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CNN’s John Berman throws cold water on GOP excitement over FBI official accused of altering Russia document

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Early Friday morning CNN hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota undercut GOP excitement over a report that a former FBI official has been accused of altering a document tied to the investigation into Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia, saying the employee in question was a lower-level attorney who is no longer with the agency.

On Thursday night, CNN reported that John Durham, the U.S. Attorney tasked by Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins of the 2016 Russia probe, has opened a criminal investigation into an FBI official accused of altering a document pertaining to the original surveillance efforts.

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Overnight, more details have emerged that show that the lawyer involved — who has not been named — was far down the chain of command and that the document at issue had no bearing on the final result of the investigation.

As Berman explained, “CNN has exclusive reporting on what will be inside that report and there will be a criminal referral for a former FBI lawyer, a fairly low-level lawyer, for falsifying a document. I understand. changing a document. changing the meaning of what a document is.”

“This is something that Republicans will point to as, ‘oh, my gosh, the republican investigation was flawed,'” he continued. “But our reporting is clear, there’s no way this would change the overall thrust of the investigation, the idea that Russia meddled in the election, and any of the purposes for which the whole thing began.”

As the Washington Post also reports, “The person under scrutiny has not been identified but is a low-level FBI lawyer who has since been forced out of the FBI, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss material that has not yet been made public.”

“The employee was forced out of the FBI after the incident was discovered, two U.S. officials said. Horowitz found that the employee erroneously indicated he had documentation to back up a claim he had made in discussions with the Justice Department about the factual basis for the application. He then altered an email to back up that erroneous claim, they said,” the report continues. “That conduct did not alter Horowitz’s finding that the surveillance application of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page had a proper legal and factual basis, the officials said.”

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Ivanka Trump’s tweet raises eyebrows: ‘Why is a senior White House official endorsing a food product?’

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As her big brother was dragging their 14-year-old half brother into the 2020 campaign, senior White House advisor Ivanka Trump was endorsing a line of canned food products.

If it’s Goya, it has to be good. Si es Goya, tiene que ser bueno. pic.twitter.com/9tjVrfmo9z

— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) July 15, 2020

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Florida outbreak is ‘much worse’ than Gov. DeSantis is letting on: Former COVID-19 data chief

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Rebekah Jones, the Florida data scientist who in May claimed that she was fired for refusing to manipulate state coronavirus data to meet the Republican governor's reopening criteria, has issued a new warning: The ongoing outbreak is "much, much worse" than it has been painted by the administration.In a Monday interview with MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell, Jones, who built the state government's coronavirus data portal, identified a number of failures since she left her state job. Florida recently posted the highest daily caseload in a single day across all 50 U.S. states.
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2020 Election

Jeff Sessions’ fate is a warning for us all

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Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions lost his primary race to be the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama on Tuesday night in a landslide, according to Decision Desk HQ. Early returns showed him losing the shot to win back his old seat by more than 20 points to opponent Tommy Tuberville, who will face off against Democratic Sen. Doug Jones in November.

It wasn't a surprising loss for Sessions, though it is a brutal one. He gave up his seat in the Senate to become President Donald Trump's attorney general, and he lost his big chance to return because his one-time benefactor turned against him. Trump enthusiastically endorsed Tuberville while viciously and repeatedly denouncing Sessions.

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