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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 31)

Bernie Sanders surges in Texas, while Trump is ‘under-performing’ in new poll

Westlake Legal Group g5g_6RIBnodlFWvNIwuwRx03gxJYyi2x_T26bnM0w5Q Bernie Sanders surges in Texas, while Trump is ‘under-performing’ in new poll r/politics

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Tucker Carlson blasts left’s criminal justice reform hypocrisy: They want to ‘send their enemies to jail’

Westlake Legal Group TUCKER-CARLSON-WALMART Tucker Carlson blasts left's criminal justice reform hypocrisy: They want to 'send their enemies to jail' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article aef08852-1e8b-5a0b-b3e5-ec5ae1344e7d

Tucker Carlson took on criminal justice reform Friday in response to the ongoing controversy over the sentencing of former Trump associate Roger Stone, blasting those on “the left” and in the media for taking glee over the situation.

“[Stone] was convicted of lying during Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. In the end, Mueller couldn’t find collusion but Stone got up to nine years in prison,” Carlson said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “‘Good,’ says official Washington. ‘He’s annoying and worse, he’s close to Trump. Let him die there.'”

BARR UNDER FIRE AS DEMS VOW TO INVESTIGATE AG, CALL FOR IMPEACHMENT

Carlson played clips from the media celebrating Stone’s sentencing before focusing on Watergate figure John Dean.

“Dean led the Watergate cover-up for months. He made hush payments to the burglars. He destroyed the evidence to keep investigators from finding it. So how much time has he served for all that?” Carlson asked. “Well, he served four months. He’s not Roger Stone.”

The host then turned to former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe. Hours earlier, the Justice Department said it would not pursue criminal charges against McCabe after he was fired from the DOJ for “lacking candor” when questioned about the agency’s watchdog over unauthorized leaks to the media about the DOJ investigation into the Clinton Foundation. =

“Andy McCabe authorized illegal leaks to the press and then lied to investigators about doing it. McCabe was fired from his job for that, as he should be,” Carlson said. “But today, prosecutors announced that they will not bring any criminal charges against him.

“If he was Roger Stone, McCabe would be in jail right now. Instead, he’s a celebrity fawned over by the hair hats on cable news,” Carlson said. “No doubt his salary has increased. Be grateful he didn’t get caught supporting Donald Trump three years ago.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Carlson then brought up multiple criminal cases in which criminals were let off the hook for serious crimes and went on to commit more crimes.  The host then juxtaposed the situation with gun control, saying Democrats are picking on law-abiding, gun-owning Virginia residents, but leaving serious criminal violators alone.

“They’re not for gun control. They’re for punishing people who don’t vote for them. And the same thing is happening here,” Carlson said. “The left doesn’t want criminal justice reform. If they did, they’d be on Roger Stone’s side. No, what they really want is to send their political enemies to jail.”

Westlake Legal Group TUCKER-CARLSON-WALMART Tucker Carlson blasts left's criminal justice reform hypocrisy: They want to 'send their enemies to jail' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article aef08852-1e8b-5a0b-b3e5-ec5ae1344e7d   Westlake Legal Group TUCKER-CARLSON-WALMART Tucker Carlson blasts left's criminal justice reform hypocrisy: They want to 'send their enemies to jail' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/person/roger-stone fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article aef08852-1e8b-5a0b-b3e5-ec5ae1344e7d

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Federal Judge Lashes White House ‘Banana Republic’ Influence In Andrew McCabe Case

Westlake Legal Group 5e47443a1e0000550098978a Federal Judge Lashes White House ‘Banana Republic’ Influence In Andrew McCabe Case

A federal judge compared White House involvement in an investigation of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to a “banana republic,” and accused people “at the top” of undermining the “integrity” of the judicial process, new documents revealed Friday.

The chilling statements were disclosed in records obtained by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in a lawsuit. The attack by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton on White House pressure emerged amid mounting controversy over Attorney General William Barr’s manipulation of criminal cases involving allies of President Donald Trump or those he perceives as enemies.

The Justice Department announced Friday that it wasn’t pursuing any criminal charges against McCabe — a frequent target of Trump’s — for allegedly misleading investigators about a leak to the media concerning an FBI probe into the Clinton Foundation.

Walton, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush and serves in the District of Columbia, chided DOJ prosecutors in September for repeated delays in deciding whether to bring charges against McCabe and keeping him under a cloud of suspicion, which he suspected served White House interests.

“I fully appreciate the complexity of the assessment, especially — unfortunately, to be candid — in light of the way by the White House, which I don’t think top executive officers should be doing,” he said, according to a transcript of a discussion when prosecutors requested yet another delay.

“I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably … influencing the ultimate decision,” Walton said. “I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undue, inappropriate pressure being brought to bear.”

