The Jury Talks Back

4/22/2018

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 85

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the fourth Sunday of Easter. The title of today’s cantata is “Ich bin ein guter Hirt” (I am a Good Shepherd).

Today’s Gospel reading is John 10:11-18:

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”

The text of today’s cantata is available here and complements the Gospel reading well:

I am a Good Shepherd; a good shepherd gives up his life for his sheep.

Jesus is a good shepherd;
for He has already given His life
for His sheep,
so that no one will steal them from Him.
Jesus is a good shepherd.

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

4/21/2018

James Comey and the Iron Law of Bureaucracy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 5:00 pm

…in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people. First, there will be those who are devoted to the goals of the organization. … Secondly, there will be those dedicated to the organization itself. … The Iron Law states that in every case the second group will gain and keep control of the organization. It will write the rules, and control promotions within the organization.

— Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy

James Comey’s new book doesn’t show him to be a political partisan. It shows him to be a shining example of Jerry Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy: a man who cared more about the reputation of the institution he headed than he cared about the principles of justice for which it stands.

Why read this review? After all, there have been many reviews of, and articles about, James Comey’s new book. You may be tired of the topic. Based on what I’ve read, I am too. Because all we hear is he said about Donald Trump, because Donald Trump means eyeballs and clicks. We hear nonsensical conspiracy theories from those out to smear him at all costs (“HE WAS BLACKMAILING DONALD TRUMP!!!1!”), or uncritical praise from those looking to hold him up as a hero of the “Resistance.” It’s partisan noise.

I have something different to say because I don’t fall into one of these two categories. I’m just a normal person with a demanding day job, who didn’t get an advance copy and took three days to read it. So if you’re interested in a non-partisan’s take, read on.

I’m someone who agrees with Comey that Donald Trump is morally unfit for office. I tend to like Comey and (for the most part) find the universal disdain for him and his book befuddling. But this post constitutes a harsh criticism of Comey, because it’s the thing that has most bothered me about him — and it’s the part of the book that I found most jarring. It’s his inexplicable decision to let Hillary Clinton off the hook. And to my way of thinking, Comey just keeps digging that hole deeper in his book. To me, nothing demonstrates his elevation of the FBI’s reputation over equal justice under the law like his mishandling of the Hillary investigation.

While I can’t take the time and space to revisit the entirety of the Hillary email investigation, I think it’s worth spending some time on the central issue — in particular because a lot of inaccurate things have been written about it.

Comey in his book makes it clear that the central issue, for him, was Hillary’s “intent” in setting up a private system for communication concerning job-related information, including classified information:

Our investigation required us to answer two questions. The first question was whether classified documents were moved outside of classified systems or whether classified topics were discussed outside of a classified system. If so, the second question was what the subject of the investigation was thinking when she mishandled that classified information.

. . . .

In Secretary Clinton’s case, the answer to the first question—was classified information mishandled?—was obviously “yes.” In all, there were thirty-six email chains that discussed topics that were classified as “Secret” at the time. Eight times in those thousands of email exchanges across four years, Clinton and her team talked about topics designated as “Top Secret,” sometimes cryptically, sometimes obviously. They didn’t send each other classified documents, but that didn’t matter. Even though the people involved in the emails all had appropriate clearances and a need to know, anyone who had ever been granted a security clearance should have known that talking about top-secret information on an unclassified system was a breach of rules governing classified materials. Although just a small slice of Clinton’s emails, those exchanges on top-secret topics were, by all appearances, improper. Put another way, there were thirty-six email chains about topics that could cause “serious” damage to national security and eight that could be expected to cause “exceptionally grave” damage to the security of the United States if released. The heart of the case, then, was the second question: What was she thinking when she did this? Was it sloppy or was there criminal intent? Could we prove that she knew she was doing something she shouldn’t be doing?

Here’s the thing: that’s not the way the statute reads. The relevant statute is 18 U.S.C. § 793(f):

(f) Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document, writing, code book, signal book, sketch, photograph, photographic negative, blueprint, plan, map, model, instrument, appliance, note, or information, relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer—
Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Comey admits that the information was removed from its proper place of custody. So her state of mind was indeed the only issue. But Comey misdescribes the required state of mind under the law. The issue is not whether she was “sloppy” (meaning no filing) or whether she had “criminal intent” (meaning a filing). The issue is whether she acted “through gross negligence…or having knowledge” (meaning a filing) or not (meaning no filing).

And, damningly, we know that the FBI itself initially considered her actions to be grossly negligent, but FBI agent Peter Strzok changed the wording to “extremely careless” in an apparent attempt to obscure the similarity between their view of her actions and the statutory language. And Comey went along with it:

Her actions in regard to her emails seemed really sloppy to us, more than ordinary carelessness. At one point the draft used the term “grossly negligent,” and also explained that in this case those words should not be interpreted the way a hundred-year-old criminal statute used the term. One part of that 1917 law made it a felony if a person “through gross negligence permits [classified material] to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed.”

The history of that provision strongly indicated that Congress in 1917 meant the statute to apply only to conduct that was very close to willful—that is, driven by bad intent—and members of Congress who voted for it back then were very concerned that they not make merely careless behavior a felony. I was told that the Department of Justice had only charged one person under this statute since 1917—a corrupt FBI agent whose conduct was far worse than gross negligence—and no one had ever been convicted under it. This context strongly reinforced my sense that the statute simply did not apply in the Clinton email case and made use of the term “grossly negligent” inappropriate and potentially confusing, given the old statute. So I directed our team to consider other terms that more accurately captured her behavior. After looking at multiple drafts, I settled on “extremely careless” as the best way to describe the conduct.

If Comey had been trying to damage the reputation of the FBI, I can think of few ways better than to describe a presidential candidate’s actions in a manner that directly tracks with the language of a criminal statute, and then authorizing a change in that language for the express purpose of making it read differently from the language of the statute.

Comey makes matters worse by claiming that one of the few regrets he has about the handling of the investigation is using the phrase “extremely careless.” Why? Because it sounds so much like “grossly negligent” — meaning it made Hillary sound guilty.

