In formal comments filed with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) this week, the Center for Individual…
CFIF on Twitter CFIF on YouTube
CFIF Files Comments in Support of IRS Rulemaking to Protect Donor Privacy

In formal comments filed with the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) this week, the Center for Individual Freedom (“CFIF”) offered strong support for the IRS’s proposed rulemaking to eliminate the requirement that certain nonprofit organizations provide the names and addresses of contributors on Schedule B of their annual tax filings.

As CFIF notes in its filing, "the Proposed Rulemaking would help protect the First Amendment rights of subject organizations and their citizen donors, without negatively impacting the legally permissible handling of the nation’s tax laws or 501(c) organization tax filings."

Read CFIF’s comments here (PDF).…[more]

December 11, 2019 • 03:45 pm

Liberty Update

CFIFs latest news, commentary and alerts delivered to your inbox.
Jester's CourtroomLegal tales stranger than stranger than fiction: Ridiculous and sometimes funny lawsuits plaguing our courts.
Dems' Strategy on Ukraine Call: Strike Fast, Don't Wait for Facts Print
By Byron York
Tuesday, September 24 2019
So now, with many of the president's adversaries in a high state of agitation about the Ukraine story, the lesson of Trump-Russia is: Move fast. Don't withhold judgment. And don't wait for the results of a long, ponderous investigation.

The life of the Trump-Ukraine affair can be measured in days, and the most basic facts of the matter are still unknown. Yet many Democrats and their allies in the media are already renewing their calls for the impeachment of President Trump. By doing so, they are observing one of the lessons of the Trump-Russia investigation: Act before finding out what happened. Don't wait for the end of an investigation, with its facts, details and messy inconclusiveness, to call for the president's removal. Strike first, before things get complicated.

We don't yet know precisely what was said in the July 25 telephone conversation in which Trump reportedly pressed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Joe Biden's son. We don't know what a whistleblower told the intelligence community inspector general about the conversation (although we do know that he or she did not have direct knowledge of the call). We don't know what other evidence the whistleblower did or did not include in the complaint. And, of course, we don't know who the whistleblower is or the circumstances surrounding his or her decision to come forward.

Nevertheless, the media is filled with the notion that the public already knows what happened. "At this point, the facts are pretty much in the open and agreed to," Politico wrote Monday.

"Donald Trump already admitted everything you need to know about the Ukraine drama," reported CNN, also on Monday.

If one thing is clear, it is that the public does not know everything it needs to know about the Ukraine situation.

Some administration officials have urged President Trump to release the transcript of his call with Zelensky. Through the day Monday, Trump, in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, discussed his options with reporters. "I can do it very easily," he said. "But I'd rather not do it from the standpoint of all of the other conversations I have. I may do it because it was a very innocent call on both his part and mine."

Trump was similarly noncommittal in other statements. His hesitation about "all of the other conversations I have" reflects the advice of aides who oppose public release because doing so would mean that no foreign leader could have confidence that confidential talks with Trump would remain confidential.

Democrats have demanded release of the transcript, as well as the whistleblower complaint. So far, the administration has refused.

Now media chatter seems to be leaning toward the possibility that the transcript might not be as damning as some of the president's critics hoped. For example, it might not include the presidential "promise" noted in one of the first Washington Post reports.

"It's something that goes beyond this phone call," Post reporter Shane Harris said on CNN Monday. "It's apparently not just this one incident that so alarmed [the whistleblower]."

Former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau warned against releasing the transcript alone. "This is a trap," Favreau tweeted Monday. "I would bet that Trump is focusing on the transcript because he knows it isn't great, but not nearly as incriminating as the entire whistleblower complaint. We need the full whistleblower complaint ASAP and Democrats should accept nothing less."

"Releasing the Ukraine Transcript Isn't Enough," read the headline of a Huffington Post story. "Where's the Whistleblower Complaint?"

The commentary was in line with my report Sunday on what some administration officials who urged release were saying about the transcript:

"The officials think release of the transcript would show definitively that Trump did nothing illegal. The president's adversaries, determined to use the issue to demand his impeachment, might still argue that he acted inappropriately, but release of the president's precise words, the officials believe, would make it more difficult for critics to claim that Trump did something wrong."

That gets to a fundamental fact of political investigations. They often uncover an inconclusive set of facts. Partisans can argue those facts one way or the other. There is no slam dunk, no smoking gun.

Most recently, Democrats who had accused Trump of conspiring or coordinating with Russia to fix the 2016 election were deeply disappointed by the release of the Mueller report. After all the media talk, and all the accusations, and after two years of investigating with full law enforcement powers, Mueller could not establish that a conspiracy or coordination even took place.

So now, with many of the president's adversaries in a high state of agitation about the Ukraine story, the lesson of Trump-Russia is: Move fast. Don't withhold judgment. And don't wait for the results of a long, ponderous investigation. It might not produce the ending Democrats want.


Byron York is chief political correspondent for The Washington Examiner.
COPYRIGHT 2019 BYRON YORK

Question of the Week   
The most recent U.S. Senator to be elected President of the United States was Barack Obama. Who was the first U.S. Senator to be elected President?
More Questions
Quote of the Day   
 
"Gobsmacked Republicans made known their fury and frustration late Thursday as House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., abruptly wrapped up an all-day marathon hearing on the adoption of two articles of impeachment against President Trump by delaying planned votes on the matter until Friday morning.'It is now very late at night,' Nadler said shortly before midnight in D.C. 'I want…[more]
 
 
—Gregg Re, FOX News
— Gregg Re, FOX News
 
Liberty Poll   

Which of the following is the most important political event of the week?