Week In The News: Reading The Mueller Report, Yemen, Asylum-Seekers, More
With David Folkenflik
The Mueller report — a day later. What we’ve learned from the newly released and redacted version and what it means. And, all the rest of the week’s news.
Paula Reid, CBS News White House correspondent. (@PaulaReidCBS)
Sahil Kapur, national political reporter for Bloomberg Politics. (@sahilkapur)
Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst. (@JackBeattyNPR)
Sen. Angus King, independent U.S. senator from Maine. He serves on the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services Committees. (@SenAngusKing)
From The Reading List
Washington Post: “Mueller report says investigators struggled with whether Trump committed crime of obstruction” — “A detailed report from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III said investigators struggled with both the legal implications of investigating President Trump for possible obstruction of justice and the motives behind a range of his most alarming actions, from seeking the ouster of officials to ordering a memo that would clear his name.
“‘The evidence we obtained about the President’s actions and intent presents difficult issues that would need to be resolved if we were making a traditional prosecutorial judgment,’ the report stated. ‘At the same time, if we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the President clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.’
“Since Mueller ended his investigation last month, a central question facing the Justice Department has been why Mueller’s team did not reach a conclusion about whether the president obstructed justice. The issue was complicated, the report said, by two key factors — the fact that, under department practice, a sitting president cannot be charged with a crime, and that a president has a great deal of constitutional authority to give orders to other government employees.”
Bloomberg: “‘Bernie or Bust’ Voters Create Predicament for Democrats in 2020” — “The fierce loyalty Bernie Sanders inspires in his supporters is creating a dilemma for the Democratic Party.
“For a sliver of Sanders’ base, it’s Bernie or bust. They may detest President Donald Trump, but they didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton and they’re not sure they’ll back the Democratic nominee in 2020 if Sanders isn’t on the ballot. They’re willing do whatever it takes to push the party to adopt his ideas.
“‘Sometimes things have to get ugly before they get better,’ said Melissa Mallaber, a 46-year-old social worker who attended Sanders’ rally in Pittsburgh on Sunday. ‘There’s such a thing as necessary evils in life to restore the balance.’
“Mallaber said she cast a write-in vote for Sanders in 2016 rather than go along with a Democratic establishment choice who wouldn’t take bold action on issues like health care and climate change. ‘People had to wake up,’ she said. ‘If we had another Clinton in office what would have changed?’ ”
NPR: “AG Barr Orders Immigration Judges To Stop Releasing Asylum-Seekers On Bail” — “The Department of Justice issued an order on Tuesday that could keep thousands of asylum-seekers detained while they wait for their cases to be heard in immigration court — a wait that often lasts months or years.
“The ruling by Attorney General William Barr is the latest step by the Trump administration designed to discourage asylum-seekers from coming to the U.S. hoping for refuge.
“In a written decision that overturns a 2005 policy, Barr directed immigration judges not to release migrants on bail once their cases have been approved for expedited removal proceedings — a status granted only after an applicant successfully establishes ‘a credible fear of persecution or torture’ in the home country.”
The Atlantic: “Trump Owns the War in Yemen Now” — “President Donald Trump issued the second veto of his presidency Tuesday to extend U.S. participation in Yemen’s civil war. In so doing, he acted against the will of the American public, the U.S. Senate, and the House of Representatives, allying instead with Saudi Arabia and the autocrats who rule it.
“The Saudis are leading a brutal military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen. U.S. support for that campaign is a stark departure from the ‘America first’ foreign policy that Trump has pledged. As Benjamin H. Friedman noted at Defense Priorities, ‘None of the limited U.S. interests in the Middle East—preventing the emergence of a regional hegemon, preventing large-scale disruptions to the global oil supply, and eliminating transnational terrorists who directly threaten the United States—justify supporting the Saudi-led war in Yemen.’
“So how did Trump explain his veto?
“‘This resolution is an unnecessary, dangerous attempt to weaken my constitutional authorities, endangering the lives of American citizens and brave service members, both today and in the future,’ he declared in a statement.”
Associated Press: “NKorea says it tested new weapon, wants Pompeo out of talks” — “North Korea said Thursday that it had test-fired a new type of ‘tactical guided weapon,’ its first such test in nearly half a year, and demanded that Washington remove Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from nuclear negotiations.
“The test, which didn’t appear to be of a banned mid- or long-range ballistic missile that could scuttle negotiations, allows North Korea to show its people it is pushing ahead with weapons development while also reassuring domestic military officials worried that diplomacy with Washington signals weakness.
“Separately, the North Korean Foreign Ministry accused Pompeo of playing down the significance of comments by leader Kim Jong Un, who said last week that Washington has until the end of the year to offer mutually acceptable terms for an agreement to salvage the high-stakes nuclear diplomacy. Both the demand for Pompeo’s removal from the talks and the weapon test point to North Korea’s displeasure with the deadlocked negotiations.”
Anna Bauman produced this hour for broadcast.
This article was originally published on WBUR.org.
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