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DOJ to Drop Case Against Russian Companies Charged in Mueller Investigation With Trying to Subvert 2016 Election

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Not ‘In the Interests of Justice’

Attorney General Bill Barr‘s Dept. of Justice has filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to drop charges against two Russian companies charged as a result of Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

The New York Times describes the defendants, Concord Management and Concord Consulting, as “two Russian shell companies accused of financing schemes to interfere in the 2016 election, saying that they were exploiting the case to gain access to sensitive information that Russia could weaponize.”

The two shell companies “were charged in 2018 in an indictment secured by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, along with 13 Russians and another company, the Internet Research Agency. Prosecutors said they operated a sophisticated scheme to use social media to spread disinformation, exploit American social divisions and try to subvert the 2016 election.”

In a legal filing (below) reported by Politico’s Kyle Cheney, the DOJ says continuing to prosecute the case “promotes neither the interest of justice nor the nation’s security.”

The Times reports the DOJ was concerned documents it might have to provide to Concord might end up being published online, and for various reasons decided to file a motion to drop the case “to preserve national security interests and prevent Russia from weaponizing sensitive American law enforcement information,” an official told the Times.

“Upon careful consideration of all the circumstances, and particularly in light of recent events and a change in balance of the government’s proof due to a classification determination,” the filing says, “the government has concluded that further proceedings as to Concord, a Russian company with no presence in the United States and no exposure to meaningful punishment in the event of a conviction, promotes neither the interest of justice nor the nation’s security.”

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Romney’s ‘Pathetically Weasel-Worded’ Defense of His Vow to Vote for Trump SCOTUS Pick Mocked and Destroyed

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U.S. Senator Mitt Romney is being highly criticized Tuesday, after he announced he will vote to confirm President Donald Trump’s nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, even before the candidate has been named.

CNN’s take is that Senator Romney’s “backing of Supreme Court vote paves way for election-year confirmation.”

Romney said he would vote for any nominee who is qualified, although he struggled to define what the term meant to him.

Many are attacking the Utah Republican Senator for green lighting Trump’s unnamed SCOTUS nominee despite voting to impeach the president.

Former Dept. of Defense communications official:

Sen. Romney also made several remarks, both to reporters (video below) and in a statement, that are provably false.

“The historical precedent of election year nominations is that the Senate generally does not confirm an opposing party’s nominee but does confirm a nominee of its own,” Romney said in a statement.

Journalist Joan McCarter points out that’s false.

Civil rights attorney Sasha Samberg-Champion blasts Romney for cloaking a purely political decision in the rule of law.

Historian Kevin Kruse:

Reporter and analyst for Inside Elections, Jacob Rubashkin, notes just how false Romney’s claim is that America is a “center-right” nation – and embarrasses him in the process:

As does journalist Jay Willis:

Romney’s false claims that the Supreme Court has been liberal for years is also easily debunked as “utter nonsense” – by Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at a conservative think tank:

And by this HuffPost journalist:

More:

Image via Shutterstock

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Romney: I Will Vote to Confirm Trump SCOTUS Nominee if Qualified

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U.S. Senator Mitt Romney says he will vote for President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to hold the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg if that candidate is qualified.

The Republican from Utah says a “liberal court” is “not written in the stars,” and implied his decision to buck fairness and Republican precedent is based on helping to mold a “center-right” Supreme Court – which it already is.

He also falsely claims the nation is “center-right.”

Two Republicans have said they will not vote before the election. Democrats need four Republicans to not vote before the inauguration.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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‘Shaping Policies’: Trump Official in Charge of Personnel at HHS Has Been a College Senior – Report

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The Trump administration put a college senior in charge of personnel at the Dept. of Health and Human Services, Catherine Granito. She appears to have graduated this spring.

A Politico report Monday afternoon, “Trump administration shakes up HHS personnel office after tumultuous hires,” revealed the stunning placement – including that she has been “playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”

HHS has an annual budget of $1.286 trillion. As of 2015 it had 79,540 employees.

“White House Liaison Emily Newman and her deputy Catherine Granito will be shifting full-time to the Voice of America’s parent organization, the United States Agency for Global Media, HHS chief of staff Brian Harrison told senior staff on Monday,” the Politico article states.

It adds that “Granito — an undergraduate at the University of Michigan as recently as this spring — had been in charge of the health department’s personnel while playing a role in shaping policies in the middle of a pandemic.”

Granito’s LinkedIn page says she attended the University of Michigan until May as a student athlete playing lacrosse and notes she majored in English language and literature. A Google search shows that page listed her as an “advisor” at HHS.

Her Facebook page says she “Works at U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.”

The recent Michael Caputo scandal appears to have involved Granito.

“Granito, who was in the class of 2020 at the University of Michigan, was involved in political appointees’ recent scrutiny of CDC Deputy Director Anne Schuchat, a career civil servant. Caputo and his team raised concerns about Schuchat this spring after she publicly acknowledged missed opportunities in the nation’s response to the coronavirus.”

 

Image: Official White House Photo of HHS Sec. Alex Azar and President Donald Trump by Tia Dufour via Flickr

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