Category: Politics

White House Issues Defiant Letter Refusing To Cooperate In Impeachment Proceedings

The White House continued along its ill-considered strategy of refusing to cooperate in an impeachment inquiry. I have previously written that Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made a fundamental error in not securing a vote of the House to commence an impeachment investigation. However, the letter issued by the White House counsel further undermines the case for executive privilege arguments and could reinforce obstruction allegations in any final articles of impeachment.

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Trump Tweet Undermines Privilege Claims For Barring Testimony

Today, President Trump tweeted on the decision to bar EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland from testifying since it would be in front of a “a totally compromised kangaroo court.” The problem is that any fight would be on the basis for executive privilege, not the disagreement with the Committee agenda or fairness. Executive privilege is based on protecting confidential communications and diplomatic relations. Trump seems to be saying is that he simply does not trust the Committee, which is not a ground for refusal if a subpoena is now issued.

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Georgetown Law Students Shutdown Acting Homeland Security Secretary Speech . . . Law School Silent On Any Action To Be Taken

We have previously discussed the trend of students and faculty preventing speakers from being heard on campus without any disciplinary action taken by universities. The latest example occur at Georgetown University Law School where students and faculty opposed an invitation of Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to speak on campus. It was a wonderful opportunity for an exchange of views but both students and faculty wanted opposing views to be silenced. When the school went forward with the event, protesters immediately stopped the event. CREDO Action – the advocacy arm of the progressive nonprofit group CREDO — has admitted that Georgetown students participated in the action and videotapes clearly show those responsible. However, Georgetown would not commit to taking disciplinary action despite repeated inquiries.

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NBA Kowtows To China After A Manager Expresses Support For Hong Kong Protesters

The National Basketball Association debased itself in public as it heaped praise on the authoritarian regime of China after a manager simply tweeted support for Hong Kong protesters. China has canceled plans for a NBA exhibition game and is threatening a lucrative expansion deal into China. Basketball player James Harden profusely apologized to China for a manager simply expressing a view in favor of human rights. The league and top players have shown how money is an easy substitute for principle. Morey was forced to delete his innocent tweet and apologize. Harden is shown proclaiming “We apologize. You know, we love China. We love playing there. For both of us individually, we go there once or twice a year. They show us the most important love.” As the NBA heaps fawning praise on the Chinese regime, Amnesty International is calling for world action over its crackdown on protesters seeking simple forms of democracy and free speech. They however give no money to the NBA or its stars.

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Trump Orders U.S. Troops To Pull Back In Syria. . . Leaving Kurdish Allies To Mercy of The Turks

In a move that reportedly shocked U.S. military and diplomatic officials, President Donald Trump suddenly caved to Turkish demands and ordered U.S. troops to pull back from the areas held by our Kurdish allies. The move is being widely denounced by both Democrats and Republicans as an abandonment of allies who have fought along side with us for years. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., denounced the “impulsive decision” by Trump and said that this could be “a disaster in the making.” The authoritarian president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan is of course delighted and is expected to invade Syria now that U.S. troops are pulling back. Nikki Haley, Trump’s former United Nation ambassador, put it bluntly in saying that Trump was leaving our Kurdish allies “to die.” Likewise, Senate Majority Leader denounced the move and declared that it “would only benefit Russia, Iran, and the Assad regime. And it would increase the risk that ISIS and other terrorist groups regroup.”

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Federal Court Rejects Trump Effort To Block Release Of Tax Returns

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in New York has rejected the effort of President Donald Trump to block a subpoena of Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., for his tax returns. As I noted when the action was filed, the position of the President that he cannot be subject to any criminal process of any kind while in office is extreme and unsupportable in the Constitution. The full opinion is below.

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Casual or Cowardly? Pelosi Takes Dangerous Road To Impeachment

Below is my column on the curious footing of the impeachment “inquiry” against President Donald Trump. The failure to hold a vote of the full house has left many of us wondering what Speaker Nancy Pelosi was actually announcing in her press conference. The Judiciary Committee had been calling their proceedings an “impeachment inquiry” for weeks but Pelosi held a press conference with great fanfare to announce the commencement of an inquiry. Now Pelosi has finally responded to criticism and said that she may still hold a floor vote — again fueling questions of what the press conference was about to being with.

