Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump called this week for term limits for congressional members as part of his pledge “to drain the swamp.” He would limit members of the House of Representatives to a maximum of six years and limit Senators to 12 years in office. I have long opposed such term limits as curtailing the power of voters to choose their own leaders while undermining the effectiveness of Congress, particularly in the House.
I have previously written that recent disclosures over immunity deals with Clinton aides has seriously undermined the credibility of the FBI investigation into the email scandal and raises legitimate questions over the role of top ranking Justice Department officials in the closing of the investigation without criminal charges. Now a far more serious allegation has surfaced with the release of a FBI “302” that states that State Department Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy proposed a “quid pro quo” to convince the FBI to strip the classification on an email from Hillary Clinton’s server. The FBI agent reported the encounter as an effort to “influence” the FBI in return to giving the Bureau long-sought agent placements overseas. Such an offer is more than a standard inter-agency “horse trade.” If the agent’s account is accurate, it was an effort to influence a criminal investigation to protect a high ranking politician and, additionally, an effort to alter a key piece of evidence. The fact that such an effort would be simply brushed aside by the FBI is shocking in itself and again raises questions over Director James Comey’s pledge to pursue any possible charges with independence and vigor. The FBI and State Department, as discussed below, have insisted that there was nothing untoward in the discussions and there is a difference in factual accounts. That is all the more reason for congressional oversight and investigation in my opinion.
We have been discussing the growing limitations and litigation over copyright and trademark claims in this country. U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison granted a temporary injunction in a trademark infringement suit filed by the University of Houston Law Center against the Houston College of Law (formerly known as the South Texas College of Law). Judge Ellison found that there was a sufficient showing that the new name and the school’s red-and-white colors infringed the trademark of the University of Houston Law Center. The Houston College of Law dominantly features a warning that it is not affiliated with the Houston Law Center on its website and material. The opinion is linked below.
The FBI investigation into the Clinton email scandal seems to grow more questionable by the day. As I discussed earlier, the five immunity deals handed out by the Justice Department were, in my view, largely unnecessary and undermined the development of any criminal case. Now, House investigators have learned that Justice Department officials, in addition to their immunity deals, cut a “side agreement” with Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson for agents to destroy their laptops after searching their hard drives for evidence. With Congress seeking the information, the side deal clearly would obstruct that investigation and the details of the side agreement make little sense if the FBI were pursuing any and all evidence of criminal conduct.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.
Plaintiff Stephanie Ross Desimone filed suit against the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia alleging the nation provided material support to Al-Qaida in its terror attacks against the United States on September 11th, 2001. This represents the first of such filings–there–are almost certainly to be many following, since the United States Congress last Wednesday overrode President Obama’s veto of a sovereign immunity bill allowing foreign governments to be sued in the United States for supporting terrorist acts within the US borders.
Stephanie’s husband, Navy Cdr. Patrick Dunn, was murdered when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.
The full text of the complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, is attached below:
Hillary Clinton’s position on the email scandal has repeatedly changed from its first emergence in the presidential campaign from denial of bad judgment to the denial of the use of the private server for any classified information to the denial of any material “marked” as classified to the denial of seeing or understanding classified markings. However, one claim has remained unchanged. Clinton has maintained that she and her staff have “cooperated fully” with investigators. That claim was previously shown to be untrue when it was revealed that neither Clinton nor her staff would agree to speak with State Department investigators even though they said that such interviews were needed to determine the scope any damage to national security or security breaches. Now, however, the lack of cooperation has been put into sharper relief with the testimony of FBI Director James B. Comey this week. My column this week raised serious misgivings over the handling of the investigation with the disclosure of five immunity grants by the Justice Department, including one given to Cheryl Mills. Those misgivings were raised with Comey before the United States Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee where Comey revealed the extent to which Clinton aides refused to cooperate, including an assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination raised before answering questions about a key telephone conference conversation before the infamous “bleaching” over email records being sought by Congress. Comey testifies today before the House Oversight Committee. I am currently scheduled to discuss these issues tonight on the O’Reilly Factor.
Last week, the disclosure of a total of five immunity agreements handed out by the Justice Department as part of its investigation of the Clinton email scandal. The extent of the deals and the recipients were surprising, particularly in the failure to previously disclose those deals. As a criminal defense lawyer, I was surprised to see the deals include Cheryl Mills, one of the highest officials accused in the deletion of tens of thousands of emails and the failure to heed warnings over the risk to national security from the use of the Clinton private server. Below is the column.