Tasked with overseeing the most high-profile investigation of our time, Mueller managed to complete the investigation without appearing to have a partisan agenda, with both sides embracing him at times. …Mueller’s down-the-middle, leak-free handling of the high-stakes investigation was an object lesson in professionalism.
…Mueller went out of his way to avoid regurgitating the contents of the report, wary of creating sound bites that could be used to suggest he supported impeachment.
…He refused to answer leading questions whenever answering the question might draw him too close to the political fight, force him to say things that could spur controversy, or cause him to veer outside the four corners of the report.
…Mueller’s answers were short—“that did occur,” “accurate,” “that is correct”—but what he affirmed was that Russia engaged in a systematic effort to help Trump win in 2016, that Trump and his campaign welcomed Russian aid, and that Trump lied to the American people about his business dealings in Russia.
When Mueller wanted to say more, he did. He described in detail the threat posed by the Russian attack on our electoral process, testifying that “they’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.” He warned that “many more countries are developing the capability to replicate what the Russians had done.” When Mueller had the rare opportunity to testify about matters that were not partisan—matters that should concern all Americans—he testified freely and strongly.
…His constant desire to double-check his report and to refer members of Congress to the report itself was motivated by a desire to ensure that each word of his testimony was accurate. He had no incentive to hurry, knowing it would be hard for members to challenge him in a five-minute time span if he took his time.
Mueller had to be careful and precise because every word he said would be dissected.
…Mueller’s decision not to reach a prosecutorial judgment as to obstruction flowed from the DOJ’s policy against indicting a sitting president. Because Mueller couldn’t indict Trump, he felt it would be unfair to Trump if he reached a conclusion that Trump would be unable to challenge in court. But if Mueller merely reached no conclusion, that could leave the false impression that he found no evidence that Trump committed a crime. So Mueller famously said that he was “unable” to state that Trump “clearly did not commit obstruction of justice,” and thus his report “does not exonerate” Trump. This may sound confusing to a layperson, but it is a very careful approach that permitted Mueller to be as fair as possible to Trump [and the nation’s interests in any current or future court proceedings] under the circumstances.
…Both sides failed to meaningfully probe Mueller’s reasoning on this key issue. Republicans criticized and grilled him as to “exoneration,” but they had to be careful not to give Mueller an opportunity to refer to the DOJ policy against indicting a sitting president. Lurking in the background was the reality that Mueller found “substantial” evidence to prove each of the elements of obstruction of justice.
…Most importantly, he appeared above the fray, cautious, and fair in the face of bitter partisan rancor. That is what we should expect from prosecutors.
White nationalism is without question a serious problem in America,” Smith said.
…Then, in direct contrast to Carlson’s comments, Smith said Biden was “calling us to our better souls, to recognize that white nationalism is real, that white nationalism is on the rise, that white nationalism is without question a very serious problem in America and beating down those who would help facilitate it and encourage it.”
As black voters go, so goes the mantle of Democratic front-runner — and likely the presidential nominee.
The irony of two white septuagenarians commanding majority support among African Americans — despite running in a historically diverse Democratic field — isn’t lost on black elected officials, operatives and voters. Several of them interviewed for this story said it speaks to the belief among many black voters that Biden is both best positioned to beat Donald Trump in a general election and to the loyalty he earned after eight years as Barack Obama’s No. 2.
“You go with what you know. A lot of black voters know Joe Biden.”
…“Younger voters like what Sanders is saying about free college and legalizing marijuana,” said Jatoya White, a 19-year-old biology student who attended Biden’s rally but prefers Sanders. “With the older voters and Biden, it’s Obama.”
On machine No. 3, Republicans won every race. On each of the other six machines in that precinct, Democrats won every race.
…The odds of an anomaly that large are less than 1 in 1 million, according to a statistician’s analysis in court documents. The strange results would disappear if votes for Democratic and Republican candidates were flipped on machine No. 3.
…The suspicious results in Winterville are evidence in the ongoing mystery of whether errors with voting machines contributed to a stark drop-off in votes recorded in the race for Georgia lieutenant governor between Republican Geoff Duncan, who ended up winning, and Democrat Sarah Riggs Amico.
…Even though it was the second race on the ballot, fewer votes were counted for lieutenant governor than for labor commissioner, insurance commissioner and every other statewide contest lower on the ballot. Roughly 80,000 fewer votes were counted for lieutenant governor than in other down-ballot elections.
…Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger’s office has refused to open an investigation.
…The Georgia Supreme Court is also considering a challenge to the lieutenant governor’s race. Duncan won by 123,000 votes, but the plaintiffs contend missing votes could have changed the result.
…The decline in votes showed up on ballots cast on the state’s electronic voting machines in 101 of Georgia’s 159 counties. On paper absentee ballots, there wasn’t a significant decline in votes cast for lieutenant governor.
In addition, the drop-off in votes grew more extreme in precincts with large African American populations.
…Electronic voting machines have been marketed as a way to help people of different education and disabilities vote correctly, but the higher undervote rates for African American voters suggests that electronic voting harms historically disadvantaged groups.
…The state’s electronic machines lack a paper ballot that could be used to double-check the accuracy of digital results.
…Why would voters skip the lieutenant governor’s race on electronic voting machines but not on paper absentee ballots? Why would African American voters be disproportionately affected? If votes disappeared, could they have changed the results of the lieutenant governor’s race?
…The unresolved questions about the election have contributed to mistrust in the state’s electronic voting system and questions about election officials’ commitment to investigating complaints in a thorough and nonpartisan manner.
The little boy, about 7 or 8, was under the delusion that his dad had been killed. And he thought he was next.
Other children believed their parents had abandoned them. And some suffered physical symptoms because of their mental trauma, clinicians reported.
…Already distressed [by events] in their home countries or by their journey, [many] showed more fear, feelings of abandonment and post-traumatic stress symptoms than children who were not separated [from their families.
…Thousands of childcare workers were given direct access to migrant children before completing required background and fingerprint checks.
…A second Office of Inspector General report found 31 of the 45 facilities reviewed had hired case managers who did not meet Office of Refugee Resettlement requirements, including many without the required education. In addition, the review found 28 of the 45 facilities didn’t have enough mental health workers.
…Children were being given psychotropic medications. …About 300 children overall between May and July of 2018 were prescribed antidepressants. Staff described some concerns that dosages or types of medication may not have been right.
…Federal investigators also found some shelters relying on employees to report their own criminal histories. A background check found one employee — who “self-certified” that she had no history for crimes involving child abuse — had a third-degree child neglect felony on her record.
…Only four of the 45 shelters reviewed by the U.S. Health and Human Services inspector general met all staff screening requirements.
…During a time when sponsors had to be fingerprinted, children were held in facilities for as long as 93 days.
…The watchdog said the longer children were in custody, the more their mental health deteriorated, and it recommended minimizing that time, …creating better mental health care options, and hiring more trained staff.
…”Significant factors” [the agency refused to own to any responsibility for contributed to the problems.] Those included a surge in children at the border, the children’s …mental health needs and a [lack of the foresight needed to do things like bring in more] qualified bilingual [staff of every kind,] especially in rural areas.