Court: McGahn Must Appear To Testify Before Congress

Federal District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson delivered a victory for Congress  in a 120-page decision that former White House counsel Don McGahn must appear for testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.  I previously wrote that the White House was wrong in blocking the appearance of witnesses like McGahn as opposed to invoking executive privilege over certain areas of testimony.  Accordingly, I believe the opinion is the correct one but this does not end the struggle with Congress. Indeed, it may be just the beginning of the real struggle over privilege as opposed to immunity. Update: As expected, McGahn is appealing the ruling which will certainly achieve the purpose of delay but ultimately magnify the loss in precedent for the White House.

Jackson at times allowed the rhetoric to out pace the analysis in declaring, for example, that “presidents are not kings” and “this means that they do not have subjects, bound by loyalty or blood, whose destiny they are entitled to control. Rather, in this land of liberty, it is indisputable that current and former employees of the White House work for the people of the United States…” I am not sure that seeking review on a claim of immunity is the same as a president declaring oneself king or former presidential aides vassals.

Nevertheless, I fail to see the basis for the extreme position stated by the White House on immunity (as opposed to more credible privilege-type arguments) – a criticism that I have had with a number of current cases moving through the courts.  These cases seem crafted with a greater interest in ultimate delay rather than the decision in the litigation. That strategy however continues to pile up losses for the White House – precedent that will bind future presidents.

One small victory however came on the same day when late Monday the Supreme Court blocked a House subpoena directing President Donald Trump’s accounting firm to turn over financial documents. The Court will still reviewing the case and the order does not indicate the view of the merits of the case.

The McGahn ruling means that he must appear but the White House could seek an appellate review or, if he appears, instruct him not to answer questions on conversations with the President.  The former option is the most likely. While Congress can cite the decision as evidence that the White House is making meritless claims to denying witnesses and evidence to Congress, this is a decision that does not address the more substantive privilege claims.  I still believe that Congress cannot seek to impeach a president based on his seeking judicial review of conflicts with Congress, particularly when the House is moving on an expediting basis for a vote by the end of December. 

127 thoughts on “Court: McGahn Must Appear To Testify Before Congress”

  1. Correction: McGhan isn’t appealing the ruling: the DOJ, who are supposed to be working for the American people, is appealing the ruling. Why are the resources of the American people being diverted to prevent the American people from learning the truth? Is Trump’s goal to just wear us all out with one scandal, lie and obstruction of justice after another that we become numb to how our democracy is supposed to work?

    Turley says: “I am not sure that seeking review on a claim of immunity is the same as a president declaring oneself king or former presidential aides vassals.” Trump took the position that he has absolute power. MSNBC played multiple tapes wherein he claimed, at various rallies for the deplorables, that he can do whatever he wants because of Article II of the Constitution. That is the position his lawyers took in opposing release of the records, and it is unprecedented and legally wrong. What other POTUS has ever claimed to have absolute power to do whatever he wants? So, the judge’s “rhetoric” was spot-on.

    One other squabble: Trump didn’t win any “victory” when the SCOTUS put a hold on release of his financial records pending appeal. This was simply a stay of the previous court orders. A temporary stay is not a victory. When non-lawyers read this stuff, they can be mislead by the language used.

    1. Human Rights Watch is and long has been a red-haze fraud. Their Americas Watch branch was run for years by a man named Aryeh Neier, whose avocational activities included writing articles for The Nation on behalf of the Sandinista Front. As for the Middle East Watch, the man who founded it in 1975 was some years ago so appalled at the degree to which it functioned as an Arab chauvinist mouthpiece that he repudiated the organization.


    Wikipedia’s anti-Israel editors unmasked by Adam Kredo
    Ruth King
    Posted By on November 27th, 2019

    A pro-Israel organization has exposed the identities of top Wikipedia editors who use the online encyclopedia to promote anti-Israel bias and causes, a first-of-its-kind effort that is unmasking a global online network of Israel critics.

    The Israel Group, a nonprofit organization that combats anti-Israel bias, is set to launch next year a database that will expose the true identities of many leading Wikipedia editors who harbor anti-Israel bias and have implanted this viewpoint across the website through more than 325,000 edits during the past 10 years. It has already listed the identities of several of these editors.

    The new effort, dubbed Wiki-Israel, seeks to provide accountability for the numerous and often anonymous editors who control all of the content that exists on Wikipedia.

    Leaders of the Israel Group accuse these individuals of acting as “a cabal of virulently anti-Israel anonymous editors” who are “responsible for decimating virtually the entire pro-Israel editing community.”

    Leaders of the Israel Group view Wikipedia, with its global reach and wide readership, as a central battleground in the fight to combat the anti-Semitic Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement.

    “Trying to teach anyone the truth and facts about Israel is a futile effort as long as Wikipedia, the number one online educational resource globally, substantiates the lies and propaganda promulgated by the BDS movement,” Jack Saltzberg, founder and president of the Israel Group told the Washington Free Beacon.

    “Stopping Wikipedia’s anti-Israel bias should be the most important battle against BDS. There is no close second.”

    Wikipedia editors routinely promote falsehoods about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and portray Israel in a negative light, according to the Israel Group.

    “For more than a decade, Wikipedia — the number one online educational resource globally — has allowed anonymous anti-Israel editors to falsely and negatively alter Israel’s factual history in Wikipedia articles pertaining to the Arab-Israeli and Israeli-Palestinian conflicts,” Israel Group said in a statement promoting the new endeavor, which will officially launch in January 2020.

    “Volunteer ‘administrators’ (with lifetime positions), responsible for overseeing the editing process of Wikipedia, have not only allowed anti-Israel editors freedom to take over Wikipedia, they have participated by blocking and banning predominantly Jewish and pro-Israel editors,” the group said.

    “For anyone concerned about the boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against Israel, Wikipedia is now the number one global source that actively substantiates the lies and false propaganda being disseminated about Israel.”

    The organization has been working for years to find the editors responsible for anti-Israel content and unearth details about their identities.

