William Barr, President Donald Trump’s handpicked nominee to become Attorney General, has just said he would not commit to recusing himself from overseeing the Mueller investigation. Like the current Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker, Barr said he would consult with the Dept. of Justice ethics officials but would make the decision to recuse himself.
“Under the regulations, I make the decision,” Barr said emphatically.
Whitaker was advised to recuse by DOJ ethics officials but chose to ignore them.
Former DOJ spokesperson under Attorney General Eric Holder, and frequent MSNBC Justice and Security Analyst Matthew Miller says Barr would be “breaking precedent” to not recuse.
Barr’s commitment to seek but not necessarily follow the advice of ethics officials is the Whitaker standard and falls short of what Holder, Sessions, Rosenstein, and Yates all committed to – to follow that advice. It’s obviously deliberate that he’s breaking precedent.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 15, 2019
Monday night Miller also said, “There is no world in which he doesn’t need to recuse.”
The details of this are stunning. In addition to discussing his memo with Trump’s personal attorneys, Barr also shared or discussed it with Kushner’s lawyer. There is no world in which he doesn’t need to recuse. https://t.co/DPApNxJHBZ
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 14, 2019
Former chief White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter says “Barr has no choice but to recuse from the Russia investigation.”
Under these circumstances Barr has no choice but to recuse from the Russia investigation. He has been appointed by a president who is a subject of that investigation. There is no way that he can oversee it. He must promise to recuse or not be confirmed.https://t.co/0G52oHvMTF
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) January 15, 2019
Watch Barr’s remarks on not recusing:
William Barr refuses to commit to taking the advice of ethics officials within the DoJ if they recommend he should recuse himself from the Mueller investigation solely, saying that he makes the decision ultimately on recusal. pic.twitter.com/ka6sBTcq8M
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) January 15, 2019
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Watch: Lindsey Graham Falsely Claims FBI Stopped Russia’s Attacks on Clinton Campaign During Election
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham opened up Wednesday morning’s hearing with Inspector General Michael Horowitz by falsely claiming the FBI was able to stop Russia’s attacks against the Hillary Clinton campaign, and suggested it did so early on, well before the November 2016 election.
That’s blatantly false.
Chairman Graham also appeared to imply that the FBI did so merely by contacting the Clinton campaign to warn them of Russia’s actions – and he made that claim to support his false theory that the Bureau should have told the Trump campaign it and its officials were subjects or even targets of a counterintelligence investigation to determine if they were conspiring with Russia to win the election.
“I want the American people to know there was an effort to affect Hillary Clinton’s campaign by foreign actors,” Graham says, not even mentioning Russia. “The FBI picked up that effort, they briefed her about it, and they were able to stop it.”
The FBI has not been able to stop Russian interference and attacks on the U.S. elections, which began according to the consensus of all 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies in 2013, and has to this day have not ended.
Lindsey Graham begins the Horowitz hearing by claiming the FBI was “able to stop” the Russian interference campaign against the Clinton campaign. That’s a lie. pic.twitter.com/fHIT9lQ6Hv
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) December 11, 2019
Former chief DOJ spokesperson Matthew Miller offers this insight:
Lindsey Graham's position is that the FBI should have briefed the guy who publicly invited the Russians to interfere in the election about the fact his campaign was under investigation for working with the Russians to interfere in the election.
— Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) December 11, 2019
Trump Trade Advisor Says Americans ‘Don’t Have a Right to Know’ if Administration Tied China Policy to Getting Dirt on Biden
It is a stunning confrontation. Peter Navarro, the White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy says the American people “don’t have a right to know” if the Trump administration has tied China trade policy to getting dirt on Joe Biden. President Trump has been engaged in an extortion scheme against Ukraine, using congressionally-approved military aid to try to strong arm that country.
“You don’t have a right to know what happens behind closed doors,” Navarro, whose often referred to as President Trump’s trade advisor, tells CNN’s Jim Sciutto at a televised forum Thursday.
“I think the American people have a right to know if politics have entered trade negotiations,” Sciutto responded.
Navarro tried to deflect by decrying “too many stories reported based on anonymous sources,” despite the fact that President trump freely admitted he was engaged in an extortion scheme.
“I’m asking you a diret question,” Sciutto continued. “Did you bring up investigating the Bidens as part of the negotiations?”
Navarro refused to answer the simple and direct question that, despite his false claim, Americans absoutely do have the right to know.
“It’s not an appropriate question in my judgment,” he claimed, falsely, repeatedly raising his hands as if to say “stop.”
“Asked and answered,” Navarro concluded.
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 24, 2019
Professor of international relations, political scientist, and journalist David Rothkopf offered this response to Navarro’s remarks:
Navarro has zero credibility among experts of both parties who specialize in the field in which he purports to have expertise (trade). This is because he is an idiot who is limited both by how much he does not know & by the fact that what he does know is wrong. He’s also a hack. https://t.co/LaLUTeUUy5
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) October 24, 2019
‘I’m in Charge of the Hatch Act’ Trump Barked at ‘Weak’ Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney – In a Room Full of Aides
The Wall Street Journal has published an exposé about the Trump 2020 re-election campaign and how the president is “banking on base-pleasing campaign events – more meticulously produced this time – to outweigh any need for a fresh message.”
In one disturbing tale WSJ White House reporter Michael Bender relays how Trump has apparently grown frustrated with White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney – his third in under three years – and attacked him during a meeting with other aides present.
President Trump wanted to bring his Cabinet to a June rally in the critical swing state of Florida. Appropriately, Mulvaney warned the president about the Hatch Act, which prohibits executive branch employees from using their positions for political activities.
“I’m in charge of the Hatch Act,” Trump “barked” at Mulvaney, calling his chief of staff, one of the most powerful people in the nation, “weak.”
Trump is not “in charge” of the Hatch Act. It is an 80-year old federal law that was amended in 2012.
Special Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway’s violations of the law have been so egregious that the U.S. Office of Special Counsel requested the White House “remove” her from her job. President Trump refused.
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