Listen to “Biden Ditches Dems Over D.C., Portland’s Crime Problem, Manchin’s Delicate Dance” on Spreaker.
Justice Poised to Run, California Wastes Massive Rain, Dems’ Suddenly Love Georgia
Listen to “Justice Poised to Run, California Wastes Massive Rain, Dems’ Suddenly Love Georgia” on Spreaker.
GOP Senate Jockeying, Choosing Feelings Over Merit, Davos Elitists Assemble
Listen to “GOP Senate Jockeying, Choosing Feelings Over Merit, Davos Elitists Assemble” on Spreaker.
Join Jim and Greg as they welcome new developments in two key Senate races. First, they are intrigued by popular GOP West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice seriously considering a challenge to Sen. Joe Manchin in 2024. They also discuss Indiana Rep. Jim Banks announcing he will seek the open U.S. Senate seat in Indiana, which is already held by Republicans. They also fume as multiple school districts in Northern Virginia fail to tell National Merit Finalists of their awards out of fear of making those who didn’t receive the honor feel badly. But they do cheer Gov. Glenn Youngkin for blasting the administrators in three separate districts for their decisions. Finally, they shudder as the supposed elites gather at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to decide what sacrifices we’re supposed to make in order to advance their global agenda.
The Roger Stone Sentencing Fiasco
Listen to “The Roger Stone Sentencing Fiasco” on Spreaker.
President Trump finds himself in the center of more controversy this week, this time for weighing in on the sentencing of former political confidant Roger Stone.
Last year, Stone was convicted on charges of obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering as part of the Mueller investigation into alleged Russian collusion with the Trump campaign during the 2016 campaign.
Earlier this week, prosecutors recommended Stone be sentenced seven to nine years in prison. President Trump blasted the recommendation on Twitter as too harsh and as a “miscarriage of justice.” Tuesday, the Justice Department announced it was withdrawing that sentencing recommendation and urging a shorter prison term of 37-46 months. DOJ sources also contend prosecutors misled department officials on the recommendation. Trump subsequently thanked Attorney General Bill Barr for taking action.
Critics of Trump and Barr contend this is evidence of the erosion of the rule of law and that Barr is simply doing Trump’s bidding. All four prosecutors on the case subsequently resigned in protest.
So why was the original recommendation seven to nine years? Was there a sound legal basis for it or was it excessive? Was Trump way out of line to intervene in the case or is that his right as head of the executive branch? And why did the prosecutors resign?
We discuss all of this and more with former Chief Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Andrew C. McCarthy, who is now a contributing editor at National Review Online and a Fox News Channel contributor.
Mueller Hesitant to Testify before Congress
Listen to “Mueller Hesitant to Testify before Congress” on Spreaker.
Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team are reportedly hesitant for Mueller to appear before the House Judiciary Committee. Concerns over political posturing from committee members may lead Mueller to decline the committee’s invitation. But House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler doesn’t plan to take no for an answer. Matt Fisher reports.
WV Gov. Joins GOP, Mueller Calls Grand Jury, Wasserman-Schultz Cries Wolf
Jim Geraghty of National Review and Greg Corombos of Radio America welcome West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice’s decision to flip to the Republican Party, giving the GOP control of the governor’s office in 35 states. They also wade through the implications of Special Counsel Robert Mueller creating a grand jury for his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. And they unload on former Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz for her shameful efforts to protect herself and her former IT staffer from a criminal investigation by alleging anti-Muslim bias by the FBI.
Dem Double Standard on Obstruction of Justice
Democrats, media figures, and even some Republicans suggest President Trump’s alleged request for former FBI Director James Comey to end an investigation into fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn amounts to obstruction of justice, but a former federal prosecutor says what we know thus far does not rise to that level and is no different than Barack Obama’s efforts to exonerate Hillary Clinton.
Andrew C. McCarthy led the prosecution of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman and others for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and plots to blow up other New York City landmarks. In his latest column for National Review, McCarthy says those purporting outrage now said virtually nothing when President Obama arguably took more egregious actions with respect to Clinton.
“In a few ways, the Obama situation with Hillary Clinton is worse than what we’ve heard about here. What Obama did was make a very public statement, which is obviously a statement to his subordinates as well as everyone else, that he didn’t want Mrs. Clinton prosecuted and didn’t think she should be prosecuted,” said McCarthy in an interview discussing his column.
