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McConnell, McCarthy, and Graham condemned for ‘pathetic’ statement defending AG Barr as ‘man of highest integrity’

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“Republican Party leadership continues to endorse Trump and Barr’s unprecedented authoritarian corrosion of the rule of law.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Lindsey Graham, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy issued a joint statement Tuesday defending Attorney General William Barr as a “man of the highest character and unquestionable integrity” as the nation’s top law enforcement official faces growing calls to resign over his interference in the sentencing of Trump confidant Roger Stone.

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The trio of Republicans claimed that “outside groups” are responsible for demands that Barr step down and said the attorney general “has shown that he is committed without qualification to securing equal justice under law for all Americans.”

“The nation is fortunate that President Trump chose such a strong and selfless public servant to lead the Department of Justice,” the GOP leaders said. “We expect that, as always, efforts to intimidate the attorney general will fall woefully short.”

The Republicans’ statement, which one commentator slammed as “pathetic,” comes days after more than 2,000 former Justice Department officials signed an open letter urging Barr to resign over his decision to overrule career federal prosecutors and reduce the recommended prison sentence for Stone, who was convicted last November of witness tampering and lying to Congress.

Critics said the GOP leaders’ defense of the attorney general shows the Republican Party is fully on board with Trump and Barr’s abuse of the powers of the Justice Department for political purposes:

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Last week, as Common Dreams reported, nine senators—including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)—sent a letter to Barr demanding that he step down immediately.

“The shocking action taken by you or your senior staff to seek special protections for Mr. Stone make a mockery of your responsibilities to seek equal justice under the law,” the senators wrote.

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The Washington Post reported late Tuesday that Barr—who admitted to intervening in the Stone case in an interview with ABC last week—has told people close to Trump that “he is considering quitting over Trump’s tweets about Justice Department investigations.”

“The administration officials said Barr seemed to be sharing his position with advisers in hopes the president would get the message that he should stop weighing in publicly on the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal investigations,” the Post reported.

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Trump last Tuesday used Twitter to voice his displeasure with federal prosecutors’ recommendation of seven to nine years in prison for Stone. Hours after Trump’s tweet, the Justice Department announced it would intervene to reduce Stone’s recommended sentence.

Last Friday, Trump asserted on Twitter that he has “the legal right” to order the Justice Department to do his bidding.

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Three right-wing ‘boogaloo’ militants arrested on terrorism charges in Las Vegas: report

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On Wednesday, federal prosecutors announced that three far-right militants with ties to the "boogaloo" movement have been arrested on terrorism-related charges in Las Vegas, according to The Seattle Times.

"Federal prosecutors say the three white men with U.S. military experience are accused of conspiring to carry out a plan that began in April in conjunction with protests to reopen businesses closed because of the coronavirus and later sought to capitalize on protests over the death of a Minneapolis man in police custody," reported Michelle Price and Scott Sonner.

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‘Trump became what we feared’: New Lincoln Project ad accuses Trump of using the Bible as a prop to boost his polls

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A brutal new ad from the GOP group The Lincoln Project called "War Zone" is attacking President Donald Trump for becoming what Americans have feared he would.

He didn't come out of hiding this week to help calm the nation or to bring Americans together.

"He wasn't there to offer words of calm and comfort," the ad said. "Instead, he became what we all feared. Evoked the worst of our past. Threatened our governors and states. He ordered our own soldiers who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan to flood the streets, instructing them to turn against Americans. Used churches and the Holy Bible as political props. He didn't invoke the Lord to give us wisdom, but to boost his polls."

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James Mattis takes swipe at Trump: We have gone ‘three years without mature leadership’

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On Wednesday, The Atlantic reported that President Donald Trump's former Defense Secretary James Mattis has written a furious condemnation of the president, saying he is incapable of "mature leadership" and accusing him of deliberately trying to turn Americans against one another.

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” wrote Mattis, according to the article. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand — one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values — our values as people and our values as a nation ... We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

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