Trump would be better served by not firing Mueller

first_imgOn Sunday, though, Trump insisted that he will not fire Mueller but is contemplating firing Rosenstein or Attorney General Jeff Sessions, realizing that firing Mueller would be a “step too far,” according to The Washington Post.INVESTIGATION WON’T ENDWhy would Trump hold off on firing Mueller?Because if his goal is to undermine the investigations into Russian interference in last year’s campaign, keeping Mueller around is probably the best way to do it.Firing Mueller would not end the investigations that the former FBI director leads.Although we often speak about the “Mueller investigation,” inside the Justice Department that term probably refers to several different but related investigations.Some of those, such as the investigations of Paul Manafort and Michael Flynn, began before Mueller was appointed. Categories: Editorial, OpinionRumors are flying that President Donald Trump will soon fire special counsel Robert Mueller.Over the weekend, Trump transition lawyers alleged wrongdoing on Mueller’s part.Last week, Republican members of Congress grilled Deputy Attorney General Rod  Rosenstein, challenging Mueller’s legitimacy and objectivity.Conservative commentators have called for Mueller to be investigated, while others have called for him to resign.Concern that this would undermine the rule of law has gotten so serious that the liberal activist group MoveOn.org has organized a rapid-response plan for protests if Mueller is fired, with the specific timing determined by when in the day the news breaks. Once in my career, I inherited a complex case that another prosecutor unsuccessfully sought to decline, and I ultimately charged the case.Any cases Mueller’s team is working on wouldn’t magically decline themselves if Mueller is fired.The reports of interviews in the FBI computer system wouldn’t delete themselves.The documents and other evidence collected by Mueller’s team of FBI agents and prosecutors wouldn’t destroy themselves, either.In fact, Justice Department procedure is to retain evidence for years even after a file is closedTrump’s legal team is probably aware of all of this and has probably considered exactly what would happen if Mueller was removed.While I doubt they’ve communicated all of the specifics to him personally, their strategy is surely informed by a knowledge of how the Justice Department works and a desire to contain any damage caused by Mueller’s investigation. On the flip side, if a new special counsel took aim at Trump and his inner circle, it would be harder for Trump to call it a “witch hunt.”All that means is that ultimately, keeping Mueller around but continuing to attack him and the FBI is probably Trump’s best strategy.As a patriot and former federal prosecutor who thinks that we should respect the men and women of the FBI and Justice Department, I find this strategy appalling.But I recognize that it is Trump’s best remaining move.It remains to be seen whether he has enough discipline to stay the course.Renato Mariotti is a former federal prosecutor and a Democratic candidate for Illinois attorney general.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Firing him would give Trump the opportunity to replace Mueller with someone who was determined to undermine the investigation. But it would have significant downsides.For example, if the new special counsel swiftly ended the investigations, Congress and the public might conclude that Trump and/or his associates were guilty of serious crimes and that replacing Mueller was part of a coverup.If the new special counsel improperly terminated an investigation, prosecutors and FBI agents might come forward and accuse him or her of wrongdoing.That could ultimately generate new criminal liability for anyone involved.If a new special counsel permitted the investigations to go forward, though, that could be the worst of all worlds for Trump.Democrats would assume that the new special counsel was biased on Trump’s behalf, and Republicans would be less likely to distrust a new special counsel than they are to distrust Mueller, who has been the subject of intense attacks in conservative media.So if a new special counsel found that there was insufficient evidence to charge Trump, the decision would be called into question, even though a similar determination by Mueller would be hard for Democrats to second-guess. Others, such as the inquiry into obstruction of justice, began later.Those investigations would go on even if Mueller leaves.When the Justice Department initiates an investigation, it can’t be closed without following a set of procedures that ensure cases aren’t shut down for improper reasons.If a case is opened, it can’t be “declined” – closed without bringing charges – without a detailed justification for closing the case.As a former federal prosecutor, I’ve declined my share of cases, and it takes time.Declining even a routine case requires a written explanation justifying the declination, citing specific reasons that are consistent with Justice Department guidelines.In more complex or high-profile matters, much more extensive memorandums are prepared. Firing Mueller would put Rosenstein in charge of the investigations instead of Mueller.Rosenstein recently defended Mueller before Congress and strongly suggested that he approved of the direction of the investigations.If Trump fired Mueller, Rosenstein could appoint a replacement. Or if Trump ordered the repeal of the special counsel regulations governing the investigations, Rosenstein could appoint a Justice Department prosecutor to oversee the investigation.FIRE SOMEONE ELSE THEN?What if Trump fired Rosenstein and Mueller? Or fired Sessions and Mueller?Firing Mueller would generate massive protests and could spur Congress to take up new legislation to establish an independent counsel.If Mueller was fired improperly, he or others could initiate legal action to fight the termination, keeping the story in the headlines.last_img read more

