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Ex-Watergate prosecutor: ‘Jeff Sessions has made it a lot easier’ for special counsel Mueller to find him guilty of perjury

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Former Watergate assistant special prosecutor Nick Ackerman knows a thing or two about perjury — and according to him, Attorney General Jeff Sessions just made the case that he lied under oath that much easier for current special counsel Robert Mueller.

“Did Jeff Sessions roll the ball further away from perjury by the way he defended himself today?” MSNBC host Ari Melber asked Ackerman.

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“No, I think he brought it closer to perjury,” the former Watergate counsel replied. “Perjury’s a very difficult crime to convict people of, because you’ve got to get in the person’s mind as to whether the were telling the truth.”

Nonetheless, Ackerman said “Jeff Sessions has made it a lot easier for a prosecutor.”

Ackerman outlined the three times Sessions lied in sworn testimony: first, when he falsely claimed at his confirmation hearing that he “didn’t recall” meeting with any Russians (he met thrice with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak); second, when he sent a letter to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) claiming outright that he never had contact with Russian officials; and third, when he “denied any knowledge about any [Trump campaign] surrogates having any contact with Russia.” The latter was proven to be a lie after it was revealed that former campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page told Sessions about their contacts with Russians.

“What you have are just outright here is three blatant lies,” Ackerman continued. “It’s hard to explain it away by mistake or lack of recollection.”

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The former prosecutor went on to say that rather than genuinely forgetting, Sessions appears to be using “the old ‘I don’t recall’ trick” intentionally because he never “imagined in a million years” that former campaign aides would come forward — or that a special counsel would be appointed.

“I think he was just trying to stonewall this straight through, hoping that the whole thing would go away,” he said.

Watch the former Watergate counsel and “Sessions expert” discuss why the attorney general is using the “I don’t recall” tactic below, via MSNBC.

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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