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Trump’s attorney general must indict the president if Mueller recommends action: Watergate-era DOJ official

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Attorney General William Barr should reconsider the Justice Department policy against indicting a sitting president, according to a former official who helped craft that directive.

The current legal position was reached in 2000, but the directive against indicting a sitting president was first delivered in 1973, during the Watergate scandal, with a very narrow purpose, according to J.T. Smith II, executive assistant to Attorney General Elliot Richardson at the time.

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Smith, writing for the New York Times, said the 1973 memo was intended to aid in removal of the criminally tainted Vice President Spiro Agnew, and not to set an “ironclad precedent” shielding presidents from indictment.

The Justice Department has revised its position five times since then, and reached different conclusions, and Smith said the current position — in place for nearly 20 years — should not be taken for granted.

“The durability of the Office of Legal Counsel’s 1973 opinion is curious,” Smith wrote. “It was prepared under extraordinarily stressful and unique circumstances — borne from the investigations that led to the resignations of Vice President Spiro Agnew that year and President Nixon in 1974.”

Agnew faced a grand jury investigation into alleged bribery, extortion and tax evasion, mostly coming from his time as governor of Maryland, and Richardson sought guidance on putting legal pressure on the vice president, who pleaded no contest after he was indicted and then resigned.

“(Special counsel Robert) Mueller’s investigation has brought us to face similar questions of institutional integrity and transparency for the American public,” Smith said. “If Mr. Barr determines that Mr. Mueller’s findings compel legal action, he should reconsider the policy against indictment of a sitting president.”

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If the attorney general believes the president’s conduct should be held accountable by the political process and not criminal prosecution, Smith said Barr must share the Mueller report with Congress — and the public.

“In light of the gravity of our circumstances,” Smith said, “it would be timely and appropriate for the Justice Department to reconsider the shaky policy regarding indictability of a sitting president and provide Congress and the public with the Mr. Mueller’s full findings and conclusions. Only through sunlight and transparency can we preserve confidence in our national institutions and leadership.”


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Former Trump administration official refers to a renowned Black scholar as ‘some criminal’

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President Donald Trump's former Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to renowned Black Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "some criminal" in an interview with The New York Times Magazine.

Sessions, one of Trump's earliest supporters who was later fired after years of attacks from the president, is currently attempting to reclaim his old Senate seat in Alabama. Sessions has desperately tried to tout his Trumpist credentials on the campaign trail, even as the president has waged a campaign aimed at sabotaging his primary bid.

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Miami-Dade cop relieved of duty after punching irate woman at Florida airport

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A bad situation turned worse, after a woman missed her flight at Miami International Airport. When police were called, things got even worse.

According to the Miami Herald, body-camera footage, which surfaced Wednesday evening, showed the officer hitting the woman yelling at him.

“You acting like you white when you really Black...what you want to do?” the woman without a mask says.

She then stepped very close to the officer, putting her face against his and that's when he struck her in the face.

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Appellate Judge says Mary Trump’s tell-all book can be released

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Yesterday, a judge paused Mary Trump's tell-all book on President Donald Trump and his family, but Wednesday evening, a New York appellate judge ruled that Simon & Schuster could move forward with releasing the book.

According to the New York Times, Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man will be released in four weeks, on schedule.

"Justice Alan Scheinkman’s ruling, however, put off addressing a central aspect of the bitter spat about the manuscript that has been roiling all month in the Trump family: whether, by writing the book, Ms. Trump violated a confidentiality agreement put in place nearly 20 years ago after a struggle over the will of her grandfather, Fred Trump Sr., Donald Trump’s father," the report said.

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