Category: Politics

Deporter in Chief: Deportations Under Obama Still Higher Than Under Trump

For both Democrats and Republicans, the recent deportation numbers may come as something of an unpleasant surprise. It turns out the President Barack Obama deported more illegal immigrants than Trump even after two years of Trump’s controversial immigration policies.

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California Appellate Court Slams USC For Denying Basic Due Process To Accused Student

We have yet another court ruling that a university denied the most basic due process protections to a student accused of sexual assault.  For example, the University of Southern California appeared entirely unmotivated and uninterested in determining  if stains on clothing of the victim was blood or red paint from a party where “students splattered paint on each other.”  What is astonishing is that, while spending little time to guarantee a fair process, the university has continued to litigate this case to try to protect its right to summarily convict accused students.  Claremont McKenna College and the University of California-Santa Barbara were previously cited for such due process violations.

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Federal Judge Orders Mueller To Turn Over Flynn Material

In a surprising move, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered Mueller late Wednesday to turn over all of the government’s documents and “memoranda” related to Flynn’s questioning. This follows a Flynn filing that described an effective trap set by agents who encouraged him not to bring a lawyer and left inconsistencies unaddressed in what has been described by critics as a “perjury trap.”  I have practiced in front of Judge Sullivan for years and he is a respected judge who has a keen eye for prosecutorial and investigative abuse.  That does not mean that he will find such abuse here and could ultimately make a finding that nothing improper occurred.  Yet, despite a recommendation of no jail time, Sullivan wants to review the entire record before deciding on the issue.

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James Clapper’s Unwitting Irony: Former National Intelligence Director Dismisses Claim Of Innocence Of Maria Butina

There are moments on television where the irony is so great that it leaves you dumbfounded.  On Tuesday night, CNN brought on its contributor, James Clapper, to address the plea deal struck by accused Russian Agent Maria Butina.  Clapper was asked by Wolf Blitzer if it is possible that Butina could have simply been used unwittingly by the Russian government.  It is a fair question, but Clapper immediately dismissed claims of “unwitting” actions and insisted ” I suspect she was witting.” If that sounded familiar, it should and, while Clapper is clearly an expert on intelligence matters, he is an even greater expert on what constitutes “witting” crimes.

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Turley To Give Keynote On Privacy and Security At IBIA Conference

This morning, I will have the privilege of giving a keynote address before the National Press Club at a symposium organized by The International Biometrics + Identity Association (IBIA) on privacy and security issues surrounding the rising use of facial identification technology.

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Michael Cohen’s Last Hustle: How Trump’s Former Fixer Blew His Final Play

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Below is my column at Foxnews.com on the inevitable collapse of Michael Cohen’s strategy to avoid jail for his extensive criminal conduct as a businessman and a lawyer.  I recently discussed how the filing detailed the windfall payments of over $4 million that Cohen received from companies like AT&T to buy access and influence with Trump.  It was one of Cohen’s last scams.  He ended up keeping the money despite being embroiled in the scandals that led to his demise.  He then scammed thousands of anti-Trump donors on a GoFundMe site for hundreds of thousands of dollars on the promise of turning against Trump.  He never mentioned the millions that he shook down companies for in his cash for access scheme.  In other words, Cohen continue to hustle but, on this occasion, he came up one hustle too short.

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Giuliani Says Trump Answering Mueller’s Questions Was A Nightmare

An earlier column discussed the unnerving statement by Trump that he answered the questions of Special Counsel Robert Mueller “very easily.”  The column suggested that the claim may have been bravado since nothing is easy in this investigation.  That would seem to be the case since Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani just contradicted the President and said that Trump did not answer the questions either easily or quickly.  He described the process as taking two weeks and that the process was an utter “nightmare.”  He also spoke openly about the President not being as controlled as other clients — a statement occurring after Trump former Secretary of State called Trump “undisciplined.” 

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DOJ: Cohen Sold Access To Trump For $4 Million

One of the overlooked portions of the Justice Department filings on Michael Cohen was the calculation of how much Cohen made selling access to Trump after the election. I previously wrote about how Cohen found willing corporations like Novartis and AT&T to give him windfall payments to curry favoritism with Trump.  It turns out that Cohen made over $4 million and appears to have done little since he was quickly ensnared in scandal.  These companies however were outed in what is usually the hidden, seedy underbelly of this town. 

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Tillerson Calls Trump Undisciplined and Sought to Violate Law. . . Trump Calls Tillerson “Dumb As A Rock” and “Lazy”

440px-Rex_Tillerson_official_portrait.jpgFormer Secretary of State Rex Tillerson unleashed on President Donald Trump at an event for a medical center.  Tillerson said that he stopped Trump from violating the law and that Trump is both unread and undisciplined.  Trump responded by calling Tillerson “dumb as a rock” and “lazy as hell.” Continue reading “Tillerson Calls Trump Undisciplined and Sought to Violate Law. . . Trump Calls Tillerson “Dumb As A Rock” and “Lazy””

President Trump To Nominate Bill Barr For Attorney General

440px-William_Barr,_official_photo_as_Attorney_GeneralPresident Donald Trump is reportedly considering the appointment of Bill Barr to be the 77th Attorney General of the United States.   If true, it would be Barr’s second stint as Attorney General after his service 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush — only the second time in history for such a successive appointment.  I have known Bill Barr for years and represented him during the Clinton impeachment (with other former Attorneys General).  He is one of the most brilliant lawyers I have known and would be a brilliant selection by President Trump for the position.  To put it simply, he is the perfect choice for this position at this time.  He is a rock solid leader who would bring stability and authority to the Justice Department.

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Michael Cohen’s Plea For Leniency Borders On Lunacy

Michelangelo,_Giudizio_Universale_24Below is my column in The Hill newspaper on the effort of former Trump fixer Michael Cohen to convince the federal court to show leniency in his sentencing.  While Cohen should get credit for cooperation, it must be balanced against two high countervailing considerations.  First, Cohen spent much of the last two years threatening people and obstructing efforts to disclose wrongdoing. Second, he is an officer of the court.  Judges generally do not look kindly upon lawyers violating their oaths and becoming vehicles for crimes and wrongdoing.

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Then There Were Three: Flynn Filing Refers To Three Investigations By Special Counsel

The long-awaited filing from Special counsel Robert Mueller on the sentencing of Michael Flynn did not go into detail on what precisely Flynn has given Mueller beyond acknowledging his “substantial assistance.”  It did include however a surprising disclosure that Flynn was not only helping Mueller on the investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to the Russian government but also two other redacted investigations. That has led to considerable unease in some quarters as to what those two additional investigation might be. Continue reading “Then There Were Three: Flynn Filing Refers To Three Investigations By Special Counsel”

Corsi Files Complaint Against Mueller For Allegedly Pressuring Him To Lie

Conservative author Jerome Corsi yesterday filed a “criminal and ethics complaint” against Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team trying to coerce him into giving “false testimony” against President Trump.  The filing was reportedly sent to a scattershot list of addresses including Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, D.C.’s U.S. Attorney Jessie Liu and the Bar Disciplinary Counsel.  There is no strong legal basis for such a challenge. If Corsi is charged, he is likely to be charged for alleged false statements and courts rarely explore the motivations in bringing otherwise valid criminal charges. The filing appears designed for public consumption before any indictment is brought against him. Continue reading “Corsi Files Complaint Against Mueller For Allegedly Pressuring Him To Lie”