Alan Dershowitz, a former Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard Law School, has penned a scathing editorial on Robert Mueller’s comment that “if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that.”
As a prosecutor Mueller is not in a position to determine guilt or innocence — that decision “requires a full adversarial trial with a zealous defense attorney, vigorous cross examination, exclusionary rules of evidence and other due process safeguards.
According to Dershowitz “prosecutors can only conclude whether there is sufficient evidence to commence a prosecution.”
By putting his thumb, indeed his elbow, on the scale of justice in favor of impeachment based on obstruction of justice, Mueller has revealed his partisan bias. He also has distorted the critical role of a prosecutor in our justice system.
….No responsible prosecutor should ever suggest that the subject of his investigation might indeed be guilty even if there was insufficient evidence or other reasons not to indict.
….federal investigations by prosecutors, including special counsels, are by their very nature one-sided. They hear only evidence of guilt and not exculpatory evidence. Their witnesses are not subject to the adversarial process. There is no cross examination. The evidence is taken in secret behind the closed doors of a grand jury. For that very reason, prosecutors can only conclude whether there is sufficient evidence to commence a prosecution. They are not in a position to decide whether the subject of the investigation is guilty or is innocent of any crimes.
That determination of guilt or innocence requires a full adversarial trial with a zealous defense attorney, vigorous cross examination, exclusionary rules of evidence and other due process safeguards. Such safeguards were not present in this investigation, and so the suggestion by Mueller that Trump might well be guilty deserves no credence.
No prosecutor should ever say or do anything for the purpose of helping one party or the other. I cannot imagine a plausible reason why Mueller went beyond his report and gratuitously suggested that President Trump might be guilty, except to help Democrats in Congress and to encourage impeachment talk and action. Shame on Mueller for abusing his position of trust and for allowing himself to be used for such partisan advantage. [Dershowitz: Shame on Robert Mueller for exceeding his role | The Hill]
I have said this before in the sense that everything we get from nature comes in an inconvenient form: metals must be extracted from their ores; grain must be milled or threshed and the wheat separated from its chaff; crude oil must be refined into its constituent weights.
But the more philosophical point is that all resources are the product of the human mind. A “natural” resource is only a resource at all in the context of a particular technology. It is only a resource to someone who can look at it and understand its use and value. And it is only a resource to someone who has the technology and the capital to extract it from its environment and put it to that use.
You can see this in the stories of the early development of industries.
Crawford then goes on to list and elaborate on resources that were once waste products: natural gas, portland cement and cast iron.
“How did blue-collar voters connect with a millionaire from Queens in the 2016 election? Martin and Illie Anderson Senior fellow Victor Davis Hanson addresses that question and more in his newly released book, The Case for Trump. He sits down with Peter Robinson to chat about his motivation to write a book making a rational case for those voters who chose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton. Hanson and Robinson, the Murdoch Distinguished Policy Fellow, discuss how voters connected with Trump’s “personal authenticity” during the campaign and how the media has a “historical amnesia” of the bad behavior of past presidents when talking about President Trump. The president, Hanson argues, was always an outsider from elite society in Manhattan, which helped him to better to connect with voters who felt like outsiders. He analyzes President Trump’s platform agenda, which was composed 80% of traditionally conservative views with the remaining 20% being radical ideas that fit with many of the views of the midwestern states. He breaks down why, in the end, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, and John Kasich didn’t appeal to voters in the way that Trump managed to. Hanson turns to talk about his background and life growing up in California’s Central Valley and how different the area feels now compared to when he was younger….”
Hanson argues that the political “outsider” Trump is not merely the lessor of two evils, but putting aside his anti-intellectuality, pettyiness and crudeness, in some policy areas he is good. For a contrasting view see Onkar Ghate: Why Ayn Rand Would Have Despised a President Trump. The era of the Trump Presidency is an interesting test for America’s constitutional republic and rule of law.
The Soho Forum hosted a debate about the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and whether the Palestinian movement has a right to exist. Israeli author Elan Journo, the Ayn Rand Institute’s research director, debated U.S. Army Strategist Major Danny Sjursen at the Subculture Theater in New York City.
The debate vividly brought out an important contrast between my opponent’s approach to the issue and mine. In my own remarks, I highlighted my book’s distinctive approach to the conflict: a secular, individualist moral framework. I take the principle of individual freedom as a standard for evaluating the adversaries. Central to my view is that we must evaluate the nature of the Palestinian movement. The evidence shows that this movement is hostile to freedom; its main factions strive to establish militant authoritarian and theocratic regimes. To resolve the conflict, then, we must start by taking seriously this movement’s ideological aims. My opponent, by contrast, challenged the premise that there’s any coherence to the “Palestinian movement,” denied the importance of its ideological outlook, and urged a return to solutions that have demonstrably made matters worse.
“Obstruction of justice is the new, even lamer sequel to collusion.”
“Instead we have moved in the space of about five minutes from theorizing about Trump’s 30-plus years of experience working for the KGB to arguing that his unwillingness to pretend that he really enjoyed having his presidency undermined for half of his first term was a pleasant experience makes him guilty of something called ‘obstruction of justice.’ “
“What kind of person do you have to be to spend two years insisting on the basis of no evidence whatsoever that a crime occurred and then, virtually the minute your baseless assertions are proven false, start banging on about how the suspect’s attempts to prove himself innocent are themselves criminal?”