Category Archives: Law

Should Robert Mueller Be Investigated for Violating Civil Liberties? by Alan M. Dershowitz

Criticizing Robert Mueller or his less than perfect record is regarded as heretical. However, as with past investigation, his conduct of the current investigation has been less than exemplary, especially with regard to civil liberties. From Alan M. Dershowitz at gatestoneinstitute.org:

Just as the first casualty of war is truth, so, too, the first casualty of hyper-partisan politics is civil liberties.

Many traditional civil libertarians have allowed their strong anti-Trump sentiments to erase their long-standing commitment to neutral civil liberties. They are now so desperate to get Trump that they are prepared to compromise the most basic due process rights. They forget the lesson of history that such compromises made against one’s enemy are often used as precedents against one’s friends. As Robert Bolt put it in the play and movie A Man for all Seasons:

Roper: So now you would give the Devil benefit of Law!

Thomas Moore: Yes, what would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?

Roper: I’d cut down every law in England to do that?

Thomas Moore: And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country’s planted thick with laws from coast to coast — man’s laws, not God’s — and if you cut them down — and you’re just the man to do it — d’you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake.

But today’s fair weather civil libertarians are unwilling to give President Trump – who they regard as the devil — the “benefit of law” and civil liberties.

Consider the issue of criticizing Robert Mueller, the Special counsel. Any criticism or even skepticism regarding Mueller’s history is seen as motivated by a desire to help Trump. Mueller was an Assistant US attorney in Boston, the head of its criminal division, the head of the criminal division in Main Justice and the Director of the FBI during the most scandalous miscarriage of justice in the modern history of the FBI. Four innocent people were framed by the FBI in order to protect mass murdering gangsters who were working as FBI informers while they were killing innocent people. An FBI agent, who is now in prison, was tipping off Whitey Bulger as to who might testify against him so that these individuals could be killed. He also tipped off Bulger allowing him to escape and remain on the lam for 16 years.

To continue reading: Should Robert Mueller Be Investigated for Violating Civil Liberties?

 

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WikiLeaks To Countersue Democrats; “Discovery Is Going To Be Amazing Fun”, by Tyler Durden

The DNC’s suit against Russia, Wikileaks, and the Trump organization has to be one of the stupidest legal moves in years. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

WikiLeaks has hit back against a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by the Democratic National Committee (DNC), announcing over Twitter that they are seeking donations for a counter-suit, noting “We’ve never lost a publishing case and discovery is going to be amazing fun,” along with a link which people can use to donate to the organization.

Discovery is a pre-trial process by which one party can obtain evidence from the opposing party relevant to the case. The Trump campaign, which is also named in the DNC filing, says the lawsuit will provide an opportunity to “explore the DNC’s now-secret records.”

Hours after the Washington Post broke the news of the lawsuit, President Trump tweeted “Just heard the Campaign was sued by the Obstructionist Democrats. This can be good news in that we will now counter for the DNC server that they refused to give to the FBI,” referring to the DNC email breach. Trump also mentioned “the Debbie Wasserman Schultz Servers and Documents held by the Pakistani mystery man and Clinton Emails.”

In a statement which goes into the various items they’ll be pursuing in court, the Trump campaign said the following:

While this lawsuit is frivolous and will be dismissed, if the case goes forward, the DNC has created an opportunity for us to take aggressive discovery into their claims of ‘damages’ and uncover their acts of corruption for the American people,” 

If this lawsuit proceeds, the Trump Campaign will be prepared to leverage the discovery process and explore the DNC’s now-secret records about the actual corruption they perpetrated to influence the outcome of the 2016 presidential election. Everything will be on the table, including:

How the DNC contributed to the fake dossier, using Fusion GPS along with the Clinton Campaign as the basis for the launch of a phony investigation.

Why the FBI was never allowed access to the DNC servers in the course of their investigation into the Clinton e-mail scandal.

• How the DNC conspired to hand Hillary Clinton the nomination over Bernie Sanders.

• How officials at the highest levels of the DNC colluded with the news media to influence the outcome of the DNC nomination.

• Management decisions by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Donna Brazile, Tom Perez, and John Podesta; their e-mails, personnel decisions, budgets, opposition research, and more.

To continue reading: WikiLeaks To Countersue Democrats; “Discovery Is Going To Be Amazing Fun”

The Regulated States of America: Occupational Licensing Gone Wild, by Robert Patrick Shanahan

Most occupational licensing, done ostensibly to protect the public, does nothing more than legally sanction occupational cartels. From Robert Patrick Shanahan at investmentwatchblog.com:

The United States is far from the land of the free these days. The governments in state capitols and Washington DC have confiscated our rights and are selling them back to us. American culture has shifted in a frightening way that has expanded the number of professions and industries that now require an occupational license to legally provide a service or start a business. This stifles business creation in many states and disproportionally affects low and middle income individuals the most.

