that anyone might enforce the immigration laws. They’ve been at war with their subscribers in addition to being alienated from the voting public. The current owners of The Weekly Standard shut it down and fired Kristol’s legatees because there actually is no constituency for what they were peddling. By some accounts, Podhoretz publication survives on the donations of a tiny circle of wealthy Jewish septuagenarians. They’re his audience. As for Rubin, she works for Jeff Bezos. (Kristol is now hustling donations from Steyer-type liberal billionaires for his next venture). Will’s writing took a turn in a libertarian direction 18 years ago and he’s lately been writing mash notes to Amy Klobberherworkers. Krauthammer was forced off the air by illness before he had occasion to reconsider his stances in the light of events.

          1. Tabby, it seems the only ‘real conservatives’ (in your opinion) are angry yahoos in small towns. Like no educated person in a metro region can possibly qualify as a ‘real conservative’.

            And your not-so-subtle hints that Obama benefitted from affirmative action quotas is augmented by not-so-subtle hints that Jews can’t be trusted.

            What’s more the comment above hinges on name-dropping. Like the names ‘Judy Woodruff’ and ‘Jeff Bezos’ should be enough to cement an argument.

            It seems you presume a lot.

            1. Tabby, it seems the only ‘real conservatives’ (in your opinion) are angry yahoos in small towns. Like no educated person in a metro region can possibly qualify as a ‘real conservative’.

              Peter, I’ll try to explain a few things to you.

              1. Terminology is conventional shorthand. It’s to be able to indicate something without launching into an involved description. Its meaning isn’t fixed. However, it can be misused. It’s misused when its used to refer to two things which are not similar.

              2. That you can name-check four people does not indicate a comprehensive understanding of a body of public discourse, much less one that has been rather protean of late.

              3. That you’ve never heard of someone is not an indicator that they do not exist. Jonah Goldberg is antagonistic to Trump, R.R. Reno more or less congenial to him. One of these people is better educated than the other, and it isn’t Goldberg.

              4. You’re not in a position to be calling other people yahoos.

              It’s also noted that you’re having the damndest time interpreting fairly uncomplicated remarks. You offered a set of names. I explain to yo why those names are not valid examples. Such comments say nothing about any other individual who trades in topical commentary.

              1. Pro tip to DSS:

                When dealing with Peter do not use words with more than two syllables. Use words with 8 letters or less that can be understood by a grade school child. Do not use names that aren’t on the front page of today’s or yesterday’s Washington Post. Write in very concrete terms. If this advise were for peter I would have substituted the word solid for concrete so he didn’t think we were building a patio or something like that. Always assume Peter doesn’t get it. He seldom does.

                1. It seems that the only liberals ( in Peter’s opinion) are Hollywood yahoos who dispense and eat up tabloid-like propaganda.
                  That’s why we have HHHNN as a regular feature here.

                2. Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra says: February 15, 2019 at 5:56 PM

                  FYI, insulting people isn’t really much of an argument.

                  1. You are very mean Diane. Peter is challanged so we should all be nice to him and not use words with more than 2 syllables or 8 individual letters.

                    I guess in your world you take people that aren’t academically exceptional and put them into Harvard Law School. Studies show that does harm to those young people.

                    Stop being mean Diane and start making sense.

            2. Peter “Preparation” H:

              “And your not-so-subtle hints that Obama benefitted from affirmative action quotas…”

              Mrs. Geraldine Ferraro was run out of Hillary circles because she spoke the truth about Oblahblah:

              “If Obama was a white man, he would not be in this position…And if he was a woman (of any color) he would not be in this position. He happens to be very lucky to be who he is. And the country is caught up in the concept.”
              – Geraldine Ferraro

              As for Jews, the Dems have spoken loud and clear with their Antisemitic sentiments

              “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” – Rep Ilhan Omar

              Peter…you lose…just like Hillary

            3. And your not-so-subtle hints that Obama benefitted from affirmative action quotas is augmented by not-so-subtle hints that Jews can’t be trusted.

              That’s not of much interest to me in re Obama. Since racial preference schemes have been common in various venues since about 1971, it’s likely he did. That’s not the point, though. The point is that he’s had a simulacrum of a career in lieu of the real thing, and partisan Democrats are incapable of discerning the difference between surface presentation and actual accomplishment.

              Wm. Kristol was employed as a magazine editor for about 22 years. John Podhoretz has been so employed the last 10 years, with positions at the New York Post for about 20-odd years prior. They and their circle have taken a very distinct set of positions over the last 4 years in regard to political controversies, positions they cannot sell to even the modest pool of readers they’ve had. Podhoretz also provided Rubin with work at his publication at a time she was leaving the legal profession. I don’t like what they advocate. Come to think of it, the company which bought Kristol’s publication off of Rupert Murdoch decided they didn’t either. Kristol’s publication was haemorrhaging money because his subscription base was imploding. These three people are also Jews. No clue why that renders them immune to criticism except, like most partisan Democrats, you’re kind of an a**hole.

              1. Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra says: February 15, 2019 at 5:56 PM

                FYI, insulting people isn’t really much of an argument.