    “The Israel Group has been working for many years, under the radar, on a confidential initiative, Wiki-Israel, that combats Wikipedia’s antisemitic bias against Israel,” the group said.

    “The initiative includes a dedicated website that, among many other things, shows how anti-Israel editors smear Israel — both subtly and overtly — across hundreds of articles, and how the pro-Israel community can stop it.”

    Already, the Israel Group has listed the details of the top five editors it deems leaders of the anti-Israel effort.

    The number one anti-Israel leader, according to the Israel Group, is an Australian computer scientist named Brendan McKay.

    “Brendan McKay, who goes by the Wikipedia username ‘Zero0000,’ is the Godfather, the unofficial leader of the entire cabal of anti-Israel Wikipedia editors,” the Israel Group wrote in a post about McKay.

    “Although he is not the most prolific or skilled editor among them, one thing separates him from the others: he’s a Wikipedia administrator. This means that he has vast powers that regular editors don’t have, such as the ability to block and ban regular editors and to delete edits and articles from the historical record. Moreover, administrators are greatly respected, so when they accuse general editors of editing with a pro-Israel point of view — as McKay repeatedly does other administrators side with him, often blocking or banning pro-Israel editors.”

    The Israel Group goes on to list as its second leading anti-Israel editor another Australian named Peter Nicholas Dale.

    Dale “is undoubtedly the most prolific and proficient of the bunch,” according to the Israel Group. “He is an erudite, skilled blowhard who employs his expert Wikipedia editing proficiency to derail and obfuscate discussions.”

    He has performed more than 60,000 Wikipedia edits and has “never once benefited Israel,” the group claims.

    When the initiative launches in 2020, the Israel Group will begin posting a more complete list of the editors it claims are responsible for Wikipedia’s anti-Israel bias.

    1. Israel has special highways into the West Bank that only Israelis can use. Yet those highways cut across Palestinian farms. Said highways were built so Israelis can live on the West Bank and commute to Israel.

      One can go round and round and round arguing that the PLO squandered opportunities to make peace with Israel. But this narrative doesn’t negate the fact that Palestinians live under what can only be called an apartheid system.

      But aside from the Palestinians, certain Ultra-Orthodox Israelis, living on the West Bank, are exempt from Israel’s compulsory Military Service because they need to study religion instead. This creates an odd inequality where more secular Israeli’s are required to fight to preserve a system that protects the Ultra Orthodox who continue expanding their settlements on the West Bank (at the expense of Palestinians).

      It’s hard to name another Western-Style Democracy that allows the odd inequalities present in Israel. Yet any prominent American concerned by these inequalities is invariably smeared as an ‘anti-semite’.

      1. You’re a knucklehead, Peter. And the term ‘apartheid’ doesn’t mean what you fancy it means.

        The local Arabs through their political bosses have had ample opportunities over more than 50 years to bargain for an amelioration of various vexatious controls on their movements and discretion. They’ve rejected or sabotaged all of them for a reason, Peter. Self-government is not what they want. What they want is dead Jews. Israel cannot bargain with them until they decide they want something else. And, until and unless they do adopt a set of practical objectives, the only option Israel has is a portfolio of measures that prevent Arabs from the West Bank and Gaza from engaging in violent criminal activity in Israel or around Jewish settlers. If it’s irritating and inconvenient for Arabs, tough.

        1. Tabby, I agree with many of your points. Yet no free discussion of Israel can get around the fact that certain injustices exist. Therefore critics should ‘not’ be dismissed and, or labeled ‘anti-semitic’.

          1. There aren’t any systemic injustices, Peter. About 20% of the population within the 1949 armistice lines is Arab. They move about at their discretion, as does the residual Arab population in the Golan. The Arab population in East Jerusalem is restricted as to where they can reside, but also move about at their discretion. There’s a reason for that: these populations haven’t proven themselves to harbor an abnormal security threat. That’s not true of the West Bank population and the Gaza population is doubleplusungood in this respect. Some fathead public interest lawyer in Washington or college dean in Boston can strike stupid poses about that, because they’re not responsible for anyone’s security (or anything of consequence, really).

      2. “Israel has special highways into the West Bank that only Israelis can use.”

        Peter, DSS is correct. You are a knucklehead. You don’t know history, the law, or even what is happening in the present day. There is no apartheid system except perhaps in your brain where sensible knowledge has been severed from the idiocy you promote. The land is legally Israel’s and the so-called Palestinians are from Jordon, Egypt and other places. If you look at some of their last names you will note that one can tell where that person originally came from.

        There is so much confusion with regard to Israel that I will post a rather long but relatively good summary of the land and why that land is legally Israeli land. Anti-Semites like to distort the history but this piece provides hypertexts to the original documents and elsewhere that had to be removed because of the max 2 hypertexts.

        1. Mort Klein – There Is No Israeli ‘Occupation’: It’s Not Arab Land and 98 Percent of Palestinian-Arabs Live Under Arab Rule

          Morton A. Klein29 Sep 2017

          The U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, recently made headlines for using the term “alleged occupation” during aninterview with the Jerusalem Post. Palestinian Authority (“PA”) dictator and Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas condemned the term “alleged occupation” and then falsely proclaimed that there is an Israeli “occupation of the territory of the state of Palestine” and variations of the same line some 27 times during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly last week. However, an honest
          examination of the facts and actual international law reveal that Ambassador Friedman’s words were correct: In fact, the presence of Israel and Israeli Jews in Judea/Samaria (“West Bank”) and the old city of Jerusalem is not an “Israeli occupation.”

          Occupation means possessing/exercising actual authority over another country’s sovereign territory. A nation who has the sovereign rights to land cannot be an “occupier” of that land. Israel has the lawful sovereign right – as well as the strongest historical, religious, and legal connection — to Israel, including Judea/Samaria and all of Jerusalem.
          The Jews are indigenous people of Israel, including Judea/Samaria and Jerusalem. The word “Jew” comes from “Judea” – because this is where the Jewish people lived. (Jordan renamed Judea/Samaria “the West Bank” during Jordan’s 19-year (1948-67) illegal occupation of the area, as explained below). Jewish kings and kingdoms reigned in Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria for hundreds of years (c.920 BCE – 597 BCE). For over 3,000 years, there was always a Jewish presence in Israel, even after conquests and dispersions of the Jewish people.

