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Government ‘ignored the Constitution’ when they let Trump have a hotel on federal property: inspector general

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The General Services Administration was aware that renting a federal property to Donald Trump may violate the Constitution — but did so anyway.

MarketWatch reported Wednesday that the inspector general for the GSA — the government agency that rented the Old Post Office Building to Trump for his DC hotel — ruled that the agency knowingly ignored the Constitution’s Emoluments Clause.

The IG noted in a statement that the lease for the Trump International Hotel “raised issues under the Constitution’s Emoluments Clauses that might cause a breach of the lease; however, GSA decided not to address those issues.”

MarketWatch noted that the GSA itself argued that “the decision not to address or consider the Emoluments Clauses occurred before the Trump administration was in office or while career officials and not political appointees were in charge.”

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In turn, the agency said it will “adjust [the] language of the building lease,” the report noted.

USA Today’s Brad Heath noted on Twitter that the IG ruled that the GSA officials made the decision to lease the Old Post Office Building to Trump “without conducting any research” into the Emoluments Clause.

The IG report added: “If ’emoluments’ include an official’s gain from private business activities, the President’s interest in the lease [of his hotel] raises at least potential constitutional issues.”

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Heath added that by mid-December 2016, “senior GSA attorneys ‘agreed that there was a possible violation of the Foreign Emoluments Clause but decided not to address the issue’ posed by the president’s ownership of his DC hotel.”

Those attorneys told the IG that they “ignored the emoluments issues and that constitutional issues rarely
arise within GSA’s work,” and that the Emoluments Clause “is not in GSA’s purview.”

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Congress should ask Mueller these specific questions about Trump’s involvement with Russia: Conservative columnist

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Conservative Never-Trump columnist Jennifer Rubin outlined the essential questions that Democrats should ask special counsel Robert Mueller in an op-ed for the Washington Post.

"Rather than engage in the normal scattershot questioning punctuated by speechifying, the House Judiciary Committee should assign its able attorney Norman Eisen to conduct the questioning," proposed Rubin. "Members could then follow up with additional questions.'

One question she proposed asking: "Mr. Mueller, the attorney general said you did not find 'collusion.' However, you did not look for collusion. Please explain what you looked for and how that differs from [Attorney General William] Barr’s assertion that you essentially cleared President Trump of collusion?"

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‘Is Ireland one of those countries you want to invade’: Trump once ‘joked’ John Bolton wants ‘to nuke them all’

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Even President Donald Trump recognizes that John Bolton is a war-loving hawk, Axios reported Sunday.

In a conversation that included the Irish prime minister, Trump asked Bolton, "John, is Ireland one of those countries you want to invade?"

The scene was during the annual St. Patrick's Day visit. Typically it's a photo-op, a handshake, and men in green ties with a shamrock sprig in their jacket pocket. Trump managed to turn it into an awkward scene for everyone.

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Mueller probably won’t be giving new information — here’s why that can still sink Trump

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Former special counsel Robert Mueller will appear in Congress this week to testify for two hours about the report he authored on the case of Russian collusion.

The hearing is set for Wednesday, though Mueller has said that he won't have any additional information other than what is in his report. A Washington Post report used examples of past Mueller testimony to outline what can be anticipated. The reality, however, is that regardless of whether Mueller sticks to the report or not, he'll deliver enough to put the president in a difficult situation.

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