        3. Tabby, your critiques of Obama always presume a right-wing media perspective.

          No, they presume that there’s nothing impressive about being a ticket-punching poseur. But hey, David Brooks loves the crease in his pants.

      2. Absurd,..
        There were actually some liberal-conservative debates when Paul Gigot did the Friday PBS segment, before David Brooks came onboard.
        Shields and Brooks seem to spend most of their time nodding their heads in agreement.
        Every now and then, however, Brooks takes a firm stand and says something like “I must disagree slightly with what Mark just said”.

    3. Petes “Brock’s boy” Shill

      “…Trump was creating bad optics.”

      I think the best optics he gave was stalking Hillary during their debates. He essentially did what every American wanted to do. 😘

      The best optics Hillary ever gave?
      Baking cookies in the White House

      https://n.pr/2TSiB1A

      1. Estovir, it’s funny you should mention that stalking.

        Since the ‘Me Too’ movement burst upon the scene, that stalking would now be considered totally incorrect. Not that it wasn’t then.

    4. FBI’s actions were insubordination and sabotage and indeed do border on treason.

      signficant threat to democracy far worse than “Watergate”

      and guess what? do you know who was saying at that very time:
      “Deep State is plotting a 25th amendment coup against Trump”…?

      Roger Stone said it. many times. Guess he was right!
      Which is probably why he got arrested and charged, actually.
      Revenge op by the Meuller sabotage team.

    5. “Yet for a political novice, Trump made no effort to assure us he understood how government works. ”

      Yet with all his “inexperience” the GDP is up, unemployment fell faster than under Obama, industry that Obama said required a magic wand returned. You have been trained like a dog to look for the hand that feeds you. Some of us can actually think.

  11. Methinks Turley and Dershowitz are angling to get on the Trump Impeachment defense team. While true enough that a perception of obstruction is not tantamount to actual criminal conduct, why is it that there is no evidence pointing in the opposite direction? At every turn, Trump has engaged in rhetoric and conduct that reinforces a guilt. He has hardly acted as someone who has nothing to fear nor hide.

    1. “why is it that there is no evidence pointing in the opposite direction? ”

      Jeffrey, one all too frequently can’t prove a negative. You were cheating on your wife, right? Prove you weren’t.

      Trump’s rhetoric only reinforces your preconceived notions of guilt that weren’t valid in the first place so it really doesn’t matter to you what Trump says or does unless he resigns from office.

      1. Not true. I was simply commenting on the fact that Trump by all appearances looks guilty and does not act innocently. Like Turley, I remain unconvinced that there is sufficient evidence in the public domain to prove a case of criminal obstruction. The only fact we know for certain is that Trump is a chronic and habitual LIAR…

        1. And yet, Jeffy, he became President while the other chronic, undeniable, genetically inclined potty mouth Hillary is the first womyn in history to twice flagrantly lose a presdiential election. And she accomplished nothing in the US Senate other than become a millionaire

          why did you cheat on your wife, Jeffy?

          1. I can tolerate brute force, but I cannot stand your brute reason- it’s like hitting below the intellect.

            1. Mr. Silberman, The Trump Troupers are having another really, really bad day. They all have Irritable Male Syndrome just like their dementor-in-chief. And that’s why Trump debuted his latest, updated Ann Coulter impersonation yesterday for Fifty-Three minutes in front of cameras and microphones. He still comes off a bit too much like Richard Simmons, though.

              OTOH, Trump is on track to become the first Woman President of the United States without undergoing sexual reassignment surgery. Did I say Woman? I meant Crone, Harpy, Nag or Shrew. Your choice. Enjoy!

          2. And yet, Jaque, Hillary won the Popular Vote by a margin that is well within the boundaries of traditional victories.

            What’s more, the midterm elections last fall were scarcely a vindication of Trump’s presidency. Quite the opposite!

            1. Peter “Trolling$ for David Brock$” Shill,

              Hillary would have killed to be President (RIP Seth Rich) and yet there she is medicated, having seizures, and looking like a Hippo that no game hunter would waste any of their ammo.

              Why is it that Hillary “Russia Reset Button” Clintax didnt win the Electoral vote, as set forth in Article II of the US Constitution and the XII Ammendment?

              #45
              https://www.whitehouse.gov/people/donald-j-trump/

              Why did Hillary run a campaign to win the popular liberal states vote but ran against the US Constitution?

              Pssst. President Trump just issued an Emergency Order to protect the US Border. You should check on Hillary who is, yet again, on suicide watch. 😜

            2. “And yet, Jaque, Hillary won the Popular Vote”

              Peter, when you are in a foot race and you run across the center shortcut and get to the finish line first you are not given the winning trophy. In essence that is what Hillary did when she didn’t focus on all the states. If the rules of the game were changed so that metaphoically both Hillary and Trump took the shortcut then likely Trump would have won. You are a typical leftist that in order to win changes the rules midway and if that doesn’t work then you can always resort to violence.

              It’s really hard to deal with your type of dishonesty.

        2. That is an opinion based on what facts? Not other opinions, facts. Provable facts.

          There are a lot of facts that demonstrate Trump was set up and they overwhelm the appearance that seems to be created by you after the fact.

