Corrections

Unfortunately, I often only have a short time in the early morning each day to post stories on this blog. Given the pressures of classes, litigation, and traveling, I will often miss typos or automatically “corrected” words that are errors. I apologize for those errors, but we have no staff or copy editors on this blog. We welcome any suggested corrections. You can post corrections below. Thanks again for your help and your understanding.

259 thoughts on “Corrections”

  1. [Note: This is a factual correction, not a typo correction.]

    Mr. Turley, in the column “Ukraine Orders Investigation Into Biden Controversy After Release Of Tape,” you claim “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced that a formal criminal investigation has been launched into then-Vice President Joe Biden’s demand that Ukraine’s former president, Petro Poroshenko fire the country’s lead prosecutor in exchange for U.S. aid.”

    I’ve now looked up a bit more info, and that claim is false. Either you have totally shirked your duty to learn what Zelensky actually did before choosing to write about it, or you’re purposefully misrepresenting it.

    Zelensky did NOT launch an investigation into “Biden’s demand” re: Shokin. Zelensky launched an investigation into Poroshenko’s actions.

    From the Washington Post:
    “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called on his law enforcement agencies Wednesday to investigate leaked audio of private phone calls several years ago between Vice President Joe Biden and Ukraine’s then-president, Petro Poroshenko, and said that the conversations ‘might be perceived, qualified as high treason [by Poroshenko].’ …
    “The Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office announced Wednesday that it has opened an inquiry on counts of high treason and abuse of power or office based on lawmaker Derkach’s allegation that the tapes point to Biden’s influence on Poroshenko. …
    “The recordings showed that Biden, as he has previously said publicly, linked loan guarantees for Ukraine in 2015 to the ouster of Viktor Shokin, then the country’s prosecutor general. But Derkach, an independent member of Ukraine’s parliament who previously aligned with a pro-Russian faction and has past links to Russian intelligence, used the new clips to make an array of accusations not proven by the tapes. Derkach said he received the tapes from ‘investigative journalists’ and alleged they were made by Poroshenko.
    “‘The audio samples published by Derkach, a pro-Russian MP, were fabricated to discredit Ukraine and artificially pull in the American electoral campaign,’ Poroshenko’s European Solidarity party said in a statement. ‘In essence, this is a Russian provocation that has nothing to do with reality. Its goal is to undermine the United States bipartisan support of Ukraine that had been built up for over five years by President Petro Poroshenko and to return our state to the sphere of Russian influence, as well as to weaken the international pro-Ukrainian coalition.’ …
    “Rudolph Giuliani, who serves as Trump’s personal attorney, met Derkach during a trip to Kyiv in December. The tapes released offered no evidence to back Giuliani’s long-standing accusation that Biden pushed for Shokin’s removal to help his son, Hunter Biden. …”

    If you don’t like the Post, here’s a discussion from the Kharkiv Human Rights Protection Group, a Ukrainian human rights organization: http://khpg.org/en/index.php?id=1590003720

    What a surprise that Giuliani is involved, and that Derkash has links to Russian intelligence. /s

    Mr. Turley, if you are in any way trying to be an honest discussant here, you will retract your false statement that “a formal criminal investigation has been launched into then-Vice President Joe Biden’s demand” and post a correction.

  2. Hi,

    Thanks for your note. I’m glad that my comments come across as you describe, and I’ll do as you request, but hope you’ll read my entire response.

    The problem is: typos and copy editing errors aren’t the only kinds of errors that should be corrected. Factual errors should also be corrected. Arguably, errors of reasoning should as well (e.g., claiming that A implies B, when A doesn’t imply B, or asserting that X and Y are the only two possibilities when that’s a false dichotomy), or at the very least, Mr. Turley should understand that he’s made an error of reasoning, so that he doesn’t keep repeating the same error in subsequent columns.

    I would hope that Mr. Turley would want to correct all clear errors, not just typos. And if factual errors and errors of reasoning don’t belong on this page, there’s no good way to alert Mr. Turley to them, so that they can be corrected and/or avoided in the future.

