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Acting Trump AG Whitaker turned the DOJ into the Department of Justice Obstruction: Ex-CIA chief of staff

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The crisis of institutions during the Donald Trump administration escalated on Thursday after acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker threatened to not show up at his scheduled testimony before Congress on Friday.

NBC News national security analyst Jeremy Bash joined Nicolle Wallace on “Deadline: White House” to explain the latest developments. Bash served as chief of staff for the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency.

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“Jeremy Bash, I read these questions and was thinking — if Robert Mueller is investigating the president for possible obstruction of justice, he too might want to know if Matthew Whitaker was briefed on the Mueller probe and told Donald Trump about it,” Wallace noted.

“What do you think the chances are that not just Congress has these questions and seeks these answers, but that Robert Mueller also wants to talk to Matt Whitaker about the kind of conduct that the questions shared with him covers?” she asked.

“I think there’s a likelihood that the special counsel is interested in whether or not Matt Whitaker was specifically put in that job to replace Jeff Sessions to constrain or starve the investigation,” he answered. “And I think they’re interested from a credential perspective — and possibly criminal law perspective — as to whether or not Matt Whitaker is a conduit of information back to the White House.”

Later in the segment, Wallace brought up Whitakers credentials to even hold the position of acting Attorney General.

“Jeremy, can you just jump in on sort of the elephant in the room. I think all of the questions about Whitaker have at their core the fact he’s not held in high regard in legal circles, certainly not on the left, and not on the right either,” Wallace noted.

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“What is your theory why he’s there?” she asked.

“I think he’s there in part to make DOJ into DOJO — the Department of Justice Obstruction,” Bash replied. “There are very relevant questions for the Judiciary Committee to ask of this acting Attorney General.”

Watch:

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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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