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Top Intel Dem warns the administration is ‘laying groundwork to withhold’ Mueller’s evidence — and blame Comey as an excuse

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Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has been at the forefront of Democratic and Congressional oversight of President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia and the ongoing special counsel investigation. And Thursday evening, he published an op-ed in USA Today warning that the Trump administration appears to be planning to withhold key parts of Robert Mueller’s final report from the American people.

“Last week, the House voted 420-0 to make special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings and report public,” he wrote. “With narrow redactions for classified information, we expect the public release not only of Barr’s report regarding Mueller’s activities but also of Mueller’s complete report to the attorney general.”

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He noted that Attorney General William Barr, who under regulation has discretion about which parts, if any, of a final report he releases. Any substantial exercise of this authority, Schiff argued, is “completely unacceptable.”

He continued:

The Justice Department and the intelligence community are obligated to share with the intelligence committees any counterintelligence findings and information related to the president or those in his orbit, including evidence collected by the special counsel’s office or ancillary investigations by the FBI. If the president or anyone around him has been compromised by a hostile foreign power — whether criminal or not — that compromise must be exposed to protect the country.

Nevertheless, there are troubling suggestions that the attorney general may resist. In recent public remarks, the outgoing Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cast doubt on the need for transparency. Last week, two anonymous sources described as senior department officials told ABC News that if Justice chose to withhold information from Mueller’s investigation, doing so would be consistent with past practices.

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On Twitter, he said that DOJ is “laying the groundwork to withhold evidence from the American people” which “would pose a great danger to our country.”

When Democrats were in the minority of the House in 2017 and 2018, Schiff consistently pointed out that Republican efforts to obtain information about the Hillary Clinton email investigation from the department seemed to stretch accepted precedent — precedent that now means that Congress is entitled to extensive disclosures about the Mueller probe.

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But in his op-ed, he said that the Justice Department plans to “blame” its disclosures in the Clinton email case on former FBI Director James Comey and the fact that he initially broke protocol by discussing his conclusions in that case openly and before Congress. Schiff pointed out that this is a ridiculous double standard, particularly when the subject of the Mueller probe is much more crucial to the integrity of the U.S. government and the security of the country. Schiff could also have noted, though he didn’t, that the “Comey factor” could also apply in this case, since he openly discussed the ongoing investigation, first in Congress and since then as a private citizen.

“Finally, the Justice Department’s policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted makes the need for transparency even more compelling,” Schiff concluded. “If the department holds that the president cannot be indicted, but at the same time withholds evidence of his wrongdoing from Congress and the public — that is a recipe for impunity.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

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Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

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Missouri official choose Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ for swearing-in ceremony instead of ‘The Bible’

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A Missouri county official is being both celebrated and attacked after a decision to forgo The Bible for her swearing-in ceremony and opted for a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.

The Friendly Atheist at Patheos captured the story, posting a photo of St. Louis City Councilmember Kelli Dunaway's children holding a copy of the book while she took her oath of office.

This was the scene last week at the STLCO government center. Democrats took back control of the council and @DunawayKelli was sworn in on a copy of “Oh the Places you’ll go” with her children❤️ so proud to be part of #TeamKelli pic.twitter.com/iJ1dxfZ1Zg

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Trump predicts New York Times will go out of business when he’s out of office

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In a permission tweet, President Donald Trump announced that his presidency is the only thing keeping the New York Times in business. Yet, somehow, they're also attacking him and lying about him.

"The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years. They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I'm fairly certain they'll endorse me just to keep it all going!" he tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163238629730373632

Since taking office, subscriptions for The Times have increased dramatically. According to an August report, The Times boasted a 4.7 million increase in subscribers for the second quarter. Their revenue growth was 5.2 percent. It certainly is a modest increase, but it's also an increase in an era when newspapers are struggling to survive.

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