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READ: Mattis Quits – Nukes Trump’s Foreign Policy in Stunning Resignation Letter

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“Because you have the right to have a secretary of defense whose views better align with yours….I believe it is right for me to step down from my position”

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis has resigned, according to multiple sources. He did not retire, despite a tweet from President Trump. Now we have Sec. Mattis’ actual letter of resignation.

That resignation comes just one day after President Trump announced he is pulling troops out of Syria, in allegiance with wishes of Turkey’s dictator and Russia’s president.

The letter is far more lengthy than those top administration officials generally offer.

It is detailed.

It is a disaster for Trump.

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6:22 PM: This article has been updated to clarify that Trump ousted Mattis, he did not resign.

9:06 PM: There has been great debate about whether Mattis resigned or was ousted – asked to resign by Trump. Despite our sources saying he was ousted, MSNBC and others are reporting he resigned in protest, which is how his letter reads. This article has been updated accordingly.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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Legal Expert: Bill Barr Faces Potential ‘Criminal Investigation’

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Judge Amy Berman Jackson, the federal judge who gave prison sentences to two of former President Donald Trump’s close allies — his 2016 campaign manager Paul Manafort and veteran GOP operative Roger Stone — was highly critical of former U.S. Attorney General William Barr in a recent ruling, describing his response to the Mueller Report as “disingenuous.” And legal expert Neal Katyal, who served as acting solicitor general under President Barack Obama, described Jackson’s comments as highly damning during an appearance on MSNBC’s “Deadline: White House” this week.

Host Nicolle Wallace, a Never Trump conservative who served as White House communications director under President George W. Bush, told Katyal that Barr “misrepresented” the “conclusions” that Barr reached after former Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrapped up the Russia investigation — asking Katyal to weigh in on the “political damage” that Barr did to the United States. And he responded that it gives him no pleasure to have been right when he appeared on MSNBC in 2019 and said that Barr was distorting the Mueller Report.

The 51-year-old Katyal told Wallace and Washington Post reporter Carol Leonnig — who also appeared as a guest — “I’m not sitting here feeling good about the fact that I and so many others were right two years ago. I mean, I desperately wanted to be wrong. And our system is set up to trust the attorney general. I mean, Barr was the attorney general of the United States, not the attorney general for President Trump. That’s what he was supposed to be — he was supposed to be for the people. But unfortunately, there was always a degree of corruption around him, and he constantly acted like one of Donald Trump’s personal attorneys.”

Katyal continued, “And now, with the new decision by the judge into his deception, he’s finally being treated like one of the gang — which he always was…. What you have in this decision by the judge yesterday — by Judge Amy Berman Jackson, who is a meticulous judge — is a statement that no, Barr actually lied to the court and to the American people. She called, you know, Barr’s actions, in the litigating position, disingenuous, which is something you almost never hear a federal judge say about any litigant — particularly not someone from the Justice Department and particularly not the attorney general of the United States.”

Katyal added that when a federal judge of Jackson’s stature describes one’s testimony before Congress as “disingenuous,” it’s “time to start thinking about retaining counsel, legal counsel.”

“There is the possibility of a criminal investigation into Bill Barr now,” Katyal told Wallace and Leonnig. “There’s also the possibility of civil and disciplinary actions against him as well.”

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Liz Cheney Secretly Organized Key Move to Block Trump From Using Military to Overturn Election: Report

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Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) was the organizer of an open letter by all living former Defense Secretaries against the military intervening in election disputes.

The revelation was made to Susan Glasser of The New Yorker by Eric Edelman, a friend of Cheney’s who served as an advisor to her father.

“Cheney’s rupture with the House Republican Conference has become all but final in recent days, but it has been months in the making. Edelman revealed that Cheney herself secretly orchestrated an unprecedented op-ed in the Washington Post by all ten living former Defense Secretaries, including her father, warning against Trump’s efforts to politicize the military,” Glasser reported.

