1597131064 vexsome tldr: A shorter front page of the internet


1. Michael Cohen says he will 'tell it all' to help fill in Mueller report redactions for the American people

President Donald Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen suggested that he will fill in the holes of Attorney General William Barr's redacted version of the special counsel's report on the Russia investigation. "Soon I will be ready to address the American people again tell it all and tell it myself!" Cohen wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning. Congressional Democrats have railed against the Justice Department's insistence that portions of the Mueller report will be redacted. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer released a joint statement on Thursday morning calling for Mueller to provide public testimony in the wake of Barr's "Regrettably partisan" handling of the report. Michael Cohen, former attorney and fixer for President Donald Trump testifies before the House Oversight Committee on Capitol Hill February 27, 2019 in Washington, D.C. On Thursday, Cohen suggested that he would help fill in the information that is redacted from Robert Mueller's report on the Russia investigation.

3. Pelosi, Schumer Call For Special Counsel Mueller to Provide Public Testimony In House And Senate

Washington, D.C. - Today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer released the following joint statement calling for Special Counsel Robert Mueller to provide public testify in the House and Senate as soon as possible. "Attorney General Barr's regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning - hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it - have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality. We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel's investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible. The American people deserve to hear the truth."

4. Mueller Said He Would Have Exonerated Trump On Obstruction If The Evidence Supported It, But They Couldn’t

WASHINGTON - Special Counsel Robert Mueller wrote in his final report that his office would have exonerated President Donald Trump if the evidence supported it, but based on the information they had, they could not do that. Mueller ultimately declined to make a "Prosecutorial judgment" about whether Trump committed any obstruction offenses, choosing instead to submit his evidence and legal analysis on the issue to Attorney General Bill Barr. Mueller wrote in the introduction to the section of his report on obstruction that Trump "Took a variety of actions" related to the FBI's investigation into Russian interference "That raised questions about whether he had obstructed justice." The New York Times reported that Mueller's team was interested in Trump's response in 2017 to articles about a July 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between top Trump campaign officials, including his son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Russians. Soon after announcing that Mueller had finished his investigation and submitted his final report to Barr, Barr sent a four-page letter to Congress on March 24 that he characterized as a summary of Mueller's "Principal conclusions." But Barr wrote that Mueller had not reached a conclusion on whether Trump committed any obstruction offenses.

5. William Barr Has Failed America

Observers of the Justice Department will spend the rest of our lives talking about Attorney General William Barr's jaw-dropping and horrifically inappropriate address on Thursday morning, which attempted to spin special counsel Robert Mueller's report in Donald Trump's favor-before the public has seen it. In just a few minutes, Barr managed to throw Mueller under the bus, mount a Fox News-style defense of Trump, and further obscure his dubious decision to absolve the president of obstruction of justice. Hopefully, Barr did not redact portions of the report that might clear up any sleights of hand the attorney general may have performed to gloss over legally troubling conduct by the president and his associates. The victim of what Barr appears to believe was an overly intrusive investigation conducted by overzealous "Federal agents and prosecutors." All of Trump's lying, his interference, his efforts to publicly discredit the probe, his public assault on Mueller-all of it is excusable, Barr implied, because the probe found "No collusion." Indeed, Barr writes off Trump's campaign against the investigation as a perfectly understandable effort to maintain his innocence. It's running interference for the president who appointed Barr to do precisely this-to exonerate him in public before Americans can read Mueller's report.

6. Mueller identified 'dozens' of U.S. rallies organized by Russian troll farm

Special counsel in his highly-anticipated report said his team identified "Dozens" of U.S. political rallies organized on social media by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll farm that was later indicted for attempting to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. According to Mueller's report, which was released on Thursday, the IRA organized political rallies in the U.S. using social media starting in 2015 and continued to coordinate rallies after the 2016 election. The IRA, a Russian troll farm with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian intelligence agencies, organized pro-Trump rallies, as well as gatherings opposed to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, on U.S. soil for years, including events in New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. The Trump campaign put a post on Facebook about one of the rallies the Russian group organized in Miami, Fla., in 2016, Mueller noted. The troll farm used its Facebook and Twitter accounts to organize and promote U.S. political rallies, often sending direct messages to its followers on social media asking them to participate in the events, Mueller wrote.

