DoJ internal watchdog to release Trump-Russia investigation report – live – The Guardian,

DoJ internal watchdog to release Trump-Russia investigation report – live – The Guardian,

House counsel for Democrats gives opening arguments

Barry Burke, House counsel, is giving opening oratory on behalf of the Democrats at the judiciary committee impeachment hearing on Capitol Hill.

He’s running through some of the highlights of the Democrats ’case, relating to the charge that Trump has abused his office. He’s replayed some of the points from the previous intelligence committee hearings, and reminding us ofDonald Trumpsaying Ukraine “should investigate the Bidens” – ie his election rival Joe Biden and the former vice president’s son , Hunter Biden.

And also Trump citing article 2 of the US Constitution in saying: “I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” Burke says that is fundamentally wrong. He also calls on members of Congress to “put aside political rancor”. Ha.

More procedural bickering. The Guardian’s world affairs editor,Julian Borger, is at the hearing and will bring you reports and observations as the day goes on.

Julian Borger(@ julianborger)

Barry Berke: If Trump escapes impeachment “our imagination is the only limit to what Trump may do, or a future president may do , to abuse his power to serve his own interests. “

# ImpeachmentHearings

December 9,

Congressional staff member Stephen Castor, for the Republicans, has just begun his opening arguments. Oh, he goes straight to “baloney!” To characterize the

impeachment inquiry

Just prior:

Julian Borger(@ julianborger)

Republican rep Mike Johnson brings up a point of order complaining that the committee counsel argument “impugns the motives of the president”.

Which is the whole point of impeachment.

# ImpeachmentInquiries

December 9,

Updated at

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Supreme Court rules on abortion law


************** US Supreme Court ************ just decided to leave in place a Kentucky law requiring doctors to perform ultrasounds and show fetal images to patients before performing

**************************** (abortions) ********************

the justices did not comment in refusing to review an appeals court ruling that upheld the law, the AP writes.

The American Civil Liberties Union had challenged the law on behalf of Kentucky’s lone remaining abortion clinic. The ACLU argued that so-called “display and describe” ultrasound laws violate physicians ’speech rights under the First Amendment of the US Constitution.

The federal appeals court in Cincinnati, Ohio, upheld the Kentucky law, but its sister court in Richmond, Virginia, struck down a similar measure in North Carolina.Doctors’ speech also has been an issue in non-abortion cases. The federal appeals court in Atlanta struck down parts of a Florida law that sought to prohibit Doctors from talking about gun safety with their patients.

Under the law, doctors faced fines and the possible loss of their medical licenses for discussing guns with patients.In Kentucky, doctors must describe the ultrasound in detail while the pregnant woman listens to the fetal heartbeat.

Women can avert their eyes and cover their ears to avoid hearing the description or the fetal heartbeat. Doctors failing to comply face fines and can be referred to the state’s medical licensing board.

The law was passed in and was signed by the state’s anti-abortion governor, Republican Matt Bevin. He

Lawrence Hurley(@ lawrencehurley)

This action comes a year after the Supreme Court’s conservative majority on a 5-4 vote struck down on free speech grounds a California law that required clinics that counsel women against abortion to notify clients of the availability of abortions paid for by the state

December 9,(**********************************************

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Trump to meet Lavrov tomorrow

Squabbling in the impeachment hearing. Bang, bang, bang goes Nadler’s gavel.

While order is restored, let’s catch up with the fact that the Interfax news agency reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meetDonald Trumpduring talks with his US counterpart in Washington tomorrow, Reuters writes.

Lavrov’s trip to Washington for talks with US Secretary of StateMike Pompeocomes as bilateral ties are at post-Cold War lows, strained over everything from alleged election meddling to the wars in (************************************************** (Ukraine

and (********************************** (Syria) . Time is also running out for the two sides to strike a deal that would replace or extend their New START(nuclear) *********** arms treaty

that is set to expire in February********************************************************************************************************************************************************************. **********

Russian president

****************************** Vladimir Putin

***************** (last week offered the United States an extension on the deal without any pre-conditions or further discussion. (************************************** Russia’s foreign ministry confirmed Lavrov’s trip to Washington in a statement. It did not mention a meeting with Trump, but Interfax cited a foreign ministry source saying there would be such a meeting.

