Archive for the ‘Obama and law enforcement’ category

How Trump Can Help the Cops

April 26, 2017

How Trump Can Help the Cops, Front Page MagazineHeather Mac Donald, April 26, 2017

Reprinted from City Journal

Donald Trump vigorously defended law enforcement during his presidential campaign. He pledged to restore order to the nation’s cities—where violent crime is surging—and to reinvigorate the rule of law. His appointment of conservative Republican senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general was a strong signal that Trump’s words were more than campaign rhetoric. Now that the Trump administration and the Sessions-led Justice Department are up and running, where should they focus their efforts?

The most immediate goal of the Trump administration should be to change the elite-driven narrative about the criminal-justice system. That narrative, which holds that policing is lethally racist, has dominated public discourse since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In response, officers are backing off of proactive policing, and violent crime is rising fast: 2015 saw the largest one-year spike in homicides nationwide in nearly 50 years. That violent-crime increase has continued unabated through 2016 and into the early months of 2017. A Trump administration official—perhaps Attorney General Sessions, or the president himself—should publicly address the question of what we expect from police officers: Do we want them to be proactive and to try to stop crime before it happens? Or do we want them to be purely reactive, responding to crime only after someone has been victimized? The administration should explain that data-driven, proactive policing made possible the country’s 20-year, 50 percent violent-crime decline that began in the mid-1990s.

In February, Sessions made a good start in turning around the false narrative about policing, addressing the National Association of Attorneys General. Sessions warned that the nation’s violent-crime decline is now at risk, while acknowledging that the crime increase is not happening in every neighborhood. Yet we are diminished as a nation, he said, when citizens “fear for their life when they leave their home.” (To be blunt, the violent-crime increase has hit almost exclusively in black neighborhoods. Nine hundred additional black males were murdered in 2015 compared with 2014, bringing total black homicide deaths that year to more than 7,000. It is a marker of the perversity of elite rhetoric about race that both Trump and Sessions have been fiercely attacked as racist for pledging to save black lives.)

Sessions noted that officers have become reluctant to get out of their cars to conduct discretionary stops and other “up-close” preventive policing. The administration should go further: it should convey the charged, hostile atmosphere in which officers in many urban areas now operate, thanks to the hatred spread by the Black Lives Matter movement. Gun murders of officers increased more than 50 percent in 2016, led by the targeted assassinations of cops.

A frontal assault on the dominant narrative about a racist criminal-justice system will require laying out the stark racial disparities in criminal offending and victimization. The public has been kept in the dark for decades about how vast those disparities are: blacks commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, for example, and die of homicide at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Lifting that veil of ignorance is necessary to explain why officers operate more actively in minority neighborhoods—in order to save lives. The public must also understand that it is law-abiding members of high-crime communities themselves who beg the police to maintain order, and that such public-order policing was central to the now-jeopardized 20-year crime decline.

The federal government will be vigilant against abusive policing, the administration should say, but it will not deem police departments and police officers biased for proactively fighting crime.

The federal government’s practice of slapping years-long consent decrees on police departments calls out for reform. There is zero chance that civil rights attorneys in the federal government know more than police departments do about how to fight crime constitutionally and successfully. Yet the Obama administration opened 25 “pattern-or-practice” civil rights investigations, based on the false notions that police bias is widespread and that federal lawyers are qualified to recommend effective police practices. The Department of Justice is currently enforcing 14 consent decrees with local departments, which grew out of such investigations. At a minimum, the Trump administration should publish data on how much the Obama-era investigations and consent decrees have cost those departments.

At the end of March 2017, Sessions announced a review of existing and pending consent decrees. The immediate target of this review was a consent decree for the Baltimore Police Department, hastily signed in the waning days of the Obama administration and at that point still awaiting final approval from a federal judge. Sessions’s reevaluation was fully justified.  As is typical, the Obama-era DOJ report that preceded the Baltimore decree failed to put numbers behind its charge that the Baltimore PD engaged in a “pattern or practice” of unconstitutional policing. The Obama report blasts the Baltimore cops for “clearing the corners” of miscreants and loiterers, but the police engage in such corner-clearing at the behest of the community. Since the report came out in summer 2016, Baltimore neighborhoods have been overrun by drug dealers, who now believe that they can operate with impunity. Residents have begged the department to return to corner-clearing and other public-order enforcement.

The proposed Baltimore consent decree discourages all such self-initiated police activities. It requires officers to contact a supervisor before making an arrest for minor offenses like disorderly conduct. It prohibits officers from stopping and questioning trespassers and loiterers, unless the officer has received a call for service regarding those individuals. The spurious philosophy beneath these rules is that policing should focus on “serious offenses,” not “minor infractions.” But the best way to prevent serious offenses is to maintain public order in high-crime areas. Proponents argue that the deemphasis on low-level enforcement will save money; in fact, it will only lead to more high-level crime.

Violent street crime in Baltimore has remained at alarming levels in 2017; shootings were up 78 percent through February 25, compared with the same period in 2016; homicides were up 38 percent through early March. These increases come on top of the highest per-capita homicide rate in the city’s history in 2015 and close to that record rate in 2016. Complying with the consent decree will cost financially struggling Baltimore millions of dollars—money that could be better spent hiring new officers and giving them rigorous tactical training. Officers will be pulled from the streets to compile reports for the overpaid federal monitor, covering matters including—as reported in the Power Line blog—whether beat cops respect an individual’s chosen “gender identity” in addressing him (or “zim”). In March 2017, seven plainclothes Baltimore officers were indicted for extortion and fraud. The consent decree is irrelevant to this egregious failure of supervision, focusing as it does on the usual policing-is-racist narrative. Five of the seven indicted officers were black.

The Sessions Justice Department requested a 90-day pause before District Court Judge James Bredar made the Baltimore decree irrevocable. This request triggered strenuous protest, not just from activists and Democratic politicians but also, bizarrely, from Baltimore police commissioner Kevin Davis himself. Davis in essence was declaring his inability to manage his own police department without federal oversight. Judge Bredar rejected the DOJ request for a 90-day extension and approved the decree on April 7, consigning Baltimore and Maryland taxpayers to a depleted and demoralized police force and to tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars of unnecessary costs and fees.

