Tag Archives: Jonathan Turley

Jonathan Turley on DACA | Sep 08, 2017

Executive Authority: How Presidential Statements Could Undermine Both Sides In The Litigation Over DACA

|| JonathanTurley.org

“Below is my column in USA Today on the role that statements from both President Barack Obama and Donald Trump could feature greatly in the unfolding litigation over the rescinding of the DACA order. Ironically, it will be the opposing sides relying on the respective statements from these presidents.

Here is the column.

For Justice Department lawyers, this week must have a maddening familiarity.

The lawyers are in court defending President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. They are also looking at a challenge by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and others to President Trump’s rescission of DACA.

Key to both cases is the doctrine of the separation of powers. Tuesday, the administration staked out the position that DACA was constitutionally flawed as a circumvention of the legislative branch. However, that position was less than 10 hours old when Trump posted a tweet that directly contradicted the legal position of his own administration. Trump suggested that he might reissue DACA or a similar program if Congress does not act — effectively same position as Obama.

It was an all-too-familiar position for the Justice Department. Earlier this year, presidential tweets and comments directly contradicted arguments being used to defend Trump’s immigration ban in court. Those tweets were then used by various courts in rulings against the administration.

However, there is a twist this time. The expected litigation over DACA’s rescission could feature not one but two presidents as witnesses against their own positions: Trump and Obama.

After Attorney General Jeff Sessions quoted from my prior work on the separation of powers in his announcement rescinding DACA, I have certainly heard from many angry people who were aghast that my work would support such a result. It does. As a Madisonian scholar, I believe strongly in clear lines of separation of powers and the need to restore legislative authority after years of unilateral presidential actions. I also happen to support protections for “dreamers,” whose parents brought them here illegally when they were young children. In the end, it was not the merits but the means behind Obama’s program that ran afoul of the Constitution. Regardless of how one feels about amnesty programs, Trump returned DACA to the place it should have remained: in Congress.

Sessions laid out that principled position in favor of the legislative process mandated by the Framers. Yet no sooner had the attorney general explained that position when the president tweeted, “Congress now has six months to legalize DACA (something the Obama administration was unable to do). If they can’t, I will revisit this issue!”

The tweet was widely interpreted to mean that Trump is prepared to do exactly what Sessions said was unconstitutionally done by the Obama administration: Issue an executive action to protect DACA immigrants.

It is hard to see how “revisit” does not mean “reissue.” If so, the tweet undermines the position of the administration in court over DACA and takes away constitutional high ground claimed by Sessions. In the pending litigation, plaintiffs can now argue that DACA is not really dead, and that the president was not serious about leaving it entirely to Congress.

Likewise, any challenge by Schneiderman and others can now cite the tweet as evidence that the separation of powers concerns were not the motivation for the president. Rather, they will argue that Trump, like Obama, has suggested that he could order the same relief if Congress does not yield to his demands.

The tweet also undermined the legislative strategy of the administration. The pressure to get Congress to act seemed to be working after Sessions’ announcement. Many Republicans saw the political costs of the termination of DACA as worse than the costs for passing some protection for these individuals. As soon as that pressure seemed to be motivating members toward action, the tweet reduced that pressure by suggesting that Trump would not allow the program to truly die.

Conversely, Schneiderman and the challengers have their own inconvenient presidential statements to contend with. Some expect challengers to bring a case under the Administrative Procedure Act as a “substantive” (or “legislative”) rule requiring a notice-and-comment period. Putting aside that the rule does not require such a process for “interpretative rules, general statements of policy, or rules of agency organization, procedure, or practice,” Schneiderman and his other challengers never went to court to challenge DACA itself on the same grounds. DACA notably did not go through notice or comment.

Finally, not only can the Justice Department argue that the procedural rule does not apply to a president as a non-agency, the memo creating DACA stated, “This memorandum confers no substantive right, immigration status or pathway to citizenship.”

Likewise, where Trump’s tweets and comments are likely, again, to feature prominently in litigation, Obama’s statements are likely to be equally problematic for challengers. Some challengers are suggesting that DACA may be permanent because of the “estoppel doctrine” — arguing that dreamers relied on the government promise that they could remain.

However, in his issuing of the DACA order, Obama expressly stated that it is “not a permanent fix. This is a temporary stopgap measure.” Obama also said he could not change federal immigration law through his executive orders.

