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Trump’s ‘shamelessness’ saved him from obstruction charges — and that’s ‘a low point’ for the presidency: law professor

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New York University School of Law professor Bob Bauer thinks that President Donald Trump’s shamelessness in publicly attacking investigators may have saved him from being charged with obstructing justice by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Writing in the New York Times, Bauer argues that Trump has now made it completely acceptable for a president to spout baseless conspiracy theories about law enforcement officials investigating him, while paying no price among his core voters.

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“The Mueller report marked a low point for more substantive norms of presidential conduct,” he said. “It shows that a demagogic president like Donald Trump can devalue or even depart radically from key norms, just short of committing chargeable crimes, so long as he operates mostly and brazenly in full public view. For a demagogue, shamelessness is its own reward.”

In particular, Bauer notes that Trump’s team knew about Russia’s efforts to help him win by hacking his opponents’ emails — and they cheered them on the entire time.

“Such a president can have openly, actively encouraged and welcomed foreign government support for his political campaigns, and his campaign can reinforce the point in direct communications with that government’s representatives,” he writes. “The Barr summary reveals that the special counsel uncovered not just a couple but ‘multiple offers’ of support from the Russians, and yet neither Mr. Trump nor his campaign reported them to counterintelligence or law enforcement authorities.”

Read the whole article here.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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WATCH: Dejected Devin Nunes slumps back in his chair after he fails to yield his time to Elise Stefanik

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The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee was visibly frustrated after once again getting shut down while attempting a parliamentary maneuver.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) has been attempting to ignore the rules governing the impeachment inquiry so that he can yield Republicans' time to fellow members of Congress, instead of just the professional GOP counsel.

Nunes has attempted to yield time to Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY), who has been raising re-election funds off of her outbursts in the hearings.

Once again, Nunes attempted to yield his time to a fellow Republican and once again Nunes was told that is against the rules.

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Mike Pompeo wants to run for Senate — but can’t figure out a graceful way to resign: report

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For months, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been dogged by rumors that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is trying to recruit him to run for Senate in his home state of Kansas — a claim that he has flatly denied.

Now, Time reports that multipler Republican sources have confirmed Pompeo does in fact have a Kansas Senate run on his radar. The only problem is that he can't figure out a graceful way to exit the Trump administration.

Pompeo, who has largely remained in President Donald Trump's good graces, has come under national scrutiny for his role in the Ukraine scandal, which has seen several foreign service officers and national security officials testifying that Trump set up a backchannel with his lawyer Rudy Giuliani to Ukrainian leadership to demand political help against former Vice President Joe Biden.

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