Monday, April 30, 2018

McCain torches Trump in new book: He prioritizes appearance of toughness over American values 
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) lashes out at President Trump in a new book, saying the president seems to care more about "the appearance of toughness" than American values.
"He has declined to distinguish the actions of our government from the crimes of despotic ones," McCain writes of Trump in a newly released excerpt from his new book, "The Restless Wave: Good Times, Just Causes, Great Fights, and Other Appreciations."
"The appearance of toughness, or a reality show facsimile of toughness, seems to matter more than any of our values," he continues.
McCain, 81, also writes that this will be his last term in the Senate, a fact he said a brain cancer diagnosis forced him to admit last year
"I'm freer than colleagues who will face the voters again. I can speak my mind without fearing the consequences much. And I can vote my conscience without worry," McCain writes.
"I don't think I'm free to disregard my constituents' wishes, far from it. I don't feel excused from keeping pledges I made. Nor do I wish to harm my party's prospects. But I do feel a pressing responsibility to give Americans my best judgment."
McCain also laments the "decline in civility and cooperation, and increased obstructionism" he has witnessed in Congress.
However, he says there are remaining lawmakers and officials in the federal government who are "committed to meeting the challenges of the hour."
"They might not be the most colorful politicians in town, but they're usually the ones who get the most done," McCain writes.
He also pushes Americans to seek presidential candidates who promise to create relationships across political parties and are willing to compromise to address national issues, saying that "their humility and honesty commend them for the job."
"Before I leave I'd like to see our politics begin to return to the purposes and practices that distinguish our history from the history of other nations. I would like to see us recover our sense that we are more alike than different," McCain writes at the end of the excerpt.
"We are citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace the tribal enmities that tormented the old one. Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it."
The excerpt comes as McCain undergoes treatment in Arizona, where he has stayed since December.
The former GOP presidential nominee has spoken out about Trump before - he said during an interview last year that he doesn't think the president has any "principles and beliefs."

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Change planted by Trump and Macron on the White House lawn disappears

Tree was a gift from Macron Trump during the presidential visit.

A tree planted by the French President Emmanuel Macron and the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in the garden of the White House on Monday (23) disappeared.
The change was a gift from Macron Trump during the presidential visit.
The tree comes from a location in the North of France where was fought a battle of the First World War, in which us soldiers in 2000 died 1918.
The White House could not be reached for comment on the case immediately, according to the Reuters news agency.
The presidential visit, Macron and Trump have shown enough proximity. Trump called the French colleague of "perfect" and "special friend".

Friday, April 27, 2018

UNITED STATES warn that will hold immigrants who cross the border

On Tuesday, Central American immigrants began arriving by bus to a shelter that is five minutes walk from the border

Tijuana – hundreds of immigrants from Central America who are part of a caravan that crosses the Mexico met again in Tijuana on Wednesday and planned to cross to the United States together next weekend, defying the threats of arrest and expulsion from the American President, Donald Trump.
The arrival of immigrants can commit a series of conversations for the renegotiation of the North American free trade agreement (Nafta), a treaty that Trump comes threatening discard if Mexico does not suppress the flow of Central American immigrants in your territory.
The U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, said that your agency is monitoring the Caravan and sue anyone who among your country illegally or make "a false immigration claim.
On Tuesday, the immigrants began arriving by bus to a shelter that is five minutes walk from the border and which see fly a flag installed on a Causeway linking the two Nations.
Minutes after landing, some sat in front of the shelter with pots of food, looking at the road that goes to the US.
"The wall does not seem so loud," said Kimberly George, Honduran girl of 15 years, pointing in the direction of the barrier situated just a few metres away. "I really want to cross it."
The immigrants said they had escaped from their homes in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras because of death threats from gangs, the murder of relatives or political persecution.
Going from town to town, the caravan became a stone in the shoe of us-Mexico relations after Trump published a series of Tweets in early April by pressing Mexican authorities to detain immigrants.
Volunteers from the Group Sin Fronteras, Pueblos which is headquartered in the United States and organized the caravan, sought immigrants to debate a plan to cross the main pedestrian bridge toward u.s. territory together on Sunday.
Tensions erupted after a Mexico's immigration authority suggested that they follow in smaller groups to the border before the immigrants have the chance to meet closer to the end of the week with regimented immigration lawyers at Pueblos Sin Fronteras.
In Washington, the Mexican Foreign Minister, Luis Videgaray, met with Kirstjen to discuss the immigration from Central America, informed your folder in a statement. He told the Secretary that Mexico will take their own decisions "sovereign" on immigration and that your cooperation with the USA is dictated by Mexican interests.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Sean Hannity needs a class in journalistic ethics 

