Day: April 29, 2017


Soldier killed by explosive device is third US combat death this week in Iraq and Afghanistan

A U.S. military service member was killed by an explosive device outside Mosul, Iraq, today, according to U.S. Central Command.

Further information about the service member who died from wounds sustained in the blast will be released as appropriate.

This is the third American combat death this week in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Two U.S. service members were killed late Thursday and a third was wounded when they came under attack during a raid against Islamic State fighters in southern Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan, a Department of Defense official confirmed to Fox News.

The soldiers were battling ISIS-K in partnership with Afghan defense forces in the same area where the “Mother Of All Bombs” was dropped earlier this month.

In keeping with U.S. military policy, the name of the solider killed Saturday will not be released until 24 hours after next-of-kin notification.

Fox News’ Lucas Tomlinson, Jennifer Griffin, Hollie McKay, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Shark mauls trained shark-spotter bodyboarding off French island

A bodyboarder was mauled to death by a shark just two months after one of his best friends was killed in almost identical circumstances.


Adrien Dubosc, 28, was bitten in the leg in shark-infested waters off Pointe au Sel, Reunion, on Saturday morning.

The trained shark-spotter was dragged to shore and given CPR in front of his horrified family members, but rescuers could not save him.


His death comes weeks after his friend Alexandre Naussac, 26, died on a nearby beach on the French island, which lies off the coast of Madagascar.

More from The Sun

Dubosc was a member of Shark Watch Patrol which is dedicated to cutting down spiralling shark deaths on the island.

Police said the experienced bodyboarder was in the water with two friends when he was attacked.

A police spokesman said: “The young man was in the water with two friends,when a shark attacked him, biting his right thigh, and his groin area.

“The victim was pulled out of the water, and emergency workers arrived very quickly. Despite cardiac massage, he died within half an hour of the attack.”

Click for more from The Sun.

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'AMERICAN RESURGENCE' Donald Trump Jr. on his father's first 100 days

One hundred days ago, when my father stood in front of the American people and took the oath of office, an American resurgence began.

After eight years of endless talk and speeches, sluggish growth at home and weakness abroad, a sense of optimism and opportunity is taking hold. In the first one hundred days of my father’s presidency, the country is witnessing something I’ve been lucky enough to experience firsthand my entire life—a man of action, who keeps his promises and gets results.

This is the good news story of my father’s administration that the mainstream news media won’t report because they don’t understand it. My father is not a creature of Washington and he’s not going to do things the way they’ve always been done. He rejects business as usual because his number one priority is to make this country great again by bringing jobs, prosperity, opportunity and security back to the United States.   

The first one hundred days have restored confidence in the American economy. The stock market is up, unemployment is going down, and across the board, economic indicators are showing optimism for the future and predicting growth across sectors. My father’s focus on American jobs and manufacturing has led to major announcements from companies like GM, Boeing, Carrier, and T-Mobile, all announcing they will keep jobs here and expand employment in the U.S. 

Through an aggressive push using 28 Executive Orders and the 13 Congressional Review Act bills — a record breaking number since the CRA became law — Obama-era regulations with a $10 billion chokehold on our economy have been wiped out, easing the burden on small businesses and opening opportunities for job growth. He acted quickly to freeze regulations, and announced that for every new regulation, two regulations would have to be removed. 

My father has already signed 28 bills into law, on important issues that promote women in STEM fields, increasing government transparency, and reducing the government’s massive regulatory reach. Regulations that would crush family farms, shudder power plants, and raise the cost of electricity for families have all been stopped. The Wall Street Journal has noted that as president, my father is “rolling back more regulations than any president in history.”

This President is taking common sense actions that benefit the American people. The appointment of the eminently qualified Justice Neil Gorsuch ensures a conservative voice on our Supreme Court, restricting judicial activism. A restored focus on the rule of law has already resulted in a substantial drop in illegal border crossings, improving the security at our borders. He is lifting the restrictions on American energy, finally approving the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline; addressing bad trade deals to make them work for Americans; and signing executive orders that takes on steel and aluminum dumping. He is working to slash taxes to jumpstart the economy, and provide relief for the millions of American families getting crushed by increasing ObamaCare premiums. The Trump Administration is working every day to take power away from big government and faceless bureaucrats in Washington and give it back to the American people.

