Category: Congress

Reality Check: Why Trump Is Neither Vindicated Or Vanquished By The Recent Filings

Below is my column in The Hill Newspaper on the unrestrained hype on both sides after the recent filings by the Special Counsel and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. 

Here is the column:

Continue reading “Reality Check: Why Trump Is Neither Vindicated Or Vanquished By The Recent Filings”

Turley To Give Keynote On Privacy and Security At IBIA Conference

This morning, I will have the privilege of giving a keynote address before the National Press Club at a symposium organized by The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) on privacy and security issues surrounding the rising use of facial identification technology.

Continue reading “Turley To Give Keynote On Privacy and Security At IBIA Conference”

President Trump To Nominate Bill Barr For Attorney General

440px-William_Barr,_official_photo_as_Attorney_GeneralPresident Donald Trump is reportedly considering the appointment of Bill Barr to be the 77th Attorney General of the United States.   If true, it would be Barr’s second stint as Attorney General after his service 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush — only the second time in history for such a successive appointment.  I have known Bill Barr for years and represented him during the Clinton impeachment (with other former Attorneys General).  He is one of the most brilliant lawyers I have known and would be a brilliant selection by President Trump for the position.  To put it simply, he is the perfect choice for this position at this time.  He is a rock solid leader who would bring stability and authority to the Justice Department.

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What Does Mueller Have On Trump?

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the recent insights into the efforts of Special Counsel Robert Mueller to bag President Donald Trump.  There is little ambiguity in these efforts: while Trump is being called a “subject” of the investigation, he is being treated as a “target.”  That danger became more apparent with the later allegations of Michael Cohen that he not only lied to support Trump’s account but that the worked with Trump’s counsel in preparing his false testimony.  He claims to have had “regular contact” with Trump counsel during that period.  That would pose some serious questions for counsel if Cohen was clear that he was giving false testimony.  However, he does not say that.  It still remains unclear how much Cohen is suggesting that the President or his counsel knew about the specifics on the “Moscow Project” or his own falsification of dates and information.

What is clear is that Mueller is still on the hunt for Trump and all eyes should be on Corsi, Stone, and possibly Donald Trump Jr. for the next move. Continue reading “What Does Mueller Have On Trump?”

Federal Judge Strikes Down Law Criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation

There is an important federalism ruling out of Michigan that will likely rekindle the debate over the continuing inherent powers of the states vis-a-vis the federal government.  Despite the massive expansion of the federal criminal code, most crimes were viewed as state not federal matters in the early days of the Republic.  Now, a federal judge in Michigan has ruled that Congress went beyond its constitutional domain in 1996 in criminalizing female genital mutilation.  The issue is not whether FGM should be criminalized but whether this is a state or a federal matter under the Constitution.  Over half of states (27) have criminalized FGM.  Senior United States District Judge Bernard A. Friedman threw out six of the federal charges against Jumana Nagarwala, who was accused of performing FGM on girls around the age of seven.   Continue reading “Federal Judge Strikes Down Law Criminalizing Female Genital Mutilation”

Turley To Speak On Thursday At National Press Club On Presidential Removal Under The 25th Amendment

pj_site_2I have the pleasure of speaking at the National Press Club on Thursday about the use of the 25th Amendment to remove an American President.  In light of my debate on Monday in Dallas on the standard of impeachment with CNN’s Jeff Toobin, there certainly does seem a theme, or at least a focus, in these events after the midterm elections.  Organized as a a National Press Club Headliners event featured an impressive array of panelists.  The event is entitled “Presidential Jeopardy: Impeachment, Indictment and the 25th Amendment” and will be held on Thursday, November 15, 2018, 10:00-11:00 a.m. at the Bloomberg Room of The National Press Club, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th Floor Continue reading “Turley To Speak On Thursday At National Press Club On Presidential Removal Under The 25th Amendment”

The Prestige: How Trump Could Pull Off The Ultimate Trick in Shutting Down The Mueller Investigation

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on a novel way that President Donald Trump could use the Whitaker appointment to achieve what he has long sought: freezing or even ending the Mueller investigation.  As strange as it may seem, it could actually work if played correctly by the White House.  The White House could theoretically get a court to enjoin the Mueller investigation and keep Mueller frozen in amber until Trump’s final year when impeachment would practically impossible.

Here is the column: Continue reading “The Prestige: How Trump Could Pull Off The Ultimate Trick in Shutting Down The Mueller Investigation”

Stooge or Savior? Whitaker’s Actions Will Define Him And His Office

Matthew_G._Whitaker_official_photoBelow is my column in The Hill newspaper on the selection of Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General. While I believe that Whitaker meets the criteria under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, I have great reservations about that Act’s constitutionality in allowing unconfirmed individuals to serve in this position, as discussed in my prior column.  However, I do not believe that prior commentary as an attorney requires recusal under Justice Department rules.  Whitaker is about to establish a legacy as either a political stooge or principled lawyer.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Stooge or Savior? Whitaker’s Actions Will Define Him And His Office”

Is The Whitaker Appointment (and the Federal Vacancies Reform Act) Constitutional?

