Showing posts with label Against The Constitution. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Against The Constitution. Show all posts

May 23, 2018

The Nation is Already on a Constitutional Crisis~~Venezuela of North America~~

Stop waiting for the constitutional crisis that President Trump is sure to provoke. It’s here. 
On Sunday, via Twitter, Trump demanded that the Justice Department concoct a transparently political investigation, with the aim of smearing veteran professionals at Justice and the FBI and also throwing mud at the previous administration. Trump’s only rational goal is casting doubt on the probe by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, which appears to be closing in.
Trump’s power play is a gross misuse of his presidential authority and a dangerous departure from long-standing norms. Strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin use their justice systems to punish enemies and deflect attention from their own crimes. Presidents of the United States do not — or did not, until Sunday’s tweet:
“I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes — and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!” 
Rather than push back and defend the rule of law, Justice tried to mollify the president by at least appearing to give him what he wants. The Republican leadership in Congress has been silent as a mouse. This is how uncrossable lines are crossed.
Opinion | Trump can fire Mueller, but that won’t get rid of the Russia investigation
Opinion | If President Trump fires the bane of his legal troubles, he could spark a legal and constitutional crisis. 
The pretext Trump seized on is the revelation that FBI source Stefan A. Halper made contact with three Trump campaign associates before the election as part of the FBI’s initial investigation into Russian meddling.
With the full-throated backing of right-wing media, Trump has described this person as a “spy” who was “implanted, for political purposes, into my campaign for president.” This claim is completely unsupported by the facts as we know them. Trump wants you to believe a lie.
The informant was not embedded or implanted or otherwise inserted into the campaign. He was asked to contact several campaign figures whose names had already surfaced in the FBI’s counterintelligence probe. It would have been an appalling dereliction of duty not to take a look at Trump advisers with Russia ties, such as Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, when the outlines of a Russian campaign to influence the election were emerging. 
Trump claims this is the nation’s “all time biggest political scandal” because, he alleges, Justice Department officials and the FBI used a “spy” to try to “frame” him and his campaign, in an effort to boost his opponent Hillary Clinton’s chance of winning the election. This conspiracy theory has so many holes in it that it’s hard to know where to begin. But let’s start with the glaringly obvious: If the aim was to make Trump lose, why wasn’t all the known information about the Trump campaign’s Russia connections leaked before the election, when it might have had some impact?
The truth appears to be precisely the opposite of what Trump says, which is not uncommon. The record suggests that Justice and the FBI were so uncomfortable investigating a presidential campaign in the weeks and months before an election that they tiptoed around promising lines of inquiry rather than appear to be taking a side. The FBI director at the time was James B. Comey, and while we heard plenty about Clinton’s emails before the vote, we had no idea that such a mature investigation of the Trump campaign was underway.
Now that the Mueller probe has bored into Trump’s inner circle — and federal authorities have raided the homes and office of his personal attorney, Michael Cohen — the president appears to be in a panic. The question is whether he sees this “spy” nonsense as a way to discredit Mueller’s eventual findings, or as a pretext for trying to end the investigation with a bloody purge akin to Richard Nixon’s “Saturday Night Massacre.” 
The Justice Department answered Trump’s tweeted demand by announcing that an existing investigation by its inspector general will now “include determining whether there was any impropriety or political motivation” by the FBI. Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein may hope that is enough to avoid a showdown. I fear he is wrong.
A year of Trump's attacks on the special counsel probe
It's been a year since special counsel Robert Mueller was appointed to investigate the Trump campaign's ties to Russia - and since Trump's barbs started. 
None of this is normal or acceptable. One of the bedrock principles of our system of government is that no one is above the law, not even the president. But a gutless Congress has refused, so far, to protect this sacred inheritance. 
Trump is determined to use the Justice Department and the FBI to punish those he sees as political enemies. This is a crisis, and it will get worse.
Read more from Eugene Robinson’s archivefollow him on Twitteror subscribe to his updates on Facebook. You can also join him Tuesdays at 1 p.m. for a live Q&A

July 4, 2017

Happy Fourth of July in the US and a Happy Summer Day to The Rest of The World

Happy Fourth!!