Thus, Obama and his administration are on record undermining claims under both the procedural rule and estoppel. Ultimately, the challengers will be in the unenviable position of arguing that Trump’s rescinding DACA requires notice and comment when Obama’s implementation of DACA did not.

Moreover, challengers are suggesting that Obama had inherent presidential authority to bar the enforcement of federal law, but that Trump cannot use the same authority to enforce it. Finally, they will have to argue that people already in this country unlawfully have an enforceable promise despite Obama saying that he could not change the law or make any permanent promises.

The deepening uncertainty over presidential statements and the status of DACA only reinforces the wisdom of the Framers in forcing such major decisions into the legislative process. What we need is additional legislation, not proclamations. Otherwise, the upcoming litigation is going to get awfully confusing.

Jonathan Turley, the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University, is a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors.”

…Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

 

University Of California President Sues Over DACA Rollback

|| Daily Caller

FILE – In this Nov. 19, 2014 file photo, University of California President Janet Napolitano listens to student speakers during a meeting of the university Board of Regents in San Francisco. California’s auditor said Tuesday, March 29, 2016, the University of California has undermined residents by admitting a growing number of nonresident students, some of whom were not as qualified as in-state students. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

“The University of California became the first college Friday to sue the Trump administration over its decision to rollback the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

UC president Janet Napolitano, who helped form the DACA program in 2012, filed the lawsuit in a federal court, alleging that the Trump administration’s decision violated the rights of the students who participate in the program, reports KTVU.

“Neither I, nor the University of California, take the step of suing the federal government lightly, especially not the very agency that I led,” Napolitano said. “It is imperative, however, that we stand up for these vital members of the UC community. To arbitrarily and capriciously end the DACA program, which benefits our country as a whole, is not only unlawful, it is contrary to our national values and bad policy.”

Napolitano was serving as the secretary of the Department of Homeland during the Obama administration when she helped form DACA, which gives children brought to the United States illegally two year work permits to stay in the country. The Trump administration announced Tuesday that they would be rescinding the program with a six month delay in order to allow Congress time to act if they want.

Napolitano’s lawsuit argues that rolling back DACA will harm the University of California by taking away productive students and that the Trump administration did not take the proper steps when deciding to cancel the program.

“The University has constitutionally-protected interests in the multiple educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body. If these students leave the University before completing their education, UC will lose the benefits it derives from their contributions, as well as the value of the time and money it invested in these students,” the lawsuit says.

There are currently 800,000 illegal immigrants who receive DACA in the United States. Approximately 4,000 illegal immigrant students attend the UC campus, a good portion of which are students who are on DACA.”

…Continue reading more @ Daily Caller

 

 

The Unfairness Of DACA

|| Hot Air

“The point I’m trying to illustrate here is that fairness in immigration policy has to be understood in the context of scarcity. The demand for U.S. residency, given how wealthy the country is, vastly outstrips the supply of immigration spots that America offers or can realistically offer. Moreover, no country on earth has a fully open-borders policy as a matter of law.

The question of justice that arises, then, is this: Is it fair to all those people who want to come to the U.S. but cannot (owing to oceans and immigration laws) that people in violation of U.S. immigration law are allowed to stay? You might say that the fact that DACA-eligible individuals were brought as children defeats these considerations of fairness. But what of the millions of Bangladeshi children, many of whom have nothing but a sweatshop to look forward to? They would have loved to grow up in the U.S.

And what of the children who were brought into the U.S. legally? DACA offers no protections to such individuals. Many of the visas the U.S. offers, including the F-1 student visa and the H1-B, are temporary, and many children are brought to the U.S. as dependents by parents who have such visas. Such a child can be in the same situation as a DACA recipient: She grew up mostly in the U.S., but would have to leave once her parents’ visa runs out.”

….Continue reading more @ Hot Air

Voter Fraud Exists, Voter Fraud Proven | July 21, 2017

Voter Fraud Database Tops 1,000 Proven Cases

|| Daily Signal

“As the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity convenes its first meeting on Wednesday, the issue of voter fraud in American elections has become even more contentious and hyperbolic.

One of the left’s main arguments against reform is that voter fraud simply does not occur. How liberals arrive at this conclusion, we cannot say.

Time and again, studies and analyses point to one incontrovertible conclusion: that voter fraud is a real and pressing issue that deserves serious solutions, and The Heritage Foundation has the evidence to prove it.

