Below is my column on the charging of Jeffrey Epstein and the complex connections raised by his prosecution. Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta gave a press conference where he attempted to show that 2007 was a different century where victims rights did not exist and transparency was just a word used in window glazing. It was a ridiculous performance as Acosta sought to justify a sweetheart deal that has been universally condemned. Acosta attempted to shift the blame to state prosecutors who came out after the press conference to angrily contest his account. Previously, in 2011, Acosta insisted he yielded in the case because of “a year-long assault on the prosecution and the prosecutors” by “an army of legal superstars” like Dershowitz and Starr. He also wrote “The defense strategy was not limited to legal issues. Defense counsel investigated individual prosecutors and their families, looking for personal peccadilloes that may provide a basis for disqualification.” That is bizarre. Most prosecutors would have the backbone to double their efforts in the face of such pressure. Instead, Acosta’s defense came off as a whining or whimpering excuse for letting these big bad lawyers scare him off.
There is a bizarre case in English Bar Beach in Vancouver, British Columbia where the wife of a Chinese multimillionaire is suing the government over a $200,000 tax bill for leaving her $20.4 million mansion empty. There were a couple of notable facts in the story that attracted my attention. First, this is a uniquely stupid law that fines you for not living in your own home. Second, this home is owned by He Yiju and her husband Zheng Jianjiang, a top politician in China’s National People’s Congress. That’s right. This is a humble dwelling of a dedicated Communist public official.
The growing tension between Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has suddenly exploded into open warfare over race. Ocasio-Cortez has accused Pelosi of attacking her because of her race. Race has been regularly raised by Democrats against President Donald Trump and the Republicans, including Pelosi’s recent attack that Trump wants to “make American white again.” I considered that attack to be inciteful and reckless and beneath the office of the Speaker. Now she is the subject of the same type of attack. I have often been critical of Pelosi but I do not consider her to be a racist. Yet, this is an example of how it is difficult to confine race-based attacks once you use them for political ends.
Democrats have hit hard on the narrative that President Donald Trump is taking children from parents and holding people in cages. That narrative has largely gone unchallenged in the media despite that fact that the Obama Administration had the same facilities and also separated families. Now, the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee had the ultimate tweet disaster by posting pictures of the objectionable conditions. The pictures turned out to be from the Obama Administration. They deleted the first picture after people noted the problem, but then reportedly posted an additional Obama-era picture.
While the headlines have been occupied with the Epstein matter and the other news, there is something curious happening in federal court with Michael T. Flynn, the former national security adviser. Flynn was just listed as an unindicted co-conspirator by the Justice Department. That itself is odd since Flynn is a cooperating witness facing sentencing before a fairly hostile federal judge. Nevertheless, Flynn now says that the government was trying to get him to give false evidence in the the trial of a former business partner, Bijan Kian, who is accused of violating foreign lobbying disclosure laws. The move by Flynn (following his replacement of counsel) could indicate an “all in” position for a pardon.
When an Ambassador calls you “inept,” “insecure,” and “incompetent,” one would think that you would take efforts to respond in a way that showed you are professional, controlled, and dispassionate. Yet, after the secret communications of Britain’s ambassador to the US, Kim Darroch, were leaked, Trump went on the attack and declared that Darroch is a “a very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool.” Moreover, he declared that, because he insulted Trump, no one in the Administration would deal with the representative of one of our oldest and closest allies. It is important to note that Darroch is not only widely respected throughout the world as a diplomat but never intended for these comments to be made public. He was sharing his unvarnished views with his government — something that all ambassadors are expected to do. Update: Darroch has now resigned.
Gonzaga University School of Law Visiting Law Professor Jeffrey Omari has written a column in the ABA Journal that demonstrates the increasingly shrill environment faced by conservative students. Omari took to the pages of the Journal to recount his almost breathless encounter with a student wearing a “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) hat. Most of us are used to students wearing political hats and teeshirts. I am always happy to see students with such clothing because it shows that they are engaged and passionate regardless of their views. For Omari, the incident was chilling since he declares the MAGA hats worn by many conservatives to be per se racist symbols.Continue reading “Law Professor: MAGA Hat “Undeniable Symbol Of White Supremacy””→
Many people were surprised yesterday when former President Bill Clinton finally made a public statement after over a decade on his relationship with convicted felon and billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was charged this week with sex trafficking and conspiracy. Clinton has long been connected with over two dozen flights on Epstein’s place, often called the “Lolita Express” for its reputation for underaged girls and orgies. Clinton also reportedly told the Secret Service not to accompany him on some flights with Epstein. Clinton now denies ever traveling without the Secret Service and claims that he only flew with Epstein four times on routine flights. Various people are challenging that account including the journalist, Conchita Sarnoff, who previously wrote on the flight logs and records showing Clinton’s trip. Continue reading “Clinton Challenged On Denial Of Epstein Flights and Knowledge Of Crimes”→
Erica Cole just may have the worst criminal defense other than a confession. She shot her husband Nicholas Cole in the head but insisted that she was really trying to shoot someone else in a road rage incident. It is not much an improvement. She is charged with attempted murder, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
The road rage incident reportedly occurred on the highway near Dodge City, Alabama. The cars then continued the confrontation at a home on a local road.
The “I meant to shoot the other guy in the head” claim will not take you very far at trial. Nicholas Cole is still recovering in the hospital.
Below is my column on the vote scheduled for this week by France to impose a new regulation on Internet speech — essentially forcing companies to scrub their sites of any hate speech as defined under sweeping French laws. What is astonishing is how many Americans are prepared to follow the European model in limiting free speech on the basis for loosely defined terms of threatening or intimidating or harassing anyone on the basis for race or religion or sexual orientation or other protected groups. The implications for free speech is sweeping and chilling. The West has fallen out of love with free speech. What is most concerning however is that countries like France and Germany are likely to strip away free speech protections for the rest of the World, even in countries like the United States where free speech is still given broad protection.