The judge called it “disturbing,” adding that the “integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government.” He warned that “as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.”

Walton also said that McCabe had a “right to have the government make a decision and not hold his life in limbo pending a decision as to what’s going to happen.” 

I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton

McCabe took over as acting FBI director after Trump fired the agency’s former director, James Comey, in May 2017. At the time, the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. After Comey’s firing, Robert Mueller was named as a special prosecutor to conduct the probe.

McCabe quickly became a target of attacks by Trump, as well Fox News commentators who parrot the White House talking points. He was fired from his post in early 2018 by then-attorney general Jeff Sessions, just hours before the 21-year FBI veteran was set to retire and become eligible for a full pension.

McCabe subsequently sued the DOJ,  arguing that he was fired as a result of “Trump’s unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him.”

McCabe’s attorney was informed in a Friday letter of the DOJ’s decision that criminal charges would not be filed.

Trump was reportedly furious when he found out charges were not going to filed.

McCabe called the decision a tremendous “relief” in an interview on CNN, but slammed the DOJ for taking two years to reach an “obvious conclusion.” (See the video above.)

He also said that the timing of the decision — “coming on the tails of all the controversy over the Roger Stone sentencing — is curious,” indicating that the announcement may have been intended to calm the controversy over Barr’s recent interference in other cases.

The Justice Department on Tuesday overturned a sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years for Stone, Trump’s long-time pal and one-time adviser who has been convicted of seven felonies, a day after the president complained about the proposed penalty. Barr has since also ordered a review of the case against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who initially pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his communication with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump was sworn into office. Flynn withdrew his guilty plea last month.

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Acting DHS Secretary warns Democrat-backed New Way Forward Act would ‘gut the rule of law’

Westlake Legal Group TuckerChadWolf Acting DHS Secretary warns Democrat-backed New Way Forward Act would 'gut the rule of law' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article ae5b727c-0cd5-5854-a044-a714c972c32d

Tucker Carlson continued his analysis of the New Way Forward Act on his program Friday, welcoming acting Homeland Security Security Chad Wolf, who claimed that the proposed legislation would “gut the rule of law” in the country.

“It’s very dangerous. I would say it completely guts our immigration enforcement system that we have in place,” Wolf said on “Tucker Carlson Tonight.” “It also … just from a pure legality perspective, it just guts the rule of law.”

TUCKER CARLSON INVITES DEMOCRATIC LAWMAKERS TO DEFEND NEW WAY FORWARD ACT

Forty-four Democrats have co-sponsored the bill, which would allow people who have committed serious felonies in other countries to move to the United States legally and would make it extremely difficult for federal immigration officials to detain immigrants.

“So envision a world where individuals no longer have to wait in line for visas. They can come across the border, it’s no longer [criminal] to do that. They can then come into the system. We can’t deport them because we can’t hold people, it essentially abolishes ICE,” Wolf said. “And then on top of all of that, going back 25 years, we then have to find folks, bring them back into the country [and] re-litigate their immigration proceedings.

TUCKER CARLSON: CRIMINALS WOULD BE PROTECTED FROM DEPORTATION UNDER BILL AOC, OTHER HOUSE DEMOCRATS BACK

“So if you’re looking for a way to abolish our immigration system, abolish ICE and just rewrite our immigration code completely, this would be the legislation for you, “Wolf said.

Carlson asked Wolf why anyone would want the U.S. government to import criminals.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“I think the idea here is that somehow, even though they go through the due process, even though they have a legitimate order from an immigration judge, that they have no legal right to be here, that they need to be deported, they need to return home somehow, that’s not good enough,” Wolf said. “Somehow we’ve stacked the deck against them. And so you need to bring them back, re-litigate them, provide them [with] attorneys at government expense.”

Wolf said he wasn’t that concerned that the legislation would become law, adding that President Trump “would never” sign such a bill. But the secretary did warn that if the legislation ever did become law, it would essentially nationalize “Sanctuary city policies.”

Westlake Legal Group TuckerChadWolf Acting DHS Secretary warns Democrat-backed New Way Forward Act would 'gut the rule of law' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article ae5b727c-0cd5-5854-a044-a714c972c32d   Westlake Legal Group TuckerChadWolf Acting DHS Secretary warns Democrat-backed New Way Forward Act would 'gut the rule of law' Victor Garcia fox-news/us/immigration fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/media fnc article ae5b727c-0cd5-5854-a044-a714c972c32d

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Federal Judge Lashes White House ‘Banana Republic’ Influence In Andrew McCabe Case

Westlake Legal Group 5e47443a1e0000550098978a Federal Judge Lashes White House ‘Banana Republic’ Influence In Andrew McCabe Case

A federal judge compared White House involvement in an investigation of former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe to a “banana republic,” and accused people “at the top” of undermining the “integrity” of the judicial process, new documents revealed Friday.

