When Donald Trump plunged a dagger through the hearts of former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio’s victims and all justice-loving people by pardoning the racist serial lawbreaker, many threw up their hands in resignation. The president’s constitutional pardon power is absolute, they thought.
Not so, argue lawyers and legal scholars in two proposed amicus briefs filed in US District Court in Arizona. They contend the Arpaio pardon is unconstitutional.Read more
The Trump administration’s rescission of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has been met with widespread resistance by people across the political spectrum. Thousands have marched in the streets to save the “Dreamers” from deportation. Human rights and civil liberties organizations as well as legislators on both sides of the aisle condemned the ending of DACA.
Donald Trump’s attorney general Jeff Sessions announced the impending termination of DACA on September 5, 2017, disingenuously claiming it was necessary to forestall a looming legal challenge by 10 state attorneys general. Sessions cited no legal authority for his assertion that DACA was unconstitutional. In fact, no court has ever found DACA to be unlawful.
Lawsuits were immediately filed against Trump’s cruel targeting of the “Dreamers.”Read more
Making good on a campaign pledge to his right-wing nativist base, Donald Trump has rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA was established by President Barack Obama to encourage young people without immigration papers, who were brought to the United States as children, to come out of the shadows and sign up for temporary protection against deportation. Trump’s heartless decision will throw approximately 800,000 “Dreamers” currently enrolled in DACA into limbo.Read more
On Friday, less than two weeks after refusing to unequivocally condemn the white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Donald Trump granted former Arizona Sheriff Joseph Arpaio a rare presidential pardon, calling the notorious racist an “American patriot.” The pardon is noteworthy for many reasons.Read more
As we mourn the death of Heather Heyer, murdered by a white supremacist at the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally on Saturday, and hope for the recovery of the dozens of other anti-racist counterdemonstrators injured that day, Donald Trump continues to fan the flames of hatred and bigotry he has nourished throughout his brief presidency.
The president’s reprehensible behavior in this moment creates a new sense of urgency. We cannot postpone consideration of impeachment until Special Counsel Robert Mueller finishes his criminal investigation. It is time to pressure the House of Representatives to bring articles of impeachment against Trump for his abuse of power. We must stop this president before he launches a new civil war and/or nuclear war.Read more
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller impanels two grand juries to investigate Donald Trump and his associates, and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort’s home is searched, Trump needs to distract attention from the investigation into his alleged wrongdoing.
North Korea has provided just such a distraction — albeit a potentially catastrophic one.
On Tuesday, Trump stated, “North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Friday morning, Trump warned North Korea that the US military is “locked and loaded.”
Trump has learned that bombing other countries enhances a president’s popularity. In April, with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles, each armed with over 1,000 pounds of explosives, he went from scoundrel-in-chief to national hero virtually overnight. The corporate media, the neoconservatives and most of Congress hailed Trump as strong and presidential for lobbing the missiles into Syria, reportedly killing nine civilians, including four children.Read more
One of the most sacred duties of the president of the United States is to enforce the laws. The Take Care Clause, in Article II, §3 of the Constitution, says the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”
Yet, six months after taking office, Donald Trump has demonstrated contempt for the rule of law. He has not only refused to enforce certain laws; he has become a serial lawbreaker himself and counseled others to violate the law.
Trump is undermining Obamacare, which is currently the law of the land. He is advocating police brutality. Plus, he has illegally bombed Syria, killed large numbers of civilians in Iraq and Syria, instituted an unconstitutional Muslim Ban, violated the Emoluments Clause and obstructed justice.
Each of these actions either violate or indicate an intention to violate the law.Read more
Donald Trump Jr.’s email communication and subsequent meeting with a lawyer connected to the Russian government constitute probable cause that he and his father’s presidential campaign violated the Federal Election Campaign Act (52 U.S.C. §§ 30101, 30121). It is not yet clear whether these events are sufficient to obtain a criminal conviction. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is amassing additional evidence, which could eventually lead to criminal prosecutions.
In a June 3, 2016, email chain Trump Jr. released on Twitter, British publicist and former tabloid reporter Rob Goldstone told Trump Jr. the Russian government had “some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary.” Goldstone added, “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Seventeen minutes later, Trump Jr. replied, “if it’s what you say I love it.”
Six days later, on June 9, Trump Jr., then campaign manager Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor, met with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin, at Trump Tower. Trump Jr. arranged the meeting with the expectation of receiving negative information the Russian government supposedly had about Hillary Clinton.
These facts amount to probable cause that Trump Jr., the Trump campaign, and likely Manafort and Kushner committed federal election interference in violation of federal criminal law.Read more
In 2012, the bin Ali Jaber family gathered in Khashamir, Yemen, for a wedding celebration. Ahmed Salem bin Ali Jaber (Salem) was asked to deliver a guest sermon, which challenged al Qaeda to justify its attacks on civilians. In response to his sermon, three strange men arrived to see Salem.
Fearing trouble, Salem asked Waleed bin Ali Jaber (Waleed), a police officer, to accompany him to meet the three men. A US-operated drone deployed four Hellfire missiles, killing all five men. Salem and Waleed were not the intended targets of the drone strike. The three strangers were not “high-level, high-value targets to the United States.” This was a “signature strike” in which the government targets anonymous suspected militants solely based on their pattern of behavior.
The Yemeni government ordered that the victims’ families receive approximately $55,000 as “condolence” payments. When a member of Yemen’s National Security Bureau offered a family member $1,000,000, the official stated the money was from the US government, but he later recanted when Faisal bin Ali Jaber (Faisal) asked the official to produce his statement in writing.
Drone Victims’ Relative Sues in Federal Court
Faisal, who was Salem’s brother-in-law and Waleed’s uncle, sued the US government in federal district court. He requested an apology for the wrongful deaths of his relatives and a declaration that the drone strike violated domestic and international law.Read more
The House Appropriations Committee unexpectedly passed an amendment to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill last week that would repeal the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) passed by Congress in 2001 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. If this effort to revoke the AUMF proves successful, the repeal would effectively limit Donald Trump’s ability to use military force against North Korea, Iran and elsewhere.
In the 2001 AUMF, Congress authorized the president to use military force against groups and countries that had supported the 9/11 attacks. Congress rejected the George W. Bush administration’s request for open-ended military authority “to deter and preempt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States.” ISIS (also known as Daesh) did not exist in 2001.
Although Congress limited the scope of the AUMF, it has nevertheless been used as a blank check for military force more than 37 times in 14 different countries, according to the Congressional Research Service.Read more