Run, Richard, run!

Featured image University of Minnesota Law School Professor Richard Painter has announced the formation of an exploratory committee for a possible Senate candidacy. He is interested in the seat held by the appointed Democratic incumbent, Tina Smith. According to the Star Tribune, Painter is “unsure whether he would run as a Republican, Democrat or independent.” He’s funny-peculiar that way. John would prefer that Painter not run for the Republican nomination, and that »

The silence of Susan Rice

Featured image By letter to Susan Rice dated February 8, 2018, Senators Grassley and Graham posed 12 numbered questions. I posted the Graham/Grassley letter in “Rice papers the file.” By letter dated February 23, 2018, white collar criminal defense lawyer Kathryn Ruemmler has now responded to the Grassley/Graham letter on Rice’s behalf. I posted Ruemmler’s letter nearby this morning in “Susan Rice responds, sort of,” and am embedding it again at the »

Susan Rice responds, sort of

Featured image Barack Obama installed Susan Rice as his National Security Advisor in recognition of her service to him as knave and fool in the matter of Benghazi. As National Security Advisor she sent an email on Obama’s last day in office shortly before President Trump inauguration. Released in redacted form on February 12, the email is one of the most intriguing bits of evidence to have emerged in the alleged Russian »

How amnesty overreach killed relief for “Dreamers”

Featured image On the evening of February 14, I wrote a post called “Senate May Be Perilously Close to Passing Liberal Amnesty Legislation.” The legislation in question was sponsored by the so-called Common Sense Coalition, consisting of eight Republican Senators (Alexander, Collins, Gardner, Graham, Flake, Isakson, Murkowski, and Rounds), seven Democrats, and one Independent. It granted amnesty for nearly two millions “Dreamers” and funded a wall. It did nothing about the diversity »

Lenient sentencing legislation clears committee but with mortal wounds

Featured image As expected, the lenient sentencing bill — “The Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act” — pushed by a bipartisan group of Senators cleared the Judiciary Committee this week. Unexpectedly, at least to me, five Republicans voted against it, including Majority Whip John Cornyn, who sponsored the legislation two and a half years ago. The vote was 16-5. In addition to Cornyn, Sens. Hatch, Cruz, Sasse, and Kennedy voted no. Six Republicans »

“Centrist” amnesty fails in the Senate

Featured image The Senate today rejected the immigration bill proposed by the “Common Sense Coalition” that I described last night. It would have granted amnesty for almost two million “Dreamers” in exchange for watered down border security provisions and nothing on the immigration reform front. The vote to take up the bill was 54-45 (with Sen. McCain unable to vote) — six votes short of the required 60. In reality, it was »

Senate may be perilously close to passing liberal amnesty legislation

Featured image Until today, there were two main immigration reform proposals in the Senate. The first: a proposal by Sen. Grassley, and supported by the White House, to grant amnesty to nearly two million “Dreamers” while (a) allocating $25 billion for a wall and other security measures, (b) cutting way back on chain migration, and (c) ending the diversity lottery. The second: a proposal by Sens. Coons and McCain that would grant »

Up in smoke

Featured image I wrote here about the void in the Trump/Sessions, where four nominees for Assistant Attorney General positions are being held up due to Senate inaction. The four positions are crucial ones: Assistant Attorney General, Civil Division; Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division; Assistant Attorney General, Criminal Division; and Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division. Why can’t these nominees get a vote? Apparently, it’s because of marijuana. Sen. Cory Gardner is »

Leniency legislation is back

Featured image Two years ago at this time, a bipartisan coalition of Senators was pushing legislation that would have slashed mandatory minimum sentences for many federal drug crimes. Such a bill had cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee. However, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wisely declined to bring it up for a vote in the Senate because his caucus was divided on the merits. Now, Team Leniency is trying again. The same bill that »

Less redacted

Featured image Earlier this week I posted the heavily redacted memo released by Senators Grassley and Graham referring Christopher Steele for possible prosecution. Senator Grassley “call[ed] on the FBI to update the classification of the referral to allow complete disclosure of important context from the documents on which it is based.” After further review by the FBI at Senator Grassley’s request, a less redacted version of the memo was released on Tuesday »

Enter the Grassley memo 2.0

Featured image Earlier this week I posted the heavily redacted memo released by Senators Grassley and Graham referring Christopher Steele for possible prosecution. As I noted at the time, Senator Grassley “call[ed] on the FBI to update the classification of the referral to allow complete disclosure of important context from the documents on which it is based.” A less redacted version of the memo was released yesterday evening together with the text »

Inside the FBI circle of love: Sources

Featured image Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson has just released The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI Investigation of It: An Interim Report. Jake Gibson highlights the most newsworthy items on a quick first review here.The committee has posted the report and related documents here. I have embedded the report below via Scribd. 2018-02-07 Interim Report_The Clinton Email Scandal and the FBI's Investigation of It by Scott Johnson on Scribd »

Inside the FBI circle of love

Featured image Jake Gibson flags the newly released text messages of the amorous FBI agents: Newly revealed text messages between FBI paramours Peter Strzok and Lisa Page include an exchange about preparing talking points for then-FBI Director James Comey to give to President Obama, who wanted “to know everything we’re doing.” The message, from Page to Strzok, was among thousands of texts between the lovers reviewed by Fox News. The pair both »

David Stras confirmed to Eighth Circuit

Featured image Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras had essentially the entire Minnesota professional community supporting his nomination by President Trump to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals. Thanks to Al Franken, however, the nomination sat in limbo for six months. Mistah Franken–he dead. He revealed his true jerkhood in the matter of Justice Stras. The single blue slip veto applicable to federal appellate court nominees was interred with his bones. Today »

The Senate politics of Trump’s immigration proposal

Featured image Tom Cotton is right, the support of Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin isn’t necessary to pass an immigration bill. However, some Democratic support is. The proposal President Trump has put forward likely will need more than nine Democratic votes, since not all Senate Republicans can be expected to vote for it. For example, Ted Cruz says he’s opposed. Indeed, he believes there should be no path to citizenship for the »

The Deal, Take Three

Featured image My first take on the deal that ended the brief partial government shutdown was that Chuck Schumer caved and the deal was a big win for Republicans. My second take was that my first take might be wrong — that the Democrats may have received more than they are getting credit for, and may be able to parlay what they got into a win, or at least a draw, down »

Shutdown to end as Dems cave [UPDATED TWICE]

Featured image The Senate has reached a deal that will reopen the government by tonight. Only 18 Senators voted against the deal in the context of a motion to end debate. The House is expected to agree to the deal by uniting Republican and Democratic leaders in an agreement on immigration and spending. The bill agreed to would fund the government through Feb. 8 and reauthorize the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) »