In an apparent response to the most offensive actions and recent comments of U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn. The U.S. State Department has recently updated its official definition of “anti-semitism.”
The previous definition of anti-semitism, issued in May by the State Department, listed 10 examples. The revised definition now lists 11 examples, adding one that now includes “Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” as a form of anti-semitism.
The leader of a U.S.-based pro-Israel organization has praised the move.
“Kudos to @SecPompeo and Special Envoy Elan Carr,” Adam Milstein, a philanthropist and co-founder of the Adam and Gila Milstein Foundation, wrote on Twitter. “It’s more clear now, the BDS Movement is disgustingly Antisemitic.”
“BDS” as used in the tweet, refers to the pro-Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, whose supporters call for the withdrawal of financial support for the Israeli government in protest of the treatment of Palestinian people.
The State Department revision follows last month’s overwhelming bipartisan 398-17 vote by the U.S. House of Representatives to oppose BDS and any international effort to boycott Israel.
Omar Has Made Her Support of BDS Clear
Omar cast one of the 17 dissenting votes on the resolution mentioned above. The freshman Representative, one of the so-called “Squad,” countered with a resolution of her own, supporting the right to boycott foreign governments “to advocate for human rights abroad,” and likening the action to boycotts of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.
Her resolution did not mention Israel or the Palestinians — but she made her intention clear when she spoke with reporters.
“We are introducing a resolution … to really speak about the American values that support and believe in our ability to exercise our First Amendment rights in regard to boycotting,” Omar told Al-Monitor. “And it is an opportunity for us to explain why it is we support a nonviolent movement, which is the BDS movement.”
Israeli Officials Express Some “Concern” Over the Resolution
Meanwhile, according to Fox News, nearly two dozen members of Israel’s parliament sent a letter to Congress on August 8, thanking them for the resolution opposing the international effort to boycott Israel but, warned that some of the language in the resolution “would be far more dangerous” to the country.
As stated above, the resolution put the House on record opposing the BDS movement and its efforts to target U.S. companies doing business with Israel.
However, the letter, (a copy of which was obtained by Fox News) expressed “a concern” regarding the “anti-BDS resolution.” The letter read, in part, “We believe [the Congressional Resolution] contains a grave error because it expresses, among other things, support for a so-called ‘Two-State Solution,’ meaning the establishment of a ‘Palestinian state’ in the heart of tiny Israel.
The members of Israel’s parliament also wrote, “We would like to make our position clear that the establishment of a Palestinian state would be far more dangerous to Israel than BDS.”
The letter then outlined several reasons, including security concerns.
“The establishment of an additional Arab (so-called Palestinian) state in the region would severely damage the national security of both Israel and the United States,” members of Israel’s parliament wrote, adding that “such a state would undoubtedly be a dysfunctional terrorist state, which would distance peace and undermine stability in the Middle East.”
It was signed by 21 members of the Knesset (Israeli parliament), which included former security officials.
The resolution has been endorsed by The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the influential Israel lobby in Washington.
“Unfortunately, in the last few years, AIPAC is independently advancing the two-state solution,” said, Yossi Dagan, the head of the Samaria Regional Council in the northern West Bank, and one of the signers of the letter.
Dagan added, “The Two-State Concept is not the policy of the current government coalition, nor is it stated as policy in the agreements between the coalition partners.”
An AIPAC spokesman declined to comment when Fox News’ contacted the organization for a response to the letter and Dagan’s comments.
Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have passed red flag anti-gun laws that allow a judge to sign a legal order allowing police to raid the property, with no prior knowledge or consent, of someone accused by someone else of being mentally unstable.
Forget due process. No crime has been committed. A family member with a grudge or a friend you owe money might sign a petition that questions your sanity and ability to handle a firearm responsibly. Perhaps it is a healthcare professional or law enforcement official who makes the anonymous accusation.
