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Let’s be clear about something. A number of Democrat committee chairs are constitutional illiterates. Either that or they’re exceptionally corrupt or both. It’s something I’ve spent a big chunk of time thinking about. Here’s what finished things off for me.

When House Oversight and Reform Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings issued subpoenas for President Trump’s private financial records when he was a private citizen, President Trump’s attorneys filed a lawsuit to prevent the production of those records.

The legal complaint from Trump’s legal team reads “Chairman Cummings has ignored the constitutional limits on Congress’ power to investigate. Article I of the Constitution does not contain an ‘Investigations Clause’ or an ‘Oversight Clause.’ It gives Congress the power to enact certain legislation. Accordingly, investigations are legitimate only insofar as they further some legitimate legislative purpose.”

That’s true as far as it goes but I’d add that they didn’t mention a separation of powers conflict, too. Congress isn’t tasked with investigating private citizens before they were part of the government. That’s the jurisdiction of the executive branch. Specifically, the Department of Justice has the statutory authority to investigate private citizens. The investigations of private citizens is the responsibility of the FBI or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The only people vested with the responsibility of convening grand juries are the DOJ attorneys, U.S. attorneys or a special counsel.

This won’t be a terribly difficult case to decide. The legislative branch has the constitutional authority to give advice and consent, pass legislation, provide legislative oversight and to ratify treaties.

House Democrats don’t have the authority to investigate the private activities of private citizens. That’s the job of the executive branch. Period. Mark Levin discussed another possible explanation with former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli on Sunday night’s Life, Liberty & Levin:

I don’t know if that’s what these Democrats are trying to do but I won’t rule it out. It’s pretty frightening when the People’s House is weaponized to torment private citizens. Though that precedent hasn’t been sent, Speaker Pelosi did say that subpoenas might be a way to negotiate with President Trump:

Apparently, Pelosi and other Democrats don’t think playing fair is required. That’s why they need to voted out of office in 2020. The bigger the landslide in the House and Senate, the better. It’s clear that Democrats don’t see limits on their investigative powers:

I suspect that they’ll be stopped cold by the Supreme Court. I can’t wait to hear about that ruling. What’s chilling is hearing E.J. Dionne say that going after a private citizen’s private financial records “is the right thing to do.”

For the better part of a few weeks, Democrats, starting with Jerry Nadler and Adam ‘Pencil-Neck’ Schiff, have insisted that Attorney General Barr must release the Mueller report without redactions. Democrats are betraying their civil libertarian instincts. I could show you Democrats, including Mr. Nadler, insisting that grand jury testimony be kept out of Ken Starr’s report but I won’t because that’s just a distraction to the substantive conversation that we need to have about why it’s imperative to keep that testimony out of the report.

A grand jury is impaneled to gather information. The prosecutor asks tons of witnesses what they’ve heard or observed. At a certain point, the prosecutor asks the grand jury to decide whether to indict a person of interest. If the grand jury decides that the prosecutor hasn’t presented enough evidence to even warrant a trial, much less get a conviction, that person’s identity shouldn’t be in any report. Period.

  • The witnesses in a grand jury proceeding aren’t cross-examined.
  • The grand jury only hears one side of the story — the prosecutor’s side.
  • Defense counsel can’t present witnesses or forensic evidence that might exonerate the target.

Where’s the fairness in that process? The grand jury process is integral to the investigatory process but revealing grand jury testimony is a mine field to say the least. People that aren’t indicted shouldn’t become part of a nationwide gossip factory. (If they’re indicted and stand trial, that’s a different story.)

Mr. Nadler isn’t interested in civil rights. He’s only interested in President Trump’s scalp. Now that the Mueller investigation has apparently come up dry, Mr. Nadler is thrashing around, praying he’ll find something.

That’s what happens when you put partisan politics ahead of common sense and patriotism. Democrats don’t wear the look of desperation well. Now that’s all they’ve got left.

PS- Nadler will get shot down if he appeals to get the grand jury material unsealed. Think of this as another desperate attempt by Democrats.

This afternoon, after his non-testimonial testimony to the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, Jim Comey utterly disgraced himself, saying “Republicans used to understand that the actions of a president matter, the words of a president matter, the rule of law matters, and the truth matters. Where are those Republicans today. At some point, someone has to stand up and in the fear of Fox News and fear of their base, and fear of mean tweets, stand up for the values of this country and not slink away into retirement.”