The next target of the Sessions consent decree review is an as-yet unfinalized consent decree in Chicago. Since no agreement between the Justice Department and Chicago officials has been signed, the Justice Department should drop negotiations and pull out. The Obama-era report that triggered the pending consent decree suffers from the same flaws as the Baltimore report: it provides no quantified evidence for its claim that the Chicago Police Department engages in systemic civil rights abuses. The mayhem in Chicago in February and March 2017 alone included the slaying of a two-year-old boy and two other children in separate drive-by shootings over four days, and the spread of rape, robberies, carjackings, and kidnappings into downtown and other previously safe neighborhoods. Quelling that violence will not be made easier by diverting police resources into the care and feeding of a federal monitor.

The 2012 police consent decree in New Orleans, for example, is projected to cost $55 million over five years; the actual cost will be much higher. A recent news story trumpeted the fact that sexual-assault complaints rose 83 percent in 2015 (allegedly suggesting greater “gender” sensitivity in the New Orleans Police Department). What should be of greater concern is the fact that New Orleans is also in the midst of an ongoing violent-crime spike. Shootings and homicides more than doubled in January 2017 over January 2016, notwithstanding that 2015 and 2016 had already seen a significant rise in murder and shootings.

Sessions’s announced review of pending consent decrees brought forth the same claims of impotence on the part of Chicago officials as it did in Baltimore. The attorney general should ignore these professions of dependency on the federal government and do the right thing for the law-abiding residents of Chicago’s gang-terrorized neighborhoods by tearing up the proposed decree.

The Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division should formulate and publish the criteria that it will use to open pattern-or-practice civil rights investigations of police departments. It should quantify the constitutional violations that it uncovers during pattern-or-practice investigations and explain how it concludes that these infractions rise to the level of a “pattern or practice” of civil rights abuses.

The federal government should analyze police actions against a benchmark of crime rates, not population data. If 55 percent of police stops in a jurisdiction have black subjects, for example, the relevant starting point for analysis is the percentage of violent crime committed by blacks, not the black percentage of the resident population.

The specious population benchmark for finding police discrimination is typical of the disparate-impact analysis that drove most criminal-justice policy under the Obama administration. Such analysis should be extirpated in its entirety. There is not a single colorblind law-enforcement practice that does not have a disparate impact on blacks and Hispanics, given their higher rates of crime. The only way to avoid a disparate impact in law enforcement is to stop enforcing the law.

Before the election, the FBI announced a worthy initiative to collect and publish data on all officer uses of force. Such reporting must be accompanied, however, by information on local crime rates, since police use of force will occur most frequently where cops encounter armed and resisting suspects.

Crime-fighting remains overwhelmingly a local matter. But federal agents—from the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and the U.S. Marshals Service—can provide vital assistance. Federal law enforcement reoriented itself toward counterterrorism and cybercrime following the 9/11 Islamist terror attacks. With violence skyrocketing in many urban areas, it is time for a rebalancing. Embattled police departments are calling for more federal agents to work on joint gun and drug task forces. Trump’s proposed budget for the Justice Department has recognized that demand by allocating an additional $175 million to address violent crime.

U.S. gun and drug prosecutions fell significantly during the Obama years, discouraged by the administration’s belief that mandatory-minimum federal sentences, especially for drug trafficking, have resulted in the “mass incarceration” of minorities. In fact, drug enforcement plays no role in disproportionate black incarceration rates. If all drug prisoners were removed from the nation’s prisons, the share of black prisoners would drop from 37.4 percent to 37.2 percent. Libertarians might welcome the five-year, 18 percent drop in federal drug prosecutions, but neighborhoods riven by drug violence do not. In Baltimore, when the local police stopped making drug arrests following the anti-cop riots of April 2015, shootings spiked. Attorney General Sessions must encourage U.S. attorneys in high-crime areas to increase their gun and drug cases, including RICO prosecutions. While modest changes in the federal sentencing guidelines for drug trafficking are acceptable, they should not be undertaken in the name of “racial justice.”

All federal law-enforcement agencies should adopt a CompStat system for information-sharing and analysis. CompStat, first developed in the New York Police Department under Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, holds commanders ruthlessly accountable for measurable results. A White House allegedly informed by business acumen should welcome such a proven system for bottom-line accountability.

Obama’s first attorney general, Eric Holder, called on local U.S. attorneys to involve themselves in prisoner reentry and rehabilitation activities. The Trump administration should determine if that initiative is producing enough crime reduction to justify the diversion of scarce prosecutorial resources; arguably, reentry activities are most efficiently carried out by U.S. probation officers. Federal prisons, on the other hand, can serve as a model for prison work policies and prisoner education. The Bureau of Prisons should partner with private business for job-skills development, as recommended in the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.

Sanctuary cities, counties, and states must be severely penalized. These scofflaw jurisdictions, numbering about 300, refuse to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) efforts to deport convicted illegal-alien criminals. When ICE requests that a jail in a sanctuary jurisdiction briefly hold a criminal who has finished serving his sentence so that ICE can pick him up for deportation, the jail will deliberately release him before ICE can arrive, unless his crime was particularly heinous. Over just one week in late January 2017, ICE found 206 criminal aliens who had been released back to the streets in defiance of a detention request. Their convictions included aggravated assault with a weapon, robbery, rape, aggravated assault against a family member, domestic violence, life-threatening arson against a residence, burglaries of homes and businesses, battery, carrying a prohibited weapon, resisting an officer, driving under the influence, forgery, and indecent exposure. Pending charges against those released aliens included homicide, aggravated assault against an officer with a weapon, and indecent exposure to a minor.

Such disobedience of lawful federal requests undermines the constitutional system. It is also a betrayal of a fundamental truth that big-city police chiefs purport to believe: that all violations of public order, including so-called low-level offenses, threaten community cohesion and safety. There is no public benefit to sending an illegal-alien criminal back into the community if grounds exist for removing him. Congress should impose liability on local law-enforcement officials if someone is victimized by an illegal-alien criminal released in defiance of ICE.

Passage of the Mandatory Minimums for Illegal Reentry Act of 2015, which establishes a compulsory five-year sentence for illegal reentry, would encourage U.S. attorneys to prosecute illegal aliens who have reentered the country following deportation. Trump’s proposed 2018 budget rightly funds 75 additional immigration-judge teams and 20 additional attorneys and support staff for immigration litigation in order to speed up removal proceedings.

