Tag Archives: Double

Trump’s Right About One Thing: There’s a Double Standard for Him

Trump’s Right About One Thing: There’s a Double Standard for HimPhoto Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Photos from GettyFor two years now, President Trump has promoted the narrative that he has been singled out for persecution by the special counsel and by his political opponents. The Mueller probe, he has vented, is a form of “Presidential Harassment,” a “Witch Hunt” aimed at unseating “your favorite President.” In the president’s apparent view, no other person—and certainly no other president—would have been treated so harshly.In the wake of the Mueller Report, and Trump’s exoneration by Attorney General Barr, it is now clear that the truth is exactly the opposite: No other person—and no other president—could have escaped prosecution for obstruction of justice, or at least impeachment, on facts like these.Let’s start with what separates Donald J. Trump from almost everyone else: He is the president. For Bob Mueller, Trump’s status as president gave Trump a double leg-up: First, under Department of Justice guidance, Mueller could not indict the president so long as he remains in office. To that extent, of course, Trump was treated like any other sitting president elected since the issuance of the original Office of Legal Counsel memo. But Mueller took that immunity a critical (and, in my view, mistaken) step further: He reasoned that, because the president could not be indicted, it would be unfair even to reach a judgment about whether Trump had committed obstruction. As a result, Mueller declined to make a formal obstruction finding and instead handed the case off to Attorney General Barr. Barr, of course, had auditioned for his current job by writing a memo contending that the entire suite of offenses identified by Mueller could never constitute obstruction, given the scope of the president’s Article II powers. Barr has also contended that the absence of an underlying offense—here, the failure to find that Trump actually “colluded” with the Russians in destabilizing the 2016 election—is an important reason to reject any obstruction charge. (That proposition, by the way, would be news to at least two of my former clients—Scooter Libby and David Safavian, both high-ranking officials in Republican Administrations. Both were indicted for obstruction; neither of them was ever alleged, or could have been alleged, to have committed some underlying offense.) Barr, who acknowledged in his press conference (though not in his four-page letter) that he had not relied “solely” on his legal views in making his decision, unsurprisingly dismissed any possible obstruction within 48 hours of receiving the 400-page report.So it’s nice to be president. But Donald J. Trump is not just any president. He’s also a president whose attorney general was, by his own admission, prepared to discount the wealth of evidence of palpably obstructive conduct found by Mueller on the ground that Trump was “angry” and acted as he did in the “sincere belief” that he was the “unprecedented” victim of illegitimate accusations of wrongdoing.Can you imagine Attorney General Reno making the same claim for President Clinton, regarding his false testimony during the Paula Jones deposition (on which Kenneth Starr predicated an impeachment recommendation)? Can you imagine Reno rejecting any perjury or obstruction charges by taking a page from Barr’s playbook: “In assessing the President’s testimony, it is important to bear in mind the context. President Clinton faced an unprecedented situation. Opposing counsel in the Jones deposition was inquiring into the most intimate details of Mr. Clinton’s personal life about which few, if any, of us would wish to be questioned, much less under oath. The President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that these questions were undermining his presidency.” Yet in the name of Trump’s supposedly “sincere belief,” all manner of plainly obstructive conduct was exonerated by Attorney General Barr.Or how about President Nixon’s obstructive conduct in Watergate? Can you imagine Attorney General Mitchell or Attorney General Kleindienst defending the president’s conduct by arguing that Nixon “sincerely believed” that his enemies were out to get him? Or arguing that, because there was no evidence that the president planned the underlying Watergate break-in, Nixon could not be lawfully charged with obstructing the investigation of that event? (Actually, one can imagine Mitchell and Kleindienst making those arguments, which is hardly a ringing endorsement of Barr’s defense of Trump). Despite Mr. Trump’s protestations of wrongful persecution, the fact of the matter is this: On the facts found in Volume II of the Mueller Report, any other president would now be facing impeachment, and any non-president would be fitted for an orange jumpsuit.Read more at The Daily Beast.



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Rep. Zeldin: 'No doubt' there's a double standard in the Rep. Omar controversy

Rep. Zeldin: 'No doubt' there's a double standard in the Rep. Omar controversyRepublican Rep. Lee Zeldin calls out Democrats for not being tough enough on Rep. Ilhan Omar's anti-Semitic comments.