No matter – if a judge can be persuaded that the targeted individual sounds crazy enough to be a threat, the police will be authorized to conduct a raid and confiscate personal property with no formal charges or legal defense as required by U.S. law.
After 31 people were killed in recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, a bipartisan effort is using the public outrage, whipped up by the liberal press, into a feel-good call for action that grossly oversimplifies a very complex social issue.
Supporters of red flag laws believe that, since sociopathic mass shooters are mentally ill, taking guns away from people who own guns and are rumored to be psychologically unbalanced must be a good way to solve the problem. A mass murderer deprived of a firearm will pick up a knife, drive a car or shoot acid out of a squirt gun.
Now, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) wrote legislation that announced federal support for states that voluntarily surrender their state’s rights and pass red flag laws. This is institutionalized bribery, of course, and shows no sign of slacking.
“My goal is to have a system that can identify truly a person about to blow, and do something about it before it’s too late,” said Graham, who also stated that mass shootings “involved individuals who showed signs of violent behavior that are either ignored or not followed up. State red flag laws will provide the tools for law enforcement to do something about many of these situations before it’s too late.”
President Trump is accelerating the gun grab by giving a thumbs-up to extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) on August 5, 2019:
“We must make sure that those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms and that if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders.”
The following states have already turned away from the 2nd Amendment and down the slippery slope of eroding due process in the U.S. The kind of person who is allowed to submit a red flag petition is also shown:
California: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Colorado: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Connecticut: One state attorney or any two police officers
Delaware: Family, household members, and law enforcement
District of Columbia: Family, household members, mental health professionals, and law enforcement
Florida: Law enforcement
Hawaii: Family, household members, teachers, medical professionals, coworkers, and law enforcement
Illinois: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Indiana: Law enforcement
Maryland: Family, household members, certain health professionals, and law enforcement
Massachusetts: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Nevada: Family, household members, and law enforcement
New Jersey: Family, household members, and law enforcement
New York: Family, household members, school administrators, and law enforcement
Oregon: Family, household members, and law enforcement
Rhode Island: Law enforcement
Vermont: State attorneys or the office of the state attorney general
Washington: Family, household members, and law enforcement
All states allow ex parte orders to confiscate a flagged person’s firearm without official notification. The identity of the accuser remains anonymous for the duration of the ex parte order, which can be executed quickly but holds for a short time. Most states require a court hearing to issue a final order to take away the weapon for a longer period of time. The flagged individual has the opportunity to contest the order at this hearing.
Colorado jumped on the red flag bandwagon in a big way on April 12, 2019, when Gov. Jared Polis signed HB 1177 into law, making the state #15 on the anti-gun-toting list. Talk about a good idea that could go horribly wrong:
“Under Colorado’s recent law, anyone at all can make a phone call to the police. They don’t even have to be living in the state. There is no hearing. All the judge has before him is the statement of concern.”
Weld County Sheriff Steve Rheams spoke for many when he said during a public radio interview:
“Just taking someone’s firearms away and leaving them in place doesn’t solve the problem in my mind. It could actually make it worse in some scenarios. And you know, we’re just, we’re kicking the can down the road to deal with the mental health issue.”
Rep. Meg Froelich (D-CO) said:
“We are a western state with a libertarian streak. We are a strong outdoors state with hunting and fishing. And so I think all of those make for a more nuanced discussion on this issue.”
Rather than being innocent until proven guilty, a person whose gun has been confiscated has the burden of proof to show that s/he is no longers a threat. This is the opposite of the way the American legal system is supposed to work. Yet, no one seems to care about that little legal detail.
Likewise, people pushing red flag laws assume it’s okay to violate the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Sheriff Rheams is a staunch supporter of the Constitution and said he’d go to jail rather than follow a court order to take away someone’s guns without due process:
“My oath of office, it reads that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the state of Colorado. Obviously, that creates a concern if a law is adopted that I believe is in conflict with either the state Constitution or the United States Constitution.”