          Is Trump a liar? Sometimes he isn’t precise and sometimes he engages in puffery. He is a promoter by trade along with being a builder and a few other things. What important things did he intentionally lie about? He has tried to keep his campaign promises and has done so to a larger extent than most. Obama would tell one audience one thing and another audience another.on important things. Was that lying. You bet it is. Obama’s architect for healthcare admitted on tape that the administration lied about Obamacare to get it passed. That is a big lie. So is you can keep your doctor…, you can save $2,500 and a whole bunch of other imortant lies. What lies did Trump tell that equal Obama’s lies just on healthcare. You do recognize that Obama not only lied but perverted the bureaucracies in government and weaponized the intelligence agencies along with the IRS. What has Trump done to equal that?

          II don’t expect answers to these real questions because there are no answers and there havent been answers on this blog despite the fact that the same questions have been raised over and over again.

  12. it appears the legal wrangling has yet to begin. The obstruction claim, along with Mueller and russia, Russia, RUSSIA, will all fade to nothing and the immigration border wall will be the mother of all legal battles.

    Dems are going to lose this one bigly. Americans believe the broken and nonexistent Mexican-USA border is a big problem for America, and Pelosi playing it as a “humanitarian challnge” is going to undo all of her plans for the crown and scepter

    ###

    “Trump Set to Declare National Emergency at Border, Sign Legislation to Fund Government”
    https://www.wsj.com/articles/trump-set-to-declare-national-emergency-at-border-sign-legislation-to-fund-government-11550241799

    – Moves prevent another shutdown but ignite new battle over the legality of border-spending ambitions

    WASHINGTON—President Trump on Friday was set to sign a spending bill that keeps the government open and lay out his plans to divert funds to build a wall on the southern U.S. border, including the declaration of a national emergency.

    Mr. Trump was set to make remarks on border security at 10 a.m. Friday in the Rose Garden. The House approved the legislation late Thursday, hours after its passage in the Senate, sending the legislation to the president’s desk.

    The $333 billion package of seven spending bills includes $1.38 billion in funding for 55 new miles of physical barriers—far less than the $5.7 billion Mr. Trump had asked for to fund 234 miles of new barriers.

    The president’s push for $5.7 billion in border-wall funding led to the five-week government shutdown, the longest in U.S. history, that ended last month.

    Declaring an emergency could potentially enable Mr. Trump to shift either military-construction or U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding to build more border barriers.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.), who spoke with the president Thursday, said he would support his declaration. But the plan was met with swift criticism from other lawmakers in both parties. Democrats said they would challenge any efforts to move money around without congressional approval, including possibly filing a lawsuit.

    Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D., N.Y.), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said he would support a resolution to terminate an emergency declaration and that he intends to “pursue all other available legal options.”

    Republican lawmakers also criticized the president’s plan, saying it undermined Congress and set a dangerous precedent if future Democratic presidents sought to declare emergencies over their priorities, such as climate change.

    “I don’t think that this is a matter that should be declared a national emergency,” Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska) said.

    Hundreds of people or organizations—including advocacy groups like the American Civil Liberties Union and landowners along the Mexican border—could also potentially claim harm from the emergency declaration, allowing them to sue. If funds were diverted from civil-engineering programs intended to protect against floods or wildfires, for instance, states and local governments that stand to benefit from those projects potentially could challenge the reappropriation as unlawful.

    Federal law doesn’t define an emergency. The first formal emergency proclamation was issued by President Wilson in 1917, limiting the transfer of U.S.-owned ships to foreigners during World War I, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.

    There are currently 30 national emergencies in effect, according to the service, including those related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the Iraq war. President George W. Bush declared 13 national emergencies, and President Obama declared 12.

    In the 1970s, Congress became worried about the expansion of power and passed the National Emergencies Act, a bipartisan measure that placed limits on presidential discretion. Among other provisions, it allows Congress to terminate an emergency declaration, and it automatically ends an emergency after 180 days unless the president renews it.

    Funding for many government agencies was set to expire at 12:01 a.m. Saturday unless Congress passed the spending legislation and Mr. Trump signed it into law. The seven-bill package would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, which runs through September.

  13. All of the handwringing over Trump’s actions are misplaced. True, Trump’s behavior does not fit into the type of behavior we are used to for our Presidents. Then again the behavior we have seen has led to some terrible results.

    They, the intelligence community and some of the Democratic leadership, were out to get Trump. They were supported by the usual leftist trio that are a danger to this republic, the press, academia and Hollywood all of which have a bad influence on immature and illiterate people.

    There is nothing Trump could have done to prevent this except be nice and not do what he was voted to do. He is not the first Republican to win a nomination and be slaughtered by all these groups. That has happened to the other Republican candidates that went on to win the Presidency. The difference may be the DOJ which was weaponized by a previous administration.

    I wish the Professor would spend a bit more time on dealing with the actual causes of what we are seeing today.