Now that Sean Hannity understands that he actually had a "real" attorney-client relationship with Michael Cohen, President Trump's personal lawyer and longtime fixer, the Fox host should next sign up for a lesson in journalistic ethics as a signal that his audience had a right to know all this when they watched his show.
Hannity was clearly blindsided Monday when he was publicly outed -- in Judge Kimba Wood's federal courtroom --as a client of Cohen, who is the subject of a criminal investigation by the US attorney's office in Manhattan. 
Despite the Fox host's prior, passionate, on-air defenses of Cohen's actions as the legal defender of Donald Trump, Hannity at first attempted a quick exit, stage right, from any notion that he had a real attorney-client relationship with Cohen, tweeting, "I never retained him, received an invoice or paid legal fees...."
Later, he tweeted again to make it very clear Cohen never represented him in "any matter between me and a third-party."
The subtext here is that no "hush money" was paid to any women on Hannity's behalf, regardless of what Cohen does for the President. Hannity also tempered his earlier, distancing words, tweeting now that he assumed his Cohen conversations were "confidential."
He did this, undoubtedly, because he had been wised-up to the notion that without the existence of an attorney-client relationship with Cohen, none of his communications with the embattled attorney would be shielded from disclosure by the "attorney-client privilege."
Indeed, mass confusion relating to the attorney-client privilege spread like a new strain of flu Monday as Michael Cohen's attorneys sought refuge for his clients under its protective shield. The identities of those clients were bound to impress: the President of the United States, Fox News' Sean Hannity and Republican fundraiser Elliott Broidy.
And this information was revealed as lawyers for the President, Michael Cohen, federal prosecutors and the media argued about who should be allowed access to information or material seized pursuant to a federal search warrant executed on Cohen's office, home and hotel room last week.
One important lesson learned from the proceeding: the names of an attorney's clients are not protected by the attorney-client privilege. What good then is the attorney-client privilege if the fact that you hired an attorney like Michael Cohen who seems to be particularly adept at paying "hush money" to the alleged paramours of prominent married men may appear at any time in tabloids and other media outlets?
Actually, it's good for quite a lot, such as keeping you out of jail, depending on the material lurking in the attorney's files, emails or phone records.
The existence of a legitimate attorney-client privilege with Michael Cohen would prevent law enforcement authorities or others from using any such "privileged" materials in any criminal prosecution, civil lawsuits or even impeachment proceedings.
There are exceptions and limitations to the protective shield of the privilege, such as in situations where the lawyer and the client partner up to commit a crime (the "crime-fraud exception"), or if either the lawyer or the client knowingly discloses the otherwise protected confidences. These exceptions are nuanced and many law journal articles have been written about them.
The need to precisely define when the attorney-client privilege attaches to communications rarely comes up in everyday life. That may, obviously, change during the remainder of the Trump presidency, so a Law School 101 lesson is in order before others get in trouble by foolishly trying to Sean Hannity their way out of the attorney-client relationship.
The attorney-client privilege will attach whenever a person, with a reasonable expectation of confidentiality, consults with a lawyer about a legal matter. That's it. No dollars need be exchanged, nor does a retainer or contract have to be signed for the communication to be protected. At that moment, the attorney-client privilege attaches, even if a more "formal" relationship never ensues.
Communications with the attorney on matters unrelated to legal matters are not shielded by the privilege.
With respect to Mr. Hannity, I'm betting some of his communications with Mr. Cohen will enjoy the privilege while other discussions like those pertaining to politics will be afforded no such protection. Now it's time to tell his audience.

Calling the police on black people isn’t a Starbucks problem. It’s an America problem. 

It’s good that Starbucks, with its announcement this week that it will close thousands of stores for a day of “racial bias training” in May, is taking steps in the right direction after a video of two black men getting arrested in one of its coffee shops went viral. But white America’s habit of needlessly calling the police on black people is not just a Starbucks culture problem. It’s an American culture problem.