Counties across the nation calling themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” are defying the unconstitutional red flag laws.
Hungary has reached an agreement with Poland and Estonia to establish a warning mechanism against the UN Global Compact on Migration, enabling the countries to “move against such pro-migration proposals in their early phases, whether they are drawn up in the UN or in Brussels”.
Peter Szijarto, Hungary’s Foreign Minister, confirmed to Hungary’s MTI that the agreement had been reached with his Polish and Estonian counterparts, About Hungary reports.
On Monday, Szijarto said, “It has once again been made clear that pro-migration forces want to make the United Nations’ global migration compact, the world’s most dangerous migration document, mandatory.”
Last December, at the UN General Assembly, 152 countries voted in favor of the Global Migration Compact while five voted against it, 13 countries abstained, and 57 didn’t vote at all.
Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, the United States, and Israel – who all rejected the document last December – were also joined by Estonia in the most recent vote. Not one of the Visegrád countries backed the compact, with Slovakia choosing not to vote in the most recent vote.
Szijarto argued that anything approved by the United Nations essentially becomes part of international law and judicial practice. He also emphasized the need to fight “pro-migration proposals.”
The Visegrád (V4) countries have recently asserted their political will in ways that haven’t in the past. As an example, the Head of the Hungarian Prime Minister’s Office said last Thursday that Germany’s Ursula von der Leven couldn’t have been nominated as European Commission President without the support of the Visegrád countries.
President Trump has struck back at Iran for their increasingly aggressive language, by issuing “hard-hitting” financial sanctions against Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and his associates. Signing an Executive Order (EO) imposing the new sanctions Trump said, “Today’s action follows a series of aggressive behaviors by the Iranian regime in recent weeks including shooting down a U.S. drone,” the president said in the Oval Office, calling Khamenei “responsible for the hostile conduct of the regime.”
Trump said the sanctions “will deny the supreme leader and the supreme leader’s office and those closely affiliated with him and the office access to key financial resources and support.”
Speaking to reporters in the White House briefing room, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the sanctions “lock up literally billions of dollars more of assets.”
“Along with that action today, we are also announcing specific actions targeting those responsible for recent activities,” Mnuchin said, adding that the president has instructed him to sanction Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “later this week.”
Executive Action and a Cyberattack Against Iran
In a news release following the signing of the EO, the Treasury Department said, “any foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant financial transaction for entities designated under this Executive Order could be cut off from the U.S. financial system.”
Amid the newly announced sanctions, Fox News has confirmed that the U.S. military also carried out a cyber attack against Iran last Thursday even as the president nixed plans for airstrikes in response to the downing of an American drone.
Sources said U.S. Cyber Command launched the cyber attack targeting the Iranian intelligence and radar installations used to down the U.S. Navy drone last week.
Fox News has learned that Iran shut off some of its military radar sites around the time the U.S. was poised to launch retaliatory strikes. It’s not clear if those radar sites were turned off by the cyber attack or if Iran shut them off deliberately in anticipation of this.
A recent Supreme Court ruling could mean trouble for former Trump campaign manager, Paul Manafort.
The ruling in the case of an Alabama man who pleaded guilty to a gun charge could have major implications for the unrelated white-collar case against Paul Manafort in New York — by keeping him exposed to another set of charges, even if he ultimately wins a presidential pardon.
At issue in the Alabama dispute was whether the “dual sovereignty doctrine” — which allows a person to face both state and federal charges for the same offense — violates the Fifth Amendment’s Double Jeopardy Clause. On Monday, the Supreme Court ruled it does not.
“Although the dual-sovereignty rule is often dubbed an ‘exception’ to the double jeopardy right, it is not an exception at all,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote in the opinion. “On the contrary, it follows from the text that defines that right in the first place.”
