Author Topic: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment  (Read 9573 times)

Offline imchills

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A Republican former judge in Cincinnati has published an op-ed calling for Donald Trump’s impeachment. Mark P. Painter, formerly of the Ohio 1st District Court of Appeals, writes,

“I am a lifelong Republican. I voted for every Republican presidential candidate from 1968 to 2004. But I have watched what once was a sane, center-right party go off the rails, first to the extreme right, then to wherever Trump is, which is in another universe.”
Painter calls out Trump for his unethical and borderline illegal behavior since taking office. He strongly condemns the conflicts of interest that Trump has deliberately maintained for himself so that he and his family can profit from his presidency:

“A president of the United States, on the official POTUS Twitter feed, assails a department store for dropping his daughter’s merchandise. On the same day, the Pentagon is looking to rent space in the Trump Tower. Trump’s son travels to Uganda to make a Trump business deal. And, of course, foreign diplomats will stay at the Trump Hotel. The cash comes marching in.

The phony legalisms Trump has said he used to “separate” himself from his businesses – though he still owns them and his sons are running them – will be cited to make this all acceptable. Horsefeathers. No ethical expert could say with a straight face that this is not a classic conflict of interest.

In any time except our post-factual era, no office holder, much less the president, could get away with any one of the dozens of dazzlingly illegal things Trump has already done. They would forfeit office immediately.”
It gets worse. Trump’s executive branch is a disorganized mess. We are three weeks into his presidency and Trump still has not filled all of his Cabinet positions, let alone a multitude of important State Department positions. He has put white supremacist Steve Bannon on the National Security Council despite Bannon having no relevant experience or qualifications. And Trump has become embroiled in a scandal involving Russian officials, his campaign staff, and his national security advisor, Michael Flynn.

Painter lists a few of the preposterous things that are going on in Trump’s government:

“The leader of the band of Mad Hatters occupying the White House has already insulted allied world leaders, issued illegal and badly written orders, impugned a “so-called” judge appointed by his own party, and appointed the least-qualified cabinet ever. The first secretary of state was Thomas Jefferson. Trump appointed a big-oil executive [Rex Tillerson] with close ties to Russia. The first treasury secretary was Alexander Hamilton. Trump appointed a former Goldman Sachs exec [Steve Mnuchin] who got rich foreclosing on homeowners. The national security advisor lasted 24 days.”
Most importantly, Painter wants Americans to actually do something about all of these troubling things going on in the White House. Only Congress can initiate the impeachment process so, Painter writes, we need to make our representatives do the right thing. He lambasts his representative, Republican Steve Chabot, for wasting time defending Trump from the media when it is time to take action against the dangerously incompetent president.

We have entered a dark period where policy is created “through illiterate tweets” and the quintessential  American values of “free speech, the rule of law, separation of powers” are under threat.

Our representatives need to act swiftly and impeach Trump. Former judge Painter is offering to help draft the papers.


http://occupydemocrats.com/2017/02/15/lifelong-republican-ex-judge-just-called-trumps-impeachment/

Offline Battle

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Spotted on Twitter:


Monday, 20th May 2019

Representative Justin Amash on Saturday became the first congressional Republican to conclude that the president has engaged in 'impeachable conduct.'

Representative Amash's conclusion came after reading the Mueller report.

drumphf later attacked Amash, calling him a loser.

Offline Mastrmynd

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He'll be changing his tune soon...or mysteriously disappear.


Listen to my entertaining radio show, "The Takeover: Top 20 Countdown" at www.top20takeover.VVCRadio.com.

Right on to the real and death to the fakers!  Peace out!

Offline Battle

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Monday, 20th May 2019
Judge rules against trump in records dispute with Congress
by Associated  Press


(Washington, .D.C) — A federal judge in Washington has ruled against President Donald Trump in a financial records dispute with Congress.

Judge Amit Mehta's ruling says Trump cannot block the House subpoena of financial records.

