Sunday, August 26, 2018
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement [July 16, 2018] on President Trump’s meeting and press conference with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki:
“Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. But it is clear that the summit in Helsinki was a tragic mistake.
“President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world.
“It is tempting to describe the press conference as a pathetic rout – as an illustration of the perils of under-preparation and inexperience. But these were not the errant tweets of a novice politician. These were the deliberate choices of a president who seems determined to realize his delusions of a warm relationship with Putin’s regime without any regard for the true nature of his rule, his violent disregard for the sovereignty of his neighbors, his complicity in the slaughter of the Syrian people, his violation of international treaties, and his assault on democratic institutions throughout the world.
“Coming close on the heels of President Trump’s bombastic and erratic conduct towards our closest friends and allies in Brussels and Britain, today’s press conference marks a recent low point in the history of the American Presidency. That the president was attended in Helsinki by a team of competent and patriotic advisors makes his blunders and capitulations all the more painful and inexplicable.
“No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are—a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”
Posted by Patricia A. Petow at 11:14 AM
Saturday, June 30, 2018
1. Trump’s nominee to fill the Justice Kennedy vacancy on the Supreme Court will likely be approved.
As of this writing, it seems doubtful that the Democratic Party can (1) hold its members to vote against a Supreme Court nominee of President Trump and (2) also add a Republican vote or two. To be successful, Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), and Joe Donnelly (Ind.) would have to vote with their Party. Because these senators come from “red” states that voted for Trump in 2016, it is assumed that these senators would not risk losing their next election.
Trump won N.D. with 63% of the popular vote, W. Va. with 67.9% and Ind. with 56.5%. Apparently, Heitkamp, Manchin and Donnelly, senators from these states, would not vote against a Trump nominee on moral or policy grounds.
2. In the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings, Democratic members should ask the nominee:
Discussions with the president: did he or she discuss with the president issues or matters related to or involving the Mueller/ special counsel’s investigation and/or reports and the evidence collected and people or entities indicted and/or entering pleas and with respect to the investigation and legal action taken in connection with the special counsel’s work such as by other components of the Justice Department or the offices of U.S. Attorneys; and the president’s claims of executive privilege, pardon powers, compliance with requests or subpoenas for testimony or production of documents;
Recusal: would he or she recuse himself or herself from hearing cases related to or involving the Mueller/ special counsel’s investigation and/or reports and the evidence collected and people or entities indicted and/or entering pleas and with respect to the investigation and legal action taken in connection with the special counsel’s work such as by other components of the Justice Department or the offices of U.S. Attorneys; and the president’s claims of executive privilege, pardon powers, compliance with requests or subpoenas for testimony or production of documents;
Code of Ethics: would he or she voluntarily comply with the Code of Ethics that applies to all other federal judges (but not at present, to the Supreme Court); see http://www.uscourts.gov/sites/default/files/1973-04.pdf.
Posted by Patricia A. Petow at 9:46 AM