          Moreover, Jerusalem was never the capital of any country except Israel. Jews were also the largest religious group in Jerusalem since at least the first census in the 1840s. Jerusalem is mentioned almost 700 times in Judaism’s holy books. Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran. For millennia, Jews pray for Jerusalem and pray facing Jerusalem. Muslims pray facing Mecca, and have no prayers for Jerusalem. No Arab leader except Jordan’s King Hussein ever visited Jerusalem.

          By contrast, there has never been a Palestinian Arab state or kingdom in Israel, Jerusalem or Judea/Samaria. Ever. “Palestine” is not an Arab name but is a Roman name, named by the Romans in 135 CE for the geographic area, to attempt to de-Judaize Israel and Judea/Samaria, after destroying the Second Temple in 70 CE and crushing the Jewish Bar Kochba Revolt (133-135 CE).

          Israel thus does not “occupy” land belonging to any Palestinian-Arab foreign sovereign – for no Palestinian-Arab foreign sovereign ever existed. Israel fell into desolation under Ottoman rule (1517-1917) and was sparsely populated then. Mark Twain wrote in 1867 that Israel was a “desolate country… We never saw a human being on the whole route… There was hardly a tree or a shrub anywhere.”

          Most Arab “Palestinians” are not indigenous to Israel. Most “Palestinian”-Arabs immigrated into Israel from Arab nations and northern Africa (Algeria, etc.) after waves of Jewish communities started rebuilding Israel in the mid-to-late 1800s through mid-1900s. “Palestinian” Arab last names such as “al Masri” (meaning “from Egypt”) and “Mugrabi” (“North African”) reveal some of the Palestinian Arabs’ origins.
          Indeed, the world always understood that “Palestinian” meant “Jew.” The media used to refer to Arabs in Judea/Samaria as “West Bankers” not “Palestinians.”

          Britain’s Balfour Declaration (1917) and legally binding international treaties, including Article 22 of the League of Nations Covenant; the Mandate for Palestine (1922), San Remo Resolution (1920), Feisal-Weitzman Treaty (1919) (an Arab-Jewish treaty, signed by the Emir of the Kingdom of Hejaz, now part of Saudi Arabia), the 1924 Anglo-American Convention [Treaty] (ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1925, making it a binding U.S. treaty obligation), designated the area that is now Israel including Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria and present-day Jordan as a “sacred trust” for reconstituting the Jewish homeland.

          Winston Churchill thus wrote in 1922 that “the development of the Jewish National Home in Palestine… is not the imposition of a Jewish nationality upon the inhabitants of Palestine as a whole, but the further development of the existing Jewish community… [T]he Jewish people… is in Palestine as of right and not on sufferance.”

          Also, under the firmly established international legal doctrine “uti posseditis juris,” new states inherit the full borders of the preceding mandate. Thus, Israel is entitled to the full mandatory territory and borders, which include Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria – and originally even included present-day Jordan. (Arab nations in the Middle East – Syria, Lebanon, Iraq – received the full mandatory borders of the mandates that preceded those states, under the same doctrine.)

          Interested readers may wish to watch International legal scholar Northwestern Univ. Professor Eugene Kontorovich’s excellent video discussing this in detail.
          In 1922, Britain, in essence, lopped off 78 percent of the area legally designated for a Jewish homeland, to create Transjordan, later Jordan. The Jews were left with only 22 percent of the Mandate of Palestine designated for the Jewish homeland.

          The UN Charter Article 80 (the “Jewish people’s clause), adopted in 1945, preserved intact all rights granted to Jews under the Mandate for Palestine, even after the Mandate’s expiration in 1948. As legal scholar Howard Grief has explained, Article 80 prevents the UN from transferring rights over any part of Palestine to any non-Jewish entity, such as the Palestinian Authority or a “Palestinian state.”
          In 1948, the Arabs rejected a UN non-binding recommendation to partition the remaining 22 percent portion of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states (the so-called “partition resolution”).

          Instead, six Arab nations invaded the newly reestablished State of Israel, in an attempt to obliterate Israel and murder the Jews. During the aggressive Arab war, Jordan captured and illegally occupied the eastern portion of Jerusalem (the “Old City” including the Jewish quarter) and Judea/Samaria for the next 19 years. Only two countries recognized Jordan’s illegal occupation. Jordan expelled and murdered the Jewish residents, destroyed 58 centuries-old synagogues and vandalized the 3,000-year-old Mt. of Olives Jewish cemetery in eastern Jerusalem.

          Significantly, during Jordan’s 19-year illegal occupation of eastern Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria, Palestinian Arabs made no claim for a state there. The 1964 PLO Charter proclaimed that the PLO “does not exercise any territorial sovereignty over the West Bank or Gaza.” It also never mentioned Jerusalem.

          The so-called “pre-1967 lines” (a/k/a the “green line” or “1949 Armistice lines” or indefensible “suicide borders”) are not binding internationally recognized borders. In 1949, Israel and its neighbors (which had invaded and tried to destroy Israel), signed armistice agreementsestablishing “armistice demarcation lines” at approximately the point where the fighting stopped. The armistice agreements stated that the armistice lines were “without prejudice” to a future political settlement. Israel is not required to return to the tiny area within “pre-1967 lines.”

          In 1967, Jordan attacked Israel again – even though Israel implored Jordan not to attack, saying: “We are engaged in defensive fighting on the Egyptian sector, and we shall not engage ourselves in any action against Jordan, unless Jordan attacks us. Should Jordan attack Israel, we shall go against her with all our might.” In the ensuing defensive Six-Day War, Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria and Gaza, restoring Jewish sovereignty to Jerusalem and Jewish sovereign rights to Judea/Samaria.

