legal

Jarrett’s Advice for Trump on Possible Mueller Interview: Keep Your Mouth Shut or ‘End Up Like Bill Clinton’

Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett said President Trump should avoid an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller or he could “end up like Bill Clinton.” There has been no known official request by Mueller’s office to interview the president yet, but Trump’s lawyers are anticipating that Mueller may request information from Trump related to his investigation into Russia’s attempted meddling in the 2016 election. The president’s legal team is reportedly considering a number of possible options for such an interview, including an in-person interview of Trump, written responses to questions submitted by Mueller’s team or an affidavit signed by the president stating his position on the case. “If I were his lawyer, I’d say, ‘Keep your mouth shut and just talk to me or you’ll end up like Bill Clinton,'” Jarrett said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight.” He explained that Clinton was forced to talk to independent counsel Ken Starr pursuant to a grand jury subpoena, and he ended up in a “world of trouble” for lying, resulting in an impeachment. Dobbs pointed out that there was evidence of a crime in Clinton’s case, but there is no evidence that Trump broke the law. “There’s no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion,” Jarrett agreed. “But what I would worry about as a lawyer is an obstruction entrapment by Mueller during the course of such an interview.” He explained that Mueller could ask Trump why he asked former FBI Director James Comey to take it easy on former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and why he later fired Comey.

Former defense attorney, and current Fox News legal analyst Gregg Jarrett is exactly right here.  IF Mueller decides he wants to talk to or depose Trump, then getting a written/signed statement is the wisest course of action..

