Pivotal White House official to finally testify about Trump’s alleged obstruction of Mueller: report
Former White House counsel Don McGahn has reached an agreement to testify before the House Judiciary Committee about findings in special counsel Robert Mueller's report.
Court documents filed Wednesday evening show McGahn will answer questions in private about information attributed to him in the publicly available portions of Mueller's report, although the date for that testimony has not yet been set, reported NBC News.
"I am pleased that we have reached an arrangement that satisfies our subpoena, protects the Committee's constitutional duty to conduct oversight in the future, and safeguards sensitive executive branch prerogatives," said committee chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY).
A transcript will be made public about a week later, according to the filing with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
The agreement was reached between the committee, which had issued a subpoena to compel McGahn's testimony, and the Department of Justice, which had challenged congressional authority to ask courts to enforce a subpoena against executive branch officials.
McGahn is considered by lawmakers the "most important" witness in possible obstruction of justice by Donald Trump in the lengthy probe of his campaign ties to Russia.
Republicans recasting rioters as victims as they create an ‘alternate history’ of Trump’s insurrection
On Thursday, writing for MSNBC, columnist Steve Benen tore into Republican lawmakers for their increasing denial that the violent January 6 invasion of the U.S. Capitol even happened the way everyone saw it.
"The setting was a House Oversight Committee hearing on the Jan. 6 riot, which some Republicans took as an opportunity to characterize rioters as victims," wrote Benen. "Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-Ga.), for example, rejected the idea that the insurrectionist violence constituted 'an insurrection,' adding that Trump's rabid mob behaved 'in an orderly fashion.' The Georgia Republican went on to say, '[I]f you didn't know that TV footage was a video from January the 6th, you would actually think it was a normal tourist visit.' Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) blasted the Justice Department for 'harassing' suspected rioters, whom he described as 'peaceful patriots.' Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.) added, 'It was Trump supporters who lost their lives that day, not Trump supporters who were taking the lives of others.'"
"It was every bit as surreal as it sounds," wrote Benen. "For these far-right Republicans, now is the time to write an entirely new alternate history about the events of Jan. 6, with the villains recast as the heroes. The facts make pro-Trump forces look like dangerous criminals, so Clyde, Gosar, and their cohorts have decided to pretend their fiction is real."
The denial comes after some of these lawmakers, like Gosar, actively participated in the "Stop the Steal" rally that fed the riot.
"Part of what makes this so extraordinary is the audacity. The world saw the riot on television. Trump's recent impeachment trial added additional documentary evidence that had not previously been released, and reinforced the severity of the assault on the United States," wrote Benen. "We've arrived at a point in which our political discourse is so toxic, GOP members of Congress are entirely comfortable telling Americans not to believe their lying eyes. These elected officials fully expect to get away with brazenly lying about events — not from generations past, but from four months ago — confident that their allies will simply believe what they're told to believe."
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A Facebook content moderator this week described the traumatic experience of watching violent videos for hours a day -- and said that the company's own "wellness coaches" were ill equipped to help them cope.
Business Insider reports that content moderator Isabella Plunkett, who works for Facebook subcontractor Covalen, told the Irish Parliament this week that her job involves sifting through videos featuring child abuse, suicide, and other former of violence.
She also said that wellness coaches working at the firm try to ease the psychological burden on workers by having them perform activities such as singing karaoke, although she said that such suggestions were not helpful.
"These people mean well, but they're not doctors," she said. "They suggest karaoke or painting but you don't always feel like singing, frankly, after you've seen someone battered to bits."
Plunkett also described the way that her work haunts her even when she's sleeping.
"I have horrible lucid dreams about the things I've seen and for months I've been taking antidepressants because of this content," she said.
As Business Insider reports, Plunkett also described her job as trying to "train the algorithm" so that it can automatically detect and remove violent and racist content from the platform.
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