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ANALYSIS

Barr: Trump May Have Obstructed Justice 10 Times but It’s Excusable Because ‘Speculation’ by the Press Made Him ‘Angry’

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Attorney General William Barr says that the Mueller report includes ten “episodes” in which President Donald Trump possibly obstructed justice, but he decided that no legal theory could be sufficiently made to warrant their prosecution.

In other words, Trump appeared to try to obstruct justice but in Barr’s opinion, not a single one of those ten times was extreme enough to prosecute. He did not state that collectively they might be, which is also a valid theory. Another valid theory: attempts to obstruct justice can be criminal.

However, the mere appearance of obstruction of justice is sufficient to warrant impeachment, especially ten times over.

The Attorney General actually blamed the news media for its coverage. He seemed to say the media was guilty of reporting on Trump’s actions and behavior, thus upsetting the new president and forcing him to act out.

“It is important to bear in mind the context,” AG Barr told reporters, addressing the issue of obstruction of justice. “As he entered into office and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office. At the same time there was relentless speculation in the news media about the president’s personal culpability. Yet, as he said from the beginning, there was no collusion.”

Barr said the news media’s speculation left him “angry and frustrated.”

Barr also stated the DOJ’s only responsibility is to determine if something is “criminal or not criminal.” Which is a far higher bar than impeachment.

NPR reporter:

Political pollster:

GOP strategist and MSNBC, NBC News analyst:

UPDATE I:

UPDATE II:

NEW:

WATCH: FOX NEWS’ CHRIS WALLACE SLAMS AG BARR FOR ‘MAKING A CASE FOR THE PRESIDENT’

READ: BARR’S REDACTED VERSION OF THE MUELLER REPORT

MUELLER DECLINED TO DECIDE ON CHARGING TRUMP WITH OBSTRUCTION BECAUSE OF DOJ POLICY AGAINST IT

 

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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ANALYSIS

‘Basically Game Over’: Legal Experts Say SCOTUS Likely to Gut Abortion – and There’s a ‘Lot More on the Chopping Block’

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Legal experts are weighing in after listening to Wednesday morning’s Supreme Court oral arguments on abortion, and they’re almost entirely certain the 6-3 conservative majority will gut Roe v. Wade – the only question is how much.

Bloomberg News Supreme Court reporter says there’s no question that the Supreme Court “seem poised to slash abortion rights” and maybe worse.

Slate’s legal expert Mark Joseph Stern predicts that, in his opinion, basically by the end of next year – six months after the Supreme Court hands down its decision in today’s case – half the states across the country will have abortion bans in place.

To those who say women can just travel to a state that doesn’t ban abortion, University of California, Irvine School of Law law and political science professor and election law expert Rick Hasen offers this question:

And Hasen made clear it won’t stop there.

He says, “it won’t end with overturning Roe and allowing guns outside the home. There’s a lot more on the chopping block coming in terms of voting rights, LGBTQ rights, environmental protection, immigration, and more. Decades of work by the conservative legal movement is paying off.”

NYU law professor Melissa Murray agrees it’s not just about abortion.

Stern observes this one “question from Amy Coney Barrett is basically game over for Roe.” The far right wing faith-based justice says now that women can simply give up a child for adoption after giving birth means there’s no reason to not ban abortion.

 

 

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ANALYSIS

Legal Jeopardy Is Far From Over for Kyle Rittenhouse – Here’s Why

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Appearing on MSNBC on Saturday morning, less than 24 hours after a jury in Wisconsin found Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty after shooting and killing two Black Lives Matter protesters, a former New York prosecutor suggested that families of the victims could file civil suits with an expectation of success.

Speaking with host Kendis Gibson, Charles Coleman said it would be up to the families if they want to pursue Rittenhouse further.

“Charles, the criminal case is over, but could Rittenhouse still face anything civilly, any civil penalties?” host Gibson asked.

“He could,” the attorney conceded. “I don’t know how likely it is, but it is very possible. I think that the outcome of this criminal case certainly gives the chance of a civil case some degree of difficulty in terms of being able to get a liability verdict in civil court but it’s important that viewers understand that the standard for a civil case is much lower in terms of the standard of proof than it is for a criminal case.”

“A criminal case requires that it is beyond a reasonable doubt,” he elaborated. “Whereas a civil case requires that it is beyond a preponderance of the evidence, which is basically 50.0001% of being able to prove or establish liability. With a lower bar perhaps it may be that plaintiffs decide that they want to try to sue for wrongful death, or some other sort of injury, and make Kyle Rittenhouse responsible — that remains to be seen at this point.”

Watch below:

 

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ANALYSIS

‘This Is the Rule of Law Striking Back’: Legal Experts Cheer DOJ’s Bannon Indictment

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Steve Bannon’s Friday afternoon indictment by a grand jury is being heralded by legal experts. The former Trump advisor faces two counts of criminal contempt of Congress for refusing to testify before the Select Committee on the January 6 Attack and for refusing to hand over documents to House investigators.

“Good news for the rule of law, and the institution of Congress,” NYU Law professor Ryan Goodman, a former Defense Dept. Special Counsel tweeted.

This is the first time in nearly four decades anyone has been indicted for criminal contempt of Congress. Bannon faces up to two years in jail should a jury convict him.

“This is the rule of law striking back,”  U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) said on MSNBC in response to the news. “Mark Meadows: Call your office.”

Tristan Snell, who successfully prosecuted the State of New York’s case against Trump University, warns Bannon is a flight risk:

He adds:

Top national security lawyer Bradley Moss had a three-pronged response to the news.

First, he scolded those who complained Attorney General Merrick Garland and DOJ were not moving fast enough: “What did I say? I said give Garland time. I said stop whining like little children. All of you can get on your knees and apologize now for weeks of incessant juvenile antics.”

Then he also took a swipe at Bannon and other Trump acolytes: “Who else wants to go to jail for Donald Trump?”

And finally, he mocked Bannon’s infamous wardrobe, asking if the Federal Bureau of Prisons will issue “five layered clothing.”

Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser, author of books on the Supreme Court:

LA Times Legal Affairs Columnist Harry Litman, a former U.S. Attorney:

 

 

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