Al Franken Will Not Be Held Accountable

The Senate Ethics Committee is where scandals go to disappear.

Last Thursday Leeann Tweeden, a radio news anchor in Los Angeles went public with the revelation that Minnesota Senator Al Franken had sexually assaulted her.  Franken, you’ll remember is a typical liberal, sanctimoniously denouncing millions of American voters as racist, sexist bigots just because we didn’t vote for Democrats.

Ms. Tweeden’s written statement and video interview are on the website of KABC radio where she works.

In December, 2006 she was a performer on a USO Tour to entertain our troops in the Middle East.  The show headliner was then comedian, now Senator Franken.  She reports that while she and Franken rehearsed for a skit backstage, when nobody else was around, he forced her to endure an unwanted kiss…

…he came at me, put his hand on the back of my head, mashed his lips against mine and aggressively stuck his tongue in my mouth.

Ms. Tweeden immediately pushed him away.  For the remaining two weeks of the tour she avoided him, while he retaliated with petty insults.  Then, on the flight back to the US in a military transport plane, Franken posed for the photo above with his hands on her breasts – while she was asleep.

Because Franken and the elite media and the Washington establishment couldn’t deny it, he apologized for the photo.  But, regarding the kiss Franken’s written press release says…

While I don’t remember the rehearsal for the skit as Leeann does, I understand why we need to listen to women’s experiences.

Not quite an admission and certainly not an apology.  More like a patronizing sneer at Ms Tweeden and women in general – again from one of our Democrat virtue signalers who sneer at the rest of us for disrespecting women.

So what is the next step for Al Franken?  Will he be held accountable? Will there be any consequences?

Well, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called for an investigation by the Senate Ethics Committee. Said Schumer:

Sexual harassment is never acceptable and must not be tolerated.  I hope and expect that the Ethics Committee will fully investigate this troubling incident as they should with any credible allegation of sexual harassment.

Senate Majority Leader, Republican Mitch McConnell agreed the matter should be referred to the Senate Ethics Committee “for investigation.”  Even Franken himself said he would “gladly cooperate” with an Ethics Committee Investigation.

The fact that all three of these aristocrats of The Swamp so quickly agreed to something should make the rest of us immediately suspicious, knowing as we do that Swampys usually take care of their own, regardless of party.

It turns out that, as Schumer, McConnell and Franken all know, nothing will result from referring this scandal to the Ethics Committee.

It turns out the Senate Ethics Committee’s operations are documented under the terms of a 2007 law, enacted when Democrats controlled Congress, and modestly titled “The Honest Leadership and Open Government Act.”  You can’t make this stuff up!

The committee accepts ethics complaints, investigates and recommend consequences for violation of Senate rules.  BUT…  Senate rules apply to Senators only while they’re in office.  Because Franken was not a Senator when he violated Ms. Tweeden the Committee has no authority to investigate the matter.

Starting in 2007 Honest Leadership and Open Government Act required the Ethics Committee to publish annual reports of its activities. Here is a summary of all reports since the law was enacted.Franken’s assault on Ms. Tweeden will obviously be dismissed.  There will be no investigation because the Committee has no jurisdiction over people who are not Senators or Senate employees and Franken was not a Senator at the time.  Even if Franken had been a Senator, Senate rules do not address sexual assault, so the Committee would still not have jurisdiction.

So, everyone involved knows that referring the matter to the Senate Ethics Committee is a scam to dupe us simpletons outside the Swamp who think words like “investigation” and “consequences” that would apply to us also apply to our betters in Congress.  But of course not! The ethics committee will quietly report, probably in 2019, that Franken’s sexual assault was dismissed without investigation for lack of jurisdiction.

Nothing will happen to  Franken.  The current uproar will fade from view as soon as the media stampede to the next scandal. It’s over.

Yet, the politicians keep telling the media, and the media keep telling us, ominously, that Franken “faces an Ethics Committee investigation.”  And they wonder why we have become so cynical, believing most of their reports are fake news!

