Category Archives: Justice

#MeToo and Megyn Kelly with Trump accusers on Monday (Updated)

Well this may get her fired today: U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley says Trump’s accusers ‘should be heard’:

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that the women who have accused President Trump of touching or groping them without their consent “should be heard.”

As a matter of fact, this is going to happen this morning. This is going to be a manic Monday from out Twitter-troll-in-chief, his Twitter rage is going to ‘splode.

As the #MeToo movement reckoning continues on sexual harassment, NBC News will be airing a live TV interview with three women who have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct on “Megyn Kelly TODAY,” at 9 a.m. Monday ET.

Kelly is the former FAUX News (now Trump TV) anchor whom Donald Trump frequently attacked on Twitter and in public statements during the 2016 campaign, including this memorable quote:

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On Twitter Sunday night, Kelly announced plans to interview Jessica Leeds, Samantha Holvey and Rachel Crooks on Monday morning. Megyn Kelly’s dismal ratings rise with focus on sexual harassment. Next up: Trump accusers.

After the show, the women will participate in a news conference “calling for an investigation by Congress of sexual misconduct by the president,” according to a news release by Brave New Films, which is hosting the event. The media company released a documentary on Trump’s accusers in November.

UPDATE: In addition to the three who plan to share their stories with Kelly on Monday, 16 accusers will be joining a press conference hosted by Brave New Films at 10:30 a.m. eastern time. According to a tweet from the filmmakers, the women will “share firsthand accounts of sexual misconduct by Trump and demand an investigation.”

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Donald Trump channels the spirit of Richard Nixon

Donald J. Trump is channeling the spirit of Richard M. Nixon, who told David Frost in an April 1977 interview that “If the President does it, that means it’s not illegal.”

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Or perhaps Trump is going back to the original source and is channeling the spirit of Louis XIV of France, an adherent of the concept of the divine right of kings, which advocates the divine origin of monarchical rule, who believed in the theory of absolute monarchy and consciously fostered the myth of himself as the Sun King, the source of light for all of his people. During Louis XIV’s reign, his main goal was “One king, one law, one faith.” “I am the State.”

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President Trump’s bumbling lawyer John Dowd gave this exclusive interview to Mike Allen of Axios.com. Exclusive: Trump lawyer claims the “President cannot obstruct justice”:

John Dowd, President Trump’s outside lawyer, outlined to me a new and highly controversial defense/theory in the Russia probe: A president cannot be guilty of obstruction of justice.

The “President cannot obstruct justice because he is the chief law enforcement officer under [the Constitution’s Article II] and has every right to express his view of any case,” Dowd claims.

Dowd says he drafted this weekend’s Trump tweet that many thought strengthened the case for obstruction: The tweet suggested Trump knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when he was fired, raising new questions about the later firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Dowd: “The tweet did not admit obstruction. That is an ignorant and arrogant assertion.”

Why it matters: Trump’s legal team is clearly setting the stage to say the president cannot be charged with any of the core crimes discussed in the Russia probe: collusion and obstruction. Presumably, you wouldn’t preemptively make these arguments unless you felt there was a chance charges are coming.

Americans rejected the divine right of kings and absolute monarchy when we told George III of England to “go stuff it up your ass” with the American Revolution. The source of power is “WE the people” in a democratic republic. Article II, Section 3 of the Constitution requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.” And if he fails to do so, Article 1, Section 2, Clause 5, provides for the impeachment of the president. The hallmark of American jurisprudence is that “No man is above the law.”

The first article of impeachment against both Richard M. Nixon and Bill Clinton were for obstruction of justice. The articles of impeachment against Andrew Johnson alleged high crimes and misdemeanors that today might be construed as obstruction of justice.

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Inequality, Access to Care & Workforce Development: Legislative Update at DGT, Dec 4

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley at the recent joint health committee meeting.

Economic Inequality, Access to Care & Workforce Development will be the focus of my Legislative update at the Democrats of Greater Tucson Meeting on Monday, December 4.