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Northampton New dawn for Northampton

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Planning: Mixing it up

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Partridge blasts ignorant agents

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Xi chairs leadership meeting on epidemic control

first_imgTopics : Xi said since the start of the outbreak the CPC Central Committee has attached great importance to the issue and led efforts from all sectors to push the prevention and control work into full swing.Xi stressed the importance of securing success in that cause. The outcome of the epidemic prevention and control directly affects people’s lives and health, the overall economic and social stability and the country’s opening-up, he added.Xi pointed out that the most crucial task for the moment is to execute the arrangements to the details and called for prompt and resolute actions in containing the spread of the epidemic.Party committees and governments at all levels should firmly follow the unified command, coordination and arrangement of the CPC Central Committee, Xi said, urging strict enforcement of orders and prohibitions. The epidemic prevention and control is not only a health issue but comprehensive work which requires all-round support, Xi said.Xi also demanded resolute opposition against bureaucratism and the practice of formalities for formalities’ sake in the prevention work.Those who disobey the unified command or shirk off responsibilities will be punished, Xi said, adding that Party and government leaders supervising them would also be held accountable in severe cases.The meeting stressed giving full attention to the prevention and control work in areas hard-hit by the virus.Resources for treatment, prevention and protection must be sent to the front line of the battle against the epidemic and priority should be given to meet the needs of frontline medical staff and patients, according to the meeting.Hubei Province, especially its capital city Wuhan, remained the top priority for the epidemic prevention and control work across the country, it added.The meeting required strengthening the monitoring of the epidemic, gathering the patients together for treatment, and conducting home-based medical observation for all close contacts.The meeting called for all-out efforts to treat the patients, ensure the supply of medical protection materials, improve the admission and survival rates, and reduce the infection and mortality rates.It stressed stepping up scientific research to discover the source and transmission mechanism of the novel coronavirus and keep close track of virus mutation.The need to safeguard economic and social order is emphasized, as well as the promotion of public education and communication.Party committees and governments of all levels were urged to achieve the targets of economic and social development this year and fully support production resumption by enterprises while bringing the epidemic under control.The meeting also required efforts to promote stable consumer spending and unleash the potential of emerging consumption to better meet people’s need for a healthy life.”The outbreak is a major test of China’s system and capacity for governance, and we must sum up the experience and draw a lesson from it,” according to the meeting.The meeting stressed improving the country’s emergency management system and capacity of handling urgent, difficult, dangerous and important tasks.An overhaul of environmental sanitation conditions should be conducted, the meeting said, calling for efforts to strengthen the areas of weakness in public health.Resolute efforts should be made to crack down on illegal wildlife markets and trade to address major public health risks at the root.The meeting underscored the need to systematically review the areas of weakness in the national reserve system, enhance reserve efficiency and capacity, and improve the production capacity for essential supplies. center_img The Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee on Monday held a meeting on the prevention and control of pneumonia epidemic caused by the novel coronavirus.Xi Jinping, general secretary of the CPC Central Committee, chaired the meeting and made an important speech.On behalf of the CPC Central Committee, Xi expressed respect to those fighting on the front line of the battle against the epidemic and extended greetings to patients and their families.last_img read more

