As coronavirus cases increase across much of the United States, the Trump administration has reportedly adopted a policy of deliberately letting the virus infect much of the U.S. population in order to attain “herd immunity” — despite warnings from the World Health Organization against such an approach. We host a debate on the contentious issue of herd immunity and how best to confront the virus with two Harvard medical experts: epidemiologist Martin Kulldorff, a professor of medicine at Harvard University and one of the lead signatories of the controversial Great Barrington Declaration arguing for an easing of lockdowns, and Dr. Abraar Karan, an internal medicine doctor at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and at Harvard Medical School who has worked on the COVID-19 public health response in Massachusetts since February.
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On Tuesday, POLITICO reported that the Department of Justice counterintelligence official who helped oversee the 2016 investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's email server — a case that focused on whether she had improperly retained classified information on her personal devices — says the investigation into former President Donald Trump's removal of classified information is in a completely separate league from what he was investigating.
"'People sling these cases around to suit their political agenda but every case has to stand on its own circumstances,' said David Laufman, who led the Justice Department’s counterintelligence section until 2018 and is now a partner at the firm Wiggin and Dana," reported Kyle Cheney. "Laufman has the credentials to judge the severity of these matters. In addition to the Clinton case, he managed the investigation of David Petraeus, the former general and CIA director who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for mishandling classified material. CNN reported that one of the DOJ officials involved in the Trump investigation is his immediate successor."
The analysis comes after the FBI executed a search warrant at Trump's Mar-a-Lago country club in Palm Beach, Florida, where they reportedly confiscated 10 boxes of documents — an extraordinary and unprecedented legal action against a former president.
“For the department to pursue a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago tells me that the quantum and quality of the evidence they were reciting — in a search warrant and affidavit that an FBI agent swore to — was likely so pulverizing in its force as to eviscerate any notion that the search warrant and this investigation is politically motivated,” said Laufman.
The Clinton email case, which dominated the news cycle in 2016 and wounded her presidential campaign, ultimately ended in no charges, although then-FBI Director James Comey publicly chastised Clinton for her "careless" records retention policies. Trump, then a presidential candidate himself, relentlessly claimed Clinton was guilty of national security crimes, and "Lock Her Up!" became a common chant at his rallies.
"In the absence of more detailed information about the investigation, it’s unclear what potential crimes DOJ is probing," noted the report. "Notably, Trump — after a fierce campaign against Clinton in which he called for her to be jailed for her handling of classified material — signed a law in 2018 that stiffened the penalty for the unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents from one year to five years, turning it into a felony offense."
One day after the FBI executed a search warrant at Mar-a-Lago, federal agents have executed a search warrant on a GOP member of Congress at the center of the Jan. 6 investigations.
"This morning, while traveling with my family, 3 FBI agents visited me and seized my cell phone," Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) exclusively told Fox News.
"They made no attempt to contact my lawyer, who would have made arrangements for them to have my phone if that was their wish," he claimed, even though prosecutors usually prefer that subpoena route unless they fear the evidence could be destroyed or not turned over.
"I’m outraged — though not surprised — that the FBI under the direction of Merrick Garland’s DOJ, would seize the phone of a sitting member of Congress," Perry complained.
While Trump's search warrant was reportedly about alleged mishandling of classified information and public documents, Perry's search may be related to Trump's efforts to overturn the 2020 election.
When Perry was subpoenaed by the House select committee in December, Chairman Bennie Thompson (D-MS) wrote that they were searching for information on the effort to install former Department of Justice official Jeffrey Clark as acting Attorney General.
“We have received evidence from multiple witnesses that you had an important role in the efforts to install Mr. Clark as acting Attorney General," Thompson wrote. "Acting Attorney General Rosen and acting Deputy Attorney General Donoghue have provided evidence regarding these issues, and we have received evidence that others who worked with Mr. Clark were aware of these plans. We are also aware that you had multiple text and other communications with President Trump’s former Chief of Staff regarding Mr. Clark—and we also have evidence indicating that in that time frame you sent communications to the former Chief of Staff using the encrypted Signal app. Mr. Clark has informed us that he plans to invoke his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination in anticipation of a deposition to be conducted by the Committee. When Mr. Clark decided to invoke his 5th Amendment rights, he understood that we planned to pose questions addressing his interactions with you, among a host of other topics."
“In addition, we have information indicating that you communicated at various relevant times with the White House and others involved in other relevant topics, including regarding allegations that the Dominion voting machines had been corrupted," Thompson added.
Nicolle Wallace tells Dems to call GOP's bluff: You want the classified info the DOJ sought — so do we!
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace was supposed to be on vacation this week, but popped into her regular show to encourage Democrats not to kowtow to Republicans' rantings about investigations and hearings into the recent search warrant executed at Mar-a-Lago.
She began by attacking the Republican response to the news as "asinine" and confessed she was "horrified."
"But I will say this: If it does cause them to rally around Trump because his criminality is so concerning around national security that they had to go search his house for the documents in question, bring it on. I mean, if that's their guy, if their guy is such a threat to U.S. national security that the FBI had to apply for a warrant and go search it, and they want him to be their standard bearer, right at the point where they're about to flush the toilet of him — as we learn more and more about how he flushed documents down his toilet — go ahead."
She went on to tell Democrats that they too should be willing to conduct their own probe into what happened in the FBI search.
"You want to know why DOJ had to go search Mar-a-Lago for classified information? Make it bipartisan. We want to know too!" Wallace said. "I think it's time for Democrats to say, if you want this guy, you can have him. You want oversight over the government? That's a good idea. We have too many Americans who don't trust politicians and the government. We'll help you in that, but don't turn it into a circus. And I think if anyone is aware of the kind of B.S. games that Republicans are playing, it is the very, sort of, slow-moving and methodical leaders of this Justice Department.
Wallace also pointed out that having Fox hosts conduct their own freakout on national television is only going to make things worse for them.
"I thought that someone like Steven Ayers, an insurrectionist testifying about how he was duped, not just by Donald Trump but by Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson and all these morons parroting things they knew were lies," she continued. "And we saw what they were texting the chief of staff. If they parrot lies about DOJ, which is pursuing an incredibly aggressive investigation into Hunter Biden, more aggressive than anything Bill Barr did, they will be peddling more lies, the kinds of lies that ruined Steven Ayers' life. And I don't have any sympathy for Steven Ayers, but I think it's instructive to watch the base call for protest or chaos or disrespect for the FBI, is a new horror, and a new low for the right, which is so far down on the low road, they can't see the sky anymore. And I think their reaction over the last 24 hours has been disgusting."
Wallace closed by questioning why Garland cares so much about national security and classified information, but not about preserving an American election.
"What it tells us is that what [Garland] is going to have to defend in terms of the history of the Department of Justice in this country is that if classified information was serious enough to search Mar-a-Lago, and to take from Mar-a-Lago — Donald J. Trump's safe, isn't democracy and crimes committed against democracy just as sacred?" she asked.
Former Republican Nicolle Wallace tells Democrats to call GOP's bluff www.youtube.com