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When I first read David French’s article, my first reaction was that John T. Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, should be disbarred, then tried and convicted, then thrown into prison for a very long time. Chisholm is a progressive political hack with a mission to destroy the conservative movement in Wisconsin:

Cindy Archer, one of the lead architects of Wisconsin’s Act 10 — also called the “Wisconsin Budget Repair Bill,” it limited public-employee benefits and altered collective-bargaining rules for public-employee unions — was jolted awake by yelling, loud pounding at the door, and her dogs’ frantic barking. The entire house — the windows and walls — was shaking. She looked outside to see up to a dozen police officers, yelling to open the door. They were carrying a battering ram.

She wasn’t dressed, but she started to run toward the door, her body in full view of the police. Some yelled at her to grab some clothes, others yelled for her to open the door. “I was so afraid,” she says. “I did not know what to do.” She grabbed some clothes, opened the door, and dressed right in front of the police. The dogs were still frantic. “I begged and begged, ‘Please don’t shoot my dogs, please don’t shoot my dogs, just don’t shoot my dogs.’ I couldn’t get them to stop barking, and I couldn’t get them outside quick enough. I saw a gun and barking dogs. I was scared and knew this was a bad mix.”

She got the dogs safely out of the house, just as multiple armed agents rushed inside. Some even barged into the bathroom, where her partner was in the shower. The officer or agent in charge demanded that Cindy sit on the couch, but she wanted to get up and get a cup of coffee. “I told him this was my house and I could do what I wanted.” Wrong thing to say. “This made the agent in charge furious. He towered over me with his finger in my face and yelled like a drill sergeant that I either do it his way or he would handcuff me.”

Last night, Megyn Kelly interviewed David French. Here’s the video of the interview:

Here’s the most chilling exchange of the interview:

MEGYN: Who was the judge that signed off on these subpoenas?
DAVID FRENCH: The judge’s name is Barbara Kluka, I believe is how you pronounce her name. She signed off on hundreds of pages of subpoenas in literally one afternoon of work. It was a rubberstamp process. It was not true judicial oversight and the result has been catastrophic to citizens’ rights.

French’s statement might be the understatement of the year. The things that are alleged, if they’re proven in a court of law, should be grounds for termination of the police officers and the disbarment of the judge and the district attorney.

The policeman (policemen?) who ordered Ms. Archer that she couldn’t speak with a lawyer and that she couldn’t speak about the police officers’ actions violated Ms. Archer’s constitutional right to an attorney. Saying that she couldn’t speak about the raid essentially amounts to putting a gag order on Ms. Archer. I’m no lawyer but aren’t gag orders meant to preserve the right to a fair trial?

In this instance, the purpose of the gag order was to protect these thugs’ secrecy. The only people that benefited were the thugs with badges.

This isn’t just about prosecutorial or judicial misconduct. It’s about how the Democratic Party weaponized the district attorney’s office and the Milwaukee police force to intimidate conservatives from speaking about the issues that matter most to them. That’s the heart of the First Amendment’s protections.

Finally, this is the face of pure evil. These Democrats should be destroyed politically. They should all spend years in prison doing hard time. Silencing people who just wanted to support a political issue is despicable.

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Recently, the Virginia City Council adopted the International Property Maintenance Code. I hope that Cate Stark’s LTE wakes people up to this totalitarian form of government. This is frightening:

If you are found in violation of the 90-page International Property Maintenance Code with hundreds of rules, you can be cited. You will go before the magistrate. You will pay a fine, legal fees and court costs. If you cannot pay these, you can go to jail. If you have not fixed what they cited you for, they will send you the bill. If you cannot pay it, they put a lien on your house. If you cannot pay the lien, they can sell your house!

This code is arbitrary and can be subjectively enforced. It unfairly affects those who have the least money to keep a house in great condition.