Local police departments are shaking the cup for more federal funding, but the Trump administration should resist. Federal grants are not new money; they are merely the same taxpayers’ dollars that localities rely on, minus the huge administrative costs of being routed through Washington. Though many departments desperately need more officers and more tactical training, the better way to provide those resources is to lower federal spending mandates and the federal tax burden so that localities can pay for their own policing needs. Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is taking the lead in demanding more federal money for social programs and summer jobs. But if government welfare programs were the solution to crime, we would have had crime-free inner cities decades ago.

Only initiatives that are truly national in scope should be federally funded. Research on what works in crime-fighting is a proper federal function, since local police departments lack the money to conduct their own studies. Topics to be explored include: the effectiveness of public-order and hot-spot policing; the relationship between criminal history and recidivism; and the success rate of electronic monitoring. The federal Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, announced in February, will explore how to improve data collection in order to fight crime more effectively; a crash course in CompStat data analysis would help detect unmet data needs.

The Obama DOJ spent a lot of time talking about police “legitimacy”; by contrast, the Trump DOJ should advocate for more hands-on, scenario-based tactical training that helps officers avoid the need to use deadly force. Officers should be taught how to cope with stress. When cops use foul language, threats, and unjustified force, they are usually overreacting to stress. The current fad for de-escalation training is appropriate, so long as the proposed principles do not jeopardize officer safety.

From dash-cam videos to body cameras on officers, technology plays an increasingly vital role in policing and in public perceptions of policing. Several areas need to be addressed. The cost of storing video from police body cameras has become a huge problem. The federal government could help determine if a federal cloud for storage or a state consortium is the best solution. Washington should encourage departments to adopt lawful surveillance technology such as aerial cameras and family genetic matching to target criminals surgically.

National legislation is needed on encryption. Law-enforcement agencies now fear “going dark” during the surveillance of criminals and terrorists, thanks to encryption. The feds could also help with technology to improve communications (interoperability) between the nation’s 18,000 police departments. Anti-cop activists and anarchists are breaking into law-enforcement communications. Police WiFi was hacked during the November 2014 anti-cop riots in Ferguson, Missouri; the previous month, a radio operator tried to interfere with police movements and air-support operations in the area. Masked Black Bloc anarchists and Black Lives Matter activists will join forces in the Trump era to attack law and order, as happened in the Berkeley, California, riot in early February 2017. Federal and local law enforcement need to up their game in countering such lawlessness; the wearing of masks to facilitate crime must be severely penalized.

The Obama Justice Department ordered more than 28,000 federal law-enforcement officers and prosecutors into “implicit-bias” training—a form of sensitivity reeducation aimed at teaching police how to combat their own (alleged) subliminal prejudices. Attorney General Sessions should cancel this initiative and lift the pressure on local police departments to put their own officers through this wasteful exercise. The claim that policing, especially police shootings, is riven with “implicit bias” is untrue—in 2016 alone, four academic studies showed that if there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. The Office of Community Oriented Policing (COPS) has partnered with the Office of Violence Against Women to combat “gender bias.” This is another waste of money and should be ended. There is no significant gender bias in American society, and it is not a criminal-justice issue.

The previous Justice Department’s concern with phantom police bias extended to personnel practices. An October 2016 report called for law-enforcement agencies to boost their minority hiring. The report recommended that departments weaken or eliminate their requirements of a clean criminal record in order to make more minorities eligible. This report and the message behind it should be withdrawn. There is no evidence that minority officers are “fairer” in their policing. The Justice Department itself found in 2015 that black and Hispanic officers in Philadelphia were more likely than white officers to shoot an unarmed black suspect based on the misperception that he was armed. Lowering hiring standards, particularly criminal-background standards, is a sure recipe for corruption and incompetence on a police force.

Obama’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing recommended that police departments mandatorily report to the DOJ their race and gender composition. This recommendation should be axed. And any mandated reporting on police activity that includes the race of suspects stopped or arrested should be accompanied by data on racial crime rates in the police agency’s juridiction. Ideally, the word “diversity” would be excised from all federal communications when it refers to race, sex, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Those traits have no bearing on federal programs or on qualifications for federal employment.

Trump is under pressure from conservatives to fire FBI director James Comey for his actions regarding presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, his refusal to corroborate Trump’s wiretap allegations against Obama, and the FBI’s investigation of ties between Trump associates and Russia. Trump should resist the pressure to fire him. Comey was virtually the only voice in the Obama administration to call attention to the urban crime increase. He also correctly identified its cause because he understands the power of policing. He will be a valuable asset in quelling the crime spike.

Finally, while police officers have an indefeasible obligation to treat everyone they meet with courtesy and respect and within the confines of the law, community members have a reciprocal obligation to obey police commands and not resist arrest. The Trump administration could start a national campaign: “Comply now, complain later.” Such a campaign would publicize the fact that the vast majority of questionable police shootings over the last several years, as well as the justified police shootings, were triggered by the noncompliance of the victims.

The Trouble With Barry

March 13, 2017

The Trouble With Barry, PJ MediaDavid Solway, March 13, 2017

Former President Barack Obama leaves the National Gallery of Art in Washington, Sunday, March 5, 2017. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

**********************************

Alfred Hitchcock’s black comedy The Trouble with Harry bombed at the box office when it was first released in 1955; it has now achieved the status of a classic. Today, a bizarre melodrama playing in all the major political theaters, which might be called The Trouble with Barry, has become an overnight smash hit. Starring Barack Obama, a prodigy of the art of surveillance and Teflon-like resilience, it will eventually run its course. However the plot may develop, one thing is certain: it will not be regarded as a classic.

The trouble with Barry, like Hitchcock’s moribund Harry, is that he never seems to go away, constantly emerging at the most inopportune moments. Unlike every other president in American history, Obama has dedicated himself to the practice of what the Washington Examiner has described as “post-presidential meddling.”

He has thrown himself fully into Alinsky-style “community organizing,” stirring up resistance to the Trump administration in every way conceivable: installing, according to the New York Post, a “shadow government,” dubbed Organizing for Action, comprising more than 30,000 agitators and 250 chapters across the U.S., in order “to sabotage the incoming administration”; renting a dwelling and setting up command headquarters around the corner from the White House; cooking up the Russian hacking fable; and most recently, allegedly wiretapping Trump Tower, which seems disturbingly probable following the salient remarks of Ret. Army Intelligence Officer Tony Shaffer on Fox and the revelations from Breitbart News. Mark Levin’s accusation that Obama is orchestrating a “silent coup” against Trump rings true. As Daniel Greenfield points out:

There is now a President and an Anti-President. A government and a shadow government. The anti-President controls more of the government through his shadow government than the real President.

