I’m Not Making This Up, You Know


Mexico has been unable or unwilling (or some of each) to enforce its own immigration laws at its southern border, and one result has been a spike in the influx of illegal immigration passing through to the U. S. Donald Trump threatened to use his authority to apply a tariff on Mexican goods unless Mexico began acting responsibly with regard to illegal migration.

At the last minute, Mexico gave Trump what he wanted, and Trump has placed the tariff proposal on hold.

Of course, the senator’s actual prediction was more along the lines of the President caving in to Congressional pressure after Mexico failed to agree to acceptable terms.

Some New Yorkers are better deal makers than others.

Congress, the Supreme Court, and Impeachment


President Trump has remarked that if the House were to pass articles of impeachment against him that did not properly charge him with a crime (Orange Man Bad isn’t even a misdemeanor), he might go to the Supreme Court seeking to have the impeachment quashed. Various pundits and academics have tut-tut-ed and stated that the President doesn’t understand how impeachment works. Do they?

Alan Dershowitz has a piece over at The Hill suggesting that the President may not be too far off base.

Were Congress to try to impeach and remove a president without alleging and proving any such crime, and were the president to refuse to leave office on the ground that Congress had acted unconstitutionally, there would indeed be such a constitutional crisis. And Supreme Court precedent going back to Marbury v. Madison empowers the justices to resolve conflicts between the executive and legislative branches by applying the Constitution as the supreme law of the land.

Recall that when a president has been impeached by the House, the Supreme Court’s chief justice presides at his Senate trial and the senators take a special oath. This special oath requires each senator to swear or affirm that “in all things pertaining to the trial … [to] do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the law” (italics added).

If the House were to impeach for a non-crime, the president’s lawyer could make a motion to the chief justice to dismiss the case, just as a lawyer for an ordinary defendant can make a motion to dismiss an indictment that did not charge a crime. The chief justice would be asked to enforce the senatorial oath by dismissing an impeachment that violated the words of the Constitution. There is no assurance that the chief justice would rule on such a motion, but it is certainly possible.

No one should criticize President Trump for raising the possibility of Supreme Court review, especially following Bush v. Gore, the case that ended the 2000 election. Many of the same academics ridiculed the notion that the justices would enter the political thicket of vote-counting. But they did and, in the process, weakened the “political question” doctrine. The case for applying the explicit constitutional criteria governing impeachment is far more compelling than was the case for stopping the Florida recount.

So no one should express partisan certainty regarding President Trump’s suggestion that the Supreme Court might well decide that impeaching a president without evidence of high crimes and misdemeanors is unconstitutional.

Read the whole thing.

The Truth is Out There


Over the past day, I’ve read of couple of posts whose ideas resonated together. The first was by David French over at NRO. The second was by Sarah Hoyt at According to Hoyt.

French’s piece, Franklin Graham and the High Cost of the Lost Evangelical Witness, takes Billy Graham’s son to task for having a double standard with respect to presidential morals. Graham spoke out against what he saw as Bill Clinton’s moral lapses 1998, but in 2018 called “this thing with Stormy Daniels and so forth … nobody’s business.” Yet, he’s recently called out Pete Buttigieg, tweeting, “As a Christian I believe the Bible which defines homosexuality as a sin, something not to be flaunted, praised or politicized.” French (and I) see Graham as inconsistent, and he (and I) see such inconsistency as the sort of hypocrisy that blunts the Church’s witness to the world.

The proper Evangelical position toward any president is not hard to articulate, though it is exceedingly difficult to hold to, especially in polarized times when one party seems set on limiting religious liberty and zealously defending abortion: We should pray for presidents, critique them when they’re wrong, praise them when they’re right, and never, ever impose partisan double standards. We can’t ever forget the importance of character, the necessity of our own integrity, and the power of the prophetic witness.

Read the whole thing.

This tweet from The Babylon Bee is a proper, if humorous, response to some Christian’s acceptance to Donald Trump’s sexual behavior.

FWIW, I didn’t support Trump in 2016, he hasn’t been an ideal president, but I believe that he’s done better that Hillary Clinton would have. That brings me to Sarah Hoyt’s post, We SEE You. She writes,

Years ago, I told a friend that I voted Republican, not because they were that much better than the Democrats, but because the press hated them and would keep an eye on them, while the left got a complete pass, which meant they could get crazier and crazier.

Christians on the Right shouldn’t fall in to the same trap that has caught so many folks on the Left. We need to shine the light of Truth rather that avert it because of worldly political convenience. Hoyt continues,

The deeds done in dark? Shout them from the rooftops. Do not give the left their presumption of good, or even of good intentions.

Read all of this one too.

I’ll add that the Right is not entitled to any presumption of good either. The Truth is out there.

Lying Liars Gotta Lie


The Wall Street Journal reports that Michael Cohen instructed Stephen Ryan, his previous lawyer, to raise the prospect of a pardon after the FBI raided Cohen’s home last April. That statement by lawyer Lanny Davis, who now represents Cohen, directly contradicts Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight and Reform Committee on 27 February.

Cohen: “I have never asked for, nor would I accept, a pardon from Mr. Trump.”

Davis: “During that time period, [Cohen] directed his attorney to explore possibilities of a pardon at one point with Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani as well as other lawyers advising President Trump.”

Cohen has pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, but he has now flipped on his former client Donald Trump, so it makes sense that the Democrats on the House Oversight Committee would give him a forum for further lies.

Walking Away


The AP reports that the Trump/Kim summit in Hanoi has broken up early because of a failure to reach a deal.

Trump, in a news conference after the summit abruptly shut down early, blamed the breakdown on North Korea’s insistence that all punishing sanctions that the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the country committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump explained, adding that he had a proposed agreement that was “ready to be signed.”

“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” the president said. “We’re in position to do something very special.”

Part of the art of the deal is the ability to patiently get up from the table and walk away until the other side is able to give you what you need. Trump, like Reagan with Gorbachev in 1987, seems willing to use that negotiating option. I wish him luck.

The AP couldn’t resist inserting this into the middle of their story—

The breakdown denied Trump a much-needed victory amid growing domestic turmoil back home, including congressional testimony this week by his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who called Trump a “racist” and “conman” and claimed prior knowledge of foreign powers’ efforts to help Trump win in 2016.

If the imagined fallout for Cohen’s testimony was part of the calculus for either side in the negotiation, Trump’s apparent non-concern for it should work to his advantage by demonstrating a resolve not to let domestic U.S. issues adversely affect a nuclear deal.

Fake News


And we have another bombshell that’s a dud. It’s seems that there is no evidence to support the BuzzFeed story about Donald Trump ordering Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. One of the bylined reports has admitted that he’s seen nothing. No one else has been able to confirm the story. Oh, and the Special Counsel’s operation has disputed the report.

Those reporters and the editor responsible would probably be better suited to an outlet such as Breitbart Unmasked Bunny Billy Boy Unread. I hear there may be one or more openings there.