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Justice Department says Mueller probe lawful

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 The U.S. Justice Department has backed Special Counsel Robert Mueller over a lawsuit filed against him by Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, and argued that the case should be dismissed.

Manafort sued Mueller on Jan. 3, saying his office’s investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 presidential election exceeded its legal authority.

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The civil lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, accused Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed Mueller, of exceeding his legal authority to “grant Mr. Mueller carte blanche to investigate and pursue criminal charges in connection with anything he stumbles across.”

“These claims lack merit,” a Justice Department filing to the court on Friday said. “The Special Counsel’s investigation and prosecutions are entirely lawful.”

The department said the case should be dismissed.

Mueller’s office indicted Manafort and his business partner Rick Gates in October on charges including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy against the United States and failing to register as foreign agents of Ukraine’s former pro-Russian government.

Trump and his Republican allies in Congress on Friday escalated a campaign against U.S. law enforcement agencies over their probe of the president’s ties to Russia, releasing a disputed memo that the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned was misleading and inaccurate.

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Democrats said the four-page memo mischaracterized highly sensitive classified information and was intended to undermine Mueller’s criminal probe into the Russia matter launched in May 2017 that grew out of an earlier FBI investigation. They warned Trump against using it as a pretext to fire Rosenstein or Mueller himself.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Additional reporting by Nathan Layne and Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)


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Ahmaud Arbery’s killing puts a spotlight on the blurred blue line of citizen’s arrest laws

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The killing of an unarmed black jogger by white residents who assumed he was up to no good is shocking, but it should come as no surprise.

If anything, Ahmaud Arbery’s death in Georgia on Feb. 23 was predictable: the latest tragic example of the fatal consequences that can occur when private citizens seek to take the law into their own hands.

As a law professor and former police officer, what concerns me is not just that the men who killed Arbery may have thought that their attempted apprehension was legally sanctioned, but that they they would have had good reason to believe that. Most states still retain outdated laws that protect would-be vigilantes.

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‘Un-American’ anti-lockdown protesters hammered by Army veteran for appropriating military gear to make their point

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In a Memorial Day column for the Washington Post, military vet Drew Garza -- who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan among other deployments -- hammered anti-lockdown protesters who have appropriated a quasi-military style of dress while sometimes carrying "un-American" flags at lockdown rallies.

According to the U.S. Army vet who is now a Tillman scholar at George Washington University, protesters who adorn themselves in military-style garb while carrying high-powered weapons to protest stay-at-home orders designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus pandemic is a personal affront to those who have actually served.

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Michael Moore warns liberals that Trump is trying to scare them away from voting using his ‘guys with guns’

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Liberal activist Michael Moore is concerned that his fellow progressives are being scared off by President Donald Trump and his friends with guns.

Speaking to Bill Maher on Friday, Moore said that from the very beginning, Trump tried to scare people by encouraging his Second Amendment friends to prepare to fight back with their semiautomatic weapons if he loses the election. Now they're back.

"This time he's already got his gun guys. The guys with the guns. You saw this in Michigan," said Moore. "Showing up at the capitol for the last couple of weeks with their long arms and threatening everybody to the point where the governor, last Tuesday, just shut the legislature down. She was so afraid. I want to appeal to people to not be afraid of these guys with the guns. I went to high school with them. I know. They want to kill Bambi. That's their idea of a real fight. Them and a deer. If the deer were ever armed -- if it was a fair fight, these guys would never be in the woods."

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