    1. I would like to hear some academics besides Turley, who is pretty fair, but some other ones as well, to grow a pair and deal with what an outrage it is that the insubordinate FBI managers schemed and plotted against him and sought to think of ways to execute an illegal coup against the people’s elected President. Saboteurs and insubordinate bureaucratic plotters should all be removed immediately. They’re the real threat to “democracy.”

  14. Excerpted from the Wikipedia article on “The Dismissal of James Comey”:

    On September 1, 2017, The New York Times reported that Trump had drafted a letter to Comey over the weekend of May 4–7, 2017. The draft, which is now in the possession Special Counsel Mueller, was dictated by Trump and written up by Trump aide Stephen Miller. It notified Comey he was being fired and gave a several-page-long explanation of the reasons. The draft was described by people who saw it as a “screed” with an “angry, meandering tone”. On May 8 Trump showed it to senior White House officials, including Vice President Mike Pence and White House Counsel Don McGahn. McGahn was alarmed at its tone and persuaded Trump not to send that letter. McGahn arranged for Trump to meet with Sessions and Rosenstein, who had been separately discussing plans to fire Comey. Rosenstein was given a copy of the draft and agreed to write a separate memo on the subject. His memo, delivered to Trump on May 9 along with a cover-letter recommendation from Sessions, detailed Comey’s handling of the Clinton email investigation as the reason to dismiss him. Trump then cited Rosenstein’s memo and Sessions’ recommendation as the reason for terminating Comey. Trump had previously praised Comey for renewing the investigation into Clinton’s emails in October 2016.

    [end excerpt]

    Unless and until Turley has read the angry, meandering screed of a dismissal letter to Comey that Trump and Stephen Miller wrote over the weekend of May 4-7, 2017, and showed to Pence and McGahn on May 8th, 2017, (just one day before Comey was fired), leading McGahn to ask Rosenstein to write a memo that would give Trump better reasons for firing Comey than Trump had dictated to Miller in that angry, meandering screed against Comey, then Turley’s expressed opinion on the question of the Comey firing remains substantially based upon studiously ignoring a critical piece of evidence in the possession of Special Counsel Mueller.

    Meanwhile, the fact that Mueller has not yet done anything public with Trump’s angry, meandering screed against Comey ought more properly to be read as an indication that Mueller is far more interested in pursuing a case for criminal conspiracy against the Trump campaign than any obstruction case against Trump, himself. Come to think of it, each of Trump’s acts that some observers might construe as obstruction could be easily “retooled” into “overt acts” taken in the furtherance of Trump’s Conspiracy to Defraud the United States.

    1. Looney Late4Yoga obviously has no sales experience. Any sane salesperson trying to sell a point of view would not open with “The New York Times reported..”.

      1. I didn’t closely read L4B’s meandering c.100 word salad sentence that began with “Unless and until Turley has read…
        But “unless and until” there is some kind of a bombshell discovered in the draft of an unsent letter, it is only wishful thinking to believe that the undelivered letter is “the smoking gun” that somehow incriminates Trump.
        As noted, “Mueller has not yet done anything public with Trump’s angry, meandering screed against Comey…” etc. etc. etc.
        But by the “logic” repeatedly on display, that must only mean that that Mueller will let the “obstruction letter” go because he wants to instead focus on ” a case for criminal conspiracy against the Trump campaign”.
        While some of those associated with the Trump campaign have been indicted and convicted, those actions have mostly resulted from crimes or alleged crimes involving money laundering, tax evasion, lying to investigators or Congress, etc.
        After 2 1/2 years of investigations and no direct charges of “criminal conspiracy against the Trump campaign”, that “ought more properly to be read” as an indication that there has been no evidence uncovered for specific charges “of criminal conspiracy against the Trump campaign”.
        That is the most reasonable assumption under the circumstances; but if that assumption is absolutely intolerable for those who “need to see” a Trump-Russian criminal conspiracy, they can keep going with their conviction that Mueller ” “must have” that evidence because “he hasn’t done anything public with it”.
        Hypothetically, if Mueller never issued another indictment or obtained another guilty plea or conviction, it’ll just mean that he has evidence of crimes but just didn’t want to do “anything public with it”.

        1. The constant announcement of the imminent arrival of Mueller’s final report by people who are not named Robert Swan Mueller III is beginning to sound like a broken record that keeps repeating the same little snippet of melody:

          “No collusion; no obstruction. And Mean Mister Mueller just can’t take a hint, can’t take a hint, can’t take a hint . . .” ad nauseam.

          AG Barr cannot tell Mueller that Mueller has no more prosecution nor declination decisions to make. Because Mueller’s office is still conducting ongoing investigations as well as the prosecution of Roger Stone. And because Andrew Miler has not yet testified before Mueller’s grand jury. And because the foreign-owned bank known as Corporation A has not yet lost its sealed appeal to quash a subpoena from Mueller’s office presumably for bank records that are relevant to the special counsel’s investigation. And because Trump, himself, has not yet testified before Mueller’s grand jury, either.

          But that’s the song that the broken record keeps singing: “No more prosecution nor declination decisions, please, Mean Mister Mueller. Take the hint, take the hint, take the hint . . .” ad nauseam, pretty please? And that is the same as telling Mueller that he supposedly must decline to bring any more indictments against any more members of the Trump campaign nor Trump associates.

