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Trump on investigation: ‘This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f*cked’

If you haven’t heard, Attorney General and seemingly corrupt human being William Barr held a short and insane press conference a short while ago to announce that he was going to release the Mueller report. Barr reiterated the highlights of his four-page
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Trump on investigation: ‘This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f*cked’

If you haven’t heard, Attorney General and seemingly corrupt human being William Barr held a short and insane press conference a short while ago to announce that he was going to release the Mueller report. Barr reiterated the highlights of his four-page “summary,” answered a few questions dismissively and unenthusiastically, then left. The report is now in the hands of the press and Congress. Without much time spent at all reading what is available, many have quickly noticed that—SURPRISE, SURPRISE—Barr doesn’t seem to have been exactly honest about what is contained in the report. xContrary to Barr's «summary» this makes clear that Mueller's team took into account - and made their determinations - based on the fact that a sitting president cannot be indicted pic.twitter.com/RvBy6HAI2W— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) April 18, 2019 This is sort of the opposite of what Attorney General Barr said. Then there are the numerous obstructions. In fact, it is the DOJ’s own direction—under Trump—that Mueller is following. xMueller: After Flynn withdrew from his defense agreement with Trump, Trump's lawyer left Flynn's lawyer a voicemail demanding a «heads up» if Flynn was giving Mueller any info that «implicates the president,» and asking Flynn to «remember» that Trump had warm feelings for him. pic.twitter.com/tprVHy5xw8— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 18, 2019 xMueller: Don Jr.'s draft statement about the Tower meeting was more honest, but then, after his dad got involved to «direct» the response, it became a dishonest assertion that the meeting was about adoption; Trump Jr. then added a word, «primarily,» to soften his dad's claim. pic.twitter.com/kg9SXxChux— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) April 18, 2019 For as terrible a person as Donald Trump, Jr. is, he’s still no Donald Trump. xNothing to see here: just the president of the United States asking his attorney general - in the Oval Office - to investigate his political rivals. How is that not an impeachable offense? pic.twitter.com/sdmGKVqWAA— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) April 18, 2019 But here’s the reason you are reading this diary. x«Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m f*cked,» Trump said after learning that a Special Counsel had been appointed #MuellerReport pic.twitter.com/EUxj1nJ3yy— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) April 18, 2019 Luckily for Donald Trump, he’s pathologically narcissistic—so he probably believes none of this ever happened.

Mueller appeared to consider that his report could be used as basis for articles of impeachment

During his morning press conference, Attorney General William Barr explicitly said that special counsel Robert Mueller had not left it to Congress to determine whether Donald Trump was guilty of obstruction. Barr lied. Again and again in his report, Mueller r
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Mueller appeared to consider that his report could be used as basis for articles of impeachment

During his morning press conference, Attorney General William Barr explicitly said that special counsel Robert Mueller had not left it to Congress to determine whether Donald Trump was guilty of obstruction. Barr lied. Again and again in his report, Mueller references the power of Congress—and makes it clear that the finding that Trump did not commit obstruction is all about the limitations on the DOJ as a part of the executive branch. For 22 pages, the report does nothing but review the applicability of Department of Justice regulations on indicting a sitting executive and look at how they apply to a charge of obstruction. Mueller begins by noting that Trump’s attempts to obstruct the investigation were “mostly unsuccessful,” not because he didn’t try, but because people “declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.” But it’s clear that Trump attempted to obstruct. Because the remainder of the section isn’t about Trump’s actions, but about the ability of the special counsel to apply charges. Starting with the constitutional assertion made by Trump’s legal team that firing the FBI director or even directly closing the investigation wouldn’t be obstruction because the DOJ is under Trump’s Article II authority, Mueller spends the next dozen pages examining past obstruction cases and eventually concludes that “an argument that the conduct at issue in this investigation falls outside the scope of the obstruction laws lacks merit.” That is, Trump’s actions are definitely covered by existing obstruction law. Mueller isn’t saying that there’s an issue as to whether Trump obstructed justice—Trump definitely obstructed justice. Mueller then moves into looking purely at the question of “constitutional defenses to applying obstruction-of-justice statutes to presidential conduct.” That’s the only unresolved question. Not whether Trump committed acts that constitute obstruction, but whether that charge can be applied to a sitting president. And what the special counsel determines is simple: The only counterforce to Trump’s authority is Congress’ authority.

Sen. Richard Burr leaked major Trump-linked 'targets' of FBI's Russia probe to Trump's White House

Buried roughly in the middle of the Mueller report: Evidence that the Trump White House was receiving highly sensitive information about the U.S. targets of the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference very early on, with Republican “Gan
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Sen. Richard Burr leaked major Trump-linked 'targets' of FBI's Russia probe to Trump's White House

