Right Wing Granny

News behind the news. This picture is me (white spot) standing on the bridge connecting European and North American tectonic plates. It is located in the Reykjanes area of Iceland. By-the-way, this is a color picture.

Right Wing Granny

Judges Are Supposed To Be Neutral

On Friday, The Daily Caller posted an article about the latest judicial shenanigans in the New York trial of President Trump. It is amazing that this case has not yet been thrown out of court.

The article reports:

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Friday that the judge in former President Donald Trump’s trial crossed “the line” with a suggestion to prosecutors.

New York Judge Juan Merchan suggested that Former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg testify after prosecutors from the office of Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg sought to introduce Weisselberg’s severance package into evidence, according to Politico. Turley called the suggestion “very unusual” when asked about the development by Fox News host Martha MacCallum.

“It reminds me of a judge when I started out as a lawyer who was notorious because he would say, ‘Is the defense ready to present its case,’ and turn to the prosecutors and say ‘Are we ready to present our case?’ This is a little bit crossing the line. You’re not supposed to be making this a mutual effort,” Turley said.

The article also refers to the antics of Michael Cohen:

Turley earlier voiced criticism of Merchan over his handling of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen. The judge told prosecutors to inform Cohen not to make public comments about the former president and the case on Friday.

“Cohen is out there, you know, attacking the president, campaigning against the president. People are attacking Cohen. Were you protecting against?” Turley asked. “He’s in the middle of a firestorm of his own creation and so the gag order makes no sense at all, it’s achieving nothing except silencing the leading candidate for the presidency and to have the sudden epiphany that just maybe, Cohen should be instructed not to make these statements is a bit late.”

This case and the way it is being tried is a slippery slope to banana republic status for America. It is politically motivated and should have been stopped before it started.

There is one other observation I would like to make about media bias. Bias can be very subtle. Notice that former President Clinton is referred to in the news as ‘President Clinton.’ Somehow many newscasters have forgotten that President Trump is supposed to be referred to as ‘President Trump.’ He earned that title and is allowed by law to use it.

Why Even Bother With The Oath?

On Monday, Jonathan Turley posted an article about the ongoing trial of President Trump that is taking place in New York. No one with any knowledge of the law can take this trial seriously.

The headline reads:

A Disbarred, Serial Perjurer Walks into a Court and Asks to Take an Oath…Seriously, No Joke

The article reports:

A disbarred, serial perjurer walks into a courtroom and asks to take an oath . . . No, seriously, this is not a joke. Michael Cohen will soon appear in a Manhattan courtroom in what is sure to be one of the most bizarre moments in legal history.

Cohen nearly comprises the prosecution’s entire case against former President Donald Trump under a criminal theory that still has many of us baffled. It is not clear what crime Trump was supposedly trying to conceal by making “hush-money” payments to former porn actress Stormy Daniels.

What is clear is that none of the witnesses called in recent weeks has had any direct involvement with Trump on the payments.

The witnesses had a lot to say about Cohen, and most of it was not good. They described an unprofessional, self-proclaimed “fix-it man” who created a shell corporation to buy out Daniels with his own money. The money was later paid back by Trump after the election, with other legal expenses.

So Cohen will now make the pitch to the jury that they should put his former client in jail for following his own legal advice.

This would be difficult even for a competent and ethical lawyer. For Cohen, it is utter insanity. But Bragg is betting on a New York jury looking no further than the identity of the defendant to convict.

Cohen has an impressive history of lies and exaggerations that may be unparalleled. Just weeks ago, another judge denounced him as a serial perjurer who was still gaming the system.

This is not the defendant, mind you, but Alvin Bragg’s star witness.

The article concludes:

Under New York law, the oath administered by the court is supposed “to awaken the conscience and impress the mind of the witness in accordance with that witness’s religious or ethical beliefs.”

Before the bailiff administers the oath to Cohen, Judge Juan Merchan may have to warn spectators in the courtroom not to laugh. For anyone familiar with Cohen, it will sound like the ultimate punchline to a bad joke.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This is a lawsuit created and tried by the equivalent of the three stooges.

Unfolding Before Our Eyes

On Monday, The Daily Caller posted an article about the use of the legal system against President Trump.

The article reports:

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley said Monday that the “improvisational” nature of the cases against former President Donald Trump caused damage to the image of the legal system and proved Trump was “right” about being targeted by a “weaponized” justice system.

Trump’s attorneys said Monday the former president was having difficulty posting a $454 million bond to cover the judgment in a civil fraud case issued by New York Judge Arthur Engoron in February. Turley said that the cases brought by Democratic Attorney General Letitia James, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, special counsel Jack Smith and Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis proved Trump’s allegations that he was being targeted correct. 

“It’s becoming increasingly difficult to deny that we have a legal system now that is being heavily distorted by politics and you cannot look at all of these cases and see blind justice, you see the opposite,” Turley told Fox Business host Larry Kudlow, a former Trump administration official. “You see a justice that is being weaponized, and in many ways the Democrats fulfill the narrative of President Trump. He is now right. No matter what they thought about it at the beginning, they proved him to be right with this pile-on from Florida to Georgia, to Washington, D.C., to New York and most of the public gets it.”

The article concludes:

“I mean we have to wait to see if New York still has a judge or two that’s willing to say enough,” Turley continued. “When you are forcing someone to come up with half a billion dollars just to get an appeal? Someone has to say enough. This is not what New York is supposed to be.”

If we want to see our justice system restored back to equal justice under the law, we are going to have to elect people who are willing to follow the law. Please keep that in mind when you vote in primary elections and in November.

 

Let’s Hold The Media Accountable For Their Malfeasance

On Monday, Townhall posted an article about a claim made about Republican Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno during the closing days of the primary election.

The article reports:

Republican Ohio Senate candidate Bernie Moreno was slapped with nasty tricks during the primary’s closing days. Ohioans go to the polls on March 19 to decide whether Moreno, endorsed by Trump, Mike Lee, Ted Cruz, and JD Vance, will prevail over Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose or State Sen. Matt Dolan. The race has tightened to the point where even Democrats are starting to meddle. Yet, one attack was particularly slimy: Moreno signed up on Adult Friend Finder in 2008, seeking the company of young men. 

