Archive for the ‘Due Process’ Category

It’s time to expel Adam Schiff from Congress. Appearing on CBS’s Face The Nation, Schiff said “We want to make sure that we meet the needs of the investigation and not give the president or his legal minions the opportunity to tailor their testimony and in some cases fabricate testimony to suit their interests.”

I went to the transcript of Margaret Brennan’s interview of Chairman Schiff. Stating that Schiff is paranoid is understatement. Here’s what Schiff said:

REP. SCHIFF: the Republicans would like nothing better because they view their role as defending the president being the president’s lawyers. If witnesses could tailor their testimony to other witnesses. They would love for one witness to be able to hear what another witness says so that they can know what they can give away and what they can’t give away. There’s a reason why investigations and grand jury proceedings for example, and I think this is analogous to a grand jury proceeding, are done out of the public view initially. Now we may very well call some of the same witnesses or all the same witnesses in public hearings as well. But we want to make sure that we meet the needs of the investigation and not give the president or his legal minions the opportunity to tailor their testimony and in some cases fabricate testimony to suit their interests.

Actually, what’s upsetting is that this is the first impeachment inquiry in modern history where the president’s lawyers weren’t in the room during questioning. In fact, in the Nixon and Clinton impeachment hearings, the testimony was given in public. Further, the vote of the whole House stipulated that the President’s attorneys were allowed to cross-examine the House’s witnesses. Before anyone whines about how that that’s the Senate’s responsibility, it’s worth noting that the House allowed the President’s attorneys to cross-examine witnesses before the House voted on articles of impeachment.

This means that, for the first time in US history, the majority party states that part of their impeachment strategy is to violate the president’s due process rights. I can’t think of anything that’s more disgusting. This is a legitimate constitutional crisis. When a member of Congress states emphatically that his goal is to violate the President’s due process rights, that’s a huge problem. This is the oath that Chairman Schiff took less than a year ago:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

It’s impossible to support and defend the Constitution when you’ve stated that you want to deny people their constitutional rights. Further, in previous impeachment inquiries, the presidents’ attorneys were free to disseminate that day’s testimony to their client and the witnesses that they planned on calling, exposing Chairman Schiff’s statement as flimsy at best.

What Schiff didn’t mention is that Democrats don’t have the right to pick which constitutional rights they’ll enforce. Here’s the interview:

Equating a criminal grand jury with the impeachment of a president is ill-informed. A criminal grand jury investigation is an inquiry into whether a crime has been committed. In addition to investigating whether a crime has been committed, the impeachment of a president is the House’s step of negating an election. Later in the interview, Schiff states that he doesn’t want to give witnesses the opportunity “to fabricate testimony to suit their interests.”

That’s a highly provocative statement to make without something to substantiate that worry. Chairman Schiff’s statements, including the opening statement to the Maguire hearing that he fabricated, are disgusting.

Tuesday afternoon, Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Schiff, Chairman Engel and Chairman Cummings received this letter from Pat Cipollone, Counsel to the President. The statement stated the administration’s case quite clearly, saying “you have denied the President the right to cross-examine witnesses, to call witnesses, to receive transcripts of testimony, to have access to evidence, to have counsel present, and many other basic rights guaranteed to all Americans. You have conducted your proceedings in secret. You have violated civil liberties and the separation of powers by threatening Executive Branch officials, claiming that you will seek to punish those who exercise fundamental constitutional rights and prerogatives. All of this violates the Constitution, the rule of law, and every past precedent.

Later, Cipollone wrote “For his part, President Trump took the unprecedented step of providing the public transparency by declassifying and releasing the record of his call with President Zelenskyy of Ukraine. The record clearly established that the call was completely appropriate and that there is no basis for your inquiry. The fact that there was nothing wrong with the call was also powerfully confirmed by Chairman Schiff’s decision to create a false version of the call and read it to the American people at a congressional hearing, without disclosing that he was simply making it all up.