Buried roughly in the middle of the Mueller report: Evidence that the Trump White House was receiving highly sensitive information about the U.S. targets of the FBI’s investigation into Russian election interference very early on, with Republican “Gang of Eight” member Sen. Richard Burr leaking all five major Trump-linked targets of the investigation to the White House almost immediately after receiving an FBI briefing on those targets. On March 9, 2017, Comey briefed the «Gang of Eight» congressional leaders about the FBI's investigation of Russian interference, including an identification of the principal U.S. subjects of the investigation. Although it is unclear whether the President knew of that briefing at the time, notes taken by Annie Donaldson, then McGahn's chief of staff, on March 12, 2017, state, «POTUS in panic/chaos ... Need binders to put in front of POTUS. (1) All things related to Russia.» The week after Comey's briefing, the White House Counsel's Office was in contact with SSCI Chairman Senator Richard Burr about the Russia investigations and appears to have received information about the status of the FBI investigation. In a footnote, the report says that the «White House Counsel's Office was briefed by Senator Burr on the existence of '4-5 targets.'» From notes taken by Donaldson, those targets were Flynn («DOJ looking for phone records»), Comey, Manafort, Carter Page, and «'Greek Guy' (potentially referring to George Papadopoulos, later charged with violating 18 USC 1000 for lying to the FBI).» Those were indeed the five Trump campaign and administration targets whose actions would become a cornerstone into the investigation into collusion between Russian government efforts to undermine the U.S. election and potential Trump campaign connections to those acts. That seems to be a shocking new development: Only months after Trump's inauguration, Sen. Richard Burr used his position as Gang of Eight member to inform the Trump White House of just which members of Trump's own inner circle were the identified «targets» of the FBI’s Russia investigation—just as that criminal and counterintelligence investigation was getting off the ground.

Mueller: 'Congress can permissibly criminalize certain obstructive conduct by the President'

Attorney General William Barr lied to the American people about Robert Mueller's reasoning for not making a criminal finding of obstruction of justice against Donald Trump. Barr suggested that Mueller did not consider the Justice Department's standard policy
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Mueller: 'Congress can permissibly criminalize certain obstructive conduct by the President'

Attorney General William Barr lied to the American people about Robert Mueller's reasoning for not making a criminal finding of obstruction of justice against Donald Trump. Barr suggested that Mueller did not consider the Justice Department's standard policy of not indicting a sitting president. In fact, Mueller did consult the department's Office of Legal Counsel opinion on the matter and he concluded that since the special counsel was, by regulation, an attorney of the Justice Department, he «accepted the OLC's legal conclusion.» In other words, Mueller concluded that he was bound by the OLC's Watergate-era conclusion that a sitting president couldn't be indicted.  However, Mueller also concluded he couldn't clear Trump of obstructing justice based on the evidence they uncovered.   «If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,» Mueller wrote. «Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.» But Mueller also concluded that Congress's proper function in this situation was to exercise its powers under our constitutional system of checks and balances to make sure that no person is above the law. «We concluded that Congress has authority to prohibit a President's corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,» Mueller wrote. Mueller also explained why this is constitutionally proper. “Congress can permissibly criminalize certain obstructive conduct by the President, such as suborning perjury, intimidating witnesses, or fabricating evidence, because those prohibitions raise no separation-of-powers questions." Trump committed every one of those infractions—facts that will become increasingly obvious over the next several days as article after article teases out all of Trump’s obstructive conduct.

'It's a disgrace'—Democrats blast the grossly inappropriate press conference from Bill Barr

From the minute Donald Trump nominated Bill Barr as attorney general, there were questions about his impartiality. Not only did Bill Barr oversee the cover-up of the Iran-Contra affair during his first stint in the AG role in the 1980s, in June 2018, Barr (th
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'It's a disgrace'—Democrats blast the grossly inappropriate press conference from Bill Barr

From the minute Donald Trump nominated Bill Barr as attorney general, there were questions about his impartiality. Not only did Bill Barr oversee the cover-up of the Iran-Contra affair during his first stint in the AG role in the 1980s, in June 2018, Barr (then a private citizen) penned an unsolicited letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, arguing the Mueller investigation had overstepped its bounds and had no right to investigate Donald Trump for obstruction. Given that at the time he had not seen one shred of evidence, it was extraordinary he would take such a stance. Disqualifying. But, Bill Barr half-ass assured Senate Republicans like Sen. Susan Collins that he would act impartially, and they confirmed him anyway.   Now, just more than two months later, the Mueller investigation has been shut down, and Robert Mueller himself is nowhere to be seen. In an incredibly inappropriate move, Bill Barr decided to hold a press conference announcing Donald Trump had been exonerated, fully spinning the report before it has even been released to the public. Even worse, he shared the report with the White House before he even let members of Congress see it.    The press conference was even worse than anticipated. Needless to say, the reaction has been universal outrage over how inappropriate and biased Bill Barr has acted from the minute he took office, and especially today. Here is a look at how key Democrats are reacting to Barr’s press conference. xIt's a disgrace to see an Attorney General acting as if he's the personal attorney and publicist for the President of the United States.— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) April 18, 2019

Collusion. Collusion. Collusion: Mueller report says Trump campaign had 'numerous links' with Russia

The Mueller report could not be more clear on the point of collusion if it were written in all 48-point headlines and ended every sentence with an exclamation report. In his March 24 letter to Congress, Attorney General William Barr gave Donald Trump a blank
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Collusion. Collusion. Collusion: Mueller report says Trump campaign had 'numerous links' with Russia

The Mueller report could not be more clear on the point of collusion if it were written in all 48-point headlines and ended every sentence with an exclamation report. In his March 24 letter to Congress, Attorney General William Barr gave Donald Trump a blanket waiver of any charges of conspiracy. In doing so, he cited a single sentence fragment from the Mueller report. Barr not only leaned heavily on this partial sentence in his report to Congress, but he also repeated it five times in his pre-report press conference. Here’s how those words looked when cited by Barr. The Special Counsel's investigation did not find that the Trump campaign or anyone associated with it conspired or coordinated with Russia in its efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the report states: “[T]he investigation did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” But context is everything. Here’s what the very first page of the Mueller report actually says (bolding added). The investigation identified numerous links between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. Although the investigation established that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome, and the Campaign expected it would benefit from information stolen and released by the Russian efforts, the investigation did not establish that member of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities. Numerous links between the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Why was there “no collusion”? Because the Mueller report explicitly says they didn’t look for collusion.

