Tag Archives: JonathanTurley.org

Why Trump’s Firing Comey is Not Anything Like Nixon’s ‘Saturday Night Massacre’ | May 09, 2017

|| HistoryOntheNet.com

 

The Nixon Tapes
On July 16, 1973, another former aide to the President, Alexander Butterfield, testified before the Senate Committee that there was an oval office recording system, that it was installed and operated by the Secret Service, and that Nixon probably had it installed to record things for posterity, for the Nixon Library. (A few days later, Nixon ordered that the taping system be turned off). The shocking revelation set off a chain reaction in which samples of these tapes were sought by both the Senate Committee and by Independent prosecutor Archibald Cox. Nixon, however, refused to turn over the tapes, again claiming executive privilege. The Senate Committee and Cox then issued subpoenas for the White House tapes.

The “Saturday Night Massacre
On October 19, 1973, Nixon, looking toward a solution to the tape dispute, offered what later came to known as the Stennis Compromise. U.S. Senator John C. Stennis (D-MS) would independently review the tapes and summarize them for the special prosecutor’s office. Cox refused the compromise. The next night, a Saturday, Nixon worked to have Cox removed. He contacted Attorney General Elliot Richardson and ordered him to fire Cox. Richardson refused and resigned in protest instead. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; he also refused and resigned in protest. Nixon then contacted the Solicitor General, Robert Bork, and ordered him, as acting head of the Justice Department in the wake of the previous resignations, to fire Cox. Bork reluctantly complied. The firing of Special Prosecutor Cox, and the flurry of high-profile Justice Department resignations over the weekend caused the press to dub this event, the “Saturday Night Massacre.

Congress was infuriated about the Saturday Night Massacre. Numerous resolutions to impeach him were introduced in the House. Nixon, feeling the pressure, agreed to release some of the tapes to District Judge Sirica. A few days later at a nationally televised press conference, Nixon also announced that he was instructing Acting Attorney General Bork to appoint a new Special Prosecutor for the Watergate matter. On November 1, The Justice Department appointed Leon Jaworski its new special prosecutor.”

….Continue reading more @ HistoryOntheNet.com

 

Of note: In this particular case, both Trump and Hillary supporters had reason to be furious with Comey, which unlike the embattled Nixon, who was at the end of his presidency with mounting evidence, Trump was faced with a stubborn high commissioner of crimes, who thought he was a law unto himself, like the predecessor J. Edgar Hoover. Comey wasn’t. No doubt Comey lost the confidence of FBI itself. /CJ

 

TRUMP FIRES FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY

|| JonathanTurley.org

“President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey this evening in a surprise move.  Various politicians and the media have openly referred to the act as “Nixonian” and “another Saturday Night Massacre.”  

I have previously stated how the Saturday Day Massacre has been misrepresented.  I also do not agree with Jeff Toobin on CNN tonight that the decision was clearly due to the fact that Comey’s investigation was getting “too close” to President Trump.  I do not see how one can reach that conclusion after months of criticism over Comey’s past conduct, including widespread anger from Democrats over his public statements on Hillary Clinton.

I agree that the timing is concerning and legitimately questioned.  However, the Administration may also have waited for the Deputy Attorney General to be confirmed to allow a career prosecutor to review the matter and to concur with the decision.  Democrats denounced Comey over his actions regarding the Clinton Administration.  The matter was given to the Deputy Attorney General who was just confirmed recently.

President Trump took efforts in his letter state that Comey assured him that he was not under investigation.  He stated that  “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgement of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the bureau.”

The White House released a memorandum from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, a respected career prosecutor.  He found that Comey’s prior conduct did “substantial damage” to the FBI’s “reputation and credibility.”  He noted that the FBI Director is never empowered to supplant federal prosecutors and assume command of the Justice Department” and that his conduct was “a textbook example of what federal prosecutors and agents are taught not to do.”