    I suggest that in the text at the top of the page, you edit “We welcome any suggested corrections” to something like “We welcome any suggested corrections of this sort. For factual or other errors, please email them to ___” so that there’s some means of alerting him to serious errors of other sorts.

    FWIW, I do already post similar comments in the comment threads on the columns.

    Also FWIW, I do consider the error I posted above to be a copy editing problem. I would think that a copy editor would do a text search on “column” before posting a new column, checking whether Mr. Turley has referred to another column and if so, either linking to it or deleting the reference if that column doesn’t actually exist. But maybe I misunderstand the work of copy editing.

  3. In columns today, 5/27, Mr. Turley states things like:
    — “I have a column out this morning criticizing Twitter’s warning attached to recent tweets by President Donald Trump” (in “Gander Meet Goose: Executive In Charge of Twitter Rule Enforcement Under Fire For Anti-Trump Postings”)
    — “I have a column today criticizing Twitter for its labelling of tweets from President Donald Trump as presumptively false” (in “Trump Threatens To “Shut Down” Social Media Companies”)
    — “As discussed in a column today, however, Twitter proceeded to then post the first warning on another series of Trump tweets” (in “Twitter Refuses To Delete Trump Tweets But Apologizes To Widower Of Lori Klausutis”)

    But there is no link to this supposed column about the warnings Twitter attached to Trump tweets (which were tweets about voting), and there doesn’t appear to be any such column.

    And if Mr. Turley plans to write one, I’ll remind him of what Justice Brandeis wrote in Whitney v The People of the State of California:
    “no danger flowing from speech can be deemed clear and present, unless the incidence of the evil apprehended is so imminent that it may befall before there is opportunity for full discussion. If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence.”

    Twitter isn’t bound by Whitney, as Twitter isn’t a government entity. But Twitter is nonetheless doing what Justice Brandeis advocates: remedying some of Trump’s false and misleading claims by applying more speech.

    1. Dear CTHD,

      Your regular postings in this section of Jonathan Turley’s web site are measured, articulate, carefully constructed and generally respectful. They contribute to the site. But they do not belong in this section.

      The purpose of this section of the site (“Corrections”) is specified at the top of the page. It is for identifying ‘typos or automatically “corrected” words that are errors.’

      Would you please post future comments in the “Leave a Reply” section at the bottom of the particular essays with which you would like to take issue? Your comments will be read by more people and this section will benefit from its intended focus on typos and copy quality.

      Thank you!

      1. Mr. Nathan,

        I first assumed that you worked for Mr. Turley, but just noticed that you’ve posted corrections on a previous page of this column and so are another commenter, like me. So I’m reconsidering your request that I not post corrections to errors of fact and reasoning here.

        If Mr. Turley posts an email address to which we can send corrections of his errors of fact and reasoning, I’ll use it. But AFAIK, there is no such email address identified anywhere on this site. He should be correcting all errors, not just typos, and I may continue to post notes here about other kinds of errors. Or I may stop commenting on this site altogether, as I’m troubled that his columns have so many factual and reasoning errors and that he consistently fails to correct those and to avoid them when addressing a related topic in subsequent columns.

  4. On “Law Professor wins record Defamation Verdict”: “The criminal case collapsed but not after” should be “not until after.” There are typos that are just typos and there are typos that interfere with meaning.

  5. Mr. Turley,

    You just tweeted “We have new insights into the Flynn investigation including the report that Flynn’s name was not masked in prior FBI reports …”

    This makes clear that you don’t bother to read the corrections posted here. I pointed out to you a few days ago that Flynn’s name wasn’t masked in the FBI report about the Kislyak call: https://jonathanturley.org/corrections/comment-page-12/#comment-1953570

    And I subsequently learned that Mr. Comey testified about this, and that testimony is included in Exhibit 5 of the Motion to Dismiss. So I take it that you — like me — didn’t read that initially, even though you were writing columns about that Motion and about unmasking.

    Are you going to post a corrections to your columns.

    It seems that you very seldom post corrections about errors of fact (false claims you’ve made) and errors of reasoning (unfounded conclusions that you’ve drawn). This is not a good model for your law students.