There are some that believe that if that were the case he would fit in perfectly with the Washington establishment.

The article continues:

It’s not true. The founder of Adult Friend Finder said when he analyzed the data, even though Moreno’s email address was used, it seemed to be an activity you’d see from a prank. Indeed, it was a prank, as a former intern already admitted as much. The Associated Press ran with the story, but even their communications director admitted they had nothing to corroborate it, opening the news outlet to a massive lawsuit. Jonathan Turley wrote if Moreno should file a lawsuit and it reaches the discovery phase; embarrassment can be re-directed at AP. Who wants some scalps?

The article adds that the AP could not corroborate the story and that Dan Ricci, a former intern, claimed to have created the account as a prank. Still AP ran with the story.

This is one of many reasons Americans do not trust the mainstream media. It would be nice to see the AP held responsible for this smearing of a candidate right before a primary election with no confirmation of the story.

Jonathan Turley Comments On The Hearings

On Tuesday, Red State posted an article about the hearings yesterday in the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. The article included some interesting comments by Jonathan Turley, a professor at George Washington University Law School.

The article reports:

While Republicans continued to stress the two-tiered justice system in the case of Biden’s classified documents vs. those of Donald Trump, Democrats continually tried to put words in Hur’s mouth that neither he nor his report said. 

So how bad were the Democrats? George Washington University Law Professor Jonathan Turley said the Democrats’ questioning of Hur “seemed almost to border on the delusional.”

During an appearance on Fox News’s “America Reports,” Turley gave a perfect example.

Well, I thought the Republicans did a particularly good job today. Often the Democrats are way ahead in framing of hearings, but at points the Democrats seemed almost a border on the delusional. 

When you had Hur say ‘I did not exonerate the president’ and then Democrats would say ‘OK, so you exonerated the president’ and he would say ‘No, I didn’t’ and they would say ‘Thank you for that, with that exoneration.’ 

So for a lot of people watching, they probably kept on having to sort of reverse and see if they missed something here.

The thing to remember when Democrat politicians play this kind of nonsensical game is that they’re playing solely to their base — low-information voters who don’t give a damn about the facts. 

The article also notes:

Turley continued:

The fact is that Hur tried over and over again to distinguish between his findings, which is that he was not confident he could convict if he did bring any charges, and the statement of Democrats that the president was cleared.

Like most people who aren’t Democrats, Turley remains shocked that no charges were brought against Biden, particularly given the charges against Trump.

But out of this hearing, it came really some quite shocking observations. I mean, at the end, you’re sort of still wondering why he wasn’t charged, including Hur saying ‘Look, we have audio tape of the president referring to the fact that he found classified evidence in his basement.’ Well, okay, that seems like full knowledge. But he kept on coming back to the fact that I think a jury might have been persuaded that this is a nice, elderly man with a faulty memory.

There have been four people that I am aware of in the past few years that have been charged with mishandling classified information. Two of them have had very few consequences–Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden. When does this tell us about our justice system?

Are We Living In A Police State?

News organizations are firing employees because of law ratings. CNN, BuzzFeed, and Vice Media have all recently announced layoffs. CBS is also firing reporters.

On Thursday (updated Friday), The New York Post reported the following:

The acclaimed CBS reporter who was investigating the Hunter Biden laptop scandal before she was fired last week had her personal files seized by the network in an “unprecedented” move, sources told The Post on Thursday.

Catherine Herridge — who is the middle of a First Amendment case being closely watched by journalists nationwide — was among 20 CBS News staffers let go as part of a larger purge of hundreds of employees at parent company Paramount Global.

Her firing had stunned co-workers, but the network’s decision to hold on to her personal materials, along with her work laptop where she may have other confidential info, has left many staffers shaken, according to insiders.

“It’s so extraordinary,” a source familiar with the situation told The Post, noting that the files — which are presumptively now the property of CBS News — most likely contain confidential material from Herridge’s stints at both Fox and CBS.

The source said the network boxed up all her personal belongings except for Herridge’s notes and files and informed her that it would decide what — if anything — would be returned to her.

“They never seize documents [when you’re let go],” a second source close to the network said.

Brit Hume posted the following on Twitter:

 

This is just one more step in the direction of a police state where the media is controlled by the people in power.

The article at The New York Post concludes:

Jonathan Turley — a legal scholar and a former CBS legal analyst who first broke the news of Herridge’s documents being seized in an opinion piece for The Hill — said the timing of the journalist’s termination raised suspicions.

“She was pursuing stories that were unwelcomed by the Biden White House and many Democratic powerhouses, including the Hur report on Joe Biden’s diminished mental capacity, the Biden corruption scandal and the Hunter Biden laptop,” Turley wrote.

Under normal circumstances, journalists are entitled to their notes and make available the files if needed in future ligation, but leaving sensitive documents in the hands of unnamed CBS officials, could compromise Herridge’s numerous other confidential sources.

It also potentially violates HIPAA laws, as her files may also contain personal and family medical records.

Turley said CBS’ “heavy-handed approach” to the files” is “dead wrong” and that it had “sent a chilling signal in the ranks” of the network.

SAG-AFTRA, the union which represents CBS staffers, condemned the network for seizing Herridge’s notes and research from her office.

“This action is deeply concerning concerning to the union because it sets a dangerous precedent for all media professionals and threatens the very foundation of the First Amendment,” the union said in a statement to The Post.

The union added it has been in touch with CBS News and is hopeful the matter “will be resolved shortly.”

We are in a dangerous place.

A Legal Perspective

On Saturday, Attorney Jonathan Turley posted an article at The Hill about the recent New York verdict against President Trump.

The article notes that Jonathan Turley is the J.B. and Maurice C. Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at the George Washington University Law School. He is well qualified to evaluate the verdict.

The article reports:

In laying the foundation for his sweeping decision against former President Donald Trump, Judge Arthur Engoron observed that “this is a venial sin, not a mortal sin.” Yet, at $355 million, one would think that Engoron had found Trump to be the source of Original Sin.

