New York Times Interview, December 28, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to say in a New York Times interview that “I have the absolute right to do what I want with the Justice Department.” This is a threat to the traditional independence of federal law enforcement agencies such as the FBI.

Sources: the New York Times, Lawfare.

White House Counsel Knew Flynn Broke the Law, December 21, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL that the White House counsel researched the federal laws covering lying to investigators and violating the Logan Act in the first days of the current administration and warned the president about the possibility that the National Security Adviser had broken these laws. In other words, the president had been informed that the National Security Adviser was likely in legal danger before he fired the FBI director who was investigating these matters.

Source: Foreign Policy.

Corker “Kickback”, December 17, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL to insert a provision into a tax bill at the last minute that will substantially personally benefit a single senator, who coincidentally happens to be the last vote needed to pass the bill. The senator in question insists that he did not know about the provision when he agreed to vote for the bill, because he agreed to vote for the bill without reading it first, which also strikes me as problematic.

Sources: MSNBC, the Tennessean.

 

Federal Judge Nominations, December 15, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL that the president continues to choose wildly unqualified nominees for federal judgeships (which are, I remind you, lifetime appointments). One of the president’s nominees was unable to explain a motion in limine or the Daubert standard, both of which are fairly basic legal concepts that a federal judge would need to understand. (For context, I have taken exactly one law class in my entire life and I could have done a better job of explaining a motion in limine than the nominee did.)

Source: the Washington Post.

Russia Sanctions Would Be “Ripped Up,” December 6, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the presumptive national security adviser to text a business associate on Inauguration Day to say that their business project could move forward because sanctions against Russia would be “ripped up.” I do not think the Founders anticipated that a presidential administration would be basing the nation’s foreign policy on personal business incentives.

Source: the New York Times.