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Today's Commentary: Anti-Trump media obsess over "pardon" fantasy --- Join me in Branson on June 12 -- SCOTUS: 7-2 Decision in favor of Colorado baker -- Kristian Saucier -- Bill Clinton refuses to apologize -- Evening Edition - Daily Verse
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One small part of a confidential letter written early this year to special counsel Robert Mueller by the Trump legal team (before Giuliani came aboard) and leaked to the New York Times had the anti-Trump media in a dither all day Monday. Never mind that it concerned something entirely hypothetical: whether or not the President can be charged with obstruction of justice and if he has the constitutional authority to pardon himself.
Legal analysts were all over TV to discuss whether or not these things could happen. The way the talking heads were carrying on, hour after hour, about the President thinking he’s “above the law,” you’d have thought Trump actually HAD pardoned himself. And that’s exactly the impression they wanted to give, even though in reality he is not doing it and has no need whatsoever to do it. Why wait for an actual constitutional crisis that almost certainly will never happen when you can go right ahead and act one out?
Trump, bless him, assisted them in their effort to make him look guilty of something by tweeting that “numerous legal scholars” say “I have the absolute right to PARDON myself.” It’s not the first time he’s pointed this out, either; he tweeted something similar last July. I’m thinking the best way Rudy Giuliani can help him as his attorney is to just take his phone away and throw it into the Potomac.
Speaking of Rudy, he had to go on the air and deal with the veeeeery serious legal questions posed by George Stephanopoulos but found the whole topic amusing. Unless a President has been so obviously railroaded that the electorate sympathizes, the idea of him pardoning himself is so politically explosive that he essentially can’t do it, whether or not the Constitution technically allows him to. That’s because the Constitution also includes a little provision called “impeachment” to keep a President from flouting the law.
To my mind, this was all an exercise in distraction from the growing pile of evidence suggestive of politically-motivated misconduct on the part of the DOJ and FBI. I wanted to make sure I was on the right track about this, so I looked to see if go-to legal mind Andrew C. McCarthy had written a column about it yet, and sure enough, he had.
McCarthy does say that, yes, the President can pardon himself, but that if Congress believes he has abused the pardon in doing so, they can impeach him, and the President does not have the authority to block his own impeachment. But even if the Senate convicts him and removes him from office, the ex-President cannot be prosecuted for whatever he pardoned himself for. Got that?
He also points out that a pardon can be granted before there is any criminal charge, as when President Ford pardoned Nixon. President Carter issued a mass pardon of draft evaders, though they hadn’t yet been charged, and Lincoln similarly pardoned Confederate soldiers and sympathizers. So, technically, Trump could go ahead and issue pardons to anyone Mueller is looking at, including himself. It doesn’t apply to future actions, of course, just to those that have already happened or have been alleged.
McCarthy guesses that Trump’s side is talking about this to show how cooperative he’s being with the investigation, the implication being, “No, I’m not going to sit down for a wide-ranging interview, but, look, I deserve some credit for the support I’ve given to this. I can’t be indicted, I have the power to fire Mueller or anybody else I want, and I could pardon anyone I want –- even myself –- but see how I’m refraining from using my sweeping power?”
But this approach is not one McCarthy would take. There is still no obstruction case against the President, he says, so why get into this? As for whether or not Mueller could compel Trump to testify, he says that as long as Trump has not been implicated in a crime (and it appears he hasn’t) and doesn’t possess evidence that he alone can provide to prove the prosecutor’s case, then there’s no reason for him to testify and it’s just a hypothetical.
Hypothetical or not, the anti-Trump media types have been foaming at the mouth just thinking about this stuff. By the way, did you know that when Hillary was the presumed winner back in 2016, a few were speculating that she might pardon herself once in office and wipe the slate clean of her many transgressions? I don’t remember the media going apoplectic at the prospect of that.
Join me in Branson June 12
By Mike Huckabee
I'm coming to Branson at Silver Dollar City on June 12th.