The judgment against Trump (and his family and associates) was met with a level of unrestrained celebration by many in New York that bordered on the indecent. Attorney General Letitia James declared not only that Trump would be barred from doing business in New York for three years, but that the damages would come to roughly $460 million once interest was included. 

That makes the damages against Trump greater than the gross national product of some countries, including Micronesia. Yet the court admitted that not a single dollar was lost by the banks from these dealings. Indeed, witnesses testified that they wanted to do more business with Trump, who was described as a “whale” client with high yield business opportunities. 

The article concludes:

In “Bonfire of the Vanities,” Tom Wolfe wrote about Sherman McCoy, a successful businessman who had achieved the status of one of the “masters of the universe” in New York. In the prosecution of McCoy for a hit-and-run, Wolfe described a city and legal system devouring itself in the politics of class and race. The book details a businessman’s fall from a great height — a fall that delighted New Yorkers.

It is doubtful Trump will end up as the same solitary figure wearing worn-out clothes before the Bronx County Criminal Court clutching a binder of legal papers. But you do not have to feel sorry or even sympathetic for Trump to see this award as obscene. The appeal will test the New York legal system to see if other judges can do what Judge Engoron found so difficult: set aside their feelings about Trump.

New York is one of our oldest and most distinguished bars. It has long resisted those who sought to use the law to pursue political opponents and unpopular figures. It will now be tested to see if those values transcend even Trump.

If the verdict is not overturned on appeal, it will be interesting to see what its impact will be on the business climate of New York. I suspect that the businesses that President Trump runs in New York City and State bring in considerable tax revenue. New York may have just shot itself in the foot.

Moving Away From The U.S. Constitution

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Biden administration has worked very hard to abridge the right of free speech in America.

On Saturday, Townhall reported:

George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley had a few choice words for President Joe Biden after he used his first 2024 campaign speech to assault democracy. 

On Friday, Biden spent a significant portion of his campaign speech demonizing former President Trump and fear-mongering Americans by focusing on the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol Hill protests. 

Turley suggested to Fox News that Biden’s speech was hypocritical by talking about the freedom to vote despite his own party attempting to strip Trump’s name from the 2024 ballot. 

During his speech in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Biden said that defending democracy was a “central cause” of his administration. However, Turley pointed out that the Democratic Party has gone to great lengths to suppress the constitutional rights of Americans and their freedom to choose who they want running the country. 

Jonathan Turley stated:

He lost me in the specifics. He talks about democracy being on the ballot but the ballot isn’t very democratic, his own party is trying to strip ballots of Donald Trump’s name to prevent people who want to vote for what appears to be the leading candidate for the presidency from doing that. So when he’s talking about the freedom to vote and have your vote count, his party is actively trying to prevent that and saying, really, you’re not just voting for me, just think you’re voting for democracy. For those people, they really feel like, if we vote for you, do we get democracy back next time? Are we going to have all of the candidates on the ballot? I don’t think that effort will succeed. It’s worth noting when he talks about the freedom of speech, the Biden administration I have written before, is the most anti-free-speech administration since the administration of John Adams. I mean, his administration has carried out what a federal court called an Orwellian censorship program with the help of social media companies. 

If you want your rights preserved as they are enumerated in the U.S. Constitution, you cannot vote for a Democrat in 2024.

As The Evidence Mounts

As the evidence mounts that the Biden family had very large inexplicable sources of income during Joe Biden’s political career, the family, the media, and the Democrat party are struggling to explain exactly what was going on. On Thursday, The Hill posted an article with the latest explanation/justification.

The article, by Jonathan Turley, explains:

As the House of Representatives goes into high gear in its impeachment proceedings (and possible contempt resolution against Hunter Biden), the Biden family legal problems continue to mount. In one week, it was revealed that President Biden’s brother James was caught on an FBI audiotape in a corruption investigation, while Ashley Biden, the president’s daughter, is now also facing demands for unpaid taxes.

James Biden is expected to appear before the House for questioning in the coming weeks. The appearance may solidify a new line of defense for the Bidens: that they are harmless grifters.

After years of denying influence peddling with the help of an obligating media, even some Democrats are now admitting that Hunter and his uncles have been selling influence. Biden associates confirmed that Joe Biden was the brand that they were peddling to foreign clients, who paid millions to the family.

The article also notes:

The greater problem facing the White House is that roughly 70 percent of voters (including 40 percent of Democrats) believes that President Biden acted illegally or unethically, or both. Even Hunter’s friend Archer said that the president’s denials of knowledge were “categorically false.” Other witnesses, such as Tony Bobulinski, have stated under oath that they personally spoke to Joe Biden about these dealings.

This is likely why defenders are now failing back on the claim that the Bidens may have been grifting, but not actually selling out. It was an act put on for corrupt marks wanting to buy an advantage. That is why the Biden team immediately said that James Biden took $100,000 but then did nothing to deliver his brother.

It is becoming very obvious that Joe Biden is not the model of an honest office-holder. However, since almost all of these actions were done when he was Vice-President, I don’t see their relevance to impeachment. I haven’t seen any actual evidence that he is currently crooked. Admittedly, you can draw that conclusion based on his past actions, but that really isn’t good enough. The Democrats made impeachment a joke. The Republicans need to avoid doing the same thing.

Providing The Appearance Of Justice While Avoiding Justice

On Friday, Red State posted an article about the indictment of Hunter Biden. The article quotes George Washington University Law School Professor Jonathan Turley.

Professor Turley notes:

“There are three glaring omissions in the indictment that tend to shield critical payments and conduct that implicate the president,” Turley wrote.

The Burisma-Ukrainian money

First, the special counsel only indicts tax evasion that occurred in recent years.

That’s because the long “investigation” into Hunter inexplicably allowed the statute of limitations to expire on the most controversial payments from Ukraine gas company Burisma.

Recent testimony from IRS whistleblowers suggests that wasn’t an accident. Investigators were stonewalled, they claimed, and the Justice Department was previously moving to reject any charges against Hunter Biden.

…Hunter, the Unregistered Foreign Agent

Yep, nowhere to be found in the indictment. Here’s Turley:

Recently, the Justice Department added a charge to the indictment of Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) that he ran afoul of FARA, the Foreign Agents Registration Act. FARA also was used to go after Donald Trump associates such as Paul Manafort.