The chilling statements were disclosed in records obtained by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in a lawsuit. The attack by U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton on White House pressure emerged amid mounting controversy over Attorney General William Barr’s manipulation of criminal cases involving allies of President Donald Trump or those he perceives as enemies.

The Justice Department announced Friday that it wasn’t pursuing any criminal charges against McCabe — a frequent target of Trump’s — for allegedly misleading investigators about a leak to the media concerning an FBI probe into the Clinton Foundation.

Walton, who was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush and serves in the District of Columbia, chided DOJ prosecutors in September for repeated delays in deciding whether to bring charges against McCabe and keeping him under a cloud of suspicion, which he suspected served White House interests.

“I fully appreciate the complexity of the assessment, especially — unfortunately, to be candid — in light of the way by the White House, which I don’t think top executive officers should be doing,” he said, according to a transcript of a discussion when prosecutors requested yet another delay.

“I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. I just think it’s a banana republic when we go down that road and we have those type of statements being made that are conceivably … influencing the ultimate decision,” Walton said. “I think there are a lot of people on the outside who perceive that there is undue, inappropriate pressure being brought to bear.”

The judge called it “disturbing,” adding that the “integrity of the process is being unduly undermined by inappropriate comments and actions on the part of people at the top of our government.” He warned that “as a government and as a society we’re going to pay a price at some point for this.”

Walton also said that McCabe had a “right to have the government make a decision and not hold his life in limbo pending a decision as to what’s going to happen.” 

I don’t think people like the fact that you got somebody at the top basically trying to dictate whether somebody should be prosecuted. U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton

McCabe took over as acting FBI director after Trump fired the agency’s former director, James Comey, in May 2017. At the time, the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. After Comey’s firing, Robert Mueller was named as a special prosecutor to conduct the probe.

McCabe quickly became a target of attacks by Trump, as well Fox News commentators who parrot the White House talking points. He was fired from his post in early 2018 by then-attorney general Jeff Sessions, just hours before the 21-year FBI veteran was set to retire and become eligible for a full pension.

McCabe subsequently sued the DOJ,  arguing that he was fired as a result of “Trump’s unconstitutional plan and scheme to discredit and remove DOJ and FBI employees who were deemed to be his partisan opponents because they were not politically loyal to him.”

McCabe’s attorney was informed in a Friday letter of the DOJ’s decision that criminal charges would not be filed.

Trump was reportedly furious when he found out charges were not going to filed.

McCabe called the decision a tremendous “relief” in an interview on CNN, but slammed the DOJ for taking two years to reach an “obvious conclusion.” (See the video above.)

He also said that the timing of the decision — “coming on the tails of all the controversy over the Roger Stone sentencing — is curious,” indicating that the announcement may have been intended to calm the controversy over Barr’s recent interference in other cases.

The Justice Department on Tuesday overturned a sentencing recommendation of seven to nine years for Stone, Trump’s long-time pal and one-time adviser who has been convicted of seven felonies, a day after the president complained about the proposed penalty. Barr has since also ordered a review of the case against Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who initially pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his communication with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump was sworn into office. Flynn withdrew his guilty plea last month.

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Trey Gowdy insists Barr working hard to clean up DOJ despite decision not to charge McCabe

Westlake Legal Group image-7 Trey Gowdy insists Barr working hard to clean up DOJ despite decision not to charge McCabe fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ef28c34b-e242-5309-874d-130ea9ff7021 Charles Creitz article

Former House Oversight Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy told Fox News Friday that the Justice Department’s decision to not pursue criminal charges against former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe continues a “terrible four years” for the department.

However, the ex-Greenville lawmaker told “Hannity” that he believes Attorney General William Barr is doing all he can with the resources at hand to clean up the DOJ and restore the public’s trust in the institution.

‘It’s been a terrible four years for the Department of Justice and the FBI — two institutions this country absolutely needs for its citizenry to have respect for,” he said. “Bill Barr, in my judgment — I’m a huge fan of his — I think he is doing everything he can to put the blindfold back on that lady. Lady Justice needs that blindfold back on.”

DOJ WON’T PURSUE CHARGES AGAINST MCCABE

He said that while the McCabe decision isn’t ideal, Barr has been a great attorney general, pointing to his statement that President Trump did not obstruct justice in the Russia investigation and his work to ensure that Republican consultant Roger Stone’s prison sentence be more proportionate to the crime.

“This is the department that said, ‘We didn’t have the evidence on Andy McCabe.’ So we have got to give [Barr] the resources and the time and the support to get those institutions back where we need them as a country to be.”