US intelligence agencies have said Russia (interferedin the

presidential election campaign in order to tilt the vote in Trump’s favor.


denies it.(************************************************************ (**************************************************************

************************************** (******************************************************************

********************************************** (******************************************************************** (************************************************************************Bird flies free, at least. Downtown Moscow****************************************************************** (******************************************************************************

****************************************************************** (******************************************************************************

****************************************************************** (******************************************************************************

(********************************************************************************Bird flies free, at least. Downtown Moscow Photograph: Dimitar Dilkoff / AFP via Getty Images **************(************************************************************************************ (************************************************************************************** (9.) ************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** amEST****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************:

Paul Volcker is dead – report

Paul(Volcker) ****************, the towering former Federal Reserve chairman who tamed US inflation in the s and decades later inspired tough Wall Street reforms in the wake of the global financial crisis , died on Monday at the age of (*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************, according to the New York Times, which quoted his daughter.

Volcker, who media reports said had been suffering from prostate cancer, was the first to bring celebrity status to the job of US central banker, serving as chairman of the Federal Reserve from to (**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************. As with the man who succeeded him, Alan Greenspan,Volcker

could soothe or excite financial markets with just a vague murmur, Reuters writes.

In he published a memoir, “Keeping at It: The Quest for Sound Money and Good Government, ”and expressed concern about the direction of the federal government and the loss of respect for it. “The central issue is we’re developing into a plutocracy,” he told the New York Times in October 2019. “We’ve got an enormous number of enormously rich people that have convinced themselves that they’re rich because they’re smart and constructive. And they don’t like government and they don’t like to pay taxes. ”

In (**************************************************************************************************************************************************************************, Volckerbegan serving as a key financial adviser to President Barack Obama and faced a maelstrom of financial turmoil, government bailouts and fallout from the deepest recession since the s Great Depression. Great Depression. In working to help the US economy recover from the (crisis, he proposed what became known as the


rule that restricted banks from making high-risk investments with depositors’ cash . SinceDonald Trump, who favors fewer regulations, became president in 2019, the rule has been under review. (**************************************



************************************** (******************************************************************

********************************************** (******************************************************************** (************************************************************************ (****************************************************************************

(****************************************************************************** ************************************************************************

(****************************************************************************** ************************************************************************

(****************************************************************************** **************************************************************************(********************************************************************************Paul Volcker addresses the Bretton Woods Committee annual meeting at World Bank headquarters in Washington, (**********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************. (************************************** (Photograph: Jonathan Ernst / Reuters **************

(************************************************************************************ 9 . (am) ******** (EST

What’s the key phrase?

Ranking member Doug Collins has kicked off his now-familiar sarcasm show.

He asks what will turn out to be the key phrase from this impeachment process?

He reminds us that the key phrase, burned into our memories over the decades, from the Nixon Watergate process was: “What did the president know and when did he know it?” A: a lot, from the beginning.

The memorable sentence from the Bill Clinton impeachment was: “I did not have sexual relations with that women.” A: Yep, you did.

And Collins suggests the key phrase from the impeachment ofDonald Trumpwill be: “Where is the impeachable offense?” Very lame, Doug. The key phrase is already and will likely remain: “I would like you to do us a favor, though. ”

That’s what Donald Trump said in a July phone call to the politically and militarily vulnerable, new president of Ukraine,

(Volodymyr Zelenskiy) ************, when asking for an investigation of his US political rivals in exchange for military aid.

Updated (at) ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

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(9.) *********************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (am) ******** (EST: 024

Protester disrupts opening of impeachment hearing

The hearing of the House Judiciary Committee got underway at 9. 11 AM local time in Washington but there was an early interruption.

A protester, appearing to on the side ofDonald Trumpand against impeachment, shouted at committee chairman Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, that he and the Democrats are committing “treason” in their inquiry, according to CNN’s Manu Raju.

Democrat treason ‘: protester disrupts opening of Trump impeachment hearing – video

Nadler, who is punctuating his opening statement with occasional clearing of his throat with a short, rattling cough, is pushing on regardless.