French: James Damore’s Lawsuit Exposes Google’s Culture of Ignorant Intolerance

Let’s ponder a disturbing question: What if the crisis of free speech on college campuses, with their often extreme intolerance for conservative points of view, represents the high point for free expression in a student’s life? In other words, what if the “real world” is more repressive, more ignorant, and more punitive toward dissenting speech? What if entire corporations adopt the ideologies and norms of the most ruthless campus social-justice warriors, ruining careers and depriving employees of their livelihoods when those employees dissent from the dominant ideology? In other words, what if the rest of corporate America starts acting like Google? Yesterday former Google employee James Damore filed a class-action lawsuit against Google, alleging systematic race, gender, and political bias against white, male, and conservative employees. Damore, you may recall, was summarily terminated after writing a lengthy memorandum noting that disproportionate male representation in tech fields may be more the result of individual choice and innate differences between men and women than of invidious discrimination. He also suggested some non-discriminatory methods for increasing diversity at Google. Scientists argued about his conclusions — some agreed with Damore, others vigorously disagreed — but rather than engage with Damore, Google proved one of his points (that Google is hostile to dissenting views) by summarily terminating his employment. Damore has now answered Google with a legal broadside, and it’s extraordinary. Most people don’t have time to read his entire 181-page complaint, but those who do will find a comprehensive argument that Google’s corporate culture encourages, sanctions, and facilitates an extraordinary amount of abuse against conservative white males. And he has the receipts. Much of the complaint consists of screen shots of internal Google communications and postings on internal Google message boards that would constitute strong evidence of hostile-environment race-and-gender harassment if the the races and genders were reversed. For example, “Googlers” (that’s what employees call themselves, using Google’s silly corporate language) relentlessly enforce a so-called “Googley” culture where employees blacklist conservatives (blocking them from in-house communications), actually boo white-male hires, and openly discuss committing acts of violence against political opponents. The “punch a Nazi” debate is alive and well at Google, and the definition of “Nazi” is extraordinarily broad. In one posting, an employee proposes a “moratorium on hiring white cis heterosexual abled men who aren’t abuse survivors.” In another, an employee advertises a workshop on “healing from toxic whiteness.” Another post mocks “white fragility.” The examples go on and on, for page after page. Damore also alleges (and again, provides screenshots of emails and other communications to support his claims) that managers actively attacked conservative employees, encouraged punitive actions against dissenters, and even awarded “peer bonuses” for speech attacking conservatives. At the same time that Googlers crack down on standard conservative speech, mock white men, and deride whiteness, they exhibit a remarkable level of tolerance for unusual behavior. For example, Damore claims that “an employee who sexually identifies as a ‘yellow-scale wingless dragonkin’ and an ‘expansive ornate building’ presented a talk entitled ‘living as a plural being’ at an internal company event.” It’s important to remember that Damore’s complaint represents his side of the story, and Google has yet to file a response, but the screenshots and images present a compelling prima facie case of racial and gender bias that would be intolerable and illegal in the vast majority of American jurisdictions, including under federal law. It’s important to remember that American civil-rights law is generally color-blind. In other words, it protects white employees every bit as much as it protects black employees, and conduct that would be unlawful if applied to African Americans or women is also unlawful if applied to whites or males. Google is of course disproportionately male, but even disproportionately male organizations can commit unlawful acts of discrimination depending on the measures taken to diversify the workplace. Claiming a desire to diversify a workplace can’t justify, for example, hostile-environment harassment; nor can it justify explicitly discriminatory hiring and firing decisions in any given department. In addition, California (unlike many states) provides a limited degree of protection against political discrimination. Damore cites California labor codes that prohibit employers from “controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees” and prohibiting employers from coercing or attempting to coerce “employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.” I’m withholding judgment on the legal merits of Damore’s claim until I see Google’s response (the law should be broadly protective of employers’ rights to freedom of association), but the evidence he provides is damning indeed — and it’s not just damning because it raises legal concerns about Google’s behavior. The cultural implications are profound. For a generation the American public has been conditioned to think of Silicon Valley as a special place where American ingenuity is at its apex. Silicon Valley billionaires have enjoyed special status, and the men and women who work creating the apps and devices that have changed our nation are often seen as a breed apart, America’s best and brightest. They’re the lovable nerds who enrich all our lives. Well, the emperor has no clothes. Googlers may have special coding skills or may fit seamlessly in the company’s Googley culture, but it’s now plain that much of their discourse represents a special kind of pettiness, stupidity, and intolerance. It’s often fact-free, insulting, and narrow-minded. In other words, a Silicon Valley monoculture produces exactly the kind of discourse produced by monocultures everywhere. While there are certainly kind, courteous, and civil progressives at Google, the existence of the monoculture also enables the worst sorts of behavior. Unfortunately, this phenomenon isn’t limited to Google. Talk to Americans in industries ranging from software to insurance and beyond, and you’ll hear tales of internal naming and shaming, and even social-media monitoring that privileges one side of the debate and considers conservative discourse inherently problematic. I have conservative friends in Nashville who agonize over their social-media posts while their progressive colleagues hold forth without fear. Conservatives are held to the highest standards of civility and reason while angry, threatening progressives are merely deemed to be full of “righteous indignation.” This kind of culture doesn’t exist everywhere. There are countless thousands of work sites free of such bias. But to those who claim that campus social-justice warriors will be humbled when they encounter the “real world,” I give you Google. Sometimes social-justice warriors change the real world, and when they make it “Googley,” they often make it more intolerant and ignorant than the campuses they left behind.

Exactly!!  And well said, David.  Author David French is an attorney and Army Reserve officer (Major).  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  There are many companies out there who have similar cultures to Google which brazenly discriminates against white males, and especially conservatives.  Perhaps you work at such a place.  We’ll, of course, keep an eye on how this lawsuit progresses, and what impacts it may have on other companies with similar politically correct, anti-conservative cultures.