The decision comes amid a widespread effort by the White House and the president's lawyers to refuse to cooperate with congressional requests for information and records.

Trump and his business organization had sued to block the subpoena issued in April to Mazars USA, an accountant for the president and Trump Organization.

Mehta, a U.S. District judge, was nominated to his position by President Barack Obama.



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https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/judge-rules-against-president-donald-trump-in-financial-records-fight-with-congress/ar-AABDYmb?ocid=spartanntp
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 02:38:38 pm by Battle »

Offline Hypestyle

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^^^ hopefully this will be the decision that allows congress to expose 45's recent taxes once and for all.  he must be exposed for the fraud that he is.
Be Kind to Someone Today.

Offline Battle

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Tuesday, 21st May 2019
Republicans may never forgive Justin Amash. The nation should thank him.
by Eugene Robinson




Justin Amash finally said out loud what many other Republicans know but will only whisper:

“President Trump engaged in specific actions and a pattern of behavior that meet the threshold for impeachment.”

Amash’s party may never forgive him.

His nation ought to thank him.

The Michigan congressman on Saturday became the first significant GOP official to acknowledge the clear implication of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report.

Every Republican member of Congress should be pressed for an on-the-record response.

How does the president’s conduct not amount to obstruction of justice?

Where does the Constitution give Congress the right not to act?

Democrats should be asked these questions, too.

I understand that many, apparently including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), think that starting impeachment proceedings would damage the party’s prospects in the 2020 election.

But isn’t duty supposed to take precedence over political expediency?

It clearly did for Amash, whose reward for his principled stance was a Twitter blast from Trump and a primary challenge for his seat.
 
Classy as ever, Trump called Amash a “total lightweight” and a “loser who sadly plays right into our opponents [sic] hands!”

All the president accomplished with this name-calling was to give Amash’s analysis a much wider hearing.

Amash wrote in a series of tweets that he reached his conclusion “only after having read Mueller’s redacted report carefully and completely, having read or watched pertinent statements and testimony, and having discussed this matter with my staff, who thoroughly reviewed materials and provided me with further analysis.”

That sounds like the sort of thing we pay elected officials and their staff members to do.

But Amash wrote that few of his colleagues “even read Mueller’s report; their minds were made up based on partisan affiliation.”

That’s actually a key point.

Anyone who reads the 448-page report can see, as Amash concludes, that Attorney General William P. Barr — in his four-page summary, his congressional testimony and other statements — “intended to mislead the public” about Mueller’s findings.


Barr apparently “hopes people will not notice” his deception, Amash said.


Busted.

Amash’s emperor’s-new-clothes moment did not cause the dam of blind GOP solidarity to break.

Instead, his colleagues attacked him, with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) saying that maybe Amash “wants some type of exit strategy.”

In other words, apparently, carefully reading the Mueller report and thoughtfully analyzing its findings means you’re no longer welcome in today’s Republican Party and might as well leave.

As McCarthy noted, this is not the first time that Amash has been inconveniently faithful to his principles.

I disagree with many of Amash’s libertarian views, but it is refreshing to see a politician stand up for what he believes.

In the Mueller report, Amash finds “multiple examples of conduct satisfying all the elements of obstruction of justice.”

Impeachment, Amash noted, “does not even require probable cause that a crime .?.?. has been committed,”

but simply that an official “has engaged in careless, abusive, corrupt, or otherwise dishonorable conduct.” Trump does all of the above, all of the time.

I’m under no illusions here.

At this point it is clear that most congressional Republicans will stay aboard the rust bucket USS Trump, which has been taking on water from the beginning, until it actually begins to sink.

But here is a line from Amash’s tweetstorm that Democrats should reflect on:

“While impeachment should be undertaken only in extraordinary circumstances, the risk we face in an environment of extreme partisanship is not that Congress will employ it as a remedy too often but rather that Congress will employ it so rarely that it cannot deter misconduct.”

