Attorney General Jeff Sessions

11 hours ago
What the Russian spy’s guilty plea tells us about Trump’s chances of surviving Mueller’s investigation. A report this week by NBC News that suspected Russian spy Maria Butina will plead guilty to violating laws regarding government agents operating within the United States is the worst news Donald Trump has faced in months, but not for the reason many think.Butina will reportedly admit to conspiring with a Russian official believed to be Alexander Torshin "to establish unofficial lines of communication with Americans having power and influence over U.S. politics . . . for the benefit of the Russian Federation" (Torshin recently retired from being a deputy director of the Russian central bank). She will also admit to attempting to influence the National Rifle Association and “Political Party 1,” believed to be the Republican Party. Butina will admit to setting up a meeting between senior officials of the NRA and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in December 2015,...
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2 days ago
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions lavished praise on what he called President Donald Trump's policy accomplishments Tuesday but added that he's backing away from his former boss's favorite social media platform.
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2 days ago
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions is praising what he calls President Donald Trump policy accomplishments while adding that he doesn’t “follow tweets as closely” as he used to. Sessions spoke to a business organization Tuesday in his home state of Alabama, telling a crowd in Montgomery he was proud of his […]
2 days ago
Trump unloads a barrage of tweets out of fantasy land. Trump has ended a newsy week with a fountain of what by even his own standards are pretty down-is-up and untrue statements.For a president increasingly isolated and facing a growing number of challenges from the world, politics and incoming investigations, there is a distinct reflection of self-delusion and an air of desperate flailing strong enough for all to sense. It’s a sign that we all should strap in for more as these investigations come closer to him.Indeed, “The White House is adopting what one official termed a ‘shrugged shoulders’ strategy for adverse news, calculating that most GOP base voters will believe whatever the president tells them to believe,” according to one Washington Post report.In just a few days, Trump:Blamed rioting protests in Paris on failed efforts to address climate change and claimed that protesters were calling for Trump to intervene. Um, no – on all counts. The protests are aime...
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2 days ago
Throughout American history, there have been different visions of the role of the attorney general and his or her relationship to the president. With President Donald Trump’s announcement that he would nominate former Attorney General William P. Barr to fill the position again, Trump chose a prominent Republican lawyer with extensive government experience to run the Justice Department.Barr has publicly supported some of Trump’s criticisms of the Mueller investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. It’s not known how Barr would reflect those positions in his interactions with the investigation.But when Donald Trump announced Jeff Sessions’s nomination as his attorney general, the position was seen as a reward for Sessions’s early endorsement of the president’s 2016 campaign. And the president wanted loyalty in return.“The only reason I gave him the job,” Trump said, “was because I felt loyalty. He was an original supporter. He was on the...
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5 days ago
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s final report into Russian interference in the 2016 US election may never been seen in public, despite a drip feed of tantalising details being published over the last week. As key aides to Donald Trump prepare to be sentenced this week for crimes relating to the Russia inquiry, the president's lawyers are pouring over little-known rules that dictate how the long-awaited conclusion of the probe is handled.  On Friday, intrigue over the protracted investigation, which opponents hope could open the door to impeachment for collusion with Russia in the 2016 elections, was fuelled by Mr Mueller publishing key guidelines for sentencing suspects. Mr Mueller's team announced that Michael Cohen, the former personal lawyer for Donald Trump due in court on Wednesday, had met a Russian promising “political synergy” with the Trump election campaign, and even offering a meeting with Vladimir Putin. Mr Mueller also announced that Paul Manafort, Mr Trum...
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1 week ago
Flake wants the Senate to vote on a bill to protect Robert Mueller. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) expressed his disdain for Donald Trump when, in 2017, he announced that he would not be seeking reelection—and with Democratic Sen.-elect Kyrsten Sinema (who narrowly defeated Republican Martha McSally in the 2018 midterms) less than a month away from taking over Flake’s seat, the outgoing Arizona senator continues to butt heads with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) over special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Flake still favors legislation that would protect Mueller’s probe, while McConnell opposes such legislation. And Flake is refusing to budge, stressing that he will continue to block President Donald Trump’s federal judicial nominees as long as McConnell refuses to bring a Mueller bill to the Senate floor.Flake was alarmed when, after the midterms, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and appointed loyalist Matthew Whitaker as acting attorne...
