Carol C. Lam, former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of California: Prosecutors know they should bring criminal charges only if they believe they can convict the defendant; to operate under any other standard would be unethical. That is true no matter who the defendant is, but in the case of a high-profile defendant, prosecutors aren't likely to file charges unless they are as certain as humanly possible that they will be able to obtain a conviction. And because prosecutors must convince an unanimous jury of 12 ordinary citizens that a defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, bringing a politically charged or divisive case puts that certainty further out of reach. read more
West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin -- a key Democratic holdout over efforts to pass federal voting rights legislation -- is expected to head to Texas on Friday for a fundraiser with a host committee that includes several wealthy Republican donors. read more
So, earlier this month the billionaire Republican donor, who amassed a fortune building an international junkyard empire, took the unusual step of calling South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a rising Republican star who has railed against illegal immigration and aligned herself firmly with former President Donald Trump. He asked if she wanted to send National Guard troops from South Dakota to the U.S.-Mexico border " and offered up $1 million to help. Noem said, "Yes." Her acceptance of the donation from Johnson, who doesn't even live in Noem's state but rather in Tennessee, has drawn intense scrutiny. It landed in state coffers Tuesday and though it came from Johnson's private foundation and appears to be legal, experts say it sets a troubling precedent in which a wealthy patron is effectively commandeering U.S. military might to address private political motivations.
A day after 124 retired generals and admirals released a letter spreading the lie that President Joe Biden stole the election, current and former military officers are speaking out, calling the missive a dangerous news sign of the military being dragged into the trenches of partisan warfare. read more