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Republicans backpedal on call for transparency of Mueller report: Washington Post columnist

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Washington Post columnist James Downie called out the GOP for backpedaling on their sentiment that the full Mueller report should be released.

“A little more than a week ago, the House of Representatives voted 420-0 to recommend a public release of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s report,” Downie wrote. This call for transparency was so unobjectionable that even the four Republicans who didn’t want to vote for the resolution voted ‘present.'”

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However since Barr released his report to the public, Republicans have said enough information was given after the report said: “did not establish that members of the Trump Campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.”

“Since Mueller sent his report to Barr on Friday, though, many Republicans have suddenly become more reluctant about transparency,” he said.

He explained that there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

“Mueller may not have indicted anyone else because there wasn’t any evidence. But it also could be because Roger Stone, Paul Manafort and others lied and/or refused to cooperate, because rules about classified evidence hinder making the case, or because, under Justice Department policy, he couldn’t indict a sitting president,” he said.

Adding, “It’s hardly surprising that Trump’s most committed defenders might not want a full airing of the report. They may see Mueller’s decision not to issue any more indictments for conspiracy with Russians over the 2016 election as vindication.”

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He went on to explain that the full release of the report could  “reveal more damaging information.”

“It could reveal more damaging information on other criminal investigations related to Trump, such as the SDNY probe into his inaugural committee. And it could expose even more corruption from Trump and his associates. While not rising to the level of criminality, none of those outcomes would be good for the president. No wonder many Republicans are back to hemming and hawing,” he said.

Read the full column below.

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CNN fact checker busts Trump for sharing out-of-context video intended to smear Vindman

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CNN fact checker Daniel Dale on Tuesday caught President Donald Trump sharing an out-of-context video that was intended to smear Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, who testified earlier in the day about his concerns regarding the president's call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

A tweet sent out by Trump social media director Dan Scavino showed a video of Vindman's testimony in which he acknowledged being approached by Ukrainian government officials multiple times and being offered a job as the country's defense minister.

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Ex-FBI official mocks GOP defenses of Trump: ‘No one says I’ll walk through the terms of our bribery!’

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Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe on Tuesday roasted Republicans who claimed that President Donald Trump must be innocent because no witnesses so far have explicitly said that the president is guilty of bribery.

After watching a clip of Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX) asserting that neither Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman nor State Department official Jennifer Williams had used the word "bribery" in their testimonies, McCabe mocked the GOP lawmaker for apparently believing that the only way to prove bribery occurred was to have someone admit to the bribe.

"Over the course of many years investigating organized crime, and listening to many conversations in which organized crime figures would try to bend inferiors or victims to their will, no one ever says, 'I'm going to offer you a quid pro quo,' or 'Here's how I'll walk you through the terms of our bribery.' What you have, the person with the power uses that power to coerce the subservient person to do or produce whatever it is they want."

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FBI investigating possible ‘criminal enterprise’ in Jeffrey Epstein’s jailhouse death

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The director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed that the FBI was investigating whether Jeffrey Epstein's death was related to a criminal enterprise.

Two correctional officers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were arrested and charged Tuesday with falsifying prison records to cover up their lapses in their official duties, which included checking on Epstein every half hour, reported the Miami Herald.

The officers instead remained at their desk, browsing the internet and moving around the common area.

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