Courts and the Law
Baier’s evening newscast is, I think, the best on TV.
Even if you don’t like the discussion panel for the last 15 minutes (and those who are center-left may not), the hard-news portion is superb.
Indeed, I think it is easily the best straight-news show in the business. And I, for one, like the back-and-forth on the panel.
Tonight, Baier’s interview with Comey showed why he stands head-and-shoulders above the rest.
It was fast, crisp, and tough without being tendentious (except for one moment where Baier reflexively and accurately said Comey had made a factually incorrect statement).
It was also newsworthy.
Here it is, in case you missed it.
What could possibly go wrong????
On the other hand, I’m looking forward to some late-night lawyer commercials. “If you are a goldfish and you are being kept in a small bowl with crumbs for food, we’ll fight for your rights!! And you won’t pay a cent unless we recover.”
And here, submitted for your approval, are some gems from the actual appeals-court decision.
Yep, the whales, dolphins and porpoises ought to lawyer up and go after the US Navy.
Here’s the headline (link here)
How A Plea Reversal From Michael Flynn Could Uncover More Federal Corruption
Did Robert Mueller’s office withhold other evidence in Michael Flynn’s prosecution, either from the FISA court or from Flynn’s attorneys
There is reason to believe so.
It’s from a conservative site, The Federalist, but it is not really an editorial story. It’s news, possibly quite important news, and it has been completely overlooked.
On Friday, Judge Emmet Sullivan issued an order in United States v. Flynn that, while widely unnoticed, reveals something fascinating: A motion by Michael Flynn to withdraw his guilty plea based on government misconduct is likely in the works.
Just a week ago, and thus before Sullivan quietly directed Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team to provide Flynn’s attorneys “any exculpatory evidence. ….
On November 30, 2017, prosecutors working for Mueller charged former Trump national security advisor Flynn with lying to FBI agents. The following day, Flynn pled guilty before federal judge Rudolph Contreras. Less than a week later — and without explanation — Flynn’s case was reassigned to Judge Emmet G. Sullivan.
With [the judge’s new] protective order in place, Flynn’s attorneys should start receiving the required disclosures from the special counsel’s office. There is reason to believe these will include some bombshells. –The Federalist
We now know that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn believed he told the truth and were overridden by Mueller’s team. We do not know if that information or other exculpatory evidence was revealed to Flynn. We do know that the Mueller prosecution was bankrupting him and involved legal threats to Flynn’s son, which seemed to disappear after the father’s plea. We also know that Flynn failed to register as a foreign agent, as he was legally required to do.
We also know that the #2 guy on Mueller’s team has been reprimanded previously by a judge for withholding evidence and, separately, was overruled 9-0 by the Supreme Court for his prosecution of the Arthur Andersen accounting company, a prosecution that destroyed the company and cost over 10k jobs.
FYI: Judge Sullivan is the one who absolutely lacerated the US Attorneys who systematically concealed evidence in their corrupt prosecution of Alaskan Republican Sen. Ted Stevens, causing him to lose the election and swing the US senate. Do not mess with Judge Emmet Sullivan.
Here is the heart of Paul Sperry’s report:
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump — including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it.
In his May 2017 testimony before the intelligence panel, Brennan emphatically denied the dossier factored into the intelligence community’s publicly released conclusion last year that Russia meddled in the 2016 election “to help Trump’s chances of victory.”
Brennan also swore that he did not know who commissioned the anti-Trump research document, even though senior national security and counterintelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
Last week, Nunes (R-Calif.) released a declassified memo exposing surveillance “abuses” by the Obama DOJ and FBI in their investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. It said the agencies relied heavily on the uncorroborated dossier to take out a warrant to secretly surveil a Trump adviser in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, even though they were aware the underlying “intelligence” supporting the wiretap order was political opposition research funded by Clinton allies — a material fact they concealed from FISA court judges in four separate applications. –Paul Sperry at Real Clear Investigations
My latest at Real Clear Politics (link here)
Here’s a synopsis:
January 24, 2018
The investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller is not the only major investigation in progress.
There are now three major Congressional probes of the Obama-era FBI, Department of Justice, and intelligence agencies. They are slowly peeling away layers of political bias, unequal application of the law, and, perhaps even felonies by senior officials who may have leaked classified documents, obstructed justice, and violated Fourth Amendment guarantees against unreasonable search and seizure.
These Congressional probes are not mere diversions, as Democrats charge. They have serious, legitimate intentions and raise troubling questions.
- Why did former FBI Director James Comey and his team pre-judge and soft-soap the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s unsecured private server and her classified emails?
- Why did they decide to clear her before completing key interviews with Mrs. Clinton and her aides?
- Why did DOJ grant immunity so freely to obtain evidence that could have been easily subpoenaed by a grand jury?
- Why did the government itself then destroy that evidence, so no one could do a real investigation later?
- For that matter, why didn’t they convene a grand jury in the first place, as Mueller did almost immediately?
- What involvement did the FBI counter-intelligence division have with the FusionGPS, Christopher Steele “Russian dossier,” financed by the Clinton campaign?
- Was the dossier used, in part, to obtain a warrant to spy on Trump associates and, if so, was the FISA court completely informed about the dossier’s financing, provenance, and lack of verification?
- And what the hell happened to months of text messages among key anti-Trump investigators at the FBI and DOJ?
VERY important questions. The public deserves answers.
That’s why these investigations are at least as important as Mueller’s, and for the same reason. They are both about honest elections and the rule of law, applied equally to insiders and outsiders, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
It’s about whether our most powerful government agencies are worthy of our trust. If we have lost sight of those values, we’ve lost our Constitutional bearings.
US judge steps down after accusations of sexual misconduct (Associated Press)
The judge is 67-year-old Alex Kozinski, who was formerly the chief judge for the Ninth Circuit (California, Arizona, and the West Coast).
He was a refugee from Romanian communism and the child of Holocaust survivors.
Until these credible allegations by some 15 women, he was known mainly for his brilliance, hard work, lucid writing, and significant opinions.
The incidents reported in the Washington Post story (link here) are all troubling.
What struck me most, aside from the sheer number of accusations, is that at least one of the people assaulted became a federal judge herself. Although she told people about the incident contemporaneously, she did not report it to other authorities.
I can certainly understand why women who might have future cases before the judge would not report it. But it is striking that others in more secure situations did not. What about other judges on the Ninth Circuit? Did they know or suspect?
For those who did know, why did they remain silent? Perhaps it was because of social pressures at the time, or because they didn’t want to become involved, or because they thought no one would take it seriously, or other reasons.
Of course, the accused needs to be given a fair hearing, a chance to rebut any false or misleading accusations. That is essential to our basic understanding of fairness and justice.
In the Kozinski case, he has not disputed the basic accusations. Instead, he stepped down.
Now we can ask why no one, including those in powerful, secure positions, said or did anything . . . for years.
Their silence left others vulnerable.
Her lawyer erred badly with his closing argument:
She was just happy to see me.
Btw, that wonderful line was first uttered as an improvisation. Mae West said it on Broadway, not (as is sometimes thought) in a scripted film.
In 1944 the play “Catherine Was Great” which was produced by [Michael] Todd and starred Mae West opened on Broadway. The author [Art] Cohn stated that West improvised the humorous line of dialog when she was interacting with her fellow star Gene Barry:
Barry, playing Lieutenant Bunin, was unaccustomed to carrying a sword, and in the second act, during an embrace, his scabbard came between him and his Empress.
A covert smile stole over Mae’s face. “Lieutenant,” she ad-libbed with a Westian leer, “is that your sword or are you just glad to see me?” –Mae West, in Quote Investigator