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Ex-acting solicitor general details how Trump’s dwindling legal team shows ‘Mueller is formally thinking of him as a target’

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Former Acting Solicitor General of the United States and top Department of Justice official Neal Katyal may have deciphered why former Fox News pundit Joe diGenova and his wife, Victoria Toensing, were not able to join President Donald Trump’s legal defense team.

In a new Vanity Fair interview, Neal Katyal noted that the same conflict-of-interests that existed when the hiring was announced remained five days later, when the lawyers listed them as reasons they would not be joining the team after all.

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“What happened between last week, when DiGenova and Toensing were announced as joining the team, and yesterday?” Katyal wondered. “Then Dowd resigns Thursday, and yet by Sunday DiGenova and Toensing are gone, leaving the president with only two lawyers.”

Katyal, who has argued more cases before the Supreme Court than any other lawyer from a minority group, wondered if special counsel Robert Mueller intervened.

“Diligent prosecutors, when they see a defendant doing something profoundly dangerous to their self-interest (including hiring lawyers who have conflicts), will raise it with the defendant and suggest they rethink it,” Katyal explained. “I think it very possible that that happened here —- Mueller is a scrupulous prosecutor and may have told Trump he had concerns about Trump’s own rights.”

If that is indeed what occurred last week, it would be very revealing as to President Trump’s legal position.

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“If it did happen, it would strongly suggest that Mueller is formally thinking of Trump as a target of his investigation,” Katyal concluded. “A prosecutor would issue such a warning to a target, not to a witness.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump promoting himself as the ‘second coming of God’ is another sign of his lack of basic mental capacity: Yale psychiatrist

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On Wednesday, President Donald Trump retweeted an anti-Semitic super-fan who compared Trump to the "second coming of God." That was after he made comments Tuesday suggesting that Jews who vote for Democrats are traitorous to Israel. The comments come after a long summer of Trump accusing members of the Squad of being anti-Semitic and suggesting that the Clintons are responsible for disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein's death in jail.

Raw Story spoke with Dr. Bandy X. Lee, a forensic psychiatrist and violence expert at Yale School of Medicine, about the president's fitness for office. Lee helped launch a public health approach to global violence prevention as a consultant to the World Health Organization and other United Nations bodies since 2002. She authored the textbook, “Violence: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Causes, Consequences, and Cures,” which shows how the dangerous psychology of individuals is connected to dangerous societies and cultures, including their politics and economics. She and several coauthors of the public-service book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President,” prepared a mental health analysis of the president using information in the Mueller report (dangerouscase.org).

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Trump has now humiliated his own ambassador to Denmark twice in just one day

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President Donald Trump's statements about the Danish government over the past 24 hours have made things awkward for Carla Sands, the former soap opera actress and chiropractor whom the president appointed to be America's ambassador to Denmark.

On Tuesday, Sands sent out a tweet that hyped up the president's scheduled visit to Denmark -- only to have the president announce on Twitter that he was canceling the event just hours later because the country's prime minister would not entertain his pitch to sell Greenland to the United States.

Denmark is ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit! Partner, ally, friend 🇺🇸🇩🇰 pic.twitter.com/6VEtR1mbay

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GOP is still accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from a megadonor caught in prostitution scandal

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In February, Republican megadoner John W. Childs was charged with soliciting prostitution at a Florida massage parlor.

Childs was charged in the same sting that implicated Robert Kraft, the outspoken owner of the Eagles.

Since the sting, Childs has continued to be a major funder to Republican groups and candidates, reports CNBC.

He's given a total of $330,000 to Republicans, according to FEC filings.

The primary recipients of his largesse have been the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

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