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Here’s why the Mueller report may not exist in the form most people expect

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As political spectators anxiously await the release of special counsel Robert Mueller’s “report,” one columnist noted that it may not come in a form many are expecting.

“There’s a more fundamental question surrounding the report than when the document will land, which is whether it will even exist,” The Atlantic‘s David Graham wrote, “or rather, whether it will exist in a form worth the anxious wait.”

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Graham noted that the report generated by independent counsel Ken Starr, the investigator who probed former President Bill Clinton over the Whitewater scandal, may have created high expectations for Mueller’s.

“The Starr Report casts a long shadow,” the columnist wrote. “With its detailed chronology and salacious revelations about President Bill Clinton’s sex life, the more than 200-page document remains an astonishing read even now, more than 20 years on.”

But experts Graham spoke to said it’s not set in stone that the Russia investigation will produce a bombshell similar to the Starr report or the Iran-Contra report that came out five years prior.

“They are not going to get a narrative, multi-hundred-page, factually organized, appended-documents road map from Mueller,” John Barrett, a St. John’s University law professor who was an associate counsel on the Iran-Contra investigation, said. “Mueller might send a five-page memo to [Attorney General William] Barr, saying, ‘I got a guilty plea from these people, and I didn’t charge these ones.’”

“I believe that many, including many in the press, have done the country a disservice by creating the impression that when he gets done, Mueller is going to write this scathing, lengthy report detailing what an asshole the president is, even if he’s not a criminal,” Paul Rosenzweig, the former senior counsel in the Whitewater investigation, told The Atlantic. “If my thesis about Mueller is right, then that’s just not happening.”

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There are significant contextual differences between the Iran-Contra and Whitewater investigations and the Russia probe that extend beyond their subject matter, the columnist noted, writing that he was appointed under a different mechanism and reports to a different governmental body.

“Thus far, Mueller has not had to contend with pardons sabotaging his case, though it remains a possibility,” Graham noted. “He does not seem to have any literary ambitions, and his feud with President Trump has been one-sided, rather than the hostile back-and-forth between Starr and Clinton.”

Mueller’s own “austere” and “tight-lipped” style, rooted in his history at the Justice Department, makes him all the more unlikely to reveal more than what he’s already outlined in court filings, the writer added.

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“Prosecutors who decline cases just close,” Rosenzweig noted. “They might write a memo to the file about why they didn’t prosecute. With very rare exceptions, which by the way get condemned—see James Comey—prosecutors who decide not to do anything put everything in a box and send it to archives.”

 

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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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Right-wing extremists using Facebook to recruit for ‘boogaloo’ attacks on liberals and cops: report

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A right-wing extremist movement is recruiting on social media to target liberals and law enforcement in a violent uprising called the "boogaloo."

The loosely organized movement is trolling for members on mainstream platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Reddit and Twitter, in addition to 4chan and other fringe sites, to promote a second Civil War, reported NBC News.

“When you have people talking about and planning sedition and violence against minorities, police, and public officials, we need to take their words seriously,” said Paul Goldenberg, of the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

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2020 Election

Bernie Sanders was so close to a primary against Obama in 2011 that Dems were ‘absolutely panicked’: report

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In an article for The Atlantic this Wednesday, Edward-Isaac Dovere recounts the time that Bernie Sanders tried to primary Barack Obama -- a move that Sanders was close to achieving that former Democratic Senator Harry Reid had to intervene to stop him.

The event, which hasn't been previously reported, took place in the summer of 2011 and reportedly had the Obama campaign "absolutely panicked"

While Sanders' Obama plan never went through, the relationship between the two has been strained ever since. "Now Obama, the beloved former leader of the Democratic Party, and Sanders, the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination, are facing a new and especially fraught period in their relationship," Dovere writes. "To Obama, Sanders is a lot of what’s wrong with Democrats: unrelenting, unrealistic, so deep in his own fight that he doesn’t see how many people disagree with him or that he’s turning off people who should be his allies. To Sanders, it’s Obama who represents a lot of what’s wrong with Democrats: overly compromising, and so obsessed with what isn’t possible that he’s lost all sense of what is."

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