The Supreme Court has refused to dismiss criminal charges against Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ) who sought to have them thrown out on Constitutional grounds. Menendez was indicted, in part, on the basis of information uncovered by the National Legal and Policy Center.
Menendez seems to think that the Speech or Debate Clause is actually the Solicitation and Bribery Clause. His trial will start in the fall, two and half years after he was indicted. In this case, justice delayed really is justice denied. Although Menendez has stepped down as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he arrogantly refuses to resign from the Senate. He is even raising money for a 2018 reelection campaign.
Today I asked President Trump to seek repayment from General Motors of the $11.4 billion taxpayers lost on bailing out the company if it persists in moving its production to China, and in strengthening its relationship with the Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation. According to President Obama, the rationale for the bailout was to help save American manufacturing jobs.
Here’s the text of my letter, which was copied to Dr. Peter Navarro, director of his National Trade Council:
During your campaign, you spoke of the importance of cutting better economic deals for Americans. In particular, you and many of your advisors have pointed out the massive trade deficit with China, produced in part by American companies that close their American factories, open up shop in China and then import their formerly American-made products into America.
Whether he can survive in office much longer will be determined by whether ethics enforcement mechanisms actually begin to function. It will depend on whether President Trump, and his appointees, follow through on his pledge to “drain the swamp” and whether House Republicans end their assault on the Office of Congressional Ethics, and instead get behind real reform.
Eric Schmidt, the executive chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, told Google employees last week that the Trump administration is “going to do evil things as they have done in the immigration area and perhaps some others.” Schmidt is putting Google’s money where his mouth is by contributing $2 million to the American Civil Liberties Union and three other groups opposing Trump immigration policies.
It is ironic that a new Google policy that allows the company to collect even more information on users is getting far less attention. The new policy is only the latest evidence that Google, and sister companies like YouTube, represent an increasingly serious threat not only to personal privacy but also to civil liberties.
Former New York State Senator John Sampson, a Democrat of Brooklyn, was sentenced yesterday to five years in prison following his conviction in July 2015 on three counts, including obstruction of justice.
In 2009, Sampson was elected Leader of the Democratic Conference of the State Senate. He served in leadership alongside former Majority Leader and Temporary Senate President Malcolm Smith, who is serving a seven-year prison sentence after his 2015 conviction on corruption charges.
Between 1998 and 2008, Sampson allegedly embezzled approximately $440,000 from the foreclosure sales of four Brooklyn properties on which he was a court-appointed referee. The embezzlement charges were thrown out because the state of limitations expired. The charges on which he was convicted relate to the cover-up.
Some House Republicans — apparently led by Rep. Robert Goodlatte (R-VA) — are attempting to emasculate the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE). The House Conference reportedly voted last night 119-74 to place control of OCE under the Ethics Committee, effectively destroying it. The full House is scheduled today to vote on the larger Rules package of which Goodlatte’s amendment is part.
This is an incredibly stupid start to the new Congress, and badly undercuts President-elect Trump’s efforts to “drain the swamp.”
Media reports suggest that Speaker Paul Ryan opposed the move, but there have been reasons for skepticism about the House leadership’s commitment to OCE. It doesn’t matter what happened last night. It is now up to Ryan to save OCE. He must act with strength and decisiveness.
“Google will pay very well and the benefits will be wonderful, but any conservative who takes this job will have to sell his or her soul. Anyone with an ounce of personal integrity should not even consider it.”
“Google is not trying to hire a free-market advocate because it suddenly believes in free markets. It is a monopoly and it intends to stay that way. Google wants to buy off and defuse critics who have been emboldened by the election of Donald Trump.”
National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), today sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump responding to Silicon Valley’s recent suggestions that President-elect Trump “engage” Silicon Valley’s tech elite for key government posts, while preserving many of the digital initiatives started by the Obama Administration.
Trump is holding a meeting with tech leaders next week. With the exception of billionaire Facebook board member and Trump supporter Peter Theil, it is unclear whether representatives of Facebook, Google, Twitter and other tech giants will be there.
In its letter, NLPC slams Silicon Valley’s recommendations as a sure way to undercut Trump’s commitment to “drain the swamp” of corporate lobbyists and DC powerbroker influence, while undermining his commitment to restoring American jobs and the economy.
The Daily Signalincluded this reaction to President-elect Trump’s hints yesterday that he is backing away from further legal pursuit of the Clintons:
“It was a premature decision [not to continue investigating Clinton] because we don’t know what evidence on the email server or Clinton Foundation will emerge,” said Peter Flaherty, president of the National Legal and Policy Center, a conservative watchdog group, told The Daily Signal.
“It shouldn’t be the call of the White House anyway, but should be left up to the new attorney general—and IRS commissioner—whether to investigate,” Flaherty continued, noting the IRS should look into the nonprofit status of the Clinton Foundation. “Prosecuting Hillary might seem like piling on from a political sense, but if she broke the law, this is a decision that should be left to law enforcement.”
Asked about the presidential election result, PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi claimed:
“I had to answer a lot of questions from my daughters, from our employees. They were all in mourning. Our employees were all crying. The question that they are asking, especially those who are not white ‘Are we safe?’, women are asking ‘Are we safe?’, LGBT people are asking ‘Are we safe?’.”
Nooyi went on to “assure everybody in the U.S. that they are safe.” Of course, the only purpose to such an assurance is to allow such an inane and inflammatory statement to be made in the first place. Nooyi’s comments are inappropriate for the CEO of a major corporation. She should resign.