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Giroud, Alonso back in favour as Chelsea sink Spurs

first_imgWith Tammy Abraham only fit enough to make the bench, Giroud started for the first time since November and the France striker’s fine finish opened the scoring in the first half.The 33-year-old could have joined Tottenham had Chelsea signed a forward in January, but instead he netted his first club goal since August and his first in the Premier League since April.Alonso, 29, maintained the theme of exiles getting back in favour as the left-back struck in the second half of his first league start since Chelsea’s win at Tottenham in December.Antonio Rudiger’s own goal came too late to ruin Chelsea’s first win in five league games, moving them four points clear of fifth placed Tottenham in the race to qualify for the Champions League. Olivier Giroud and Marcos Alonso came in from the cold to inspire Chelsea’s 2-1 win against Tottenham as the Blues cemented their grip on fourth place in the Premier League on Saturday.Giroud and Alonso had been reduced to fringe figures in Frank Lampard’s first season as Chelsea manager.But Lampard restored both veterans to the team at Stamford Bridge in a gamble that paid rich dividends. Ending Tottenham’s three-game winning streak in the league was the perfect response to Monday’s home defeat against Manchester United.It was no more than they deserved after a vibrant performance that finally answered Lampard’s call for a killer instinct in the final third.Tottenham have now won just once in their last 34 visits to Stamford Bridge, making it a painful return for their former Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, who was beaten by Lampard for the second time this term.Mourinho had ramped up the mind games on Friday when he claimed to know Lampard was planning to use the same five-man defence that helped the Blues win at Tottenham earlier this season.Mourinho was spot on, with Lampard making four changes in a return to the system he predicted, but he could not come up with an effective solution.Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn, more often used as wingers, led a makeshift Tottenham attack in the absence of Harry Kane, Son Heung-min and Dele Alli, who was dropped after reacting angrily to his substitution in the midweek defeat against Leipzig.Chelsea, pressing hard from the start, were always on top and when Alonso’s superb pass picked out Mason Mount, the young midfielder’s shot was pushed away by Hugo Lloris.- Toothless Tottenham -It was a warning Tottenham failed to heed and Giroud put Chelsea in front in the 15th minute.Giroud had looked impressive in his substitute appearance against United.And his physical style and clever movement were crucial to the goal as he held off Toby Alderweireld to reach Jorginho’s pass for a shot that Lloris saved with his foot.The rebound fell to Ross Barkley but his scuffed effort in the post and cannoned back to Giroud, who lashed a blistering strike past Lloris at his near post.Willy Caballero almost gifted Tottenham a goal out of nothing before the break.Needlessly rushing off his line, Caballero completely missed the ball and Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga prodded just wide.Mourinho had been scribbling away in his notebook before the interval, but there was no discernable change in Tottenham’s toothless display as Alonso increased Chelsea’s lead in the 48th minute.Giroud guided the ball into Mount’s path and he worked it to Barkley on the edge of the Tottenham area.With the visitors backing off, Barkley picked out Alonso, who blasted into the far corner from 20 yards.It could have been worse for Tottenham as Giovani Lo Celso was fortunate to escape a red card when he stamped on Cesar Azpilicueta.Chelsea should have won by more and Alonso’s free-kick hit the bar before Rudiger deflected Erik Lamela’s shot into his own net in the 89th minute.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Indonesia still deserves special treatment in global trade: Economists