Hindsight is always helpful, and if I had to do it over again, I would do some things differently. . . . More important, I would have tried to find a better way to describe Secretary Clinton’s conduct than “extremely careless.” Republicans jumped on the old statute making it a felony to handle classified information in a “grossly negligent” way — a statute that Justice would never use in this case. But my use of “extremely careless” naturally sounded to many ears like the statutory language -– ‘grossly negligent’ –- even though thoughtful lawyers could see why it wasn’t the same.

What other language could he have used that would have both accurately described Clinton’s conduct — but would not have made her conduct sound like it fit within the statute? Comey offers no alternative, and the plain truth is, there is none. Because, no matter how you word it, Clinton’s behavior was grossly negligent. Use any phrase you like. It doesn’t change the facts.

And some “thoughtful” lawyers think Comey rewrote the statute. Andrew C. McCarthy made the case very effectively in a piece titled FBI Rewrites Federal Law to Let Hillary Off the Hook. Quote:

In essence, in order to give Mrs. Clinton a pass, the FBI rewrote the statute, inserting an intent element that Congress did not require. The added intent element, moreover, makes no sense: The point of having a statute that criminalizes gross negligence is to underscore that government officials have a special obligation to safeguard national defense secrets; when they fail to carry out that obligation due to gross negligence, they are guilty of serious wrongdoing. The lack of intent to harm our country is irrelevant. People never intend the bad things that happen due to gross negligence.

By the way, Comey is just wrong that only one person had been charged with gross negligence in handling classified information since 1917. Andrew C. McCarthy has shown that the gross negligence standard has been used in military prosecutions. And in Fortune Magazine, Roger Parloff discusses two such cases of people being charged in the past on a gross negligence theory:

United States v. Rickie L. Roller: In 1989, a Marine Corps sergeant was working in a secured area where he habitually, and lawfully, placed classified material in his desk. After some nasty run-ins with his superior, he was transferred. On his last day, packing his office, he threw a bunch of personal effects from his desk into a gym bag including, as it happens, several classified documents, some of which were Top Secret. A few weeks later, he discovered the classified materials. Fearing reprimand, he hid them in his garage. He planned, he later testified, to destroy them when he got to his next duty station. When he did move to the new location, however, the professional movers helping him came across the classified documents. They notified the authorities. After a search, the remaining documents were found. Roller was sentenced to five years, which was commuted to 10 months confinement.

United States v. Arthur E. Gonzalez: In February 1979, an Air Force staff sergeant took a trip to visit an oil worker friend in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. When he arrived, he discovered that he’d inadvertently intermingled two Top Secret messages with some personal mail he’d taken. He put the documents in a desk drawer in his friend’s room, intending to pick them up when he returned to his squadron. When he departed on February 25, however, he forgot the documents, leaving them in the desk. Gonzalez’s friend shared the room with another oil worker, with each occupying it on alternate weeks. In early March, the other oil worker discovered the documents, gave it to his oil company supervisor, who gave it to the Air Force authorities. Gonzalez was sentenced to five months confinement, which was commuted to 43 days.

Parloff claims: “Neither case closely resembles Clinton’s situation. In each instance, the perpetrator at some point realized that classified materials had been removed from a secure location and taken to an insecure one, and then failed to act promptly to report or fix the problem. The FBI researchers seemed to believe that Clinton and her colleagues never came to such a realization, even if they should have.” This is laughable on several levels. How could Clinton possibly think that the material on a private server is a “secure” location? Not even Comey tries to make this argument. As we have seen, Comey acknowledges that classified information was mishandled, and that “anyone who had ever been granted a security clearance should have known that talking about top-secret information on an unclassified system was a breach of rules governing classified materials.”

Even if intent were the standard, there was evidence to support it. In previous accounts, Comey always tried to distinguish other cases by pointing to attempts by those defendants to cover up what they had done, such as lying to investigators or taking other actions showing a guilty conscience. But there was evidence that Hillary knew she wasn’t supposed to do what she was doing, and there was evidence that she wasn’t truthful — all evidence Comey doesn’t discuss in his book.

For example, the Washington Post has reported: “A note sent to all State Department employees on Clinton’s behalf warned them against the risks of using personal email addresses for official business.” Clinton claimed not to remember this, but when you’re warning people not to engage in a particular pattern of behavior while engaged in that pattern of behavior yourself, it tends to support a notion that you know that what you are doing is wrong.

And Clinton said some laughable things during her FBI interview. I’ll cite one howler as an example: As NBC News reported on September 3, 2016:

Clinton also told FBI investigators that she wasn’t sure what the “c” meant next to paragraphs in one email that was used to designate confidential information.

This is laughable. But don’t take my word for it. Here is an excerpt from a contemporaneous podcast called Rational Security. The people on the podcast are Brookings Institute types. They’re not really big Hillary Clinton fans, but they are absolutely disdainful of Donald Trump, one and all. So when you hear this opinion, you know you’re not hearing from Trump partisans. Start listening beginning at 28:51, where Shane Harris, a Washington Post reporter, discusses Hillary’s answer that the “c” was possibly just one in a series:

SHANE HARRIS: For instance, there was a moment in the 302 that revealed that she was asked, she was shown an email that had the C, the letter C, next to it, indicating a classified, you know, passage, and they said “Well what did,” essentially “What did you think that this meant?”

SUSAN HENNESSEY: Indicating a confidential passage —

SHANE HARRIS: Confidential, right, confidential goes under the heading of classified, yes, confidential in that case, and she said, “Well, I don’t know. It could have been like C as in a sequence. A, B, C.” That is absolutely ridiculous, and at a press conference she would have been — I mean there would have been cackles in the audience when she said that. You could have followed up on it. You could say: “How in the world could you think that? How could you stand here and think we would believe that you, as the Secretary of State, thought that stood for like the letter C as in Part 3?”

