We had quite the week this week. An actor caught lying, Bill Weld defected (or returned home depending on your views), a national emergency was declared, and an update on a lying officer that ended the lives of two citizens in their home. This is the last week in review.
The biggest news nationally this week was the announcement of a national emergency on the Southern Border by President Donald Trump. Trump has finally played the hand he’s teased since the first shutdown on how he can build the wall. However, the move has drawn criticism left, right, and center as an abuse of power by the President. Defenders of the president are quick to remind us there have been over 50 emergencies declared since 1976, but those have usually been for hurricanes, health concerns, or terror attacks. Justin Amash draws the line clearly, tweeting the following:
A national emergency declaration for a non-emergency is void. A prerequisite for declaring an emergency is that the situation requires immediate action and Congress does not have an opportunity to act. @POTUS @realDonaldTrump is attempting to circumvent our constitutional system.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) February 15, 2019
Former Massachusetts Governor and 2016 running mate to Libertarian Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, has officially left the Libertarian Party and announced his intention to run in a primary against Donald Trump in the Republican Party. The move came as somewhat of a shock, given the involvement Weld has had in the LP the last few years, which were seen as almost a buying of the 2020 nomination. Additionally, Trump is incredibly popular in his own party, and any primary would face long odds, let alone one by someone as unknown as Weld. Weld risks not only not winning the primary, but not even being the main contender if someone like John Kasich, Jeff Flake, or Ben Sasse were to enter the race. You can read a great breakdown of this by Stephen Babka.
Deadly Houston Police Bust Development
Last month, Houston police broke into a home and shot the homeowners and their dog, or in their words, “performed a no-knock raid.” The incident led to a few officers injured and homeowners Dennis Tuttle and Rhogenda Nicholas dead. Officers admit they announced their presence while breaking through the door, but Houston police union president blamed “anti-cop activists” for his officers being shot at. The warrant was for heroin which was supposedly being dealt out of the house, but the search only recovered marijuana and possibly cocaine.
Then, on Friday, it was revealed that the officer who obtained the warrant had lied, and there never was any heroin. The officer, Gerald Goines, had cited confidential sources to obtain the warrant, but after the bust, the sources revealed they had never spoken to Goines about that location or the suspects. Goines is expected to face criminal prosecution, but likely for something like perjury and not for two counts of involuntary homicide and five cases of assault of a police officer, which is what a civilian could be charged with. Read more on this story from local KHOU.
“Empire” Actor Lying
Jussie Smollett, an openly gay black actor on the Fox drama “Empire,” has been accused of faking a hate crime attack in Chicago on January 29th. Smollett initially alleged, and has stood by his account, that two white men jumped him and began to beat him while shouting homophobic and racist remarks, and “MAGA.” He also claims they put a noose around him and poured a chemical on him, but that he was able to fight them off and they ran away. However, police detained two Nigerian brothers who were seen on nearby security cameras, and the brothers allege that Smollett paid them to stage the attack, and one of the brothers was an extra on “Empire” at one point.
Now, police have requested a second interview with Smollett, and have said that speaking with the brothers have “shifted the trajectory” of the investigation. According to the brothers, Smollett is upset a hateful letter sent to the studio didn’t get more attention. Indeed, this particular incident is getting quite a bit of attention from the Chicago PD. It also got attention from our own Vinny Marshall, so feel free to read his article here.
You can read more from Andrew Bartholomew on Think Liberty here.