For anyone concerned that President Donald Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr are politicizing the criminal justice system, Friday afternoon has been a real roller coaster.
First, news broke that Justice Department prosecutors had closed one politically controversial case, a lengthy criminal investigation into former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe, without bringing any charges. McCabe had been under scrutiny for potentially lying to internal investigators about his role in leaks concerning an FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation — though many wondered whether the investigation was truly about pursuing someone President Trump had deemed an enemy.
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From The Guardian:
The former MI6 officer Christopher Steele had a “personal” relationship with Ivanka Trump and gifted her a “family tartan from Scotland” as a present, the long-awaited report by US Department of Justice inspector general, Michael Horowitz, revealed on Monday.
Horowitz’s review of the FBI’s 2016 investigation into Donald Trump’s 2016 election campaign and its links with Russia includes fresh details of Steele’s interactions with the FBI, and startling claims about his relationship with the Trumps dating back to the period before he wrote a controversial dossier on Trump.
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From David Boddinger at SPLINTER:
Chuck Todd, the normally insufferable host of NBC News’ Meet the Press, has appeared increasingly uncomfortable over the past few days with the talking heads who appear on his show to repeat GOP talking points about Donald Trump.
But something happened on Sunday to trigger Todd, and that something was Republican Sen. Ron Johnson from Wisconsin, which rhymes. Johnson appeared on NBC acting like a combative, right-wing lunatic, and spewing pro-Trump conspiracy theories that sounded like they came straight from Fox News, Breitbart, or even InfoWars.
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From the Op-Ed page of the TIMES of SAN DIEGO:
(Written by Colleen O’Connor, native San Diegan and a retired college professor)
Sen. Dianne Feinstein just called for a “word for word” transcript of the explosive whistleblower complaint against President Trump that led to the House impeachment inquiry.
As the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein believes that an “official word-for-word transcript of the call” between Trump and the President of the Ukraine was produced.
And she also doubts the accuracy of Trump’s report of the call.
A verbatim transcript (without the many ellipses found in the Trump version) is probably hidden inside the U.S. intelligence community’s “code-only,” restricted-access computer system.
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From The Washington Post:
Rod J. Rosenstein, again, was in danger of losing his job. The New York Times had just reported that — in the heated days after James B. Comey was fired as FBI director — the deputy attorney general had suggested wearing a wire to surreptitiously record President Trump. Now Trump, traveling in New York, was on the phone, eager for an explanation.
Rosenstein — who, by one account, had gotten teary-eyed just before the call in a meeting with Trump’s chief of staff — sought to defuse the volatile situation and assure the president he was on his team, according to people familiar with matter. He criticized the Times report, published in late September, and blamed it on former deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe, whose recollections formed its basis. Then he talked about special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and told the president he would make sure Trump was treated fairly, people familiar with the conversation said.
“I give the investigation credibility,” Rosenstein said, according to an administration official with knowledge of what was said during the call. “I can land the plane.”
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From DAILY BEAST:
A press conference intended to publicize sexual assault claims against special counsel Robert Mueller collapsed in spectacular fashion on Thursday, after the pro-Trump operatives behind the event failed to demonstrate a grasp of even basic details about their accuser or explain why they had repeatedly lied about their project.
Mueller has asked the FBI to investigate the effort from publicity-hungry Washington lobbyist Jack Burkman and pro-Trump Twitter personality Jacob Wohl, which has been dogged by accusations that they offered women money to accuse Mueller of sexual misconduct.
I was able to get a picture of Burkman and Wohl leaving the press conference:
You have to wonder what the FBI will be investigating now that Senator Jeff Flake had a moment of conscience or courage (or if he is playing a game like Susan Collins was when she voted Betsy Wetsy DeVos out of committee knowing she would have enough votes to be confirmed even though Susie voted against her. But I digress…). I’m hoping they look into his Georgetown Prep yearbook references.
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