Connect with us

News

‘Bizarre’ Order Warrants Judge Cannon’s Removal: Experts

Published

on

Legal experts are urging Special Counsel Jack Smith to file for the removal of U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, calling her recent order in the Trump Espionage Act/classified documents case “bizarre,” “legal inanity,” and saying it is an inaccurate interpretation of the law.

Judge Cannon “issued an unusual order late Monday regarding jury instructions at the end of the trial — even though she has not yet ruled on when the trial will be held, or a host of other issues,” The Washington Post reports. The paper adds that she “instructed lawyers to file proposed jury instructions by April 2 on two topics that are related to defense motions to have the indictment dismissed outright.”

Calling her order an “ultimatum,” The Daily Beast‘s Jose Pagliery explains, “as she has done repeatedly, Cannon used this otherwise innocuous legal step as yet another way to swing the case wildly in favor of the man who appointed her while he was president.”

“Department of Justice Special Counsel Jack Smith must now choose whether to allow jurors at the upcoming criminal trial to peruse the many classified records found at the former president’s South Florida mansion or give jurors instructions that would effectively order them to acquit him.”

READ MORE: ‘Antisemitic’: Trump Blasted for Attack on Jewish Democrats

“Alternatively, Smith could appeal to the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, where more experienced judges have already overturned Cannon and reined her in. But doing that will only further delay a trial that’s at least three months behind schedule, entirely by the judge’s own design,” The Daily Beast adds.

Diving a bit further into Cannon’s order, Pagliery adds: “Cannon’s evening order alerted federal prosecutors and Trump’s legal team that they ‘must engage with the following competing scenarios’ when considering whether Trump can be charged with ‘unauthorized possession’: Either ‘a jury is permitted to examine’ every record a former president swipes and claims as ‘personal’ to determine whether it is, or jurors must be told that ‘a president has sole authority… to categorize records as personal or presidential during his/her presidency.'”

Some in the legal community are vociferously denouncing Judge Cannon’s order.

Professor of law and former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance, usually reserved in her commentary, called Cannon’s order “two pages of crazy stemming from the Judge’s apparent inability to tell Trump no when it comes to his argument that he turned the nation’s secrets into his personal records by designating them as such under the Presidential Records Act.”

She writes that each of Cannon’s “two ‘legal scenarios’ … seems to assume that the Presidential Records Act gives Trump the ability to morph national secrets into personal papers.”

READ MORE: ‘Next Up – Property Seizures’: Experts Analyze ‘Unbankable’ Trump’s $464 Million Bond Crisis

“Her two scenarios involve two different ways the Presidential Records Act could help Trump out, but they’re both wrong,” Vance says, noting that “Judge Cannon misses the fact that these items were government property, not Trump’s personal possessions.”

Attorney George Conway, who has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court and received a unanimous ruling, called Cannon’s order, “the most bizarre order I’ve ever seen issued by a federal judge. What makes that all the more amazing is that the second and third most bizarre orders I’ve ever seen in federal court were also issued by Judge Cannon in this case.”

He later called for Cannon’s removal:

“Okay, I’ve seen enough. Not only should Aileen Cannon not be sitting on this case, but she should not be sitting on the federal bench at all. This is utterly nuts.”

Professor of law and former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann says Cannon’s order should be the last straw:

“This is the kind of legal inanity that could lead Jack Smith to seek to mandamus Judge Cannon- ie to get the 11th Circuit appeals court to hear this and reverse her for the third time- which could also be the proverbial three strikes and you’re out.”

Harvard University Professor Emeritus Laurence Tribe, a top constitutional law scholar, agreed, responding to Weissmann: “This is outrageous. It’s what the writ of mandamus is there for.”

Minutes later, Tribe also wrote: “OMG! Judge Cannon clearly cannot be permitted to preside over this case. Whether she should be removed from the federal judiciary altogether is another matter. She probably should. Her ruling makes utter nonsense of the Presidential Records Act.”

READ MORE: ‘Bloodbath’: Psaki Slams Trump Over ‘Embrace of Political Violence’

CNN legal analyst and former U.S. Ambassador Norm Eisen, who served as the House Judiciary Committee’s co-counsel during the first trump impeachment, served up an analysis of Cannon’s order.

“Cannon seems inclined to push the case to trial but is basically asking if she can stack the deck so Trump wins,” he writes.

And he says the Special Counsel can use this to have her removed:

“If she persists in this course, special counsel Jack Smith can & will go to the 11th Circuit And while he is there, this & several other recent (threatened) blunders give him ammo to have her reversed & removed.”

