Federal Judge Rules Against Trump On Subpoena For Financial Records

U.S. District Court Judge Amit P. Mehta has issued a 41-page opinion in favor of the House Oversight Committee in its subpoena of the accounting firm Mazars USA to obtain financial documents related to President Donald Trump. It is a significant victory for the Congress in its fights with the White House given the ambiguously stated legislative purpose behind the demand. However, as I testified last week before the House Judiciary Committee, Congress is likely to win such fights over legislative purpose and courts are unlikely to entertain challenges based on alleged improper or political motives by Congress. It is important however to note that this was a subpoena of a private party to gain private records of Trump as an individual. Far more difficult questions are raised by a subpoena for someone like Don McGahn who did not appear today at the House Judiciary Committee.

As I testified last week, the current argument that Congress should be presumed to have an illegitimate or purely partisan motivation is, ironically, the same type of argument that the Trump Administration has been opposing in various courts. The Trump Administration argued that lower courts wrongly assigned a discriminatory intent in reviewing his travel ban. He also continues to argue that Congress is wrong to assume a “corrupt intent” on obstruction when non-criminal motivations were detailed in the Special Counsel Report. Yet, it is now asking the court to presume the same ill-motive in rejecting any legitimate purpose behind the exercise of oversight authority.

Judge Mehta dealt directly with the issue and came to the predicted result. The court ruled “The binding principle that emerges from these judicial decisions is that courts must presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must defer to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose. To be sure, there are limits on Congress’s investigative authority. But those limits do not substantially constrain Congress.”

When I testified in the House Judiciary Committee there was a curious moment when Chairman Jerry Nadler asked the final question to Professor Neil Kinkopf. He stated that I have denied that the Committee could show any legitimate legislative purpose to investigate possible crimes or abuse by a sitting president and whether he agreed with me. Kinkopf responded that he vehemently disagreed with me and such a position is preposterous. As the Chairman was about to gavel an end to the hearing, I objected and asked for a chance to respond. The problem, I noted, is that my testimony stated that exact opposite as did my oral testimony over the last couple of hours. I expressly stated that Congress was likely to win on the legislative prong of the Wilkinson test. The Chair simply thanked me for the “clarification” and ended the meeting. As an academic, it was an unnerving exchange because we tend to be a tad sensitive about how our work is construed in the political melee of the Hill. That is the first time, however, that my testimony was portrayed as the complete inverse of what was submitted.

I actually like and respect Chairman Nadler a great deal and heralded his selection as Chair as a brilliant choice. I think that this was simply an ill-considered final question from staff.

For the record, this (in part) is what I said in my written testimony (and later amplified in my oral testimony):

Even on the array of demands from other committees, the purpose element is often difficult to contest without exploring the motivations of the Committee. For example, President Trump has objected that efforts to secure his tax and other records are motivated by an effort to embarrass or undermine him. Congressional investigations will often produce negative collateral consequences for witnesses that can range from job terminations to divorces to criminal charges. The Court, however, has been consistent in not treating consequences or motivations as the determinative factors. For example, in Sinclair v. United States, the Senate pursued testimony from Harry F. Sinclair who refused to answer because he was facing a criminal trial on the allegations, stating “I shall reserve any evidence I may be able to give for those courts.” His counsel objected that the Senate was trying to elicit testimony and evidence outside of the court system. The concern was a legitimate one for a criminal defense. However, it is not a legitimate objection to a subpoena, though invoking the privilege against self-incrimination would have been available absent a grant of immunity. The Court considered the collateral consequences to the trial as entirely immaterial because lawsuits or trials do not “operate[] to divest the Senate or the committee of power further to investigate the actual administration of the land laws.” The Court has spoken honestly about its disinclination to judge the propriety or wisdom of broad committee functions . . .

. . .

Some of us have expressed skepticism about the purpose of the subpoena fight, which will serve to delay any impeachment proceeding over a public report that was over 92 percent unredacted and a non-public report to select members that was 98 percent unredacted.  However, the desire to see the full report or underlying evidence can be justified as related to the need to ascertain the evidence of criminal acts. Some of the demands of Congress (like multiple years of tax and transactional evidence)  could present more challenging arguments on a legislative purpose, but the Judiciary Committee’s demand for evidence underlying the Mueller report should be viewed as squarely within a legislative purpose.