On Thursday, The Heritage Foundation is releasing a new edition of its voter fraud database. Featuring well over 100 new cases, the database documents 1,071 instances of voter fraud spanning 47 states, including 938 criminal convictions.

.. ..

Virginia

Andrew Spieles, a former James Madison University student, pleaded guilty to a charge stemming from his false submission of 18 voter registration forms during the summer of 2016.

He had been working for Harrisonburg VOTES, a voter registration organization affiliated with the Democratic Party, and used false birth dates and Social Security numbers to register deceased persons to vote. Spieles was given prison time for his crime.

This incident is just one of hundreds of cases in the database where individuals illegally registered dead people, names out of the phone book, or others to vote.

Maryland

Fredericus Hubertus Slicher, an illegal alien living in Baltimore, was convicted of numerous charges in 2014. He was residing illegally in the United States, collecting Medicare and Social Security benefits, and voting in U.S. elections.

Slicher had been present in the United States illegally since his temporary work visa expired in 1969. He was convicted of child abuse in 2004, was a registered sex offender, and yet he continued to vote numerous times despite being ineligible.

His case was referred to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, one year’s supervised release, and was ordered to pay $48,928 in restitution.

The newest additions to the database included a dozen cases of illegal voting by noncitizens. This is a particularly important issue to address, as each ballot cast by a noncitizen effectively nullifies the ballot of an eligible voter, effectively disenfranchising American citizens.”

….Continue reading more @ Daily Signal

 

Seattle Court Request For Clean Up Leads To Controversy Over Race and Resources

|| JonathanTurley.Org

“The judges and court staff at Seattle’s King County Courthouse have been fighting to get something done about the disgusting conditions around the outside door.  Homeless people left excrement and urine around the door — a stench that is deterring jurors and others from coming into the building.  Judges have asked for the city to take action and clean up the unsanitary conditions with a simple power washing and better policing.  That would seem a no brainer but objections were heard from city council members, including one who reportedly said that the use of hoses might be racially insensitive or traumatic.

Judges asked for the emptying of trash cans and removal of homeless tents near the building.  One of the most curious objections came from Council member Larry Gossett  who reportedly “said he didn’t like the idea of power-washing the sidewalks because it brought back images of the use of hoses against civil-rights activists.”

That would seem to bar any power washing of government buildings.

The controversy however raises another more compelling issue.  If the judges are correct and staff and jurors fear coming to the building, such fears can have a distortive effect on cases and judgments.  Jurors who are fearful of being attacked at a courthouse may be more inclined or responsive to prosecutorial arguments.   Many prosecutors emphasize law-and-order themes in cases are that more likely to resonate with jurors who must run a gauntlet to enter the courthouse.”

….Read more @ JonathanTurley.Org

Jonathan Turley Throws Legal Cold Water on Latest Russian Claims | July 12, 2017

Liberal Legal Scholar Scoffs At Claims Donald Trump Jr. Guilty Of Treason

  || Daily Caller
Turley notes the specificity of Article III of the Constitution’s delineation of what exactly constitutes treason — “levying war against [the United States], and “providing aid and comfort to the enemy.”
“Liberal constitutional scholar Jonathan Turley laid to rest many of the claims Tuesday from the media and politicos of illegality and collusion surrounding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a “Kremlin-connected” lawyer.
Turley, a legal scholar at George Washington University, batted away claims of criminality, asking “does any of this constitute a clear crime or even a vague inkblot image of a crime?” His answer: no, not on the facts.
Richard Painter, a former ethics lawyer in President George W. Bush’s administration, said on MSNBC Sunday that the meeting “borders on treason.” Turley notes the specificity of Article III of the Constitution’s delineation of what exactly constitutes treason — “levying war against [the United States], and “providing aid and comfort to the enemy.” Aside from the fact that the details discussed at the meeting — if any at all —regarding former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are unknown, the encounter does not amount to treason.
Politico reported Norm Eisen, a former White House ethics attorney, claimed that Donald Trump Jr. violated the Logan Act, a law Turley notes “has never been used to convict a single U.S. citizen and is widely viewed as facially unconstitutional.”
The Independent raised the question of a Donald Trump Jr. “conspiracy” to “defraud the United States.” No evidence is offered says Turley, and no further actions are known to have occurred. There has never been a case under the law cited that “even remotely resembles such a distortive claim.”