Obama and his Deep State have engaged in “a criminal conspiracy of unprecedented scope.”

And yet, even today, few media outlets are willing to investigate the innumerable instances of lying, lawbreaking, corruption, broken promises and cronyism for which Obama is clearly answerable. That he is likely involved in a wiretapping operation against a political opponent should not come as a surprise to anyone who has observed or researched the man. As Matthew Vadum comments in FrontPage Magazine, “It might be said that every day of his presidency he committed at least one impeachable offense” — whether abusing executive powers, bypassing Congress, leaking classified information, misrepresenting Obamacare, being ultimately responsible for the Fast and Furious and Benghazi infamies, and more.

The wiretapping affair is only the latest in a vast and ongoing sequence of misdemeanors, scandals and illegalities — a list compiled by Doug Ross runs into hundreds of such instances of impropriety and malpractice. No matter. The list will only grow. The editor of a prestigious conservative site wrote me calling this latest outrage a “game changer.” That remains to be seen. I would have thought, for example, that Obama’s first Executive Order (13489) on January 21, 2009 sealing his vital records would have been the game changer we were waiting for, but Barry sailed on unscathed.

There have been weak presidents, deluded presidents, and harmful presidents before him, but never has there been anyone as sinister or questionable as Obama, not excluding even the malefic Jimmy Carter or the sleazy Bill Clinton. What J. R. Dunn writing in American Thinker has said of Hillary, “the most repellent and corrupt American presidential candidate since Aaron Burr,” is equally true, in my estimation, of Barack Obama. Meanwhile, it is Trump who faces a barrage of threats, calls for impeachment and acts of disobedience that would have been more explicable if levied against Obama for his historic deceptions and malfeasances. Under the pestilential reign of Obama, and indeed years of Democratic incumbency, the shining city on the hill has become a murky city in the swamp.

The trouble with Barry is not only that he refuses to go away, materializing like Harry where he has no business being, or that he enjoys, à la Hitchcock, making cameo appearances in whatever political film he happens to be directing at the moment. All this would be perfectly acceptable, even agreeable, were he a benign presence or if he had Hitchcock’s talent for deadpan humor and high entertainment rather than a penchant for malice and misconduct.

The trouble with Barry is, quite simply, that he is Barry, a “Third World man,” to cite Phyllis Chesler’s psychological analysis of Obama, trying to become the father he never really had, an anti-white, anti-colonialist, anti-capitalist, anti-Zionist, anti-American, Marxist revolutionary. Why then, would he not use any means at his disposal, legitimate or illegitimate, including those that reek of “police state tactics,” to achieve his ends? Was this not predictable from the beginning? He will keep popping up working his characteristic mischief wherever he possibly can. This is what the man does and will continue doing. If he is not finally indicted for his multiple derelictions, there will be other “game changers” to come, all to no effect. A fall guy will inevitably be found to take the rap. We need to realize that what has been called “Obamagate” is nothing out of the ordinary. Obama is Obama. What did we expect?

Hitchcock’s film ends decisively with the legend: “The Trouble with Harry Is Over.” Unfortunately, the trouble with Barry isn’t.

Trump’s Immigration Guidance: The Rule of Law Returns

February 22, 2017

Trump’s Immigration Guidance: The Rule of Law Returns, PJ Media, Andrew C. McCarthy, February 22, 2017

homelandsecheadHomeland Security Secretary John Kelly, right, watches during President Donald Trump’s meeting on cyber security in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

On Tuesday, John Kelly, President Trump’s secretary of Homeland Security, published a six-page, single-spaced memorandum detailing new guidance on immigration enforcement. Thereupon, I spent about 1,500 words summarizing the guidance in a column at National Review. Brevity being the soul of wit, both the memo and my description of it could have been reduced to a single, easy-to-remember sentence:

Henceforth, the United States shall be governed by the laws of the United States.

That it was necessary for Secretary Kelly to say more than this — and, sadly, that such alarm has greeted a memo that merely announces the return of the rule of law in immigration enforcement — owes to the Obama administration abuses of three legal doctrines: prosecutorial discretion, preemption, and separation of powers (specifically, the executive usurpation of legislative power).

To the extent President Obama declined to enforce immigration law (notwithstanding his constitutional obligation to execute the laws faithfully), he did so under the guise of prosecutorial discretion. In the pre-Obama days, prosecutorial discretion was an unremarkable, uncontroversial resource-allocation doctrine. It simply meant that since resources are finite, and since it would be neither possible nor desirable to prosecute every crime, we target law-enforcement resources to get the most crime-fighting bang for the taxpayer buck. That means prioritizing enforcement action against (a) the worst offenders and (b) the unlawful causes of the activity.

This is easily illustrated by federal drug enforcement. There are comparatively few federal narcotics agents, compared, say, to police in a major city. But while both feds and cops have authority to arrest traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs, only federal jurisdiction is interstate and international. Consequently, the best use of finite federal enforcement resources is to limit them to prosecutions of significant felony importation and distribution offenses, leaving it to the states and municipalities to handle street pushers and misdemeanor violations involving the use of drugs.

Significantly, the fact that federal enforcement policy, which is made by the executive branch, does not target lesser felons or users does not mean this policy effectively repeals federal drug laws, which are written by Congress.

The non-targeted crimes are still crimes, and the feds reserve the right to prosecute them in appropriate cases (e.g., if they encounter these offenses in the course of carrying out other criminal enforcement missions).

In the area of immigration enforcement, Obama contorted this resource allocation doctrine into a de facto immunity scheme. That is, the Obama Homeland Security Department announced what it labeled enforcement “priorities.” If an illegal alien did not fit into the priorities, it was as if the alien were insulated against prosecution — effectively, it was as if there was nothing illegal about being an alien unlawfully present in the United States; it was as if Obama’s policies were a legal defense against Congress’s duly enacted laws.

This was complemented by a second legal distortion: Obama’s mangling of the so-called preemption doctrine. As we’ve noted, there are certain areas of law — like immigration and narcotics enforcement — in which the federal and state governments have concurrent jurisdiction: both are permitted to regulate and prosecute. This can work well (it generally does in drug enforcement); but it can be counterproductive if the dual sovereigns work at cross-purposes.