Barack Obama-appointed judge Amit P. Mehta’s 41-page opinion began by comparing President Trump’s concerns about congressional overreach to those of President James Buchanan, asserting that Trump “has taken up the fight of his predecessor.”

Judge Mehta acknowledged that the motivational and confidentiality assurances of Congress can be questioned: “[T]he court is not naïve to reality.” Indeed, he acknowledged that there “is a chance that some records obtained from Mazars will become public soon after they are produced.” Yet, he followed prior case law deferring to the oversight authority of Congress on such questions.

The Trump legal team will now be able to pursue this matter to the D.C. Circuit, though the expedited schedule given by Mehta may have surprised them. One clear desire in these challenges is delay. Just as I warned Congress last week not to make bad law with bad cases, the same is true for the Trump team. They could create poor precedent for future presidents in such appeals. As someone who favors the legislative branch in such fights, I am less aggrieved by that prospect. However, the broad array of challenges by the Trump team could come at a considerable cost is allowed to extend to the appellate courts.

106 thoughts on “Federal Judge Rules Against Trump On Subpoena For Financial Records”

      1. All of the anonymous’s are bad but some anonymous’s are better than others. The above Anonymous is brain Dead.

    1. These comparisons of American political figures and parties to Nazis got unbearably tedious long ago.

      Two suggestions: one, try learn something about the actual history of Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia before posting such things; and, two, try to exercise a little creativity and originality in your insults, for christ’s sake.

      You’re an absolute bore.

  1. Because Democrats are all about children, elderly and the poor…it is only natural they would love to squash a group of Catholic Nuns who care for these

    —-

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/democrats-force-little-sisters-of-the-poor-into-court-again

    Democrats force Little Sisters of the Poor into court again

    Once again, the Little Sisters of the Poor will be in court fighting for their religious freedom.

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit will hear arguments on Tuesday in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania v. Trump as a result of Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s lawsuit, threatening the sisters’ exemption from the Health and Human Services birth control mandate. Their exemption was finalized last year following a five-year legal battle that went all the way to the Supreme Court and made religious liberty a buzz-worthy issue even before Masterpiece Cakeshop.

    This lawsuit, and the one similarly perpetuated by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, exists solely to stomp on the religious liberties of a group of women serving the poor and needy. It has nothing to do with anyone’s violation of the law.

    As a general rule, with or without the Department of Health and Human Services birth control mandate under any administration, from 1960 to 2019, nuns should never have been required to offer birth control. Still, Obama’s mandate forced this asinine idea into the marketplace, and several religious organizations had to fight back or do something that violated their religious conscience. On Oct. 6, 2017, Trump’s department issued a new rule with an updated, broad religious exemption that finally protected religious nonprofit groups such as the Little Sisters of the Poor. In response, California and Pennsylvania sued.

    Still, the Little Sisters of the Poor’s religious liberties should not rest on any administration’s executive orders. The government has a myriad of ways to provide birth control (not to mention the low cost) such that most women should be able to acquire it without forcing an employer to violate their religious beliefs.

    In other words, they never should have targeted nuns to provide birth control because there are so many other viable ways to retrieve it. It’s like suing Alcoholics Anonymous for refusing to pay for their employees’ vodka while the local liquor store sits open down the street.

    In an email, Lori Windham, senior counsel at Becket, the legal organization representing the Little Sisters, told me:

    Pennsylvania argues that protecting religious objectors like the Little Sisters of the Poor actually violates the Constitution. Pennsylvania and New Jersey claim that a religious exemption violates the Establishment Clause, the Equal Protection Clause, and administrative law. Of course, it’s ridiculous to claim that the government has no authority to respond to Supreme Court orders and injunctions across the country by fixing its rules and protecting religious freedom. After years of mistakes, the government created a rule that strikes a reasonable balance between its goals of providing contraceptives and protecting sincere religious beliefs. But Pennsylvania has not provided an explanation of why the government needs nuns to carry out its goals.