What’s most frightening is that that isn’t the most frightening part. This is:

This is an invasive ordinance stating that the code enforcement officer or employee has the right to enter any premises for the purpose of making an inspection at any reasonable time in pursuance of such duties without warrants. This invasive ordinance encourages the code officer or employee to get the authorities if you don’t let him in.

Cate Starks is right that the IPMC is unconstitutional because the Fourth Amendment prevents this type of government intrusion. Here’s one other totally objectionable part of the IPMC:

Section 308.1, infestation — “all structures shall be kept free from rodent and insect infestation. If infestation is found it will be followed up with extermination. The penalty for violation is: Guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction they shall be fined up to the maximum amount allowed by state law or imprisoned up to 30 days in jail. Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. So 30 days = 30 penalties.”

I’m hoping that the first person whose house is entered by the inspector without a warrant files a lawsuit against that inspector and the City of Virginia. I’m betting that the ACLJ would accept such a case and make an example of this unconstitutional ordinance.

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Apparently, the IRS thinks that the Fourth Amendment doesn’t apply to them. That’s just another reason why people hate and fear the IRS. This NYTimes article should give people additional ammunition for fearing the IRS:

For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long, she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away — until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost $33,000.

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders of money laundering or cheating on her taxes; in fact, she has not been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government report.

Here’s the text of the Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Not only did the IRS not get a real search warrant, they’ve never accused Ms. Hinders of wrongdoing. Still, the IRS is feeling magnanimous:

On Thursday, in response to questions from The New York Times, the I.R.S. announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired illegally or seizure is deemed justified by “exceptional circumstances.”

Richard Weber, the chief of Criminal Investigation at the I.R.S., said in a written statement, “This policy update will ensure that C.I. continues to focus our limited investigative resources on identifying and investigating violations within our jurisdiction that closely align with C.I.’s mission and key priorities.” He added that making deposits under $10,000 to evade reporting requirements, called structuring, is still a crime whether the money is from legal or illegal sources. The new policy will not apply to past seizures.

This isn’t about updating policies. It’s about the IRS violating Ms. Hinders’ Fourth Amendment rights. The IRS seized Ms. Hinders’ bank account. If that doesn’t fit the definition of an unreasonable seizure, nothing fits that description.

The practice has swept up dairy farmers in Maryland, an Army sergeant in Virginia saving for his children’s college education and Ms. Hinders, 67, who has borrowed money, strained her credit cards and taken out a second mortgage to keep her restaurant going.

Their money was seized under an increasingly controversial area of law known as civil asset forfeiture, which allows law enforcement agents to take property they suspect of being tied to crime even if no criminal charges are filed. Law enforcement agencies get to keep a share of whatever is forfeited.

The IRS has treated citizens, including military personnel, like they were street thugs. That shouldn’t be possible in America. That’s the type of thing that you’d expect in a Third World dictatorship, not from the US government.

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I’ve believed that John Chisholm, the Milwaukee County District Attorney, was a vindictive partisan prosecutor long before George Will wrote this column. Will’s column chief contribution is that it focuses attention on several key points that should receive additional highlighting. Here’s one such point:

The early-morning paramilitary-style raids on citizens’ homes were conducted by law enforcement officers, sometimes wearing bulletproof vests and lugging battering rams, pounding on doors and issuing threats. Spouses were separated as the police seized computers, including those of children still in pajamas. Clothes drawers, including the children’s, were ransacked, cellphones were confiscated and the citizens were told that it would be a crime to tell anyone of the raids.

Some raids were precursors of, others were parts of, the nastiest episode of this unlovely political season, an episode that has occurred in an unlikely place. This attempted criminalization of politics to silence people occupying just one portion of the political spectrum has happened in Wisconsin, which often has conducted robust political arguments with Midwestern civility.

That’s what the threats and intimidation wing of the Democratic Party looks like. John Chisholm is a thug with institutionalized authority to ruin innocent people’s lives. He’s the ‘leader’ of the Wisconsin chapter of the Democratic Party’s threats and intimidation wing.