 

After the Texas Church Shooting Liberals Aim At The Good Guy

  • Government failure enabled mass murder in a Texas church.

  • A heroic private citizen ended the slaughter.

  • Liberals would criminalize the hero.

The background to this tragedy begins in 2012.  The Church Murderer, CM (we’re omitting his name and using the initials CM out of disrespect) pled guilty in a General Court Martial – a military criminal trial – to two counts of domestic assault on his wife and her infant child.

 

CM was sentenced to a year in a military prison after which he was booted out of the Air Force with a bad conduct discharge.

Under federal law anyone convicted of domestic violence loses the right to purchase a gun.  The enforcement mechanism is the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS, a database of people with criminal or psychiatric histories that disqualify them from purchasing firearms. 

Every gun store has online access to NICS and is required to clear each customer through the system before selling him/her a gun.  Yet from 2014 to 2017 CM purchased four weapons from licensed gun stores.  An FBI spokesman confirmed that the stores did exactly as required. Yet astoundingly, in each case CM was cleared through the NICS system to buy guns. 

How could this happen?  Well, it turns out the government’s vast bureaucracy failed to spend minutes to inputting CM’s name and criminal record into the NICS database.  So far, no explanation has been offered for this catastrophic negligence.

On Sunday, November 5 CM showed up with one of his weapons, an AR-15 rifle, at the First Baptist Church of Southerland Springs Texas, during the Sunday service.  He left his SUV parked in the street with the driver’s door open and the engine running.  He fired through the windows and then went inside. He killed 26, including several children, and seriously wounded 20 more as he walked up and down the center aisle of the small sanctuary.

Stephen Willeford a lifetime NRA member and former NRA firearms instructor, heard the gunfire from his home across the street from the church. He knew that each shot, in his words, “represented a life, that it was aimed at someone.”

Even though he was “scared to death” Mr. Willeford loaded “a hand full” of bullets into a magazine for his own AR-15 rifle and, without even pausing to put on shoes, ran to the church where he encountered CM.  There, the two exchanged gunfire.  Willeford, saw that CM’s bullet proof vest consisted of front and back Kevlar plates.  He aimed at the side of CM’s torso, between the Kevlar plates and wounded him.  He also wounded CM’s leg.

CM then got in his SUV, fired more shots at Willeford and sped away.  Willeford noticed Mr. Johnnie Langendorff nearby, watching the gun fight from his truck.  Quoting from Willeford’s video interview at the bottom of this article…

I ran up and I tapped on the [truck] window and said, ‘That guy just shot up the Baptist Church and we’ve gotta stop him.’ He unlocked his door and we gave pursuit.

Eventually CM swerved off the highway into a ditch.  There, he killed himself with a gunshot to the head.  In his SUV were more guns and additional ammunition that he had not carried into the church.

Thus, Mr. Willeford, armed with his own AR-15, is credited with putting an end to the carnage at the church and preventing additional deaths that likely would have resulted if CM, also armed with an AR-15, had been free to shoot more innocents at other locations, or police officers. The first police car arrived at the church only four minutes after receiving a 911 call but too late to save lives or intercept the killer before his planed escape.

So, given these facts…

  1. Government failed to maintain its own do-not-sell database;
  2. Police could not get to the scene soon enough to save lives in the church or stop the killer;
  3. Mr Willeford, a private citizen with an AR-15 rifle, disabled the shooter and ended the rampage before there were additional victims;

…how do Democrats and media liberals react this unspeakable massacre?

First, they want the government to take Mr. Willeford’s gun away from him!

The Washington Post’s Eugene Robinson summarized establishment thinking:

The guns most often used in these mass shootings are variations on rifles designed for soldiers to carry into combat. They are not optimized for killing rabbits or deer, but for killing people.  They have no business in civilian hands.

Former Vice President Joe Biden echoed this bias on the Today Show. An audience member asked if he could justify Democrats’ gun control dogma after Mr. Willeford, while carrying his own AR-15 rifle, prevented additional deaths. Biden’s answer began with…

Well, first of all, the kind of gun being carried, he shouldn’t be carrying.