    The government should never have taken upon its shoulders the significant task of ensuring birth control is available to everyone, to say nothing of the concept that every religious group in the country provide it against their wishes. But because the government did so, and because liberal politicians love nothing more than to force religious people to align to the government’s whims, however absurd, the Little Sisters of the Poor cannot be left alone to care for the poor and needy as they desire.

    Instead, they must spend time and resources battling the authoritarian proclivities of a few politicians who, rather than addressing other local issues certainly of higher concern, such as crime, the economy, and education, want to force nuns to provide birth control.

    1. “Because Democrats are all about children, elderly and the poor…it is only natural they would love to squash a group of Catholic Nuns who care for these”

      Is Stacy Keech a Democrat?

  2. Breaking News – Transcript of the Loretta Lynch testimony before the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees and James Comey testimony before the House Intelligence Committee.
    _____________

    “I did not insist that James Comey refer to the Hillary Clinton investigation as a “matter.”

    – Loretta Lynch
    ____________

    “The Attorney General had directed me to call the Hillary Clinton investigation a “matter.”

    – James Comey

    1. Here’s some REAL breaking news: Guess who is the presiding judge of the Court of Appeals where Judge Mehta’s decision will go if Trump goes ahead and appeals? Wait for it……..MERRICK GARLAND! Ta Da. Karma is really sweet.

        1. Are you thinking Kavanaugh and Gorsuch because you are finally admitting that they were appointed primarily for political reasons because their jurisprudence runs counter to mainstream legal wisdom and they are so enthralled with the title of Justice of the SCOTUS that they would overrule more than a hundred years worth of law to save Trump from disclosing the truth to the American people? Trump has always thought that they were put on the SCOTUS to protect him. That’s how much he knows, but since you apparently agree with him, then we shall see, shan’t we? They know that history will be watching them. I’d like to think that they’ll rise to the oath they took to preserve and protect the Constitution.

          The likelihood that the DC Circuit will affirm Judge Mehta’s well-reasoned decision is high. Even Turley admits that it is a well-reasoned and legally well- supported decision. The SCOTUS may well deny cert which would end the matter, but even if it grants cert, the likelihood that Judge Mehta will be reversed is very low for the simple reason that he is right… right on the law, right on the Constitution and right on history. Trump has no law whatsoever on his side.

          1. NUTCHACHA, why am I thinking now, what did Obama know and when did he know it? Mueller won’t testify because he knew he was conducting a “witch hunt” from the outset. Peter Strzok told him that “…there’s no big there there.” But Lisa Page told all of us that “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing” as his staff “unmasked” as many political targets as possible in their last days and minutes, Lynch “gossiped” with Bill on the Phoenix tarmac, Brennan, Clapper, Halper, Mifsud, Downer and Azra Turk ran an op on Carter Page and George Papadopoulos designed to allow Comey to set up President Trump for a hit with the “Steele Dossier,” etc., etc., etc.

            The noose tightens. Whatever will you do?

            The Obama Coup D’etat in America is the most egregious abuse of power and the most prodigious scandal in American political history.

            The co-conspirators are:

            Rosenstein, Mueller/Team, Comey, McCabe, Strozk, Page, Laycock, Kadzic, Yates,

            Baker, Bruce Ohr, Nellie Ohr, Priestap, Kortan, Campbell, Sir Richard Dearlove,

            Steele, Simpson, Joseph Mifsud, Alexander Downer, Stefan “The Walrus” Halper,

            Azra Turk, Kerry, Hillary, Huma, Mills, Brennan, Clapper, Lerner, Farkas, Power,

            Lynch, Rice, Jarrett, Holder, Brazile, Sessions, Obama et al.

        2. “NUTCHACHA, why am I thinking Gorsuch and Kavanaugh?”

          I believe this is the same NUTHATCH who thinks gerrymandering kept the DEMS from winning control of the Senate. Whataclown.

  3. As of now, the POTUS thinks he is not a part of the rule of law. Barr can for now stall and delay and cite that the POTUS is a unitary executive and therefore above the law. It won’t work, and they know it. Individual-1 and his crackpot team of lawyers, will soon just claim authoritarianism and be done with it. After all, according to Turley and his Trump cult supporters the law only applies to Democrats, the rule of law can be bent for Republicans.