Executive Vice President at the Goldwater Institute, Christina Sandefur, came on the Armstrong & Getty radio show earlier this week to discuss this alarming trend.

Governments have overreached yet again in requiring a license to perform work that is not in the realm of public safety for consumers. Sandefur stated how it started and what it has become today, “Okay, yeah you gotta get licensing to do something that might be really risky to public health and safety and we accept little by little and eventually we have this growing trend where people are not allowed to work or start a business at all without first getting government permission.” Our insistence on government telling us what to do has hopefully peaked, but recent examples around the country might suggest otherwise.

Over the last 50 years, Sandefur pointed out, 1 in 20 Americans were required to get permission from the government to work by obtaining a license. This included obvious professions in the medical or educational fields. However, today, this number has exploded to 1 in 5 Americans being required to obtain an occupational license, essentially a permission slip from the government, to do their job. Other figures peg the number at closer to 1 in 4.

Is there any reason to believe this grotesque trajectory won’t continue?

To continue reading: The Regulated States of America: Occupational Licensing Gone Wild

James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover, by Matt Taibbi

James Comey is completely tangled up in his own lies and self-serving justifications. From Matt Taibbi at rollingstone.com:

The former FBI Director’s memoir obsesses about lies, sincerity and conscience – and offers few tangible answers

FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers testify before the House Intelligence Committee on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, in Washington D.C. on March 20, 2017. Mark Peterson/Redux

The most damning passage in former FBI Director James Comey’s new book, A Higher Loyalty, regards his decision to make public the re-opening of the Hillary Clinton email investigation:

“It is entirely possible that, because I was making decisions in an environment where Hillary Clinton was sure to be the next president, my concern about making her an illegitimate president by concealing the re-started investigation bore greater weight than it would have if the election appeared closer or if Donald Trump were ahead in the polls.”

Comey portrays the Clinton decision as a binary choice: either speak a truth that may result in Trump’s victory, or conceal key facts from the public thus making her, as he tabs the ostensible shoo-in Clinton, an “illegitimate president.”

These meanderings might carry more weight if Comey did not have a lengthy record of “concealing” far more important issues from the American public.

Comey, for instance, comes across as an opponent of torture, and in the book writes about how his wife Patrice’s exhortation – “Don’t be the torture guy” – disturbed his sleep “for many nights.” But a close look at Comey’s Bush-era record indicates he signed off on policiesthat essentially re-sanctified most forms of “enhanced interrogation.”

In the book, Comey says he was held back from doing more because the CIA didn’t tell him everything about its interrogations, leaving him with nothing to do but silently hope the torture program would “crater” under Justice Department guidelines:

“Although our internal voices screamed this was terrible stuff and was based on inflated claims of success, those voices had to stay trapped inside us,” Comey writes.

So he was able to stay quiet about torture – keeping it “trapped inside” – but couldn’t keep secret the details of an email investigation he himself doubted would lead anywhere important?

Comey is equally two-faced on the question of surveillance. He describes himself forcefully opposing the NSA’s “Stellar Wind” program, which he says went “beyond even the legally dubious.”

This is how Comey became famous the first time, trying to head off the program’s re-authorization by racing to a convalescing John Ashcroft in the much-publicized “hospital showdown.”To continue reading: James Comey, the Would-Be J. Edgar Hoover

On the Criminal Referral of Comey, Clinton et al: Will the Constitution Hold and the Media Continue to Suppress the Story? by Ray McGovern

House Republicans referred a veritable Who’s Who of shadowy Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and James Comey, to the Department of Justice for possible criminal violations. The mainstream media is ignoring the story. From Ray McGovern at consortiumnews.com:

Ray McGovern reports on a major development in the Russia-gate story that has been ignored by corporate media: a criminal referral to the DOJ against Hillary Clinton, James Comey and others, exposing yet again how established media suppresses news it doesn’t like–about as egregious an example of unethical journalism as there is.

Wednesday’s criminal referral by 11 House Republicans of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as well as several former and serving top FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) officials is a giant step toward a Constitutional crisis.

Named in the referral to the DOJ for possible violations of federal law are: Clinton, former FBI Director James Comey; former Attorney General Loretta Lynch; former Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe; FBI Agent Peter Strzok; FBI Counsel Lisa Page; and those DOJ and FBI personnel “connected to” work on the “Steele Dossier,” including former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates and former Acting Deputy Attorney General Dana Boente.

