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Jonathan Turley

'No One Has Suggested My Son Did Anything Wrong': Joe Biden Doubles Down On Denial

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We have previously discussed the denials of former Vice President Joe Biden that his son did anything wrong in Ukraine. As I have written, not only did Hunter Biden clearly enter into a corrupt (but arguably lawful) contract but Joe Biden did not do enough to confirm that his son was not engaging in influence peddling. Nevertheless, this week, Joe Biden continued this indefensible position and declared bizarrely that “no one has suggested my son did anything wrong.”

According to the Washington Post, Joe Biden declared on the campaign trail that “There’s nobody that’s indicated there’s a single solitary thing that he did that was inappropriate, wrong … or anything other than the appearance. It looked bad that he was there.” He then curiously added “He acknowledges that he in fact made a mistake going on the board.” So, in other words, he did nothing wrong but he apologized for it.

Joe Biden continues to maintain that “no one” has accused his son of wrongdoing when there is a chorus of such allegations. He seems to be drawing a distinction between what is criminal and what is not — as if the criminal code is the only measure of wrongdoing or unethical conduct.

Hunter Biden not only clearly engaged in influence peddling but he is clearly a relevant witness.
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Democrats Drop Bribery and Other Crimes In Favor Of A Two-Article Impeachment

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The Democratic leadership announced today that it has decided that President Donald Trump will be accused of just two articles of impeachment: abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. I commend the Committee in dropping the previous claims of bribery, extortion, campaign finance and obstruction of justice. While my fellow witnesses made good-faith arguments for those articles, my testimony primarily focused on the legal and constitutional flaws in claiming those criminal acts.
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New Jersey Event Canceled After Threats From Anti-Free Speech Groups

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We have been discussing the rising attacks on free speech across the country, including students and faculty who support the silencing of speakers who hold opposing views. What is most concerning is that these attacks are working. The latest example can be found in New Jersey where the Broadway Theater in Pitman cancelled an event because anti-free speech organizations and individuals threatened protests and some even threatened to burn down the theater.

Among the speakers was journalist Andy Ngo, who suffered a brain hemorrhage after being beaten by Antifa supporters at an event in Oregon. My concern is not with planned protests but the coordinated effort to have the event cancelled to prevent others from hearing opposing views.

The one-day conference was set to discuss “combating racism, violence, and authoritarianism.” Sponsored by Minds.com, there were 20 speakers planning to discuss a variety of issues. They included speakers who had once support but later became disillusioned with some leftist groups. This included im Tim Pool, who calls himself a “disaffected liberal” and Josephine Mathias, who has opposed sexual orientation as not equal to race or ethnicity. Mathias was the only black speaker in the line up. It also included Lauren Chen, a conservative blogger.
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Bill Barr Is Wrong On Assange

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Bill Barr has been (in my opinion) wrongly attacked for many of his actions with regard to the Special Counsel Report. Indeed, I defended his decisions in print and I testified in favor of his confirmation. I still believe that he is an excellent choice for Attorney General. However, on the charges against Julian Assange, he is wrong. Dead wrong. As I stated in a recent column, the use of the Espionage Act strikes at the heart of the First Amendment. Now, the Washington Post is reporting that two prosecutors involved in the Wikileaks case argued against the new charges.
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Poll: Almost Half Of College Students Do Not Believe First Amendment Protects Hate Speech

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We have previously discussed how speech codes and regulations are changing the way students are viewing free speech. There is now a steady message for students from elementary school to college that speech must be regulated and that even people can be punished for not just hate speech but the ill-defined category of “microaggressive” speech. Past polls showed that one-third of students believed that violence is justified in dealing with some exercises of speech. Now a survey of college students found almost half do not believe that hate speech is protected by the First Amendment — a chilling indication of the collapsing support for traditional free speech values on our campuses.

The Knight Foundation conducted the survey that showed that 41 percent of college students believe hate speech should not be protected under the First Amendment. The survey also showed that the support for free speech is lower among women with 53 percent believing that hate speech should not be protected.

Of course, these polls do not press students on how should decide what speech is hateful and what speech is merely controversial. The polling shows the success of various faculty members who have been waging a war on free speech in preventing opposing views to be heard on campuses or enforcing speech codes.
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Israeli Ambassador Calls For The Criminalization of Antisemitic Speech

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In the aftermath of another tragic shooting at another synagogue, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon has again called for the criminalization of antisemitic speech. I have previously written about such international efforts to criminalize speech, including a proposal supported by the Obama Administration. The implications of such laws for free speech are easy to dismiss amidst the sorrow of another attack. However, the free speech community must remain firm that free speech is not the cause of hate, it is solution to hate.

