Patterico's Pontifications


Shooting in Dallas [Multiple Updates]

Filed under: General — JVW @ 8:56 pm

[guest post by JVW]

At least two police officers have been shot by snipers in downtown Dallas at a Black Lives Matter rally according to Fox News. Sadly, it appears that one has been killed, and as many as five might be wounded.

Updates will be added as we learn more.

[UPDATE 1] 9:00 pm Pacific – CNN reports that three officers have been killed and eight wounded. This is turning awful very quickly.

[UPDATE 2] 9:03 pm Pacific – The Dallas Morning Herald (their site is unsurprisingly overwhelmed right now) reports that in addition to the three Dallas PD officers, a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer has been killed.

[UPDATE 3]: From Twitter (obviously):

[UPDATE 4] 10:35 pm Pacific – Regarding the guy who turned himself in, some Twitter users say that it is the brother of one of the march organizers. He has been pictured widely across the internet at the march holding a rifle and the Dallas PD had sent out that photo labeling him a person of interest, but people who know him are pointing out that Texas is an open-carry state and that his whereabouts was accounted for as the sniper shots were being fired.


Gowdy vs. Comey For the Win

Filed under: General — JVW @ 4:35 pm

[guest post by JVW]

No contest. Here’s the video:

And here’s the transcript of Gowdy’s excellent summation (all bolded emphasis is mine):

[. . .] In your old job you would prove intent as you referenced by showing the jury evidence of a complex scheme that was designed for the very purpose of concealing the public record and you would be arguing in addition to concealment the destruction that you and i just talked about or certainly the failure to preserve.

You would argue all of that under the heading of [intent]. You would also be arguing the pervasiveness of the scheme when it started, when it ended and the number of emails whether

They were originally classified or of classified under the heading of intent. You would also, probably, under common scheme or plan, argue the burn bags of daily calendar entries or the missing daily calendar entries as a common scheme or plan to conceal.

Two days ago, Director, you said a reasonable person in her position should have known a private email was no place to send and receive classified information. You’re right. An average person does know not to do that.

This is no average person. This is a former First Lady, a former United States senator, and a former Secretary of State that the president now contends is the most competent, qualified person to be president since Jefferson. [. . .]

She affirmatively rejected efforts to give her a account, kept the private emails for almost two years and only turned them over to Congress because we found out she had a private email account.

So you have a rogue email system set up before she took the oath of office, thousands of what we now know to be classified emails, some of which were classified at the time. One of her more frequent email comrades was hacked and you don’t know whether or not she [Clinton] was.

And this scheme took place over a long period of time and resulted in the destruction of public records and yet you say there is insufficient evidence of intent. You say she was extremely careless, but not intentionally so.

You and I both know intent is really difficult to prove. Very rarely do defendants announce ‘On this date I intend to break this criminal code section. Just to put everyone on notice, I am going to break the law on this date.’

It never happens that way. You have to do it with circumstantial evidence or if you’re Congress and you realize how difficult it is prove, specific intent, you will [formulate] a statute that allows for gross negligence.

[. . .] You mentioned there’s no precedent for criminal prosecution. My fear is there still isn’t. There’s nothing to keep a future Secretary of State or President from this exact same email scheme or their staff.

And my real fear is this, what the chairman touched upon, this double track justice system that is rightly or wrongly perceived in this country. That if you are a private in the Army and email yourself classified information you will be kicked out. But if you are Hillary Clinton, and you seek a promotion to Commander in Chief, you will not be. So what I hope you can do today is help the average person, the reasonable person you made reference to, the reasonable person understand why she appears to be treated differently than the rest of us would be. [. . .]

I know there are many armchair quarterbacks Congressmen out there who think that Gowdy could have done more, didn’t quite bore far enough into Comey’s weak arguments, let another opportunity slip away, etc. Bear in mind that by the silly rules of the House Gowdy had limited time for questions, and he wisely nipped in the bud the Director’s initial attempt to filibuster and provide long answers. We’re all welcome to quibble and say that he should have done more, but I thought that overall this was a devastating sequence, and I particularly thought the line where he pointed out that we still don’t have a precedent for prosecuting criminal decisions made by powerful people was entirely on point.


