Some Legal Advice for President Trump

President Donald J. Trump and his lawyers are engaged in a choreographed performance aimed, not at Special Counsel Robert Mueller, but at the voting public. Trump acts as if  he is just dying to have a conversation to clear the air with Mueller, while his lawyers argue that there should be limits on any such…

Jim Clapper’s “Magical Mystery Tour”

Before he accepted his appointment by President Obama as Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper wrote in a letter to the President: “I have always sought to be ‘below the radar;” I do not like publicity.” The big payday of a large book contract seems to have overcome Clapper’s reticence. In addition to his paid…

President Trump, General Kelly and the Accused Aide

President Donald J. Trump and his White House Chief of Staff, former General John Kelly each came to their current position from different places and a different time. When Marine General John Kelly was commanding American and Coalition forces in battle in Western Iraq, if he heard that an exceptionally effective aide or company commander…

The House Intelligence Memo: Damning Details

There’s not much news in the House Intelligence Committee Majority Staff Memo on abuses by a few individuals at the FBI and Department of Justice (DOJ) in the use of FISA (Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act) to conduct surveillance on domestic political opponents. There is confirmation of the leaks that the discredited “Trump Dossier” a/k/a “Steele…

The “Russian Collusion” Investigation Takes an Unexpected Bounce

If John LeCarre’s later novels seem to have taken a more polemic tone than his byzantine earlier tales of espionage and treachery, maybe it’s because writers of spy thrillers, like practitioners of political parody and satire, find themselves ever more unable to stay ahead of reality. The subject of Russian interference in the 2016 American…

Trump the Unifier

Noon on Sunday is one of the best times of the week. After a morning of news talk show agita about politics we get the NFL pregame shows with diverting chat about football. How distressing today to tune into the CBS and FOX pregame shows and get a big dose of talk about … politics….

Jared Kushner’s White House role is far from unusual

(Because of their publication schedule, this op-ed in today’s Cape Cod Times was written two weeks ago, pre-Comey, pre-Sessions and pre-Republican baseball shootout. Dealing with the subject of sputtering outrage at the time, it now seems like a artifact from another era.) Critics, including syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker in “Family politics: Why is Kushner a…

Comey’s Revenge

It’s only been a month since President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey on May 9. Comey’s testimony today before the Senate Intelligence Committee climaxed a rush of developments since then. Look elsewhere for prescience. On May 11 in “Comey’s Exit and the Artificial Storm” I flatly stated “There will be no independent counsel,”…

Comey’s Exit and the Artificial Storm

Good riddance Jim Comey and don’t let the door hit you on the ass. The self-righteous, publicity seeking FBI Director was fired Tuesday by President Trump. While the FBI Director is supposed to be above politics, it is necessary that he be politically adept enough to follow Justice Department policies and political protocol in the…

Trump doubles down

Immediately after President Trump’s inaugural address. It turns out he really meant it. President Donald Trump did not say all those things just to get elected. He meant them. He apparently did not run just to be President. Those who hoped that, once President, Trump would join the establishment are in for a big disappointment….

A president’s conflicts cannot be untangled by statute

 Boston Globe Inbox  There is a reason that the president is not subject to the federal conflicts-of-interest statute. The qualifications for assuming the presidency are set forth in the Constitution, as are the powers that the president may exercise (“The White House is not just another asset,’’ Editorial, Jan. 16). They may not be modified…

The Only Remedy for Trump’s Conflicts of Interest is Vigilance

[This post was a Cape Cod Times op-ed column but includes historical material cut from the column for reasons of space.] Even President-Elect Donald Trump’s staunchest supporters express concern about actual and potential conflicts of interest between his Presidential powers and his far-flung business activities. Trump may also try to work around the anti-nepotism statute to…