1/ Trump threatened to impose a 5% tariff on all Mexican goods unless the country stops all "illegal migrants coming through Mexico," linking his immigration policy to trade. The tariffs would begin on June 10th and "gradually increase" to 10% on July 1st, followed by an additional 5% each month for the next three months and remain at 25% "if the crisis persists." The National Foreign Trade Council called the move "a colossal blunder" as U.S. companies pay the import penalties and then pass some costs along to consumers. The White House defended the legality of the move, saying Trump was acting under the powers granted to him by the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, which gives the president broad power to take action to address any "unusual or extraordinary threat." (Washington Post / New York Times / The Guardian / Reuters)
Foreign Policy had this story months ago. I’m glad it’s being picked up.
Russian Twitter trolls have attempted to fuel the anti-vaccination debate in the U.S., posting about the issue far more than the average Twitter user last year, a study out of George Washington University has found. The “sophisticated” bots shared opinions from both sides of the anti-vaxxer debate, which took the U.S. by storm and prompted tech companies to crack down on the spread of misinformation surrounding vaccinations.
“Wow. In a single phone call, Trump overrides months of foreign policy and takes a step to allow Turkey to purchase US F’35s and Russia’s S-400 missiles. This is a huge win for Putin. Congress was pushing to sanction Turkey for buying the Russian missiles”
Trump approves Turkish offer for joint S-400 study group
In call with Turkish president, Trump agrees to body to find ways to cohabit Ankara’s purchase of F-35s and Russian missile system
Andrew Miller finally testified to a Grand Jury about Roger Stone. Could lead to more charges against Stone? No one knows yet but speculation abound.
The Mueller investigation witness longest known to have refused testifying finally spoke to a secret federal grand jury Friday about conservative political operative Roger Stone, the 2016 Republican National Convention and his relationship with Stone since then and will give more documents to investigators in the coming week, his attorney said.
Andrew Miller, who worked for Stone in 2016, testified for two hours before a grand jury in Washington Friday.
The session indicates that a federal grand jury previously used in the Mueller investigation is still interested in Stone, and new charges or cases could be on the horizon.
Miller also testified today about what he knew of Stone’s contact with Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The documents prosecutors have requested pertain to Stone’s schedules during the 2016 political convention.
What is this new insane argument roll out? An unconstitutional impeachment…
There’s no appeal if you are impeached and the Supreme Court plays no roll. The Chief Justice, presides over the trial in the Senate but would not play determining roll. Senators act as both judge and jury, requiring a two-thirds majority to convict and remove from office. Anyone who says different doesn’t know what they’re talking about and should be laughed out of that conversation immediately.
So there two things happening here, DOJ released a transcript of a single voicemail but is still withholding other transcripts of calls Flynn made to Russian Officials.
That’s right DOJ is refusing an order by a federal judge.
The Justice Department on Friday released a more complete transcript of a voice mail from Donald Trump’s attorney John Dowd to Rob Kelner, the lawyer for Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, where he sought information about Flynn’s discussions with the special counsel on the eve of his cooperation deal.
However, the Justice Department refused to turn over transcripts of Flynn’s calls with Russian officials, including then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, even though a federal judge had ordered prosecutors to file those publicly as well on Friday.
The release of the transcript – and lack of the other release of transcripts – came following Judge Emmet Sullivan’s unusual order last week seeking public disclosure of documents used in Flynn’s case as he heads toward sentencing Flynn for lying to investigators.
The New York Times has more,
The Justice Department’s refusal to comply with the judge’s order made clear that prosecutors had no interest in confirming the wiretap, which was approved by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
“This would be a rare step to make public” such intelligence collection, said Joshua Geltzer, a former Justice Department official. “What you see in today’s filing is the government trying to avoid disclosing that material.”
Instead, prosecutors asserted that they did not need to provide the transcripts because they were, in the end, not vital to the prosecution of Mr. Flynn. He pleaded guilty in December 2017 to lying to the F.B.I. after agents interviewed him about what was said on those calls.
“The government further represents that it is not relying on any other recordings, of any person, for purposes of establishing the defendant’s guilt or determining his sentence, nor are there any other recordings that are part of the sentencing record,” prosecutors wrote in a court filing responding to Judge Sullivan’s order.
Barr goes to the mat again and refutes what Mueller’s position is…cronyism at it’s core.
1- Barr makes this clear today: he didn’t simply misinterpret Mueller, he overruled him- “WE DIDN’T AGREE WITH THE LEGAL ANALYSIS…IT DID NOT REFLECT THE VIEWS OF THE DEPARTMENT. IT WAS THE VIEWS OF PARTICULAR LAWYER OR LAWYERS, AND SO WE APPLIED WHAT WE THOUGHT WAS THE RIGHT LAW.”
2- @ rgoodlaw
May 1 to Congress: “We accepted the Special Counsel’s legal framework for purposes of our analysis…in reaching our conclusion”