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Jonathan Turley

Trump Administration Demands Information On Over A Million Visitors To Anti-Trump Website

A web host called “DreamHost” has gone to court to challenge a demand from the Trump Administration for information on more than 1 million visitors to an anti-Trump website. The demand would covered 1.3 million IP addresses and raises highly troubling free speech and associational concerns. At a minimum, the demand appears wildly too broad and could easily chill political speech for those who oppose this Administration.
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Did Comey Violate Laws In Leaking The Trump Memo?

One of the most interesting new disclosures today in the Comey hearing was the admission by former FBI Director James Comey that he intentionally used a “friend” on the Columbia law faculty to leak his memos to the media.  Comey says that he did so to force the appointment of a Special Counsel. However, those memos could be viewed as a government record and potential evidence in a criminal investigation.

Notably, Columbia Law School Professor Daniel Richman on a faculty webpage reads that he is “currently an adviser to FBI Director James B. Comey.” Richman specializes in criminal law and criminal procedure.

The problem is that Comey’s description of his use of an FBI computer to create memoranda to file suggests that these are arguably government documents.  Comey admitted that he thought he raised the issue with his staff and recognized that they might be needed by the Department or Congress.  They read like a type of field 302 form, which are core investigatory documents.
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Trump Fires FBI Director James Comey

President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey this evening in a surprise move. Various politicians and the media have openly referred to the act as “Nixonian” and “another Saturday Night Massacre.”  I have previously stated how the Saturday Day Massacre has been misrepresented. I also do not agree with Jeff Toobin on CNN tonight that the decision was clearly due to the fact that Comey’s investigation was getting “too close” to President Trump. I agree that the timing is concerning and legitimately questioned. However, the Administration may also have waited for the Deputy Attorney General to be confirmed to allow a career prosecutor to review the matter and to concur with the decision.
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Rand Paul Calls For Congress To Demand War Powers Authorization . . . John McCain Says Paul Is 'Wrong' and Alone In The Senate

I have been discussing how the Congress is again willfully ignoring its constitutional duty on the declaration of war as our intervention in Syria expands.  Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer have fallen over each other to praise the attacks even though Congress never authorized the action. Hillary Clinton was calling for attacks in Syria just hours before the attack, as she did in Iraq, Libya and other past conflicts.  The United States just attacked a foreign nation that had not attacked the United States.  It was done with little consultation and no authorization from Congress.

However, as with prior wars, the attacks remain politically popular so Congress is silent with the exception of a few members like Sen. Rand Paul.  Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) however has gone further to denounce Paul as simply “wrong” and virtually mock him as a nonentity in calling for such congressional authority.  He is alone in the Senate, McCain insisted, in his demand that Congress fulfill its Article I duties. It is a sad moment for those who believe in a textualist or formalist approach to constitutional powers.  All of those textualists who proudly embraced Neil Gorsuch are now apparently living constitutionalists as the subject turns to yet another war.
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EU Chief Blasts The Very Notion Of National Borders In The Latest Call For Globalism

For years, European Union advocates denied allegations that they were trying to erase national borders and create a single country with a shared military. Then recently proposals for a single military emerged — just before Britain left the EU. One of the most effective criticisms made against the EU before Brexit was to challenge voters to actually name the people in charge of the EU and policies affecting their lives. Now, the head of the EU has gone out of his way to confirm the worst suspicions of critics. The much-maligned EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has publicly denounced the very concept of national borders as the “worst invention ever.
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Trump: Americans May Be Tried In Military Tribunals Under His Administration

I have long been a critic of military tribunals as constitutionally dubious and practically ineffectual institutions. The tribunals at Guantanamo Bay have resulted in few actual trials and undermined the standing of the United States as a nation committed to the rule of law. The principle rationale cited by former officials in defense of Gitmo has been that it would not be used to try citizens. Now in a deeply disturbing interview, GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has stated that he might try citizens at Gitmo — maintaining a shadow court system for stripping citizens of basic rights of due process just a few miles off the United States shore.
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Clinton Admits That It Is 'Fair' To Question Her Truthfulness But Then Denies That The FBI Found That Any Of Her Emails Were Classified

Hillary Clinton admitted this Sunday that it is “fair” for voters to have questions about her truthfulness. However, she then proceeded to make the very type of statement that has undermined her credibility with voters. Despite the express statement of the FBI that her emails contained clearly classified information, including some with classified markings, Clinton insisted that there was no such finding and seemed to deflect blame for her conduct to subordinates. The Washington Post gave Clinton “Four Pinnochios” for her interview on truthfulness and the email scandal. Clearly, Clinton is right that there is “work to do” on the truthfulness thing.

The FBI was scathing in its view of Clinton’s decision to use an unsecure personal server for her communications as Secretary of State — a decision that clearly came from her and not her subordinates who raised objections. Despite her decision not to use the expensive, secured system at the State Department, Clinton insisted in her Fox interview that “I take classification seriously.”
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TSA Meltdown: Thousands of Bags Lost While Long Lines Push Passengers To Near Riot

We have previously discussed the meltdown at airports due to the latest failure of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Passengers are being asked to show up hours in advance and many are missing their flights due to endless lines. Now, thousands of bags have been lost due to a “technical problems” at TSA. The lack of any accountability for the ongoing failures at TSA is the latest evidence of the disconnect between citizens and their government.

At airports like Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina lines are now commonly three hours. It is a disgrace and, on one day, some 600 passengers missed their flights. In Chicago’s Midway airport, passengers faced a line that stretched beyond sight and beyond the time for their flights. The reaction was not pretty.
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'We Do Investigations Here At The FBI': FBI Director Reportedly Contradicts Clinton On Email Investigation

The FBI and its director James Comey have been careful not to be swept into the political campaign in comments about the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s personal server. The Clinton campaign, and the candidate herself, have repeatedly scoffed at any danger of an indictment and insisted that this is merely a “security review” or “security inquiry.” Indeed, close Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal was on CNN this morning stressing that this was nothing more than a security review. Now Comey is being quoted by Fox News chief intelligence correspondent Catherine Herridge as directly refuting this core claim by Clinton and saying that this is a criminal investigation. He would also likely disagree with Bill Clinton’s recent claim that the investigation was just a “game” and nothing more.
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Report: Clinton Emails Contained Human Intelligence Classified At Highest Levels

There is another surprising report out today on the Clinton email scandal. Fox News Reporter Catherine Herridge is reporting that at least one of the emails on Hillary Clinton’s private server contained extremely sensitive information identified as “HCS-O,” the code used for reporting on human intelligence sources in ongoing operations. We previously discussed the disclosure that emails had been identified with Special Access Program information that even the Inspector General could not review without added clearances.

In the meantime, some in the Clinton camp may be singing “Let It Snow, Let It Snow.” The State Department is citing the winter storm for yet another delay in releasing the remaining emails — possibly pushing their release past the first primary contests. Any break would likely be welcomed, particularly after a growing number of people including Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates have said that Clinton’s decision to use an unsecure private email system probably resulted in the emails being hacked by various hostile powers.
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