…..Continue reading more @ DailyCaller

 

 

New York Times: ‘Trump Jr. Told In Advance That Anti-Clinton Information Was Coming From Russian Government To Help His Dad’

|| JonathanTurley.org

“All FBI agents sign a statement affirming that “all information acquired by me in connection with my official duties with the FBI and all official material to which I have access remain the property of the United States of America” and that an agent “will not reveal, by any means, any information or material from or related to FBI files or any other information acquired by virtue of my official employment to any unauthorized recipient without prior official written authorization by the FBI.”

 

The New York Times is reporting that “Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the material was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy.”  That would be a significant development in supporting allegations of “collusion.”  I am still skeptical of the alleged crime of collusion and even more skeptical of the alleged crime related to this meeting.  I am also confused by the NYT story which says that the email from publicist Rob Goldstone acknowledged that the information was coming from the Kremlin but the article quotes Goldstone in saying that he had no knowledge of any such connection to the Russian government.

The newspaper says that three people said that the memo from Goldstone was described to it by three people and indicated that the source of the information was the Russian government and that it wanted to pass along damaging information against Hillary Clinton.

I have previously questioned the basis for claiming that Trump Jr. committed a crime in holding this meeting in the hopes of finding dirt on Clinton.  Some have argued that receiving intelligence from the Russian would be akin to an illegal campaign contribution.

However, the article raises more questions than answers. If the Kremlin was behind this information, why didn’t this mysterious Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, actually pass along such information? Instead, she is described by various people as stating some generalities about possible Russian support for Clinton without any support or documentation. If the Russians were making such a play to influence the election in favor of Clinton, this is a curious way to going about it.  First, they arrange a bizarrely high-profile meeting (when real spies tend to find third parties to get or transmit information).  Second, they secure the meeting but do not bring even a detailed account, let alone documents, to support the allegation.  Finally, if Trump had acted on that information, it would have been a disaster since it would have been baseless and unsupported.  To this day, there has been no evidence of Russian financial support to the Clinton campaign or Democratic National Committee.

It is also weird that Goldstone admitted that he spoke with the Trump team before speaking with the New York Times.  He then categorically denied the allegation and said that he was merely passing along a request from the father of his client  pop star Emin Agalarov.  Mr. Agalarov was an associated of Trump Sr. in the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.  He said that he was told that Veselnitskaya had information of possible illegal campaign contributions from Russia for Clinton.  He told the NYT that he “never, never, ever “thought (or presumably said) that the information was coming from the Russian government.”  That leaves us in a rather weird position.  It is hard to believe that this man (or the Trump team) is so stupid as to go over the memo and then tell the media something diametrically opposite of what the memo actually says.  Obviously the memo is going to be reviewed and eventually released.

So where does that leave us?  In a word, confused.  The NYT article itself seems conflicted on what the memo actually said.  If the memo did state that the Russian government wanted to pass damaging information on Clinton, why didn’t it?  If such information was going to be fed to the Trump campaign, it would still leave us with the legal question of whether information can now be treated as a thing of value under federal campaign laws.  However, it would be good to understand what is being specifically represented as to the pre-meeting communications from Goldstone.”

….Continue reading more @ Jonathan Turley

 

More |

 

Printing The Legend: The Growing Gap Between Comey’s Image and Actions

|| JonathanTurley.org | theHill.com

Read the column @ theHill

 

FBI’s James Comey Talks About Sony Hack and ‘Privacy’ in the USA | Mar 09, 2017

– James Comey, “even our memories are not absolutely private….”

More @ Youtube

 

Big Win for Trump as Supreme Court Upholds ‘Travel Ban’ | June 26, 2017

Sessions: Supreme Court travel ban order a victory for separation of powers

|| The Hill

“Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Monday said the Supreme Court’s decision to reinstate part of President Trump’s travel ban is a victory for the separation of powers.

“Today’s order is also an important step towards restoring the separation of powers between the branches of the federal government. The Court’s decision recognizes that the Executive has the responsibility to protect the safety and security of the American people under the Constitution of the United States and its laws,” Sessions said in a statement.

“The judiciary serves, pursuant to their oath, under the same Constitution and these same laws. This case raises profound questions about the proper balance of these constitutional powers, and we are eager to advance our views on these important issues.”

The court’s decision makes it so that individuals who cannot show a relationship with a person or entity in the United States will be temporarily barred from entering the country once the court order takes effect in 72 hours.

Trump’s executive order sought to impose a temporary ban on nationals from six Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S.

Sessions, in his statement, said he was pleased with the decision and argued it is “crucial” to “properly vet those seeking to come to America.”

