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Sunday, May 21, 2017

Hillary Supporter and Prominent Constitutional Law scholar agrees with Coldheart...

Alan Dershowitz - "C.H. Truth is right!" 

there can't be obstruction of justice for the President to fire Comey, that's his constitutional and statutory right to do that. Even if the President did say to Comey, let it go when it comes to Flynn. Under the unitary theory of the executive, the President has a right to direct the Justice Department and the right to direct the FBI what to do.

This is sort an obscure argument that I have floated here the past week or so.  It's nice to see that a non-partisan constitutional expert of relevance actually agrees with me. Unfortunately,  I am guessing some people here would simply determine that Dershowitz must now be labeled a "hack" and told to stick to statistics.

119 comments:

Loretta Russo said...

Well respected liberal law professor Jonathan Turley also agrees with you.

Roger Amick said...

President Donald Trump made that as his theme. He stuck to the prepared remarks. It's an ambitious agenda. The one thing was the missile strikes, might be unnecessary, but the President sounded Presidential.

I'm not sure if his comments on Iran, since the "moderate" candidate won, I think that is a missed opportunity.

Otherwise, not bad. See below.


Legendary Blog.

No self proclaimed superiority.

opie said...


there can't be obstruction of justice

for comey only.....what does that have to do with him firing comey because of the russian inquiry? I am afraid, you have cherry picked the dershowitz interpretation......Me thinks you simply have missed the reality, again. Trump is not exempt from obstruction.....

Roger Amick said...

WSJ

Rosenstein bends to political pressure, and here we go again.

Democrats and their media allies finally got their man. After weeks of political pressure, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein blinked late Wednesday and announced that he has named a special counsel to investigate Russian attempts to influence the 2016 presidential election. These expeditions rarely end well for anyone, and Democrats are hoping this one will bedevil the Trump Administration for the next four years.

“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” said Mr. Rosenstein, which is nice but irrelevant. With Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused from the Russia probe, Mr. Rosenstein appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller III, who will now have unlimited time and resources to investigate more or less anything and anyone he wants.

While the decision will provide some short-term political relief, not least for Mr. Rosenstein, it also opens up years of political risk to the Trump Administration with no guarantee that the public will end up with any better understanding of what really happened.

The problem with special counsels, as we’ve learned time and again, is that they are by definition all but politically unaccountable. While technically Mr. Rosenstein could fire Mr. Mueller if he goes too far, the manner of his appointment and the subject he’s investigating make him de facto untouchable even if he becomes an abusive Javert like Patrick Fitzgerald during the George W. Bush Administration.

What the country really needs is a full accounting of how the Russians tried to influence the election and whether any Americans assisted them. That is fundamentally a counterintelligence investigation, but Mr. Mueller will be under pressure to bring criminal indictments of some kind to justify his existence. He’ll also no doubt bring on young attorneys who will savor the opportunity to make their reputation on such a high-profile investigation.

Mr. Mueller has experience in counterintelligence and at 72 years old has nothing to prove. But he is also a long-time Washington player close to the FBI whose director was recently fired, and he is highly attuned to the political winds. As they say in Washington, lawyer up.

wphamilton said...

Right, as far as it goes, and I recall saying something generally similar the day Comey was fired. But you're stopping too short.

Evidently the firing came after Trump demanded personal fealty, tied Comey's employment to the conduct of the investigation, declared that the firing was instigated to impede the probe, and allegedly told the Russians that the firing stopped it for practical purposes.

So the firing itself isn't grounds for anything. As part of a pattern of behavior and motivations, it at the very least demands a more intense investigation, and could well be part of a criminal case should one arise.

opie said...

Like I thought, there was a big but to CH's tenet. I'm shocked and awed at the single sided loving of trump....

DERSHOWITZ: Look, if he tore up a subpoena or erased tapes or put out a perjured testimony, that's very different.


Lot of opening there, CH.

C.H. Truth said...

WP...

Well without considering the fact that you threw in a bunch of unsubstantiated and/or misrepresented claims in as fact.

Dershowitz's argument is that as chief executive the President has the authority to determine what is and what isn't investigated. If he is within his constitutional rights to tell the DOJ/FBI not to investigate a matter, then he cannot be held as "obstructing justice" just because he exercised his authority.

Much like Lynch and Comey cannot be held accountable for obstruction of justice in making the decision not to pursue an indictment of Hillary Clinton. Ultimately it was under their authority that this decision was made. (When most people believe Justices was not served and/or obstructed).

james said...

“My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted,” said Mr. Rosenstein. Meaning that his decision is based on some indicationd that crimes MAY have been committed and some prosecution MAY be warranted.

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

C.H. Truth said...

Or it could mean that Rosenstein believed it was in the best political interests of everyone involved to assign special counsel.

No matter what he finds (and most legal scholars are now coming to the conclusion that there are two chances of finding an actual crime in the collusion rhetoric: slim and none) his report will be much more credible than what Comey would have come up with... and certainly more credible than anything the politicians in the House and Senate will shove into our faces.

wphamilton said...

