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#Left divided on #impeachTrump & New details in #SriLanka #EasterSunday bombings as death toll rises via #MagaFirstNews with @PeterBoykin NEW DETAILS IN SRI LANKA BOMBINGS EMERGE AS DEATH TOLL RISES: The series of bombings that ripped through churches and hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and left at least 290 people dead and more than 500 people wounded were carried out by seven suicide bombers and investigators are examining reports that intelligence agencies had warnings of possible See More attacks, according to the Associated Press …  No one has taken responsibility for the bombings. Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena described the blasts as a terrorist attack by religious extremists, and police said 13 suspects had been arrested. The identities of some victims of the Easter massacres in Sri Lanka emerged Sunday evening — including a British mother and her 11-year-old son, along with a TV chef, Shantha Mayadunne, and her daughter, Nisanga. Most of those killed were Sri Lankans. However, the U.S. said “several” Americans were among the dead, while Britain and China said they, too, lost citizens. U.S. State Department warns of possibility of more attacks in Sri Lanka BUZZFEED EDITOR TAKES SRI LANKA SHOT AT TRUMP: A BuzzFeed News world editor faced backlash Sunday for taking a swipe at President Trump while tweeting an article about the attacks in Sri Lanka on Easter …”Suspect we’d be hearing a lot more outrage from Trump and co. if the Christians killed in Sri Lanka were white,” Miriam Elder tweeted with a link to BuzzFeed News. Elder’s tweet had received more 6,000 replies, 179 retweets and 423 likes as of early Monday morning. Many of the commenters asked why the BuzzFeed News world editor would politicize the terrorist attacks. When contacted by Fox News, BuzzFeed News responded: “No comment from us.” Trump on Easter morning offered condolences to the people of Sri Lanka, tweeting, “We stand ready to help!” DEMS DIVIDED ON COLLUSION, SEEKING TRUMP IMPEACHMENT: Leading Democrats appeared divided whether to pursue impeachment against President Trump after last week’s release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s redacted report, which found no evidence of collusion and did not draw a conclusion on whether Trump obstructed justice … Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., chair of the House Oversight Committee, signaled that Democrats are not yet concerned about the possibility of “Russia fatigue” and warned ominously on Sunday that “the Russians aren’t getting tired” and are “attacking our electoral system every single day.” Cummings previewed new lines of investigation against Trump and said it might be necessary to hear testimony from former White House Counsel Don McGahn and Mueller himself. In addition, Cummings neither fully endorsed, not rejected the idea of pursuing impeachment against Trump. 2020 presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren and freshman Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. have all called for impeachment. But other Democrats, including Maryland House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and 2020 presidential candidates Reps. Tim Ryan and Tulsi Gabbard have also said impeachment proceedings would be premature or misguided. (Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, weighed in on the prospects of impeaching Trump and more on “Fox News Sunday.” Click on the video above to watch the full interview.) Meanwhile, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-NY, argued on Sunday that, despite Mueller deciding not to charge President Trump with obstruction of justice, he believes there is still plenty of evidence of obstruction and wondered why Donald Trump Jr. isn’t facing charges for the infamous Trump Tower meeting with Russian operatives in June 2016. REPORT: U.S TO SANCTION FIVE NATIONS OVER IRANIAN OIL – The Trump administration is set to inform five nations that they will no longer be exempt from U.S. sanctions if they continue to import oil from Iran, reports said Sunday … Secretary of State Mike Pompeo plans to announce the policy move on Monday, which would no longer renew sanctions waivers for allies Japan, South Korea, and Turkey. The other countries no longer exempt are China and India. The waivers for sanctions will expire on May 2. The Washington Post first reported on the move, and three sources confirmed the report to the Associated Press. AOC FACING EARLY RE-ELECTION CHALLENGE: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ssurging national profile has inspired a trio of Republican opponents from her home district— along with a multimillionaire mystery donor who could help close the gap in her foes’ long-shot race against her … Just three months after taking office, the Democratic socialist congresswoman’s challengers include an Egyptian American journalist, who has already tossed her hat in the ring, and an NYPD cop-turned-high-school-civics teacher and conservative talk-radio producer, both of whom are seriously exploring a run against her. And the fledgling challengers could get help from a wealthy New Yorker committed to backing an Ocasio-Cortez opponent, the New York Post reports.