  6. In the column “Out Like Flynn: How the Media Embraced Prosecutorial Misconduct As An Article Of Faith” —

    Error 1:

    Prof. Turley claims “Flynn knew that the FBI had intercepted the call and told the investigators that they could check the transcript,” but he doesn’t substantiate this claim with any quote or link to evidence.

    The FBI 302 for the interview (https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5633264-12-17-18-Redacted-Flynn-Interview-302.html ) doesn’t support this claim. The DOJ Motion to Dismiss says “Mr. Flynn, himself a former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, stated that he readily expected that the FBI already knew the contents of his conversations with the ambassador, stating: ‘you listen to everything they say,’” referencing Exh. 11, where Mr. McCabe wrote “On Tuesday, 01/24/2017, as [sic] 1235, LTG Michael Flynn called via secure phone from to my office number. … LTG Flynn then explained that he had been trying to ‘build relationships” with the Russians, and that he had calls in which he ‘exchanged condolences.’ He then stated that I probably knew what was said in these calls because, ‘you listen to everything they say.’”

    The last quote makes clear that Flynn said this to McCabe, not to the two agents who interviewed him in person later in the day, and with no explicit reference to a transcript, and that it was an assumption rather than knowledge. Unless Turley has better evidence, the sentence should be corrected to something like “Flynn said he assumed that the FBI had intercepted the call and told McCabe that he [McCabe] probably knew the contents.”

    Error 2:

    Re: “the meeting was perfectly legal for the incoming National Security Adviser to encourage the Russians not to retaliate pending such a review by the incoming Administration,” there seems to be one or more words missing, or perhaps “the meeting” should be replaced by “it”

  7. Corrections on ACLU piece:
    “many of us who have long support” should be supported
    “It has been a very painful (what?) for many of us in the Old Guard” a painful what?
    “That has been evidence” (should be evidenced)
    “That is no more evident in” (should be “than in”)
    “Betsy DeVos’s” should be DeVos
    In general a quote within a quote should be like this: “In the past, ….’clear preponderance’ or..” in other words double quotes outside, single quotes inside.
    Is it “courts express alarm” present tense or “courts expressed alarm” past tense?
    worthy consideration should be worthy of consideration
    Thanks for another great article.

  8. On the site’s Civility Rule page, Mr. Turley says “We do not tolerate personal attacks or bullying. … I will delete abusive comments when I see them or when they are raised to me. If the conduct continues, I will consider banning the person responsible. However, such transgressions should be raised with me by email …” He doesn’t state the email address to use; one person in the comments suggested that people to Turley’s GWU email.

    The claim “We do not tolerate personal attacks or bullying” is clearly false.

    I’d estimate that half of the comments posted in the last week and a half (when I started commenting) include personal attacks, and many have no other content. I tried emailing Mr. Turley about the many attacks I read on just 1 page of comments, to show him how pervasive personal attacks are in the comments, but he chose not to delete any of them, even those that consisted of nothing more than insults. Last night, I emailed him again, about an offensive comment that was directed at him and his wife (https://jonathanturley.org/2020/05/18/bobo-the-clowns-revenge-how-the-media-is-reelecting-donald-trump/comment-page-4/#comment-1953567 ); that comment was deleted. So I now know that he or whoever else moderates comments is willing to delete personal attacks, but simply doesn’t care to do it most of the time.

    I suggest that you edit the Civility Rule page so that it accurately reflects the fact that the site does “tolerate personal attacks or bullying” — including “if the conduct continues” — and that emailing him is possible but generally won’t be acted on. Or delete that page and the links to it if if no longer reflects your policy.

  9. In “Bobo the Clown” paragraph 4, “While this experiment by psychologist Albert Bandura,” – there is something missing, like a clause or something.

  10. In today’s column about Samantha Power, Mr. Turley says “Samantha Power sought to unmask Michael Flynn’s name not once but on at least seven occasions. Yet, Power insisted that she had no recollection of even a single such request. … Power testified under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that she had ‘no recollection’ of ever making a single request for the unmasking of Flynn’s name.”