Dershowitz didn't go that far, to claim that it's impossible for the President to obstruct an FBI investigation simply because he has authority over the FBI. Which is the crux of your argument.

There are limits to what the President can tell the FBI to do, or not do. There are limits to the actions he may take with respect to FBI investigations and investigators. This should be obvious.

One of the limits, probably the least of them but still sufficient to puncture your legal argument, is the President's fiduciary duties to the American public and the FBI. If Trump breaches fiduciary trust, acting in bad faith in otherwise illegal actions, he will not be legally shielded by his position of authority over the FBI.

wphamilton said...

Rosenstein didn't appoint a Special Counsel for political expediency, or in the Administration's political interest. That's rather absurd, if you'll just think about it.

Rosenstein had no alternative - Trump left him no choice after publicly contradicting Rosenstein regarding the Comey firing. With one high official already recused for a conflict of interest, and Trump claiming that he was going to fire Comey for Russian investigation after Rosenstein gave other reasons (ie, calling him a liar), Rosenstein's impartiality would be inevitably questioned. And for good reason.

Spin it however you want, but the Special Prosecutor is a direct result of another of Trump's blunders.

james said...

Blunderer-In-Chief

KD, Lowest Unemployment rate in over 25 Years, Under Trump said...

Legendary Blog.

No self proclaimed superiority."

Gone are the days when you begged CHT to create your own trash/alky/lunatic left blog here, in which you pounded your shoe on your tiny child size podium and told us all YOU would Bury this the Adult Blog.

But why ALky, why have you put up your white gay pride flag?

KD, 345 Billion Dollars flows to the USA , Great Job Mr President said...

President Trump has taken the safety off of the US Military after the lost years, and now we are making sustaining gains on the maggots of ISIS.

" Trump to terrorists: 'Your soul will be condemned!' Exactly, US Foreign policy Feckless and Weak NO MORE.

C.H. Truth said...

WP... I think Dershowitz comments are pretty straight forward.

Under the unitary theory of the executive, the President has a right to direct the Justice Department and the right to direct the FBI what to do.

I don't believe it's "obvious" that the office of the President has a fiduciary duty that rises to "criminal" if broken. By nature, that would be an awful "subjective" manner in which to charge a crime. If a President "breaking trust" with the public was illegal... the I doubt we would have any Presidents who would not be considered criminal by someone's account.

The reality is that the President of the United States, by constitutional authority is given a great deal of authority and a great deal of leeway within that authority.

Dershowitz doesn't state or imply what you suggest.

C.H. Truth said...

Spin it however you want, but the Special Prosecutor is a direct result of another of Trump's blunders.

One way to see it... but I think you missed the point I was making.

James suggested that the appointment of a special prosecutor means Rosenstein has inclinations that Crimes were broken. You and I both agree that the reasons was more for other reasons.

You say Ta-ma-toh (force by Presidential blunder)
I say To-ma-toe (made because of Political circumstances)

james said...

Ch seems to think that if a President knows he is guilty of something and fires a director of the FBI for investigating the matter in question, that would not be obstruction of justice.

james said...

James suggested that the appointment of a special prosecutor means Rosenstein has inclinations that Crimes were broken. You and I both agree that the reasons was more for other reasons.

No,I suggested that the appointment of a special prosecutor means Rosenstein felt there were sufficient indications that crimes MAY have been committed (not broken).

Good thing Ch is not a lawyer. Lawyers must know how to use language.

james said...

From time to time this is damn near unbelievable. The Senator is at a loss for words.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edYDw8vWas4

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

james said...

McCain 'almost speechless' over Trump's 'nutjob' jab

Sen. John McCain on Sunday said he was "almost speechless" over comments that President Donald Trump reportedly made to Russian officials describing fired FBI Director James Comey as "a real nutjob."

In an interview on "Fox News Sunday," the Arizona Republican also blasted the Trump administration for hosting a meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov in the White House, describing him as "nothing but a propagandist" who "had no business in the Oval Office."

The New York Times reported Friday that Trump told Russian officials in the meeting earlier this month that Comey was "crazy, a real nutjob" and that "I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

"I don't know how to read it except that, I'm almost speechless," McCain said Sunday. "I don't know why someone would say something like that."

Asked whether Trump's firing of Comey was an effort to impede the bureau's Russia investigation, McCain said he didn't know.

"I don't think it was a wise thing to do," he said. "Mr. Comey was highly respected and highly regarded, and so I can't explain it."

McCain elaborated on comments he made last week, in which he said the controversies around the White House were approaching "Watergate size and scale."

McCain told host Chris Wallace that, with the appointment of former FBI Director Robert Mueller as a special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe, "we're now at that stage of a scandal, and now the question is, how is it handled?

