Toobin, Turley: Yep, Obama broke the law in Bergdahl deal

posted at 10:11 pm on June 2, 2014 by Mary Katharine Ham

Two liberals, two strikes against the president. As with all the other times the Obama White House blatantly disregards the law, they have their reasons, think they’re in the right, and give not a damn about the actual law. In this case, we have the added ridiculous hypocrisy of the man who ran against signing statements basing his breaking the law on a signing statement.

First up, Toobin via our new colleague Noah Rothman. In this clip, Toobin disconcerts Wolf Blitzer with this grave and totally factual accusation:

“I think he clearly broke the law,” Toobin said. “The law says 30-days’ notice. He didn’t give 30-days’ notice.” Toobin added that Obama’s opinion expressed in a signing statement “is not law.”

“The law is on the books, and he didn’t follow it,” Toobin added.

CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer noted that former President George W. Bush also issued signing statements even though they thought their action may not have been constitutional or legal. “But liberals were outraged by George W. Bush’s signing statements,” Toobin noted.

“You realize, of course, you’re accusing the President of the United States of breaking the law” Blitzer observed.

Click through for video.

And, then there’s Jonathan Turley:

“Did the White House violate federal law?” Costello asked Turley.

“They did,” the professor replied matter-of-factly. “I don’t think that the White House is seriously arguing that they’re not violating federal law. And to make matters worse, this is a long series of violations of federal law that the president’s been accused of. … This is going to add to that pile. I don’t think there’s much debate that they’re in violation of the law.”

Turley explained that President Obama “is essentially arguing the very same principle as George Bush, that when it comes to Gitmo, he has almost absolute power, that it’s his prerogative, his inherent authority, to be able to make these decisions as he sees fit.”

“Well, does it matter?” Costello asked. “Because the administration says that the Department of Defense consulted with the Justice Department, and that was enough. Does that matter?”

“Well, unfortunately the Justice Department has been involved in many of these controversies, and they tend to support federal power,” Turley replied. “The federal law seems quite clear.”

And, this is why the White House’s decision on this Bergdahl deal becomes more perplexing by the minute. If the law-breaking— which, let’s face it, may be the least of the problems with this deal— is blatant enough to have liberal lights scolding their contemporaries for accepting this president’s lame signing-statement excuse, this is just the first and perhaps smallest in a string of very serious miscalculations about how this would play out. I’ve dispensed with analyzing this administration as if they have a plan for anything they do beyond pulling their own chestnuts out of the political fire on any given day by whatever means necessary. There is no larger strategy or or longer sight than that, for the most part.

Given that, one must assume the White House thought this deal would bring an immediate political benefit, at least by wiping out the VA story for a couple days with a feel-good returned POW story. But how could they have miscalculated so badly what the reaction would be? Did they not know all of this information about Bergdahl’s conduct? We’re finding out, especially within the military community, very serious suspicions about Bergdahl were an open secret if not common knowledge. I will not put it past this White House to be ignorant of the intelligence community’s work on Bergdahl. I won’t even put it past them to be ignorant of the openly reported strange accounts of Bergdahl’s conduct on the night of this disappearance. I’m not convinced anyone who makes a decision over there is engaged even on the minimal level necessary to glean this information. I do think it’s possible this White House could be so detached from the military community as to overestimate the extent to which everyone would fall in line with the story of the glory of bringing one of our boys home. I think it’s entirely possible they could have underestimated the anger the men who claim they were betrayed would feel at having lost some of their friends in the search for an alleged deserter now getting a Rose Garden welcome.

Surely this isn’t going the way the White House envisioned. Right?

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I’m still expecting this to blow over like everything else Obama has done. Eyebrows will have been raised, tongues will have been wagged, and snark will have been tweeted, but in the end, if anyone does anything beyond expressing disgust for a week or so, I’ll be very surprised.

Aitch748 on June 3, 2014 at 5:30 AM

Is there some reason he should stop breaking the law?

JellyToast on June 3, 2014 at 5:59 AM

Oh Lordy mercy, please don’t tell me our cruddy prezdent broke another law!

It just can’t be!

Poor poor Wolf ‘n MSM all.

Cry me a river.

Sherman1864 on June 3, 2014 at 6:35 AM

Can we impeach zero now? Please?
Newtie and the Beauty on June 2, 2014 at 10:27 PM

I’d really like that to no end.

Sherman1864 on June 3, 2014 at 6:37 AM

Why did they publicize it so much? Why wasn’t it done quietly?

albill on June 3, 2014 at 7:14 AM

Nothing unusual. Let’s move on to the next edict of King Obama, The Incompetent.

SC.Charlie on June 3, 2014 at 7:19 AM

It sure looks like that he has traded five key Taliban thugs for a captured American soldier set a very bad precedent. And, it sure looks like the guy we got back in this exchanged was a defector or some sort.