Former federal prosecutor Alan Lieberman declares: “Smith must petition the 11th Circuit to remove her.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment
 
 

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.

NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

News

Rick Scott’s IVF Pledge Using His Own Grandkids Slammed as ‘Lie’ by Democrats

Published

on

U.S. Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), running for re-election and running to replace Mitch McConnell as Senate Republican Leader, has put out a new seven-figure ad that uses his children and grandchildren as he pledges to protect in-vitro fertilization (IVF), but Democrats in the Sunshine State are accusing him of lying.

“My wife Ann and I have two daughters and seven perfect grandkids. Each is a precious gift from God. But sometimes families need help. Millions of babies have come into this world from IVF, in-vitro fertilization. In fact, our youngest daughter’s receiving an IVF treatment right now, hoping to expand her family. She and I both agree IVF must be protected. For our family, for every family,” Senator Scott says in his latest ad he’s also posted to social media (below).

Democrats are calling Sen. Scott out for what they say is a lie.

On Thursday, Scott voted against the Right to IVF Act, Democratic legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), who blasted him on Friday: “You literally voted against my bill to protect IVF yesterday.”

READ MORE: Right Wing Justices Rule Ban on Gun Accessory Used in Major Mass Shooting Unlawful

On Thursday, Senate Republicans blocked Duckworth’s bill in a 48-47 vote. Only two Republicans, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins voted with Democrats for the legislation.

“Rick Scott voted against protecting access to IVF — a miracle treatment that has allowed millions of Americans to start families,” Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said in a statement that also includes his voting record and statements on IVF and other issues including abortion. “Scott has made it crystal clear that he will stop at nothing to rip away personal decisions from women and their families — and it will cost him his Senate seat.”

“Scott previously blocked legislation to protect IVF treatment that was introduced in response to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling that stored embryos have the same legal protections as children,” the Florida Democratic Party statement also reads. “Scott is now trying to cover up his anti-IVF record by touting an ’empty, symbolic’ resolution that would do nothing to actually protect IVF and spending millions to lie to Floridians about his phony support for IVF.”

The Florida Phoenix last week reported, “Scott, a Republican, will likely face former South Florida Democratic U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell in November. Both candidates must get through their respective party primary elections in August.”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

“Mucarsel-Powell has been relentless in criticizing Scott’s record on abortion rights. Last week, her campaign issued a statement noting that the Scott had received an “A+” rating from Students for Life Action, an anti-abortion organization that opposes IVF.”

Political consultant Dana Houle observed, “If you’re running ads trying to convince people you’re not opposed to IVF (which in effect he is, since he voted against protecting it) you’re in pretty big trouble. It’s crazy to think that it’s likely that one of the decisive events of the 2024 campaign occurred in Alabama.”

That also appears to be the position of Florida Democratic Party executive director Phillip Jerez, who responded to Scott’s ad by asking, “Didn’t you vote AGAINST the IVF bill in the Senate yesterday?”

“Rick Scott is now putting up this 7-figure ad because he needs to work OVERTIME to lie to Floridians,” Jerez added. “He’s never won an election by more than 1% and never in a presidential year. Rick Scott is in trouble.”

David Simon, the well-known author, journalist, and screenwriter known for his colorful language, also responded to Sen. Scott: “Shitheel, you voted against the bill to protect IVF and then ran out to tweet this horseshit the next day. Even by our American standards of grifting, empty political hacks, this is wondrous.”

See Sen. Scott’s ad above or at this link.

RELATED: GOP Will Ban IVF if Trump Wins After Southern Baptists Condemnation: Expert

Continue Reading

News

Right Wing Justices Rule Ban on Gun Accessory Used in Major Mass Shooting Unlawful

Published

on

In a 6-3 decision along partisan lines, right-wing justices on the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a bump stock, an accessory used in America’s most-deadly mass shooting, that effectively turns an AR-15 into a machine gun, cannot be regulated under current law. Justice Clarence Thomas authored the majority opinion. The device is so dramatically lethal pro-gun President Donald Trump banned it in 2018.

“The Supreme Court just effectively legalized machine guns,” is the headline of Ian Millhiser’s report at Vox. He says Friday’s ruling “effectively legalizes civilian ownership of automatic weapons.”

