Collusion Sinks, Obstructions Soars
Reviewing the testimony of fired FBI Director James Comey over the weekend, I was struck by how Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee asked very little about the increasingly discredited narrative that the president and/or his campaign colluded with Russia during the election. Instead, they and the big media talking heads were clearly shifting toward a new narrative and a new allegation -- obstruction of justice.
Republican senators spent most of their time getting Comey on the record regarding the original charges -- Russia's influence in the election. Comey conceded that Russia did not change any votes. And after 11 months of investigations, no one has been able to conclusively demonstrate the charge of collusion.
Yesterday on ABC's Sunday morning talk show, "This Week," Democrat Senator Joe Manchin, a member of the Intelligence Committee, was asked by host George Stephanopoulos whether he agreed with President Trump's conclusion "that there was no evidence of collusion." Sen. Manchin replied, "You know, we haven't seen any of that whatsoever, George."
Unfortunately, that does not mean the worst of this is over.
Obstruction of justice is a criminal offense. As columnist Byron York observed over the weekend, there can be no doubt that the left wants to remove Donald Trump from office. The left's biggest donor is demanding it.
Several commentators have noticed that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is assembling a staff with some of the most aggressive criminal attorneys in the United States.
However, I am deeply troubled that Mueller and Comey are longtime friends, and that Comey is now a key accuser or witness in any obstruction of justice case. Why shouldn't Mueller have to recuse himself in favor of a new special counsel who is not so close to a key witness?
With all this in mind, it was reassuring to read what constitutional law Professor Alan Dershowitz wrote on Friday:
"In his testimony former FBI director James Comey echoed a view that I alone have been expressing for several weeks. . . Comey confirmed that under our Constitution, the president has the authority to direct the FBI to stop investigating any individual. . . The president is the head of the unified executive branch of government, and the Justice Department and the FBI work under him and he may order them to do what he wishes. [Watch it here at the 3:18 mark.]
"As a matter of law, Comey is 100 percent correct. . . Now that even former Director Comey has acknowledged that the Constitution would permit the president to direct the Justice Department and the FBI in this matter, let us put the issue of obstruction of justice behind us once and for all. . ."
Sanders & Sharia Law
Outrage continues to build over Bernie Sanders' attack on Russell Vought, President Trump's nominee to be deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, and against evangelicals in public service generally. Sanders was clearly attempting to impose a religious test against a Christian's service in government, something which is specifically prohibited by the Constitution.
Let's just take a second to reflect on this.
What do you think the media's reaction would be if a conservative senator said the following to a Muslim nominee:
"As a faithful Muslim, your declaration of faith says that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is his messenger. When you say that, you are offending non-Muslims. Christians believe that Jesus is God's son. But Muslims believe there is no son. Your remarks are an affront to millions of Americans. This nominee is really not someone who this country is supposed to be about."
That senator would be facing much more than just calls to apologize. He would be facing demands for his resignation!
How do I know there would be that kind of reaction if someone questioned the ability of a Muslim nominee to serve in government?
This weekend there were rallies in numerous American cities by people of varying faiths. They came together to warn that Sharia law is something America should resist because it is incompatible with our constitutional rights, including our First Amendment rights of free speech and religious liberty.
In several cities, the attendees were attacked by progressive thugs. The controversy in the media was not the attacks against peaceful rallies. The controversy was that so-called "bigots" were being allowed to demonstrate against Sharia law.
Of course, the great irony is that if Sharia law were ever instituted in America, the lifestyles and social mores of millions of progressives would be illegal.
Kudos to Dr. Robert Jeffress, senior pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas. Dr. Jeffress is demanding that Sen. Sanders either publicly apologize for insulting the nominee and millions of American Christians or resign.
I hope more pastors will step up and speak out against the left's growing hostility to faith from their pulpits and in the public square by joining Pastor Jeffress' public call for an apology or resignation from Sen. Sanders.
One Year Ago
One year ago today, Omar Mateen, a radical Islamic supremacist, stormed the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Mateen brutally murdered 49 innocent people and wounded 53 others in the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since 9/11.
In recent days, new video was released of the police response to the attack. While Mateen was pledging his loyalty to the Islamic State, one of the courageous officers responding to the attack, 25 year-old Brandon Cornwell, can be heard praying, "Lord Jesus, watch over me."
Sen. Sanders, Officer Cornwell is exactly the kind of person this country is supposed to be about!
Reagan And The Wall
Today marks the 30th anniversary of Ronald Reagan's historic speech at the Brandenburg Gate in front of the Berlin Wall. In his remarks, Reagan famously challenged Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall!"
In the years since, there has been a lot of revisionist history over the course of events that followed. Many reports have heaped praised on Gorbachev. Some even credited the collapse of the wall to a bureaucratic mistake.
But it was not a mistake or a quirky Soviet leader that led to one of freedom's greatest triumphs. Ignoring the advice of so many foreign policy elites, Ronald Reagan refused to accommodate the Soviets or rationalize away the evil that the Berlin Wall represented. Instead, Reagan took a stand for freedom and boldly declared, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
I shudder to think what the world might look like today had Jimmy Carter prevailed in 1980 or Walter Mondale in 1984. Had Ronald Reagan not been so steadfast in his defense of freedom, had his vision not prevailed, the Berlin Wall might still be standing today. While the world celebrates the fall of the Berlin Wall, let's also celebrate the man who helped make it possible.