AG William Barr goes from partisan hatchet man to pathetic Trump shill

Going into Thursday's press conference about the special counsel's Russia report, Attorney General William Barr had already proven to be a partisan hatchet man, but now he has now reduced his stature down to pathetic shill. The script Barr worked from to rel
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AG William Barr goes from partisan hatchet man to pathetic Trump shill

Going into Thursday's press conference about the special counsel's Russia report, Attorney General William Barr had already proven to be a partisan hatchet man, but now he has now reduced his stature down to pathetic shill. The script Barr worked from to relay information about one of the most consequential political inquiries in American history was nothing short of a brazen public relations campaign for Individual No. 1. Not only was it not subtle or deft in any way, it wasn't spoken as if it came from someone who had any familiarity with matters of law, but was rather relayed in the pedestrian language of Donald Trump. Similar to when Barr dropped the inflammatory word «spying» in testimony last week, he deployed the legally meaningless term «no collusion» as he repeatedly stated that Robert Mueller had found «no evidence» that Trump or his campaign had conspired with the Russians. And in case you missed that, Barr reinforced again that Mueller «didn't find any evidence» of collusion.  But much as he did in his hastily submitted four-page exoneration of Trump, Barr defined that collusion narrowly, according to national security expert Jeremy Bash. Bash noted on MSNBC that Barr outlined two instances in which Trump and his associates didn't assist the Russians: helping the Internet Research Agency (IRA) with social media manipulation, and helping to hack the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign. We already knew from Mueller's separate indictments concerning the IRA and the Russian intelligence officials who did the hacking that the Trump campaign didn't assist in either effort. That's a distraction, actually. As Bash put forward, the question is whether the Trump campaign knew about Russia's effort, welcomed it, benefitted from it, and rewarded it.  Unfortunately, the collusion aspect of Mueller's report is the area where Barr had both broad discretion and lots of excuses to make redactions, so finding the answers to those questions could be difficult. Where Barr didn't have ample justification for making redactions was in the area of obstruction. And this is where Barr got truly pathetic by any rational standard. Speaking as if he were Trump's defense attorney rather than the nation's attorney general, Barr actually made the argument that Trump «faced an unprecedented situation» because he began his presidency under the cloud of an investigation. In other words, Trump was once again victimized by scrutiny and, ergo, he was justifiably frustrated and outraged and obviously (though we don't yet know all the details) took matters into his own hands. Never mind the fact that he and his associates had more than 100 contacts with Russians. It was unfair! Hurrumph.     Anyway, Barr conceded that the report outlines about 10 «episodes» of obstruction, but he also asserted that Trump acted with «non-corrupt motives.» What Barr forgot to mention was that Trump never sat for an interview with Mueller, so there's actually no way in hell Barr could know what intentions Trump had during his «episodes.» But Barr definitely wants you to know that Trump was frustrated and aggrieved, and so any actions he took were clearly justifiable.  Finally, Barr admitted talking with the White House to brief Trump's aides on the report (THIS IS NOT NORMAL!), but said he didn't talk to Mueller (the guy who authored the original report) about any of his own conclusions related to that report. File this away—>Barr: «I didn't talk to [Mueller] directly about the fact that we were making the decision but I am told that his reaction to that was that it was my prerogative as AG to make that decision.»

Barr's 'frustration defense' of Trump is bizarre, weak, and genuinely unprecedented

The idea that Donald Trump can be excused for attempting to obstruct an investigation into conspiracy by his campaign because he was “frustrated” is the most bizarre legal theory since “If she floats, she’s a witch.” In a single confusing, unbelieva
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Barr's 'frustration defense' of Trump is bizarre, weak, and genuinely unprecedented