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1 week ago
"We’ve seen Mueller bring narrow charges against multiple defendants already." Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been taking dramatic actions in recent weeks, breaking a cooperation deal with Paul Manafort, unveiling new charges against Michael Cohen directly tying President Donald Trump's business interests to Russia during the 2016 election, and filing a relatively lengthy but largely redacted sentencing memo revealing Michael Flynn's extensive cooperation. And on Friday, Mueller is expected to file two sentencing memos potentially revealing more of his hand.With all these developments, introducing new facts into evidence while raising perplexing new questions, expectations among many observers that Mueller has something truly devastating against Trump are growing.But in the view of Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, critics of the president should lower their expectations about what Mueller may uncover."Mueller may never write a public 'final report'—...
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1 week ago
They're desperate to portray the investigation as something it's not. As Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation accelerates, President Donald Trump's defenders continue to spin their wheels in a desperate attempt to undermine the investigation's conclusions before it's even completed.Fortunately, the Mueller probe critics are not particularly inventive, and they repeat the same talking points and make the same mistakes repeatedly, so they're easy to debunk. Here are three of the biggest assumptions the Trump's defenders make about the investigations, and why they're misguided:1. Mueller is biased against Trump.It's become an article of faith among many pro-Trump Republicans that the special counsel is irredeemably biased against Trump. They cling to this belief despite the fact that he was picked by a Trump appointee, and the choice was widely praised byDemocrats and Republicans.Tuesday night on Fox Business, for example, host Lou Dobbs literally said Mu...
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1 week ago
The appointment remains a black eye on the department. The government watchdog group Protect Democracy is reporting that more than 400 former attorneys or officials for the U.S. Justice Department have signed a statement saying that they are “disturbed” by the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general.After the 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and announced that Whitaker was taking over the position for the time being. Whitaker has been a vocal critic of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.The letter stated, “Because of our respect for our oaths of office and our personal experiences carrying out the Department’s mission, we are disturbed by the President’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker to serve as Acting Attorney General.... Mr. Whitaker has not been confirmed by the Senate, his qualifications to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer have not been publicly reviewed, and he has no...
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1 week ago
It was crude. It was dumb. It was all basically nuts. The question was: how much of America would buy it? By Ben FountainEvil days.The midterms were bearing down on us like a runaway train with Donald Trump in the driver’s seat and the throttle wide open, the Presidential Special hell-bent for the bottom. “Go Trump Go!” tweeted David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, as if the president needed anyone’s encouragement. There had been no slacking after pipe bombs were sent to a number of his critics; nor after two black people were killed in Kentucky by a white man who, minutes before, had tried to enter a predominantly black church; nor after 11 worshippers in Pittsburgh were murdered at the Tree of Life Congregation synagogue by a man who’d expressed special loathing for HIAS, a Jewish refugee resettlement and advocacy organization. “HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people,” Robert Bowers posted on his Gab account hours before the massa...
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1 week ago
This incident was embarrassing for everyone involved. On Monday evening, the Miami Herald reported that the Broward County Sheriff S.W.A.T. officer who posed with Vice President Mike Pence wearing a QAnon patch is being disciplined:Sgt. Matthew Patten, a 27-year veteran of the sheriff's office, was found to have violated the department's uniform code and displayed "conduct unbecoming an employee," according to the official reprimand signed by Patten. He was removed from BSO's Strategic Investigations Division's Office of Homeland Security and the agency's S.W.A.T. Team and will be reassigned to the Department of Law Enforcement."Being a highly political entity with a narrow one-sided scope of positioning, public alignment and representation of such group is in contrast with the core values of political neutrality within the Broward Sheriff's Office," wrote Capt. Steven Robson in his counseling report.Notably, Patten is still employed by the Broward County Sheriff's Office — he...
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1 week ago
The Justice Department (DOJ) shuffled its top spokeswomen after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions' exit last month.Kerri Kupec has been named director of the DOJ's Office of Public Affairs, replacing Sessions a...
1 week ago
Donald Trump Jr.’s infamous 2016 meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer peddling “dirt” on Clinton will almost certainly come back up for further review after Democrats take control in January. Michael Cohen’s surprise guilty plea in federal court on Thursday not only turns up the heat on close intimates of Donald Trump, like hisnamesake son and beloved daughter, it once again turns the spotlight on those Republicans in Congress most complicit in the coverup of apparent cooperation between the Trump campaign in 2016 and Kremlin-linked actors.This article first appeared in Salon.The president’s former personal lawyer pled guilty to charges he lied to Congress. While Cohen testified in 2017 before the Senate and House Intelligence Committees — both run by Republicans — only one committee referred his testimony to special counsel Robert Mueller for review. According to Democrats, Cohen’s testimony before the House has never been made available...
