Category: Columns

Now For Your Moment Of Zen From The Trump Impeachment Hearings

Below is my column in The Hill on the unfolding impeachment hearings. As I have stated, the hearings have proved damaging for President Donald Trump — damage that was bizarrely magnified by Trump himself with an attack on Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. The move only pushed many Republicans on the Committee to avoid aggressive questioning of the diplomat. The tweet was unfair and remarkably self-defeating. As with the attacks by Trump on Taylor and Kent as “never Trumpers,” the tweet was wildly off base. While I have raised concerns over these allegations as a basis for impeachment, these diplomats strike me as people who have served our country with distinction and dedication. They are indeed the type of professionals that we need in our foreign posts.

That does not change the difficult questions that lie ahead. Perhaps this week’s testimony will materially change the zen-like questions discussed in this column.

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As Impeachment Draws Near, An “Agent Provocateur” May Have To Wait For An Urgent Pardon

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Below is my column in USA Today on the conviction of Roger Stone and his final battle for a presidential pardon to avoid a potentially terminal prison sentence.

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Are The Democrats Building A Collapsible Impeachment?

As the impeachment of Donald Trump unfolds, it is inevitable that comparisons are drawn to the Johnson, Nixon, and Clinton impeachments. This column in The Hill discusses the most notable distinction: the narrowness of case for impeachment. While Trump has long been portrayed as a type of perpetual criminal motion machine and many have claimed that an array of crimes are proven from the Russian investigation, none of the crimes discussed over the last three years will apparently be included in this impeachment. The question is why. Democratic members insisted after the Mueller hearings that the impeachable acts were now laid bear on the record. If such violations are so obvious and proven, it is unclear why the Democrats are insisting on proceeding on such a narrow basis — a decision that greatly reduces the chances of success in the Senate.

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Is Pelosi Saving Trump By Shaping Impeachment To Fail In The Senate?

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the curious profile of the emerging impeachment against President Donald Trump. Notably, while Democratic members have been saying for three years that there are established crimes and impeachable offenses found by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, reports indicate that none of those allegations will be the basis for impeachment. Instead, Democratic members are saying that they want to limit impeachment to the Ukrainian controversy. Not only that, but they want to hold just a couple weeks of public hearings and vote an impeachment vote. If so, this would be the most narrow and least developed impeachment of a president in our history.

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No, The U.S. Does Not Need European-Style Hate Speech Laws

Below is my column in USA Today on the latest calls for limiting free speech and imposing censorship on political speech. Last week, we discussed the refusal of students to allow former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to speak at Northwestern University and a New Yorker writer calling for the curtailment of free speech. These attacks are coming largely from the left where speech criminalization and censorship has become an article of faith for activists and some Democratic members.

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If Trump is Guilty Of Bribery, The Democrats Are Guilty Of Solicitation

Below is my column on the latest alleged crime by President Donald Trump: “Felony bribery.” The allegation shows not only a fundamental misunderstanding of legal standards but a fundamental failure in legal analysis.

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Democrats Doth Protest Too Much Against The Durham Investigation

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on growing and preemptive criticism of the Durham investigation by Democrats. Given the acknowledgment that United States Attorney John Durham is a widely respected and apolitical prosecutor, the rising criticism of his investigation seems suspiciously premature. For those of us who support full and transparent investigations of both sides of the 2016 election controversy, the campaign against Durham is reminiscent of the attacks on Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

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From Blacklisting To Red Baiting, McCarthyism Is Back In Vogue

Below is a slightly expanded version of my column in the Washington Post on increasingly McCarthyite conduct evident in this election. I am particularly interested in the new trend toward boycotting other states that do not share your “values” in a given area.

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The New Censors: The Call For Banning Political Lies Threatens Free Speech

Below is my column on the call by Democratic members for censorship of political ads by Facebook. The overwhelming support for the call by members like Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez shows the erosion in our values of free speech. Democrats and the media were once the defenders of free speech and critics of censorship. They are now demanding that corporations police political ads and remove ads viewed as false or misleading. It is a standard that many of these members would quickly denounce if applied to some of their own past comments.

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“Sorry About That”: How The Lynching Controversy Offers A Preview For An Impeachment Trial

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the recent controversy over President Donald Trump’s use of “lynching” and what it portends for any Senate impeachment trial.

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Clinton Fuels New ‘Red Scare’ With Political Attacks Against Gabbard

Below is my column the Hill newspaper on the recent accusation of Hillary Clinton that presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard is a “Russian asset.” What is most astonishing is the silence of virtually all of the other presidential candidates. Only Yang and Williamson came out quickly to support Gabbard. For presidential candidates denouncing Donald Trump for his personal attacks and reckless hyperbole, it is the height of hypocrisy to remain silent unless they believe that Gabbard is indeed a Russian asset. If so, they should have the courage to say so, particularly front runner Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren.

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“Say It Nicer”: Why Many Questions Remain After The Hunter Biden Interview

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Below is my column on the ABC interview with Hunter Biden. The interview preceded his father’s debate that day, but former Vice President Joe Biden awkwardly declined to address the issue. As I discussed in another column, there remains a media mantra that there is “no evidence of wrongdoing by Joe or Hunter Biden.” That dismisses the long objections by many of us that these lucrative jobs and contracts for spouses and children are part of an unethical and corrupt practice. Most of us view what Hunter did as clearly “wrong” but the media has adopted a narrow focus on whether criminal charges have been brought as opposed to whether the Ukraine deal was a raw and obvious form of influence peddling.

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He Who Must Not Be Named: How Hunter Biden Became A Conversation Stopper

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the media treatment of the Hunter Biden controversy in Ukraine. I continue to marvel at the non sequitur in the mantra that there is “no evidence of wrongdoing” in the contract. What does that mean? Is the sole measure whether the Ukrainians (or even the U.S.) would prosecute a contract as a crime? Wrongdoing would seem to cover any form of corruption or influence peddling — whether or not it constitutes a crime. The fact is that the payment of sweetheart deals to the spouses and siblings is common in both the Ukraine and the United States. Does that make it right? The suggestion is that there is nothing wrong with this contract. Wrongdoing would seemingly include ethical violations and not just what Ukraine would prosecute as a crime (a curious standard for one of the most corrupt countries on Earth). Indeed, many of us have criticized Trump for sometimes suggesting that the criminal code as the measure of presidential conduct. With Biden, Democrats seem to be doing the same thing in dismissing any objections since “it is all perfectly legal.” If that is the case, then most of the criticism of Trump’s conduct can be dismissed as devoid of “evidence of wrongdoing.”

The fact is that there is a great deal wrong with this contract and no one has actually put forward evidence to suggest that the Ukrainians seriously selected Hunter Biden for his energy or business experience. What is left is a raw effort to curry favor with his father with an unjustified and lucrative contract.

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Will June Medical Deliver A Fatal Dose Of Reality For Precedent?

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the late addition of the Louisiana abortion case to an already impactful Supreme Court docket. The most interesting aspect of June Medical however may be what it will ultimately say about the doctrine of Stare Decisis and the respect for precedent.

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Casual or Cowardly? Pelosi Takes Dangerous Road To Impeachment

Below is my column on the curious footing of the impeachment “inquiry” against President Donald Trump. The failure to hold a vote of the full house has left many of us wondering what Speaker Nancy Pelosi was actually announcing in her press conference. The Judiciary Committee had been calling their proceedings an “impeachment inquiry” for weeks but Pelosi held a press conference with great fanfare to announce the commencement of an inquiry. Now Pelosi has finally responded to criticism and said that she may still hold a floor vote — again fueling questions of what the press conference was about to being with.

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