          After the 1967 Six Day War, UNSC Resolution 242 called for Israel to have “recognized and secure” borders, and did not call for Israel to surrender “all” lands captured in 1967. Then-U.S. President Lyndon Johnson stated shortly afterward: “We are not the ones to say where other nations should draw lines between them that will assure each the greatest security. It is clear, however, that a return to the situation of June 4, 1967, will not bring peace.”

          The Levy Commission (appointed by Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and headed by esteemed former Israel Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy) concluded that when Israel recaptured eastern Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria: “the original legal status of the territory was restored, namely, a territory designated as a national home for the Jewish people, who had a “right of possession” to it during Jordanian rule while they were absent from the territory for several years due to a war imposed on them, and have now returned to it.”

          Additional developments and facts further reveal that there is no Israeli “occupation.”

          In 1988, Jordan publicly relinquished any claims to Judea/Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. The 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty recognized the Jordan River (not the “green line”) as the international boundary. In other words, Judea/Samaria is on the Israeli side of the border. This further reconfirms that Israel is clearly not occupying land of a foreign sovereign.

          The Oslo Accords (1993-1995), signed by the PLO, acknowledge Israel’s territorial jurisdiction over “settlements.” Oslo never spoke of a Palestinian Arab state and in Prime Minister Rabin’s last speech, he spoke of establishing “less than a State” for the Palestinian Arabs and no giveaway of any part of Jerusalem.
          Moreover, a nation cannot be considered to be an “occupier” of land over which it does not exercise governing control. Article 6 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War states that a foreign power is only considered to be an occupier “to the extent that such Power exercises the functions of government in such territory.”

          Israel has relinquished governing control in all of Gaza and 40 percent of Judea/Samaria. The Oslo Accords provided land within Judea/Samaria to establish a “Palestinian Authority.” And, in 2005, Israel unilaterally evacuated 10,000 Jews from Gaza and Northern Samaria.

          As a result, 98 percent of Palestinian-Arabs are living in these ceded territories, under Palestinian Arab rule. These territories are governed by Palestinian Arabs, with their own legislatures, courts, TV, radio, newspapers, police, hospitals, school system and municipal services. These Palestinian Arab governmental agencies are largely corrupt, brutal and hate-mongering. But they are their own, not Israel’s. In short, Israel no longer runs PA-controlled areas.

          Israel remains enmeshed with Palestinian Arabs only with respect to security issues, and that’s only because the Palestinian Arabs continue to wage war on Israeli civilians –– with exponentially increased rocket assaults and terror tunnels from Gaza since 2005, and continued terror assaults from Judea/Samaria. Israeli forces must foil dozens of such assaults each month. Thus, Israel is forced to maintain checkpoints in Judea/Samaria to prevent terrorist attacks from terrorist cells based in the Palestinian Authority. And since Israel’s unilateral evacuation of Gaza in 2005, Israel has had to make three significant military incursions into Gaza to try to stop Hamas’ incessant rocket fire on Israeli civilians, and to destroy Hamas’s terror tunnels. But that’s not “occupation”; that’s war to stop terror, and its attendant mess and tragedies.
          Notably, in 1937, 1947, 2000, 2001 and 2008, Palestinian Arabs rejected generous proposals to establish an Arab State in part of the remaining 22 percent of the area legally designated for the Jewish homeland. Instead, Palestinian Arabs maintained their genocidal goal of destroying and replacing all of Israel, and instituted the deadly intifadas, murdering and maiming thousands of innocent Jews.
          Further, Israeli “settlements” (Jewish communities and cities) are not an “occupation” since they are on sovereign Jewish land, legally designated for “close Jewish settlement” under the Mandate. Nor are settlements an “obstacle to peace.” Israeli “settlements” comprise only about 2 percent of Judea/Samaria. Since 1993, Israeli building has occurred only within existing “settlements” borders. There has not been a single new Jewish community built while the Arabs have built at ten times the Israeli rate in Judea//Samaria and much of it illegally.

          Moreover, even if Israel was an “occupying power,” settlements would still be perfectly legal – because only “forcible” transfers by an occupying power are prohibited. Here, Jews returned to Judea/Samaria voluntarily – and there has been no forcible transfer of Arabs out of these areas.
          But Israel is not an “occupying power” under the Fourth Geneva Convention (as Israel-haters falsely claim). The Fourth Geneva Convention is inapplicable because it is a specialized treaty among the “high contracting parties.” The treaty solely applies to wars between the countries who signed this treaty – and the Palestinian Authority and Israel are not signatories. Israel is also not an “occupying power” under the Convention because, as explained above, Israel has the sovereign right to Judea/Samaria; Judea/Samaria is not the territory of another sovereign country that signed the treaty, and Jordan withdrew its claims to Judea/Samaria.
          The False Claims of “Israeli Occupation” Are a Pretext for Terrorism and Ethnic Cleansing of Jews: So, then, why do the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and their supporters continue to perpetuate the Israeli “occupation” calumny? What is behind the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign aimed at delegitimizing Israel as an illegal “occupier” and “colonizer” of “Palestinian lands”? Why do they falsely label the areas that Israel has the sovereign right to as “occupied Palestinian territories”?

          Why do Palestinian Arab leaders continue to say anything – no matter how absurd and false – to deny Israel her legally guaranteed rights? Why did PA dictator Mahmoud Abbas, in his UN speech last week, falsely argue that the Balfour Declaration’s promise to the Jews of a national home in Palestine inflicted “a grave injustice on the Palestinian people” because Palestine was “inhabited by the Palestinian people” and was “among the most progressive and prosperous countries” back in 1917 – when in fact there were no “Palestinian Arab people” and there was never a country of Palestine, in 1917 or ever?

