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Cindy McCain may hold key to who gets husband’s Senate seat

Doug Ducey sets aside his reservations and names Rep. Martha McSally to the Senate seat long held by the late John McCain. A big piece of the establishment effort to sway Ducey played out Friday: a détente meeting between McSally and Cindy McCain, the late senator's widow. Mrs. McCain long has been disappointed in McSally, believing she was too quiet when President Donald Trump criticized Sen. McCain and then too willing to distance herself from McCain and his positions when she was a candidate this year for Arizona's other Senate seat. Several sources familiar with the GOP conversations in Arizona and Washington say the effort to broker peace, or at least détente, resumed after the election when interim Sen. Jon Kyl made clear he would serve only until the end of the year -- meaning Ducey again needs to make an appointment. Ducey was among those who encouraged McSally to meet with Mrs. McCain. Unless Trump strikes a deal with congressional Democrats, we're just a few days away from a partial government shutdown. Making things even harder for the GOP: Dozens of Republican House members who are leaving Congress may be in no mood to help the President. "One of the big uncertainties is will they have enough people here to vote. Democrats won women by 19 points this year, according to exit polls. And it really infuriated the Republican women in the conference," Bade said.
Feds Investigating Inauguration Spending: WSJ | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Feds Investigating Inauguration Spending: WSJ | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan are investigating whether President Trump’s 2017 inaugural committee misspent some of the $107M it raised from donations, according to new WSJ reporting. » Subscribe to MSNBC: About: MSNBC is the premier destination for in-depth analysis…

Trump Will Nominate William Barr as Attorney General

President Trump has nominated William P. Barr, who served as attorney general during the first Bush administration from 1991 to 1993, to lead the Justice Department. But Mr. Trump, according to several senior administration officials and people close to him, has so far been unable to bring himself to personally fire a retired four-star military general. The choice of Mr. Barr was well received by Republicans as soon as s it became known that he had emerged as permanent replacement for Mr. “Although an investigation shouldn’t be launched just because a president wants it, the ultimate question is whether the matter warrants investigation.” Mr. Barr added then that he saw more basis for investigating the uranium deal than any supposed conspiracy between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia. President Trump said he would nominate William P. Barr as attorney general. “I will demand that Mr. Barr make a firm and specific commitment to protect the Mueller investigation, operate independently of the White House, and uphold the rule of law,” Mr. Blumental said in a statement. In 1989, President George Bush appointed him to lead the Justice Department’s powerful Office of Legal Counsel, and later elevated him to deputy attorney general and then attorney general. “The attorney general’s oath to uphold the Constitution raises the question whether his duty lies ultimately with the president who appointed him or more abstractly with the rule of law. I said in my confirmation hearings, and have said several times since, that the attorney general’s ultimate allegiance must be to the rule of law.” John F. Kelly, the White House chief of staff, is expected to leave the White House in the next few days. The prosecutor took three years to finish that investigation, ultimately concluding that no crime had been committed and that he should not have been appointed.

Obama-era FBI leadership team hollowed out, after latest retirement

The official, Bill Priestap, will retire from his post as assistant director of the FBI’s counterintelligence division by the end of the year. Priestap, who participated in the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the FBI’s initial probe into Russian meddling and potential collusion with Trump campaign associates during the 2016 presidential election, has testified before Congress on multiple occasions regarding the bureau’s handling of both investigations. Here’s a look at other top FBI officials who have since left the bureau, or been removed: Former FBI Director James Comey James Comey, the highest-profile of the lot, was the first to go, though he has remained in the spotlight ever since his departure. President Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, after a recommendation from Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who pegged his advice on Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation, though other factors are suspected of playing a role. One week after Comey was fired, Rosenstein, who oversaw the Justice Department Russia investigation after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself, appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to investigate. Comey said he believed McCabe was a “good person,” but that he “lied.” McCabe, who served as acting FBI director from May 2017 until August 2017, when FBI Director Christopher Wray was confirmed to his post, was removed as Wray’s deputy in January after months of conflict-of-interest complaints from Republicans, including the president. Page and Strzok both worked on Mueller’s Russia investigation. Page left the special counsel’s office in the summer of 2017 after serving a short detail, and Strzok was removed and reassigned to the FBI’s Human Resources division after the politically charged text messages were uncovered last year. James Baker served as FBI’s general counsel and left the bureau on May 4—the same day as Lisa Page. He served as chief of staff to Wray in the first months of his leadership but left the bureau amid scrutiny over his role in the Clinton email investigation.