There used to be a time when FBI directors were men of integrity, too. Unfortunately, those days are far in the rear-view mirror. Last week, Jim Comey virtually admitted that the FBI didn’t Mirandize Gen. Flynn. Approximately 14:30 into this video, Dir. Comey admitted that he sent 2 FBI agents to ‘interview’ Gen. Flynn:

Let’s understand that Dir. Comey’s agents told Gen. Flynn didn’t need a lawyer and that they just wanted to talk with him. Further, these FBI agents, one of whom was Peter Strzok, didn’t tell Gen. Flynn that he was the target of an investigation, which he clearly was.

This afternoon, Darrell Issa told Harris Faulkner that he thinks that Gen. Flynn wasn’t properly Mirandized:

If that’s true, then I wouldn’t be surprised if Judge Emmet Sullivan doesn’t accept the Mueller-Flynn plea deal. In fact, if Judge Sullivan rules that Gen. Flynn wasn’t properly Mirandized, he’d be justified in throwing the case out and ruling that double jeopardy attaches.

If the FBI ignores people’s civil rights in order to pressure people into testifying against a higher-up, then the FBI has lost their way. At that point, FBI Dir. Comey’s statements ring hollow.

Mr. Comey, part of the rule of law requires law enforcement officers to follow procedures that the Supreme Court has required. Apparently, you didn’t do that. Don’t be surprised if Judge Sullivan scolds Dir. Mueller in his ruling. He certainly deserves it.

UPDATE: Kurt Schlichter really nails it in this article.

Just when you thought people couldn’t get more illiterate about the Constitution, this gets reported. The article reports that “Assistant Dean LiDell Evans informed Joseph Cortese, a fourth-year student, that he was required to attend a meeting on Friday concerning an investigation about a photo he posted on Instagram of himself dressed as a Border Patrol agent for Halloween.”

According to the article, Evans told Cortese “This letter serves to put you on notice that pursuant to section 9.2 of the Student Conduct Code and Discipline Procedure for the Main Campus of West Virginia University, you are the subject of an investigation regarding alleged prohibited conduct.” Here’s hoping FIRE gets involved in this case. Let’s hope that a lawsuit gets filed against WVU seeking damages for violating Mr. Cortese’s First Amendment rights. If that lawsuit were to get filed, WVU would be well-advised to quickly settle before it gets to trial because they’ll lose. Here’s the picture that WVU is complaining about:

The email also informed Cortese that if he did not contact the office or attend the meeting, his student account would have a “hold” placed on it. “I received this email Wednesday and have had awful anxiety since,” Cortese told The Daily Wire in an interview. “While I was trying to study for finals, this was looming on the back of my mind. I know I didn’t do as well on my finals as I should have due to this,” Cortese added.

I admit that I hadn’t read the whole article when I started writing this post. As I read the article, I read this:

Cortese, who is also the Communications Director for Students for Trump, said that during the meeting, Assistant Dean Evans told him the costume could be “misinterpreted the wrong way” but acknowledged that it was Cortese’s “constitutional right” to wear the costume.

In other words, WVU sought to harass a student whose political views it likely disagreed with. That’s breathtaking. Then there’s this:

Pro-civil liberties non-profit Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) told The Daily Wire in a statement that they are “aware of this case and looking into it. Public universities enter treacherous terrain when they investigate expression protected by the First Amendment,” said FIRE.

Finally:

“The West Virginia University Office of Student Conduct received a complaint claiming the student was posting ‘vulgar hateful Instagrams’ but did not single out what was ‘vulgar’ or ‘hateful’ about them,” WVU said in a statement to The Daily Wire. “The Office followed standard procedure, including the timing, to follow up on the complaint and talk with the student. The Office tries to wrap up any matters before students leave campus at the end of each semester. No charges or disciplinary action was taken and the matter is now closed.”

Did this investigation get wrapped up because Mr. Cortese contacted FIRE and other civil liberties organizations? Would Mr. Cortese have been investigated if he was the Communications Director for ‘Students for Elizabeth Warren’ or ‘Students for Kamala Harris’? I’m betting he wouldn’t have been.