In collaboration with Wisconsin’s misbegotten Government Accountability Board, which exists to regulate political speech, Chisholm has misinterpreted Wisconsin campaign law in a way that looks willful. He has done so to justify a “John Doe” process that has searched for evidence of “coordination” between Walker’s campaign and conservative issue advocacy groups.

On Oct. 14, much too late in the campaign season to rescue the political-participation rights of conservative groups, a federal judge affirmed what Chisholm surely has known all along: Since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling 38 years ago, the only coordination that is forbidden is between candidates and independent groups that go beyond issue advocacy to “express advocacy”, explicitly advocating the election or defeat of a particular candidate.

Why Wisconsin ever passed these John Doe laws is inexplicable. It’s authority to start a fishing expedition, something that’s contrary to the principles of probable cause and the Fourth Amendment’s protections against unreasonable searches and seizures. Chisholm’s goal might’ve already been achieved:

But Chisholm’s aim, to have a chilling effect on conservative speech, has been achieved by bombarding Walker supporters with raids and subpoenas: Instead of raising money to disseminate their political speech, conservative individuals and groups, harassed and intimidated, have gone into a defensive crouch, raising little money and spending much money on defensive litigation. Liberal groups have not been targeted for their activities that are indistinguishable from those of their conservative counterparts.

I’ve written before about weaponized government. Chisholm’s investigation (I hate using that term in this context) fits that description perfectly. It’s the personification of weaponized government.

It’s worth noting this sentence:

Liberal groups have not been targeted for their activities that are indistinguishable from those of their conservative counterparts.

I’ve seen nasty forms of weaponized government but this is the nastiest form of it. Law enforcement officials participating in this should be investigated, too. Their actions furthered this unconstitutional exercise of abusive government. Hans Spakovsky’s op-ed nails it:

Oral arguments were heard Tuesday before the 7th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in O’Keefe vs. Chisholm, the so-called John Doe investigation in which local prosecutors in Wisconsin tried to criminalize political speech and activity on public issues. The 7th Circuit should uphold the lower court decision halting this Star Chamber investigation that violated basic First Amendment rights.

The fact that such a secret persecution of citizen advocacy organizations even occurred ought to be an embarrassment to a state that prides itself on being a progressive bastion of individual freedom. It is more reminiscent of a banana republic than the world’s foremost democracy.

Chisholm should be disbarred for intentionally violating private citizens’ civil rights. Then he should be tried and, hopefully, be convicted, then incarcerated for many years. He’s a nasty person helping the Democratic Party chill political speech. Saying that his actions are intimidating and that his tactics are the type that would be approved of by Joe McCarthy is understatement.

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Those of us old enough to recall Richard Nixon’s time in office know that he didn’t respect the Constitution, especially the Fourth Amendment. That wasn’t the only way he broke the law but it’s certainly the most famous. That being said, this president is the greatest scofflaw-in-chief in American history because he just doesn’t care about the Constitution or the Supreme Court.

Even liberal constitutional law professors like Jonathan Turley are noticing:

The unanimous decision of the Supreme Court late last month that President Obama violated the separation of powers in appointing officials is the type of decision that usually concentrates the mind of a chief executive. Obama, however, appeared to double down on his strategy — stating in a Rose Garden speech on Tuesday that he intended to expand, not reduce, his use of unilateral actions to circumvent Congress. Summing up his position, the President threw down the gauntlet at Congress: “So sue me.”

This is just the latest proof that this president doesn’t give a damn about the rule of law or the Constitution. Apparently, he thinks he’s America’s king. Institutions like the Supreme Court and the Constitution don’t mean much to him.

Those things don’t mean much to Eric Holder, his Attorney General:

On June 26, in National Labor Relations Board v. Canning, all nine Justices ruled that President Obama’s “recess” appointments to the NLRB violated the Constitution.