                   Historic moments on the Country's Honoring and Following the Constitution, 
                   Written After Independence from Britain

You also have a President sworn to protected and follow the constitution but he is rolling on it and trying to change it as the days go by. Some say he doesn't know it so that's why he steps on it. But there are many things we don't know in which the respect alone keeps us from stepping on it besides if you are elected President and don't know the constitution then you need to learn it and revered it. Funny we don't see the GOP which is Trump's party carrying a pocket size Constitution like they used to do before Trump. I wonder why?? Playing dumb?

January 28, 2017

Trump Getting Payments of Foreign Governments-Breaking The Law

 King Charles ll

A group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington claims President Trump is violating a little-known constitutional provision called " the Emoluments Clause." 

In the middle of the 17th century, King Charles II of England took a secret pension from the French King Louis XIV. He agreed to a closer relationship, including a treaty that wasn’t clearly in England’s best interest. The precise content of the secret agreement wasn’t revealed for more than 100 years.
Today, 350 years later, the president of the United States is receiving payments from foreign countries. The money comes to President Trump by way of his companies, although the details and scope of his profits are secret; he refused to disclose his tax returns. After the election, Trump had several months to move toward liquidation and putting his assets in a truly blind trust. He has chosen, instead, to keep his ownership interests in his businesses, turning over operating decisions to his children but remaining an owner. His decision threatens the integrity of American democracy and national security, and it should ring alarm bells for all citizens, regardless of political party.
Trump’s choice violates one of the most overlooked but important sections of the U.S. Constitution, the foreign emoluments clause, which was framed to avoid problems of split loyalty such as that posed by Charles II. As a law professor, I began exploring the clause in 2009 while examining the framers’ near-obsession with protecting against corruption. The clause represented a deliberate break from European traditions, where financial relationships between a country’s representatives and other governments were common. And it epitomized “the particularly demanding notion of corruption” held by our framers.
I never expected the clause to be litigated: Presidents and federal officials have gone out of their way to avoid violating it. Until now. But Trump’s blatant violation of the clause is a violation of our fundamental document and our fundamental principles.
That’s why the nonpartisan watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington filed suit in federal court this week to seek a declaratory judgment and injunction. I am one of the lawyers on the case. 