John Ellenbecker, St. Cloud’s former mayor, is the worst kind of bigot. Like too many leftists, he’s heard things that’ve never gotten said. He’s certain of things that he doesn’t have proof for. This LTE caused lots of comments, including this comment from Mr. Ellenbecker:

the proposed moratorium WAS/IS about excluding people from St. Cloud. The desire to exclude people from St Cloud is based upon bigotry – that is a simple fact. You can delude yourself if you like – but bigotry is bigotry – and it is alive and well and living in those who proposed the moratorium. Bigots aren’t bigots because they disagree with me. Bigots are bigots because of what is in their heart and soul. Rather than arguing with me why not examine why you don’t want Somali Americans residing next to you.

This is simple fact? Forgive me if I’m not persuaded by Mr. Ellenbecker’s allegations. What’s his proof? FYI- Mr. Ellenbecker went to law school. I don’t know if he’s still a lawyer because I’ve heard that he’s had some ethical difficulties. He should be familiar with the concept of presenting verifiable evidence. Apparently, the law school he attended taught him that allegations are verifiable proof.

Here’s how Robert Ahles responded to Mr. Ellenbecker:

You keep making things up. No one mentioned Somali Americans or them residing next to me, next to Dave Bechtold, or next to many community member concerned about the additional taxpayer costs. I’m guessing I’d probably rather live next to a Somali American than next to a John Ellenbecker.

Well played, Mr. Ahles. Stick in the proverbial dagger, then give it a sharp twist or 2.

This isn’t surprising when you think about it. Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee insisted that then-Judge Kavanaugh shouldn’t be afforded the presumption of innocence. The Obama administration’s Department of Education sent out a guidance letter instructing universities not to give people who were accused of sexual assault the right to an attorney, the right to cross-examine his accuser or any other due process rights.

Is it any wonder why lots of people don’t think that Democrats care about the Constitution or the Bill of Rights?

Perhaps the more accurate title of this post should be ‘When will Leftists protest these civil rights’? FIRE’s Susan Kruth’s article on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’s revised regulations outlines changes to Obama administration’s anti-due process regulations.

Let’s be clear. The Obama administration’s Education Department was anti-civil rights. When it came to dealing with alleged sexual assault on campus, the Obama administration’s Education Department “encouraged schools to have a single investigator adjudicate sexual misconduct cases through a series of separate meetings with the parties and witnesses.” By contrast, the DeVos-proposed regulations pertaining to alleged sexual assault “requires that schools ‘must provide for a live hearing’ when adjudicating a case.”

In other words, universities must allow a cross-examination of the accuser. Nameless, faceless accusers won’t have their ‘day in court’. Kruth continues with this:

Having a live hearing ensures that all parties can see exactly the same evidence and testimony that the fact-finder is seeing, so that he or she can rebut that evidence and testimony as fully as he or she is able.

The department’s new rules go on to require a typical and critically important feature of live hearings: cross-examination of all witnesses, including the parties. The Supreme Court has called cross-examination the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth,” and it can be especially paramount in cases that hinge on witness testimony, as the Sixth Circuit emphasized just two months ago.

How an administration that swore an oath to uphold the Constitution can deprive people of this basic civil right is startling. Further, it’s time to admit that leftist Democrats are now fascists and/or anarchists. IF you think I’m kidding, check out Eric Swalwell’s proposal:

In a USA Today op-ed entitled “Ban assault weapons, buy them back, go after resisters,” Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., argued Thursday that prior proposals to ban assault weapons “would leave millions of assault weapons in our communities for decades to come.”

Look at the mental gymnastics Rep. Swalwell employs to justify this confiscation:

You’re probably wondering what gun confiscation has to do with due process rights. That’s a fair question. They’re both part of the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. The right to keep and bear arms is a sacred right. I prefer referring to it as the right to protect myself and my family. It’s a natural right. The Supreme Court has called the right to due process and to confront your accuser the “greatest legal engine ever invented for the discovery of truth.”

It isn’t supposition to say that Democrats have opposed the right to protect yourself and your family from burglars and criminals as vigorously as they’ve opposed the right of people to cross-examine their accusers. What other constitutional rights do Democrats want to sacrifice on the altar of political correctness?

This past week, Democrats insisted that the Kavanaugh hearings weren’t a real trial so they didn’t need to pay attention to innocent until proven guilty. Let’s examine the intellectual integrity of that principle. (I’m betting it won’t last long but that’s just me.)