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

Hawaii Federal Obama Judge Appointee Prevents Trump Refugee EO | Mar 16, 2017

Hawaii Obama Judge Rules Muslim Imam Has Special Constitutional Rights to Bring Anyone from Terror Countries into America

|  Breitbart

“In a ruling issued on Wednesday afternoon, a federal judge, and Obama appointee, prevented the President of the United States from enforcing his own executive order to protect the nation from migrants from terror-riddled countries.

The judge then prevented every other judge and every other state from following the President’s order, the judge making himself a one-man Supreme Court and substitute President.

The judge then held that American universities and immigrants living here can prohibit America from ever limiting immigration from Muslim-heavy countries, claiming the First Amendment gives Muslim-dominant nations a right of immigration to America.

Such arrogance and abuse of authority sound familiar? Such First Amendment favoritism toward Islam sound familiar? Well, Obama did appoint this judge, and a rule of thumb with federal judges is they tend to mirror the psychologies of the man who appointed them.

The judge’s ruling is completely lawless, mirroring Obama’s deep state allies in his shadow government’s attempt to sabotage the Trump presidency. There is no precedent for the court’s order. In fact, every precedent is against the court’s order; just read the detailed logic and scholastic citation of proper governing legal authorities from the decision of a moderately liberal Boston judge who upheld every part of Trump’s prior order.

To give you an idea of how lawless the decision is, just try to find the analogous case the Hawaii judge cites for his ruling; there is none, not one single prior example of another judge ever doing what this Judge did to the extent he did it.

To give you another example of how baseless the court’s ruling is, even liberal law professors and scribes criticized the more limited Ninth Circuit decision that this Hawaii judge goes far beyond. Liberal law professor Turley noted Trump should win a challenge against that ruling. Liberal democrat professor Alan Dershowitz noted the same. Liberal law scribe Jeffrey Toobin conceded the same.

Attorney Robert Barnes joined SiriusXM host Alex Marlow on Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily to discuss his latest Breitbart News column:

“The district court judge in Hawaii, who was a fellow law graduate of Harvard law school with former President Obama – and, in fact, Obama was in Hawaii yesterday before the decision was issued, so some people have speculated on the coincidence of that. But he issued a decision that blocks the ability of anybody to enforce the order anywhere,” Barnes said. “So he went beyond just the district of Hawaii. He said no state can enforce it. Nobody in any part of the country can enforce it. Nobody anywhere in the administration can enforce it. He issued what’s called a nationwide injunction, and it precludes any application of the order, pretty much, on any aspect of the order, pretty much, until there’s further review.”

“His basis for doing so was an extraordinary interpretation of the right to travel and the freedom of association, which before, has only been associated with U.S. citizens,” Barnes continued. “Every court decision in the 200 years prior to this has said that people who are not citizens of the United States, who are not present within the United States, have no First Amendment constitutional rights. The Constitution doesn’t extend internationally to anybody, anywhere, anyplace, at any time. Instead, this judge said it did, as long as you had a university here who wanted to assert, quote-unquote, the foreigner’s rights, or you had some physical person here. In this case, it was one of the leading Muslim imams in Hawaii; he wants to bring over various family and friends from the Middle East.”

“The Hawaii judge’s decision says he has a First Amendment constitutional right to do so because he’s Muslim. It was one of the most extraordinary interpretations of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment ever given, which is that because these are Muslim countries that were banned where the issue of terror arises from that that meant they had a special right to access the country and visit the country,” he said.

“As long as there is somebody here that wants them here, no president can ever preclude them from coming here. He basically gave First Amendment rights to everybody around the world and gave special preferences to people who are Muslim under his interpretation of the First Amendment,” Barnes summarized.

“So it’s an extraordinarily broad order. Its legal doctrine has no limits. If you keep extending this, it means people from around the world have a special right to access the United States, visit the United States, emigrate to the United States, get visas to the United States. There wouldn’t be any limit, and the president would never be able to control our own borders. It would be up solely to the whim of a federal judge who effectively delegated it, in this case, to a Muslim imam in Hawaii,” he contended.

Barnes noted that the judge did not “cite any prior decision” that has ever established this astonishing new quirk of the Constitution.”