          It’s because proclaiming “illegal occupation” promotes the Palestinian Authority’s and Hamas’s goals of ethnically cleansing all Jews from the lands that the Palestinian Authority seeks to seize, and “justifies” terrorism. Indeed, Mahmoud Abbas asserted in his UN speech last week that Israel’s “occupation breeds incitement and violence.” Calling any residual Israeli presence, anywhere, within areas that the PA or Hamas deems to be “occupied Palestinian territories” serves as justification to engage in terror, promote international efforts to indict Israel, promote violence over peace, transform Palestinian-Arab terrorists into “freedom fighters,” and avoid negotiations with Israel for real peace.
          It is for these reasons that the PA continues to seek UN affirmation that all of Judea/Samaria and Gaza and the old city of Jerusalem is “Palestinian land” and “occupied” – rather than even using the neutral term “disputed.” As Mahmoud Abbas put it in 2012, “We want to establish that the Palestinian territories that were [taken] in 1967 including Jerusalem [are occupied], since Israel has a different approach. It says that the territories occupied in 1967 are disputed territories. In other words, up for negotiations.”
          And it is for these reasons that Hamas – and many statements from the PA – insist that all of Israel is “occupied Arab land.”
          In fact, Israel does not occupy another foreign sovereign’s territory.

          Thus, Ambassador Friedman merely spoke the truth when he used the term “alleged occupation.”
          Simply put, there is no Israeli “occupation” in Judea/Samaria/Jerusalem.

          Morton A. Klein is National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).(Visit; follow on twitter, @mortonaklein7) A major Jewish weekly named him one of the top five Jewish leaders in America.Another named him one of the top dozen “Jewish Activists of the Century.” He formerly worked in medical research with two-time Nobel laureate Linus Pauling(Chemistry and Peace).

              1. DSS, why don’t you provide what you believe is not true or overstated? I think it is quite clear and the documentation demonstrates why. What is your documentation?

            1. Anonymous the Stupid, the article was meant for those that could think not you. You are too stupid to read anything of value and when you do you get things totally wrong. Go back under your rock.

                1. Anonymous the Stupid, your lack of originality is again clearly apparent. One can clearly compare the cr-p that you write to what I post. There is a big difference. You are in the Stupid class and I am not.

          1. 1924 Anglo-American Convention [Treaty] (ratified by the U.S. Senate in 1925, making it a binding U.S. treaty obligation), designated the area that is now Israel including Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria and present-day Jordan as a “sacred trust” for reconstituting the Jewish homeland.


            Feisal-Weitzman Treaty (1919) (an Arab-Jewish treaty, signed by the Emir of the Kingdom of Hejaz, now part of Saudi Arabia)


            There are others and if one wants the address I will provide.

            1. “There are others and if one wants the address I will provide.”

              Knucklehead on a tear. Give it a rest, Allan.

              1. Anonymous the Stupid, give what a rest? You need not read any of the above. It is beyond your puny brain and that is demonstrated whenever you comment.

  3. “He said it was an example of how the costs of his travel for Trump were covered by separate work he did for private clients.” WaPo

    How ’bout Chief Judge of the Third Circuit, Anthony J Scirica, making a quick 5 grand for teaching a one credit hour class on the Law in that slum, Florence Italy? Pretty rough having to endure a place like that. Being reimbursed for traveling and lodging (June 2007, it is documented) must have felt insulting, especially with unfinished work on your desk. (A big no-no)

    Must have been awful luxuriating in that dump for what, a week, ten days, a month?

  4. After Trump gets reelected, Adam Schiff will make an announcement, “For my next trick”!

  5. “Accordingly, I believe the opinion is the correct one but this does not end the struggle with Congress. ”

    I think Turley is mistaken about that. I’m 2012 in a similar spat between Congress and the White House the justice department argued:
    ““Such compelled disclosure would be inconsistent with the separation of powers established in the constitution and would potent significantly alter the balance of power between two co-equal branches of government ”

    They lost that, but only because it was a cabinet official, Eric Holder, they were trying to shield not a White House advisor. I think the Supreme court will side with the Administration and rule White House advisors can’t be compelled to testify.

    This hypothetical should make it clear why: Say a Supreme Court Justice in discussing a case with her clerks says: “while I think the death penalty is constitutional I’m going to cast my vote to rule its unconstitutional because my personal beliefs make me think it’s wrong”. One of the clerks tells a fellow clerk for another justice, and he tells a friend who is a staffer for the House Judiciary Committee. Before long the House is starting impeachment proceedings against the justice for violating her path of office to support and defend the constitution, by putting her personal beliefs above what she believes is constitutional.

    The House Judiciary subpoenas all the internal memorandas from the case from the Supreme Court, and a few other death penalty cases as well.

    Then they subpoena the justice’s clerks to testify as to what she told them in discussing the case.

    Do they courts uphold the subpoena ‘s when Congress is performing an.Impeachment proceeding against a co-equal branch of government, or do the courts say such subpoenas are too intrusive and violate the separation of powers?

    How is that any different than this case?

          1. mespo – I think this has more to do when you chute fails to open or operate properly. 🙂 Kind of like jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge, most people die, however a few people live.

      1. “It’s like when Big Tobacco told us that smoking was safe.” – mespo

        The question is: Who took them at their word? Mespo?

  6. Obama undermined Ukraine by nepotism, much like Hillary milked the US State Dept with pay for play. No wonder the Dems hate Giuliani. Impeachment is a distraction from investigating Biden and Biden

    Biden’s Nepotism and Hypocrisy in Ukraine
    – James A. Lyons, Jr. Admiral, USN (ret)

    Western consultants, lawyers and investment bankers were hired by Burisma, not for their expertise on Ukraine or the gas sector—which none of them had—but to camouflage its corrupt origins and provide it with a glossier look. In other words, to launder its tattered image. As author Oliver Bullough asked in The Guardian: “Hunter Biden is an undistinguished corporate lawyer, with no previous Ukraine experience. Why would a Ukrainian tycoon hire him?”

    It would be duplicitous to deny there was a link between Biden and his son in Burisma. There cannot be any reason other than that his father was vice president as to why Hunter Biden was hired in April 2014, only two months after the success of the Euromaidan Revolution. Burisma needed to re-launch its image after its previous patron, kleptocrat Viktor Yanukovych, had fled to Russia.

