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

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Special counsel Robert Mueller and Attorney Gen. Jeff Sessions (Composite image)

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.

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.

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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.

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

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“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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Scientists alarmed as first ever nest of giant ‘murder hornets’ is found in the United States

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After months of meticulous tracking, authorities in the western US state of Washington on Friday said they had uncovered the first ever nest of the deadly Asian giant hornet in the country.

The nest was found on Thursday by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists on a property in Blaine, near the border with Canada, the agency said in a statement.

It added that an attempt to eradicate the nest of wasps -- the world's largest hornet species also known as the "murder hornet" -- would take place on Saturday.

"The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on October 21 (Wednesday), caught in a new type of trap the agency had placed in the area," the statement said.

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2020 Election

Mormons fed up with Trump’s vulgar rhetoric and behavior are flocking to the Democratic Party

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Mormons in the United States have traditionally been reliable Republican voters, but some members of the conservative church put off by President Donald Trump are switching sides and backing veteran Democrat Joe Biden.

Support for Trump among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which emphasizes family values and morals, is especially lagging among women.

Experts say that could have a significant impact in some key battleground states -- notably Arizona and Nevada, where Mormons represent six percent of the population.

"There are things about Biden that I don't agree with, but I think it's more important not to vote for Trump," said Melarie Wheat, a 36-year-old mother of five who lives in the western state of Utah, where the LDS Church is headquartered.

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‘Nuts!’ The Lincoln Project mocks Jared and Ivanka for their ‘comical’ threat to sue over Times Square billboards

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The Lincoln Project on Friday night fired back at White House advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump for threatening to sue over billboards in Times Square attacking their response to the coronavirus crisis.

The ads show the couple smiling alongside coronavirus death tolls for New Yorkers and Americans.

https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1319294071513346053?s=20

Kushner and Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Friday sent a letter to the Lincoln Project warning that the billboards were defamatory. “Those ads show Ms. Trump smiling and gesturing toward a death count of Americans and New Yorkers, and attribute to Mr. Kushner the statement that “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem” (alteration in original), with body bags underneath,” the letter read.

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