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Here’s why ‘Whitaker won’t be able to suppress’ Robert Mueller’s report after Manafort proceedings: Intel analyst

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National security and intelligence journalist Marcy Wheeler unveiled a fascinating theory following special counsel prosecutors revealing that former Donald Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement.

Some legal analysts think Trump may have dangled a pardon. Others suggest he may be scared of retaliation by Russian president Vladimir Putin. Veteran journalist Dan Rather suggest Manafort was simply outsmarted by special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Wheeler, however, offered a specific theory on how Mueller outmaneuvered the Trump team.

She explains that Mueller made the revelation only after President Donald Trump had turned in his written answers on collusion to the special prosecutor.

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“Just about the only explanation for Manafort’s actions are that — as I suggested — Trump was happy to have Manafort serve as a mole in Mueller’s investigation,” Wheeler argued. “But Mueller’s team appears to have no doubt that Manafort was lying to them. That means they didn’t really need his testimony, at all.”

“It also means they had no need to keep secrets — they could keep giving Manafort the impression that he was pulling a fast one over the prosecutors, all while reporting misleading information to Trump that he could use to fill out his open book test,” she continued. “Which increases the likelihood that Trump just submitted sworn answers to those questions full of lies.”

This is where her theory gets even more interesting.

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Since Matt Whitaker was installed as acting Attorney General, many legal analysts have worried his role was to scuttle the special counsel investigation and/or prevent the public release of Mueller’s report.

Wheeler noted a specific line from the status report that Mueller’s team filed on Monday.

“The government will file a detailed sentencing submission to the Probation Department and the Court in advance of sentencing that sets forth the nature of the defendant’s crimes and lies, including those after signing the plea agreement herein,” the special counsel’s office promised.

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“There’s your Mueller report, which will be provided in a form that Matt Whitaker won’t be able to suppress,” Wheeler concluded.

If she’s correct, the public will learn the details from the special counsel’s report in the next Mueller filing.

And it will be done in a way that effectively bypasses acting AG Whitaker’s ability to suppress the facts.

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Read the whole theory here.


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‘The president got his head handed to him’: CNN panel points out GOP is fleeing Trump after Syria vote

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A CNN panel discussion on Donald Trump's very bad Wednesday turned to a House vote that saw Republicans joining with Democrats en masse in condemning the president's actions in Syria, with the panelists agreeing it is bad sign for Trump's future.

Speaking with hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota, CNN regulars Jeffrey Toobin and Dana Bash said Trump is facing big problems as impeachment looms.

According to Bash, a big part of Trump's bad day was word of his "meltdown" on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) spreading to congressional lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

As she noted the now-famous picture of Pelosi confronting the president, Bash explained, "It's hard to see how that picture shows anything other than her literally and figuratively standing up to the president, particularly after what we now are told from people on both sides of the aisle who were in that room happened where the president was, again to use his words, 'rude to her'"

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‘Wonder who wrote this nice tweet’: Trump offers surprisingly ‘warm condolences’ to Cummings family

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President Donald Trump offered his "warmest condolences" to the family of Rep. Elijah Cummings, who died at 68 -- but many had doubts about who wrote that message.

The president had frequently attacked Cummings, who commanded respect and admiration from Democrats and Republicans alike, and social media users had been waiting to see Trump's reaction to the Maryland Democrat's passing.

Trump extended a message to the lawmaker's family and friends, and said that Cummings' voice would be nearly impossible to replace.

"My warmest condolences to the family and many friends of Congressman Elijah Cummings," Trump tweeted. "I got to see first hand the strength, passion and wisdom of this highly respected political leader. His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible, to replace!"

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The Trump murder video is no joke: It’s an encouragement to ramp up the violence

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Donald Trump is not a “friendly fascist.” Unlike Ronald Reagan, the prototype for that concept, Trump does not pretend to be harmless. He does not offer up fake smiles and a cheerful nature, or display empathy and human concern for others, feigned or otherwise.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Donald Trump is direct, obvious and public in his threats against democracy, the Constitution and the rule of law. Trump and his movement are working to destroy America’s multiracial democracy through appeals to a mythic past that will “Make America Great Again.” In practice this means undoing all the social progress and democratic reforms of the last century or more and returning to a society where white people — rich white male Christians, in particular — are fully in control over all aspects of American society for all time.

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