“Through Article II of the Constitution, the founders of our country vested the Executive Branch with a great responsibility: to ensure the national security of our country,” Sessions said.

“I am committed to defending the President’s ability to exercise that responsibility and the Department of Justice is confident that the United States Supreme Court will uphold this constitutional and necessary executive order.”

The Supreme Court in its Monday decision also said it would hear the Trump administration’s appeal of a lower court’s order that had halted the travel ban.”

….Continue  reading more @ The Hill

 

Supreme Court Reinstates Part of Immigration Order In Clear Victory For Trump

|| JonathanTurley.org

“It appears that the Battle Royale over immigration is on.  The Supreme Court issued the following order: “We grant the petitions for certiorari and grant the stay applications in part.”  The Court also reversed in the state in the major religious clause case in Trinity Lutheran.

Here is the stay language: “We grant the Government’s applications to stay the injunctions” blocking the implementation of the ban “to the extent the injunctions prevent enforcement of Section 2(c).”  Section 2(c) deals with the suspension of entry from six countries and “foreign nationals who lack any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”

Here is the money quote:

“An American individual or entity that has a bona fide relationship with a particular person seeking to enter the country as a refugee can legitimately claim concrete hardship if that person is excluded,” the Court wrote. “As to these individuals and entities, we do not disturb the injunction. But when it comes to refugees who lack any such connection to the United States, for the reasons we have set out, the balance tips in favor of the Government’s compelling need to provide for the Nation’s security.”

The parties will not be affected, but it is a victory for the Trump Administration in staying those who want to come without family in the country or other bona fide relationship.  As previously discussed, I believe that the odds favor the Administration in prevailing in the long run.”

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

Obama Administration Engaged in Previously Undisclosed Violations of the 4th Amendment | May 26, 2017

Turley | Report: Obama Administration Carried Out Massive and Unconstitutional Surveillance Programs

|| JonathanTurley.org

“With the steady stream of controversies swirling around the White House, there has been little attention given a highly disturbing report that the Obama Administration engaged in previously undisclosed and violations of the Fourth Amendment.  Just a few days from the 2016 election, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) reportedly raised a highly unusual alarm over the creation of “a very serious Fourth Amendment issue” by possibly unconstitutional surveillance conducted under President Barack Obama.

If true, this should be given equal attention to the other stories crowding our front pages and cable coverage.  The Obama Administration has a well-documented history of abuse of surveillance and stands as one of the most antagonistic administrations toward privacy in our history.  Indeed, if true, many of the former Obama officials currently testifying against the Trump Administration were responsible for a far broader scope of abusive surveillance programs.

Recently disclosed top-secret documents from the FISA court suggest that the government admitted that the NSA was regularly violating surveillance rules. Not that these violations were occurring after the unconstitutional surveillance programs revealed by Wikileaks and Snowdon were curtailed.  It also would have occurred after the disclosure that the Obama Administration put journalists under surveillance.

The FISA indicate that the government informed the court that NSA analysts had been violating rules, established in 2011, that protect the privacy of citizens on the Internet.  Once again, the NSA claimed new “inadvertent compliance lapses.”  The Court noted in its dealings with the NSA a certain “lack of candor” in its disclosures to the FISA court.

It is very rare for the FISA court to make such statements.  (For full disclosure, I had occasion to go to the FISA court when I was an intern with the NSA and later became a critic of the court).  The standards for FISA are so low and easily satisfied (with little judicial review) that it is difficult to establish any illegality under the law.

Passed in 1978 as a compromise with the Nixon Administration, FISA allows for “foreign intelligence” surveillance and was designed to evade the fourth amendment protections governing the use of warrants.  FISA surveillance is permitted based on a finding of probable cause that the surveillance target is a foreign power or an agent of a foreign power. That is manifestly different from probable cause to believe someone has committed a crime.   It is true that, if the target is a “U.S. person,” there must be probable cause to believe that the U.S. person’s activities may involve espionage or other similar conduct in violation of the criminal statutes of the United States.  However, citizens can be collateral to the primary target under FISA. In 1994 Congress extended FISA further to allow for covert physical entries in connection with “security” investigations, and then in 1998, it was amended to permit pen/trap orders. It has been used to gather business records.