Not only did Obama’s own judicial appointees vote against him (including his former solicitor general), but the majority opinion was written by Stephen Breyer, a liberal stalwart of the Court.

The Administration also lost United State v. Wurie, in which the Holder Justice Department claimed that the police and federal authorities did not need a search warrant to seize all of the information stored in the cellphone of someone who had been arrested.

Putting this in more schoolyard terms, the Obama administration and Eric Holder have gotten their butts kicked when facing the Supreme Court. The number of unanimous decisions that’ve gone against President Obama’s administration is the highest in history.

Let’s summarize these cases. In NLRB v. Noel Canning, President Obama, the CEO of the executive branch, argued that he, not the Senate Majority Leader, should determine when the Senate was in session. In US v. Wurie, Holder argued that the Fourth Amendment didn’t apply to cell phones. (That rationale escapes me entirely.) In both cases, the Supreme Court justices voted unanimously that “the constitutional scholar in the Oval Office” and his attorney general were wrong.

In fact, there have been 20 such cases during this administration — and even more if you include cases in which the administration filed an amicus brief, such as in McCullen v. Coakley, the free-speech case that was handed down the same day as the recess appointments case.

The Obama administration filed an amicus brief in that case supporting the Massachusetts law in question and helped argue the case before the Supreme Court.

But all nine justices found the Massachusetts law, which created a 35-foot “buffer” zone around abortion clinics, violated the First Amendment by restricting speech in public areas “that have historically been open to the public for speech activities.”

Here’s Dictionary.com’s definition of scofflaw:

a person who flouts the law, especially one who fails to pay fines owed.
a person who flouts rules, conventions, or accepted practices.

That definition fits President Obama perfectly. The constitutional law professor at George Washington University disagreed with the “constitutional scholar in the Oval Office”:

In our system, there is no license to go it alone. Rather, the Republic’s democratic architecture requires compromise. The process is designed to moderate legislation and create a broader consensus in support of these laws.

Nor is congressional refusal to act on a particular prescription of how to fix the economy or repair immigration laws an excuse. Sometimes the country (and by extension Congress) is divided.

When that happens, less gets done. The Framers understood such times. They lived in such a time.

Moderation isn’t this president’s hallmark. Apparently, ignoring the Constitution this president’s hallmark.

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David Shuster’s monthly op-ed seldom disappoints in terms of questionable thinking from a leftist perspective. This month’s op-ed is titled “Now corporations could have religious rights, too?” Here’s part of Mr. Shuster’s column:

In Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Supreme Court gave corporations the individual right of free speech.

Energized by this success and the boundless loathing of the conservative movement for President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, for-profit companies are manipulating the judicial system for the right to practice a religion.

Like the Wizard bestowing a heart to the Tin Man, the court’s decision to hear two cases — Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius — may magically grant corporate America a religious conscience. Unlike the “Wizard of Oz,” this would not have a happy ending.

Independent voters, think about this before voting. In Mr. Shuster’s mind, the Supreme Court “gave” corporations the same right to influence elections as individuals have. It didn’t take long to find out that they didn’t give corporations anything. They clarified the fact that corporations had that right all along. Here’s the text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There’s nothing in the First Amendment’s text that says it pertains exclusively to individuals. In fact, there is a reference in the text that protects an institution. Specifically, it says “the press” has the same rights as an individual.

That’s why it’s disheartening to hear Shuster talk about “magically grant[ing] corporate America” religious rights. In the eyes of the Constitution, there isn’t a difference between churches and the Little Sisters of the Poor and corporations run by people of faith. That’s because, like churches, corporations aren’t inanimate buildings. They’re groups of people.

I’ve used this argument repeatedly but it’s still pertinent. Does the Fourth Amendment protect only individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures or does it protect corporations, too? Thoughtful people wouldn’t dispute that corporations have the right to due process. Why should speech and religion pertain only to individuals?

Shuster makes the argument that incorporation creates a wall between a person’s assets and a corporation’s assets. I won’t dispute that. Material things, however, aren’t the same as God-given rights.

