Watching TV can be a colossal waste of time and brain cells --- especially if you’re suffering through “Morning Joe” or “The View” or the current crop of late-night shows –- but occasionally it offers those brain cells an enormous nutritional boost. If you happened to catch “Life, Liberty & Levin” on FOX News over the weekend, you get to go to the head of the class.
Sunday’s edition of Mark Levin’s weekly TV show featured as guests two outstanding legal minds: Bradley Smith, who is former chairman of the Federal Election Commission, a Harvard Law School graduate, a former professor of election law and author of “UNFREE SPEECH: The Folly of Campaign Finance Reform” (his credentials go on and on); and Gregg Jarrett, a FOX News legal analyst and one of our go-to experts who has written the outstanding bestseller THE RUSSIA HOAX. And, of course, there was host Mark Levin, who is no slouch, either. Maybe it was an effect of the TV lights, but I think I could see the little waves of brilliance dancing around their heads.
While most mainstream (that is to say, anti-Trump) news offers one drive-by hit after another, with little time to stop and analyze the validity of the laws involved, Levin and his guests take the time to consider the realities of election law (as they relate to the Michael Cohen plea to “non-crimes” with which to implicate the President), special counsel law (which is being abused in an attempt to “find” a crime with which to implicate the President), Justice Department policy (which is being violated in a strategy to implicate the President), and leaks of classified material (which were deliberately done to trigger a special counsel to implicate the President),
You know, I'm starting to think the idea behind everything they've been doing is...to implicate the President. Not necessarily to indict himself on anything he actually did --- because he didn’t do anything --- but to put a lot of garbage into a report that the Democrats can use as a pretext for impeaching him.
This show offers the best dissection you’ll find of Rod Rosenstein's authority to oversee the special counsel and Rosenstein’s conflict of interest, which borders on the obscene. According to Jarrett, “It’s a major disqualifying conflict of interest that is actually mandatory under federal regulations. It says ‘SHALL’ disqualify yourself; not ‘maybe’ or ‘should’ or ‘perhaps.’ ‘SHALL.’”
And yet, Rosenstein, “with impunity,” has ignored his own conflict of interest. “It’s really quite astonishing,” Jarrett says. “I think most law professors, of ethics, are confounded by his refusal.”
So, what’s the huge conflict? To cite just one problem, Mueller has apparently interviewed Rosenstein as a witness in this case, when Rosenstein is essentially Mueller’s boss and presiding over the case. That is absurd. As Jarrett points out, “Federal regulations say you cannot be a prosecutor and a witness in the same case. It’s fundamental ethics –- legal ethics.
“It’s the kind of stuff for which you get suspended or disbarred.”
Jarrett goes on to point out the deep ties among Comey, Mueller and Rosenstein as they relate to this case, and it’s just so rotten you want to throw something.
Rosenstein has also actively stonewalled Congress in their attempts to obtain documents to which they’re legally entitled. Again, totally rotten, want to throw something.
Smith points out that Mueller seems, in effect, answerable to no one, as Rosenstein isn’t putting any limits on where he can go with his investigation. He says the appointment of Robert Mueller raises constitutional and statutory problems with special counsels.
The discussion goes on, addressing whether or not Mueller (as an “inferior officer”; that is, one that doesn’t require –- or at least in this case, didn’t receive –- Senate confirmation) has the authority to subpoena the President in a situation such as this, where there isn’t even a crime. According to Jarrett, “When it comes to the United States Supreme Court, Mueller knows that he would lose, which is why he’s now relenting to a few questions, in writing, of the President, about what he may or not know about ‘collusion,’ but no questions about obstruction of justice.”
Of course, as Smith points out, the President can still be held accountable for actual crimes after he leaves office and be treated by the legal system just like anyone else, so he is not above the law. (We’re talking hypothetically here, as Trump has not been accused of any crime.)
There’s much more, and it’s all great. It’s not often we get to sit down for an hour with three top legal and constitutional experts and give these subjects the close attention they deserve. Be sure and watch the whole thing. You won’t be tested later, I promise, but you will be able to amaze your friends with your legal expertise. On the other hand, you risk enraging those of your friends who don’t like Trump, because the law is on his side and they just won’t be able to stand it.