The framers were trained to be wary of how human nature can be tempted, and of international incentives to tempt. As George Washington said later, “Few men have virtue to withstand the highest bidder.” Our Constitution was written in the hot summer of 1787 in Philadelphia, but the convention was haunted by recent European failures and the long-ago corruption of Rome. Secret money from foreign countries was a repeat topic, with the framers wary of the “melancholy picture” of foreign intrusions and intrigues. The British experience with Charles II was a warning that even heads of state could be influenced by foreign powers.
 The framers understood that humans are inclined to look more favorably upon those who are responsible for their wealth. In private affairs, warmth toward someone who has given a gift, or with whom one has a good business relationship, is a positive emotion that enables human connection. But in public affairs, that sometimes-unconscious influence can be insidious. The framers had also seen how George III used his power to create a side employment relationship with parliamentarians he wanted to influence.
So the Constitution includes more than a dozen anti-corruption provisions, several of which are targeted specifically to protecting against foreign influence. For instance, only natural-born citizens can be president, foreigners are not allowed to hold federal office and a long residential period is required so candidates would not be mere tools of wealthy foreign powers.
The foreign emoluments clause prohibits federal officers from accepting foreign “gifts,” “emoluments” and “titles of nobility” without congressional consent. As a recent white paper by Harvard Law professor Larry Tribe and attorney Joshua Matz explains, extensively citing the meaning of the word at the time of the Constitutional Convention, emoluments include the profits an official receives in the course of business relationships.
The emoluments clause did not come easy: The rule was such a serious break from European tradition that its adoption caused problems for several decades, as other countries were likely to take offense when they attempted to give gifts in violation of the clause. President Martin Van Buren had to write a letter to the Imam of Muscat, telling him he could not accept horses, pearls, a Persian rug, shawls and a sword because it was a “fundamental law of the Republic which forbids its servants from accepting presents from foreign States or Princes.” The framers knew what a headache it could become, but they included it anyway because of the lessons of history. They knew that foreign governments would necessarily attempt to influence U.S. policy, and they wanted the Constitution to protect against that.
Some corruption rules rely on proof that a deal happened, an explicit arrangement exchanging something of value for a political action, with intent to trade. Such laws are notoriously difficult to prosecute, because it is rare that either of the parties to an explicit bribe would come forward to report a crime. The laws apply well to the Keystone Cops of politics, clumsy lawmakers who take sacks of cash in the IHOP bathroom. The emoluments clause, however, does not require direct proof of anything untoward, and that is essential to its effectiveness. The most powerful anti-corruption rules are prophylactic, forbidding a whole category of relationships that are likely to lead to corruption. 
Consider the countries we know are making payments to Trump companies through state-owned entities, payments that affect Trump’s wealth: China and the United Arab Emirates, both at the heart of regions critical to U.S. foreign policy. Then consider the longer list of countries in a position to benefit him because of business relationships Trump has, including India, Indonesia, Turkey, the Philippines, Great Britain and Vietnam. 
This is just a beginning sketch of what we know so far; Russia, Saudi Arabia and Taiwan reportedly may also be involved with Trump businesses. The benefits come from a range of relationships: The Qatari state airline pays rent at the Trump Tower in New York; entities in Britain, Bulgaria, Brazil, Indonesia and Vietnam reportedly make licensing payments for the rights to produce local versions of “The Apprentice,” Trump’s reality TV show; his developments in India require governmental permitting, which under the law would be a forbidden benefit.
Each of these countries, and possibly more, now has a direct mechanism to attempt to influence the president. What’s more, every time Trump makes a foreign policy decision that relates to any of these countries, citizens will wonder whether he, like Charles II, put his own financial interest ahead of American jobs, or whether he is engaging in or refraining from military action because of a business relationship.
Trump’s lawyers made a strange concession in a news conference recently, announcing that Trump would donate all profits from foreign government payments to Trump hotels to the U.S. Treasury. The suggestion was that the donation mooted the problem. But another unspoken implication was that there is something troubling about foreign-derived profits. 
The donation does nothing to address the Constitutional violation, which occurs at the moment of accepting the benefit, even if Trump’s hotel loses money on the transaction. It merely means that some of his constitutional violations will be followed by a payment of penance. Moreover, profits from the hotels represent only a part of the foreign benefits that are flowing to him — none of his office towers, condo or apartment sales, licensing agreements or loans on other properties are covered at all. 
The donations appear to be a nod to how presidents have treated foreign gifts: with statutory permission of Congress, they have donated them to the Treasury or National Archives. (That proved tricky when Bulgaria gave George W. Bush a puppy.) In those instances, the donation was appropriate because it flowed from consent by Congress, which the Constitution requires. The point of strong corruption laws like the emoluments clause is that they take the president out of the position of being the judge of inappropriateness. 
In Trump’s case, though, he has proposed that an official at his company will do exactly that. Even Trump will, on occasion, acknowledge the seeds of a problem. Of Turkey, he said, “I have a little conflict of interest ’cause I have a major, major building in Istanbul.” At a news conference this month, he announced that he would not engage in deals in Russia because it would present a conflict. (The Washington Post reported last year on “strong evidence that Trump’s businesses have received significant funding from Russian investors.”) If there’s a conflict with Russia, there is a conflict with every country. More important, since Trump hasn’t disclosed any information about his finances, how would we know?
These are not trivial potential conflicts. They strike at the heart of what it means to be president: undivided loyalty to one’s country. The least Trump can do is stop violating the Constitution by accepting secret money from foreign governments.
Zephyr Teachout is an associate professor of law at Fordham University.
  Follow @ZephyrTeachout

April 20, 2014

CNN: Right Wingers in US More Dangerous than Jihadists


On Sunday, a man shot and killed a 14-year-old boy and his grandfather at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and then drove to a nearby Jewish retirement community where he shot and killed a third person. Police arrested a suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, who shouted “Heil Hitler" after he was taken into custody.