7. Sarah Sanders Admitted to the Special Counsel that She Lied About Comey

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders produced one sizable whopper in May 2017, in the aftermath of FBI Director James Comey's firing, when she suggested that he was unpopular among the bureau's rank and file. After a reporter claimed that a "Vast majority" of agents supported Comey, Sanders replied, "Look, we've heard from countless members of the FBI that say very different things." SHSanders45 says "Countless" FBI agents have contacted WH to say they'd lost confidence in Comey. Rew McCabe, then acting FBI director, defended the bureau's ousted leader in a congressional hearing that week, telling lawmakers that Comey "Enjoyed broad support in the FBI and he still does to this day." A survey of FBI employees released a year later by Lawfare backed up McCabe's description. "Morale at the FBI had in fact improved during Comey's tenure, and the former director was widely admired among FBI personnel," the site found.

8. AOC: "I invited Barr to the Bronx to talk about climate change. He said no".

Ocasio-Cortez - often referred to as "AOC" - used her Twitter platform Wednesday to again call attention to Rep. Andy Barr, who invited her to the state last month to tour an underground coal mine. Ocasio-Cortez now says she similarly asked Barr to come to the Bronx, which is part of her New York district, to participate in a town hall on climate change. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez April 17, 2019Barr started the exchange during a House committing hearing on climate change. Since then Barr, who represents central Kentucky, has qualified the invite by suggesting Ocasio-Cortez first apologize to Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, for a separate spat with Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., over 9/11 and domestic terrorism. Ocasio-Cortez has responded by trolling Barr and other conservatives on social media this week about waffling.

9. Pelosi, Schumer call on Mueller to testify after 'Barr's regrettably partisan handling' of report

The top Democratic congressional leaders are calling on special counsel to testify on Capitol Hill as soon as possible following what they describe as Attorney General 's "Partisan" handling of the release of the Mueller report. House Speaker and Senate Minority Leader released a joint statement early Thursday, hours ahead of when a redacted version of Mueller's report is expected to be released and hours after a New York Times report revealed that White House lawyers and Department of Justice officials have already repeatedly discussed details of Mueller's conclusions. ADVERTISEMENT. "Attorney General Barr's regrettably partisan handling of the Mueller report, including his slanted March 24th summary letter, his irresponsible testimony before Congress last week, and his indefensible plan to spin the report in a press conference later this morning - hours before he allows the public or Congress to see it - have resulted in a crisis of confidence in his independence and impartiality," Pelosi and Schumer wrote in a statement. "We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel's investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible," they continued. The four-page summary has become a particular flashpoint due to Barr and Deputy Attorney General deciding the evidence of the probe did not reach the threshold to charge of obstructing justice, even after Mueller declined to decide on the matter either way.

10. Swalwell calls for Barr to resign

In a lengthy statement, Swalwell, one of more than a dozen Democrats running for president, said that Barr's news conference was only the latest piece of evidence of bias within the top ranks of the Justice Department. "Today, he made a show of allegiance to the President over the American people by declaring 'no collusion' and excusing the President on the basis of his emotional state," he added. Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Barr asserted that investigators "Found no evidence" that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia during the 2016 presidential election and explained his decision not to pursue an obstruction of justice case against the president for his conduct related to probe. Swalwell, a member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees, has long been one of Trump's most vocal critics in Congress, frequently chiming in on allegations of impropriety by the president and his campaign. His demand on Thursday makes him the first 2020 Democrat to call for Barr's resignation in the wake of the Mueller report's release.

11. William Barr Is a Complete Tool. It's Time for Robert Mueller to Testify.

Waiting for him were White House counsel John Dean and Herbert Kalmbach, the president's personal lawyer. At the same time, there was relentless speculation in the news media about the President's personal culpability. As the Special Counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks. At the same time, the President took no act that in fact deprived the Special Counsel of the documents and witnesses necessary to complete his investigation. On October 20, 1973, shortly before he would be fired, Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox called a press conference to explain why he would not be taking President Nixon up on the latter's offer to have Senator John Stennis vet the White House tapes.

12. Australia Says It's "Ready To Confirm" A Key Meeting That Led To The Investigation Into Trump's Russia Links

A senior Australian diplomat has said the government is "Now ready to confirm" a series of events in 2016 between the country's high commissioner to the UK and a Trump campaign adviser, which led to US authorities investigating Donald Trump's links with Russia. The London meeting between former high commissioner Alexander Downer and Trump adviser George Papadopoulos was first reported by the New York Times in December 2017, reportedly revealing how Downer had been told by Papadopoulos that Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton. In a letter sent to Australia's Information Commissioner after a 15 month-long FOI battle with BuzzFeed News, a senior foreign official said his department was ready to confirm the meeting and release redacted documents, because Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation was now finished. "Notably, in light of the conclusion of that investigation, the Department is now ready to confirm that a meeting occurred between Mr Downer and Mr Papdopolous, on 10 May 2016, whilst Mr Downer was High Commissioner to the United Kingdom." The Outlook invite organised for Downer on Tuesday, May 10, reads, "6:00pm - Meeting with George Papadopolous, Adivsor, Donald J Trump for President", and includes a link to Papadopoulos' LinkedIn profile.