The problem with charging Hunter with FARA is obvious.

It opens up questions about the millions of dollars going to the Biden family from foreign sources, a topic that Attorney General Merrick Garland has spent years avoiding.

Hunter, the Unindicted Co-Conspirator

“By focusing on tax evasion alone,” wrote Turley, “Weiss again avoids any direct reference to the focus of the influence-peddling used to raise these millions of dollars.”

However, he opined:

Even without mentioning the president, the implications of the indictment are devastating for the narrative and denials of Joe Biden.

The president has continued to maintain that he had no knowledge or interaction with these dealings. Those statements are clearly and knowingly false.

The president also maintained that his son has “never done anything wrong” and never accepted any money from China

That is also untrue, according to the Justice Department and Hunter himself.

On Friday, The U.K. Daily Mail reported:

Mel Monzack, 83, Joe Biden’s personal lawyer who is authorized to act on the president’s behalf in financial matters, is LINKED to Hunter’s newly filed criminal indictment

  • Corporate records obtained by DailyMail.com reveal links between Joe Biden’s confidante who has his power of attorney and Hunter’s business deals
  • Mel Monzack’s law firm was listed as the registered agent for Robinson Walker LLC – a company owned by business partner and Biden family friend, Rob Walker
  • The payments from Robinson Walker LLC are part of new criminal tax charges against the First Son filed Thursday in a California federal court 

I am wondering if Mel Monzack will be the fall guy in this mess with President Biden claiming his lawyer  handled everything and he had no idea where the money came from

Stay tuned.

Poetic Justice Can Be Fun

There are a lot of people, including myself, who believe that former President Obama is orchestrating a lot of what goes on in the Biden administration. I am sure he is well aware of the corruption that seems to be part of the Biden family, but there is an aspect of that corruption that he might not have foreseen.

On Saturday, Jonathan Turley posted an article at The Hill that details a problem that the Biden corruption scandal has created for former President Obama.

The article reports:

Obama is now being asked to bail Biden out from another debacle of his own making, going back to his time in Obama’s administration. Various committees and private groups are seeking more than 5,000 emails from Biden in which he used an array of aliases during the Obama administration.

Under the Presidential Records Act, Obama has 30 days to bar the release of the emails and to help shield his former vice president in a growing corruption scandal over the influence-peddling operation run by Biden’s son, Hunter.

Recently, it was learned that Joe Biden went by a variety of code names and false names, including Robin Ware. Robert L. Peters, JRB Ware, Celtic and “The Big Guy.” House investigators believe that may only be a partial list. For many Americans, it is understandably unnerving to learn that their president has more aliases than Anthony Weiner. However, while the number seems unusual, the practice is not unprecedented.

Top officials have used such aliases in the past for emails, including former Attorneys General Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. During the Obama administration, the practice was defended by then-White House press secretary Jay Carney, who assured the public that any such emails would still be subject to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and congressional inquiries. He added, “We do not use and should not use private email accounts for work.”

The problem is that there was “work” being discussed on some of these emails, including official foreign travel plans and the hiring of associates of Hunter for high-level positions. More importantly, some emails are relevant to the clients of Biden’s son. Biden has previously lied that he knew nothing of these dealings, but these emails could reveal even more about his knowledge and involvement.

Congress is investigating more than $20 million that was transferred to members of the Biden family from foreign sources through a labyrinth of shell companies and accounts. Even the Washington Post has been forced to admit that the president has lied in the past about aspects of Hunter’s dealings.  Devon Archer recently confirmed that Joe Biden’s long-standing denial of any knowledge of their business dealings is “categorically false.”

Stay tuned.

A Legal Perspective

On Wednesday, Jonathan Turley posted an article about the Georgia indictment of President Trump. The article notes some of the hoops the prosecutor had to jump through to bring the case and some of the possible motives for bringing charges against so many people, but the article also notes the dangers to our republic in this case.

The article reports:

For example, the indictment relies on calls like the controversial one Trump had with Georgia officials—a call long cited as indisputable evidence of an effort at voting fraud. In the call, Trump pushed his demand for a statewide recount. Trump had lost the state by less than 12,000 votes. When officials insisted that there was little likelihood that such a recount would make a difference, he stated, “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”

The call is still cited as one of those 161 individual steps toward the criminal conspiracy. Even though the indictment effectively repackages the same claims as the federal prosecution, Willis insists that Trump should be effectively tried twice under these allegations.

It is easy to dismiss such a Pollock prosecution as political gamesmanship. The timing alone in bringing the case (which should have been brought two years ago) is enough for many to discount this prosecution. However, it does represent a serious threat to Trump. It has “legs” as an indictment that is not likely to be dismissed in its entirety before trial.

The article concludes:

In covering decades of presidential elections for CBS, NBC, BBC, and Fox, every election has produced challenges, including many with little support. This coverage included multiple challenges by Democratic lawmakers to the certification of Republican presidents in Congress.

It has also included challenges to voting machines.

For example, Marc Elias, who served as Hillary Clinton’s campaign general counsel and played a role in the funding of the infamous Steele dossier on Russian collusion, has challenged past elections on such grounds. After the 2020 election, he challenged one New York election by claiming that “there is reason to believe that voting tabulation machines misread hundreds if not thousands of valid votes as undervotes, and that these tabulation machine errors disproportionately affected [the Democrat].”

That was no crime. Elias had every right to seek judicial review even though the claim was quickly rejected as unfounded.

Many of us disagreed with Trump after the election and publicly rejected the claims of systemic voting fraud. However, Trump had a right to not only challenge the election but to be wrong.

That is why the Willis indictment is a serious threat to Trump but also to our system of democratic process. Pollock once said that “when I am in my painting, I’m not aware of what I’m doing.” Unlike painters, prosecutors do not have the same luxury. What Willis is doing here is excessive and it is dangerous.

Whatever the outcome of this case, it will not be good for the country. It will further divide Americans and cause many of us to lose faith in the concept of equal justice for everyone.

Always Keep The Camera On Your Cell Phone Handy

On June 6, Newsweek posted an article about Damon Atkins, a Christian who was arrested in Reading, Pennsylvania, for shouting Bible verses during a gay pride event. I am not necessarily a fan of shouting anything, but I believe we do have free speech in this country.

