Columbia University law students and alums are in an uproar over an Instagram post that showed students in the Federalist Society meeting with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at the Court. It would ordinarily be a singular experience for law students to spend time with one of the nine justices. That is not how it went over at Columbia where some are outraged by the meeting and Columbia’s posting the picture on its social media account. The Empowering Women of Color group announced it was “withdrawing our participation from Columbia Law School recruiting events.” Columbia’s own Center for Engaged Pedagogy, simply declared “WTF is wrong with you.” Continue reading ““WTF is Wrong with You”: Columbia Center and Law Students Protest Meeting With Justice Kavanaugh”
Yesterday, I ran a column in USA Today on the unpalatable prospect of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg putting disbarred attorney Michael Cohen on the stand as his star witness in the case against former president Donald Trump. Given Cohen’s past lies and conduct, it will be a target rich environment for cross examination. As if on cue, Cohen just added another potential item for a withering cross: he denied any memory of a waiver of attorney-client privilege in a public tiff with Robert Costello. Continue reading “Cohen v. Costello: Coming Soon to a Cable Show–and Courtroom–Near You”
Jennifer Medley is one of many citizens who appear fed up with the crime and poor management of New Orleans. Medley reportedly joined thousands of others in signing a petition to recall New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell. As a single mom working in the city, she has good reason to be concerned. However, Medley is also a judge. Indeed, she is the very judge that just ruled on the recall effort without disclosing that her name is one of those seeking the recall. Continue reading “New Orleans Judge Under Fire for Failing to Disclose Interest in Mayoral Recall Effort”
In a case reminiscent of the two New York lawyers convicted of firebombing a police vehicle, a lawyer for the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) was arrested for possible domestic terrorism in targeting a police training center in Atlanta. Thomas Webb Jurgens was among 23 suspected domestic terrorists in an attack on the site for a planned $90 million training complex called “Cop City” by protesters.
Below is my column in the New York Post on the Wall Street Journal report that the Justice Department declined an offer to conduct the searches for the Biden classified documents after the discovery on Nov. 2. There is a new report this morning that Justice Department officials did go to the residence in Delaware to collect the documents. That in itself is not surprising since the transport of classified documents triggers its own security protocols. It generally required a certified courier or someone else with authority to transport such documents. The question is whether the officials were present for the search. There is no investigatory reason why such facts remain the subject of speculation and leaks. The Justice Department can simply state that the White House is not prevented from giving a full account of what transpired in each of these searches.
Below is my column in the New York Post on the curious use of lawyers by President Joe Biden in the classified document controversy. There was a clear decision made to rely on his own counsel rather than the FBI or security officers after the discovery of highly classified documents in a closet in a private office. The decision clearly brings greater control and protection for the President, but it can itself be viewed as additional evidence of gross mishandling of classified material. In the movie “All The President’s Men,” Woodward chastises his colleague Bernstein that “I don’t mind what you did; I mind how you did it.” President Biden may face the same objection in his decision to use counsel to search for classified material.
Here is the column:
Below is my column on Fox.com on the most recent release of Twitter files detailing the FBI’s direct involvement in the targeting and censoring of citizens. The most notable aspect is the effort by the FBI to censor references to the Hunter Biden scandal before the 2020 election. Here is the column:
Below is my column on Fox.com on the firing of former FBI General Counsel James Baker at Twitter. The move by Elon Musk is raising serious questions of whether he has faced a type of “deep state” problem within his own company obstructing his efforts to restore transparency and free speech values to Twitter.
Here is the column:
In a column in the Wall Street Journal, Robin Keller, a partner at Hogan Lovells, wrote about being fired from the firm after a distinguished career of 44 years. Keller was not fired for intermingling funds or violating confidentiality of clients. She was fired because she exercised free speech in an internal meeting on the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health. After Keller expressed her support for the opinion and concern about higher rates of abortions in the black community, a participant complained that she could not breathe and others called her a racist. She was later suspended and reportedly fired. Continue reading ““Welcome Consequences”: Hogan Lovells Fires Partner for Voicing Her Views on the Dobbs Decision”
We previously discussed the case of two New York attorneys (Colinford Mattis and Urooj Rahman) who joined in violent protests in New York, including firebombing a police vehicle. The Biden Justice Department later gave the two lawyers an astonishingly generous plea deal that avoided long prison sentences. Now Rahman has been sentenced to 15 months after asking for no jail time for throwing the Molotov cocktail.
Parental rights are becoming one of the defining issues for 2024. Building from Glenn Youngkin’s 2021 gubernatorial victory in Virginia, school boards races and educational initiatives have become some of the most fiercely contested areas on local and state ballots. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D., Cal.) weighed in this week into the area with a curious attack on parents demanding more say in the education of their children. The California Democrat insisted that it is akin to “Putting patients in charge of their own surgeries? Clients in charge of their own trials?” These were curious analogies to draw since patients and clients are in charge of the key decisions in their surgeries and trials. What Rep. Swalwell is missing is called informed consent.
While largely lost in election day coverage, United States District Judge James Boasberg dismissed the much heralded case of retired Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman against Donald Trump Jr., Trump ally Rudy Giuliani and others for witness intimidation and retaliation. In a prior column, I criticized the lawsuit as deeply flawed. As is often the case, the media quickly moved on from the case and there is relatively far less coverage of the dismissal than the filing. Continue reading ““Political Hackery” is No Legal Conspiracy: Vindman Lawsuit Tossed by Federal Court for Failing to State a Legal Claim”
Democratic Senate candidate John Fetterman and other Democrats have filed a federal lawsuit to strike down parts of Pennsylvania’s election law after the state Supreme Court ruled that mail-in ballots with incorrect dates or no dates should not be counted. Fetterman is challenging the state law on constitutional and federal statutes. He has turned to a controversial former lawyer for Hillary Clinton to seek to strike down the provision.
For those of us who have closely followed the Hunter Biden scandal, one figure remains mysterious in his role in the possible tax violations by the President’s son. Kevin Morris is a wealthy entertainment lawyer who reportedly paid off as much as $2.8 million in back taxes for Hunter. I have previously discussed the relationship and expressed uncertainty as to whether Morris was acting as a friend or a lawyer (use of personal funds in a representational matter can present ethical issues). Now, Morris is the subject of an ethics complaint by the conservative group Marco Polo, which lured him into a hoax exchange over disproving the laptop allegations.
Late Friday, the Justice Department filed its long-awaited appellate filing related to the special master order of United States District Judge Aileen Cannon. While the Administration previously argued that the appointment itself is a threat to national security and unsupportable, it notably dropped its opposition to the appointment on appeal and only appealed one aspect of the order. In its motion for a stay pending appeal, it is only asking the 11th Circuit to allow it to continue using classified documents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago property in a criminal investigation. The filing may reflect that time is running out for the Administration since a special master is now in place and is likely to prioritize (and release) these very documents. The motion pending appeal does not prevent the DOJ from later challenging the whole appointment but it will come after the special master has begun his work.