The idea that Donald Trump can be excused for attempting to obstruct an investigation into conspiracy by his campaign because he was “frustrated” is the most bizarre legal theory since “If she floats, she’s a witch.” In a single confusing, unbelievable minute, Attorney General William Barr took a hatchet to the whole idea of conspiracy and obstruction in a way that would invalidate swathes of convictions and make it nearly impossible to investigate any crime. In explaining how he could, in the space of just a few hours, absolve Trump of facing any charges of obstruction, Barr admitted that the report from Special Counsel Robert Mueller looks at an astounding ten instances in which Trump appears to interfere in the investigation—so many instances that it’s difficult to know what they even were. Was it when Trump fired FBI director James Comey? How about when Trump attempted to get then attorney general Jefferson Sessions to unredact himself so he could end the investigation? Threatening Rod Rosenstein? Trying to get the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York replaced? Authoring a letter from Air Force One that provided Donald Trump Jr. with a false alibi for having a meeting with Russian operatives in Trump Tower? How many such events would it have taken before Trump could be held accountable? Barr gave Trump ten free swings, but would eleven have been out of the question? A hundred? A thousand? Barr gives no limits, but it’s clear that the real limits are always somewhere on the other side of whatever action Trump takes. The power of frustration gives Trump authority over law. This theory isn’t just ridiculous, Barr knows it is ridiculous. Questioned on this point by a reporter, Barr immediately became frustrated and started hammering that the investigation conducted in Trump’s case were “unprecedented.” Which it was. They were unprecedented because the actions of Trump’s campaign—from the outreach to Russian officials to the open cooperation with WikiLeaks—were unprecedented. But not as unprecedented as Barr seemed to think. Trump was frustrated because the investigation into his actions was crimping his ability to lead his organization the way he wanted? Tell it to every mob boss ever.

Barr press conference confirmed that he is Trump's defense attorney, not the AG of the United States

In a brief press conference, William Barr made blazingly clear what was already apparent: He is not the attorney general of the United States; he is Donald Trump’s lead defense attorney. After pausing just a moment to introduce an apparently catatonic Dep
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Barr press conference confirmed that he is Trump's defense attorney, not the AG of the United States

In a brief press conference, William Barr made blazingly clear what was already apparent: He is not the attorney general of the United States; he is Donald Trump’s lead defense attorney. After pausing just a moment to introduce an apparently catatonic Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Barr moved straight into the purpose of his press conference: repeating, over, and over, and over, and over, that the Mueller report did not find evidence of criminal collusion. Barr recited the same phrases he used in his March 24 letter to Congress not once, but five times, making this by far the longest part of the report. Barr made an absolute point of adding the phrase “no collusion”—a term that has no legal meaning, but which was clearly there for the benefit of the only audience Barr cares about. Barr then skated extremely hastily past the relationship between the campaign and WikiLeaks. He quickly outlined how, “under applicable law,” a very narrow set of circumstances would be required to bring charges against the Trump campaign related to the publication of stolen documents and, at least according to Barr’s claims, that extremely narrow set of circumstances wasn’t met. Next. Finally, Barr mounted an absolutely astounding defense of Trump’s actions in relation to obstruction. Claiming that Trump had a “sincere belief” that the investigation was interfering with his actions in office, and that he was “frustrated” by the scrutiny of the FBI and special counsel, Barr waved away the entirety of Trump’s actions. He did so even though he admitted that Mueller did not explicitly leave the decision on obstruction up to the attorney general.  Throughout the astounding press conference, Barr absolutely confirmed that he is not the attorney general of the United States, but Donald Trump’s lead defense counsel.  Some points: Barr’s “frustration” defense of Trump’s actions was made on an apparent evaluation of “sincere belief,” a legal term related to state of mind, though Trump never testified to the special counsel. It seems likely this is Barr’s evaluation, not Mueller’s. Barr quite clearly recognized the weakness of this argument, growing angry when a reporter asked about it and almost immediately leaving the stage. The way in which Barr brought up and hurried past his statement on WikiLeaks would seem to indicate that there are some serious allegations in this section of the report that do not look good for Trump or his campaign. The statement that Barr will make available to congressional leaders a version of the report from which all redactions are removed except those related to grand jury testimony was perhaps the only thing that might count as news that appeared during the press conference. Though that testimony clearly forms a critical part of the report. All of Barr’s statements about Mueller, despite his casual use of “Bob,” indicate that he has not spoken to Mueller directly since the release of his letter to Congress.

House Judiciary chair calls for Mueller to testify 'as soon as possible'

Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, wasted no time after Attorney General William Barr’s disgraceful press conference before making his next move: calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress. “As I hav
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House Judiciary chair calls for Mueller to testify 'as soon as possible'

Rep. Jerry Nadler, the chair of the House Judiciary Committee, wasted no time after Attorney General William Barr’s disgraceful press conference before making his next move: calling for special counsel Robert Mueller to testify before Congress. “As I have already communicated to the Department of Justice,” Nadler wrote in a letter addressed to Mueller, “I request your testimony before the Judiciary Committee as soon as possible—but, in any event, no later than May 23, 2019.” Nadler tweeted that “It is clear Congress and the American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings.” Moreover, “We cannot take Attorney General Barr's word for it. We must read the full Mueller report, and the underlying evidence. This is about transparency and ensuring accountability.” Barr was trying to serve as Trump’s personal lawyer and shut down questions about Trump’s conduct. Nadler has made clear that this is far from over.

