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Here are 11 of the most jaw-dropping bombshells from the Mueller report

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Special counsel Robert Mueller on CNN (screen capture)

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report finally saw the light of day, although with heavy redactions — but it still delivered plenty of bombshells.

The Department of Justice issued Mueller’s report on Thursday, after Attorney General William Barr told reporters again the investigation had found no evidence of conspiracy or collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

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The attorney general also said he disagreed with Mueller’s legal theories regarding 10 episodes of possible obstruction of justice — but the special counsel made clear the president had not been cleared of that.

Here are some of the biggest bombshells to fall out of the report in the first hour of its release:

Trump panicked after deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel, following the president’s firing of FBI director James Comey.

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Mueller could not find enough evidence that Donald Trump Jr. was smart enough to realize he was breaking the law by accepting Russian assistance for his father’s campaign.

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Hope Hicks thought Trump Jr.’s emails regarding his efforts to set up a meeting with a Russian lawyer looked “really bad,” but Trump told her to cover them up.

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Hicks was in contact with a Russian the day after the election who wanted to put Trump in touch with Vladimir Putin, and she relayed that request to Jared Kushner.

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Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort expected his associate Konstantin Kilimnik, who has suspected ties to Russian intelligence, to share internal campaign data with an oligarch to whom he owed millions and others in Ukraine.

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Trump signaled to former national security adviser Mike Flynn that he might pardon him, and asked for a warning before testifying against him.

Trump instructed Rosenstein to add a line clearing him on Russia in the memo he was drafting to justify Comey’s firing.

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Mueller’s team found Comey’s account credible about Trump’s demand for loyalty, and dismissed the president’s denials as untrue.

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Trump tried to obstruct justice on multiple occasions, but his underlings refused to carry out his corrupt requests.

Therefore, Mueller’s investigators lacked the confidence to clear the president on obstruction of justice.

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Mueller believed he had the authority to issue a grand jury subpoena for Trump — but knew it would delay the investigation.

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2020 Election

‘So, so cruel’: Rights advocates sound alarm about immigration agenda Stephen Miller is crafting for Trump’s 2nd term

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Immigrant rights advocates along with Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and his supporters responded with alarm to reporting this week that Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Donald Trump, is plotting how to "rev up Trump's restrictive immigration agenda" and is ready to "unleash executive orders deemed too extreme for a president seeking reelection" in the event of a Biden loss next week.

NBC News reported Friday that Miller, speaking as an adviser to the president's campaign, laid out four top priorities in a 30-minute call Thursday: "limiting asylum grants, punishing and outlawing 'sanctuary cities,' expanding the so-called travel ban with tougher screening for visa applicants, and slapping new limits on work visas." Implementing these policies would require a mix of legislation and executive action.

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2020 Election

REVEALED: Far-right extremists are circulating plans to lock down Arizona streets if Trump is re-elected

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On Saturday, The Arizona Republic reported that far-right paramilitary groups are circulating plans to lock down neighborhoods in the Phoenix, Arizona metropolitan area in the event that President Donald Trump is re-elected, supposedly to police left-wing protesters.

"In Arizona, the head of the Prescott-area chapter of the Oath Keepers group, which recruits military and law enforcement officers, has warned residents to be prepared to protect their neighborhoods from feared extreme left-wing protesters who would be upset should President Donald Trump be re-elected," reported Richard Ruelas. "Part of that the pro-Trump group'splan involved closing streets and assigning monitors to control access, according to a planning document shared with The Republic."

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2020 Election

America’s crimes against humanity aren’t on the ballot this year — but they should be

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The 2020 presidential election is a life-and-death decision for thousands of people vulnerable to COVID-19, for a globe under the assault from the climate crisis, and for the future of American democracy. And yet for all the urgency, the political campaign still suffers under the weight and stench of bullshit.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Philosopher Harry Frankfurt warns in his bestselling pamphlet "On Bullshit" that "bullshit" is more injurious than the blatant lie. One reason among many is that bullshit blurs the line between reality and fiction, offering a manipulative incorporation of truth to strengthen its own capacity to persuade. Absolute falsity, in contrast, is obvious to anyone with minimal awareness of the facts. When the Trump administration recently declared that one of its grand achievements was "ending the pandemic," most people laughed in disbelief. This is a lie fit for consumption only from inhabitants of a collective similar to the Rev. Jim Jones' notorious People's Temple settlement in Guyana.

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