French: Cliven Bundy Wins: Judge Cites ‘Flagrant’ Federal Misconduct

In April 2014, America was transfixed by an armed standoff in the Nevada desert. On one side was a collection of dangerous, out-of-control armed men who were deliberately provocative, prone to saying unhinged things in a single-minded quest to destroy their enemies, and who lied time and again to cover their misdeeds. On the other side was Cliven Bundy. If you think that’s an unfair and inflammatory attack on the federal government, consider that yesterday a federal judge, Obama appointee Gloria Navarro, dismissed the federal government’s criminal case against Bundy and two of his sons on the basis that the government was guilty of “flagrant misconduct” in the trial. Its conduct was so “outrageous” that “no lesser remedy” than dismissal with prejudice “is sufficient.” The government, you see, lied. It withheld evidence. It concealed the truth from the court and from the American people. To say this isn’t to whitewash Bundy’s misdeeds. He broke the law. He defied the government without any legal justification, and his own conduct helped precipitate a crisis that could have led to a horrible tragedy. Bundy was wrong. But so was the government, and the government’s conduct, given its enormous power over the lives and liberty of its citizens, was far more troubling than anything Bundy did. It’s worth taking a short trip down memory lane. The Bundy standoff at the time appeared to be a straightforward example of crazy anti-government protesters courting violence in an effort to evade the law. Bundy’s cows grazed on federal land, and he owed the government substantial grazing fees. He also apparently ignored orders limiting the number of cows that could graze and the places where they could graze. He harmed the habitat of a protected tortoise. The government sued Bundy twice, and Bundy lost each time. Yet he still refused payment. He claimed that the government had a vendetta against him and that it was more interested in harming him than protecting endangered species. When the government came to seize his cattle, Bundy called out the right-wing militia. Within days, armed federal agents confronted armed “patriot” groups, and only an agreement by the feds to return Bundy’s cattle defused the standoff. To most of the country, the lessons were clear. White rednecks (“Y’all Qaeda”) fought the law, and the white rednecks won. Since virtually every controversy in this country is racialized, the standoff was seen as the ultimate expression of white privilege (could any black American get away with similar defiance?), and when the feds finally got around to arresting and trying Bundy, the case seemed open and shut. In its indictment, the federal government claimed that Bundy used “deceit and deception” to recruit its allied “gunmen” to defend his cattle from government seizure. As Mother Jones’s Stephanie Mencimer outlined in a lengthy report on the case, the alleged deceptions included claims that officers abused David Bundy when they arrested him a few days before the standoff and claims that the Bureau of Land Management had surrounded his property with snipers. Here’s Mencimer: “But those claims, dismissed by the government as fiction by paranoid anti-government activists, have largely turned out to be true. And it’s taken the government nearly two years, and three trials, to admit as much in court.” Oops. As Mencimer notes, this information dribbled out over the course of the court proceedings, at least until Larry Wooten, a BLM special agent who worked on the Bundy case, wrote an explosive whistleblower memo outlining a truly stunning series of government misdeeds that went well beyond withholding evidence at the trial. To be clear, Wooten is no fan of the Bundys. He rightly accused them of pursuing an “illegal, uncivilized, and dangerous strategy,” but the same words apply to the federal government — the alleged guardians of the rule of law. First, he outlined vicious hostility toward the Bundys and their allies. Federal agents called them, among other things, “retards,” “rednecks,” “tractor-face,” and “inbred.” Emails insulted Bundy in terms that can’t be reproduced in a decent publication. Wooten also “became aware” that law-enforcement officers “bragged about roughing up Dave Bundy, grinding his face into the ground, and Dave Bundy having little bits of gravel stuck in his face.” Wooten called agents’ behavior “carnival, inappropriate, and childish.” Wooten also claimed that the special agent in charge “ignored” direction from U.S. attorneys and from BLM management and instead chose to command “the most intrusive, oppressive, large-scale, and militaristic trespass cattle impound possible.” Wooten also claimed there existed “excessive use of force, civil rights, and policy violations,” including deliberate efforts to withhold exculpatory evidence. Wooten not only accused the government of misrepresenting the truth about snipers at trial, he specifically described the snipers’ armament and positioning. In her ruling dismissing the case, Judge Navarro noted that the government also withheld information about threat assessments indicating that the Bundys weren’t violent, documents showing that cattle grazing “hadn’t threatened the desert tortoise,” and hundreds of pages of internal-affairs documents about the special agent in charge. (BLM had fired him for, in part, “improperly using his position to get coveted tickets for friends to attend the Burning Man arts festival in 2015.”) Taken together, the evidence demonstrates that sometimes the paranoid are correct. In this case, evidence shows that a federal agency motivated by ego, anger, and prejudice launched the most militaristic and aggressive campaign possible against a rancher whom federal officials had deemed to be likely peaceful. There is evidence they abused that rancher’s son, ringed his property with snipers, and intended to “kick [him] in the mouth and take his cattle.” Then, when it came time to prosecute that same rancher, they withheld the truth and portrayed his accurate claims about federal misconduct as criminal deceptions designed to inflame public outrage. Federal judges do not dismiss federal prosecutions lightly, and Obama appointees are hardly known to carry water for right-wing militias. Moreover, Judge Navarro’s dismissal is in no way a vindication of Bundy’s tactics. His allies, after all, went so far as to put women in the front of the firing line with the express hope that they’d die first in any firefight — and embarrass the federal government in front of the world. Others pointed guns straight at federal officers. That’s not civil disobedience, that’s armed resistance, and it’s entirely inappropriate when — as we see here — the law still offered redress against violations of Bundy’s civil rights. The judge, however, understood her legal obligations. Who is the greater threat to public peace and the rule of law? A rancher and his sons angry that the government is destroying his livelihood in part through political favoritism and vindictiveness? Or a government that acts as if might makes right, abuses its citizens, and uses maximum force when far less intrusion and risk would accomplish its lawful purposes? Bundy’s case teaches a number of valuable lessons. We cannot presume the government’s virtue. Sometimes even wild tales are true. And every American — from the angriest antifa activist to the leader of “Y’all Qaeda” — is entitled to the full protection of the United States Constitution.