A Presidential Pardon No Longer Guarantees Freedom For Manfort
The ruling means that prosecutors in New York have free reign to continue their case against Manafort, who already has been convicted of federal crimes that include bank and tax fraud. Had the court ruled the other way in Monday’s case, Gamble v. United States, and eliminated the dual sovereignty doctrine, a pardon from President Trump would have left Manafort free and clear.
But since Presidential pardons can only be given for those convicted of Federal crimes and not state crimes, Manafort’s “get out of jail free card” is no longer guaranteed.
“No one is beyond the law in New York,” Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance said in a statement when the indictment was announced. Manafort is facing 16 counts in that indictment, including conspiracy, residential mortgage fraud, and falsifying business records. The charges are based on allegations similar to ones related to his federal convictions.
The Gamble case, meanwhile, involved a man who was first convicted of a state gun possession charge following a guilty plea, then indicted in federal court for the same possession. He pleaded guilty in that case too, only to appeal with the argument that the federal charge violated double jeopardy.
Alito explained that the Double Jeopardy Clause prohibits multiple prosecutions for the same “offence,” but “an ‘offence’ is defined by a law, and each law is defined by a sovereign.” Therefore, Alito said, “where there are two sovereigns, there are two laws, and two ‘offences.'”
Alito’s opinion was joined by Justices Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan, and Brett Kavanaugh, as well as Chief Justice John Roberts.
Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Neil Gorsuch each wrote dissenting opinions.
From the Department of Adding Insult to Injury, the Democratic leadership in California, led by Governor Gavin Newsom, has agreed to grant eligibility for the state’s Medicaid program to low-income, undocumented, illegal adults aged 19 to 25.
Effective January 2020, these foreign freeloaders will enjoy a privilege denied to many hard-working American taxpaying citizens who do not qualify for Medi-Cal.
The West Coast liberals are openly pandering to what they regard as their future voting bloc, with the expectation that these intruders will topple Republican political opponents at the next presidential election.
The 2020 California state budget is $213 billion. “Extraordinary” state budget surplus funds will be used not to help veterans or homeless Americans but to reward lawbreakers who have entered the country without bothering to become naturalized legally.
First-year costs are pegged at $98 million and give California the dubious distinction of being the first U.S. state that rewards criminal behavior by subsidizing some 90,000 illegal aliens’ healthcare expenses.
Health Access is an organization which touts itself as “California’s Health Consumer Advocacy Coalition.” This group is helping illegals get benefits reserved for the citizenry.
Liberal mouthpiece Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access, commented on the new laws which give preference to folks who are gaming the political system:
“While it’s not all we sought, it will provide a real tangible difference for people, especially for those around and below poverty and for middle income families who don’t get any help under the federal law.”
Too bad those families aren’t actual Americans. Under the new rules, a four-member family earning as much as six times the federal poverty level – more than $150,000 a year – would be eligible to receive approximately $100 each and every month from the state government to lower their monthly health insurance premiums.
Even worse, the California Assembly has drafted a new bill that would cover all undocumented migrants over the age of 19 who reside in that state. This expansion of Gov. Newsome’s gift to non-citizen scofflaws, which caps Medi-Cal eligibility at age 25, is projected to cost a whopping $3.4 billion (with a ‘b’).
The California Senate likes Newsome’s proposal to cover 19-25 year-olds but also wants to tack on seniors 65 and older. In response to citizen concerns over the increased expenditure, Sen. Maria Elana Durazo brushed the issue aside, rationalizing that the state’s budget surplus has been projected to be $21.5 billion.
What’s a few billion dollars among future constituents, after all? Golden State Democrats obviously don’t give a fig about the epidemic of homelessness that is dragging their once-great state down into the status of a third-world country.
Members of the California legislature claim that more than half (1.8 million) of the 3 million residents who don’t have any health insurance live in the U.S. illegally. Almost half of those 1.8 million undocumented aliens have income low enough to qualify for Medi-Cal benefits.