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Double trouble: Venezuelans and their two 'presidents'

Double trouble: Venezuelans and their two 'presidents'Anibal Garcia chooses to make light of a situation which has left him and many other residents of Caracas unsure as to who is in charge of Venezuela. Prolonged economic crisis has now been joined by high-stakes political turmoil in the country whose official president is Nicolas Maduro, but where National Assembly chief Juan Guaido on Wednesday proclaimed himself in charge, on an acting basis. Guaido pledged to install a transitional government and hold free elections.



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Trump suffers double whammy as Michael Flynn is accused of 'selling out his country' and president's charity shuts

Trump suffers double whammy as Michael Flynn is accused of 'selling out his country' and president's charity shutsDonald Trump suffered a double setback on Tuesday as his former national security adviser Michael Flynn was accused of selling out his country in court and it emerged the president’s charity will be dissolved amid claims of “shocking” illegality.  Mr Flynn, who has admitted to lying to the FBI over his contacts with the Russian ambassador to the United States, was reprimanded for his “very serious” offence during a sentencing hearing in Washington DC.  In a blistering rebuke, Emmet Sullivan, a US District Judge, told to Mr Flynn that “arguably you sold your country out”, later adding: "I'm not hiding my disgust, my disdain for this criminal offence." At one point the judge even asked prosecutors whether Mr Flynn’s actions could be considered treason, though later walked back the remarks by clarifying that he was not making that suggestion himself.  Judge Sullivan also hinted that he was considering giving Mr Flynn a stint in jail despite his co-operation with special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russian election meddling investigation – something that seemed unlikely at the start of the day, given Mr Mueller was calling for leniency.  Donald Trump, left, and Michael Flynn during a presidential campaign event in September 2016 Credit: REUTERS/Mike Sega Eventually the judge delayed the sentencing, indicating that he wanted to fully understand the extent of Mr Flynn’s cooperation with Mr Mueller’s team. No new date was set but a status report is due on March 13 2019.  The courtroom dressing down was another blow for Mr Flynn, a retired US general who became one of Mr Trump’s most prominent supporters during the 2016 presidential campaign.  He was handed the plum role of Mr Trump’s first national security adviser in January 2017 but was forced to resign just weeks later over his conversations with Sergey Kislyak, then Russian ambassador to the US.  Mr Flynn has admitted to lying to the FBI about conversations he had with Mr Kislyak during the transition period after Mr Trump’s November 2016 election victory but before he took office. During that time Barack Obama remained US president.  Mr Trump had wished Mr Flynn "good luck" earlier in the day. "Will be interesting to see what he has to say, despite tremendous pressure being put on him," he said in a tweet.  On the same day Mr Flynn was being criticised in court there were new developments in a lawsuit filed against the president’s charity, the Trump Foundation.  Barbara Underwood, the New York attorney general, announced that the Trump Foundation had agreed it should be dissolved and its remaining funds handed out to other charities, with her office overseeing the process. The deal needs to be approved by a federal judge.  It follows a string of Washington Post stories in recent years claiming that money from the charity had been used to pay legal settlements for Mr Trump’s private business or purchase art from his clubs. Mr Trump has always denied wrongdoing. Michael Flynn, former US national security adviser, exits at federal court in Washington, DC Credit:  Aaron P. Bernstein/Bloomberg He had planned to close down the embattled charity in December 2016 after he won the US election but the move was put on hold pending this investigation.  Mrs Underwood's office begun legal action in June against Mr Trump, his three children – who were on the board – and the charity itself, over accusations of misuse of funds. She said on Tuesday that her investigation found “a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation — including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more.” Mrs Underwood is continuing to seek more than $ 2.8 million (£2.2m) in restitution and has asked a judge to ban the Trumps temporarily from serving on the boards of other New York nonprofit organisations.



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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launches double attack on Mike Huckabee and 'lying' daughter Sarah Huckabee

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez launches double attack on Mike Huckabee and 'lying' daughter Sarah HuckabeeAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez is meeting criticism of her policies head-on, and has hit back at former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee for taking shots at her and her election. Ms Ocasio-Cortez responded after Mr Huckabee — the father of White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders — called her election “looney” and mocked her suggestion that her surprise victory was comparable to the moon landing.



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Double murder suspect captured, ending manhunt in Tennessee

Double murder suspect captured, ending manhunt in TennesseeThe Montgomery County Sheriff's Office announced Friday that Kirby Gene Wallace, 53, who was wanted for killing two people, was in custody.



