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Reporter overhears courthouse clerk’s conversation suggesting Mueller has subpoenaed Trump to testify

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s office may have already subpoenaed President Donald Trump to testify in the ongoing investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

A Wednesday Politico report offers informed speculation that the two parties are duking it out in court over the suspected attempt to force Trump to testify before a grand jury.

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According to the report, at least some of the evidence comes from conversations overheard by reporters at the courthouse.

The report notes:

But now, thanks to Politico’s reporting (backed up by the simple gumshoe move of sitting in the clerk’s office waiting to see who walks in and requests what file), we may know what Mueller has been up to: Since mid-August, he may have been locked in proceedings with Trump and his lawyers over a grand jury subpoena—in secret litigation that could tell us by December whether the president will testify before Mueller’s grand jury.

The evidence lies in obscure docket entries at the clerk’s office for the D.C. Circuit. Thanks to Politico’s Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn, we know that on August 16th (the day after Giuliani said he was almost finished with his memorandum, remember), a sealed grand jury case was initiated in the D.C. federal district court before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. We know that on September 19, Chief Judge Howell issued a ruling and 5 days later one of the parties appealed to the D.C. Circuit. And thanks to Politico’s reporting, we know that the special counsel’s office is involved (because the reporter overheard a conversation in the clerk’s office). We can further deduce that the special counsel prevailed in the district court below, and that the presumptive grand jury witness has frantically appealed that order and sought special treatment from the judges of the D.C. Circuit—often referred to as the “second-most important court in the land.”

Politico points out that Trump attorneys have denied knowing the identity of the witness, but adds: “What, of course, would we expect a lawyer to say when asked about a proceeding the court has ordered sealed?”

“At every level, this matter has commanded the immediate and close attention of the judges involved—suggesting that no ordinary witness and no ordinary issue is involved,” the article says, offering “one final—but compelling—clue” suggesting that Trump was the identity of the witness in question.

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“President Trump’s sole appointee to that court, Gregory Katsas, recused himself,” the report states. “[I]f the witness were the president himself—if the matter involved an appeal from a secret order requiring the president to testify before the grand jury—then Judge Katsas would certainly feel obliged to recuse himself from any official role.”

Update: Trump attorney Jay Sekulow denied the report, saying, “The report in Politico is completely false. There has been no subpoena issued and there is no litigation.”

Read the entire report at Politico.

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Trump panicked White House attorney will flounder on TV during Senate impeachment trial: report

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President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have begun to debate how best to handle the impeachment trial. And one of the key questions at hand is who will represent Trump in the Senate.

One obvious choice would be White House counsel Pat Cipollone. But according to The New York Times, there is a problem: Trump is scared that he might not be particularly good on national television.

"Mr. Cipollone is expected to represent Mr. Trump at the trial, along with the president’s outside lawyers," reported Sheryl Gay Stolberg. "But the president has also been quizzing people about who his lawyers should be, and has noted Mr. Cipollone’s lack of TV experience, as the trial will be televised, a person involved in the planning said."

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Russia went looking for puppets in America — and they found Trump and the Republicans

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The Russians wasted decades infiltrating the left attempting to gain purchase in American political life. There was the Communist Party USA, of course. Established in 1919, the CPUSA grew through the 1930s and boasted a membership of about 100,000 at the beginning of World War II. A hundred thousand! Whoop-de-doo!

This article first appeared in Salon

Then there were the spinoff lefty parties like the Socialist Workers Party, the Progressive Labor Party, the Workers World Party, the Socialist Labor Party, the Progressive Labor Party — we could go on listing one splinter group after another with “socialist” or “labor” or “workers” in its title. They were tiny groups with memberships that were sometimes less than 100, and they would all deny being infiltrated by the Russkies, naturally. So would the “New Left” groups that came later, like SDS and The Weathermen. Nobody wanted to admit they were under Russian influence. Everything they were doing, from opposing the war in Vietnam to civil rights to fighting for free speech, was being done for completely pure reasons.

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2020 Election

William Barr made it clear this week that he’d sign off on a sham investigation into the Dems’ 2020 nominee

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

A perfect storm propelled New York's sleaziest real estate developer to an Electoral College victory in 2016 despite winning three million fewer votes than his opponent, but Nate Silver made a compelling argument that the letter James Comey sent to Congress just 11 days before Election Day announcing that the FBI was re-opening its probe into Hillary Clinton's emails was decisive.

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