"Is it handled the way Watergate was, where drip, drip, drip, every day," or "do we handle it like Ronald Reagan handled Iran-Contra?" McCain said. "It's a scandal, he fired people, he went on national television and said we made mistakes, we did wrong and we're not going to do it again, and the American people let him move forward."

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

opie said...

Spin it however you want, but the Special Prosecutor is a direct result of another of Trump's blunders.

And reading the publics disdain or trust of current investigations and lacking clarity. Rosenstein is seen as political....Muller not so much. That is the reality. CH can argue till he is blue in the face, but polls show the public wants the special prosecutor and not the political BS. Rosenstein got caught up in the comey blame game and was besmirched by donnie. He had to step aside or become another impotent puppet of trump.

opie said...

Blogger Loretta Russo said...
Spam by the pedo
Loretta Russo said...
Spam by the pedo

Loretta getting turned on by James.....sad such an old lady lives for such trivial BS posts. LOL

C.H. Truth said...

James - The President is not under investigation.

opie said...

C.H. Truth said...
James - The President is not under investigation.
Based on what??? What donnie claimed or do you have it from someone in the FBI??????

Loretta Russo said...

You forgot LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Roger Amick said...

I admit that I missed your point. I'm so accustomed to Trump is perfect. Trump could be under investigation for felonies.

C.H. Truth said...

My point, Roger...

Is that today, Constitutional law expert Alan Dershowitz was making the same argument that you, Opie, and James thought I was silly to be making a few days ago...

james said...

Republicans Begin Slow Retreat from Trump

“Republicans ON SUNDAY inched away from President Trump amid mounting evidence that he may have sought to interfere in the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election,” the New York Times reports.

“In a sign of growing anxiety, several important Republicans expressed discomfort with Mr. Trump’s firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, who had been leading the agency’s inquiry into whether Mr. Trump’s associates colluded with Russian officials. But the Republicans stopped short of explicitly criticizing Mr. Trump.”
________________

"...mounting evidence that he may have sought to interfere in the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election."

But that mounting evidence is not being investigated and that means Trump is not being investigated in Ch's world.

james said...

FOR THE SLOW:
My last comment was sarcastic.
Of course both are being investigated.

james said...

Trump Will Propose Massive Cuts to Medicaid

“President Trump’s first major budget proposal on Tuesday will include massive cuts to Medicaid and call for changes to anti-poverty programs that would give states new power to limit a range of benefits… despite growing unease in Congress about cutting the safety net,” the Washington Post reports.

“For Medicaid, the state-federal program that provides health care to low-income Americans, Trump’s budget plan would follow through on a bill passed by House Republicans to cut more than $800 billion over 10 years. The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.

“The White House also will call for giving states more flexibility to impose work requirements for people in different kinds of anti-poverty programs, people familiar with the budget plan said, potentially leading to a flood of changes in states led by conservative governors.”
________________

Trump Will Propose Massive Cuts to the Throat of the GOP.

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

james said...

"I am not being investigated."
--Donald Trump

Trump believes that (not really).
Ch believes that (really?).

james said...

Politico:
McConnell steps into Obamacare firing line

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Roger Amick said...

Since CH didn't cover he "big speech" today, I put up stuff that Roger Amick got pretty damn close.

President Donald Trump made that as his theme. He stuck to the prepared remarks. It's an ambitious agenda. The one thing was the missile strikes, might be unnecessary, but the President sounded Presidential.

I'm not sure if his comments on Iran, since the "moderate" candidate won, I think that is a missed opportunity.

Muslim writers for the "Fake News" from he New Yorik Times who ha\e a much better than I do.


Mustafa Akyol: Greetings — or salaams, too! I watched the speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from a not-too-distant place: Istanbul. I agree that it definitely did not come out as advertised.
A “speech on Islam” could have included some references to the faith, an acknowledgment that Islam is a great religion with values in common with Judeo-Christianity, and with a history of pluralism and tolerance. A “speech on Muslims” could have also been richer, with perhaps examples of how Muslims have contributed to the world, including to American society. This was a more modest, narrow and pragmatic speech, mostly appealing to Muslim leaders — in fact, only Sunni ones — for more cooperation against terrorism. But given Mr. Trump’s earlier views on Islam, it could have been worse!

Wajahat: Yes, I was curious about which Trump we would see: the same Trump who advanced a Muslim ban and said “I think Islam hates us”; or the pragmatic realist who gladly participates in the Saudi sword dance, curtsies for King Salman for an award, and jettisons all the “radical Islamic terrorism” talk in a country that he said was the world’s biggest funder of terrorism.
And let’s not forget that Trump repeatedly mocked Saudi Arabia throughout the campaign. During his third debate with Hillary Clinton last October, he scolded her: “You talk about women and women’s rights. These are people that push gays off business — off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly, and yet you take their money.” Well, he just signed several lucrative deals with the Saudis.

But still considering his previous speeches it could have been a lot worse.

Bill Clinton came within a few feet of a real deal, but the Palestinian leader, backed off. And has cost thousands of lives, mostly Muslims.