As if this weren’t enough punishment for legal Californians, leadership is scheming to make them pay for the perks coming to all those undocumented residents by imposing fines on anyone who doesn’t buy a health insurance policy.
This twisted plot would perpetuate the Obama-era federal tax penalty applied to those unwilling or unable to purchase one of his “Affordable Care Act” (ACA) insurance plans. Republican legislatures under President Trump voted in 2017 to repeal that punitive federal law which targeted the very people now destined to receive special treatment in California: poor folks.
However, the big difference between the low-income citizens slated to get something for nothing in California next year and those affected by the deceitful and flawed Obamacare program is that ACA impacted legal citizens while Gov. Newsome and his Democratic cronies are helping people who shouldn’t be living in the U.S. in the first place.
GOP State Senator Jeff Stone put into words what many others are thinking about these patently unfair laws:
“We’re going to penalize the citizens of this state that have followed the rules, but we’re going to let somebody who has not followed the rules come in here and get the services for free. I just think that’s wrong.”
Bleeding-heart liberals are using all the buzzwords they can to gain sympathy for their unfair and politically biased healthcare initiative. In this statement from Cynthia Buiza, executive director of the California Immigrant Policy Center, note the complete absence of the word “illegal” (“undocumented” is so much easier to swallow, isn’t it?) and the use of the emotionally-loaded word “beloved:”
“For California’s immigrant communities, today’s budget deal is bittersweet. The exclusion of undocumented elders from the same healthcare their U.S. citizen neighbors are eligible for means beloved community members will suffer and die from treatable conditions. And the exclusion of many immigrants from the Earned Income Tax Credit will perpetuate the crisis of economic inequality in our state.”
If you want to talk about economic inequality, Ms. Buiza, let’s take a deep dive into why you want tax-paying citizens to pay for illegal aliens’ health insurance?
That headline may seem like something out of the 1920s, when Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, was trying to rid the world of what she considered undesirable human stock – including the handicapped, mentally ill and Negros of any kind. She and her band of progressive eugenicists were pushing for abortions and forced sterilization of those they deemed unfit to propagate – and even live. If this sounds to you disturbingly like the social philosophy of Nazi Germany, you are not wrong. Sanger and her organization were in close touch with Hitler, who praised their efforts.
So, what is the deal with the headline?
Well it seems that a state senator in Ohio proposed that the new so-called “heartbeat law” limiting abortions not … repeat not … include African American women. They should continue to be aborting their offspring at record numbers.
One might assume that such a proposal would come from some white supremacist who, like Sanger, wants to reduce the number of little black babies coming into the world. That would make sense – wacko as it is. It would be consistent with the genocidal underpinning of Planned Parenthood today – which places most of their abortion operations in poor minority neighborhoods and aborts black babies disproportionate to the population demographics. While blacks represent 13 percent of the population, they account for more than 40 percent of the abortions. It is the reason that Martin Luther King’s niece, Alveda King, campaigns so vigorously against the “services” of Planned Parenthood.
Of course, such an exemption would violate the Constitution, which requires that all laws be equally applied. At least that is the general theory of it.
But hold on! The proposal to continue to abort black babies was not introduced by some old white racist. No. No. No. it was introduced by Ohio State Representative Janine Boyd – a black female Democrat. But what in God’s name could possibly motivate a black woman legislator to want to encourage the mass abortion of black children – exempting women from a law intended to protect the rights of ALL unborn human beings?
Boyd does explain her reasoning – although it does not make a lot of sense. But here it is. In urging her legislative colleagues to support her amendment, Boyd said:
“I consider the slave trade and how black slaves were once treated like cattle and put out to stud in order to create generations of more slaves. I consider the how many masters raped their slaves. I consider how many masters forced their slaves to have abortions, and I consider how many pregnant slaves self-induced abortions so that they would not contribute children they had to this slave system. … And so, I ask you, with all of your values, to consider that and vote yes to this amendment.”
