Author Archives: Scott Johnson

Today in collusion

Featured image In his interview with three New York Times reporters yesterday — an interview most notable for the dissatisfaction he expressed with Attorney General Sessions on account of his recusal from the Special Counsel investigation — President Trump was asked if the investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia. “I would say yes,” Trump responded, though he would »

Faith of his fathers

Featured image Despite whatever political disagreements I have had with Senator McCain over the years, I am deeply saddened by the news that he is contending with an aggressive form of brain cancer. I found the occasions on which I have spent time in his company to be a personal highlight. He is an American original. We extend prayers on behalf of him and his family. In 2008 when Senator McCain was »

Minnesota cage match, 2017 edition (3)

Featured image I wrote about the ongoing cage match between Minnesota Democratic Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota’s majority-Republican House and Senate here and here. It’s an interesting story that deserves national attention as a sign of the political times. At the end of this year’s slightly extended legislative session Dayton signed all tax and budget bills. He could have vetoed any of them. Even though he professed extreme unhappiness with certain items, »

Mr. Trump regrets

Featured image President Trump has given a wide-raning interview to New York Times reporters Peter Baker, Michael Schmidt and Maggie Haberman. The Mueller investigation is on his mind in a big way. President Trump observes: “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else” (audio below). The President further characterizes »

Damond’s ducks’ family reunion

Featured image The UK’s Guardian has posted the exclusive video above of Justine Damond with the following explanation: When reporters asked friends and family for stories about Justine Damond, many of them asked: “Have you heard about the ducks?” Three weeks before she was shot dead by police Damond, a 40-year-old Australian who had changed her surname from Ruszczyk in anticipation of her wedding, climbed into a storm drain and rescued a »

A loud noise

Featured image At a press conference early yesterday evening Minneapolis authorities provided the the first account of the shooting of pajama clad Justine Damond by Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor in the alley behind Damond’s home in southwest Minneapolis. The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension is investigating Ms. Damond’s death. The account is based on the BCA’s interview of Noor’s partner, Officer Matthew Harrity. Noor himself isn’t talking, at least not yet. »

A humiliating farce

Featured image Within a few hours of the death of the Obamacare repeal-and-replacement bill in the Senate, a version of the repeal-only option appears to have died. That option represented Senator McConnell’s fallback position. Why not? Only eighteen months ago, in December 2015, Republican Senators (minus Susan Collins) voted unanimously to repeal Obamacare. They must have had their fingers crossed behind their back. The December 2015 repeal vote in the Senate was »

A police shooting with a difference

Featured image The 2016 shooting death of Philando Castile in the course of a traffic stop by suburban Twin Cities police officer Jeronimo Yanez convulsed the Twin Cities both before and after the officer involved was acquitted earlier this summer. Castile’s death was live streamed and narrated by his girlfriend on Facebook. It was a horrifying, heartbreaking scene. A Ramsey County jury nevertheless found that Officer Yanez reasonably feared for his life »

Too much of nothing

Featured image In her response to my comments on her recent Trump/Russia column, Mona Charen writes: “The Wall Street Journal story about a Republican operative seeking Hillary Clinton’s hacked emails through Russia and claiming that he was working with Mike Flynn is possibly significant.” Anything is possible, but it is highly unlikely. Mona links to Shane Harris’s June 29 Wall Street Journal story on which I commented here. Andrew McCarthy blew off »

Mona Charen: It’s not a witch hunt

Featured image My friend Mona Charen has sent me the following response to my nearby post “A witch hunt?” In my post I comment on her recent column “16 Things You Must Believe to Buy the ‘Witch Hunt’ Russia Narrative.” I want to give Mona the last word in this exchange and thank her for her response. Mona writes: Before plunging into your objections, Scott, I want to thank you for being »

A witch hunt?

Featured image Mona Charen is a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, a syndicated columnist and author of two best-selling books that I have found permanently relevant, Do-Gooders and Useful Idiots. She is also a friend whom I greatly admire for her honesty and integrity. Both NRO and Jewish World Review carry Mona’s column. In her most recent column, Mona set forth “16 Things You Must Believe »

Assess this

Featured image Did Putin prefer Trump in the presidential election of 2016? According to the intelligence report dated January 6, 2017, Putin not only preferred Trump to Clinton. He mounted a so-called influence campaign to put him over. The report is posted online here. Issued under the auspices of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the report is based on the intelligence and assessments of the CIA, the FBI and »

The new meaning of treason

Featured image Rebecca West wrote a once well-known book about British supporters of the Nazis during World War II that she called The Meaning of Treason (1947). Harry Kalven’s review is posted here. West famously revisited the subject to take account of the British Communists who spied for the Soviet Union in The New Meaning of Treason (1964). Sidney Hook’s review is here. When I wrote “The new meaning of collusion” earlier »

Let’s call the whole thing kollusion [with comment by Paul]

Featured image I wrote about the New York Times stories here and here reporting on Donald Trump, Jr.’s June 2016 meeting with the Russian lawyer in “The new meaning of collusion.” I focused on the latter story in a post early on Tuesday morning, before Trump Jr. released the email chain that the story described at second hand. Whatever the faults of the story, in retrospect I wrongly made light of it. »

Thoughts from the ammo line

Featured image Ammo Grrrll is not coming out with the declaration: I’M A MAN! She is quoting Mr. AG. She writes: Mr. AG and I take a multi-vitamin every day. Never one to miss a marketing opportunity, Centrum makes more or less-identical vitamins labeled “Women,” “Men,” and the one I take for Geezer-Americans labeled Adults Fifty-Plus called Centrum Silver. As I was shaking my vitamin out of the bottle, offering one to »

Remembering Judge Bright

Featured image The Eighth Circuit Judicial Conference convenes today in Fargo. Driving into Fargo on Monday I heard Rush Limbaugh take his first call of the day from Fargo and note the impending Eighth Circuit Conference, which he said his cousin would be attending. Rush was on top of it. In advance of the conference the court held a memorial session on Tuesday in the beautiful courtroom on the fourth floor of »

Comey’s breach of trust

Featured image Yesterday we learned that at least four of former FBI Director James Comey’s memos of conversations with President Trump contain information that has been classified at some level. The Hill’s John Solomon had the story here. I wrote about Solomon’s story here. Andrew McCarthy carefully explicates how the story should be read in his NRO column here. Jonathan Turley comments further in a column posted by The Hill. Although he »