Roger Amick said...

Loretta, if you ever want to be taken seriously, you have to cease and desist with the alky and pedo bull shit. You look like you don' have enough intelligence to wright a coherent response. I's boring and a wait of bandwidth.

wphamilton said...

CH, no question that it's true "Under the unitary theory of the executive, the President has a right to direct the Justice Department and the right to direct the FBI what to do."

but that doesn't mean there are no limitations or sovereign exemptions for what he directs. Just as the CEO of a company has the right to direct every department in his company, that doesn't mean his direction may violate the law. He could direct Finance to transfer funds to his account for instance. Not illegal per se, but to pay for his swimming pool there may be a problem.

Loretta Russo said...

"intelligence to wright a coherent response. I's boring and a wait of bandwidth."

LOL.....

"I's boring and a wait"....what?

Aaaaand....

"wright".....?.....it would be "write"

Stupid drunkard.

Roger Amick said...

A spelling error is sufficient for you to accuse a recovering alcoholic who will have his fifth birthday is incapable to see how shallow and angry old lady who depends on conservative men to tell you are supposed to think.

In addition, your self proclaimed native American heritage, you would know that alcoholism is still an epic disease among many tribes. One in Montana, I think it's the Crow tribe, but not important, that upwards of 80% of the tribe have the disease. It runs in your genes, because alcohol was unknown to native tribes, so they have little or no resistance.

Grow up.

Loretta Russo said...

Stupid drunkard.

Loretta Russo said...

What a beautiful sight.

Air Force One landing in Israel.....from Saudi Arabia.

We once again have a President Israel can trust. It was a long eight years, but we're back.

Commonsense said...

Donald of Arabia goes to Israel.

rrb said...

you would know that alcoholism is still an epic disease
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

not an epic disease.

an epic personal failure.

geezus. typical liberal. you can't take personal responsibility for anything.

rrb said...

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that this could cut off Medicaid benefits for about 10 million people over the next decade.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


all this is really doing is returning the issue to the states. you can vote with your feet in both directions. want to live in a cradle to grave nanny state with a crushing tax burden? move there. of flee and be free. your choice.

Anonymous said...

I want to live in a nation where a powerful federal government of. by, and for the people protects us from vested economic interests that can control state governments more easily than they can the collective will of all the people.

That is the only reason Republicans espouse states' rights in economic matters. It gives the rich an easier way of exploiting the economy for their own benefit.

James said...

White House Rejects Ethics Inquiry Into Ex-Lobbyists

“The Trump administration, in a significant escalation of its clash with the government’s top ethics watchdog, has moved to block an effort to disclose the names of former lobbyists who have been granted waivers to work in the White House or federal agencies,” the New York Times reports.

“The latest conflict came in recent days when the White House, in a highly unusual move, sent a letter to Walter M. Shaub Jr., the head of the Office of Government Ethics, asking him to withdraw a request he had sent to every federal agency for copies of the waivers. In the letter, the administration challenged his legal authority to demand the information.

“Dozens of former lobbyists and industry lawyers are working in the Trump administration, which has hired them at a much higher rate than the previous administration. Keeping the waivers confidential would make it impossible to know whether any such officials are violating federal ethics rules or have been given a pass to ignore them.”
____________________________
Goody. Pretty soon we can be as corrupt as the Saudis.

Commonsense said...

I want to live in a nation where a powerful federal government of. by, and for the people protects us from vested economic interests that can control state governments more easily than they can the collective will of all the people.

This is breathless in its stupidity. It is far more easy and efficient for "vested economic interest" to corrupt one all powerful central government than 50 individual state governments.

You can either have government of, by and for the people or you can have a powerful government. You can't have both.

No wonder James didn't want to put his name on it.

rrb said...

I want to live in a nation where a powerful federal government of. by, and for the people protects us from vested economic interests that can control state governments more easily than they can the collective will of all the people.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

LOL. suuuuuuuuuuuuuure you do.

i live in NY. my state government is dominated by unions and democrats with a vested economic interest of fleecing the taxpayers at every turn.

i suspect that's not an issue for you though since they are democrats.

run along now little hypocrite and go see what teegen goddard has waiting for you this morning.

James said...

Actually, I was disappointed that my name did not appear on it. That was a mistake. I hit the wrong button.

Your own statement is breathless in its stupidity. You can have powerful government that is of, by, and for the people. It wins great wars and puts an end to slavery, for examples.

rrb said...

It wins great wars and puts an end to slavery, for examples.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

and both are examples of enumerated powers.

re-distributing wealth on a liberal whim is not an enumerated power.

i understand however, where you get your twisted view of our constitution:



Obama in his interview disparages the Constitution as merely "a charter of negative liberties. It says what the states can't do to you. Says what the federal government can't do to you but doesn't say what the federal government or state government must do on your behalf." He believes—and he's right—that changing this is the way to bring about "redistributive change."

https://www.usnews.com/opinion/articles/2008/11/03/barack-obamas-poor-understanding-of-the-constitution


no wonder we're not allowed a look at 0linsky's college transcripts. the guy had to have been an affirmative action admission who had to have been given a pass if he graduated with such a piss poor understanding of our constitution.