The AR-15 and several variations made by many manufacturers are civilian versions of the Military’s M-16, the Army’s principle weapon when I served back in the 1970s.  The M16 can be switched to fully automatic, making it illegal for civilian ownership.

AR15 style weapons are the nation’s best selling rifles.  Millions of Americans own them.  Liberals, who usually know almost nothing about firearms are troubled by AR-15’s military-looking cosmetic features such as pistol grips and stocks made of black plastic instead of more traditional wood.  But AR-15s are not more lethal than traditional looking rifles of the same or caliber that liberals say are acceptable for us Americans to own.  They look different and the plastic is more durable and lighter weight than wood.

Liberals want new laws to ban AR15s and require all current owners to turn their guns in to the government.  Obviously, good citizens like Mr. Willeford, who obey laws and don’t want to risk prosecution, would comply.

But the leftist belief that CM, or anyone else who is willing to risk prosecution for murder would obediently submit to a gun confiscation statute is preposterous!  Obviously, the practical result of a ban on AR15s would be to disarm courageous citizens like Mr Willeford while thugs and murderers kept their weapons. 

In Chicago there is already a de facto gun ban and thus, only criminals who are willing to risk prosecution for gun possession are armed. Those killers have made Chicago the murder capital of America.

More from Eugene Robinson’s Washington Post screed:

It goes without saying that there should be universal background checks for purchasing firearms. But there should also be enforcement mechanisms, with teeth, to make sure that dealers do not sell weapons to individuals banned from obtaining them.

There are enforcement mechanisms with teeth!  It’s a felony for a gun store to sell without first running the customer through the FBI system. Its a felony for the gun store to disregard a do-not-sell order coming back from the FBI.

Apparently there are no enforcement mechanisms with teeth that would punish bureaucrats who, by failing to do their easy job, were complicit in this slaughter of vulnerable men, women and children in church on Sunday morning.  So far no one has been held to account.  No arrest has been made.  No charges are pending.

As is the case with nearly every violent crime, the police could not arrive soon enough to make a difference.  The only person available to enforce the law was a civilian with a gun.  He took immediate action and ended the bloodbath before it got any worse.

And by the way, as always, the political-media establishment places more blame on the NRA than on the murderer!

To Honor Heroes on Veterans Day

My Captivating wife, (Twitter: @CheriDouglas #GodsLoveChats) created this oil painting called “A Hero’s Prayer,” from a DoD photo.  These World War II Veterans who had received the Medal of Honor  assembled on the dais for the opening prayer at the dedication of the World War II Memorial in Washington D.C. April 29, 2004.

Duty, Honor, Country

Excerpts from a 1962 speech by General Douglas MacArthur

Duty, Honor, Country. Those three hallowed words reverently dictate what you ought to be, what you can be, what you will be…The code which those words perpetuate embraces the highest moral laws and will stand the test of any ethics or philosophies ever promulgated for the uplift of mankind. Its requirements are for the things that are right, and its restraints are from the things that are wrong.

The soldier, above all other men, is required to practice the greatest act of religious training — sacrifice. In battle and in the face of danger and death, he discloses those divine attributes which his Maker gave when he created man in his own image. No physical courage and no brute instinct can take the place of the Divine help which alone can sustain him.

However horrible the incidents of war may be, the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country, is the noblest development of mankind.

Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men’s minds; but serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the nation’s war-guardian, as its lifeguard from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiator in the arena of battle.

About Trump’s “Rocket Man” Nickname for North Korea Dictator Kim

Donald Trump’s political strategy includes insulting nicknames for his adversaries.  Mostly they’ve been cringe worthy, schoolyard taunts like Lyin’ Ted, Crooked Hillary, or Little Marco.

But for North Korea’s ruthless, barbarian dictator Kim Jong Un, the President has risen to a respectably subtle and sophisticated level.  He calls Kim “Rocket Man,” the title of one of Elton John’s most enduring hits, first released in 1972.