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#IMPEACHMITTROMNEY: Trump Appears To Call For The Impeachment Of Mitt Romney In Tirade of Personal Attacks

Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) recently stated what many have observed in the wake of the Ukraine call disclosures — the push by President Donald Trump for Ukraine (and now China) to investigate his political rivals is unacceptable. The response from President Trump was both personal and perplexing. He denounced Romney as a “pompous ass” and seemed to call for his impeachment — even though there is not only no impeachment provision for a sitting U.S. Senator and Utah does not even have a recall provision. Sen. Susan Collins (R, Maine) has also made measured but critical comments recently.

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Mischief or Misfud? Barr Calls Reveal Ongoing Investigation, Not Incrimination

Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the allegations that Attorney General Bill Barr is now somehow “implicated” in the Ukraine controversy because he spoke with counterparts in England, Italy, and Australia about assisting in the investigation by U.S. Attorney John Durham. If those calls were truly about the Durham investigation, it would be entirely proper for Barr to ask for such assistance. I have always maintained that the Congress has a legitimate interest in investigating the Ukraine controversy. However, the chorus of recriminations on the Barr matter reveal the hype triggering much of the hypoxia.

Here is the column:

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Egyptian Speaker Cites Hitler As Model For Infrastructure Leadership

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Ali Abdel Aal, Egypt’s parliamentary speaker, triggered an outcry after he used Adolph Hitler as a model for infrastructure leadership. Abdel Aal explained “Hitler had his mistakes, but what allowed him to expand eastward and westward was that he created a strong infrastructure.” Well, that and a combination of war crimes, genocide, and wanton destruction. Most people do not start with the good roads on that list of notable elements of Nazi rule.

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Report: Trump Allegedly Suggested Shooting Migrants In The Legs And Building A Moat

The New York Times is reporting that, based on interviews with more than a dozen White House officials involved with a meeting in March, President Trump suggested shooting migrants in the legs to slow them down. When cabinet members told him that his some of his proposals were illegal, Trump reportedly yelled “You are making me look like an idiot!. I ran on this. It’s my issue.” The paper also alleges that Trump suggest a moat filled with snakes or alligators. The sheer number of sources is illuminating in this story. There has always been a surprising number of leakers in this White House but the numbers appear to be growing.

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Trump “Trying To Find Out” Identity Of Whistleblower Despite Federal Law

In a continuing failure to respect the spirit and letter of the whistle-blower law, President Donald Trump said on Monday that he was “trying to find out” the identity of the whistle-blower who accused him of using military aid to pressure a foreign government to investigate his political rival. Once again, there is no need for such a highly inappropriate effort. This is part of an impeachment inquiry, and the witness is likely to appear before Congress. However, the whistle-blower law — and good policy — protects the identity of such staff members. Trump previously had compared the whistle-blower to a spy — an accusation that was clearly threatening and improper.

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Biden Campaign Pressures Networks To Silence Giuliani

Former Vice President Joe Biden has been hammered for the windfall contracts given to his son, Hunter, in Ukraine and China when Biden was making critical trade and aid decisions. Now, in an attempt that should have resulted in a chorus of condemnation (but barely registered in the media), the Biden campaign asked the networked to stop allowing Giuliani on the air. It makes considerable hubris to make such a request and it should have been denounced. However, just last week, MSNBC cut off a press conference of President Donald Trump because it declared that he was just going to lie.

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Joe Biden Shown Golfing With Son and a Partner In Ukrainian Deal

We have been discussing the Hunter Biden Ukraine deal and the concerted effort to avoid the question of whether there was profiteering by family members during Joe Biden’s term as vice president. While I do not agree with President Donald Trump that the evidence suggests that Joe Biden pushed to fire the prosecutor to protect his son, there remains the legitimate question of the windfall contract given to Hunter Biden by a figure widely viewed as corrupt in the Ukraine. To make matters worse, Joe Biden declared to the media that he has never, ever, discussed any foreign business deal with his son Hunter, including the Ukrainian deal. Hunter himself said that was untrue in recalling discussing the Ukrainian deal with his Dad. Now this photo shows Joe Biden golfing with Hunter and Devon Archer, who served on the board of the Ukrainian natural gas company Burisma Holdings with Hunter. Did Hunter never explain the working relationship to his Dad? One can understand why the Biden campaign has been pressuring networks to refuse to air Rudy Giuliani and his allegations against Biden. The deal is a legitimate matter for inquiry and Biden has made it worse with his categorical denial.

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Trump Warns Of “Civil War” And Calls For Schiff To Be Questioned For Treason

This is not helping. President Donald Trump continued a tweet tirade against the impeachment investigation today, including quoting a highly controversial pastor in his warning that removal of Trump would spark a “Civil War.” Equally disturbing was Trump’s call to have the whistleblower brought to him and for Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff to be questioned for possible treason.

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