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WASHINGTON — It may not have been his intention, but special counsel Robert Mueller has forced a momentous choice on the Democrats who control the House of Representatives. How they navigate the next several months will matter not only to politics but, more importantly, to whether the rule of law prevails.

If we lived in a normal time with a normal president, a normal Republican Party and a normal attorney general, none of this would be so difficult. Mueller’s report is devastating. It portrays a lying, lawless president who pressured aides to obstruct the probe and was happy — “Russia, if you’re listening … ” — to win office with the help of a hostile foreign power. It also, by the way, shows him to be weak and hapless. His aides ignored his orders, and he regularly pandered to a Russian dictator.

Mueller’s catalogue of infamy might have led Republicans of another day to say: Enough. But the GOP’s new standard seems to be that a president is great as long as he’s unindicted.

And never mind that the failure to charge Donald Trump stemmed not from his innocence but from a Justice Department legal opinion saying that a sitting president can’t be indicted. Mueller explained he had “fairness concerns” — a truly charming qualm in light of the thuggishness described in the rest of the report — because the no-indictment rule meant there could be no trial. The president would lack an “adversarial opportunity for public name-clearing before an impartial adjudicator.”

And perhaps Mueller did not reckon with an attorney general so eager to become the president’s personal lawyer and chief propagandist. William Barr sat on the document for 27 days and mischaracterized it in his March 24 letter. He mischaracterized it again just an hour before it was released.

This leaves Democrats furious — and on their own. Unfortunately, it is not news that this party has a nasty habit of dividing into hostile camps. On the one side, the cautious; on the other side, the aggressive. The prudent ones say that members of the hit-for-the-fences crowd don’t understand the political constraints. The pugnacious ones say their circumspect colleagues are timid sellouts.

Sometimes these fights are relatively harmless, but not this time. Holding Trump accountable for behavior that makes Richard Nixon look like George Washington matters, for the present, and for the future.

Those demanding impeachment are right to say that Mueller’s report can’t just be filed away and ignored. But being tough and determined is not enough. The House also needs to be sober and responsible.

This needle needs to be threaded not just for show, or for narrow electoral reasons. Trump and Barr have begun a battle for the minds and hearts of that small number of Americans who are not already locked into their positions. Barr’s calculated sloth in making the report public gave the president and his AG side-kick an opportunity to pre-shape how its findings would be received. The uncommitted now need to see the full horror of what Mueller revealed about this president. A resolute but deliberate approach is more likely to persuade them.

When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi joins her caucus on a conference call on Monday, she will reiterate her “one step at a time” strategy. The bottom line is that rushing into impeachment and ruling it out are equally foolish. What this means is that the House Judiciary, Intelligence, and Oversight and Reform Committees should and will begin inquiries immediately. Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler took the first step on Friday by subpoenaing the full, unredacted Mueller report. Mueller himself has already been asked to appear before both Judiciary and Intelligence.

Nothing is gained by labelling these initial hearings and document-requests as part of an “impeachment” process. But impeachment should remain on the table. Since Trump and Barr will resist all accountability, preserving the right to take formal steps toward impeachment will strengthen the Democrats’ legal arguments that they have a right to information that Trump would prefer to deep six.

Of course, Trump is not the only issue in politics. Democratic presidential candidates are already out there focusing on health care, climate, economic justice and political reform. The House can continue other work while the investigators do their jobs.

In an ideal world, the corruption and deceitfulness Mueller catalogued would already have Trump flying off to one of his golf resorts for good. But we do not live in such a world. Defending democratic values and republican government requires fearlessness. It also takes patience.

(c) 2019, Washington Post Writers Group

MSNBC host and notorious hate-monger, Joy Reid was excited Sunday morning, during AM Joy, as reporter Mike Viqueira came on with “breaking news”.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller was spotted leaving church. “This is, you know, what some people would characterize as an ambush interview of a man coming out of Easter services at a church,” he admitted. “Some passersby weren’t happy that we were doing that.”

Viqueira seemed so excited that he struggled to the Mueller’s title right: “Hi, Joy. Yes, so the — Bob Mueller, the director – the former director of the FBI, of course, the special prosecutor – special counsel attended church services just across Lafayette Park here at St. John’s Episcopal Church.”

