Trump: I Cannot Be Criminally Investigated While In Office

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

Trump claims in the filing that a sitting president cannot be arrested, imprisoned, detained, “investigated, indicted, or otherwise subjected to the criminal process.”

The argument relies on an Office of Legal Counsel legal memo that I have previously criticized as poorly reasoned and supported. The OLC has a long history of expansive interpretations of executive powers and privileges. While admitting that the issue is far from settled, the OLC argued that a sitting president should not be criminally indicted. I have long maintained that the memo is fundamentally wrong on the Constitution and the intent of the Framers. There is no bar on the prosecution of a sitting president and certainly no bar on the criminal investigation of a president.

There are times when a criminal prosecution may be the only practical answer for a criminal chief executive. In the case of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, years of alleged special dealing produced no impeachment. Only after he was charged in office did the Illinois legislature vote to remove him. But is a president inherently different from a governor? When he was solicitor general of the United States, Robert Bork wrote a brief saying that a vice president (like Spiro Agnew) could be indicted in office but not a sitting president. Leon Jaworski, the Watergate special prosecutor, disagreed and suggested that such an indictment might be possible. Recently released material related to the Clinton impeachment shows that the staff of independent counsel Kenneth Starr prepared a memo supporting the indictment of a president and drafted indictments for Bill Clinton.

The Justice Department itself concluded during the Clinton administration that “[n]either the text nor the history of the Constitution” is “dispositive” on this question but has rendered an internal opinion against indictments of a sitting president as a matter of “considerations of constitutional structure.” Mueller (who is supposed to follow the “rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies” of the Department) may consider himself bound to this guidance and put evidence of any crime in a report to Congress for possible impeachment.

326 thoughts on “Trump: I Cannot Be Criminally Investigated While In Office”

  1. Must be that The Articles of Confederation and Federalist # 77 , and not the Constitution, are the supreme law of the land.

    1. Maybe you might want to consider that these same principles that are in Federalist #77 and the Articles of Confederation are also contained in the Constitution!

      Do you understand anything in the Constitution? And where do you think they got the principles of republican Government that are established in the Constitution.

      I think the term deluded referees to you, if you can’t understand basic concepts of republican Government, especially when they are explained so clearly by the persons who wrote the Constitution! What, they don’t know what they wrote, or why they wrote it? Or maybe you think they were ignorant and stupid and deluded to boot.

      I’ve never encountered this level of ignorance in any group of people that claim to be in enlightened and educated!

      Good thing you are anonymous, because you would hate to be exposed for your level of ignorance!

      1. Antibodies against your own ignorance are likely in your system, fpapers, so I don’t think you have to worry about “exposure”.

        1. Antibodies against your own ignorance

          Ya know, you may be onto something. There are 5 classes of antibodies or Immunoglobulins:
          IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, IgM. The one being actively studied to understand its purpose is IgD because its unique function is unclear. However your hypothesis makes perfect sense. Decided: Antibody IgD is an antibody for Dumb, and having a high expression of IgD may account for dumb behavior like being Dull, Dim, Doltish, Democrap.

          Yup…I see a Nobel Prize in this

          1. Wasn’t the communist, taxpayer funded, “public television” tool of child propagandization and indoctrination, Sesame Street, created/promoted by the sociopathic perpetrator of aggravated indecent sexual assault, Bill Cosby?

      2. Can you add some details to help me understand your view on whether or not an official of one of the many states can indict a sitting President? It’s a question I’ve never thought about before. It seems obvious to me that the DOJ/FBI that works for the President should never be used to investigate him/her- the proper venue for such an investigation is the Congress. But what happens when we’re talking about a state official going after the President? Is that also to be thrown to the Congress?

        1. Ivan – we have Vance going after the President. Personally, I think he is excluded until Trump is out of office.

    2. Did they provide “Generational Welfare,” “Affirmative Action Privilege,” quotas, forced busing, TANF, WIC, HAMP, HARP, HUD, HHS, unconstitutional Non-Discrimination laws, unconstitutional Unfair Housing laws, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseam in the “Artifices of Confunkinatives?”

  2. Enough already! We have had enough of the Grifters. The time has come to pull the plug on this swampy mess and drain t he corruption. Please.

    Back to Mountain West College Footbal

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me thirty-seven citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after forty-four weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – we either need a citation for this quotation, or you need to admit that your spelling sucks.

    2. To covet the superiority and success of others is to sin.

      To be communist is to be jealous, lazy and criminal.

      To be free is to be self-reliant and crate your own success; not steal it from others.

  3. “In another extreme and dubious argument in court, President Donald Trump has gone to court against to block Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance from gaining access to his tax returns.”

    – Professor Turley

    What Professor Turley doesn’t tell the reader is that those “tax returns” should not even exist and all Americans should “…be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,…” per the 4th Amendment:

    – The IRS and its “tax records” are unconstitutional as taxation for communistic central planning, control of the means of production (i.e. regulation), social engineering and redistribution of wealth is unconstitutional per Article 1, Section 8 which provides Congress the power to tax merely for “…general Welfare…” not individual welfare and to regulate only “money” and “…commerce among the several States…,”

    – Income taxes, all other “direct” taxes and the IRS are not only illegitimately punitive but moot and unnecessary because 80% of the government must be eliminated and/or privatized per Article 1, Section 8.

    – After 1789, “…most federal revenue came from customs duties, land sales, and taxes levied on goods such as distilled spirits, slaves, and tobacco.” – Historian Ellen Holmes Pearson

    – In a country wherein “all men are created equal,” taxes must be equal and the abusive and racist “progressive” tax abolished.

    “Moderates” (i.e. liberals, progressives, socialists, democrats) cannot grasp the magnitude and breadth of American freedom whereby individuals were provided maximal freedom and the government was severely limited, restricted and constrained to the role of providing security and infrastructure to facilitate the freedom of individuals. “Moderates” employ any and all fraudulent means in their selfish pursuit of personal power through dictatorship while the Founders provided Americans the one and only legitimate advantage and blessing they could: Freedom.

    Ben Franklin, 1787, we gave you “a republic, if you can keep it.”

    Ben Franklin, 2019, we gave you “a republic, if you can take it back.”


    Just below this comment one sees how Trumpers operate on this blog. The most vicious of smears are used against ‘me’, one of the few liberal commentators here. These tactics represent Republicans in the Trump era. Any dirty trick is considered ‘fair play’ to avoid defeat. Republicans know they’re on borrowed time. Voter demographics are a rushing current that will invariably sweep them into oblivion.

    Coincidently The New York Times ran an opinion piece today that addresses this tendency of Republicans to stoop lower and lower. It was written by Steven Livitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, professors of government at Harvard University. The following is an edited version of their piece.

    The greatest threat to our democracy today is a Republican Party that plays dirty to win.

    The party’s abandonment of fair play was showcased spectacularly in 2016, when the United States Senate refused to allow President Barack Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by Justice Antonin Scalia’s death in February. While technically constitutional, the act — in effect, stealing a court seat — hadn’t been tried since the 19th century. It would be bad enough on its own, but the Merrick Garland affair is part of a broader pattern.

    Republicans across the country seem to have embraced an “any means necessary” strategy to preserve their power. After losing the governorship in North Carolina in 2016 and Wisconsin in 2018, Republicans used lame-duck legislative sessions to push through a flurry of bills stripping power from incoming Democratic governors. Last year, when the Pennsylvania Supreme Court struck down a Republican gerrymandering initiative, conservative legislators attempted to impeach the justices. And back in North Carolina, Republican legislators used a surprise vote last week, on Sept. 11, to ram through an override of Gov. Roy Cooper’s budget veto — while most Democrats had been told no vote would be held. This is classic “constitutional hardball,” behavior that, while technically legal, uses the letter of the law to subvert its spirit.

    Constitutional hardball has accelerated under the Trump administration. President Trump’s declaration of a “national emergency” to divert public money toward a border wall — openly flouting Congress, which voted against building a wall — is a clear example. And the Supreme Court’s conservative majority, manufactured by an earlier act of hardball, may uphold the constitutionality of the president’s autocratic behavior.

    Why is the Republican Party playing dirty? Republican leaders are not driven by an intrinsic or ideological contempt for democracy. They are driven by fear.

    Democracy requires that parties know how to lose. Politicians who fail to win elections must be willing to accept defeat, go home, and get ready to play again the next day. This norm of gracious losing is essential to a healthy democracy.

    But for parties to accept losing, two conditions must hold. First, they must feel secure that losing today will not bring ruinous consequences; and second, they must believe they have a reasonable chance of winning again in the future. When party leaders fear that they cannot win future elections, or that defeat poses an existential threat to themselves or their constituents, the stakes rise. Their time horizons shorten. They throw tomorrow to the wind and seek to win at any cost today. In short, desperation leads politicians to play dirty.

    Republicans appear to be in the grip of a similar panic today. Their medium-term electoral prospects are dim. For one, they remain an overwhelmingly white Christian party in an increasingly diverse society. As a share of the American electorate, white Christians declined from 73 percent in 1992 to 57 percent in 2012 and may be below 50 percent by 2024. Republicans also face a generational challenge: Younger voters are deserting them. In 2018, 18- to 29-year-olds voted for Democrats by more than 2 to 1, and 30-somethings voted nearly 60 percent for Democrats.

    The only way out of this situation is for the Republican Party to become more diverse. A stunning 90 percent of House Republicans are white men, even though white men are a third of the electorate. Only when Republicans can compete seriously for younger, urban and nonwhite voters will their fear of losing — and of a multiracial America — subside.

    Such a transformation is less far-fetched than it may appear right now; indeed, the Republican National Committee recommended it in 2013. But parties only change when their strategies bring costly defeat. So Republicans must fail — badly — at the polls.

    American democracy faces a Catch-22: Republicans won’t abandon their white identity bunker strategy until they lose, but at the same time that strategy has made them so averse to losing they are willing to bend the rules to avoid this fate. There is no easy exit. Republican leaders must either stand up to their base and broaden their appeal or they must suffer an electoral thrashing so severe that they are compelled to do so.

    Edited from: “Why Republicans Play Dirty”

    Today’s New York Times


      Dirty Tricks? Democrats not only do dirty tricks but criminal tricks.

      “In this video, Project Veritas investigators uncover a group known as the DC Anti-fascist Coalition plotting to disrupt President-Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration by deploying butyric acid at the National Press Club during the Deploraball event scheduled for January 19th.

      The meeting, captured on hidden camera, was held at Comet Ping Pong, a DC pizza restaurant that is better known as the location of the Pizzagate controversy. The coalition members discuss the steps they would need to take to halt the Deploraball event. Project Veritas notified the FBI, Secret Service and DC Metro Police of the content of this video prior to its release.”

      Video and more information at the site. Plenty more in their index.

      1. Alan, nowhere can you prove this group was connected to the Democrat Party. But we don’t expect you to. Because James O’Keefe is the most notorious of dirty tricksters.