Em-Barr-Assment Live: the pre-redaction redaction

Because covering key sections of the report from special counsel Robert Mueller with color coded redactions isn’t enough, attorney general William Barr is making an appearance at 9:30 ET to … Honestly, it’s not clear. What is clear is that after a wee
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Em-Barr-Assment Live: the pre-redaction redaction

Because covering key sections of the report from special counsel Robert Mueller with color coded redactions isn’t enough, attorney general William Barr is making an appearance at 9:30 ET to … Honestly, it’s not clear. What is clear is that after a week of stating over and over that he was going to allow the report to speak for itself, Barr is decidedly not going to allow that to happen. In the best of all world’s, Barr’s attempt to spin away the findings in support of Trump would not just be ignored, but actively shunned. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. Despite calls for Barr to cancel the latest blatant attempt to warp public opinion, it appears he’s going ahead. And the cameras are very definitely going to be on. So Barr’s conference has to be watched for what it is—part of the ongoing cover-up. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:35:22 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner And Barr is on stage. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:36:11 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr will “transmit” copies of “the public version” to Congress at 11:00 ET. It will be posted to the DOJ’s website “after” it’s sent to Congress. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:37:09 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr introducing Rod Rosenstein, giving him considerable praise — clearly hoping that Rosenstein serves as a proxy for Mueller. Barr than thanks Mueller, who is not there. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:38:30 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Rather than talking about the “process” as the White House had indicated, Barr is moving right into talking about the contents of the report—by repeating exactly the no-collusion line be used in his summary letter on March 24. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:40:25 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Gee, this talk on the “process of releasing the report” sounds a lot like he’s just going to repeat no collusion, no collusion, over and over. Barr is now repeating the same sentence fragments that he used in the March 24 letter. In fact, this whole press conference so far could have been given on that date. He’s revealed nothing new whatsoever. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:41:15 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr has now going through his lengthy “no collusion” statement five times. FIVE. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:43:26 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Talking about WikiLeaks … ooh man, is that a lot of dodging the point. Barr starts off by making it clear that dealing with Wikileaks would only be illegal under very narrow circumstances, then jumps to no one in the campaign fitting those very narrow circumstances. Then he moved on very quickly leaving a truck-sized hole. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:44:46 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr moves onto the obstruction, “after carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories in the report” Barr and Rosenstein concluded there was no obstruction. Barr and Rosenstein “disagreed with some of the special counsel’s legal theories.” Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:46:39 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr now writing a full apologia for Trump who “faced an unprecedented situation” and Trump was “frustrated and angered” and … Geezus F’ing Christe this is an unbelievable effort to whitewash everything that Trump did. Barr is essentially saying that Trump was mad about being investigated, so he could do anything and it would be okay. Plus Barr throws in Trump’s claims about the investigation as if those claims are themselves evidence. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:49:01 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner This whole thing has been Barr once again characterizing the Mueller report, without releasing the report, using entirely terms that came from Trump. And Trump’s own actions are being characterized not as attempts to obstruct but perfectly okay because he was angry and frustrated. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:50:29 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr now completely admitting what he didn’t admit before — the White House got a copy of the full report. And we’re supposed to be grateful that Trump didn’t redact more of the report. Then Trump got an advance copy of the redacted report for review. Trump got everything before and after redactions. How could this have been worse? Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:51:53 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr saying that he will make a version of the report available to Congress “with all redactions removed” but without the grand jury testimony, and still with redactions related to testimony Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:53:14 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner First question to Barr asks about the legal theories that Barr disagreed with on obstruction, and Barr immediately returns to allowing the report “to articulate” Mueller’s opinion. Barr claims that Mueller would not have found a crime without the DOJ policy against indicting an executive. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:55:44 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr admits that Mueller didn’t explicitly say he was leaving the decision on obstruction to Barr and Rosenstein. Barr says he heard—secondhand, apparently, that Mueller was … honestly, he doesn’t even say that Mueller was okay with it. Just that he understood what Barr was doing. We all understand it. We just don’t like it. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:57:30 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr now complaining that “these reports are not supposed to be made public” which is nowhere in the law. Getting angry at reporters … AND HE’s GONE. That’s all the Q&A he’s taking. Thursday, Apr 18, 2019 · 1:58:44 PM +00:00 · Mark Sumner Barr was visibly angry when confronted by a reporter questioned Barr’s description of how Trump could be forgiven because the investigation was “unprecedented” challenges the reporter to cite precedent … “So it was unprecedented!”

Twitter reacts to William Barr's redaction-o-rama press conference

As Attorney General William Barr held his pre-redaction redaction press conference, people on Twitter had a few things to say: xPreview of Barr's lightly redacted Mueller Report: ⬛️⬛️⬛️âÂ
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Twitter reacts to William Barr's redaction-o-rama press conference

As Attorney General William Barr held his pre-redaction redaction press conference, people on Twitter had a few things to say: xPreview of Barr's lightly redacted Mueller Report: ⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️Clinton⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️did⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️it⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️⬛️— Adam Blickstein (@AdamBlickstein) April 18, 2019 xRosenstein looks like he's about to blink out «TORTURE» in Morse code.— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) April 18, 2019 xOnce again, Barr is quoting sentence fragments, not entire sentences.— emptywheel (@emptywheel) April 18, 2019 xRemember when William Barr wasn't going to summarize the report?— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) April 18, 2019 xWhat the hell is this? Donald Trump, embattled truth-teller?Holy god above, what a hack.— Charles P. Pierce (@CharlesPPierce) April 18, 2019 xKind of surprised William Barr didn’t wear a MAGA hat for this briefing.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) April 18, 2019 xWith all his experience you'd think Barr would be better at the credible cover-up— Jessica Mason Pieklo (@Hegemommy) April 18, 2019

Pelosi and Schumer call for Mueller to testify publicly after Barr's 'regrettably partisan' approach

Special counsel Robert Mueller must testify before Congress to “begin restoring public trust,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement hours before Attorney General William Barr launches the next phase of
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Pelosi and Schumer call for Mueller to testify publicly after Barr's 'regrettably partisan' approach

Special counsel Robert Mueller must testify before Congress to “begin restoring public trust,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement hours before Attorney General William Barr launches the next phase of his cover-up. Due to Barr’s “regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning—hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it,” Pelosi and Schumer said, there’s “a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality.” As a result, “the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel’s investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible.”  “The American people deserve to hear the truth,” the Democratic leaders conclude. Unfortunately, everything we’ve seen from Republicans indicates that they’re determined to prevent just that.

