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Bill Barr planning to roll out report to discredit Russia investigation before Thanksgiving: report

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On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the Justice Department, under Attorney General William Barr, is working to wrap up and release its report on the beginnings of the FBI’s Russia investigation before Thanksgiving.

The report, based on the work of both U.S. Attorney John Durham and DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz and anticipated eagerly by President Donald Trump’s political allies, is expected to be critical of the process used by investigators — which Trump is likely to use to try to discredit the findings of the Russia probe altogether. Recent reporting has suggested that the DOJ’s probe into the Russia investigation is now also a criminal matter.

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A meeting will take place on Wednesday between Barr and Senate Judiciary chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about how this report, which is fraught with classification issues, will be released to the public consistent with national security.

Barr’s singular focus on this investigation has opened him to accusations that he is trying to weaponize the DOJ against law enforcement and intelligence officials who criticized Trump. Barr adamantly denies this, claiming that Durham — a longtime career prosecutor — is independent.

The Russia investigation was taken over by special counsel Robert Mueller to address the appearance of the president’s political appointees presiding over a case involving him. Ultimately, the investigation did not find hard evidence that Trump’s campaign engaged in a direct conspiracy with Russia, but documented ten possible instances of the president obstructing justice to stymie the investigation itself.


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Texas conservatives lose their minds after GOP Gov. Greg Abbott mandates masks in public

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Texas' Republican Gov. Gregg Abbott finally acknowledged that there is a serious problem as COVID-19 takes down the state's population.

It was just a few months ago that municipalities were deciding for themselves when and if they would reopen. But Abbott shut it down, saying that his orders "overrule any local jurisdiction."

In April, "Abbott and the state’s other Republican leaders have blasted local officials in Dallas and Houston for what they called overzealous enforcement of COVID-19 regulations, first zeroing in on Democratically led Harris County’s decision to fine residents for not wearing face masks, a penalty Abbott banned in his April 27 reopening order," ProPublica reported. "The fights came to a head this month with the arrest of a Dallas hair salon owner who refused to shutter her business, an act of defiance that was supported by a right-wing group that launched a GoFundMe campaign a day before she reopened that raised $500,000 before it was disabled."

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Unemployment may not return to pre-COVID levels for a decade: Congressional Budget Office

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On Thursday, Politico reported that it could take a decade for unemployment levels to return to where they were before the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

"The economic outlook for the next 10 years has 'deteriorated significantly' since the independent budget agency issued its last complete set of projections in January, CBO noted," reported Caitlan Emma. "That illustrates the devastating effects of the pandemic and underscores the reality of a slower economic recovery than the 'rocket ship' rebound predicted by President Donald Trump."

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Fired SDNY prosecutor to testify before House Judiciary Committee — behind closed doors: report

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The former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York will testify before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

Geoffrey Berman will testify after the bizarre sequence of events that preceded his ouster from the office. AG Bill Barr announced that Berman was resigning, with the SDNY denied. He was then fired by President Donald Trump.

NEW: Fired US Attorney for SDNY Geoffrey Berman will appear next week before House Judiciary behind closed doors next Thursday, according to a congressional aide

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