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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.

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.

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

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.

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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.

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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Trump’s racism isn’t a grand plan to win in 2020 — he’s just a ‘blithering idiot’: GOP strategist

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President Donald Trump over the last week has made overtly racist attacks on four Democratic women of color, which has led to speculation that the president believes using racism is the key to winning reelection in 2020.

However, Republican strategist Stuart Stevens, who is currently working for Trump primary challenger Bill Weld, says it would be a mistake to confuse Trump's bigoted impulses with a well thought out battle plan.

"There is always this need to attribute this master plan to Trump because otherwise, you have to come to terms with the fact that he’s a blithering idiot," Stevens said in an interview with the Huffington Post.

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2020 Election

Here is why Nancy Pelosi allowed a House impeachment vote

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Admitting that he isn't privy to insider knowledge from the Democratic leadership, Bloomberg columnist Jonathan Bernstein suggested that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may be playing a much longer game on the possibility of impeachment hearings on Donald Trump than her detractors believe.

Wondering, "Is Nancy Pelosi closer to impeachment?' Bernstein writes, "Usually, when a regular bill or resolution has been introduced, it’s then referred to committee. If the majority party doesn’t want to consider the bill, it will die with no further action. Under House rules, however, any member can force an impeachment resolution onto the floor as pending business. That’s what [Rep. Al] Green (D-TX) did Wednesday."

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Trump falsely claims he stopped his supporters from chanting ‘Send her back!’

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On Wednesday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Greenville, North Carolina, where he singled out Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), accusing her and the other Democratic congresswomen known as "the Squad" of not loving America.

In response, the crowd began to shout "Send her back!"

Trump allowed the crowd to continue the chant for a full 12 seconds before continuing his speech.

The next day, amidst criticism that he was riling up his fans to dangerous levels, Trump claimed that he had indeed shut down the chant, in direct contradiction to the video. New York Times journalist Peter Baker reported Trump's claim on Twitter.

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