Commonsense said...

Your own statement is breathless in its stupidity. You can have powerful government that is of, by, and for the people. It wins great wars and puts an end to slavery, for examples.

And killed 6 million jews, 9 million Russians, 4 million Chinese and 2 million Cambodians.

And no powerful government ever ended slavery.

It ended in a bloody civil war in which two-thirds of the states fought against the other third.

Powerful central governments are never answerable to the people.

Commonsense said...

This is what Democrats really think of the people.

California, National Press Ignore Jerry Brown's 'Freeloaders' Insult Directed at Taxpayers

On May 12, California Governor Jerry Brown said the following during a visit to that state's Orange County: "The freeloaders — I’ve had enough of them." His statement came during what the Orange County Register called "an impassioned defense" of the state's recently passed "road-improvement plan. The "freeloaders" he targeted with his remark are the state's taxpayers, those who wish to recall a tax-supporting legislator, and Republicans involved in putting the tax on November ballot.

There's you all powerful government supposedly of, by, and for the people.

james said...

from Politico:

"There are going to be a lot of forced smiles by Israelis who are probably furious," said Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer with whom Trump has spoken about the Middle East. "He's going into a very difficult situation when he gets to Israel."

Meanwhile, the investigation, which includes questions of whether Trump campaign aides were in contact with Russian officials as Moscow sought to disrupt the presidential election, continues to heat up. James Comey, the FBI director Trump recently fired, is preparing to testify in the Senate after the Memorial Day holiday, and the Department of Justice last week named former FBI chief Robert Mueller as special counsel to probe the Russia issue.

Some officials in Trump’s administration told POLITICO they spent part of the weekend guessing who could be implicated in the Russia investigation after a Washington Post report Friday said a senior administration official was a target of interest. Others have begun talking to lawyers, expecting subpoenas to arrive at the White House. Senior Republican aides on Capitol Hill said Trump's drama was making it more difficult to accomplish their legislative agenda.

Among some defenders, there is a sense the White House should change its strategy and is losing key momentum in a nascent presidency.
Tom Fitton, who leads the conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch, said Trump can fight rumors by showing he has nothing to hide.

"They should just get all the info out. if you're taking them at their word, what's the harm in it? Release all the memos," Fitton said. "Release all the information they have on Russia. Release everything.”
___________________


Right. And get impeached.

james said...


CS thinks Nazi Germany was a democracy.

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Commonsense said...

It was a democratic election that brought Hitler to power shit for brains.

But again you miss the point. "Powerful" central governments are incapable of democracy.

And we are almost there. Look at all of the plots and speculations by the ruling elite to overthrow the legitimately elected president of the United States.

Roger Amick said...

rrb, The MMA and almost every other medical scientists and psychological health care experts call it a disease, not a character problem. George W Bush is a recovering alcoholic.

I have not had any diagnoses of brain damage, even with the ammonia condition, where I was in a coma for almost two weeks. They have tested my brain cells and the nerves, using CT scan and memory tests. It took about six months for the recovery of all of the functionality. I'm still on the smarter than you. I'm a normal 66 year old man.
I have one thing the President 'I don't think that I know how everything works.

james said...

Everyone knows Hitler was voted in, but democratic institutions soon buckled and went along with his dictatorial Nazi takeover.

Roger Amick said...

Will the Presidency Survive Donald Trump?

As President Trump stumbled from crisis to crisis this past week, he reminded the country of a lesson it didn’t really need to learn: A president’s greatest asset is trust. Once he has lost it, he can’t govern. Mr. Trump’s serial recklessness may change not just the course of his presidency but also the office itself. Whatever happens to him, it’s not too soon to wonder what will happen to the presidency when he’s gone.

For decades, the power of the executive branch has been growing, a trend that Congress has encouraged, both actively and by default. And the courts, the other check on the executive, have often been willing to defer to the president’s prerogatives.

But President Trump’s words and actions are straining the relationship between the executive and the other branches of government in ways that may ultimately diminish the power of the office. By showing he’s unworthy of the trust that a president customarily enjoys, Mr. Trump has essentially been daring Congress, the courts and even the bureaucracy to act against him.

And those institutions are taking him on.

The firing of James Comey as F.B.I. director illustrates how the president’s rash words have invited the trouble he now finds himself in, paving the way to last week’s appointment of a special counsel by the Justice Department to investigate potential ties between Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russian meddling in the election.

Continue reading the main story
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Continue reading the main story
For a president, this is pretty much the definition of shooting oneself in the foot. Consider that, in explaining why he fired Mr. Comey, the head of the agency conducting the Russia inquiry, the president told Lester Holt of NBC, “And in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story.’ ” If that wasn’t startling enough, the president also reportedly told Mr. Comey in a private meeting, “I hope you can let this go,” referring to the agency’s investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

And then there was this report on Friday, which the White House did not deny, that in a meeting with Russian officials in the Oval Office this month, Mr. Trump told them: “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” He added. “I’m not under investigation.”

Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, these comments and other reports have raised concerns that the president was trying to obstruct F.B.I. investigations. It’s up to Robert Mueller, the newly appointed special counsel, to determine whether a crime was committed. But Congress, as a coequal branch, also has the responsibility to investigate allegations of wrongdoing. And in fact, Congress has seen this before. The articles of impeachment prepared against Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton accused both of obstructing justice.

james said...

White House aides have played down expectations for significant progress on the peace process during Trump's stop [in Israel], casting it as more symbolic than substantive.
_____________

Sort of like that wall Mexico is going to pay for.

Roger Amick said...

Now the question is whether the Republicans who control the investigative committees in Congress will push as hard as necessary to find out whether Mr. Trump abused his power and violated his oath of office. In a crucial development, the House Oversight Committee and other Congressional panels have requested all materials related to Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Comey’s communications.

The Senate Intelligence Committee also made the welcome announcement on Friday that Mr. Comey will testify in public sometime after Memorial Day. Still, it remains to be seen whether the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, and House Speaker Paul Ryan are committed to truth seeking, with its potential cost for the Republican Party.

If members of the Republican leadership think Mr. Mueller’s appointment lets Congress off the hook, they’re wrong. His authority is limited. He works for President Trump’s Justice Department. He has no responsibility to air his findings, short of an indictment. And his investigation may drag on for years before we learn anything. Given that, it is imperative for Congress to fulfill its mandate to explore all of the relevant goings-on and to report to the public what it finds.

As a structural matter, Congress is the institution best positioned to address the harms President Trump is causing, including trampling on norms separating politics from law enforcement and damaging America’s standing abroad, as well as the potential conflicts of interest posed by his wide-ranging financial holdings and the hiring of family members into key White House jobs.

The courts, for their part, have already served as an early-warning system for checking the president.

The clearest example is the legal battle over Mr. Trump’s revised order banning travel from six majority Muslim countries, which was the second one issued following his campaign promise of “a complete and total shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

This month, at hearings on a case challenging the ban, judges from two courts of appeals wrestled over what weight, if any, to give Mr. Trump’s statements, which suggest that his underlying purpose was to, well, shut out Muslims rather than the stated purpose of protecting the country from terrorists.

Judges are normally unwilling to look beyond the text of an executive order to divine the motivations of the president, especially in the areas of national security and immigration, where his powers are at their zenith. But Judge Robert King of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va., pointed out that Mr. Trump “has never repudiated what he said about the Muslim ban — it’s still on his website.” (The text has since been taken down.)

The president’s words also tripped up his effort to withhold federal funds from cities and states that limit their cooperation with federal immigration agents. Challenged in court, the administration argued that Mr. Trump’s order, directed at so-called sanctuary cities, applied only to relatively small amounts of money. But Judge William H. Orrick of the United States District Court in San Francisco didn’t feel bound by the official explanation.

Roger Amick said...

“If there was doubt about the scope of the order, the president and attorney general have erased it with their public comments,” Judge Orrick wrote, pointing out that Mr. Trump called the order “a weapon” and Attorney General Jeff Sessions threatened to “claw back” funds that were already awarded.

The courts have refused to give Mr. Trump the customary deference they give a president because this president so obviously has not earned it. Employees of the executive branch have gotten into the act as well. While all presidents must contend with leaks, revelations have been pouring out of the intelligence community and even the White House.

With the courts and the intelligence community increasingly arrayed against him, and Congress now investigating his campaign and actions in office, Mr. Trump finds himself in a much diminished presidency. If he remains in office for an extended period in this weakened state, it’s possible that Congress and the courts will essentially put the presidency into a kind of constitutional receivership until his term ends.

What would that look like? It’s hard to know, but it would be a striking setback to presidential power. After Watergate brought the presidency low, subsequent presidents took back power, largely with the acquiescence of Congress and the courts.

Both George W. Bush and Barack Obama flexed their executive muscles. Mr. Bush enhanced the president’s control over national security after the Sept. 11 attacks by opening Guant√°namo, trying terrorism suspects before military tribunals, and authorizing warrantless wiretapping. Mr. Obama took unilateral aggressive actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reform immigration.

They left the office stronger than when they arrived. Although their policies were controversial, both presidents were given deference because they made their judgments conscientiously and led the government professionally.


But Mr. Trump has created an entirely new problem for Congress, the courts and agencies: What do they do when the president himself is the pressing danger? Unlike other presidents, Mr. Trump has lacked the basic competence to manage the government. If Congress and the courts diminish the power of the office to constrain him, could they leave the office too weak for future presidents to be able to govern effectively?

The answer is that with the country at risk of serious harm from Mr. Trump, the damage to the office is secondary. The next president will just have to pick up the pieces.

