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There’s a glaring omission in the Mueller report — and the obstruction of justice question hinges on it

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Donald Trump in Oval Office

Did President Donald Trump obstruct justice in the course of the Russia investigation? According to a new letter from Attorney General Bill Barr, Special Counsel Robert Mueller did not answer that question directly, only providing evidence for and against the proposition. But Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein concluded, reading Mueller’s report, that there is not enough evidence to bring the charge of obstruction against Trump.

But there’s a key problem with this conclusion: Trump was never formally interviewed by Mueller.

Though he answered written questions from the special counsel, Trump steadfastly refused to sit down with him, despite having promised that he would testify in the case under oath. And this is particularly problematic because, as Barr noted in his letter, Trump’s intent with regard to potentially obstructive acts is a key factor when determining whether a crime was committed. How can the investigators come to a conclusion about Trump’s intent without asking him questions and assessing his answers?

Mueller reportedly wanted to interview Trump and tried to get him to agree to it repeatedly, but the investigators were never able to come to an agreement with the president’s lawyers. It’s not clear why Mueller never asked to subpoena Trump — many legal experts believe such an attempt would have been successful.

According to CNN, a source said, “The special counsel’s office deliberated at length with DOJ officials about issuing a subpoena for President Donald Trump to be interviewed, but ultimately the decision was made not to move forward.”

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Even after all his criticism of Hillary Clinton and the way the investigation of her emails was conducted, ultimately, she spoke to the FBI about the case — facing the potential for criminal charges if she lied to them. But Trump couldn’t even do that.

The reason why is relatively obvious: His lawyers feared that there was no way Trump could talk to the FBI without lying.

But this shouldn’t be acceptable. In a central national security investigation, any federal employee, let alone the president, should be expected to speak with investigators thoroughly and honestly. They may invoke the Fifth Amendment if they fear self-incrimination, but they should not be allowed to keep their jobs in the government if they do.

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The fact that Trump was never forced to answer straightforward questions about what he did and what he knew when he did it will forever hang as a glaring omission in the Russia probe and in Mueller’s final report.


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This explains why Trump picked a fight with the four Congresswomen of color: analysis

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On one hand, President Donald Trump almost certainly chose to mark out Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) because of his own deep-seated racism.

But there is likely another reason he is doing it, wrote Aaron Blake of the Washington Post's "The Fix" on Wednesday: because his core voters hate them as much as he does.

Blake cited a new The Economist/YouGov poll of 2016 Trump voters' opinions on several politicians. "As you peruse it, it becomes clear that the conventional wisdom about why Trump picked these targets is right: They were ripe for motivating the GOP base ... All of them are better known among Republicans than Democrats, which suggests that a steady stream of coverage in conservative media has elevated them as potential Democratic bogeywomen. Trump is tilling fertile soil. And in fact, they might already be his most effective foils."

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REVEALED: Jeffrey Epstein used his fake passport to enter multiple countries

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Prosecutors revealed that the fake passport Jeffrey Epstein had among the items seized by investigators had been used.

According to NBC News, he used the passport to enter multiple countries in the 1980s, including the U.K, Spain and Saudi Arabia.

The passport was found in the safe of his New York home along with $70,000 in cash and 48 diamonds. There was a different name used on the passport and it had already expired, but it listed the residence in Saudi Arabia.

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House holds Bill Barr and Wilbur Ross in criminal contempt of Congress

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The House has officially voted to hold Attorney General Bill Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress.

Both men refused to abide by a subpoena from the House for documents so they that could investigate actions by both departments.

The last person to be held in contempt of Congress was Bill Barr when he was held in civil contempt, but this was a criminal charge.

In the case of Ross, he is accused of lying under oath to Congress and they requested documents to prove it. Ross refused to provide the information necessary.

Ross has called the contempt charge "political theater" and of no real substance. If that was true, he shouldn't be afraid to provide the documents. Still, he refused.

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