We previously discussed the allegations against former Drexel University professor Chikaodinaka Nwankpa, 57, for using $185,000 on adult entertainment and other personal expenses. He has now been charged criminally with theft by unlawful taking and theft by deception. The charging documents however revealed one curious element. Many of the charges were processed during a window between midnight and 2 a.m.
It might be easier for the New York Times to simply say who it is not endorsing. I have long been a critic of media endorsements which I view as self-obsessed as well as inimical to journalistic values of neutrality. For decades I have argued that media should end endorsements of political candidates. The Times however seems to be literally doubling down with its much ridiculed endorsement of both Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren. I can certainly understand endorsing either candidate given their achievements and leadership but endorsing both is rather bizarre since they present sharply different policies and approaches. While the editorial board wrote that in choosing these two candidates was “radical” but “realist,” many of us view it as just ridiculous.
Below is my column on history — and some dubious historical claims — related to Senate impeachment trials. As with the conflicting position on witnesses of some senators, the growing narrative in the media that Republicans senators have departed from the tradition of the Senate in commenting on trial has more hypocrisy than history behind it. I have repeatedly encouraged senators not to discuss the evidence or their likely votes, but that is a rule honored historically in the breach by members of this curious trial jury.
I have been writing on the obvious relevance of Hunter Biden as a defense witness and the equally obvious hypocrisy of some Democrats in demanding their own witnesses while refusing to consider key White House witnesses. Now. House Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., has suggested that, if a trade is needed to secure House witnesses, the managers will not agree to any witnesses if Hunter Biden is part of the deal. If true, is the House prepared to give up on proving its case to protect the Bidens from the ignoble moment of answering questions about the Ukraine contract? That is a considerable price to pay to protect Joe Biden. It is also another reason why the decision to rush the impeachment vote was such a historic blunder by Speaker Nancy Pelosi. If they had waited a couple months as I called for in my testimony, they could have called these witnesses and not handed over control to the Senate. Instead, they impeached by Christmas and then waited a month. Continue reading “Nadler: Hunter Biden Must Not Be Called”
Rep. Jason Crow, D-Colo., will be one of the seven Democratic impeachment managers prosecuting President Trump this week in his Senate trial. However, he seems a tad unclear on what the trial is about or at least what the defendant is facing as the allegations of impeachable conduct. Crow declared on CNN’s State of the Union that Trump was really guilty of bribery. The problem is that bribery was rejected as an article of impeachment. Not only is it grossly unfair to go to trial while alluding to uncharged conduct, it is especially bizarre when the Supreme Court seems prepared to reaffirm the very case law that I cited earlier in rejecting such expansive interpretations.
Below is my column in the Washington Post on the real possibility that the Supreme Court could be pulled into the Senate impeachment trial if witnesses are allowed. If you hated Bush v. Gore, this could be one sequel that you will not want to see. Certainly few on the Court are eager to play a role in the possible removal of an American president.
Some of us have been highly critical of the trend in media toward “echo-journalism” where cable networks tailor their coverage to reinforce and repeat the expectations of their viewers. Few hosts are willing to admit to the formula coverage, though there have been telling moments. None have been open than Lawrence O’Donnell on The Al Franken Podcast when he declared that MCNBC was completely over the need to present two sides of coverage on Trump because defenders of Trump are “liars” and “I don’t bring on a liar.” It is that simple. The other side is just lies so only our side needs to be reported.
I have long respected Sen. Chris Coons (D, Del.) as a highly intelligent and effective senator. I was surprised today to be watching Michael Smercomish (who I also respect greatly) to hear Sen. Coons following the party line in arguing implausibly that Hunter Biden is not a relevant witness in any trial despite his centrality to the Trump defense. I previously addressed how Biden would be deemed relevant in a conventional trial and Smercomish quoted one of my Washington Post column at length to offer the opposing view. Sen. Coons responded not by addressing the relevancy argument but by dismissing such arguments as clever lawyering and “a stretch . . . a leap of logic worthy of Evel Knievel.” I should note that this analogy was lost on my youngest son, Aidan, who immediately asked “who is Evel Knievel?” When I explained, he responded, “isn’t that a good comparison?” Continue reading “A Leap or Perpetuating Evel? A Response To Sen. Chris Coons”
The General Accountability Office (GAO) has issued a report declaring that President Donald Trump violated the law when he withheld military aid from Ukraine. The GAO, which is a nonpartisan arm of Congress, declared in the eight-page report that “Faithful execution of the law does not permit the president to substitute his own policy priorities for those that Congress has enacted into law.” While the report’s release triggered the familiar bombshell headlines, there was considerable exaggeration of its findings. This is less relevant to impeachment than might initially appear. This was a finding of the violation of a federal law due to the delay. It would still be a violation even if the President was solely acting in the public interest to combat corruption or guarantee support from our allies. In other words, that violation is not on its face an impeachable act. Indeed, other presidents have been found to have committed such violations.Continue reading “GAO Declares Trump’s Action On Ukraine Aid To Be Unlawful”
While long ridiculed over his own representational performance, Rudy Giuliani attacked the Republican Counsel Steve Castor for spreading “Democrat lies” and demanded an apology for saying that he had business interests in Ukraine. [For the full disclosure, Castor is a graduate of George Washington Law School] . Of course, Giuliani’s conduct in Ukraine has become a full-fledge scandal and he maintained a number of highly dubious associations including his now indicted associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman who were arrested at an airport trying to leave the country (not long after meeting with Giuliani). Fruman and Parnas were pursuing business deals in Ukraine but it is not clear if Giuliani was part of those efforts. Giuliani is currently under investigation by federal prosecutors over his dealings in Ukraine. Giuliani has made a mess of this entire matter and one way to clarify such facts would be to appear for testimony.Continue reading ““Democrat Lies”: Rudy Giuliani Attacks Republican Counsel And Demands Apology”
There is an interesting case out of Louisiana where Belina Fondren, 52, has been criminally charged for writing high school students fake doctor’s notes to get them out of school for $20 each. Two students alone purchased 14 such notes to use at Evans High School.Continue reading “Louisiana Clerk Arrested For Selling False Doctor’s Notes To High School Students”
President Donald Trump responded to the release of tapes from CNN this weekend showing a strong anti-Trump bias and agenda at CNN. The tapes were no surprise to many of us who have criticized CNN for its open advocacy against Trump and slanted coverage of political and legal issues. However, Trump again returned to his continuing call for lawsuits against the media over the issue: “Does this sound like a good, or even great, lawsuit?” The answer is no, Mr. President, it does not.Continue reading ““Does This Sound Like A Good, Or Even Great Lawsuit?”: No, Mr. President, It Does Not.”
Rudy Giuliani, personal counsel to President Donald Trump, declared yesterday that he has received advice by experts to sue members of Congress over impeachment efforts. If true, their expertise must be in areas other than constitutional law or impeachment. Such a lawsuit would be frivolous and it is unsettling that Giuliani would put any credence into such fringe advice.Continue reading “Giuliani Suggests Suing Over Impeachment”
I recently spoke to the federal biometric conference in Tampa. For that reason, a story out of Detroit stood out. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D., MI.) called upon the Detroit Chief of Police James Craig to only black people as analysts to run their facial recognition program. Not only would such hiring violate anti-discrimination laws but it is based on a racially questionable assumption. The Police Chief called the suggestion “racist.”Continue reading “Tlaib Calls Upon Detroit Police To Only Hire Black People To Run Facial Recognition Programs”