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Democrats Are Hoping This Is Watergate – But In Reality Comey’s Testimony Turned Out To Be A Huge ‘Nothing Burger’ June 8, 2017

Many were anticipating that #ComeyDay would be the most monumental congressional hearing in decades, but the truth is that it turned out to be quite a dud.  During two and a half hours of testimony in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, former FBI Director James Comey didn’t tell us anything that we don’t already know.  Of course liberal news outlets such as CNN are breathlessly proclaiming that we are now “in Nixon territory”, but that isn’t accurate at all.  There is absolutely no evidence that President Trump committed any crime, and there is absolutely nothing that warrants impeachment.

And I am far from alone in that assessment.  For example, an analysis published by CNBC says that nothing in Comey’s testimony was “powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively”…

“Former FBI Director James Comey’s Senate testimony Thursday will indeed have a big political impact in Washington. It will foster more partisan bitterness and more bad feelings about our political process and news media. But none of his testimony rises to the level of anything legally powerful enough to end the Trump presidency literally or figuratively.

The bottom line is that Comey spent a few hours Thursday telling the Senate committee that he felt uncomfortable and even stunned by President Trump’s behavior. And he peppered that narrative with numerous damaging statements about the president’s behavior and character, including basically calling him a liar”

When Comey accused Trump of being a liar, that certainly made a lot of headlines, but unless you are under oath it is not a crime to lie.

Perhaps we should make it a crime for our politicians to lie, because if we did we would clean out the toilet that Washington D.C. has become rather quickly.  But as it stands, even if Trump is a low-down dirty liar as Comey is claiming, that would simply put Trump on the same level as most of the current members of Congress.

The much more important question is whether or not Trump committed obstruction of justice.  Fortunately for Trump, there is a very clear answer to that question.

First of all, we must remember that Trump was Comey’s boss.  As chief executive, Trump has constitutional power to direct the activities of his subordinates, and he is free to fire them whenever he chooses.  So, as Alan Dershowitz just pointed out on CNN, Trump cannot be impeached for simply exercising his constitutional authority…

Renowned Harvard professor and legal mind Alan Dershowitz sparked quite a reaction during a CNN segment on Wednesday night after he proclaimed that former FBI director James Comey’s prepared testimony indicates that President Donald Trump didn’t commit any crimes.

Dershowitz argued that Trump “could have told Comey, ‘You are commanded, directed to drop the investigation against [Gen. Michael] Flynn,’” but noted that he didn’t do so, according to Comey’s prepared testimony that was published on Wednesday.

The famed attorney also said Trump could have pardoned Flynn as well, but also chose not to do so. In the end, he concluded that there appears to be no criminal activity on the part of the president, particularly when it comes to obstruction of justice claims.

Traditionally, the FBI has operated in a highly independent manner, but there is nothing in the law that gives the FBI independent status.

If Congress wants to pass a law to remove the FBI from being under the president’s authority they can certainly do that, but as it stands what Trump did was fully within the law.

But even if Trump didn’t have the authority, there would still be no obstruction of justice.  The two most important federal statutes that cover obstruction of justice are 18 U.S.C. § 1503 and 18 U.S.C. § 1505.  In both cases, it would be exceedingly difficult for prosecutors to prove that Trump acted “corruptly” in this case.  Not only that, there was no “proceeding” that Trump was trying to influence.  For a more extended analysis, please see the article that I posted yesterday entitled “Even If Everything James Comey Is Claiming Is True, There Is Still No Evidence That Trump Is Guilty Of Any Crime”.

If Comey is being straight with us, and at this point his credibility is pretty much shot, but if he is being straight with us there is still nothing that is going to end Trump’s presidency.

What Trump did may have been “inappropriate”, but you don’t impeach a president for being “inappropriate”.

In the aftermath of Comey’s testimony, Trump’s attorney said that the president feels “completely and totally vindicated”

President Donald Trump’s private attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Wednesday said his client felt “completely and totally vindicated” by James Comey’s prepared opening statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Comey’s remarks, released Wednesday in advance of Thursday’s Senate hearing, confirmed previous statements by Trump that Comey had told him three times that he was not personally being investigated amid the FBI’s wide-ranging inquiry into Russian meddling in the election and the Trump campaign’s possible ties to Russia.

Personally, I hope that this whole “scandal” will go away now.  There never was anything to it in the first place, and the American people want a government that is going to focus on solving problems instead of focusing on investigations that were doomed to go absolutely nowhere from the start.

But even if this Comey angle doesn’t work out, the Democrats will just keep on trying.  In fact, the Huffington Post is already starting to promote the theory that Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement is an impeachable offense.

In the end, the Democrats are never going to give up until they find something that they can use against Trump.  What I am hearing is that they are going to make an all-out push to take back the House and the Senate in 2018, and if they can do that they plan to use their congressional majorities to get rid of Trump one way or another.

This is just another reason why the 2018 mid-term elections are going to be the most important mid-term elections in modern American history, because if the Democrats have their way Trump will never even make it to 2020.