          1. Paul, back in 2010, James O’Keefe was arrested at the Federal Building in New Orleans entering the premises under false pretenses. O’Keefe and two other dirty tricksters were attempting to present themselves as Telephone Repairmen at the office of Congresswoman Mary Landrieu.

            If that wasn’t a dirty trick, explain why. O’Keefe, for the record, copped a plea to 3 years probation and community service.


            1. Hill – they were trying to prove that Landreiu was NOT having phone problems as she claimed. That is hardly a dirty trick.

                1. Hill – what were they convicted of? She was taking the phone off the hooks. That is what they were trying to prove.

                  1. Paul, the whole operation was a dirty trick. Landrieu’s office had been targeted by Tea Baggers because she supported Obamacare. So they kept flooding her office with furious calls.

                    The ironic part is that Louisiana had, and still has, some of the lowest rates of health insurance in the nation. Health statistics are terrible for that part of the country. If any state needs Obamacare it’s Louisiana.

                    But that doesn’t matter to Tea Baggers; many of whom are southern ‘good ole boys’. They don’t care if Louisiana really needs more access to health insurance. Tea Baggers don’t care about people. They were just outraged that a Black president was extending healthcare to the poor.

                    And James O’Keefe, a so-called, ‘investigative reporter, was more than happy to assist what was essentially a racist backlash.

                    1. Landrieu was a Democratic Senator from that state with low amounts of health insurance and when her actions were contrary to the people she took her phones off the hook and made believe the phones were broken. O’Keefe exposed her so she used her power as Senator not to help the people rather to go after a person that was acting in good faith.

            2. From the article: “His plan was to pose as a telephone repairman to investigate claims that Landrieu’s staff ignored constituent calls. But O’Keefe and three associates were arrested instead.”

              Landrieu was ducking calls from constituents saying she had a problem with her phone system. In other words Landrieu lied to her constitutents and wasn’t being open or available . The team (James O’Keefe and others) sought to prove that Landrieu was lying to the people and not doing her job. The team did not know of the law about enterring the premises of a Senator under false pretences (I don’t think they lied. I think they just looked the part and were let in.).

              In other words it is OK for a Democratic Senator to lie to us but not OK for us to show she is not telling the truth to the people she represents. She utilized all the power she had in the state and Federal government to act against this otherwise minor charge that was a mistake and a misunderstanding of the law. All lthe equipment the team has was confiscated including the film showing that Landrieu’s phones were working. There was no other criminal action so this was a nothing but they powers that exist decided to pile up and O’Keefe had to settle with house arrest for a mistake that was quite small and if done by a Democrat would have lead to no problems. Unfortunately the Democrats had political control.

              1. The addendum to the story is that later the prosecutors that had been involved resigned or were allowed early retirement or resigned. They had acted inappropriately but that is the nature of law enforcement when Democrats have control. Democrats seek to be dictators telling free people what they can drive, where they can live, what they can eat etc., all under the banner of democracy the DNC way.

                I should add, Peter hates O’Keefe because O’Keefe shows on tape in real time what Peter is and stands for. Time and time again O’Keefe has exposed wrong doing and criminal activity of people that Peter appears to support.

                If Peter is so embarrassed by the actions of these people then instead of getting angry at O’Keefe for exposing them for what they are he should get angry at those criminal types.

                1. Alan, see if you can find a straight piece of journalism by James O’Keefe. A straight news story that has nothing to do with stinging liberals. Real journalists have a trail of stories like that.

                  And while you’re at, Alan, show me a news story supporting your assertion that the prosecutors of O’Keefe were later disgraced. It could be true. Louisiana is known for corruption scandals. But I can’t seem to google any confirmation of that. Let’s see if you can. But don’t come back with a story from some obscure blog or a youtube video. Let’s see that story from a recognizable Louisiana newspaper.

                  1. see if you can find a straight piece of journalism.

                    LOL! You do this all the time. You begin with some broad demand for sources and then proceed to narrow down the sources you’ll accept as credible. Not much different than this process:

                  2. Peter, you can do your own searches, but he has hit figures on the right as well but it appears he hits wrong doing.

                    Examples: The teacher scandal, big tech (Elizabeth Warren is after them as well as is Tulsi Gabbard), Illegal crossings of the border.

                    He doesn’t create fictitious stories based on anonymous people like the sites you promote. He provides video and audio. You just don’t like to hear what your friends have to say.

                    1. He provides video and audio.

                      That is the root problem Hill and others like him are struggling with. We should always question the authenticity of video and audio to verify if what was captured doesn’t distort or otherwise hide the truth. But that’s not where they object. They object to the means by which the video and audio were captured. That is so intellectually dishonest it borders on criminal complicity. We have an enormous problem with political corruption in this country and it is across the political spectrum. If video and/or audio captures evidence of this, our first, second, third,…concern should never be what is their party affiliation or how might this harm my tribe. Get the facts, identify if crimes were committed, identify all the bad actors and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. The demographics of these criminals, including what their ideological motivations (party affiliations) are will be naturally identifiable. I guarantee you that political corruption will be more closely associated with an ideological worldview than just an R or a D. Weed out the unconstitutional ideology and when the dust clears, we’ll still have political parties, but they will be more closely aligned towards constitutional governance.

                      And then don’t stop cleaning house.

                    2. Allan,
                      As I follow this blog and comments day after day, I rarely see comments regarding what the original purpose for the law was. Instead, we see comments regarding what the law has become. During the 2008 election cycle Ron Paul was asked a question regarding what is the one book he would recommend everyone read. His answer, without hesitation was The Law by Frederic Bastiat. I know I cite that book a lot, but I do so because it’s the purest explanation I’ve found for the purpose of government and the law. The following is from that book (which is a fairly short and easy read) and in this excerpt he sets the foundation for everything else. I would appreciate your opinion and others as to whether Bastiat has it right.

                      What Is Law?
                      What, then, is law? It is the collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.

                      Each of us has a natural right — from God — to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but an extension of our faculties? If every person has the right to defend even by force — his person, his liberty, and his property, then it follows that a group of men have the right to organize and support a common force to protect these rights constantly. Thus the principle of collective right — its reason for existing, its lawfulness — is based on individual right. And the common force that protects this collective right cannot logically have any other purpose or any other mission than that for which it acts as a substitute. Thus, since an individual cannot lawfully use force against the person, liberty, or property of another individual, then the common force — for the same reason — cannot lawfully be used to destroy the person, liberty, or property of individuals or groups.

                      Such a perversion of force would be, in both cases, contrary to our premise. Force has been given to us to defend our own individual rights. Who will dare to say that force has been given to us to destroy the equal rights of our brothers? Since no individual acting separately can lawfully use force to destroy the rights of others, does it not logically follow that the same principle also applies to the common force that is nothing more than the organized combination of the individual forces?

                      If this is true, then nothing can be more evident than this: The law is the organization of the natural right of lawful defense. It is the substitution of a common force for individual forces. And this common force is to do only what the individual forces have a natural and lawful right to do: to protect persons, liberties, and properties; to maintain the right of each, and to cause justice to reign over us all.

                      A Just and Enduring Government
                      If a nation were founded on this basis, it seems to me that order would prevail among the people, in thought as well as in deed. It seems to me that such a nation would have the most simple, easy to accept, economical, limited, nonoppressive, just, and enduring government imaginable — whatever its political form might be.

                      Under such an administration, everyone would understand that he possessed all the privileges as well as all the responsibilities of his existence. No one would have any argument with government, provided that his person was respected, his labor was free, and the fruits of his labor were protected against all unjust attack. When successful, we would not have to thank the state for our success. And, conversely, when unsuccessful, we would no more think of blaming the state for our misfortune than would the farmers blame the state because of hail or frost. The state would be felt only by the invaluable blessings of safety provided by this concept of government.

                      It can be further stated that, thanks to the non-intervention of the state in private affairs, our wants and their satisfactions would develop themselves in a logical manner. We would not see poor families seeking literary instruction before they have bread. We would not see cities populated at the expense of rural districts, nor rural districts at the expense of cities. We would not see the great displacements of capital, labor, and population that are caused by legislative decisions.

                      The sources of our existence are made uncertain and precarious by these state-created displacements. And, furthermore, these acts burden the government with increased responsibilities.

                      The Complete Perversion of the Law
                      But, unfortunately, law by no means confines itself to its proper functions. And when it has exceeded its proper functions, it has not done so merely in some inconsequential and debatable matters. The law has gone further than this; it has acted in direct opposition to its own purpose. The law has been used to destroy its own objective: It has been applied to annihilating the justice that it was supposed to maintain; to limiting and destroying rights which its real purpose was to respect. The law has placed the collective force at the disposal of the unscrupulous who wish, without risk, to exploit the person, liberty, and property of others. It has converted plunder into a right, in order to protect plunder. And it has converted lawful defense into a crime, in order to punish lawful defense.

                      How has this perversion of the law been accomplished? And what have been the results?

                      The law has been perverted by the influence of two entirely different causes: stupid greed and false philanthropy.

                    3. Olly, any good amateur can edit a video that looks like news or documentary to the general public. And anyone can post a video to youtube. There are no editors or fact checkers reviewing youtube videos. For that reason youtube has been used as propaganda by extremists of every stripe.

                      Everyone from ISIS to Nazis have used deceptive videos to spread disinformation and, or, messages of hate. The Video “Loose Change”, convinced millions of people worldwide that 9/11 was an inside job by hint, hint, Dick Cheney.

                      “Loose Change” is utterly ridiculous on every level. More disinformation per minute than any film in history. It was put together by three young men living with their parents in the outer suburbs of Buffalo.

                      These dudes were nowhere near Manhattan on 9/11. And it’s not certain they ever visited research their film. They simply sat at computers and edited hours of news clips while providing a voice over to frame their narrative.

                      The voiceover sounds like a stoned Millennial. An indignant one at that. One who sees “only lies” in the 9/11 conspiracy.

                      There are thousands of geeks out there living with their parents who can edit films bearing the CBS News logo. Geeks can name major sources in their ‘closing credits’. Numerous tricks are possible. All it takes is imagination.

                      And that’s the problem with youtube videos. ‘All it takes is imagination’.

                    4. “any good amateur can edit a video that looks like news or documentary to the general public. ”

                      We are not talking about the general public being able to evaluate such productions rather experts with money backing them up.

                      You don’t believe a video that experts agree is real but you believe every anonymous source that Washington Post uses. That tells us that there is something very wrong with your brain.

                    5. That tells us that there is something very wrong with your brain.

                      That is no hyperbole. It’s as though the first step in his decision-making process is: Does it make the Democrat party look good or bad? He has one boilerplate process for good and another for bad. This explains why he never connects with the left half of his brain: he never has to.

                    6. “Does it make the Democrat party look good or bad? He has one boilerplate process for good and another for bad”

                      That makes Peter dangerous. After all that type of mindset has led to the killing of over 60 million babies since Roe vs wade (interesting calendar) or over 16 million black babies without any thought process occurring. Yet Peter calls other people all sorts of names. He must have a terrible grudge against families.