          It’s a whiny cry-baby bull-boy plea for mercy from a whiny cry-baby bully-boy and his whiny cry-baby bully-boy brigades. It’s unmanly. In fact, it’s womanish. HRC had at least ten times as must testosterone in her gonads as Wimpy-Trump has in his.

          1. To condense the verbiage about Mueller’s completion date, Mueller will wrap this thing up when he finishes.
            If he reports his findings after the 2 1/2 years of investigations, or 3 1/2 years in early 2020, or 4 1/2 years in early 2021, that appears to be fine with some people.
            Others disagree.

    2. So, he is guilty of having someone else write a letter while pissed off and upon discussion decide not to send it?? It is common to park a letter in the draft box and sleep on it. If this is true, so what? The President is well within his Constitutional Authority to fire the FBI Director for any reason he wants. He may pay a toll politically for it but it is his decision. Trumps mistake is he should have fired Comey on day one!

    3. LOL! Sounds like Shrillary! “He didn’t win the election, he ‘defrauded’ the people.” And, “those bad white men forced their weak-minded, cookie-baking wives to vote against me!” Even Maduro didn’t make it a criminal act to vote against him! LOL! L4D!

      1. Nobody is talking about putting Trump voters in jail for having voted for Trump. Nobody has said that Trump was not eligible to hold The Office of The President of The United States. Nobody is talking about jailing Trump for having won an election.

        When you put those words into somebody else’s mouth who never said those words you are betraying your own twisted desire to poison the well of political discourse in The United States of America. Time to take the tampons out of your ears, debinrye, so that your brain can properly menstruate, again.

        1. Foxtrot Foxtrot Sierra says: February 15, 2019 at 5:56 PM

          FYI, insulting people isn’t really much of an argument.

          1. I click on Jon Turley site this morning and I see 8 of 10 of Recent Comments attributable to Late4Yoga. Is the looney bird talking to herself to soothe herself? Does anybody still bother to read her “comments”? Is she writing these comments from the asylum during computer time?

            1. Late4Dinner says: February 17, 2019 at 5:41 AM

              Jitterbug Jitterbug Spanky says: February 15, 2019 at 5:56 PM

              FYI, insulting people isn’t really much of an argument.

      1. The 25th Amendment is a constitutional process for removing a President from office.
        A constitutional process for removing a President from office is not coup d’état.
        Ergo the 25th Amendment is not a coup d’état.

        1. Diane, Applying the 25th Amendment is not a coup d’état but intentionally trying to use the 25th amendment in a way not intended is an attempted coup d’état.

          Read the amendment!

          1. The DoJ lawyers reviewed the 25th Amendment and concluded that it did not apply to a President suspected of being the agent of a foreign power. I’ve told you before that there’s no such thing as a security clearance background check for The President of the United States. And it’s not in the 25th Amendment either. So they took no further action on the 25th Amendment after they concluded their review of the 25th Amendment.

            There’s no harm in checking the Constitution to make sure that the Constitution does not apply to the unprecedented situation in which one finds oneself.

            1. Diane, your word-salad doesn’t seem to get the point that they weren’t trying to better understand the 25th amendment. They were trying to stretch the proof and the 25th amendment so they could perform a coup d’état. That is actually a conspiracy among FBI officials. When a group of people start discussing how to kill you and what utensils to use to see how they can get past the law that is a conspiracy to murder even if you remain alive.

              In both cases it is up to law enforcement to gather the proof and the prosecutor to prosecute if adequate proof is gathered.

              Diane, read American Law. Stalin’s law doesn’t take precedence in America.

  15. The Russia issue is now small potatoes. Trump declaring a fake emergency to get funds to build a wall after Congress refused to allocate the money is clearly unconstitutional. And an immediate impeachable offense.

    1. Looney Dems stepped into Trump’s trap by going to the mat over a tiny fraction of the $4 trillion+ federal budget. Houses, apartment, buildings, schools, office buildings, airports, city halls, congress, etc all have physical barriers and need for proper credentials/keys for access.

    2. “Trump declaring a fake emergency ”

      OK, Molly G., what makes this a fake emergency? Is it fake that 72,000 died of drug overdoses much of it coming over our southern border? Alternatively do you think 72,000 deaths is meaningless even though it is more than double auto fatalities.

      Molly G. are you for or against sex trafficking? That too is happening on our Southern border. Alternatively, do you believe sex trafficking is ok because it involves hispanics?

      Lots of questions and so few answers.

    3. actually within his clear constitutional and statutory powers
      the russia issue always was small potatoes.

      the big issue is the coup attempt and punishing the saboteurs and malignant deep state stay behind teams undermining the lawful election the past 3 years, before they grow even bolder

    4. “an immediate impeachable offense”.
      It doesn’t look like the Democratic majority in the House views this as “an immediate impeachable offense”, and will simply allow the court(s) to decide if the Executive Branch has that authority in this particular case.
      But Molly G. and others who are pounding the table for impeachment can find some like-minded members of Congress to at least get the impeachment ball rolling.
      A Mad Max-Molly G. alliance might convince the rest of the Democratic Congressmen, and even some Republicans, to immediately recognize this “immediate impeachable offense”.
      I’ll stay tuned to the news, anxiously anticipating the Articles of Impeachment authored by M&M, and then estimating the chances of getting 67 Senators on board.