It isn’t exactly rare to see leftists misunderstand what the Constitution permits or limits. Still, this LTE shows the Left’s lack of understanding of the Constitution:

The Supreme Court decision called “Citizens United” is a gross misnomer. The court ruled corporations have the same rights as people when it comes to voting rights.

This decision allows corporations to spend millions of dollars to influence elections. This makes it virtually legal to buy elections.

The editorialist is right in that the Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. the FEC decision said that corporations have the same right of free speech as citizens. That’s because corporations aren’t buildings. They’re a collection of citizens. As such, they have just as much right to expressing their political opinions as your next door neighbor.

The editorialist is wrong, however, in saying that corporations “have the same rights” as it pertains to “voting rights.” Corporations can’t vote. They can buy ad time to talk about the things that matter most to them. That isn’t the same as casting a vote.

Is this leftist going to argue that corporations aren’t protected by the Fourth Amendment just like a private citizen is protected by it? Where in the text of the First Amendment or the Fourth Amendment does it say that only individuals are protected by these constitutional amendments? Here’s the text of the First Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Here’s the text of the Fourth Amendment:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fourth Amendment at least mentions “people” being “secure in their persons.” The First Amendment doesn’t mention any limits to “people.” The fact that the text of the Fourth Amendment mentions “people” being “secure in their persons” hasn’t prevented the courts from rightly ruling that corporations and small businesses and nonprofits are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Apparently, this LTE writer doesn’t grasp the concept that the Bill of Rights applies to everyone, not just individual citizens.

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A federal judge ruled that New York’s Stop, Question and Frisk program is unconstitutional:

U.S. District Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled in the case of four men who say police unfairly targeted them because of their race. There have been about 5 million stops during the past decade, mostly of black and Hispanic men.

Scheindlin appointed an independent monitor to oversee changes to stop-and-frisk.

The New York Police Department deliberately violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers with its contentious stop-and-frisk policy, and an independent monitor is needed to oversee major changes, a federal judge ruled Monday in a stinging rebuke for what the mayor and police commissioner have defended as a life-saving, crime-fighting tool.

Mayor Bloomberg’s disdain for the Bill of Rights is apparent:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is vowing to appeal a federal judge’s ruling that the New York Police Department violated the civil rights of tens of thousands of New Yorkers with its stop-and-frisk policy. Bloomberg said at a news conference Monday that the judge displayed a “disturbing disregard” for the “good intentions” of police officers.

The “good intentions” of New York’s police officers is irrelevant. This is relevant:

During the trial, Judge Scheindlin indicated her thinking when she noted that the majority of stops result in officers finding no wrong doing.

“A lot of people are being frisked or searched on suspicion of having a gun and nobody has a gun,” she said. Only 0.14 percent of stops have led to police finding guns. “So the point is suspicion turns out to be wrong in most cases.”

By every definition imaginable, these constitute unreasonable searches. When one-seventh of 1% of searches find something, that’s a fishing expedition. Mayor Bloomberg’s good intentions notwithstanding, this doesn’t pass constitutional muster. One of the only times when police don’t need a search warrant is when something is in plain sight.

Clearly, that doesn’t apply to these cases.

Bloomberg will appeal the case but he’ll lose that appeal. This isn’t complicated. The Fourth Amendment is quite clear. It protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. By appealing, Bloomberg is essentially arguing that police officers have the right to go on fishing expeditions without a warrant. The Constitution states quite clearly that that’s prohibited.

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Yesterday, George Will was asked about the feud between Sen. Paul and Gov. Christie. Here’s his succinct response:

Here’s the transcript of what Brother Will said:

“Let’s be clear what libertarianism is and what it isn’t: It is not anarchism; it has a role for government,” Mr. Will said.

