The Mystery of Don McGahn’s Safe: The Special Counsel Demand Could Shed Light On Two Mysterious Documents

lock-1292282_1280350px-US-WhiteHouse-Logo.svgBelow is my column in the Hill newspaper on the recent demand by Special Counsel Robert Mueller of material in over a dozen different areas.  The most intriguing is likely to be the two documents referenced by Trump personal counsel Ty Cobb in an overheard conversation at a popular D.C. restaurant.  The conversation has many in the Beltway scratching their heads and a few smirking.  Cobb is an experienced lawyer who sees this investigation as unlikely to produce any compelling basis for a criminal charge.  Conversely, White House Counsel Don McGahn is properly concerned with the danger of establishing precedent in the area of executive privilege that could undermine future presidents.  Cobb is a bit too experienced in this town to make such an amateurish mistake as discussing loudly an internal fight over the documents in McGahn’s safe — a previously undisclosed dispute.  It would certainly be intriguing if the reporter was told to have lunch at BLT and bring his notebook (Technically Cobb did not leak anything in being overheard).  It would have been a truly Machiavellian move against McGahn. However, there is no evidence supporting such a theory.  Ifthat were the case, the reporter’s story would be highly misleading since he clearly conveyed that this was a pure coincidence and a surprise.  Moreover, such an arrangement would be unethical in my view even if Cobb thought it in the best interest of the President.  These remain documents under a claim of privilege and presumably there was a decision not to make the disclosure.  I am inclined to give Cobb the benefit of the doubt, though that means assuming that he committed a rather rookie error.
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Duterte: Shoot My Son, Please

rodrigo_duterte_and_laotian_president_bounnhang_vorachith_croppedPhilippine President Rodrigo Duterte has shocked the world with his blood-soaked reign including his  orders to police to murder drug suspects and his bragging about his own murders.  Thousands of suspected drug dealers have been killed under Duterte.  Duterte has mocked those who object to the extrajudicial murders, including teenagers found dead.  Now Duterte is telling police to kill his son (who has been implicated in drugs and corruption) is he is found to be involved in the drug trade.

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California Armed Robber Who Stabbed Good Samaritan Will Now Reportedly Sue The Victim For Stabbing Him In Self Defense

download-1Ryan Flores, 30, is reportedly planning a tort action against Cregg Jerri, 58, for stabbing him in a California Starbuck.  Such a battery lawsuit would make perfect sense after being stabbed 17 times. The problem is that he was stabbed in the course of an armed robbery and Jerri was credited as the hero who ran forward to protect the staff from the gun-touting Flores. The filing would presumably not contest the right to use the privilege of self-defense but argue that Jerri somehow exceeded that authority.

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“Quite Literally Impossible”: White Supremacist Dylann Roof Demands New Counsel After Being Given Jewish And Indian Lawyers

charleston-liveblog2-jumboWhite supremacist Dylann Roof says that he has something of a problem on his hands: he has court-appointed counsel who happen to be Jewish and Indian.  He has asked the court to replace Alexandra Yates and Sapna Mirchandani in his appeal of his death sentence for the massacre of nine people in the Emmanuel AME Church during a Bible study in 2015.  Roof appears to believe that the right of counsel includes the right to white counsel.  It doesn’t.  The court should not be a vehicle for racial or religious discrimination to cater to the wishes of a homicidal fanatic.  More importantly, that is the view of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.

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Egyptian Professor Facing Discipline After Saying That Necrophilia Is Permissible Under Islam

bd64e1b3-19b3-438f-b3cf-53db3791d08aSometimes being a supporter of free speech can be really really really hard.  A leading expert of “comparative jurisprudence” and Sunni cleric at al-Azhar University, Dr. Sabri Abdel Raouf, has been placed under review by his university (and ordered by the state media regulator to stay off the air) after dispensing some rather chilling advice on Sharia law and Islamic values.  Abdel Raouf had told viewers that it is is permissible under Islamic law for a husband to have sex with his dead wife in what is called “goodbye intercourse.” The action taken by the university and the government highlights the curious line drawn over the discussion of Islam in Egypt.   Moreover, it is a rather bizarre example of the debate that we are having in this country over the right of academics to engage in free (and controversial) speech outside of their schools.  In this case, both the university and the government have moved to prevent anyone from airing these views as an insult to Islam.

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Checking The Fact Checkers: The Washington Post Concludes Comey Likely Violated FBI Rules But Still Criticizes Sanders For Raising “Possible” Illegality

220px-Washington_Post_buildingBelow is a column that I wrote for the Hill Newspaper in response to a “fact checker” column by the Washington Post.  I have written for the Washington Post and have great respect for the publication.  Indeed, I have objected to the attacks by President Donald Trump on the Post and the New York Times which remain two of our premiere journalistic organizations. However, I was frankly floored by the column by Glenn Kessler in criticizing White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.  I have discussed previously how there has been a palpable bias in reporting on the Trump Administration.  It is often that case that some journalists are not simply satisfied with disagreeing with the Administration. They sometimes take judgment calls or opinions and declare the Trump side to be simply factually incorrect.  This relieves the need for readers to address the opposing view of controversies like the alleged misconduct of former FBI director James Comey.  Those views are simply dismissed as untrue.  This is a prime example.

Here is the column:

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“A Privilege To Teach Future Dead Cops”: John Jay Professor Placed On Leave After Disturbing Tweet

 

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