Eric Posner is a professor at the University of Chicago Law School.

rrb said...



oh lookie. another alky-lanche of shit we've already read.

thanks alky.

btw, do you have yesterday's weather forecast too?

thanks again.

rrb said...

rrb, The MMA and almost every other medical scientists and psychological health care experts call it a disease, not a character problem.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

so the mixed martial arts folks are calling it a disease?

huh.

no wonder you're so confused.

James said...

onald of Arabia

Trump's Great, Applause-less Speech

Politico: “Trump only hinted at the complicity of Gulf Arab regimes in promoting a radical, sectarian version of Islam, praising their apparent newfound willingness to crack down on extremism and terrorist financing… There was little effort to reach out to the 40 million Iranians who had just voted to reelect Hassan Rouhani, the pragmatic president who won by pledging greater openness to the world, albeit within the severe constraints of Iran’s theocratic system. As for the Sunni monarchies and military dictatorships like that run by Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Trump promised to stop pestering them about human rights and political freedoms.”
___________

In other words, you can continue treating your own people like s**t, we won't care. Our own wealthy do that in America, whenever the Democrats lose control enough to allow them to do it.

"Did you hear all the thunderous applause during the speech?"

"No, there was no applause. They sat their in stony, suspicious silence."

"Well, that shows they have more sense than a sizable minority of the American electorate."

James said...

*sat there

opie said...

Any see the report that BeBe ordered his cabinet to attend the trump arrival?? Sure impresses me how the Israeli's respect the donny......

Commonsense said...

Typical liberal dodge to Trump's successful overseas trip.

"But what about Russia."

Here's a hint. The world cares more about the restoration of American leadership than any fake scandal here at home.

opie said...


Now the question is whether the Republicans who control the investigative committees in Congress will push as hard as necessary to find out whether

Maybe we should all pat CH on the back with his brilliant call that donny could fire comey.. I don't recall saying he could not as our esteemed host alleges, but NTL, since his arms are too short to reach his own back to provide self inflicted accolades, I think we should indulge him with his self proclaimed brilliance, just like the POTUS.....LOL

Commonsense said...

Trump's Great, Applause-less Speech

"Applause-less"? James, did you actually watch the speech?

Roger Amick said...

I have been working and wondering about how he governs and how he thinks about the office and powers of the President.

1: Many reports about his behavior in the White House, not disputed by the Presidential staffers or the President himself. Every single evening, he sits alone and watches the cable news programs. He gets angry, actually throwing things at the television. He then writes his tweets, and without consulting with the staff publishes the Tweets.

2: He obviously doesn't understand the role of the President and of the courts and the legislative branch. In regards to the courts. Their role is not to address whether or not the policy is going to be affected, it is their jurisdiction is in regards to the constitutional rights of those affected.

His impulsive behavior has been very disturbing to both his staff and the congressional leaders.

He has gone far above the previous President Executive orders, His Presidency will change the very important powers of the President.

Commonsense said...

As to 1. Even if true (and I have my serious doubts), it's not an impeachable crime.

As to 2. Foreign nationals do not have rights the constitution recognizes (that is why you can wiretapped then without a warrant). The courts blighty and illegally overstepped their bounds.

There very idea that you can't be president because you are not a "member of the club" is an anathema to all the democratic principles Americans hold dear.

Roger Amick said...

Most Presidents who traveled to the middle east, brought along, specialist in each region. Trump has not. Two of his top advisors have been sent back to deal with the press coverage of the special prosecutor, Bannon and Prebus. He has sent his daughter to important meetings.

The only good thing is no tweets.

Commonsense said...

For not having those middle east experts, the trip is a stunning success.

Roger Amick said...

The Menstruation expert completely missed my points.

1: It is just a truth about his behavior. Impeachment is not noted, it is strictly an observation of his impulsive behavior and methods of how he does his job.

2: The court's ruling on his ban, technically withdrawn, but still is affecting citizens and legal immigrants have constitutional rights.

Roger Amick said...

Stunning? Not quite.


Muslim writers for the "Fake News" from he New York Times who have a much better understanding than I do. But I know more than the President.


Mustafa Akyol: Greetings — or salaams, too! I watched the speech in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, from a not-too-distant place: Istanbul. I agree that it definitely did not come out as advertised.
A “speech on Islam” could have included some references to the faith, an acknowledgment that Islam is a great religion with values in common with Judeo-Christianity, and with a history of pluralism and tolerance. A “speech on Muslims” could have also been richer, with perhaps examples of how Muslims have contributed to the world, including to American society. This was a more modest, narrow and pragmatic speech, mostly appealing to Muslim leaders — in fact, only Sunni ones — for more cooperation against terrorism. But given Mr. Trump’s earlier views on Islam, it could have been worse!