Clearly, House Democrats knew that this impeachment inquiry was a sham, an exercise in the nastiest partisanship seen in Washington, DC in decades. Despite that, Speaker Pelosi issued this statement that confirmed what Mr. Cipollone wrote. Ms. Pelosi wrote this:

The White House should be warned that continued efforts to hide the truth of the President’s abuse of power from the American people will be regarded as further evidence of obstruction.

This is proof that President Trump’s due process rights are being violated by Speaker Pelosi. This isn’t an impeachment inquiry. The definition of the word inquiry is “a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge.” Ms. Pelosi’s statement is just that — a statement. It wasn’t “a seeking or request for truth, information, or knowledge” by any stretch of the imagination. It was an accusation. Contained in Ms. Pelosi’s words was a verdict that President Trump, in her mind, was already guilty of “hiding the truth” and that he was already guilty of “obstruction.”

It’s noteworthy that President Trump released the transcript of his call with Ukraine President Zelensky virtually immediately, along with the informant’s complaint the following day. It’s noteworthy because it’s been a week since House Republicans started asking Chairman Schiff to release the transcripts of the witnesses the Democrats questioned. They still haven’t received any of those transcripts.

Further, it’s noteworthy that each of these witnesses have been interrogated in closed sessions. That’s the opposite of meeting a person’s due process requirements. This paragraph stings Ms. Pelosi:

Your inquiry is constitutionally invalid and a violation of due process. In the history of our Nation, the House of Representatives has never attempted to launch an impeachment inquiry against the President without a majority of the House taking political accountability for that decision by voting to authorize such a dramatic constitutional step. Here, House leadership claims to have initiated the gravest inter-branch conflict contemplated under our Constitution by means of nothing more than a press conference at which the Speaker of the House simply announced an “official impeachment inquiry.

I titled this post “This isn’t a monarchy & Pelosi isn’t the queen.” It fits that paragraph perfectly. This is important:

To comply with the Constitution’s demands, appropriate procedures would include-at a minimum-the right to see all evidence, to present evidence, to call witnesses, to have counsel present at all hearings, to cross-examine all witnesses, to make objections relating to the examination of witnesses or the admissibility of testimony and evidence, and to respond to evidence and testimony. Likewise, the Committees must provide for the disclosure of all evidence favorable to the President and all evidence bearing on the credibility of witnesses called to testify in the inquiry. The Committees’ current procedures provide none of these basic constitutional rights.

If we had real journalists working at the NY Times, CNN, MSNBC and the Washington Post, we wouldn’t require diatribes like this:

Thus far, Democrats have made up the rules each day. Further, Democrats have violated President Trump’s due process rights. Worst, they’re doing this all behind closed doors. The only conclusion that’s reasonable to draw is that Democrats don’t want people to hear what the witnesses have said.

Finally, Democrats are working to hide the identity of the ‘whistleblowers’. The whistleblowers’ law doesn’t cover these Democrat operatives. Further, we found out Tuesday night that one of them was recently employed by one of President Trump’s 2020 challengers. Does that sound fair? If that sounds fair to you, I’ve got a beautiful bridge I’d like to sell you.

During the course of this faux impeachment inquiry, Nancy Pelosi first acted like she was the queen of the House of Representatives, then acted like she was judge, jury and executioner in President Trump’s trial.

President Trump will send a letter to Speaker Pelosi that will say the White House won’t cooperate with the House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry until the full House passes a resolution approving an impeachment inquiry. Thursday afternoon, House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy sent a letter to Pelosi asking Pelosi whether Pelosi would grant co-equal subpoena power to the chair and the ranking member, whether Pelosi would allow President Trump’s counsel to attend all depositions and hearings.

At the end of the list of questions, McCarthy states “By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would be acting in direct contradiction of all modern impeachment inquiries of a sitting president. By answering ‘no’ to any of the above, you would be denying the President the bare minimum rights granted to his predecessors.”

Ms. Pelosi gave the game away with this reply:

Pelosi shot back at McCarthy, saying that “existing rules of the House provide House committees with full authority to conduct investigations for all matters under their jurisdiction.”