…Continue reading more @ Breitbart

 

Federal Judge In Hawaii Enjoins Second Executive Order

| JonathanTurley.org

Last night, U.S. District Judge Derrick K. Watson issued a temporary restraining order that prevents the second immigration order of President Donald Trump from going into effect on Thursday.

The 43-page opinion is scathing and relies not only on the statements of President Trump but the recent statements of his chief aide Stephen Miller.  While I respectfully disagree with Judge Watson and view his decision as contrary to the weight of existing case law, the opinion again shows the perils of presidents and their aides speaking publicly about litigation.

Watson found that there was a “strong likelihood of success” for challengers because “a reasonable, objective observer — enlightened by the specific historical context, contemporaneous public statements, and specific sequence of events leading to its issuance — would conclude that the Executive Order was issued with a purpose to disfavor a particular religion.”  He strongly dismissed the argument that this is not a religious ban since it did not impact the vast majority of Muslims: “The illogic of the Government’s contentions is palpable. The notion that one can demonstrate animus toward any group of people only by targeting all of them at once is fundamentally flawed.”

As previously discussed, I believe that the odds favor the Administration in prevailing in the long run.  It could face a mix of decisions on the lower courts as it did with the first order. However, this order is a better product and presumably the Justice Department will markedly improve its performance in the defense of the order.  I do not see how a strong likelihood of prevailing could be maintained on existing case law, particularly under the establishment clause.”
….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

Grandstanding Judicial Supremacy Must End

| PJ Media

“Here we go again. Last month it was Seattle District Judge James L. Robart who decided he had the authority to contravene the president’s executive order “on a nationwide basis,” temporarily banning entry into the United States of people from seven terrorist hot spots (Somalia, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Libya, etc.). Come on in folks, don’t mind the laws of the United States! All are welcome.

Judge Robart, whom no one had ever heard of before, got a lot of play in the anti-Trump media (which is to say, the media tout court) and has doubtless been dining out on that sever since.

As I said at the time, Judge Robart’s restraining order, especially its nationwide application, struck me as legally dubious and, practically speaking, unworkable. Can we really have six or seven hundred district judges making policy for the entire country? For make no mistake, that’s what Judge Robart did. At the behest — or with the collusion — of a couple of blue state attorneys general, Judge Robart decided that he had the authority to contravene a legally framed executive order issued by the president of the United States and to make himself, Judge James L. Robart, the supreme law of the land.

Since he happened to reflect the establishment anti-Trump consensus, it was all a big hit with the establishment anti-Trump media. So it is no surprise that in the wake of the president’s new travel ban, another grandstanding judge — several of them, in fact — is eager to horn in on the publicity. Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Derrick Watson from Hawaii made a bid for his fifteen minutes of notoriety and blocked the travel ban just hours before it was set to take effect. According to Judge Watson, the travel ban was not about national security, as the president said, but “significant and unrebutted evidence of religious animus.”

I’d say that was ridiculous on the face of it. If Donald Trump wanted to institute a travel ban against Muslims, why would he neglect to include countries in which more than 85 percent of Muslims live? No, the ban has to do with national security, not religion. But leave that to one side. The real issue is: Who asked Judge Watson? As Andrew McCarthy has explained with his usual perspicacity when Judge Robart weighed in on the first travel ban, the president has plenary power to decide who may and who may not travel to the United States.

McCarthy cites federal immigration law Section 1182(f):

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be  detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary,  suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or  impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate (emphasis added).

In other words, Donald Trump’s travel bans were perfectly legal.

But legality is not the issue. Political warfare is the name of the game. Judge Watson, joined by a handful of his anti-Trump confrères and the vast majority of the media elite, has decided that the judiciary, not the executive branch, is in charge of international relations and foreign affairs. (In fact, they believe that the judiciary, so long as it hews to a progressive agenda, is in charge of everything, but that is an issue for another day.)

