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Expect Mueller to lay out a ‘conspiracy case’ that will ‘ensnare the president’s family’: Ex-federal prosecutor

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Former federal prosecutor Peter Zeidenberg has written a column for USA Today that predicts special counsel Robert Mueller will soon lay out a “conspiracy case” regarding Russian interference in the 2016 election that will “ensnare the president’s family.”

As evidence, Zeidenberg cites former Trump “fixer” Michael Cohen’s latest guilty plea, in which he admitted to lying to Congress about a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow that was being hammered out even as Trump was securing the Republican Party’s nomination for the presidency. It is this admission, Zeidenberg says, that will give Mueller evidence of a motive to conspire with Russia to interfere in the election.

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“The putative Moscow project helps provide motive for Trump to have curried favor with Putin,” he writes. “And once Trump repeatedly and publicly denied having any business interests in Russia, Putin had leverage over Trump, because he knew this claim was an easily disprovable lie.”

Given that Cohen also regularly briefed members of the Trump family — including Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump — with updates on the project, Zeidenberg argues that they are now potentially implicated in the conspiracy, especially if they falsely told investigators that they knew little or nothing about Trump Tower Moscow.

He also believes that Trump publicly dangling a pardon for former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will almost certainly be seen as an attempt to obstruct justice by Mueller’s team.

Read the whole analysis here.


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New Zealand epidemiologist: ‘We look at Trump’s behavior and we’re horrified’

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To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we bring you Part 2 of our discussion of New Zealand.

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Trump White House hammered for covering up their own economic projections as jobs vanish

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The Trump White House has decided against releasing midyear economic projections this summer, breaking precedent at a time when unemployment is expected to top 20 percent.

The Washington Post reports that the administration is not releasing updated economic projections that "would almost certainly codify an administration assessment that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe economic downturn" with massive job losses that have topped 36 million in just two months.

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Joe Scarborough can sue for defamation — and ‘it could require Mr. Trump to pay substantial punitive damages’: Legal expert

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MSNBC's Joe Scarborough may have a defamation case against President Donald Trump, according to one legal expert.

Peter Schuck, an emeritus professor of law at Yale and visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, laid out the case against the president in a new column for the New York Times.

"Trump’s wantonly cruel tweets about the tragic death in 2001 of Lori Klausutis are distinctive," Schuck writes. "They may constitute intentional torts for which a civil jury could award punitive damages against him."

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