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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.

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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.

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.”

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You can read their list of Mueller questions here.


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‘Trump will be glued to the screen with an IV drip and a catheter’ when Mueller testifies: GOP strategist

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President Donald Trump will be glued to his television during former special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony before Congress, Republican strategist Rick Wilson predicted on Monday.

On Wednesday, Mueller is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee in the morning and then the House Intelligence Committee in the afternoon.

"This is also a moment where the preeminence of television in our political lives is going to come to the fore," Wilson said. "And Donald Trump knows this."

"That little nervous moment this morning, where 'I might watch a little' — no, Donald Trump will be glued to the screen with an IV drip and a catheter," Wilson predicted.

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Pence abruptly canceled trip because person he was meeting was about to be busted by the feds

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The White House abruptly canceled a planned trip to New Hampshire to prevent Vice President Mike Pence from being seen with somebody about to be busted for interstate drug trafficking of fentanyl, Politico reported Monday.

"Among the problems was a federal law enforcement probe involving individuals Pence would likely encounter, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the incident. If Pence stepped off the vice presidential aircraft, one of the people he would have seen on the ground was under investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration for moving more than $100,000 of fentanyl from Massachusetts to New Hampshire," Politico reported.

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How Jeffrey Epstein was moving ‘a lot of dough’ in an investment fund run by an ex-girlfriend’s husband

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In a bizarre twist in the ongoing questions about where Jeffrey Epstein got his billions, Vanity Fair has details about a very close relationship he holds with the family of an ex-girlfriend.

Epstein once dated a former Miss Sweden for years, before she ultimately met her husband and had a family. Eva Andersson-Dubin, who is now a doctor, married billionaire founder of Highbridge Capital Management, Glenn Dubin. It's thought that's how Epstein was able to connect with Dubin's investments.

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