Cross, who also goes by Frazier Glenn Miller, is a well-known right wing extremist who founded the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and the White Patriot Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Now let's do the thought experiment in which instead of shouting "Heil Hitler" after he was arrested, the suspect had shouted "Allahu Akbar." Only two days before the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombings, this simple switch of words would surely have greatly increased the extent and type of coverage the incident received.
Yet the death toll in the shootings in Kansas is similar to that of last year's Boston Marathon bombings, where three people were killed and the suspects later killed a police officer as they tried to evade capture. (Many more, of course, were also wounded in the Boston attacks; 16 men, women and children lost limbs.)

In fact, since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies, including white supremacists, anti-abortion extremists and anti-government militants, have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology. According to a count by the New America Foundation, right wing extremists have killed 34 people in the United States for political reasons since 9/11. (The total includes the latest shootings in Kansas, which are being classified as a hate crime).

"Since 9/11 extremists affiliated with a variety of far-right wing ideologies...have killed more people in the United States than have extremists motivated by al Qaeda's ideology."
By contrast, terrorists motivated by al Qaeda’s ideology have killed 21 people in the United States since 9/11.

(Although a variety of left wing militants and environmental extremists have carried out violent attacks for political reasons against property and individuals since 9/11, none have been linked to a lethal attack, according to research by the New America Foundation.)
Moreover, since 9/11 none of the more than 200 individuals indicted or convicted in the United States of some act of jihadist terrorism have acquired or used chemical or biological weapons or their precursor materials, while 13 individuals motivated by right wing extremist ideology, one individual motivated by left-wing extremist ideology, and two with idiosyncratic beliefs, used or acquired such weapons or their precursors.

Opinion: Why do racists and anti-Semites kill?

A similar attack to the one that Frazier Glenn Cross is accused of in Kansas occurred in August 2012 when Wade Michael Page killed six people in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Page was a member of a white supremacist band and associated with the Hammerskins, a white supremacist group. Page committed suicide during the attack.

Page is not, of course, the only right wing extremist to have used lethal violence to achieve political ends. In 2009, for instance, Shawna Forde, Albert Gaxiola, and Jason Bush raided a house in Arizona, killing Raul Flores and his daughter Brisenia. The three attackers sought to use the burglary to finance their anti-immigration vigilante group, Minutemen American Defense. Forde and Bush were convicted and sentenced to death. Gaxiola was sentenced to life in prison.

Also in 2009, Scott Roeder murdered Dr. George Tiller, who ran an abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas. In 2010 Roeder was convicted of first-degree murder. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Roeder not only had ties to the extreme anti-abortion movement, but he also had been pulled over while driving with a fake license plate bearing the markings of the Sovereign Citizens, a movement of individuals who deny that the government has authority over them.

 Kansas shooting victim loved to sing Expert: Suspect hated by supremacists Son of shooting victim speaks to CNN
Of course, the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil prior to 9/11 was the Oklahoma City bombing, which was masterminded by Timothy McVeigh, a man with deep ties to far-right militant circles. McVeigh killed 168 people when he bombed the Alfred P. Murrah federal building on April 19, 1995.

Despite this history of deadly violence by individuals motivated by political ideologies other than al Qaeda, it is jihadist violence that continues to dominate the news and the attention of policy makers.
Some of this is quite understandable. After all, on 9/11 al Qaeda's 19 terrorists killed almost 3,000 people in the space of a morning. Since then al Qaeda's branch in Yemen tried to bring down with a bomb secreted on a passenger an American commercial jet flying over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009 and al Qaeda's branch in Pakistan tried to launch bombings on the New York subway system a few months earlier. Luckily those plots didn’t succeed, but certainly if they had the death toll would have been on a large scale.

