Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson used the sentencing of a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump, Rick Gates, as a platform to rebut Attorney General Bill Barr’s attacks on the Russia investigation.
Following the release of a report by the Justice Department inspector general finding that the investigation was properly predicated and showed no evidence of inappropriate motivation, Barr offered his contrasting opinion. Contrary to the report, he said, the predicate for the Russia investigation was based on “the thinnest of suspicions.” In an interview, he said the investigation created a “completely bogus narrative.
As I argued recently, Barr’s comments make clear that rather than being focused on enforcing the law, the attorney general is obsessed with policing media perceptions.
While sentencing Gates, who pleaded guilty to crimes uncovered as part of the Russia probe and testified in trials of multiple Trump allies, Judge Jackson offered a starkly different view of the case, though she didn’t mention Barr directly.
She said there was “an ample basis” for the investigation into Trump’s campaign associates, Politico reported.
“Gates’ information alone warranted, indeed demanded, further investigation from the standpoint of our national security, the integrity of our elections and the enforcement of our criminal laws,” she said. She also rattled off a list of the crimes Gates and Trump Campaign Chair Paul Manafort had been charged with.
“Those are facts,” she said pointedly. “Those are not alleged facts. Those are not alternative facts.”
There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness
As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.
He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”
It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.
This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend
As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.
At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.
Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.
The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.
Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health
On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.
"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."