“What libertarianism says; it comes in many flavors and many degrees of severity, and it basically says before the government, it bridges the freedom of an individual or the freedom of several individuals contracting together, that government ought to have, A) a compelling reason and B) a constitutional warrant for doing so. Now, if Mr. Christie thinks that’s a dangerous thought, a number of people are going to say that Mr. Christie himself may be dangerous.”

Balancing the U.S.’s national security needs and the imperative of protecting people from government run amok is tricky on the best of days. During war, the task becomes nearly impossible. Gov. Christie’s hyperemotional response is understandable, especially considering his proximity to Ground Zero.

That consideration aside, it’s imperative to maintain our national vigilence against administrations from abusing their authority by collecting information it doesn’t have a right to look at without a warrant. It’s imperative that courts uphold the Fourth Amendment. It’s imperative that the intelligence community respect the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. It doesn’t protect from reasonable searches or seizures.

Is Gov. Christie worried about intel agencies overstepping their authority? At this point, it’s impossible to know. That’s alarming considering how frequently this administration has overstepped its authority.

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This past week, lots of pundits from across the political spectrum have warned Republicans not to overreach on the AP story. They’re warning that this is a national security issue. That isn’t exactly accurate. It’s time to unravel the DOJ’s disgusting behavior.

At the heart of the scandal is this statement from Attorney General Holder:

Here’s what Attorney General Holder said that isn’t accurate:

HOLDER: This was a serious leak, a very, very serious leak. I’ve been a prosecutor since 1976 and I have to say that this is among, if it isn’t the most serious leak, it is among the top 2 or 3 leaks I’ve ever seen. It put the American people at risk. And that is not hyperbole. It put the American people at risk and trying to determine who was responsible for that required very agressive action.

First, this wasn’t a leak. Here’s the real story:

Although the Justice Department has not explained why it sought phone records from the AP, Pruitt pointed to a May 7, 2012, story that disclosed details of a successful CIA operation in Yemen to stop an airliner bomb plot around the one-year anniversary of the May 2, 2011, killing of Usama bin Laden.

The AP delayed publication of that story at the request of government officials who said it would jeopardize national security.

“We respected that, we acted responsibly, we held the story,” Pruitt said.

Pruitt said the AP published the story only after officials from two government entities said the threat had passed. He said the administration still asked that the story be held until an official announcement the next day, a request the AP rejected.

This wasn’t a leak. The AP apparently got word that the CIA asset wasn’t in danger. The CIA said they wanted another day to issue a press release on spoiling this terrorist plot. At that point, the AP decided that they didn’t need to hold their story any longer.

It’s believable that the CIA was upset that they didn’t get to issue their press release first. Based on the fact that the DOJ hasn’t disputed the AP’s statements, it’s fair to assume that the AP acted appropriately in terms of taking the national security and intelligence gathering needs of the nation into serious, sober consideration.

That’s the front end of this scandal. The next part is what makes this one of the most disturbing scandals in recent history. Based on what we know from the first part of the scandal, we know that there wasn’t a need for urgency in stopping a leak that might’ve compromised a CIA asset in the Middle East. That means the DOJ wasn’t entitled to grab the records it did without telling the AP about this massive grab of AP phone records. That means the DOJ was obligated to going to court to apply for a search warrant and for the AP to contest the scope of DOJ’s phone records grab.

The federal government’s need to protect intelligence-gathering assets in harms way isn’t disputed. In fact, the AP apparently acted responsibly in this respect.

Now that we’ve determined these basic, undisputed facts, it’s time to question DOJ’s actions. Did the DOJ need to sieze 2 months of the AP’s phone records? Did DOJ need 2 months of phone records of over 100 AP reporters and editors? If it didn’t, why did DOJ sieze these sensitive records, especially without giving the AP the chance to contest the DOJ’s actions?

Unless new facts emerge that support DOJ’s actions, Americans of all political stripes should question DOJ’s ham-handed behavior in this matter.

UPDATE: Follow this link to read more on the DOJ-AP scandal.

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