Former U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance of the northern district of Alabama, spoke to MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow late Thursday after the New York Times broke a story that President Donald Trump asked the Senate Intelligence Committee to close their investigation into Russia.
Maddow noted that Trump has been under scrutiny for obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI director James Comey. Trump’s request to Republican senators reveals a pattern of behavior in allegedly trying to quash investigations.
“It’s potentially obstruction of justice,” Vance told Maddow. “It may be even more interesting to the [special counsel Robert] Mueller team because it would be evidence that they could use to demonstrate what the president’s state of mind was and if he were to try to excuse the Comey firing as based on Comey’s conduct…of the Clinton investigation. This continued pressure on senators to terminate the Russia investigation would be helpful to demonstrate that the Comey firing had the intention of terminating the Russia investigation.”
She also explained that even if Trump was unaware of the way the laws work or that he was not supposed to make such requests, the laws don’t allow for such an excuse.
“If he live in a bubble despite his experience in life, there is an old saying that young lawyers learn in law school,” Vance continued. “Ignorance of the law is no defense. Would that apply here? I think that there are a number of factors that would work against the use of ignorance as a defense in addition to the fact it’s unlikely he was sheerly likely or sheerly ignorant of the president shutting down an investigation.”
She went on to explain that such a defense is outright “weak.”
Watch the full commentary below:
QAnon authors in a fight over doing an audiobook — because they think their followers can’t read
On Monday, The Daily Beast reported that the authors of a popular book for believers in the QAnon conspiracy theory are in a bitter fight over whether or not to release an audiobook version.
QAnon: An Invitation to The Great Awakening came out last year and peaked near the top of the Amazon bestseller list in March. One of the book's co-authors, Dustin Nemos, is publicly attacking another co-author, who goes by the name of "JoeM," for his "petty and hostile and paranoid" refusal to help produce an audiobook, and notes that it is necessary because a disproportionate number of QAnon believers are elderly, have bad eyesight, and may not be able to read the book as text. JoeM, for his part, has accused Nemos of being a "grifter" who is trying to make a buck off of true believers.
Population of Earth to reach 9.7 billion in 2050: UN
The world population is expected to climb to 9.7 billion in 2050 from 7.7 billion today, with the population of sub-Saharan Africa doubling, a United Nations report released Monday said.
The population could then grow to 11 billion by 2100, according to the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs's "World Population Prospects" report.
The study paints a picture of a future in which a handful of countries see their populaces surge as life expectancy lengthens while the global growth rate slows amid declining fertility rates.
By 2050, more than half of the world's population growth will be concentrated in just nine countries: India, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Indonesia, Egypt and the United States.
Trump’s only winning strategy is to tear down Democrats — because he has nothing to promote: MSNBC panel
President Donald Trump has little to promote for 2020, so political analysts on MSNBC think that he'll likely spend the campaign working to tear everyone else down.
Howard Fineman noted that if Trump intends to do a "tear down" campaign, the most important things Democrats will have are policy proposals to set themselves apart from a White House that is unwilling to pass anything through Congress.
"It's just a question of can he do what he did in 2016 and 2018, which was, frankly, mobilize voters in a fear-tactic kind of way," said Fineman during Monday's "Meet the Press."
Host Kasie Hunt said that it seems the new Trump poll numbers show that his base is losing enthusiasm as they go into the election.