                    7. Paul, are you serious? You think algorithms are fact checking videos? ..No..!!! Uh uh.

                      Any geek can post a so-called ‘documentary’ supporting vast conspiracies. No artificial intelligent can review bogus documentaries for accuracy.

                      They can screen out graphic sex and violence. They can pick up messages of hate. Or bomb making tutorials. But algorithms aren’t screening political content for factual errors. It would be impossible to do that and have a free press.

        1. Oh, dirty tricks get a lot worse than a guy doing undercover videos!

          you guys forget the years in Italy when the communists were active, and so were their antagonists.

          It was called the “Years of Lead.” Look that one up. If you forgot, or never learned

          At this rate, we will be lucky if it doesn’t get that way soon.

          If I had the data crunching skill and sets, I would be interested to frame the increasing incidents of apparently politically motivated violence both ways, to what happened in Italy. Adjusting for population and other relevant factors. It would be really interesting I think to see how far along we might be, by comparison

          Of course those years, the antagonists both had nation-state sponsors — the USSR armed commies versus the NATO armed Gladio fascisti.

          We don’t have that same dynamic here, but you never know what might arise to catalyze further degeneration of incivilty into something worse.

        2. Peter, they have videos of people admitting who they are. James O’Keefe is not a trickster. He is a video reporter and takes videos of people like you that do bad things. Some of his videos have been used by the feds. His exposures have lead to deplorable organizations being defunded. He has shown how teachers union leaders have lied trying to protect teachers from being fired after physically abusing a student.

          I spoke to James. No he will not video your diaper change.

          Now, go complain and don’t get so scared that you pee in your pants.

          1. Alan, no one outside the rightwing bubble recognizes O’Keefe as a ‘journalist’. He has no background as a writer. Aside from dirty tricks played on liberals, O’Keefe has never covered real journalistic stories. His operation is not even profitable, Project Veritas is essentially sponsored by the Koch Bros Network.

            1. You have it all wrong Peter. Those that lie to themselves and other people don’t consider O’Keefe a journalist. However, he is one of the few journalists today that actually investigate. You don’t like the Democratic corruption he has brought to the front so instead of dealing with the facts that he presents you try to smear him. That is how you and your people act.

              That is nasyt, insulting and all the words you throw out at people that don’t agree with the spin of the Washington Post. Then you complain about the insulting nature of others but you are the INSULTER AND CHIEF.

            2. When you say “Project Veritas is essentially sponsored by the Koch Bros Network.” One would assume that Network involving many people provides most of Veritas capital, but saying that is wrong and shows you don’t know what you are talking about. The Kochs give Veritas a lot of money and so do many involved in that network but it doesn’t finance the majority of Veritas. The funding I believe is widening among more and more donors fed up with the Peters of the world and are looking to make the world better.

              Soros provides money as well. Do you complain even after his 60 minutes interview that show him to be a psychopath?

              No. You a just another zombie ideologue.

    2. “While technically constitutional, the act — “
      These two foolish crybabies have undermined their own “dirty tricks” argument with five words. It’s hardly “dirty” to enforce majority rule and the rule of law. It’s the usual lament of the one who doesn’t get his way and increasingly of academics who embrace socialism over democracy. The quicker we ignore these mortar-boarded subversives the better. By their own words, they’ve abandoned any claim to authority or even common sense.

  5. There is an excellent piece on the history of the African based slave trade run by Africans on WSJ ….

    Alex Haley’s “Roots”, winner of a Pulitzer Prize, was a lie.
    Kunta Kinte was not captured in the fields by White Europeans sold into slavery in N. America….”the white man is here”…..all lies

    worth reading though behind a pay wall…

    excerpt follows:

    When the Slave Traders Were African

    Those whose ancestors sold slaves to Europeans now struggle to come to terms with a painful legacy

    By Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani

    This August marked 400 years since the first documented enslaved Africans arrived in the U.S. In 1619, a ship reached the Jamestown settlement in the colony of Virginia, carrying “some 20 and odd Negroes” who were kidnapped from their villages in present-day Angola. The anniversary coincides with a controversial debate in the U.S. about whether the country owes reparations to the descendants of slaves as compensation for centuries of injustice and inequality. It is a moment for posing questions of historic guilt and responsibility.

    But the American side of the story is not the only one. Africans are now also reckoning with their own complicated legacy in the slave trade, and the infamous “Middle Passage” often looks different from across the Atlantic.

    Records from the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, directed by historian David Eltis at Emory University, show that the majority of captives brought to the U.S. came from Senegal, Gambia, Congo and eastern Nigeria. Europeans oversaw this brutal traffic in human cargo, but they had many local collaborators. “The organization of the slave trade was structured to have the Europeans stay along the coast lines, relying on African middlemen and merchants to bring the slaves to them,” said Toyin Falola, a Nigerian professor of African studies at the University of Texas at Austin. “The Europeans couldn’t have gone into the interior to get the slaves themselves.”

    The anguished debate over slavery in the U.S. is often silent on the role that Africans played. That silence is echoed in many African countries, where there is hardly any national discussion or acknowledgment of the issue. From nursery school through university in Nigeria, I was taught about great African cultures and conquerors of times past but not about African involvement in the slave trade. In an attempt to reclaim some of the dignity that we lost during colonialism, Africans have tended to magnify stories of a glorious past of rich traditions and brave achievement.

    1. there have been slave traders in the people of the nation, in every nation from which they’ve come

      still are today, where and when it’s happening

      so yes of course there were african slave traders. that’s the way it was everywhere, why did anybody ever believe it was otherwise? i read roots but understood in my bones that of course that was so.

      in fact, by my recollection, it says in roots that kunta kinte was first captured by another tribe, so as fanciful as a story as it may have been, that was realistic

    2. “You can’t handle the truth!”

      – Colonel Jessup

      While you’re waking up to the truth, try this: The entire American welfare state is unconstitutional.

      Congress has no power to tax for the purpose of redistribution of wealth and no power to regulate other than interstate commerce. Article 1, Section 8 – Congress has the power to tax merely for “…general Welfare…” not “individual welfare” and to regulate merely “…commerce among the several States…,”

      The right to private property is unqualified in the Constitution and, therefore, immutably absolute, denying government any power to legislate to claim or exercise dominion over or to possess or dispose of private property in any aspect, form or fashion.

      Affirmative action, quotas, welfare, food stamps, rent control, social services, forced busing, minimum wage, utility subsidies, WIC, TANF, HAMP, HARP, Dept.’s of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Labor, Energy, Obamacare, Obamaphones, Social Security, Social Security Disability, Social Security Supplemental Income, Medicare, Medicaid, “Fair Housing” laws, “Non-Discrimination” laws, etc., are all unconstitutional and illegitimate.

      The American Founders provided maximal freedom to individuals and severely limited and restricted government, confining it to the role of facilitating the freedom of individuals through the provision merely of security and infrastructure. Liberals, progressives, socialists and democrats have no desire or ability to grasp the full measure of American freedom.

      Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto 59 years after the adoption of the Constitution because none of the principles of the Communist Manifesto were in the Constitution. Had the principles of the Communist Manifesto been in the Constitution, Karl Marx would have had no reason to write the Communist Manifesto. The principles of the Communist Manifesto were not in the Constitution then and the principles of the Communist Manifesto are not in the Constitution now.

      “…courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void.”
      “[A] limited Constitution … can be preserved in practice no other way than through the medium of courts of justice, whose duty it must be to declare all acts contrary to the manifest tenor of the Constitution void. Without this, all the reservations of particular rights or privileges would amount to nothing … To deny this would be to affirm … that men acting by virtue of powers may do not only what their powers do not authorize, but what they forbid.”

      – Alexander Hamilton

      Private property is “that dominion which one man claims and exercises over the external things of the world, in exclusion of every other individual.”

      – James Madison

  6. Vance can’t get it it when Trump is not President. He just likes sticking his nose into decades old fish and denjoying the smell.


    1) Trump is not as rich as he brags.

    2) Trump has business partnerships with Russian oligarchs.

    3) All of the above.

    1. Yeah, Olly, you’re a desperate Trumper lashing out because you know Trump is going down.

      They don’t call you guys deplorables for nothing.

      1. you’re a desperate Trumper lashing out…

        LOL! Only you would see a logic lesson as lashing out. No worries though Hill. Rest assured I will continue, without desperation, to help you in your desperate attempts to connect with the left half of your brain. No sirree, I’m here for you, don’t give up.

    2. Dont be so hard on Peter Shill. Black leaders in and out of the Entertainment circles, of which Peter belongs in LA, have exposed i friend and dealer, Ed Buck, as being a racist and murderer of gay black men. which means Shill is now looking for a new source

      Peter, we hope your loss at this time of your gay friends in We Ho is not worsened by all this publicity.–democratic-donor-accused-of-preying-on-black-gay-men–c.html

      Ed Buck, Democratic Donor Accused Of Preying On Black Gay Men, Charged With Operating Drug Den

      Two men fatally overdosed in his Los Angeles apartment.

      Written by Zayda Rivera

      Ed Buck is a well-known Democratic donor and activist.

      Now, Buck, a 65-year-old white man, is being charged with maintaining a drug house after a third man, whose name has not been released, suffered a methamphetamine overdose at his Los Angeles home, the New York Times reports.

      His West Hollywood apartment has been the scene of two overdose deaths since 2018.

      A third man suffered an overdose after Buck injected him with methamphetamine on Sept. 11 at his residence, according to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, reports the New York Times.

      Unlike the other two, the 37-year-old man survived.

      Prosecutors said in court documents Wednesday (Sept. 18), according to BBC News, “From his home, in a position of power, Buck manipulates his victims into participating in his sexual fetishes. These fetishes include supplying and personally administering dangerously large doses of narcotics to his victims.”

      According to prosecutors, Buck’s latest victim was victimized twice.

      The first time was on Sept. 4 when Buck injected him with meth and the man had to seek medical attention afterward. The second occurrence was on September 11 when the man returned and Buck injected him with meth again.

      When he indicated needing assistance because he was overdosing, Buck “thwarted” his attempts. The unnamed man eventually fled and was able to call for help from a gas station, BBC News reports.

      A search of Buck’s apartment following the September 11 incident produced hundreds of photographs of men in “compromising positions,” according to the Los Angeles Times.

      In the overdose of the third victim, Buck is facing nearly six years in prison for the charges of battery causing serious injury, administering methamphetamine and maintaining a drug house, reports the New York Times.

      He was not charged in the death of the other two men, although a wrongful-death lawsuit was brought against him by LaTisha Nixon, the mother of Gemmel Moore, who died of a lethal dose of crystal methamphetamine in 2017 at Buck’s apartment.

      Nixon said Buck had a “well-documented history of isolating Black men for predatory sexual encounters,” including administering drugs to them and then watching them “cling to life,” the lawsuit stated, according to the New York Times.