    Burisma’s owner, Zlochevsky, is no saint. Most people—other than Hunter and his team—have shied away from associating with him. It would be naïve to believe that Burisma experienced spurts of growth purely by coincidence while Zlochevsky was in office.

    Founded in 2006 and registered in Cyprus—a haven for tainted Russian and Ukrainian money—Burisma is the third largest gas producer in Ukraine, controlling a quarter of private gas production. Nevertheless, it is not viewed by the Ukrainian government as a legitimate gas company. Meanwhile, Burisma’s close ties to oligarch Igor Kolomoisky place it beyond the pale for President Poroshenko, who clashed with the tycoon after he brought armed paramilitary thugs into downtown Kiev.

    The entangled web of Biden and son in Ukraine’s corruption is made more curious by the coincidence of dates when Biden visited Ukraine. During one of those visits in early 2016, a criminal investigation into stolen IMF credits to the tune of $1.8 billion was closed down by Ukraine’s prosecutor’s office.

    This $1.8 billion was only a part of the $5.5 billion reportedly laundered by Kolomoisky through PrivatBank over a ten-year period. The massive fraud uncovered by a Kroll Associates investigation was launched at the request of President Poroshenko. Not surprisingly, Kolomoisky’s 1+1 TV channel is one of the biggest critics of Poroshenko for his attacks on oligarchs.

    The corrupt origins of Burisma and mafia-like business practices of Kolomoisky point to Hunter Biden being a hypocrite

    Although Kolomoisky, who illegally has Swiss and Israeli passports in addition to his Ukrainian one, is Ukraine’s most infamous corporate raider, Swiss authorities are refusing to extradite him to Ukraine.

    The corrupt origins of Burisma and mafia-like business practices of Kolomoisky point to Hunter Biden being a hypocrite , as selling his name undercuts any credibility from Biden’s incessant complaining about Ukraine backsliding. Burisma lacks transparency—the very service that Hunter Biden claimed to bring to the company.

    The Obama administration was no strategic partner and friend of Ukraine in spite of the fact that both the U.S. and Russia had, in effect, a treaty obligation to support Ukrainian security under the 1994 Budapest Memorandum, under which Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear arsenal. Obama’s betrayal of Ukraine’s security in the face of Russian aggression was matched only by Biden’s undermining of U.S. soft power in Ukraine. With continued Russian aggression, Ukraine is a key ally in disrupting Putin’s objectives.

    U.S. policy toward Ukraine can only be successful when it is devoid of duplicity, empowered by U.S. values and supportive of the security of its allies. This is what differentiates President Trump from Obama.




    When Rudolph W. Giuliani went to Madrid in August to confer with a top aide to the Ukrainian president and press for political investigations sought by President Trump, he also met with a previously unidentified client with very different interests.

    While in Spain, Giuliani stayed at a historic estate belonging to Venezuelan energy executive Alejandro Betancourt López, who had hired Trump’s personal attorney to help him contend with an investigation by the Justice Department into alleged money laundering and bribery, according to people familiar with the situation.

    A month later, Giuliani was one of several lawyers representing Betancourt in Washington. The lawyers met with the chief of the Justice Department’s criminal division and other government attorneys to argue that the wealthy Venezuelan should not face criminal charges as part of a $1.2 billion money-laundering case filed in Florida last year, said the people, who, like others in this report, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the ongoing investigation.

    Investigators scrutinize Giuliani firm and donations to Trump super PAC as part of broad probe

    The criminal complaint alleges that top officials of the Venezuelan state-owned oil company, elite business leaders and bankers conspired to steal money from the company and then launder it through Miami real estate purchases and other investment schemes.

    Betancourt is not one of the eight men charged in the case, a group that includes his cousin. But a person familiar with the matter said that he is referred to in the criminal complaint as a uncharged co-conspirator, as previously reported by the Miami Herald.

    Giuliani’s representation of Betancourt — which has not been previously disclosed — is a striking example of how Trump’s lawyer has continued to offer his services to foreign clients with interests before the U.S. government while working on behalf of the president. And it shows how Giuliani — who says he was serving as Trump’s attorney pro bono — has used his work for paying clients to help underwrite his efforts to find political ammunition in Ukraine to benefit the president.

    In response to questions about his relationship with Betancourt, Giuliani wrote in a text, “This is attorney client privilege so I will withstand whatever malicious lies or spin you put on it.”

    Eric Creizman, an attorney for Giuliani, declined to comment.

    Jon Sale, an attorney for Betancourt, said his client denies any wrongdoing. He declined to comment on Betancourt’s relationship with Giuliani.

    A spokeswoman for the Justice Department declined to comment on the meeting. Justice Department officials were unaware of the Madrid meeting when Giuliani came to meet them, according to a senior Justice Department official, who said the topic of Ukraine did not come up in the discussion.

    Giuliani, a former New York mayor and top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, is now under scrutiny by the U.S. attorney’s office he once led, which has filed campaign finance charges against two of his associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. Investigators are examining Giuliani’s consulting business as part of a broad probe in a raft of possible crimes, including wire fraud and foreign lobbying violations, according to people familiar with the matter.

    Giuliani is also a key figure in the ongoing House impeachment inquiry into Trump, in which top government officials have testified that the president’s lawyer led a shadow effort to pressure Ukraine to announce investigations into Trump’s rivals in exchange for a White House meeting.

    Trump had urged U.S. officials hoping to broker a good relationship between him and newly elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to work with Giuliani, according to congressional testimony.

    ‘Talk to Rudy’: Testimony from diplomats highlights Giuliani’s central role in driving Ukraine policy

    On July 25, Trump asked Zelensky to pursue the investigations into Democrats. Days later, Giuliani headed to Madrid to meet with Andriy Yermak, a top aide to Zelensky, to cement the deal, according to Giuliani and congressional testimony.

    Giuliani told The Washington Post in September that Yermak had offered to come to the United States, but he suggested Spain. “I told him I was already going to be in Madrid for something else the first weekend in August, so why don’t we just meet there?” he said.