“Donald Trump put himself before country,” he has said, twice already. Nadler is outlining “corruption of public office” by the president’s pressuring Ukraine to investigate his domestic political rivals (aka “Do us a favor, though”) in return for crucial military aid for its existential battle against aggressive Russian forces on its Crimean flank.

Attempted Republican interruption to make a motion. Squished by Nadler.

Updated (at) ****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

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Horowitz expected to outline justification for Trump-Russia probe

The US Justice Department’s internal watchdog will release a highly anticipated report today that’s expected to reject Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the (investigation) into whether he or his campaign colluded with Russia was illegitimate or illegal and that it was not blighted by political bias in theFBI (*****************. **********

But it is also expected to document errors during the investigation that may animate Trump supporters, (The Associated Press writes) **************************************************************************************************************

The report, as described by people familiar with its findings, is expected to conclude there was an adequate basis for opening one of the most politically sensitive investigations in FBI history.

It began in secret during Trump’s presidential run and was ultimately taken over by special counsel (Robert Mueller) ************ after Trump fired FBI director (James Comeyearly in his presidency in******************************************************************************************************************************************************

The release of DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s review is unlikely to quell the partisan battles that have surrounded the Russia investigation for years. It’s also not the last word: A separate internal investigation continues, overseen by Trump’s attorney general,William Barr(and , and led by a US attorney, John Durham. That investigation is criminal in nature

Horowitz’s report is expected to identify errors and misjudgments by some law enforcement officials, including by an FBI lawyer suspected of altering a document related to the surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide.

But the report will not endorse some of the president’s theories on the investigation, including that it was a baseless “witch hunt” or that he was targeted by an Obama administration Justice Department desperate to see Republican Trump lose to Democrat

********************************************************************************** Hillary Clintonin 2017.

It also is not expected to undo Mueller’s findings or contradict his conclusion that Russia interfered in order to benefit the Trump campaign.

The FBI opened its investigation inJuly

after learning that a Trump campaign adviser,George Papadopoulos, had been told before it was publicly known that Russia had ‘dirt’ on the Clinton campaign via hacked emails. (**************************************


************************************** (******************************************************************

********************************************** (******************************************************************** (************************************************************************ (************************************************************************ (****************************************************************************** (**************************************************************************** (****************************************************************************** (**************************************************************************** (******************************************************************************(********************************************************************************James Comey on Capitol Hill last year Photograph: Joshua Roberts / Reuters **************


(************************************************************************************************************************** (9.) ******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** (am) EST:

DoJ watchdog to issue report on Trump-Russia investigation

Good Morning, US politics watchers. It’s going to be nothing less than a manic Monday in Washington today, festive spirits be darned.

  • The inspector general of the Department of Justice,

    Michael Horowitz, aka the DoJ internalwatchdog, is going to make public his report into the origins of theTrump-Russia

  • inquiry during and after thepresidential election. It has extraordinary implications for the reputation of theFBI

    . It’s not clear yet exactly when the report will be released today – so do stay glued. It is expected to find that the intelligence community (************** did have enough legitimate evidence in 2016 of links between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian operatives seeking to interfere in his favor to obtain secret surveillance warrants. There was no illegal spying and that outweighs some secondary findings that there were some sloppiness and political bias on display from some FBI figures. Beginning within minutes, at 9AM US eastern time, the House of Representatives judiciary committee will hold its second public hearing in theimpeachment inquiry

    against thepresidentCongressional lawyers Daniel Goldman and Stephen Castor will be the witnesses, discussing the grounds for impeachment found by the intelligence committee in recent weeks. Expect stormy waters and a long hearing. We now move from the inquiry phase into the process for the Democratic controlled committee to draw up the articles of impeachment (effectively the indictment against Trump), to be voted on by the House before Christmas and leading to a congressional trial in the Senate early next year. Of special note: will the committee include obstruction of the Mueller report (the product of the Trump-Russia investigation) in the articles?(Democratic

    ) ********************************************************************************************************************************** 2020

    candidateElizabeth Warren

  • There’s also news on

    Rudy Giuliani, Afghanistan, Mike Pompeo


    Michelle Obama (****************, the Pensacola shooting and more. Stay tuned. (************************************************************************************************************************************

    Updated (at 9.) am EST

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