      1. This might be a good time to review The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, again. It took place in an election year–1868. It was preceded by the enactment of the first statute outlawing Conspiracy against the United States in 1867. It was more proximately caused by Johnson’s violation of The Tenure of Office Act by firing Secretary of War Stanton while Congress was in recess. It was followed, amongst other things, by the creation of The Justice Department and the conversion of United States Commissioners into United States District Attorneys who required confirmation by The Senate. Those were heady days.

        Did you know that Johnson’s successor, Ulysses S. Grant, was one of the subjects of the first Special Prosecutor’s investigation of a President’s administration? There’s always a history. And those who fail to learn it are doomed to repeat it.

        1. It doesn’t really matter if “This might be a good time to review the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson, again” or not.

          L4B will do it anyway, fondly harkening back to “the heady days” of her childhood.

            1. A lot of presidents have clashed with Congress.
              Some have worked relatively well with Congress.
              The contentious issues involving conditions in the immediate aftermath of the Civil War are not analogous to the political battles being fought today, 150 years later.

              1. Excerpted fro the article linked above:

                The defense presented a complicated argument, designed to raise doubt in the senators’ minds about Johnson’s intent and to question the role of criminality in impeachable offenses. They argued that Johnson’s actions had not violated the Tenure of Office Act. Since Stanton had been appointed by Lincoln, Johnson was not obligated to continue his service. Even if the senators accepted the act as constitutional, the defense team insisted, Johnson could not be impeached for a mistaken interpretation of the law. Furthermore, they claimed that Johnson’s intent was to test the very constitutionality of the act before the Supreme Court, which he had a right to do. The president, they insisted, should not be convicted and removed from office for misconstruing his constitutional rights.

                Repeated for emphasis: The defense [sought] to raise doubt in the senators’ minds about Johnson’s intent . . . Johnson’s intent was to test the very constitutionality of the act before the Supreme Court, which he had a right to do.

                [end excerpt]

                FTR, I’m not the one arguing that Trump should be impeached for usurping the power of Congress to appropriate, or to withhold, funds for, or from, Trump’s boondoggle wall. That was Molly G’s argument. I’m merely pointing out that the Impeachment of Andrew Johnson was very much centered on the same constitutional questions involving the balance between The Executive versus The Legislative Powers.

            2. L4D “President Andrew Johnson clashes repeatedly with the Republican”

              Own your history. Break from your political roots, L4D

              ###

              Andrew Johnson, One Of The Worst U.S. Presidents
              https://www.npr.org/2011/01/17/133000855/andrew-johnson-one-of-the-worst-u-s-presidents

              “He had a vision of America as a white man’s government,” Reed says. “His idea was that the South had never really seceded because it was illegal — secession was illegal — and so they had never really left the United States.” That meant, to Johnson, that once the hostilities ended, the country would go back to how it was before the Civil War, only without slavery.

              But that didn’t mean Johnson saw great improvements for the lives of black people. He thought they’d be “not citizens but serfs, totally under the dominion of white people, except white people would not have the capacity to turn them into legal chattel.”

              The Sage of Anacostia got it exactly right: Johnson was no friend to black people, at a time when blacks needed all the friends they could get. Because he believed that Lincoln would be the one to guide the United States to victory in the still-raging war, and help bring blacks to a new day, Douglass could afford to remark calmly to his companion when he came face-to-face with Johnson’s true nature. He would have wailed (and probably did when it happened) had he any inkling that just a few weeks after that telling moment, an assassin’s bullet would place the political fate of African Americans into the hands of a man who despised them.

              …one might be content to cast Andrew Johnson’s time in the White House as a form of cosmic joke. The gods were playing tricks on us, giving us Abraham Lincoln exactly when we needed him, having him cut down by an inconsequential person, and then giving us Andrew Johnson to teach us the folly of even imagining that we controlled our own destinies. But the effects of Johnson’s presidency were too profound, too far ranging — reaching into twenty-first-century America — to be considered anything approaching a joke or trick, even one to teach an important lesson.

              1. In case you hadn’t heard yet, Be A straw-Man, please allow me to bring up to date on recent developments in the history of our great nation. Not too long after the final passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, The South became well-nigh exclusively Republican and remains substantially so today. The Democrats of Andrew Johnson’s day and age would almost certainly be Republicans today. Whether the Democrats of today would’ve been the Republicans of Andrew Johnson’s day and age is a much thornier question.

                1. Own your history. Get to know your history.

                  LBJ was a racist who used Blacks for power promising them emancipation while keeping them slaves…which is what Democrats do today. Keep people enslaved with promises of a better future that never materializes.

                  ###

                  The Democratic Party: Keeping Blacks Down Since 1964

                  Shortly after President Lyndon Baines Johnson announced an “unconditional war on poverty” in his State of the Union Address in 1964, his administration embarked on an expansion of bureaucracy rarely seen in American history.