13. Barr might have just admitted Trump associates were involved in the dissemination of hacked Democratic emails

Attorney General William Barr's press conference about Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Thursday appeared to let President Trump off the hook for any "Collusion" with Russian agents. "The Special Counsel ... investigated whether any member or affiliate of the Trump campaign encouraged or otherwise played a role ," Barr said. The attorney general added that "Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy. Here too, the special counsel's report did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination of the materials." That's the point reporters are hung up on: The report "Did not find that any person associated with the Trump campaign illegally participated in the dissemination." As Jon Swaine, a reporter for The Guardian, tweeted, in Barr's comments the attorney general seemingly "Left open the possibility that Mueller did find Trump associates were involved in the dissemination of hacked emails by WikiLeaks." Barr essentially acknowledges that Trump associates worked with WikiLeaks to publish stolen documents, but couches it in the language of exoneration because they did not participate in the hack.

14. Fox's Chris Wallace: Barr sounded like a counselor to Trump rather than AG

Fox News anchor Chris Wallace said Attorney General sounded like a counselor to the president during his press conference Thursday ahead of the release of special counsel 's report. "The attorney general seemed almost to be acting as the counselor for the defense, the counselor for the president, rather than the attorney general, talking about his motives, his emotions," Wallace told "America's Newsroom" anchors Bill Hemmer and Sandra Smith. Barr offered a staunch defense of on Thursday morning during a press conference, where he previewed the report's findings and explained why they led him to conclude that Trump had not obstructed justice. Barr called the report a vindication of Trump over the allegations of collusion with Russian officials. "President Trump faced an unprecedented situation. As he entered into office, and sought to perform his responsibilities as president, federal agents and prosecutors were scrutinizing his conduct before and after taking office and the conduct of some of his associates," Barr said.

15. Johnny Cash to replace Confederate statue on Capitol Hill

The likenesses of music legend Johnny Cash and civil rights icon Daisy Lee Gatson Bates will appear in the hallways of the U.S. Capitol in marble form, replacing two figures from the Civil War. "There is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country," she said in 2017. Some state lawmakers were opposed to using Cash to represent the state in Washington because of his troubled past, according to the Arkansas Times. "Mr. Cash is a great musician. . . but the drugs, the alcohol, the women, that kind of thing. . . no, I can't hold him up to my children as a model," state Rep. Doug House said. "Music is a big deal in Arkansas, and Johnny Cash is a big deal in music," he continued.

16. Mueller report recounts 10 episodes involving Trump and questions of obstruction, according to AG Barr

Special counsel Robert Mueller's report on his Russia investigation recounts ten episodes involving President Donald Trump and questions of obstruction of justice, Attorney General William Barr said Thursday. The special counsel himself did not weigh in on obstruction, and noted that the report "Does not exonerate" Trump, Barr previously said in a summary of the report. After finding no underlying collusion with Russia, the Special Counsel's report goes on to consider whether certain actions of the President could amount to obstruction of the Special Counsel's investigation. After carefully reviewing the facts and legal theories outlined in the report, and in consultation with the Office of Legal Counsel and other Department lawyers, the Deputy Attorney General and I concluded that the evidence developed by the Special Counsel is not sufficient to establish that the President committed an obstruction-of-justice offense. As the Special Counsel's report acknowledges, there is substantial evidence to show that the President was frustrated and angered by a sincere belief that the investigation was undermining his presidency, propelled by his political opponents, and fueled by illegal leaks.

17. Trump campaign attempted to obtain Hillary Clinton’s private emails

President Trump pushed for obtaining Democratic rival Hillary Clinton's private emails, and his campaign was in touch with allies who were pursuing them, according to the redacted special counsel's report released Thursday. On July 27, 2016, Trump famously said at a campaign rally, "Russia, if you're listening, I hope you're able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," referring to emails that Clinton said she had deleted from her private server. Flynn "Contacted multiple people in an effort to obtain the emails," including Peter Smith, a longtime Republican operative, and Barbara Ledeen, a Republican Senate staffer who herself had previously tried to find the emails. Smith wanted to authenticate them, and Erik Prince, the private military contractor, Trump supporter and brother of current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, "Provided funding to hire a tech adviser to ascertain the authenticity of the emails." Ultimately, the investigation did not establish that Smith, Ledeen, or others in touch with the Trump campaign obtained the Clinton emails.

