When federal prosecutors are nearing the end of criminal investigations, they often invite the subjects of those investigations to speak with them. The soon-to-be defendants are tempted to give their version of events to prosecutors, and prosecutors are looking to take the legal pulse of the subjects of their work. These invitations should always be declined, but they are not.
Special counsel Robert Mueller -- who is investigating President Donald Trump for obstruction of justice, pre-presidential banking irregularities and conspiracy to solicit or receive campaign aid from foreign nationals (the latter is what the media erroneously call collusion) -- has made it known to former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the head of Trump's legal team, that he wants to speak to the president.

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In the past week, former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, now the chief lawyer and principal spokesman for President Donald Trump's legal team, has offered arguments more harmful to Trump than helpful. In a series of combative, disjointed and logically challenged television rants, Giuliani has essentially argued that Trump did not engage in any conspiracy with the Russians for them to provide help to his campaign and that even if he did, it wasn't criminal.
In making this argument, Giuliani has played a word game in which he has effectively created a straw man and then denied it's real because it's made of straw. He has done this by avoiding the use of the word "conspiracy," substituting the word "collusion" and then arguing that there is no crime of collusion and therefore Trump did not commit a crime. This is an argument based on a false premise.

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Last week, in Ridgewood, New Jersey, a 92-year-old unsung American patriot lost his battle with congestive heart failure. He had been surrounded by his wife and children and their spouses and their children. He left this vale of tears in his wife's arms, peacefully and with dignity.

His was an American life.

He was born in Newark, New Jersey, during the Roaring '20s, the son of Italian immigrants who had come to America as children. When he was 4 years old, he met a curly-haired little girl in the neighborhood who was just three days older than he. She would become his high school sweetheart and his best friend for 88 years and his wife for the last 70 of them.

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As a trial judge in New Jersey during the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush years, I spent much of my time trying to settle cases. This process involved bringing into my chambers the lawyers for the disputants and asking them in the absence of their adversaries to lay their cards on the table.
After I found out what the litigants truly wanted and I did some pushing and shoving and jawboning, more often than not, agreements were reached. The threat of an imminent jury trial -- with its expenses, complexities and uncertainties -- was often enough to bring the parties to a quick, sensible and relatively inexpensive resolution. Occasionally, flattery -- even fatuous flattery -- helped.
All trial judges in America are familiar with this process. It takes place in criminal, as well as civil, cases in every courthouse in the country nearly every day.

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When Donald Trump started running for the Republican nomination for president in June 2015, he began by attacking the Republican establishment in Washington, and he began his attack by calling the establishment "the swamp."

His real target was the permanent government and its enablers in the legal, financial, diplomatic and intelligence communities in Washington. These entities hover around power centers no matter which party is in power.

Beneath the swamp, Trump argued, lies the deep state. This is a loose collection of career government officials who operate outside ordinary legal and constitutional frameworks and use the levers of government power to favor their own, affect public policy and stay in power. Though I did not vote for Trump -- I voted for the Libertarian candidate -- a part of me rejoiced at his election because I accepted his often repeated words that he would be a stumbling block to the deep state and he'd drain the swamp.

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The Declaration of Independence -- which was signed on July 3, 1776, for public release on July 4 -- was Thomas Jefferson's masterpiece. Jefferson himself wrote much about the declaration in the 50 years that followed.

Not the least of what he wrote offered his view that the declaration and the values that it articulated were truly radical -- meaning they reflected 180-degree changes at the very core of societal attitudes in America. The idea that farmers and merchants and lawyers could secede from a kingdom and fight and win a war against the king's army was the end result of the multigenerational movement that was articulated in the declaration.

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Last weekend, President Donald Trump argued that those foreigners who enter the United States unlawfully should simply be taken to the border, escorted across it and let go. According to the president, this would save precious government resources, avoid the business of separating children from their parents and free up the Border Patrol and other federal assets to do their jobs.

He is undoubtedly correct on the beneficial consequences to the government of forced deportation without due process. Yet deportation without a trial is profoundly unconstitutional.

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