I recently received a letter challenging my testimony about Attorney General Bill Barr in columns (here and here and here and here) and in Congress (here and here). The letter is from Ralph Nader, Lou Fisher, and Bruce Fein. I have known all three signatories for many years and I have the greatest respect for them. They offer detailed and thoughtful disagreements with my previous statements and the records of Attorney General Bill Barr. I asked them if they would allow me to share their arguments with the blog and they agreed to do so. As with the previous publication by Professor Morrison, I strongly recommend that you consider the analysis of three of the most influential minds in Washington.
These are numbers that require little introduction. They are known worldwide for their contributions to law and public order. Ralph Nader is a legendary figure who has fought for consumer protection, environmental protection and good governance all his life. He has repeatedly applied for president (in fact, I voted for him) and is widely regarded as one of the most influential personalities in the world in terms of public policy. Lou Fisher has spent four decades with the Congressional Research Service and is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in shaping Congress’s legislation and policies. He is widely regarded as one of the leading experts on constitutional and congress issues. Bruce Fein was a senior figure in the Department of Justice in the Reagan administration and one of the most influential conservative voices in print and television for decades. He is known for his independent and principled analysis of legal and constitutional questions.
As I noted in Attorney General Barr's confirmation, he comes to this position with longstanding and solid views on managerial privileges and powers. While I disagree with him on many of these questions for a long time, I see many of the current controversies as an expression of political and interpretive differences, not as ethical or criminal or punishable misconduct. I do not agree with assumptions made for the second time about his inappropriate motivation or intentions in performing his duties as Attorney General of the United States. Despite my many friends on the other hand, my view has not changed. Still, people can disagree in good faith, and that's exactly what Nader, Fisher, and Fein offer (sounds like a great law firm!).
Here is your letter for your consideration:
Dear Professor Turley,
We respect your intellect, your productivity and your integrity over the years.
However, we are convinced that the scratched views on bribery outlined in your July 12, 2020 internet post: "If" terribly close "is just terrible: Nadler is raising an invalid bribery theory to request Barr investigation" , are wrong. They have focused closely on the definition of bribery under federal criminal law, as outlined by the US Supreme Court and subsidiary courts.
However, "bribery" as a criminal offense in Article II paragraph 4 is not so described. No evidence of a crime is required. In fact, there was no federal criminal law when the constitution was adopted and ratified. And the constitution has not created common law crimes. United States v Hudson & Goodwin, 11, US 32 (1812). Bribery in the context of impeachment could not have been anchored to a federal crime. Unlike treason, the constitution does not contain a definition of bribery. Accordingly, Congress could rationally conclude that Attorney General Barr's offer to promote Geoffrey Berman for his non-resignation as United States attorney for the southern district of New York is a punishable bribe, even if not against federal criminal law offends. The reasonably suspected ulterior motive was the hope that Berman's successor, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, who has no clue about criminal justice, and provisional incumbent Southern District Attorney Craig Carpenito, United States attorney for New Jersey, would be less aggressive in exploring goals tied to President Trump. As you know, a twenty cylinder versus a cylinder exam is the difference between day and night, even if both are equally uncompromising. Just because Mr. Barr's hope has been thwarted and Berman's professional deputy has been appointed as the U.S. attorney-at-law, the request for Berman's tacit resignation in exchange for promotion is no less incontestable than non-criminal bribery under Article II Section 4.
Ask yourself, Professor Turley, if you were in Mr. Barr's place, would you have done what he did with his motives? If not, isn't that a convincing indication that the Attorney General did something wrong by requesting Mr. Berman's tacit resignation in return for a promotion?
We believe that your numerous writings, testimonials, or articles may have used a much broader lens for Attorney General Barr's assessment: serial violations of his constitutional duty to comply with the law fairly and evenly in order to public confidence in the To promote justice. Abusing or violating public trust, Alexander Hamilton said in Federalist 65, is a criminal crime and offense.
