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Ex-acting Attorney General Sally Yates rips Trump’s ‘relentless attack on democratic institutions and norms’

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Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates on Tuesday ripped Donald Trump’s “relentless attack on democratic institutions and norms,” arguing his efforts to diminish the Department of Justice will impact the United States “in the years to come.”

“Elections have consequences,” Yates acknowledged at a TimesTalk conversation in Washington, D.C. “And I think you have to expect in a change in administrations, a change in party, that there are going to be policy decisions that are made that you don’t think are a good idea.”

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“What worries me more than any of that is the relentless attack on democratic institutions and norms, and the impact that that can have on our country not just during the term of a Trump presidency, but in the years to come as well,” Yates added.

The former acting attorney general, who was fired by Trump for refusing to defend his travel ban—and later emerged as a key figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation—warned the president’s tendency to bully the Justice Department will lead to “the public’s loss of confidence” in the DOJ.

“Through Democratic and Republican administrations alike, at least since Watergate, there has been a time-honored norm that the White House stays completely away from criminal investigations or prosecutions,” Yates said.

“The damage is done by the public’s loss of confidence that the Department of Justice is acting independently and is making those decisions based on facts and law and nothing else,” she added.

Though she declined to speak about specifics regarding the Russia investigation during her time at the DOJ, Yates insisted she as “absolutely no reason to believe that anything inappropriate was done in connection with the FISA warrants during the time that I was there.”

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Yates said warrants go “through many, many layers of review and in excruciating detail, and folks are very, very careful and serious about that process.”


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Trump brings up Brett Kavanaugh in rage tweet at Democrats about coming impeachment trial

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On Saturday, President Donald Trump brought up Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a bizarre rant against the "Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems" and his anger over the direction of the impeachment process:

After watching the disgraceful way that a wonderful man, @BrettKavanaugh, was treated by the Democrats, and now seeing first hand how these same Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems are treating the whole Impeachment Hoax, I understand why so many Dems are voting Republican!

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2020 Election

McConnell bluntly defends working with Trump to undermine impeachment: ‘We’re on the same side’

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Speaking in Kentucky on Friday afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blithely blew off concerns about coordinating with Donald Trump's White House on how to handle the president's defense in the expected impeachment trial.

One day after admitting on Fox News that he was working hand-in-hand with the White House on impeachment tactics, McConnell was very blunt about his motivations when asked about his admission.

In a clip shared by MSNBC, the Senate leader was pressed about his plans.

"You told Sean Hannity last night you were coordinating with the White House when it comes to impeachment. Why is that appropriate?" McConnell was asked.

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Mitch McConnell in battle with White House over calling Senate impeachment trial witnesses: report

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As the Senate braces for the expected impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, there is a battle going on between the White House and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnel (R-KY) over tactics -- specifically a desire by the president to have an extended trial that will include witnesses he wants to see testify.

According to a report in the New York Times, Trump would like to see former Vice President Joe Bidens' son Hunter called to testify along with the whistleblower whose report led to the impeachment inquiry. Additionally, the president wants to House Intelligence Committee chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to take the stand.

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