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Trump facing a legal drubbing as his lawyers spew a ‘stream of frivolous defenses’ to stonewall Congress: conservative

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Former White House Special Counsel Don McGahn was scheduled to appear before Congress Tuesday. He was expected to provide key testimony on whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice during the Mueller probe. But his lawyers said that he would not be appearing, following the administration’s questionable assertion that the president’s former advisors “have immunity.” As the Washington Post reported:

The 15-page legal opinion written by Assistant Attorney General Steven A. Engel argues McGahn cannot be compelled to testify before the committee, based on past Justice Department legal opinions regarding the president’s close advisers.

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The memo says McGahn’s immunity from congressional testimony is separate and broader than a claim of executive privilege.

Writing in the Washington Post op-ed section, conservative columnist Jennifer Rubin observes how legally thin that argument is.

“President Trump’s lawyers now generate a nonstop stream of frivolous defenses in his all-out assault on Congress,” she writes. “On Monday, they made the ludicrous claim that former White House counsel Donald McGahn, who provided evidence to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III that wound up in the redacted Mueller report, cannot come tell Congress and the American people what he told Mueller.”

Rubin spoke with legal experts who back her assertion that the move is blatantly political and judicially unjustifiable.

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“Former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah tells me, ‘This is a political move, not a real legal one and I don’t believe it would be upheld by a court.’ She explains, ‘None of the rationales cited for this immunity, which is far broader than Executive Privilege, apply here. But they needed to give McGahn cover to say no.’”

Rubin notes that courts have previously rejected broad executive privilege for White House advisors. If anything, the legal opinion just gives McGahn cover to refuse to tell Congress what he told Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

Former Justice Department spokesperson Matthew Miller was also appalled by the administration efforts to stonewall Congress and called on McGahn to appear regardless of what the White House does.

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“’McGahn should do his patriotic duty and show up.’ However, he noted that McGahn has been all too willing to leak stories that make himself sound heroic, but ‘when it comes time to put his country first, he’s falling into line just like the rest of the acolytes around the president.’”

Despite the president’s refusal to comply with Congressional subpoenas, Rubin sees hope in the courts.

“We see a crack opening in Trump’s unconstitutional stonewall strategy. It’s the courts that might have the will and the ability to defuse a constitutional standoff.”

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Twitter mocks ‘gibbering conspiracy loon’ Trump after he claims Google rigged the election

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On Monday, President Donald Trump made the dubious claim that Google had tried to sway the election for Hillary Clinton.

"My victory was even bigger than thought!" the president proclaimed.

Wow, Report Just Out! Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election! This was put out by a Clinton supporter, not a Trump Supporter! Google should be sued. My victory was even bigger than thought! @JudicialWatch

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 19, 2019

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Paul Krugman hilariously roasts Trump economic adviser for decades’ worth of terrible predictions

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Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman on Monday set his sights on Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who himself is not actually an economist, for making decades' worth of terrible predictions.

Writing on Twitter, Krugman concedes that making predictions is a difficult business and he admits to making his own bad predictions in the past.

However, he then explains that Kudlow is unique because he's been making the same false prediction for decades -- namely, about tax cuts for the ultra-rich producing economic miracles.

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Twitter admits China has created hundreds of fake accounts to undermine Hong Kong protests

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Twitter on Monday admitted that China had created hundreds of fake accounts aimed at undermining the protests in Hong Kong that have gripped the city in recent weeks.

Specifically, Twitter found that at least 936 different accounts had been created within the People's Republic of China that have been "deliberately and specifically attempting to sow political discord in Hong Kong, including undermining the legitimacy and political positions of the protest movement on the ground."

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