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Gorsuch Will Not Shift The Balance Of Power On The Supreme Court As Much As You May Think February 1, 2017

Neil Gorsuch And Donald Trump - Public DomainOn Tuesday, President Trump announced that he would nominate Neil Gorsuch to fill the open seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.  Gorsuch currently serves on the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, and he was confirmed unanimously by the Senate when he was appointed to that position by President George W. Bush in 2006.  Gorsuch appears to have some strong similarities to Antonin Scalia, and many conservatives are hoping that when Gorsuch fills Scalia’s seat that it will represent a shift in the balance of power on the Supreme Court.  Because for almost a year, the court has been operating with only eight justices.  Four of them were nominated by Republican presidents and four of them were nominated by Democrats, and so many Republicans are anticipating that there will now be a Supreme Court majority for conservatives.

Unfortunately, things are not that simple, because a couple of the “conservative” justices are not actually very conservative at all.

For example, it is important to remember that Scalia was still on the court when the Supreme Court decision that forced all 50 states to legalize gay marriage was decided.  Justice Anthony Kennedy joined the four liberal justices in a majority opinion that Scalia harshly criticized.  So with Gorsuch on the court, that case would still have been decided the exact same way.

Sadly, even though Kennedy was nominated by Ronald Reagan, he has turned out to be quite liberal.  In the past, not nearly enough scrutiny was given to justices that were nominated by Republican presidents, and a few of them have turned out to be total disasters.

And let us also remember that Scalia was still on the court when the big Obamacare case was decided.  Chief Justice John Roberts joined the four liberal justices in a decision that was perhaps one of the most bizarre in the modern history of the U.S. Supreme Court.

For some reason, Justice Roberts was determined to preserve Obamacare, and if you read what he wrote it is some of the most twisted legal reasoning that I have ever come across.

As someone that was once part of the legal world, let me let you in on a little secret.  Most judges simply do whatever they feel like doing, and then they will try to find a way to justify their decisions.  So if you ever find yourself in court, you should pray that you will get a judge that is sympathetic to your cause.

Fortunately, Gorsuch appears to be one of the rare breed of judges that actually cares what the U.S. Constitution and our laws have to say.  In that respect, he is very much like Scalia

Gorsuch is seen by analysts as a jurist similar to Scalia, who died on Feb. 13, 2016. Scalia, praised by Gorsuch as “a lion of the law,” was known not only for his hard-line conservatism but for interpreting the U.S. Constitution based on what he considered its original meaning, and laws as written by legislators. Like Scalia, Gorsuch is known for sharp writing skills.

“It is the role of judges to apply, not alter, the work of the people’s representatives,” Gorsuch said on Tuesday at the White House event announcing the nomination in remarks that echoed Scalia’s views.

One of the most high profile cases that Gorsuch was involved with came in 2013.  That was the famous “Hobby Lobby case”, and it represented a key turning point in the fight for religious freedom.  The following comes from CNN

In 2013, he joined in an opinion by the full Court of Appeals holding that federal law prohibited the Department of Health and Human Services from requiring closely-held, for-profit secular corporations to provide contraceptive coverage as part of their employer-sponsored health insurance plans.

And although a narrowly divided 5-4 Supreme Court would endorse that view (and affirm the 10th Circuit) the following year, Gorsuch wrote that he would have gone even further, and allowed not just the corporations, but the individual owners, to challenge the mandate.

Donald Trump said that he wanted a conservative judge in the mold of Scalia, but I think that he was also looking for someone that he could get through the Senate.

And considering the fact that Gorsuch was confirmed unanimously by the Senate in 2006 will make it quite difficult for Democrats to block him now.  Gorsuch has tremendous academic and professional credentials, and he will probably have a smoother road to confirmation than someone like appeals court judge William Pryor would

Trump may have favored Gorsuch for the job in hopes of a smoother confirmation process than for other potential candidates such as appeals court judge William Pryor, who has called the 1973 Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion “the worst abomination of constitutional law in our history.”

But Pryor is still reportedly on the short list for the next spot on the Supreme Court that opens up, and by then the rancor in the Senate may have died down.

If Gorsuch is confirmed, what will this mean for some of the most important moral issues of our time?

As for abortion, even if Gorsuch is confirmed I do not believe that the votes are there to overturn Roe v. Wade.  But if Trump is able to nominate a couple more Supreme Court justices that could change.

But even if Roe v. Wade is overturned, it would not suddenly make abortion illegal.  Instead, all 50 states would then be free to make their own laws regarding abortion, and a solid majority of the states would continue to keep it legal.

The analysis is similar when we look at gay marriage.  If the Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage in all 50 states was overturned, each state would get to decide whether gay marriage should be legal or not for their own citizens.  And just like with abortion, it is likely that only a limited number of states would end up banning gay marriage.

So the nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court appears to be a positive step, but it does not mean that we are going to see dramatic change when it comes to issues such as abortion or gay marriage any time soon.

But at least Gorsuch can help stop the relentless march of the progressive agenda through our court system.  So in the end we may not make that much progress for right now, but at least the liberals won’t either.

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