    The errors in this:
    1) It has been pointed out to Mr. Turley at least twice — in comments on previous columns about unmasking — that “Not all the officials on the list may have made the request directly, according to [former Acting CIA Director Michael] Morell. Sometimes an intelligence officer briefing a senior official makes the request, but those are logged as coming from the senior official.” (nytimes.com/2020/05/13/us/politics/unmasking-flynn.html ). Mr. Turley has presented no evidence that the seven requests logged in Power’s name actually came from her rather than from one or more intelligence officers briefing her.
    2) He doesn’t link to the transcript he’s quoting from, and he quotes the phrase “no recollection” but doesn’t quote even a full sentence, much less an exchange that provides the full context of what she said she had “no recollection” of. Presumably he’s referring to this transcript: https://intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/sp40.pdf In that transcript, there are three places where she says “no recollection,” and any honest discussion would note that because of redactions, we lack the full context for what she’s been asked about. The claim that “Power testified under oath before the House Intelligence Committee that she had ‘no recollection’ of ever making a single request for the unmasking of Flynn’s name” (emphasis added) is simply baseless, as there is no evidence that that she was asked a general question about whether she’d ever made a request that resulted in Flynn’s name being unmasked.

    Elaborating on point (2):

    Here is the first exchange containing “no recollection,” from pp. 36-37:

    MR. SCHIFF: Well, let me then ask you about, sort of, maybe the gravamen of how this came about. And I think it came about over a concern about the leaking of Mike Flynn’s name. Now, the White House has publicly acknowledged that they had to let him go because he didn’t disclose a conversation he had with the Russian Ambassador on the subject of sanctions. None of the reports that I’ve seen that will be related to you or you’ll be asked about today concern the conversation with Mike Flynn and the Russian Ambassador. So, to your knowledge, did you ever make [redacted].”
    MS. POWER: “I don’t recall making such a request. I want to just again stress, though, that any time a U.S. person or entity’s name came to me disclosed or annotated or where I requested it and it came back, I never discussed it with another member of the human race.
    “So, you know, I don’t recall making such a request. I wasn’t tabulating when and whether l was making requests. I wasn’t thinking about this practice in the fraught way in which we are discussing it. But, certainly, I have nothing to do with the leaking of names that were deminimized in whatever process occurred –”
    MR. SCHIFF: “And l just want to be clear that there’s no indication you ever made a request or that there necessarily was even a report on that subject. But I did want to get you on the record on that, because at the end of the day that’s sort of where this came from.”
    MS. POWER: “Yes. I have no recollection of making a request related to General Flynn.”

    Because the end of Rep. Schiff’s question is redacted, we simply do not know whether Mr. Schiff was asking about any unmasking whatsoever (which seems highly unlikely, given that he explicitly says “None of the reports that … you’ll be asked about today concern the conversation with Mike Flynn and the Russian Ambassador.”) or if he was instead asking about something much more specific. So we have insufficient context for interpreting her statement “I have no recollection of making a request related to General Flynn.” Moreover, “a request related to Gen. Flynn” is not synonymous with “a request that resulted in Gen. Flynn’s name being unmasked.” For all you know, she was referring to a request that would have resulted in someone else’s name being unmasked in a context related to Flynn, for whatever Schiff was asking about.

    Here is the second exchange containing “no recollection,” from pp. 63-65:

    MR. GOWDY: “[redacted] I think you will see two named U.S. persons on the second page, maybe two-thirds of the way down.”
    MS. POWER: “Yep.”
    MR. GOWDY: “Adam is right. There’s the leak part. There’s the masking with respect to Russia. There’s the broader unmasking question that if we had you twice we wouldn’t be going into today, but we’re trying to only bring you once. So that’s what we’re trying to do. Help me understand why you would have made a request to unmask those two named U.S. persons and how their identity would’ve helped you assess the intelligence value of this product.”

    MS. POWER: “So l don’t recall making this unmasking request, and I don’t recall this piece of intelligence. Again, I’m reading a lot of intelligence and often quite quickly. [4 paragraphs redacted] But, again, I certainly have no recollection of making a request of this kind.”