Join me and a host of great guests including Tony Orlando, Irish Tenor, Anthony Kearns, Country singer Moe Bandy, the Shanghai Acrobats and much more! The show starts at 11 am at the SDC Opera House and ends at 1pm. You'll even get first entry and the best VIP seats in the house! Attending the show is free, but you will need to purchase an admission ticket to the park. You can enjoy all the attractions and other great Silver Dollar City shows the rest of the day. Just click here for all the details:
SCOTUS: 7-2 Decision in favor of Colorado baker
By Mike Huckabee
When the Supreme Court overturned centuries of law and tradition in ruling that there is a right to same-sex marriage, it also created a huge muddle in which that newly-invented right conflicted with the enumerated First Amendment right of freedom to practice your religious beliefs without government restraint. In handing down that ruling, the SCOTUS made clear that care should be taken that it not infringe on religious beliefs. But the ink was barely dry before Christian bakers, florists and other wedding service providers in blue states were being sued, harassed, hounded, fined, branded as “haters” and driven into bankruptcy simply for declining jobs that would require them to violate their sacred belief in the Biblical definition of marriage.
(Say, remember when same-sex marriage activists questioned why Christians would oppose it when it would never have any effect on them? That seems as long ago as the silent movie era.)
The case of Colorado baker Jack Phillips would have been an excellent opportunity for the SCOTUS to clean up the giant mess it made and issue a broad-based ruling reaffirming that the First Amendment’s protection of religious freedom is #1 for a reason and that it means what it says and is supreme over all other laws. Unfortunately, while today’s 7-2 ruling in favor of Phillips is welcome and long-overdue relief for him, it still only tinkers around the edges of fixing the damage wrought by the original decision. The ruling focuses on the egregious actions of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, which was relentlessly and openly hostile to Phillips’ religious beliefs every step of the way, never once according him even the benefit of the doubt that he had a legitimate objection of conscience.
By Mike Huckabee
During the 2016 election campaign, President Trump often compared Hillary Clinton to former Navy submariner Kristian Saucier to illustrate how the federal justice system was allegedly rigged to protect the powerful. Saucier spent a year in federal prison for taking photos of classified sections of his submarine. Federal prosecutors aggressively pursued him for leaking classified information, arguing that he knew what he did was illegal and he tried to cover it up by smashing his devices. Which was totally unlike what Hillary did because…sorry, I’ve got nothing. Because of the sentence and his prison record, Saucier and his wife lost their house and their cars were repossessed.
President Trump pardoned Saucier and wished him well getting on with his life. And now he is: he’s planning to sue James Comey, Barack Obama and the US Justice Department for violating his right to equal protection under the law. His attorney claims authorities deliberately went hard on Saucier, interpreting his actions as criminal, even though two other sailors on his sub did the same thing and weren’t treated that way. He claims the feds made him out to be a serious criminal to make him seem different from Hillary because they were getting so much flak for letting her off scot-free.
I don’t know if this lawsuit will ever make it into court, but if it does, discovery should be interesting. I should warn him, though: if he has to depend on the DOJ to provide documents related to their investigation of Hillary Clinton, he can file this suit, but his great-grandchildren may have to finish it.
Bill Clinton refuses to apologize
By Mike Huckabee
Bill Clinton should be very glad he’s not running for anything now, because his book promotion interview with Craig Melvin that aired Monday on NBC’s “Today Show” would have derailed his campaign as badly as the CBS interview where Roger Mudd asked Ted Kennedy why he wanted to be President and Ted couldn’t come up with a coherent answer. At least Ted didn’t also blurt out that he was the real victim of the Chappaquiddick tragedy, no matter much he might have believed it. But Bill Clinton actually did seem to suggest that he was the real victim of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
Even in the MeToo era, he is still defiant in not only refusing to apologize to Ms Lewinsky but getting angry at the suggestion that he even should. No wonder he got along so well with Harvey Weinstein. Astoundingly, he also seems to believe that the media were biased against him. As an example of that awful anti-Clinton media bias, Joe Concha in The Hill newspaper pulled up this quote from 1998, in a Tina Brown New Yorker article seeking to quell the rising scandal:
“Now see your President, tall and absurdly debonair, as he dances with a radiant blonde, his wife…Amid the clichés about his charm, his glamour is undersung…Forget the dog-in-the-manger, down-in-the-mouth neo-puritanism of the op-ed tumbrel drivers, and see him instead as his guests do: a man in a dinner jacket with more heat than any star in the room."
Gee, I’ll bet President Trump wishes he could suffer vicious media bias like that.
Evening Edition - June 4
By Mike Huckabee
A wrap-up of all the news you might have missed yesterday!
"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
- Acts 16:31