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Experts: Bill Barr is violating DOJ norms with political actions so close to the election

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Bill Barr (Screen Capture)

Veteran attorneys are shocked by Attorney General William Barr’s intervention in November’s election on behalf of President Donald Trump.

The Department of Justice has declassified or disclosed sensitive materials related to the prosecution of Michael Flynn, a Senate investigation into the Russia probe and the investigation of discarded absentee ballots in Pennsylvania — which set off alarms among legal experts, reported Politico.

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“These actions are not typical,” said William Jeffress, who served as former President Richard Nixon’s defense attorney after he left the White House. “Tradition is that politically sensitive actions by DOJ go dark at least 60 days before an election.”

Jeffress was particularly concerned about the Justice Department’s revelations about a handful of discarded military ballots in Luzerne County, a crucial area Trump won in 2016 and likely needs again this year.

“The attorney general is working hand in glove with the White House and the Trump reelection campaign,” said Gene Rossi, a former federal prosecutor from Virginia. “We have not seen that level of unseemly coordination since Attorney General John Mitchell.”

All of those unusual revelations help further Trump narratives about the Russia probe and election integrity, and legal veterans are concerned.

“This is not something that the attorney general should even be telling Trump or they should be announcing in any fashion,” said Nick Akerman, a prosecutor during the Watergate-era investigation of Nixon.

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Justice Department officials reject any suggestion of impropriety in the ballot investigation, and a DOJ official told Politico that Barr was aware local media had picked up on the story and mentioned it to Trump.

“When I was an [assistant U.S. attorney], you would never reveal anything about your ongoing investigation,” said David Weinstein, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Florida. “It could compromise the investigation itself and potentially [impugn] the reputation of any subjects of the investigation who never became targets.”


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Legal analyst suggests ‘truth commission’ to bring the US back from Trumpism

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“When a plane falls out of the sky, we don’t just shrug our shoulders and say, 'gravity has consequences'” wrote legal analyst Elie Mystal in his column for "The Nation" Tuesday.

After five years of dealing with President Donald Trump, Mystal thinks that the way to bring the United States back to normal is with a kind of "truth and reconciliation commission."

He recalled in 2009 when former President Barack Obama came into office he was asked if he would appoint a special prosecutor to investigate George W. Bush's administration for the torture scandal and illegal detention.

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2020 Election

Donald Trump Jr.: Biden already had a chance to ‘fix’ racism because Obama is Black

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Donald Trump Jr. on Tuesday argued that former Vice President Joe Biden should have solved racial tensions when there was an African-American president.

At a campaign event in Pennsylvania, the president's son responded after a member of the audience called Biden a "racist."

"Well, he is," Trump agreed. "He was best friends with every segregationist ever to walk the halls of Congress."

"But he's going to fix those issues now, right?" he added sarcastically. "Now he's going to fix racial tensions in America. Why did you wait 47 years, Joe? You know, if you really cared, if you thought it was something you were going to campaign on, maybe you would have utilized, I don't know, your 38 years in the United States Senate."

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2020 Election

WATCH: Former Trump voters explain what sent them over the edge — and got them to back Biden

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HuffPost reporter Daniel Marans talked with voters Tuesday outside the Luzerne County building in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, ahead of President Donald J. Trump's rally in the state. The line for early voting was about an hour long with most of the queue being held inside. Marans reported that, "People also have questions/requests. But you can drop off a pre-completed absentee ballot in the blue box."

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