Absolutely!!  And well said, David.  Author David French is an attorney and Army Reserve officer (Major).  David was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  As we said way back when this all happened..  What should have happened is that the local sheriff should have shown up with a deputy and a warrant and talked with Cliven in a non-confrontational manner.  There was NOTHING to suggest that wouldn’t have gone peacefully.  I mean c’mon..  The man and his family are Mormons, for crying out loud.  Instead, the jack-booted thugs at BLM showed up in armored vehicles and their own little SWAT team complete with snipers and on and on…all over some cattle crossing some imaginary line from Cliven’s ranch/property onto federal land.  That’s insanity!  And, while not legal, the reaction by those “patriot” groups who showed up (many ex-military) legally carrying carrying firearms in what turned into an armed standoff, was completely understandable.  Thomas Jefferson said once, ..”a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing.”  We agree.

Supreme Court allows full enforcement of Trump travel ban

The Supreme Court is allowing the Trump administration to fully enforce a ban on travel to the United States by residents of six mostly Muslim countries. The justices, with two dissenting votes, said Monday that the policy can take full effect even as legal challenges against it make their way through the courts. The action suggests the high court could uphold the latest version of the ban that Trump announced in September. The ban applies to travelers from Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen. Lower courts had said people from those nations with a claim of a “bona fide” relationship with someone in the United States could not be kept out of the country. Grandparents, cousins and other relatives were among those courts said could not be excluded. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor would have left the lower court orders in place. The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia, will be holding arguments on the legality of the ban this week. Both courts are dealing with the issue on an accelerated basis, and the Supreme Court noted it expects those courts to reach decisions “with appropriate dispatch.” Quick resolution by appellate courts would allow the Supreme Court to hear and decide the issue this term, by the end of June.

