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Legal experts warn Bill Barr is doing ‘the most dangerous things a prosecutor can do’

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Washington Post columnist and Never Trump conservative Jennifer Rubin has been a frequent critic of Attorney General William Barr, often describing him as someone who is more interested in serving the interests of President Donald Trump than promoting the rule of law. And Rubin, in a Thursday column, outlines how critical some legal experts are of the way Barr has handled his recent probe of the investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign’s interaction with Russians.

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Barr picked U.S. Attorney John Durham to head his probe. And Rubin notes, “The Post’s reporting indicates that Barr is preparing to disagree with (Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’) findings, which purportedly include a finding that senior intelligence agency figures were not biased against Trump. He might not be pleased that Durham and Horowitz are about to blow up several key right-wing conspiracy theories, but it would be stunning for Barr to appoint an investigator and then reject his work when it disproves his boss’ delusional accusations.”

Rubin goes on to note what some legal experts have to say on the matter. One of them is former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, who told her, “After spending our tax dollars on an investigation that looked like it was politically motivated, Barr will remove all doubt that its purpose was to push a political agenda if he ignores its findings and pushes his agenda anyway.”

The Washington Post columnist notes that according to a tweet by Susan Hennessey —executive editor of Benjamin Wittes’ Lawfare blog — “It is difficult to overstate what an incredibly corrosive and bad actor Barr has turned out to be. He will leave the Department of Justice damaged and warped in ways that will take years and years to repair.”

Rubin also quotes former federal prosecutor Mimi Rocah — who is often featured as a legal expert/analyst on MSNBC — as saying, “Barr is doing one of the most dangerous things a prosecutor can do: he has a political narrative and is trying to investigate to get facts to fit that narrative. Prosecutors should investigate and follow facts and be open to conclusions being different than what they thought or want. It’s a total failure of his oath of office.”

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Chinese fans grieve for NBA superstar Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

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NBA star Kobe Bryant's death triggered an outpouring of grief on Monday in China, where he was beloved by fans, with a hashtag of the news drawing more than a billion views.

Nine people were killed in a helicopter crash including Bryant, 41, and his 13-year-old daughter, Los Angeles officials confirmed on Sunday.

Basketball is arguably the most popular sport in China, and Bryant -- a five-time NBA champion who blogged for Chinese internet giant SINA in 2009 -- was among the first American stars to garner a large fan base in the country.

He remained popular in China after his retirement in 2016, frequently engaging via social media with Chinese fans.

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Bolton’s firsthand evidence puts senators in the difficult position of believing ‘bizarro’ Trump team argument: Legal experts

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Former Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal and Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe agreed that the recent revelations from John Bolton, puts Republicans in a difficult position. Bolton's manuscript confirmed that President Donald Trump's bribery scheme puts senators in the difficult position of being faced with firsthand witnesses they've tried to block.

Republicans were given multiple opportunities to agree that they would like to hear witnesses and new evidence as part of the impeachment trial in the Senate, but each time, they voted against it. But with the news Bolton released Sunday night, it forces senators to acknowledge they deny even firsthand evidence of Trump's guilt.

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Democratic senator says she gets more ‘disheartened’ every day hearing GOP deny evidence and witnesses

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Day after day, Republicans senators find new excuses to dismiss the evidence they hear that in any courtroom would convict an ordinary American citizen. It was enough to make normally happy Sen. Debbie Stabenow (R-MI) feel "disheartened" by the whole process.

"As somebody from Michigan, we believe in commonsense, and you can't look at all this and say, 'is this how somebody would act if they were innocent?'" said Stabenow. "And you can't look at this and say, 'Is this how somebody would act if they were innocent?' All of this coming out over and over again. I'll never forget Adam Schiff on the floor saying to all of us, 'Nobody's saying, well, gosh, Donald Trump would never do that.' The truth is it's all about will he get away with it? It's all about, are they going to be successful in hiding it and so on?"

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