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1 week ago
Acting U.S. Attorney General Matthew Whitaker responded to a 2017 fraud query from the Federal Trade Commission by noting his new senior level position at the Justice Department and agreeing to be "very helpful," records released Friday show. The FTC issued a subpoena last year for Whitaker, seeking records related to his past relationship with World Patent Marketing. In a voice mail left for an FTC attorney made public Friday, Whitaker said he was unaware of the subpoena to his former law firm, explaining he was in a new job as the chief of staff to then U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
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2 weeks ago
Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has been struck from the informal list of possible replacements for Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a report by NBC News.
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2 weeks ago
It's been a wild week for Mueller's team. It’s no coincidence that in 2018, major media outlets like MSNBC and CNN have made a point of inviting Jill Wine-Banks, John Dean, Dan Rather and Carl Bernstein to appear as guests and comment on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation. All of them lived through Watergate in the 1970s: Wine-Banks was an assistant prosecutor in Watergate, while Dean was President Richard Nixon’s White House counsel and Rather and Bernstein reported on Watergate extensively as journalists—and when any of them assert that Mueller’s probe and Russiagate give them a feeling of déjà vu, it’s not something to be taken lightly. After the 2018 midterms, President Donald Trump’s decision to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replace him with loyalist Matthew Whitaker—who has been highly critical of Mueller’s investigation—seemed highly Nixon-ish to those who are old enough to remember Watergate. Nonetheless...
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2 weeks ago
This is what observers have been afraid of. The bombshell of Michael Cohen pleading guilty Thursday to coordinating with Russian officials on President Donald Trump's behalf during the 2016 election was an explosive addition to an already damning set of facts against the president. But a new detail about the development in a Washington Post report suggests that Trump has gained a key piece of leverage over Mueller. The Post reports:The plea is likely to further chill relations between the White House and the Justice Department, where acting attorney general Matthew G. Whitaker has been serving for several weeks since the president forced out attorney general Jeff Sessions.Justice Department policies and special counsel regulations call for the attorney general to be notified of significant events in such investigations, and a person familiar with the case said Whitaker was notified ahead of time about Cohen’s plea.When Whitaker was first appointed after Attorney General Jeff...
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2 weeks ago
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday joked about his departure from the Trump administration, noting that his "pink slip" was probably more public than some others."A lot of people have gotten pink sl...
 
2 weeks ago
Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions made jokes about his departure from the White House during a keynote speech at the annual Chicago Crime Commission awards dinner.
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2 weeks ago
Wednesday on Fox News Channel’s “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz dismissed the notion that should President Donald Trump fire Department of Justice special counsel Robert Mueller, he would be committing an impeachable offense. According to Dershowitz, for an offense to rise to the level of impeachment, the firing would have to be a crime, which it is not. “First of all, firing the special counsel would not be an impeachable offense because it wouldn’t be a crime,” Dershowitz said. “The president would have authority to do it. It would be politically very damaging to do it. Look, Technically there is oversight over the special counsel in the personage of the attorney general.” Dershowitz acknowledged that was problematic given the former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal and resignation, and the appointment of an acting attorney general. Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor
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2 weeks ago
They’re making a federal case out of a Hershey’s bar. The uncle-nephew duo arrested for shooting a Duane Reade worker in the face while holding up a string of Queens convenience stores are facing federal robbery charges — thanks to a candy counter-tied push by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Scott Brack, 50, and nephew...
nypost.com
2 weeks ago
“I’ve been at the Justice Department twice,” Neal Katyal noted. “Both times, there was one thick red line you knew never to cross, which is to allow the White House any input into criminal prosecutions." President Donald Trump drew widespread criticism after the New York Times reported, on November 20, that he encouraged the U.S. Justice Department to prosecute two of his political enemies: 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey. And attorney Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, is asserting that Trump’s actions are impeachable.Interviewed by Ari Melber on MSNBC on November 26, Katyal explained, “This is not about politics. This is about the rule of law at its most central essence.”By urging the Justice Department to jail his political enemies, Katyal stressed, Trump has crossed a dangerous line that merits impeachment.“I’ve been at the Justice Department twice,” Katyal...