But if you read Comey’s book, it’s clear that he didn’t make these decisions for partisan reasons, as much as partisans would like to claim that. He had no love for Hillary Clinton. He had a love for the FBI as an institution, and he spends pages and pages praising the institution and talking about how he was trying to protect it. It’s clear that the paramount thing in his mind was the organization. And it got to the point where protecting the organization outweighed the simple task of justice: deciding whether one person’s conduct had violated a statute.

Here’s what I said about all this in July 2016:

One rule for the little guy, another for the Important People.

I’m still confused about how deliberately setting up a private system for communication, including routinely sending and receiving classified information up to and including top secret information, is not “intent” to move that information from its proper place of custody. I’m also baffled as to when gross negligence was written out of the statute, or how “extremely careless” is different from being grossly negligent.

Ultimately, Comey’s inaction is the criminal referral analogue to John Roberts’s decision upholding ObamaCare. Someone with a reputation as a good guy had a failure of nerve when it mattered most, and elevated their judgment about the practical consequences to their institution over the rule of law. Weak people act differently when their actions are the subject of intense public scrutiny. They cave, and find ways to rationalize actions that minimize criticism rather than vindicate principles.

I think a central question in any job interview should be: when have you ever taken a large risk or sacrificed something for a principle?

But then, people like that don’t tend to rise to the top.

I now think that assessment is little unfair when used to describe Comey’s entire career. I do think there are times he stuck his neck out for principle. He can be a bit santimonious about that. But he still did it — something I can’t imagine, say, Donald Trump doing.

But as to the Hillary email investigation, I still feel the same way as I did in July 2016. At the risk of patting myself on the back, I think I hit the nail on the head in particular with the phrase about how Roberts and Comey both “elevated their judgment about the practical consequences to their institution over the rule of law.”

And what is most maddening about Comey’s book is the way that he portrays himself as the guy who rises about politics — which he arguably did — while being completely blind to the way that he failed to rise above an excessive concern for the reputation of his institution. Comey, like Roberts before him, worried so much about what people would say about the institution he headed that he failed to set aside all outside concerns and judge the case on its own merits.

But these men are hardly unique in doing so. As much as they rationalize their actions with easily rebutted attempts at reasoning, they are ultimately putting the organization first, and the principles of the organization second.

And that’s so common that there’s a Law to describe it. An Iron Law.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

4/20/2018

Democratic Lawmaker Humiliates Himself With Anti-Semitic Comments And Subsequent P.R. Rehab Effort At Holocaust Museum

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 1:05 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Last month, Washington D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) claimed that Jews control the weather:

“Man, it just started snowing out of nowhere this morning, man. Y’all better pay attention to this climate control, man, this climate manipulation,” he says. “And D.C. keep talking about, ‘We a resilient city.’ And that’s a model based off the Rothschilds controlling the climate to create natural disasters they can pay for to own the cities, man. Be careful.”

Oof!

Stunningly, when confronted about his anti-Semitic comments, White texted to the Washington Post that “he was surprise[d] that his remarks might be construed as anti-Semitic”. When pressed to explain further, he texted, “The video says what it says.”

Of course after the report about was published and he was roundly and righteously criticized, he sang a different tune:

“I work hard everyday to combat racism and prejudices of all kinds. I want to apologize to the Jewish Community and anyone I have offended,” he said. “The Jewish community have been allies with me in my journey to help people. I did not intend to be anti-Semitic, and I see I should not have said that after learning from my colleagues.”

Riiight….

Anyway, in an effort to rehab his image, White paid a visit to the Holocaust Museum. And unbelievably, things got worse for the elected official:

The photo, taken in 1935, depicts a woman in a dark dress shuffling down a street in Norden, Germany. A large sign hangs from her neck: “I am a German girl and allowed myself to be defiled by a Jew.” She is surrounded by Nazi stormtroopers.

D.C. Council member Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8) studied the image. “Are they protecting her?”

Lynn Williams, an expert on educational programs at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and White’s tour guide for the day, stared at the photo.
“No,” she said. “They’re marching her through.”

“Marching through is protecting,” White said.

“I think they’re humiliating her,” Williams replied.

OH FFS!!

The level of ignorance is stunning. White only lasted through half the tour before disappearing. Rabbi Batya Glazer of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington who was working to rehab White’s image, texted the Councilman to find out his whereabouts. White claimed that he had to leave to attend an event elsewhere.

White’s staff continued with the tour and stopped before an exhibit on the Warsaw Ghetto. When the guide explained about how the Jews were walled in, a staff member asked if it was like a “gated community. Rabbi Glazer answered (surely in complete and utter shock):


“Yeah, I wouldn’t call it a gated community,” she said. “More like a prison.”

These shocking displays of ignorance come as a recent report reveals that a disturbing number of people are clueless about the Holocaust, or simply don’t believe it happened:

A study conducted by the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany reported this week that 41 percent of Americans and 66 percent of millennials say they don’t know about the Auschwitz death camp where more than a million Jews and others, including Poles, Roma people and gays were executed. Forty-one percent of millennials believe 2 million or fewer Jews were killed in the Holocaust. It was 6 million. And 22 percent of millennials say they haven’t even heard of the Holocaust.

Further:

The survey shows that 70 percent of Americans believe people care less about the Holocaust than they used to. A majority, 58 percent, said they believe something like the Holocaust could happen again.

Almost half (45 percent) of Americans were unable to name a single concentration camp, and the number was even worse for millennials (49 percent).

The report also points out the impending danger: If there is such a level of ignorance while survivors of the camps are still alive and able to share their stories, how much more when they are gone?

Holocaust survivor Walter Ziffer spoke at UNC Asheville last week. He addressed these concerns:

“All of us have a tendency to forget the past. Even the Holocaust, history’s greatest of all crimes in which millions of innocent people perished, is receding into the past and forgotten. I will not and cannot forget that 6 million of my fellow religionists, the Jewish people, were murdered by Nazi Germans. Fourteen of my uncles, aunts and cousins were among the murdered,” Ziffer said. “I consider remembering these shameful deeds and passing on the history of this tragedy is my duty, hurtful to me as this may be. This duty empowers and enables me to write a memoir at age 89 both for my children, children’s children and beyond but also for folks who want to grow in knowledge and spirit and be defenders of freedom and goodness in our world.”