In his speech to the UN Security Council Tuesday, Trump apparently baffled and offended his media critics by using the nickname as a demeaning reference to Kim.

For example, The Washington Post sniffed pompously:

Why labeling Kim as Rocket Man would be an insult to Kim, who’s trying to build rockets, remains unclear.

It would become clear if the crack investigators at the Post were to read the “Rocket Man”  lyrics about an a astronaut who regrets leaving his family to head into space.  Here are a couple of excerpts:

She packed my bags last night pre-flight
Zero hour nine AM
And I’m gonna be high as a kite by then
I miss the earth so much I miss my wife
It’s lonely out in space
On such a timeless flight

[…]

And all this science I don’t understand
It’s just my job five days a week
A rocket man, a rocket man

And I think it’s gonna be a long long time
‘Till touch down brings me round again to find
I’m not the man they think I am at home
Oh no no no I’m a rocket man
Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

In the third line “high as a kite” was of course, a common drug culture expression in the 70s and may have been meant to have double meaning – by both Elton John and President Trump.

In speeches to the subjugated people of his captive nation Kim boasts of his great power, intellectual dominance and craftiness.  If America and allies finally bring the military response he risks with his continuous nuclear weapons development and threats of war he certainly will be exposed as “not the man they think I am at home” and a world class DOLT “burning out his fuse up here alone.”

Trump Sincerely Seeking Racial Unity VS The Left Seeking Rancor

Democrats and the their dedicated media team labeled Donald Trump a racist as soon as he announced his campaign for President in 2015.  But all Republicans face the same charge, so it wasn’t particularly noteworthy. 

But after the August 12 Charlottesville riots there was greater intensity with politicians and media figures ceaselessly accusing him of personal bigotry, condoning white supremacists and seeking votes from Nazis.

The President made several statements starting with this on the day of the riots:

We’re closely following the terrible events unfolding in Charlottesville. We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides. It’s been going on for a long time in our country […]What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives

If any other President or elected official had said the same thing it would have drawn little attention, beyond perfunctory acknowledgement between video clips of the rioters.  But Trump is different. He has attracted a thundering herd of spiteful critics and they erupted in sanctimonious indignation, objecting to “many sides,” even though elements other than the racists had expressed hatred and had initiated violence.  They skewered him for not naming the racist groups.

So, two days later he issued another statement that included,

Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.

The herd interpreted this response to their demands as weakness they could exploit, and they escalated, denouncing Trump for still insufficient condemnation of racism.

The following day, August 15, was a White House Press event about infrastructure.  But the reporters were not interested in infrastructure and they were openly hostile.

Even though their own video showed elements within the counter protesters who call themselves “antifa,” wearing black hoods and masks and carrying clubs had initiated force against the racists who had also initiated force, the reporters acted as if acknowledging violence on both sides was beyond civilized boundaries. 

[UPDATE: In recent days some Democrats have grudgingly begun to agree with Trump about antifa.]

The media herd told us that Trump had revealed “what’s in his heart” to be acceptance of racism or sympathy for racists or a desire for the votes of racists, or something.

None of us can know for certain what’s in anyone’s heart but our own.  But we can consider strong evidence of what actually is in the President’s heart regarding race relations.

Let’s start with an excerpt from his Inaugural Address back in January.  This is what he chose to include in what was until that moment, the most important speech of his life, one he had spent more than two months preparing:

It is time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget: that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots, we all enjoy the same glorious freedoms, and we all salute the same great American Flag.

The President didn’t serve but he has surrounded himself with people who did and apparently has gained a profound insight from military culture.  I served in the Army and I immediately identified with this part of Trump’s speech. 

Service in the American military is a genuine melting pot experience.  It’s total immersion in an ethnic Jambalaya. The Census Bureau recognizes six races, plus numerous mixed races in America.  No matter which one you represent, if you become a Marine, Sailor, Airman or Soldier, you WILL train with, live 24/7 with, and overcome challenges and adversity shoulder to shoulder with people from all the others.  You will join the tradition of Duty, Honor and commitment to country. Your duty includes looking out for, and protect each other.