    1. Did you say POTUS?

      Didn’t democrats excoriate republicans, demanding that the POTUS not run, direct or, otherwise, control the wholly independent Department of Justice, including the FBI? And what exactly were the POTUS, Strzok, Page and the 7th Floor doing?
      _________________________________________________________________________________

      “POTUS wants to know everything we’re doing.”

      – Lisa Page to Peter Strzok
      _____________________

      “Went well, best we could have expected. Other than [REDACTED] quote, ‘the White House is running this.’,”

      – Peter Strzok to Lisa Page

      1. George: for all of Hannity’s and your whining about the Steele Dossier and Strzok and Page, Mueller got dozens of felony convictions and pleas. Russians did interfere with the 2016 elections to help Trump win the Electoral College so as to defeat the popular vote. Crimes were committed, including the crime of obstruction of justice by Trump. Mueller probably would have gotten Trump on conspiracy, too, if Trump hadn’t refused to be interviewed and if Mueller wouldn’t have accepted evasive and incomplete written responses to questions that were answered by Trump’s attorneys. Mueller only opined that the evidence he was able to get did not establish conspiracy, but he didn’t have all of the evidence. Despite the nearly-daily lie Trump tells, he was not vindicated nor exonerated. We don’t know what the redacted portions of the Mueller report show about Trump and his family, but it’s obviously not good. There was NO witch hunt, and we’ll all know more about who Trump’s in bed with once the financial records and tax returns are produced, plus the reasons why he’s fighting so hard to prevent disclosure. It’s not to preserve the independence of the Presidency, of that you can be sure.

  4. Your Honor, two brief questions: Will you please cite the literal Constitution verbatim and please cite the Constitution verbatim wherein your office is provided the power to modify or amend the literal Constitution in any method or manner which would not constitute crimes of high office as subversion, usurpation and abuse of power?
    ___________________________________

    “The subpoena authority of Congress is an implied rather than express power within Article I of the Constitution.”

    – Professor Turley
    _______________

    In fact, Congress derives no “subpoena,” “investigative” or “oversight” power from Article 1. The legislative branch claims phantom “subpoena,” investigative” and “oversight” power. The executive branch claims phantom “privilege.” Presumptive “oversight” by congress must be accomplished in the absence of subpoena or investigative power. That is the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution. Congress may not subpoena or investigate and the President may not claim privilege.

    The judicial branch may do its due diligence, its solemn duty and assure that actions comport with the “manifest tenor” of the Constitution, or the judicial branch will violate fundamental law, its constitutional charge, “legislate from the bench” and assign powers that don’t exist, which is an impeachable crime of high office, as are the usurpations inherent in the seizure of phantom powers by the legislative and executive branches.

    1. George,

      I’m sure about what is going to happen but something is;

      President Donald Trump is planning on using the Insurrection Act to remove illegal immigrants from the United States, The Daily Caller has learned.

      According to multiple senior administration officials, the president intends to invoke the “tremendous powers” of the act to remove illegal immigrants from the country.

      “We’re doing the Insurrection Act,” one official said.

      https://www.infowars.com/trump-plans-to-invoke-insurrection-act-to-boot-illegal-immigrants/

      1. Abraham Lincoln seized power and ruled by executive order and proclamation to “save the union.” Abraham Lincoln illegally denied constitutional secession to the Confederate States of America. The Civil War need not have occurred. Occupation of a sovereign foreign nation, the Civil War, suspension of Habeas Corpus under condition of secession not of insurrection, the issuance of unjustified proclamations, confiscation of deeded private property, etc. were all illegal and unconstitutional acts of treason by Lincoln.

        Lincoln’s precedent provides justification for the seizure of power by President Trump to “Save The Republic” from a coup e’etat as sinister forces of the “deep state” and irrational democrats have conducted a blatantly obvious “witch hunt” and “malicious prosecution” of a duly elected President by a special prosecutor, Congress is engaging in abuses of power, Congress is conducting irrational, unconstitutional acts of harassment of the President and America is in a general state of hysteria, incoherence, chaos and anarchy.
        __________

        “Desperate times call for desperate measures.”