Great news!!!  🙂

French: Stop Misrepresenting Masterpiece Cakeshop

Forgive me for starting a piece with the oldest cliché in the practice of law. As the saying goes, “If the law is on your side, pound on the law. If the facts are on your side, pound on the facts. If neither are on your side, pound on the table.” In the run-up to the oral arguments in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission on December 5, we’re seeing a lot of table-pounding from the Left. In fact, I’ve never seen a case more mischaracterized in my entire legal career. The actual facts of the case are crystal clear. Jack Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, refused to custom-design a cake to help celebrate a gay wedding. As a Christian, he finds same-sex unions to be unbiblical and immoral, and he wasn’t willing to use his artistic talents to advance a message he holds to be wrong. In fact, he’d frequently declined to design cakes that advanced messages he found to be offensive. But he never, ever — not once — discriminated against any customers on the basis of their identity. He baked cakes for people of all races, creeds, colors, and sexual orientatons. So why do so many on the left compare him to segregationists? Why do they use hypotheticals that have nothing to do with the facts of this case? Today the New York Times published a perfect example of pound-on-the-table misrepresentations. It’s by Barnard College professor and Times contributor Jennifer Finney Boylan. How does she distort the case? Let us count the ways. She begins of course by comparing Phillips to the owner of a restaurant who claimed a religious justification for denying service to African Americans. Then she compares him to a doctor who wouldn’t care for a lesbian couple’s baby. She talks about landlords, clinics, and other businesses — all of which could deny services to people “because of who they are.” She quotes a law professor (because of course law professors aren’t above misrepresenting cases) as saying, “We’ve never allowed a commercial business to justify discrimination against a protected class based on the First Amendment. We shouldn’t start now.” Here’s the thing — if the court rules for Phillips, it wouldn’t be starting now. Phillips isn’t discriminating against a protected class. I’ll repeat this until I’m blue in the face. He serves gay customers. If a black baker refuses a white customer’s request to design a Confederate-flag cake, he’s not discriminating on the basis of race. He’s refusing to advance a message. If a police officer’s wife refuses a black customer’s request to design a cake celebrating Assata Shakur, a convicted cop-killer and one of the FBI’s most-wanted terrorists, she’s not discriminating on the basis of race. She’s refusing to advance a message.

Exactly!  Well said, David.  David French is an attorney and Army Reserve officer (Major) who was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Iraq.  To read the rest of his legal op/ed here, click on the text above.

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch Is Ready to Take On Administrative State

Justice Neil Gorsuch gave the most significant public address of his tenure on the nation’s highest court Thursday when he addressed the Federalist Society’s annual dinner, recently named in honor of the last man to hold his seat: Antonin Scalia. The newest Supreme Court justice took square aim at one of this year’s Federalist Society Convention’s main themes: the “administrative state,” the unelected mass of executive agency staff that actually creates most of the rules and regulations by which Americans live. Resistance of the administrative state’s growth and overreach is a driving force in the emergence of populist-nationalism and the Trump movement. Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen K. Bannon has repeatedly called the “deconstruction of the administrative state” one of the three pillars of populist-nationalism. Gorsuch has been under fire from the left and the mainstream legal establishment for his willingness to reexamine the once-controversial twentieth century Supreme Court decisions that made the modern, massive administrative state possible. He mocked a recent article in the Harvard Law Review claiming the administrative state is “under siege” and calling him an “anti-administrativist.” “Anti-adminstrativism was conclusively rejected in the 1930s,” Gorsuch quoted the article as saying. “That’s kinda funny,” Gorsuch joked, “I thought the powers of our government were conclusively allocated in the 1780s.” The notion that reining in the power of the administrative agencies is a project in the interest of “big business” held no sway with Gorsuch. “The fact is, getting administrative law right is important to everyone who interacts with our government. And today, that’s just about everyone,” he said. “The mighty can keep track of the changes easily enough, maybe even influence them … but what about the ordinary citizen?” “Remember that, for many years, the courts seemed wary of the job of trying to draw lines between laws that fall within or beyond Congress’s power to regulate interstate commerce,” Gorsuch explained, referring to the clause of the Constitution that came in the twentieth century to allow the federal government to regulate virtually any aspect of citizens’ lives, “yet courts have since managed to enter the field there, and it’s unclear why they can’t do the same here [with the administrative state.]” Gorsuch also tried to make light of his unprecedented contentious confirmation hearings where Democrats skewered him for a dissent that ruled against a fired truck driver, joking with the audience of jurists, politicians, law professors, and attorneys from the conservative and libertarian tradition at the black tie event at Union Station in Washington, DC: “Good judges will look at a statute or regulation and immediately know three things: One, the law is telling you to do something really, really stupid. Two, the law is constitutional, and I have no choice but to do that really stupid thing the law commands. And three, when it’s done, everyone who’s not a lawyer will think I just hate truckers..” “Tonight, I can report that a person can be both a publicly committed originalist and textualist and be confirmed to the Supreme Court,” he told attendees, which included Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY); Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK); and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who will address the Federalist Society Friday at its convention. He later continued, “Originalism has regained its place at the table of constitutional interpretation, and textualism in the reading of statutes has triumphed, and neither one is going anywhere on my watch.”