Indeed, of military necessity as well as human decency, trainees are immersed in a culture that epitomizes America’s founding motto, E pluribus unum – out of many one.

Even if one brings racial prejudice with him/her into boot camp it soon fades away.  I know.  I saw it happen in my own basic training company, nearly five decades ago when transparent racial animus was more prevalent and less universally condemned than today.  Anyone who is sincerely interested in a future America without racial biases or divisions would do well to study the military example.

But those on the Left who gain media attention, or income, or votes from inflaming and exploiting racial discord do NOT hope for an America that works more like the military. 

The Left has nurtured and refined “identity politics,” which is segmenting us by race and/or gender and targeting the segments with political messages designed to promote fear, resentment and suspicion of the other segments.

To understand how thoroughly the Left has entrenched identity politics, review establishment media reporting during the 2016 campaign.  Over and over we heard that polling results reflected campaign messaging targeting racial and gender groups: the black vote, the woman vote, the white vote, the Hispanic vote, etc.

American election campaigns are mostly about how government impacts the economy, which, in turn impacts all Americans, regardless of ethnicity or gender.  If Trump is right, that changing international trade agreements will generate more economic opportunity then we will all benefit, regardless of race or gender.  Yet the Left’s cynical proclamation was that Trump favored white men and a Trump Presidency would be designed to benefit only white men at the expense of women and ethnic minorities.

President Trump reiterated his racial unity theme at the beginning of his August 21 address to the nation regarding future military strategy in Afghanistan with more appeals to military style unity:

Since the founding of our republic, our country has produced a special class of heroes whose selflessness, courage, and resolve is unmatched in human history.

[…]

They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed, and color to serve together — and sacrifice together — in absolutely perfect cohesion.  That is because all service members are brothers and sisters.  They’re all part of the same family; it’s called the American family.  They take the same oath, fight for the same flag, and live according to the same law.  They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust, and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other.

The soldier understands what we, as a nation, too often forget that a wound inflicted upon a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all.  When one part of America hurts, we all hurt.  And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together.

What refreshing language this is!  As a certified “senior citizen” I remember a time when most politicians of both parties and all ethnicities invoked themes of racial unity.  What a stark contrast from today’s Democrats who constantly identify, emphasize and exploit distinctions, always warning that “people of color” and women will suffer direct attacks if Republicans win the next election. More from President Trump:

Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another.  Love for America requires love for all of its people.  When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate.

The opposite of these thoughts is today’s dominant political-media narrative, exploited by news channels, by Hollywood entertainers, by assorted grifters for profit, and by politicians for votes.  They scorn patriotism.  They accuse tens of millions of decent people of being motivated by racial hostility, because they vote against Democrats, or blow off absurd, politically correct speech codes and thought control. But millions of us, representing all races, do work together, play together and worship together.  As we saw in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, we help each other in times of crisis without regard to race.

So what should our national goal be?  Our history of slavery, segregation and cruel Jim Crow laws can not be denied.  We do not have the power to change it or erase its scars.  We have only the power to influence our present and future national culture.  Will we chose the America President Trump advocates, that is more like the military culture with unity of purpose and without racial acrimony?  Or, will we let rancorous politicians and activists impose their vision of an America where people who want to get along with everyone are met with contempt and derision?

I had the privilege of living in the military culture for a few years and I’d like to see all Americans experience the benefits I gained from an environment where racial harmony prevails.

Trump Can Not Be Prosecuted for Obstruction

Once again the establishment media is breathlessly reporting on the possibility of President Trump being prosecuted for Obstruction of Justice.  This idea is utterly preposterous.

During his over-hyped appearance before the Senate Intelligence Committee, James Comey testified that on February 5 he attended a routine counter-terrorism briefing in the Oval Office with President Trump and several other people.

At the end of the briefing Trump asked him to stay behind while everyone else left the room and closed the door. Then, according to Mr. Comey, the President said:

I want to talk to you about Mike Flynn….I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.