        – Hippocrates

  5. The decision improperly limits the court’s function in protecting the rights of the President, or indeed of any citizen. In general terms, there are no constitutional or congressional limits to what Congress has the authority to make laws about. Congress can set its own limits to what it wants to investigate, or not, and that is absolute. But we have to acknowledge that once a subpoena is submitted to the courts for review, other standards may apply. Especially when the target claims that the subpoena ignores the constitutionally protected rights of the individual. The decision pays lip service to this, but avoids tackling the issue head on.

    Of the four reasons advanced by Cummings, only the Emoluments clause presents even the slightest pretext of a legislative function. Somehow, Congress has ignored the issue for well over two hundred years, but suddenly, it demands immediate resolution.

    But the other three pretexts are clearly about possible criminal activity by the sitting president. The committee wants the Mazur records to find out if Trump is a criminal. Period. You can find no possible legislative function in that. That is why Trump needs the full protection of the Bill of Rights. Congress is directing him to open himself up to risks that could lead to criminal punishment; that is exactly why the court needs to consider the likely outcome of the entire proceeding. The likelihood is that the committee is looking to recommend a criminal investigation, based on what it hopes to find there. A judge must therefore consider the risk of harm to being forced to submit what may be used as evidence in that criminal investigation. To pretend that the citizen is not exposing him or her self to that risk is dishonest. It is why the courts have confidently interfered with fishing expeditions by the Justice Department. It is wrong for the court to pretend that a phony legislative claim is the way to get around constitutional protections of the citizen.

    1. Please cite the literal Constitution verbatim wherein “oversight,” “subpoena” and “investigative” powers are enumerated and provided to Congress.

      Congress must conduct its renditions of “subpoena,” “investigative” and “oversight” without any particular and enumerated power to do so.

      Presumably, Investigation is that which the Federal Bureau is charged with and it may require probable cause, whaddaya think, perhaps a submission by Congress to the FBI of probable cause for a criminal referral?

    2. Anonymous, your analysis reeks of cult excuses. The same people wanting “to protect the presidency” had their hair on fire over executive actions by Obama.

      The Congress has always exercised oversight of the executive branch as an implied power and that power has been affirmed by the courts. Legislative functions are not required. Perhaps you have forgotten Whitewater.

      1. PS Remember, one day you’ll be very unhappy if the principles you are advocating today become precedent and a Democratic president hides his financial situation while declaring “emergencies” so he can ignore Congress for funding.

  6. So what is trump hiding? If he is truly innocent he should release all the records and let everyone testify and since he is innocent it would show it was really just a witch hunt – whole thing would be over in a few weeks seems to me.

    And why did trump not testify under oath and decided to hide behind his lawyers – maybe because trump can’t tell the truth?

    1. Read the Constitution. Nowhere is Congress provided any power to “investigate,” “subpoena” or engage in “oversight.”

      Congress and its sycophants made up of whole cloth the power to “investigate,” “subpoena” and engage in “oversight.”

      Of necessity and as a logical corollary, the executive branch made up of whole cloth the countermeasure of “privilege.”

  7. Trump DID have a racist motive in executing the Muslim ban. His inflammatory rhetoric proved that, as courts pointed out. Trump does have ties to Russia, which he and his campaign lied about. Mueller has not investigated Trump’s finances. The American people have a right to know what foreigners with ties to Putin that Trump is beholden to and whatever other financial ties he may have, in order to carry out the mandate of the American people as expressed in last fall’s elections. Trump continues to obstruct justice by ignoring subpoenas and getting others to defy subpoenas. If he has nothing to hide, then why is he fighting to prevent the American people from learning the truth about him and his business dealings, thus creating a Constitutional crisis?

    One other point: if the DOJ takes the position that Trump can’t be indicted while in office, and if Trump takes the position that Congress cannot investigate him, then to whom does he answer? Is a President above the law? The Constitution makes clear that he is not. BTW: Bill Clinton was investigated for conduct before he took office and subpoenas were used before impeachment proceedings were started. Nixon complied with the Congressional subpoena for the tapes. Trump is again in a class by himself by thumbing his nose at Congressional oversight and the dam is beginning to show cracks. Judge Mehta’s ruling is the first blow. It’s only a matter of time.

