Reform at the FBI?

FBI Director Christopher Wray said he takes the DoJ IG report castigating the FBI’s performance on the Clinton email scandal seriously.

He [Wray] ordered training for senior executives on the report’s lessons….

Really? These guys are senior executives–they already knew what they were doing, and they knew at the time that what they were doing was wrong. They should be fired for cause.

So far, it looks like Wray is just engaged in the emptiness of sound and fury.

A Thought on Nationhood

Germany has one, and it centers on immigrants assimilating into German culture rather than holding themselves apart while taking advantage of the German benefits that drew the immigrants in the first place.  It’s articulated by Joachim Gauck, President of Germany from 2012-2017.  He told Bild

“I find it unacceptable that people who have been living in Germany for decades cannot hold a conversation in German, do not attend parent-teacher conferences or keep their children from going to classes or sports.”

Most of What They Wanted

Recall that, in a breathtaking attack on Italy’s democracy, the nation’s President Sergio Mattarella vetoed formation of the coalition government that hard-Left 5Star Movement and hard-Right League, as the two winners of Italy’s elections, had formed because Mattarella didn’t like the coalition’s choice for Economics Minister, Paolo Savona.  Mattarella held Savona personally unacceptable over the latter’s disdain for the euro and for the European Union.

An Argument

…for leaving the European Union altogether.

By openly invoking the role of investors, financial markets and the defense of the eurozone in his speech on Sunday, the president [Italian President Sergio Mattarella] lends credence to the populist argument that Italy has become the battleground in a war between the international establishment and national democracies. Even if populists win the elections, their supporters believe, they will never be allowed to hold power for fear that they would oppose the dogma that dominates the eurozone.

A Concept of Privacy

Personal privacy and protections against warrantless searches got a boost from the Supreme Court earlier this week.

The Supreme Court said Tuesday that police need a warrant to search vehicles parked at private homes, the second time this month the justices rejected government arguments for expanding the “automobile exception” to Fourth Amendment rules against unreasonable searches.

The case at hand involved a stolen motorcycle parked in the driveway of a private residence and protected from the elements (and perhaps (even probably) from being seen by police) by a tarp.  A police officer recognized from Facebook postings the residence, saw the fact of a motorcycle under the tarp, entered the property, lifted the tarp, and looked over the motorcycle—all without a warrant.

Europe’s Italian Crisis

Europe is a-roil over Italy’s inability to form a government at any time since the nation’s elections some months ago.  And so is the old guard in Italy.

Italy’s woes rippled across the eurozone, driven by investor worries that an exit by the bloc’s third-largest economy could force others out.

Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said this with a straight face:

We must never forget that we are only ever a few short steps away from the very serious risk of losing the irreplaceable asset of trust[.]

A Mueller Interrogation

It’s well enough known that Special Counselor Robert Mueller is anxious to interrogate President Donald Trump as part of Mueller’s “investigation” of Russian interference in our 2016 election and of the Trump campaign’s alleged role in colluding with the Russians in that interference.  Trump’s counselor, Rudy Giuliani, says that Trump should not agree to the interrogation unless and until Mueller details the degree of DoJ spying on the Trump campaign, including what the FBI’s planted “informant,” Cambridge Professor Stefan Halper (who may be only one of two or three such plants), was doing and what he passed on to his FBI handlers.

Congressional Intent

In a piece centered on Federalism and the Supreme Court’s ruling that Congress cannot require individual States to ban sports gambling, there’s this bit at the end of the article that interests my grasshopper mind.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, in concurring, protested the Court’s analysis of Congressional intent.

The Court also determined that PASPA’s [Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act] prohibition on sports gambling advertising can’t be severed from the law. But as Justice Clarence Thomas noted in his pithy concurrence, the Court’s severability analysis requires courts to make “a nebulous inquiry into hypothetical congressional intent.”

The Special Counsel Authorizing Letter

House investigating committees have demanded that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein turn over his letter to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and Rosenstein has refused to do so.  Now, in a case Mueller brought against ex- and brief-Trump Campaign Manager Paul Rosenstein, the presiding Federal judge TS Ellis has demanded that Mueller turn over to him an unredacted copy of that letter, and he’s given Mueller two weeks to comply, which works out to 18 May.

We’ll see. Two weeks is much too long to give Mueller to produce his copy of Rosenstein’s authorizing letter; 36-48 hours is plenty—especially since Mueller’s team plainly has that copy always ready to hand; they are, after all, responsible persons.

Misunderstanding

At the tail end of a Wall Street Journal article discussing the relationship between Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Congress (and in particular the House Freedom Caucus), Rosenstein made this remark:

We have a responsibility to work with the Congress. They have a responsibility to understand their duty is not to interfere.

This is a breathtaking lack of understanding by a Federal lawyer. Oversight by Congress does not mean simply watching. Interference is absolutely required if Congress, through its oversight, detects inappropriate or wrong behaviors.

Or would Rosenstein insist that funding cuts—Congress doing its job—are interference?