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AG Barr’s DOJ makes up excuse as administration’s rationalization for refusing to turn over Trump’s tax returns

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Attorney General William Barr offered a novel legal theory as a rationalization for why the administration is refusing to obey the law in turning over Trump’s tax returns.

The Department of Just Office of Legal Counsel unveiled a new legal opinion to defend their position in a Friday afternoon news dump.

A nearly 100-year-old law required the Internal Revenue Service to turn over Trump’s tax returns to Rep. Richard Neal (D-MA), the chair of the House Ways and Means committee. But the Trump administration refused to comply, making up a requirement of “legitimate legislative purpose.”

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“We advised that, although the text of section 6103(f) does not require the Committee to state any purpose for its request, Congress could not constitutionally confer upon itself the right to compel a disclosure by the Executive Branch of confidential information that does not serve a legitimate legislative purpose,” the opinion argued.


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Controversial Contractors for Trump’s highly-criticized $3 billion food aid program hire lobbyist to tout their work

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Companies receiving taxpayer dollars as part of President Donald Trump’s signature food aid program hired a longtime lobbyist to push back on criticism that the government is relying on unqualified contractors, such as an event planner.

“We’re working to take the stories of the impact this is having on farmers, processors, distributors and end users and making sure some positive aspects of the program, from both the economic and social standpoints, are out there too,” said the lobbyist and industry consultant, Dale Apley, who reached out to ProPublica on behalf of the contractors. “It’s not all just certain stories about certain companies that maybe shouldn’t have been awarded contracts.”

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Ivanka Trump ‘urged’ Trump’s Bible photo-op — which could become a ‘defining moment’ of his presidency: NYT

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First daughter and senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump "urged" her father to take part in a controversial photo-op with a Bible according to a new report from The New York Times.

"After a weekend of protests that led all the way to his own front yard and forced him to briefly retreat to a bunker beneath the White House, President Trump arrived in the Oval Office on Monday agitated over the television images, annoyed that anyone would think he was hiding and eager for action," the newspaper reported.

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The psychology of protesters — and the psychology of people who hate them

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It is hard to imagine that anyone who watched the horrific video of George Floyd being asphyxiated by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin would come away feeling empathy for the police force that stood by and let it happen. And yet, amid the biggest coordinated civil rights protests in the United States since 1968, there are many voices out there who find excuses to defend cops like Derek Chauvin, who is now facing charges of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
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