With that reply, Ms. Pelosi admits that this is just like any other congressional investigation from her perspective. She’s welcome to that opinion but that’s BS. Pay close attention to what Ms. Pelosi said in this tweet:


Ms. Pelosi said “The fact that the @HouseGOP’s loyalty is to Trump and not to the Constitution is not going to slow down or impair our ability to keep the republic our Founders envisioned.” Actually, it’s Ms. Pelosi that isn’t being faithful to the Constitution. To impeach a president, then convict that president requires a two-thirds vote in the Senate, which is 67 votes. That makes it unlike other congressional proceedings. The House only needs a simple majority but the Senate requires a two-thirds majority.

If Speaker Pelosi wants to make up the rules as she goes along, that’s her option. If she thinks that she can get away with that, she’s kidding herself. Making up the rules as they go along won’t meet the requirements for establishing due process. Republicans will squawk about that immediately. With the guy with the biggest, loudest megaphone leading the squawking, it won’t take long to demolish Ms. Pelosi’s pretending to care about the Constitution. (If you don’t establish due process that are adhered to consistently, you aren’t a constitutionalist. Period.)

Republicans can slow this thing down. They have a strong argument to make. If Democrats just want to push this through rocket-docket-style with ever-shifting rules, Republicans will, and should, throw sand in the gears of Ms. Pelosi’s railroad.

Impeachment without a search for the truth isn’t justice. The People’s House should be treated with reverence. Pelosi’s House has been ruled by a tyrant. That’s beneath the dignity of the People’s House. Pelosi didn’t call for a vote to start the impeachment inquiry. She walked up to a podium and announced it. That’s why this is the Democrats’ impeachment, not the House impeachment.

House impeachment requires a vote of the entire House membership. That’s a solemn moment, the kind of thing that Ms. Pelosi has been constantly chattering about for a week. Despite all that talk about solemnity, etc., House Democrats sure are acting like autocrats. FYI- the Constitution doesn’t have anything to do with autocrats. That’s because they’re opposites of each other.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has agreed to testify before the House Judiciary Committee, then the House Intel Committee. In both instances, the hearings will be public hearings. Democrats are touting this as a big win for the American people and Democrats. I’ll agree that it’s a win for the American people but I’m betting it’ll be a loss for Democrats.

Fox News had panel after panel, interview after interview on the potential ramifications of Mueller testifying. Capitol Hill Producer Chad Pergram is exactly right when he said “We’ve had some explosive hearings on Capitol Hill before. You think of James Comey testifying, Jeff Sessions in the Senate a couple of years ago. You think about Michael Cohen in February. This will dwarf that. The pure magnitude of this will be off the Richter scale.” Democrats will rue the day they insisted on calling Mueller to testify.

Speaker Pelosi issued this statement:

“We are pleased that the American people will hear directly from Special Counsel Mueller. Our national security is being threatened and the American people deserve answers. The Mueller Report revealed that the Russians waged a ‘sweeping and systematic’ attack on our elections, and America’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials have warned that the Russians will attack our elections again. Yet, sadly the President calls it a hoax, and suggests that he would welcome Russian interference again. Members of Congress must honor our oath and our patriotic duty to follow the facts, so we can protect our democracy.”

That’s PH.D. worthy spin, as in Pile it High and Dry worthy.

President Trump is right in calling the investigation being a hoax. Russia attacking our electoral system isn’t a hoax. The Obama-Biden efforts to prevent the Russians’ attacks weren’t a hoax. They were either a joke or an embarrassment. Team Obama-Biden flunked that national security test. (Remember, it was Democrats that controlled the levers of government at that point. It wasn’t Republicans.

Alan Dershowitz laid it out pretty nicely on what Democrats should expect. Dershowitz said Democrats should expect Republicans to question Mueller about the basis of the FISA warrant against Carter Page. There’s lots of fertile ground that Republicans can plow through. Rest assured that they’ll persist in getting answers to questions that Mueller didn’t investigate.

