Congress

Cohen can & cant

Featured image The New York Times has posted the prepared testimony of Michael Cohen to the House Oversight Committee this morning. Cohen is of course the former Trump attorney, now disbarred and convicted of sundry crimes including lying to Congress. He is trying to make it up by testifying against Trump. Julian Assange and Wikileaks make a token appearance, as does Trump Tower Moscow. According to Cohen, Trump is a racist, conman »

Political Emergencies, Past, Present, and Future

Featured image It has been interesting to watch liberals and Democrats respond to President Trump invoking the National Emergencies Act of 1976 to build his wall, now that he found out where President Obama hid his famous pen and phone. Instead of reflecting on—and then correcting—an overbroad and improvident congressional grant of power to the president, they are saying, “Just wait till we get back in power! Our gal [bet on a »

Tlaib talks trash

Featured image CNN posted a love letter to freshly sworn-in Rep. Rashida Tlaib by Claire Foran yesterday afternoon, a few hours before Tlaib celebrated with a not quite quotable quote (video below). Looking for a straightforward account of Tlaib talking trash, I find Mark Osborne’s ABC News story. Osborne reports: It didn’t take long for new Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib to introduce herself to President Donald Trump and the nation. And she did »

James Comey, cont’d

Featured image Former FBI Director James Comey appeared on Monday for a second day of testimony before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees. The 173-page transcript was made public yesterday afternoon. I have embedded it below. I noted Comey’s first day of testimony last week in “Comey doesn’t know and can’t recall.” I made a related point in “A Comey contradiction.” The 2016 presidential election produced an unexpected outcome. In its aftermath »

Google this

Featured image In his terrific online WSJ Best of the Web column “Google visits the Resistance Factory” (accessible via Outline here), James Freeman homes in on a candid camera moment in which prospective House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler interrogated Google CEO Sundar Pichai at the House Judiciary Committee hearing earlier this week. Nadler sought to keep Democrats’ hope alive — hope in the Russia collusion hoax, or some version thereof, »

Ilhan Omar: Curiouser and curiouser

Featured image Ilhan Omar will be elected to succeed Keith Ellison representing Minnesota’s Fifth District. It appears increasingly likely that she married her brother Ahmed Nur Said Elmi for dishonest purposes in 2009 and didn’t get around to dissolving the marriage until 2017, all the while living with the man she advertised as her lawful husband and father of her children. You’d never know it, however, if you get your news from »

Well, alright!

Featured image The name of the old Buddy Holly song is “Well…All Right” or “Well All Right,” but for purposes of clarity here, I’m alluding to it with the catchphrase “Well, alright.” That’s the Star Tribune’s approach to covering the omens of Omar in Stephen Montemayor’s Friday night special “On the edge of making history, Ilhan Omar confronts fresh wave of scrutiny*.” I’ve added the asterisk for a footnote: “*But not by »

In which I write the Star Tribune

Featured image Minnesota’s Fifth District voters are about to elect state representative Ilhan Omar to succeed Keith Ellison in Congress. Rep. Omar appears to have married her brother in 2009 for some dishonest purpose — not necessarily immigration fraud — and undertaken the redundant exercise of divorcing him late last year to keep up appearances. (Speaking to an ignorant if fawning City Pages reporter in November 2016, Omar falsely asserted: “There are »

Omens of Omar

Featured image Two years ago Ilhan Omar made headlines around the world when she was on the verge of election as the first Somali state legislator in the United States. She had defeated a 22-term incumbent in the DFL primary. She just needed to hang in there until election day in November to seal the deal, as she did. That August I got a tip that Omar had married her brother at »

Dems sweat declassification

Featured image On Monday President Trump ordered the declassification of 20 or 21 previously redacted pages from the Carter Page FISA applications. The declassification order also extends to the redactions made to text messages from senior Justice Department and FBI officials. Kelly Cohen covered the declassification order for the Washington Examiner here. Democrats find this a profoundly alarming development. On Tuesday Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Sens. Chuck Schumer and »

Up close with Ilhan Omar

Featured image Ilhan Omar is the endorsed DFL candidate running in next Tuesday’s contested DFL primary to succeed the former Nation of Islam hustler Keith Ellison in Congress. In the primary Omar faces former Minnesota House Speaker Margaret Anderson Kelliher and state senator Patricia Torres Ray. Today the Star Tribune endorses Kelliher and ranks Torres second of the three. Omar comes in third. Attentive readers will note that this is how I »

At the Fifth District forum

Featured image Last night I attended the forum of DFL Fifth District congressional candidates at Temple Beth El in St. Louis Park, Minnesota. The forum was sponsored by the Jewish Community Relations Council and a variety of left-wing outfits with “Jewish” in their name although leftism is their religion (e.g., the National Council of Jewish Women). Maya Rao covered the forum for the Star Tribune in “DFLers tout experience at heavily attended »

Impeach Rod Rosenstein?

Featured image I don’t think any of us has commented on the articles of impeachment filed against Rod Rosenstein by a small number of conservative House Republicans. My comment is that there is no case for impeaching Rosenstein. I’ll give my reasons in a moment. I assume the articles were filed in order to focus attention on the fact that the Department of Justice hasn’t produced documents requested by the House at »

The Comey endorsement

Featured image This just in! Former FBI Director James Comey endorses the takeover of Congress by Democrats — in the name of the Founding Fathers, or at least in the name of Publius. Those of us who have been following the exploits of the intelligence and law enforcement agencies working to undermine the Trump presidency will not be greatly shocked by this. Those of us who find Comey a rich source of »

Strzok testifies

Featured image Peter Strzok appeared today before a joint session of the House Oversight and Judiciary committees. The event lived up to expectations in its contentiousness. Here are a few highlights, with commentary. Immediately after the opening statements, Trey Gowdy, House Oversight Committee Chairman, asked Strzok how many people he interviewed during the first eight days of the FBI’s Russia investigation (between July 31 and Aug. 8, 2016). Strzok responded that he »

Rod Rosenstein, cult hero

Featured image More than any federal agency or department I’ve worked for, with, or against, the Justice Department resembles a cult. Its employees think they are special. They feel intense hostility towards the Department’s adversaries. They are fiercely loyal to the Department and compulsively committed to its ways of doing things. Outsiders are viewed with condescension and suspicion, if not contempt. Obviously, many DOJ employees do not buy fully into the cult, »

FIRST STEP in a jailbreak, Part Two

Featured image I’ve written before about the “Formerly Incarcerated Reenter Society Transformed Safely Transitioning Every Person Act” (FIRST STEP). Passed by the House with overwhelming support and backed by President Trump, FIRST STEP is backdoor sentence reduction legislation. Indeed, it’s big-time sentencing reduction. Former federal prosecutor Thomas Ascik demonstrates this in an article for The Hill. He shows that most federal prisoners could serve close to 40 percent of their prison sentences »