“We knew that he was going to be he’s been there. He’s been there in the past so we waited for him,” he bragged. “Easter services, tried to be as respectful as possible. He came out the side door of the church. I did have a couple of prepared questions to ask him.”

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After being exonerated, the Trump campaign’s statement on the Mueller report reveals they are ready to fight for the justice they deserve.

Source: InfoWars

The falling out between President Donald Trump and his personal fixer Michael Cohen was the result of a “failure to communicate” and could have been avoided, if not for the president’s legal team advising against potential allegations of witness tampering, The New York Times reported.

“What we had here was a failure to communicate,” attorney Robert Costello, who once advised Cohen but was never retained, told the Times. “My mission was to get everyone tuned in to the same channel. My thought was a face-to-face meeting among all the lawyers together with Cohen would put everyone on the same channel. The meeting never happened, and the rest is history.”

Rudy Giuliani reportedly stemmed communications with Cohen after the FBI raided his home, office, and apartment out of fears of witness tampering, per the report. The ceasing of ties led to Cohen’s “anxiety” and a change of path in cooperation with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, according to the Times.

“It seemed like an unfortunate but sensible decision,” Costello told the Times of Giuliani-Cohen team contact. “The more I look back at it, the more I wonder if it was inevitable that Michael was going to crack.”

In addition to reportedly having broached the topic of a presidential pardon, Cohen wanted his representation and President Trump’s legal team to assuage his fears of being left out to dry amid criminal investigations.

“Basically he needs a little loving and respect booster,” Costello texted Giuliani, according to the Times. “He is not thinking clearly because he feels abandoned.”

After contacting Giuliani, Costello did email Cohen with some measure of support, leading him to believe “he had the support of the White House if he continued to toe the party line,” according to the Mueller report, per the Times.

“They are in our corner,” Costello emailed Cohen about President Trump’s attorneys, per the report. “You have friends in high places.”

But, when Giuliani and company were inclined to stem talks after the FBI raid, Cohen eschewed Costello and hired “Guy Petrillo, a former federal prosecutor who had worked in the Southern District alongside James B. Comey, the former FBI director and a Trump foil,” according to the report.

Cohen begins serving his prison time May 6, the Times reported.

Source: NewsMax Politics

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, said Sunday it’d be a political “mistake” to start impeachment proceedings to remove President Donald Trump from office — though it’s likely that’s what House Democrats will do.

In an interview on CBS News’ “Face The Nation,” Lee, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said “it’s time to move on” in the wake of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“I suspect that’s what the Democrats, particularly in the House of Representatives, are going to want to do,” he said of impeachment. 

“That of course, is a political question and I think politically speaking it would be a mistake for them to do it. It sounds like some of them are inclined to go down that road.”

“The number one takeaway from this report, is that there was no collusion,” he added. “We’ve got people, who for the last two years have been using the Russian’s attempt to undermine the legitimacy of our electoral process, as an effort within this country to undermine this president, and the process by which he was elected. But there was no collusion. … Not a scintilla of evidence supports that.”

Lee also said though colleague Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, was deeply critical of the Trump administration as revealed in the Mueller report, “there’s nothing in this report that changes my view of this president”

“I don’t think most Americans, I don’t think most senators, most members of Congress, I don’t think most Americans will have their view of the president of the United States changed by this report,” he asserted.

He criticized the report, however, for often being “odd” and “confusing.”

“For example, when [Mueller] talks about obstruction, I think it’s odd to say ‘I’m not going to make a recommendation, but I’m going to sound like I’m making a recommendation,’” Lee  said, adding: “It’s full of double negatives. It’s kind of confusing.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., on Sunday accused Republican leaders in the Senate and House of being “willing to carry the president’s water” no matter what his conduct is.

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Schiff said that willingness is the reason any effort by Democrats to impeach President Donald Trump would fail.

“We’re in an environment today where the GOP leadership, people like [House Minority Leader Rep.] Kevin McCarthy [R-Calif.], are willing to carry the president’s water no matter how corrupt or dishonest the president’s conduct may be. 

“In those kind of circumstances, when [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-Ky.] won’t stand up to the president either, that means impeachment will be unsuccessful.“

He said Democrats in Congress will have a choice to make.

