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About Jack

Jack is really a storyteller, international explorer, and humanitarian and everything else rolls out from there. As a writer, its what he does. As a international human rights and criminal lawyer and trial skills teacher around the world, its his most important tool. As a former CIA officer, the only way to truly motivate people is to connect and to tell them a story that they can feel viscerally. As a media analyst, what better way to make a point.  In the end, he tries to captivate his audience about the world and its people as much as he himself is captivated.

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Entries in VOA (18)

Wednesday
May222019

Congress Needs to Learn: Use it or Lose It.

The United States Legislative Branch is an equal partner in government. They have the right to oversee investigations and therefore to subpoena possible witnesses including those who work for the President.  While the President does have some protection from this including executive privilege, it is not an unlimited privilege. However, the President has been arguing that, and claiming that, it is unlimited. This is certainly reminiscent of President Nixon and the arguments he attempted to make in the early 1970's. 

One hears the term Constitutional crisis and this certainly has all of the hallmarks. What is interesting is that the Republicans seem to be treating this as if there is no tomorrow. Simply put, there is an old maxim in the law and life: use it or lose it.  In this case, the Republicans' willingness to provide a sitting President without almost unlimited capability to stonewall Congress sets a precedent that future Presidents, bad Presidents, criminal Presidents will use to do almost anything they want and Congress may just have to sit there and watch.  

This is where we are right now.  I appear on Voice of American Interantional E#dition to discuss.  This is going to be fun. 

Friday
Apr192019

The Mueller Report (Redacted) is Released and Nobody is Really Happy

The Mueller report was released inside the Beltway and nobody is really happy.  AG Barr has tried to spin it in a way that seems uttlerly shocking. He is not the President's private attorney but rather the Attorney for the U.S. However, he certainly isn't acting like it. His conclusions do not seem to reflect the report.  This is an objective fact. Also, the language he is using parrots the President's language even though "collusion" is not what this case was ever about nor is even a term of law.  Further, the report specifically rejects the usage.  Strange.  

The two issued the Report looks at are Conspiracy and Obstruction.  The conspiracy piece seems pretty clean, meaning that Mueller simply didn't find enough to go after Trump.  The obstruction piece actually is much much different. In that case, the Report says it can't exonerate the President and seems to leave it in the hands of Congress. Barr, on the other hand, tries to exonerate Trump on this issue.

There will be a fight.  I appear on VOA to discuss. 

Thursday
Feb282019

Michael Cohen Faces Congress over Mr. Trump, Again.  

A racist. A con man.  A cheat.  These were all words used by Michael Cohen before Congress to describe the man whom he had previously said he would take a bullet for. Donald Trump, or as Michael Cohen puts it, Mr. Trump. Cohen spoke for almost six hours and said a lot of things that we knew but also a couple of things that we didn't.  He talked a little bit more about The Trump Hotel deal in Moscow.  He talked about paying off porn stars and he talked about Roger Stone and Wikileaks.  All of these were interesting and significant but whether that even matters is still up in the air.  One additional piece that was also clear was that the Republicans weren't interested in any of it. Over those six hours, they asked no questions about what Cohen knew.  Rather, they focused on tearing him down as much as possible.  I guess the old adage applies, if you don't like the message, kill the messenger.

I will appear on Voice of American, International Edition to discuss.

Monday
Jan142019

Little is Private in the Presidency and There is a Reason For That.

Stories have come out and seem, to have been confirmed been confirmed by the President, Trump has met on at least one or more occasions where there are no notes, tapes and/or confirmation of the contents of the conversations. While that might be just fine if this or any President were a private citizen, as President, this simply shouldn't happen.  

A sitting President is the proverbial leader of the free world. What he or she says matters. As importantly, when the President says something, it impacts how the Country responds and can impact everything that happens thereafter. However, if nobody else knows what is said, that institutional knowledge simply breaks down.  There is nothing to establish what was said, what it meant and what happens next.  

I'm purposely excluding anything nefarious from this conversation.  Of course, records help keep everybody honest and anonymity encourage it.

I appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss.  Should be interesting.