Yet the disparity in media coverage between even failed jihadist terrorist attacks and this latest incident in Kansas is emblematic of a flawed division in the public’s mind between killing that is purportedly committed in the name of Allah and killing that is committed for other political ends, such as neo-Nazi beliefs about the need to kill Jews.

Part of the reason for this disconnect might be that when a Department of Homeland Security report warning of violent right wing extremism was leaked in 2009, it generated a substantial political controversy.

In a 2011 interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Daryl Johnson, the leader of the team that produced the report, argued that following the controversy, DHS's examination of such threats suffered, stating "Since our report was leaked, DHS has not released a single report of its own on this topic. Not anything dealing with non-Islamic domestic extremism—whether it’s anti-abortion extremists, white supremacists, 'sovereign citizens,' eco-terrorists, the whole gamut."

The threat from al Qaeda and its associated forces has changed significantly since 9/11. Today, almost 13 years after 9/11, al Qaeda has not successfully conducted another attack inside the United States. And since 2011, no individual charged with plotting to conduct an al Qaeda-inspired terrorist attack inside the United States has acted with more than one accomplice. This demonstrates the difficulties today of forming a jihadist group sufficiently large enough to conduct a complex attack anything on the scale of 9/11, and is a tribute to the success of law enforcement agencies in detecting and deterring jihadist terrorist activity.

Today in the United States, al Qaeda-type terrorism is the province of individuals with no real connection to foreign terrorists, aside from reading their propaganda online. Given this, it becomes harder to explain, in terms of American national security, why violence by homegrown right wing extremists receives substantially less attention than does violence by homegrown jihadist militants.

Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a director at the New America Foundation and the author of "Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden -- From 9/11 to Abbottabad." David Sterman is a research assistant at the New America Foundation.

Tyler Hite contributed research support for this article.

September 11, 2013

House of Commons Nigel Evans Who Came Out in 2010 Resigns

  • Nigel Evans
  • Nigel Evans: "I will robustly defend my innocence"
  •  Conservative MP Nigel Evans has resigned as Commons Deputy Speaker, after being charged with offences including sexual assault, indecent assault and rape.
  • Mr Evans is accused of eight offences in total dating between 2002 and 2013, the Crown Prosecution Service said.
  • There are seven alleged victims.
  • The 55-year-old MP for Ribble Valley denies any wrongdoing and pledged to continue to represent his constituents from the backbenches.
  • 'Continue to work'
  • In a statement to reporters after being charged, he said: "May I reassure everyone at this time that I will robustly defend my innocence.
  • "I have today answered bail following complaints I have said were incredulous.
  • "Whilst I am saddened that this case has not been closed today, I am certain of two things: firstly that I am innocent, and secondly that my innocence will be demonstrated.
  •  Quote:

