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‘No regard for the rule of law’: Watergate prosecutor slams Trump’s ‘absolutely outrageous’ crusade against the FBI

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On MSNBC’s ‘The Beat’ on Tuesday, two legal analysts both used the term “absolutely outrageous” to describe the latest reported efforts by the White House to obstruct special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigations.

The host, Ari Melber, introduced former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman to add context to all the breaking news.

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“Nick, four big stories, the one that has the most potential malfeasance would appear to be this highly unusual report of a new FBI director threatening to resign,” Melber suggested.

“I think that’s right,” Ackerman agreed. “Again, it shows that Trump has no regard for the rule of law, that he thinks he can run the FBI, he thinks there should not be independence between criminal investigations, the Department of Justice and the president of the United States, which is counter to our entire history of the president dealing with the FBI.”

“Trump still thinks that we’re living in a pre-1776 world where there is a king and not a president and a constitution and laws that constrain the president from doing precisely what he’s trying to do,” Ackerman charged.

“It’s absolutely outrageous, the FBI is not a political party, the FBI investigates crimes for the Department of Justice,” Ackerman said. “I worked with hundreds of FBI agents, lots of investigations, we never once talked politics.”

“I say three cheers for Christopher Wray for sticking up for the bureau,” Ackerman suggested.

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Professor Maya Wiley agreed.

“That the President of the United States would insist that the department would protect him as opposed to protecting the country by protecting our laws and ensuring that there is compliance with our laws is absolutely outrageous,” Wiley said.

“I think it clearly suggests that Bob Mueller’s team is climbing up the totem pole, I think we all knew this was coming, both the Sessions interview and the Comey interview, it was just a matter of when,” Price said. “I think the most important revelation we learned today is not that these two interviews took place, but the fact that Donald Trump’s interview will be about Michael Flynn.”

Former CIA Agent Ned Price wondered if President Trump himself may be implicated.

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“There is one key question Ari that remains unanswered there, why did Michael Flynn lie to the FBI?” Price asked. “One quick data point here Ari, just a couple of days after Michael Flynn signed that plea with the Mueller team, two sources told NBC News that Bob Mueller’s team is now investigating whether Michael Flynn had been directed by Trump to lie to the FBI.”

“Which I think at least raises the possibility that there could be some fire where there’s smoke,” Price concluded.

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“There are three big issues that are going on, Michael Flynn, the fact that he’s testifying and he’s revealing all to the Mueller team,” Ackerman explained. “Because sanctions is really what Michael Flynn lied about and he lied about sanctions relating to what occurred during the campaign, which leads me to believe that there was some kind of quid pro quo relating to sanctions, and the third sort of theme that runs through all of this is the obstruction of justice.”

“If you take these three things and everything that’s happened in the news today, they kind of all tie together,” Ackerman concluded.

Watch:

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Trump aide told investigators Paul Manafort began spreading Ukraine conspiracy theories as soon as DNC server hack was revealed

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On Friday, a new batch of documents recording the interviews former special counsel Robert Mueller's prosecutors held with aides to President Donald Trump was released, as part of a Freedom of Information Act request by BuzzFeed News.

One of the revelations in the interviews with Rick Gates, who served as an aide to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, was that Manafort began pushing conspiracy theories about Ukraine at the same time that the Russian hack into the Democratic National Committee became publicly known.

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Joe Biden takes on Trump’s rhetoric during racial justice crises: ‘The words of a president matter’

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Former Vice President Joe Biden talked about the importance of a president's words and accountability during times of crisis during a Friday appearance on MSNBC.

Biden was interviewed by Craig Melvin, who noted the protests tearing apart cities and asked where he would start if elected president.

"I start by talking about what we must be, making no excuses, talking about our obligation to be decent," Biden answered. "Our obligation to take responsibility, our obligation to stand up when we see injustice."

"Look, the words of a president matter -- no matter how good or bad that president is," he explained. "A president can, by their words alone no matter who they are, make it rise or fall, take us to war, bring us to peace. The words of a president matter."

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South Carolina Republicans gather for an ‘active rejection’ of social distancing measures: report

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On Friday, The New York Times reported on a gathering of Republicans in Conway, South Carolina that appeared to be an "active rejection" of social distancing measures and other public health guidelines.

"The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative in Horry County, who is retiring to Ohio," wrote Astead Herndon. "Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks."

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