Tag Archives: special prosecutor

Now it’s the Democrats’ turn to play hardball

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer laid it on the line.

There shouldn’t be a Senate vote on the next FBI director until we get a special prosecutor appointed to continue the investigation into whether Donald John Trump’s presidential campaign colluded with Russians who sought to swing the 2016 election in Trump’s favor.

Sounds pretty straightforward, yes? Of course it does. I get it. I’ll bet the president gets it, too.

The president fired the former FBI director, James Comey, in a stunning personnel move that has confounded even the FBI and White House staffs. The message over why Trump acted has been muddled and uncertain; it remains so to this very day!

Democrats want a special prosecutor named; so do a growing number of Senate Republicans. I reckon that’s the hand Schumer is playing now as he threatens to hold up a vote on anyone nominated to lead the FBI.

My own bias and political leaning allows me to suggest that Schumer is on to something with this demand.

FBI must bow out of this probe

As Schumer noted to CNN, the FBI is linked to the Department of Justice, which is led by an attorney general who has recused himself from any Russia dealings. At least that Jeff Sessions has said, despite his reported involvement in recommending that Trump fire Comey … which the president said he decided to do before getting the recommendation. Do you see what I mean about muddled messages?

The point, though, is that we need to get a special prosecutor appointed and that person needs to get his or her feet planted firmly before we move ahead with a new FBI director.

Look at it this way: If the Republican leadership can block a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court for no other reason than to play politics with the federal court system, it seems to me that Senate Democrats are standing on pretty firm ground in demanding a special prosecutor before considering an FBI appointment.

Get ready for hot seat, Mr. Deputy AG-designate

Rod Rosenstein.

That name, right there, well might become the most-watched in Washington, D.C., behind — quite naturally — the name of the president of the United States.

Rosenstein has been picked by Donald J. Trump to become the deputy U.S. attorney general.

Why is this fellow so important right now? Because his boss, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has recused himself from anything to do with an investigation into whether Trump was too cozy with Russian government officials. That means Rosenstein, by all accounts a hard-nosed prosecutor, will get to decide whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the Trump-Russia matter.

Rosenstein’s confirmation hearing focused almost exclusively on Sessions, Trump and the Russians. Senate Judiciary Committee Democrats sought to pin him down, trying to get him to commit to picking a special prosecutor. Rosenstein didn’t give that one up — to no one’s surprise.

Unlike Senate and House Republicans who say it’s “too early” to determine whether there’s a need for a special counsel, I happen to believe one should get the call. There needs to be a thorough investigation of what the president knew about the Russian effort to influence the 2016 presidential election, when he knew it, whether he colluded with the Russians. We also need to know whether Trump or someone from his campaign staff sought to renegotiate sanctions leveled against Russia by the Obama administration over the Russians’ meddling in our electoral process.

Rosenstein isn’t your ordinary, run-of-the-mill deputy AG. Folks in that job usually blend into the woodwork, never to be seen or heard from again once they take office.

Not this guy.

Assuming the Senate confirms him — and it should — Rosenstein is about to settle into one of the hottest seats in Washington.

Do the right thing, sir. Pick that special counsel.

It’s not too early to call for special prosecutor

The White House says it’s too early to call for a special prosecutor to investigate the president’s relationship with Russian government officials.

Actually, it’s not too early. Not at all.

At issue is whether U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should lead that probe. I don’t believe he should. Neither do congressional Democrats. Nor do a number of leading congressional Republicans.

We are entering some seriously rough waters as they regard the president of the United States.

Donald J. Trump has this curious man-crush on Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose own government has been accused of trying to manipulate the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Intelligence organizations have declared that the Russians tried to hack into our political computer networks in that endeavor; Trump keeps denying it happened.

There is a compelling need to get to the truth. Sessions is too close, too friendly, too allied with Trump to be trusted to give such an investigation the push it needs.

White House spokespersons are calling on Congress to launch investigations. I, for one, am not sure I can trust Congress to conduct such a thorough, bipartisan probe; I point to the ridiculous investigation into Hillary Rodham Clinton’s e-mail “scandal,” which produced nothing on which to prosecute the former secretary of state.

This story has many alleys down which investigators should travel.

Did the president order former national security adviser Michael Flynn to talk to the Russian ambassador about lifting sanctions leveled against the Russians? When did Flynn lie to the vice president about those discussions and did the president know about it before the vice president knew? Was there a violation of the Logan Act prohibiting unauthorized agents from negotiating with foreign governments?