Mueller has stated repeatedly that his report is his testimony. When news broke Tuesday night, Mueller confirmed that his testimony would stay “within the 4 corners of the report.” Further, DOJ guidelines prevent prosecutors from going beyond saying who they refused to prosecute and who they prosecuted. Tuesday night, Dershowitz said that the questions that Democrats want to ask about are questions that DOJ guidelines prevent Mueller from talking about. Dershowitz said that the questions that Republicans want to ask can be asked because they weren’t part of the Mueller investigation.

Imagine how sensitive Mueller will be when (not if) a Republican asks him why he exclusively hired partisan Democrats to his attorney staff. Imagine the follow-up question to that initial question. Does anyone think that’ll turn out well for Democrats? I don’t.

Democrats were already tiptoeing past a minefield. Thanks to Tuesday night’s decision, Democrats face the possibility of tiptoeing through that minefield — while wearing snowshoes. Good luck with that.

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?

Progressives often get lumped in with liberals. That shouldn’t happen. Progressives frequently resemble fascists. They frequently ‘win’ their arguments by accusing people of lying. That’s the case with Maria Cardona’s op-ed. Ms. Cardona wrote “Trump claims several untruths: that nothing has been found thus far in this investigation; that they have found absolutely no collusion; that the whole thing is a partisan witch hunt; and that the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege is dead.”

What BS. I’d love hearing Ms. Cardona list the things Robert Mueller has found thus far that proves collusion. After all, that’s what President Trump has consistently complained about. As for President Trump’s statement that Mueller’s probe being a partisan witch hunt, that isn’t a lie. It’s President Trump’s opinion. It’s virtually impossible to lie when stating an opinion. As for whether “the sacrosanct attorney-client privilege is dead,” I’ll leave that to Harvard Professor Emeritus Dershowitz, who wrote “Clients should be able to rely on confidentiality when they disclose their most intimate secrets in an effort to secure their legal rights. A highly publicized raid on the president’s lawyer will surely shake the confidence of many clients in promises of confidentiality by their lawyers. They will not necessarily understand the nuances of the confidentiality rules and their exceptions. They will see a lawyer’s office being raided and all his files seized.”

Professor Dershowitz is a principled, old-fashioned liberal. Old-fashioned liberals frequently displayed a commitment to civil liberties. They frequently had a libertarian streak in them, too. The point is that old-fashioned liberalism isn’t compatible with hardline progressivism. Often, they’re opposites.

I’m happy that President Trump won but I’m not a win-at-all-costs person. I’ve seen enough of Professor Dershowitz to say the same thing of him. Watch his principles in this interview:

I can’t say that about Ms. Cardona.

I don’t doubt that President Trump’s heart is in the right place in terms of wanting to make students safer. I’m equally certain that there isn’t a snowball’s prayer in hell of getting what he said he wants in terms of taking guns first, then giving the perp due process afterwards.

I’m confident that he’ll lose that fight and he’ll lose it badly. It won’t be part of any final bill that Congress passes. Period. To recap, during yesterday’s bipartisan meeting on eliminating school shootings, President Trump said “I like taking the guns early, like in this crazy man’s case that just took place in Florida … to go to court would have taken a long time. Take the guns first, go through due process second.”

That sounds like a stream-of-consciousness-type statement. Once someone explains that the courts would rule that unconstitutional in a minute, he’ll snap out of dealmaker mode. People have already figured out that President Trump isn’t a great policymaker. He’s a dealmaker, not a policy wonk.

Democrats shouldn’t think that there will be an assault weapons ban. If they insist on that, they’ll lose the PR battle. Further, if President Trump insists on including a provision that people can’t buy a rifle until they’re 21, he’ll find that he’s bitten off more than he can chew.

Banning a 20-year-old single mother from buying a handgun or rifle is a PR and policy nightmare. How do you sell a policy that prevents a single mother from protecting her children? That’s a can’t-win situation.

I’m thankful that President Trump met with Congress to share ideas. I’m confidant that many of the things they talked about won’t be part of a final bill. Some of the ideas, frankly, sound good initially but sound stupid if you think them through.