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‘We took key document copies home’: Watergate prosecutor explains ‘just in case’ preparations if president quashes probe

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Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks explained to MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell the multiple reasons why she is not overly concerned that President Donald Trump might fire investigators the day after the midterm elections.

“After election day, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein might never again announce any indictments or other developments in the Robert Mueller special counsel investigation, because Rod Rosenstein could be fired the day after the election, Robert Mueller could be fired the day after the election, Attorney General Jeff Session could surely be fired the day after the election,” O’Donnell noted. “And the Trump pardons could start flying around Washington the day after the election, four weeks from now.”

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“Jill, 29 days from now, Donald Trump is apparently free to fire whoever he feels like firing because the congressional elections will be behind him,” the host said.

“Yes, he can — and he might — although he did say he had no intention of firing anybody, but that usually is a sign that he’s about to do it,” she replied

“On the other hand, I do think that Mueller will have planned for all this, and that he will be ready for it, as will Rosenstein be ready for it,” she continued.

Wine-Banks, who was also the first female general counsel of the U.S. Army, said Mueller had lots of options.

If there were to be a “Saturday Night Massacre” like there was during the Nixon administration, Wine-Banks said that Trump could be indicted and Mueller’s report sent to Congress as is — and maybe even be proved to the public. Or he could allow the grand jury to act “on their own inherent authority” to return an indictment absent his involvement.

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“What do you imagine it’s like inside the Mueller office with the prosecutors?” O’Donnell asked. “They’ve got your old job there, working on the special prosecutor investigation of a president.”

“I think they’re planning their activities around that possibility, and they may be doing what we did, which was we took key documentary copies home — no originals — but we took copies home, just in case we got fired and were not allowed to have our documents ever again,” Wine-Banks revealed.

“We wanted to take the chance that we might have to violate the law to save the country, so we took them home,” she explained.

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“So I think they hopefully are planning for this horrible possibility, which I hope won’t happen, because it would be the ultimate obstruction of justice and would really be a threat to democracy,” Wine-Banks concluded.

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Two impeachment articles expected against President Trump: reports

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Democrats are expected to announce on Tuesday two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, US media reported Monday evening, after laying out their case at a hearing against a president they branded a "clear and present danger" to national security.

The articles will focus on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, The Washington Post said, citing three official familiar with the matter.

It added that the full House of Representatives would vote on the articles next week, ahead of a trial in the Senate.

CNN said a third article on obstruction of justice was still being debated, and the network's sources cautioned that plans were still being finalized.

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Ambassador McFaul ‘shocked’ Trump invited Sergey Lavrov back to the Oval Office: ‘What are they thinking?’

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Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul repeatedly said he was shocked that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

McFaul was interviewed Monday evening by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC "The Last Word," where he contrasted how Trump is treating the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Ambassador McFaul, I want to get your reaction to the Russian foreign minister meeting tomorrow at the White House, in the Oval Office, with President Trump," O'Donnell said. "That's his second time. President Zelinsky still hasn't gotten that meeting and Donald trump apparently, apparently may be voted articles of impeachment in committee this week because of his interactions with President Zelensky."

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House Judiciary to vote on Thursday to impeach Donald Trump: report

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Democrats are moving ahead with the impeachment of President Donald Trump following another day of testimony on Monday.

"House Democrats plan to unveil at least two articles of impeachment Tuesday, charging President Donald Trump with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, according to multiple lawmakers and aides. The Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the articles on Thursday, setting up a vote on the House floor next week to make Trump the third president in history to be impeached," Politico reported Monday evening.

"Democratic leaders plan to formally announce the articles at a press conference Tuesday morning. Judiciary Committee Democrats intend to meet ahead of the announcement and review the articles," Politico reported. "The decision to move forward with specific impeachment charges is the most significant move yet for the year-old Democratic House majority, a legacy-defining moment for Speaker Nancy Pelosi that sets up a Senate trial for Trump in early 2020."

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