My father’s leadership doesn’t end at America’s shores. Both our allies and our enemies are remembering what American resolve looks like. We know from the last Administration, when you draw red lines and then do nothing when they’re crossed, adversaries on the global stage will fill the void, undermining the United States and our allies. That’s what leading from behind got us, but that is all over now.

As Commander in Chief, my father took decisive action against Syrian President Bashar al Assad after he turned chemical weapons against his own people. America is confronting ISIS everywhere from the caves of Afghanistan to the city of Mosul. And the United States is finally dealing with the threat of North Korea. President Trump is committed to rebuilding the U.S. military and empowering our commanders to fight our enemies and keep Americans safe. 

Hard-working, middle class Americans who spent the last eight years struggling to make ends meet while Washington ignored them finally have a champion in this White House. We’ve had enough of bureaucrats and Washington insiders writing laws and regulations that benefit them and their special interest buddies but put hard working Americans out of work. 

The next four years–like the last one hundred days–are going to be about keeping promises to the American people. This President is going to make the government work for all of the people of this country, not just the well-connected insiders. Jobs and prosperity will return to this country, and my father will continue to lead with the strength and conviction that I have seen him live out every day in life and in business. He will never shirk from the tough calls, because he knows how to fix the problems facing this country and ensure a better, stronger more optimistic future for all of us today and for the next generation.    


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Delta defends pilot smacking brawling female passenger in video

Delta Airlines is defending a pilot who was caught on video smacking a female passenger involved in a brawl with another passenger.

TMZ reported Saturday that the 27-second video appears to show the pilot trying to separate two women passengers as they wrestled on the jetway floor.

Their plane had just landed on April 21 at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta.

The video shows the pilot grabbing one of them by the arm and hitting her, TMZ reported. The pilot then walks away.

A man is also heard yelling, “Knock it off.”

TMZ reported that a Delta employee turned over the video to a supervisor right away.

In response to the story, a Delta representative told TMZ that the pilot was suspended last week after the airline became aware of the incident and the video.

“The pilot has since been returned to work as our investigation found that his actions deescalated an altercation between passengers on the jetway floor during deplaning,” the representatives was quoted as saying.

TMZ reported that the women appeared to have known each other and had gotten into a “skirmish” on the flight.

Neither woman wanted to press charges when cops showed up, according to TMZ.


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Hacker apparently leaks stolen episodes of Netflix series

A hacker apparently leaked several unreleased new episodes of “Orange is the New Black” Saturday after threatening Netflix and demanding a ransom.

The hacker, who goes by the name The Dark Overlord, appeared to have uploaded the first 10 episodes of Season 5 on file-sharing site The Pirate Bay, Variety reported, although it could not verify they were authentic. The premiere show was uploaded Friday.

Netflix announced a small production vendor that worked with major TV studios did in fact suffer a breach. The California company called it an “active situation” under investigation.

Pirated copies of “Orange” could dent Netflix’s subscriber growth and the company’s stock price.

In the ransom note, The Dark Overlord claimed to have stolen series from other studios, too, by breaking into a single company. The purported hacker promised to also release those titles unless “modest” ransoms are paid.

Rumors of a massive leak of Hollywood films and TV episodes have been circulating online for months, fed by purported screenshots of the footage and a copy of a proposed deal to delete the stolen material in return for tens of thousands of dollars in electronic currency.

When The Associated Press contacted The Dark Overlord in February, the hacker said the purloined video wouldn’t be made publicly available after all, making the far-fetched claim that “no one really (cares) about unreleased movies and TV show episodes.”

It’s not clear what triggered The Dark Overload’s renewed ransom demands.

Netflix is counting on “Orange” to help it add 3.2 million subscribers from April through June. That’s substantially higher than the company’s average gain of 1.8 million subscribers in the same period over the past five years.

New episodes of “Orange” were scheduled for official release on June 9.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Cleveland woman points gun at barber over 7-year-old son's haircut

Cleveland police released video of a woman they say pulled a gun on a barber because her 7-year-old son’s haircut was taking too long.

“I got two clips. I’ll pop you,” the woman is heard telling her son’s barber, a student at the Allstate Barber College, where the incident took place on April 14, Fox 32 Chicago reported on Friday.

Cleveland police are now looking for the woman.

They say the woman pulled the weapon after complaining several times about how long it was taking to cut her son’s hair.

“When she pulled out her gun she said, I’m allowed to carry a concealed weapon, I have a license to carry, but then one of the other students said there’s no need to bring it out,” Marilyn Medina, an instructor at the shop, told WEWS-TV.