Speaking of misconduct, the Trump administration is now refusing to comply with perfectly lawful subpoenas issued by duly constituted committees of the U.S. Congress.

If this president is allowed to get away with such defiance, why wouldn’t the next president do the same — or go even further?



What good is a system of checks and balances if officials decline to use the tools that the framers of the Constitution so painstakingly crafted?

I can’t be certain what the political impact of a formal impeachment process might be.

Trump would doubtless claim he was being persecuted, as a way to rile up his base and boost GOP turnout.

But he will surely claim victimhood anyway, even if Pelosi decides not to move forward.

Bullies cannot be appeased.

They must be confronted.

Democrats’ options for avoiding impeachment are narrowing.

Amash’s politically dangerous stand is a reminder that elected officials, regardless of party, are supposed to put duty first.

Offline Battle

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Wednesday, 22nd May 2019
New York Passes Bill Giving Congress a Way to Get Trump’s State Tax Returns
by Jesse McKinley


(ALBANY) — New York State lawmakers on Wednesday gave their final approval to a bill that would clear a path for Congress to obtain President Trump’s state tax returns, injecting another element into a tortuous battle over the president’s refusal to release his taxes.

The bill, which is expected to be signed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a third-term Democrat and regular critic of Mr. Trump’s policies and behavior, will authorize state tax officials to release the president’s state returns to any one of three congressional committees.
 
The returns — filed in New York, the president’s home state and business headquarters — would likely contain much of the same information as the contested federal returns, though it remained unclear whether congressional committees would use such new power in their investigations.

The Legislature’s actions put the state in a bit of unchartered legal territory; Mr. Trump has said that he is ready to take the fight over his federal tax returns to the Supreme Court, and it seems likely that he would seek to contest New York’s maneuver.

Republicans have called the effort in Albany a “bill of attainder” — an unconstitutional piece of legislation aimed at a single person — while also decrying the potential invasion of privacy, suggesting that federal officials would conduct improper “fishing expeditions.”

Still, for Democrats for whom the president’s steadfast refusal to release his returns has been a constant frustration, the legislative action was both a victory for states’ rights and the often unsung power of a state legislature.

“It’s a matter of New York’s prerogative,” said State Senator Brad Hoylman, a Democrat from Manhattan, who sponsored the bill.

“We have a unique responsibility and role in this constitutional standoff.”

Once signed into law by Mr. Cuomo, the legislation would require the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance to release returns to the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee and the Joint Committee on Taxation for any “specified and legitimate legislative purpose.”

Such a request would be have to be made it writing, and only after a request for federal returns has been made to the Treasury Department.

In Washington, the House Ways and Means Committee has unsuccessfully sought six years of the president’s personal and business tax returns.

The Treasury Department said last week that it would not honor a congressional subpoena to hand over the president’s returns, saying the request lacked a “legitimate legislative purpose,” though a leaked draft memorandum from the I.R.S. suggested that such logic was flawed.

Steven M. Rosenthal, a tax lawyer and senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, said he would not be surprised if the president fought the state law, though he believed it passed legal muster.
 
“Of course, the Legislature was motivated by Donald Trump’s current refusals,” Mr. Rosenthal said, but added that he thought the bill was written broadly enough to avoid the “bill of attainder” accusation.

That opinion was echoed by Brian Galle, a law professor at Georgetown University Law School, who said that “bills of attainder have been interpreted really narrowly by the courts,” and noted that legislation often describes targeted industries or municipalities in vague terms.

(In New York, for instance, state bills aimed at New York City are typically described as those affecting “a city with a population of one million or more,” as New York is the only such city in the state.)
 
“The bill doesn’t say you can release Donald Trump’s, and only Donald Trump’s, tax returns,” Mr. Galle said.

Lawmakers took steps to safeguard the bill from legal challenges, amending the wording so that it covered an array of public officials, federal executive branch employees and political party leaders.

