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Jeff Sessions Blocks FBI Agents From Testifying In Russia Probe, So GOP Senator Issues Subpoenas

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Donald Trump’s Justice Department this week blocked two FBI agents from testifying before Congress about the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

In response, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is drafting subpoenas for the two FBI agents DOJ blocked from testifying before the committee, ABC’s Ali Rogin reports.

The news comes after CNN reported Wednesday the DOJ is refusing to cooperate with Senate investigators probing Donald Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey. The two agents, Carl Ghattas and James Rybicki, could reportedly provide first-hand testimony about the president’s communications with Comey leading up to his ouster.

In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Department of Justice declined to make Ghattas and Rybicki available for transcribed interviews before the panel, citing “the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III” to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

“Under these circumstances and consistent with the Department’s long-standing policy regarding the confidentiality and sensitivity of information relating to pending matters, the Department cannot make Mr. Ghattas nor Mr. Rybicki available for transcribed interviews at this time,” Acting Assistant Attorney General Samuel Ramer wrote in the letter.

“The Senate committee has yet to receive cooperation from DOJ and the special counsel’s office in scheduling those interviews voluntarily,” a spokesman for Grassley told the news network.

He added: “Both the judiciary committee and the special counsel are engaged in important investigations, and we are committed to being as cooperative with Mueller’s office as we can, which is why we’ve been in ongoing communication with Mueller’s team.”

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NEWS

Lawmakers Discussing Possibility That Trump Won’t Accept Election Loss: ‘He’s Already Set The Stage To Say It’s Rigged’

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Donald Trump has been ramping up attacks against election integrity as the 2020 presidential election approaches – which raises the question: Will Trump accept an election loss when the time comes?

According to Politico, a group of former and current lawmakers have been discussing the possibility that Trump will not accept an election loss.

“He is planting the seeds for delegitimizing the election if he loses,” said Vanita Gupta, a former head of Justice Department’s civil rights division under President Barack Obama. “It’s from the playbook. It’ll get more intense as he gets more freaked out.”

“He’s already set the stage to say it’s rigged,” said Pete Giangreco, a veteran Democratic strategist. “This is part of the Trump autocrat playbook … There’s no way this guy’s going to win the popular vote, and it’s at least 50-50 he’s going to lose the Electoral College. So, he’s got to come up with something else.”

“It’s one of those things that I think has a very low probability, but a very high risk,” said David Skaggs, a former Democratic congressman who has discussed the scenario with other past and present representatives. “So even though I don’t think it’s likely to eventuate into some kind of intervention at the state level by the president … there’s still some chance of that, and therefore it’s wise to take it seriously.”

Skaggs remains confident that enough honorable officials remain in government to uphold their oaths, but he’s concerned about pro-Trump forces outside the government.

“[There is a] militia movement out there in the country that would probably rise to arms if the president said they should,” Skaggs said, “and that would be awful.”

You can read the full report HERE.

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