Mr. Barr has destroyed public confidence in a bipartisan, uncompromising administration of justice by implementing or tolerating President Donald Trump's bipartisan, chronically lawless political agenda. The following list is not exhaustive:
- No other defendant has attempted to void former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn's pleadings of guilt at the District of Columbia District Court.
- The second guessing of the recommendations of President Trump's trained lawyers from the Department for the Personal and Political Confidante of President Trump was found guilty of having lied to Congress and manipulated witnesses.
- To tolerate President Trump's conversion of Stone's judgment, which will encourage Congress witnesses during Trump's tenure to lie in anticipation of a presidential shrine. James Madison instructed at the Virginia Ratification Convention: “In this case, there is a security (an abuse of the presidential pardon) that the gentlemen may not have promoted: if the president is suspiciously connected to someone and it gives reason to believe that he will protect him; the House of Representatives can indict him; you can remove him if you are found guilty … "
- Ponder the Müller report free of charge by unilaterally proclaiming in the manner of a papal encyclical that President Trump is innocent of the disability of the judiciary. Several cases of obstacles were recorded in the report, but no check was made as to whether they had reached the criminal prosecution threshold. Mr. Müller inexplicably refused to remove Mr. Trump or even force him to answer written questions about his behavior as President.
- Fraudulent newsrooms in the public release of the Mueller report, which led US District Judge Reginald Walton in a FOIA lawsuit to write that Barr may have "made a calculated attempt to publicly discuss the Mueller report despite certain findings." in favor of President Trump to influence the edited version of the Müller report the opposite. "
- Condemned unconstitutional rejection of numerous summonses to Congress or requests for information from executive officers who handcuffed Congress’s powers of control and investigation. In 1974, the House Justice Committee approved impeachment proceedings against President Richard Nixon without judicial blessing for violating a single subpoena of the committee. Congress does not require judicial permission to determine that disobedience to a summons to Congress is a criminal offense.
- President Trump's Executive Decree 13927 of June 4, 2020, declaring a special economic national emergency based on COVID-19 as a pretext for waiving environmental laws such as the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act to speed up federal approval has been endorsed, endorsed, or supported for new mines, highways, pipelines, and other federal projects, as reported in the Washington Post ("Trump signs the mandate to forego environmental testing for key projects," Juliet Eilperin and Jeff Stein, June 4, 2020). Despite the alleged national emergency, President Trump has failed to publish a national blueprint to combat COVID-19 and has announced that we are experiencing "the biggest (economic) comeback in history".
- President Trump's Executive Order 13294 has been approved or endorsed, instructing federal agencies to temporarily or permanently suspend, amend, or stop enforcement if it "could hamper the economic recovery," as reported in the Washington Post (" Citing an economic emergency, Trump is directing government agencies across the government to waive federal regulations. ”(Steven Mufson, Julie Eilperin, Jeff Stein and Renae Merle, June 26, 2020) Compare the English Bill of Rights of 1689, in King James II is sentenced to "exercise and exercise powers to waive and suspend and enforce laws without the consent of Parliament." Single-handed industrial violations of law failure justify Mr. Barr's impeachment.
- Trump tolerated criminal violations of the Hatch Act by instructing federal officials to check his name on CARES beneficiaries and sending direct-deposit letters from the White House to CARES beneficiaries to further his 2020 presidential campaign. Mr Barr has refused to respond to our letter, citing essential credible evidence of infringements and calling for the appointment of a special representative in accordance with the Department of Justice regulations.
- We are guided by your great article in the Washington Post of January 13, 2012 entitled "10 Reasons Why the United States Is No Longer the Land of the Free". Attorney General Barr has endorsed or endorsed each of these 10 and more violations.