Comey says he wrote a contemporaneous “memo” immediately following the meeting as a record of this conversation because he considered it inappropriate “direction” from the President that he should drop the FBI’s investigation into Flynn’s communication with the Russian Ambassador back in December. 

After Trump fired him, Comey leaked the memo to the New York Times.  Since then the Washington establishment has been repeating, hysterically, that Trump’s words amount to Obstruction of Justice, a crime.  Indeed, Democrats used the O word several times during the Comey hearing.

Obviously Trump’s words could easily be interpreted as something other than “direction.” They could have been an expression of… well… the precise word Trump used: hope.  Police officers, FBI agents and Prosecutors hear the same kind of plea for leniency, from friends and families of suspects, every day.  Should all those people be prosecuted for “obstruction of justice”?  Of course not.  The review of relevant statutes below will demonstrate why not.

But let’s assume for the sake of discussion that what Comey says he “felt” is the correct interpretation, that the President’s vague, ambiguous language was meant to be taken as a direct order.  Would that make Trump guilty of a crime? 

The answer is no. 

In fact, Former Director Comey’s own testimony, excerpted below, actually helps blow away any possibility of a criminal charge against President Trump.

US Code, Title 18, Section 1510 describes obstruction of criminal investigations. There are several sections with most of them dealing with with narrow categories, such as financial and banking crimes, that are irrelevant to the allegation against the President.  The only portion that is remotely relevant criminalizes the use of bribery in an effort to prevent investigators from receiving information. Here it is:

Whoever willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States by any person to a criminal investigator shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both

Of course, our media elites will always avoid reading, analyzing or reporting to us the text of an actual statute.  They dismiss it as “down in the weeds.” 

But any criminal prosecution must begin with identifying a specific statute the accused is alleged to have violated.  So perhaps Director Comey could claim he perceived Trump as attempting to “bribe” him with the opportunity to keep his job, rather than being fired.  But, here’s the problem for Democrats and Media Trump-haters: 

Whether Trump meant to issue an order to end the investigation or was merely hoping it would end, he did not do what the statute describes, try to prevent information from reaching investigators.

It is not “obstruction of justice” when an official who is legally authorized to do so closes an investigation. Every day police and FBI investigations are closed without prosecuting anyone, even when there is some evidence of a crime.  The decision to close an investigation can be made by an official in the local FBI office in your city, by a higher-up in Washington Headquarters, or by the Director.

Comey himself closed a prominent, high profile investigation on world-wide television back on July 5, 2016.  He described secret, top secret and classified materials found illegally stored on Hillary Clinton’s unsecured, home email server.  Then, inexplicably, he declared the investigation closed with no prosecution.  Twelve days before the Presidential election he sent an open letter to inform Congress and the public that he had reopened the investigation.  Then, two days before the election he sent another public letter announcing it was closed again. 

Whether Trump was directing Comey or merely hoping the investigation would be closed, he was within his legal and Constitutional authority as President.  Under the Constitution The President is the ultimate boss, with total authority over every Executive Branch Department and Agency, including the FBI.  Any power or authority exercised by cabinet secretaries and department heads is delegated to them by the President.  None of them, including FBI Director is “independent” of the President.  Let me repeat because the media has spewed misinformation like a fire hose: The FBI is absolutley NOT an “independent” agency, nor is its Director “independent” of the President’s authority. Period

During his testimony Comey himself confirmed that the President has the authority to close an investigation.  Here’s the exchange with Senator James Lankford asking  questions:

Lankford: If the President wanted to stop an investigation, how would he do that?….How would the President make an ongoing investigation stop?

Comey: I’m not a legal scholar so smarter people answer this better, but I think as a legal matter, the President is the head of the Executive Branch and could direct – in theory, we have important norms against this – but direct that anybody be investigated or anybody not be investigated. He has the legal authority because all of us in the Executive Branch report up to the President.

Lankford: Would that be to you, would that be to the Attorney General, would that be to… who would do that?

Comey: If he wanted to issue a direct order he could do it in any way. He could do it through the Attorney General or issue it directly to me.

