Category: Justice

“Not My Investigation”: Former FBI General Counsel Shrugs Off Delay in Turning Over Key Text Message

Former FBI General Counsel  (and now Twitter lawyer) James Baker has long been a lightning rod for critics over the role of the FBI in pushing false Russian collusion claims. Baker did not help himself with those critics yesterday when he took the stand in the trial of Michael Sussmann, former Clinton campaign counsel. After declaring Sussmann a friend, Baker seemed to shrug off the fact that he previously failed to turn over a critical piece of evidence to Special Counsel John Durham because “this is not my investigation. This is your investigation.”

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Garland Stonewalls Questions about a Special Counsel Despite New Evidence Tied to President Biden

Attorney General Merrick Garland continued to refuse to address questions over his refusal to appoint a Special Counsel in the Hunter Biden investigation despite new evidence tying President Joe Biden to the controversial business deals. The New York Post is reporting that President Biden agreed to cover more than $800,000 in bills of Hunter, including legal fees tied to the foreign deals. While President Biden’s denial of knowledge of Hunter’s deals has been repeatedly contradicted (including by Hunter himself), White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declared that President Biden stands by his denials. However, she declined to explain new information showing that a key business partner in these deals visited the White House over a dozen times, including at least one meeting with then Vice President Biden.

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“Lets See How We Can Be Helpful”: Joe Biden Wrote Letter to Help One of Hunter’s Foreign Contacts

We have been discussing the Hunter Biden scandal and the increasingly untenable position for Merrick Garland and the media as evidence contradicts past representations of President Joe Biden.  That position further to deteriorate today with a Fox story that, in 2017, President Biden, wrote a college recommendation letter for the son of a Chinese executive who did business with Hunter Biden. President Biden has long denied any knowledge or involvement in his son’s dealings — a claim that has been contradicted not only by emails found on the laptop but statements by Hunter Biden himself. Continue reading ““Lets See How We Can Be Helpful”: Joe Biden Wrote Letter to Help One of Hunter’s Foreign Contacts”

Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense of Hunter Leaves Media and Justice Department in a Muddle

Below is my column in The Hill on President Joe Biden doubling down on his absolute defense of his son Hunter Biden. The comments only magnify the concerns over Attorney General Merrick Garland refusing to appoint a special counsel despite the clear basis for such an appointment.  It is clear that the President “absolutely” stands by his son and that the media absolutely stands by the President. The question is whether Garland will stand by justice and appoint a special counsel.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Biden’s ‘Absolute’ Defense of Hunter Leaves Media and Justice Department in a Muddle”

Report: Biden Wants Attorney General Garland to Prosecute Trump

During the last Administration, the media was (rightfully) critical of President Donald Trump’s repeated public calls for action from the Justice Department or attacking the handling of pending investigations. Legal experts lined up to denounce the damage to the independence of the Justice Department. The media and experts, however, have been largely silent as President Joe Biden has declared the guilt of individuals or promised punishment before even the commencement of investigations. The latest such example is the leaking of Biden’s desire to have Attorney General Merrick Garland prosecute Trump. Continue reading “Report: Biden Wants Attorney General Garland to Prosecute Trump”

Attorney General Garland and the “Unobstrusive” Federal Monitoring of School Board Meetings

In the 1946 move, “Terror by Night,” Sherlock Holmes assures Lady Margaret that, while he and Dr. Watson would be hanging around, “we’ll be as unobtrusive as possible.” Lady Margaret correctly responds “That would be a novelty from a policeman.” That scene came to mind when Attorney General Merrick Garland testified in Congress to assure members that he does not believe that parents protesting at school board meetings are domestic terrorists. He insists that there was nothing to be worried about because the FBI would simply be monitoring what these parents say or do at school meetings. Promises of such “unobtrusive” investigations or operations ignore the obvious: any national enforcement or monitoring effort is by definition obtrusive, particularly when it comes to free speech.

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“Those People Will Pay”: Did Biden Just Prejudice the Border Investigation?

The comments of President Joe Biden on Friday left many of us surprised, if not stunned, when he appeared to announce a finding to the ongoing investigation into allegations that mounted Border patrol officers whipped or “strapped” Haitian migrants trying to enter the country. During the Trump Administration, many of us correctly chastised the President for crossing the line in discussing ongoing Justice Department investigations and calling for particular resolutions. The response to this inappropriate statement is more muted from the media but it should be no less concerning. Biden’s statements are clearly prejudicial to the investigation of the incident and should be corrected in the interests of a fair process for all involved.

