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‘All smoke, no fire’: Law professor dissects Nunes memo and finds it ‘punts’ when it comes to facts

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Joining the chorus of legal and political experts deriding House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ (R-CA) dud memo is law professor Orrin S. Kerr, who said the four-page document is “more confusing than illuminating.”

In his Saturday op-ed for The New York Times, Kerr noted that Nunes’ memo is supposed to make the case that the Department of Justice and the FBI purposefully omitted key facts when applying for a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant for former senior Trump campaign aide Carter Page. According to the University of Souther California law professor, however, they fail even to do that.

“Even assuming the memo’s claims are true — which we can’t determine from the document itself — it still does not establish an ‘abuse’ of the foreign intelligence laws,” Kerr noted.

Republican proponents of the memo claim the infamous Fusion GPS dossier alleging ties between Russia Donald Trump was the prime piece of evidence in the decision to surveil Page. The information that would corroborate this claim, as well more information on why the DOJ decided to surveil the former campaign operative, is either left out of the memo or disputed by it.

“The memo mostly punts on the critical question: Was evidence provided by Mr. Steele important to finding probable cause?” Kerr mused. “We just can’t tell. There may have been lots of other evidence showing Mr. Page was a Russian spy. If so, it doesn’t matter what (if anything) the [House Intelligence Committee’s] affidavit said about Mr. Steele.”

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“The memo gives us too little information to make a conclusion about whether the government abused the surveillance laws,” he concludes. “It’s a partial view when we need a panorama to know what happened.”

Read Kerr’s entire editorial via the Times.

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Mueller is signaling he’ll be tough witness — and it could play right into the GOP’s hands

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Former Special Counsel Robert Mueller is sending a very clear message: He doesn’t want to testify.

That’s the not-so-subtle subtext of the announcement that Mueller plans to submit the 448-page report detailing the findings of the Russia investigation as a statement for the record during his hearing before the House scheduled for Wednesday. Of course, Congress already has the report, so the move isn’t necessary. It’s Mueller’s way of saying, as he has previously, “The report is my testimony.”

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Protesters take to the streets outside judge’s home after he approves controversial jail sentence for black judge

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On Monday, angry crowds of people came to the neighborhood of Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Patrick Dinkelacker after he ordered former judge Tracie Hunter to serve a six-month prison sentence for mishandling a confidential document.

The scenes from the courtroom were dramatic, with Hunter's supporters screaming as she collapsed upon Dinkelacker upholding the sentence, and officers dragging her limp figure from the courtroom:

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‘They share staff with the Kremlin’: Maddow roasts Trump’s new favorite right-wing network OANN

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow roasted One America News Network (OANN) for employing a Kremlin operative to report on United States politics.

"If the Fox News channel is insufficiently pro-Trump for you, you may or may not know there is another boutique little news outlet that is designed specifically for Trump megafans called One America, One America News Network," she explained.

"The Trump White House gave this boutique outfit a hard pass for access to the White House grounds and a permanent seat in the White House briefing room -- remember when the White House used to hold press briefings? They had a seat," she continued.

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