Monday, January 28, 2019


There is overwhelming evidence of collusion, a witch hunt which has so far corralled eight individuals who have been found guilty (and many more indicted), and a grand jury which doesn't meet on Thursdays but which did so on January 24, suggesting an arrest on Friday, January 25. Even aside from that, it was ludicrous (though hardly unpredictable) when President Trump tweeted

Lawyer and MSNBC contributor Barbara McQuade notes "this is how it is done when the FBI executes arrest and search warrants to prevent  destruction of evidence."  In an op-ed in The New York Times, Julian Sanchez of the Cato Institute apparently agrees. (Although the Cato Institute is unworthy of being quoted favorably on taxation, business and financial regulation, and the like, this piece is less opinion than analysis and pertains to a somewhat civil liberties issue.) He explains

Mr. Stone’s early-morning arrest at his Florida home unsurprisingly dominated coverage, but reports also noted that federal agents were “seen carting hard drives and other evidence from Mr. Stone’s apartment in Harlem, and his recording studio in South Florida was also raided.” The F.B.I., in other words, was executing search warrants, not just arrest warrants. Even the timing and manner of Mr. Stone’s arrest — at the absolute earliest moment allowed under federal rules of criminal procedure without persuading a judge to authorize an exceptional nighttime raid — suggests a concern with preventing destruction of evidence: Otherwise it would make little sense to send a dozen agents to arrest a man in his 60s before sunrise.

The President is a late arrival to civil libertarianism. On July 28, 2017 in Brentwood on Long Island's Suffolk County

President Trump took a break from discussing gang violence and illegal immigration to give the law enforcement officers gathered for his remarks some advice on how to treat suspects.

“When you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over?” Trump said, miming the physical motion of an officer shielding a suspect’s head to keep it from bumping against the squad car.

“Like, don’t hit their head, and they just killed somebody — don’t hit their head,” Trump continued. “I said, you can take the hand away, okay?”

The hypocrisy would be stunning were it not Donald Trump, for whom hypocrisy is the norm (also lying, false bravado, narcissism, business failure, corruption, and- oh, never mind).

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