“We’re not at court to ask the court to jail Boris Johnson.”
Another day, another legal action by Joanna Cherry – this time to require the Prime Minister to comply with the so-called Benn Act and seek an extension to avoid leaving the EU without a deal. Despite her denial, the prospect of the Downing Street One being banged up is probably the only part of the process that most of the electorate can relate to.
‘Justiciable.’ Less than a month ago many voters are likely to have googled or reached for the dictionary to check the exact definition. Thanks to Cherry and more than 70 other MPs dragging judges into the toxic swamp that is politics today, the electorate is now aware it means ‘subject to trial in a court of law’.
One month after Robert Mueller submitted the final report on his investigation into Donald Trump, its contents have finally been made public – meaning that the Department of Justice is no longer the only one analyzing and interpreting Mueller’s findings.
Attorney General William Barr has publicly stated his belief that Mueller’s inquiry exonerates the president of criminal wrongdoing. Now, the American public will get to draw its own conclusions.
Congress, state prosecutors and district attorneys nationwide, too, are digging into the Mueller report to decide whether Mueller found evidence that Trump obstructed justice, colluded with Russia or committed any impeachable offenses. Beyond Mueller’s federal inquiry, a dozen city and state prosecutors have launched investigations into possible criminal wrongdoing by Trump, his family and his business.
As Mueller’s investigation evolves from political saga to legal analysis, here are three key threads our experts have been watching.
1. Obstruction of justice
Barr’s determination that Trump did not commit obstruction of justice differs from the conclusion Mueller drew in his own report. According to the special counsel, “while this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
How can two people draw different conclusions from the same evidence?
When was the last time you agreed to keep a secret?
Perhaps it was a personal confidence shared by a close family member or friend. Or it might have been in a contract with your employer to safeguard confidential information. Either way, you probably felt a strong sense of obligation to keep that secret.
At least when it comes to the workplace, that’s no accident. In the United States, the idea that workers owe their employers a duty of loyalty goes back more than 100 years. It is deeply ingrained in legal rules and American culture.
But it has been fraying, most recently in the form of former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen’s damning congressional testimony against the president.
This trend was also on full display when the #MeToo movement went viral in 2017. #MeToo was, of course, about sexual harassment and assault. But it was also a form of mass whistleblowing. The movement signaled victims’ willingness – at an unprecedented scale – to defy promises of secrecy to their employers in service of a larger truth by revealing their experiences of workplace harassment.
While researching a book on the duty of loyalty, I realized that the #MeToo movement isn’t merely a rift in the ordinary order of workplace relationships in the United States. It is part a larger legal and cultural shift that has been in the works for decades.
The duty of loyalty is the idea that you “cannot bite the hand that feeds you and insist on staying for future banquets,” as an American labor arbitrator wrote in 1972.
It’s a bedrock principle that courts apply to employment disputes, even if you didn’t sign a contract promising to keep an employer’s secrets.
The duty of loyalty is why employers can demand that you sign a confidentiality agreement at the start of employment. It’s why workers can’t download their employer’s trade secrets on a thumb drive and use it in their new job. And why companies are able to persuade judges to enforce noncompete agreements.
President Trump’s former campaign chief has sought a plea deal with the special counsel investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
Lawyers for Paul Manafort, 69, who was found guilty of tax fraud last week, held talks with federal prosecutors in an attempt to forestall a second trial on a further set of charges he is due to face in Washington next month.
The talks broke down over objections raised by Robert Mueller, the prosecutor leading the justice department inquiry, The Wall Street Journal said. After Manafort’s conviction in Virginia last week, President Trump praised him for not striking a deal with Mr Mueller, and did not rule out giving the political consultant a pardon.
Today’s demo started rather hurriedly and to be honest I didn’t know if I was coming or going. This feeling was amplified because it was cold, rainy and my daughter was a bit fed up. understandable of course. But she soon settled down into our usual routine and all was well.
We are seeing a lot of new faces due to Stalybridge Jobcentre shutting. They don’t know us and what we are doing, and we don’t know them or their situations either. So we have to start from scratch, which at times isn’t easy. But it’s a whole lot harder for them.
I started a conversation with a man who had been previously attending Stalybridge Jobcentre for his appointments. The first thing that he said to me was that he couldn’t believe how rude the front desk staff are at Ashton Jobcentre, and how rude some of the advisors are also…
The role of the electoral college in the election of Donald Trump has come under a lot of scrutiny and debate over the past few days. Killary won the popular vote by about 1/2 million or so more votes than the orange-tanned Nazi. But Trump was ahead in the electoral college, and so won the election. Many Americans now are discussing abolishing the electoral college as an anti-democratic institution.
They’re right. It is anti-democratic. It was meant to be from the very beginning. In this piece from Outdate Democracy, the American constitutional lawyer, Paul Finkelman, explains how the electoral college was deliberately invented by James Madison, in order to preserve the power of the slave states. The Founding Fathers discussed various methods by which the present could be elected, including restricting his election to the governors. This was rejected. Madison believed that the ‘fittest thing’ would be for American citizens…
In my article on Saturday reviewing the book Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, edited by Israel W. Charny (London: Mansell Publishing 1991) I mentioned that amongst its contents, the chapter on Holocaust Denial has a passage describing how a Neo-Nazi rag in America was successfully sued over the issue of the existence of the Holocaust. The rag stated it never happened, and challenged people to prove that it had. One man did, and when the magazine refused to pay out the sum it had promised to pay, took them to court. The judge ruled in his favour, and stated that it was more than adequately demonstrated that the Shoah was historical fact. Here’s the passage:
Verdict of an American Judge on the Offer to pay $50,000 for Proof that the Nazis Gassed Jews
In the United States, the Institute for Historical Review offered to pay fifty thousand dollars to…
If true, this is pure barbarism. I blogged earlier this week about protests by Native Americans about the North Dakota Access Pipeline, which is intended to carry oil through the lands of the Standing Rock Sioux people. The tribe are opposing it, as they fear that the pipeline will lead to the pollution of their water supply and the destruction of their lands and its ecosystem. In this piece from Democracy Now!, the anchor Amy Goodson speaks to the tribe’s lawyer, Jan Hasselman, from the chambers Earthjustice, and the tribe’s chairman Dave Archambault.
The oil company has tried a number of tactics to try to close down and disrupt the protests. They local sheriff and officials have pulled cellphone access over the area, to stop citizens uploading videos of the protests to the internet. They’ve also attacked the protesters with dogs and pepper spray. There’s video footage of the bites…
Originally posted on Amy Holloway-Smith: ____________________ This week has brought me much unexpected excitement despite having a partially dislocated hip and having to phone in sick due to having a short but incapacitating bout of the flu! ____________________ So.. the topics surrounding the EU referendum are a much discussed topic, which have a tendency to become…
I’m aware that I’m in serious risk of doing this subject to death, but this needs to be said. I’ve put up several blogs featuring the videos of talks and interviews given by Israeli and American Jewish activists and historians – Ilan Pappe, Elizabeth Baltzer and Norman Finkelstein, laying bare the terrible history of Israel’s persecution and systematic ethnic cleansing of the indigenous Palestinian population. As I’ve repeatedly said, this is because of the smears against leading figures in the Labour party that they are anti-Semites, when they are nothing of the sort, and demonstrably nothing of the sort. Ken Leninspart, when he was leader of the GLC, was notorious and reviled for his anti-racism, anti-sexism, anti-homophobia stance. And if you want to read what he has to say about anti-Semitism, it’s written down in his book, Livingstone’s Labour. He decries it as one of the worst forms of…