Astronauts' hearts grow rounder while they are in space, suggesting that spending lots of time in microgravity could lead to heart problems, according to US research on Saturday. That could mean trouble for people who want to embark on long-term missions…
On Wednesday, writing for The Washington Post, former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance laid down suggestions for Attorney General Merrick Garland on how to reform the Justice Department after years of political influence and manipulation by the Trump administration.
Her advice comes at a time when Garland has taken fire from allies for controversial decisions, including moving to block the release of a DOJ memo explaining the decision not to charge former President Donald Trump with obstruction of justice in the Mueller investigation — and at a moment when the department is reeling from reports Trump officials used it to spy on members of Congress and their families.
"That's a shocking departure from the respect for the separation of powers that prevented even President Richard M. Nixon, with his list of enemies, from investigating members of Congress," wrote Vance. "What's less shocking is that Garland didn't know about this case sooner — and may yet not know about other Trump-era projects, especially considering the widespread concerns about the politicization of the department. The problem cases don't identify themselves. Files don't come with bright yellow stickers that say 'Warning!' and 'Danger!' It will take a top-to-bottom review of the Justice Department to root them out. And it has to happen fast.
Vance laid out some simple steps for Garland to begin sorting out the problem.
"One critical step is for Garland to commit to transparency. He can depart from the Justice Department's culture of reserve, a culture that avoids much in the way of public explanation," said the report. "The department can't publicize the details of investigations in progress because it could compromise them, endanger witnesses or smear the reputations of people who are never charged. Disclosure of grand jury proceedings is prohibited by law. But the Justice Department can be transparent about the way it works and its decision-making process. It can openly discuss why it takes certain legal positions, especially when institutional interests are at stake."
"Garland's the Justice Department has difficult decisions ahead, ones that will not please everyone," concluded Vance. "The only way to navigate this complicated landscape is to be open and candid about what is taking place; to be willing to explain decisions and why the Justice Department believes they are the right ones ... This may not be the traditional way things are done at the Justice Department, but it is the right way for this troubling moment."
You can read more here.
'They have it': Mueller prosecutor says if DA has documents and Trump's comptroller — it's over for Weisselberg
In a shocking moment Wednesday, former senior prosecutor for special counsel Robert Mueller, Andrew Weissmann agreed with Michael Cohen that Allen Weisselberg is about to be out of options.
Speaking to MSNBC's Ari Melber, Weissmann followed an interview with Cohen in which the former Trump attorney said that he has turned over every document and all of the evidence necessary that could link Allen Weisselberg to illegal behavior.
"As Michael Cohen said, and, as you know, I rarely agree with him but I think he is right here, having the comptroller as somebody who appears to be cooperating is really significant. If I were the CFO, Weisselberg, and I knew the comptroller was cooperating and that the Manhattan District Attorney's office has all of the documentation, assuming there is some crime there, they're going to have it because they now have a witness and they have the documentation."
In the second half of the interview, Weissmann addressed the recent decision by the Justice Department to drop the investigation and lawsuits against John Bolton for allegedly disclosing classified information in his book. Weissmann made it clear that there were statements and a paper trail proving that Bolton did what was asked by the compliance office. That office signed off on the book.
See Weissmann's interview below:
Mueller prosecutor says if DA has documents and Trump's comptroller — it's over for Weisselberg www.youtube.com
Senate Judiciary Democrats give Merrick Garland 15 days to disclose Bill Barr memo on Trump indictment
On Wednesday, all 11 Democratic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland, demanding that he turn over a secret memo from Attorney General William Barr on why former President Donald Trump was not prosecuted for obstruction of former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.
The letter argues that "the Senate Judiciary Committee has equities in this matter" — and gave Garland 15 days to either turn over the memo, or explain his justification for not doing so.
"Although these memos predate your confirmation as Attorney General, the Department you now lead bears responsibility for ensuring the [Office of Legal Counsel] is not misused to justify harmful policies or inappropriately conceal information from Congress," said the letter. "Please provide the memo, or your legal justification for withholding it, to the Committee by June 30, 2021 ... We look forward to a prompt reply."
U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson already ordered the memo to be released, but the Justice Department is appealing the decision — a controversial move that has earned sharp criticism from some legal experts.
Writing for The Washington Post, opinion columnist Greg Sargent highlighted Senate Democrats' move as significant.
"The memo is important because it could shed light on how the department — and, more broadly, the rule of law — were deeply corrupted to help Trump escape accountability for potential crimes," wrote Sargent. "After special counsel Robert S. Mueller III documented extensive potential criminal obstruction by Trump, Barr declined to prosecute. Importantly, in clearing Trump, Barr sent a letter to the Senate and House judiciary committees that badly misrepresented Mueller's findings, while declaring that his decision not to prosecute was not driven by precedent dictating that sitting presidents are immune from prosecution."
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