Category Archives: Law

Mark Steyn’s New Book

Some commentary from the author on its reception so far.

I’ll be interested to see what people like Phil Plait have to say. I suspect they’ll try to pretend it doesn’t exist.

[Thursday-morning update]

Thoughts (and a lot of excerpts) from Judith Curry.

I’m not sure that the fact he’s making a lot of money on the book reduces his chances of getting damages from Mann. I’m sure he would have preferred to have been writing other books, and he needs the money for his legal defense.

Hillary’s FBI Investigation

Sorry, apologists, but yes, it is a criminal probe.

With all the laws being violated, how could it not be?

I’m trying to recall the last time the presumptive nominee of a major party was under investigation by the FBI. And failing.

[Update a while later]]

“People need to know whether she’s a crook.”

Really, after the history of the 90s, is there any doubt about that? But she’s their crook, supported by a party of long-time thieves and liars.

Hillary And Huma

have until the end of the week:

I noted that Judge Sullivan recently reopened the Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Judicial Watch to obtain emails from Huma Abedin, the top Clinton aide who is married to infamous and disgraced former Congressman Anthony Wiener. Judge Sullivan reopened the case when he learned that Clinton and her staff used personal email accounts to conduct government business. This is a flagrant violation of the Federal Records Act and jeopardizes national security—prompting rapidly escalating concerns of countless ramifications internationally, nationally, and criminally.

Over at the WaPo, Marc Thiessen explains Hillary’s very serious legal problem:

The Clinton e-mail scandal reached a new level of seriousness when the intelligence community inspector general found classified information from five intelligence agencies in e-mails housed on Clinton’s private server. It is against the law to remove classified information from government facilities and retain it after you have left office and have no official reason to possess it.

Just ask Sandy Berger. In 2003, Bill Clinton’s former national security adviser was caught removing five classified documents from a secure reading room at the National Archives, as he prepared to testify before the 9/11 commission.

A Justice Department investigation ensued and in 2005 Berger reached a plea agreement in which he was allowed to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material instead of a felony. He was sentenced to two years of probation and 100 hours of community service and was stripped of his security clearance for three years. Prosecutors and defense lawyers agreed on a $10,000 fine, but the judge raised it to $50,000. In 2007, in order to shut down a disbarment investigation by the District of Columbia bar, he relinquished his license to practice law.

That was for unlawfully removing and retaining just five classified documents.

Clinton has apparently been caught removing at least five e-mails containing what we now know to be classified information and retaining them on her personal server in her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., after she left office. And in the weeks ahead, that number will probably grow to the hundreds, if not thousands.

Hey, laws are for the little people.

The Virgin Galactic Mess

There’s a long story at The Daily Beast about it. The author gets this wrong, though:

There has never been any doubt about who the Number One Passenger is going to be: Branson himself. Soon after last year’s crash he was repeating an ambition aired many times before—that he looked forward to going up—and taking his son Sam and daughter Holly with him. The idea was that seats for the Bransons would be installed in the cabin behind the pilots as soon as SS2 had achieved the apogee height in tests. (That probably couldn’t happen without the FAA approving an operator’s license, whether Branson realizes this or not.)

There’s no such thing as an “operator’s license.” In theory, if he’d wanted to, Branson could have been aboard the flight that destroyed the vehicle last fall, and the FAA would have had nothing formal to say about it.

Meanwhile, Andy Pasztor has his take at the Journal (do a Google search on the article title to read it). This quote seems a little disingenuous:

According to a summary of that interview released by the NTSB earlier this week, Mr. Hardy also said that “he had never seen an applicant [for an FAA launch permit] make the assumption that a pilot would not make a mistake” as part of a formal hazard analysis.

How many has he seen that actually had pilots involved?

Huma’s Special Treatment

Gosh, it’s like it’s corruption and cover up to the core:

By allowing it, Clinton wasn’t just helping a friend boost her income. She was increasing the potential leverage of the Clinton machine, and in ways that could, and maybe did, benefit the Clinton Foundation.

The Abedin scandal is thus related to the “Clinton cash” scandal.

It is also related to Hillary’s email scandal. According to Grassley, the State Department investigators have “reason to believe that email evidence relevant to [its] inquiry was contained in emails sent and received from her account on Secretary Clinton’s non-government server, making them unavailable to [the investigators’ office] through its normal statutory right of access to records.”

Laws are for the little people.

[Update a while later]

Then there’s this:

The finding against Abedin, which she disputes, is that she was improperly paid while on leave. According to Sen. Grassley’s description of the investigation’s findings, Abedin’s time sheets indicate that she never took vacation or sick leave during her four years at the State Department. However, the investigation discovered that Abedin did, in fact, take time off, including a 10-day trip to Italy. In emails, she told colleagues that she was out “on leave.”

Just FYI, if you’re a government contractor, falsifying a time sheet is a firing offense.

Anyway, it’s pretty clear that when Her Highness said that she used a private server “for convenience,” she meant that she would find it very inconvenient for her political career for people to learn the contents of her emails.

The Blue Model Melts Down

Get ready for the bankruptcy of Puerto Rico:

Ultimately, bankrupt blue cities and states and their pension funds will troop to Washington with their hands out, begging for bailouts. Already we’ve seen a leading New Jersey state Democrat call for a $1 trillion federal bailout fund for pensions. The political pressures around the issue will be intense. Some (mostly Republicans) won’t want to give a single dime to the improvident fools and crooks who created this mess. Others (mostly Democrats) will insist on no-fault bailouts, arguing that social justice demands nothing less than an infinite willingness to pour money down ratholes, so long as those ratholes are Democrat-run.

What the country needs is something in between: relief for reform. Cities, counties, and states (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, commonwealths) who can’t manage their debts anymore can qualify for limited help—but only if they undergo serious, life-changing reform. That may well mean the end of public unions, drastic changes in governance, haircuts all around, tax reforms, and other substantive changes. Forward-looking people in Congress should be thinking now about the legislation that would be needed to set up a framework of some kind to handle these cases. The legal issues are complex; courts have been upholding, for example, the inviolability of employee pensions under state constitutional provisions. It’s hard to see how federal bailouts would let those pensions go unchallenged.

As I’ve written before, a California bailout by the federal government should come only with the condition that it revert to territory status, and not be allowed back in as a single state. Individual regions (like Draper’s South California, or Central California) that get their act together could petition for readmission.

Lois Lerner’s Hard Drive

The curious case of the physical damage to it:

TIGTA’s testimony states that the laptop as a whole appeared undamaged. When Lerner’s laptop was first inspected by both an assigned IT specialist and Hewlett Packard contractor they both stated that “they did not note any visible damage to the laptop computer itself.”

The testimony does not speculate how the hard drive was “scored” while the computer itself remained visibly undamaged. However, given these facts it seems logical to question what — or who — caused the damage to the hard drive.

Hey, “accidents” will happen.