Replacing RBG

I have written frequently here of the Kabuki theater of Supreme Court nominations. Each Senate actor has a highly scripted role to play. There are different parts to be played by the Senate actors, depending on whether they in the Majority party in the Senate and whether they are in the nominating President’s party. Following…

After the ball is over …. will Trump go home?

The chattering classes are all atwitter. “Will Trump go, if he loses the election?” It all depends on who says he lost. Some of his critics still maintain he really lost in 2016. If the Electoral College results, opened and counted by Vice President Mike Pence in the presence of a Joint Session of Congress…

In the Age of the Coronavirus

In spite of being quarantined for several weeks I have avoided writing here about the Coronavirus Covid-19. I am not trained in the subject of viruses and their prevention and treatment. I have, however, in these last weeks read a great deal about it, most of it written by people who don’t seem to know…

Whose Prosecutorial Discretion Is It, Anyway?

News outlets and social media are aflame with denunciations of Attorney General William Barr’s order to change the prosecutor’s sentencing recommendation to the judge in the case of Roger Stone, a gadfly Trump supporter. The excitement was created by the dramatic “resignations” of four Assistant U.S. Attorneys who had originally submitted a memo recommending a…

Undermining Confidence in Elections

Letter in Cape Cod Times Columnist Larry Brown is quite right that “If we lose our confidence that elections are fair, democracy falls apart” (“2020 will be the year of tipping point choices,” Ideas & Opinion, Jan. 3) He is also certainly correct that Donald Trump in 2016 said that an election loss by him…

The Inspector General’s Report – A Matter of Intent

  The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Michael Horowitz, recently released a report unappealingly titled “Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI’s Crossfire Hurricane Investigation.” In its bureaucratic prose, larded with acronyms and unnamed actors, it lives up to its dreary title. (Oddly, the Mueller Report, by contrast, whatever…

The Ukrainian Impeachment

For most Americans the Ukraine is a former member of the U.S.S.R., the home of Nikita Khrushchev and the site of terrible battles between Russian and German forces during World War II.  More recently we have come to learn that it seems to be governed alternately by pro-Russian and anti-Russian kleptocracies in which bribery and…

Mueller stumbles off stage

Democrats are justifiably frustrated that the ballyhooed testimony of Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday added nothing to his published 448 page Report. Democratic members of both the Judiciary Committee in the morning and the Intelligence Oversight Committee in the afternoon had obviously prepared for the big show, assigning different subjects to various members. They…

It’s Mueller Time 2: Obstruction

Recently in It’s Mueller Time!,” I discussed the Meuller Report’s treatment of the issue of whether President Trump or his campaign criminally conspired with the Russians during the 2016 campaign (“Russian Collusion”). I relied on Attorney General William Barr’s summary of the principal conclusions of the report. Since then the full report with very limited required…

It’s Mueller Time!

Saturday Night Live will continue Alec Baldwin’s ham-handed send up of Donald Trump but it doesn’t look like Robert DeNiro will long reprise his role as a menacing Robert Mueller. The Special Counsel has filed his final report and closed shop on his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election and, particularly, of whether…

Trump ouster plot is bureaucratic overreach

Cape Cod Times, March 7, 2019 Contrary to the assertion in your March 2 editorial, “When is a coup not a coup?” the plotting by a group of career bureaucrats below Cabinet level at the Justice Department and FBI to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove a president they deplore is not part of their…