The tragic examples are all over the Internet. In McKinney, Tex., in 2015, after a neighbor called police about a pool party, a responding officer used brute force on 15-year-old Dajerria Becton, slamming the girl to the ground by her hair and jamming his knees into her back and neck. The video of the sobbing, 100-pound, swimsuit-clad girl went viral. The officer was fired.
That same year, South Carolina officer Ben Fields was fired over a viral video of him flipping a black high school girl over her desk and dragging her across the classroom. Her offense? Refusing to put away her cellphone.
And, of course, who can forget what happened in 2009 when a woman in Cambridge, Mass., called 911 to report a possible burglary in her neighborhood? The man she called the cops on was renowned black Harvard University professor Henry ­Louis Gates Jr. He was arrested and charged — for trying to get into his own house.
“My anger is directed not just at the cops but also at the cowardly Starbucks manager who made the call to the police to begin with,” Jason Johnson wrote in an excellent account for the Root on the Starbucks incident, in which two black men quietly waiting for a friend ended up in handcuffs. “The men and women making these outrageous and unwarranted calls to police, which result in the harassment, unfair prosecution and even death of people of color, need to be found [and] publicly shamed.”
The first U.S. memorial to the victims of lynchings is set to open next week in Montgomery, Ala. Black people in this country have long known that disturbing white Americans in white spaces can mean death. “In the early decades of the 20th century,” author Isabel Wilkerson noted in the New York Times, “a caste system ruled the South with such repression that every four days an African-American was lynched for some perceived breach or mundane accusation — having stolen 75 cents or made off with a mule.” Indeed, between 1877 and 1950, almost 4,000 black people died this way, mostly in Southern states.
What the Starbucks incident has in common with the lynchings of the past — as well as the police brutality and mass incarceration of the present — is the basic fact that black people in America can be physically eliminated at any time, in any place, for little reason — whether that means being kicked out of stores, suspended from school, priced out of their neighborhoods, locked up in jail or put in the grave.
Johnson proposes a legal remedy. “You can get arrested for pulling a fire alarm, making fake bomb threats and making false claims of an alien invasion — why not a false police report that results in death?” he wrote. “We should be pushing for prosecution against these callers just as much as the cops who pull the trigger.”
Maybe something like this could help. It would certainly be better than having the second thoughts come after the fact, after it’s too late. In Sacramento in March, a white neighbor investigating the sound of breaking glass called the police to report a man in a hoodie on his street. Stephon Clark wound up dead, in his grandmother’s back yard, after police fired 20 rounds at him. He was unarmed.
The neighbor has said he never wants to call 911 again.
Starbucks will do what it needs to do to protect its brand. But what is America doing to protect its own citizens of color? Who will train Americans to stop calling the cops on their unarmed black neighbors? Who will train school officials not to use police force on black kids just for being kids? Who will train the ­convenience-store managers? The mom-and-pop restaurants? And how can we up the social and legal costs for people who make life-threatening decisions by calling the police on peaceful black people?
To echo pop singer Solange Knowles, the fundamental question I am asking white America is: “Where can we be free? Where can we be safe? Where can we be black?”
In 2018, I don’t think America has an answer.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Trump’s problem isn’t that he has bad lawyers. It’s that he’s a bad client.

Time and time again, President Trump and his associates have talked themselves into legal trouble. Trump’s splenetic tweets about foreigners were quoted in court opinions blocking his immigration initiatives. When Trump proclaimed he had no idea that his attorney Michael Cohen had paid adult-film actress Stormy Daniels for her silence, her lawyers cheered — the president had just handed them a very plausible argument that the nondisclosure agreement she signed with Cohen was unenforceable. Like his client, Cohen has caused problems for himself, careening from one ill-advised public outburst to another about Daniels, derailing his efforts to enforce the nondisclosure agreement and probably assisting the federal criminal investigation that culminated in searches of his home, office and hotel room this month. During special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, former Trump advisers Michael Flynn and George Papadopoulos have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, and indictments against his former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Manafort’s associate Richard Gates include similar charges. These are all self-inflicted wounds; any good attorney would advise against them.  

When wealthy and powerful people make such bad decisions, it’s tempting to assume they must have gotten terrible legal advice. But that’s rarely true. Yes, for most people, there is a crisis of good lawyering in America: Quality legal advice is too expensive. Our public defenders are overworked and underfunded. Few Americans can afford to litigate a civil dispute at all, let alone do so aggressively with elite lawyers. But when the rich and powerful — the self-styled “masters of the universe” — make legally disastrous decisions, it’s usually because they’ve either ignored their attorneys or self-indulgently chosen the wrong lawyers for the job.