The station reported that the woman put the gun away, got her son after his haircut was finished, and left the shop quickly.

Medina said she still can’t believe what happened.

“For a $6 haircut? You’re doing all this?” she told the station. “I was afraid. You never know the intention she had, if she was really going to shoot, if she was really going to do something.”


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PROMISES KEPT? Where Trump stands 100 days into pledge to 'make America great again'

Candidate Donald Trump made big promises on the campaign trail for what he’d do to “make America great again” in his first 100 days. 

In a series of campaign rallies, speeches, and a contract with voters last year, Trump made sweeping pledges to “drain the swamp” and “bring change to Washington.”

So how did he do? 

Here’s where he stands on holding to those promises:

Promises kept

·         Trump imposed a hiring freeze on the federal workforce, with the exception of military, public safety and public health officials. While he promised to do this on day one, he implemented it Jan. 23. The freeze expired on April 12.

·         Trump signed a “Two-for-One” regulation executive order, as promised, that would require agencies to eliminate two regulations for every new regulation passed. This was another item Trump promised for day one, though it slipped a bit.  

·         Trump signed an executive order to impose a five-year ban on White House and congressional officials becoming lobbyists when they finish work in government. 

·         Trump signed an executive order to institute a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government.

·         Trump signed a presidential memorandum notifying a withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

·         Trump ordered a study to identify and investigate all foreign trading abuses. 

·         Trump granted approval for the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline, following through on a vow to move forward on energy infrastructure projects.

·         Trump nominated, and won confirmation, for a successor to the late Justice Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch.

·         Trump signed a bill to extend the Veterans Choice Program to deliver on a promise to give veterans the ability to receive public VA treatment, or see a private doctor of their choice. 

·         Trump signed multiple executive orders to create new task forces to fight crime and drug cartels.

·         Trump directed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to order embassies to increase scrutiny and security checks before issuing visas to ensure new screening procedures for immigration to the U.S.

·         Trump signed ethics policies to “drain the swamp” by making it harder for people to profit from their time in government.

·         Trump ordered departments and agencies to identify wasteful spending on programs and asked for recommendations for potential improvements.

*Many of the above items were promised for day one of Trump’s presidency, but not completed until later

Promises broken/No action taken

·         Despite Trump’s promise to cancel visas, on his first day in office, to and from foreign countries that do not allow criminal and illegal aliens back into their countries, he did not follow through. China, Jordan and India do not take back criminal aliens. 

·         Trump promised to propose a constitutional amendment, on his first day in office, to impose term limits for all members of Congress. No such proposal exists.

·         Trump promised to get rid of gun-free zones that exist at schools and military bases on his first day, but gun-free zones still exist.

·         Trump promised to direct the secretary of the Treasury to designate China as a currency manipulator, but Trump changed his mind and said China is not a currency manipulator.

·         Despite his promise to cancel billions of dollars, on his first day in office, in payments to U.N. climate change programs, he did not. Trump’s budget proposal does cut funding for climate change programs, but it doesn’t stop funds that have already been approved.

·         Trump promised to save and protect Social Security and Medicare, but there haven’t been any changes to these programs. 

·         Ending Common Core was among “first 100 day” promises, but it still exists. 

·         Trump promised to increase funding for local police programs, but no additional funds have been directed to those programs. In fact, under Trump’s budget proposal, local counterterrorism programs would see cuts. 

·         Despite his promise to have the “great, big, beautiful wall” fully funded, and paid for by Mexico, the plan to fund the U.S.-Mexico border wall is unclear, and Mexico has denied any suggestions that it would pay for the construction.

·         Trump planned to enhance penalties for those who overstay their visas, but current penalties have not changed

·         Trump promised to appoint a team to create a cybersecurity plan within 90 days, but there has yet to be a team appointed, and no such plan exists. Trump also promised to have a full report on hacking within 90 days, but no such report exists.

·         Trump promised to ban foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections, but no action has been taken—it is already illegal for foreign nationals to contribute money to American elections.

·         Trump continues to promise to speed the approval of life-saving medications, but the administration has yet to address this.

Working on it

·         Trump vowed to secure U.S. borders to eliminate illegal immigration, and while unlawful crossings still exist, the volume of these border crossings has dropped significantly in the first 100 days.