Danon declared “The time for talking and having a conversation is over. What Israel and the Jewish community around the world demand is action – and now.”

Over the course of the last 50 years, the French, English and Germans have waged an open war on free speech by criminalizing speech deemed insulting, harassing or intimidating. We have previously discussed the alarming rollback on free speech rights in the West, (here and here and here and here and here and here and here) and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here and here). There are encroachments appearing in the United States, particularly on college campuses. Notably, the media celebrated the speech of French President Emmanuel Macron before Congress where he called on the United States to follow the model of Europe on hate speech.

Danon argues that “Until it becomes criminal, this bigotry will persist; it will fester. It is only a matter of time until it erupts again in violence and bloodshed.”
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Duopoly Distemper: Media and Democrats Attack Schultz For Even Considering A Third Party Run

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The exploration of former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz of a possible third party candidacy has been welcomed by many who have long seen our dysfunctional politics as a result of the duopoly of power in the country in the hands to just two parties. People want change and that is highly unlikely to occur in our current system. That is precisely why Schultz has been met with a torrent of criticism by the media and Democrats for even suggesting a third party run. The spin is that he is handing the election to Donald Trump by splitting the anti-Trump ticket. However, this has been the same mantra for every third party candidate in my lifetime. The problem is that he could win and there is no danger that more threatens the establishment in Washington. So we are back to the same refrain — eagerly repeated by the media — that the country simply cannot handle more choice than the two offered by the party elites.

I do not know much about Schultz, though I have put his kids through college with a coffee addiction. He has studied the number of a third party run and thinks that it is possible. He may be right or wrong but it is the response from the political and media establishment that is so telling. The best indicator that he might be right is the outrage over his possible run.

Yet, every election in my lifetime I have heard (and felt) nothing but anger over having to constantly choice between the candidates approved by the Democratic and Republican primaries. Neither party reflects with majority of voters and the number of independents continue to rise.
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'The Machine of Perpetual War Acceptance': Veteran NBC Journalist Resigns in Protest Over One-Sided Coverage

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This week I published a column on how the Democratic Party seems to have jettisoned many of its defining values to simply become the anti-Trump party. The best example of that transformation is the automatic opposition to Trump’s decision to pull troops out of Syria and other countries. At the same time, liberal media outlets like CNN and MSNBC have been airing continual experts denouncing the “hasty” withdrawal. 

Now veteran NBC award-winning journalist William Arkin has resigned in protest of what he says is the unrelenting support of the network for endless wars. He notes that the anti-Trump agenda at the network has overwhelmed what used to be critical coverage of “the machine of perpetual war acceptance and conventional wisdom to challenge Hillary Clinton’s hawkishness.” Now the reflective anti-Trump response at the network has overwhelmed all such considerations, according to Arkin. While Arkin calls Trump “an ignorant and incompetent impostor,” he cites the transformation of NBC into an opposition network as the main reason for his departure.

In my recent speech at the Newseum, I raised the same issue over the change in national media coverage. While praising the investigative reporting of various outlets, I objected to the raw advocacy that you now see from hosts in being live and immediate opposition talking points against new developments in the Administration.
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Federal Judge Orders Mueller To Turn Over Flynn Material

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In a surprising move, U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan ordered Mueller late Wednesday to turn over all of the government’s documents and “memoranda” related to Flynn’s questioning. This follows a Flynn filing that described an effective trap set by agents who encourages him not to bring a lawyer and left inconsistencies unaddressed in what has been described by critics as a “perjury trap.”  I have practiced in front of Judge Sullivan for years and he is a respected judge who has a keen eye for prosecutorial and investigative abuse.
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DoJ Filing Mistakenly References Sealed Criminal Charges Against Assange

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In a truly astounding misstep, the United States Attorney’s Office in Eastern Virginia filed a document that referenced an indictment against the WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange. The filng in an unrelated court filing seems to confirm that charges are pending or planned against Assange but the Justice Department will only say that “The court filing was made in error.” The charges would raise serious first amendment questions over whether it is a crime to publish hacked emails if you were not a party to the hacking. Wikileaks maintains that it was performing a journalistic function.
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