From the Left



How far will Trump go in abusing his pardon authority?

From the Left / Joe Conason /

The power of the president to grant pardons as stated in the Constitution is unconditional, as President Donald Trump has observed. But as he prepares to bestow that favor on Roger Stone and perhaps other felons who have protected him, someone should advise him that a corrupt pardon is nevertheless a crime that can be prosecuted, if not ...Read more

Authoritarians are always gangsters

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Authoritarian governments almost always operate in a style that resembles organized crime outfits. Despite their ostentatious populism, such regimes exist to enrich thuggish rulers and enable corruption in high places. The Trump administration is a perfect example.

But in order to maintain an aura of legitimacy, especially in a country with ...Read more

Just the facts, Madam Speaker

From the Left / Joe Conason /

President Donald Trump didn't wait long to humiliate the Republican senators who voted to acquit him with wan assurances that impeachment might check his worst impulses. Far from learning that he should not have extorted the Ukrainian authorities to interfere in our politics -- as Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, says she hoped he would -- the ...Read more

Dershowitz's poisoned defense elicits astonished guffaws and jeers

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Americans ought to thank Alan Dershowitz for his scintillating defense of President Donald Trump. Carried away on a crescendo of bluster, the retired Harvard law professor broadcast the true meaning of the acquittal preordained by crooked Senate Republicans: This president is exempt from any legal consequences, even if he seeks foreign ...Read more

The Senate engraves their shame on their own souls

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Well before completing his first term, President Donald Trump firmly established himself as the worst president in American history, which should surprise nobody. What we have seen this week suggests that many of the senators now hearing his impeachment trial will join him in historic infamy.

From the very beginning of Trump's impeachment, a ...Read more

A fair and balanced impeachment

From the Left / Joe Conason /

When Mitch McConnell declares that the impeachment of President Donald Trump should follow the same rules and procedures as the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, that must sound reasonable to many Americans. As the Senate majority leader puts it in his folksiest voice, "Fair is fair."

Leave aside the fact that McConnell -- who swore...Read more

The dangers of a chaos presidency

From the Left / Joe Conason /

What President Donald Trump said to the nation about the prospect of war with Iran impressed many listeners far less than the way he said it -- or slurred it. Unlike the manipulated video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that made her appear drunk, Trump delivered a live speech that made him sound impaired.

The president's sputtering crystallized ...Read more

In the new year, we need to free our democracy from the curse of Trump

From the Left / Joe Conason /

The spirit of goodwill can take us by surprise this season, without respect to religion (or even politics). And while such a moment may not quite become an epiphany, it can still make us think again about our lives and times. Which is what happened to me over the weekend before Christmas.

Visiting the nation's capital, as we do every year at ...Read more

Will Republicans risk a rigged trial?

From the Left / Joe Conason /

When President Donald Trump's defenders aren't simply lying about the House impeachment inquiry -- it all happened in a Capitol Hill basement with no Republicans present, as one of his lawyers told National Public Radio -- they complain about the lack of firsthand witnesses to presidential abuse. They assume nobody will notice that Trump himself...Read more

The inspector general brings the truth

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Whenever President Donald Trump is caught doing wrong, he answers with categorical denial and a fervent claim that he was wronged. Almost since the day he won election in November 2016, that is how Trump and his minions in politics and media have sought to obscure the glaring and indecent fact that he was sponsored by a Russian dictator who ...Read more

Let's look at conspiracies, imaginary and real

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Nobody on Capitol Hill rants more fervently about imaginary conspiracies than Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee and devoted congressional promoter of Trumpian nonsense. For years, Nunes has regaled America with ideological tall tales, from former President Barack Obama's mythical "spying" on Donald ...Read more

Why we're still thankful

From the Left / Joe Conason /

Americans can be excused for feeling something less than thankful for the ongoing depredations of Washington's ruling regime. Every day for more than three years, we have awakened to the nightmare of a president and his entourage gnawing away at constitutional government like demented termites, seemingly determined to advance the objectives of ...Read more


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