·         The administration has yet to sign a bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare as vowed, but they’re working on it. The first Republican health care plan failed to get the support necessary to even take it to the House floor for a vote. Republicans are now considering new legislation, but it has not yet been slated for a vote. 

·         Trump promised to begin the “very, very, very fast” removal of more than 2 million criminal illegal aliens. In March, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said they arrested 21,362 since January.

·         Trump issued executive orders and signed Congressional Review Acts to roll back Obama-era policies, but did not cancel “every unconstitutional” executive action issued by Obama, as promised.

·         Trump vowed to cut funding for “sanctuary cities,” which has not yet happened. Attorney General Jeff Sessions warned the cities that funding would be cancelled if they resisted federal immigration law and enforcement—but a U.S. judge blocked the executive order.

·         Trump promised to begin building the U.S.-Mexico border wall in his first 100 days. Construction has not started, but Customs and Border Protection have requested and received bids from companies interested in building the wall

·         Trump attempted to suspend the Syrian refugee resettlement program and suspend immigration from terror-prone regions by signing two “travel ban” executive orders. The first order specifically banned Syrian refugees, and targeted seven predominantly Muslim countries for a 90-day suspension of entry to the U.S. Federal courts blocked the order. A revised version is still tied up in the courts. 

·         Trump signed an executive order to roll back Obama-era coal leases in an effort to produce “clean coal,” and has signed an order that could lead to lifting restrictions on offshore drilling. 

·         Trump’s budget proposal directed a massive increase in defense spending, as promised, but did not eliminate the defense sequester.

·         Legislation to establish a mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for those who illegally re-enter the U.S. after a previous deportation has been introduced to Congress, but has not passed.

·         Trump is talking about a $1 trillion infrastructure package, but nothing has been implemented yet.

·         Just before the 100-day mark, Trump announced a plan to renegotiate NAFTA. 

·         Trump also announced the blueprint for a tax plan just before his 100-day mark, which the administration says would provide “massive tax cuts” for the middle class. Congress must still draft and debate an actual bill. 

Brooke Singman is a Reporter for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter at @brookefoxnews.

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NEWT GINGRICH Democrats turn to red tape to stop President Trump

When Neil Gorsuch won long-overdue confirmation this month to serve on the United States Supreme Court, Republicans in turn won control of judiciary. This meant they led all three branches of the federal government – at least the three envisioned by our Founding Fathers – for the first time in a decade.

As a consequence, Democrats have pinned their hopes to stifle President Donald Trump’s pro-growth agenda on the unprecedented insurrection of an unchecked, de facto branch of government: the bureaucratic state.

Now that Alexander Acosta is confirmed as secretary of labor, President Trump has a better ability to reign in the bureaucracy.

Through executive orders, President Trump immediately began cutting needless red tape draped across the federal government by his predecessor. This led deliberately resistant entrenched civil servants to wage a campaign to subvert the administration’s clear intention of deregulation.

Consider this: In February, the president ordered the Department of Labor – previously run by Tom Perez, who is now the chairman of the Democratic National Committee –  to review and re-evaluate the implementation of the so-called fiduciary rule, a controversial Obama-era rule that would deny middle-class Americans access to sound investment advice.

The order’s intention was clear-as-day. It aimed to indefinitely delay or outright kill this bad rule before it could hurt middle class American investors. Instead, Perez’s faithful holdovers at the Department of Labor effectively expedited the rule with minimal changes. This was exactly the opposite of President Trump’s instructions.

Now, the department will make the rule effective on June 9, before completing the president’s review, and argued that “the Fiduciary rule and Impartial Conduct Standards … are among the least controversial aspects of the rulemaking process.”

Nothing about this rule is uncontroversial. It would be the single largest government expansion over individual savings in four decades and the second-most expensive regulatory regime crafted in the last 12 years that doesn’t deal with environmental issues.

The rule changes the law to give the Department of Labor direct authority over individual retirement accounts, which are already regulated by the Securities and Exchange Committee, the federal agency responsible for protecting investors. For the first time, IRAs would be pulled into a complex Labor Department system created 43 years ago to regulate employee pension and health plans. Seizing control over IRAs by the Labor Department leads to bigger government, less competition, fewer jobs, and diminished savings for the American worker.

Disingenuously marketed as a way to raise the standards of advice provided to retirement investors, the rule would result in the “orphaning” of most ordinary American savers, left to seek advice on saving for their golden years from an online computer program using algorithms no investor would know about or understand.