The passage of the state tax bill is just the latest action in Albany directed at Mr. Trump, who is deeply unpopular in his home state.

On Tuesday, the Assembly passed a bill that would allow state prosecutors to pursue state charges against any person granted a presidential pardon on similar federal charges, undoing a loophole in the face of concern about Mr. Trump abusing his pardon power to indemnify former associates.

The Senate had previously passed the bill to close the so-called double jeopardy loophole, and it, too, has Mr. Cuomo’s support.


Mr. Hoylman said he envisioned the bill as a way to assist congressional oversight at a time of “White House stonewalling.”

Indeed, when the bill was first introduced in early April, Representative Jerrold Nadler of New York, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said it would make the work of federal committee “a little easier to see the complete picture.”

During his campaign for president in 2016, Mr. Trump broke precedent — and set his own — by refusing to release his tax returns, citing what he said were pending federal audits.

There is no law preventing taxpayers from releasing their returns under such circumstances.

David Buchwald, the Assembly sponsor of the state tax bill and a tax lawyer by trade, said that he was confident the state was within its rights to allow federal access to such records, noting that state tax officials commonly share information with the I.R.S. and other states.

“There are no valid constitutional arguments against this legislation,” Mr. Buchwald said on Wednesday.

“The state has the authority over the statutes when it shares tax return information.”

He noted that local property tax information, for instance, was available to the public.

Mr. Galle seconded this, saying “there is no constitutional right to have privacy in your tax returns,” though federal law offers some protections of such information, as well as exceptions.
 
While New York is a profoundly blue state, the support was not unanimous in the Democratic-led Assembly.

Michael Benedetto, a Bronx Democrat, voted no, saying the bill troubled him.

“We are traveling down a path we should not be traveling down,” Mr. Benedetto said, calling the bill political in nature and meant to “get a few people.”

On Wednesday, the state’s top Republican in the Senate, John J. Flanagan, was also outraged that Democrats had “wasted weeks on their singular obsession with getting a peek at President Trump’s taxes,” while other issues languished.

“It’s time for Democrats in Albany to stop seeking cheap headlines,” Mr. Flanagan said.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2019, 01:24:02 pm by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2019, 09:34:29 pm »
Tuesday, 24th September 2019
Impeaching a U.S. President - How the Process Works
by Jan Wolfe



The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday launched an official impeachment investigation of President Donald Trump after he encouraged a foreign leader to conduct a probe that could damage a political rival.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, announced the investigation at a news conference, declaring "no one is above the law."

There has been a groundswell of support among Democratic Party lawmakers for the move following Trump's public admission that he asked Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate the son of presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden.

Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the July 25 phone call was "very friendly and totally appropriate" and that he put "no pressure" on Zelenskiy.

He later called the House probe "Witch Hunt Garbage" in a tweet.

The following explains how the impeachment process works.

WHY IMPEACHMENT?


The founders of the United States created the office of the presidency and feared its powers could be abused.

So they included in the U.S. Constitution a procedure for removing a sitting president from office.

Under the Constitution, the president can be removed from office for "treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors."

What exactly that means is unclear.

Historically, it can encompass corruption and other abuses of the public's trust.

A president does not need to have violated a specific criminal law to have committed an impeachable offense.

Many legal commentators have said that pressuring a foreign leader to interfere in a U.S. election is the sort of conduct the nation's founders would have considered an impeachable offense.

HOW DOES IT WORK?


A misconception about "impeachment" is that it refers to the removal of a president from office.

In fact, impeachment refers only to the House, the lower chamber of Congress, bringing charges - similar to an indictment in a criminal case.

There is ongoing debate over how an impeachment investigation should begin.

Doug Collins, the leading Republican on the Judiciary Committee, has argued that a formal impeachment investigation does not begin until the full House has voted to authorize it.

But Democratic lawmakers have argued that such a vote is not necessary.

The House Judiciary Committee has historically led impeachment investigations, but Democratic Party leaders can also opt to put a select, handpicked committee in charge.