The article reports:

The incident took place on Tuesday morning at a public Pride Month event in Reading, a Pennsylvania city located roughly 64 miles northwest of Philadelphia. The man, Damon Atkins, was captured on video in an altercation with police patrolling near the event after he attempted to shout a verse from Corinthians.

“Let them have their day,” an officer said to Atkins. “Respect it.”

…The officer, as seen in the clip, briefly moved to stand between Atkins and the crowd at the event, but turned back as he resumed reading the verse and arrested him.

…Responding to an inquiry from the conservative news outlet, the Daily Caller, the Reading Police Department said that Atkins was not arrested for reciting Bible verses, but rather for disorderly conduct due to his volume.

“He was not arrested for reading a bible verse,” a police spokesperson told the outlet. “He was arrested for being disorderly. His volume was at a level that he was heckling a preplanned and permitted event. He was given an area he was allowed to protest in, and was asked to keep volume at a level that was not problematic or that was inciting public inconvenience.”

Later, police claimed that Atkins engaged in fighting.

On June 11, Jonathan Turley reported:

The Berks County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed that it is dropping charges against Damon Atkins after the preacher was arrested citing the Bible in protest of an LGBTQ Pride event in Reading, Pennsylvania. The only reason that the charges were dropped is that a third party videotaped the scene and disproved the account of the arresting officer. Ironically, Atkins was reciting 1 Corinthians 14:33 that begins “For God is not the author of confusion.” That role appears to rest with the Reading police, which processed a wildly exaggerated account of the encounter.

Atkins was arrested on June 6 for “disorderly conduct, engaged in fighting.” However,  a video of Atkins’ encounter with the police officer disproved the officer’s statement, as acknowledged in a press release.

For many, the case is likely reminiscent of the arrest of the woman for praying near an abortion clinic in Britain. Fortunately, this case was dropped.

Berks County Commissioner Christian Leinbach admitted that the arrest of Atkins was “unlawful” and “could open the City of Reading and their police department to legal action.”

Jonathan Turley’s article concludes:

What is notable is that, absent the videotape, Atkins would have had a difficult time refuting that he engaged in fighting. What is equally notable is the lack of any public statement on the repercussions for an officer making such a false charge. This was clearly a protest that was protected under the First Amendment. The violation of Atkins’ rights should result in something more than a shrug and dismissal of the charges.

I question the wisdom of going to a gay pride event and shouting Bible verses, but this story illustrates the fact that ALL Americans need to know their rights and be willing to stand up for them. Thank God for that videotape.

 

Not Surprising, But Very Disappointing

On Sunday, Red State reported the following:

As RedState previously reported, Rep. James Comer and other Republicans in both the House and Senate are currently in the midst of an investigation into an alleged bribery scheme involving the Biden family. Specifically, the FBI is in possession of a 1023 form that includes supposed evidence and witness testimony to that effect.

But while the FBI has not denied that they have the form, they have attempted to stonewall, claiming confidentiality concerns. Now, another roadblock has appeared. According to Comer, some witnesses have gone missing while others are in jail, and the FBI is refusing to assist in locating them.

That was said on Fox News on Sunday, and Jonathan Turley summarized Comer’s remarks.

Unfortunately, the FBI does not work for the American people. In recent years, they work for the Democrats whether the Democrats hold the White House or not.

The article notes:

I look at this two ways. One, I’m sure Comer is telling the truth about what’s in the 1023 form, and the fact that the FBI wants to try to jump through hoops to not release it only testifies to that further. The informant in question obviously has a name, and the fact that they’ve gone missing is extremely suspicious. I’m not so much suggesting someone pulled a Hillary Clinton here as I’m suggesting intimidation is at play, and that’s what Comer seems to be saying. He goes on to say that he knows who is intimidating these witnesses from within the White House and that he will be “dealing” with the situation.

With that said, Comer promised the world with this bribery scandal, and it’s not going to be enough to claim he can’t find the witnesses after laying everything out in such vivid detail. You’d think he’d have covered that base already.

Turley goes on to explain that if a court follows the law, the FBI should be forced to give up the 1023 in question and any other information pertinent to the investigation.

This is setting the stage for the media reporting that there is no evidence. Does the lavish lifestyle of the Biden family that cannot be traced to a legitimate business present any evidence? Does the existence of many shell companies linked to the Biden family present any evidence of an effort to hide income? I hate to be cynical (but I am good at it), but all of this information will come out when the Democrats feel that it is time to remove President Biden from office–not before.

Making Millions While Being A “Public Servant”

On Tuesday, Jonathan Turley posted an article on his website about the investigation into the Biden family business dealings.

The article reports:

House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer  has revealed that there are not three but nine members of the Biden family that may have benefitted from suspected influence peddling efforts. For those of us who have long criticized the corrupt practices of the Biden family, the identity of these other family members is intriguing after the Committee secured new bank and financial records. Democratic members again insisted that there is no need to investigate such influence peddling.

The new information on the Biden family is due largely to the takeover of the House by the GOP. Previously, Democrats blocked efforts to investigate influence peddling by the Biden family for years.

After assuming control of the Committee. Comer sought suspicious activity reports sent by banks to the Treasury Department alerting of potential criminal activity in transactions involving President Biden’s family.

He stated on Monday that “We’ve identified six additional members of Joe Biden’s family who may have benefited from the Biden family’s businesses that we are investigating, bringing the total number of those involved or benefiting to nine.” Those are six names are in addition to three Biden family members and two associates previously linked to payment from China in 2017 .  Three million was wired Biden family associate Rob Walker in March 2017, who then allegedly divided and distributed the funds later.

There remains an “Unknown Biden” who received four payments in 2017 totaling $70,000.

The article concludes:

In discussing these deals, Joe Biden is referenced with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10% cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm. There are also references to Hunter paying off the bills of his father from shared accounts. From his board memberships to venture deals to legal fees to his art deals, Hunter Biden is a tour de force of alleged corrupt practices used in Washington.

