Mueller castigates Trump's decision to commute Roger Stone's sentence – live

By Tom Lutz in New York



Fate has been unkind to the United States. The nation is grappling simultaneously with a pandemic that has claimed the lives of more than 130,000; the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression; and mind-numbing police brutality, which has generated the largest outpouring of grief and anger against systemic racism in memory.

Perhaps America’s greatest misfortune is that these crises have emerged at a time when its leadership is too incompetent to respond to them, if not maliciously dedicated to worsening them.

Donald Trump has not only refused to contain Covid-19 but is actively pushing Americans into harm’s way, demanding the nation “reopen” while cases and deaths continue to rise. Meanwhile, he’s siphoning federal money intended to dampen the economic crisis into the pockets of his cronies and family. And he is deliberately stoking racial tensions to energize his “base” for the upcoming election.

As if this weren’t enough, Trump continues to attack the rule of law, on which a democracy depends in order to deal with these and all other challenges.

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Graham grants Dems' request to call Mueller to judiciary committee

Senator Lindsey Graham, chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, tweeted on Sunday that he would now grant Democrat requests to call ex-special counsel Robert Mueller to give evidence before the committee in light of his op-ed for the Washington Post this weekend.

Graham, a Trump ally, was among the Republicans who had backed Trump’s move to commute the sentence of Roger Stone, saying he was convicted of a “nonviolent, first-time offense” and the president was “justified”.

Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC)

Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr. Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation.

That request will be granted.

July 12, 2020

Graham is leading an investigation by Republicans on the judiciary committee into the origins of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and links to the Trump campaign, and alleged misconduct by US intelligence officials.

Democrats say the investigation is a move to appease President Trump ahead of November’s election. Republicans on the committee want to subpoena Obama era intelligence officials, while Democrats are pushing for subpoenas for people close to Trump.

On Sunday, Graham tweeted: “Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee have previously requested Mr Mueller appear before the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify about his investigation. That request will be granted.

“Apparently Mr Mueller is willing - and also capable - of defending the Mueller investigation through an oped in the Washington Post.”



Larry Hogan says Stone commutation is 'a problem'







Poll finds Trump losing ground in battleground states



Trump defends his golfing as Covid-19 cases surge

Donald Trump has already been busy on Twitter this morning:

As US coronavirus cases and deaths continue to soar, Donald Trump started the day by defending his golfing record.

Following his latest golf course visit to Trump National Golf Club in northern Virginia yesterday – reportedly his 275th as president – he tweeted this morning that he plays “VERY fast” and gets a lot of work done while playing.

He also claimed that his predecessor Barack Obama played “more and much longer” than he does – despite recent counts finding that Trump has played considerably more often.

Comparing himself to business figures and politicians who “work out endlessly…but nobody complains”, he said golf is his “exercise”.

The president wrote: “Actually, I play VERY fast, get a lot of work done on the golf course, and also get a ‘tiny’ bit of exercise. Not bad!”

His golf trip came after his planned rally in New Hampshire – due to take place in Portsmouth last night – was cancelled due to bad weather. However, the weather was reportedly “warm and sunny”.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

No, Radical Left anarchists, agitators, looters or protesters will not be knocking down or harming the Washington Monument, the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorials, or just about any other Federal Monumrnt or Statue. If they even try, an automatic 10 years in prison. Sorry!

July 12, 2020

Also this morning, Trump tweeted a renewed threat of 10-year prison sentences to people who damage or tear down monuments or statues and boasted that his administration has built “240 miles of new Border Wall” and have “some of the best Border Numbers ever.”

Late last night Trump hit out at Republican senators Mitt Romney and Pat Toomey – branding them “RINOS” (“Republican in name only”) - after they criticised his decision to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence.




Pelosi calls Stone commutation 'a threat to national security'


Mueller: 'Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so'

The former special counsel Robert Mueller made a rare move on Saturday to publicly defend his two-year investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election – and to castigate Donald Trump’s decision to commute Roger Stone’s prison sentence.

Mueller wrote an opinion article for the Washington Post [paywall] published under the headline “Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so”.

“The work of the special counsel’s office – its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions – should speak for itself,” he wrote.

“But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office ...

“Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so.”

Trump commuted the sentence of Stone on Friday night, sparking outrage from Democrats and some senior Republicans.

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