Mueller: Charging US president with a crime was ‘not an option’ | AFP

Long-silent Special Counsel Robert Mueller says charging President Trump with a crime was “not an option we could consider”. He was speaking at the Justice Department for the first time since his report on the Russia meddling investigation. SOUNDBITE

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Nadler threatens to hold Barr in contempt

Attorney General William Barr skipped a House hearing Thursday on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report, escalating an already acrimonious battle between Democrats and President Donald Trump’s Justice Department. (May 2)

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Democrats blast Barr after he skips House hearing

Attorney General William Barr skipped a House hearing Thursday on special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia report, escalating an already acrimonious battle between Democrats and President Donald Trump’s Justice Department. (May 2)

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Will The U.S. Census Actually Be More Accurate? (HBO)

Another controversial Trump administration policy had its day in the Supreme Court today: Adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census.

The issue at hand was whether Trump’s Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross, had the right to add the question. And whether it matters that the question may lead to a massive undercounting of immigrants.

Trump has the advantage of having two of his appointees — Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh — on the bench. And by the end of the 80-minute arguments, it seemed they and the other conservatives were ready to side with the administration.

The Census takes place every 10 years, as required by the Constitution. The results are used to determine how many congressional seats, and how many Electoral College votes, each state gets. They also help determine how almost $900 billion in federal funding is allocated.

The 2010 Census asked 10 basic questions of every household in America: How many people lived there, how old they were, what their race, ethnicity, and gender were. It didn’t ask whether people were citizens or not. The government did ask a citizenship question in every census between 1890 and 1950. It was taken out by 1960.

But last year, the Bureau announced it was bringing the question back. It claimed the Justice Department needed the citizenship data to properly enforce the Voting Rights Act. But civil rights groups thought Ross’s real motive was to drive down immigrant participation. So they sued and won at lower-level courts in New York and California.

With surveys scheduled to be printed this summer, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case.

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William Barr’s Been Accused Of Presidential Cover-Up Before (HBO)

Weeks before former Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger’s criminal trial over his role in the 1980’s Iran-Contra scandal, then-Attorney General William Barr dropped a bomb on the prosecution.

“People in the Iran-Contra affair have been treated very unfairly,” Barr told USA Today in December 1992, blasting the charges as illegitimate. “People in this Iran-Contra matter have been prosecuted for the kind of conduct that would not have been considered criminal or prosecutable by the Justice Department.”

Weinberger faced charges of lying to Congress, brought by a special prosecutor, then known as an “independent counsel,” who accused him of withholding 1,700 pages of notes about high-level meetings that allegedly held “evidence of a conspiracy.”

Barr’s broadside alarmed the lead prosecutor handling the case against Weinberger, James J. Brosnahan, who warned the judge that Barr may have just unduly biased his jury pool. Later that month, when the White House pardoned six top Iran-Contra defendants on Christmas Eve 1992 at Barr’s urging, Brosnahan believed he’d just witnessed the completion of a successful cover-up.

Three decades on, Brosnahan fears Barr has returned to his old job to run the same scheme again.

“If you want a presidential cover-up, Barr is your guy,” Brosnahan, now 85, told VICE News. “And I think we’ve already seen that.”

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Ivanka Trump not worried about Mueller report release

A day before the Justice Department is expected to unveil a redacted version of the Special Counsel’s report on Russian interference into the 2016 presidential election, Ivanka Trump said she was not worried about the contents. (April 14)

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