“He articulated a legal theory for why she shouldn’t be prosecuted, this claim that she wasn’t trying to harm the United States and that her classified emails, while they exhibited carelessness on her part, were really a small part of a much larger overall picture and had been exaggerated out of proportion,” said McCarthy.
He says that same logic was used again a few months later.
“Lo and behold three months later, when Director Comey announced his view that Mrs. Clinton shouldn’t be prosecuted, he adopted precisely the legal reasoning Obama had announced three months before,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy’s analysis follows the breathless reporting of an alleged Comey memo following a February 14 meeting with Trump at the White House. According to the memo, Trump cleared the room before engaging Comey on the Flynn investigation.
Trump reportedly told Comey, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” M
McCarthy says that tidbit alone is a far cry from constituting obstruction of justice.
“I don’t think we’re close to being there yet because even though I am sure that then-Director Comey must have found the conversation with President Trump to be awkward and inappropriate, I don’t think there’s anything corrupt about it,” said McCarthy.
First of all, McCarthy says it’s hard to draw any sweeping conclusions from a few scraps of a conversation.
“The most important thing about obstruction of justice is context. We don’t really have context here. We have one statement that’s mined out of what must be a larger memo,” said McCarthy.
He says there needs to be concrete evidence of corruption to pursue obstruction of justice allegations.
“Corruption is the heart of obstruction of justice. The person has to act intentionally, knowing that what he’s doing is wrong, and intend to subvert the truth-seeking process,” said McCarthy.
Trump critics suggest the subsequent firing of Comey after the director refused to back off the Flynn case is evidence of obstruction. McCarthy says you need a lot more than that.
“I think the corruption that would be involved would be if you were to pressure the FBI to drop an investigation, rig that result and then use it to suggest the person had been exonerated when you knew that you had actually rigged the result and not allowed the FBI to do an investigation,” said McCarthy.
Furthermore, McCarthy says Comey’s actions over the subsequent three months shows he did not consider Trump’s comments as an attempt to obstruct justice.
“Obviously, Comey, who is a highly-decorated and highly-experienced former prosecutor and FBI director and who well knows what obstruction of justice is, he clearly didn’t feel like he’d been obstructed. If he had, I’m certain he would have resigned and then gone up and down the chain of command and perhaps to Congress to report why he was resigning,” said McCarthy.
“Instead, he ended the conversation. He did write the memo. The investigation of Flynn continues. In fact, we now here that there’s a grand jury in Virginia, so he must not have perceived that he’d been obstructed. Obviously they weren’t obstructed because they’re proceeding with the investigation,” said McCarthy.
For the same reason, McCarthy says the wringing of hands and panting for impeachment inside the beltway is greatly overblown.
“Democrats will say that Trump fired Flynn because of the Flynn investigation and because of the fact that it hadn’t been closed down and that he did it as a signal to the FBI and the Justice Department that he doesn’t want Flynn proceeded against. That’ll be their interpretation of it,” said McCarthy.
“The reason I think that’s a loser, even though I understand why they’re making the argument, is that the investigation is continuing,” said McCarthy.
“There’s a lot more to the relationship between the president and the FBI director than a single criminal case, even against a one-time aide of Trump’s in the administration. There could be a million reasons why the president might want to fire the FBI director,” said McCarthy.
McCarthy says Democrats have been trying to bring down Trump since the day after the election, and perpetual outrage is often an effective way of preventing much from getting accomplished.
“In the long term, what they’re looking at is trying to make it impossible for him to govern so the parts of his agenda, to the extent that they object to them, can’t be implemented and also make it look like his government – and he’s helping them with this by the way – is so chaotic and so in over its head that it helps their electoral prospects in 2018 and 2020,” said McCarthy.
While McCarthy notes that Republicans have a long history of not defending their party’s president during times of controversy, at least compared to Democrats, he sees no actual traction for impeachment despite the growing demands from the left.
“I see the fervor (among Democrats) to want to get a president impeached, but I don’t see any grounds for doing it. Given what Republican numbers are at the moment, I don’t see any prospect of it,” said McCarthy.