                  Moreover, within two years of signaling the start of that war, LBJ interwove it with civil rights initiatives so that opposition to the War on Poverty could be branded “racism” by Democrats running against opponents of big government.

                  Time has shown that if there was any racism attached to the War on the Poverty it was the racism which Democrats brought to the table.
                  What but “racism” could describe using the federal government to take money from well-to-do citizens of any color and giving it to poor blacks so they would vote Democratic in return?

                  To be clear: I’m not saying that only black people received financial dividends from the War on Poverty. But if the black population hadn’t been a central focus of the legislation, coupling it with Civil Rights legislation would have been pointless.

                  Do you need more proof of the racism behind this legislation? Then consider the real impact the legislation has had on the black family. Far from liberating them from poverty, it has kept them down. Through welfare and roughly seventy other federal and state programs, it has literally created members of a class of citizens completely dependent upon the government.

                  That this dependence has stolen the ambition from many black men who would otherwise aspire to great things matters not to the Democratic Party. That this loss of ambition has led to a loss of commitment and to shattered homes where sons are raised by single moms in the father’s absence matters not a twit either. What the Democrats care about is what they’ve learned empirically: If they keep putting checks in the mail, and couple those with a touch of civil rights rhetoric, black citizens will overwhelmingly support Democrats at the polls.

                  Democratic leaders have been able to get away with this for two primary reasons. One is that many of the black citizens who should be most offended by such racism are too busy cashing checks to care. The second reason is that throughout the existence of the Democratic Party, historically speaking, racism has been rampant.

                  If you need proof of Democratic racism, just keep in mind how Bill Clinton attributed the late Sen. Robert Byrd’s (D.-W.Va.) 1940s association with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) to the fact that “he was a country boy from the hills and hollers of West Virginia, [who] was trying to get elected.”

                  What does it say about the Democratic Party if Byrd had to join the KKK in order to get the right kind of credentials for office?

                  President Obama knows all this, but instead of saying something, he’s in there with the rest of the Democratic leadership expanding the War on Poverty at a record pace. As a matter of fact, the Heritage Foundation has highlighted that his “2011 budget requests that food stamps spending rise from $39 billion (already a record level) to $75 billion.”

                  It’s overwhelming to think of how many votes $75 billion could potentially sway, isn’t it?

                  We should long for the day when the black citizens kept down by the Democratic Party rise up and throw off their shackles. I look forward to the day when those famous words of Martin Luther King Jr. are not simply read but also realized: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

                  Maybe one day Democrat’s will take King’s words to heart and quit seizing upon the color of someone’s skin long enough to contribute to content of their character. But until then, there’s no indication that they plan to emancipate the voting block they’ve created via the War on Poverty.

                  http://humanevents.com/2010/07/14/the-democratic-party-keeping-blacks-down-since-1964/

                2. History 101

                  What African Americans lost by aligning with the Democratic Party

                  “While the passage of the Civil Rights Act helped Johnson earn support from 94 percent of black voters in 1964, there is a gulf between what black Americans hoped the legislation would achieve and what Democratic politicians actually delivered. Although the Civil Rights Act of 1964 helped end apartheid conditions in the South, a critical objective for which grassroots black Southern activists fought and died, the legislation did little to address the structures of racism that shaped black lives in cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. This was an intentional consequence of how the bill’s sponsors, largely liberals from the North, Midwest, and West, crafted the legislation.”

                  When Bill Clinton and the “New Democrats” emerged victorious in the 1990s, thanks in large part to 83 percent support from black voters in 1992 and 84 percent in 1996, they adopted policies, such as welfare reform (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) and a crime bill (Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994) that proved ruinous for many black Americans. “It is difficult to overstate the damage that’s been done,” the legal scholar Michelle Alexander noted recently of Clinton’s presidency. “Generations have been lost to the prison system; countless families have been torn apart or rendered homeless; and a school-to-prison pipeline has been born that shuttles young people from their decrepit, underfunded schools to brand-new high-tech prisons.” Clinton acknowledged last year that the crime bill “cast too wide a net” and made the problem of mass incarceration worse.

                  https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2016/03/exit-left/476190/

    1. Mespo, in debate on this same subject the idiot lefty stated that there was no crime and no foul because they never invoked the 25th amendment. Tucker said something to this effect what would be your feelings if I tried to find ways to kill my wife but never got to doing it. (He sid it better)

        1. I remember the movie 7 Days in May. A sequel will be written 8 Days in May.

          Comey fired May 9
          Mueller appointed May 17

    2. amazing moment in history not only that the FBI managers would attempt to organize a coup, but all these FAKE Americans would apologize for them.

      the same OPEN BORDERS traitors who want to betray the national security in favor of an endless horde of refugees intent on illegal entry into the US!

      time comes for a reckoning that waters the tree of liberty!

      1. Conducting a review of a Constitutional Amendment that provides a legal process for removing a President from Office does not constitute plotting an attempted coup d’état. Instead, it constitutes conducting a review of a Constitutional Amendment that provides a legal process for removing a President from Office.