The only press conference William Barr should be giving is one at which he resigns

Ten days ago, Attorney General William Barr visited Capitol Hill, where his uniform response to every question about the report prepared by special counsel Robert Mueller was the same: He would not talk about the contents of the report until Congress first ha
Daily Kos

The only press conference William Barr should be giving is one at which he resigns

Ten days ago, Attorney General William Barr visited Capitol Hill, where his uniform response to every question about the report prepared by special counsel Robert Mueller was the same: He would not talk about the contents of the report until Congress first had a chance to look at it. Then, on Wednesday, days after Barr had promised to deliver the report, he announced that he would talk about the report before it’s available to Congress. He will hold a press conference more than an hour before a hard copy of the “color coded” redacted report is released, and an unknown amount of time before the report is made accessible on the Department of Justice’s website.   The extent to which this event is pure political theater is made clear by one fact: Mueller will not take part. Barr is, once again, “summarizing” what the special counsel found, without any input from the special counsel himself. It’s exactly the same tack that Barr took in writing his three-page letter to Congress, and with the same intent: provide cover to Donald Trump regardless of the evidence. This blatant effort to spin the results has generated calls for Barr to cancel the news conference from the chairs of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, Oversight, Finance, and Foreign Affairs committees.  During his visit to Congress, Barr made conflicting and evasive statements about whether or not he had shared the contents of the report with the White House. Though neither Barr nor Trump officials have given a definitive answer, it’s now clear that Barr has not only made the report available to the White House, but he’s also made his redactions clear to them. The White House not only knows what’s there, it knows what is not there. That knowledge has allowed Trump’s legal team to tailor a “counter report” to be released to attack the conclusions that are still visible in the redacted report. Trump’s team has had weeks to work on refining its message, while the rest of the nation was held in the dark. In essence, Barr has provided the White House with the information he still refuses to give to Congress. Though it’s unclear to what extent the redacted report will make a case for the removal of Trump, the way in which Barr has handled the report makes a compelling and irrefutable case for the removal of the attorney general. At every stage, Barr has acted to hide information from both Congress and the public, provide information to Trump’s legal team, and act as a propaganda agent rather than a law officer. The only press conference from Barr that should be acceptable is one at which he announces his resignation.

Morning Digest: Arizona Republican says he won't resign in the face of ethics investigation

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Lead
Daily Kos

Morning Digest: Arizona Republican says he won't resign in the face of ethics investigation

The Daily Kos Elections Morning Digest is compiled by David Nir, Jeff Singer, Stephen Wolf, Carolyn Fiddler, and Matt Booker, with additional contributions from David Jarman, Steve Singiser, Daniel Donner, James Lambert, David Beard, and Arjun Jaikumar. Leading Off ● AZ-06: The House Ethics Committee confirmed on Wednesday that its unanimous decision last year to investigate Republican Rep. David Schweikert came about because the panel had «substantial reason» to believe Schweikert had misused congressional resources for his campaign, in violation of House ethics rules. Schweikert has said he won't resign, but the investigation and $500,000 in legal fees may have taken a toll on the congressman's standing in the 6th District, a historically Republican seat in the Phoenix suburbs that has been moving to the left in recent years. Campaign Action Schweikert has been accused of pressuring his congressional staff to perform political activities on his behalf. Investigators are also looking into whether he, in their words, «authorized compensation to an employee who did not perform duties commensurate with his House employment,» which Roll Call previously described as code for an «off-the-books settlement» paid out to a staffer. It doesn't end there, though: The committee is also looking into whether a congressional employee gave Schweikert or his campaign improper loans or gifts. In addition, there’s the matter of the original complaint, which the committee first publicly acknowledged last May. That complaint included allegations that Schweikert’s campaign had paid Oliver Schwab, his now-former chief of staff, considerably more than congressional staffers are allowed to earn in outside income. Schweikert beat Democrat Anita Malik last year 55-45, which matched Trump's 52-42 margin but was by far the closest re-election of his congressional career. Malik may be hoping that the incumbent's ethical troubles and this district's leftward trend will result in a different outcome in 2020, since she just kicked off a rematch on Tuesday. However, she'll first have to get past a Democratic primary that includes physician Hiral Tipirneni, who is now running in this district after turning in a creditable performance in the neighboring (and much more conservative) 8th District last year.