“The congresswoman not only recruited her father but personally asked others, including Trump’s first Defense Secretary, Jim Mattis, to participate. ‘She was the one who generated it, because she was so worried about what Trump might do,’ Edelman said. ‘It speaks to the degree that she was concerned about the threat to our democracy that Trump represented.’ The Post op-ed appeared on January 3rd, just three days before the insurrection at the Capitol,” she reported.

It wasn’t the only action she took.

“Little noticed at the time was another Cheney effort to combat Trump’s post-election lies, a twenty-one-page memo written by Cheney and her husband, Phil Perry, an attorney, and circulated on January 3rd to the entire House Republican Conference. In it, Cheney debunked Trump’s false claims about election fraud and warned her colleagues that voting to overturn the election results, as Trump was insisting, would ‘set an exceptionally dangerous precedent.’ But, of course, they did not listen. Even after the storming of the Capitol, a hundred and forty-seven Republican lawmakers voted against accepting the election results,” Glaser wrote.

The joint letter was signed by Ashton Carter, Dick Cheney, William Cohen, Mark Esper, Robert Gates, Chuck Hagel, James Mattis, Leon Panetta, William Perry and Donald Rumsfeld.

“American elections and the peaceful transfers of power that result are hallmarks of our democracy. With one singular and tragic exception that cost the lives of more Americans than all of our other wars combined, the United States has had an unbroken record of such transitions since 1789, including in times of partisan strife, war, epidemics and economic depression. This year should be no exception,” the former defense secretaries wrote.

“Our elections have occurred. Recounts and audits have been conducted. Appropriate challenges have been addressed by the courts. Governors have certified the results. And the electoral college has voted. The time for questioning the results has passed; the time for the formal counting of the electoral college votes, as prescribed in the Constitution and statute, has arrived,” they explained. “As senior Defense Department leaders have noted, ‘there’s no role for the U.S. military in determining the outcome of a U.S. election.’ Efforts to involve the U.S. armed forces in resolving election disputes would take us into dangerous, unlawful and unconstitutional territory. Civilian and military officials who direct or carry out such measures would be accountable, including potentially facing criminal penalties, for the grave consequences of their actions on our republic.”

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Arizona Trump ‘Audit’ Plagued With Problems — and Is Nowhere Close to Completion

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The dubious Arizona election “audit” is plagued by problems and nowhere close to completion.

The Democratic secretary of state, Katie Hobbs, sent a letter Wednesday pointing out that ballots have been left unattended, laptop computers unlocked and unsupervised, and untrained workers are using inconsistent procedures to count more than 2.1 million ballots cast in Maricopa County, reported the Washington Post.

The review is far behind schedule, with only about 20 percent of the ballots counted after almost two weeks of work, and workers must vacate Veterans Memorial Coliseum when their rental agreement ends May 14, and the venue’s operators say previous commitments to a high school graduation cannot be undone.

Hobbs, the current secretary of state, said in her letter that elections are “governed by a complex framework of laws and procedures designed to ensure accuracy, security, and transparency” but the recount effort ordered by the GOP state Senate and led by Florida firm Cyber Ninjas “ensure none of those things.”

Former Arizona secretary of state Ken Bennett, a Republican who’s acting as spokesman for the audit, did not respond to a request for comment by tweeted that Hobbs’ allegations were “baseless claimes [sic].”

“The audit continues!” read the tweet.

Volunteers are helping Cyber Ninjas, whose CEO pushes election conspiracy theories on Twitter, look for evidence of fraud that may have deprived Donald Trump of an election win.

Contractors have examined ballots under microscopes and UV lights to search for watermarks, based on claims that originated among Qanon conspirators, or traces of bamboo, which conspiracy theorists believe would prove the ballots were imported from China and, therefore, fraudulent.

“What they’re doing is to find out if there’s bamboo in the paper,” said John Brakey, an assistant to Bennett. “They’re doing all sorts of testing to prove if it was or wasn’t, and that’s very important, because the only way you’re going to persuade people on changing is having facts, and we’re on a mission for facts.”

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