Video: CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin criticizes Trump comments on the ‘poor plight of white men’

Supreme CourtCNN analyst and author Jeffrey Toobin says Donald Trump, Jr.’s comments about the “poor plight of white men” is “garbage.

“If you sexually assault someone in high school, your life should be ruined,” Toobin added. “You life should be pursued. I mean the idea that this is somehow unjust—remember, this all started with accusations of sexual assault. How about the lives of the women who were sexually assaulted in high school?”

Meanwhile, President Trump told reporters Tuesday that “It is a very scary time for young men in America, where you can be guilty of something you may not be guilty of.” According to CNN, Trump added that “women are doing great.”

The Trumps’ comments come as the controversy surrounding Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh continues to agitate people on both sides.

The trouble with Kavanaugh

Supreme CourtPresident Trump’s nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court has reached a barrier that may not be surmountable: A college professor is accusing Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her while they were teenagers. Some analyses at The Week offer insight into the GOP’s dilemma. Scott Lemieux wonders why Republicans are adamantly standing by the troubled nominee. His argument is that the GOP could easily find someone else on The Federalist Society’s Top 25 list to replace Kavanaugh and have them approved before the midterm election. Meanwhile, David Faris writes that The American judiciary is in serious trouble, and accuses Republicans of abusing their power:  

The GOP’s abuse of its power of judicial appointments is so widespread at this point as to feel commonplace, and it goes far beyond the behavior of Vichy Republicans in Congress. Party elites at all levels are acting like bank robbers feverishly stuffing stacks into sacks even as they hear the sirens approaching in the distance.

Ryan Cooper says Kavanaugh’s nomination reveals “the utter moral corruption of American conservatism.  And at Salon, Bob Brigham says former RNC Chairman Michael Steele claims Republicans have been privately discussing ways to remove Kavanaugh’s nomination. MSNBC’s Chris Matthews says the Kavanaugh nomination is really all about Trump.

Podcast: Could anti-Trump fervor help Democrats win the Senate?

While most observers are paying attention to the possibility that Democrats can win back the House this November, they “definitely have a chance to win the Senate,” according to election analyst Nathan Gonzalez. In this edition of the CQ on Congress podcast from Roll Call, Gonzales shows where Democrats could pick up Senate seats, as well as which races they’re likely to lose.

Video: Toobin says Trump tweet about Sessions may be impeachable

Jeff SessionsAs President Trump continues his attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin says Trump’s latest tweet may be impeachable. Trump criticized Sessions for allowing the indictments of two Republican congressmen to happen before the midterm elections. Critics say Trump’s tweet shows he places politics above the law.

Podcast: How Trump’s legal problems compare to his predecessors

Following Tuesday’s conviction of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and the guilty plea of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, the number of legal issues facing President Trump seem to be piling up, especially when you consider that he hasn’t been in office yet for two years. Presidential historian Jon Meacham talked with NPR’s Audie Cornish about how Trump’s growing legal problems compare to previous presidents in this podcast.

Video: Giuliani on truth

Rudy GiulianiThe president’s legal spokesman, Rudy Giuliani, is trying to explain exactly what he meant when he said “truth isn’t truth” in an appearance Sunday on NBC’s Meet the Press. Giuliani was being interviewed about the possibility of Donald Trump being interviewed by Robert Mueller’s team investigating possible links between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Video: Comey’s concern about Trump’s attacks on the FBI

James ComeyJames Comey, the FBI director fired by President Trump in 2017, says he’s concerned about Trump’s unrelenting attacks on the agency. Comey says Trump’s attacks on the FBI and the Department of Justice are undermining confidence in the agencies. Comey made the comments in June to The Atlantic at the 2018 Aspen Ideas Festival. The former FBI director says Trump’s criticisms are eroding trust in the Justice Department, which are built on the foundations of nonpartisanship and accountability.

The separation of immigrant children from their parents is despicable

The Trump administration’s latest and most terrible tactic in its war on immigration is taking young children away from their parents at the border and keeping them separated. While the United States of America has plenty of regrettable stains on its history such as slavery and the internment of Japanese-Americans in World War II, separating young children from their parents is cruel, inhumane and shameful. CNN reports in the video below that one parent says Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents took her child away while she was breastfeeding it.

At Slate, Dahlia Lithwick comments that even as we become desensitized to President Trump’s regular and repeated over-the-top antics, we must summon our outrage to protest this particularly horrifying policy.

That we are finding ourselves unable to process or act or organize because the large-scale daily horrors are escalating and the news is overpowering is perfectly understandable. But we need to understand that and acknowledge it and then refuse it any purchase. Because to be overwhelmed and to do nothing are a choice.

We agree. While it may not be part of an overarching strategy on behalf of Trump to desensitize us to these outrageous actions (that would be giving him too much credit), we must summon outrage at this reprehensible policy, and demand action. Separating children from their parents in an effort to keep them out of our country is unconscionable, and a policy that we will regret if we allow it, to say nothing of how dimly it will be viewed through the lens of history. Please do whatever you can to insist that this be stopped as quickly as possible. Our nation is heading down a slippery slope, and we must dig in and do whatever we can to stop this tragic and terrible policy.

The president’s pardons

In comments to media today, President Trump invited NFL players who would protest during the national anthem to suggest individuals to be considered for a presidential pardon.

Jeff Robinson, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, had the following response:

“President Trump has spent much of his first 18 months in office degrading NFL players who protest police brutality and racial injustice. Today, he has tried once again to change the narrative about the work of those and other activists, betraying a fundamental misunderstanding of the cause behind these protests — and using racist dog whistles to do it.

“While we support a fair and concerted effort to address unfair sentences in the federal system, pardons alone won’t fix our deeply broken criminal justice system. We need real reforms that will address systemic racism and implicit bias in policing that too often results in violence and death. We need a bail system that doesn’t criminalize poverty. We need sentencing reform so that thousands of Black and brown people aren’t ensnared in jails and prisons. Should the president meet with athletes, we hope he will propose serious policy changes that get us closer to those goals.”

This statement is online here:
https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-comment-president-trumps-suggestion-considering-pardons-request-nfl-players

ABA Legal Fact Check explores the legal basis for saying, ‘A president is not above the law’

The American Bar Association has posted a new ABA Legal Fact Check that explores the legal precedents related to whether a U.S. president can act “above the law.”

Political conversation turned to this question in the past few days when Rudy Giuliani, an attorney for President Donald Trump, suggested a sitting president could not be indicted. Trump himself fueled the conversation a day later when he tweeted that he had the “absolute right” to pardon himself if necessary.

The new fact check explores the relevant parts of two U.S. Supreme Court decisions involving then-Presidents Richard Nixon in 1974 and Bill Clinton in 1997 and how they might pertain to legal situations today. It also analyzes the Supreme Court’s assertion in the Nixon case that a president does not have “unqualified presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances.”

ABA Legal Fact Check seeks to help the media and public find dependable answers and explanations to sometimes confusing legal questions and issues. The URL for the site is www.abalegalfactcheck.com. Follow us on Twitter @ABAFactCheck.