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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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‘Didn’t Trump want the death penalty for drug offenses?’: White House mocked for claim Blagojevich was freed to combat ‘aggressive sentencing’

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During an appearance on Fox News this Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley addressed President Trump's recent pardons and commutations, specifically the commutation of Rod Blagojevich, suggesting it was done in an effort to clamp down on "aggressive sentencing" by prosecutors.

"The fact is, the president is clearly against excessive sentencing," Gidley said. "Whether it's Rod Blagojevich or Alice Johnson, he's focused on making sure people who serve time in prison, who have rehabilitated, who show regret and show remorse, don't have to rot away in a jail cell their whole life."

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2020 Election

Will Wednesday’s debate finally prove that Bloomberg is not Batman?

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After months of highly repetitive Democratic primary debates that, with pointless inevitability, turn into tedious squabbles over different health care plans that will never actually be passed in their proposed forms, there's finally going to be some real tension going into a debate again. That's because information billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is expected to show up tonight in Las Vegas, having purchased his way into the debate by infusing the airwaves and our very bloodstreams with a series of ads that are as inspiring as Bloomberg the man is not.

This article was originally published at Salon

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Paul Krugman debunks Trump’s bogus claims about the ‘Obama economy’

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President Donald Trump has repeatedly insisted that his policies alone are responsible for the economic recovery in the United States, claiming that he inherited a broken economy from his Democratic predecessor, President Barack Obama. But Trump’s claims are wildly misleading, and economist/New York Times columnist Paul Krugman debunked some of them this week in a Twitter thread.

Krugman tweeted, “So, I see that Trump is bad-mouthing the Obama economy. Two points. First, there was absolutely no break in economic trends after the 2016 election.”

The 66-year-old Krugman posted a chart showing GDP (gross domestic product) from 2010 (when Obama was serving his first term) to 2020 (three years into Trump’s presidency). GDP, the chart shows, gradually improved during Obama’s eight-year presidency.

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