This is correct.  The President has plenary power (unqualified, unconditional power) over the operations of the Executive Branch.  He can order the FBI to do anything that is legal and Constitutional.  And, it IS legal for the FBI to close an investigation. 

One more seemingly unnoticed fact makes this whole obstruction story even more ludicrous: Trump’s motive for firing Comey could not have been to close an investigation because he DIDN’T order any investigation closed! The investigation into the hoax of Russian collusion and the investigation of Michael Flynn both continue to this day.

So keep in mind that no matter how many nattering “experts” preen before the cameras, saying otherwise, President Trump will not, can not be prosecuted for obstruction of justice. Period.

 

What’s a Star Chamber and How is It Being Used to Attack Trump and Fracture America?

Medieval Star Chamber Courts are the model for today’s Democrat-media attacks against President Trump.  A reasoned defense is nearly impossible.

What is meant by Star Chamber?  An infamous abuse of governmental power was the Star Chamber Courts of 16th and 17th Century England.  Unlike regular courts, Star Chambers had the power to punish people for anything the king and his power structure didn’t like, even if no law was violated.  The court sentenced people to punishments without telling them who accused them, who the witnesses against them were, what the witnesses said, or what law they violated, usually because no actual, written law was violated.

We’ll explain how this is relevant to President Trump and the breathless media rumors about Russia in a moment.

Our nation’s founders were intellectuals and students of history.  To prevent emergence of a star chamber in America they added the Fifth, and Sixth Amendments to the US Constitution, setting forth certain rights that must be afforded to persons accused of crimes.  Here’s the Sixth Amendment:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense. [emphasis added]

Scholars break this amendment into seven clauses.  Two of them are in bold print above.

  1. The arraignment clause: “…to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation,” and
  2. The confrontation clause: “…to be confronted with the witnesses against him.”

There can be no prosecution unless police and prosecutors first establish that a crime – a violation of a written statute duly enacted by Congress or a State Legislature – has occurred. The defendant must be told what statute he is accused of violating.  He must be told who the witnesses against him are, he must hear their testimony in open court, and he or his lawyer must have an opportunity to cross examine them.

Without these rules there is no way for the accused to respond to the charges against him.  Thus, a defense is impossible and he is the victim of a Star Chamber proceeding.

President Trump’s accusers in Congress, in the media, and worst of all, the unidentified accusers from the vast government bureaucracy or “deep state” operate completely outside these rules.  Thus he, and by extension, We the People and our nation are being subjected to a destructive, Star Chamber-like proceeding that began seven months ago and may continue for years.

Consider this excerpt from the June 15 Washington Post, a typical star chamber indictment of President Trump:

The special counsel overseeing the investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 election is interviewing senior intelligence officials as part of a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice, officials said.

Let’s start with “…a widening probe that now includes an examination of whether President Trump attempted to obstruct justice…”  Here’s the federal obstruction of justice statute:

Whoever willfully endeavors by means of bribery to obstruct, delay, or prevent the communication of information relating to a violation of any criminal statute of the United States by any person to a criminal investigator shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.

Anti-Trump talking heads tell us that “obstruction” occurred either:

  • when Trump told FBI Director Comey he “hoped” the FBI could drop an investigation of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn,

OR

  • when Trump fired FBI Director Comey, leader of the agency that is investigating alleged Russian mischief in last year’s election campaign.

Comey testified that while Trump’s words expressed “hope” that the Flynn investigation be dropped Comey thought Trump was subtly issuing an order to close it.  But, as Comey confirmed – under oath – the President has the Constitutional authority to order the FBI to investigate or not investigate anyone. 

Thus, either way, if Trump meant to order the FBI to close an investigation or merely hoped it would close, he could not have violated the federal obstruction statute.  He did not seek to block communication of information to the scores of FBI investigators assigned to these matters. He didn’t offer a bribe. He simply did not do anything that could be construed as a violation of the written statute.

