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Mitt Romney defends MSNBC host Joe Scarborough from Trump’s murder accusations: ‘Enough already’

Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, called Wednesday for President Trump to stop pushing a conspiracy theory accusing MSNBC host and former Rep. Joe Scarborough of murder. Mr. Romney took to Twitter to defend Mr. Scarborough in light of Mr. Trump continuing to baselessly claim the “Morning Joe” host may have killed one of his congressional…

Mitt Romney defends MSNBC host Joe Scarborough from Trump’s murder accusations: ‘Enough already’

Sen. Mitt Romney, Utah Republican, called Wednesday for President Trump to stop pushing a conspiracy theory accusing MSNBC host and former Rep. Joe Scarborough of murder.

Mr. Romney took to Twitter to defend Mr. Scarborough in light of Mr. Trump continuing to baselessly claim the “Morning Joe” host may have killed one of his congressional aides in 2001.

The late staffer, Lori Klausutis, was working at Mr. Scarborough’s office in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, when she fainted, hit her head and died, according to her autopsy results, which declared her death to be an accident.

Mr. Trump has tweeted several times recently that investigators should open a “cold case” to determine whether Mr. Scarborough was involved in the incident, however, including as recently as Wednesday morning.

Responding on Twitter shortly afterward, Mr. Romney urged the president to stop spreading the conspiracy theory to spare the aide’s widower Timothy J. Klausutis the anguish it brings.

“I know Joe Scarborough. Joe is a friend of mine. I don’t know T.J. Klausutis. Joe can weather vile, baseless accusations but T.J.? His heart is breaking. Enough already,” Mr. Romney tweeted.

Mr. Trump had not responded to the senator’s tweet as of early Wednesday afternoon.

Mr. Klausutis asked Twitter last week to remove the president’s older tweets about his wife’s death, citing violations of the company’s community rules and terms of service.

“I’m asking you to intervene in this instance because the President of the United States has taken something that does not belong him—the memory of my dead wife and perverted it for perceived political gain,” he asked Twitter. “My wife deserves better.”

Twitter said Monday that tweets would remain, adding it was “deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.”

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Zuckerberg defends Facebook as American rampart against Chinese takeover

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will tout American values he says Facebook champions to defend his company’s size at a congressional hearing on Wednesday about antitrust issues with Big Tech. Mr. Zuckerberg will call Facebook “a proudly American company” that would not have succeeded without U.S. laws encouraging competition and innovation, in contrast to China’s communist…

Zuckerberg defends Facebook as American rampart against Chinese takeover

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg will tout American values he says Facebook champions to defend his company’s size at a congressional hearing on Wednesday about antitrust issues with Big Tech.

Mr. Zuckerberg will call Facebook “a proudly American company” that would not have succeeded without U.S. laws encouraging competition and innovation, in contrast to China’s communist system, according to his prepared remarks for a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing.

“We believe in values—democracy, competition, inclusion and free expression—that the American economy was built on,” Mr. Zuckerberg will say, according to his prepared remarks. “Many other tech companies share these values, but there’s no guarantee our values will win out. For example, China is building its own version of the internet focused on very different ideas, and they are exporting their vision to other countries. As Congress and other stakeholders consider how antitrust laws support competition in the U.S., I believe it’s important to maintain the core values of openness and fairness that have made America’s digital economy a force for empowerment and opportunity here and around the world.”

Mr. Zuckerberg plans to tell House lawmakers that the success of apps such as Instagram and WhatsApp has been made possible by developing within Facebook rather than as independent companies.

Alongside Mr. Zuckerberg, House lawmakers will hear from Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Google’s Sundar Pichai on Wednesday afternoon.

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AG William Barr defends DOJ independence, asks Democrats to name one ‘unmerited’ indictment

Attorney General William P. Barr on Tuesday defended his management of the Justice Department against Democrats’ allegations that he has politicized it. “I am supposedly punishing the president’s enemies and helping his friends,” a combative Mr. Barr said in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. “What enemies have I indicted? Could you point to one…

AG William Barr defends DOJ independence, asks Democrats to name one ‘unmerited’ indictment

Attorney General William P. Barr on Tuesday defended his management of the Justice Department against Democrats’ allegations that he has politicized it.

“I am supposedly punishing the president’s enemies and helping his friends,” a combative Mr. Barr said in testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.

“What enemies have I indicted? Could you point to one indictment that has been under the department that you feel is unmerited — that you feel violates the rule of law? One indictment,” he said.

Mr. Barr also pushed back against allegations that he was doing political favors for President Trump’s associates. He cited the criminal case against Roger Stone, a longtime GOP operative and friend of the president.

The attorney general said he brought the criminal case against Stone case, calling it a “righteous prosecution.”

Stone was convicted last year of lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstruction. Justice Department prosecutors had recommended an initial sentence of between seven to nine years.