–Dana

President Trump Should Declassify Material Showing Loretta Lynch Influenced the Hillary Investigation

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:00 am

One of the most significant revelations of James Comey’s book is that there exists classified information, still unknown to this day, supporting the argument that Attorney General Loretta Lynch subverted the Hillary Clinton email investigation:

If the investigation continued on the same trajectory, the challenge was going to be closing the case in a way that maintained the confidence of the American people that their justice system was working in an honest, competent, and nonpolitical manner. We’d never convince the extreme Clinton haters in the news media of that, of course, but hopefully we could persuade a majority of fair- and open-minded Americans.

But in early 2016, there was a development that threatened to challenge that effort significantly. A development still unknown to the American public to this day. At that time, we were alerted to some materials that had come into the possession of the United States government. They came from a classified source — the source and content of that material remains classified as I write this. Had it become public, the unverified material would undoubtedly have been used by political opponents to cast serious doubt on the attorney general’s independence in connection with the Clinton investigation.

There has been a small amount of attention about this — and in a moment I will discuss just how little attention it has received — but I haven’t seen anyone ask the question I ask in this post: Why doesn’t Donald Trump declassify this information?

We’ve seen unprecedented levels of declassification in recent months in service of partisan agendas, most strikingly in the case of the memos relating to the FISA warrant on Carter Page. The President can declassify anything he wants to. Why not this?

The only reasonable conclusion I can think of is that President Trump doesn’t know about it — because it hasn’t been on the teevee, and it has not been discussed as a major national controversy.

Think about it. Have you seen anything about this on TV? Why is this not the subject of a national outcry? Amid all the focus on trifles, like the fact that Comey described the size of the president’s hands and the color of his skin, this revelation has received remarkably little media attention.

It has not gone wholly unreported, especially if you read blogs like RedState or Hot Air. streiff had a post about it here, although the principal focus of that post was to argue that Comey was untrustworthy and disloyal to Lynch for mentioning it at all. John Sexton at Hot Air had a typically sharp and insightful post about it here.

But, while the story has been mentioned in Big Media, they have treated it as a side note. In a rollout post from ABC News hyping Snuffleupagus’s interview with Comey, the headline was Comey comparing Trump’s desire for loyalty to the concept of omerta in the Italian Mafia. The passage about Lynch? That is buried in paragraph 17 of the story. ABC News was not alone. Even Fox News buried the Lynch information in paragraph 14 of an article that prominently featured Comey’s comments about Trump, with quotes about tie lengths and tanning goggles coming in paragraph five.

That means Fox News decided to make Comey’s personal observations about Trump nine paragraphs more prominent than any mention of secret information showing the attorney general may have subverted justice in a criminal investigation of the Democrat candidate for the presidency of the United States.

In John Sexton’s post, he called it “amazing, given all of the leaks of unverified information we’ve seen in the past year, that this particular tidbit on Lynch remains unknown to the public.” But Big Media isn’t particularly interested in information that shows Hillary Clinton got a pass in the email investigation. (And oh boy, did she. Actually reading Comey’s book makes that clearer than ever.)

That’s not just because Big Media editors are leftist partisans, although they are. It’s also a business decision. They get your eyeballs by focusing on one topic: Trump Trump Trump Trump Trump. And this Loretta Lynch story connects to Trump only indirectly. So Big Media will distract you by calling Comey’s memoir “bitchy” to Trump and focusing on trivia about Trump, revving up partisans about Trump Trump Trump, and obscuring the single most interesting and significant revelation of the book.

Keep your eye on the ball. Let’s get the message to President Trump that this material exists and that the American people want to know what it is. Share this post on social media. Tell your friends about it. Write prominent people and urge them to talk about it.

I can’t imagine that President Trump wouldn’t declassify this information — if we could just get the nation to stop talking about book quotes about half moons under Trump’s eyes, and focus on a potential subversion of justice by a top law enforcement official.

UPDATE: A commenter at RedState links to a 2017 Washington Post story that suggests that this document has been discussed before, and discounted by the FBI. If this is the document, there may be nothing to this story after all.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

4/19/2018

Ted Cruz Sings Trump’s Praises

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 9:09 am

[guest post by Dana]

While recent polls show Ted Cruz in a seriously tight race with challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke for his Senate seat, the Senator is also in the news for having penned a blurb for TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People” edition. Surprisingly, the subject was none other than… President Donald Trump:

President Trump is a flash-bang grenade thrown into Washington by the forgotten men and women of America. The fact that his first year as Commander in Chief disoriented and distressed members of the media and political establishment is not a bug but a feature.

The same cultural safe spaces that blinkered coastal elites to candidate Trump’s popularity have rendered them blind to President Trump’s achievements on behalf of ordinary Americans. While pundits obsessed over tweets, he worked with Congress to cut taxes for struggling families. While wealthy celebrities announced that they would flee the country, he fought to bring back jobs and industries to our shores. While talking heads predicted Armageddon, President Trump’s strong stand against North Korea put Kim Jong Un back on his heels.

President Trump is doing what he was elected to do: disrupt the status quo. That scares the heck out of those who have controlled Washington for decades, but for millions of Americans, their confusion is great fun to watch.

In spite of the ugliness that Trump dished out to Cruz and his family during the campaign, Cruz nonetheless ended up endorsing Trump in the election (without Trump having made any public apologies). So at this point in time, nothing Cruz says about Trump should really come as a surprise. Even so, this was a surprise to me.

PS: Of course, given that TIME’s “Leaders” list includes the President of the United States, as well as Prince Harry’s fiancee, actress Meghan Markle, a couple of talk show hosts, and Sean Hannity speaks volumes…

–Dana

Funded by Republicans, Planned Parenthood Joins Effort to Spend $30 Million on Midterms

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:00 am

Heckuva job, Republicans! Planned Parenthood is spending some of that sweet sweet omnibus money given to them by Republicans…to defeat Republicans. Roll Call:

A coalition of liberal organizations that includes the political arm of Planned Parenthood rolled out a $30 million program Monday to mobilize “infrequent voters” to cast ballots for progressive candidates in the midterm elections.

