Special counsel Robert Mueller said one reason he didn’t recommend bringing charges against President Trump is that it could have foreclosed Congress’ ability to impeach him.
In his 448-page report released Thursday, Mr. Mueller concluded that Mr. Trump did not conspire with Russia to try to subvert the 2016 election — but the special counsel said the steps the president took to try to undermine the subsequent investigation into that baseless claim could seem fishy, depending on one’s perspective.
Those moves, including dangling pardons and trying to fire Mr. Mueller, never came to fruition — but Mr. Mueller says that was more because of the stoic efforts of the president’s aides to thwart him than restraint on Mr. Trump’s part.
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AP LATEST... NYT ANALYSIS... WASH POST UPDATE...
Yankees ban Kate Smith's 'God Bless America' over 'history of potential racism'
The New York Yankees‘ anti-racism efforts have extended to pulling from their seventh-inning stretch a famous recording of the legendary Kate Smith singing “God Bless America.”
Not because anyone has complained that the song is racist, but because Smith recorded other racially insensitive standards from and during the Jim Crow era.
The Yankees pulled Smith’s “God Bless America” from the rotation at the start of the season, but the New York Daily News reported the reason Thursday — “the Yankees were made aware of Smith’s history of potential racism.”
According to the Daily News, the “potential racism” of which the Yankees were made aware included that she recorded “Pickaninny Heaven,” a jingle about black children where, among other things, they fantasize about “great big watermelons.” She recorded a film clip to promote the song at a black orphanage and, the Daily News reported, “much of the imagery is startlingly racist.”
NKorea Calls for Pompeo to be Dropped from Talks
North Korea said on Thursday it no longer wanted to deal with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and that he should be replaced in talks by someone more mature, hours after it announced its first weapons test since nuclear talks broke down.
The North's official KCNA news agency quoted senior foreign ministry official Kwon Jong Gun as warning that no one could predict the situation on the Korean peninsula if the United States did not abandon the "root cause" that compelled North Korea to develop nuclear weapons.
The statement came shortly after North Korea said leader Kim Jong Un had overseen the testing of a new tactical guided weapon, which KCNA said had a "peculiar mode of guiding flight" and "a powerful warhead."
Notre Dame rector: “Computer glitch” possible fire culprit
A “computer glitch” may have been behind the fast-spreading fire that ravaged Notre Dame, the cathedral’s rector said Friday, as architects and construction workers tried to figure out how to stabilize the damaged structure and protect it from the elements.
The fire burned through the lattice of enormous oak beams supporting the monument’s vaulted stone ceiling, dangerously weakening the building. The surrounding neighborhood has been blocked off, and stones have continued to tumble off the sides of the cathedral since Monday evening’s devastating blaze.
Report: Biden will announce 2020 bid next week
Former Vice President Joe Biden will officially launch his presidential bid next Wednesday with a video announcement, people familiar with the matter told The Atlantic in a report published Friday.
The video will use footage shot two weeks ago outside his old family home in Scranton, Pa., roots to which he has often pointed to show his understanding of working-class struggles in America.
Biden has long been seen as likely to enter the 2020 race, and his potential campaign has loomed large over a growing Democratic primary field that already has more than a dozen candidates.
A top progressive pundit says mainstream Democrats are worried about Bernie Sanders winning the White House in 2020
Sen. Bernie Sanders is making mainstream Democrats nervous.
But some of the presidential candidate's supporters say it's not because they're worried Sanders can't defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. It's because he can, they say.
The Vermont democratic socialist may have surprised the party's establishment with his strong performance so far. He's been polling second, behind only former Vice President Joe Biden, who has yet to enter the race. Sanders also took the lead in an Emerson poll released Tuesday. He raised more than $18 million in the first quarter of 2019, the most money of any Democratic contender. And his base of loyal followers, who made him a force in the 2016 primary, has not gone anywhere.
More yellow vest protests despite Notre Dame fire
For many yellow vest protesters, the stinging sadness that came with the devastating fire at Notre Dame Cathedral has quickly given way to boiling anger.
Some of the activists, whose violent protests against inequality have been shaking up France for months, said they cried in front of their TV sets as they watched the Gothic architectural masterpiece being consumed by flames Monday night.
Despite their struggles to make ends meet, some even made small donations for the restoration of the iconic building.
Hatred of journalists turning to violence, watchdog warns
Hatred of journalists whipped up by populist and authoritarian leaders is degenerating into violence across the world, media watchdog Reporters Without Borders (RSF) warned Thursday.
And the number of countries where journalists can work safely is plummeting, its annual World Press Freedom Index revealed.
Political leaders' hostility towards the media "has incited increasingly frequent acts of violence that have fuelled an unprecedented level of fear and danger for journalists," the report added.
The National Enquirer is being sold for $100 million to James Cohen, CEO of Hudson News
American Media Inc. is selling the National Enquirer for $100 million to James Cohen, CEO of Hudson News, ending an association between a longtime friend of President Trump and the tabloid that illegally attempted to bury embarrassing news about Trump during the 2016 campaign.
The supermarket tabloid, along with two sister publications, is set to be purchased by the head of the travel retailer known for its airport newsstands.
The decision to sell came after Anthony Melchiorre, the hedge-fund manager whose firm controls AMI, became disillusioned with the reporting tactics of the Enquirer and the legal and political pressure that resulted from them, according to people familiar with the deliberations.
Once more, only lumps of coal in certain Christmas stockings
It was Christmas again this week and all the Democrats got in their stockings were two or three lumps of coal. Or maybe it wasn’t Christmas, but Groundhog Day.
The earlier summary of Robert Mueller’s findings was only a summary, after all, and everyone knew the actual report had all the good stuff. Mr. Mueller wouldn’t let us down.
Ah, but he did. Great expectations dashed again. The Democrats, but for the dwindling number of grown-ups in the party of Jefferson, Jackson, Harry S. Truman and FDR, were so sure that Mr. Mueller would deliver the goods they had conferred sainthood on him, much like the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Barack Obama before he assumed office. Now some Democrats are looking for rope to deal with the special counsel, unless that other mob, the one still in pursuit of the president, has cornered the supply of hemp on their march to the hanging tree.
Misleading Americans about the environment -- again
California’s commitment to being the official clown car of the Democratic Party continues apace.
The latest absurdity is brought to us by legislation from the Democratically controlled state legislature seeking to ban all those little plastic toiletry bottles one finds in hotel rooms.
” ‘We know we have an enormous problem with our world, we’ve become addicted to [plastic], and it’s caused a major dilemma environmentally,’ said Assemblyman Ash Kalra, who introduced Bill AB-1162 in February,” Fox News reported.
This urgent need for legislation is due to, of course, climate change. Plastic is pouring into our oceans, harming the ecosystem and destroying the lives of animals. But don’t tell Democrats that the culprit isn’t pesky Americans or the United States. No, it’s actually the direct fault of five Asian nations, led by China.