‘Making Decisions Based on What the Law Says’
Former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli says the confirmation of Jeff Sessions means we will once again have a Justice Department that follows the law and he says the way Democrats treated Sessions could mean fewer of them in the Senate after the 2018 elections.
After eight years of Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch running the Justice Department, Cuccinelli says Sessions will be a breath of fresh air.
“Simply making decisions based on what the law says would be a radical change at the Department of Justice, as would the appearance of justice,” said Cuccinelli, who served four years as the top law enforcement official in Virginia.
While hoping to see many changes compared to the Obama years, Cuccinelli says one of Sessions’ top goals should be to stop federal agencies from granting themselves power that the law does not grant them.
“They have to stop backing up executive agencies, including the department itself, in expanding the law. They need to focus on containing government within the law. That includes everything from silly stuff like transgender bathrooms being covered by gender discrimination all the way up to agencies attempting to create new regulatory arenas for themselves and this vastly increase their power,” said Cuccinelli.
President Trump has already talked about his desire to roll back the ability of the government to grab more power. But Cuccinelli says that effort really needs to be rooted at the Justice Department.
“The legal oompf for all of that comes from the Department of Justice and having Sessions there – someone who’s committed to the rule of law and to reining in the federal government and not using it to exercise power – is going to be a very welcome change,” said Cuccinelli.
One specific area Cuccinelli expects to see great improvement in is the Justice Department’s relationship with law enforcement.
“These are people going to bat to protect you and me who have not had the back of the government. Frankly, it’s been the opposite. They’ve had to worry about getting prosecuted just for doing their job. That day is over thanks to the ascension of Jeff Sessions as the attorney general,” said Cuccinelli.
However, Cuccinelli reminds Sessions and all Americans that attorney general is different than every other cabinet position.
“When it comes to matters of policy, the attorney general does what the president wants. When it comes to matters of law, the attorney general does what the law dictates regardless of what the president wants,” said Cuccinelli.
“As opposed to what we’ve seen for the past eight years, I am confident that Sessions is going to be an attorney general who is actually going to uphold both sides of that deal for the American people,” said Cuccinelli.
On Wednesday, Sessions was confirmed by the Senate on a 52-47 vote. Only Sen. Joe Manchin, D-WV, crossed the aisle to back Sessions.
The confirmation process featured heated debate, including Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, D-NJ, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that Sessions should be rejected for his record on race and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., was booted from the debate for allegedly disparaging Sessions in her floor speech.
Cuccinelli says the vitriol coming from Democrats is telling.
“They’re playing to a rabid left-wing base that is wildly out of touch with just ordinary Americans,” said Cuccinelli, who says the Democrats never found substantive reasons to oppose Sessions.
“There’s just nothing that they can point to other than generating their own allegations for complaints. He is a nice guy. He is an intelligent individual. He believes what he believes and that is somewhat different than the lefties there. Nonetheless, the way he conducts himself even in those situations has never given any of them cause for complaint before,” said Cuccinelli.
He believes Booker and Warren lodged their fierce protests for the sake of their own self-promotion. He notes Booker recently lavished praise on Sessions in public after they worked together, but then turned and accused Sessions of being racially biased.
“I don’t care what the project is. If I think you’re a racist, I will never stand next to you and tell the world what a great guy you are,” said Cuccinelli.
Cuccinelli is also president of the Senate Conervatives Fund, which recruits and contributes to conservative U.S. Senate candidates. The group has frequently clashed with establishment Republicans and the national party, but right now Cuccinelli sees great opportunities as Democrats have to defend the vast majority of Senate seats in 2018.
“I fully expect Republicans to gain seats. The only question is how many. The biggest targets of them all are going to be Democrats in states that President Trump won,” said Cuccinelli.
Three years after narrowly losing the governor’s race in Virginia, Cuccinelli will not be a Senate candidate against Tim Kaine in 2018. However, he believes the 2016 Democratic vice presidential nominee is vulnerable too.
“This is an eminently winnable state and Sen. Kaine has really accomplished nothing and has become more radicalized, certainly much more so than the average voter in Virginia, than his time in the Senate,” said Cuccinelli.
Is Ivins the Anthrax Killer?
The Justice Department says the late Army scientist Bruce Ivins acted alone in the 2001 anthrax killings. Do you believe them? Does the evidence back up that conclusion? Read up and speak up by sending your emails!