      Nixon’s lawsuit included excerpts from Moore’s diary, which directly placed blame on the accused.

      “I’ve become addicted to drugs and the worst one at that,” he wrote.

      “Ed Buck is the one to thank, he gave me my first injection,” Moore detailed. “If it didn’t hurt so bad I’d kill myself but I’ll let Ed Buck do it for now.”

      Moore was 26 when he died.

      On September 6, writer and political activist Jasmyne Cannick tweeted a photo of Moore’s writing along with a picture of yet another Black man entering Buck’s apartment.

      “This could be body #3 for Ed Buck. I don’t know who this young man is but what I do know and what I’ve been screaming to anyone who will listen is that Ed Buck hasn’t stopped the same behavior that resulted in two Black gay men dying of crystal meth overdoses in his house.”

      Jackie Lacey, the Los Angeles County district attorney, and Craig Hum, assistant head deputy district attorney, were listed as co-defendants in Nixon’s wrongful-death lawsuit, NewsOne reports.

      In a press release, Hussain Turk, an attorney for Nixon, according to the Los Angeles Times, said Lacey and Hum were named in the lawsuit “for their violation of Gemmel Moore’s civil rights in their race-based refusal to prosecute Ed Buck, which ultimately resulted in the Jan. 7, 2019 death of Timothy Dean under almost identical circumstances that should and could have been prevented.”

      Although authorities did not charge Buck for Moore’s death they said they’d review the investigation closely after the second man, 55-year-old Timothy Dean died of a meth overdose at the Democratic donor’s home in January of 2018, the New York Times reports.

      “I remain deeply concerned for the safety of people whose life circumstances may make them more vulnerable to criminal predators,” district attorney Lacey said in a statement following the most recent overdose, the New York Times reports.

      “With this new evidence, I authorize the filing of criminal charges against Ed Buck,” she added.

      Cannick and other activists and community leaders were in an uproar due to Lacey’s lack of pursuing criminal charges against Buck in the deaths of the first two victims.

      In March, amid the backlash, Lacey wrote an open letter to the citizens of West Hollywood, warning them about Buck.

      “The loss of someone’s child, no matter his or her age or the circumstances, is tragic and heartbreaking,” she wrote, the Los Angeles Blade reported.

      Lacey empathized with the Moore and Dean families and asked the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to “continue to thoroughly investigate the death of both men.”

      Furthermore, she called for the public to come forward with information that could shed light on the circumstances of their deaths.

      She also added that Buck had previously made a $100 donation to her 2012 election campaign, of which she had since returned the funds. She also pointed out how people in the community thought his donation tainted her ability to be impartial in the case.

      “Nothing could be further from the truth,” Lacey wrote.

      “I am not just an attorney, but a mother and a native Angeleno who has witnessed firsthand the economic and personal struggles that so many in our community face,” Lacey wrote. “I cannot imagine losing one of my children, particularly to something as destructive as drugs.”

      In a statement to on Wednesday (Sept. 18), following Ed Buck’s arrest, Scott Roberts, the senior director of criminal justice campaigns for Color of Change, called out Lacey.

      “This is the day our community feared. It’s what we warned against. It’s what we railed against. It has taken harm to yet another Black man for District Attorney Lacey to dare to bring charges against Ed Buck,” Scott said.

      “It is our community that has now paid the price of Lacey’s initial refusal to hold a powerful person to account for his previous predations on young, Black men,” Scott continued. “For the sake of Gemmel Moore and Timothy Dean, for Buck’s latest victim and the victims unknown, Lacey must expand her investigation into this latest incident to investigate all of Buck’s possible criminal predatory activity.”

      Scott credits Cannick’s investigative work for bringing national attention to the deaths of Moore and Dean, which she’s been chronicling since 2017.

      “In February, activists delivered 30,000 signatures on a petition launched and organized by Color of Change, Black Alliance for Just Immigration, Cannick, and the family and friends of Moore and Dean,” Scott said in a statement.

      On Wednesday (September 18), Cannick took to Twitter and wrote how “other Black gay men have stepped forward to share their stories that painted the picture of a racist, sick and sadistic man who preys on Black men.”

      “And not just any Black man–vulnerable Black men who he uses his money to lure to his apartment,” she wrote in another tweet. “Gemmel Moore warned us. His journal told the sad story of how Ed Buck first game him meth and got him addicted to meth.”

      Tweet embed:

      Buck, a prominent member of LGBT political circles, who has donated $116,000 to Democratic candidates and groups, is scheduled for arraignment on Wednesday (September 18) with a $4 million bail recommended by prosecutors, who describe him as a “violent dangerous sexual predator,” the BBC reports.

      If convicted, Buck could be sentenced to a total of five years and eight months in state prison.

      Still, Cannick said the fight is far from over.

      “While I am elated that Ed Buck is in the custody of law enforcement, this journey is by no means over,” the activist tweeted.

      “Buck has never stopped the same behavior that cost Gemmel and Timothy their lives,” she continued. “All this time Ed Buck has been operating with the impunity he knows he has as a white man.”

      1. He’s a Democratic Party moneybags (and a sexual transgressor). You get two free corpses. If you’re not sexually abnormal, you only get one. (But you can still be called ‘the lion of the Senate’ and get a lauditory biography courtesy Adam Clymer).

      2. Thanks for that. I hadn’t even considered just what kind of trauma Hill has been dealing with. I’m an insensitive deplorable apparently.

          1. How is your boss, David Brock?

            He must be jealous Ed Buck over the years got so many gay men to do his bidding. If Brock could only have one friend but then there are his troll$ so there is that…beneath algae growing on a pond, aka $cum


          2. Anon, it’s just the Trumpers ‘and’ Darren Smith showing their true colors. The color of s**t!

            Darren even took down my note asking him to remove those smears. In other words, Trumpers are allowed to viciously smear liberals on Jonathan Turley’s blog while the moderator takes down demands that the smears be removed.

                1. Really, Peter. Do you still wet yourself when you aren’t wearing diapers? Now go run and complain to the professor. Tell him everyone is picking on you. Likely he will still remember what it is like to deal with people like you and kick you in the a$$.

      3. Let me fix that last paragraph for you:

        ““Buck has never stopped the same behavior that cost Gemmel and Timothy their lives,” she continued. “All this time Ed Buck has been operating with the impunity he bought from the National Democratic Party.”

        You’re welcome.

  8. Paul,
    I keep forgetting that you live in the state where, some years ago, a town’s Fire department was privatized.
    “Socialism for the rich, free enterprise for everyone else.” We will Barry You would love you. BTW, I read a book authored by his 1952 senate campaign manager.

    I think you misunderstood. I’m Bill, YOU’RE Shirely.

  9. Even a grade school level scholar of US History knows that one of the founding principles of this country is that the framers did not want a monarchy. They risked their lives to found a new country free from the potential tyranny of a monarch, to establish a new nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” They created 3 co-equal branches of government, and it is no accident that Article I is the Congress, the representatives of the people. They created checks and balances, specifically to prevent one branch from becoming too powerful.

    If the baseless arguments of Trump’s legal team were the law, then the President would essentially be a king. In fact, he acts like one already–disrespecting the authority of Congress to decide how our taxpayer money is to be spent, disrespecting the law on whistleblower complaints being sent to Congress, disrespecting Congressional subpoenas, procuring the absence of witnesses subpoenaed by Congress to appear to testify, treating the AG as his personal counsel, the list goes on.

    It is almost getting tiresome to keep complaining that we are at a Constitutional crisis, but we are. Yeah, Donnie had his little run of pretending to be POTUS, the most awesome, most powerful, most accomplished, the bestest ever. Now, get the hell out of the White House.

    1. even a grade school scholar knows that there are other types of executives besides a king.

      a president is one of them

      the scope of executive authority is a lot more complicated than what a grade school scholar can describe and it varies across nations and organizations

      but leave it to you to try and oversimplify it natch.

      also, don’t forget your key words: narcissist, small hands, pudenda grabber, orange man bad, etc

      1. So, in your opinion, the President’s Executive Authority is more complicated than a grade school scholar can describe! But you, I take it, are not a grade school scholar, so would you be so kind as to describe the scope of Executive Authority, and please be sure to reference Article 2 of the Constitution, Not Congressional Statutes which don’t supersede or take precedence over the Constitution itself!

            1. can you post a single thought here federalist without insulting other people or adding an exclamation point?

              do you never tire of your own strident tone?

              1. No I can’t, especially when I’m responding to a condescending arrogant supremacist who thinks everything they say is right, and everything anyone else says is wrong, including the Founding father’s?

                Take your own advice, I’ve read your comments to others as well as your responses to my comments!

                Your pathetic!

                1. federalist – you are dead wrong on the Constitution and would have failed any test I would have given. Both Kurtz and I have been telling you what is the correct interpretation of the Constitution.

                  1. What a joke, here’s my test, if you can lower yourself to take it, but I’m sure you can’t get a single point, and you are a teacher!

                    Here is the quiz, if anyone is willing to take it, I will definitely grade their attempt and supply the answer key! A score of zero is expected, so don’t let that detour you from making an effort!

                    1. (20 pts.) Define the principles of republican Government that our Confederated Republic is Based Upon.
                    2. (20 pts.) Define the Power of the Purse, Legislative Checks and Balances, and Continuity and Stability of Government.
                    3. (10 pts.) Define the the Legislative Process.
                    4. (5 pts.) Define the rule of Apportionment of Representation and Direct taxes, and explain how the number of Representatives a State is Entitled is calculated.
                    5. (25 pts.) Explain the distribution of Representation and Suffrage to reach Majority Consensus Based Upon the mode of Assembly in a Bicameral Legislature.
                    6. (20 pts.) What is Congress, what constitutes a member of Congress, and how does the Bicameral Legislature function?
                    7. (1 bonus point) What is the role of Voting in a republican form of Government, and what are the qualified electorates associated with each electoral process!?
                    8. (100 pts. Super bonus) What is the role of political parties in a republican form of Government?

                    1. federalist – I replied to your idiotic test the other day. I see you added a super bonus, but as I told you before, if a question is worth asking, it should be part of the test.

                    2. federalist – I answered you silly reindeer games test a couple of days ago. Find those answers. Respond.

                    3. Why are you such an arrogant dick! You actually believe that the Framers of the Constitution were ignorant and stupid and the Constitution is fatally flawed as a result, and it needs us to fix it so that it will work properly!

                      I’m not looking trough all you ignorant replies to find your condescending BS that you tried to make a joke with.

                      If you actually answered the questions, then cut and paste, you’re good at that!

                    4. fpr – is “arrogant” your calendar word for the day? You seem to use it a lot. Actually, I like to be known as “The Arrogant Prick”. I have reputation to uphold, don’t you know?

                    5. I’m glad you recognize yourself when you are faced with what you see in the mirror!

                      I said I was willing to burry the hatchet with you, but I see that was not enough for you, so I guess I’ll have ignore you from now on!

