Today, I defended the New York Times for an opinion piece that is the basis for a defamation lawsuit by the Trump campaign. Raising such free speech protections can be challenging when you disagree with the author (as I did). It is particularly difficult when you are also the subject of a false representation in a column, as I was this week. Unlike the New York Times column, a representation of Jennifer Rubin in the Washington Post was demonstrably false as a factual matter.
Rubin states that Democratic counsel Norm Eisen was able to extract concessions during the impeachment hearing despite the fact that he only asked me one question about a line that I had just published in the Wall Street Journal. Thus, my “concessions” appear to be repeating a line that I had just made in one of my own columns in anticipation of the impeachment hearings. I had been making this point repeatedly. Where is the concession? It was a point that I included in my written and oral testimony and was instructed to only answer “yes or no.” That was the only question asked of me at the hearing by Eisen. Indeed, I believe that that was the only question asked of me by the Democrats in the entire hearing.
I have asked for a correction from both Rubin and the Post and will update this column with any developments. However, given that this column has been running for days, I wanted to set the record straight.
The Boston City Council is considering a new system for parking tickets that would set the amount paid by violators that depended on their income. The proposal newly elected city councilor at-large Julia Mejia would implement the system of income-adjusted fines — a system that could trigger some novel legal and political questions.
After weeks of confusion, Joe Biden’s campaign have finally admitted that he was not arrested while visiting Nelson Mandela. Biden has made some false claims in the past but this was particularly bizarre. No one had any record of such a historic arrest in South Africa. While Biden did not take responsibility personally for the exaggeration, his deputy campaign manager admitted today that Biden was not arrested but merely “separated from his party at the airport.” That is a bit of a nose bleed of a step down from an arrest with Mandela to an airport separation. Hard to imagine how you confuse the two since one ordinarily involves custody, cuffs, and confinement.
This week, many were surprised by the disclosure made by the lawyers for Wikileaks founder Julian Assange in London in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court. Edward Fitzgerald made a witness statement application for co-counsel Jennifer Robinson who shared information concerning ex-California representative Dana Rohrabacher. She claimed that he made Assange a startling offer: if he cleared the Russians as the source of the hacked emails at the Democratic National Committee, Rohrabacher could get a presidential pardon from President Donald Trump. Now Rohrabacher himself says that it is true and that he spoke of the plan with Trump White House Chief of Staff, though he did not speak of the plan with Trump himself. The timing is particularly unfortunate for the White House with a report that U.S. intelligence believes that Russia is again seeking to intervene in the election and appears to be intervening in favor of Trump. Update: A new story suggests that the Russians could also be helping Bernie Sanders.
Donald Murray is not quite as good as his advertising. The Indiana man with a “Crime Pays” tattoo across his forehead has been arrested again after a police chase. He is now facing a windfall of charges for resisting law enforcement, reckless driving, possession of methamphetamine, maintaining a common nuisance and auto theft.
Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz pulled a Giuliani on television this weekend by claiming bombshell evidence in his possession but refusing to disclose it. On Fox News, Dershowitz claimed that he has conclusive proof that Barack Obama “personally asked” the FBI to investigation someone “on behalf of George Soros,” the wealthy liberal donor. However, Dershowitz mysteriously referenced future “litigation” where all of this would be disclosed.
There is a controversial criminal case out of Danville, Illinois this month where Reggie Haywood, 30, has been charged with first-degree murder stemming from a house invasion. The charge is not strange but the underlying facts are. The person “murdered” was the alleged accomplice of Haywood and he was shot not be Haywood but the homeowner.
It’s taken over fifty years, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the punishment/reward scales have tipped and I am losing my appetite for dining in restaurants. Mostly this is due to what the industry has needed to stay competitive, so I am not here to bash business owners for trying to make a living, it is simply that it is no longer in the interest of my health, budget, and growing intolerance of settling for less.
I wish the industry could do better, but I do not see this ending well.
We recently discussed how stories of violence on conservatives and Trump supporters often receive limited attention. The common narrative is that President Donald Trump is the source of violent speech and violent acts in society. The inverse does not fit that narrative. The latest such example is found in New Hampshire where Patrick Bradley, 34, is accused of assaulting a 15-year-old Trump supporter and two adults at a polling site. This follows another college attack on conservatives at the University of California at Santa Cruz.
There is an interesting new controversy developing around the trial of Roger Stone. This one does not focus on the sentencing of Stone but his trial. New information has emerged that the foreperson of the trial has a long history of highly critical postings against President Donald Trump and his administration. Former Memphis City Schools Board President Tomeka Hart recently went public with her support of the prosecutors who resigned from the case. However, there are now questions of why Hart was allowed on the jury, let alone made the foreperson given her highly critical view of Trump and his associates before being called for jury service. Not only has Hart called Trump supporters like Stone racists but she celebrated a protest that projected profanities on the Trump hotel with the words “Gotta Love It.”
I recently wrote a Washington Post column explaining that, while I viewed the moves by President Donald Trump against impeachment witnesses was wrong, it was not criminal as claimed by legal analysts like CNN’s Elie Honig. Yesterday, Honig responded by arguing in a column that he and “other former prosecutors” are quite confident that the action clearly constituted the crime of witness retaliation. While Honig does not actually explain how the President’s conduct specifically violated the stated elements in the federal code, even a cursory consideration of the elements of the crime belie his assertion. Trump’s actions with regard to Vineland and Sondland would not constitute criminal witness retaliation.