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Mueller acquires Trump ally Erik Prince’s computer and phones: report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller has acquired Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s computer and phones as he zeroes in on the Trump ally’s ties to the Russia probe.

ABC News reported Monday that the military contractor’s electronics were turned over to the special counsel after news broke last week that he is “cooperating” with federal investigators.

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Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, has long been under scrutiny for a clandestine meeting in the Seychelles shortly after Trump was inaugurated that was allegedly intended to establish a backchannel between the administration and Russia.

In May, the New York Times revealed that in sworn testimony before the House Intelligence Committee last November, Prince appeared to have lied when claiming he had no “formal communication or contact with the campaign.” In August 2016, the report noted, the Blackwater founder arranged a meeting between the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and Arab officials who were interested in helping his father win the election.


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Trump’s latest and most ludicrous con job

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Donald Trump is con artist in chief of the United States. His many apparent and impeachable crimes, such as the Ukraine scandal, collusion with Russia and violations of the Emoluments Clause, flow from that fact. Of course, Trump’s long con involves millions and perhaps even billions of dollars. But Trump’s big score, his ultimate goal, is permanent control of the presidency of the United States and the power for him and his family and allies to engage in legal theft indefinitely.

This article first appeared on Salon.

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I was an impeachment skeptic. Here’s why I’m now convinced Trump must be removed

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Despite all the uncertainty surrounding impeachment, we can capture the current moment succinctly: President Trump’s fate hinges on whether Republican senators are more fearful of losing in a primary or in the general election. Now that the live impeachment hearings are about to fuel nationwide prime-time programming, those senators’ fears are likely to intensify.

While that dynamic will determine whether Trump will be removed from office, it doesn’t tell us whether he should be.  I am generally an impeachment skeptic. My recent book—Impeaching the President: Past, Present, Future—argues that impeachment should be regarded as a last resort that, as a general proposition, is inappropriate in a president’s first term.  The American people are capable of rendering judgment and should be given the first crack.

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House Republicans have 3 key defenses of Trump’s Ukraine extortion campaign — and they’re all terrible

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To any halfway objective observer, the first day of public hearings in House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry, which are ongoing as of this writing, have not gone well for Trump’s defenders.

Bill Taylor, the top US ambassador in Kyiv, and veteran State Department official George Kent came off as principled and non-partisan as they delivered damning testimony about the Trump regime’s multifaceted campaign to coerce the Ukrainian government to announce an investigation into fringe right-wing conspiracy theories designed to deflect blame for interfering in the 2016 election from Russia and onto Ukraine.

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