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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During today’s hearing in the House’s impeachment inquiry into President Trump, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) referenced a POLITICO article from last month which reported that a lawyer who worked for Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee when Devin Nunes (R-CA) was the committee’s chairman, fed information on Ukraine to President Trump.
[While questioning former National Security Council official Fiona Hill, Swalwell asked] if she ever heard the name of the recently indicted Rudy Giuliani associate, Lev Parnas, “who was influencing President Trump and Rudy Giuliani about some of the debunked conspiracy theories you referenced earlier.”
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From The Guardian:
An effort in recent months by Donald Trump to rewrite the history of the 2016 US presidential election and set up a 2020 re-election victory was more geographically sprawling and reliant on the day-to-day participation of top cabinet members than previously reported, it emerged on Monday.
William Barr, the attorney general, and Mike Pompeo, the secretary of state, collectively participated in contacts between Trump and leaders of at least four foreign countries, according to multiple reports.
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From CBS News:
Washington — President Trump moved on Wednesday to stave off the most serious threat to his presidency yet, releasing a summary of a conversation with the president of Ukraine that’s at the center of an impeachment inquiry by House Democrats. In a series of public appearances, Mr. Trump argued the summary cleared him of wrongdoing, despite it showing he repeatedly urged the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, his potential Democratic rival.
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From Jennifer Rubin at the Washington Post:
It’s long past time that media outlets stop hyping the story line that former vice president Joe Biden did something untoward regarding Ukraine. Last week New York Times reporter Ken Vogel called Ukraine a “significant liability” for Biden and teased that “there is a story here.” Vogel added: “We’ve told some of it. There is more to be told. We are going to continue to sort of pull that back.”
In fact, there never was any “liability” whatsoever and the “more to be told” has turned out to be “nothing to be told.” When it came time to put the facts in print, Vogel reported: “As The New York Times reported this spring, no evidence has surfaced that the former vice president intentionally tried to help his son by pressing for the prosecutor’s dismissal. In fact, some of the vice president’s former associates said he never did anything to deter other efforts to go after the oligarch, Mykola Zlochevsky.” Vogel omits mention that the spring report came under a misleading headline and that the admission there was no “there there” only came after paragraph upon paragraph suggesting Biden had some kind of problem.
At any rate, the jig is up, and it’s time for reporters without any proof to cease attempting to convert this into a Biden scandal.
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From Yahoo News:
Attorney General William Barr refused Wednesday to turn over his notes on a conversation he had with Robert Mueller during which the special counsel complained about Barr’s summary of his report about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Donald Trump’s attempts to cover it up.
“No,” Barr responded when asked by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., if he would provide the Senate Judiciary Committee with the notes he took to document the call with Mueller.
“Why not?” Blumenthal responded.
“Why should you have them?” Barr answered.
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