Yesterday, I addressed arguments that the appointment of Matt Whitaker as Acting Attorney General violates federal law.  The arguments based on the Federal Vacancies Reform Act, in my view, are unpersuasive. As I noted, however, there remains a different and more fundamental question of whether the Act itself is unconstitutional by allowing an official without Senate confirmation to assume, even temporarily, the office of a “principal officer.”  If standing can be found to challenge the Act on that basis, the constitutional  arguments are compelling.  The constitutional question could be difficult to litigate if a nomination is made in January.  However, these constitutional concerns again raise the logic of firing Jeff Sessions immediately after the election as opposed to having him serve until the confirmation of his successor. Nevertheless, this is an issue that is somewhat untested in the courts and challengers would need to establish standing as well as raise a “ripe” issue to argue that Whitaker is lawful under the Act but the Act is unconstitutional under Article II.

Continue reading “Is The Whitaker Appointment (and the Federal Vacancies Reform Act) Constitutional?”

Yes, Matt Whitaker Qualifies As Acting Attorney General Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act

Today I have two columns in USA Today and The Hill on the sacking of Jeff Sessions and appointment of Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker as Acting Attorney General.  The Hill column challenges arguments that Whitaker must recuse himself.  However, this morning some members and commentators have declared that Whitaker cannot serve as an Acting Attorney General under federal law.  I have to disagree.  While not getting into the merits of the selection, it seems clear to me that, under 5 U.S.C. 3345, that Whitaker does indeed qualify.  (This of course does not address the long-standing debate over the constitutionality of such laws.  A challenge can be made under the Appointment Clause of the Constitution, mandating that a “principal officer” in the federal government may not be appointed without Senate confirmation).

Continue reading “Yes, Matt Whitaker Qualifies As Acting Attorney General Under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act”

California Professor Charged $48,329 for Allergy Tests By Stanford Health Care

downloadWe have been previously discussing our ridiculous medical insurance system where citizens are hit with obscene charges — often by design to ensnare those unwilling or unable to challenge the charges.  It can range from an $18,000 charge for a napping child to $15,000 for tiny screws to $89,329 for a $750 serum. The system exists because Congress allows it to exist in conformity with an army of lobbyists for the pharmaceutical and medical industries.  The latest example was laid out by National Public Radio (NPR). Professor Janet Winston, 56, who teaches Humboldt State University, was charged $48, 329 for allergy testing at Stanford Health Care. Continue reading “California Professor Charged $48,329 for Allergy Tests By Stanford Health Care”

Bar Complaint Filed Against Counsel For Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Judicial Watch has filed a bar complaint against counsel for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. The complaint follows the issue raised earlier on this blog on the statement made by Ford that she was never told that the Committee had offered to fly to California. Attorneys Debra Katz, Lisa Banks, and Michael Bromwich deny the allegation and say that Ford was fully informed.  These are very accomplished lawyers and I am inclined to believe them. That however raises serious questions about Ford’s sworn testimony and the attorneys offer a rather tortured explanation of the conflict. Continue reading “Bar Complaint Filed Against Counsel For Dr. Christine Blasey Ford”

Turley and Toobin To Debate Impeachment In Dallas After Midterm Election

images-1The National Constitution Center and the Old Parkland Debate Series has announced that a debate will be held on November 12th between George Washington Professor Jonathan Turley and CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on impeachment.  The debate will occur a week after the 2018 midterm elections and many have called for the impeachment of both President Donald Trump and Judge Brett Kavanaugh following a Democratic takeover of the United States House of Representatives.  The debate question is: Resolved, the framers designed impeachment as a political, rather than a legal process.  Toobin will argue that the Framers intended impeachment to be a political judgment while Turley will argue that the Framers intended more of a legal judgment. Turley was the last lead counsel in an impeachment trial in the Senate and Toobin previously worked for Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh.

Continue reading “Turley and Toobin To Debate Impeachment In Dallas After Midterm Election”

Iowa Rally Chants “Lock Her Up” After Trump Taunts Diane Feinstein

225px-dianne_feinstein_official_senate_photoI have been critical of President Donald Trump’s rhetoric on social media and the campaign trail.  The attacks are often personal and, in my view, often unsettling.  That was the case yesterday at an Iowa rally where the crowd chanted “Lock her up, lock her up” after Trump taunted ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) over the leaking of a letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.  It is a chilling development in a mass rally to have supporters calling for the jailing of Trump’s political opponents.  That is not what this country represents and should be condemned by Democratic and Republican leaders alike. Continue reading “Iowa Rally Chants “Lock Her Up” After Trump Taunts Diane Feinstein”