“I think what we’ll have to decide as a caucus, what’s the best thing for the country,” he said. “Is this the best thing for the country, take up an impeachment proceeding? To do otherwise sends a message that this conduct is somehow compatible with office — or not take up impeachment that won’t be successful in the Senate because the Republican leadership won’t do its duty.”

In both his ABC News interview and on “Fox News Sunday,” Schiff maintained his assertion that evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia is “in plain sight” — despite that finding by special counsel Robert Mueller.

I have been clear over the last year, there’s ample evidence of collusion in plain sight,” he said on “This Week.” “I distinguish time and time again between collusion that’s acts of corruption that may or may not be criminal and proof of criminal conspiracy.”

He also addressed the issue when challenged on his assertion by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

“When I talked about evidence of collusion in plain sight, I used those words ‘in plain sight’ and I pointed to the meetings in Trump Tower that Don [Trump] Jr. and [Jared] Kushner and Paul Manafort took,” he said.

“What more clear intent to collude could you have than the Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton as part of what was described as an effort to help Mr. Trump in the campaign and Don Jr. saying ‘if it’s what you say, I would love it?’”

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Source: NewsMax Politics

Top congressional Democrats left the door open on Sunday to pursue the impeachment of U.S. President Donald Trump, but said they would first need to complete their own investigations into whether he obstructed justice in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.

Democratic Party leaders have cautioned against impeachment just 18 months before the 2020 presidential election, although prominent liberals have called for the start of proceedings to remove Trump from office since the release on Thursday of Mueller’s report.

U.S. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, whose panel would spearhead any impeachment proceedings, said Democrats would press ahead with investigations of Trump in Congress and “see where the facts lead us.”

“Obstruction of justice, if proven, would be impeachable,” Nadler said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

A redacted version of Mueller’s long-awaited report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the product of a 22-month investigation, built a broad case that Trump had committed obstruction of justice. While it stopped short of concluding Trump had committed a crime, it did not exonerate him.

Mueller noted that Congress has the power to address whether Trump violated the law, and Democrats said it would be a matter of discussion in the coming weeks.

“That’s going to be a very consequential decision and one I’m going to reserve judgment on until we have a chance to fully deliberate on it,” House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Nadler has issued a subpoena to the Justice Department to hand over the full Mueller report and other relevant evidence by May 1, although the Justice Department called the request “premature and unnecessary.”

With Republicans standing by Trump, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has cautioned against an impeachment effort that would have no chance of success in the Republican-led Senate.

U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren became the first major contender for the Democratic 2020 presidential nomination to call for the start of impeachment proceedings, saying on Twitter on Friday that “the severity of this misconduct” demanded it.

Democratic House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” that Congress needed to look at Trump’s finances and gauge Mueller’s intentions with his report.

He said even if Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic impeachment effort, “I think history would smile upon us for standing up for the Constitution.”

Democratic presidential contender Tim Ryan, a member of the House, said the party should wait until the multiple ongoing investigations of Trump in Congress have had a chance to uncover more evidence.

“Let the process play itself out,” he said on CNN’s “State of the Union” show. “I would just rather us take this next step: educate the American people, really get these details out, let the Judiciary Committee do its work.”

Trump, who has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt,” has claimed vindication from Mueller’s report. Rudy Giuliani, one of Trump’s lawyers, tried to undermine the credibility of Mueller’s investigators on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“I don’t think his people are fair,” Giuliani said of Mueller’s team. “I don’t think that report is fair.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

While the Mueller report conclusions fell short of Rep. Adam Schiff’s, D-Calif., promise of provable conspiracy with Russia to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, the House Intelligence Committee chairman still calls the findings “far worse” than Watergate.

“The obstruction of justice, in particular, in this case is far worse than anything that Richard Nixon did – the break in by the Russians of Democratic institutions, a foreign adversary, far more significant than the plumbers breaking into the Democratic headquarters – so, yes, I would say in every way this is more significant than Watergate,” Schiff told ABC News’ “This Week.”

While “Mueller made it abundantly clear he felt he could not indict the president,” Rep. Schiff admitted, the special counsel’s report gave a roadmap for Congress to pursue impeachment from the president’s actions.

“The fact that a candidate for president and now president of the United States would not only not stand up and resist Russian interference in our election, but would welcome it, goes well beyond anything Nixon did,” Schiff told anchor Martha Raddatz. “The fact that the president of the United States would take Putin’s side over his own intelligence agencies, goes well beyond anything Richard Nixon did.