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Police investigate possible terror link to double stabbing at Amsterdam station

Police investigate possible terror link to double stabbing at Amsterdam stationA knife attacker on Friday stabbed two people at Amsterdam's Central Station before being shot by police in a suspected terror attack, Dutch police said. The suspect was identified late on Friday evening as a 19-year-old Afghan man with a German residency permit. "We are seriously taking into account that there was a terrorist motive," Frans Zuiderhoek, Amsterdam police spokesman, told AFP. Witnesses described scenes of panic earlier as gunshots sounded and thousands of commuters and tourists were evacuated from the rail terminus shortly after midday. "Around 12.10 a man in the west side tunnel of Amsterdam Central Station stabbed two other people and directly after that he was shot by the police," another police spokesman Rob van der Veen said, adding terrorism was not being ruled out by investigators. "The two people are very badly injured, and they were brought to the hospital," he said. "We are looking at all scenarios, also the worst scenario, which is terrorism." Policemen and forensic scientists are at work after a stabbing incident at the central station in Amsterdam Credit:  REMKO DE WAAL/AFP One witness said he saw a young man "stumble" into his flower shop at the station with a bleeding wound to his hand. "Shortly afterwards I heard some shots and I know something has gone badly wrong," Richard Snelders told the ANP news agency. A while later he saw another man lying on the ground nearby, he said. "The first thing that comes up in your mind is that it's a terror attack. After all, you are at Amsterdam Central Station. There was a lot of panic," Snelders said. Police quickly arrived at the scene with video images showing police ordering the suspect in English to "stay down" after he had been shot. "It happened really quickly," Mr Snelders said. Images posted on social media showed security guards ushering passengers towards exits and paramedics arriving at the scene with stretchers. Mr Zuiderhoek said the knifeman's condition was not life-threatening, but that he had been shot in the lower body. "At this moment he is under police custody in hospital. He is being questioned about his motive," Mr Zuiderhoek added. Dutch police were also in close contact with their German counterparts in regards to the suspect's background, he added. Policemen are at work after the stabbing incident  Credit: SEM VAN DER WAL/AFP Initially, police said that the station – located in the Dutch capital's historic canal-ringed city centre – had been evacuated and closed off to all rail traffic. However, police shortly afterwards issued an update to say there was "no talk" of a complete evacuation and that only two platforms had been closed off to passengers. A special police department opened a routine probe into why police shot the man. The Netherlands has so far been spared from the spate of terror attacks which have rocked its closest European neighbours in the past few years. But amid reports that people linked to those attacks may have crossed into the country, senior Dutch security and intelligence officials have warned of an elevated risk. Passengers are pictured outside the Central Railway Station in Amsterdam  Credit:  GERMAIN MOYON/AFP Police declined to speculate on the reasons for Friday's incident, but the Afghan Taliban in a statement Thursday called for attacks on Dutch troops following plans by Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders to stage a Prophet Mohammed cartoon competition in the Dutch parliament. The plan angered Muslims and sparked protests before Mr Wilders, who received several death threats, announced he was cancelling the competition, saying he wanted to "avoid the risk of making people victims of Islamist violence". About 250,000 people travel through Central Station every day, according to statistics provided by the Amsterdam.info travel guide.



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Detaining children in tent cities costs more than double than keeping them with their families, reveals report

Detaining children in tent cities costs more than double than keeping them with their families, reveals reportIt costs more than double the amount to detain children separated from their families at the US-Mexico border in tent cities than keeping the whole family together, a new report has revealed. It costs $ 775 (£586) per night, per child, to be detained in the new tent cities facilities, NBC News reported, citing Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials. The higher costs for the newly-separated children are due to new construction of these tent cities, air conditioning for the facilities, certified medical workers, labour for the facilities, food, water, and other supplies which had to be procured quickly.



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The Latest: Police nab man sought in Vegas double killing

The Latest: Police nab man sought in Vegas double killingLAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on the arrest of a man sought as the suspect in the killing of two Vietnamese tourists at a Las Vegas Strip hotel-casino (all times local):



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Republicans double down on attacks on Mueller after anti-Trump texts

Republicans double down on attacks on Mueller after anti-Trump textsRepublican lawmakers doubled down on attacks against Special Counsel Robert Mueller on Wednesday, after new details emerged about anti-Trump text messages sent by an FBI agent who worked on the Russia investigation.



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