Trump Bullies Media to Exonerate Him of Russia Corruption
Will the Mueller Fizzle Help Elect Trump in 2020?
Though the president, for once, supports transparency in the Mueller report, Mitch McConnell says otherwise
Now here’s where we could use some leaks
Mayor Pete might have some major momentum
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D) surged into third place in a poll of the Iowa caucus released Sunday.
Eleven percent of likely Democratic Iowa caucusgoers surveyed by Emerson Polling said they would pick Buttigieg to be their 2020 presidential nominee.
Buttigieg, who has formed an exploratory committee but has not officially declared, was polling at 0 percent in Emerson’s January survey of Iowa, which shows his recognition and support have grown significantly in the last few months.
His performance in Sunday’s Emerson poll was boosted by placing second in the 18-to-29-year-old demographic, with 22 percent. Sanders led that category with 44 percent.
The federal government continues to fail Puerto Rico
The federal government provided additional food-stamp aid to Puerto Rico after the hurricane, but Congress missed the deadline for reauthorization in March as it focused on other issues before leaving for a week-long recess. Federal lawmakers have also been stalled by the Trump administration, which has derided the extra aid as unnecessary.
Now, about 43 percent of Puerto Rico’s residents are grappling with a sudden cut to a benefit they rely on for groceries and other essentials.
Puerto Rico will again need the federal government’s help to stave off drastic cuts to Medicaid, the health-care program for the poor and disabled, as well as for the disbursement of billions in hurricane relief aid that has not yet been turned over to the island.
The island would not need Congress to step in to fund its food-stamp and Medicaid programs if it were a state. For states, the federal government has committed to funding those programs’ needs, whatever the cost and without needing to take a vote. But Puerto Rico instead funds its programs through a block grant from the federal government, which needs to be regularly renewed, and also gives food-stamp benefits about 40 percent smaller than those of states.
Stormy Daniels has some words for Avenatti
Big news if you hate New York City traffic
In British politics right now, there are no winners
New Jersey once seemed well on its way to legalizing weed. Not anymore.
A monthslong effort to legalize marijuana in New Jersey collapsed on Monday after Democrats were unable to muster enough support for the measure, rejecting a central campaign pledge from Gov. Philip D. Murphy and leaving the future of the legalization movement in doubt.
The failure in the legislature marks one of the biggest setbacks for Mr. Murphy, who despite having full Democratic control in the State Senate and the assembly, had faced constant party infighting and had struggled to bend the legislature to his progressive agenda.
But the legalization effort had fractured the Democratic Party with some African-American lawmakers arguing that marijuana would be a public health menace to their communities.
Now he’ll never be president
Bronx Congressman Jose Serrano has Parkinson’s, won’t seek reelection
Although this disease has not affected my work in Congress, over the last few months I’ve come to the realization that Parkinson’s will eventually take a toll, and that I cannot predict its rate of advancement.
Because of this uncertainty, I do not intend to seek re-election in 2020. I do intend to serve the remainder of my term in the 116th Congress.
An early morning rocket strike in central Israel wounded seven, and now…
An important clarification on timing
An unexpected retirement, but probably a seat Democrats will hold next year
New Mexico Sen. Tom Udall announces he is retiring after 2020
Two Parkland survivors recently took their own lives, and now this tragedy
The next step, naturally, is to investigate the Clintons
“Was it just a tarmac meeting or was it more? I believe there was more there”
A not-uncommon perspective on Barr’s letter
Newt Gingrich raising the important questions
A major conflagration could be brewing in Israel
It seems unlikely that Mueller’s conclusion will move the president’s approval rating a great deal
A big Ebola outbreak in Central Africa continues not to get much attention
The second-largest, second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history has exceeded 1,000 cases in less than nine months.
A total of 1,009 people have reported symptoms of hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s northeastern provinces of North Kivu and Ituri since Aug. 1. Among those cases, 944 have tested positive for Ebola, which causes an often-fatal type of hemorrhagic fever, according to Sunday night’s bulletin from the country’s health ministry.
The ever-growing outbreak has a case fatality rate of about 60 percent. There have been 629 deaths so far, including 564 people who died from confirmed cases of Ebola. The other deaths are from probable cases.
Russia is excited that they’ve been totally vindicated by Mueller, which is definitely what the special counsel concluded
… “So, Mueller’s long-awaited report proved what was known in Russia from the very beginning: There was no collusion between Trump and any of his team with the Kremlin,” Konstantin Kosachev, a senator in Russia’s upper house of Parliament, said in a Facebook post on Monday.
“Two years of unceasing lies. Two years of the highest-level policy built on the allegation of collusion. A conspiracy explaining the allegedly pro-Russian position of Trump, because of which he was essentially forced to impose more and more stringent measures against our country.”
“That is why two years were not just lost for Russian-American relations, but simply crushing for them. Someone will answer for this damage? Someone apologize? Someone will adjust something?” Kosachev added.
The Christchurch massacre may have already inspired another hate crime
Local and federal law enforcement launched an investigation into an alleged arson attack at an Escondido, California, mosque early Sunday morning, where the suspect left behind a note referencing the terrorist attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that killed 50 worshippers.
