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.
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.”
Food safety groups warn of looming zoonotic pandemic, blast USDA’s new slaughter plant regulation
"Self-regulation when it comes to animal movement, slaughter, and meat inspection is bad news."
Food safety advocates warned Monday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture's USDA newly implemented rules for pig slaughter are setting the stage for a potential public health disaster—including the possibility of another infectious disease that could come from animals.
At issue is the New Swine Inspection System (NSIS), which the USDA finalized in October. Touted by the federal agency as a "modernization" effort, the regulation sparked immediate fears and lawsuits by watchdog groups over its elimination of kill speed limits and weakening of the inspection system.
Wisconsin Supreme Court blocks governor’s effort to postpone election — and protect voters from COVID-19
Hours after Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers issued an executive order postponing this week's election to June, the state Supreme Court ordered the election must proceed as scheduled.
BREAKING: The Wisconsin Supreme Court has blocked Gov. Tony Evers' executive order postponing the spring election in the state. Tomorrow's election IS BACK ON https://t.co/nZz9D4IsA3
— Zach Montellaro (@ZachMontellaro) April 6, 2020
US begins blood tests for coronavirus immunity: reports
The United States has begun taking blood samples from across the country to determine the true number of people infected with the coronavirus, using a test that works retrospectively, according to reports.
The new tests are based on serological surveys, which differ from the nasal swabs used to determine if someone currently has the virus.
Instead, they look for whether certain antibodies are present in the blood which shows that the person fought and then recovered from the illness -- even if they never showed symptoms.
These tests are seen as key to gradually easing lockdown, by allowing those who have proven immunity to re-enter society.