The very qualities that lead people to wealth, power and fame can make them very poor consumers of legal advice; hubris is fatal to an effective attorney-client relationship. Trump prizes “loyalty” very highly, as many powerful people do. But real loyalty from an attorney doesn’t involve fawning over a client, refraining from criticism, or congratulating them for views both right and wrong. A good lawyer’s loyalty lies in being ready to give plain-spoken advice that will get you fired if your client’s in the wrong mood. An effective advocate’s loyalty isn’t about saying “Good idea” or “You’re right,” it’s about warning “Shut up” and “No, you shouldn’t do that” and “Yes, I understand you want to do that, but here’s why it’s a terrible idea.” Real loyalty looks like Cordelia, refusing to flatter King Lear at great cost, not like her sisters, praising him effusively to get more land. 
So when I see Trump and Cohen running their mouths about the hush-money contract with Daniels, thereby putting themselves in greater civil and criminal jeopardy, I don’t assume they’ve gotten bad legal advice. I assume they’ve gotten at least some good counsel but have ignored it, because running their mouths is essential to their public personas. Trump believes he is the master of the deal — the man able to talk his way into whatever he wants. Cohen imagines himself an unmatched fixer, an artful wielder of power and influence to get results for clients. Those self-images are not consistent with shutting up for your own good just because some lawyer tells you to.  
In fact, the federal criminal justice system depends on hubris for prosecutors to prevail when they take on the powerful. Flynn, Papadopoulos, Gates — and perhaps Cohen — are merely the most recent examples. Media mogul Martha Stewart was convicted in 2004 of lying to the FBI in the course of an insider-trading investigation. Former George W. Bush White House aide Lewis “Scooter” Libby, recently pardoned by Trump, was convicted of lying to the FBI during a leak investigation . Gen. James Cartwright, pardoned by President Barack Obama, was convicted of lying to the FBI about his discussions with the press. Onetime Housing and Urban Development secretary Henry Cisneros pleaded guilty in 1999 to lying to the FBI about payments to his mistress. All of these people talked themselves into a federal conviction, almost certainly against the advice of their attorneys. Their undisciplined reactions to investigations — not the underlying crimes being investigated — were their downfall.
Prosecutors and federal agents are extremely adept at exploiting human foibles. Mueller knows from long experience that powerful people think they can talk their way out of trouble and resent lawyers telling them they can’t. He also knows that powerful people tend to favor action. Often, my first advice to a client is simply “Stop doing things” — stop trying to use your influence and connections and persuasiveness and industry experience to solve the problem of being the subject of a criminal investigation. Patience and watchfulness are usually the best strategy. But people who clawed their way to the top by dynamism are no good at sitting still.
Trump doesn’t seem to be getting particularly good legal advice about Mueller’s investigation right now. His most qualified outside attorney, John Dowd, resigned last month; his attorney Jay Sekulow is an able First Amendment litigator but not a criminal defense lawyer ; and federal prosecutors just filed court papers asserting that Cohen, his longtime fixer, is not “currently engaged in any significant practice of law.” This is also because of hubris, which, when it isn’t leading the rich and powerful to ignore advice, draws them to choose lawyers based on the wrong qualifications. Masters of the universe too often hire lawyers who flatter them, defer to them and uncritically support their chosen approach to a crisis. They fire or force out lawyers who tell them the cold truth. A penchant for flattery is useful at times, but it is not an effective tool in a federal criminal investigation. The same powerful people also select lawyers who seem prestigious or ideologically consistent, but who lack appropriate expertise. As a federal prosecutor, and now as a defense lawyer, I’ve seen wealthy defendants choose lawyers who are prominent in the media but have no idea how to defend a federal prosecution. I once watched a slick attorney familiar from cable news fumble through a federal sentencing, long on rhetoric but short on any grasp of the law. Never send a fixer or a talking head to do a criminal defense attorney’s job. Trump has relied on several lawyers who are very adept in their fields but have no experience in defending sophisticated criminal matters.
Even when the masters of the universe knuckle under and hire good lawyers, they’re notorious for undermining them. Take Cohen, who may or may not be a master of the universe but certainly behaves as if he thinks he is. At a recent hearing, his lawyers stood before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood, asking her to delay federal investigators from reviewing Cohen’s seized records. They didn’t bring Cohen to court. That was shrewd: If he wasn’t there, he couldn’t be forced into the difficult choice between incriminating himself by responding to one of Wood’s questions or else publicly refusing to answer. A sensible client would have waited patiently at home. But Cohen lounged ostentatiously on a nearby boulevard, smoking cigars in an aggressive sport coat and mugging for the press. This served to emphasize that he was deliberately absent so that he couldn’t be confronted with questions only he could answer — for instance, about his client roster. He rubbed Woods’s face in his absence and undercut his highly qualified lawyers’ credibility. (At the next hearing, the following Monday afternoon, Cohen appeared in court.)
For a lawyer, this is the job. We go to war with the client we have, not the client we wish to have. That’s a good thing: We’re all flawed; we all do foolish things. It’s a privilege to fight vigorously for someone regardless of their mistakes, just as we would want to be supported when we err.
But we’re not miracle workers. Trump sent Joanna Hendon, an extremely experienced defense attorney, to represent his interests before Wood and try to prevent the government from getting confidential communications between himself and Cohen. If it can be done, she’s the lawyer to do it. But Hendon cannot change the fact that Trump chose Cohen as his personal attorney in the first place or that he’s already talked indiscriminately about the relationship. Character is destiny. 

Second Week of Congressional Hearings Increases Pressure on Trump US President Donald Trump faces the threat of further testimony that ...