However, Mr. Barr later recommended a lesser sentence sparking a firestorm in Washington. Democrats accused him of doing favors for Mr. Trump’s friends, and all department lawyers prosecuting the Stone case resigned from it.

Mr. Barr said reducing the sentence was the right call. He said he got involved to “rectify the rule of law.”

“The line prosecutors were trying to advocate for a sentence that was more than twice what anyone else in a similar position had ever served, and this is a 67-year-old man, first-time offender and no violence,” he said.

“I agree the president’s friends don’t deserve special breaks, but they also don’t deserve to be treated more harshly than other people,” Mr. Barr said.

Mr. Barr reasserted his independence again in a testy exchange with Rep. Hank Johnson, Georgia Democrat.

Mr. Johnson accused the attorney general of changing the Stone sentencing recommendation in response to a tweet by the president blasting case prosecutors.

As Mr. Barr tried to answer the question, Mr. Johnson repeatedly cut him off.

“I’m reclaiming my time. I know you don’t want to answer the question. The facts are clear …,” Mr. Johnson exclaimed as he interrupted Mr. Barr’s efforts to answer the question.

“Let me ask you. Do you think it’s fair for a 67-year-old man to be sent to prison for seven to nine years?” Mr. Barr shot back, maintaining that he did not discuss the case with anyone in the White House.

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Mueller defends Russia probe, says Roger Stone ‘remains a felon’ |NationalTribune.com

Donald Trump may have commuted Roger Stone’s prison sentence but the US president’s longtime ally remains a convicted criminal, former special counsel Robert Mueller has said. Stone, 67, had been set to begin serving a 40-month prison term on Tuesday after his conviction on seven felony charges originally brought by Mueller as part of the…

Mueller defends Russia probe, says Roger Stone ‘remains a felon’ |NationalTribune.com

Donald Trump may have commuted Roger Stone’s prison sentence but the US president’s longtime ally remains a convicted criminal, former special counsel Robert Mueller has said.
Stone, 67, had been set to begin serving a 40-month prison term on Tuesday after his conviction on seven felony charges originally brought by Mueller as part of the Russia collusion probe.
The charges include tampering with a witness and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign conspired with Russia to help him win the 2016 election.
In an op-ed piece published in The Washington Post on Saturday, Mueller defended his probe as being of “paramount importance”, dismissing White House claims that he was out to get Trump and those who worked with him.

“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so,” Mueller wrote as Democrats – and two Republican senators – piled on Trump for again intervening in the justice system to help an ally.

Senator Mitt Romney, who infuriated Trump when he became the only Republican to vote to convict the president in his impeachment trial, pulled no punches on Saturday.
“Unprecedented, historic corruption: an American president commutes the sentence of a person convicted by a jury of lying to shield that very president,” he tweeted.
Another Republican senator, Pat Toomey, also criticised Trump but in milder terms, saying that as Stone has been duly convicted, it was “a mistake” to commute his sentence.
Trump defended his Friday night move to commute Stone’s sentence, saying Stone and others convicted of crimes in the Russia probe were caught up in a “witch-hunt”.
“They’ve all been treated unfairly, and what I did, I will tell you this: people are extremely happy, because in this country, they want justice,” Trump told reporters.
‘Staggering corruption’    
Most Republicans have remained largely mute on the matter, while Democratic critics led by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unanimously condemned Trump.
“President Trump’s decision to commute the sentence of top campaign adviser Roger Stone, who could directly implicate him in criminal misconduct, is an act of staggering corruption,” she said in a statement.
Pelosi called for legislation “to ensure that no president can pardon or commute the sentence of an individual who is engaged in a cover-up campaign to shield that president from criminal prosecution.”
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden weighed in without mentioning Stone by name.
“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in modern American history,” he tweeted.
“Every day that he remains in office, he further threatens the future of our democracy. We have to vote him out this November,” Biden wrote.     

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Donald Trump is the most corrupt president in modern American history. Every day that he remains in office, he further threatens the future of our democracy.We have to vote him out this November. https://t.co/FuoAnNzgHG
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 11, 2020

Stone, a longtime political activist and consultant, is easily recognised by his trademark dark glasses and bowler hat. He and Trump were introduced in the 1980s and were said to have hit it off immediately.
Trump’s action instantly brought new accusations that the president has intervened freely in the US justice system to help friends and allies, and to punish critics and perceived enemies.
In a highly unusual move in May, the US Justice Department moved to dismiss its own case against Michael Flynn, a former national security adviser to Trump, though he had pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. A federal judge has demanded a further judicial review of the matter.
Stone was the first person directly involved in Trump’s campaign to receive clemency.
Indictment papers said a top Trump campaign official had dispatched Stone to get information from the WikiLeaks organisation regarding thousands of emails hacked from Democratic accounts – a leak that fuelled Republican attacks on Trump’s 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Trump has denied knowledge of any such outreach to WikiLeaks. 
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