    1. executive judicial and legislative are three coequal branches of government

      when the Dems have the executive power they use it

      when they don’t they try and claim “dictator” etc etc and revert to filing lawsuits and calling hearings in Congress

      they are smart! but Trump is too. as you have learned. smarter than you say, by far

    2. I don’t understand.

      Which “motive” did the American Founders have when they thrice required citizens to be “…free white person(s)…” in the Naturalization Acts of 1790, 1795 and 1802, which they first passed within the year, 1789, of adoption of the Constitution and Bill of Rights which they had authored?

      “Racism” was constitutional according to the men who wrote the Constitution. It cannot possibly get any more constitutional than that and from that, I believe we would be safe in presuming that “racism,” as thought, speech, belief, religion, socialization, assembly, publication, press and every other natural and God-given right and freedom per the 9th Amendment, is irrefutably constitutional.

      You are deliberately, insidiously and erroneously conflating “racism” with harassment, vandalism, assault, battery, mayhem, rape, murder, etc.

    1. But, Ivan, EVERY Congressional representative did not have business dealings with Russia or lie about it, didn’t cheat to win with the help of a Communist government and didn’t lie or cause others to lie about the involvement of Russians. This is a typical Kellyanne Pivot maneuver.

      1. communists? You mean like the modern day PRC Chinese ones that surreptitiously finance Democrats?

        oh you mean the NONEXISTENT SOVIET COMMUNISTS that have been out of power there for decades.

        Earth to Natch! Earth to Natch! Do you copy?

      2. There’s no pivoting…just promising a response. All this is irrelevant anyway. What’s coming next is going to rock our politics and it ‘aint Trump’s resignation.

      3. The special counsel was illegally appointed without a crime or probable cause suggesting a crime. The Congressional subpoena is illegally threatened without a crime or probable cause suggesting a crime. Ridiculous. Childishly stupid.

  8. The congressional subpoena of Obama AG Eric Holder (and related contempt of congress) was in 2012, but not resolved in court (and only then because the litigation settled) in 2018. On that timeline, the congressional subpoena wars will not be resolved until the last year of Trump’s second term.

    1. The communists (i.e. liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats) are in mortal fear of losing their base.

  9. “The Chair simply thanked me for the “clarification” and ended the meeting.”
    Your integrity has been hit by Congress in favour of another who responds to their ideology in a more favorable manner . . .

  10. Rep. Jerry Nadler gets IRS to dig for dirt. Just remember, being dead & buried 6ft under is not a tax shelter.

  11. All financial records of every member of Congress should be posted on a national website. This should include every job they ever had and any debt they ever had in their life. If Nadler really owes money to a hooker then that should be included.

  12. Turely wrote, “. . . a non-public report to select members that was 98 percent unredacted.”

    Two percent milk is still milk. If you redact just the right two percent, you can stymie a congressional investigation into the motives, intent and corrupt purposes behind Trump’s obstruction of justice. For instance, the are at least two redactions for Grand Jury information that are likely to conceal the probable fact that Donald Trump Jr. invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination in order to decline an interview with the Special Counsel’s office. On what planet does an invocation of the Fifth Amendment completely and totally outside of any Grand Jury proceeding get redacted as Rule 6(E) material? On the planet currently inhabited by AG “Casting Couch” Barr. That’s where.

    Likewise, there are at least two redactions for Grand Jury information that pertain to the discussions between the Special Counsel’s Office and the Trump White House over Trump’s testimony to the Grand Jury. Except that Trump never testified before the Grand Jury. And Trump answered no more than one in four of Mueller’s written questions with answers that were either non-responsive or evasive. So, on what planet does a person who never testified before the Grand Jury, who gave evasive and non-responsive answers to one-fourth of the Special Counsel’s questions and no answers at all to the remaining three-fourths of those questions, get to redact even so little as the mere reasons for his non-cooperation with Grand Jury as Rule 6(E) material? Once again, on the planet currently inhabited by AG “Casting Couch” Barr. That’s where.