If a simple majority of the House's 435 members approves bringing charges, known as "articles of impeachment," the process moves to the Senate, the upper chamber, which holds a trial to determine the president's guilt.

In such a trial, House members act as the prosecutors, the senators as jurors; the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court presides.

A two-thirds majority vote is required in the 100-member Senate to convict and remove a president.

Lawmakers are not required to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt — the evidentiary standard in a criminal case.

PARTY BREAKDOWN IN CONGRESS?


The House has 235 Democrats, 199 Republicans, and one independent.

As a result, the Democrats could impeach Trump with no Republican support.

In 1998, when Republicans had a House majority, the chamber voted largely along party lines to impeach President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

Two and a half months passed between the House voting to move forward with impeachment proceedings against Clinton and his impeachment.

The Senate now has 53 Republicans, 45 Democrats and two independents who usually vote with the Democrats.

Conviction and removal of a president would require 67 votes.

So, for Trump to be removed from office via impeachment, at least 20 Republicans and all the Democrats and independents would have to vote against him.

The Republican majority in the Senate could vote to immediately dismiss the charges against Trump without considering evidence.

No president has ever been removed as a direct result of impeachment.

One, President Richard Nixon, resigned in 1974 before he could be impeached.

Two, Presidents Andrew Johnson in 1868 and Clinton, were impeached by the House, but not convicted by the Senate.

WHO BECOMES PRESIDENT IF TRUMP IS REMOVED?


In the unlikely event the Senate convicted Trump, Vice President Mike Pence would become president for the remainder of Trump's term, which ends on Jan. 20, 2021.

IS THERE ANOTHER WAY TO REMOVE A PRESIDENT?


Under the Constitution's 25th Amendment, a president can be replaced by their vice president if the chief executive becomes unable to do the job, such as due to a disabling medical or mental condition.

That process begins with the vice president and a majority of the members of the Cabinet notifying Congress that the president is not capable of performing the job.























Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2019-09-24/explainer-impeaching-a-us-president-how-the-process-works

Offline Battle

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« Last Edit: September 26, 2019, 11:17:24 am by Battle »

Offline Battle

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Re: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2019, 08:56:00 am »
Friday, 27th September 2019

Statement from national security professionals



As national security professionals, many of us have long been concerned with President Trump's actions and their implications for our safety and security.

Some of us have spoken out, but many of us have eschewed politics throughout our careers and, as a result, have not weighed in publicly.

The revelation of recent days, however, demand a response.

Specifically, all of us recognize the imperative of formal impeachment proceedings to ascertain additional facts and weigh the consequences of what we have learned and what may yet still emerge.

We applaud those members of Congress, including Speaker Pelosi, who have now started us down that necessary path.

President Trump seems to have leveraged the authority and resources of the highest office in the land to invite additional foreign interference into our democratic processes. 

That would constitute an unconscionable abuse of power.

It also would represent an effort to subordinate America's national interests - and those of our closest allies and partners - to the President's personal political interest.

Having worked across administrations of both parties to uphold and advance those national interests, we consider the President's actions to be a profound national security concern.

Our relations with the rest of the world and our policies on the global stage must be based solely on what is in the national interest.

The introduction of any other considerations of the President debases our democracy, has the potential to make us more vulnerable to threats, and sends a message to leaders around the world that America's foreign policy can be dangerously corrupted by catering to a single individual.

If we fail to speak up - and act - now our foreign policy and national security will officially be on offer to those who can most effectively fulfill the President's personal prerogatives.

To be clear, we do not wish to prejudge the totality of the facts or Congress' deliberative process.

At the same time, there is no escaping that what we already know is serious enough to merit impeachment proceedings.

From there, the facts - and nothing but the facts - should dictate how Congress holds the President to account and signals to the world that our foreign policy and national security is not for sale.