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2 weeks ago
Daniel Dale has spent months documenting Trump's speeches. And he believes some of Trump's lies are worse than others. Since taking office, President Donald Trump has made at least 6,400 false statements. Some of these are outright lies, from his claim he was about to pass a new middle-class tax cut to his claim that there was widespread rioting in California over sanctuary policies. Trump himself has said that it doesn't matter if what he says is factual because "people agree with me."For a journalist who follows Trump's rallies line by line, like Toronto Star Washington Bureau chief Daniel Dale, the process of reporting on his lies is surely exhausting. But as Dale told Republican anchor Nicolle Wallace on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House," some of the lies bother him more than others."First of all, what you do is truly a service in these times, so thank you," Wallace told him, in a discussion about the Trump administration's family separation rule. "But get at this, th...
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2 weeks ago
Whitaker has the ultimate authority. The acting attorney general installed by President Donald Trump can upend the special counsel probe in one significant — and overlooked — way, according to an MSNBC legal analyst.Matthew Whitaker took over for former attorney general Jeff Sessions shortly after the election, but deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein still oversees Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.“He’s not stepped aside from his direct oversight role of Mueller,” said MSNBC contributor Natasha Bertrand. “But Whitaker has the ultimate authority. Anything Mueller wants to do, if Whitaker vetoes it he has that power.”Whitaker can serve up to 210 days as interim attorney general before Trump has to replace him, and legal analyst Maya Wiley told “Morning Joe” he could protect the president, his family and his associates.“One thing that’s important for us all to note here is, if Robert Mueller has an indictment that he’s re...
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2 weeks ago
President Trump’s policy to separate children from their migrant parents at the US border began nine months earlier than the White House acknowledged and could have resulted in more families being broken up than the administration admitted, according to a report on Sunday. The “zero tolerance” strategy that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in April...
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2 weeks ago
Stocks in companies dealing in cannabis- and marijuana-related products have risen since former Attorney General Jeff Sessions left the Trump administration, the Los Angeles Times reports.
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2 weeks ago
50 years ago, another president violated three basic principles of the rule of law, although not as blatantly as Trump. The “rule of law” distinguishes democracies from dictatorships. It’s based on three fundamental principles. Trump is violating every one of them.The first is that no person is above the law, not even a president. Which means a president cannot stop an investigation into his alleged illegal acts.Yet in recent weeks Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who at least had possessed enough integrity to recuse himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Trump’s possible collusion with Russia in the 2016 election. Trump replaced Sessions with an inexperienced loyalist hack, Matthew G. Whitaker, whose only distinction to date has been loud and public condemnation of that investigation. As a conservative legal commentator on CNN, Whitaker even suggested that a clever attorney general could secretly starve the investigation of fun...
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3 weeks ago
It's one of the most troubling trends of his presidency. Whenever John Dean, Jill Wine-Banks, Dan Rather or Carl Bernstein are asked to discuss President Donald Trump’s controversies on CNN or MSNBC, a word that inevitably comes up is “Watergate.” Wine-Banks was a Watergate prosecutor in the 1970s, while Rather and Bernstein reported on Watergate extensively as journalists—and Dean served as White House counsel under the Richard Nixon Administration. Dean and Bernstein appeared together on CNN on November 20, discussing the revelation that Trump urged the Department of Justice to pursue criminal charges against Democrat Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey.Dean told CNN, “If I had to channel a little of Richard Nixon, I think he’d tell this President he’s going too far. This is the sort of stuff of a banana republic….This is a level Richard Nixon never went to, where you went after somebody’s personal well-being by a criminal prosecution.”...
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3 weeks ago
Working at a small law firm based in Des Moines, Whitaker represented several dozen accused criminals in cases with little or no profile outside his home state, according to a review of his legal work in local, state and federal court, and interviews with attorneys who worked with him. Aside from a five-year stint as a U.S. attorney in Iowa, his highest-profile venture was the past 13 months as ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff. Whitaker’s sudden elevation has stoked outrage in the legal community and among Democrats, who claim President Donald Trump selected him because he has publicly criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.
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3 weeks ago
A new court filing says the appointment has "no effect on this case." In a new filing with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, Special Counsel Robert Mueller argued Monday that despite the dubious appointment of Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, he retains the full powers of a U.S. attorney granted him under the regulations governing special counsels.When President Donald Trump appointed Whitaker, many plausibly argued that it was a blatant attempt to undermine the Russia investigation led by Mueller. But because Whitaker was never approved by the Senate — and others at the Justice Department in line to be attorney general were — many have argued that his appointment is unconstitutional. If the courts agree, it could invalidate anything he does in the role.However, Mueller is claiming that his powers have not been diminished as a result. For the particular case in question, a subpoena of Roger Stone ally Andrew Miller, the brief argued that since the investig...