Ted Cruz Confirms He Will Speak At Republican Convention

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:09 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Remember when Donald Trump told the New York Times that he would not invite Republicans to speak at the Republican convention if they didn’t endorse him?

“If there’s no endorsement, I would not invite them to speak,” Trump said in an interview, adding that former rivals like Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich should not expect to address the convention if they continue to withhold their support.

Apparently, like with any number of claims he’s made on the campaign trail, Trump has flip-flopped on this one as well. This morning, it was announced that Ted Cruz will be speaking at the Republican convention – at the invitation of Donald Trump and without having endorsed the “pathological liar”:

Sen. Cruz and Donald Trump had a good meeting this morning. There was no discussion of any endorsement. Mr. Trump asked Sen. Cruz to speak at the Republican convention, and Sen. Cruz said he would be happy to do so. Mr. Trump also asked Sen. Cruz for his counsel on future judicial nominations, and Cruz responded he would continue to do everything he can to help ensure principled constitutionalists on the courts.

Given that Cruz had already won the necessary states to guarantee him a speaking slot at the convention, how does this decision benefit him? Is he going to try and re-focus Republicans to unite behind Trump (and do what Trump has been utterly unable to do)? Or, is he thinking about a likely run of his own in 2020? Or, could it be as simple as saying “thank-you” to his 600 delegates?

Just for kicks, I’ll just throw this little tidbit to chew on:

Months after Donald Trump appeared to seal the Republican nomination for president, anti-Trump forces still have one last chance to force a vote on the party’s convention floor that would throw open the GOP contest again.

It’s a long shot, but by some counts they are remarkably close to getting past the first hurdle next week in Cleveland.

Mr. Trump’s intraparty foes, led by a group of rogue delegates, are waging an intense behind-the-scenes effort to push the Republican National Convention’s Rules Committee for a vote on freeing delegates to back whom they wish, rather than being bound to Mr. Trump.

The presumptive nominee’s team is fighting back just as vehemently, with an organized campaign of dozens of aides and volunteers. It’s a power struggle that has prompted threats of reprisals and left many Republicans anxious that it could hurt the party’s prospects in November.

The anti-Trump camp needs the backing of 28, or one-quarter, of the 112 Convention Rules Committee members, in order to place the issue before the full convention. A Wall Street Journal survey suggests it could be close.

In interviews, 20 members said they are willing to consider allowing delegates to be unbound, while 59 support Mr. Trump. The other 33 panelists couldn’t be reached or did not respond to repeated messages.

Others counting votes have their own tallies. Internal surveys of the Rules Committee conducted by RNC member Randy Evans of Georgia, who is whipping votes trying to help Mr. Trump fend off the insurrection, found at least 18 committee members open to voting to unbind. The Trump campaign’s count shows about 15 leaning toward the so-called conscience clause, according to people familiar with the campaign.

Kendal Unruh, a Colorado schoolteacher on the committee leading part of the anti-Trump movement, said she has private commitments from more than 30 committee members, but that many aren’t willing to admit so publicly.

Though a majority of the convention delegates are bound to support Mr. Trump, Mr. Evans’s count shows just about 890 delegates are personally loyal to the New Yorker. Another 680 oppose Mr. Trump. That leaves 900 delegates who are presumed to be “in play,” he said. The stop-Trump forces would have to take nearly two-thirds of them to block his nomination.

PS: Ben Sasse has made it clear he has better things to do than attend the convention:

Sen. Sasse will not be attending the convention and will instead take his kids to watch some dumpster fires across the state, all of which enjoy more popularity than the current front-runners.”


New Investigation of Hillary for False Statements to Congress?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:35 am

Watching Jim Comey’s testimony this morning, I note that he said the FBI has not reviewed the truth of Hillary’s statements under oath to Congress. The questioner said that one of those statements was that she sent or received no information marked classified. Had the FBI reviewed that statement? No, replied Comey, we have not received a referral from Congress.

The questioner replied: “You’ll have one within a few hours.”

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