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Former Mueller chief of staff says the DOJ was just ‘dealt a significant blow’

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Lisa Monaco has a long resumé when it comes to national security and law enforcement. In addition to serving as chief of staff to Robert Mueller when he was director of the FBI, the 51-year-old Monaco was a counterterrorism adviser during President Barack Obama’s second term. And Monaco, in an article for Just Security, addresses some of her reasons for worrying about the state of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) under President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr.

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“The Justice Department is unique in wearing two hats in our system: independent investigator and prosecutor, and an executive branch agency bound to facilitate the president’s legitimate policy objectives,” Monaco explains. “That’s policy objectives, not political objectives. Department lawyers under both Republican and Democratic administrations have, at times, struggled to provide their best legal advice while also seeking where possible to facilitate the president’s legitimate policy choices.”

But what she is observing in the Trump era, Monaco warns, is a troubling departure from previous presidential administrations.

“Today, we are witnessing a very different strain, a dangerous fraying of the perception of the Department’s independence,” Monaco asserts. “The latest controversy does not involve criminal justice priorities, but rather — in its best light — the appearance of direct and self-interested intervention in a law enforcement matter.”

The “latest controversy” that Monaco is referring to is the Roger Stone sentencing scandal. Last year, Stone was convicted in federal court on charges ranging from lying to Congress to witness tampering — and on February 10, a DOJ memo recommended seven to nine years in prison for the veteran GOP operative. But the following day, the DOJ recommended a much more lenient sentence after Trump angrily lambasted that memo on Twitter. Four DOJ prosecutors resigned from Stone’s case in protest.

“The reputation and credibility of the Justice Department has been dealt a significant blow,” Monaco laments. “The job of prosecutors and DOJ attorneys is both to do fair and impartial justice and to appear to have done so.”

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Monaco goes on say, “The fact that four prosecutors have now withdrawn from a case after — at the very least, the appearance of political influence in the matter — has done incalculable harm to the credibility of the Justice Department. The line attorneys who resigned this week earned their name as public servants because they stood on the front lines and honored their oath. But they shouldn’t stand alone as the conscience of the department.”


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‘Peter Navarro is a lunatic’: Trump advisor roasted for ‘insane’ MSNBC interview

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White House advisor Peter Navarro was roasted on Friday after a bizarre interview on MSNBC where he pushed multiple conspiracy theories about the COVID-19 pandemic while attempting to deflect blame from the president.

Navarro serves as the director of trade and manufacturing policy and the National Defense Production Act policy coordinator.

Here's some of what people were saying about Navarro's interview with Ali Velshi:

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Trump impersonator hilariously previews the president’s Mount Rushmore speech

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On Friday, musician and Trump impersonator J-L Cauvin posted a video satirically previewing the president's Independence Day speech at Mount Rushmore.

"The Democrats want you to wear masks, but we don't need masks," said Cauvin, impersonating Trump's New York accent. "Everybody's feeling great — stop coughing! Everybody's feeling great. So healthy. Such great health."

"Democrats want to kill you and silence you," he continued.

He then delivered a parody rant against removing statues, which sources report Trump will make a central point of his speech. "Thomas Jefferson, that's another one they hate. Everyone makes mistakes, but he had African-American girlfriends!"

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Trump plans to attack the ‘left wing mob’ in culture war tirade at Mount Rushmore: report

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On Friday evening, President Donald Trump will deliver a Fourth of July speech in front of Mount Rushmore. And according to ABC News reporter Will Steakin, the president plans to use the speech to engage in culture war saber-rattling, attacking the "left wing mob" for pushing to remove Confederate statues and other monuments that glorify racist aspects of American history.

Trump Rushmore speech will slam “left wing mob” trying to tear down “our history," campaign official briefed tells @ABC News

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