In some areas, like immigration, the courts have ruled that the federal government is supreme (on the dubious but now well-rooted theory that immigration law enforcement is primarily a federal responsibility). This means that the federal government has the power to preempt state action. Importantly, preemption is a power of Congress. That is, in an area of federal supremacy, states are prohibited to act in a manner that would contravene federal law.

Obama, to the contrary, took the position that states were forbidden to take action that contravened Obama immigration policy.

This was brought into sharp relief by the administration’s conflict with the state of Arizona. Far from seeking to countermand federal law, Arizona sought to enforce Congress’s statutes. Yet, Obama took the position that the state was bound not by Congress’s statutes but by Obama’s proclaimed enforcement policies — even if those amounted to non-enforcement of Congress’s statutes.

This was a perversion of both preemption and prosecutorial discretion. As long as Arizona was taking action consistent with federal law, its enforcement measures could not be preempted. Moreover, even if Arizona’s enforcement policy was broader than Obama’s, that should not have mattered: as we’ve seen, a federal exercise of prosecutorial discretion just means lesser crimes are not targeted, not that they are no longer crimes. If Arizona took action against those lesser crimes, that was completely appropriate; it was filling a gap in federal enforcement, not defying federal law.

The obstacles imposed by Obama’s immigration proclamations bring us to the third legal abuse: the usurpation of legislative authority. In effect, Obama’s announced priorities became not guidelines for immigration enforcement but new federal laws. According to the administration, only those aliens who fit Obama’s guidelines could be prosecuted. The Homeland Security Department was instructed to halt enforcement action at the earliest possible stage — i.e., once it was understood that an illegal alien did not fit a priority category, all investigative activity was to stop, even though it was known that the alien was acting illegally.

In effect, the Obama priorities operated like law. They controlled what federal investigators and prosecutors could do, and they were used to block states from enforcing their own laws. In this, at least for as long as Obama was president, they supplanted Congress’s laws — a clear violation of separation of powers.

All the Trump guidance announced in Secretary Kelly’s memo really does is repeal Obama’s decrees. The memo essentially says: the law of the United States is back to being the law of the United States. That’s the way it’s supposed to be.

To Fix Counterterrorism, End Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Strategy

February 6, 2017

To Fix Counterterrorism, End Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Strategy, PJ MediaAndrew C. McCarthy, February 5, 2017

(Please see also, Trump Seeks to End Obama’s ‘Countering Violent Extremism’ Scam. — DM)

grief

Last June, the jihadist terrorist Omar Mateen opened fire at a gay night club in Orlando, Florida, killing 49 and wounding several other revelers. It quickly became clear that Mateen was yet another “known wolf” – the term popularized by my friend and colleague Patrick Poole to describe the frequent phenomenon of terrorists who manage to plot and strike against the West notwithstanding that their patent radicalism has put them on the radar screen of law-enforcement and intelligence agents.

I have long argued that the cause of this phenomenon is the restrictions on common sense placed on our agents by political correctness, which essentially blind them to the well-known but rarely acknowledged progression from Islamic scripture to sharia-supremacist ideology (what we call “radical Islam”), to enclaves populated by adherents and sympathizers of this ideology, and inevitably to jihadist terror. This iteration of political correctness has been the backbone of Obama administration counterterrorism strategy, known as “Countering Violent Extremism” (CVE). Shortly after the Orlando attack, I delivered a speech at the Westminster Institute – entitled, “Defenseless in the Face of Our Enemies” – in which I addressed CVE. The new Trump administration is in the process of formulating its own counterterrorism strategy. Below, for what it may be worth, is the portion of my speech that addressed CVE:

Of the nearly 36,000 people who work for the FBI, fewer than 14,000 are investigative agents. National security is a crucial part of the Bureau’s portfolio, but the FBI is statutorily the lead investigative agency in virtually every category of criminal offense in federal law. At most, there are a couple thousand agents assigned full-time to counterterrorism. Those numbers are multiplied somewhat by joint federal-state efforts — the Joint Terrorism Task Forces in several metropolitan areas across the nation. Even so, because the Bureau is an intelligence agency as well as a law-enforcement agency, there are over a thousand terrorism investigations ongoing at any one time. The FBI director indicates that there is activity that must be monitored in all 50 states. Unless there are flashing neon signs of imminent attack, the small number of investigators can only spend so much time on any one suspect.

Of course, that time can be maximized, or wasted, depending on whether investigators know what they’re looking for . . . and whether they are permitted to look for it.

Clearly, the FBI spent a lot of time on Mateen. It sent confidential informants to interact with him, conducted physical surveillance, covertly monitored some of his phone calls, and interviewed him face-to-face three separate times. It concluded that his bark was bad, but his bite was non-existent. Honoring guidelines imposed on terrorism investigations, the FBI closed its case. That is, in addition to concluding that no charges should be filed, the Bureau further decided that additional monitoring of Mateen was not warranted.

In retrospect, this seems reckless. But the FBI is not incompetent, far from it. The agency knew Mateen was worth a heavy investigative investment. The problem is that the FBI answers to the Washington political class. The bipartisan Beltway has long ruled that advocacy of radical Islam is protected by the Constitution. It has long instructed its investigators, preposterously, that seditious beliefs and agitation are immune, not just from prosecution, but even from mere inquiry.

What passes for Obama’s national-security strategy, known as “Countering Violent Extremism,” exacerbates this problem. CVE delusionally forbids the conclusion that radical Islamic ideology has any causative effect on terrorist plotting. The FBI is in the impossible position of trying to conduct investigations that follow the facts wherever they lead, while fearing that such investigations — by illuminating the logical progression from Islamic scripture to sharia supremacism to jihadist terror — will enrage its political masters.

Understand: Nothing in the Constitution mandates this suicidal betrayal of national security. It flows from Washington’s lunatic concoction of an imaginary Islam — a belief system the sole tenets of which are peace and anti-terrorism. President Obama and the counsel he keeps (many of whom are connected to insidious Islamist organizations tied to the Muslim Brotherhood) insist this “anti-terrorist” “Religion of Peace” is the only viable interpretation of Islam. We are not just to believe, we are pressured to endorse, the fantasy that sharia supremacism is a “false Islam.” Its palpable mainstream status in the Middle East and elsewhere is not to be spoken of.

