Category: Criminal law

Florida Man Arrested After Plowing Into Republican Voter Registration Booth And Then Videotaping This Own Destruction

This weekend in Jacksonville, police arrested 27-year-old Gregory Timm, who drove into a Republican voting registration tent, destroyed it, and then jumped out to celebrate his attack. This is just the latest in a long line of attacks and violent speech directed against conservatives on and off campuses. This incident follows a student screaming at young Republicans on campus at Arizona State that they should all have their throats slit.

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Pennsylvania Teachers Call Police On Six-Year-Old Girl Who Pointed Finger Gun In Class

We have yet another insane application of the “zero tolerance” policies that schools continue to apply despite widespread condemnation. Valley Forge Elementary School is the latest educators to traumatize a harmless child in the name of protecting themselves and their school. The victim this time is a six-year-old girl with Down syndrome who pretended to shoot her teacher with her finger. The teacher apparently went into full alert with the school to protect herself from make believe bullets fired by a toddler from a make believe gun. The police were called and the Margot Gaines now has a police report as a victory for zero tolerance policies nationwide.

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Justice Department Drops Demand For Jail For Flynn

The Department of Justice has dropped its demand for former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to serve time under his plea agreement. Flynn was attempting to withdraw his plea after the Justice Department set out in what was an overtly vindictive campaign against him in court. The Flynn case remains a troubling matter for those who have followed the Russian investigation. He pleaded guilty to a false statement that seems relatively minor in comparison to false statements made by Justice officials like Andrew McCabe or leaks by figures like James Comey.

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Mutually Assured Destruction: Unable To Block Witnesses, The GOP Moves To “Plan B”

In my recent Washington Post column, I stated that the Bolton leak accomplished its obvious design to throw the White House defense into disarray and to secure the votes for witnesses. However, I noted that the success could come at a price through ” a mutually assured destruction option: allow both sides to lay waste to each other and leave it to the public to pick through the ruins.” That appears to be the “Plan B” being discussed by Republicans in a game of chicken over witnesses.

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Choosing the Unpalatable Over The Disastrous: Shoot Article II and Call The Witnesses

Below is my column in the Washington Post on the best course for the House managers in securing witnesses. The column was posted before the Bolton leak, which may now secure the needed four votes of swing Republican senators. However, Article II is as dead as Dillinger. Indeed it was dead on arrival. The two days of White House argument wiped out what little support existed for the charge given the decision to rush this impeachment and then impeach a president for raising executive privileges and immunities. The strongest material of the White House was directed at this exceedingly weak and unwarranted article of impeachment. Democratic senators speak a great deal of the need for bipartisanship . . . for Republicans. It is time for those same senators to show that they are equally expected and capable of putting aside party for principle. It is time for Democratic senators to join in the call to reject Article II.

Here is the column:

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The Times Editorial Misstates The Law In Call For Roberts To Issue A Subpoena To Bolton

The news of the Bolton book leak has electrified Washington and, as intended, has rekindled calls for witnesses. I have long stated a preference for witnesses despite my criticism of the historic blunder of the House leadership in rushing this impeachment forward on an incomplete record. However, the media has now latched on to a column in the New York Times by Neal K. Katyal, Joshua A. Geltzer and Mickey Edwards that Chief Justice Roberts can not only order a subpoena for Bolton solely on the request of the House managers but that his decision cannot be overturned by anything less than a two-thirds vote. I believe that the premise of the argument on the vote is highly flawed and should not be seriously entertained by either the House managers or the Chief Justice.

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The Johnson Fallacy: Why Dershowitz Is Wrong About The Prevailing Argument In the Johnson Trial

Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the Andrew Johnson impeachment trial and its reliance by Harvard Professor Alan Dershowitz to support the argument that impeachable offenses must be based on criminal conduct.

