Ballot question: Should California be split into three states?
The answer depends heavily on how exactly the split works. It makes sense to split the state into three states with population mixes such that they are politically competitive, rather than millions of urban illegals ruling over farmers. It doesn't make sense to give the same Democrats now in power 4 more Senators from one-party states.
So, McCabe lied to Comey about leaking to the Wall Street Journal, then lied to INSD agents investigating the leak under oath, then lied to the IG about those prior lies. In addition, the IG says McCabe wasn't authorized to leak the information in the first place.
The IG is referring the report to the FBI, which will likely do nothing.
The funny thing is, Mueller seems to think leaking this will help him. It will only confirm that his team is leaking -- and violating attorney-client privilege for uninvolved parties without even the fig leaf of campaign finance law to cover them.
Mueller warrants on Cohen mentioned Trump repeatedly
Of course Trump is the real target, but admitting it in the search warrant might offer attorney-client privilege protections for the information. Of course, that won't matter when Mueller leaks it to the press, or writes his impeachment report.
This is the most effective way out of the trap I've seen yet. Figure out who comes after Rosenstein, make sure they aren't worse -- make some personnel changes if necessary -- then ask Rosenstein to recuse himself on the grounds that he signed one of the FISA warrants on the Trump campaign and when he refuses, take it to a judge.
So far, we have a lot of different rumors about what the FBI is looking for in the raid on Cohen's offices. I take this to mean that the FBI doesn't have any single thing they are actually looking for, and are just trying to cast the widest possible net and hope they catch something they can sell.
The latest thing they are claiming to be looking for is the Access Hollywood tape (or at least documents related to it). It's not clear if they are claiming Cohen paid someone, or tried to pay someone, to keep the tape off the air, or what exactly the alleged crime is. Since the tape did get aired, that seems like a nonstarter.
The Hill also mischaracterizes the content of the tape:
What he said was, quoting from memory, "You can grab them by the pussy and they just let you do it." (Emphasis mine)
That's certainly crude locker room talk and potentially grounds for sexual assault charges... except if they just let you do it it's called consent.
One of those things has a deadline that doesn't give Paul Ryan any time to think before he acts, assuming he wants to get his intended retirement out before some damaging information about him gets out.
So, yeah, I'm setting down a marker here. Something in the "electronic communication" damages Paul Ryan enough to make his re-election impossible.
UPDATE: So, Nunes got the document, with fewer redactions. I'll go one step further. Ryan is Speaker of the House. He's third in line for the presidency if something happens; he's arguably one of the three most powerful government officials around (with the other two being the President and the Senate Majority Leader). If the Obama FBI and DOJ were going to notify anyone in Congress about what they were up to with the Trump campaign, the list would pretty much have to include Ryan and McConnell.
I'm betting Ryan was one of the first people to be notified of the investigation, and that he approved it or at least did not speak up about it, and that the "electronic communication" reveals that.
That's all speculation based on the timing, but my bets are on the table.
I couldn't care less about this, honestly. A military target is a military target. Yeah, it's bad for PR and I'd prefer to minimize civilian deaths. But when you hide your military among your civilian population, that's what happens. It's why wearing uniforms is taken seriously, among other things. But I do have an important question to ask.
Who in that room leaked it and deserves to be out of a job?
That's how the Obama administration got around Congress having the power of the purse; he funneled money to his political allies by extorting it using the Department of Justice. Under Trump's EPA and Scott Pruitt, the gravy train has ended, and the left wants Scott out because he's just too effective.
What, did you think the cascade of negative stories all hitting at once was just coincidence?
Orin Kerr is misapplying the 4th and 5th Amendment
The setup: Kerr posted an argument that the 5th Amendment allowed police to compel an individual to reveal their encryption password (to a phone or computer) so the police could search it. A commenter responded that his analysis was legally correct but completely wrong, as it results in people having absolutely no privacy. The commenter is correct, but Kerr responds:
Here's the thing. The fourth amendment requires a warrant before government can break into your house and search your papers, or arrest you and search your pockets. If the government gets a warrant, it does not require you to give them the keys to your house. You're perfectly justified is refusing to help them search. They will then break into your house, causing all sorts of property damage to punish you for refusing to help, but you do not have to help, and it's generally wise not to help, because helping can be mistaken for consent.