“Bump stocks increase an AR-15’s rate of fire from 180 rounds per minute to 400-800 rounds per minute,” explained Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, in response to Friday’s Supreme Court ruling. “They inflict mass carnage by allowing the gunman to shoot automatically, without pulling the trigger. Yet the Supreme Court declares that they do not create a ‘machinegun.’ ”

READ MORE: ‘Pyongyang in the Rotunda’: GOP Red Carpet Rollout for Trump’s DC Trip Likened to North Korea

Legal and gun experts might delve in to the mechanics of what makes a gun a gun, what makes a machine gun a machine gun, add in the conservative justices’ “textualism” and “originalism” theories where words are supposed to only mean what they meant when the Constitution, or, in this case, a law was written, but as Stern and Aaron Fritschner, the deputy chief of staff for a Democratic U.S. Congressman discussed (social media post below), the Supreme Court appears, they say, to have interpreted the plain language of words differently than their plain meaning to reach the conclusion they did:

Indeed, as senior advisor to the nonprofit organization Court Accountability and self-described “lapsed lawyer” Mike Sacks noted, in her dissent, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor joined by liberal Justices Elena Kagan and Ketanji Brown Jackson, wrote: “When I see a bird that walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, I call that bird a duck.”

Sacks adds, “Sotomayor calls out *every* *single* *one* *of* *her* *Republican* *colleagues* for abandoning their textualist ‘principle,’ in a paragraph that concludes, “Today, the majority forgets that principle and substitutes its own view of what constitutes a “machinegun” for Congress’s.”

Berkeley professor of public policy and former Cabinet Secretary Robert Reich wrote, “Koch-backed groups called on SCOTUS to overturn the federal bump stock ban. Clarence Thomas secretly attended Koch fundraising events, but of course didn’t recuse from this case — he wrote the majority opinion. Our nation’s highest court is beyond compromised.”

NBC News reported in December of 2018 that Donald Trump “had urged the federal government to ban bump stocks this past spring following a deadly Valentine’s Day shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead. However, the device gained notoriety when a lone gunman killed 59 people and injured at least 527 others attending a country music festival in Las Vegas in October 2017. The shooter, Stephen Paddock, had 22 semi-automatic rifles and 14 of them were equipped with bump stocks. They allowed him to fire the rifles continuously with a single pull of the trigger, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.”

That shooting to this day remains the deadliest mass shooting in modern day history.

See the social media posts above or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t Breathe Easy Yet’: Abortion Pill Safe Only ‘For Now’ Experts Say After SCOTUS Ruling

 

 

 

Continue Reading

News

Clarence Thomas Took Even More Billionaire-Paid Trips Than We Knew: Senate Report

Published

on

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas took even more billionaire-funded trips than he or investigative reporting have previously revealed, according to the Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman, Democrat Dick Durbin, who says those trips were not disclosed via the Justice’s annual financial reporting forms.

Justice Thomas received an estimated $5.8 million in gifts over the past two decades, a large portion from billionaire Harlan Crow, the government watchdog Fix the Court revealed last week. It is not known if the additional trips Chairman Durbin’s investigation exposed are included in that calculation. The total of all gifts all justices accepted over 20 years, including “likely” gifts, Fix The Court reported, was $6,592,657.

“Thomas traveled on Crow’s private jet during trips in 2017, 2019 and 2021 between various US states, as well as on a previously known 2019 trip to Indonesia, during which Thomas also stayed on Crow’s mega-yacht,” CNN reports. “The newly revealed private plane trips add to the picture of luxury travel enjoyed by Thomas and bankrolled by friends of the justice who have ties to conservative politics.”

READ MORE: ‘We Do Not Remember When You Tried to Have Us Killed’: GOP Slammed for Trump Standing Ovation

Punchbowl News’ Andrew Desiderio adds the new information “was obtained via the [committee’s] subpoena authorization for Crow.”

“’Mr. Crow reached an agreement with the Senate Judiciary Committee to provide information responsive to its requests going back seven years,’ Crow spokesperson Michael Zona said of the information revealed Thursday,” CNN also reported.

Zona claimed Crow has “serious and continued concerns about the legality and necessity of the inquiry,” but “Mr. Crow engaged in good faith negotiations with the Committee from the beginning to resolve the matter. As a condition of this agreement, the Committee agreed to end its probe with respect to Mr. Crow.”

Watch CNN’s report below or at this link.

READ MORE: ‘Don’t Breathe Easy Yet’: Abortion Pill Safe Only ‘For Now’ Experts Say After SCOTUS Ruling

Continue Reading

Trending

Copyright © 2020 AlterNet Media.