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Trump’s known misconduct makes a congressional impeachment inquiry ‘obligatory’: Constitutional scholar

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Philip Bobbit, a law professor at Columbia University who specializes in constitutional law, has told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent that House Democrats now have enough evidence to at least justify starting an impeachment inquiry.

In fact, writes Sargent, Bobbit thinks that Trump’s conduct has been so disturbing that “the next phase of the House’s response must functionally embody an acknowledgment that Trump’s now-known conduct very well may constitute ‘high crimes and misdemeanors,’ ultimately rendering an impeachment inquiry obligatory.”

Digging into the specifics of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report, Bobbit says that it documents multiple instances of the president abusing power in ways that should at least be considered potentially impeachable offenses.

“Mueller depicts an executive branch that is using the levers of his constitutional power in a corrupt way,” he argues. “It’s not that a president can’t determine whom to prosecute or investigate, or give advice to members of the executive to shape their testimony at legislative hearings. It’s that he can’t do so with the intent to frustrate the investigation of his own culpability. We certainly have ample evidence that suggests this what he was trying to do.”

Bobbit also says that Trump’s efforts to obstruct this investigation are particularly damaging from a national security perspective because they could have blocked the government from obtaining important information about Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 elections by illegally hacking into the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.

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“The exposure of the country to very damaging political intelligence techniques, for the venal reason of not diminishing the status of your victory — would that be a high crime and misdemeanor? It certainly would,” he says.

Read the whole interview here.

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Trump believes white nationalism is a winning strategy — because Fox News tells him so

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Donald Trump thinks white nationalism is going to win him the 2020 election. This much is clear. Trump's racist Twitter rant on Sunday — in which he suggested that four nonwhite congresswomen, three of whom were born in the United States, are "originally" from somewhere else and should therefore "go back" — might have seemed at first like a spontaneous eruption of racist rage from the simmering bigot in the White House.

Soon, however, it became clear that this was strategic. Trump thinks it's a winning move to echo the claims of David Duke and other white nationalists who believe the United States is for white people. He justified his racism by saying that "many people agree with me," and by continuing to rave on Twitter about how the real purveyors of "racist hatred" are those who look askance at his embracing the rhetoric of Stormfront and the KKK.

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Judge boots Roger Stone off all major social media platforms in expansion of gag order

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Trump ally Roger Stone, who is due to be tried on multiple charges ranging from obstruction of justice to witness tampering later this year, got slapped this week with an expanded gag order that barred him from using all major social media platforms.

The Washington Post reports that Judge Amy Berman Jackson increased the scope of Stone's gag order and ordered him to stop communicating publicly through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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Jeffrey Epstein abused new victims while out on work release as part of controversial plea deal: lawyer

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Jeffrey Epstein took advantage of his controversial lenient plea deal to sexually abuse at least one victim while out on work release, according to a victim's attorney.

Lawyer Brad Edwards said the well-connected financier was permitted to have visitors while he was supposed to be working during his 13-month jail sentence, and he said Epstein manipulated at least one person into sexual activity, reported The Daily Beast.

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