Who’s going to find the truth?

Special prosecutors aren’t a new concept. Congress has appointed them, they have produced riveting results.

Donald Trump might be in serious trouble. Then again, he might be as clean as he says he is.

Let’s turn a special prosecutor team loose to find the truth.


GOP lawmaker gets it right: appoint a special prosecutor

Well … as I live and breathe.

Republican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa of California — one of Hillary Rodham Clinton’s most fervent nemeses on Capitol Hill — has shown his reasonable side.

Issa believes a special prosecutor should be appointed to investigate allegations about Donald J. Trump’s connections to the Russian government.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is the wrong man to lead such a probe, Issa told Bill Maher on his “Real Time” TV show.

Issa said, according to the Associated Press: “You’re right that you cannot have somebody — a friend of mine, Jeff Sessions — who was on the campaign and who is an appointee. You’re going to need to use the special prosecutor’s statute and office.”

How about that?

Issa makes the case that Sessions is too close to the president and too much in Trump’s hip pocket to be a faithful and committed investigator into allegations about the president’s relationships with Russian government officials.

Intelligence agencies have determined that Russian hackers sought to influence the 2016 presidential election. Trump keeps denying it, calling such reporting “fake news.” What’s more, there now are questions about whether the Trump campaign had improper contact with Russian intelligence officials during the campaign while the government was (allegedly) trying to sway the election in Trump’s favor.

Sessions role in the campaign? He was the first U.S. senator to endorse Trump; he spoke in Trump’s favor at the Republican convention this past summer; he joined the campaign as a national security adviser; and then he got appointed attorney general by the same president who should be investigated for improper conduct.

It’s to be expected that Democrats would insist on a special prosecutor. To hear such demands come from Republicans — let alone one who pursued a leading Democratic politician seemingly forever — provides a need push in the drive to find the unvarnished truth in this ongoing story.

‘You’d be in jail’ … except that Hillary won’t go there


Donald J. Trump spoke a lot of trash during his winning campaign for the presidency.

He turned to Hillary Rodham Clinton during a presidential debate and said “You’d be in jail” in response to a statement she made about his lack of understanding of the rule of law.

Then he talked about appointing a special prosecutor to look for proof that she was as “crooked” as he said she was.

Except that now he’s not going to anything of the sort.

That is a very good call from the president-elect.


Trump says now he wants to focus on the fixing the country. He doesn’t want any distractions, such as a futile special prosecutor’s probe into matters that already have been determined to be out of reach for any prosecutor.

The e-mail controversy? The alleged “pay for play”? Benghazi?

It’s all been settled. The FBI determined there was no criminality involved with the e-mail server Clinton used while she was secretary of state. Pay for play has been nothing more than a political talking point. A congressional select committee has been unable to prosecute Clinton for anything involving the Sept. 11, 2012 fire fight at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

I wonder now if Trump is going to offer any expressions of “regret” or — dare I say — an actual apology for defaming Clinton with the “crooked Hillary” label.

Actually, there’s no need to wonder. The president-elect has told us already he never regrets anything … ever.

Search for justice takes surprise turn in Baltimore

The case of Freddie Gray’s death while in Baltimore police custody has taken a startling turn.

Six police officers are charged with homicide in Gray’s death from a severed spine while he was being detained.


Then came an expected reaction.

The African-American community is elated that the officers are being charged. Others, namely the police union in Baltimore, are calling for the county prosecutor, Marilyn Mosby, to recuse herself. The union wants Mosby to select a special prosecutor. Why? Is she incapable of prosecuting the police officers fairly? Is it fair to wonder whether the fact that Mosby is African-American — as was Gray — has something to do with the union’s demand that she recuse herself?

Well, I’m wondering it out loud.

Mosby’s findings suggest that Gray was denied medical attention after he cried out for it.

I don’t want to applaud these charges. Frankly, the turn of events means this case is going to keep tempers roiling in Baltimore for an undetermined length of time. The media will find every way possible to report on every detail of the case. Let us also understand that the officers deserve the presumption of innocence; the burden will fall on the state to prove their guilt.

My hope, as an American who lives far from the seething anger in Baltimore, is that this case can proceed with all deliberate speed and thoroughness.

I will place my trust that Marilyn Mosby is up to the task that awaits her.