  •  We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute”
  • Keir Starmer
  • Director of Public Prosecutions for England and Wales
  • "Having informed my fellow deputy Speakers Lindsay Hoyle and Dawn Primarolo, my association chairman and staff, I can confirm I will now resign as deputy speaker.
  • "However, I will continue to work hard for the people of Ribble Valley from the backbenches where I first started my political career in 1992."
  • 'Media interest'
  • He pledged to do his best to tackle local problems such as the "crisis of extra house-building" and cuts to rural bus services.
  • Mr Evans finished: "I appreciate that this case will create a great deal of media interest, but after today I will not be making any further comment until after the case concludes."
  • The director of public prosecutions for England and Wales said the decision to charge Mr Evans had been taken after careful consideration.
  • Keir Starmer added: "We have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to prosecute.
  • Continue reading the main story
  • Nigel Evans' career
  • Vice-chairman of the Conservative Party from 1999 to 2001
  • Promoted to shadow Welsh secretary in 2001 for two years
  • Elected as one of three Commons deputy Speakers in 2010
  • Later that year he came out as gay, saying he was "tired of living a lie"
  • Resigned as deputy Speaker in September 2013 after being charged with offences including sexual assault, indecent assault and rape
  • Has been MP for Ribble Valley in Lancashire since 1992
  • "Lancashire Constabulary has therefore been authorised to charge two counts of indecent assault, five counts of sexual assault and one count of rape relating to a total of seven alleged victims."
  • Mr Evans is expected to appear before Preston Magistrates' Court on 18 September.
  • The two indecent assaults are alleged to have been committed between 1 January 2002 and 1 January 2004, the five sexual assaults allegedly happened between 1 January 2009 and 1 April 2013, and the alleged rape between 29 March and 1 April 2013.
  • Mr Evans, from Pendleton in Lancashire, answered bail on Tuesday having previously been arrested in May and June.
  • He was re-arrested and interviewed by detectives throughout the day before being charged in the evening.
  • In May, Mr Evans dismissed the original allegations against him as "completely false", and said they had been made by two people he had "regarded as friends".
  • He was elected as one of three Commons deputy Speakers in 20.
Deputy House of Commons Speaker Nigel Evans has said he is "overwhelmed" by the support he has received since being arrested on suspicion of rape and sexual assault.
The Conservative MP, who denies any wrongdoing, said he had gone through the "worst two days of my life", but added that he was back at work.
Mr Evans said he would be in the Commons for Wednesday Queen's Speech.
He was questioned by Lancashire police on Saturday.
Mr Evans, facing allegations he raped a man and sexually assaulted another, has asked to be excused from chairing debates on the Queen's Speech.
'Fantastic support'
Making a statement on College Green, near Parliament, he said: "I've been in work since half past seven this morning getting on with looking at many of the emails that have come in, not just from constituents but from throughout the world, giving me support and sympathy for what I'm alleged to have done.
"I'm overwhelmed with the number of colleagues who have come up to me as well who are basically, you know MPs don't shake hands, well I have never shaken so many MPs' hands as I have today, and giving me support, which is really helping me to get through this."
Mr Evans said he was continuing work for his Ribble Valley constituency, which had shown him "fantastic support" over the "worst two days of my life".
He said he was having "just a few days off chair duty" but would continue having his regular meetings with Commons Speaker John Bercow.
Mr Evans' solicitor has already said the MP does not intend to quit as deputy speaker or as an MP.
The 55-year-old was questioned on Saturday about the alleged attacks on two men between July 2009 and March 2013 in Pendleton, Lancashire, and bailed until June.
Mr Evans, MP for Ribble Valley since 1992 - who came out as gay in 2010 - was elected as one of three Commons deputy speakers three years ago.

December 20, 2011

Thoughts of Being Grandiose } Newt The Grinch Will Put the Judges In Jail

What ever happen to the USA Constitution?  I thought we had three branches of government: Executive, Judicial and Legislative….and Neither of the three can put the others in jail. That is called a Republic…you know… "For the Republic for which stands"….Im sure this man most have repeated that how many times??? But with these GOp Candidates there is a disconnect between the brain and the mouth. They have been disconnected. Actually is beginning to be a challenge to get and write about all of those crazy things coming out of these people. I don’t mind them committing suicide, the problem is they are brin ging the nation down with them.  adamfoxie*
Below is the post from Pink Paper in the UK, by Stacey Cosens:

Republican presidential nominee, Newt Gingrich, believes that liberal judges are implementing a secular agenda by allowing gay marriage.

Republican presidential nominee, Newt Gingrich, believes that liberal judges are implementing a secular agenda by allowing gay marriage.Gingrich said yesterday that Congress is within its rights to order the Capitol Police or U.S. Marshalls arrest ‘radical’ judges and force them to explain themselves, the Daily Mail reports.
Gingrich also said he would freely ignore legal decisions he disagreed with if he became president.
“A commander in chief could simply issue instructions to ignore it, and say it’s null and void and I do not accept it because it infringes on my duties as commander in chief to protect the country,” Gingrich told journalists.
He added: “I got in this originally for two things: the steady encroachment of secularism through the courts to redefine America as a non-religious country and the encroachment of the courts on the president’s commander-in-chief powers, which is enormously dangerous”.


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