“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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Whistleblower or Wrongdoer? Comey Defenders Ignore The Former Director’s Own Misconduct

440px-Comey-FBI-PortraitBelow is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the allegations raised by the White House over the alleged misconduct of former FBI Director James Comey.  It is clear that Comey violated FBI rules and regulations — offenses that would have likely cost any of his subordinates their jobs at the Bureau when he was director.  However, there remains a virtual news blackout on the obvious violations and their implications.

Here is the column.

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Court Spokesman Fired After He Butt Dials A Reporter And Leaves A Four-Minute Message About His High-Salary, No Work Job

Watch_pocket_Samsung_M910_phone_jehThe spokesman for the New York State Court system has been fired after a disastrous butt-call to a reporter in which he admitted barely working to earn his $172,000 job.  David Bookstaver, 59, was previously stripped of his duties but he remained as “communications director” with his high salary and virtually no work.  That is when the spokesman was undone by the accidental dialing of a reporter and a four-minute tirade in which he laughed about this sweet job.

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Trump Attorney Blasts Mueller Over Manafort Raid

582px-US-FBI-ShadedSeal.svgWhite_House_North_Side_Comparison2After just recently sending the President’s “appreciation and greetings” and triggering new allegations of criminal acts, one of President Donald Trump’s lawyers, John Dowd, is now denouncing Mueller for the pre-dawn raid on the Alexandria home of former campaign manager Paul Manafort.  I have commented that the raid seemed intentionally heavy handed and meant to convey a message to Manafort. However, I fail to see why the President’s counsel (rather than Manafort’s counsel) should be making such objections. It, once again, removes any perceived separation between President Trump and obvious targets like Manafort.

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IT IS TIME FOR ROD ROSENSTEIN TO RECUSE HIMSELF

Rod_Rosenstein_Official_DAG_PortraitBelow is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the growing need for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to recuse himself from the Special Counsel investigation.  Rosenstein has alluded to the possible need for his recusal but continues to participate in an investigation that could have direct bearing on his own role and decision-making.  If he has material evidence on obstruction, he should not delay his recusal until he receives a formal request to appear before a grand jury.  His relevance to the obstruction investigation is obvious and he should not be determined questions of scope when his own conduct could fall within the jurisdiction of the Special Counsel.

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Of Pardons and Presidents: Why Trump Can But Shouldn’t Use His Power To Pardon His Family and Aides

 Below is my column in the Washington Post on the controversy over the possible use of pardon authority by President Donald Trump to protect his family and aides involved in the Russian investigation.  Trump’s tweet reference to his “complete power to pardon” fueled rumors that he is considering pardons, including a possible self-pardon.

 

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Government Ethics and the Russian Investigation: How Trump Officials, Investigators, and Critics Have Created An Ethical Quagmire In Washington

donald_trump_president-elect_portrait_croppedBelow is column in USA Today on the widening number of ethical issues generated during the Trump Administration. I have been critical of some of the practices of the Trump Administration from nepotism to retroactive waivers to failures to divest.  However, there should be equal concern and attention over some of the actions of Trump critics.  It seems that the rising political passions are blinded both sides to core ethical principles and considerations.

Here is the column.

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