Tuesday
Jan082019

The Truth is the Truth, Whether its Before Congress or the Justice Department

The truth is the truth is the truth. The Mueller Investigation continues to gain steam. Lots of indictments, multiple convictions and still lots of questions. At the same time, the House Intelligence Committee has continued its own investigation. Under the Republicans, it certainly had a much different approach. However, under the Democrats, it seems to be running in a different direction. It appears that the leadership on the Committee is seeking to cooperate with Mueller in terms of the statements made to both.  The Committee has said it wants to provide transcripts to Mueller for comparison.  

Essentially, it is a crime to lie to Congress and to the Mueller team, the FBI and the Department of Justice in general. However, there has been little cooperation between the House Intel Committee and Mueller, until now. From an investigatory perspective, this should get even more interesting. However, in the end, this process, on all sides, needs to be as apolitical as possible.  Hopefully, cooperation between both make that point clearer.  At the same time, I'm calling for as much transparency as possible.  This is not just of interest to Mueller, or Congress.  The American people should be the ultimate and most important consumer of this information.

I appear on Voice of America International Edition to discuss.   

Thursday
Oct252018

It is called Murder and the Saudis Did It

The Saudis admitted today that the death of Jamal Khashoggi was "premeditated."  In other words, it was planned.  Premeditated is an interested word.  As a former Prosecutor and Criminal Defense Attorney, I walk into courtrooms everyday and that is a words that is not thrown around lightly.  In fact this is the word you use only when this is your cold, thought out and intended decision.  In other words, this is called murder.

The Saudis murdered Jamal Khashoggi.  So, why would the Saudi admit this after lying, and I use these words purposely, every single day?  Simply put, they had no choice.  They were backed into a corner and every story they concocted fell apart and was laughable on its face.

So what's the point?  Simple.  To things. Protect the King. And protect the Crown Prince.  Ok, so how do you do that? Well, you sometimes have one choice: embrace what is objectively true (because you have no choice) and them find a way to protect them.  So, the answer is that they will claim this was planned without their knowledge and consent.  Further, they themselves will likely change some of the 18 operatives they sent to Istanbul and they will pay the price for the protection of the Kingdom.

Watch.  You'll see.  I appear on Voice of America to discuss.  

Thursday
Sep272018

Who Wins in the He Said She Said Kavanaugh/Ford Hearing

Judge Kavanaugh appeared again today before the Senate Judiciary Committee to respond to Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations regarding an attempted sexual assault while the two were in high school. As both appeared before the Committee today, there seemed to be two issues happening at the same time. The first is, of course, whether or not Kavanaugh can be confirmed as the next U.S. Supreme Court Justice. However, it also seemed clear from both sides of the political aisle that the bigger issue is the personal survival of the Senators themselves and what will happen in the midterm elections in the next six weeks.

I appear on Voice of America International Edition to talk about the ramifications and exactly what comes next.  

Tuesday
Jul242018

As Manafort Prepares for Trial, Trump Watches from Afar

Former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort is schedule for trial in the coming days. He is the first and the highest profile of the slew of those charged or pled guilty and expanding investigation involving Trump, impropriety, the Russians and influence. Whether Trump himself will be pulled into the morass is anybody's guess at this point but the undertow is substantial and the incessant hum of the Russian investigation is never far from the President's ears.

For Manafort, he should be nervous, he has several underlings who have already pled guilty and are prepared to testify against their boss. That is the kind of evidence that can frequenrtly be hard to refute.  The question is whether Manafort has some tricks up his sleeve or whether Trump will pardon him which could create a blowback that in itself could knock Trump off of his feet.

I appear on Voice of America Internartional Edition to talk about the process and what to expect.

Sunday
Jun032018

[Voice of America Intl. Edition] June 3rd: Trump Thinks He Can Pardon Himself

I appear on Voice of America International Edition on June 3rd.  So exactly how much power does the President have? According to Rudy Guiliani, the President believes that he has the right to pardon himself of obstruction, even if he obstructed Robert Mueller's investigation into possible Trump wrong doing involving the Russians.  You heard me, he thinks he can pardon himself.  So, this idea of checks and balances and three legs of a stool is nothing but trite garbage according to the President. His ability to obstruct any wrongdoing, any wrongdoing, is apparently unlimited.

Yeah, ok, this should be interesting considering that there has never been a U.S. courtroom that has agreed with the President on this issue. Further, it strikes me as important to consider any President he actually makes this argument without busting out laughing. 

This should be fun.