    Given that Donald Trump Jr. most likely invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and that AG “Casting Couch” Barr most likely redacted that invocation of The Fifth as though it were Rule 6(E) material, one now seriously has to wonder about the erstwhile crazy possibility that President Trump, himself, might have invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid answering Mueller’s question and then AG “Casting Couch” Barr redacted Trump’s invocation of The Fifth as though that, too, were Rule 6(E) material.

    Contributed by The L4D–Two Percent Needles In A Haystack Prick One’s Bum Just The Same–Project

    1. L4D adds–On second thought, I may be underestimating the Trump/Barr Omerta. The way things are going it is entirely possible that Trump has already granted himself a Presidential Pardon and that AG Whitewash “Casting Couch’ Barr has redacted that Presidential self-pardon on the cockamamie theory that that, too, is Rule 6(E) Grand Jury material. Or else it was redacted for “peripheral privacy.” Ha!

    2. L4D adds again–Oh! I forgot to mention that there is at least one redaction for peripheral privacy involving Donald Trump Jr. Two or three redactions for peripheral privacy involving Carter Page. And, frankly, I can’t remember how many redactions for peripheral privacy involving KT McFarland and other associated with her efforts to get Flynn to get Kislyak to get Putin not to retaliate for the election interference sanctions against Russia that Obama ordered. Those redactions each occur in the context of Mueller’s declination decisions. And that most likely means that Mueller was considering charging those “persons” with lying or making false statements to investigators. So Don Jr., Carter Page, KT McFarland and her associates don’t get to have their “exonerations” for lying or making false statements to investigators publicly disclosed because that would look bad for Trump.

  13. “The binding principle that emerges from these judicial decisions is that courts must presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must defer to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose.

    That is a suicidal principle. Is should never be presumed or assumed that Congress is acting in any way, constitutionally.

    1. no, it isn’t, the federal judges have a theoretical duty to respect a coequal branch of government

      likewise, Congress should be careful about trying to force the hand of a coequal executive.

      Congress and POTUS elect to let these things play out in federal courts, but they can also defy each other and then it’s constitutional crisis. that in my mind is a legitimate political tactic and a likely outcome if the Dems have the brass to make it happen.

      in the contest of organized force that follows, I will back POTUS Trump for my own wee part of this time honored tradition of political conflict

      know which care you are riding in before it all jumps off
      — as they say in jailspeak

  14. “The binding principle that emerges from these judicial decisions is that courts must presume Congress is acting in furtherance of its constitutional responsibility to legislate and must defer to congressional judgments about what Congress needs to carry out that purpose. To be sure, there are limits on Congress’s investigative authority. But those limits do not substantially constrain Congress.”
    ************************

    And reality be damned. Obama. San Francisco. Ninth Circuit Clerk. Public Defender. Typical ideologue activist judge.

  15. deferring to the oversight authority of Congress on such questions.

    Better to defer to the patients at an insane asylum

  16. In an interview with Mark Levin, constitutional expert, Dr. John Eastman, talked at great length about The power of Congress to get tax returns of citizens.
    “And one of the reasons we have a Fourth Amendment is to prevent the notion of general warrant that we target an individual we don’t like and then turn his world upside down until we can try and find some evidence of a crime.What we see happening here with the investigation, with the subpoenas, let’s go through the financial records for 10 years, if that doesn’t produce anything, let’s go back 20 years. If that produce anything, let’s go back. We know this guy must have done some crime otherwise he couldn’t have gotten elected, so let’s just scour the Earth until we find it.That’s like a general warrant and there’s good reason why we have a constitutional prohibition against those things.” He also said it applies to the President. More discussion on this is available here.

    https://www.foxnews.com/transcript/dr-john-eastman-says-robert-muellers-report-presumes-guilt-unless-trump-can-prove-otherwise

    1. The 4th Amendment:

      EASTMAN: Well, a couple of things. One, they are trying to undermine the result of the last election, that’s first and foremost. Second, what they’re doing amounts to something that our own Declaration of Independence had accused the King of doing which is issuing general warrants.

      When you suspect that a crime has occurred, we go to the judge and we ask for a warrant to inspect certain things that we think will help us prove the crime.