    The purpose of the Aug. 2 sit-down: to spell out two specific cases Trump wanted Ukraine to pursue, Giuliani told The Post in September.

    One was a probe of a Ukrainian gas tycoon who had former vice president Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden on his board. Another was a claim that Democrats colluded with Ukraine to release information on former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort during the 2016 election.

    Yermak, according to Giuliani, indicated that the Ukrainians were open to pursuing the investigations. The aide reiterated the Ukrainians’ plea for a meeting with Trump, a summit that would be an important signal to Russia of Washington’s support for Ukraine.

    “I talked to him about the whole package,” Giuliani said.

    After the meeting, Yermak began circulating a draft of a statement the Ukrainians were considering issuing regarding their commitment to investigating corruption, according to text messages released as part of the House inquiry.

    One of the main purposes of Giuliani’s travel to Spain was to meet with Betancourt, who has made a fortune in work for the Venezuelan government, according to people familiar with the trip.

    Betancourt, a young member of Venezuela’s elite who attended Suffolk University in Boston, co-founded a company that was awarded $1.8 billion in government contracts to build power plants under Venezuela’s former socialist president Hugo Chávez, leading to allegations the company bilked the government, the Wall Street Journal has reported.

    The company, Derwick Associates, has denied paying bribes to win its contracts and said the contracts reflected the high cost of doing business in the socialist country.

    Sale, who is Betancourt’s lawyer, is a longtime friend of Giuliani’s who attended law school with the former New York mayor. He also briefly represented Giuliani as he responded to congressional inquiries regarding Ukraine, sending a letter to House committees explaining that Giuliani would not comply with a subpoena for documents.

    Giuliani has defended his work for foreign clients, arguing that their identities and interests are “irrelevant” to his uncompensated efforts for Trump.“My other clients are paying me for the work I do for them. Nobody is paying me for a single thing I’m doing for Donald J. Trump,” he told The Post earlier this year.

    Impeachment inquiry puts new focus on Giuliani’s work for prominent figures in Ukraine

    He told the Daily Beast in October that he met Yermak in Madrid because he already planned to be in the Spanish capital for “business and vacation.”

    He said it was an example of how the costs of his travel for Trump were covered by separate work he did for private clients.

    “That particular trip has not been reimbursed but about three-fourths of it would be business and one-fourth would be personal,” he said. “The Trump part would be considered personal because I don’t get paid for representing the president.”

    He told Reuters in September that his expenses “were paid by I assume one client. Since I took two days off I think I paid some of that personally as well.”

    During the trip, Giuliani met with Yermak at a hotel in Madrid, according to people familiar with the trip.

    But he — along with Parnas and Fruman — stayed at an expansive estate belonging to Betancourt on the grounds of an ancient castle once used by Spanish royalty, the people said.

    On Aug. 3, the day after his meeting with Yermak, Giuliani tweeted images of a Spanish village, writing, “South of Madrid are beautiful small towns and lovely countryside”.

    A month later, Giuliani joined a number of lawyers representing Betancourt at a meeting at Justice Department headquarters with Brian Benczkowski, the head of the criminal division, according to people familiar with the session.

    At the time, federal prosecutors in Manhattan were pursuing the case into Giuliani’s associates, Parnas and Fruman.

    When the New York Times reported in October that Giuliani met with the criminal division chief about one of his clients, the Justice Department said Benczkowski was not aware of the New York case at the time.

    “When Mr. Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani’s associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known,” Peter Carr, a department spokesman, said at the time.

    The client who was the subject of the meeting has not been previously reported.

    Giuliani has cast his efforts to dig up damaging information about Democrats in Ukraine as both a strategy to assist his client, Trump, but also motivated by a lifelong commitment to fighting corruption.

    “I’ve been doing this for 50 years of my life. I’ve never had a complaint. I think people understand that I have a very, very great passion for corruption, and I’ve probably uncovered some of the biggest crimes and disrupted some of the biggest crime organization in our history,” he told conservative broadcaster Glenn Beck on Nov. 20.

    However, his involvement with the Betancourt case puts him at odds with a long-running effort by federal prosecutors to crack down on corruption in Venezuela.

    The United States has been aggressively pursuing bribery, embezzlement and money laundering cases against Venezuela’s elite, arguing the corruption has helped collapse the country’s economy and caused civil unrest.

    Federal prosecutors in Miami have said in court filings that billions have been looted from Venezuela’s state-owned energy company, Petróleos de Venezuela S.A, or PDVSA, which has had particularly dire economic consequences.

    Betancourt was not named in the July 2018 criminal complaint, but the case’s lead defendant, Francisco Convit Guruceaga, is his cousin and sat on the board of Betancourt’s company. Convit is considered a fugitive by the U.S. government, according to court records.

    While Giuliani’s representation of Betancourt had not been previously disclosed, Venezuela has surfaced as a topic in the House impeachment inquiry.

    In a closed-door deposition given to congressional investigators on Oct. 14, former National Security Council official Fiona Hill alluded to the possibility of a Venezuela tie to the ongoing Ukraine saga.

    “I was told that by the directors working on the Western Hemisphere. I didn’t have a chance to look into this in any way. I was told that the same individuals who had been indicted had been interested at different points in energy investments in Venezuela and that this was quite well-known,” she said, referring to Parnas and Fruman, according to a transcript later released.

    She did not detail the information she had been given, only that she had learned the two were “notorious in Florida” and involved with “strange things in Venezuela.”

    “Well, I was extremely concerned that whatever it was that Mr. Giuliani was doing might not be legal, especially after, you know, people had raised with me these two gentlemen, Parnas and Fruman,” she said.

    Edited from: “A Wealthy Venezuelan Hosted Guiliani As He Pursued Ukraine Campaign. Then Guiliani Lobbied The Justice Deprtment On His Behalf”

    Today’s Washington Post

      1. Well, Tabby, let’s go with that. Then Guiliani was tending to other business while serving as Special Envoy; which sounds highly conflicted.

        1. hello, normally we work on more than one file a day, lol. even big clients have to share.