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

Sources tell Fox News that President Trump wants former Attorney General William Barr to be his next attorney general; chief White House correspondent John Roberts reports. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated to delivering breaking…

When politics comes to the Department of Justice, justice loses

Rather than follow succession protocol and appoint Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the Acting Attorney General, Trump bypassed Rosenstein to install a relative unknown, former Iowa U.S. Attorney Matthew Whitaker. Having spent 24 years at the Department of Justice as a federal prosecutor, I didn’t think Trump could reach any lower than Sessions, but it appears Whitaker was hiding in the false-bottom of the president’s barrel of applicants. Whitaker brought the FBI in and charged McCoy with using his elected office to extort money. McCoy recently said his two year fight against Whitaker’s charges ruined him financially and emotionally and he is convinced being a Democrat and an openly gay lawmaker is what motivated Whitaker’s decision to charge him. After Whitaker left the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he took a paid position on the advisory board of a Florida company that is now under FBI investigation and that the Federal Trade Commission says “bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars.” According to court documents obtained by the Miami New Times, when people tried to get their money back, Whitaker used his position as a former federal prosecutor to scare them off. Last year, he authored an article slamming Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation as “going too far.” Whitaker did this without ever reviewing the evidence in Mueller’s possession. With his appointment as Acting Attorney General, Mr. Whitaker now will be in charge of the very investigation he trashed. Federal prosecutors have the power to begin or end an investigation against someone. They have the power to charge someone with a crime. For attorneys at the Department of Justice, every day brings opportunities to do the wrong thing.
Diamond & Silk: Kamala Harris should be ashamed of herself

Diamond & Silk: Kamala Harris should be ashamed of herself

Social media stars sound off after the Democrat senator compares ICE to the KKK during a Capitol Hill hearing and Nancy Pelosi thanks Rev. Al Sharpton for 'saving America'. FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing news service dedicated…

The Atlantic Politics & Policy Daily: Putting on Ayers

Written by Elaine Godfrey (@elainejgodfrey) and Madeleine Carlisle (@maddiecarlisle2) Today in 5 Lines President Donald Trump is reportedly considering replacements for several senior-level administration officials, including Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Chief of Staff John Kelly. CNN filed a lawsuit against Trump and several White House aides, after the administration suspended CNN journalist Jim Acosta’s press pass last week. Trump named Neomi Rao, administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, to fill the seat vacated by Brett Kavanaugh on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hate crimes in America increased by 17 percent last year, even while overall violent crime fell very slightly, according to newly released data from the FBI. At least 44 people are dead, and more than 200 people are still missing, as the Camp Fire—now the most destructive fire in California history—continues to blaze through the northern part of the state. Today on The Atlantic This Is a Problem: President Trump appointed Matthew Whitaker to replace former Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week. ‘A New Kind of Centrism’: Even though they had some high-profile losses, progressives still see last week’s midterms as a victory for progressive thinking. (Elaine Godfrey) Young and Blue: The House of Representatives is an “unfriendly environment for rising talent,” reports Elaina Plott. (Lauren Tierney, Laris Karklis, and Tim Meko, The Washington Post) We’re always looking for ways to improve The Politics & Policy Daily.

Stench Of EPA Official’s Indictment Scandal Reaches Jeff Sessions | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

Rachel Maddow reports on the indictment of Trump’s southeast regional EPA administrator, Trey Glenn, on ethics charges in Alabama and how the scandal, which even reaches as far as ousted Trump A.G. Jeff Sessions, is becoming emblematic of the Trump…

Alabama Congressional delegation reflects on week in politics

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - After an exhausting and eventful week in politics, we met with members of the Alabama Congressional delegation to hear what they think is coming next in Washington. Representative Mo Brooks (R-5th District) and Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) each spoke to us from the Madison County Hall of Heroes induction. "I think the only surprise was that it happened as quickly as it did," Sen. Jones said of Sessions' firing. "I don't know what Jeff Sessions is going to do next, but I do want to wish him the best at whatever adventure he embarks on," Rep. Brooks commented. Now, for the first time in 8 years, Democrats have control in the House of Representatives with the majority. Rep. Brooks anticipates a shift in priorities. He predicted, "Democrats will try to shift funding from things like national defense, perhaps things like nasa, to welfare programs since that's what their base vote wants." "I anticipate that there will be an unending series of hearings designed to try and embarrass President Trump with either real or imagined accusations and evidence," he said. On the other hand, Sen. Jones thinks this could be the beginning of bipartisanship. If people just you know want to try to take a stand it's not going to work.