“So, yes, I think it is far more serious than Watergate.”

Regardless of Rep. Schiff’s own confidence, he remains skeptical impeachment would be the right political move for his party.

“We are, unfortunately, in an environment today where the GOP leadership, people like [Rep.] Kevin McCarthy [R-Calif.], are willing to carry the president’s water no matter how corrupt or unethical or dishonest the president’s conduct may be,” Schiff told Raddatz. “And in those kind of circumstances, when [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell will not stand up to the president either, it means that an impeachment is likely to be unsuccessful.

“Now it may be that we undertake an impeachment nonetheless.”

After years of aggressively pursing criminal charges against the Trump campaign, if not the president himself, only to be let down by the Mueller conclusions, Rep. Schiff is now preaching caution.

“I think what we’re going to have to decide as a caucus is what is the best thing for the country,” Schiff said. “Is the best thing for the country to take up an impeachment proceeding, because to do otherwise sends a message that this conduct is somehow compatible with office. Or is it in the best interest of the country not to take up an impeachment that we know will not be successful in the Senate because the Republican leadership will not do its duty?

“That’s a very tough question and I think is one we ought not to make overnight.”

Source: NewsMax Politics

The final report of special counsel Robert Mueller contained findings that didn’t “sound like Donald Trump” — including his lament that “my presidency is over” after the Mueller investigation began, White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Sunday.

In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week,” Conway mounted a vigorous defense of the president in the wake of a report that detailed 10 potential obstruction incidents.

There are other things in the Mueller report [that] don’t sound like Donald Trump,” Conway said. “I have been by his side for three straight years. He’s never said once ‘my candidacy is over,’ ‘my presidency is over.’

“What I want the viewers to understand what’s in this report and what is not in this report. No criminal charges brought against President Trump. There will be no criminal charges brought against anyone in his family or connected to his campaign.” 

Conway also said Trump “deserves an apology from millions of people in country including those who have a lot of power in this country.”

“The media as well,” she said. “… Day after day, story after story, we’re leading the public to believe that there was collusion and criminal conspiracy.”

But she predicted that as a result, Trump will be reelected.

“People will look back at this week as another reason he gets reelected,” she predicted. “Mark my words, they spent 22 months, $25 million constantly beating the drum of collusion.”

Conway also dismissed criticism of the Trump administration by Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah.

“I thought that Mr. Romney missed a great opportunity this weekend to say one very important thing, which is, he was right in 2012 when he said to the whole world in a debate against then-president Barack Obama, the big geopolitical foe was Russia,” Conway said.

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Source: NewsMax Politics

President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, on Sunday condemned the Mueller report as “unfair” and un-American, lamenting “when people have to prove their innocence, we’re in a different country.”

In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Giuliani charged investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller also came “close” to “torturing” former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort — and depicted the testimony of former White House counsel Don McGahn as unreliable and “woefully confusing.”

You think that’s a fair document, using a standard of proof that you have to absolutely prove your innocence?” he said, adding: “When people have to prove their innocence, we’re in a different country. By the way, the president is innocent.”

Giuliani said among the report’s outrages were Mueller team members themselves — “people who were unfair to [Trump], people who wrote an unfair report, people who came close to torturing people to get information.”

Pressed on his allegation of torture, Giuliani pointed to Manafort.

“How about Manafort in solitary confinement 13 times,” Giuliani said.

And he pounced on McGahn as well, who sat with Mueller for about 30 hours of interviews, revealing that he refused to act on Trump’s direction to set Mueller’s firing in motion.

I think the testimony is woefully confusing and cannot be relied on,” Giuliani said. “If I were a prosecutor evaluating that, three different statements from one guy.”

Giuliani also hammered Sen. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, for his remark that he was “sickened” by the level of dishonesty the Mueller report found in the Trump administration.

“Stop the bull,” Giuliani said of Romney, suggesting that he’d also tried “to dig up dirt on people.”

What a hypocrite. What a hypocrite,” Giuliani declared. “Any candidate in the whole world in America would take information… who says it’s even illegal” if the data comes from a foreign source, he added.

“He did things very similar to that,” Giuliani contended of Romney.

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Source: NewsMax Politics


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