The fire broke out at 3:15 a.m. at Dar-ul-Arqam in what authorities are investigating as arson and a hate crime.
“If its an arson, it’s possibly a hate crime as well,” Escondido Police Department (EPD) Lt. Chris Lick said.
Mueller reportedly considered speaking with Trump, which could have provided a lot of clarity on the obstruction of justice front
The special counsel’s office deliberated at length with Justice Department officials about issuing a subpoena for President Donald Trump to be interviewed, but ultimately the decision was made not to move forward with such a significant investigative step, according to a source familiar with the matter.
In the end, the decision to not make a formal request for a subpoena was critical, because that demand, should it have been rejected, would have been communicated by the attorney general to Congress, as the special counsel regulations mandate. Instead, a formal request from Mueller wasn’t made, allowing Barr to say in his letter to Congress on Friday “there were no such instances during the Special Counsel investigation” where Mueller was turned down.
More on the groundwork for the forthcoming legal battle over the Mueller report
For Republicans, the message from the Mueller report was clear and insistent - “The country needs to move on.” Meanwhile, Democrats immediately countered with “Release the whole Mueller report.” The struggle is now over which side wins that messaging war with the American public.
Democrats just as quickly noted that Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump on obstruction-of-justice charges either, a huge opening for them to go after the president. According to Mueller, “while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.” Democrats quickly demanded.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) warned against drawing any conclusion from the findings, zeroing in on the fact that Mueller didn’t exonerate Trump over obstruction of justice. The Democratic leaders, like other Democrats on Sunday, also criticized Barr’s “public record of bias” against the special counsel’s probe, saying he’s “not a neutral observer and is not in a position to make objective determinations about the report.”
“And most obviously, for the president to say he is completely exonerated directly contradicts the words of Mr. Mueller and is not to be taken with any degree of credibility.”
The post-report hearings are about to begin
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said Sunday that his committee will call Attorney General William Barr to testify over “very concerning discrepancies and final decision making” at the Justice Department over special counsel Robert Mueller’s report.
“In light of the very concerning discrepancies and final decision making at the Justice Department following the Special Counsel report, where Mueller did not exonerate the President, we will be calling Attorney General Barr in to testify before @HouseJudiciary in the near future,” Nadler tweeted Sunday.
Barr wrote in the letter Sunday that the DOJ will spend the coming days identifying information in the Mueller report that cannot be publicly released, such as grand jury information and evidence from investigations that have to be referred to other offices, before making further decisions on how much of Mueller’s report can be released.
The self-sabotager-in-chief will find a way to make this more complicated for himself
A reluctant sigh of relief
Some wise words of caution on what we know
But crucially, Mueller reported that his investigation “did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities,” whether expressly or tacitly. To use the popular cable-news vernacular, Mueller did not establish “collusion.” (Never mind that collusion is not a legal term, and that the special counsel’s mission was to investigate “links and/or coordination” with the Russians.)
Trump’s triumphant supporters notwithstanding, we don’t yet know what that means. When prosecutors say that an investigation “did not establish” something, that doesn’t mean that they concluded it didn’t happen, or even that they don’t believe it happened. It means that the investigation didn’t produce enough information to prove that it happened. Without seeing Mueller’s full report, we don’t know whether this is a firm conclusion about lack of coordination or a frank admission of insufficient evidence. The difference is meaningful, both as a matter of history and because it might determine how much further Democrats in Congress are willing to push committee investigations of the matter.
Not in a chatty mood, surprisingly
Thank you, Ivanka
Yes, Trump is deeply concerned about the dignity of the office
This doesn’t seem like an unreasonable decision, based on what we know at the moment
What are you trying to say, Sean?
A reasonable request
A lot of Democrats sound like they’re spinning right now
He’s previously been so calm about this
The investigation was always a sideshow for the candidates running to replace Trump
Actually, the current Democratic message has very little to do with Russia
How does this affect the possible pardoning of Roger Stone and Paul Manafort?
And we’re back to 2016 again
The pity card makes its entrance
Get ready for the unofficial Trump 2020 branding
Despite the exact quote: “While this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”
Momentum for the “I” word must be fading
Probably not in the textbook definition of obstruction of justice
Trump to comment soon – surely in a poised and respectful manner
Some Democrats aren’t thrilled about Barr’s quick turnaround
Someone’s happy they weren’t indicted
After more than 2 years of non-stop conspiracy theories from CNN, MSNBC, Buzzfeed and the rest of the mainstream media, as well as daily lies and smears coming from Democrats in Washington, the Mueller Report proves what those of us with sane minds have known all along, there was ZERO collusion with Russia. Sadly, instead of apologizing for needlessly destabilizing the country in a transparent attempt to delegitimize the 2016 election, it’s clear that the Collusion Truthers in the media and the Democrat Party are only going to double down on their sick and twisted conspiracy theories moving forward.
