The Week To Come

Next week is shaping up to be an interesting week. On Tuesday we will hear President Trump’s State of the Union Address followed by a response given by failed Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams.

On Tuesday Townhall posted an article about the choice of Ms. Abrams.

Some highlights from the article:

Abrams, who believes illegal aliens should be able to vote in elections, refused to concede to duly elected Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and repeatedly accused him of racism.

Interestingly enough, in addition to scheduling President Trump’s address for the coming week, the Democrats have now scheduled February 7 as the date to vote on the confirmation of William Barr as Attorney General, and scheduled acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker’s testimony before the House Judiciary Committee for February 8. There is a method to their plan. Part of the method is that the President’s speech is quite likely to be about the amazing economic achievements of his two years in office and he will probably talk about some of the problems on our southern border. The Democrats are looking for a way to blunt any positive impact of the speech.

Yesterday American Greatness posted an article about some aspects of the scheduling.

The article reports:

The committee’s vote is scheduled to take place one day before acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker testifies in front of the House Judiciary Committee on a number of topics, including the Mueller probe; Trump foes claim Whitaker should have recused himself from oversight of the investigation based on some of his past comments, even though a Justice Department ethics review cleared him of any conflicts.

This one-two punch has a purpose: To taint Barr’s impartiality and discredit his office on all matters related to Trump-Russia. Why? Because during his confirmation hearing, Barr agreed—at the behest of Republican senators—to begin his own inquiry into who, why, and how the FBI launched several investigations into Trump’s presidential campaign and, eventually, into the president himself.

As indictments unrelated to Trump-Russia collusion pile up, Republican lawmakers and Trump’s base increasingly are outraged that the culprits behind perhaps the biggest political scandal in American history remain untouched. Barr signaled that the good fortune of these scoundrels could soon take a dramatic shift under his stewardship.

The article notes a very interesting aspect of this whole Russian investigation:

A few days before Barr’s hearing, the New York Times reported that in May 2017, the FBI opened an investigation into the sitting U.S. president purportedly based on suspicions he was a Russian foreign agent. Then-acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe—whom the Times does not mention by name at any time in the 1,800 words it took to report this information—initiated the probe immediately after Trump fired his predecessor, James Comey.

McCabe was fired last year and now is under criminal investigation for lying to federal agents.

The article concludes:

Other materials of public interest include the initiating documents for Crossfire Hurricane, the FBI’s investigation into four Trump campaign aides—which Comey claimed he never saw—and any details about who at the FBI started the unprecedented counterintelligence and criminal investigation into a sitting U.S. president.

And while he’s at it, and before Mueller’s team is finished, Barr should begin a formal inquiry into why the special counsel’s office scrubbed the iPhones used by Peter Strzok and Lisa Page while they worked for Mueller for a brief time in 2017. The phones and the data contained on those devices are public property. Barr needs to find out why that information was not collected and archived since both FBI officials already were under scrutiny. Destroying potential evidence is a crime.

The enormousness of Barr’s task and the devastating consequences for those involved are now coming into clear view. The timing couldn’t be worse for Democrats and NeverTrump Republicans who are desperate to defeat Trump and the GOP in 2020. That’s why we can expect both parties to whip up more criticism of Barr over the next few months. One hopes he will resist that criticism—and both Trump and Graham need to reassure the new attorney general and the American public that his investigation will receive the same amount of protection that was afforded to the Mueller team.

Get out the popcorn, the show is about to begin.

Why Are They So Afraid Of This Man?

Vox is reporting today that a group of Senate Democrats are suing to try to strike down President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.

The article reports:

The suit, filed in DC federal district court by Sens. Richard Blumenthal (CT), Sheldon Whitehouse (RI), and Mazie Hirono (HI), argues that Whitaker’s appointment was unconstitutional because he was not confirmed by the Senate to his prior position.

…On November 7, Trump asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign, and Sessions agreed. But rather than letting Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein succeed to the post, Trump installed Whitaker, who was Sessions’s chief of staff — a job that did not require Senate confirmation.

Trump did this by using a law called the Vacancies Reform Act. Some legal experts have argued the appointment was legal. But others assert the president can’t bump someone up to a Cabinet-level position (a “principal officer” of the executive branch) if that person hasn’t been confirmed by the Senate for this stint in government. That’s the argument Senate Democrats are making in this lawsuit.

Democrats have been sounding the alarm about Whitaker, who repeatedly echoed Trump’s criticisms of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe before he joined the Justice Department. Sessions had recused himself from oversight of Mueller’s investigation, but Whitaker has given no indication he’ll do the same. There are also various controversies involving his business background.

Just a few reminders here. Rod Rosenstein wrote the letter requesting the firing of James Comey. He is a witness in the investigation Mueller is conducting and would be overseeing the investigation if he were Attorney General. How is that not a conflict of interest? Rod Rosenstein (based on past actions) would seem to be a part of the Washington swamp. There is no indication that Whitaker is part of that swamp, and based on the opposition to him by the Senate, I suspect that he is not part of the swamp. There are serious questions about the Mueller investigation going back to the beginning–the scope of the investigation seems to be unlimited, the midnight raid on Paul Manafort seemed to be totally inappropriate as Manafort was a cooperating witness, the indictments Mueller has brought have nothing to do with Russian interference in the 2016 campaign that he is supposed to be investigating, and everything he has charged people with has nothing to do with the election. Regardless of who is Attorney General, it is time for Mueller to admit he has no evidence (as originally noted by Peter Strzok’s who commented that he hesitated to get involved in the investigation because  he didn’t think there was anything there) and write his report.

I go back to my original question, “Why are the Democrats so afraid of Matthew Whitaker becoming acting Attorney General?”

Where In The World Does This Appear In The U.S. Constitution?

The Gateway Pundit reported today that the State of Maryland has filed a legal objection to President Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting Attorney General. When did state courts have any say over presidential appointments?

The article notes:

The state seeks a preliminary injunction that prevents the federal government from responding to the suit while Whitaker appears as acting attorney general. Instead, Maryland requests a declaration that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is the acting attorney general.

Jonathan Turley posted an article about the apointment of Matthew Whitaker.

The article states:

However, this morning some members and commentators have declared that Whitaker cannot serve as an Acting Attorney General under federal law.  I have to disagree.  While not getting into the merits of the selection, it seems clear to me that, under 5 U.S.C. 3345, that Whitaker does indeed qualify.  (This of course does not address the long-standing debate over the constitutionality of such laws.  A challenge can be made under the Appointment Clause of the Constitution, mandating that a “principal officer” in the federal government may not be appointed without Senate confirmation).

…I fail to see the compelling argument to disqualify Whitaker. Any challenge would face added challenge of finding someone with standing, though Mueller could contest an order on the basis of the legal status of Whitaker. That would make for an interesting challenge but the odds would be against Mueller over the long course of appeals.

The motive behind the lawsuit evidently has to do with fear that Matthew Whitaker will shut down the Mueller Investigation. That may be a valid fear, but I think a more valid fear would be that under Matthew Whitaker the Justice Department might actually take another look at how some people handled classified information during the Obama administration. Hillary Clinton was not the only person with classified information on a non-government secured device. An investigation into mishandling of classified information under President Obama would be a serious threat to many people who were in the Obama administration.