    Given that Gowdy referred ot “two named U.S. persons” but references to Flynn are not oblique in this way, odds are that he’s not even asking about unmaskings that led to Flynn’s name being unmasked.

    Here is the third exchange containing “no recollection,” from pp. 82-83:

    MR. SWALWELL: “And so its clear that there’s a — as the [redacted] has produced more reports, you have requested more what the majority calls unmaskings? You have more access — you’re requesting more unmaskings?”
    MS. POWER: “Yeah. I mean, what I can tell you is that the number reflect — the number that you have appears to reflect that, but I don’t — my intelligence practice didn’t change in 2016. I don’t recall there being any increase or change in the way that l would’ve asked questions about intelligence. So I recognize that your numbers are reflecting an increase, and I recognize that the totality of [redacted] reports has [redacted] it looks like [redacted] in 2016 than 2008.
    “But even your [redacted] numbers, which are news to me, that you have provided, I can’t tell you with certainty that I made that number or a different number. I just have no recollection, and, again, I was focused on another task not on tabulating this. …”

    This instance of “no recollection” seems unrelated to Flynn’s name being unmasked.

    Finally, if you look at the document that Mr. Grenell sent to Senators Grassley and Johnson with the names and dates of unmasking requests from people “who may have received Lt. Gen Flynn’s identity in response to a request processed between 8 November 2016 and 31 January 2017 to unmask an identity that had been generically referred to in an NSA foreign intelligence report,” you’ll see that Grenell also states “While the principals are identified below, we cannot confirm that they saw the unmasked information.” If she requested an unmasking but ultimately didn’t see the unmasked information (say, if she instead had an intelligence officer read it), then what is she likely to recall about that unmasking request?

    The entire column is irresponsible. The more I think about it, the more I’m struck that Mr. Turley doesn’t link to the Power transcript but he does link to a Fox News article about her testimony. I suspect that he never took time to read her actual testimony and instead based his column on the misrepresentations in the Fox News article.

    If he’s truly committed to correcting errors, he’ll address these and perhaps retract the column

    1. I tried posting this earlier info, but for some reason my comment never posted, so I’ll try again.

      I realized that I omitted a couple of other errors in the same column.

      Mr. Turley wrote “While Power and other Obama officials did not expressly seek Flynn’s name, they asked for the unmasking of the individual under surveillance who was speaking to the Russian ambassador on future policy changes.”

      First, there’s no evidence that the individual speaking with Kislyak was “under surveillance.” It’s at least as likely that Kislyak was the one under surveillance. Second, there’s no evidence that anyone “asked for the unmasking of the individual … who was speaking to the Russian ambassador on future policy changes.” A couple of days ago in a different comment here (https://jonathanturley.org/corrections/comment-page-12/#comment-1952712 ), I suggested that you look at a Just Security article by Prof. Ryan Goodman with relevant information. One of the things Mr. Goodman noted was that “The Washington Post confirms the summary of the Dec. 29 call was an FBI, not an NSA, product which openly included Flynn’s name — and thus there would be no reason for officials to request an unmasking from the NSA.” Flynn’s name wasn’t masked to begin with, perhaps because the FBI and NSA have different standards for masking. I take it that you didn’t look at that article. Please do, and please stop posting false or misleading claims about the unmasking.

      FWIW, I also noticed a typo in the last paragraph of the article, where “Power” appears as “Powers.”

  11. This is simply a correction on the piece about Bill Clinton. “Well-document” should be “well-documented” (in the paragraph that starts with A & E).

  12. Prof. Turley,

    There are multiple factual and reasoning errors in your column today on “The Unmasking of Joe Biden.” I discussed some in my comments there (and I again suggest that you create a tool that allows commenters to flag comments that address needed corrections, so that people don’t have to repeat them here). I suggest that you read the following Just Security article, which addresses relevant facts more comprehensively: https://www.justsecurity.org/70199/anticipating-phase-two-of-the-trumped-up-obamagate/

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