We’re thrilled to hear it, Sir!  Excellent!!   🙂

Military Judge: Fines but No Jail for Deserter Bowe Bergdahl

Bowe Bergdahl will not serve more time behind bars, a military judge has decided eight years after he deserted his platoon in Afghanistan. His desertion, to which he pleaded guilty, and the subsequent search for him that led to the deaths of six soldiers did not result in the 14-year sentence prosecutors requested in the case. The judge also ruled that Bergdahl be dishonorably discharged, that his rank be reduced from sergeant to private, and that he be required to pay a $1,000 fine from his salary for the next ten months, CNN reported. “As everyone knows, he was a captive of the Taliban for nearly five years, and three more years have elapsed while the legal process unfolded,” Eugene Fidell, Bergdahl’s civilian attorney, said at a press conference after the sentence was handed down. “He has lost nearly a decade of his life.” But in emotional testimony about the course of the trial, others continue to suffer as a result of Bergdahl’s decision in 2009. One witness, Capt. John Billings, Bergdahl’s platoon leader, said the platoon searched for the then-private first class for 19 days, going without food or water, according to CNN. Retired Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer James Hatch testified that he and his dog came under fire while looking for Bergdahl. He was shot in the leg, and his K-9 partner, Remco, was shot in the face and killed, CNN reported. “I thought I was dead,” said Hatch, who now walks with a heavy limp after enduring 18 surgeries. Dr. Charles Morgan, a forensic psychiatrist and professor at the University of New Haven and Yale University, testified that Bergdahl suffered from numerous mental illnesses, including schizotypal personality disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. Capt. Nina Banks, a defense attorney, said that “Sgt. Bergdahl has been punished enough.” “Sgt. Bergdahl paid a bitter price for the choices that he made,” she said. President Donald Trump was not pleased with the outcome of the trial. “The decision on Sergeant Bergdahl is a complete and total disgrace to our Country and to our Military,” Trump tweeted on Friday. Bergdahl returned to the United States after President Barack Obama traded five detainees held at Guantánamo Bay in exchange for his release from the Taliban in 2014, Fox reported. By the next year, a House Armed Services Committee report revealed that the “Taliban Five” had returned to “threatening activities” upon their release to Qatar, where the Taliban run a “political office.”

President Trump is exactly right.  This “IS a complete and total disgrace..”  The sentence dishonors those who put their lives on the line to rescue this piece of garbage.  Yes, he should get a dishonorable discharge, and be reduced in rank to Private.  Agreed.  And yes, he should have received a fine, although $1 is no where near enough.  But, he should have served 15-20 years MINIMUM for what he did.  He deserted his post and gave “aid and comfort” to the enemy for what he did.  This ridiculously offensive sentence (if you can even call it that) will give more “aid and comfort” to the Taliban and other Islmo-fascist organizations, as they’ll use it for their propaganda efforts.  It also sends a very bad signal to those members of our military who might contemplate similar actions; that if you get caught…you won’t do jail time.  That’s a very dangerous precedent that this judge set.  Shame on Army COL Jeffery Nance, the military judge, for this outrageous sentence.  Justice was NOT served here…