Offline Battle

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Re: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment
« Reply #10 on: September 28, 2019, 10:37:30 am »

"The acting-President actually said to Nancy Pelosi, 'Hey, can we do something about this whistleblower complaint, can we work something out.'

And she said 'You can tell your people to obey the law.'

So she quickly swatted that down."


Offline Battle

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Re: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment
« Reply #11 on: September 28, 2019, 04:22:46 pm »

Offline Battle

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Re: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment
« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2019, 08:43:19 am »
"TRUMP ATTACKS WHISTLEBLOWER, PUSHES CONSPIRACIES, WARNS OF CIVIL WAR AS IMPEACHMENT PROBE INTENSIFIES"


Offline Battle

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Re: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment
« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2019, 03:23:36 pm »
Monday, 30th September 2019
"Trump Knowingly Sought Illegal Foreign Election Assistance From Yet Another U.S. Ally: Australia"



Another useful card from the classic collectible card game, Magic The Gathering is the simple, yet effective 'Lightning Bolt'


Offline Battle

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Re: A Lifelong Republican Ex-Judge Just Called For Trump’s Impeachment
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2019, 03:37:58 pm »
Monday, 30th September 2019
Attorney General Barr personally asked foreign officials to aid inquiry into CIA, FBI activities in 2016

by Devlin Barrett, Shane Harris & Matt Zapotosky



"The Puppetine Campaign: relying on foreign help to win campaigns since 2016."



Attorney General William P. Barr has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to people familiar with the matter.

Barr’s personal involvement is likely to stoke further criticism from Democrats pursuing impeachment that he is helping the Trump administration use executive branch powers to augment investigations aimed primarily at the president’s adversaries.

But the high level Justice Department focus on intelligence operatives’ conduct will likely cheer Trump and other conservatives for whom “investigate the investigators” has become a rallying cry.

The direct involvement of the nation’s top law enforcement official shows the priority Barr places on the investigation being conducted by John Durham, the U.S. attorney in Connecticut, who has been assigned the sensitive task of reviewing U.S. intelligence work surrounding the 2016 election and its aftermath.

The attorney general’s active role also underscores the degree to which a nearly three-year old election still consumes significant resources and attention inside the federal government.
 
Current and former intelligence and law enforcement officials expressed frustration and alarm Monday that the head of the Justice Department was taking such a direct role in re-examining what they view as conspiracy theories and baseless allegations of misconduct.

Barr has already made overtures to British intelligence officials, and last week the attorney general traveled to Italy, where he and Durham met senior Italian government officials and Barr asked the Italians to assist Durham, according to one person familiar with the matter.

It was not Barr’s first trip to Italy to meet intelligence officials, the person said.

The Trump administration has made similar requests of Australia, these people said.

The president still complains frequently that those involved in the investigation of his campaign should be charged with crimes, asserting the FBI search for possible election season collusion between Russia and Trump campaign officials was a witch hunt, spurred by agents and bureaucrats opposed to Trump becoming president.

That investigation ended earlier this year when special counsel Robert S. Mueller III determined there was insufficient evidence to charge any Americans with conspiring with Russia, and declined to reach a decision about whether the president had sought to obstruct justice.

David Laufman, a former Justice Department official who was involved in the early stages of the Russia probe, said it was “fairly unorthodox for the attorney general personally to be flying around the world as a point person to further evidence-gathering for a specific Justice Department investigation,” and especially so in Barr’s case.

“Even if one questions, as a threshold matter, the propriety of conducting a re-investigation of the Justice Department’s own prior investigation of Russia’s interference, the appointment of John Durham — a seasoned, nonpartisan prosecutor — provided some reason to believe that it would be handled in a professional, nonpartisan manner,” Laufman said.

“But if the attorney general is essentially running this investigation, that entire premise is out the window.”
























Would You Like To Know More?
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/attorney-general-barr-personally-asked-foreign-officials-to-aid-inquiry-into-cia-fbi-activities-in-2016/ar-AAI4Q6S?ocid=spartanntp