        You Trump Troupers have now become downright womanish in your castration-anxiety hysteria. The Twenty-Fifth Amendment is NOT involuntary sexual-reassignment surgery. But your febrile protestations to the contrary may yet make Trump like unto the first Woman President of The United States, anyhow.

        1. I didn’t see anything in the 25th Amendment that designates partisan FBI officials as the arbitrators of a president’s fitness to continue in office, but L4B’s copy of The Constitution may have her corrections and revisions scribbled in.
          As far as her bizarre facination with “castration-anxiety” and related matters, The Female Eunuch L4B is not half the man she claims to be.

          1. You didn’t see anything in the 25th Amendment that prohibits sworn law enforcement officials from conducting a review of the 25th Amendment to see if it might apply to suspected agents of a foreign power, either. It doesn’t. But there’s no harming in checking the thing to make sure that it doesn’t apply.

            As for castration anxiety, what other explanation would you care to offer for a bunch of blawg-men misconstruing a constitutional process for removing a President from office as thought it were an attempted coup d’état?

            Is the man still President? Is that President still a man? He sounded a lot like a little school girl, yesterday.

            1. There are restraints on the acceptable actions active duty military personnel.
              That is clearly understood by most people.
              Similar types of limitations and acceptable actions are expected of officials in federal law enforcement agencies.
              If someone fails to see the hazards of partisan,
              top FBI officials lauching an investigation as “an insurance policy” in the event that their candidate loses, I won’t waste time going over why that’s a bad idea.
              As far as the 3 “questions” in the second set of part of L4B’s comment, they should be direct toward her therapist or guardian or attendants.

              1. Constantly questioning the basis for starting the counter-intelligence investigation of the Trump campaign or of Trump himself will have no effect whatsoever upon the evidence already uncovered nor yet to be uncovered in that ongoing investigation.

                When was the last time a defense counsel successfully argued that, because his or her client supposedly never should’ve been investigated in the first place, therefore whatever allegations might be made against his or her client must be dismissed with extreme prejudice?

                I suspect that the answer to that question lies somewhere in the 16th century and probably in the history English Kings. Exactly who do you Trump Troupers think Trump is, anyhow? And even more to the point, in what country and in which century do you all think you’re living?

                  1. Let’s review the bidding with the original inflection.

                    Merely starting a counter-intelligence investigation of Trump is supposedly an attempted coup d’état.

                    And merely reviewing the 25th Amendment to see if it might apply to a President suspected of being the agent of a foreign power is also supposedly an attempted coup d’état.

                    If either of those original bids were true, then Trump would be The State in keeping with Louis What’s-His-Number’s proclamation “L’etat c’est moi”.

                    That is NOT the Rule of Law. That is the Rule of A Man. This is America damn it. Get your act together–STAT!

          2. Tom, Diane’s understanding of history is bizarre as is her understanding of present day affairs. Ask her about Stalin.

      1. “What’s so special about that date?” (March 4)

        It comes after 3. Liberty is learning to count and 4 is as high as he goes.

        1. I want a more specific prediction with the time of day on March 4 that he’ll resign.
          Maybe our early AM seer can tell us what time on March 4 ( or the date of her choosing) the resignation will happen.

          1. Before Noon will be time for Mar A Lago retreat. Pence to repeat. Hellary to squeel. Pelotsi to go back to Sicily. Glasses down the nose Schumer to smile.

            1. Excerpted from a CNN article about the January 18th sentencing hearing for Michael Flynn:

              Both sides now have until March 13 to file a status report with the court. Flynn’s sentencing date has not been rescheduled, and will likely not happen until there is a conclusion in the separate federal criminal case in Virginia, in which his lobbying partner has pleaded not guilty.

              [end excerpt]

              It’s doubtful that Trump will pardon Flynn before Flynn is sentenced. And there’s no telling when the trial of Flynn’s Turkish lobbying partner will conclude.

  16. We need to deduct…. those who obstruct. We need to reveal… those who squeel. At the end of the day… it’s a holiday. At the end of the feast… it’s a Washington Beast.

  17. Professor, great look. It irks me that the media has relentlessly promoted this meme. For long, I have subscribed to the theme of “If it bleeds, it leads”. This subject, for so long, has bled out. You?

    1. Sorry, Mark. I’m afraid Professor Turley is obsessed with Trump’s non-typical behavior, and will never stop contemplating his eventual destruction. He may actually be married to L4D, come to think of it.

      1. It’s a reasonable inference that Lies4Breakfast is posting from the rec room at the assisted living center. Turley isn’t 60 yet.

          1. “you don’t talk about L4D like that”.
            Sure we do…..she makes that one of the easiest and most enjoyable aspect for many of us commenting here.😉😄

            1. Never let it be said that L4D can’t take a licking and keep on ticking. Did someone say ticking? Ha-ha! What is that ticking sound? Turley says it’s bomb that never went off. Ha-ha! Each and every last one of Trump’s acts of obstruction are actually overt acts in the furtherance of Trump’s Conspiracy to Defraud the United States. And that bomb is still ticking. Ha-ha!

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