Many Democrats and legal experts have objected that influence peddling is not a crime. However, it is corrupt and squarely within the oversight authority of Congress. Indeed, if it is not a matter for criminal charges, such congressional action may be the only way to force accountability for corrupt efforts to sell influence and access.

It is quite possible that President Biden and his family may never be held accountable for their influence peddling. The only value in pointing out their wrongdoing is in letting voters decide how much corruption they are willing to put up with.

There Seems To Be A Lack Of Transparency

On Sunday, Jonathan Turley posted an article at The New York Post with the following headline:

Forget classified docs, show us the real haul of Biden’s records in Delaware

What an interesting idea.

The article reports:

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre has repeatedly assured the public that President Biden is committed in the classified document scandal to move forward in “a very transparent way.” Putting aside the refusal to share any information beyond a desire to be fully transparent, Biden has one major test awaiting him on his pledge: his senatorial records.

There has been much discussion of a classified document being found in his personal library in Wilmington, but there is a huge library of Biden documents sitting in the University of Delaware. The university is sitting on Biden documents due to a cynical 2012 arrangement made by Biden when he was vice president and contemplating a run for the presidency.

The president effectively locked away his records by giving them to the university, which has claimed for a decade that it is still working to organize and catalog the documents. He has refused to allow the public or the press to see the documents. With the recent reports that Biden may have included classified information in notebooks found at his residence, the status of the University of Delaware documents is becoming more and more untenable for the White House.

The article concludes:

Biden has yet to come up with a plausible reason why he is using the University of Delaware to prevent review of the documents. Indeed, the University of Delaware continues to expend public funds by making technical arguments against access while ignoring questions about the use of an academic institution to shield potentially embarrassing records.

Of course, the FBI does not need permission. It has ample reason to demand access in light of the president’s serial violations. Indeed, past discoveries form a perfect overlaid map of where the president has lived or worked in the past decade. Yet although there is new interest in searching his other residence, there has been little discussion of the largest trove of documents sitting in the bowels of the University of Delaware.

Presumably, this is one question that Jean-Pierre could actually answer. If the president is truly striving to be “very transparent,” he should be able to tell the University of Delaware that his records should be open to outside review. Otherwise, Biden’s pledge is nothing but transparently dishonest.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It’s time the documents at the University of Delaware were released.

Going On Offense

On Sunday, Jonathan Turley posted an article at The New York Post indicating how the political left is preparing for the Congressional investigation of Hunter Biden’s laptop that will surely occur after the new House of Representatives is sworn in. We need to remember that the political left is good at preemptive strikes.

The article reports:

Just when you thought our politics could not get more poisonous, a recent meeting in California suggests the past is mere prelude. The Washington Post, which revealed the powwow, described it as Biden family “allies” planning an offensive to blunt any investigation into the Bidens’ alleged multimillion-dollar influence-peddling schemes.

Republicans will see it more like the gathering of the Legion of (Democratic) Doom. Some of the most controversial political operatives are involved in the all-hands-on-deck effort to protect the Bidens.

The California meeting’s host was none other than Hunter Biden’s friend, agent and lawyer Kevin Morris. After Hunter was placed under investigation for, among other possible charges, tax evasion, Morris reportedly paid off as much as $2.8 million in back taxes for Hunter.

Morris, per the Washington Post, called for a “more aggressive” response to those seeking to investigate the alleged influence peddling. That plan includes hitting critics, such as Fox News, with possible defamation lawsuits. (For full disclosure, I appear as a legal analyst on Fox News.)

The paper also reported Morris “outlined extensive research on two potential witnesses against Hunter Biden — a spurned business partner named Tony Bobulinski and a computer repairman named John Paul Mac Isaac.” “Spurned” is hardly the sole or most relevant description of Bobulinski: The businessman was recruited by the Biden family to manage foreign deals and later directly contradicted President Biden’s claims that he knew nothing of those dealings. His testimony could present a serious threat in the coming House investigation in establishing not only the president’s knowledge but his possible receipt of proceeds from the deals.

Please follow the link to read the entire article.

This move goes right along with Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals. Rule number 9 states, “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself. ” and Rule number 13 states, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. ” I suspect we will see many examples of those two rules after the new House is sworn in.

Adding Humor To A Serious Announcement

On Sunday, Hot Air reported that Attorney Jonathan Turley announced on Twitter that he has tested positive for Covid.

This is the Tweet:

Makes sense to me.

The article notes:

Does anyone really think that Merrick Garland’s DOJ will indict Hunter Biden? The workings of grand juries are supposed to be secret but it is reported that the grand jury looked at the possibility of criminal charges for alleged influence-peddling with foreign contacts in China, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries. Hunter was very successful in cashing in on his father’s position in the government. We don’t know if the grand jury decided on any indictments. Turley points out that there is clear evidence of some crimes. “For example, Biden seems clearly to have lied on the federal form to acquire a gun by denying his drug use; he also appears to have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act. And there are obvious tax charges that could be brought, even though he paid outstanding taxes after the investigation began.”

Perhaps he’ll be indicted over tax evasion or for lying on a federal form about that gun. Just don’t count on him being held accountable for his slimy dealings with foreign countries – unless the indictments are postponed.

The article concludes:

Turley points out that since Joe Biden isn’t on a ballot in November and Hunter isn’t a candidate, just using the excuse of not wanting to interfere in the November midterms – and potentially dragging down Democrat candidates- is politicizing the grand jury investigation. Turley makes the case for a special counsel in the Hunter Biden case. Joe Biden (a.k.a. The Big Guy) is directly referenced in Hunter’s documents found on his laptop. The U.S. Attorney is unlikely to include any of that in a report. If Hunter pleads guilty of lesser charges to make a plea deal, he’ll be protected from future congressional hearings – such as are expected when Republicans take back majority control of the House. DOJ could cut a deal with Hunter and decline further charges. On the other hand, the U.S. Attorney could present evidence to a new grand jury, since this one has now expired, but it would take months to do and the midterm elections would be over.

It does not look as though Weiss called any witnesses who could testify about influence-peddling, including the president. Joe Biden would have to be called as a witness to answer any questions about The Big Guy’s involvement. We now know that Joe met with Hunter’s business partners, though he has consistently denied knowing anything about Hunter’s business dealings.