The FBI is bound by guidelines promulgated by the Justice Department, most of which have been in place since the administration of President George W. Bush. They impose a caveat on every investigation:

These Guidelines do not authorize investigating or collecting or maintaining information on United States persons solely for the purpose of monitoring activities protected by the First Amendment or the lawful exercise of other rights secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

On its face, this admonition should not be problematic. It instructs that agents may not investigate for the sole purpose of monitoring activities protected by federal law. Consequently, if agents have other legitimate purposes for investigating — such as preventing terrorist attacks or probing terrorism conspiracies — the Justice Department guidance is no bar to conducting an investigation in which a mosque or a protest rally may foreseeably come under scrutiny.

Political dissent and the exercise of religion are protected by the First Amendment. But this is a protection against being prosecuted merely for one’s words or religious observance. It is not a shield against investigation for criminal activities that are motivated by religious or political belief.

Not only may one be investigated and prosecuted for criminal offenses that are motivated by one’s beliefs or speech; it has long been the law that evidence of one’s beliefs and speech, which is often highly relevant to proving criminal intent, may be admitted in a prosecution for such offenses.

Simply stated, if you are a Muslim who believes sharia law must be imposed on society, and you tell people that Allah commands the commission of violent jihad to impose sharia, that belief and statement are admissible evidence if you are charged with bombing or terrorism conspiracy crimes. You are not being prosecuted for what you believe or what you said; you are being prosecuted for the crimes. The beliefs and statements are evidence of your state of mind — just as they are in all kinds of criminal cases beyond terrorism.

That being the case, there is nothing inherently wrong with, much less constitutionally offensive about, the concept that radical religious or political beliefs should trigger investigations. That is especially the case if those beliefs are conveyed by aggressive language, or by association with other radicals or mosques known to endorse jihadism.

Here’s an important principle we must get right: It cannot be that evidence an investigator may use to prove guilt of terrorism offenses is somehow insulated from an investigator’s suspicions about potential terrorism offenses. The goal of counterterrorism is supposed to be the prevention of jihadist attacks, not the hope that there may be a living terrorist or two still around to be indicted and tried only after Americans have been murdered.

In law enforcement, however, what matters most is not what the law allows investigators to do. It is what the investigators’ superiors allow them to do.

That brings us to “Countering Violent Extremism.” In essence, CVE holds that terrorism has nothing to do with Islam, or even with Islamist ideology that reviles the United States. President Obama has conclusively proclaimed: “Muslim American communities have categorically condemned terrorism” — end of discussion . . . as if that were an incontestable proposition or one that told the whole story.

Thus, the administration narrative continues, the real threat to our security is not Muslim terrorist plots against us but our provocation of Muslims. By the Obama administration’s lights, our national-defense measures following the 9/11 attacks have conveyed the misimpression that America is at war with Islam.

Remember, we’re in Fantasy Land, so we’re not supposed to pause at this point to ask: What, then, prompted the 9/11 attacks in the first place? What prompted the increasingly audacious series of attacks from the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center to the 2000 bombing of the U.S.S. Cole — all during those sensitive, Islamophilic Clinton years when, we’re to believe, jihadists didn’t think America was “at war with Islam”?

Instead of asking such impertinent questions, we are simply to accept the president’s say-so that the key to our security is to “partner” with the leadership in Muslim communities — much of which just happens to be tied to or heavily influenced by the Muslim Brotherhood.

In a major 2007–08 prosecution (the Holy Land Foundation case), the Justice Department proved that the Brotherhood financed the Hamas terrorist organization to the tune of millions of dollars. That same Muslim Brotherhood is the main subject of my 2010 book, The Grand Jihad. The title is lifted from an internal Brotherhood memo seized by the FBI and presented at the Holy Land trial — a memo in which Brotherhood honchos stationed in the United States explained that their mission here is a “grand jihad” to “eliminate and destroy Western Civilization from within” — by “sabotage.”

Under CVE, we are to let our Islamist “partners” train the police, and let them be our eyes and ears in Muslim communities. Because we all share the same interests, you see, we should rest assured that these Islamist leaders will alert us if there is any cause for concern.

Makes perfect sense, right?

If it is possible, the practice of CVE is even more of a national-security disaster than the theory. This is probably best documented by my friend Stephen Coughlin in a recent and essential book: Catastrophic Failure: Blindfolding America in the Face of Jihad.

Apart from being an exceptional lawyer, Steve is a trained military intelligence officer who has studied our enemies’ threat doctrine, Islamic supremacism. Again, to be precise, it may be best to call it “sharia supremacism” because it reflects the classic sharia-based Islam that is mainstream in the Middle East. Catastrophic Failure is about how the United States government has systematically stifled the study of this doctrine since before 9/11. CVE is the paragon illustration of how the Obama administration has exacerbated this catastrophic failure — a failure that I have branded “willful blindness” since first encountering it as a prosecutor two decades ago.

As Coughlin demonstrates, CVE is no secret. For example, the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties — which is every bit as radical as the infamous Civil Rights Division in the Obama Justice Department — has worked with the National Counterterrorism Center to develop government-agency training programs that “bring together best [CVE] practices.”

One product of this effort is a handy two-page instruction document of CVE “Do’s and Don’ts.” The “Don’ts” tell agents to avoid, among other things, “ventur[ing] too deep into the weeds of religious doctrine and history” or examining the “role of Islam in majority Muslim nations.” The guidance further admonishes:

Don’t use training that equates radical thought, religious expression, freedom to protest, or other constitutionally protected activity, with criminal activity. One can have radical thoughts/ideas, including disliking the U.S. government, without being violent; for example, trainers who equate the desire for Sharia law with criminal activity violate basic tenets of the First Amendment.

As we’ve already observed, this interpretation of the First Amendment is patent rubbish. Again, there is no free-speech protection against having one’s words examined for intelligence or investigative purposes. Free-expression principles protect Americans against laws that subject speech to penalty or prosecution — a protection, by the way, that the Obama administration seeks to deny to speech unflattering to Islam, under a UN resolution it jointly sponsored with several Islamic nations.

