Author Archive | Jacob Sullum

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4th Circuit Exaggerates the Ambiguous Evidence Against Trump’s Travel Ban

Yesterday the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit upheld a preliminary injunction against President Trump’s revised travel ban, concluding that the facially neutral executive order probably amounts to an unconstitutional “establishment of religion” because it was motivated primarily by anti-Muslim sentiment. The order “in text speaks with vague words of national security,” says […]

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Trump Admits He Would Have Fired Comey Regardless of What the DOJ Said

In an interview with NBC yesterday, President Trump admitted that his initial explanation of his decision to fire FBI Director James Comey—that he acted based on the recommendation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein—was not true. “I was going to fire Comey,” Trump told Lester Holt. “Regardless of [the] recommendation, […]

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Comey’s Dismissal Shows Trump Is Really Bad at Cover-Ups

Donald Trump’s official reason for dismissing FBI Director James Comey is transparently phony, and there is strong circumstantial evidence that the real reason had something to do with the FBI’s investigation of Russian attempts to influence the presidential election. That likelihood should trouble anyone who values the rule of law, since it looks like Trump […]

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Firing the FBI Director Is Not a ‘Constitutional Crisis’

“We are in a full-fledged constitutional crisis,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) declared on Twitter last night after hearing that Donald Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey. New York Times columnist David Leonhardt agreed. So did Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), although Blumenthal described the crisis as “looming” rather than “full-fledged.” […]

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Former Obama Lawyers Are Suddenly Worried About Illegal Wars

Yesterday an anti-Trump group called United to Protect Democracy filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit aimed at finding out something you really shouldn’t need a FOIA lawsuit to find out: the president’s legal rationale for lobbing cruise missiles at a Syrian air base last month. The lawsuit seeks “any and all records, including but […]

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Trump’s Medical Marijuana Threat Contradicts the Law and His Own Position

The appropriations bill that President Trump signed on Friday renews a rider that bars the Justice Department from interfering with the implementation of state laws allowing medical use of marijuana. But Trump signaled in a signing statement that he may decide to ignore that restriction, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, notwithstanding his repeatedly expressed support […]

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