By any measure, this story deserves the attention of the national media and Congress.  However, it is being buried in the crush of controversies related to the Russian investigation, embarrassing leaks, and other items. The media is correct in pursuing these legitimate stories but it should also give attention to this chilling report. There was equally limited coverage of the expansion of surveillance authority in the final days of the Obama Administration.  Privacy advocates have serious concerns about these privacy stories being pushed from public review.”

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

 

Border Patrol Agent Died after Being Stabbed by Cartel Member, Says DHS Secretary Kelly

|| Breitbart

“A Tweet quotes Department of Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly saying a Border Patrol agent died last night after being stabbed in the face by a cartel member.

Huffington Post politics and immigration reporter Elise Foley Tweeted on Thursday, “DHS Secretary John Kelly says a CBP officer died last night after being stabbed in the face by a cartel member.”

This was followed shortly by a Tweet from U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Twitter account stating that Border Patrol Agent Isaac Morales had died. “CBP mourns the loss of USBP Agent Isaac Morales. Our thoughts are with his family, friends, and fellow agents during this difficult time—KM,” the Tweet states.”

….Continue reading more @ Breitbart

Obama Spied on Everybody Since April 2009 | Apr 25, 2017

The big, amazing list of people Obama spied on | Sharyl Attkisson

|| WND

 

“The Obama administration isn’t accused of gathering intelligence information to spy for political, and other, purposes just once. Or twice. Or even just three times.

A remarkable timeline assembled by ace investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson shows just how often the Obama administration apparently spied on friend and foe alike.

With all of this information gathered in one place, WND then compiled a list gleaned from Attkisson’s timeline of all those whom the Obama administration is suspected of targeting either by spying, or investigating and/or prosecuting using intelligence information.

And the list is impressive.

  • Former U.S. Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif.
  • Pro-Israel lobbyists
  • FBI contractor and whistleblower Shamai Leibowitz
  • Tea-party groups
  • WikiLeaks
  • New York Times reporter James Risen
  • NSA whistleblower Thomas Drake
  • Fox News reporter James Rosen
  • CBS reporter Sharyl Attkisson
  • Former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio
  • Fox News reporter Mike Levine
  • ATF Special Agent John Dodson
  • Former CIA Director Gen. David Petraeus
  • Associated Press reporters
  • Benghazi whistleblowers
  • President Obama’s vice chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff James Cartwright
  • Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning
  • CIA officer and whistleblower John Kiriakou
  • NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden
  • Reporter Audrey Hudson
  • FBI agent and contractor Donald Sachtleben
  • Former state department contractor Stephen Jin-Woo Kim
  • The Senate Intelligence Committee
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • Former CIA employee Jeffrey Alexander Sterling
  • Unspecified members of Congress
  • American-Jewish groups
  • Trump adviser Carter Page
  • Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn
  • Candidate Donald Trump’s campaign
  • President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team

WND asked Attkisson: Given the sheer number of areas in which it engaged in spying, did it not seem clear that the Obama administration had weaponized the intelligence community?

“I think the facts of the timeline speak for themselves, and people are free to draw their own inferences,” she replied.

But, WND asked, would you not say that what the timeline clearly seems to imply is that spying was a tactic of the Obama administration in numerous areas?

“I think there’s little question that the intel community under the Obama administration utilized its tools tradecraft more aggressively and in a broader scope than had been done previously.”

Attkisson added, “As has been widely reported, it went after more whistleblowers than all previous administrations combined, it targeted reporters in ways that had never been done before, and it vastly expanded permission for itself to spy on members of Congress and ordinary U.S. citizens.”

But she saw more to the picture.

“I will point out that I think some of this is less a product of a specific administration and more an outgrowth of the dynamic of government pushing the limits of authorities granted after 9/11.

“Some of the intel officials and bureaucrats calling the shots persisted from administration to administration, Republican and Democrat alike,” Attkisson observed.”

….Continue reading more @ WND

 

Schock Tactics: How The Justice Department Violated The Constitution In Its Aaron Schock Investigation

|| JonathanTurley.org

“Below is my column in the Hill Newspaper on the investigation of former Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill), who attracted notoriety for his use of a Downton Abbey motif for the decoration of his office.  Obviously a preference for haughty interiors should not be enough to generate a massive criminal investigation.  However, the prosecutor in this case has pursued Schock with utter abandon, including trampling over long-established protections accorded to Congress.  Regardless of the merits of the fraud allegations against Schock, the investigation raises troubling questions of constitutional law and Congress should hold hearings into the violation of Article I.