In sum, Obama’s CVE strategy expressly instructs our investigators to consider only violent or criminal conduct. They are told to ignore radical ideology, particularly if it has the patina of “religious expression.” They are directed to turn a deaf ear to anti-Americanism and the desire to impose sharia, which just happens to be the principal objective of all violent jihadists, and of the Obama administration’s oft-time consultants, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Our agents, furthermore, are cautioned to avoid doing anything that smacks of subjecting particular groups to heightened scrutiny. After all, that might imply that terrorism committed by Muslims has some connection to Islam — specifically, to the undeniable, unambiguous commands to violent jihad found in Muslim scripture.

Obviously, this CVE guidance is exactly what our investigators follow when they consciously avoid scrutinizing jihadist social-media postings by visa applicants from Muslim-majority countries — such as Tashfeen Malik. She was the Pakistani immigrant who joined her jihadist husband, Syed Farook, in carrying out last December’s mass-murder attack in San Bernardino (in which 14 people were killed and dozens wounded).

There is nothing secret about CVE. Willful blindness is right there in black and white.

You’re Fired!

January 31, 2017

You’re Fired! Front Page MagazineMatthew Vadum, January 31, 2017

(Please see also Trump Fires Acting Attorney General. There Prof. Turley explains why President Trump was right to fire the acting Attorney General. 

Trump clearly has the right to fire Yates.  Indeed, Yates’ action (and rationale) contradicts long-standing Justice Department policies on such issues.

— DM)

sfg

President Trump last night fired the insubordinate acting Attorney General Sally Yates after she ordered federal prosecutors to ignore Trump’s lawful emergency executive order restricting travel and immigration from Islamic terrorist-infested nations.

The Yates termination may foreshadow a major house-cleaning at the U.S. Department of Justice. That agency is overrun by left-wing careerists who have no respect for the rule of law and who operate under the legally and morally grotesque assumption that aliens, including suspected terrorists, ought to enjoy all the same rights as U.S. citizens.

Yates “has betrayed the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States,” Trump said in a press release. “This order was approved as to form and legality by the Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel.”

He called Yates “an Obama Administration appointee who is weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration.”

“It is time to get serious about protecting our country,” Trump continued. “Calling for tougher vetting for individuals travelling from seven dangerous places is not extreme. It is reasonable and necessary to protect our country.”

Last night President Trump also relieved acting Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Daniel Ragsdale of his duties. No reason for the decision had been reported at press time. The new acting ICE director is Thomas D. Homan who has been executive associate director of ICE Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) since 2013.

When the U.S. Senate was considering Yates’s nomination for deputy attorney general in 2015, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama), whose nomination as attorney general is pending in the Senate, made his opposition known. According to Politico, Sessions “urged his colleagues to defeat Yates” objecting “to what he said was her involvement in defending the federal government against a lawsuit 26 states have filed challenging unilateral actions Obama took in November to grant millions of illegal immigrants quasi-legal status and work permits.” Sessions described the Obama actions as “presidential overreach.”

Hours before Trump ended Yates’s employment, Yates  took the extraordinary step of directing Justice Department attorneys to refuse to defend Trump’s executive order in court.

“I am responsible for ensuring that the positions we take in court remain consistent with this institution’s solemn obligation to always seek justice and stand for what is right,” she wrote in a letter to lawyers at the Department of Justice. “At present, I am not convinced that the defense of the executive order is consistent with these responsibilities nor am I convinced that the executive order is lawful.”

“Consequently, for as long as I am the acting attorney general, the Department of Justice will not present arguments in defense of the executive order, unless and until I become convinced that it is appropriate to do so,” she wrote.

Yates’s tenure as acting attorney general ended around dinnertime last night. Around 9 p.m. the president replaced her with Dana Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Boente will serve in the post “until Senator Jeff Sessions is finally confirmed by the Senate, where he is being wrongly held up by Democrat senators for strictly political reasons,” Trump said.

Harvard Law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz described Yates as “a terrific public servant” who “made a serious mistake here.”

“This is holdover heroism,” he said. “It’s so easy to be a heroine when you’re not appointed by this president and when you’re on the other side.”

Reaction on Twitter was predictably ridiculous.

Unsurprisingly, the nearly-impeached former Attorney General Eric Holder expressed support for Yates.

Holder tweeted last night, “Sally Yates: person of integrity/attorney with great legal skill. Has served this nation with distinction. Her judgment should be trusted.”

Leftist column writer and Obama idolator E.J. Dionne tweeted, “Monday Night Massacre: Trump fires Sally Yates, Acting AG who refused to defend his indefensible #MuslimBan. History will remember her well.”

Football player Rob Carpenter tweeted, “AG upholds the law. Dictator wanna be says you don’t agree with me. You’re fired.”

Actor Jason Alexander tweeted, “King Trump fired the Attorney General. So law and constitution, which he sworn on a bible to protect now clearly mean nothing. Like truth.”

Yates may have a lucrative career ahead of her on the public speaking circuit. Maybe MSNBC will give her a talk show. The Left takes care of its own.

All of this drama flows from the executive order President Trump signed Friday that suspends travel from Muslim terrorism-plagued countries.

The executive order blocks visas for 90 days for “immigrants and non-immigrants” from the terrorism-producing Muslim-majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen.

The order also prevents refugees from entering the U.S. for 120 days, indefinitely halts the entry of Syrian refugees, and adjusts downward the cap on refugee admission into the U.S. to 50,000 during the current federal fiscal year which ends Sept. 30, 2017.

The presidential directive also requires the government to keep Americans informed about terrorism-related activities and crimes committed by foreign nationals in the U.S. and to report on the individuals’ immigration status.

Critics have mischaracterized the executive order as a Muslim immigration and travel ban. It is an odd critique given that the three countries with the largest Muslim populations –Indonesia, Pakistan, and India– aren’t included in the order.

Groups funded by radical financier George Soros are behind a lawsuit challenging the order.

On Saturday evening Obama-appointed Judge Ann M. Donnelly of the Eastern District of New York blocked part of the executive order and prevented the Trump administration from deporting arrivals detained in airports across the nation. The restraining order preserves the status quo for those who arrived in the country shortly after the executive order was signed if they have visas or lawful permanent resident status.

Before Donnelly’s narrowly drawn restraining order was issued Saturday evening, near-riots broke out as leftist freak shows descended on airports across America. Demonstrators were horrified that some individuals were actually being detained at ports-of-entry as required by the president’s 100 percent legal and constitutional executive order. The left-wing hissy-fit consisted of radicals trespassing and endangering airport security by staging disruptive in-your-face protests at airports around the country.

