Turning Jurisprudence On Its Head

Robert Mueller made a statement at the Department of Justice today. He officially ended his investigation and resigned. However, he did it in a way that was totally in conflict with American jurisprudence.

Townhall reported on Mueller’s statement. Here is one quote:

“I’m speaking out today because our investigation is complete,” Mueller said. “We are formally closing the Special Counsel’s office and I am resigning from the Department of Justice to return private life.”

Fox News reported some other quotes from today:

Mueller, speaking from the Justice Department Wednesday morning, announced the closing of his office and detailed the findings of the Russia investigation, underscoring that there “was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy” with regard to whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

…But Mueller did not mince words on his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that,” Mueller said. “We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.”

Mueller’s job was to determine if the President committed a crime–if there was no evidence of a crime, then it was not up to Mueller to determine whether or not a crime was committed–his job was to follow the evidence. The President, just like any other citizen, is innocent until proven guilty.

The statement was a farce for a number of reasons.

Mueller would not take questions. President Trump was never given an opportunity to fact his accusers. No one was allowed to cross examine Mueller. Mueller was not going to let the Republicans question him on the basis for the investigation, the role of the Steele Dossier in the FISA warrants, the role of the Clinton campaign in the Steele Dossier, or when during the investigation he realized that there was no there there. It’s interesting that Peter Strzok realized as Mueller was putting his team together that there was no there there (see emails between Peter Strzok and Lisa Page). If Peter Strzok could figure that out, couldn’t Mueller? There will always be a question as to whether or not Mueller prolonged the investigation until after the mid-term elections in order to help the Democrats.

Unfortunately the Democrats seem to have forgotten the concept of innocent until proven guilty. After thirty-plus million dollars, President Trump has not been proven guilty. It’s over. From now on, this is simply harassment of the President and his family. If you support the House of Representatives continuing on this path, understand that in the future the power of government could be turned on anyone who is upsetting the establishment. Is that a country you want to live in?

 

 

How Is This Not Harassment?

Yesterday Politico posted an article about the Democrats in Congress’ ongoing quest for all of President Trump’s financial records. The article reports that President Donald Trump and his family are suing Deutsche Bank and Capital One to block subpoenas issued by House Democrats seeking Trump’s financial records. The President’s attorneys argued that the subpoenas serve “no legitimate or lawful purpose.” The scope of the subpoenas is ridiculous.

The article reports:

The committees, the Trumps’ lawyers said, have refused to provide copies of the subpoenas to the Trump family, and their scope was learned from Deustche Bank and Capital One. But according to the lawsuit, the committees are seeking “all banking and financial records not just concerning the individual plaintiffs, but also their own family members.”

“This means the subpoenas request documents about accounts of the plaintiffs’ children (and in some cases, grandchildren),” the lawyers said.

For most of the documents, the lawyers added, the committees are demanding records from the last 10 years but, for others, the request is “unbounded,” going back to the childhoods of individual Trumps.

“The House of Representatives is demanding, among other things, records of every single checking withdrawal, credit-card swipe, or debit-card purchase — no matter how trivial or small — made by each and every member of the Trump family,” they said.

We have people in Congress who are seeking the bank records of children and grandchildren. This is harassment.

Repeating A Failed Strategy

I vaguely remember the Anita Hill hearings. I do remember wondering at the time why Anita Hill would follow a man who was sexually harassing her from job to job. Why didn’t she just say good riddance and stay in the job she had instead of moving on to the next job working with him? If the harassment was real, I seriously doubt she would have followed him. At any rate, there are some interesting similarities between the attempted destruction of Clarence Thomas and the attempted destruction of Brett Kavanaugh.There is also some revising of comments made during the Anita Hill testimony being done.

Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist posted an article yesterday citing some of the revised history now being spouted.

The article at The Federalist notes:

“Not only didn’t I vote for Clarence Thomas, I believed her from the beginning. I was against Clarence Thomas, I did everything in my power to defeat Clarence Thomas and he won by the smallest margin anyone ever won going on the Supreme Court,” Biden told “The View’s” Joy Behar.

That is the current statement.

