Category: Academics

Former Drexel Professor Arrested For Spending Nearly $200,000 On Strippers and Other Personal Expenses

download-2We previously discussed the allegations against former Drexel University professor Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, 57, for using $185,000 on adult entertainment and other personal expenses. He has now been charged criminally with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception.  The charging documents however revealed one curious element. Many of the charges were processed during a window between midnight and 2 a.m.

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Modus Operandi or Old News? Comey Under Investigation In New Leak Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey is back in the news this week after The New York Times  reported late Thursday that he is again under investigation for leaking information to the media. The Justice Department Inspector General previously found that Comey was a leaker and violated FBI policy in his handling of FBI memos, including material  containing the “code name and true identity” of a sensitive source. Now, he is again accused of leaking information. There is an element of a modus operandi in the story since the same academic Comey used in the earlier leaks is also named in this leak, Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman.

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Harvard Professor Lessig Sues New York Times For Defamation

This week seems to be a litigious one for Harvard professors. In addition to the complaint by Dershowitz at Yale, Harvard law professor and liberal political activist Lawrence Lessig is actually suing The New York Times for defamation. While there may be more offered in litigation, the lawsuit on its face seems dubious in establishing that the New York Times ran “false and defamatory” information for him as “clickbait” for readers.

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Dershowitz Complains To Yale Over Professor’s Criticism Of His Claims Of A “Perfect Sex Life”

I have repeatedly objected to the dubious diagnosis offered freely by Yale psychiatrist Dr. Bandy Lee of President Trump, including recent statements that seemed to combine her political and professional views of the subject. As I discussed in a prior column on the demise of the Goldwater rule, these efforts to diagnose Trump from a distance raise highly disturbing ethical issues. Now Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz has reportedly complained to Yale University after Lee suggested that he, and Trump supporters, display a “shared psychosis” with the president. Dershowitz triggered commentary when, in defense of allegations that he had sex with underaged girls during his association with child molester Jeffrey Epstein, he insisted that he had a “perfect sex life.” (Dershowitz is being sued by a woman who said she was forced by Epstein to have sex with him. It is one of a number of lawsuits currently pending against Dershowitz who has always maintained his innocence). As shown in dozens of prior columns, I oppose efforts to get academics punished or fired at their institutions out of concern for free speech and academic freedom. However, I agree with Dershowitz that Lee’s weaponizing psychiatric evaluations in this political debate is inimical to her school and her profession.

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Nerdgasm: Visiting The Woodrow Wilson Library Room

The Library of Congress has always been my favorite building in Washington (though the Capitol building is a very close second). After decades of working on the Hill, I still find amazing historic rooms tucked away in these buildings. This week, I spoke on impeachment at the Library of Congress next to the Woodrow Wilson library. I had to take a couple pictures to share. It is an amazing room with a breathtaking view of the Capitol dome.

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History and Its Revision: The Use and Misuse Of The Nixon Precedent

Professor Ken Hughes of University of Virginia recently penned a column to denounce the utter partisanship and lack of integrity in Washington as demonstrated by the failure of a single Republican to support the impeachment of President Donald Trump. He did not, of course, view the virtually unanimous vote by Democrats as partisan. Just the Republicans. The reason appears to be the view that the Democrats are right and therefore the Republicans are utter partisan hacks. To make his case, Professor Hughes makes equally selective observations about the history of impeachment, including singling out a line from my testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

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Antifa Critic Barred From Speaking By University of British Columbia

I have previously written about my criticism to Antifa and its anti-free speech agenda, including academics legitimizing efforts to violently curtail free speech on our campuses. It is tragically ironic therefore that the University of British Columbia has cancelled an event by a critic of Antifa, a decision that carries out precisely the goals of this vehemently anti-free speech organization. Portland journalist Andy Ngo was scheduled to speak on campus when the school, reportedly without notice, canceled the event due to an unspecified “concern about the safety and security of our campus community.”

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Yale Psychiatrist Calls On Pelosi To Put “A Mental Health Hold” On Trump

I have previously criticized psychiatrists who have regularly appeared on the air to identify a variety of mental illness that they have observed in President Donald Trump from afar. As I discussed in a prior column on the demise of the Goldwater rule, this is diagnosis without examination and often seems mixed with strong political judgments about Trump’s political positions. Bandy X. Lee, a professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, has been one of the most outspoken and last week urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to demand some ill-defined “hold” on the president pending psychiatric examination. Her position latest position is utterly bizarre but has been treated as a serious discussion point by some media like Salon magazine.

