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Activists call for nationwide protests to protect Mueller investigation

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U.S. progressive groups will stage hundreds of protests nationwide on Thursday to demand that President Donald Trump do nothing to hinder an ongoing investigation into Russian meddling to help him win the 2016 U.S. election.

The protests, operating under the banner “Nobody is Above the Law” and led by the activist group MoveOn, called for people to gather in cities at 5 p.m. on Thursday in an effort to protect the investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

The action was spurred by Trump’s move on Wednesday to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions with Sessions’ chief of staff, Matthew Whitaker, as acting attorney general. Sessions had recused himself from overseeing the Russia investigation, while Whitaker has called for it to be scaled down.

Trump announced the move the day after a Congressional election that saw his Republicans lose control of the House of Representatives but gain seats in the Senate.

“Donald Trump has installed a crony to oversee the special counsel’s Trump-Russia investigation,” MoveOn said on its website. It pledged that at least one rally would be held in each state.

Mueller has indicted a number of Russian individuals and firms for meddling in the election to help Trump win, and is investigating whether anyone on the Trump campaign collaborated with them. Trump denies collusion and calls the investigation a partisan witch hunt.

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The Justice Department is separately investigating payments that were made during the campaign to women who said they had affairs with Trump to bar them from speaking.

Sessions has long drawn Trump’s ire for recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta; Editing by Peter Graff

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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Senator Elizabeth Warren leads Democrats in spirited first 2020 debate

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Ten Democrats clashed in the first debate of the 2020 presidential race Wednesday with Elizabeth Warren cementing her status as a top-tier candidate and several underdogs using the issue of immigration to clamor for the limelight.

The biggest American political debate since the 2016 presidential campaign is occurring over two nights in Miami, climaxing Thursday with former vice president Joe Biden squaring off against nine challengers, including number two candidate Bernie Sanders.

But Wednesday's first take was a spirited encounter between Democrats like ex-congressman Beto O'Rourke, Senator Cory Booker, former San Antonio mayor Julian Castro and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio on subjects as varied as health care, economic inequality, climate action, gun violence, Iran and immigration.

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Here are 4 winners and 9 losers from the first 2020 Democratic primary debate

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With ten candidates on stage Wednesday, the opening debate of the 2020 Democratic primary in Miami was a packed mess. And this was only the first course in a two-part event — 10 more candidates will debate on the following night.

A crowded field makes it difficult to stand out, and that means that even after a big night like a debate, the most likely result is that not much changes. But the debate was still significant, giving candidates the chance to exceed, meet, or fall below expectations for their performances.

Here's a list — necessarily subjective, of course — of the people who came out on the top when the dust was settled, and those who came out on the bottom.

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Here are 3 ways Julián Castro stood out in the first Democratic Debate

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There were many predictions going into the first Democratic debate on MSNBC, but no one predicted that Julián Castro would break out from the crowd.

Check out the top three ways Castro stood out from the crowd.

Immigration:

The former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development was the outright winner of the immigration section of the debate

It should "piss us all off," Castro said about the father and his little girl who were found face-down in the shores of the Rio Grande River this week. “It’s heartbreaking."

Castro is a second generation American who got into specifics on immigration policy, calling for an outright "Marshall Plan" style of action for Guatemala and Honduras. He joined with other Democrats calling for an end to President Donald Trump's family separation policy, but he then suggested ending the "metering" of legitimate asylum seekers.

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