Edward Druzolowski, 78, is facing a second-degree murder charge in Florida after gunning down his neighbor over a tree cutting dispute. Brian Ford, 42, was on Druzolowski’s property trimming limbs from a tree between their property when Druzolowski told him to leave. What unfolded led not only to murder charges, but may lead to a controversial defense. Continue reading “Tree Cutting Dispute Leads to Murder Charges in Florida”
Below is my column in The Hill on the impeachment inquiry and one striking pattern among the alleged crimes facing Hunter Biden: they all served to conceal the influence peddling efforts to sell access or influence to his father. The investigation and charging of Hunter Biden has, thus far, been strikingly surgical in avoiding this pattern of concealment.
New York Times columnist (and my former classmate at The University of Chicago) David Brooks said this week that the corruption scandal “merits an inquiry. It does not merit … an impeachment inquiry.” While I understand the distinction, I do not understand the basis for it in this situation. There are a variety of alleged crimes related to this corruption that may involve the President. There are also allegations like abuse of office that have been cited in past impeachments. We do not know if those connections exist but, if they do, they would clearly constitute impeachable offenses. Moreover, it is unlikely that we will get those answers without an impeachment inquiry. An impeachment inquiry does not inevitably lead to impeachment, but it does tend to lead to answers on whether impeachable conduct has occurred.
Below is a longer version of my column in the New York Post on the gag order motion docketed Friday night in Washington, D.C. by Special Counsel Jack Smith. While described by Smith as “narrowly tailored,” even a cursory consideration of the broad scope and vague terms belies such a claim. It would sharply limit the ability of former President Donald Trump to publicly discuss the evidence and allegations in a case that is now at the center of the presidential campaign.
Here is the column:
I recently wrote a column about five facts that justified the start of an impeachment inquiry. While I have stressed that I do not believe that there is currently sufficient evidence for an actual impeachment, I am mystified by the claim that there is not ample evidence to warrant an inquiry into possible impeachable offenses. Notably, CNN just reactivated its fact-checking team for a review of the basis for the inquiry. In so doing, the network made an iron-clad argument in support of the decision by Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Continue reading “CNN Makes the Case for an Impeachment Inquiry”
Below is my column in the Hill on release of the final report of the Special Purpose Grand Jury in Georgia. The recommendation for sweeping indictments involving 39 people, including current and former senators, only magnifies fears over political prosecutions. For many of us, the inclusion of figures like the senators reflects a rogue grand jury. However, Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Cal.) insisted that Sen. Lindsey Graham was “lucky” not to be indicted. According to Schiff, Graham calling Georgia officials about the counting or discarding of votes was enough to justify a criminal charge. Presumably, since Graham could be indicted with Trump, Schiff would also consider him eligible to be barred from ever running again for office under the 14th Amendment, as discussed below. It is the “why not” approach to criminal and constitutional law.
Here is my column:
Below is my column in The Messenger on the early struggle of Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis to preserve her strategy of holding a mass 19-person trial over the 2020 election case involving former president Donald Trump. Not only are defendants scattering, but some are seeking to go to federal court where the trial would not likely be televised, as the Georgia prosecutors reportedly want. The hearing on the removal gave a glimpse into the case. Regardless of the ruling of the court, it is likely to be appealed.
The hearing yesterday on the motion of former Trump Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to remove his case to federal court from Georgia state court had a number of notable moments. The testimony of both Meadows and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger offered insights into the case brought by Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis. While I have said that the sweeping indictment contains some serious allegations of criminal conduct against individual defendants, I have been critical of its broad scope and its implications for free speech in future challenges to elections. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes. What was most striking is that Raffensperger confirmed a key aspect of “the call” with Georgia officials that I previously raised about the purpose of that call. For his part, Meadows categorically denied key allegations made by Willis in the indictment.
A terrible tragedy has befallen the University of South Carolina after sophomore Nicholas Anthony Donofrio, 20, was shot and killed on the front porch of a house in Columbia. He was reportedly trying to enter the wrong home near the campus around 2 am. Donofrio lived at a house on the same street. It is an all-too-familiar pattern that we often discuss in my torts class where people are confused and try to enter the wrong home. Continue reading “University of South Carolina Student Killed in Possible Castle Doctrine Case”
Below is an expanded version of my Hill column on the Georgia call at the center of the recent indictment and the attack in the Washington Post by columnist Philip Bump, someone I have repeatedly criticized in the past for false and misleading stories. The column attacked me for suggesting that the Georgia call was not strong evidence of a crime and that Trump was seeking another recount or investigation. While I disagreed with Trump’s claims and supported the decisions of the Georgia officials (and still do), many campaigns have sought such investigations or launched challenges based on flimsy evidence. I have covered such challenges for years as a legal analyst for CBS, NBC, BBC, and Fox. Unsupported legal claims may be sanctionable in court, but they have not been treated as crimes.
We often discuss the long-standing question of whether it is better for your client to smile or not smile in a mugshot. Some believe a smile conveys a lack of contrition while others view a frown as looking guilty. In the first mugshot of a former American president, Trump (or now Inmate P01135809) rejected both the “carefree smile” and the “disapproving frown” and went with seething scowl. It is a mugshot that unfortunately will resonate with both extremes in our political system. Continue reading “The Snap and the Scowl: The Trump Mugshot Ignites a Tinderbox Nation”
Below is my column on the search for the true identity of Robert L. Peters, the name Republicans believe was used by then Vice President Joe Biden in emails that contradict his past claims on the influence peddling scandal.
Below is my column in the New York Post on new evidence contradicting the account of President Joe Biden on his role in forcing the firing of Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin. Biden’s boast about forcing the termination could become a defining moment in the corruption scandal.
Here is the column:
Below is my column in the New York Post on the expanding scandal surrounding the Hunter Biden investigation. Even CNN legal analysts are now calling the handling of the investigation at the Justice Department an “unholy mess.” The responsibility for this theater of the absurd is Attorney General Merrick Garland who has again shown a lack of strength and leadership at a key moment for his department.