We’ll see what happens and if indictments do come down. Just don’t get your hopes up that Hunter will ever be held to the same standard that others are in these matters. He’ll likely write a check or two if his wrist is slapped and be on his merry way.

That is not equal justice under the law.

The Fix Is In

Many Americans are hopefully watching the trial of Michael Sussmann for indications that our justice system’s principle of all men are equal under the law still applies. Well, don’t get your hopes up too high. If you are following the case, you realize that the prosecution is very carefully laying out the case that the bad people in the Clinton campaign fooled the Justice Department into going along with the Russia hoax. There is no suggestion that the Justice Department was part of the plan. That is the first indication that this trial is a show put on to appease those in America who actually want to see people held responsible for ignoring the civil liberties of their political opponents and lying to the media and the American public. There are also some other indications that the truth is not actually welcome in this trial.

On Friday, Fox News posted the following quote from Jonathan Turley:

JONATHAN TURLEY: Durham faces a lot of challenges in this trial. The judge in the trial has hit the prosecution with limiting orders. This jury pool is a nightmare for the prosecutors. There are three Clinton donors on the jury. In the last 24 hours, the judge turned down a motion to dismiss a juror whose daughter is actually playing on the same team with the daughter of Sussmann. So I think for the prosecutors, it seems like the only thing that is missing on the jury is Chelsea Clinton. A jury of your peers is not supposed to mean other Clinton people. And so, I think that the prosecutors have quite a challenge with this pool.

If I am ever charged with a crime, can I get a jury of my friends? How likely is that?

The Leak

On Monday, Politico reported that they have obtained an initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that strikes down Roe v. Wade. This is an unprecedented leak.

Here is what we actually know:

1. The draft is from February–it is a draft–not a final decision. Votes could change.

2. Whoever leaked this will be disbarred. If it is a Republican, the person will have a lifelong problem finding a job in the legal profession. If it is a Democrat, the person will be promised a lucrative career somewhere in Democrat politics.

3. This is a first. Up until now, everyone who worked in the Supreme Court bureaucracy respected the institution enough not to leak.

Here is my speculation:

1. This was leaked to energize the Democrat base for the mid-term elections–it is a desperate move.

2. Within days, Congress will move to pack the Court in an effort to intimidate the Justices and change the decision indicated in the draft.

Yesterday, Breitbart reported the following:

Turley (Jonathan Turley, criminal defense attorney and Shapiro professor of public interest law at George Washington University) noted that if Politico indeed obtained a true copy of the drafted opinion, “it is hard not to view this as a malicious act.”

“What is the motivation of releasing such a decision? The only intent of such a leak is to trigger a response from outside of the Court,” he continued. “…This draft is from February and the majority can shift on such opinions. However, the act of leaking such a draft opinion ranks as an original sin for judicial ethics.”

He surmised the leak could be an effort to “pressure the Court and push the legislation in Congress on a federal abortion law before the midterm elections. It will also likely renew the call for court packing.”

This will get heated, but the lives of Americas future generations are on the line.

The Real “End Game”

On January 6th, Jonathan Turley posted an article about the end game of the Democrats total politicization of the events of January 6, 2021. The article provides insight into what lengths one political party will go to in order to retain power.

The article states:

Below is my column in The Hill on the continued calls to disqualify Republican members of Congress to prevent them from running for reelection. What is maddening is that Democratic groups and commentators are seeking to remove as many as 120 Republicans from the ballots in the name of democracy. It is like burning books in the name of literacy. Yet, on this anniversary of the January 6th riot, members of Congress and Democratic groups want to block voters from reelecting their preferred representatives. Like villages in Vietnam, it appears that some members and activists believe that you have to destroy democracy to save it from itself.

…This week, Democratic lawyer Marc Elias predicted that 2022 would bring a renewed interest in disqualifying Republican members from office based on an obscure Civil War-era provision. Elias — the former Hilary Clinton campaign general counsel — is a well-known figure in Washington who has been prominently featured in the ongoing investigation of Special Counsel John Durham. Elias has founded a self-described “pro-democracy” group that challenges Republican voting laws and pledges to “shape our elections and democratic institutions for years to come.”

In the age of rage, nothing says democracy like preventing people from running for office.

Elias and others are suggesting that — rather than defeat Republicans at the polls — Democrats in Congress could disqualify the Republicans for supporting or encouraging the Jan. 6 “insurrection.” Last year, Democratic members called for the disqualification of dozens of Republicans. One, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) demanded the disqualification of the 120 House Republicans — including House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-Calif.) — for simply signing a “Friend of the Court brief” (or amicus brief) in support of an election challenge from Texas.

These members and activists have latched upon the long-dormant provision in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment — the “disqualification clause” — which was written after the 39th Congress convened in December 1865 and many members were shocked to see Alexander Stephens, the Confederate vice president, waiting to take a seat with an array of other former Confederate senators and military officers.

The article explains what would happen next if the Democrats attempt this:

The Constitution fortunately demands more than proof by repetition. In this case, it requires an actual rebellion. The clause Democrats are citing was created in reference to a real Civil War in which over 750,000 people died in combat. The confederacy formed a government, an army, a currency, and carried out diplomatic missions.

Conversely, Jan. 6 was a protest that became a riot.

That is not meant to diminish the legitimate outrage over the day. It was reprehensible — but only a “rebellion” in the most rhetorical sense.

More importantly, even if you adopt a dangerously broad definition of “insurrection” or “rebellion,” members of Congress who supported challenging the electoral votes (as Democrats have done in prior years) were exercising constitutionally protected speech.

Moreover, the Democrats cannot simply use their razor-thin majority to disqualify opponents willy-nilly. Punishments like expulsions take two-thirds votes, and any disqualifications can be challenged in the court.

It is frightening that this would even be attempted.

Unnecessary Disrespect

The New York Post posted an article about Speaker Pelosi ripping up the President’s State of the Union Speech. The article includes a video showing her making small rips in the speech while the President was speaking. I don’t know if her gesture of ripping up the speech was planned before the speech, but it was definitely planned during the speech.

Jonathan Turley posted an article at The Hill today stating his thoughts on Speaker Pelosi’s actions.