Sarah Huckabee Sanders sees a clean slate
Sure, but we want to hear “all” of them
A former Acting Solicitor General – the lawyer responsible for arguing cases before the Supreme Court – weighs in
Early sign from a Trump ally that the president’s team will probably be sore winners about this
Trump will not be charged with obstruction of justice either, a decision Mueller effectively punted to the DOJ
The Special Counsel’s decision to describe the facts of his obstruction investigation without reaching any legal conclusions leaves it to the Attorney General to determine whether the conduct described in the report constitues a crime.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and I [AG William Barr] have concluded that the evidence developed during the Special Counsel’s investigation is not suffienct to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense.
It’s Congress’ turn
An unsatisfactory conclusion
A pretty short summary for a nearly two-year investigation
Congress is coming out of the dark
A bold attack
Fox News viewers stand apart — and to the right — of other conservatives
Even among Republican voters, Fox News viewers exhibit preferences further to the right than those of other groups. Fox News viewers are to the right not just on policy, but on social and cultural attitudes as well. This apparently remains the case even controlling for other factors that may differentiate Fox News-viewing Republicans from those who don’t.
Fox News is the number one news source for Republican voters. In our sample, we found that 62 percent of Republicans reported getting their news from Fox News (as did 36 percent of Independents and 10 percent of Democrats). More Republican voters get their news from Fox than from local TV news (51 percent), newspaper websites or apps (35 percent), the radio (35 percent), from what they see on Facebook (39 percent) or on Twitter (11 percent). There is a growing body of evidence suggesting Fox plays an important role in the promulgation of radical conservative ideology. Those who get their news from Fox are considerably right to the rest of the American electorate, including to their co-partisans.
Two Parkland shooting survivors have now taken their own lives in less than two weeks
A second Parkland shooting survivor has killed himself, Coral Springs police confirmed on Sunday. Investigators told the Miami Herald that a current Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student died in “an apparent suicide” on Saturday night. …
Though police could not confirm the age of the student, Coral Springs police spokesman Tyler Reik said the student was a juvenile. Sources say the student was a male sophomore. His name has not been released.
The death comes just about a week after a recent Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School graduate, Sydney Aiello, took her own life[.]
Inslee gets to debate
How much will — or can — the Mueller report affect the polarized electorate?
52% yes, 36% no.
Rate chance Mueller probe changes your opinion of Trump?
Not at all 41%.
Strong chance 7%, some chance 14%, small chance 29%.
Don’t know 8%.
The waiting game continues
When the lobbyists become the lawmakers
Understanding what Mueller’s report is — and isn’t
What a criminal investigation can do, and what it may have done here, is to provide a text that offers a factual record which might be redeployed for purposes of answering non-criminal questions in addition to the criminal ones for which that record was created. This is the importance of the so-called Mueller report[.] …
Mueller’s report is likely geared not toward telling a story or answering non-criminal questions but toward fulfilling the purpose of the regulation—that is, explaining his prosecutorial decisions. Unless Mueller understands his role especially grandly, the report is likely not designed to fill the oversight shoes of Congress or to assist the legislature’s role in the impeachment process. Yet unless the report is particularly spare in factual detail, that will not stop politicians and commentators from redeploying it for all of sorts of other purposes.
This business of redeploying criminal investigative work product for purposes of history, for purposes of non-criminal accountability, for purposes of the public’s knowing the “truth” is dicey stuff.
Meh about Mueller on the campaign trail
At events across early primary states, voters asked about health care and school shootings and immigration. Questioners were far less likely to address the report by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which was delivered to Attorney General William P. Barr on Friday.
Democratic voters said they cared deeply about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election but weren’t quite sure what to make of the latest twist, exactly. …
The lack of questions at campaign events about the report surprised some of the candidates, who had come prepared with lines about the latest development in the nearly two-year investigation.
Review of Mueller report well underway, “on pace” for Sunday release, but how much of it will come out is anybody’s guess
Attorney General William Barr scoured special counsel Robert Mueller’s confidential report on the Russia investigation with his advisers Saturday, deciding how much Congress and the American public will get to see about the two-year probe into President Donald Trump and Moscow’s efforts to elect him.
Barr was on pace to release his first summary of Mueller’s findings on Sunday, people familiar with the process said. …
Barr has said he wants to release as much as he can under the law. That decision will require him to weigh the Justice Department’s longstanding protocol of not releasing negative information about people who aren’t indicted against the extraordinary public interest in a criminal investigation into the president and his campaign. Democrats are already citing the department’s recent precedent of norm-breaking disclosures, including during the Hillary Clinton email investigation, to argue that they’re entitled to Mueller’s entire report and the underlying evidence he collected.
Patriots owner and billionaire Trump pal Robert Kraft, facing solicitation charges, releases an apology
No Mueller time today
Lawmakers will be in the dark for at least one more day on special counsel Robert Mueller’s central findings about the contacts between associates of President Donald Trump and Russia during the 2016 campaign.
The Justice Department informed Congress on Saturday afternoon that Attorney General William Barr would not provide findings to lawmakers until at least Sunday, extending the rampant speculation about what might be in the report and fueling Democrats’ increasingly urgent pleas to release the full report.
Any minute now, or later, or not