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3 weeks ago
The senators’ suit, filed Monday in federal court in Washington, is at least the fourth legal objection to Whitaker as temporary successor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, whom Trump ousted this month.
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3 weeks ago
"If [Matt] Whitaker acts to shut down [Robert] Muller, he too will be guilty of obstruction of justice and a conspirator in that crime." When Tim Weiner’s book “Enemies: A History of the FBI” was published in 2012, he may not have envisioned that one day it would inspire a documentary series meant to place the erratic actions of Donald Trump into context.Another president? Sure. But not a guy best known as the host of “The Apprentice” when “Enemies” first came out.“Let’s examine reality television,” Weiner mused in a recent phone interview, in support of Showtime’s four-part series “Enemies: The President, Justice & the FBI.”  "That is fake news. I grew up in New York, you know. I've been watching Trump since the '70s and everybody within the realm of reason knows that he is a grifter and a con man. He is now also the most powerful man on Earth.”A week after Trump asked for the resignation of United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions...
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3 weeks ago
"The stakes are too high to allow the president to install an unconfirmed lackey to lead the Department of Justice." Denouncing President Donald Trump's appointment of acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker—a fervent critic of the Russia probe—as a blatant effort to "subvert the Constitution to protect himself and evade accountability," three Democratic senators on Monday filed suit against the White House and demanded that Whitaker be barred from temporarily serving as the nation's top law enforcement official."The stakes are too high to allow the president to install an unconfirmed lackey to lead the Department of Justice—a lackey whose stated purpose, apparently, is undermining a major investigation into the president," declared Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who joined fellow Democratic Sens. Mazie Hirono (Hawaii) and Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) in filing the lawsuit."We want the court to make clear that the Senate must confirm Matthew Whitaker's appoi...
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3 weeks ago
A future Trumpian world, including possibly a shattered and increasingly “nationalist” Europe, is no laughing matter. Whatever you may think of President Trump, it’s important to be fair to him. You might have noticed that, on his recent trip to France (“five days of fury”), officially to mourn and praise America’s war dead on the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, he managed to miss his first scheduled ceremony. It was at a cemetery where some of those American war dead were buried. He skipped it, thanks to a little uncomfortable rain, and came late for the second of those events at the Suresnes American Cemetery just outside Paris (this time complaining publicly about the rain). As TomDispatch regular Rajan Menon reminds us today, such acts brought a good deal of derision upon the president in Europe and here (or rather in the world of everywhere that we know as the Internet). What went unreported amid the mockery and the presidential excuses (the preside...
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3 weeks ago
It's been over a week since Democrats won the House. Here are some of the most insane reactions. This year, Democrats managed to win back control of the House for the first time in nearly a decade. Predictably, many on the Right were dismayed, both those who were expecting the loss and those who had been duped by President Donald Trump's confident prediction that there would be a "red wave."Just more than a week out from the Democrats' victory, here are some of the craziest reactions from conservatives to the news they would no longer hold unified control of the federal government:Donald Trump: It wasn't actually that bad, but if it was, it wasn't my fault.This week, Trump sat for an interview with the conservative Daily Caller. When asked by reporters Saagar Enjeti and Benny Johnson whether the House loss was of any significance to him, he immediately downplayed it — and then said he was the reason things weren't even worse."I think I did very well," said Trump. "Because...
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3 weeks ago
Many will point to him as a historic champion for “law and order” conservatism at the highest level. Steven Mulroy, University of MemphisPresident Donald Trump’s sacking of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has raised concerns among those who wish to see the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller continue unimpeded.Those same people will likely not lament Session’s ouster based on what he accomplished as attorney general. In my view, his tenure as attorney general saw him on the wrong side of most important law enforcement decisions. On the other hand, many will point to him as a historic champion for “law and order” conservatism at the highest level.Here are three areas where Sessions will most be remembered.1. Controversial from the startSessions’ tenure began back in early 2017. During his confirmation hearings, Sessions testified incorrectly under oath that he had had no contacts with Russian officials during his active role in the 2016 Trump campaign. Whe...