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Is Fake News Hard Wired? Study Finds People Misremember Facts To Fit Their Beliefs

I recently criticized NBC Meet The Press host Chuck Todd for suggesting that Trump supporters are fantasy-prone dimwits who just want to be lied to. A new study may indicate why people across the political spectrum tend to ignore opposing views and rest comfortably with echo-journalism. Researchers at Ohio State University found that people tend to misremember numbers to match their own beliefs. They think that they are basing their views on hard data when they are actually subconsciously tailoring that data to fit their biases.

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Pelosi’s Half Right Constitutional Claim Leaves The House All Wrong

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the position of Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe that the blocking the submission of the impeachment to the Senate by Speaker Nancy Pelosi is both constitutional and commendable. He is half right but the House is entirely wrong in its gaming of the system in this fashion.

Here is the column:

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The Eleventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Testify For Republicans

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the perils of professors who agree to testify as Republican witnesses, particularly in an impeachment. It is not the continuing threats against me and my family. That happened when I testified in the Clinton impeachment. No, it is the response of fellow academics and the degree of flagrantly false stories in the media. As a lawyer, I have worked with accused murderers, polygamists, spies, terrorists, and others. However, nothing produces the unhinged rage as appearing as a Republican witness.

Here is the column:

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No, I Never Said Sotomayor Wasn’t Smart Enough For The Supreme Court

When I agreed to testify in the Trump impeachment hearing, I knew that that I would be attacked for my testimony. With roughly 54 pages of testimony, there would be ample areas of good-faith disagreement. The surprising thing was the tsunami of attacks for things that I did not say. The most vile was that I previously said that Justice Sonia Sotomayor “wasn’t smart enough for the Supreme Court.” That false story appears to be traced to a tweet from from another law professor, Baltimore Law Professor Garrett Epps stating “Does anybody else remember @JonathanTurley appearing on MSNBC to explain that Sonia Sotomayor didn’t have the intellect to serve on the Supreme Court?” I certainly don’t because I never said such a thing. However, Epps and an array of reporters did not feel that such a statement required a modicum of actual research. (I am giving Professor Epps the benefit of the doubt that he did not actually watch the video that he linked. If he did, he clearly chose to ignore where I clearly state a very different point about Sotomayor’s opinions while saying that she could still emerge on the Court as a great justice like Justice John Paul Stevens).

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“There’s No Impeachment”: Trump Repeats Feldman’s Flawed Interpretation Of The Constitution

I recently criticized the position of my fellow witness from the Trump impeachment hearing, Professor Noah Feldman, that Trump is not technically impeached until the articles of impeachment are referred to the Senate. I have known Noah for years and respect him but this theory is utterly without foundation in the text or history or logic of the Constitution. The theory is a chimerical conflation of the impeachment and removal provisions. President Donald Trump however has seemingly embraced the theory that he is not actually impeached. Even as mockery, Feldman’s theory should not be further referenced in my view as credible. The President’s status is clear. He stands impeached, but untried.

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Pakistani Professor Sentenced To Death For Blasphemy

Flag of Pakistan

We have yet another example of the perils facing academics in some Muslim countries with a death sentence handed down by a Pakistani court against Professor Junaid Hafeez, 33, because he allegedly posted derogatory remarks against Mohammed on social media. Many of our closest allies routinely flog or kill those who simply question religious dogma.

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Trump Stands Impeached: A Response To Noah Feldman

In the House Judiciary Committee, I had some fundamental disagreements with my friend Professor Noah Feldman on issues ranging from the basis for impeachment on the basis of specific crimes (bribery, extortion, campaign finance violations, and obstruction of justice) as well as his claim that the legal definition of these crimes are immaterial to their use in impeachment. Ultimately, the Judiciary Committee dropped those four theories and went forward with the two articles that I testified would be legitimate, if proven: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Now, however, we have another disagreement. Feldman has written in Bloomberg News that Trump is not actually impeached until the articles of impeachment are transferred to the Senate. I disagree and believe that Feldman is conflating provisions concerning removal with those for impeachment. Frankly, I am mystified by the claim since I see no credible basis for maintaining this view under either the text or the history of the Constitution.

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