The HAMAS-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is playing a major role in the protests against the executive order, Lee Stranahan reports at Breitbart. The group has been organizing demonstrations and promoting opposition to the order on social media. The United Arab Emirates has declared CAIR a terrorist organization.

To no one’s surprise, former President Barack Obama praised the airport protesters, saying through a spokesman he was “heartened by the level of engagement taking place in communities around the country.”

“Citizens exercising their Constitutional right to assemble, organize and have their voices heard by the elected officials is exactly what we expect to see when American values are at stake,” the spokesman said Monday.

Obama intends to conduct his own shadow presidency and attack the Trump administration for years to come. The former president has rented a fancy house on Embassy Row in the nation’s capital that is expected to serve as his anti-Trump administration war room.

Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D) tweeted Saturday night, “I stand with the people gathered across the country tonight defending our values & our Constitution. This is not who we are.”

Meanwhile, although left-wing law professor Jonathan Turley said he disagrees on policy grounds with Trump’s executive order he argues it is nonetheless legally bulletproof.

“The law does favor President Trump in this regard,” Turley said Sunday on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” show. “I don’t like this order. I think it’s a terrible mistake — but that doesn’t go into the legal analysis. The Court has been extremely deferential to presidents on the border.”

The courts won’t buy the left-wing talking point that the order constitutes a ban on Muslim travel and immigration, Turley explained.

“I do not believe a federal court will view this as a Muslim ban,” he said.

I don’t think the court can. Regardless of what the court may think of President Trump’s motivations, the fact that other Muslim countries are not included is going to move that off the table and what’s going to be left is whether the president has this type of authority. Historically, courts have said that he does.

Americans who want their country back after eight years of Obama-created lawlessness don’t need to get upset at the chaos left-wingers are trying to generate to undermine President Trump.

In this case the law is on their side.

Obama Appoints Cop Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Attorney to 6-Year Civil Rights Post

December 17, 2016

Obama Appoints Cop Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Attorney to 6-Year Civil Rights Post, PJ MediaDebra Heine, December 17, 2016

killerattyFILE – In this April 29, 2009 file photo Debo Adegbile, then an attorney with the Legal Defense and Educational Fund of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People speaks outside the Supreme Court in Washington. Adegbile, President Barack Obama’s choice to head the Justice Department’s civil rights division has failed a Senate test vote and his confirmation is in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

In a move that has already sparked a backlash among law enforcement groups, President Barack Obama on Thursday appointed Debo Adegbile, a former attorney for convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, to a six-year post on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The eight-member commission consists of four members appointed by the president and four appointed by Congress. Unfortunately, the six-year appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation.

Via  the Washington Times:

Mr. Adegbile worked at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund when he represented Abu-Jamal in the appeal of his conviction and death sentence for the notorious 1981 shooting death of Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner. Abu-Jamal’s sentence was reduced to life in prison.

The case prompted the Senate to reject Mr. Adegbile’s nomination in 2014 when Mr. Obama appointed him to lead the Justice Department’s office on civil rights. Some Democrats joined Republicans in voting down the selection at that time.

According to PJ Media’s J. Christian Adams, Adegbile, “while overseeing the NAACP LDF, the organization offered legal representation to Mumia Abu-Jamal, the murderer of Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner.” At the time, Adams called Obama’s “ultra radical pick” to lead the Justice Department’s office on civil rights, an “in-your-face nomination.” You can watch a video of LDF lawyers addressing a pro-Mumia crowd here.

The FBI Agents Association, National Fraternal Order of Police, Major County Sheriff’s Association, National Association of Police Organizations, National Sheriff’s Association, and the New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association all came out in fierce opposition to the nomination of Adegbile in 2014.

Woodall Batchelor PLLC reminds us in recent posts that, Adegbile was rejected on a 52-47 vote in the Senate, which Obama called a “travesty based on wildly unfair character attacks against a good and qualified public servant.”

Now on his way out the door, as a final insult to the law enforcement community, Obama has appointed Adegbile to another civil rights post where he will likely be working against them for six long years.

Law enforcement groups and Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) decried the appointment Friday with one police union official calling it a “kick in the teeth to the cops.”

Via the Washington Free Beacon:

John McNesby, president of the Fraternal Order of Police’s chapter in Philadelphia, lashed out at the Obama administration over the appointment, calling it “Obama’s goodbye present to police across the nation.”

“That’s just the old kick in the teeth to the cops,” McNesby said during an appearance on the Dom Giordano Show on Friday morning. “I guess it’s Obama’s goodbye present to police across the nation.”

McNesby said that he saw the appointment as “payback to the FOP” and vowed that he would push the incoming Trump administration to fight it.

“This was definitely payback to the FOP through the appointment,” McNesby said. “This guy was Mumia’s sugar daddy through the appeal process—he did everything and financed the whole thing.”

“I don’t know whether he can be un-appointed but that will be one of our first orders of business when we go down and meet with the new administration in January,” he said. “I don’t know whether that can be done, but we are sure as hell going to try.”

McNesby guaranteed that his members will be outraged when they hear about the appointment and raised the possibility that the incoming Trump administration could shut down funding to the Commission on Civil Rights over the appointment.

The International Union of Police Associations, a member organization of the AFL-CIO, also condemned the appointment on Friday.

“President Obama has, once again, gone out of his way to demonstrate his utter distain for our nation’s law enforcement officers,” said Sam Cabral, the union’s president, in a Friday statement.

Cabral said that Adegbile “spread lies, spouted racism, and maligned the Philadelphia police in his failed efforts to overcome justice and portray this vicious murderer as, somehow, the victim.”

The unions will have an ally in Sen. Toomey, who said in a Friday statement that the appointment “is a slap in the face to every law enforcement officer in America.”

“In 2014, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. Senate agreed that Debo Adegbile was not fit to represent the people of the United States in enforcing Americans’ civil rights,” Toomey said.

“Mr. Adegbile did not simply defend a client,” Toomey said. “He supervised an effort to lionize unrepentant cop-killer Mumia Abu Jamal, who cold-bloodedly murdered Philadelphia police officer Danny Faulkner 35 years ago.”

The left-wing Center for American Progress, however, praised Mr. Adegbile’s “work on employment, housing discrimination, criminal justice and voting rights.”