SC.Charlie on June 3, 2014 at 7:24 AM

Why did they publicize it so much? Why wasn’t it done quietly? – albill on June 3, 2014 at 7:14 AM

This administration is just clueless. The children are in charge. By the way, by opposing Obama’s decision in this instance, you are a racist.

SC.Charlie on June 3, 2014 at 7:26 AM

i am always amazed how “we” constantly are asking the same questions: are they really this craven, isolated, ideological, and basically stupid? on here we ‘retired’ the amateur in chief or something when he we re-elected; the stupid picture whatever it was. which was dumb. like lieing your a$$ off and diving and demionizing to steal an election means you are intelligent or not amateurish. he has been, and IS, really not very brght. and completely isolated. yes, katerine THEY. ARE. THIS. DUMB. just beleive your eyes ok? they are liars. and stupid. and those two qualities are only exceeded by their arrogance and hatred of “us”. so stop being amazed. its getting embarrasing. oh and by the way. its going to get wrose before it gets better. if we have the senate we’re going to look back on this kind of crap as the ‘good ole days’.

t8stlikchkn on June 3, 2014 at 7:42 AM

As always, the GOP will do nothing.

the GOP does not want to jeopardize the left agenda.

Also, the GOP doesn’t want to jeopardize its chance at winning the next election. Then, if it wins the next election, it won’t want to jeopardize its chance of keeping majorities, so won’t do anything then. then, if it keeps its majorities, it won’t do anything because it won’t want to jeopardize its chances of winning the next election.

But, if the GOP wins – it’s a victory for conservatives somehow.

Monkeytoe on June 3, 2014 at 7:46 AM

Doesn’t matter. He’s black.

Galtian on June 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Never give an order you know will not be obeyed.

Likewise, never issue an impeachment you know will be ignored. An impeachment by the House will swiftly die in the Senate, and will be sold to the blacks and the LIVs as just more proof of racism by the evil Republicans.

Regarding contempt — if the DoJ will not enforce, and they have shown that they will not, issuing contempt charges is likewise meaningless.

Bottom line — we now know that if the executive branch and the senate collude, we are all screwed.

SunSword on June 3, 2014 at 8:07 AM

889 days to go.

xNavigator on June 3, 2014 at 12:39 AM

Actually it’s 961 days until Jan. 20, 2017, the date he will really be out (if it really happens).

The time between Nov. 8, 2016 and the inauguration of the new president (if it really happens) will be one of the most dangerous times for this country. Barry will be handing out pardons like crazy, and he will be completely lawless.

Brat on June 3, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Doesn’t matter. He’s black.

Galtian on June 3, 2014 at 7:49 AM

Exactly. The more he fails, the more it’s somebody else’s fault.

vlad martel on June 3, 2014 at 8:51 AM

I agree that the GOP will sputter about this but refrain from openly calling BO on it. They already hear the hypocrisies from the Left about how terrible it is that the Right isn’t happy we brought one of our own home. The Left of course sees nothing wrong with the possibility that Bergdahl may have deserted/gone AWOL. A troop who leaves because they are unhappy with the military mission is a troop the Left likes. And the Left thinks those prisoners in GITMO should have been sent home already.

katiejane on June 3, 2014 at 9:00 AM

It is not logically possible for THE ONE to have broken the law. HE WHO IS THE OBAMA is the law! He has a pen and a phone …

r27cj on June 3, 2014 at 9:05 AM

What did everyone actually believe would happen when “academia goes to Washington???” These are people whom have lived in a bubble their entire lives trying to run a country. How’s that working out??? I thought we might be able to survive the rest of the Obama administration, but I am beginning to wonder.

supersport667 on June 3, 2014 at 9:11 AM

Wolf seems shocked that someone would accuse the prezzy of breaking the law. I’m shocked he doesn’t follow the law being the prezzy and all.

Kissmygrits on June 3, 2014 at 9:17 AM

I’m so glad everyone has already judged him guilty without any sort of trial, without any indictment against him, and in the absence of even any sort of charge leveled against him.
 
Speculation is warranted, even wise, in this case – but jumping to conclusions is not. And we don’t forget about POWs based on speculation. Ever.

rogerb on June 3, 2014 at 9:17 AM

“You realize, of course, you’re accusing the President of the United States of breaking the law going to be audited by the IRS” Blitzer observed.

Carnac on June 3, 2014 at 9:32 AM

Well, what do you expect when you let a criminal gang rule?

Americans should know what to do with a lawless criminal gang. Unfortunately, Americans have forgotten how to even whip their children when they do wrong. Instead, they opt for “Now,now, lets not do that…” and are utterly surprised when the child kills or maims someone, including the parents.

Don’t expect this administration to act any different than an undisciplined, wicked child or the criminal gang that it is. Don’t be surprised when they try to kill everyone they don’t like.

Surely you’ve read the Scripture about how man is? Haven’t you watched “Lord of the Flies” which also tells a tale of unrestrained evil. In both instances, it is plainly illustrated what happens when evil is not stopped by force and the ultimate price to pay.