first_img“Our human development index [HDI] is still low. Even though there are funds worth Rp 500 trillion for education, but if we look at Indonesia’s population, those with higher education make up only [a small] percentage. The biggest [demographic] is junior high school [graduates],” Aviliani said, contrasting such conditions with developed countries that had tech-savvy human resources.In the United Nations Development Programme’s Human Development Report 2018 Indonesia ranked 111th with an HDI score of 0.707, or 96 countries ranks below the US ranked in 15th place with an HDI of 0.920.Aside from the aforementioned parameter, Aviliani explained, numerous other characteristics justified Indonesia defending its developing country status. The majority of Indonesia’s population still works in agriculture with traditional farming equipment, and high levels of unemployment were indicators of a developing country, Aviliani said.The United States Trade Representative (USTR) rolled out a new policy in February and removed several countries from the list of developing and least-developed countries, including Indonesia.The new policy outlines that a developed country is one with more than 0.5 percent of trade significance to the world and a member of international organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) or the Group of 20 (G20).Indonesia, accounting for 0.9 percent of global exports in 2018 and being a member of the G20, is therefore no longer eligible for subsidies.Read also: Growing pains: US tariff policy overshadows planned Jokowi visitINDEF researcher Ahmad Heri Firdaus said at the same event that, with the US’ new policy, Indonesia’s exported goods would be subject to higher import taxes, which could increase the price of the goods in the international market.According to a simulation he ran with the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP), assuming that import tax would rise to 5 percent from the current position, Indonesia’s main export products to the US would suffer a loss of up to 2.5 percent. Several commodities would be affected, for example, textile product exports would decrease by 1.56 percent and components for electric machines were projected to decrease by 1.2 percent.“We can still claim to be a developing country, [but] of course, supported by strong research,” Heri said. (ydp)Topics : “Why do we need to make a declaration? Because our GNI per capita is far lower than that of [developed] countries. Indonesia’s is only around US$3,800 per capita. Compared with the United States, the gap is very big,” INDEF economist Tauhid Ahmad said in a press conference in Jakarta on Thursday.According to the World Bank’s parameter, high-income economies are those with a GNI per capita of $12,376. Indonesia with a GNI per capita of $3,840 in 2018 is considered a lower-middle-income economy, the category for countries with a GNI per capita between $1,026 and $3,995.Read also: Revocation of Indonesia’s developing country status will not affect GSP: GovernmentINDEF senior economist Aviliani said during the press conference that, based on several social development parameters, Indonesia had more characteristics of a developing country than a developed one. Indonesia still deserves special treatment in global trade despite the United States recently taking the archipelago off its list of developing countries, local economists have said.Economists of the Institute for Development of Economics and Finance (INDEF) said that, based on its gross national income (GNI) per capita and parameters of social development, among other factors, Indonesia should still be considered a developing country.They suggested that the government defend its developing nation status, so that Indonesia would continue to benefit from the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) special differential treatment (SDT), which exempts developing countries like Indonesia from strict trade rules.last_img read more

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Public donations for COVID-19 task force in Indonesia top Rp 66.5b

first_imgAmid the spread of COVID-19 in Indonesia, the government’s rapid-response task force has received a total of more than Rp 66.5 billion (US$4 million) in cash donated from the public.Government spokesperson for COVID-19-related matters Achmad Yurianto expressed his gratitude toward the public on behalf of the task force.“We are grateful that the community, both as individuals and groups, has donated more than Rp 66.5 billion to date to the COVID-19 task force’s account in order to deal with this problem comprehensively,” Yurianto said at a press conference on Wednesday. At Tuesday’s conference, he also said that donations pooled in the National Disaster Mitigation Agency’s (BNPB) COVID-19 volunteer desk reached Rp 40 billion, adding that the donations would be used responsibly and reports on their use would be posted on the task force’s and agency’s respective websites.Notably, conglomerate company Bakrie Group donated Rp 20 billion to the task force on Monday. On March 23 coal producer PT Adaro Energy also announced that it was donating Rp 20 billion to the BNPB.On March 24, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) pooled more than Rp 300 billion from its members, with the funds channeled directly to the BNPB, the COVID-19 rapid-response team, the Indonesian Red Cross (PMI) and the Health Ministry.Indonesian artists and celebrities collected about Rp 11.5 billion in donations through a virtual concert called #dirumahaja as of Tuesday through the crowdfunding site Kitabisa.com. Media company Narasi, which organized the concert, said that it would distribute the raised money independently, including to charity organizations.In the press conference, Yurianto also said that the country recorded 1,677 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday with 157 fatalities and 103 recoveries, affecting 32 out of 34 provinces.He also said that the government had distributed around 475,200 rapid test kits to every provincial health office for early detection and contact tracing, adding that it also had distributed 349,000 pieces of personal protective equipment for medical workers across the country.Topics :last_img read more