She wants to allow black women to have abortions because slave owners forced them to have babies “to create generations of more slaves” and because slave owners “forced their slaves to have abortions” in order to reduce the number of black babies. Does Boyd’s reasoning suffer from a bit of inconsistency? She wants to preserve the ability of modern black women to have abortions because 150 years ago slave owners made them have babies and … made them have abortions. I just cannot get passed the head-scratching phase on that bit of reasoning.
She also notes that “pregnant slaves self-induced abortion so that they would not contribute children they had to the slave system.” Does this mean that Boyd sees today’s black women having abortions as some sort of historic tradition — some sort of cultural ritual?
I only had one college course in logic, so maybe I am missing something – but none of that seems to explain why black women should be granted an exclusive right to abort their unborn children under circumstances in which the children of white, Asian and Hispanic women are allowed to live. I would think that abortion, itself, draws a better comparison to slavery since both require the dehumanization of a person. But that’s just me.
It is interesting that Boyd’s outrageous proposal did not get very much attention from the left-wing east coast media – which is quick to give such local stories excessive national coverage if the outrageous news can be made to reflect badly on the Republicans and conservatives.
Reflecting the fact that there is still a modicum of sanity on our political process, the proposed amendment to Heartbeat Bill did not get very far. Whew!
So, there ‘tis.
It’s funny that any Democrat would think that they could present a challenge to Lindsey Graham’s South Carolina Senate seat in 2020, but I guess that is why South Carolina Democratic Party chairman, Jaime Harrison, chose to announce his bid to do so… in comic book fashion.
In a comic book-themed video posted on Facebook, Harrison highlights his humble roots in Orangeburg, S.C., and slammed Graham as “a guy who will say anything to stay in office.”
In the video announcement of his candidacy, Harrison tore at Graham’s shifting stance on President Donald Trump, whom he called a “bigot” who was “not fit to be president of the United States” when the two faced off for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Now, as you know, Graham has since been one of Trump’s most consistent defenders.
“Lindsey Graham can’t lead us in any direction because he traded his moral compass for petty political gain,” Harrison says in the video. “He’s forgotten about the people he represents.”
Who Is Jaimie Harrison?
Harrison, who was the state Democratic party’s first black chairman and served as an aide to Rep. James Clyburn, highlighted his “origin” story of being born to a teen mother, raised by his grandparents, and his education at Yale University and Georgetown Law School.
Upon hearing of his challenge to the incumbent Senator, The National Republican Senate Committee slammed Harrison as a “looney liberal.”
“Harrison is a looney liberal who was hand-picked to run by radical Washington Democrats,” NRSC spokesperson Nathan Brand told CBS News. “Lindsey Graham is one of the most popular U.S. Senators in the country because South Carolina voters know that he has delivered results and has been a tireless fighter for Palmetto State values.”
If Harrison were to somehow successfully unseat Graham, he would be the first Democrat from South Carolina to be elected to the Senate since 1998.
There are many problems associated with having a large field of presidential candidates – not the least of which is that it often results in the nomination of the most extreme – read that, unelectable – candidate.
While the 18 candidates who ran for the Republican nomination in 2016 and the 23 – and growing – Democrat candidates in for 2020, we often have a relatively large number of candidates. The only difference is that the media – and we the people – tend to ignore most of them.
In past elections, there were unwritten rules covering the handling a large field of candidates. It was to separate the wheat from the chaff – the serious contenders from those whose support does not extend beyond family and friends. If a candidate was polling below five percent, they were usually determined to be “not serious.”
Although I have never been involved in a presidential debate, as executive director of the City Club of Chicago, I negotiated several Senate, House, gubernatorial and other debates. Who would be on the stage was usually restricted by the unwritten rule of five percent. This was often the requirement of a co-sponsoring news organization. Though the rule was never officially cited, news coverage – or lack thereof – generally followed in that tradition.
