The question of whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is constitutional is examined by George Will in his latest column:
The president, who might not be fully acquainted with the pertinent Supreme Court case law, says the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel was unconstitutional. The president’s opinion, because it is his, is prima facie evidence for the opposite conclusion. It is, however, not sufficient evidence. Consider the debate between two serious people who have immersed themselves in the history of the appointments clause, which says:
“[The president] shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, judges of the Supreme Court, and all other officers of the United States, whose appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by law: but the Congress may by law vest the … Read More ➡
Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY), the fourth ranking Democrat in the House, lost his re-election bid to a political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Working with the New York Post and other media outlets, NLPC helped expose corruption in Crowley’s office. In addition, NLPC has exposed corruption in the Queens political machine that Crowley heads, sending several local politicians to prison.
Crowley, whose supporters were promoting him as a future House Speaker, clearly underestimated Ocasio-Cortez. If she were perceived to be any kind of threat, the machine would have simply kept her off the ballot, the time-honored way dissidents are thwarted in Queens.
Ocasio-Cortez ran at Crowley from the left, and is unlikely to support real Congressional reform or to help drain the swamp, but she has an interesting personal story that underscores how the Queens machine operates — through corruption, cronyism and nepotism in the local courts.
This is rich. Robert Mueller now says that if he turns over evidence to the lawyers of defendants he has charged with crimes, the documents might find their way to foreign intelligence services. Mueller is right, especially when the defendants are Russians with close ties to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government.
The problem is of Mueller’s creation. When he indicted three business entities and 13 individuals in February, he knew it was unlikely they would ever show up in the United States to face trial. The indictments were nice window dressing because they had to do with actual Russian meddling in the 2016 election, unlike the rest of the investigation.
The only problem is that one of the defendants, a firm called Concord Management and Consulting LLC, called Mueller’s bluff in April and had its American attorneys show up to enter a not guilty plea. That makes Concord a … Read More ➡
President Trump would be making a huge mistake in commuting the prison sentence of Rod Blagojevich, the former governor of Illinois. Blagojevich is corrupt to the core. He is not the victim of anything except his own guile.
Let’s remember why Blagojevich is in prison. Among other crimes, he actually tried to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat. If he were not arrested in time, Blagojevich would have likely sold the seat to then-Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. for $1.5 million in campaign contributions.
Speculation that Trump may pardon Blagojevich or commute his sentence apparently results from a Wall Street Journal op-ed by Blagojevich on Monday headlined, “I am in prison for practicing politics.” That is exactly the problem. In Illinois, corruption is endemic. Blagojevich’s Republican predecessor, George Ryan, also went to prison. A pardon of Blagojevich would seriously undercut the fight against corruption.
The McDonnell Supreme Court decision has apparently given … Read More ➡
Chuck Ross of the Daily Caller has detailed the relationship between Eric Schneiderman while he was New York Attorney General, and his ex-wife Jennifer Cunningham, a lobbyist with the firm SKDKnickerbockder. As we noted the day after Schneiderman’s resignation, the two had a lucrative business relationship even though they were divorced. The business was selling influence. From the article:
Schneiderman’s office defended the contacts at the time, saying they were legal under New York law. But that’s just the problem, says Tom Anderson, the executive director of the National Legal & Policy Center — a good government watchdog that has uncovered corruption in New York.
“If you wanted something from the Attorney General’s office, you had to go through her, and you had to bring your checkbook. The real scandal in New York is that all of this is legal,” Anderson told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Seldom has a political career imploded as swiftly or completely as that of Eric Schneiderman, Attorney General for the State of New York. He was already toast by last evening after the New Yorker published a devastating portrayal earlier that day of Schneiderman as a drunken, pill-popping sadist. His instant demise could not be more appropriate or satisfying.
There was not a trendy liberal cause that Schneiderman did not champion, including of course, the #MeToo movement. Schneiderman substituted ideological activism for his actual duties as New York’s top law enforcement official. We saw this first-hand.
Beginning in 2010, our staff provided information to the New York Post, New York Times and the New York Daily News about corrupt state and local officials in New York. The headlines prompted a series of investigations by federal and state prosecutors that resulted in jail for several politicians. It puzzled us that New … Read More ➡
The Senate Ethics Committee has “severely admonished” Robert Menendez, once again demonstrating its uselessness. Of course, the Committee did not have the authority to put Menendez where he really belongs — in prison — but it could have recommended something of a little more consequence, like Censure or expulsion.
Once again, the Senate has proven that it is the world’s most exclusive club, and membership has its privileges. The Ethics Committee — chaired by Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and consisting of three members of each party — probably never wanted to render judgment on Menendez and probably never thought they would have to.
The Senate investigation began in late 2012 but was put on hold when the Justice Department initiated a criminal probe. It resumed late last year when the criminal trial in New Jersey resulted in a hung jury. The Justice Department first declared that it would retry Menendez … Read More ➡
During his two days on Capitol Hill, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg repeatedly denied that the company censors information and opinion with which it disagrees, despite extensive evidence to the contrary.
Facebook censorship is real. The National Legal and Policy Center has regularly had our Facebook postings suppressed when they pertain to Black Lives Matter, which we have regularly criticized.
It just so happens that Zuckerberg has a different view of Black Lives Matter. Zuckerberg purports to value free expression, famously allowing the “signature wall” at Facebook headquarters. But when in 2016 “Black Lives Matter” graffiti was met with “All Lives Matter,” Zuckerberg just could not have it. He issued a memo calling such sentiments “unacceptable” and “malicious” and assured everyone that the company was “investigating the current incidents.”
Today we asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate Ana Matosantos, a member of the Puerto Rico Financial Oversight and Management Board, and to seek her removal. We cited apparent violations of federal conflict of interest statutes by Matosantos. According to information that we unearthed, Matosantos’ family business and other private companies with which she has a financial relationship stand to directly benefit from actions of the board.
The unelected board was established in 2016 to oversee the response Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, and was granted powers by Congress akin to a bankruptcy court. As we have helped to expose in the past, political corruption is endemic in Puerto Rico. Apparently, the Commonwealth can’t even go broke without someone trying to take advantage of the situation. Here is the full text of our letter to the Attorney General:
Dear General Sessions:
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC) respectfully … Read More ➡
Later this month, Apple CEO Tim Cook will co-chair something called the China Development Forum, sponsored by Communist Chinese government. It was only in December that Cook keynoted the World Internet Conference, another Chinese government event held to promote a more censored Internet.
Apple’s relationship with Beijing now looks more like a partnership. On February 28, Apple transferred operation of its iCloud data center in mainland China to a state-owned enterprise called Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD).
Apple will continue to market its iCloud services in China and will take care of the billing, but its new partner will possess and manage all the data. Everything that any Apple customer in China puts up to iCloud, which often means anything that is stored on their devices, will be under the ultimate control of their government.