Author Archives: Paul Mirengoff

Hysteria mounts over Trump’s intel sharing with Russia

Featured image Regarding President Trump’s disclosure of classified intelligence to Rusia, Jules Suzdaltsev of Vice tweets: Just so we’re all on the same page: an allied informant is likely being tortured to death as we speak, thanks ONLY to Trump’s big mouth. Suzdaltsev has no idea whether an allied informant is being tortured. Indeed, since the location of the informant (if there is one) was not disclosed, except reportedly to Russia, there’s »

Preliminary thoughts on Trump revealing classified info to Russia

Featured image Steve has already commented on the big news of the day — the Washington Post’s report that President Trump shared highly sensitive intelligence information with the Russians when they visited him in the Oval Office last week. I’d like to add my preliminary thoughts. The problem, if one exists, isn’t sharing information (classified or not — the president has the power to disclose such information, as I understand it) with »

Freakout at Howard University

Featured image Howard University, the “historically black” college in Washington, D.C., held its commencement this weekend. California Senator Kamala Harris, a Howard grad, delivered the address. Sen. Harris told the graduates: You are graduating into a very different time than it was when you arrived a few short years ago. We have a fight ahead. It’s a fight to determine what kind of country we will be. And it’s a fight to »

ESPN not cutting back on politics

Featured image We can think of ESPN’s “journalism” as falling into three categories: (1) in-depth analysis of games, teams, and players; (2) superficial high decibel debates about games, teams, and players; and (3) discussion focused not on games, teams, and players, but rather on sports and society — often sports and race. Which form of journalism do think is most affected by ESPN’s recent mass layoff? If you said (1), in-depth analysis »

Angry with Jeff Sessions, the New York Times revises history

Featured image “Unity Was Emerging on Sentencing. Then Came Jeff Sessions.” So declares the New York Times in a story bemoaning the failure of Congress to pass sentencing reform legislation in 2016 and the recent order from Attorney General Sessions to end lenient charging practices at the Department of Justice. Jeff Sessions certainly deserves credit for opposing the lenient sentencing legislation. His effort was heroic. But Times reporter Carl Hulse distorts the »

Macron inaugurated (plus notes from our man in Paris)

Featured image Emmanuel Macron became France’s president today. He chose to mark his inauguration day with military symbolism. For example, he broke with tradition by boarding an open-topped, camouflage military jeep, instead of a civilian limousine, for the traditional drive up the Champs-Élysées where he lit the flame in tribute to France’s war dead at the tomb for the unknown soldier. I don’t assume that Macron is “appropriating” military symbolism for cynical »

The presumption of regularity

Featured image During the past week, President Trump fired FBI director Comey at least in part due to dissatisfaction with an investigation the outcome of which matters to Trump. At first, the administration said the firing was based on the recommendation of the Deputy Attorney General, who believes Comey mistreated Hillary Clinton and hasn’t acknowledged his error. Later, the president admitted that he would have fired Comey regardless of what the Deputy »

Jeff Sessions reverses Obama’s leniency for drug dealers agenda

Featured image Attorney General Jeff Sessions is committed to reversing the lax law enforcement policies of his predecessors, Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch. Yesterday, he took a significant step in that direction with an order to federal prosecutors regarding the way criminal defendants are to be charged. Sessions instructed: [I]t is a core principle that prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense. This policy affirms our responsibility to »

Comey declines to appear before Senate intel committee

Featured image James Comey will not appear in a closed session before the Senate Intelligence Committee next Tuesday. He had been invited to testify by Chairman Richard Burr and top Democrat Mark Warner. Any way you look at it, Comey’s decision makes sense. Comey surely could some time to decompress. He’s probably had his fill of testifying before Congress. Assuming that Comey wants to fight back against President Trump, an understandable desire »

Senate Dems: Appoint a special prosecutor or we’ll hold our breath until we turn blue

Featured image Democrats are threatening to slow the Senate to a crawl in response to President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey. On Wednesday, Sen. Dick Durbin (remember him?) objected to the Republicans’ routine request to allow 13 committee hearings to take place. Durbin gave the firing of Comey as his reason. His leader, Sen. Chuck Schumer, is demanding the appointment of a special prosecutor for the Russia investigation. Democrats also »

Merrick Garland for FBI director? [UPDATED]

Featured image There are lots of rumors about who will succeed James Comey as director of the FBI. Perhaps the most intriguing rumor involves Judge Merrick Garland. Sen. Mike Lee tweeted: “Instead of a special prosecutor, @realDonaldTrump should nominate Merrick Garland to replace James Comey.” Phillip Wegmann of the Washington Examiner makes the case for selecting Judge Garland here. Judge Garland is a fine man. He’s qualified to direct the FBI. If »

Report: Rosenstein resisted original Trump narrative on Comey firing

Featured image Last night, I noted what I thought was Team Trump’s change of tune on the Comey firing. Originally portrayed as a “bottom-up” decision triggered by the new Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, the administration later acknowledged the president’s role, saying that he was furious with Comey’s investigation and had been considering sacking the director before receiving Rosenstein’s memo. This report in the Wall Street Journal, if accurate, helps explain the »

Why the Comey firing raises concern [UPDATED]

Featured image The British historian Lewis Namier wrote: “The crowning attainment of historical study is to achieve an intuitive sense of how things do not happen.” We don’t know exactly how the firing of James Comey happened. However, I think we have a sense of how it didn’t happen. It probably didn’t happen either as Trump supporters initially said or as his fiercest critics say. The initial pro-Trump line was that the »

Comey sacking creates no momentum for a special Russia investigation

Featured image Democrats have persistently called for a special congressional investigation of all matters at the intersection of Russia and the 2016 presidential campaign. The firing of James Comey has renewed such calls and made them more vociferous. But has it created momentum for such an investigation? As of now, the answer appears to be: no. Don’t take my word for it. Amber Phillip of the Washington Post writes: President Trump just »

Team Trump changes its tune on the Comey firing

Featured image Politico reports that President Trump “had grown enraged by the Russia investigation” and “frustrated by his inability to control the mushrooming narrative around Russia.” It also reports that Trump repeatedly asked aides why the Russia investigation wouldn’t disappear and sometimes screamed at television clips about the probe. Politico’s Josh Dawsey attributes the first part of this report — Trump growing enraged by the Russia investigation — to two advisers. He »

Trump resistance flops again

Featured image In what may have been a mild upset victory, Omaha’s Republican mayor Jean Stothert defeated Bernie Sanders–backed Democrat, Heath Mello. The margin was 53-46. Dave Begley, our man in Omaha (and Council Bluffs), wrote about the Omaha mayor’s race here. He called it “a national proxy political war” and noted that Hillary Clinton won more Omaha votes than Donald Trump. Moreover, registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 16,000 in Omaha. »

Comey’s successor

Featured image The next order of business for the Trump/Sessions Justice Department is to select James Comey’s permanent replacement. In this regard, the phrase of the day is “beyond reproach.” The administration, we are told, must find a replacement who is beyond reproach — someone respected by Republicans and Democrats alike. Unfortunately, such individuals are in short supply. As I put it earlier this year: “There are few honest brokers any more, »