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Legal Pundits and the Washington Post Line Up To Mock Durham’s “Zombie Investigation” in Stark Contrast to The Same Mueller Charges

In Washington, there is no greater indication of wrongdoing than the number of people denouncing efforts to investigate it. The “nothing to see here” crowd went into hyperventilation this week when Special Counsel John Durham indicted a former Clinton campaign lawyer, Michael Sussmann. Legal experts who spent years validating every possible criminal charge against Trump and his associates are now insisting that Durham needs to end his investigation. The Washington Post heaped ridicule on Durham despite an indictment detailing an effort to hide the connection to the Clinton campaign and a concerted effort to push false Russian collusion claims. Continue reading “Legal Pundits and the Washington Post Line Up To Mock Durham’s “Zombie Investigation” in Stark Contrast to The Same Mueller Charges”

“The Light is Better Here”: Garland Pledges To Protect Abortion Clinics From “Attack”

Beware the Eephus: Washington on Edge As Durham Prepares Possible Indictments and Report

Below is my column in The Hill on recent reports of grand jury testimony in the Durham investigation. The implications of the grand jury — and the eventual report — have rattled folks in the Beltway this week . . . for good reason.

Here is the column: Continue reading “Beware the Eephus: Washington on Edge As Durham Prepares Possible Indictments and Report”

Justice or Just Deserts? Trump, Cosby and Georgia Cases Show Rising Cost of Political Litigation

Below is my column in the Hill on a series of cases that appear propelled by political rather than legal considerations.  The costs to the legal system, the public, or victims in such cases are often overlooked but they are considerable.

Here is the column:

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New Emails Show Unsuccessful and Unrelenting Pressure on Barr and Rosen from Trump to Intervene in the Election

Newly released emails show the pressure brought by the White House on both former Attorney General Bill Barr and his brief successor, acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, to intervene in the 2020 election.  Both Barr and Rosen refused to intervene and pushed aside numerous efforts to arrange meetings with Trump counsel and to file federal complaints.  What is astonishing is the degree to which these pressures continued in the brief period in which Rosen served as acting Attorney General in the final days of the Administration. Continue reading “New Emails Show Unsuccessful and Unrelenting Pressure on Barr and Rosen from Trump to Intervene in the Election”

Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor

The New York Times faced a stinging contradiction from Politico this week after it ran a story besmirching the lead prosecutor in the leak investigation launched under former Attorney General Bill Barr. The article relies on anonymous sources to claim that Assistant U.S. Attorney Osmar Benevenuto of the District of New Jersey was brought in by Barr as part of his “small circle of trusted aides officials.”  In reality, it appears that Benevenuto was not initially selected by Barr and does not appear to have known him. Continue reading “Politico Fact Bombs New York Times Over Criticism of Leak Prosecutor”

A “Slippery, Bootlicking A.G.”? The Media Goes Silent As Garland Adopts Previously Denounced Positions Of Barr

Below is my column in The Hill on the recent decisions of Attorney General Merrick Garland to support the prior positions taken by his predecessor, William Barr, on issues ranging from the Lafayette Park protests to immigration to withholding information related to the Mueller investigation. Positions that were once denounced by media and legal experts as raw partisanship have now been adopted by the Biden Administration with little acknowledgement from those same figures.

Here is the column:

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Newly Released OLC Memo Shows Staff Lawyers Found No Basis For Obstruction Charges In Mueller Report

The long-awaited, though partial, release of a memorandum from the Justice Department this week left many “frustrated,” as predicted by the Washington Post, in Washington. The reason is what it did not contain.  Critics had sought the memo as the “smoking gun” to show how former Attorney General Bill Barr scuttled any obstruction charges against Donald Trump. Instead, the memo showed the opposite. The staff of the OLC actually found that the allegations did not meet the standard of obstruction even without any defenses or privileges related to Trump’s office. Continue reading “Newly Released OLC Memo Shows Staff Lawyers Found No Basis For Obstruction Charges In Mueller Report”

Res ipsa loquitur – The thing itself speaks