Yet the Washington Post story excerpted above, along with dozens of similar canards, relentlessly repeated around the clock on cable news, are intended to plant in the American mind the perception that Trump violated a law.  This is a textbook star chamber tactic because no law exists that makes it a crime for a President to either hope or order that an investigation be closed.

What about firing FBI Director Comey?  As Comey, himself testified under oath, the President has unconditional power to fire the FBI director any time, for any reason, or for no reason. There is no law restricting that authority in any way.  Firing the Director did not violate the statute quoted above because it does not obstruct or delay the FBI personnel who are investigating Russia, or prevent them from receiving information.  So again, Trump is accused, star chamber style, of a violation of a law that simply does not exist.

In the Washington Post story who are the accusers and witnesses against Trump?

“Officials.”

 

That’s all we’re told.  Are they government officials?  If so, which government?  Federal? State? Canadian? Russian? For all we know they’re lottery officials.

So, exactly like the star chamber of old, The Washington Post bases it’s indictment of the President of the United States of America on the testimony of unnamed, anonymous, invisible “officials” who can not be questioned about their allegations.

Charges of “collusion” with Russia during the campaign follow the same Star Chamber model.  Accusers never cite a statute they allege Trump violated.  Their claim is that Russia, not Trump, stole emails from The Democratic National Committee and had them published on Wikileaks. So what do they allege that Trump actually DID that violates a statute, any statute?  They never answer. They have nothing.

It is nearly impossible for anyone, even a President to defend himself against star chamber tactics, even if he is innocent.

Because the same Constitution that protects innocent people from star chamber courts also protects freedom of speech and of the press, the President is powerless to stop political adversaries and a rogue media from defaming him and thus causing chaos in government and bitter division among the population.

These star chamber tactics are not harmless. Already a true believer in the accusations against Trump took it upon himself to retaliate with a rifle, attempting to murder Congressmen and their staff playing baseball in a quiet, suburban park.  There’s continuous rumbling about prosecuting or impeaching the President even though absolutely no evidence has been presented that he colluded with the Russians or that he violated any statute.

You wouldn’t know it by their actions, but the President’s own party, the Republicans, not the adversary Democrats control both the House and Senate and thus have the power to wind up and close any investigation. They should simply stop holding hearings about the utterly baseless charges that Trump colluded or conspired with the Russians. 

Since a law called “obstruction” that forbids a President from hoping or ordering an investigation closed, or from firing the FBI Director does not exist they should close those star chamber hearings as well. 

They should stop tossing chum to the sharks.

 

Ronald Reagan’s Riveting Memorial Day Speech

 

 

 

Honoring Heroes On Memorial Day 2017

Peace to each manly soul that sleepeth;
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth…
~Thomas Moore

World War II Navy Medic Fred Lester

Medal of Honor Recipiant

While serving as a Medical Corpsman with an Assault Rifle Platoon, during action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa, 8 June 1945, Medic First Class Lester spotted a wounded marine lying in an open field beyond the front lines following an assault against a strategic Japanese hill position.

flags-in-memorial-day.jpg

Lester unhesitatingly crawled toward the casualty under a concentrated barrage from hostile machine guns, rifles, and grenades. Torn by enemy rifle bullets as he inched forward, he stoically disregarded the mounting fury of Japanese fire and his own pain to pull the wounded man toward a covered position. Struck by enemy fire a second time before he reached cover, he exerted tremendous effort and succeeded in pulling his comrade to safety where, too seriously wounded himself to administer aid, he instructed two members of his squad in proper medical treatment of the rescued marine.

Realizing that his own wounds were fatal, he staunchly refused medical attention for himself and, gathering his waning strength he coolly and expertly directed his men in the treatment of two other wounded marines. Shortly thereafter he succumbed to his own wounds.

Completely selfless in his concern for the welfare of his fighting comrades, Lester, by his indomitable spirit, outstanding valor, and competent direction of others, had saved the life of one who otherwise would have perished and contributed to the safety of countless others. Lester’s fortitude in the face of certain death sustains and enhances the highest traditions of the U.S. Military. He gallantly gave his life for his country.

Next Page »