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3 weeks ago
George Conway, the husband of Trump's campaign manager and White House counselor, has renounced the GOP and formed a group to oppose Trump. He explains the decision in a new interview. It is no secret that President Donald Trump's counselor Kellyanne Conway, a prominent mouthpiece for the administration who ran Trump's 2016 campaign, does not see eye to eye with her husband on the administration.George Conway, a conservative lawyer who was previously offered a high-level job in Trump's Justice Department, has repeatedly criticized Trump's dishonesty and attacks on the rule of law on Twitter. This week, he took things even further by forming a new group of conservative and libertarian lawyers to oppose Trump, called Checks and Balances.Sitting for an interview with Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery," Conway explained his decision to leave the Republican Party."I don't feel comfortable being a Republican anymore," he said. "I think the Republican Party has become something of a...
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3 weeks ago
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) offered his thoughts on who should replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions during an interview with Breitbart News Deputy Political Editor Amanda House. 
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4 weeks ago
“It’s just tragic how Republicans who claim to be invested in the Constitution are allowing Donald Trump to attack the rule of law in plain sight." President Donald Trump has been very active on Twitter this week, bombarding his favorite social media outlet with a flurry of tweets attacking Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation—and NeverTrump conservative Max Boot, interviewed by CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on November 15, cited those tweets as evidence that Trump is “feeling the heat.”After the midterms, Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with loyalist Matt Whitaker—who has been a vocal critic of Mueller’s investigation. Boot told Baldwin that when he read Trump’s recent tweets, he was especially troubled by the president’s reference to the investigation’s “inner workings.” Boot said of Trump, “His henchman has just been appointed acting attorney general, and even though he has not shut down the Muelle...
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4 weeks ago
The diatribe came amid claims that Trump is maneuvering to have Mueller fired or otherwise shut down before he can close in on the president and his inner circle, including family members. Last week, Trump sacked his attorney general Jeff Sessions, replacing him with Matthew Whitaker, who is on the record as being harshly critical of the Mueller investigation.
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4 weeks ago
President Donald Trump has once again lashed out at special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, claiming broadly — and without any evidence — that the probe’s inner workings are “a total mess”. Mr Trump unleashed the tirade on Twitter just over a week after midterm election losses delivered a rebuke to Mr Trump’s presidency by handing control of the House of Representatives back to Democrats for the first time in eight years. Just after the elections Attorney General Jeff Sessions was ousted from his post, with Mr Trump having repeatedly criticised Mr Sessions for recusing himself from overseeing the probe into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with Trump campaign officials.
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4 weeks ago
The Justice Department and Gates’ attorneys agreed to give the court another update by January 15, 2019. Some of President Donald Trump’s closest associates—from former campaign manager Paul Manafort to former personal attorney Michael Cohen to 2016 campaign aide Rick Gates—flipped on the president and have been fully cooperating in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation. Gates, during the Summer of 2018, was the star witness in Manafort’s criminal trial. And Gates’ sentencing has been delayed so that his cooperation in Mueller’s probe can continue.Gates confessed to a long list of financial crimes during his in-depth testimony against Manafort, his former business partner. And in a joint memo filed this week in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Circuit, attorneys for Gates and Mueller stated that Gates “continues to cooperate with respect to several ongoing investigations, and accordingly, the parties do not believe it...
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4 weeks ago
When asked his thoughts on the attorney general situation, Trump brought up Robert Mueller's investigation totally unprompted. When President Donald Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions a day after the midterm elections and replaced him with former U.S. attorney and DOJ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, there was an unspoken but obvious reason for his decision. It was telegraphed by Whitaker's long history of opposing special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation of Trump's ties to Russia, calling it a "witch hunt" and warning that any probe into the Trump family finances was a "red line."So it was remarkable when Trump, in a Thursday interview with the right-wing Daily Caller, came out and said it directly."Could you tell us where your thinking is currently on the attorney general position?" asked Daily Caller reporters Saagar Enjeti and Benny Johnson."Matthew Whitaker is a very respected man," said Trump. "He's — and he's, very importantly, he’s respected within...
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4 weeks ago
The Republican midterm loss and the firing of Jeff Sessions blew up the narrative of the QAnon conspiracy theory. Now its believers are at each others' throats. The "QAnon" community is falling apart.Perhaps no conspiracy theory has thrived more readily in the dark corners of the internet since it was first born last October on the infamous troll message board 4chan following President Donald Trump's vague remarks last year at a military dinner that it was the "calm before the storm." An anonymous user claiming to be a high-level government informant and calling himself "Q" after the highest level of security clearance at the Energy Department, began leaving cryptic messages he called "crumbs" which were supposed to be hints as to a wide-scale government operation known as "The Storm" to take down government corruption and the new world order, with Trump at the center. While the messages often had very specific dates, many aspects of them were purposefully vague, allowing be...