On 2016, Republicans used a modified version of the rule to determine which candidates would be on the mainstage debate and which would be relegated to the separate kiddie pool event. There were some off-the-wall candidates who did not get invited to participate in either platform.
There has been a demonstrable change in terms of the long list of Democrat presidential candidates. They are taking a much more egalitarian approach. Every one of the candidates will be treated equally – well almost. The Democrats first presidential debate will take place over two nights.
The rule kept down the number of candidates because the marginal candidates – those with overblown egos – could get no traction. The news media ignored them – as did the funders. That is yet to befall those Democrat presidential candidates who languish in the less-than-one-percent polling level, but in the meantime, they are getting the treatment of serious contenders.
That is providing a huge communications benefit for the Democrats. With each of the 23 (so far) candidates getting media interviews and being invited to participate in several so-called “townhall meetings” and two-hour interviews characterized by softball questions, the Democrats anti-Trump, anti-Republican message is getting scores of hours of airtime – essentially political infomercials. In the media, it is essentially an 23 person ambush on Trump – with the media playing it to the Democrats advantage.
The two-hour appearances do not include all the pre-event promotion and post-event analysis – virtually all of which will be very positive. It was a recent townhall-as-infomercial that is supposed to restore former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke to some semblance of visibility and credibility. You will recall that he descended from being one of the most excited candidates in the early presidential field into the abyss of political irrelevancy in the Democrats game of Whack-a-Mole.
When the press and pundits wonder why some of these folks have jumped into the presidential race – with zero chance of even coming close – just look at all the exposure and publicity they are getting. For some, it may be a hope of getting noticed for a Cabinet position or even a vice presidential invitation. It is a level of recognition that they could not have possibly achieved without raising their head out of the hole – even if they eventually get whacked.
So. There ‘tis.
In a scathing letter to the Department of Justice, White House Counsel Emmet Flood, tore into Robert Mueller and his investigators, telling AG William Barr that the Special Counsel’s team included “political statements” in their Russia report and “failed” to act as traditional prosecutors — while stating President Trump reserves his right to invoke executive privilege on matters related to the report.
In the April 19 letter to the Justice Department obtained recently by Fox News, White Flood laid out a series of concerns with the Mueller report, specifically on the team’s handling of the investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice.
“The Special Counsel and his staff failed in their duty to act as prosecutors and only as prosecutors,” Flood wrote, complaining that the report “suffers from an extraordinary legal defect” by failing to comply with the “requirements of governing law.”
Mueller Was Making Political Statements Instead of Doing His Job
Flood raised concerns that the team did not reach a determination on the obstruction question while still going into great detail about the probe’s findings and including a pointed passage that stated the probe did not exonerate the president. That passage read, “The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that prevent us from conclusively determining that no criminal conduct occurred. Accordingly, while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Flood noted prosecutors “simply are not in the business of establishing innocence” and described these and other quotes and summaries made by Mueller in the report as “political statements.”
In the letter, which was sent the day after the redacted version of the Mueller report was made public, Flood said, “the one thing the Special Counsel’s Office, (SCO) was obligated to do is the very thing the SCO — intentionally and unapologetically — refused to do. The SCO made neither a prosecution decision nor a declination decision on the obstruction question.” Flood complained that the report was instead “laden with factual information that has never been subjected to adversarial testing or independent analysis.”
He also said Mueller “produced a prosecutorial curiosity,” describing the report as “part ‘truth commission’ report and part law school exam paper.”
Flood, also maintained in the letter that Trump’s waiving executive privilege on the report does not constitute a blanket waiver, and he still has the right to invoke such privilege.
The letter comes as a defiant White House has signaled it intends to vigorously oppose subpoenas that might run up against executive privilege, a power sanctioned by the Supreme Court that allows the president and members of the executive branch to shield certain internal communications from disclosure, absent a compelling overriding justification.