Come on down and hear how Arizona could lessen economic inequality and improve access to care while developing new career paths. Also, hear about new legislation being proposed in these areas in 2018.

Mingling starts after 11:30 a.m., and the program starts at noon on the dot. For $10, you can enjoy the Chinese buffet at the Dragon View Restaurant.

If you live in LD9 and have not donated $5 to support my Clean Elections campaign, please bring an extra $5 to the luncheon. Can’t make it on Monday? You can donate $5 online here and watch my blog for more on this topic.

The Kate’s Law Parlay: A Bad Outcome on an Insane Bet

Two years ago, Donald Trump chose to demagogue a tragic death into political hay. Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, an undocumented immigrant from Mexico who had entered the country illegally five times, had killed Kate Steinle, a 32-year-old American.

Trump seized on the incident, using it to champion a law, which he dubbed “Kate’s Law,” that would sentence all second-time illegal border crossers to a minimum prison term of five years.

When I learned of this, I wrote about the absurdity of the proposed law in The Mystifying Math of Kate’s Law and Kate’s Law Sinking?. We would be criminalizing an act that is wrong only because we define it to be — crossing the border twice without proper documents —  based on some imaginary correlation between that act and violent crimes. And all based on the actions of one — that’s right, one — undocumented immigrant.

When I read about this two years ago, I assumed that the actual case against Zarate was airtight and that his taking of Steinle’s life was an especially heinous act.

Bad assumption on my part. Continue reading

‘Lock him up!’ Michael Flynn to plead to lying to the FBI (updated)

What goes around comes around, Mikey.

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn was charged Friday with making a false statement to the FBI about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, marking another monumental development in the wide-ranging probe of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III. Michael Flynn charged with making false statement to the FBI:

Flynn is expected to enter a plea at 10:30, according to the special counsel’s office. The charge relates to false statements Flynn made to the FBI on January 24, four days after President Trump was inaugurated, about his meeting with Kislyak during the transition.

Flynn is accused of making false statements to the FBI about asking the ambassador in late December to “refrain from escalating the situation in response to sanctions that the United States had imposed against Russia that same day.” Flynn also told authorities he did not recall the ambassador saying the Russians would moderate their response to Obama administration sanctions after the conversation.

Separately, authorities say Flynn lied about asking the ambassador to delay a vote on United Nations Security Council resolutions.

The count for lying to the FBI is the bare minimum charge that was anticipated to be filed against Michael Flynn. This tells me that he is cooperating with the Special Counsel as has been widely speculated about over the past couple of weeks. See, Flynn’s lawyer shuts down communications with Trump’s team, a sign he may be cooperating with Mueller probe; A Split From Trump Indicates That Flynn Is Moving to Cooperate With Mueller; Michael Flynn’s lawyer meets with members of special counsel’s team, raising specter of plea deal.

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A roadmap to the crime of conspiracy?

First, a preface to some earlier reporting that provides some background and context to the post by Martin Longman highlighted below.

Philip Bump of The Post breaks down the George Papadapolous plea agreement and the Carter Page testimony before the House Intelligence Committee. Russian officials and allies repeatedly signaled support for Trump to his campaign team.

Philip Bump of The Post also reported on the Drudge Report linking directly to individual stories at Infowars, as well as RT and Sputnik News, both content-sharing arms of the Russian government. One of the busiest websites in the U.S. in 2016 regularly linked to Russia propaganda.

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania and a Shorenstein fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, explains how “the wide distribution of strategically aligned messages increases the likelihood that Russian efforts — including posts, ads, tweets and the release of stolen emails — changed the outcome of the 2016 election.” Could Russian trolls have helped elect Donald Trump?

Which brings me to this fascinating post by Martin Longman at the Political Animal blog. A #TrumpRussia Confession in Plain Sight:

At about 11:14pm on November 6th, 2012, enough states were called for President Obama that he was declared the winner of the election by NBC News. That was quickly followed up by a similar call on Fox News and finally by CNN. At 11:29pm, Donald Trump blasted out the following defiant tweet:

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