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4 weeks ago
The special counsel's investigation is plowing forward. The fate of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia-related investigation is in question now that President Donald Trump has fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced with him loyalist Matthew Whitaker, who has been a vocal critic of the probe. But Mueller’s investigation continues for the time being—and CNN is reporting that Mueller’s team is now taking a close look at long-time Trump ally Roger Stone’s communications with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange and the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election.Stone has said that during the election, he communicated with Assange indirectly via an “intermediary,” “mutual acquaintance” or “back channel.” Stone has also said that he spoke to Trump an average of once per week during the campaign, and Mueller’s team is investigating whether or not Stone shared information he believed to be from WikiLeaks with Trump’s campaign.In a November...
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4 weeks ago
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans are facing renewed pressure to pass legislation to protect special counsel Robert Mueller, with a handful of GOP senators urging their leadership to hold a vote now that President Donald Trump has pushed out Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Republican Sen. Jeff Flake and Democratic Sen. Chris Coons say they will […]
4 weeks ago
The Office of Legal Counsel said the appointment is "consistent with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (VRA) of 1998." The Dept. of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel has just issued an opinion allowing former CNN commentator Matthew Whitaker to serve as Acting Attorney General. That opinion covers only the constitutionality of installing Whitaker as Acting AG, and does not explore the ethical issues surrounding his appointment, nor the ethical issues involving his background.Fox News reports the Office of Legal Counsel "said that the president’s appointment of Whitaker to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions was consistent with the Federal Vacancies Reform Act (VRA) of 1998."CNBC adds that the OLC's opinion was drafted "before Trump appointed him to that post."But even former Bush 43 highly-controversial Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Yoo penned an op-ed titled, "Whitaker’s Appointment Is Unconstitutional."Whitaker has a history as a CNN commenta...
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4 weeks ago
The Justice Department Office of Legal Counsel made the right call Wednesday when it issued a legal opinion upholding President Trump’s authority to appoint Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general outside the line of succession, replacing fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
4 weeks ago
Trump claimed a “great victory,” but knows better. He’s been betrayed by his party and his voters, and it shows. President Donald Trump is not himself. And by "not himself" I mean he seems to have lost his swagger. Ever since the midterm elections, he's been churlish and petulant. His brazen braggadocio is suddenly dull and off-key. The question is what exactly has him brooding and upset.Sure, he held a press conference the morning after the election at which he ludicrously asserted, "I’ll be honest: I think it was a great victory. And actually, some of the news this morning was that it was, in fact, a great victory." The news that morning was nothing of the kind, of course. And even he couldn't pull it off.  He rapidly devolved into his patented media-bashing to change the subject and ended up looking like the worst sore loser in presidential history.That same day he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with someone he believed would protect him fro...
www.alternet.org
4 weeks ago
The Justice Department told Trump, before he tapped Whitaker for the job, that he could appoint Whitaker as acting head of Justice. Whitaker was named to the post a week ago, after Trump fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
November 13th, 2018
"In order to prevent a breakdown of federal law enforcement, the White House should hurry to select a permanent attorney general before any more damage is done." Many legal and constitutional scholars have come forward to decry President Donald Trump's appointment of Matthew Whitaker as the new acting attorney general — part of a blatant attempt to wrest control of Robert Mueller's Russia investigation — as fundamentally illegitimate.Former deputy assistant attorney general John Yoo, who served under President George W. Bush, joined the chorus calling out the appointment as unconstitutional in a new opinion piece for The Atlantic Tuesday. He also noted, provocatively, that the constitutionality of the appointment provides an opening for Mueller to protect the investigation from undue interference.Yoo and others argue that the Constitution's requirement that all principal officers in the executive branch be approved by the Senate rules out Whitaker's appointment. As...
www.alternet.org
November 13th, 2018
Author of “Trump on the Couch” suggests therapy: Trump struggles against “fear of his inner chaos,” and needs help Donald Trump evidently believes he is above the law. Last week, he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions and replaced him with Matthew Whitaker, a political operative from Iowa whose only apparent qualification is his public opposition to special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russia scandal. This is but the most recent example of Trump's apparent efforts to obstruct justice.Trump's lack of respect for the country's long-standing democratic norms and institutions also extends to America's alliances, security arrangements with its allies and friends, and the international order more broadly. To that end  Trump has threatened to remove the U.S. from NATO, hailed the merits of nationalism (while barely pretending that does not mean white nationalism), tried to surrender U.S. security to Russian President Vladimir Putin and proclaimed on numerous...