18. HBO requests Trump stop using Game of Thrones memes ‘for political purposes’

Following Thursday's press conference where US Attorney General William Barr addressed the release of the Mueller report, President Donald Trump took to Twitter once again with a Game of Thrones-themed response. The tweet, which shows him standing in some type of fog, with the Game of Thrones typeface reading "No collusion. No obstruction. For the haters and the radical left Democrats- game over." "Though we can understand the enthusiasm for Game of Thrones now that the final season has arrived, we still prefer our intellectual property not be used for political purposes," an HBO spokesperson said in a statement. This isn't the first time Trump has played on Game of Thrones on Twitter. At the time, HBO said in a statement, "We were not aware of this messaging and would prefer our trademark not be misappropriated for political purposes."

19. Mueller report: Barr accused of helping Donald Trump ahead of release

AFP The US attorney general has been accused of "Waging a media campaign" for President Donald Trump ahead of the Mueller report's long-awaited release. During his Thursday press conference, Mr Barr reiterated points made in an earlier summary in which he said Mr Mueller's report cleared Mr Trump of any collusion. Speaking at a press conference before the release, Mr Barr described redactions to the report as "Limited". The report contains the findings of a 22-month investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump presidential campaign back in 2016. Leading Democrats have called for the Mueller report to be published in full, and pledged to make use of the party's majority control of committees in the House of Representatives to continue investigating the president.

20. William Barr: Trump’s Obstruction Was Legal Because He Was Sincerely Paranoid

At a press conference shortly before the Mueller report's release, Barr comported himself as a public-relations operative, repeating the president's "No collusion" catchphrase multiple times, claiming that Mueller's investigation had proved that Trump's associates did not cooperate in Russian computer crimes and suggesting that the sensationalist media bore some responsibility for Trump's myriad efforts to undermine a federal investigation. More specifically, Barr argued that Trump's firing of Comey, along with the other instances of meddling Mueller identified, did not qualify as obstruction of justice - because the president sincerely believed that the investigation he was quashing was a baseless witch hunt launched by his political enemies. In order to prove obstruction of justice, the state must establish that an individual undermined an investigation with a "Corrupt intent." Barr's argument is, in essence, that the president did not act with a corrupt intent because he was sincerely subject to the paranoid delusion that the FBI's investigation into Russian interference - and his campaign's potential ties to it - was an inquisition orchestrated by his political enemies. Of course, the fact that Mueller did not find sufficient evidence to charge the Trump campaign with criminal acts of collusion does not in any way validate the president's perception of persecution. If we accept Barr's reasoning, Trump's intentions were pure because he is so earnestly paranoid and narcissistic he was incapable of entertaining any explanation for the Russia investigation's existence that did not involve a nefarious conspiracy hatched by his enemies.

21. Top Congressional Democrats call for Mueller to testify publicly

WASHINGTON - The top Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate on Thursday called on Special Counsel Robert Mueller to testify publicly about his investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer criticized Attorney General William Barr for writing what they called a "Slanted" summary letter and for planning a press conference to immediately follow the expected release of the report detailing the probe's findings on Thursday. "We believe the only way to begin restoring public trust in the handling of the Special Counsel's investigation is for Special Counsel Mueller himself to provide public testimony in the House and Senate as soon as possible," Pelosi and Schumer said in a statement.

23. U.S. declines again in press-freedom index, falls to "problematic" status

For the third time in three years, the United States' standing in an annual index of press freedom declined, a result the report's authors attributed to President Trump's anti-press rhetoric and continuing threats to journalists. Reporters Without Borders, the international group that compiles the World Press Freedom Index, ranked the United States 48th among 180 nations and territories it surveyed. Among other signs of poor press health, it cited the Trump administration's curtailment of White House briefings; the revocation of CNN reporter Jim Acosta's White House press pass; the banning of a second CNN reporter, Kaitlan Collins, from an open-media event; and the harassment of journalists at Trump's reelection rallies. "Simultaneously, journalists across the country reported terrifying harassment and death threats, online and in person, that were particularly abusive toward women and journalists of color." The results are combined with a database of reported abuses and violence against journalists.

24. Sarah Sanders made false statements to press on Comey firing, Mueller says

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders acknowledged to investigators with special counsel 's team that she misled reporters when she insisted in May 2017 that "Countless" FBI agents had lost confidence in former Director leading up to his dismissal. The special counsel's report, released Thursday, cited Sanders's multiple false statements to reporters as part of its review of whether obstructed justice in firing Comey. The next day, Sanders, then the deputy press secretary, spoke to Trump about his decision before a press briefing with reporters, Mueller wrote. Mueller wrote in his report that Sanders spoke to Trump following the briefing, and that the president praised her work "And did not point out any inaccuracies in her comments." The Washington Post has maintained a running list of Trump's false statements since his presidency began, reporting that the president has made 9,541 false or misleading claims as of April 1.