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Trump Just Threw a Fit Over Mueller’s Digging Into Don Jr.’s False Russia Statement

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Last month, when several news outlets revealed Donald Trump Jr.’s now-infamous June 2016 meeting with a Russian attorney, some people inside the Trump camp wanted to come clean: to issue a statement saying that Trump Jr.’s meeting was about getting Russian dirt on Hillary Clinton. President Trump, however, suggested a different approach: Lie about it.

During a flight on Air Force One in July, Trump personally dictated a statement to White House spokesperson Hope Hicks saying that the meeting “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children.”

That statement, released on July 8 and attributed to Donald Trump Jr., was quickly shown to be verifiably false. And several reports released in the past week indicate that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating just how it was drafted.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/spicer-priebus-hicks-among-six-current-and-former-trump-aides-mueller-has-expressed-interest-in-interviewing-for-russia-probe/2017/09/08/3b32779e-949a-11e7-aace-04b862b2b3f3_story.html

Last week, The Washington Post reported that Hicks and five other Trump aides will certainly be questioned and that Don, Jr. Russia statement would likely be a focus of the conversations.

Lying to the press is not a crime. But there’s a reason Mueller seems to be focusing so much on this statement anyway: The circumstances around its drafting may be a uniquely good source of evidence of obstruction of justice, committed either by Trump or by his close associates. It’s the kind of evidence that could be used to support impeachment charges against the president and criminal charges against some of his associates.

President Trump knows this and he is furious. So furious that he went behind closed doors to rant about Comey and Muller,  Political Dig reports.

Trying to defend her boss’s moods, White House Press Secretary Sarah H. Sanders attacked Comey from the podium yesterday, suggesting that Comey himself should be investigated:

“His actions were improper and likely could have been illegal,” Sanders said.

According to Dig, Trump tells aides and visitors that the Russia probe conducted by special counsel Bob Mueller is “a witch hunt” and that Comey was a “leaker.”

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Crime

In a Stunning Vote, The House Passes Bill To Block Jeff Sessions’ Expansion Of Asset Forfeiture

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In a surprise move, the House of Representatives on Tuesday approved an amendment to the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act that will roll back Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ expansion of asset forfeiture.

As reported by Intercept, “amendment number 126 was sponsored by a bipartisan group of nine members, led by Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI). He was joined by Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna of California; Washington state’s Pramila Jayapal, a rising progressive star; and Hawaii’s Tulsi Gabbard.”

Civil asset forfeiture is a practice by which law enforcement can take assets from a person who is suspected of a crime, even without a charge or conviction.

Jeff Sessions called for the elimination of the Obama-era rule that limits such practice and pushed to allow state and local police agencies to take assets and then give them to the federal government — which would, in turn, give a chunk back to the local police. This served as a way for these local agencies to skirt past state laws designed to limit asset forfeiture.

Republican Justin Amash, the prime proponent of the amendment, spoke forcefully in favor of the Obama-era rules on the House floor and the need to bring them back.

“Unfortunately these restrictions were revoked in June of this year. My amendment would restore them by prohibiting the use of funds to do adoptive forfeitures that were banned under the 2015 rules,” he explained, according to the report.

Virginia Democratic Rep. Don Beyer reached across the aisle to voice support for Amash’s effort.

“Civil asset forfeiture without limits presents one of the strongest threats to our civil, property, and Constitutional rights,” he said on the floor. “It creates a perverse incentive to seek profits over justice.”

Republican Reps. Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Raul Labrador of Idaho and Dana Rohrabacher of California joined in the effort, along with Democrat Earl Blumenauer of Oregon.

The amendment passed with a voice vote, meaning it had overwhelming support.

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