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Mueller’s public testimony could blow the lid off of Trump’s denial of Russian collusion — and Bill Barr covering for him

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Congress is reportedly on the verge of locking down testimony from special counsel Robert Mueller on the details of the Russia investigation, although it appears that Mueller wants to speak behind closed doors.

On Friday, former Director of National Intelligence general counsel Robert S. Litt and Brookings Institution fellow Benjamin Wittes outlined just how important the testimony will be in an editorial for the Washington Post.

“Given Mueller’s well-deserved reputation for reticence and strict adherence to the law, he is unlikely to be willing to provide a political spin on his report,” wrote Litt and Wittes. “But Mueller’s reputation for probity — previously unquestioned by Republicans and Democrats alike — is all the more reason he should testify, and why that testimony should be public rather than behind closed doors.”

Mueller’s testimony, they noted, would be able to definitively answer whether President Donald Trump and his allies are correct to characterize the result of his report as “no collusion, no obstruction”; what exactly Mueller meant when he wrote that he “did not establish” a criminal conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government; and whether he found “substantial evidence of cooperation, shared objectives and contacts between Russian actors and the Trump campaign figures.”

Additionally, they said, Mueller’s testimony could clarify the behavior of Attorney General William Barr. For example, Mueller could answer whether Barr discussed the reports findings with him before making a determination, whether he agrees that the facts don’t support charging the president with obstruction of justice, whether he intended Barr to make that determination, and whether Barr was correct that Mueller’s determination was not solely a result of the Office of Legal Counsel’s policy against indicting a sitting president.

Mueller could also shed light on Trump and his allies’ grievances about FBI surveillance of the campaign, they noted. For instance, the special counsel could definitively explain the origins of the investigation, what role the “Steele dossier” played, and whether it is appropriate to characterize the civil servants working for his office as “angry Democrats” — which could potentially push back on right-wing conspiracy theories about the probe.

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Lastly, they said, Mueller’s testimony could be instructive about how to handle threats of foreign election interference going forward. He could contextualize how big of a threat the operation he uncovered poses to American democracy, and outline steps that should be taken to ensure it never happens again.

“When Mueller does testify, he can expect far more questions than we could list here,” Litt and Wittes concluded. “But it is vital for the public’s understanding, and in order to preserve the security of U.S. elections in the future, that it hear from Mueller on these and other matters. Congress has an important fact-finding role to play, and special counsel Mueller has an important part to play in assisting the legislature, consistent with the rules governing prosecutors and investigations of this scope and significance.”

You can read their list of Mueller questions here.

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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2020 Election

Conservative writer warns Democrats all the ways they could blow it in 2020

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On Tuesday, Never Trump conservative and The Bulwark editor Charlie Sykes wrote an editorial in Politico warning that Democrats could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in 2020 — and urged them to not do anything foolish.

"Donald Trump remains historically unpopular because the past three years have cemented the public’s image of the president as a deeply dishonest, erratic, narcissistic, Twitter-addicted bully. As a result, a stunning 57 percent of voters say they will definitely not vote to reelect him next year and he trails Democratic challengers in key states," wrote Sykes.

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Video busts white man ‘literally stalking’ and calling cops on black women ‘just cause we were at the pool’

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A black Maryland woman says that she was "stalked" by a man because she was using the pool at her apartment.

In a tweet Sunday night, Twitter user @BestFlaw shared video of a man, who is white, appearing to stalk her from behind.

"This white man literally stalked us from his apartment for damn near a mile just cause we were at the pool drinking wine and taking pictures," she wrote on Twitter. "Called the police and all...I cannot make this up

"White people love to lie on black women," @BestFlaw says in the video as the man following her apparently speaks with police on his phone.

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WATCH: Rosie O’Donnell takes a shot at Meghan McCain over her treatment of Joy Behar

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Rosie O'Donnell took some shots at Meghan McCain for her recent behavior on "The View."

The former co-host left about two years before McCain joined the five-woman panel in October 2017, and O'Donnell said she should show more respect to the show's veterans, reported Hollywood Life.

“I do have some compassion for her," O'Donnell said, referring to the loss of her father, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). "Although I wish she wouldn’t be mean to Joy Behar, who is like a living legend and who should be respected for no other reason than she’s the elder statesman in the room.”

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 ENOUGH IS ENOUGH 

Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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