The article notes past statements:

But in 1998, Biden admitted to Specter (Senator Arlen Specter ) that “It was clear to me from the way she was answering the questions, [Hill] was lying” about a key part of her testimony. The exchange was published in Specter’s 2000 memoir, “Passion for Truth: From Finding JFK’s Single Bullet to Questioning Anita Hill to Impeaching Clinton.”

The issue is important, as the media and other partisans rewrite the historical record about Hill and her accusations. The widely watched hearings revealed inaccuracies in Hill’s various versions of events and ended with 58 percent of Americans believing Thomas and only 24 percent believing Hill. There was no gap between the sexes in the results. In the intervening years, activists have relentlessly attempted to change the narrative, writing fan fiction about Hill, bestowing honors on her, and asserting that her disputed allegations were credible.

The article also notes:

Finally he asked Hill about a USA Today article that claimed, “Anita Hill was told by Senate staffers her signed affidavit alleging sexual harassment by Clarence Thomas would be the instrument that ‘quietly and behind the scenes’ would force him to withdraw his name.”

Specter read from the article: “Keith Henderson, a 10-year friend of Hill and former Senate Judiciary Committee staffer, says Hill was advised by Senate staffers that her charge would be kept secret and her name kept from public scrutiny.” Later it said, “They would approach Judge Thomas with the information and he would withdraw and not turn this into a big story, Henderson says.”

Specter asked her if this was true, attempting to find out what Senate Democrats had arranged with Hill. Nine times she denied the claim, demurred, or otherwise attempted to get away from the question. She said she could vividly remember events related to Thomas from many years prior, but couldn’t quite remember this conversation from weeks prior.

Somehow this all seems too familiar. I am grateful for men who do not back down when faced with accusations that have no evidence and no collaboration. If women are serious about ending the sexual harassment of women, they also need to be serious about ending false accusations against men whose politics they may disagree with.

 

The Video vs. The Media

Yesterday Reason posted an article about the incident at the Lincoln Memorial. The magazine took the time to analyze the entire video of the incident.

This is the entire video as posted at YouTube:

Here are the key points of the video as noted by Reason:

Phillips enters the picture around the 1:12 mark, but if you skip to that part, you miss an hour of the Black Hebrew Israelites hurling obscenities at the students. They call them crackers, faggots, and pedophiles. At the 1:20 mark (which comes after the Phillips incident) they call one of the few black students the n-word and tell him that his friends are going to murder him and steal his organs. At the 1:25 mark, they complain that “you give faggots rights,” which prompted booing from the students. Throughout the video they threaten the kids with violence, and attempt to goad them into attacking first. The students resisted these taunts admirably: They laughed at the hecklers, and they perform a few of their school’s sports cheers.

It was at this moment that Phillips, who had attended a nearby peace protest led by indigenous peoples, decided to intervene. He would later tell The Detroit Free Press that the teenagers “were in the process of attacking these four black individuals” and he decided to attempt to de-escalate the situation. He seems profoundly mistaken: The video footage taken by the black nationalists shows no evidence the white teenagers had any intention of attacking. Nevertheless, Phillips characterized the kids as “beasts” and the hate-group members as “their prey”:

“There was that moment when I realized I’ve put myself between beast and prey,” Phillips said. “These young men were beastly and these old black individuals was their prey, and I stood in between them and so they needed their pounds of flesh and they were looking at me for that.”

Again, all the evidence suggests that Phillips got it backward.

He also claimed that he heard chants of “build the wall.” While I cannot rule out the possibility that some of the kids indeed chanted this—those who were wearing MAGA hats are presumably Trump supporters—I did not hear a single utterance of the phrase in the nearly two hours of video footage I watched. Admittedly, the kids do a lot of chanting and it’s not always possible to tell what they are saying. Their stated explanation is that they engaged in a series of school sports chants: That’s what one student told a local news reporter. His account largely tracks with the video.

“We are an all-male school that loves to get hyped up,” said this student. “And as we have done for years prior, we decided to do some cheers to pass time. In the midst of our cheers, we were approached by a group of adults led by Nathan Phillips, with Phillips beating his drum. They forced their way to the center of our group. We initially thought this was a cultural display since he was beating along to our cheers and so we clapped to the beat.” According to this student, the smiling student was grinning because he was enjoying the music, but eventually became confused, along with everyone else. (Indeed, multiple people can be heard to shout, “what is going on?”)