                      If you don’t believe in republican Government then you don’t believe in equality, and the power to participate equally in your Government through Representation!

                      Why is that!?

                    6. fpr – what is your bp right now? Mine is 45. Personally, I am a bored cat toying with a wounded mouse.

                    7. Yo like my use of the word arrogance, look in the mirror and you will understand why, I use it for you!

                      You can’t even help your self from trying to be condescending!

                      If you don’t want me to see your answers, fine! You wouldn’t respect my grading of your answers anyway, because you questions and answers are beneath you, and I would guess that you don’t think the answers I would give are credible.

                      I do know for a fact that you don’t know what constitutes a republican form of Government just from your comments!

                    8. fpr – you need to take a decent course in the Constitution. You are completely out of wack with what you are spouting. Go to your local community college. They probably offer a course in the Constitution. I know you have come to all of this late in life and it is all very exciting, however, you are just as wrong as a college sophomore.

                    9. I see that you are not up to my challenge of forming a Government with only the Constitution and the 2010 census! What are you scared of, that all your Constitutional education and arrogance will not help you form this failed Party Governing System that we call American Democracy?

                      I can’t laugh any harder at you, and again I seriously hope you were kidding about being a teacher!

                    1. federalist – you have to remember my response to your idiotic test. The Constitution as it was originally written, or modified, or as the courts construed it? Hamilton, Madison and Jay could not pass the test without studying now either.

                    2. federalist – I answered your questions, you just did not like the responses. Still, based on my answers, it is clear I can answer the questions, but I want a neutral test marker.

                    3. Where are your answers, I routinely end following these blog post when you people devolve into playing the dozens like a bunch of school kids. If you want me to see your answers then reply to this comment with them!

                      I’m curious how you answered the questions, because I’m sure by your positions and interpretations of the Constitution that you know absolutely nothing about what constitutes a republican form of Government, how it’s assembled, how power is distributed through Suffrage, or how a republican form of Government functions!

                      Show me I’m wrong!

                    4. fpr – I may have been the only person who answered your original test, even if it wasn’t addressed to me. You just brought out all the arrogance in me. I put on my David B. Benson hat and answered your silly reindeer game test. If you lost the test, that is on you, not me. I turned it in. 🙂

      2. Did you read what I wrote? If you’ve done any reading at all about what the founders of this country intended, then you’d know that the POTUS is NOT a monarch, that he is subject to checks and balances, and not above the law. A person who wanted to be POTUS for patriotic reasons would not abuse the power of the office to prevent the Justice Department and Congress from protecting the American people from investigating criminal conduct. Even Richard Nixon complied with a Congressional subpoena. Nixon also served his country–he was in the Navy.

        “the scope of executive authority” does not include ignoring Congressional subpoenas, advising witnesses to a Congressional hearing to ignore subpoenas to appear and testify, advising witnesses not to answer questions on the grounds of phony privilege that does not exist, moving to quash subpoenas in a state court proceeding or asserting baseless claims that a POTUS cannot even be investigated, much less charged with a criminal offense. There’s nothing in the Constitution or US law so providing, and the poorly-reasoned DOJ memo is not the law. Trump is abusing the power he obtained by cheating to win the election to try to keep the office. Of course, Trump is challenging all norms–norms of decency, norms of presidential decorum, norms of patriotism, norms of respect for the other branches of government, norms of dignity of the office. He needs to go away. The majority of the American people wisely voted for the other candidate, but were deprived of their choice. Now, they are being deprived of the use of their tax money for military uses so that Trump can pretend he is carrying out his “build the wall” fake promise. Now the American people are being deprived of the choice of their Congressional representatives to provide aid to the Ukraine, which Trump held up to try to coerce the Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

        1. Natacha – you are aware that the Department of Justice was created after Washington was elected and he literally created the job of President. Historically, what you are talking about is fake.

            1. Peter – the President is not obligated to come to Congress, just as Congress does not have to come to the Executive.

              1. Paul read the constitution. The Congress has oversight over the Executive branch and subpoenas are how they enforce that when you have an AH in the WH.

                1. Congress does not have oversight of the Executive, they have total control over all Executive functions!

                  Stop trying to equate the Executive with the Legislative!

                  There is nothing in 5e Constitution which equates the Executive with the Legislative, and nothing that says the role of Congress is oversight!

              2. Totally wrong, the President is under the control of the Senate at all times, if he fails to report to the Senate that is grounds for immediate impeachment for insubordination!

                Where did you learn the Constitution, and the principles of republican Government?

                Wherever it was you need to return your diploma!

                1. federalist – cite the part of the Constitution. Insubordination is not grounds for impeachment. High crimes and misdemeanors is grounds, only. Is English your second language?

                  1. First you better look the word insubordination up in the dictionary! When your boss calls you into their office and you don’t appear, that is insubordination, and so is not taking care to faithfully execute the laws that are legislated by Congress! You might want to look the word faithfully up while you are at it.

                    And who determines what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors, Congress does, the United States in Congress assembled, and they only vote to reach a Majority Consensus, Proportional in the House For Impeachment, and a 2/3 Majority Consensus of the States, since the States have Equal Suffrage in the Senate, Not The Individual Senators, and they don’t have to prove anything, and if you piss the States off by being insubordinate to their authority, that would constitute immediate dismissal, and there is nothing your party can do to stop the States as they are assembled in Congress as the Union.

                    And guess what, there also is nothing the Supreme Court can do to stop the States as the Union from impeaching you and removing you from office, and only the President has the Chief Justice to preside over the trial for removal in the Senate, because the President of the Senate is executing the duties of the President because of the absence created while the trial is being conducted.

                    Quit trying to read more into the Constitution than is there, it’s clear just the way it was originally written.

                    1. Wow, how thick can you get! Where do you find contempt of Congress? Nowhere! And what’s the difference between contempt of Congress and insubordination, especially when Congress is the Supreme Government Authority, that means that Congress is the Boss, that’s the People, if you can’t figure that out, and the People in their Collective Capacity are assembled in Congress.

                      You couldn’t possibly be as dense as you want me to believe, and I know how to use a dictionary to look up words that I don’t understand! Maybe you should give it a try!

                      Try reading the Constitution while you are at it! Start with Articles 1, 2, and 3! Notice also article 1 is the largest part of the Constitution, because it assembled the People in their Collective Capacity to Govern Together as Equals, and no one person, or Party is equal to the People.

                      Get a clue!

                    2. federalist – they are equal, not subordinate. I used to teach this s**t every year. I am not sure Congress can subpoena the President to a hearing before them, except for impeachment. They do have the right to bring in members of the Cabinet, etc. However, neither you or Natacha are reading the Constitution properly.

                    3. If you taught that then I feel sorry for your students!

                      Quote me the reference from the constitution that equates the executive and the legislative!

                      Don’t waste your time looking, there isn’t one! And if you actually read Article 2 of the constitution you will find that the President has no independent authority what so ever! All executive authority is contingent on the Advice, Consent, and the Concurrence of Congress.

                      The United States, in Congress Assembled, the Union which makes our country The United States of America!

                    4. federalist –

                      d his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice President, chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

                      Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

                      The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two Persons, of whom one at least shall not be an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; A quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice President.

                      The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

                      No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

                      In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

                      The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

                      Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:–“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

                      Read Interpretations of Article II, Section 1

                      Section 2
                      The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

                      Now, I am call that clear cut independent authority.

                    5. You quoted a bunch of the Constitution that you don’t even understand, and that does not in any way support your conclusions.

                      Instead of rebutting you point by point I will refer you to my comment on this post from earlier today, and if you still don’t understand, sorry, I’ll chalk you up to a lost cause.

                      Do you know what the word delusional means!

                    6. federalist – sadly, you are incapable of reading. However, if you were, you would have seen that I put it bold the section that was important to our discussion. There are reading courses for the functionally illiterate if you would like me to get you in touch with one.

                    7. Stop tripping on your own ignorance, if you had read my comment on this post you would realize that I copied all of Article 2 Sections 2, 3, and 4 from the Constitution.

                      And if you actually read Article 2 Section 1, that you most proudly posted, then justify how there are. Only 535 Electors where the should be 10,347, and why the Electors are not selected on a date determined by Congress, and why the Electors don’t actually vote!

                      When you can straighten that out for me, then maybe I will consider your ramblings as actual instruction!

                    8. federalist – I didn’t “most proudly” post anything. I put up. Are you really so ignorant that you do not know why they are only 535 electors? Send me $20 and I will explain why. Knowledge like this is not cheap.

                    9. If you don’t appreciate my reading of the Constitution, maybe Hamilton is more to your liking! Here is Hamilton’s summary of Executive Powers:

                      * We have now completed a survey of the structure and powers of the executive department, which, I have endeavored to show, combines, as far as republican principles will admit, all the requisites to energy. The remaining inquiry is: Does it also combine the requisites to safety, in a republican sense, a due dependence on the people, a due responsibility? The answer to this question has been anticipated in the investigation of its other characteristics, and is satisfactorily deducible from these circumstances; from the election of the President once in four years by persons immediately chosen by the people for that purpose; and from his being at all times liable to impeachment, trial, dismission from office, incapacity to serve in any other, and to forfeiture of life and estate by subsequent prosecution in the common course of law. But these precautions, great as they are, are not the only ones which the plan of the convention has provided in favor of the public security. In the only instances in which the abuse of the executive authority was materially to be feared, the Chief Magistrate of the United States would, by that plan, be subjected to the control of a branch of the legislative body. What more could be desired by an enlightened and reasonable people?

                      Do you even know what the words “subjected to the control of a branch of the Legislative body” mean!

                      If you are a teacher, you might trying to learn something before you present a misguided view to your students!

                    10. federalist – the Federalist Papers are “The Selling of the Constitution” and even contradict one another. They are propaganda, not holy writ.

                    11. federalist – how many courses in the US Constitution have you taken? What makes you an expert that we should bend the knee to your superior knowledge?

                    12. I won’t even justify that with a response, because it absolutely doesn’t matter how many courses in the Constitution that I have taken, and I don’t remember asking you or any one else to bow to my superior knowledge! In fact if you haven’t noticed I have been quoting Hamilton, Madison , and Jay, and they did an excellent job on the Constitution, and the Federalist Papers, and I couldn’t do better if I tried.

                      It’s you who are trying to elevate my comments to some level of superiority, because you have a problem rebutting the elucidations of Hamilton, Madison, and Jay with Constitutional references!

                      Get your head out of your own hind BS long enough to actually consider what the Father of the Constitution, and the other authors of the Constitution, had to say, which far outweighs what you believe is the proper interpretation of the Constitution.

                      Stop thinking you know everything and actually try to learn something.

                    13. fpr – how many courses have your taken in the US Constitution? Don’t avoid the issue. I am asking for your bona fides.

