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GOP Senator calls on Holder to resign for upholding the Constitution

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The man accused of attempting to blow up a jet liner outside of Detroit on Christmas Day was, at some point, informed of his right to hear the charges against him in a trial setting, as required by the Constitution of the United States.

Because of that, a Republican Senator wants U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to resign.

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), appearing on Fox News Sunday, slammed the Department of Justice for imprisoning Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 23, as a criminal.

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“He’s doing a better job of interrogating CIA employees than he is of interrogating terrorists, and he’s not making a distinction between enemy combatants and terrorists flying into Detroit trying to blow up planes and American citizens who are committing a crime,” he said, according to The Hill. “He needs to go to Congress and say I made that decision, and here’s why. And based on that perhaps he should step down.”

“Van Hollen also said that FBI agents who interrogated Abdulmutallab for 50 minutes before he was ‘Mirandized’ said they ‘got the information that they needed, and he will certainly be convicted as a result of the court proceedings,'” UPI reported.

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), also appearing on Fox News Sunday, took issue with the suggestion, dismissing it as purely political. When the Bush administration dealt with shoe bomber Richard Reid, he too was imprisoned as a criminal and not held as a prisoner of war, Hollen noted.

Richard Reid was convicted in 2003 of eight charges related to his attempted bombing and is currently serving out a life sentence in a Colorado supermax prison. Then a freshman senator, Alexander did not call for the resignation of former Attorney General John Ashcroft, whose department oversaw Reid’s prosecution. The Bush administration treated the Washington, D.C. sniper similarly.

Alexander, in office since 2003, chairs the Senate Republican Conference, placing him in the party’s number three leadership position. “He is among the least partisan of Senate Republicans, according to an analysis by Congressional Quarterly, which found the Tennessee Republican was among those GOP senators who voted most often with President Barack Obama,” Main Justice noted.

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Alexander is only the latest in a long line of right-wing figures who have attacked the attorney general and the Obama administration for upholding the Constitution, even as it applies to a man who allegedly attempted mass murder. They suggest Abdulmutallab should be held outside the criminal justice system, tried instead by the military in secret proceedings. Alexander said he feels that basic congressional oversight of the secret trials is enough to ensure accountability.

“We have to make a distinction between a kid who breaks into a sandwich shop in Detroit and a Nigerian terrorist who wants to blow up an airplane flying into Detroit,” he said, according to the Canadian Press.

The Bush administration revoked the right of Habeas Corpus, which allows prisoners to challenge the validity of the charges against them. The Supreme Court would later reverse the administration’s move as unconstitutional, granting full Habeas rights to prisoners detained as enemy combatants, but still allowing the military to try some prisoners of war.

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Veteran Republican operative drops a scathing op-ed as he leaves the GOP: ‘Real Americans don’t pledge fealty to a strongman’

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Mike Gillis has served in numerous Republican administrations over the decades. In an op-ed published in the New Yorker this Thursday, Mike Gillis announced that he's leaving the Republican Party.

"...I cannot stand idly by and watch as these crooks take over the party I love. I cannot abide this coarsening of discourse, and so on and so forth, etc., etc. Here are the reasons that I am leaving the Republican Party," Gillis writes.

According to Gillis, Trump is "ruthlessly" dividing the country.

"Brother pitted against brother, cat against dog, exterminator against cockroach, sentient robot against mad inventor. Americans must accept that, no matter our particular beliefs, we are all citizens of the United States—whether we be Republican or Democrat, Canadian or Bulgarian, Mesopotamian or Sumerian."

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‘Reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty’: House issues scathing report on Trump migrant family separation policy

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The Trump administration knew it would not be able to reunite refugee and other migrant families as it ripped children—including infants—from the arms of their parents but did so anyway, according to a congressional report released Thursday on the U.S. government's family separation policy.

"The Trump administration's family separation policy lasted far longer than is commonly known and was marked by reckless incompetence and intentional cruelty."—House Judiciary Committee reportThe House Judiciary Committee spent 21 months investigating the planning and execution of the administration's policy, which resulted in the seizure of more than 2,500 migrant children—including some with physical and mental disabilities—from their parents. Its report (pdf) is the "first complete narrative of the inhumane family separation policy in the administration's own words."

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2020 Election

‘Dangerously out of touch’: Ex-White House adviser slams Trump and Larry Kudlow for bragging about the economy

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President Donald Trump's top economic and trade adviser Larry Kudlow is "out of touch," according to former White House economist Austan Goolsbee.

Speaking to MSNBC's Katy Tur, Goolsbee explained that Trump's celebration of the GDP is unwarranted because it took such a significant dive. It's a lot like losing $100 and getting back $60, said Tur.

"You score five runs in one inning, that is a good inning, but if you let up ten runs in the inning before that you're still way down," Goolsbee explained. "I think the numbers look very much like what happened in the job market over the summer. Where we started with a 21 million job loss, and we made back a little over half of that. And then we kind of stalled out. We're still adding jobs, but you also saw this morning another epically bad new unemployment claims number. You still have well over 700,000 people filing for unemployment insurance newly this week. Now we're seeing this on the GDP side. Certainly, this is a positive. You would not want a smaller number, but it has to be bigger and more sustained than what we saw today before we can say that we're back to normal."

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