Cartoon: A Calvinesque and Hobbesian look at a magical journey from President to Dictator

JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the Proud & Mighty INNER HIVE, for exclusive early access to Pulitzer Prize-losing comics, and exclusive commentary from a Pulitzer Prize-losing cartoonist. FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Boo
Daily Kos

Cartoon: A Calvinesque and Hobbesian look at a magical journey from President to Dictator

JOIN Tom the Dancing Bug's subscription club, the Proud & Mighty INNER HIVE, for exclusive early access to Pulitzer Prize-losing comics, and exclusive commentary from a Pulitzer Prize-losing cartoonist. FOLLOW @RubenBolling on the Twitters and a Face Book. ACQUIRE Ruben Bolling’s book series for kids, The EMU Club Adventures. “Ruben Bolling is one of my cartooning heroes, and The EMU Club Adventures is seriously, mysteriously funny! - Jeff Kinney, Diary of a Wimpy Kid -> Book One here. - Book Two here.

Abbreviated pundit round-up: Should a judge check Barr's redactions? Misogynist trolls do the usual

A couple of hours from now, Attorney General William P. Barr is going to explain to the press what he and his staff made invisible in the Mueller Report. And afterward he’s going to provide copies of the censored document to Congress. If you think this is
Daily Kos

Abbreviated pundit round-up: Should a judge check Barr's redactions? Misogynist trolls do the usual

A couple of hours from now, Attorney General William P. Barr is going to explain to the press what he and his staff made invisible in the Mueller Report. And afterward he’s going to provide copies of the censored document to Congress. If you think this is, among other things, upsidedown, you wouldn’t be the only person holding to that point of view. But then this has been the case since Barr provided his four-page “summary” of the 400-page Mueller Report. A spin job by a reverse Rumpelstiltskin spinning what we presume to be Mueller gold into Trumpian straw.  The Washington Post reported last evening that the report would only be “lightly” redacted, but later there were reports of “heavy” redactions. Every media outlet could improve their mostly wretched credibility ratings if they would reflect the reality of the redactions in their headlines.  Here are some suggestions, not all of which originate with me: The Barr Whitewash? The Barr Laundromat? The Lowered Barr Bar? The Barr Bowdlerization? The Barrdlerization? The Barr Exculpation? The Barr Expurgation? The Donald Decontamination?  Hmmmm. Perhaps they should just make it simple and just call it Barrf.  The Editorial Board of The Washington Post recommends Barr’s redactions on the Mueller report don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt: Mr. Barr is essentially asking Congress and the public to take him at his word that his redactions will be proper. There is already cause for wariness about Mr. Barr’s judgment, following reports that those who worked on the Mueller investigation felt that the summary the attorney general released last month inadequately represented their findings. The fact that Mr. Barr rejected the notion that Mr. Trump obstructed justice, even though Mr. Mueller made no determination on the matter, is another concerning sign about what the attorney general is thinking. More importantly, Mr. Barr works for an administration preparing for all-out war with Congress over all sorts of disclosure, which would be only the latest in a string of bad-faith rejections of federal rules and traditional norms. Regardless of the attorney general’s reputation, he still works for an administration that long ago lost any benefit of the doubt on transparency and fair play. There may be no satisfying end to this national saga until an independent referee steps in to sort out the controversy. Reggie Walton, a U.S. district judge, raised on Tuesday one possibility for further review. Accusing Mr. Barr of creating “an environment that has caused a significant part of the public ... to be concerned about whether or not there is full transparency,” the judge raised the possibility that he would demand an unredacted copy to review whether the Justice Department’s omissions were warranted. We hope he follows through. Mr. Walton could ensure that the redactions followed Freedom of Information Act procedures and were not influenced by political considerations. xThe Attorney General of the United States is actually having a press conference at 9:30am just to write the banners for cable news screens for the 2 hours it will take for reporters to catch up with the text of the redacted Mueller report.@TheLastWord 10pm— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) April 18, 2019

Open thread for night owls: 'The Tax Day Outrage You Don't Know About'

Grace Gedye at The Washington Monthly writes—The Tax Day Outrage You Don’t Know About. Conservatives love to lament wasted taxpayer money, but cuts to federal workers are costing the U.S. billions: If you like to leave things until the last minute, yo
Daily Kos

Open thread for night owls: 'The Tax Day Outrage You Don't Know About'