Infrequent voters include people of color, women and young people, the coalition says in a joint news release.

The initiative will target voters in Michigan, Florida, and Nevada.

The omnibus bill, written by lobbyists under the supervision of staffers employed by Republican Paul Ryan and Republican Mitch McConnell, and signed by Republican President Donald J. Trump, funded Planned Parenthood to the tune of over $500 million dollars:

The $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill was seen as the prime opportunity to strike at Planned Parenthood, which received $543.7 million from taxpayers last year, about 40 percent of its $1.46 billion revenue stream. Republicans, however, did not include the defunding measure in the final bill, as negotiations over a proposed border wall and federal funding for a New York City tunnel took center stage.

So Republicans pass a bill that gives this abortion mill $500 million, and the abortionists take a chunk of that money and use it to defeat Republicans in the midterms. Then they use another chunk to kill babies.

Oh, sorry. That money is strictly prohibited from being used for such purposes! Why, the political arm of Planned Parenthood is totally separate!!!1!

via GIPHY

What they actually do is use the $500 million to put towards activities x, y, and z — and then take $500 million that they would otherwise spend on x, y, and z, and spend that money on things like defeating Republicans and killing babies. Which is totally different.

I did make one mistake, though. I said in the headline that Republicans had funded all of this. That’s not entirely accurate. Republicans appropriated the money. But they didn’t fund pro-Democrat election efforts and baby-killing.

It’s actually funded by YOU: the taxpayer.

Aren’t you happy Republicans are running the government?

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

4/18/2018

James Comey: I No Longer Consider Myself a Republican

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:00 am

Welcome to the club, buddy. What took you so long?

James Comey declared on Wednesday that he is no longer a Republican, stating in an interview with “the Republican party has left me.”

In an interview on ABC News podcast Start Here, the former FBI director, who used to consider himself a Republican, was asked whether he still saw himself as a member of the Grand Old Party.

“No,” Comey replied. “The Republican party has left me, and many others.”

. . . .

“I see the Republican Party, as near as I can tell, reflects now entirely Donald Trump’s values,” Comey continued. “It doesn’t reflect values at all. It’s transactional, it’s ego-driven, it’s in service to his ego. And it’s, I think, consoling itself that we’re going to achieve important policy goals — a tax cut or something.”

He’s not wrong. Donald Trump has laughably changed positions on everything under the sun, including matters that are serious (like the propriety of bombing Syria without Congressional authorization) and others that are more trivial (like whether the President of the United States should spend a lot of time playing golf).

And Republicans are just fine with hypocrisy this rank.

It’s true that Donald Trump does have one deniable positive characteristic that will never change — albeit a characteristic that he shares with every person on the planet save one. He is not Hillary Clinton. And for many people, that’s good enough to be OK with him being in office, and I understand that.

That’s a little different from saying that we have to back him up every time he lies or says something crazy. You don’t have to go on nationwide TV and embarrass yourelf by pretending you never heard the man lie, as Jim Jordan did with Anderson Cooper.

You don’t have to pretend that it’s a media conspiracy to label Trump as a kook and unfit for office if you were saying the same thing yourself a year ago:

This stuff is just embarrassing. But it’s the Republican party now.

I have purchased Comey’s book A Higher Loyalty with the audiobook add-on read by Comey. It’s interesting to see how his actual words in context contrast with the way he is portrayed. Comey is commonly portrayed as sanctimonious, apparently because he believes in principles in the era of Trump, where principles are not cool. But he doesn’t sound particularly sanctimonious to me in his book, at least so far. In his introduction, Comey says:

All people have flaws and I have many. Some of mine, as you’ll discover in this book, are that I can be stubborn, prideful, overconfident and driven by ego. I’ve struggled with those my whole life. . . .I know I can be wrong, even when I am certain I am right.

When is the last time you heard self-reflection and self-criticism like that from Donald Trump?

Comey is also pilloried for having made comments about Trump’s personal appearance. He defends himself by saying he includes details to bring the reader into the picture and make the reader feel like he or she is there. Again, this makes sense. Look at his description of FBI veteran Greg Brower: “Greg was a fifty-three-year-old Nevadan with salt-and-pepper hair.” OMIGOD WHY DID HE HAVE TO SAY THE GUY HAD SALT IN HIS HAIR? IS HE CALLING THE GUY OLD?!?!?! No, he’s just describing someone. Calm down.

As I have said many times, I think Comey mishandled the Hillary investigation. I’ll be very curious to see how he justifies some of his decisions. But he just doesn’t seem like a bad guy to me. If anyone is prideful and has a big ego, it’s Donald Trump. And the Republican party seems fine with him.

If you’re fine with Trump’s ego, I don’t really want to hear your whining about Comey’s. All you’re doing is confirming Comey’s description of Republicans as lemmings following Trump off the cliff. Comey and I have gotten out of the marching line. Join us. We have pie.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

4/17/2018

RIP Barbara Bush

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 7:09 pm

Barbara Bush has died. Her son George W. had this to say:

My dear mother has passed on at age 92. Laura, Barbara, Jenna, and I are sad, but our souls are settled because we know hers was. Barbara Bush was a fabulous First Lady and a woman unlike any other who brought levity, love, and literacy to millions. To us, she was so much more. Mom kept us on our toes and kept us laughing until the end. I’m a lucky man that Barbara Bush was my mother. Our family will miss her dearly, and we thank you all for your prayers and good wishes.

RIP.