                    14. fpr – as most people on here can tell you I not only march to my own drummer, I have a whole damn orchestra! I am nobody’s sycophant and as David B, Benson will tell you, people with a lot of education do not scare me. However, you are what we used to call a pseudo-intellectual. Someone who knows a little about something and then spouts off about stuff they don’t know. At this point you know enough to be annoying, but not dangerous. When you get to the dangerous level, someone might correct your dental work during a bar discussion.

                    15. I don’t care who you know or what people think about you. I only know you from your comments, and I haven’t seen anything that would give me any confidence that you are credible.

                      You definitely know absolutely nothing about what constitutes a republican form of Government! Maybe you should read Article 4 Section 4 to understand why I keep bring that fact up!

                      There are particular requirements that must be in place to qualify as a republican form of Government! And nothing about what we call American Democracy today meets those requirements!

                    16. fpr – we are not a democracy, we are a republic. Even Article 4, Section 4 clearly states that. It could not be clearer. You need to get your nomenclature correct.

                    17. Here’s the deal, and I’m trying to burry the hatchet with you! I Contend that it’s impossible for you to take the Constitution and the 2010 census and assemble the government we have today.

                      Don’t take my word for it, or make some schoolyard reply, try it! Start with the Constitution Unamended and assemble the government as intended, then evaluate each amendment for its effect on that assembled government!

                      I guarantee you can not come up with what we call American Democracy today, I don’t care how hard you try!

                      But what you will assemble is a Grassroots Government Of, By, and For the People! Isn’t that what we all want?

                    18. fpr – I took a 2 semester 3 credit course each in the History of the US Constitution. We started with all the arguments for and against amending the Articles of Confederation and went forward from there. We covered each article thoroughly and then each Amendment as it was added or subtracted. I had already taken 5 semester hours in the US Constitution before I took that course.

                      No, what we want it a republican form of government.

                    19. I could care less what course work you have taken on the Constitution, you comment like you have no idea what republican Government is! If you do then you would know if the Union under the Articles of Confederation was a Republic, or any form of republican Government? And if it wasn’t a Republic, what was the form of the Union under the Articles of Confederation, and what makes our form of Government a Republic under the Constitution?

                      What was the Union before the Constitution and what is the More Perfect Union that was established by the Constitution?

                      And yes, there is only one correct answer!

                    20. Paul—it’s half Chihuahua, half Chupacabra.

                      Goes by the legal name of ‘Lilith.’

                      It may be little, but it’s a demon dog, trust me. Big time menace.

                    21. fpr:

                      You won’t “bother to comment” because you can’t respond. The author you cited for your inane proposition (Hamilton) has just demolished your notion of an “insubordinate” Executive. “Decision, activity, secrecy and despatch [sic]” are not the hallmarks of an employee. A Fifth Grader knows that.

                      Now please state your credentials for your “novel” opinions.

                    22. fpr:

                      Paul is clearly right. The Federalist Papers are a marketing campaign. Like any multi-author work, there are areas of disagreement and even contradiction. It’s just that they were written by some of the great minds of the Revolution and provide insight into their collective, if not unified, intent. What is not contradicted is the notion of co-equal power sharing explicitly between the Executive and Congress along with Separation of Powers and a republican form of government. It took John Marshall to make the power split a three-way conversation.

                    23. Hold on, I thought it was changed from

                      “The Constitution for the United States.”


                      “The Constitution of the United States.”

                      I really thought I just had a barcode on my forehead via my ssn, or birth certificate, or whatever…and that I was just an employee of the big corporation.

                      I’m just kidding, no need to be taken seriously, geez 🤔😎

                    24. Since there seems to be some constitutional scholars on here.

                      Can someone explain to me Why Palmyra Atoll is unorganized incorporated territory, where the US Constitution applies…?

                      Why would the US Constitution even need to be applied here?

                      Like what’s up!?

                  2. Paul:

                    Arguing with this buffoon only encourages him. He really thinks he’s an authority on a topic where he demonstrates daily that he has not a clue. He’s a poster child for Dunning-Kruger.

                    Of course, Federalist 70 and any number of SCOTUS case opinions establish the necessity of an independent co-equal executive branch. Hamilton lays it out:

                    “A feeble Executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever it may be in theory, must be, in practice, a bad government.

                    Taking it for granted, therefore, that all men of sense will agree in the necessity of an energetic Executive, it will only remain to inquire, what are the ingredients which constitute this energy? How far can they be combined with those other ingredients which constitute safety in the republican sense? And how far does this combination characterize the plan which has been reported by the convention?”


                    “Those politicians and statesmen who have been the most celebrated for the soundness of their principles and for the justice of their views, have declared in favor of a single Executive and a numerous legislature. They have with great propriety, considered energy as the most necessary qualification of the former, and have regarded this as most applicable to power in a single hand, while they have, with equal propriety, considered the latter as best adapted to deliberation and wisdom, and best calculated to conciliate the confidence of the people and to secure their privileges and interests.

                    That unity is conducive to energy will not be disputed. Decision, activity, secrecy, and despatch will generally characterize the proceedings of one man in a much more eminent degree than the proceedings of any greater number; and in proportion as the number is increased, these qualities will be diminished.”

                    1. federalist – mespo and I usually agree about 90% of the time and when we don’t, it is not big deal.

                2. Federalist: one of the biggest problems we have right now is that those who founded this country were ultimate patriots, and this colored their thinking. Because they risked being hanged as traitors, they assumed that anyone assuming the office of POTUS would also be a patriot, putting country first. They could never have foreseen a narcissistic reality TV performer seeking the office solely for adulation and attention, and being willing to cheat with the help of a foreign government to attain the office. They could not imagine George Washington, for example,being willing to ignore the superior power of Congress to conduct oversight, to control taxpayer spending, and to subpoena witnesses and documents in order to carry out its powers. They could never have foreseen Senators deferring to an immoral POTUS, nor cabinet members and agency heads allowing the POTUS to direct operations. It would be unthinkable to them that a POTUS would engage in petty name-calling, repudiate treaties, promise that he could force another country to construct a border wall, that he would place migrants, including small children, in cages for seeking asylum, or that he would divert funds allocated for military spending to another use to try to fulfill a phony campaign promise because it is an election year.. Trump is an outlier. We are in strange and unfamiliar territory now. It’s good that there is someone like you familiar with their writings.

              1. “explain situations where presidents can just ignore subpeonas”.
                The Reuters link deals with Executive Privilege, and mentions that “like numerous U.S. presidents before him”, Trump has also invoked Executive Privilege”.

                1. There are no situations that congress needs to subpoena anything to get the information they want from the Executive, or the President! Congress creates all Executive Departments, Congress determines how all Executive Departments are to be assembled, Congress determines which Executive Officials need Senate approval for appointment, and all Executive Departments are created to implement the laws and Policies Congress legislates.

                  The Union is the Supreme Legislative and Governing Authority, therefore everyone, and every Executive Department works for the Union, the President only manages the day to day operation of the Government, and he doesn’t get to choose, or change, who leads the Executive Departments! The department heads are not the President’s advisors, the President only gets advice from the Senate, which comes along with Consent through Majority Consensus!

                  None of you read, but try the conclusion from Federalist #77 by Hamilton, and then think about why Congress needs the President to manage the Executive Departments! Congress only needs the President to manage the Executive Departments so they can concentrate on other matters and recess, but they are fully capable of managing theses Executive functions themselves as they did as a Committee of the States under Article 9 of the Articles of Confederation.

                  Federalist #77, Hamilton
                  * We have now completed a survey of the structure and powers of the executive department, which, I have endeavored to show, combines, as far as republican principles will admit, all the requisites to energy. The remaining inquiry is: Does it also combine the requisites to safety, in a republican sense, a due dependence on the people, a due responsibility? The answer to this question has been anticipated in the investigation of its other characteristics, and is satisfactorily deducible from these circumstances; from the election of the President once in four years by persons immediately chosen by the people for that purpose; and from his being at all times liable to impeachment, trial, dismission from office, incapacity to serve in any other, and to forfeiture of life and estate by subsequent prosecution in the common course of law. But these precautions, great as they are, are not the only ones which the plan of the convention has provided in favor of the public security. In the only instances in which the abuse of the executive authority was materially to be feared, the Chief Magistrate of the United States would, by that plan, be subjected to the control of a branch of the legislative body. What more could be desired by an enlightened and reasonable people?

                  Article IX; Articles of Confederation
                  * The united States, in congress assembled, shall have authority to appoint a committee, to sit in the recess of congress, to be denominated, “A Committee of the States,” and to consist of one delegate from each State; and to appoint such other committees and civil officers as may be necessary for managing the general affairs of the united states under their direction – to appoint one of their number to preside; provided that no person be allowed to serve in the office of president more than one year in any term of three years;

                  Reading is a skill that gives power to those who can comprehend! For those of you who are not encumbered by the partisan objects associated with their party affiliation, you will notice that the Committee of the States is the precursor of the Senate, and that Governing body operated through distributed power as the Supreme Government Authority, and no one person, no one State, and Definitely no party controlled or made any decisions in the Name of the United States of America!

                  1. fpr – put down the Federalist Papers and pick up a Civics book. You are so far out of line about the relationship between the President and the Congress, I do not think even electro-convulsive therapy would be helpful for you.

                    1. When you reach the level of PhD, you should be able to recognize when someone is pissing on you and telling you it’s raining! If you don’t understand that comment then I have serious doubts about your level of education!

          1. I don’t know–maybe you missed the part of history wherein certain founders considered calling George Washington king, an idea that was quickly shot down, partly by Washington himself. Our founders were escaping the monarchy system for a new system of representative government. Everything Trump does threatens this concept. He is not above the law, and everything he does is not privileged. There is no presidential privilege to violate the law, which is exactly the point of this piece.

            The DOJ does not serve the President–it serves the American people. The function of the DOJ is to enforce the laws, even when the lawbreaker is the POTUS. Trump doesn’t understand this or, more likely, doesn’t care, and will fire anyone who tries to enforce the law as to him. Kavanaugh’s main qualification for the SCOTUS is his broad view as to executive power. Trump really believes that Kavanaugh will help save him from being impeached or from criminal prosecution. He has actually said that he thinks the AG should “defend” Kavanaugh against new allegations as to his sexual misconduct while a student. I sincerely don’t understand how anyone cannot be alarmed by this. Is this how you Trumpsters want future presidents to view the role of the Justice Department and Attorney General–his personal servants?

            1. Natacha – the DoJ is an executive office and serves under the President. Maybe they didn’t teach that in your school.

              1. Paul: The DOJ is neither run by nor deferential to the President. The POTUS can appoint the AG and fire people, but the DOJ serves the American people. The DOJ has a duty to prosecute a POTUS who violates the law, but in this dystropian alternate reality, somehow the DOJ is running interference to prevent Congress from being apprised of a whistleblower complaint, which, by law, is supposed to be provided to them Someone should explain the role of the DOJ to Barr and Trump.