Here is the column:

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Turkey Moves Toward Passage Of Controversial “Marry Your Rapist” Law

Flag of Turkey

We have often discussed the struggle of women in Muslim countries in resisting religious-based requirements for coverings and limitations on their movements and interactions. Turkey was once the exception among these countries as a secular, modern nation. That was before the rise of Islamic parties under the authoritarian President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey under Erdogan has already rolled back on protections for girls and women in abuse cases. Now the country is considering a horrific law aptly called the “marry-your-rapist” bill. Under this legislation, men accused of having sex with underaged girls could avoid punishment if they marry their victims.

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A “Lovely, Knotty Problem”: Is The House Impeachment Case On A Collision Course With The Law of Attempts?

Below is my column in Washington Post on a little discussed issue lingering in the hundreds of pages of briefing in the Trump Senate trial: what to do with an attempt to abuse power. Many of us have been discussing whether abuse of power is an impeachable offense. The White House maintains that it is not because articles of impeachment must be based on criminal acts. Many of us have criticized that theory as untenable and unsupportable in the history of English and American impeachments. However, the more interesting question is not what to do with an abuse of power but an attempted abuse of power.

Here is the column:

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Former Drexel Professor Arrested For Spending Nearly $200,000 On Strippers and Other Personal Expenses

download-2We previously discussed the allegations against former Drexel University professor Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, 57, for using $185,000 on adult entertainment and other personal expenses. He has now been charged criminally with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception.  The charging documents however revealed one curious element. Many of the charges were processed during a window between midnight and 2 a.m.

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What History Really Tells Us About Senate Trials

200px-110th_US_Senate_class_photoBelow is my column on history — and some dubious historical claims — related to Senate impeachment trials.  As with the conflicting position on witnesses of some senators, the growing narrative in the media that Republicans senators have departed from the tradition of the Senate in commenting on trial has more hypocrisy than history behind it.  I have repeatedly encouraged senators not to discuss the evidence or their likely votes, but that is a rule honored historically in the breach by members of this curious trial jury.

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House Manager Declares President Guilty Of . . . Attempted Bribery

440px-Jason_Crow,_official_portrait,_116th_CongressRep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., will be one of the seven Democratic impeachment managers prosecuting President Trump this week in his Senate trial. However, he seems a tad unclear on what the trial is about or at least what the defendant is facing as the allegations of impeachable conduct.  Crow declared on CNN’s State of the Union that Trump was really guilty of bribery. The problem is that bribery was rejected as an article of impeachment. Not only is it grossly unfair to go to trial while alluding to uncharged conduct, it is especially bizarre when the Supreme Court seems prepared to reaffirm the very case law that I cited earlier in rejecting such expansive interpretations.

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Modus Operandi or Old News? Comey Under Investigation In New Leak Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey is back in the news this week after The New York Times  reported late Thursday that he is again under investigation for leaking information to the media. The Justice Department Inspector General previously found that Comey was a leaker and violated FBI policy in his handling of FBI memos, including material  containing the “code name and true identity” of a sensitive source. Now, he is again accused of leaking information. There is an element of a modus operandi in the story since the same academic Comey used in the earlier leaks is also named in this leak, Columbia Law Professor Daniel Richman.

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Mississippi Man Sentenced To 12 Years For Having Cellphone In Jail

There is a deeply disturbing ruling out of Mississippi where the state supreme court affirmed the sentence of Willie Nash for having a cellphone in the Newton County Jail. He received an absurd 12-year sentence. The decision not only shows how our criminal justice system continues to disproportionate sentencing but also how the Eighth Amendment has been effectively gutted as a tool to address such cases.

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Courting Disaster? The Democrats Are Demanding Witnesses With One Notable Exception

Below is my column in the Washington Post (slightly expanded) on the upcoming fight over witnesses, including the unresolved question of Hunter Biden. The problem facing Democrats is that Hunter Biden is a clearly material witness to the defense on why there was a hold on military aid to Ukraine. The plain fact is that, from the perspective of the defense, the worst Hunter looks, the better the hold looks.

Here is the column:

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