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Trump ‘fixer’ Barr has ‘devastated’ the Justice Department and it will take years to repair the damage: report

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William Barr (Screen Shot)

On Saturday, writing for Politico, Brennan Center for Justice fellow Victoria Bassetti and former House impeachment counsel Norm Eisen laid out the necessary steps to fix the problems at the Justice Department in the wake of Attorney General William Barr’s political rampages.

“Barr’s testimony demonstrated a singular blend of real pugnacity and feigned world-weariness as he defended his 18 months in office,” wrote Bassetti and Eisen. “Barr has tried to muzzle Trump’s critics, protect his friends, hide information from Congress and investigate those who investigated the president. He has also — much like [Roy] Cohn and [Michael] Cohen — worked as a PR agent, spinning negative information in Trump’s favor, and even using federal agents to violently clear a path through protesters before a presidential photo op.”

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As a consequence of this, they wrote, “the Department of Justice is going to have to come to a larger reckoning at some point, instituting or welcoming stronger safeguards against manipulation and misuse and shoring up ethical standards.”

One step, they wrote, is to make the Office of Legal Counsel — which has spent the Trump years writing partisan memos to bolster the president’s legal position — truly independent. Another is to give more authority to the DOJ inspector general to investigate misconduct by the attorney general, which they note is “backed by several Republican senators,” and to make the department’s ethics recommendations — like their basis for recommending various officials recuse from certain cases — more transparent. Yet another is to increase congressional oversight and improve the process for confirming departmental nominees.

“In the case of Barr, Trump’s instinct for finding fixers has served his agenda well,” concluded Bassetti and Eisen. “But it has devastated the once-proud Department of Justice. Restoring the department’s reputation will take sustained work long after Barr departs and Trump is once more cruising the back streets of the Tri-State area for representation.”

You can read more here.


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2020 Election

Trump officials could face criminal charges for USPS sabotage — and the president may not be able to pardon them

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Members of the Trump administration could face legal jeopardy over efforts to sabotage U.S. Postal Service operations to interfere with the 2020 presidential elections.

"Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ) made a criminal referral to the New Jersey Attorney General on Friday night, asking him to impanel a grand jury to look at possible breach of state election laws by President Trump, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and others for 'their accelerating arson of the post office,' he said. Alarming headlines have emerged in recent days as many states prepare to facilitate widespread mail balloting due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Trump openly admitted he was withholding federal aid from the postal service to prevent mail-in voting, and USPS has notified 46 states and D.C. that it will struggle to deliver some mail ballots on time," The Daily Beast reported Friday.

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Maddow reveals how one state stood up to Trump’s USPS cuts — and won

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow's opening segment on Friday focused on a positive story of political pressure stopping one of the Trump administration's attacks on the U.S. Postal Service.

Maddow reported how NBC Montana reporter Maritsa Georgiou had doggedly reported on the removal of postal boxes in Missoula, where she is based. Missoula has been a long-time Democratic Party stronghold.

Montana has a competitive U.S. Senate election in 2020, with Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock challenging first-term Republican Sen. Steve Daines.

As Georgiou chased the story, she learned there were also plans to remove boxes in the battleground of Billings. And more planned for the blue town of Bozeman. And other towns.

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2020 Election

Pepsi joins the chorus of people dunking on Tucker Carlson over Kamala Harris

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The Pepsi soda company mocked Fox News personality Tucker Carlson on Friday evening.

On Tuesday, Carlson flipped out after a guest attempted to teach him how to pronounce the name of Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who is running for vice president on Joe Biden's ticket.

Video of the exchange was posted on Twitter by Nikki McCann Ramirez, a researcher at the watchdog group Media Matters for America.

Tucker Carlson loses it when a guest corrects his pronunciation of Kamala Harris's name pic.twitter.com/1fHIrPGuwN

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