The rule has received extensive criticism from those who’ve historically regulated the securities market. Acting SEC Chair Michal Piwowar called the rule a “terrible, horrible, no good, very bad rule,” adding that it was a “highly political” move that was “never about investor protection.”  President Trump and the Congress want the rule gone. Business wants the rule gone. Ordinary Americans want the rule gone.

But none of that matters to the bureaucratic state. They’ve lost the battle over the Supreme Court and the president’s cabinet. More than anything, the swamp wants to win this battle. That’s why it’s so important that President Trump and Secretary Acosta implement the president’s instructions in a timely way.

President Trump’s first order wasn’t enough to reign in Tom Perez’s faithful deputies, and only now did Senate Democrats stop obstructing Acosta’s confirmation.

So, the president and the secretary must work quickly to delay indefinitely or completely rescind the fiduciary rule under the secretary’s statutory authority.

More than that, the president needs to fully drain the swamp – especially by getting rid of the mutineers at the Department of Labor.

Newt Gingrich is a Fox News contributor. A Republican, he was speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 to 1999. Follow him on Twitter @NewtGingrich.

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Russian rallies urge Putin not to run again; dozens arrested – Pope Francis leads Cairo Mass as helicopter gunship, armed police watch

Under the slogan “I’m fed up,” demonstrators urging Vladimir Putin not to run for a fourth term rallied in cities across Russia on Saturday. Dozens were arrested in St. Petersburg and elsewhere.

The centerpiece rally in Moscow went peacefully, despite being unsanctioned by authorities. Several hundred people rallied in a park then moved to the nearby presidential administration building to present letters telling Putin to stand down from running in 2018.

But in St. Petersburg, Associated Press journalists saw dozens arrested. The OVD-Info group that monitors political repression relayed reports of more arrests in several cities, including 20 in Tula and 14 in Kemerovo.

Putin has not announced whether he plans to run for president again next year.

He has dominated Russian politics since becoming president on New Year’s Eve 1999 when Boris Yeltsin resigned. Even when he stepped away from the Kremlin to become prime minister in 2008-2012 because of term limits, he remained effectively Russia’s leader.

Nationwide protests on March 26 appeared to rattle the Kremlin because of the demonstrations’ unusual size and reach. The predominance of young people in those protests challenges the belief that the generation that grew up under Putin’s heavy hand had become apolitical or disheartened.

Saturday’s demonstrations were much smaller, but indicated that marginalized opposition forces will continue to push.

The demonstrations were called for by Open Russia, an organization started by Kremlin foe Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

As an oil tycoon, Khodorkovsky was once listed as Russia’s richest man, but his political ambitions put him at odds with the Kremlin. He was arrested in 2003 and served 10 years in prison on tax-evasion and fraud convictions that supporters say were political persecution. He was pardoned in 2013, left the country and revived Open Russia as a British-based organization.

On Wednesday, Russia’s Prosecutor-General banned Open Russia as an undesirable foreign organization. But the group’s Moscow branch says it is administratively separate and not subject to the ban.

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GREGG JARRETT The Big Lebowski, Esq., takes up Gen. Flynn's case

The great American philosopher, Jeffrey Lebowski, once said, “This is a very complicated case.  You know, a lotta ins, a lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous.”

His Dudeness wasn’t talking about national security or, certainly, the strange case of General Michael Flynn. But his observation is no less relevant.

Indeed, the hysteria surrounding Flynn, President Trump’s fired national security adviser, might make for an interesting sequel to “The Big Lebowski.” Instead of crazy German nihilists attacking El Duderino, how about Congress and the mainstream media mugging a distinguished former three-star general? The parallels are striking.    

Given the myriad of accusations leveled against Flynn, here is a primer to help untangle the torturous plot and determine what laws may have been violated, if any at all. 

Because it is complicated.  Lotta ins, lotta outs, etcetera. 

The Paid Speech

In December of 2015, Flynn traveled to Moscow to deliver a paid speech to a Kremlin-backed news organization called Russia Today. He insists he met with Pentagon officials both before and after the speech which the Defense Intelligence Agency appears to concede. Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, issued this statement:

“DIA’s letter actually confirms, in a terse section that is partly redacted, that General Flynn provided information and documents on a thumb drive to the Department of Defense concerning the RT speaking event in Moscow, including documents reflecting that he was using a speakers bureau for the event. The Department was fully aware of the trip.”    

