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Justice Dept focus shifts from immigration to Mueller as staffers follow Sessions out the door

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Senior staffers will likely follow ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions and leave the Department of Justice, which could weaken anti-immigration efforts.

At least four top officials have either quit or are looking to leave after Sessions was pushed out and before President Donald Trump names a permanent replacement to oversee federal law enforcement, reported Politico.

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Those departing officials are loyal to Sessions, who implemented and vigorously defended Trump’s controversial immigration policies, according to more than a half-dozen former and current administration officials.

Danielle Cutrona, a senior counsel to Sessions, departed Friday, and senior counselor Rachael Tucker could leave in the next couple of months or take another job in the department.

Jeff Wood, acting assistant attorney general, may also leave.

Both he and Cutrona had been with Sessions since the Alabama Republican was a senator.

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Trump installed Sessions’ chief of staff Matthew Whitaker, a strong critic of special counsel Robert Mueller as interim attorney general, but he would not likely be nominated to stay on in the face of a likely Senate confirmation showdown.

Senate Democrats have already sued to have Whitaker removed as interim attorney general.

Some of the names floated as long-term replacements — such as former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and George H.W. Bush-era Attorney General Bill Barr — are far more moderate on immigration than Sessions or others preferred by GOP hardliners.

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That could drastically cut back on the changes Sessions made during his year and a half on the job.

“For better or for worse, you cannot say [Sessions] has not had a very profound impact,” said Leon Fresco, head of the DOJ’s Office of Immigration Litigation under President Barack Obama. “He’s been a guiding force in moving both the DOJ and the Department of Homeland Security to draft and implement some of the most restrictive rules on immigration.”


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Dem lawmaker encourages acting-DNI to ignore White House and deliver the whistleblower report directly to Congress

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Appearing on CNN on Friday morning to discuss an alarming whistleblower report on Donald Trump's actions that the president's administration is withholding from Congress, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) encouraged the acting Director of National Intelligence to hand the report over and ignore the administration.

Speaking with CNN host Jim Sciutto, Swalwell made a direct appeal to acting-DNI head Joseph Maguire.

"This is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats to unite and say, we don't want this in our democracy," Swalwell explained. "You know, that's why I wrote the Protecting Our Democracy Act, to, you know, have a bipartisan commission look at this."

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‘Time for a new special counsel’: Ex-DOJ inspector general calls for formal probe of Trump-Ukraine calls

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A veteran law enforcement official called for a new special counsel investigation of President Donald Trump's communications with the Ukrainian president.

An intelligence official filed a whistleblower complaint against the president, and speculation has begun to focus the report concerns Trump's efforts to pressure Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. aid -- and former Justice Department official Michael Bromwich called for a formal probe.

"Time for a new Special Counsel," Bromwich tweeted.

Bromwich -- inspector general for the Department of Justice from 1994-1999, former assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York and associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel for Iran-Contra -- was responding to a summation of the allegations against Trump.

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Defiant Trump tells reporters ‘it doesn’t matter what I discussed’ with Ukrainian PM — then smears Joe Biden

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A defiant President Donald Trump said on Friday that whatever he told Ukraine's prime minister about seeking dirt on former Vice President Joe Biden wasn't important.

As reported by CNN's Jim Acosta, the president told reporters in the Oval Office that "it doesn’t matter what I discussed" recently with Ukrainian Prime Minister Oleksiy Honcharuk, and then pivoted to attacking Biden.

"Someone ought to look into Joe Biden," the president said.

In Oval, Trump tells reporters when asked about Ukraine and whistleblower “it doesn’t matter what i discussed” and adds “someone ought to look into Joe Biden” (per WH pool).

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