                1. Natacha – the DoJ cannot prosecute a sitting President. He can fire, at will, several of the top people. The DoJ has never served the American people, like any bureaucracy, it only serves itself. You can write AG Barr and tell him your opinion of his job, however I don’t hold out much hope for you.

            2. I didn’t miss it.

              My poli sci studies have moved past what i learned in undergrad and even law school.

              I am now studying the works of Carl Schmitt. I have referenced him here before and nobody cares so I wont bother. But he’s an inspiration for Leo Strauss, or at least a frenemy of his, an interlocutor. If you dont know who Leo Strauss was you can look that up.

              You may not like the concept of executive power, but usually, it’s a question only of whether “your guy” is in the seat, or not.

      3. Kurtz, Congress has oversight powers and responsibilities on the executive branch and surely you know that.
        Quit being a short sighted whore. You’ll regret it with the next Democratic president

        1. ANON– EXACTLY!

          The next Dem POTUS will use all the same tools in the box. We can be sure of that.

          There will be no restraining the executive i predict, it will only get worse.

          SCOTUS has already hit its high water mark on that and receeded; Congress has bared its teeth too many times against Trump without taking a hard bite out of him. The pendulum is going to swing now and probably bang some people over the head before it’s all through!

          The complexity of the contemporary nation state and its adminstrative apparatus is so extensive that strong executive leadership is almost indispensible to any sort of effective functioning at all. Otherwise too much sideways conflict and pure chaos.

          And we know what follows chaos– Thermidorian reaction.

    2. It’s true that our Government was established with the intention not to have concentrated power, but with distributed power with the reliance directly on the people themselves.

      That should be enough to satisfy that they did not establish 3 Coequal Branches of Government, all Legislative and Governing Authority is held by Congress.

      Article I. Section1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

      All Legislative Powers means all Governing Powers, because the Government is Congress, which makes the House and the Senate The Coequal Branches of Government, and makes all Checks and Balances Legislative, and gives only the States the Suffrage to reach Majority Consensus in Congress, since only the States are members of Congress, and only the States are assembled in Congress!

      The President has no Powers or Privileges, the President must consult Congress for their advice, consent, and concurrence for all Laws and all Foreign Policy. The President is a manager, not a leader or decision maker, both of which are powers of Congress as the Assembly of the Union.

      And yes, any grade schooler should know these principles of a republican form of Government utilizing the Federal Principle as assembled into a Bicameral Legislature.


      Do liberals on this blog have clearance to respond to smears appropriately? Or is there a double standard (as there has always been)?

      I am photographing these comments and forwarding them to Professor Turely.

      1. Peter:

        I have provided ample commentary in a civil tone that you could reply to if you wished but apparently you want to fence over insults instead.

        I have routinely directed attention to fertile discussion topics extending Turley’s essays and had few takers on extending the debates, Instead, i see a lot of tit for tat stuff

        I suggest that if you don’t want to engage in that sort of thing, then stay out of the mudslinging yourself.

        We have a lot of really important things we could be discussing here, for the public good!

  10. If a grand jury in California were to indict Trump on a crime of stealing or lying or whatnot then I would be opposed to a criminal prosecution in that sanctuary state against a sitting President. If he was a standing President I would have the same position. I would stand and say California needs to leave the Union.

    This is a good article here on the Turley blog and a good topic.

  11. This claim is not Constitutional. It is also dangerous. The president works for the people of the US. We have every right to hold any president to account for breaking the law. We do not have an absolute monarchy in the US. The president is subject to the same laws as any other citizen of the US.

    The most powerful people are those in most need of accountability for their actions.

    This president is free to resign and join the government of Saudi Arabia!

  12. So there is all sorts of nefarious stuff in the president’s tax returns that the federal auditors missed? If you actually believe that you are dumber than a box of rocks.

      1. we covered this before. he’s a billionaire, he’s a real estate investor and manager, he has complicated returns. any billionaire who releases his returns will be attacked by foes for a thousand reasons because billionaires ipso facto have millions of envious adversaries. the job only lasts 4-8 years and anybody who runs for the job probably expects to outlive it. I don’t fault Trump for his desire for privacy and for exercising his right to privacy on his returns

        and yet the obscure Democrat POTUS candidate billionaire ultra rich San Fran resident tom steyer released his. i was surprised by this. perhaps unwise but he did it. and not surprisingly someone found something to pick at. they always do.

        1. Kurtz, if Trump’s tax returns are too complicated for all but tax lawyers to grasp, he should have never run for president.

          1. If I were Trump that would have been my calculation.

            But I am not. And the way I think guarantees that I will never be a billionaire.

            You see billionaires follow the old SAS slogan, “HE WHO DARES, WINS”

            I’m a very timid person by nature. For me I barely can dare to slither out of bed some days.

          2. my head aches every time I try and recall what the passive activity loss rules are. this is an intro to the arcane topic which plagues many who invest in real estate from small to large . if you read this fully, then it may give some insight into why real estate people are loathe to circulate their returns.


            Abstract- he Tax Reform Act of 1986 has contributed to the decline of the real estate industry. The changes that have contributed to the decline of the industry include the elimination of the capital gains tax differential, the increase in the period for writing off taxes for depreciable real property, and the limitation of the deductions of passive investment losses. These changes have reduced the market value of real property, created an incentive for divesting real property, increased the difficulty of divesting real estate, and reduced the attractiveness of investing in new housing and construction.

            All of the important evidence shows that a serious downturn in housing starts and real estate markets began shortly after the enactment of TRA 86. Three major changes in the tax law contributed to this result: 1) the elimination of the capital gains tax differential; 2) the passive loss limitation rules; and 3) the lengthening of the tax write-off period for real property. Each of these changes represented a movement away from economically efficient tax policy. Combined, these changes made investment in new housing and construction less attractive and reduced the market value of existing real estate by creating an incentive to unload properties while increasing the difficulty of doing so.

            Increase in Capital Gains Rate

            Probably the most widely debated change to take effect was the increase in capital gains tax from a top marginal rate of 20% to a high of 33%. More concretely, someone in the top tax bracket who made an investment in real estate before 1986 expecting to keep $.80 on every dollar of capital gains was suddenly faced with a situation in which that return would be reduced to $.66 if the person were in the new 33% tax bracket (i.e., the bubble) or $.72 if they were in the 28% bracket. This depressed the value of real estate, in turn causing property values to decline. Many profitable real estate investments became marginal or submarginal.

            Increase in Depreciable Lives

            Adversely affecting real estate even further was TRA 86’s lengthening of the write-off period for depreciable real property. This also had the effect of further reducing the market value of real estate.

            Before 1986, under the Accelerated Cost Recovery System, the cost of an investment in real property could be written off over 19 years, using the 175% declining balance method of depreciation. This method allows a larger proportion of the investment cost to be written off in the earlier years of the depreciation period. TRA 86 not only lengthened the cost recovery period of most real property–non-residential property to 31.5 years and residential rental property to 31.5 years and residential rental property to 27.5 years–it also eliminated the 175% declining balance write-off method. Instead, it required the use of the straight-line method.

            The changes in the cost recovery provisions significantly decreased the present value of real property tax write-offs and, hence, increased the present value of the taxes to be paid on the returns on investment in such property. The result was a reduction in the value of these investments. By increasing the cost recovery period over 60% and by shifting much of the cost that could be recovered from the earlier to the later years, TRA 86 decreased the value of real estate both to current holders and to all prospective buyers.

            Attempts to Level the Playing


            At the time TRA 86 was being debated, some argued, as a justification for the change, that the pre-1986 tax treatment of real estate provided a tax preference for investment in real property. Because of this, it was argued, the tax law was causing inefficient over-investment in real estate at the expense of more productive investment in other kinds of capital. The change in the law was seen, then, as a move in the tax code to a more efficient treatment of real estate investment.

            This assessment is wrong. If tax policy is to be efficient, i.e., if it is not to favor one kind of investment over another, all investment costs should be expensed, that is, they should be written off in the year that they are incurred. Equivalently, if costs are to be written off over an extended period, the depreciation system should ensure for all properties that the present value of the deductions equals the cost of the property. Tying the cost recovery period to the “life” of the investment actually creates a bias against investment in “long-lived” capital, i.e. capital that is expected to be useful for a relatively longer period, such as real estate.

            This goes back to the point that the longer the cost recovery period, the less valuable any tax write-off becomes. Given a choice between two investments that would be of equal value in the absence of taxes, one in real estate with a 31-year amortization period and the other in an investment that allows a shorter cost recovery period, the real estate investment will look relatively less attractive after taxes are considered. The less valuable tax write-offs for real property reduce its value relative to other possible investment alternatives. A tax code that allows expensing of costs puts all investment on an equal footing in the eyes of the tax collector and the investor. Because TRA 86 moved away from this ideal, it did not eliminate a bias in favor of investment in real estate but exacerbated a bias against it.

            Passive Investment Rules Enter

            the Game

            The third strike against the real estate industry was the rule limiting the deductions of so-called “passive investment” losses. For income to be categorized as active, the taxpayer must “materially participate” in the activity that generates the income. The rule allows costs associated with passive investments to be deducted only against passive sources of income. Real estate is especially discriminated against under this provision. With minor exceptions, all income from investments in real estate is considered “passive,” regardless of the level of the investor’s participation in the activity that generates the income. If, in a given year, a real estate investor has losses with no passive income to offset them, then those losses cannot be deducted from taxable income in that year. The only exception is for investors in rental property who actively participate in the investment and have an adjusted gross income (AGI) of under $100,000. This class of investor can deduct up to $25,000 in losses from “active” income sources. Nondeductible costs may be carried over to future years when passive income might be realized, but as shown above, this deferral of the deduction must reduce its present value. For investors exposed to this limit, then, the present value of their tax liabilities on the investment’s returns increased. In turn, this exerted a significantly depressing effect on the market value of real property.

            Prior to 1986, much real estate investment was done by passive investors. It was common for syndicates of investors to pool their resources in order to invest in property, commercial or residential. They would then hire management companies to run the operation. TRA 86 reduced the value of these investments by limiting the extent to which losses associated with them could be deducted from the investor’s gross income. This, in turn, encouraged the holders of loss-generating properties to try and unload them, which contributed further to the problem of sinking real estate values. This turnmoil and repositioning in real estate markets was caused not by changes in market conditions but completely by changes wrought by TRA 86.

            Reasoning for Distinction is


            There is no sound economic reason for making a distinction between “passive” and “active” income. The division is completely arbitrary. It promotes the fallacy that income that isn’t obtained through physical labor is somehow “unearned,” and consequently, should be more heavily taxed than labor compensation. In fact, such “passive” investments are one of the fundamental engines of economic growth. Their primary function is to provide the capital by which other non-passive activities grow. This was clearly the case in real estate. These investments helped significantly to increase the stock of housing and other structures. The fact that the investors hired others to manage the operations was simply the result of an efficient division of labor within the market. To penalize this efficiency is absurd.

