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Here are 7 things to know about Noel Francisco — who’s next in line for Rosenstein’s job

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On Monday, Axios reported that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has resigned, preempting his likely firing following revelations that he’d said—either seriously or in jest—that he would record the president in a bid to oust him from office.

Rosenstein’s departure raises serious concerns that Trump will appoint a loyalist who will either hobble or completely upturn Robert Mueller’s probe.

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According to the legal blog Law and Crime, Rosenstein’s most likely successor is solicitor General Noel Francisco.

Here’s why that might be bad news for the integrity of the Russia investigation.

1. Avowedly conservative

A look at Franciso’s resume shows that he’s committed to right-wing causes. After clerking for Antonin Scalia, Francisco spent his career working for the Bush administration, including representing George W. during the Florida recount.

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2. Believes in vast executive power

Francisco has previously affirmed the president’s legal authority to fire any subordinate.

“The president’s constitutional responsibility to faithfully execute the laws requires adequate authority to remove subordinate officers,” he argued in February. “The framers understood the close connection between the president’s ability to discharge his responsibilities as head of the executive branch and his control over its personnel…The president’s ability to execute the law is thus inextricably linked to his authority to hold his subordinates accountable for their conduct.”

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3. Loyalty to White House

Francisco was confirmed the day after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, Vox reports. Francisco was asked how he would remain independent from White House influence.

“If confirmed, I will provide the President, the White House, and any other entity that I am called upon to advise with candid and independent legal advice,” he wrote.

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4. Not a fan of special counsel

After serving in the Bush Justice Department, Francisco left government. Yet in 2007, he appeared to testify before Congress in defense of George W. Bush after the former president fired nine US attorneys.

“I don’t think it would be appropriate for the Department of Justice to appoint” a special counsel, he said, adding “my own personal belief is that when you hand these issues off to the career prosecutors in the public integrity sections in the US attorneys’ offices in the Department of Justice, those attorneys are generally better able to assess whether a case should be pursued.”

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5. What this could mean for the Mueller probe

In his role, Francisco has the authority to shut down the Mueller probe. But even if the investigation continues, he might hobble the probe in more subtle ways, such as by blocking certain avenues of inquiry.

6. The FBI and Clinton

In a 2016 op-ed, Francisco co-authored an article that accused the FBI of treating Hillary Clinton with “kid gloves.”

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7. Bannon seal of approval

Former White House advisor Steve Bannon reportedly told Business Insider that Francisco should replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who  is widely expected to be fired following the midterms.


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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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