It would be impossible to definitively state that none of the young men did anything wrong, offensive, or problematic, at some point, and maybe the smiling student was attempting to intimidate Phillips. But there’s shockingly little evidence of wrongdoing, unless donning a Trump hat and standing in a group of other people doing the same is now an act of harassment or violence. Phillips’ account, meanwhile, is at best flawed, and arguably deliberately misleading.

Unless other information emerges, the school’s best move would be to have a conversation with the boys about the incident, perhaps discuss some strategies for remaining on perfect behavior at highly charged political rallies—where everybody is recording everything on a cell phone—and let that be the end of it.

The writer accurately sums up the situation:

The boys are undoubtedly owed an apology from the numerous people who joined this social media pile-on. This is shaping up to be one of the biggest major media misfires in quite some time.

This is what a media mob looks like, and provides us with another reason to distrust the media.

 

 

Unbelievable

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit posted an article about a recent statement by Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. Representative Nadler told CNN’s Jake Tapper that President Trump’s hush money payments to two women with his own money are impeachable offenses.Somehow lost in this discussion was the fact that Congress paid has paid out $17 million in the past 10 years, public records show, for unwanted sexual advances by unnamed lawmakers.

The offenses were by unnamed lawmakers. And the money came from taxpayers. So paying women to be quiet with your own money is impeachable, but paying women to be quiet using taxpayer money is acceptable. Wow. Who knew?

The article includes the following tweet:

That is an interesting question.

The Beginning Of Accountability

The Washington Examiner is reporting the following today:

A House Republican introduced legislation Wednesday that would make public all legislative branch settlement payments made in the past two decades and would force lawmakers and staff to repay harassment claims settled on their behalf.

The bill, authored by Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., would also prohibit future use of federal funds to pay harassment claims, which is now the practice.

This is long overdue. The practice should not have begun in the first place. There also needs to a private audit of government expenses to see what else Congress has been spending money on that the public is unaware of.

The article further reports:

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., pledged a “comprehensive” examination of harassment problems, beginning with a Dec. 7 hearing in the House Administration Committee. The panel will scrutinize the 1995 Congressional Accountability Act, which instituted a prohibition of discrimination and harassment in the legislative branch.

One thing to keep in mind here is that sometimes a person will simply pay a person bringing charges because it is easier than fighting the charges. That needs to be considered in looking at these cases–how much time would a Congressman lose fighting a charge that wasn’t true? Also, not all of these cases were sexual harassment cases–some were discrimination. Again, how many were settled because it was simply easier than going to court? What we need is a way to distinguish false charges from valid charges so that appropriate actions can be taken. I am not sure Congress is capable of that. However, the bill that Representative De Santis has introduced is a good first step toward ending a pattern of horribly adolescent behavior in Congress. Let’s see if Congress is willing to pass the bill.

Just Wondering …

The Daily Caller reported today that Herman Cain told reporters today that he would not answer questions about the alleged charges against him while he was speaking to the group Docs4PatientCare at the group’s annual meeting in Alexandria, Virginia. I have no problem with that–the whole story is ridiculous. The Women’s Liberation movement has made sexual harassment charges a joke–anything you decide makes you uncomfortable can be classified as sexual harassment. The standard is so low that opening a door for a woman can be considered harassment.

Anyway. I am wondering where these charges came from. I have no doubt that someone who claimed harassment was paid a severance and let go. I just want to know who she approached with her information. My actual guess is that the attack came from the Republican establishment. If they are really good, they will blame Rick Perry for the attack–that would eliminate two non-Republican-establishment candidates at once. I realize that I am in the tall weeds here, but I do wonder who gave the story to Politico. I don’t think Herman Cain has handled the charges well, but he is so inexperienced and understaffed that he can easily be caught off guard.

I do wonder who dug up the dirt and I am prepared not to believe anything I hear about the source until well after the 2012 election. The truth may or may not ever come out!

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