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DOJ investigating why consumers are paying record prices for beef during pandemic: report

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Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA). Image via screengrab.

On Monday, Politico reported that the Justice Department and Agriculture Department are looking into what they consider to be suspicious price increases of beef for American consumers — on the suspicion that the recent spike in prices may be a result of price-fixing.

“Supermarket customers are paying more for beef than they have in decades during the coronavirus pandemic,” reported Leah Nylen and Liz Crampton. “But at the same time, the companies that process the meat for sale are paying farmers and ranchers staggeringly low prices for cattle.”

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“The Department of Justice is looking at the four largest U.S. meatpackers — Tyson Foods, JBS, National Beef and Cargill — which collectively control about 85 percent of the U.S. market for the slaughter and packaging of beef, according to a person with knowledge of the probe,” said the report. “The USDA is also investigating the beef price fluctuations, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue has confirmed.”

“It’s evidence that something isn’t right in the industry,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who has warned about corporate consolidation in the meatpacking industry and called for an investigation into cattle markets in April.

“Meatpackers say beef prices have spiked during the pandemic because plants are running at lower capacity as workers fall ill, so less meat is making its way to shelves,” continued the report. “The four companies didn’t respond to requests for comment about the probes.”

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CNN

Republicans are terrified of having to think for themselves once Trump is gone: S.E. Cupp

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On CNN Monday, conservative commentator S.E. Cupp argued that GOP lawmakers are not just scared of retribution for not standing with outgoing President Donald Trump; they are also scared of having to define what they stand for as a party without him telling them what to believe.

"For the past four years, we, especially in the media, have heard Republicans in private are XYZ — disgusted, disturbed, troubled — but publicly, very silent, except in these moments where it really doesn't count, where everyone is doing it," said Cupp. "I think, in fact, if I write another book, I will call it 'In private: the great cowardice of Trump's GOP.'"

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CNN

‘No hands to play’: Harvard Law professor says even competent lawyers wouldn’t have saved Trump’s case

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On Monday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe argued that President Donald Trump's legal case to overturn the presidential election results was doomed to fail — even if he had had more knowledgeable and skilled legal counsel.

"Let me ask you about the breaking news from the GSA," said anchor Erin Burnett. "Emily Murphy, Trump appointee, said she was not pressured to do anything. Trump obviously seems to be clearly taking credit, I recommended she do this, I am the one calling the shots. You have been very clear that this withholding of a transition from the GSA and Emily Murphy, as the chief, could have been in violation of federal law. Do you believe any laws were broken in this delay?"

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2020 Election

Trump becomes ‘hermit-in-chief’ as he hides from reporters amid election court losses: CNN’s Acosta

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On CNN Monday, chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta broke down how President Donald Trump's loss is starting to sink in for the president, his advisers, and his party.

"Becoming something of a hermit-in-chief, President Trump steered clear of the cameras yet again and was even unusually silent on social media much of the day, as more top Republicans slam President Trump's legal team for serving up nothingburgers in his quest to upend the 2020 election," said Acosta. "Even though some of the president's advisers urged him to dump attorney Sidney Powell from his legal team, it's unclear whether that will satisfy close allies like former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who are losing patience with Mr. Trump's efforts to cling to power."

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