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Kamala Harris Cornered Bill Barr in His Hearing — and Now She’s Exploiting the Weakness She Uncovered

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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), a member of the Judiciary Committee and a 2020 presidential candidate, followed up her noteworthy performance on Wednesday questioning Attorney General Bill Barr with an aggressive move: calling for an investigation of from the Justice Department inspector general.

In an exchange she transcribed for a letter to the department, Harris had asked the attorney general if the White House had ever asked or suggested that Barr or the justice department open any specific investigations. He struggled to answer her clearly:

Senator Harris: Attorney General Barr. has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone?
Attorney General Barr: Um. I wouldn’t … I wouldn’t. uh—

Senator Harris: Yes or No?
Attorney General Han: Could you … could you repeat that question?
Senator Harris: I will repeat it. Has the President or anyone at the White House ever asked or suggested that you open an investigation of anyone? Yes or no please, sir.
Attorney General Barr: Urn, the President or anybody…
Senator Harris: Seems you would remember something like that and be able to tell us.
Attorney General Barn Yeah, but I’m. I’m trying to grapple with the word ‘suggest.’ I mean, there have been discussions of. of matters out there that. uh- – the> have not asked me to open an investigation. But…
Senator Harris: Perhaps they’ve suggested?
Attorney General Barr: I don’t know. I wouldn’t say suggest…
Senator Harris: Hinted?
.Attorne General Ham I don’t know.
Senator Harris: Inferred? You don’t know?
Attorney General Barr: No.

Watch the clip here:

The letter to Inspector General Michael Horowitz said that she had “grave concern about the independence” of Barr, saying that the White House directing the opening of investigations “strikes at the very heart of the rule of law and threatens to undermine the longstanding independence of the Justice Department.”

She also noted that there’s good reason to think the president might be trying to corruptly influence the department.

“Such inappropriate requests by the President have been well documented,” she wrote. “For instance, in addition to investigating the Russian influence operation, Special Counsel Mueller also examined the President’s conduct with regard to the Russia probe and documented a disturbing pattern of behavior on the part of the President—repeated attempts to target his perceived opponents using the power of federal lass enforcement.”

In particular, Mueller documented Trump asking then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions at least three times to open an investigation into Hillary Clinton. Some, including Lawfare’s Ben Wittes, has argued that this request alone is an impeachable offense.

She noted that Barr was “unable or unwilling [to] answer the question” of whether such requests have been made of him. She therefore asked that the inspector general investigate “whether the Attorney General has received or acted upon requests or suggestions, whether implied or explicit, to investigate the president’s perceived enemies.”

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Supreme Court Blocks House Subpoena for Trump’s Financial Records – for Now

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The U.S. Supreme Court has just issued a temporary stay blocking a House subpoena that would require the release of President Donald Trump’s financial documents. Chief Justice John Roberts issued the order.

The stay is until “further order,” and allows time for both sides to submit arguments, according to Bloomberg News.

Calling it an “indefinite delay,” the Associated Press notes the “hold could last a matter of days or weeks,” if the Court decides to let two lower court rulings in favor of the House stand.

“But the delay could extend for months if the justices decide they need to hear arguments and issue a written opinion,” the AP adds.

Responses from both sides are due Thursday, according to this document posted by Axios:

 

 

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House Investigating if Trump Lied to Mueller

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The U.S. House of Representatives is investigating if President Donald Trump lied to Special Counsel Robert Mueller during his 22-month long Russia probe.

The Washington Post reports the attorney for the House revealed the existence of the investigation to a panel of judges. The House is arguing that it must be allowed to see secret grand-jury materials from Mueller’s investigation. The Dept. of Justice has been blocking that request after a lower court ordered the materials handed over to Congress.

The New York Times adds that the investigation is focused on the written answers Trump submitted to questions from the Special Counsel.

It is a crime to lie to the FBI or the DOJ.

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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Three People Dead in Shooting at Oklahoma Walmart

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Three people were shot to death at a Duncan, Oklahoma Walmart, according to KOCO 5 News.

The Duncan Banner reports police have confirmed the shooting suspect is dead. It is currently unclear if they are included in the death toll.

A mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas left 20 people dead and dozens injured. It led the company in September to ask customers to cease open-carry of guns and announce it would stop the sale of many types of ammunition.

Just days later Walgreens and CVS pharmacies, and Kroger and Wegmans supermarkets announced they too were asking customers to no longer enter their stores openly-carrying guns.

Developing…

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.

 

Image by Ian Britton via Flickr and a CC license

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