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Mueller’s report will set the stage for damning Trump investigations ‘beyond the special counsel mandate’: ex-solicitor general

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A former senior Justice Department official who helped write the special counsel regulations predicted Thursday what Robert Mueller’s report to the attorney general will look like — and why Donald Trump is damned regardless of what it says.

Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal wrote in a New York Times op-ed that in a different political environment where Mueller was the only person investigating the president, “the pressure for a comprehensive report to the public would be overwhelming.”

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But in this climate, with Trump and his team’s incessant attacks against the special counsel, “the investigation resembles the architecture of the internet, with many different nodes, and some of those nodes possess potentially unlimited jurisdiction.”

“Their powers and scope go well beyond Mr. Mueller’s circumscribed mandate; they go to Mr. Trump’s judgment and whether he lied to the American people,” Katyal wrote. “They also include law enforcement investigations having nothing to do with Russia, such as whether the president directed the commission of serious campaign finance crimes, as federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have already stated in filings. These are all critical matters, each with serious factual predicates already uncovered by prosecutors.”

If Trump and his team did nothing wrong, they’d “have little to fear” from Mueller because, as the former solicitor general noted, prosecuting collusion and obstruction is “enormously difficult” and a report clearing the president of wrongdoing would be the end of it.

“But Mr. Trump’s behavior, particularly his dangling of pardons to witnesses in the investigation, makes total exoneration unlikely,” Katyal noted. “The investigation has been further clouded by the fact that people in Mr. Trump’s inner circle lied repeatedly when it came to Russia (that long list includes Michael Flynn, Paul Manafort and Roger Stone).”

Because the president has so publicly derided the special counsel, it’s likely that Mueller will “issue a more limited, by-the-book report, which will spawn further investigation” — and continue to turn some matters of his investigation over to other prosecutors with broader investigative powers and less public scrutiny.

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Though there’s currently no impeachment inquiry open, there could be one incoming if Mueller “writes a report that is anything less than a full clearing of the president,” Katyal wrote.

Mueller’s mandate did not include investigation of many impeachable offenses, the former senior DOJ employee noted — but depending on the content of his report, Congress would be obligated to investigate those that may be left out of it.

“This is where Mr. Mueller’s ‘by the book’ behavior may be initially unsatisfying to Mr. Trump’s critics,” he concluded, “but ultimately more threatening to the president in the long run.”

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Read the entire Katyal editorial via the Times.


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WATCH: DC protesters turn over ‘agitator’ to police — then the agitators try to start a fight with cops

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Protesters in Washington, D.C. were captured on video handing over an agitator to police, while other agitators in paintball tactical gear appeared to try and start fights with police.

Former FBI assistant director of counterintelligence, Frank Figliuzzi, revealed that his former colleagues and law enforcement he knows recognize that far-right agitators are attempting to start significant conflicts between police and protesters.

"There is a minimal presence of Antifa, but a far more disturbing presence of right-wing race-based hate groups, such as the Boogaloo Boys who think there will be a race-based civil war coming," he said on MSNBC.

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Trump could use Antifa conspiracy theories to ‘investigate his political opponents’: Ex-FBI assistant director

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According to former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi, there are far more white supremacists and anti-government agitators infiltrating the peaceful Black Lives Matter protests than Antifa. He fears Trump will use Antifa as an excuse to investigate his political opponents.

Speaking to MSNBC on Sunday evening, Figliuzzi told host Brian Williams that his sources in law enforcement are telling him that President Donald Trump doesn't have his facts straight on Antifa.

"We're seeing components of legitimate frustrated protesters responding to Mr. Floyd's demise and others," explained Figliuzzi. "Then we are seeing people who are exploiting this for their own purposes, and some of them are more than just opportunistic criminals. Some of them are organized, and some of them have diverse agendas but are coming together to wreak havoc. And I think what we need to pay attention to here is what we have evidence of, what we don't have evidence of, and what we're hearing from the White House and the attorney general."

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Trump criticized as ‘most cowardly tough guy’ for Twitterstorm while being rushed to protective underground bunker

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Twitter couldn't help but notice that President Donald Trump was talking tough while hiding in his underground bunker.

The New York Times reported Sunday that Trump was rushed to the underground bunker that has only been used during the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks when passenger planes were headed to Washington, D.C. Trump, by contrast, didn't experience a terrorist threat, a few hundred protesters surrounded the White House complex, which is blocked off by several fences and surrounded by Secret Service and police.

It was something that many noticed contrasted with former Vice President Joe Biden, who spent Sunday listening to the concerns from protesters on the streets of his hometown.

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