At the start of his famous poem Mending Wall, Robert Frost wrote, “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” When it comes to the Justice Department, that statement is particularly true this month. In the prosecution of former congressman Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), the Justice Department did not simply ignore the wall of separation between the legislative and executive branches, it bulldozed it.

In its invitation of possible fraud by Schock, the FBI enlisted a staff member to record conversations in the office, rummage through files and paperwork, and remove documents for investigators and prosecutors to search of any wrongdoing. It is an egregious violation of the protections afforded members of Congress and, if left unaddressed, would constitute extremely dangerous precedent for our constitutional system.”

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

Homeland Insecurity: Obama’s DHS Buries Scathing Report on Open Borders | Sep 2016

DHS Accused of Sitting on Damning Border Report

– PJ Media

mexico-trainx

“The Department of Homeland Security is reportedly holding back a report that shows how many illegal aliens are successfully sneaking across the southern border. Lawmakers have been trying to pinpoint the number — which sources tell Fox News is approximately 250,000 — but DHS refuses to release the report  it has had since November.

According to Fox’s sources, Border Patrol agents are only catching about 50 percent of the immigrants who illegally cross the border. DHS is citing “a misleading statistic that overstates the number who are nabbed.” That’s right. Once again, it appears (prepare to be shocked) that the most transparent administration in American history has been “cooking the books.”

Via Fox News:

The agency claims authorities catch 80 percent of adults trying to sneak in, but critics say the figure is padded to make it appear border security is more effective than it really is.

“The Obama administration knows that the number of illegal aliens successfully getting across the Mexican border is 158 percent higher than they are telling people,” said John Lott, president of the Crime Prevention Research Center, who is familiar with the report. “The administration has made fraudulent changes in the numbers to hide this.”

If released by the Obama administration, the true numbers could have major implications in the current presidential race, in which illegal immigration and border security have become a key issue, say observers.

One source familiar with the report told Fox News that DHS is suppressing the report for “political reasons . . . because it would ‘look bad’ and ‘help elect Donald Trump.”

Republican lawmakers are furious that the report they ordered is not being released.

“It erodes the trust as to whether the administration is being honest with the American people about what the threat is,” said Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz., who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security and chairs the Border and Maritime Security Subcommittee. “This should not be a partisan issue. Democrats, Independents and Republicans in my community want to make sure that border communities are safe.”

When Fox News requested a copy of the report, both DHS and the White House said it was still not finished, although sources familiar with the process tell Fox otherwise.”

….Continue reading @ PJ Media

 

 

REPORT: DHS Buried Damning Immigration Study Because It Would ‘Help Elect Donald Trump’

– Daily Caller

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“The Department of Homeland Security is allegedly refusing to release the results of an immigration study that could “help elect Donald Trump.”

According to Fox News, the study was commissioned in 2015 by members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, “seeking to pinpoint the number of illegal immigrants who successfully sneak across the southern border.”

DHS claims that the study is still ongoing, yet sources close to the situation tell Fox News that it was actually completed in November 2015 and yielded results that would hurt the current administration’s immigration agenda.

Fox’s sources claim that the study showed that 50 percent of the adults attempting to illegally enter the United States at its southern border succeed, resulting in roughly 250,000 successful border crossings a year, and is being withheld for “political reasons.”

….Continue reading @ Daily Caller

 

Tampa Man Asks Cousin If Bulletproof Vest Works ……..Cousin Finds Out By Shooting and Killing Man

– JonathanTurley.org

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“Joaquin Mendez, 23, has a cousin who is lethally literal. Alexandro Garibaldi, 24, (left) was with Mendez when his cousin asked whether a bulletproof vest he had put on “still worked.” Garibaldi allegedly responded by saying “Let’s see” and shooting his cousin who died from the fatal wounds.

Police however found Mendez outside without the bulletproof vest. Garibaldi claimed that he found his cousin with the wounds, but a witness implicated Garibaldi. The vest was found inside of the house.

Garibaldi is facing a manslaughter charge. He is likely to raise a novel defense that he lacked intent because he assumed that the vest would stop a bullet.

Obviously Garibaldi can also be sued for assault, battery and wrongful death. However, the more interesting question is whether the Mendez estate could sue the manufacturer of the vest for a product defect, including possible design, manufacturing or warning defects.”

….Continue reading @ Jonathanturley.org

 

The Danger of Sanctuary Cities | Apr 2016

Open Borders and a Growing Protected Class of Criminals | June 2016