The article reports:

The House has its share of infamies, great and small, real and symbolic, and has been the scene of personal infamies from brawls to canings. But the conduct of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at the State of the Union address this week will go down as a day of infamy for the chamber as an institution. It has long been a tradition for House Speakers to remain stoic and neutral in listening to the address. However, Pelosi seemed to be intent on mocking President Trump from behind his back with sophomoric facial grimaces and head shaking, culminating in her ripping up a copy of his address.

Her drop the mic moment will have a lasting impact on the House. While many will celebrate her trolling of the president, she tore up something far more important than a speech. Pelosi has shredded decades of tradition, decorum and civility that the nation could use now more than ever. The House Speaker is more than a political partisan, particularly when carrying out functions such as the State of the Union address. A president appears in the House as a guest of both chambers of Congress. The House Speaker represents not her party or herself but the entirety of the chamber. At that moment, she must transcend her own political ambitions and loyalties.

The article concludes:

Pelosi has demolished decades of tradition with this poorly considered moment. Of course, many will celebrate her conduct and be thrilled by the insult to Trump. However, even those of us who disagree with his policies should consider what Pelosi destroyed in her moment of rage. She shredded the pretense of governing with civility and dignity in the House. Notably, she did not wait to rip up her copy of the speech until after she left the House floor. Pelosi wanted to do it at the end of the speech, in front of the camera, with the president still in the chamber.

That act was more important to Pelosi than preserving the tradition of her office. In doing so, she forfeited the right to occupy that office. If Pelosi cannot maintain the dignity and neutrality of her office at the State of the Union, she should resign as the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

I don’t see her resigning, but the next time the Democrats claim that President Trump is dividing the country, we need to remind them that they need to look in the mirror.

A Law Professor With Principles

The Gateway Pundit posted a link to Professor Jonathan Turley’s opening remarks at the Nadler impeachment panel on Wednesday. Professor Turley’s entire remarks can be found here.

These are a few of his opening comments:

Jonathan Turley:  I would like to start, perhaps incongruously, with a statement of three irrelevant facts. First, I am not a supporter of President Trump. I voted against him in 2016 and I have previously voted for Presidents Clinton and Obama. Second, I have been highly critical of President Trump, his policies, and his rhetoric, in dozens of columns. Third, I have repeatedly criticized his raising of the investigation of the Hunter Biden matter with the Ukrainian president. These points are not meant to curry favor or approval. Rather they are meant to drive home a simple point: one can oppose President Trump’s policies or actions but still conclude that the current legal case for impeachment is not just woefully inadequate, but in some respects, dangerous, as the basis for the impeachment of an American president. To put it simply, I hold no brief for President Trump. My personal and political views of President Trump, however, are irrelevant to my impeachment testimony, as they should be to your impeachment vote. Today, my only concern is the integrity and coherence of the constitutional standard and process of impeachment. President Trump will not be our last president and what we leave in the wake of this scandal will shape our democracy for generations to come. I am concerned about lowering impeachment standards to fit a paucity of evidence and an abundance of anger. If the House proceeds solely on the Ukrainian allegations, this impeachment would stand out among modern impeachments as the shortest proceeding, with the thinnest evidentiary record, and the narrowest grounds ever used to impeach a president.7 That does not bode well for future presidents who are working in a country often sharply and, at times, bitterly divided.

Democrats take note. You will not be in power forever and someday the tables will be turned. Would you put up with this bogus impeachment?

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.

 

 

Ending Some Of Washington’s Political Gamesmanship

Scott Johnson at Power Line posted an article today about the practice of ‘the blue slip courtesy’ used to block judicial nominees in Congress.

The website judicialnominations.org explains the process:

One way in which senatorial courtesy has manifested itself is something called the “blue slip.” This is a device used by the Senate Judiciary Committee to communicate with the home-state Senators about a nomination to the U.S. courts of appeal or district courts, or to be a U.S. marshal or U.S. attorney. When a nominee is referred to the committee, the committee sends a letter (typically on light blue paper) asking the two home-state Senators to take a position on the nomination. The Senators check off the appropriate box on the sheet—either approve or disapprove—and return the paper to the Judiciary Committee.

The blue slip process is used only by the Senate Judiciary Committee —no other Senate committee uses it for other kinds of nominations. The practice of using blue slips dates back to at least 1917. Since mid-2001, the status of blue slips for each judge nominated have been publicly available on the Web.

It is a matter of some debate how important blue slips are in the confirmation process. The blue slip practice is not a formal part of the Judiciary Committee’s rules, and the determination of just how much weight to give to a Senator’s opposition to a nomination is left largely up to the chair of the committee. Among other issues, the chair will decide whether to honor the objections, voiced through blue-slips, from all home-state senators or just those who belong to the same party as the president.

Unfortunately, the process has been occasionally abused. The Judicial Nominations website explains:

Much also has been written that is critical of the blue-slip system. George  Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley described the system this way:  Blue-slipping is a little known process by which senators can block federal judge nominees from their state. This means that judges who may rule in your case often are selected to meet senatorial, not professional, demands. By simply not returning blue slips sent by the Senate Judiciary Committee, a senator can block a nominee for the most nefarious or arbitrary reasons, including a personal grudge, a bargaining tool with the White House or failure of the nominee to be sufficiently fawning in the senator’s presence.

This courtesy has been misused by both sides–it was not meant as a negotiating tool–it was meant to be a courtesy.

The article at Power Line details some changes that Senator Grassley is making in order to expedite the confirmation of President Trump’s judicial nominees.

Power Line reports:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley announced that he would not let Franken’s withheld blue slip block the nomination of Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras to the Eighth Circuit (or Senator Kennedy’s block Kyle Duncan to the Fifth Circuit).

Senator Grassley took to the floor of the Senate to explain his disposition of “the blue slip courtesy” and his decision to schedule a committee hearing on the nominations of Stras and Duncan (text of statement here, video below). The Hill reported on Senator Grassley’s statement here.

Washington needs to stop playing games and get its work done. All Congressmen (and Congresswomen) should be paid according to what they actually accomplish. That might actually change how things are done in Congress.