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Some NBA clubs can reopen facilities Friday: report

first_imgNBA team practice facilities will reportedly reopen Friday in states and cities where coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home requirements have been loosened, allowing players to conduct individual workouts.ESPN reported that teams will remain banned from conducting group workouts or other activities, citing unnamed sources.The May 1 move would allow players to return to team facilities in such states as Georgia, home of the Atlanta Hawks, and Oklahoma, home of the Oklahoma City Thunder, for fitness workouts in a safe and controlled environment. Topics : The move, according to the report, does not reflect a new timetable for resumption of the 2019-20 season, which was halted March 12 when Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with the deadly virus.But it would mark a small first step on the road back to a possible completion of the regular season and playoffs, which typically last two months.Most areas with NBA teams have more restrictive confinement measures remaining in place, so the league is telling clubs they will work to find alternative workout arrangements for players not in areas where they could report to team facilities.With many NBA players not hunkered down in their club’s home markets, it could happen that NBA franchises with open facilities allow players from opposing clubs to use gyms on a limited basis for solo workouts.center_img With Georgia reopening many businesses in the past few days, some players had asked team officials about the possibility of going to Atlanta and working out in gyms there, a move team general managers did not favor.Some general managers, according to ESPN, expressed concerns about the safety of reopening facilities given that medical officials have been against the idea of reopening businesses.Georgia’s reopening move, for instance, came without the 14 days of diminishing coronavirus positive tests that were sought in federal guidelines of a multi-step process to reopening businesses across the United States.NBA commissioner Adam Silver has said he will not begin to consider a timetable for resumption until May.The NBA playoffs were to have started on April 18.last_img read more

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Indonesia reports highest daily rise in COVID-19 cases for second time in a week

first_img“We are grateful that the predictions saying COVID-19 cases in Indonesia will grow exponentially is not happening. Our average number of cases is still low [and] the highest number of confirmed daily cases is still lower than 500,” Muhadjir told journalists on Friday.Other officials, including national COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo, had also claimed that the number of confirmed cases had been “flattening and going down”.The government has also been mulling over plans to ease large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in several regions, announcing this week that it would grant exemptions to travel restrictions.Read also: Easing restrictions? Not so fast, experts sayExperts have warned that the fight against COVID-19 was far from over, as the delayed results of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests and the nation’s low testing capacity have made it difficult to capture the true scale of the epidemic.As of Saturday, Indonesia has conducted 143,781 PCR tests across the country — a rate of about 526 tests per 1 million people. Meanwhile, neighboring countries Singapore and Malaysia have conducted more than 30,000 and 7,500 tests per 1 million people, respectively. Topics : The Health Ministry reported its biggest one-day rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases as it confirmed 533 new cases on Saturday.This occurred just days after the first highest daily rise on Tuesday when health authorities recorded 484 new COVID-19 cases in a day despite the government’s earlier statement that the curve was flattening.As of Saturday, there are 13,645 confirmed cases across the country, with 959 fatalities and 2,607 recoveries. The ministry’s disease control and prevention director-general, Achmad Yurianto, did not elaborate on the increase at his daily press briefing. However, he asserted that the public should be disciplined in implementing physical distancing measures.“This illustrates our discipline in obeying health protocols as part of [the government’s] efforts fighting the COVID-19 outbreak,” Yurianto said on Saturday.The spike in cases came one day after Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said he was grateful the country did not meet experts’ predictions that the number of COVID-19 cases would grow exponentially.last_img read more

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