CNN’s Brian Stelter Has a Lot of Nerve Getting Snotty About Sean Hannity’s Conflict of Interest

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 10:30 am

Brian Stelter of CNN is getting huffy about yesterday’s revelation that Sean Hannity may have used President Trump’s personal lawyer for legal advice without telling viewers. And Brian Stelter of CNN wants you to know that he is deeply disturbed by this unethical lack of disclosure:

While his off-air relationships might be just a logical extension of Hannity’s on-air cheerleading for Trump, it still came as a surprise, immediately raising questions about both Hannity and Fox.

By any standards of any normal newsroom, the Cohen-Hannity relationship is a glaring conflict of interest.

Fox is not a normal newsroom. And Hannity’s viewers are not typical news viewers — people who watch almost any other show would likely feel lied to when they learned something like this had not been disclosed to them, but Hannity’s want him to have this kind of relationship with Trumpworld.

This comes from Brian Stelter.

Of CNN.

You see the problem? If not, let me sum it up in two words:

Corey Lewandowski.

In June 2016, after Lewandowski left the Trump campaign, he was hired by CNN to be a political commentator. Here’s what one Brian Stelter from CNN said at the time:

There are also swirling questions about whether Lewandowski is still bound to Trump somehow.

Like other Trump employees, he signed a non-disclosure agreement that ensures he will not share confidential information.

The agreement likely included a “non-disparagement clause,” impeding his ability to criticize Trump publicly.

On Thursday night, in his first appearance as a CNN commentator, anchor Erin Burnett asked about the existence of such a clause, and Lewandowski declined to answer directly.

Meaning, of course, that he had one. Does this mean that Brian Stelter opposed the hire? Judge for yourself by reading the last line of his piece:

Adding Lewandowski is another way to ensure ideological diversity on the air. His perspective might be uniquely valuable given that he was Trump’s right hand man up until this week.

LOL. Cue the eternal cry of the hypocritical leftist: But that’s different!

But it got worse. In September, ABC News reported that Lewandowski was still receiving payments from the Trump campaign, even as he gave commentary about Trump on CNN:

Donald Trump’s presidential campaign paid former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski’s company $20,000 in consulting fees in August, campaign filings show.

Lewandowski was fired as Trump’s campaign manager on June 20 . . . Days after the firing, CNN hired Lewandowski as an on-air political commentator, a position he holds currently.

Trump’s campaign finance filing shows a $20,000 payment made to Lewandowski’s company, Green Monster Consulting, LLC, on August 11 for the purpose of “strategy consulting.”

Did CNN immediately fire Lewandowski? No, CNN did not. Indeed, Lewandowski stayed on until days before the election, ultimately resigning in November. As one Brian Stelter from CNN reported:

Lewandowski brought unique first-hand experience running a historic presidential campaign. But some viewers — and even some CNN staffers — felt Lewandowski never should have been hired at all.

Lewandowski was bound by a non-disclosure agreement that impeded his ability to criticize Trump publicly. He also received severance payments from the campaign.

CNN President Jeff Zucker stood by the decision to hire Lewandowski, pointing out that it was critical to have ideological diversity on the airwaves.

Which sounds a lot like Stelter’s own quote (already noted above), when Lewandowski was hired: “Adding Lewandowski is another way to ensure ideological diversity on the air.”

You know what you did not see from Stelter? A passage like this one, in which I take Stelter’s commentary about Hannity and rewrite it for the Lewandowski situation:

While his off-air relationship with Cohen might be just a logical extension of Lewandowski’s on-air cheerleading for Trump, it still came as a surprise, immediately raising questions about both Lewandowski and CNN.

By any standards of any normal newsroom, the Trump campaign’s payments to (and non-disparagement clause with) Lewandowski relationship constitute a glaring conflict of interest.

CNN is not a normal newsroom. And Lewandowski’s fans are not typical news viewers — people who watch almost any other show would likely feel lied to when they learned something like this had not been disclosed to them, but Lewandowski’s fans want him to have this kind of relationship with Trumpworld.

You did not see anything like that in any of Brian Stelter’s pieces. You did not see him calling Lewandowski’s arrangement a “glaring conflict of interest.” You did not see him claiming that CNN is not a normal newsroom. Instead, you saw him praising the Lewandowski hire.

What do you know? He has a different standard for Fox News than he has for his own employer!

Which is to be expected. Just don’t expect us to take your moral preening seriously, Brian Stelter. You guys are hardly the angels you’re trying to appear to be. And we all know it.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

4/16/2018

Sean Hannity Named As Client of Michael D. Cohen. Hannity Says, Uh, Not So Fast…

Filed under: Uncategorized — Dana @ 2:51 pm

[guest post by Dana]

So Sean Hannity has been named as Michael D. Cohen’s client:

President Trump’s personal attorney Michael D. Cohen did work for Fox News commentator Sean Hannity in the past year, one of just three legal clients Cohen represented after leaving his post as a counsel for Trump’s private company in early 2017, his attorney told a federal judge Monday.

Cohen’s work for Hannity was revealed during a court hearing in Manhattan on Monday and confirmed by a source familiar with the relationship. Cohen also did legal work for the president and GOP fundraiser Elliott Broidy in the past year, his attorney told the court.

Hannity denies he was an actual paying client:

Hannity said Monday that he occasionally turned to Cohen when he had legal questions but that he never paid him to be his attorney.

“Michael Cohen has never represented me in any matter,” the conservative commentator wrote on Twitter. “I never retained him, received an invoice, or paid legal fees. I have occasionally had brief discussions with him about legal questions about which I wanted his input and perspective.”

“I assumed those conversations were confidential, but to be absolutely clear they never involved any matter between me and a third-party,” Hannity added.

Untitled

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How it came to this:

A letter from Cohen’s lawyer Todd Harrison filed Monday said that agents seized “more than a dozen electronic devices and other items that include documents and data regarding topics and issues that have nothing to do with” the material sought in the search warrant.

The letter says that from 1996 to 2006, Cohen had hundreds of clients, adding that he did not know if any material from those clients was in the seized files. From 2007 to 2017, Cohen worked as a lawyer for Trump and the Trump Organization.

The letter said that in 2017 and 2018, Cohen had “at least ten clients,” but seven of those were business consulting clients whose work did not involve legal advice.

