Category Archives: Law


Why won’t they comply with the Congressional Review Act?

Because like the rest of this administration, they’re corrupt lying political hacks who think they’re above the law.

[Sunday-morning update]

Related: If you think that the bureaucracy is the bulwark against tyranny, you should support Donald Trump:

…the bureaucrats — allied with the press, of course — will do more to check misbehavior by Trump than they’ll ever conceivably do to check misbehavior by Hillary. And certainly much more than they’ve done with Obama, who has weaponized the IRS, the EPA, the Department of Justice, and a host of other federal agencies, all the way down to the Park Service, with barely a peep from within the bureaucracy.

So what people worry about with Trump has already happened under Obama. And that’s part of the problem. Obama broke down and devalued a lot of political traditions in this country, to very little objection from the parts of the political class that matter. That opened up a hole for Trump. My main positive expectation for a Trump presidency is that he will remind people of why those political traditions were important.

They only think they’re important when a Republican, even a faux Republican like Trump, is in the White House. Trump also has the potential to arouse Congress to finally exercise and defend its own prerogatives. The Founders didn’t put in the impeachment power with the idea it would never be used.

The Gaps In Hillary’s Email Traffic

No, there’s nothing “strange” about them. It’s straightforward destruction of evidence, for which this administration is determined to let her skate.

[Update early afternoon]

Hillary, the Democrats and the problem of trust:

…if you think promoting trust in government is important, you should nominate someone trustworthy. But there are other priorities, apparently, and they outweigh that trustworthiness, or we’d have different nominees.

The other way you promote trust is through transparency and accountability. Voters should be able to tell what politicians and bureaucrats are doing, and when those politicians and bureaucrats do wrong they should face real consequences. We’re not doing very well on that front either.

No, we’re not.

[Update a few minutes later]

The FBI agents involved with the probe had to sign special secrecy agreements. Gee, this doesn’t look like the fix was in to let her of the hook and they were worried about leaks at all.

“Black Lives Matter”

Heather McDonald writes about the myths of the movement:

For starters, fatal police shootings make up a much larger proportion of white and Hispanic homicide deaths than black homicide deaths. According to the Post database, in 2015 officers killed 662 whites and Hispanics, and 258 blacks. (The overwhelming majority of all those police-shooting victims were attacking the officer, often with a gun.) Using the 2014 homicide numbers as an approximation of 2015’s, those 662 white and Hispanic victims of police shootings would make up 12% of all white and Hispanic homicide deaths. That is three times the proportion of black deaths that result from police shootings.

The lower proportion of black deaths due to police shootings can be attributed to the lamentable black-on-black homicide rate. There were 6,095 black homicide deaths in 2014—the most recent year for which such data are available—compared with 5,397 homicide deaths for whites and Hispanics combined. Almost all of those black homicide victims had black killers.

Police officers—of all races—are also disproportionately endangered by black assailants. Over the past decade, according to FBI data, 40% of cop killers have been black. Officers are killed by blacks at a rate 2.5 times higher than the rate at which blacks are killed by police.

Some may find evidence of police bias in the fact that blacks make up 26% of the police-shooting victims, compared with their 13% representation in the national population. But as residents of poor black neighborhoods know too well, violent crimes are disproportionately committed by blacks. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, blacks were charged with 62% of all robberies, 57% of murders and 45% of assaults in the 75 largest U.S. counties in 2009, though they made up roughly 15% of the population there.

Such a concentration of criminal violence in minority communities means that officers will be disproportionately confronting armed and often resisting suspects in those communities, raising officers’ own risk of using lethal force.

The Ferguson Effect is going to make life much worse in the black communities.

[Update a while later]

“Black Lives Matter is acting like a racist hate group. You can only imagine how the press would treat Tea Partiers or Trump supporters who acted this way.”

Yes. Oh, and hey remember those New Black Panthers that Eric Holder let off the hook after the case had been essentially won?

[Update a few minutes later]

The Justice Department laughed off the armed New Black Panther Party threat.

The administration also called ISIS the “Jayvee team.”


Thoughts from Leon Wolf about the cause:

…people’s willingness to act rationally and within the confines of the law and the political system is generally speaking directly proportional to their belief that the law and political system will ever punish wrongdoing. And right now, that belief is largely broken, especially in many minority communities.

And it’s the blind, uncritical belief that the police never (or only in freak circumstances) do anything wrong that is a major contributing factor to that.

We should also consider it in the broader context of an administration, and future president, who think themselves above the law. When people decide the system is rigged against them, the social compact breaks down, and it doesn’t end well.

[Update a few minutes later]

Earlier thoughts from Radley Balko last year. Note the irony of this happening in one of the most enlightened police departments in the country.

[Update a while later]

Is it 1968 again? I don’t think the music is as good.