Wajahat: Yes, I was curious about which Trump we would see: the same Trump who advanced a Muslim ban and said “I think Islam hates us”; or the pragmatic realist who gladly participates in the Saudi sword dance, curtsies for King Salman for an award, and jettisons all the “radical Islamic terrorism” talk in a country that he said was the world’s biggest funder of terrorism.

And let’s not forget that Trump repeatedly mocked Saudi Arabia throughout the campaign. During his third debate with Hillary Clinton last October, he scolded her: “You talk about women and women’s rights. These are people that push gays off business — off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly, and yet you take their money.” Well, he just signed several lucrative deals with the Saudis.

But still considering his previous speeches it could have been a lot worse.

My biggest problem was that he didn't really speak to Muslims.

Commonsense said...

Well if you're going to use muslim writers as the standard then I direct you to all the gulf reagion newspapers.

Or is it just "muslim writes" for the New York Times.

Commonsense said...

*writers

Commonsense said...

1: It is just a truth about his behavior.

As I said, I have serious doubts about those truths, the tone is too drama-queen to be believable.

2: The court's ruling on his ban, technically withdrawn, but still is affecting citizens and legal immigrants have constitutional rights.

It has never ever applied to citizens and only the first one briefly applied to legal immigrants until it was quickly corrected.

After that the court had no jurisdiction at all.

Hopefully SCOTUS takes it up and quashes these rulings once and for all.

If for no other reason than to reverse the dangerous notion that an order is constitutional or unconstitutional because of who you are and not what is written.

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the drunkard

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the drunkard

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the drunkard

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the drunkard

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the pedo

Loretta Russo said...

Spam by the drunkard

Loretta Russo said...

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall.

Loretta Russo said...

President Trump makes a historic visit to the Western Wall, the first sitting US President to do so.

opie said...

President Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall.

So fucking what.....BeBe ordered his cabinet to attend the arrival since they all didn't want to go.. Wonder if they showed up for this since donny is about as religious as you are. LOL

opie said...

And the asshollery continues unabated by the agnostic deist. What a joke you are, loretta.


Loretta the asshole Russo said...
Spam by the drunkard
May 22, 2017 at 9:35 AM
Blogger Loretta Russo said...
Spam by the drunkard
May 22, 2017 at 9:36 AM
Blogger Loretta Russo said...
Spam by the pedo
May 22, 2017 at 9:36 AM
Blogger Loretta Russo said...
Spam by the drunkard
May 22, 2017 at 9:36 AM
Blogger Loretta Russo said...
Spam by the pedo
May 22, 2017 at 9:37 AM
Blogger Loretta Russo said...
Spam by the drunkard
May 22, 2017 at 9:37 AM

Loretta Russo said...

YOU forgot LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Loretta Russo said...

First Lady Melania Trump visits hospital with Sara Netanyahu.

Finally, we have a beautiful First Lady with style and class.

Commonsense said...

Fox News: "Melania Trump tone and pitch perfect."

Loretta Russo said...

The days of the bow-legged, hideous Michelle Obama, with 800 teeth, are over.

Thank God.

Loretta Russo said...

"Fox News: "Melania Trump tone and pitch perfect."

exactly

Loretta Russo said...

You won't see President Trump blaming the US for anything.

President Trump doesn't do apology tours.

The days of the two-bit, anti-American community organizer are over.

Loretta Russo said...

HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA,

Flynn to plead the fifth.

Everyone learned a lot from Lois Lerner and Loretta lynch, LOL!

opie said...


Flynn to plead the fifth.

Next come charges. Can't hide anymore donny.......Idiot


Maybe melodia will bitch slap donny again like she did on the tarmac.....funny watching his reaction. Idiot

Loretta Russo said...

You forgot LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL

Loretta Russo said...

"First Lady Melania Trump refused to hold her husband’s hand and then slapped it away as they arrived in Israel as part of the President’s first travels abroad in office."

Didn't happen.

Loretta Russo said...

President Donald J. Trump becomes the first sitting US president to visit the Western Wall, one of the holiest sites in Judaism.

Refreshing

Commonsense said...


Didn't happen.


The New York Daily News got punked. So did Opie.

Loretta Russo said...

"The New York Daily News got punked. So did Opie."

The video is right there, LOL.

rrb said...

Blogger Roger Amick said...
Most Presidents who traveled to the middle east, brought along, specialist in each region. Trump has not.
____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

well, i guess we don't have to worry about pallet loads containing billion$ of $$$ are going to be shipped to iran in the dead of night.

so much for the "specialists."

rrb said...

He has gone far above the previous President Executive orders, His Presidency will change the very important powers of the President.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


oh noes! did someone give him a pen and a phone?

Loretta Russo said...

Oh my Lord.

President and Mrs Trump arrived at the home of Netanyahu......

Just when I think our First Lady couldn't look more stunning!

Can't help but think of Jackie O.

Loretta Russo said...

"oh noes! did someone give him a pen and a phone?"

The drunkard was in the sauce last night.

opie said...

Just when I think our First Lady couldn't look more stunning!

She looks like you, a mail order whore.