          1. Kurtz, you”re acknowledging, of course, that Rudy was really an attorney for hire and ‘not’ an actual envoy.

            1. Damn, just because you cannot walk and chew gum at the same time, doesn’t mean every one else suffers the same affliction.

              1. Estovir – I am a fan of Catholic Art especially from the medieval and Renaissance periods. I don’t want to leave Peter out there by himself. 😉

              2. Olly, we rarely see real arguments from you. That’s become par for the course with all our Trump defenders.

    1. Regarding Above:

      I apologize if this article is too long. My main computer is at the shop for repairs. So it’s hard for me to edit off my phone.

      The above article contains extraordinary revelations. While serving as a secret envoy for Trump, Rudy Guiliani was also meeting with an unrelated client: a Venezuelan with links to the late Hugo Chavez! This make a mockery of Trump’s professed concern for corruption in The Ukraine. Accompanying Guiliani on said trip were those 2 Soviet-born money bundlers. It couldn’t get any worse!

      1. no actually lawyers can represent a lot of different sorts of clients and interests all at once. the conflict of interest rules are less restrictive than people who don’t regularly have to calculate them often believe

      2. Many consider their main computer to be their brain and the secondary computer to be the machine. …So your main computer is in the shop? It’s about time you got it fixed.

    2. Comrade Shill, a simple link would do nicely. I doubt both of your followers here read even the title.



    I actually like Hunter Biden,” Carlson continued, “but that’s totally corrupt and you know it. Why is it worse to ask about it than do it?”

    Goldstein said: “Because people are dying on the frontlines.”

    Laughing, Carlson said: “Why do I care, why do I care what is going on in the conflict between Ukraine and Russia? And I’m serious. Why do I care? Why shouldn’t I root for Russia, which I am.”

    Because, Goldstein said, “preserving democracy is important”.

    “I don’t care!” Carlson said.

    By the end of his show it seemed he did, as he said: “Before we go, earlier … I noted, I was rooting for Russia in the contest between Russia and Ukraine. Of course I’m joking, I’m only rooting for America.”

    The “I was only joking” defence has been used extensively by Trump or by Republicans defending his more outrageous claims: about asking Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, for example, and about asking China to investigate the Bidens.

    Claiming to have been mocking the obsession with Russia of “many on the left”, Carlson concluded: “Ha!”

    Edited from: “Tucker Carlson Is Rooting Ukraine In Conflict With Russia”

    Today’s “The Guardian”

    1. Another time, another place, and Peter might just learn the meaning of the word ‘flippant’.

      1. You mean similar to Schiff’s take on tRump’s phone call that all of you had your panties in a bunch over a few weeks ago. Maybe you should stay on a RW screed blog so your hypocrisy won’t be so notable, take your friends, I chuckled, with you.

    2. I have no problem saying i am more concerned about Russia which has nukes pointed at us and can kill us all in one hour flat, than Ukraine, which cant’

      but I’m crazy that way, very selfish, i know. not real ballsy like these spies and spooks from CIA and State

      i might add that if Russia was sending a bunch of people into a post-coup Mexico I sure in hell hope the US would invade and establish a secure border zone south of the rio grande

      here, how about some of you geniuses read a map. the big country to the east of Ukraine is called Russia.

      let me ask a really obvious question: maybe trump should NOT have provided lethal aid to Ukraine, a country which is contiguous to Russia? Maybe that is what we should be talking about not him supposedly being too “weak” on Russia but actually maybe he needs to be MORE diplomatic.

      but we know Congress and their collaborators in CIA and State Dept wouldn’t like that! even if it made the world safer for Americans like you and me.

    1. oh yeah. Deep State unmasked. certain “think tanks” are very much a part of it.

  9. “Court: McGahn Must Appear To Testify Before Congress”

    – Professor Turley

    Or not…!

    And Professor Turley is still suing Obama for the John Boehner Republicans…or not!

    “UPDATE 2-Trump administration seeks to put judge’s order for McGahn testimony on hold”

    WASHINGTON, Nov 26 (Reuters) – U.S. Justice Department lawyers asked a judge on Tuesday to put on hold a ruling requiring former White House Counsel Don McGahn to testify to U.S. lawmakers as part of the Democratic-led impeachment probe against President Donald Trump.

    The Trump administration’s court filing asked U.S. District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to put her Monday ruling on hold while the Trump administration appeals it to a higher court.

    – Reuters

    1. Speaking of the judicial branch as the “co-equal” second legislative branch and irrational governance:


      • The Governor of California is jogging with his dog along a nature trail A coyote jumps out and attacks the Governor’s dog, then bites the Governor.
      • The Governor starts to intervene, but reflects upon the movie “Bambi” and then realizes he should stop because the coyote is only doing what is natural.
      • He calls animal control. Animal Control captures the coyote and bills the state $200 testing it for diseases and $500 for relocating it.
      • He calls a veterinarian. The vet collects the dead dog and bills the State $200 testing it for diseases.
      • The Governor goes to hospital and spends $3,500 getting checked for diseases from the coyote and on getting his bite wound bandaged.
      • The running trail gets shut down for 6 months while Fish & Game conducts a $100,000 survey to make sure the area is now free of dangerous animals.
      • The Governor spends $50,000 in state funds implementing a “coyote awareness program” for residents of the area.
      • The State Legislature spends $2 million to study how to better treat rabies and how to permanently eradicate the disease throughout the world.
      • The Governor’s security agent is fired for not stopping the attack. The state spends $150,000 to hire and train a new agent with additional special training for the nature of coyotes.
      • PETA protests the coyote’s relocation and files a $5 million suit against the state.

      • The Governor of Texas is jogging with his dog along a nature trail. A coyote jumps out and attacks his dog.
      • The Governor shoots the coyote with his state-issued pistol and keeps jogging. The Governor has spent $.50 on a .45 ACP hollow point cartridge.
      • The buzzards eat the dead coyote.

      And that, my friends, is why California is broke and Texas is not.

      – Anonymous Internet Source

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