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Bill Barr’s DOJ using pandemic crisis to ask for permission to hold prisoners indefinitely without trial: report

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Attorney General William P. Barr, official White House photo by Tia Dufour

On Saturday, Politico reported that Attorney General William Barr’s Justice Department is seeking to give President Donald Trump vast new detention powers in response to the national coronavirus emergency.

“The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States,” reported Betsy Woodruff Swan. “Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions.”

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“The move has tapped into a broader fear among civil liberties advocates and Donald Trump’s critics — that the president will use a moment of crisis to push for controversial policy changes,” continued Swan. “Already, he has cited the pandemic as a reason for heightening border restrictions and restricting asylum claims. He has also pushed for further tax cuts as the economy withers, arguing that it would soften the financial blow to Americans. And even without policy changes, Trump has vast emergency powers that he could legally deploy right now to try and slow the coronavirus outbreak.”

Many of these proposed powers would upend the U.S. legal system.

“In one of the documents, the department proposed that Congress grant the attorney general power to ask the chief judge of any district court to pause court proceedings ‘whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation,'” wrote Swan. “The proposal would also grant those top judges broad authority to pause court proceedings during emergencies. It would apply to ‘any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings.'”

None of these powers are likely to be enacted, as it would require approval from the Democratic-controlled House. But the documents shine a further light on how DOJ officials under Trump view executive power — and their vision for dismantling civil liberties.

You can read more here.

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2020 Election

Arizona Republican likens Trump’s loss to Japan getting nuked while losing WW II — but as a good thing

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President Donald Trump on Monday allowed President-elect Joe Biden's transition to proceed -- while vowing he would never concede.

Despite Trump losing the election, some Trump supporters are refusing to accept the outcome.

One Arizona Republican in Congress, Paul Gosar, drew upon the historical knowledge him learned on his way to becoming a dentist in a bizarre analogy he posted on Twitter.

Gosar suggested the Trump movement would be like an Imperial Japanese soldier in World War II who refused to surrender until 1974.

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2020 Election

Neal Katyal predicts law schools will teach a ‘Worst Mistakes in Court’ class on Trump’s ‘pathetic’ 20-day fiasco

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Prominent lawyer Neal Katyal is best known for having tried over 40 cases before the United States Supreme Court and serving as acting Solicitor General during the Obama administration.

But he also has spent more than two decades as a law professor at Georgetown.

He drew upon all of that experience for a Monday evening appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

"Someday a law school class is going to be called 'The Worst Mistakes in Court' -- and it will be just about these 20 days," Katyal predicted. "Because this legal strategy is so pathetic it makes Trump's coronavirus strategy look competent by contrast."

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2020 Election

Trump vows he ‘will never concede’ — in 11 pm conspiracy-filled rant

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Donald Trump lost the 2020 presidential to President-elect Joe Biden, but is still refusing to concede.

White House aides reportedly convinced him to allow Biden to begin his transition by telling him he did not need to use the word "concede."

But that word appeared to be on his mind late Monday night.

"What does GSA being allowed to preliminarily work with the Dems have to do with continuing to pursue our various cases on what will go down as the most corrupt election in American political history?" Trump asked while continuing to lie about the election being corrupt.

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