The three other clients, according to the letter, were Trump, Broidy and a third client whom Cohen initially did not want to be identified.

[RNC deputy finance chair steps down after admitting Trump’s lawyer negotiated settlement between him and pregnant Playboy model]

“As to the one unnamed legal client, we do not believe that Mr. Cohen should be asked to reveal the name or can permissibly do so,” the letter said. “Upon information and belief, the unnamed legal client’s matters are responsive to any matter covered by . . . the search warrants.”

Cohen’s lawyers argue that if the court appoints a special master to oversee the issue, “that legal client would allow their name to be disclosed to the special master.”

Both Trump and Cohen claimed “that the Justice Department policy is unfair and infringes on constitutional protections.”

As usual, Popehat has some interesting thoughts and cautions about the latest turn of events:

Untitled

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Outside the courtroom, Stormy Daniels spanked Michael D. Cohen in a statement made to the press:

“For years, Mr. Cohen has acted like he is above the law, he has considered himself and openly referred to himself as Mr. Trump’s fixer. He has played by a different set of rules or should we say no rules at all,” the adult-film actress said with her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, beside her. “He has never thought that the little man, or especially women or even more, women like me, matter. That ends now. My attorney and I are committed to making sure that everyone finds out the truth and facts of what happened and I give my word that we will not rest until that happens.”

–Dana

Lanny Davis’s Bogus Attack on James Comey

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 9:00 am

I’ll put my cards on the table: I don’t hate James Comey the way the rest of the world — right and left — appears to. I thought he came across in George Snuffleupagus’s* interview as reasonable, self-reflective, and honest.

In the last 24-48 hours, Comey has been attacked by people on both sides of the aisle. I have even seen conservatives holding up Loretta Lynch (!) as an example of integrity, and seemingly taking sides with her over Comey regarding the nature of their personal conversations and their respective handling of the Hillary Clinton matter. Why anyone would side with Lynch over Comey is a mystery to me, other than that Comey is the designated Trump punching bag of the moment.

There’s one attack that I read that intrigued me — and having investigated it, I have found it to be bogus. I figured I’d share those findings with you.

The attack comes from Lanny Davis, in a piece titled Admit it, James Comey: You’ve been lying all along. Davis complains (as most Clintonites do) that Comey messed up by sending Congress a letter just 11 days before the 2016 election, informing Congress that the Hillary Clinton email investigation had been reopened because of emails found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop. Davis says that Comey’s stated reason for sending this letter is false:

Comey has repeatedly claimed that he was “obligated” to write his speculative letter because of a promise he had made to Congress to do so if “anything new” came up after his July 5, 2016, press conference announcing a new prosecutable case could be brought against Clinton.

However, I established beyond any doubt in my book published in February 2018, “The Unmaking of the Presidency 2016,” that Comey’s claim was — and remains — false.

In fact, Comey only promised Congress in September 2016 that if anything new came up on the emails issue that might cause the FBI to reconsider its non-prosecution decision, he would “take a look” — not that he would make a public disclosure to Congress before doing so.

Davis actually goes so far as to claim that it is a “lie” for Comey to claim that he had promised to inform Congress:

When I wrote my book, I avoided using the word “lie” about Comey falsely using the word “obligation” to Congress, given my extreme reluctance to ever use the “lie” word unless I am certain there is a knowing, willful, intentional misstatement of the truth.

Well, James Comey has had plenty of time to go back to check his testimony before Congress to see what he actually said as he begins his book tour and, among other things, tries to justify his October 28 letter.

Yet, in the already released excerpts of the TV interview with George Stephanopoulos Sunday night, Comey intends to repeat the same knowing falsehood that he was “obligated” to send his letter to Congress because he promised to do so.

There is some sleight of hand here. Davis makes it sound like the issue is whether Comey really promised to inform Congress, or whether the promise was merely to “look at” any new evidence that might come up. And if you look at the September 2016 testimony that Davis cites, the answer to that question is, as Davis claims, that Comey merely promised to “look at” the information:

Mr. SMITH: My first question is this: Would you reopen the Clinton investigation if you discovered new information that was both relevant and substantial?

Mr. COMEY: It is hard for me to answer in the abstract. We would certainly look at any new and substantial information.

So Comey is lying, right?

No. Here’s where the sleight of hand comes in. Because Davis is not telling the truth about what Comey’s stated justification was. I can find no evidence that Davis’s claim — that Comey justified having sent the letter to Congress because of a “promise” he had made to Congress to inform them — is true.

Instead, the justification Comey offered was that he had a choice: between revealing the reopening of the investigation, and concealing it. And he worried that concealing it would damage the FBI as an institution. This is what he has consistently said, in multiple places.

Let’s start with the interview with Snuffleupagus, parts of which were broadcast last night. I’m going to include a very, very long passage, so that nobody can accuse me of leaving anything out. Here is the passage from the transcript of the full unedited interview with Stephanopoulos in which Comey addresses the same issue. Comey explains the decision as a dilemma between speaking (telling Congress about the reopening of the investigation) and concealing (saying nothing). See if you can find the part where Comey says he sent the letter because he had “promised” to update Congress. Hint: it’s not there:

And then the question for me now is, “So what do we do now?” Remember the– the standard is, the norm is, “If you can avoid it, you take no action that might have an impact on an election.” And I’m sitting there, on the morning of October 27th, and I can’t see a door that’s labeled, “No action here.” I can only see two doors, and they’re both actions. One says, “Speak,” the other says, “Conceal”–

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Well, no. You– you c– you could you f– try to find out first whether or not they were indeed relevant. Whether they– there was evidence there of a crime.

JAMES COMEY: Well, maybe. And maybe another director might have done that. My view is that would be a potentially deeply irresponsible and dangerous thing to do, to gamble– remember, the team is telling you, “We cannot evaluate this material before the election.”

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: But we don’t know what’s in it?