And Apollo 8 wasn’t the only good thing about the year. It was a World Series for the ages, that helped Detroit heal from the riots the summer before.

[Update a few minutes later]

Yes, part of the solution is to end police unions (along with all public-employee unions) and sovereign immunity.

[Update a while later]

More thoughts from Richard Fernandez:

Was terrorism involved? Were the ideas of Ferguson taken to their final, frightening conclusion? While the individual culprits of the shooting have yet to be identified, the factors which have turned the summer of 2016 into a witches’ brew were clear for all to see. It is the culmination of decades of identity politics, the fruit of open borders, the outcome of an unwarranted disdain for Islamic extremism, the destruction of everything once held in common. Most of all it is the product of a collapse in legitimacy that has soured the public on nearly every institution: the political parties, the Supreme Court, the presidency, the police and the FBI. Now at the very moment when the public needs to trust someone the question is: whom can you trust?

It’s depressing.

The Unseriousness Of The FBI Investigation

It is now clear that Comey’s FBI never took the Clinton server scandal seriously. The “investigation” was apparently just for show, despite all the resources wasted on it. And it should have been clear over the past weeks, when her aides were interviewed sequentially, so they could go back and tell the boss what they’d told the FBI, and coordinate stories to avoid perjury traps when in later interviews, most particularly the one with Hillary this weekend.

Ken Starr’s investigation into the Clintons in the 90s was similarly unserious, which was why he was unsuccessful. He was the wrong man for the job (which he showed abundantly in the botched investigation of the death of Vince Foster). To go after the Arkansas Mafia in the 90s required a prosecutor with RICO experience in going after other crime families, not a distinguished judge with no investigative or prosecutorial experience.

Similarly, a serious investigation into the server would have involved giving immunity to some key player (in this case, Pagliano, which they did), and then interviewing everyone simultaneously, in separate rooms, so they couldn’t know what the others were saying. Inevitably, some of the stories would be different, either from each other, or from Pagliano’s sworn account, and the aides would then be pressured to become state’s evidence against the ringleader (in this case, Hillary). That they interviewed her last, after everyone had told her what they’d told the FBI, and that they didn’t record the interview meant that they never had any intention of charging her, or even attempting to catch her in a lie. They were not serious.

They didn’t bother to look at what she had said under oath to Congress as part of their investigation. They were not serious.

Comey didn’t participate in the interview, and couldn’t even say whether or not she had contradicted herself, something that one would look for to determine guilt and truth. He was not serious.

Of course, the FBI has demonstrated its lack of seriousness quite a bit, lately, as Glenn Reynolds has documented.

Taxpayers should be outraged. Those concerned about national security should be outraged. But most of all, those concerned about the rule of law should be outraged. And while no doubt the Democrats in the Senate will protect their own (as Comey has become), I don’t think, at this point, that it would be inappropriate to impeach him.

[Update a while later]

And now the State Department is re-opening the investigation.

[Update a few minutes later]

According to Andy McCarthy, like it or not, the FBI does not record interviews.

Comey’s Credibility

I’m just watching it disintegrate in this hearing.

He didn’t look into whether or not she lied under oath to Congress? He didn’t put her under oath for her “interview”? He didn’t record the “interview”? He didn’t participate? Really? And we’re supposed to take his result seriously?

[Update a couple minutes later]

(Former prosecutor) Trey Gowdy destroyed Comey’s legal argument:

Gowdy’s response: How do you know she didn’t intend to put classified information on her private server? Absent a defendant saying “I hereby intend to do act X,” the only way a prosecutor can ever prove intent is though circumstantial evidence. That’s the point of leading Comey through Clinton’s many lies. It’s not (just) a political exercise designed to embarrass the Democratic nominee, it’s evidence that she was trying to hide her intent in making one false statement after another suggesting mere incompetence. Even by Comey’s own higher standard of mens rea, there’s enough here to recommend charges, Gowdy’s saying. So why weren’t they recommended?

If Comey thinks that mens rea is a requirement (perhaps it should be, but it is not), then he should get a court to rule on it. He can’t unilaterally rewrite the law.

But of course, her intent was obvious. He’s shown himself to be as corrupt as the rest of the Beltway.

[Update a while later]

[Update a few minutes later]

Let’s make her president!

[Update a couple minutes later]

[Update a while later]

The hearing isn’t over, but Ashe Schow has eleven take aways so far.

This is just stunning. I’ve lost all confidence in the FBI.

[Update a while later]

Note to people who think she’s off the hook:

But I’m sure Comey will say she didn’t have any intent to take those bribes.

[Update later afternoon]

[Update a few minutes later]

There is plenty of precedent for prosecuting for gross negligence. And before someone says those are military cases, my response is “so”? Classified is classified.