According to former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, the last-minute indictment offered up by Special Counsel John Durham won't hold up to scrutiny and was likely intended to hand Donald Trump a weapon to fend off claims that Russia had a hand in his 2016 election.
Earlier in the week, Durham announced an indictment against attorney Michael Sussmann, a former federal prosecutor who previously worked for a law firm linked to the Democratic Party. As NPR reported, "Sussmann is facing a single false statements count in connection with a conversation he had with then-FBI general counsel Jim Baker on Sept. 19, 2016. In that meeting, Sussmann shared information about possible ties between a Kremlin-linked Russian lender, Alfa Bank, and a computer server at the Trump Organization."
With McQuade noting there is very little direct evidence that Sussman lied and that he wasn't hiding his ties to Hillary Clinton which were well known in Washington D.C.. she claimed it was an obvious attempt to come up with one charge before his time as a special counsel ran out.
As McQuade wrote: "A grand jury only needs to find probable cause that a crime was committed to return an indictment, but DOJ policy requires a higher standard. Before putting a person through the expense, burden and stigma of criminal charges, a prosecutor should make a determination 'that the admissible evidence will probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction.' This case comes woefully short of that standard."
With that in mind, the former prosecutor speculated that Durham filed his case in such a way that he could throw more fuel on the fire for Trump to use to protest the Russia accusations.
"So why would Durham bother to file charges in a case so rife with issues?" McQuade wrote before adding that one clue may be that Durham's indictment, "...discusses the Clinton campaign's efforts to engage in opposition research on former President Donald Trump, much of it beyond the scope of the very narrow offense with which Sussmann is charged. It may be that Durham is using this indictment as a vehicle to disseminate what he has found to the public so that Trump and his allies can paint a false equivalence between the conduct of the Trump and Clinton campaigns."
The former prosecutor added, "Mueller found that the Trump campaign shared polling data with a Russia intelligence officer, met with Russians to obtain dirt on Clinton, and coordinated messaging around the disclosure of stolen email messages. With this indictment, Trump can now say that it was Clinton who brought information to the FBI about links to Russia in the first place and yet again claim the Mueller investigation was a hoax."
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Eric Trump complained on Sunday that the Trump Organization and the Trump family is facing an onslaught of investigations and that they are forced to respond to subpoenas "every single day."
The former president's son made the remarks during an interview on Fox News with host Maria Bartiromo.
"The problem with the Democrats is they dig so deep that they always find themselves," Trump said. "And the reason I'm frustrated about this is every single day since my father ran for president, my father and our entire family and our company has been under investigation. Every single day, Maria, we get subpoena after subpoena after subpoena."
"But, I mean, they weaponized the entire system in this country," he added. "They've weaponized the DOJ. They've weaponized our military. They weaponized the educational system in this country. They've weaponized the medical system in this country. The Democrats weaponize absolutely everything they can to use again their political opponents."
Watch the video below from Fox News.
A combative Gov. Tate Reeves (R-MS) battled with "State of the Union " host Jake Tapper on Sunday morning after the CNN host pointed out the massive death toll in his state from Covid-19 and point-blank told him: "You're not doing anything."
During the interview that ranged over 14 minutes, host Tapper called the death toll in Mississippi "horrible" and informed the Republican lawmaker that, if his state was a country, it would be second in Covid deaths per capita worldwide.
That in turn, led Reeves to accuse the CNN host of not talking about Covid deaths in states overseen by Democratic governors -- with the two talking over each other as Tapper told Reeves he wanted to talk about Mississippi's staggering death toll.
"Governor, if Mississippi were a country, you would have the second-worst per capita death toll in the world, and I'm saying are you going to do anything to try to change that?" Tapper pressed.
"Jake, as I mentioned earlier, deaths, unfortunately, are a lagging indicator," Reeves shot back. "Our total number of cases went from 100 to 3,600 and over the last two weeks has declined. They've been cut in half from 3,600 to 1,800. When you wanted me to come on three or four weeks ago and talk about our number of cases then you want to talk about our hospitalizations, now you want to talk about a lagging indicator, which is sad, and it's horrible."
"I'm saying to you, your way's not working and whether you say it's a lagging indicator, or whatever your argument is. Mississippi now has, if it were its own country, the second-worst per capita death rate in the world, behind only Peru. and I'm saying, are you going to try to do anything to change that and I'm not hearing an answer," Tapper insisted.
"Well, what I have said to you repeatedly, Jake, is that Mississippi has taken action, Mississippi has seen a significant uptick in the total number of Mississippians that have gotten the vaccine." Reeves attempted. "We've seen our case numbers have fallen dramatically in the last two weeks. And so ultimately, as I have said, deaths, unfortunately, is a lagging indicator, we've seen cases, again, cut in half in Mississippi. And these other states that you refuse to talk about, perhaps because they have Democratic governors, you don't want to talk about them. But the reality is, you and the president and so many other people want to make this about politics."
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