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’How stupid is Matthew Whitaker?’: Lawrence O’Donnell explains how the ‘fake attorney general’ could end up in jail

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MSNBC anchor Lawrence O’Donnell explained on Thursday that acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker could be facing federal prison time for obstruction of justice if he interferes with special counsel Robert Mueller.

“The question for Matthew Whitaker, who now occupies the Attorney General’s office of the Justice Department, is does he think he can get away with interfering in Robert Mueller’s investigation of the president?” O’Donnell asked. “We know that’s what the president wants him to do.”

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The segment aired the same day over 1,000 #ProtectMueller protests were held to defend the special counsel investigation.

“Donald Trump is that peculiar kind of criminally-minded person who publicly declares his criminal intent,” O’Donnell noted. “He has said he wants an attorney general who will work for him personally, who will protect him personally, who will obstruct justice for him personally — if necessary — and not work for the American people and not protect justice.”

O’Donnell laid out the relevant questions about Whitaker’s intelligence that are now critical.

“Is Matthew Whitaker smart enough to know that he is going to have to testify under oath to the House Judiciary Committee about any interference that he might try to engage in with the Mueller investigation?” he wondered.

“Is Matthew Whitaker smart enough to know that there is a five-year statute of limitations on the federal crime of obstruction of justice?” he wondered. “And that the next Democratic attorney general, who will probably be chosen during the presidential transition two years from now, will be empowered to immediately investigate every suspicious thing that Matthew Whitaker might be foolish enough to do as Donald Trump’s fake attorney general?”

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“So how smart is Matthew Whitaker? How stupid is Matthew Whitaker?” he asked. “How reckless is Matthew Whitaker?”

“Judging by his previous public comments as a right-wing pundit, he sounds like the kind of guy who could get himself in serious criminal trouble,” O’Donnell concluded.

Watch:

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‘We can’t control that price’: Trump HHS secretary won’t promise a coronavirus vaccine will be affordable for all

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As the coronavirus quickly marches toward officially becoming a pandemic, the Trump administration is working hard to give the appearance they are managing the crisis. On Wednesday Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar repeated President Donald Trump's claim that a vaccine for the deadly, quick-spreading virus would be ready soon. Trump had actually appeared to suggest "very soon," which is false.

But soon or very soon, it won't be either for everyone.

Experts agree a coronavirus vaccine won't be ready for the general population more than a year. And while many would assume that would mean it would be available for everyone, HHS Secretary Azar has something different in mind.

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Trump endorsed a risky antidepressant for veterans — and lawmakers want to know if his Mar-a-Lago pals had a stake in the drugmaker

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House Democrats are expanding their investigation of outside influence at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, examining whether a push to use a new antidepressant from Johnson & Johnson was advanced by a group of unofficial advisers who convened at Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s private club.

The chairmen of the House veterans affairs and oversight committees sent letters last week asking for emails and financial records from the three advisers, Marvel Entertainment chairman Ike Perlmutter, physician Bruce Moskowitz and lawyer Marc Sherman. The Democrats are seeking, among other documents, any communications the men had with Johnson & Johnson and financial records showing whether they had any stake in the company.

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Republican response to potential pandemic aims at protecting Trump with cowardice, hypocrisy and outright lies

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The last time a deadly virus spread quickly across continents, Republicans in Congress ramped up xenophobic rhetoric to fear-monger ahead of the 2014 midterm elections. Echoing Donald Trump, who at the time hosted a weekly "Fox & Friends," Republicans called for a travel ban and spread misinformation. "[President] Obama should apologize to the American people & resign!" Trump tweeted in October of 2014. Public polls right before the midterm elections showed that nearly 80% of Republicans thought the U.S. government should quarantine people who had recently been in a West African country with a major Ebola outbreak and nearly 50% worried they would be exposed to the Ebola virus. It was a catastrophic election for Democrats, with Republicans winning nine Senate seats and 13 House seats.

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