Does anyone think that innocent until proven guilty is just a judicial philosophy deployed in trials? If that’s what you think, you’d better rethink things immediately. While it’s true that innocent until proven guilty is standard during trials, it’s also the foundation to living a moral life. (Perhaps, that’s why Democrats are trying to quarantine it to trials.)

Christine Ford, as visually convincing as she was, still can’t prove that Judge Kavanaugh did what she’s accused him of doing. After her testimony, she still can’t provide a scintilla of corroboration. She’ll never be able to do that. Despite that important objective fact, Democrats insist that Judge Kavanaugh must disprove this negative. But I digress.

Imagine living in a world where a person’s life can be utterly demolished by unsubstantiated allegations. Is that a world you want to live in? Is that a world you want your kids to inherit?

This fall, Democrats have campaigned by saying that our democracy is at stake. They’re kinda right but not in the way they mean. Why isn’t their insistence on demolishing a family’s life without a hint of corroboration more damaging than President Trump’s tweets?

Isn’t the Democrats’ insistence that people they don’t like bear the burden of disproving a negative longer lasting than a Trump Twitter tirade? Haven’t Democrats, starting with Ted Kennedy’s borking of Judge Bork, weaponized the confirmation process?

Ted Kennedy’s diatribe in 1987 was pure BS. What’s sad is that, since then, the Democrats have weaponized the confirmation process even more. Do we really want to pretend that Democrats play fair? Here’s a hint to Sen. Flake: they don’t play fair. Ever.

In this op-ed, Professor Emeritus Alan Dershowitz poses a pretty potent what if that liberals should think twice about.

First, he wrote “the New York Times has reported that, according to three sources, special counsel Robert Mueller is trying to stitch together an obstruction of justice case against President Trump based on his public tweets, TV appearances, conversations with public officials and other entirely lawful acts.” Next, he wrote “Just imagine a prosecutor going through all of your tweets, all of your conversations, all of your actions and all of your emails in search of a plausible theory of criminality based on an accordion-like statute such as obstruction of justice. If Mueller manages to cobble together an obstruction of justice case from innocent communications, then this dangerous precedent will lie around like a loaded gun ready to be used by any vindictive prosecutors against any plausible target. That target could be you or someone you love. It could be a Democrat or a Republican. It could be a liberal or a conservative.”

People keep saying that “we don’t know what Mueller has.” Technically, that’s true. It’s also misleading. The truth is that Mueller would already be writing the report if he had something damning against President Trump. He wouldn’t be expanding the fishing expedition into President Trump’s public comments and tweets if he had the goods.

Dershowitz has been consistent talking about civil rights:

Defenders of Mueller will surely argue that it is common for prosecutors to stitch together innocent conduct to manufacture a crime, especially when the target is a suspected drug dealer, a terrorist or gangster. Tragically they are right. There are such cases, but there shouldn’t be. Many wrongs do not make a right.

Moreover, in those cases, the underlying conduct is generally done in secret. Here, Mueller apparently is trying to turn public, open communications — core First Amendment expression — into a crime.

The time has come — indeed, it is long overdue – for all Americans to take a hard look at broad, ambiguous and open-ended statutes, which empower prosecutors to be “creative.” There is a concept in criminal law known as lenity: If there are numerous ways of interpreting a statute, the law requires that it be interpreted in the most reasonably narrow way, so as to avoid empowering prosecutors to target unpopular defendants. Failing to apply this concept to constitutionally protected tweets, messages, emails, etc., should concern every civil libertarian, even those who are anxious to find legal weapons with which to target President Trump.

JFK once famously said that if the laws don’t protect everybody, they don’t protect anybody. We should never forget that statement because truer words were never spoken.

The St. Cloud Times’ Nora Hertel should be applauded for applying an excruciating amount of scrutiny during Keith Ellison’s visit to St. Cloud this week. It’s a safe bet he won’t grant her an exclusive interview after she put the screws to Mr. Ellison. Check this out.

For instance, we found out that “Ellison told a friendly audience in St. Cloud [aka CAIR-MN] that it’s difficult to get legislation passed in Washington D.C. now, while state attorneys general are on the front lines of protecting people’s rights.”

