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By Robert A. Vella

Mueller speaks

From:  Mueller statement ramps up impeachment pressure on Pelosi and House Democrats

Several Democrats running for president demanded Wednesday that Congress immediately begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump, increasing the pressure on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who has been reluctant to do so.

Half a dozen presidential candidates issued the demand just minutes after special counsel Robert S. Mueller III reiterated that his report did not exonerate Trump.

“If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so,” Mueller said. He added that the Justice Department policy that forbids indicting a sitting president explicitly refers to alternatives.

“The opinion says the Constitution requires a process other than the criminal justice system to formally accuse a sitting president of wrongdoing,” he noted.

From:  Read Mueller’s first public statement on the results of the Trump-Russia investigation

  • Former special counsel Robert Mueller spoke out for the first time Wednesday about the FBI’s Russia investigation.
  • Mueller announced that since his report has been released, he is formally shutting down the Office of Special Counsel and resigning from the Justice Department to return to private life.
  • Mueller touched on many of his findings in the investigation, including why prosecutors did not make a decision on charging President Donald Trump with obstruction-of-justice.
  • Mueller also said that beyond saying what’s in his report, he will not give any more information if he testifies before Congress.

Other news

From:  New Mexico Mayor Orders Group Building Border Wall To Stop Construction

The mayor of Sunland Park, New Mexico, has issued a cease-and-desist order to a private group that raised millions to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The wall is being constructed by We Build The Wall, a private organization which began a GoFundMe fundraiser in December 2018 when President Donald Trump faced opposition from Congress in receiving a proposed $5 billion to construct the barrier.

[…]

The cease-and-desist order was issued on Tuesday after it was determined that the group did not have the proper permits for construction, city spokesperson Peter Ibardo told The Texas Tribune.

From:  DOJ agrees to make Mueller court activity public, with some redactions

The Justice Department said Tuesday it agrees that a federal court Washington can make public lists describing potentially hundreds of miscellaneous court actions, like search warrants, used in the Mueller investigation.

The department asked for three weeks to make redactions on “a few entries” because of ongoing law enforcement efforts, and a judge said she would give the agency that time.

CNN had asked the court to make the lists public. The unsealing would not necessarily reveal the details of the court filings, but instead give the public a broader overview of how, when and for what Mueller was going to the federal court to gather evidence.

From:  Disaster aid bill worth $19.1B blocked again in U.S. House

WASHINGTON- The U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday failed again to pass a $19.1 billion disaster aid bill supported by President Donald Trump after a Republican lawmaker objected to the measure.

Following Senate passage of the legislation last Thursday by a vote of 85-8, House Democratic leaders had hoped to win quick, unanimous approval of the bill on a voice vote and send it to Trump for his expected signature.

But with most lawmakers out of town for a recess until June 4, individual House Republicans have been able to block passage twice – once last Friday and again on Tuesday – by demanding an official roll call vote. Any roll call vote would have to wait until the full House returns to work next week.

From:  Justin Amash town hall: Support after call to impeach Donald Trump

GRAND RAPIDS — Hundreds of Republicans, Democrats and Independents turned out at a high school auditorium Tuesday to show support for U.S. Rep. Justin Amash, a maverick west Michigan Republican congressman who is under fire for calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

Amash, R-Cascade Township, is facing a primary challenge, loss of financial support and ridicule on Twitter from Trump after reading Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and becoming the first GOP member of Congress to say Trump should be impeached.

But it was a mostly supportive crowd that attended Grand Rapids Christian High School Tuesday for a town hall meeting organized by Amash. The crowd frequently interrupted him with applause, and in one case, a standing ovation. Several audience members rose to thank and compliment Amash for showing courage in the face of party opposition.

From:  Illinois House passes sweeping abortion rights bill after emotional floor debate

The bill would repeal the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and its provisions that called for spousal consent, waiting periods, criminal penalties for physicians who perform abortions and other restrictions on facilities where abortions are performed. The bill would establish “the fundamental right” of a pregnant woman to have an abortion and states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights.”

[…]

The bill, called the Reproductive Health Act, would also repeal the state’s so called “partial birth abortion” ban, which affects later-stage pregnancies. Partial birth abortions are not allowed under federal law, unless it’s used as a means to save the mother’s life when it’s in jeopardy.

The bill now heads to the state Senate, where it likely faces an easier path to passage than in the House. Gov. J.B. Pritzker urged the Senate to “take swift action” and said he’s eager to sign the act into law.

From:  Online charter schools in L.A. and San Diego counties to close after indictments

Eleven people have been indicted on criminal charges of conspiracy, personal use of public money without legal authority, grand theft and financial conflict of interest in connection with a network of California charter schools.

At the center of the allegations are leaders of the charter school management corporation A3 Education, a Newport Beach firm whose leaders control 13 charter schools across the state, according to an indictment filed May 17.

A3’s chairman, Sean McManus, and president, Jason Schrock, essentially owned and operated the charter schools at the same time that A3 contracted with those schools, according to the indictment.

11 thoughts on “Hump Day roundup: Mueller speaks, and the other news for this Wednesday

  1. Pingback: Hump Day roundup: Mueller speaks, and the other news for this Wednesday | sdbast

  2. Seems humorous (to some degree) that Mueller’s statement today made so many people believe that now is the time to impeach. Literally nothing was said today that wasn’t known. That is, unless folks hadn’t read the report. Or even the two summaries of the report. That’s all Mueller did today. Trump needed to be impeached as soon as we got the report and the multiple times he obstructed justice became clear. That said, I also see that a great many voters are not yet on the impeachment train which is why the Democrats are acting so carefully and focusing on House oversight to keep the heat on Trump. I think anything we can do to push out information about what’s in the report is crucial to getting public opinion to turn the corner.

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    • Indeed. It seems to me that Mueller had two main reasons for speaking out yesterday (which he typically avoids): 1) to reinforce his questionable decision to not criminally indict Trump by asserting that impeachment is the proper way to hold the president accountable, and 2) to publicly declare that he intends to withhold all information about his Russia investigation, which is not detailed in his official report, if he is called to testify before Congress. Such a bold proclamation, in my opinion, directly challenges Congress’ constitutional authority to conduct governmental oversight.

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        • I based my second opinion on Mueller’s own words from yesterday’s speech:

          “There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress. Any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report. It contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we made. We chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself. And the report is my testimony. I would not provide information beyond that which is already public in any appearance before Congress. In addition, access to our underlying work product is being decided in a process that does not involve our office.”

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