It should have been obvious to the Pentagon that Flynn was getting paid. Speakers bureaus don’t provide services for free speeches. 

But did Flynn specify the exact amount of money he earned? It is unclear and disputed. If it is true that Flynn met with Pentagon officials and they did not object to what he was doing, that can be considered tacit, if not express, approval… which is all he needed, legally, to deliver his paid speech. (See 37 USC 908) 

While a strict reading of the law seems to prohibit retired military officers from taking pay from a foreign government without approval, Flynn maintains he received his speaking fee from RT, not the government itself. Therefore, his decision to advise the Pentagon was technically unnecessary.    

However, even if the law is contorted such that Flynn is found in violation of the disclosure/approval rule, it is a civil violation, not a criminal one. The penalty is usually a forfeiture of the payment and, in some extreme cases, a suspension of retirement benefits for a period of time.  

Security Clearance

Representatives Jason Chaffetz (R.) and Elijah Cummings (D.) who preside over the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee claim Flynn may have violated a different federal law by not fully disclosing his speech income from Russia when, later, he sought security clearance to work for President Trump as his NSA. 

If true, then it might be considered a crime to “knowingly falsify or conceal” information in a security clearance form, punishable by a fine or up to 5 years behind bars. But people are rarely prosecuted because it is exceedingly difficult to demonstrate that the failure was “knowingly.” It is not a strict liability crime. The feds would have to prove “specific intent.” That is, Flynn tried to deliberately deceive the government. Good luck with that.

It does appear that Flynn was sloppy when it comes to paperwork. But that is normally not a crime.     

And then there is the practical aspect to consider. Do prosecutors really want to criminally charge a retired three-star general for giving a speech? It seems not only excessive, but anathema to our cherished right to free speech under the First Amendment. Not to mention the right to earn a living.   

The Emoluments Clause

Rep. Cummings and others claim Flynn may have violated the “Emoluments Clause” of the Constitution. What is that? It’s the controversial, albeit obscure, provision in the Constitution which forbids office holders from accepting “emoluments.” Unfortunately, the Framers did not define an emolument. So, that’s problem number one. 

Legal scholars say it means using a government office to confer a benefit to a foreign government in exchange for money. In other words, bribery. But here, what real benefit did Flynn confer? Giving a speech hardly constitutes much of a meaningful benefit. 

Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court has said that ordinary business transactions are not emoluments. The Flynn speech sure looks like a fairly ordinary business transaction. He gave a speech and got paid for it. 

Also, bribery is a transaction cloaked in secrecy. Flynn appears to have told the Pentagon all about his speech.

Problem number two is Flynn was not a government employee when he gave the speech. He was retired. Yes, the Department of Justice has interpreted the Emoluments Clause as applying to all retired military, but that opinion has never been upheld by federal courts in a way that would apply to someone like Flynn. 

Just because DOJ says it applies, doesn’t make it so under the law. Flynn could argue that “emoluments” were never intended to include former office holders or the Framers would have chosen to write it that way.   

Finally, in the history of this country, no one has ever been criminally prosecuted under the Emoluments Clause. Mostly because it’s vague and ambiguous, but also because the clause does not identify a penalty for its violation. 

Other Investigations

Flynn still faces endless questions about his conversation with Russian Ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and whether he gave a truthful accounting of it to the FBI. Again, “specific intent” to deceive comes into play. If Flynn interpreted his conversation with Kislyak differently than the FBI, there is no crime of perjury or obstruction of justice.        

The persistent claims that Flynn violated the Logan Act are preposterous. Passed in 1799, it prohibits private citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with foreign governments. But no one has ever been prosecuted under the Act, largely because it’s regarded as a patently unconstitutional violation of the First Amendment. Besides, Flynn was not acting as a private citizen.    

While Flynn’s request for congressional immunity may strike some as implying guilt, we should remember that innocent people often seek immunity, too. He was likely following the sage advice of his lawyer who fears his client could become the target of overzealous prosecutors determined to conjure erroneous charges. It happens.

And so… the case against Michael Flynn is, in many ways, like “The Big Lebowski.” Bizarre and overwrought, with a hopelessly complex plot that’s ultimately unimportant. A comedy in search of a crime. 

In keeping the wolves from the door, Flynn can take comfort in the wisdom of Jeffrey Lebowski: “This aggression will not stand, man!”

Well said, Dude.    

Gregg Jarrett is a Fox News Anchor and former defense attorney.

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