America, get a clue.

pdavisnwa on June 3, 2014 at 9:37 AM

Speculation is warranted, even wise, in this case – but jumping to conclusions is not. And we don’t forget about POWs based on speculation. Ever.

rogerb on June 3, 2014 at 9:17 AM

One is not a POW if one desires to attach themselves to the opposing side. Desire, in this case, was verbally expressed in advance of action and then executed via action.

By the way, one does not “forget” the language one was reared with unless one not only talks but also thinks in the new language. One only gets there by be constantly conversant in the new language.

Since when does a POW have so much conversation with his captors that he forgets his original language?

This young man was not a prisoner and certainly not a POW.

Carnac on June 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM

Sure, go ahead and bring articles of impeachment against the first knee grow American preznit. Good luck with that.

Galtian on June 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Given that, one must assume the White House thought this deal would bring an immediate political benefit, at least by wiping out the VA story for a couple days with a feel-good returned POW story. But how could they have miscalculated so badly what the reaction would be?

This is either a shocking level of incompetence or something else is up.
They’re running the risk of replacing the VA story with something that could turn out far, far worse. If it turns out that Bergdahl is a deserter then you’ve got a story where Obama went to the mat for a deserter as far as illegally moving 5 terrorists out of Gitmo when he hemmed and hawed and passed the buck on the VA putting honored vets on secret waiting lists.

I’m willing to wager that the admin knows something about Bergdahl that they’re not letting out in hopes of giving right wingers enough rope to hang themselves with by labeling him a deserter.

tkc882 on June 3, 2014 at 10:47 AM

L’etat, C’est Moi.

HikaruKitsune on June 3, 2014 at 10:55 AM

I realize that it’s nothing but posturing by Obama, but why sign a law he opposes rather than vetoing it?

Have the courage of your convictions, you affirmative-action radical.

BuckeyeSam on June 3, 2014 at 11:23 AM

Sure, go ahead and bring articles of impeachment against the first knee grow American preznit. Good luck with that.

Galtian on June 3, 2014 at 10:05 AM

Exactly. And Obama knows it. Sadly, that’s what makes this all the more galling.

BuckeyeSam on June 3, 2014 at 11:24 AM

I’m so glad everyone has already judged him (Obama) guilty without any sort of trial, without any indictment against him, and in the absence of even any sort of charge leveled against him.
 
Speculation is warranted, even wise, in this case – but jumping to conclusions is not. And we don’t forget about POWs based on speculation. Ever.
 
rogerb on June 3, 2014 at 9:17 AM

 
One is not a POW if one desires to attach themselves to the opposing side. Desire, in this case, was verbally expressed in advance of action and then executed via action.
 
By the way, one does not “forget” the language one was reared with unless one not only talks but also thinks in the new language. One only gets there by be constantly conversant in the new language.
 
Since when does a POW have so much conversation with his captors that he forgets his original language?
 
This young man was not a prisoner and certainly not a POW.
 
Carnac on June 3, 2014 at 9:53 AM

 
Sorry, I forgot the <.
 
triple, you've already covered the POW vs. Zimmerman angle for us, but do you want to field the bit about people speculating that Obama is breaking the law?
 
(We know your position already, but it would still probably be very amusing. The last bit of that thread’s BOOOSH!!! flailing certainly was.)

rogerb on June 3, 2014 at 11:31 AM

Enjoy our first American Dictatorship the next two and a half years, that is IF he even leaves when he’s supposed to. Would anyone do anything about it if he didn’t? I doubt it.

Meople on June 2, 2014 at 10:54 PM

People really need to stop with the Obama is going to suspend elections and just become a dictator for life crap. That is simply not going to happen. That sort of talk just gives the Liberal Trolls here something to sink their teeth into.

Johnnyreb on June 3, 2014 at 2:33 PM

“I think he clearly broke the law,” Toobin said.

“You realize, of course, you’re accusing the President of the United States of breaking the law” Blitzer observed.

Very astute observation

Perspicacious on June 3, 2014 at 2:39 PM

“Laws? We don’t need no stinkin’ laws.”

-El Presidente MalObama

Sterling Holobyte on June 3, 2014 at 3:40 PM

People really need to stop with the Obama is going to suspend elections and just become a dictator for life crap. That is simply not going to happen. That sort of talk just gives the Liberal Trolls here something to sink their teeth into.

Johnnyreb on June 3, 2014 at 2:33 PM

When you have a lawless president, who knows he can get away with whatever he wants, and who then encourages his administration and followers to be the same, scenarios like that are not completely out of the range of possibility.

Sterling Holobyte on June 3, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Surely this isn’t going the way the White House envisioned.

I would hope not. It is unbelievable how stupid this fiasco was. Trade one bad guy for 5 worse guys? Perfect.

geezerintraining on June 4, 2014 at 2:11 PM

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