            The adverse effects of the 1986 tax changes on real property values were a major contributing factor in the collapse of many savings and loan institutions. Mortgages and similar real property loans constitute a significant portion of S&Ls’ asset portfolios. Significant declines in the market value of real properties, then, would result in the erosion of the value of these institutions’ major assets. In the final analysis, there could be a reduction of their capital to perilously low levels–leaving some institutions with negative capital values.

            The S&L bailout itself has contributed to distress in the real estate industry. Efforts by the Resolution Trust Corporation to dispose of properties taken over in the closing of failed or failing S&Ls artificially add to the stock of real property on the market and exert downward pressure on market values. This additional decline in real property values further imperils lending institutions that might otherwise be in relatively good financial condition.

            At Odds

            In this case, the interest of one industry is also in the interest of the economy as a whole. The changes brought about by TRA 86 concerning capital gains taxation, the cost recovery periods and write-off methods for real property, and the deductibility of passive losses, were all at odds with good tax economics. These changes should be rescinded. To do so would not only invigorate a sagging real estate industry but would help to put the economy as a whole on a sounder footing.

          3. Kurtz, if Trump’s tax returns are too complicated for all but tax lawyers to grasp, he should have never run for president.

            Thanks for the arbitrary judgment. Been an education.

      2. Olly, that’s what we expect from you; gutter-ball smears from a gasbag of a Trumper.

        With each passing day Trumpers on this blog become increasingly desperate as they sense Trump will never be reelected.

        1. And yet you failed another attempt to connect with the left half of your brain.

          Your argument is Trump should turn over his tax returns because if he’s not guilty, then he’s got nothing to hide. It would be the moral thing to do.

          Using your logic; you should do the moral thing and turn yourself into police to prove you’re innocent of pedophilia.

          The moral of the story is; do not volunteer yourself for government scrutiny when you are under no legal obligation to do so.

  13. Article I. Section. 6.

    The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States. They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

    As you can see in the above excerpt of Article 1 Section 6 of the United States Constitution, Senators and Representatives have limited immunity in their travel to and from their States to attend a session of Congress, but no such immunity exist for a President, or Vice President, who are continuously Present to execute their duties except in cases of absence or vacancy for cause from office;

    Article I. Section 3. Clause 5.
    The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the Absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

    And notice, the Vice President never becomes the President, the Vice President only exercises the duties of the President, until the disability causing the absence or vacancy be removed or a new President be elected!

    Article II. Section 1. Clause 6.
    In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the Same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.

    On the subject of Executive powers and Privileges, there are no Executive Powers or Privileges expressed in Article 2, Period, all Executive Powers are qualified and conditional! For example:

    Article II. Section. 2.
    1. The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States;
    2. he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any Subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices,
    3. and he shall have Power to grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offences against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

    1. The President only becomes the Commander in Chief when the military is called into actual service.
    2. He only manages, he doesn’t choose the principal officers in the Executive Departments, and he may require in writing their opinion on any subject relating to the duties of their respective offices, he does not direct, or in any other way determine the duties, or the exercise thereof, of their respective offices.
    3. He has the power to grant reprieves and Pardons for offenses against the United States, but that only occurs after a person is convicted, Not before or during the Judicial process and a legal finding Against said person, and even in those cases the President has no right or authority to Pardon or grant a reprieve in cases of impeachment, which means that if Congress wants to remove any government official, there is absolutely nothing a President can do to stop them, to reinstate them, or restore their rights to serve again in any capacity!

    4. He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur;
    5. and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law:
    6. but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

    4. The President shall have Power, By and With the Advice and Consent of of the Senate, to make Treaties! By and With means Before and During, Not After, therefore the President must receive the advice, consent, and concurrence of 2/3 of the States in the Senate Before and During any negotiations with any foreign state for any purpose, because a treaty is no more than a bargain, so if there is any negotiations necessary, then the President must consult the Senate, convening them for that purpose if they are at recess!
    5. The President has the power to nominate persons for vacancies that occur in the Executive Judicial Departments and all other offices of the United States, whose appointments are not otherwise provided for, and established by law! This is only a power to nominate for vacancies, not a power to appoint or create a vacancy by removal, which is the sole authority of the House by Article 1 Section 2 Clause 6; “The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.”
    6. However, Congress May by law vest the Power of Appointment of inferior officers, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments! But no matter how you want to interpret that clause, it gives Congress the sole power of determining Appointments and Dismals throughout our Government, Not The President!

    Article II Section. 3.

    1. He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;
    2. he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them,
    3. and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; 4.he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers;
    5. he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,
    6. and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

    1. The President must consult Congress to give them information on all matters concerning any aspect of the Union, or the governing thereof, for their consideration! For those of you who don’t understand that conditional statement, for all Domestic Policy The President must consult the House, for interpretations or intentions of what laws mean or how they are to be implemented, and as previously established must consult the Senate for all Foreign Policy, after which he writes an Executive order to the Executive Department with the authority to implement laws or execute foreign policy, indicating the intentions and parameters of the laws and policies to be implemented. The President does not have the authority to determine any policies, or make any decisions, without the advice and consent of Congress.
    2. Not only does the President not have any authority or decision making Powers, the President must convene whichever House in Congress which he is seeking Advice and Consent, if they are at recess, for that purpose. The President has no decision making Powers or Authority, only the States as they are assembled in Congress as the Union have any decision making Powers and Authority, and the Senate where the States are assembled as Equals, with Equal Suffrage to reach Majority Consensus, have the Power of concurrence over all Laws and all Foreign Policy!
    3. This clause refers to the Legislative Checks and Balances of Congress, where as few as 9 States can form a Majority Consensus in the House, But it takes 50% + 1 States in the Senate to form a Majority Consensus. Therefore there may be disagreement between the House and the Senate on adjournment, which cannot be resolved by normal Legislative procedure, in which case the President May adjourn Congress to end the stalemate until a time that it is necessary for them to be convened for matters that he deems necessary and expedient for their Consideration!
    4. The President is the head of State, and shall receive Ambassadors and other Public Ministers, but, all meetings must receive the Advice, Consent, and Concurrence of the Senate as indicated in a previous clause!
    5. This is the most important Power of the President, and again it is conditional, the President must take care that the laws legislated by Congress are faithfully executed, implemented, in a manner consistent with the intentions of Congress, consulting them for clarification if necessary, as indicated by a previous clause.
    6. The President gives all officers their authority to perform their duties, the President does not determine the execution of those duties, meaning he is their manager, not their Boss, the Union is everyone’s boss who performs duties for the United States, up to and including the President!

    Article II. Section. 4.

    1. The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.

    1. This sets up the Supreme Government Authority as Congress, because Congress alone has the right, and Authority, of Impeachment and Removal in our Government, and by the way, there are no restrictions on the reason for impeachment and removal, insubordination to the Supreme Authority of Congress is sufficient cause for the States to exercise this right to remove any Government Official, and it is only subjected to Majority Consensus Votes Based Upon the Mode of Assembly, Proportional Vote by State in the House to impeach, and a 2/3 Majority Consensus Vote of the States in the Senate for removal!

    To have the power of appointment and dismissal is to have the power of control, therefore Congress is the Predominant Governing Authority, and With the Power of concurrence over all Laws and all Treaties makes the Senate, where the States are assembled as Equals, the Superior Government Authority.

    Therefore there is no shared Government Authority, or Responsibility, and the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial are NOT Coequal Branches of our Government; “in a Confederated (compound) Republic, the Legislative Authority necessarily Predominates”, Federalist #51, Madison.

    I think it is quite clear from this review of Article 2 that the President has no Executive Authority or Privileges! All Executive Authority is conditional and subject to the Advice, Consent, Concurrence, and Control of the States as they are assembled as the Union in Congress!

    The United States, in Congress Assembled, The Union that makes our Country the United States of America!

    Notice, there is no participation or control by Political Parties in Congress, or the Electoral Processes by which our Government Institutions are assembled, granted anywhere in Articles 1, 2, or 3 of the Constitution. Congress is an Assembly of States, not Parties!

  14. Election as president does not grant immunity to the individual from investigation. There could be an argument made that indictment must come after impeachment, but acts that might extend to previous infractions before election? If we are to be a nation of laws, only post incident and conviction pardon is left to a president for others, the question of pardoning ones self could be litigated — but to what purpose if law is to be our rational for freedom and its limits.

    1. the thing is gregg, the average criminal investigation and prosecution, of any complicated crime, usually takes years. 4 years is not unknown for the progress of investigation and prosecution of garden variety criminal fraud, let alone more important stuff.

      so the POTUS term only being 4 years there is a time horizon which by expediency needs to limit things distracting him. I am certain that is part of the rationale for this existing policy in government.

      1. Ah yes, our vaunted right to a “speedy trial” has indeed changed over time as our courts become glutted lynching and kangaroo court alternatives.d. The lack of affordable resources in the justice system is deplorable, but much preferable to alternatives.

        In this case, however, POTUS is claiming that the office offers immunity from investigation or revelation of sins past and present while serving. Caesars, monarchs and dictators (Pharaohs too) all have used this godlike attribute, but US presidents usually have enough sense to realize that it is antithetical to the will of the people and codified law.

        Me opinion is that anyone who runs for or is elected to high public office needs to live on a glass house with only the necessary modesty screens for use of the water-closet. Either that or fess up to any past sins committed and show how they have reformed and maintained a more trustworthy life.

        Idealistic? Impossible? Or something we need to strive for in all our imperfections?

  15. No one is above the law including our mad king! It is time for the “memo” that was never law to be pitched. There is no Constitutional bar to either a criminal investigation or an indictment.

    1. OK Mr Holmes then if you have the authority you may proceed. I won’t hold my breath.

      And you can be sure the next Democrat who wins will take the same positions.

  16. “The President’s resistance to disclosing his taxes is now legendary, including differing excuses”

    No American should have to disclose their taxes…ever

    1. Anonymous

      No American should be barred from selling or using drugs…except for alcohol and tobacco. Agree?
      Legalize & regulate Smack to ensure it isn’t loaded with fentanyl, then tax each product enough to pay for regulating them, but not so much that CIA or non-aligned cartels will try to horn in on the action. Agree?

                1. Paul
                  IOW, it’s a fancy definition of right-wing politics. E.G. belief in free trade – but not FAIR trade. sounds like Trumpian beliefs to me. No wonder you declined to define it.

                  1. bill – I gave you the standard definition, what more do you want? I have told people that I am so far to the right that I am for restoring the monarchy. What do you expect?

                    1. Paul

                      Your confirmation is enough. I was worried that you might have become a little more reasonable, but you are free to cling to your Medieval views. It’s still a mostly free country.

          1. prolly he does have friends. but given his interests, he probably has a lot more allies than friends.

            and at his level, can a man have any true friends? the rich and famous are reknowned for casting aside former friends. but can we, as not-rich, and not-famous, really understand what it’s like to come into riches or fame? they say you never understand it until it happens to you.

            Also, consider the old saying about nations having interests not ideas

            and this interesting article


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