Now the Ninth Circuit, which has jurisdiction over the case, is famously latitudinarian. It sided with Judge Robart in his original TRO last month. But things may be different this time around. Yesterday, five judges said they considered that decision incorrect. “Whatever we, as individuals, may feel about the president or the executive order,” Judge Jay Bybee of the Ninth Circuit wrote, “the president’s decision was well within the powers of the presidency.”

For his part, Donald Trump blasted the “unprecedented judicial overreach” of Judge Watson. What’s next? The president has vowed to fight the case all the way to the Supreme Court. Absent a ninth member of that Court, the decision is likely to be split 4-4, thus affirming the lower Court’s decision. So in part this story might be called “Waiting for Gorsuch.”

But I suspect the left-leaning judicial supremacists may have pulled off a scab from a wound that now will fester. There are various expedients that could be pursued. There is nothing in the Constitution that says the U.S. has to maintain a District Court system at all. A Supreme Court, yes. There it is in Article 3. But Judge Robart’s or Judge Watson’s perch? Tell me where the Constitution specifies that. Nor does the Constitution say anything about judicial compensation; perhaps it should be zero. Who knows what the ingenuity of man might discover?”

…..Continue reading @ PJ Media

New York City Fights ICE and Federal Authorities over ‘Sanctuary’ Policy | Jan 28 2017

ICE Fights Back Against New York City’s Sanctuary Policy

– Daily Caller

“Immigration and Customs Enforcement is feuding with New York City’s stated policy of non-compliance with federal immigration detainers.

The detainers from ICE ask for local law enforcement to hold an illegal immigrant in custody until federal agents can retrieve the illegal alien. An ICE press release Friday said, “ICE arrests convicted Mexican national released from local custody after detainer was ignored.”

ICE officers arrested a Mexican national, Luis Alejandro Villegas, on Wednesday just weeks after he was released by New York Police Department officials who ignored an immigration detainer. Villegas was in local custody for driving while intoxicated, and he previously served five years in prison for armed robbery. He was deported back to Mexico in 2007 following his stint in prison.

“Villegas is a criminal alien who was released back into our New York communities, posing an increased and unnecessary risk to those who live in this great city,” Thomas R. Decker, New York field office director for enforcement and removal operations, said in a statement.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday calling for the federal government to stop providing funds to jurisdictions which don’t cooperate with immigration detainers. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has said he doesn’t plan to change policy following the executive order and has claimed the city has “solid ground for a legal challenge to the executive order should the occasion arise.”

New York City’s comptroller recently said that the Big Apple could lose an estimated $7 billion annually in federal funding if they do not change their “sanctuary” policy.”

….Continue reading @ Daily Caller

 

Is The Trump Executive Order On Refugees Constitutional?

– JonathanTurley.org

“Curiously, the order notes the 9-11 attacks but the order does not cover the countries that were the sources for those attackers, including Saudi Arabia and UAE.   I think that this order is a mistake and contradicts our values.  However, I do not agree with some of my colleagues at GW and other law schools that the order is clearly unconstitutional.  Courts are not supposed to rule on the merits of such laws but their legality.  I think that the existing precedent favors Trump.

First, this is not a religious ban. When it was first discussed on the campaign, it was described as a ban on Muslims.  This is not a religious ban. It certainly can be opposed as having that effect but there are a wide array of Muslim countries not covered by the ban and would not be impacted by the restrictions.  A court cannot in my view treat this order as carrying out a religious ban as it is currently written.

Second, the law largely suspends entry pending the creation of new vetting procedures.  That is based on a national security determination made by the President. Courts have generally deferred to such judgments.  A president’s authority is at its zenith on our borders. Hillary Clinton herself campaigned on carefully vetting refugees (though she favors increasing such entries). In  a November 2015 national security speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Clinton said “So yes, we do need to be vigilant in screening and vetting any refugees from Syria, guided by the best judgment of our security professionals in close coordination with our allies and partners.”

Finally, there is precedent for limited entry from particular countries going back to some of the earliest periods in this country.  The earlier immigration laws include  the 1875 Page Act which focused on Asian immigrants and those believes to be engaged in prostitution or considered convicts in their native countries.  Then there was the infamous  1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.  Then there were other measures limiting immigration from particular areas like the  1906 “Gentleman’s Agreement” (Japanese aliens) and the or the 1917 Immigration Act (“Asiatic Barred Zone”).