      What the King of England was doing to the colonist was issuing general warrants that meant that the King’s tariff officers could go not where they suspected a crime, but where they had an individual that they wanted to investigate to see if any crime had been committed.

      And one of the reasons we have a Fourth Amendment is to prevent the notion of general warrant that we target an individual we don’t like and then turn his world upside down until we can try and find some evidence of a crime.

      What we see happening here with the investigation, with the subpoenas, let’s go through the financial records for 10 years, if that doesn’t produce anything, let’s go back 20 years. If that produce anything, let’s go back. We know this guy must have done some crime otherwise he couldn’t have gotten elected, so let’s just scour the Earth until we find it.

      That’s like a general warrant and there’s good reason why we have a constitutional prohibition against those things.

      1. LEVIN: So the Bill of Rights applies to Citizen Trump, too. …

        LEVIN: In other words, so the IRS isn’t targeting certain groups based on their religion, certain groups based on their race or certain — so Congress would have oversight. It wasn’t intended to violate separation of powers, to use it as a tool against an American citizen and so forth, and if Congress, in the end, has the power to do this to the President, I suppose they have the power to do this to the Chief Justice.

        EASTMAN: Well, they do, but also, they should be very careful because the same statute that gives them the power to ask the IRS for individual tax returns, to look at whether the IRS is abusing its power also allows the President to ask for individual tax returns. So he could ask for Chairman Nadler’s tax returns.

        IMHO what the Democrats are doing is misusing their power which leads to the ultimate destruction of our Republic.

  17. I would need, for the first time, question your judgement after you declared respect for Nadler. that is just not supportable.

    1. Unlike a Trumpist, Turley is wisely hedging his bets that Trump will not be impeached or otherwise be found guilty of a crime. He is laying a record that will allow him to argue both sides of the case, as any good lawyer can. He does not wish to burn his bridges by being intemperate. It is fascinating to watch how cleverly he straddles both sides of this issue.

    2. Overall, it’s very difficult to fault Turley. But I agree with your statement above.

      Turley wants primarily to maintain his status as part of the grease that makes the American system work. And the best way to maintain such status is to kiss the rear ends of those in charge of distributing the butter which goes on both sides of Turley’s toast.

      If the subject is someone who may have or could have control over Turley’s Ultra Top Secret Security Status (such as Herr Nadler), I suspect it would take the proverbial cold day in hell to find Turley expressing other than obeisance to such Royalty.

      Another point of contention: Turley is obviously a high intellect. He and his legal students have volunteered free legal counsel for persons as strange and exotic as polygamists. Turley has got to know the unborn, even a zygote, share any and every quality that makes anyone reading this a “human being.”

      If there was one scientific piece of evidence supporting the view that a zygote was not human, Turley would IMO document it. He does not because no such evidence exists, which proves my point is correct. The fact that he never expresses an opinion on the subject of Roe having caused 60M (ten times the alleged so-called “holocaust”) innocent American murders is disheartening or worse.

          1. What’s next? “But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” … “You also had some very fine people on both sides….”

            1. JS:
              “What’s next? “But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” … “You also had some very fine people on both sides….”
              ***************
              Don’t know why you indict a demonstrably true statement. Not everyone protesting on the conservative side of that issue was the personification of evil. You think with the black or white mind of a child – or a Maoist – if you do.

                1. Oh feckless Anon:

                  The stated goal of the protest was to oppose removal of the Robert E. Lee monument from Lee Park in Charlottesville by a radical city counsel. There were many grounds for that position that was subsequently vindicated by a Virginia judge applying clear Virginia law. That violent excesses occurred was the joint fault of a violent contingent of both right and left wing protestors as well as utter failure by incompetent government and police forces of both Virginia and Charlottesville. A report found just that. In contrast, a similar stand-off on Monument Avenue (where else?) in Richmond over the same issue and with the same parties ended with no violence due to competent policing by the Richmond Police Department. You might want to consider that the only group in Charlottesville that followed the law and obtained a permit for the protest is the group now dehumanized as lawless animals. I don’t support their ideas but I do support their right to speak them and to retain their humanity despite their ideas.

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