Category: Congress

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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Schiff Raises Bribery As A Possible Impeachable Offense

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., has caused a stir in suddenly injecting the possible use of bribery as a basis for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Converting the Ukrainian controversy into a bribery theory is both constitutionally and historically unsound. It would undermine the credibility of the impeachment effort by struggling to reshape the facts into a more compelling criminal image. Impeachment cannot be an exercise in creative reconstruction. It is not license for imaginative or untested theories of criminality. The House needs to establish a clear and credible theory of impeachable conduct based on well-established definitions. Ironically, I testified on this issue in the Clinton impeachment hearings but last had this argument (over broadening such definitions for purposes of impeachment) with my opposing counsel in the last impeachment trial: Adam Schiff.

Note: I will be doing commentary today with CBS and BBC on the impeachment hearings.

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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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Painter: Trump Cannot Do Fundraisers For Senators Without Committing “Felony Bribery”

I have previously disagreed with the overextended and unsupported claims of critics on allegedly clear criminal violations by President Donald Trump, including past statements by Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer for George W. Bush and is a professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. I am no fan of President Trump and have repeatedly criticized him for his language and actions in office. However, legal analysis continues to erode as analysts assure viewers that well-established crimes have been committed. The latest such example by Painter is that Trump continues to fundraise for Senators, a common practice of all presidents in election years. Painter insists that any such fundraising can constitute “felony bribery” since these senators will likely sit in judgment in any impeachment trial.

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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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Are The Democrats Preparing Bolton For A Comey-Like Makeover?

The Ukraine scandal racketed up further with the testimony of Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor who testified that President Donald Trump held up military aid until the Ukrainians agreed to investigate election interference and Hunter Biden’s business dealings. While Taylor was the headliner this week, another figure appears to be emerging as the matinee star: John Bolton. When the Ukraine story broke, I stated that the likely key for Congress would be Bolton who had only recently been fired. Taylor reaffirmed earlier reports that Bolton spotted the serious danger of the Ukraine call and worked to prevent it as a “disaster” in the making.

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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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Report: Trump Tax Documents Show “Major Inconsistencies”

President Donald Trump has steadfastly refused to release his tax documents and is continuing litigation in both D.C. and New York despite rulings against him to bar the disclosures of prosecutors or congressional committees. Now, ProPublica has reported that it was able to review tax and loan documents for New York properties that show disturbing major discrepancies in reported expenses and profits.

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Pelosi Again Refuses To Hold Impeachment Vote

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Cal.), has again refused to hold a House floor vote to formally start an impeachment investigation. I have previously said that the allegation of self-dealing in the Ukrainian call could be an impeachable offense if a quid pro quo is established. However, Pelosi has undermined the position of the House by refusing to allow a vote that preceded the investigations in the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. As I stated in a recent column, this is a mistake if House Democrats are serious about pursuing an impeachment. Recently, in the case concerning Trump tax records, one of the three judges dissented on the basis that there has been no vote to establish the start of an impeachment investigation. Pelosi seems to believe that she can hold a press conference and expect courts to accept that a formal impeachment process has begun. Some judges are likely to be uncomfortable with such an immaculate impeachment.

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