In 1921 and 1924, Congress passed the “Quota Acts” limiting entry from disfavored countries.   of nations from whom no further immigrants would be accepted. In every case, immigration policy continued to develop as a series of widening, discriminatory exclusions.  It was not until 1965 that we broke from our long and troubling history is such discrimination.

However, The 1952 Immigration and Nationality Act contains section, 212(f) that gives sweeping authority on the exclusion of certain aliens:

Whenever the President finds that the entry of any aliens or of any class of aliens into the United States would be detrimental to the interests of the United States, he may by proclamation, and for such period as he shall deem necessary, suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens as immigrants or nonimmigrants, or impose on the entry of aliens any restrictions he may deem to be appropriate.

Even President Jimmy Carter used such authority. Executive Order 12172 involves an order to force 50,000 Iranian students living in the United States report to an immigration office and face possible deportation. Thousands were deported.”

….Continue reading more @ JonathanTurley.org

Recent History |  Nov 2015

After the Paris Bataclan Muslim Terror Attack

Amid furor in Washington over the admission of Syrian refugees, senators of both parties say that the easiest path for foreign terrorists to enter the United States is the visa waiver program.

Without visas, nationals from dozens of countries in Europe and elsewhere need only a passport to pass through U.S. customs at airports and other entry points, bypassing the screening process to which visa applicants are subjected.

“Twenty million people each year from 38 countries, including France and Belgium, use the visa waiver program,” said Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. “Terrorists could exploit the program, could go from France to Syria, as 2,000 fighters have done, come back to France, use the visa waiver program and, without any further scrutiny, come into the United States.”

The top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein has introduced legislation to block visa waivers for foreign nationals who have traveled to Syria or Iraq in the last five years.

“They can still visit,” Feinstein said, “but they need a traditional visa – a process that includes an in-person interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.”

Refugee Concerns

The bill is co-sponsored by Republican Senator Jeff Flake, who says fears about possible security risks posed by Syrian refugees are overblown.

“If you look at all the gaps in our security situation and the vulnerabilities we have, in my view the refugee program is well down that list [of concerns]. Visa waiver is near the top,” Flake said.

“We absolutely need to tighten up the visa waiver program,” said another Republican, Rob Portman. “There are 5,000 foreign fighters who are from countries with which we have a visa waiver program. It’s a huge problem.”

….Continue reading @ VOA News

Daily Mail Reporter Claims Fake Syrian Passport Fooled Expert

– Daily Mail UK

“Daily Mail reporter Nick Fagge told Fox News that he was able to get a fake Syrian passport good enough to fool a supposed “forgery expert” for just $2,000.

Fagge’s article on the experience caught the attention of Monday morning’s edition of Fox & Friends, where he appeared to discuss just how easy it apparently is to attain a Syrian passport — regardless of whether or not you’re actually a Syrian refugee. The reporter was able to obtain a passport, driving license and identity card for the price.

“When I bought the passport, I asked [the forger] who was buying them,” he said. “He told me, ‘people who wanted a better life, people who are pretending to by Syrians.’ But most worryingly, ‘members of ISIS,’ people who wanted to come to Europe to bring their evil war to us and kill people.”

Fagge later got in touch with a forgery expert in the German police. Both the driving license and the identity card were easily dismissed, but the passport was another matter.

“He spent quite a long time analyzing it. He said it was genuine. He said, ‘This is a real passport.’”

Concerns about possible ties between Syrian refugees and ISIS have been heightened following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris after a Syrian passport was found on one of the attackers. In the United States, several state governors have denounced the White House’s current plan to accept refugees.”

….Continue reading @ Mediaite

 

Bernie says ‘climate change’ is the cause of global terrorism

– Youtube

Hillary’s “smart power” will bring peace in our time – empathize with our enemies

– Youtube

”Using eve

 

“”Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view.”                                                                                                    – Hillary Clinton