In the case of an encrypted computing device, the police are unable to break in within your help. That's why they want to compel you to help. But their attempts to compel you to help fail by means of the 5th amendment as well. They are asking you to testify against yourself by providing them with your decryption password. They got a warrant, which authorizes them to take the physical device, but they need your help to open it. It's like a door they can't break down.
And they have no right to force you to help them.
Now that I've disposed of the substantial argument, let's consider Kerr's argument:
He goes right to the favorite argument of statists and tyrants: save the children.
Why is this guy being given a platform on a supposedly libertarian blog again? I used to respect the Volokh crowd.
I'm not sure I would read the interview as saying an impeachment vote will be held immediately, just that the process would start. But the word impeachment was in fact used. It appears to refer to FBI Deputy Director Rosenstein and FBI Director Wray.
Of course, there's probably no way the Senate convicts. But it might give Trump political cover to fire them.
Even though they say "a German man", anyone with German citizenship could match that description. The man's first name does seem German, and authorities are alleging links to "far right" groups and investigating two other suspects who may have fled the scene. In addition to the 2 dead, 20 were injured.
Note that he had no criminal record, and was able to get a gun.
I'm of two minds: I think all this should be released as soon as possible, but I don't want that to interfere with the process of investigating and bringing criminal charges against the people who did it.
Frankly, I'm afraid we're not going to get either, despite Huber.
From the description, this is basically something similar to a domestic violence restraining order, except without the "domestic" part. The DV restraining orders already have due process problems because they are often issued unopposed in cases like a divorce, and they don't allow for police confiscation in most cases -- it's usually up to the recipient to make other arrangements for temporary storage in anticipation of the order being lifted. A federal law enabling confiscation-first-due-process-later orders will likely lead to no one getting their property back, and it won't stop cases like Parkland where the FBI failed to do their job and the local police also failed to do theirs.
First: What's the connection to Russian interference in the 2016 election? None -- absent conspiracy theories like a Russian thug threatening "Stormy Daniels", or Russians funding the payoff to help Trump, there's no Russian connection. There may be an election connection -- the media has been arguing the payoff is a campaign finance crime or something -- but not a Russian connection. But Mueller's gone way off the reservation on this already, so why stop now?
Second: This is Trump's lawyer. Attorney-client privilege?
Mind you, anything negative about Trump that Mueller finds in his fishing expedition will leak, even if it gets thrown out of court later, that won't matter for purposes of public opinion and/or impeachment proceedings.
Bottom line: this is Mueller trying to force Trump to fire him, so Trump can be impeached for obstruction of justice after the 2018 midterms and the Democrats take the House as they anticipate.
What's Trump's best response? I got nuffin. I think this is yet another attempt to make headlines out of nothing by Mueller, but the trap is still effective; firing Mueller leads to charges of obstruction, not firing him leads to the pressure from things like this increasing infinitely. Mueller deserves to be fired, but is it worth the political cost? How else can he be made to go away?
Finally, note the timing. We're about to see the IG report on FISA abuse drop. Will these headlines compete? Is Mueller also trying to suggest that there's something to the whole investigation in order to defend against the anticipated IG report?
UPDATE: CNN has some "questions" fed to them by leakers. They are supposed to tell us that there's something suspicious about the whole Stormy Daniels thing. Instead, they tell us that Mueller has nothing on Trump besides the Stormy Daniels thing. And the Stormy Daniels thing is nothing. It's not connected to Russia, connecting it to the campaign is a stretch, and arguing for impeachment based on it is a non-starter. This is a tissue-thin excuse to raid Trump's lawyer's files and correspondence hoping they find something useful. That's all.
Previously missing CDC employee found dead by drowning
Not sure what to make of this. His going missing (and presumably, his death) coincided with a couple incidents of white powder mailed to government officials. Is there a connection? They did seem to stop shortly afterward. I think they caught someone for one of the attacks (the fake one, where it was just ordinary powder) but in the other attack people actually got sick. Is there a connection? Who knows?