Later, we found out that Ellison “shared his platform and took questions from the small group Friday at New York Gyro on Third Street North. Ellison has served in Congress for 12 years and practiced law long before that.” Still later, when asked about his views on law enforcement, Ellison replied that “Like fire service and public utilities, public safety services should be delivered fairly, Ellison said. He supports a number of reforms including: allowing felons to vote, decriminalizing marijuana, training police on de-escalation and implicit bias. He supports drug courts and wants to treat addiction as a medical, rather than a law enforcement, problem.”

In other words, Ellison’s priority would be to teach the police to stop being racists and to stop shooting innocent minorities when these minorities are given fair, specific instructions by law enforcement officers.

According to the Kirwan Institute, the definition of implicit bias “refers to the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions, and decisions in an unconscious manner. These biases, which encompass both favorable and unfavorable assessments, are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control. Residing deep in the subconscious, these biases are different from known biases that individuals may choose to conceal for the purposes of social and/or political correctness. Rather, implicit biases are not accessible through introspection.”

Let’s understand this. Implicit bias resides “deep in the subconscious”, meaning that they “aren’t accessible through introspection.” Further, these biases “are activated involuntarily and without an individual’s awareness or intentional control.”

If we don’t know that these traits exist and they’re “activated involuntarily”, how are we supposed to prevent them? That’s assuming that they actually exist, which I’m skeptical of, at least to the extent that Mr. Ellison says they exist.

Left out of Ms. Hertel’s article is Mr. Ellison’s extensive (and disturbing) interview with radical Rabbi Michael Lerner:

Treating Ellison like he’s just another political candidate ignores Mr. Ellison’s support of cop killers. In his past, Ellison has questioned detectives investigating cop killers like Kathleen Soliah:

At the event, Ellison told the Pioneer Press he believed the prosecution of Olson was political. In his speech, Ellison noted he didn’t know much about the SLA and he thought Olson was being prosecuted in the court of public opinion because of some of her political beliefs.

“I’m a supporter of anybody who’s subject to political prosecution based on their being in a vilified group,” he told the Pioneer Press. “Your chances of getting a fair trial are low. I’ve been waiting for the evidence against her. I don’t think they would not cheat to prosecute this woman.”

Here’s what he said about Assata Shakur and Bernadine Dohrn:

Ellison also spoke favorably of convicted cop killer Assata Shakur and expressed his opposition to any attempt to extradite her to the United States from Cuba, where she had fled after escaping prison.

“I am praying that Castro does not get to the point where he has to really barter with these guys over here because they’re going to get Assata Shakur, they’re going to get a whole lot of other people,” Ellison said at the event, which also included a silent auction and speech by former Weather Underground leader Bernardine Dohrn. “I hope the Cuban people can stick to it, because the freedom of some good decent people depends on it.”

Summarizing, Ellison thinks that cop killers are misunderstood civil rights heroes and that police officers are racists. Is that the type of man we want leading law enforcement? Is that the type of man we want harassing law enforcement? I don’t think so.

This article is proof that Keith Ellison hates the Constitution, especially the First Amendment. It’s also proof that he’s unfit to be Minnesota’s chief law enforcement officer, aka state Attorney General.

The article notes that Ellison is “demanding that Amazon censor books and other materials produced by organizations listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center as hate groups.” That’s a frightening insight into Ellison’s thinking on multiple levels. First, it’s disturbing that the man who wants to be Minnesota’s attorney general thinks that censorship is a foundational constitutional principle. Hate speech is protected by the First Amendment except if it incites violence. It doesn’t make much sense to have an attorney general who hates constitutionally protected civil rights.

Next. it’s disturbing, though not surprising, that Ellison thinks that the SPLC is a reputable arbiter of right and wrong. Here’s a couple snippets from Ellison’s censorship letter:

Click to enlarge.

Later in the letter is something that’s definitely chilling:

As stated earlier, Amazon has a strict policy against hateful and racist products on its platform. The availability of all the material listed in the aforementioned report indicates to me that either Amazon is willfully refusing to enforce its own policies against the sale of racist products or its sheer size make it impossible for the company to police itself. In either event, Amazon must immediately cease doing business with groups that promote racist violence.

It’s apparent that Ellison hasn’t hesitated in using his official capabilities to intimidate companies into outright censorship.

Any legal eagle that’s anti-civil rights is disqualified to be Minnesota’s attorney general.