From the Left

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Politics

On Sessions, Trump ignores the facts and the law

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- It is no surprise, but it is still a shock, to see how little President Trump understands about the independence of the Justice Department and the importance of the rule of law.

Trump's jaw-dropping interview with The New York Times featured an unprecedented and unvarnished invitation to Attorney General Jeff Sessions to quit, an ...Read more

Behind the Trump team's bluster, a dark legal strategy

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- President Trump's attorney, Jay Sekulow, seems to be an adherent of the just-yell-louder-school of legal argumentation. That tactic was on vivid display again Sunday, as the blustering lawyer made the full round of talk shows. It might have been the most striking part of Sekulow's performance, but it wasn't the most ominous.

He ...Read more

Trump's defense of his son's meetings marks a revolting new low

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Every week -- nearly every day -- brings fresh, stomach-churning evidence of President Trump's unfitness for office. The latest may be the most revolting.

Confronted with incontrovertible proof that his son leapt at the prospect of meeting with a "Russian government attorney" offering to dish dirt on Hillary Clinton as "part of ...Read more

Hannity ran out of questions to ask Trump Jr. I can think of a few more.

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Fox News host Sean Hannity told Donald Trump Jr. Tuesday night that he had run out of questions about the president's son and a Russian government effort to help his father win the election. "I wanted to ask every question I could think of regarding this issue," Hannity confided. "I can't think of any more in all honesty."

I can. ...Read more

The Donald Trump Jr. emails could hardly be more incriminating

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The email chain between Donald Trump Jr. and Rob Goldstone, the publicist brokering a meeting between the Trump campaign and a Kremlin-linked lawyer, could hardly be more incriminating.

By explicitly linking the source of the information to the Russian government and by describing it as "part of Russia and its government's support...Read more

Why in the world would Donald Trump Jr. take this meeting?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Imagine that you are Donald Trump Jr. Your father has just clinched the Republican nomination for president. An acquaintance, someone you know from the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, calls asking to set up a meeting with a Russian who, he says, has information helpful to the campaign -- i.e., dirt on Hillary Clinton. Do you:

(a)...Read more

An ideological battle over a dying child

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Every human heart breaks at the story of Charlie Gard, the terminally ill British infant whose parents are battling to bring him to the United States for treatment that is sure to prove futile.

But as tends to happen in these circumstances, individual tragedy is susceptible to being hijacked in service of a larger, sometimes ...Read more

Publicity without accountability is the antithesis of democracy

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- "Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare," President Trump tweeted on Wednesday. "Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S."

Fine, Mr. President, there's an easy way to prove your asserted knowledge: Have a news conference. Answer questions that aren't softballs tossed by ...Read more

This would be the worst time for Justice Kennedy to step down

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The end of the Supreme Court term looms, and with it the prospect -- the terrifying prospect -- of a retirement. Specifically, the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy, who will turn 81 next month and is the longest-serving current justice, named to the high court almost 30 years ago.

So if Kennedy is inclined to retire, it is ...Read more

Trump's tantrums speak volumes

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- It's come to this, on his 146th day in office: The president, under investigation for obstruction of justice, attacked his own deputy attorney general for orchestrating a "witch hunt" against him.

Sometimes my role as a columnist is to advise readers not to overreact, to maintain perspective. Today my advice is to buckle up. Brace...Read more

A tale of two Comeys

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- In life, as in literature, the more complex character is the more compelling and the more realistic. We may crave heroes but we end up with humans. The cardboard figure of unblemished rectitude, who performs impeccably under pressure and is impelled only by the purest motives, gives way to a real person, with all the inevitable ...Read more

Vindication for Trump? Comey's testimony was anything but.

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Ignore all the extraneous, intentionally distracting noise about illegal leaks and Obama-era foibles. James Comey's account of his dealings with President Trump was devastating, both legally and politically. And as congressional investigators and, more ominously, special counsel Robert Mueller proceed, the facts may become far ...Read more

Hillary Unbound

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Well, Hillary Clinton isn't going gently. That may be understandable, but it's not smart -- not for Clinton, not for her party, and not for other female candidates.

Clinton has emerged in recent weeks, and this version is Hillary Unbound, no words minced, no target spared -- except, for the most part, herself. So there was Clinton...Read more

Something is not right

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

In the middle of one night

Miss Clavel turned on the light

And said, "Something is not right!"

-- "Madeline," by Ludwig Bemelmans, 1939

WASHINGTON -- Many of us these days find ourselves channeling our inner Miss Clavel.

Defense Secretary James Mattis, for one. In Dexter Filkins' profile of Mattis for The New Yorker, ...Read more

An unsustainable presidency

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- So much for the notion that the second 100 days would be calmer or more reassuring.

As April drew to a close, and with it the artificial marker of the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, it was possible to conjure a relatively comforting scenario: It could have been worse.

After all, President Trump launched his ...Read more

Why didn't Trump want anyone to hear his conversation with Comey?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- So why did the president ask his vice president and attorney general to leave the room?

The New York Times reports -- and The Washington Post and other news organizations confirm -- that President Trump, at a meeting with then-FBI Director James Comey the day after national security adviser Michael Flynn resigned, asked Vice ...Read more

Right or wrong, why now?

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- The news that President Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey left me -- it should leave all Americans -- feeling more than "mildly nauseous."

That was the memorable phrase Comey used last week to describe his feeling that his fateful letter to Congress about Hillary Clinton's emails might have influenced the election. Then, it...Read more

Ivanka Trump's book of platitudes

From the Left / Ruth Marcus /

WASHINGTON -- Ivanka Trump's new book came out last week, and, what with all the focus on her father's step toward yanking health care from millions of people and his fulminating about Andrew Jackson and the Civil War, "Women Who Work" didn't receive the attention it deserves.

OK, maybe it did. As its acerbic reviewers have observed, the book ...Read more

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