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Ramsey Barner

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Member since: Sun Jan 21, 2018, 02:38 PM
Number of posts: 211

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Barr's zealous defense of Trump makes it impossible to trust his legal judgment

By Neal Katyal

Barr, by contrast, took the opposite approach. He appeared the next day on CBS News and said, “I personally felt he could’ve reached a decision,” and that “the opinion says you cannot indict a president while he is in office, but he could’ve reached a decision as to whether it was criminal activity.”

Barr’s statement was news, not only to the American public, but also, I suspect, to Mueller himself. It also should have come as news to someone else: William P. Barr. On the first day of his confirmation hearing nearly five months ago, Barr was asked by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.) about former FBI director James B. Comey’s July 2016 news conference on the decision not to indict Hillary Clinton over her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Here is what Barr said in January: “I thought that to the extent [Comey] actually announced a decision was wrong, and the other thing is, if you’re not going to indict someone, then you don’t stand up there and unload negative information about the person. That’s not the way the Department of Justice does business.”

Barr has now directly contradicted what he told the Senate. Why?

The answer has to do with how Barr backed himself into a corner when he cleared Trump of obstruction of justice. Barr was criticized resoundingly for reaching such a determination within 48 hours of receiving Mueller’s report (which was more than 400 pages long). Barr tried to defend himself by explaining that he had had time to evaluate everything because Mueller had told him in a meeting three weeks beforehand that he wasn’t going to reach a decision on obstruction of justice. This has always been a strange claim — that Barr was evaluating the evidence without the report in his hand — but now it gets absurd.

If Barr thought Mueller could have reached a decision on obstruction of justice, did he tell Mueller that when they met in March? Wouldn’t that have literally been Barr’s job, as the supervisor of the special counsel? Instead, he revealed his views only later — and contradicted his earlier position that prosecutors cannot “unload negative information about a person” and that that is not how the “Department of Justice does business.”

Barr’s position, as he described it on CBS, is absurd on its face. Imagine the outcry if Mueller were to have done what Barr now claims he could have done: Mueller would be labeling Trump a criminal, but Trump would have no legal process to defend himself. Folks — including me — would scream about the unfairness of such an outcome. Mueller was faithful to long-standing Justice Department considerations about being fair to potential defendants; Barr, by contrast, appears to be lurching from one bad position to the next.


The only way forward is for Congress to carry out a thorough investigation and reach its own conclusions.


Barr has shown himself to be an unreliable and unsteady voice, careening from one position to the next, always in favor of protecting his boss. And even had Barr acted without such partisanship, the whole point of the idea that a sitting president cannot be indicted is that there is an alternative forum to review those questions.

Posted by Ramsey Barner | Mon Jun 3, 2019, 08:37 PM (2 replies)

Suspension of preferential trade status for India under GSP is 'done deal': Trump

Source: Business Today

The Trump administration has said it is not going back on its decision to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing nation under the key GSP trade programme, terming the suspension a "done deal".

The Generalized System of Preference (GSP) is the largest and oldest US trade preference programme and is designed to promote economic development by allowing duty-free entry for thousands of products from designated beneficiary countries.

On March 4, President Donald Trump announced that the US intended to terminate India's designation as a beneficiary developing country under the GSP programme.


Under the GSP programme, nearly 2,000 products including auto components and textile materials can enter the US duty-free if the beneficiary developing countries meet the eligibility criteria established by Congress.

Read more: https://www.businesstoday.in/current/economy-politics/suspension-of-preferential-trade-status-for-india-under-gsp-is-done-deal-trump/story/352427.html

Are we going to have a trade war with India, too?
Posted by Ramsey Barner | Fri May 31, 2019, 09:24 PM (12 replies)
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