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Trump and Barr’s attacks could chill the FBI from investigating future election crimes: Ex-FBI counsel

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On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “Anderson Cooper 360,” former FBI general counsel James Baker warned that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr’s attempts to smear and discredit the FBI — even in the face of an inspector general report broadly exonerating their investigation of Russia — could lead to FBI agents steering away from investigations of future election interference.

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“I think it sends a terrible message,” said Baker. “The president’s statements, I think in his tweet, whenever it was, about Director Wray — I mean, the FBI is not a ‘broken’ organization. It is not and has not been. It’s a tremendous organization. It’s out there every day defending America. So the American people should rest assured that the FBI is there, doing its job. It’s protecting all of us.”

“That being said, it’s demoralizing, I think, when the attorney general makes these statements about the investigative work we did, and certainly deters people from wanting to be involved in these cases,” continued Baker. “The FBI has a lot of stuff on its plate, a lot of sensitive matters that they need to pursue aggressively and need to be encouraged to be aggressive to protect us within the bounds of the law, but not to be — not to be commented on and said to be spying. Because if this is spying, then under the attorney general guidelines and the law supported by Mr. Barr, then his Department of Justice and FBI are spying all the time, because this is lawful activity, it’s not spying.”

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Trump biographer explains how president uses fear to scare Republicans away from witnesses

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Michael D'Antonio, one of President Donald Trump's biographers, explained Sunday that the president knows very well how to use fear to intimidate people. That's what he's doing in the case of impeachment to help score an acquittal.

Citing Bob Woodward's book Fear, D'Antonio explained that Trump uses fear to his benefit.

"He called it fear because Donald Trump knows how to use fear, he knows how to intimidate people, and he'll go further than almost anyone else will go," said D'Antonio. "And he's proven that he can adjust the calculus for everyone in the united states senate. So, they're all thinking, 'Do I cross this man? Will I have a primary challenge? What is the real endpoint for me if I decide to vote my conscience instead of being loyal?' The president has surpassed all of our expectations."

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Will the GOP ‘stand for gaslighting or reality?’: George Conway thumps senate Republicans who refuse to consider Trump’s crimes

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Appearing on CNN's "State of the Union," conservative attorney George Conway launched a broadside against Republican senators for their conduct in the impeachment trial of Donald Trump, saying they are selling lies to the public.

Speaking with host Jake Tapper, Conway -- the husband of White House adviser Kellyanne Conway -- painted a withering portrait of the GOP that is hellbent on acquitting the president of obvious impeachable crimes.

"I'm deeply saddened," Conway began. "It is very upsetting and this is a moment of reckoning not just for the country and the rule of law and the constitution, but it is a specific day of reckoning for the Republican senators who took this oath, and the republican party generally, are they going to stand for lies instead of truth?"

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Mitch McConnell is manipulating Trump to keep him from prolonging impeachment trial: NYT’s Haberman

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Appearing on CNN on Sunday morning, the New York Times' Maggie Haberman said Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is stringing an anxious Donald Trump along and manipulating him to go along with his plan to wrap up the Senate impeachment trial.

Speaking with host John King, Haberman claimed that McConnell is speaking to Trump in such a way that the president may think that McConnell's ideas are his own.

"Do you think the president will -- e could do this over two more days but does he give up a day of TV time?" King asked about the impeachment trial

"McConnell has convinced him, it's taking him some time, back and forth," B Haberman explained. "The president had to be allowed to believe it's his idea or that he wasn't being led along but he's generally done what McConnell wanted. He [McConnell] wants this over quick."

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