Democrats Search For Russians — Any Russians — For Collusion

download-1Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the controversy surrounding demand letters sent out by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — and the scope of the discovery sought by its lead Democratic counsel.  The scope of discovery is always a difficult issue in litigation and lawyers resist efforts to limit the scope of evidence.  However, reasonable limits are usually worked out between counsel but, in this case, the Senate counsel appears to have doubled down on a definition that is facially too broad. More importantly, it raises serious constitutional concerns.  The definition reads too much like a street cry to “bring out your Russians.”

Here is the column:

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“This is the Netherlands, You Have To Answer Questions”: Hoekstra Hit Another Hurdle As Ambassador

Screen Shot 2018-01-11 at 10.21.41 PM.png Former Republican Congressman Peter Hoekstra had a rocky reception as the new ambassador to the Netherlands when reporters raised a false statement that he made in 2015 when he said “the Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burnt, there are politicians that are being burnt. And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.”  When confronted by the reporters that no such chaos occurred, Hoekstra denied making the statement.  He insisted “I didn’t say that. That is actually an incorrect statement. We would call it fake news. I never said that … it’s not what I said.”  The reporter then played the tape and Hoekstra stumbled with “I didn’t call that fake news. I didn’t use the words today. I don’t think I did.” If Hoekstra thought that that would be the end of it, he was mistaken. This week he held his first press conference and was in for a rude awakening.

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Russian Historian Arrested And Sent For Psychiatric Test by Putin Officials After Detailing Stalin Atrocities

225px-Vladimir_Putin_official_portraitCroppedStalin1943The erosion of free speech in Russia under Vladimir Putin has been an unfolding tragedy for Russia.  As is often the case, the loss of freedom of speech often goes hand-in-hand with the loss of academic freedom.  However, the arrest of a Russian historian, Yuri Dmitriev, 61, is particularly chilling and raises legitimate comparisons with the Stalinist period. That is fitting given the fact that Dmitriev is being forced into psychiatric testing after writing about the discovery of thousands of bodies from the 1930s — victims of Joe Stalin.  Putin has ordered a revisionist history on Stalin to glorify his reign and downplay the millions killed by the bloodsoaked dictator.

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Protesters Demand That University of Denver Drop The “Pioneers” As A Symbol Of “Genocide and Oppression”

denver_boone_205x205Native American students at the University of Denver are demanding that the school drop the “Pioneers” — denouncing the nickname as a symbol of  “genocide and oppression.” We previously discussed the controversial decisions to drop the “Fighting Sioux” and “Chief Illini” and the Aztecs.  I have been critical of some of these moves and I would include the Pioneers among those ill-considered changes.  The school has already yielded to demands to drop the informal mascot of Danial Boone by implementing a ban on masks on campus.

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German Justice Minister Barred On Twitter Under The New Speech Controls Pushed Through By His Government

Coat_of_arms_of_Germany.svgWe have been discussing how Germany has led the West in the criminalization of speech, an anti-free speech trend that is now raging in England, France, Canada and other Western nations.  Germany has continued its plunge into censorship and criminalization despite the failure of its speech laws to curtail extremism. Now even Germany’s justice minister has been censored under the laws that he and his colleagues have fostered.  Heiko Maas has been notified that a tweet in 2010 is now considered improper and thus barred on Twitter.  The offense? He called an author “an idiot.”

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Welcome To China Town: Manafort Challenge The Scope of the Special Counsel investigation

Chinatownposter1Below is my column in the Hill newspaper on the filing by Paul Manafort challenging the scope of the Special Counsel investigation.  Manafort’s filing of a civil action is quite telling in this circumstance.  As a criminal defendant, he can challenge the basis for the charges.  This seems like an effort to make a public case with little likelihood of legal success.  However, the public tends not to be particularly sympathetic with accused felons complaining that they were arrested by the wrong cop.  It is true that Manafort would likely not have been charged absent the Special Counsel investigation.  However, that is like complaining about the weather in Washington.

Here is the column:

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