JAMES COMEY: Well, we know there are hundreds of thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails there, including Blackberry emails. And so there is reason to believe that this is evidence in our case, and may change the result. And so maybe what you do is gamble and say, “I’ll be quiet about it,” but that comes back to my doors.

That’s an affirmative act of concealment, right? Because I’ve told Congress and the American people– the whole point of July 5th was transparency. “Look, American people, what we’ve done. We did it carefully, we did it well. There’s no there there.

You can take that to the bank. You can rely on the FBI. We’re done. Everybody can get on with their lives.” It’s October 27th, that’s not true anymore, in potentially a huge way. So you could speak about it, or you could not speak about it. But the not speaking about it is an action.

GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: Senior Justice officials weren’t convinced that you actually had an obligation to tell Congress that at that time. What was their argument, what was your response?

JAMES COMEY: Their argument was that it was not consistent with our policy, and that we don’t normally comment on investigations, all of which I agree with. And that they would advise against it. Actually never spoke to me about it personally. I had my chief of staff call over to the leadership’s chief of s– staffs of th– the attorney general and the deputy and say, “The director thinks that is between speaking and concealing.

Speaking is really bad; concealing is catastrophic. If you conceal the fact that you have restarted the Hillary Clinton email investigation, not in some silly way but in a very, very important way that may lead to a different conclusion, what will happen to the institutions of justice when that comes out?

Especially, given the world we’re operating in, when Hillary Clinton’s elected president? She’ll be an illegitimate president, but these organizations will never recover from that. You hid from the American people something you knew gave the lie to what you told them in Congress repeatedly. And so the director thinks that we have to speak. And he would be happy to talk to you about it. Let him know.”

There is a lot more, as Comey and Snuffleupagus discuss the issue for a long, long, long time. If you want to keep reading, I have put the rest of this part of the interview on a page here. There is nothing in it about a “promise” to update Congress, as Davis claims. That was not the issue. The issue, in Comey’s mind, was to speak or to conceal.

This is consistent with other times when Comey has discussed the issue. Take his testimony from May 2017:

I faced a choice. And I’ve lived my entire career by the tradition that if you can possibly avoid it, you avoid any action in the run-up to an election that might have an impact. Whether it’s a dogcatcher election or president of the United States, but I sat there that morning and I could not see a door labeled no action here.

I could see two doors and they were both actions. One was labeled speak, the other was labeled conceal. Because here’s how I thought about it, I’m not trying to talk you into this, but I want you to know my thinking. Having repeatedly told this Congress, we are done and there’s nothing there, there’s no case there, there’s no case there, to restart in a hugely significant way, potentially finding the emails that would reflect on her intent from the beginning and not speak about it would require an active concealment, in my view.

And so I stared at speak and conceal. Speak would be really bad. There’s an election in 11 days, Lordy, that would be really bad. Concealing in my view would be catastrophic, not just to the FBI, but well beyond. And honestly, as between really bad and catastrophic, I said to my team we got to walk into the world of really bad. I’ve got to tell Congress that we’re restarting this, not in some frivolous way, in a hugely significant way.

And the team also told me, we cannot finish this work before the election. And then they worked night after night after night, and they found thousands of new emails, they found classified information on Anthony Weiner. Somehow, her emails are being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information, by her assistant, Huma Abedin. And so they found thousands of new emails and then called me the Saturday night before the election and said thanks to the wizardry of our technology, we’ve only had to personally read 6,000. We think we can finish tomorrow morning, Sunday.

And so I met with them and they said we found a lot of new stuff. We did not find anything that changes our view of her intent. So we’re in the same place we were in July. It hasn’t changed our view and I asked them lots of questions and I said okay, if that’s where you are, then I also have to tell Congress that we’re done. Look, this is terrible. It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election. But honestly, it wouldn’t change the decision.

Everybody who disagrees with me has to come back to October 28 with me and stare at this and tell me what you would do. Would you speak or would you conceal? And I could be wrong, but we honestly made a decision between those two choices that even in hindsight — and this has been one of the world’s most painful experiences — I would make the same decision.

I would not conceal that, on October 28, from the Congress.

Finally, Comey wrote a letter to his troops, explaining the decision. Here is the relevant paragraph, explaining why he wrote the letter to Congress:

Of course, we don’t ordinarily tell Congress about ongoing investigations, but here I feel an obligation to do so given that I testified repeatedly in recent months that our investigation was completed. I also think it would be misleading to the American people were we not to supplement the record. At the same time, however, given that we don’t know the significance of this newly discovered collection of emails, I don’t want to create a misleading impression. In trying to strike that balance, in a brief letter and in the middle of an election season, there is significant risk of being misunderstood, but I wanted you to hear directly from me about it.

Again, there is nothing there about a promise to Congress. Comey is just saying that, having testified about it to Congress, he believed it would be misleading if the investigation were reopened and he said nothing.

I won’t call Lanny Davis a liar. But from all available evidence, the claim he makes about Comey’s proffered justification is false.

You’ll have to find other reasons to criticize Comey. This dog won’t hunt.

_______________________________________________

*That’s what I’ve always called him.

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

4/15/2018

Sunday Music: Bach Cantata BWV 134

Filed under: Uncategorized — Patterico @ 12:01 am

It is the third Sunday of Easter. The title of today’s cantata is “Ein Herz, das seinen Jesum lebend weiß” (A heart that knows its Jesus is living).

Today’s Gospel reading is another record of the appearance of Jesus among the living. Luke 24:36b-48:

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.

The text of today’s cantata is available here. Number 4, a duet aria, contains these words:

the Savior appears and comforts us again
and through Himself strengthens the struggling Church

Number 5, a recitative, has these words:

May your Hand enclose us,
so that we behold your powerful potency,
which your death and victory has earned us,
and that now, through your Resurrection,
a person does not die, even when he dies in the world,
and that through this we enter into Your glory.
Whatever is in us exalts You, great God,
and praises Your mercy and love;
your Resurrection makes them new again,
your great victory makes us free from the enemy
and brings us to life;
Therefore let thanks and praise be given to You.

Happy listening!

[Cross-posted at RedState.]

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