www.alternet.org
November 13th, 2018
The State of Maryland is challenging the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general, arguing that Donald Trump overstepped his constitutional authority in doing so. President Trump named Mr Whitaker as acting attorney general after forecing former Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign just a day after the midterm elections last week, sparking concern that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election could be in jeopardy under the temporary leadership.
www.yahoo.com
November 13th, 2018
It's the constitutional remedy for a criminal president. A week after the 2018 midterms, the news keeps getting better for Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats needed to gain 23 or more seats in order to obtain a House majority; as of November 13, they have gained at least 32—although that number could climb as high as 38, 39 or 40 after all the votes are counted. Republicans appear to have slightly increased their majority in the Senate, but November 6 was undeniably a blue wave in the House—not to mention all the state legislature seats that Democrats won.And with all those victories comes talk of impeaching President Donald Trump.But impeachment, even with the new House majority, probably isn’t on the table—which doesn’t mean that House Democrats won’t find many other ways in which to be a major thorn in the president’s side.Only two days after the election, the New York Times ran an op-ed by billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer th...
www.alternet.org
November 13th, 2018
It has nothing to do with national security. President Trump's long-expected post-midterms White House shakeup is underway, with Attorney General Jeff Sessions being the first to get the boot. But a much larger White House exodus is being planned, reportedly including Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen and Chief of Staff John Kelly.But there are others expected to get pink slips.A Trump administration top national security official is reportedly also on the firing list, for reasons that appear to have nothing to do with national security."The president has also decided to remove Mira Ricardel, the top deputy for national security adviser John Bolton, officials said," The Wall Street Journal reports."The president became involved in that decision at the urging of first lady Melania Trump, whose staff battled with Ms. Ricardel during the first lady’s trip to Africa last month over seating on the plane and requests to use National Security Council resources, ac...
www.alternet.org
November 13th, 2018
The chief of staff may be next on the chopping block. Despite frequently refuting reports that his time at the White House was coming to an end, Chief of Staff John Kelly may have finally crossed someonE who will seal his fate: First Lady Melania Trump.According to a new report from NBC News, Kelly is among the top administration officials expected to be ousted soon in the aftermath of the 2018 midterm elections, along with his protege Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. While President Donald Trump's differences with Nielsen reportedly center around her approach to border policy, it seems some of Kelly's own biggest problems are personal.The first lady reportedly went directly to the president with some of her complaints. According to the report, Kelly did not treat the first lady's staff as equal to his own staffers, delaying their requests for promotions. The report also found that he got on the first lady's "wrong side" with regard to her requests for travel plans."...
www.alternet.org
November 13th, 2018
Trump has been as outrageous as ever on Twitter. President Donald Trump can always be counted on to post outrageous things on Twitter, his favorite social media outlet. Twitter’s format lends itself to soundbites, not in-depth or nuanced analysis—and Trump is a master of soundbites, which is why the president is so effective at using Twitter to rally and fire up his far-right base. Some liberals and progressives have argued that Twitter should terminate—or at least suspend—Trump’s account in light of all the offensive things he has posted. But that’s a terrible idea. First, it’s important to know what one’s political opponents think and believe, however misguided they are. Second, Democrats should be happy that Trump’s tweets are making the GOP brand look so bad—and post-2018 midterms, Trump has been as outrageous as ever on Twitter.Here are six of President Trump’s most-outrageous post-midterms tweets.1. Trump Implied That Kyrsten Sinema Was Trying to Steal...
www.alternet.org
November 13th, 2018
Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is requesting that acting attorney general Matthew Whitaker and ousted attorney general Jeff Sessions testify before the Judiciary Committee in the wake of the Justice Department shakeup....
November 13th, 2018
The state of Maryland is expected to challenge the appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general in court on Tuesday on the grounds that president Trump cannot appoint someone who lacks Senate confirmation to lead an agency. The request for an injunction blocking Whitaker’s appointment is part of an ongoing lawsuit the state filed against former attorney general Jeff Sessions in his official capacity. Since Sessions has been fired, Maryland is asking the court to treat deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein as the acting attorney general for purposes of the lawsuit, on the basis that Trump was constitutionally obligated to appoint Rosenstein to serve until a permanent successor could be chosen, given he was next in the chain of command and has already been confirmed by the Senate.
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