Tom Cotton

FIRST STEP’s first deception exposed

Featured image When the FIRST STEP act was making its way through Congress, its advocates claimed that only “non-violent” federal prisoners would be released from prison early. By non-violent felons they meant, in essence, drug dealers, as opposed to, say, murderers, rapists, and armed robbers. I don’t consider dealers of deadly drugs to be non-violent. Their conduct wrecks lives and sometimes ends them. But let’s accept, for purposes of discussion, the definition »

Tom Cotton’s sacred duty

Featured image In his excellent review of Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery, by Senator Tom Cotton, Scott Johnson criticized himself for not asking Tom about his service in the Old Guard at Arlington National Cemetery when the two met in New York City years ago. Scott says he now “feels like a fool” for not having asked questions that would have elicited some of the information contained in »

Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington

Featured image Today is the official publication date of Sacred Duty: A Soldier’s Tour at Arlington National Cemetery, by Senator Tom Cotton. It is now available in bookstores and on Amazon. Publishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews have already posted laudatory reviews. I cannot recommend the book highly enough to Power Line readers and want only to add this personal note. I first met Tom (as I will refer to him here) face »

Cotton joins Hawley in expressing doubts about Neomi Rao

Featured image The Washington Post reports that Sen. Tom Cotton is privately raising questions about Neomi Rao, President Trump’s nominee to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Says the Post, “though he hasn’t voiced them publicly, Cotton shares concerns outlined by Sen. Josh Hawley earlier this week about Rao’s judicial philosophy, which Hawley detailed in a letter to Rao earlier Tuesday.” Sen. Cotton is a Harvard »

Tom Cotton on the drug war

Featured image President Trump and Congress have adopted a novel approach to combating the drug epidemic in America: release large-scale drug dealers from prison. Our friend Sen. Tom Cotton is the leading critic of this counter-intuitive, if not insane, approach. Yesterday, Sen. Cotton spoke to the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations Coalition about the ongoing fight against the deadliest drug war in our nation’s history. Below is a slightly shortened version of his »

Trumpism after Trump, Part Two

Featured image Jim Geraghty has posted a thoughtful response to my suggestion that Tom Cotton might make the most natural ideological successor to Trump, and thus might be the figure most likely to keep the Trump coalition together. My suggestion was a response to Geraghty’s article arguing that there is “no natural ideological successor” because “there will be no one. . .able to bring together the same factions in the same way.” »

Tom Cotton: Amend First Step

Featured image I wrote here about Sen. Tom Cotton’s proposed amendments to First Step — the jailbreak legislation that’s on the verge of passing the Senate. Now, in an article for NRO, Sen. Cotton explains the need for his amendments. Cotton focuses on the fact that First Step, though it excludes some federal criminals from eligibility for early release, fails to exclude a number of very serious felonies, including violent ones. He »

Trumpism after Trump

Featured image Jim Geraghty asks “Who’s Equipped to Hold the Trump Coalition Together?” He concludes: There is no natural ideological successor, which suggests that if or when Trump retires after two terms, is defeated after one, is impeached, or however he departs the stage, there will be no one who will be able to bring together the same factions in the same way. Geraghty’s last three words — “in the same way” »

Sen. Cotton seeks to amend First Step

Featured image Sen. Tom Cotton has offered three amendments to First Step — the leniency for federal felons legislation that President Trump supports. Sen. Cotton’s amendments would: (1) Make nine additions to the bill’s “ineligible prisoners” list for violent felons and sex offenders who are eligible for time credits. This includes sex offenders convicted of coercing a child into sexual activity under 18 U.S.C. § 2422; felons who assault law enforcement officers »

McConnell will bring leniency legislation to Senate floor for vote

Featured image Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said today that he will bring First Step — i.e., leniency legislation for federal felons — to the Senate floor. It has more than enough votes to pass. McConnell’s move follows some concessions to the bill’s critics. Although the concessions don’t come close to curing the legislation, they were enough, combined with pressure from the White House and from wealthy Republican donors, to move some GOP »

FIRST STEP bitterly divides Senate Republicans

Featured image FIRST STEP, the leniency for federal felons legislation being supported by President Trump, may or may not pass the Senate this year. Either way, it has split the Republican caucus. This Washington Post report leaves no doubt about that. The division is encapsulated in dueling National Review articles — one by Sen. Tom Cotton opposing the jailbreak and the other by Sen. Mike Lee supporting it. In another NRO article, »

Trump backs leniency for fentanyl dealers, etc. Part Two

Featured image Yesterday, I wrote about President Trump’s support for what Sen. Tom Cotton calls jailbreak legislation. That legislation, known as FIRST STEP, enables the early release from federal prison of most categories of federal felons and sets lower mandatory minimum sentences for many federal drug felons. Yesterday’s post focused on the politics of FIRST STEP. Today, I want to focus on how the legislation would affect fentanyl dealers. I focus on »

Twitter Commentary While Waiting For a Vote [Updated]

Featured image At this writing, the Judiciary Committee has not yet voted, although, with Jeff Flake coming out in support this morning, it seems clear it will recommend Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation. Meanwhile, here are a few Twitter follow-ups to yesterday’s hearing. Appropriately, President Trump came out strongly in support of his nominee: Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him. His testimony was powerful, honest, and riveting. Democrats’ search and destroy »

Tom Cotton and Hugh Hewitt discuss jailbreak legislation [UPDATED WITH GOOD NEWS]

Featured image Our old friend Sen. Tom Cotton joined our old friend Hugh Hewitt on Hugh’s radio program to discuss the leniency-for-criminals legislation that has been picking up steam in the Senate. Tom forcefully stated the case against passing such legislation, especially in the midst of the opioid epidemic. Hugh and Tom discussed a recent tragic episode of which I was unaware. In New Haven, Connecticut, in one park, 70 people overdosed »

In defense of Tom Cotton’s critique of leniency-for-criminals legislation

Featured image Last week, Sen. Tom Cotton wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal opposing the lenient sentencing legislation now under serious consideration by Congress. I summarized Sen. Cotton’s article here. John Malcolm and Brett Tolman of the Heritage Foundation have responded to Cotton. They deny that the legislation is soft on crime. Malcolm is a respected conservative legal analyst. I’m not familiar with Tolman, but I’m confident he is too. »

Tom Cotton on the leniency-for-criminals legislation

Featured image Our friend Sen. Tom Cotton has written an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal opposing the latest jailbreak legislation that I discussed here. He argues: [U]nder no circumstances should Congress cut mandatory minimum sentences for serious crimes or give judges more discretion to reduce those sentences. That foolish approach is not criminal-justice reform—it’s a jailbreak that would endanger communities and undercut President Trump’s campaign promise to restore law and order. »

James Clapper deceives again

Featured image In his new book, James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, says “of course” Russian activity swung the election to Donald Trump. The left is treating this speculation, almost certainly driven by animus towards President Trump, as immensely important. For example, Rachel Maddow said, ahead of her interview with Clapper: “The immediate past director of national intelligence, who was director of national intelligence during the Russian attack on the »