With no attention from corporate media, the referral was sent to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah John Huber.  Sessions appointed Huber months ago to assist DOJ Inspector General (IG) Michael Horowitz.  By most accounts, Horowitz is doing a thoroughly professional job.  As IG, however, Horowitz lacks the authority to prosecute; he needs a U.S. Attorney for that.  And this has to be disturbing to the alleged perps.

This is no law-school case-study exercise, no arcane disputation over the fine points of this or that law. Rather, as we say in the inner-city, “It has now hit the fan.”  Criminal referrals can lead to serious jail time.  Granted, the upper-crust luminaries criminally “referred” enjoy very powerful support.  And that will come especially from the mainstream media, which will find it hard to retool and switch from Russia-gate to the much more delicate and much less welcome “FBI-gate.”

 

To continue reading: On the Criminal Referral of Comey, Clinton et al: Will the Constitution Hold and the Media Continue to Suppress the Story?

Black Political Power Means Zilch, by Walter E. Williams

The way upward mobility generally works in America is economic power and wealth come before political power. Many blacks think the opposite can work just as well, but it doesn’t. From Walter E. Williams at lewrockwell.com:

It’s often thought to be beyond question that black political power is necessary for economic power and enhanced socio-economic welfare. That’s an idea that lends itself to testing and analysis.

Between 1970 and 2012, the number of black elected officials rose from fewer than 1,500 to more than 10,000. Plus, a black man was elected to the presidency twice. Jason Riley, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, tells how this surge in political power has had little beneficial impact on the black community.

In a PragerU video, “Blacks in Power Don’t Empower Blacks” (http://tinyurl.com/y84psoyt), Riley says the conventional wisdom was based on the notion that only black politicians could understand and address the challenges facing blacks. Therefore, electing more black city councilors, mayors, representatives and senators was deemed critical. Even some liberal social scientists now disagree. Gary Orfield says, “There may be little relationship between the success of … black leaders and the opportunities of typical black families.” Riley says that while many black politicians achieved considerable personal success, many of their constituents did not.

After the 2014 Ferguson, Missouri, riots, which followed the killing of Michael Brown after he charged a policeman, much was made of the small number of blacks on the city’s police force. Riley asks: If the racial composition of the police force is so important, how does one explain the Baltimore riots the following year after Freddie Gray died in police custody? Baltimore’s police force is 40 percent black. Its police commissioner is black. Its mayor is black, as is the majority of the City Council. What can be said of black political power in Baltimore can also be said of Cleveland, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington, Atlanta and New Orleans. In these cities, blacks have been mayors, police chiefs, city councilors and superintendents of schools for decades.

To continue reading: Black Political Power Means Zilch

“Firewalls” and “Taint Teams” Do Not Protect Fourth and Sixth Amendment Rights, by Alan Dershowitz

The attorney-client privilege is well-grounded in the Fourth and Sixth Amendments. President Trump’s right to confidentiality in his communications with his attorney may well have been violated in the raid on his lawyer’s office. From Alan Dershowitz at thegatestoneinstitute.org:

  • The Fourth and Sixth Amendments prohibit government officials from in any way intruding on the privacy of lawyer/client confidential rights of citizens.
  • The very fact that this material is seen or read by a government official constitutes a core violation. It would be the same if the government surreptitiously recorded a confession of a penitent to a priest, or a description of symptoms by a patient to a doctor, or a discussion of their sex life between a husband and wife.
  • The recourses for intrusions on the Fourth and Sixth Amendments are multifold: the victim of the intrusion can sue for damages; he or she can exclude it from use by the government in criminal or civil cases; or the victim can demand the material back. But none of these remedies undo the harm to privacy and confidentiality done to the citizen by the government’s intrusion into his private and confidential affairs.

Many TV pundits are telling viewers not to worry about the government’s intrusion into possible lawyer/client privileged communications between President Trump and his lawyer, since prosecutors will not get to see or use any privileged material. This is because prosecutors and FBI agents create firewalls and taint teams to preclude privileged information from being used against the client in a criminal case. But that analysis completely misses the point and ignores the distinction between the Fifth Amendment on the one hand, and the Fourth and Sixth Amendments on the other.

The Fifth Amendment is an exclusionary rule. By its terms, it prevents material obtained in violation of the privilege of self-incrimination from being used to incriminate a defendant – that is to convict him of a crime. But the Fourth and Sixth Amendments provide far broader protections: they prohibit government officials from in any way intruding on the privacy of lawyer/client confidential rights of citizens. In other words, if the government improperly seizes private or privileged material, the violation has already occurred, even if the government never uses the material from the person from whom it was seized.

To continue reading: “Firewalls” and “Taint Teams” Do Not Protect Fourth and Sixth Amendment Rights