He has campaigned for President Trump's authority to play prosecutors, judges, juries, and executioners to kill any American citizen who is seen as a past or future national security threat, based on secret, unsubstantiated suspicion without accountability to the Congress, the courts, or the American people. President Trump has weakened the internal barriers to assassinations he inherited from President Obama. You are also violating Executive Order 12333, Section 2.11
He has advocated indefinite detention without trial against terrorist suspects who are not charged with crimes in Guantanamo Bay or elsewhere.
He endorsed the President's power to choose between military or civil justice. French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau quipped: "Military justice is justice, what military music is music."
He assists the Secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in authorizing arbitrary attacks by organizations and American citizens for non-criminal purposes for political gain. He supports the FBI's national security letters without judicial review, which have been chronically abused, according to the DOJ General Inspectorate and others.
He has approved secret evidence and secret laws to justify the detention and release of civil actions for murder, torture, or government kidnapping. Confidentiality invites government deception, as confirmed by the US Supreme Court decision against Reynolds, 345 US 1 (1953), which allows the Air Force to make a false affidavit, an unlawful death lawsuit under the Federal Tort Claims Act sink.
He has advocated that the International Criminal Court, including Afghanistan, has blocked the United States military from investigating war crimes, and has punished ICC investigators for freezing assets and refusing to accept visas. (Although the United States is not an ICC signatory, Afghanistan is. According to the ICC's Rome Statute, it is responsible for war crimes committed by the United States military in a signatory nation.)
He has advocated the unlimited use of the secret surveillance court for foreign intelligence agencies to target individuals in the rearview mirror of a suspected suspected terrorist.
He advocated judicial immunity for companies that participate in the government to monitor citizens without guarantee. and tried to win justice under the All Writs Act of 1789 to force companies like Apple to become FBI weapons to break privacy codes on mobile phones.
He advocated the lawless use of surveillance drones to monitor American citizens, including demonstrators who demonstrated for the murder of George Floyd.
In the past, before President Obama's practice was abandoned, he advocated an extraordinary rendition to send U.S. detainees to countries notorious for torture or murder, such as the innocent Mahar Arar, who was sent to Syria for torture . Exceptional rendition is less power of the President than the limitless power of the President to murder Mr. Barr.
In addition to the ten violations listed above, the Attorney General supports the President's unrestricted authority to wage and continue the war (including the use of weapons of mass destruction) at his own discretion if there is an apparent violation of the declaration of war. As you know, James Madison wrote to Thomas Jefferson on behalf of each participant in the drafting and ratification of the constitution: “The constitution presupposes what the history of all governments is. shows that the ex. is the branch of power that is most interested in and most susceptible to war. Accordingly, it has carefully transferred the question of war into legislation … ”
This is how Mr. Barr supports our ongoing, never-ending unconstitutional presidential wars that have never been declared or initiated by Congress: Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many mistakenly believe that the war against Iraq is constitutional under resolution 2002 approving the use of military force against Iraq. This is not because Congress has delegated responsibility for the war to the President, an abdication prohibited by the declaration of war. Only Congress can lead the nation from peace to war, and it didn't make that decision in AUMF 2002. This decision was forwarded to the President, who had been waiting for an attack for more than five months.
Neither by contract nor by law, the Senate or Congress may leave the power of war to the President. The League of Nations was defeated in the matter in the Senate. And the United Nations Charter, which learns from history, requires Congress to declare war before the President can use the military to enforce a Chapter 7 Security Council resolution. Congress is prohibited from delegating certain legislative authorities to the President to maintain the separation of powers. This is a structural bill of rights to protect people from tyranny. Clinton v. New York, 524, US 417 (1998).
You appreciate the enormous violations of the Constitution against presidential wars because you represented members of Congress in a 2011 lawsuit against President Barack Obama's unconstitutional war in Libya, which continues today with Mr. Barr as Attorney General.
The seriousness of the Attorney General's constitutional violations cannot be overstated. Don't you think that his wrecking ball justifies impeachment and impeachment in our constitutional order?
We look forward to a thoughtful answer.
Ralph Nader Lou Fischer Bruce Fein