Grace Gedye at The Washington Monthly writes—The Tax Day Outrage You Don’t Know About. Conservatives love to lament wasted taxpayer money, but cuts to federal workers are costing the U.S. billions: If you like to leave things until the last minute, you probably know April 15 as the day to squint at a 1040 tax form or rush through TurboTax. In the past, conservatives have also used this occasion to rally against Big Government, or to write listicles chronicling “six of the more infuriating ways that [tax] money has gone to waste.” But the lesser known fact about Tax Day is all the money that doesn’t come in. ProPublica estimates that every year, the public misses out on $18 billion in revenue thanks to a whittled down workforce of government tax auditors. Hamstrung by eight years of budget cuts, the Internal Revenue Service has shed staff dramatically. As of 2017, the organization had 9,510 auditors—a third less than it had in 2010. That means fewer bookkeepers to investigate shady claims or to go after people who don’t bother to file taxes. No wonder the department’s inspector general estimates that the amount of lost revenue has gone up by at least $3 billion each year. It’s just one example of how politically popular calls to cut federal workers often don’t pan out to be the straight-forward, belt-tightening measures they’re pitched to be. “It’s been two years since we’ve hired anyone,” one Department of Labor bureaucrat told Rachel Cohen, writing for Washingtonian. “We’ve lost 25 percent of our staff, and our employees know nobody is being hired—but we’re not allowed to admit it.” That Trump’s bureaucracy is riddled with vacancies is intentional. Soon after taking office in 2017, the president announced a freeze on hiring federal workers. He reversed that decision 79 days later, but Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney (now doubling as his acting Chief of Staff) solicited recommendations on how to rebuild the executive branch “from scratch.” Mulvaney said that Trump wanted to start with “a literal blank piece of paper.” He’s hardly the first president to push for an overhaul of the executive branch. Bill Clinton’s ‘Reinventing Government’ initiative called for eliminating hundreds of thousands of government positions, and he followed through. Regan and George W. Bush pressed for cuts too. Sometimes the rationale is belt-tightening; sometimes it’s making government more competent. Often, it’s both. But simply cutting the government work force, both in executive agencies and in Congress, often achieves neither aim. [...] Indivisible’s list of Resistance Events & Groups TOP COMMENTS • HIGH IMPACT STORIES QUOTATION “I believe until fairly recently our destructions of nature were more or less unwitting — the by-products, so to speak, of our ignorance or weakness or depravity. It is our present principled and elaborately rationalized rape and plunder of the natural world that is a new thing under the sun.” ~~Wendell Berry, What Are People For?: Essays, 2010 TWEET OF THE DAY xtrump's ag gave him a heads-up, cleared him, let him see the information, held on to it for a month, still won't release it all, then had trump announce the press conference which will be held *before* america gets to see the still-incomplete report. pic.twitter.com/vNfByZG8W1— Oliver Willis (@owillis) April 17, 2019 BLAST FROM THE PAST On this date at Daily Kos in 2008—Pelosi, At Papal Mass, Demonstrates Pro-Choice Politicians Not Prohibited From Receiving Communion: Why is there a persistent belief among many that the Roman Catholic Church denies Communion to people—especially American politicians who are pro-choice and members of the Democratic party—who don't adhere to every tenet of Church doctrine?   Because many reporters are lazy and don't bother to figure out the facts.  Four years ago American Bishops voted on a proposal to deny communion to politicians, and the proposal was rejected 183-6.  And why has the issue come up?  Because conservative political activists who are also Catholic have tried to make it an issue.  For them, Church doctrine is only relevant on issues of the crotch.  The Just War doctrine, economic justice, capital punishment, none of those things matter.  No, the only things that matter for them are abortion, homosexuality and human conception.  And they're trying to use the Church for their partisan political goals. And as seen by idiotic questions from reporters like this, they're at least succeeding with some dimwitted media types.  On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin has Notre Dame news and olds. Yemen resolution vetoed (maybe). Waiting on Barr's book report. Joan McCarter notes Gop rush to «own libs» by catching measles. Barr’s habit of disregarding law & stuff. Fake news: «the wall,» Brexit video. x Embedded Content RadioPublic|LibSyn|YouTube|Patreon|Square Cash (Share code: Send $5, get $5!) LINK TO DAILY KOS STORE

Daily Kos Elections 1Q 2019 House fundraising reports roundup

The first quarterly fundraising reports for federal candidates running in the 2019-2020 election cycle, covering the period from Jan. 1 to March 31, were due at the Federal Elections Commission on April 15 at midnight ET. Because it's early in the cycle, our
Daily Kos

Daily Kos Elections 1Q 2019 House fundraising reports roundup

The first quarterly fundraising reports for federal candidates running in the 2019-2020 election cycle, covering the period from Jan. 1 to March 31, were due at the Federal Elections Commission on April 15 at midnight ET. Because it's early in the cycle, our roundup includes fundraising numbers from every incumbent member of the House (except those who are retiring), as well as all notable challengers. All numbers are in thousands. Our chart, and an explanation of each column, can be found below. For our companion chart for the Senate, click here. x Embedded Content x Embedded Content

It turns out Donald Trump asked Ivanka whether she would like to run the World Bank

Last week it was reported that Donald Trump had “mulled over” the idea of nominating his daughter, Ivanka, for the position of head of the World Bank. It was just the kind of dumb thing you could imagine Trump mulling over. Today, the Associated Pres
Daily Kos

It turns out Donald Trump asked Ivanka whether she would like to run the World Bank

Last week it was reported that Donald Trump had “mulled over” the idea of nominating his daughter, Ivanka, for the position of head of the World Bank. It was just the kind of dumb thing you could imagine Trump mulling over. Today, the Associated Press reports that Trump didn’t mull anything over: He straight-up asked if Ivanka Trump would run the World Bank. Ivanka is touring Africa right now, because being as far out of the United States as possible when the shit hits the fan is what Trumps do. Reports the AP, Ivanka explained that her dad, and America’s blunt object, mulled at her about the World Bank: “Ivanka Trump says her father raised the job with her as ‘a question’ and she told him she was ‘happy with the work’ she’s doing.” This is the same person that believed that proof of her education, her intelligence, and her competence as a business elite was extorting money out of the help when she was a child running a failed lemonade stand. Seriously. Ivanka says she doesn’t think there’s a run for elected office in her future.* *Fingers crossed for a jail stint!

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