Host Sean Hannity took a different tack on the matter, remarking that Trump supporters and conservatives appear to be treated differently than liberals or Trump critics when under investigation or indictment.

Gowdy said he has faith that Connecticut federal prosecutor John Durham’s investigation — ordered by Barr — will bring more clarity and potential consequences to the current situation.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“Let John Durham figure it out. But, if people don’t have confidence in the Department of Justice, we’re not going to agree with whatever they come up with anyway,” he said.

The DOJ’s decision on McCabe came after a nearly two-year investigation into accusations brought by the agency’s independent watchdog that found that he lacked “candor” when questioned about leaking to the media.

In a letter to McCabe attorney Michael Bromwich obtained by Fox News, Justice Department attorney J.P. Cooney said: “We write to inform you that, after careful consideration, the government has decided not to pursue criminal charges against your client, Andrew G. McCabe.”

“Based on the totality of the circumstances and all of the information known to the government at this time, we consider the matter closed,” Cooney added.

Fox News’ Brooke Singman and Jake Gibson contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group image-7 Trey Gowdy insists Barr working hard to clean up DOJ despite decision not to charge McCabe fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ef28c34b-e242-5309-874d-130ea9ff7021 Charles Creitz article   Westlake Legal Group image-7 Trey Gowdy insists Barr working hard to clean up DOJ despite decision not to charge McCabe fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/south-carolina fox-news/tech/topics/fbi fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/william-barr fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc ef28c34b-e242-5309-874d-130ea9ff7021 Charles Creitz article

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RompHim menswear company goes out of business after going viral

It was fun while it lasted.

RompHim, the fashion company that went viral for its male-marketed one-piece garments, has announced that it has closed shop.

“The time has come to close the door on RompHim,” the company co-founders said in a statement.

MALE ONESIES DEBUT ON E-COMMERCE SITE, PROMPT MOCKERY: ‘WHO ASKED FOR THIS?’

Westlake Legal Group Romphim-Website RompHim menswear company goes out of business after going viral Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/style-and-beauty fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 0ccbd669-d513-5914-be3c-8d79aec51d73

(Photo: RompHim)

RompHim made waves in 2017 when the then-Northwestern business students launched a Kickstarter for their colorful and creatively-printed male rompers. The crowdsourcing campaign raised $350,000 for the fashion line, which included RompSuits for cold weather.

On their Instagram Story, RompHim thanked their customers – which they called the “Romp Squad”— “for being an integral part of [the] journey to push fashion boundaries,” according to the New York Post.

While some critics mocked the unconventional style for being what they considered a less-than-manly fashion choice, it was a hit with many men including the Los Angeles Rams and the cast of Bravo’s “Summer House.”

PREGNANT MODEL QUIZZED ON HOW SHE USES BATHROOM IN SKINTIGHT BODYSUIT

RompHim’s popularity continued to grow thanks to its bro-like marketing ads like models rocking their rompers at baseball games, chugging beer and playing pool. The menswear line was also popular with the LGBTQ community.

But for diehard fans who can’t stand to see their favorite menswear line go, they can at least be comforted in knowing that male rompers are also available for sale by other fashion brands like ASOS and RomperJack.

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Male one-piece garments are apparently on the rise, evidenced by adult male onesies that were being sold on the e-commerce site Wish.com.

The unique fashion item, traditionally worn by toddlers, was being sold last month by multiple vendors on the site, which features male models rocking crotch-hugging onesies.

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One of the onesies sold by the seller BoutiqueMarket was described as a “Pressed Crotch Baseball Themed Bodysuit Romper Pajamas.”

The item even came with a five-star review. “Fits nicely, quality surpasses what I expected,” one happy buyer wrote in the product’s customer reviews section.

Westlake Legal Group Romphim-Website RompHim menswear company goes out of business after going viral Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/style-and-beauty fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 0ccbd669-d513-5914-be3c-8d79aec51d73   Westlake Legal Group Romphim-Website RompHim menswear company goes out of business after going viral Gerren Keith Gaynor fox-news/style-and-beauty fox news fnc/lifestyle fnc article 0ccbd669-d513-5914-be3c-8d79aec51d73

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How Trump’s Relationship With Barr Got So Complicated

Westlake Legal Group 14dc-trump-sub-facebookJumbo How Trump’s Relationship With Barr Got So Complicated United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Stone, Roger J Jr Justice Department Barr, William P

WASHINGTON — When President Trump learned that the Justice Department was dropping a case against a former F.B.I. official who he considered one of his longtime enemies, his immediate response was anger. As he flipped on the television Friday and watched how the story was being covered, that anger only mounted.

Since taking office, Mr. Trump has searched for an attorney general who would function much as Roy Cohn did for him as his personal lawyer and fixer in the 1970s — a warrior committed to protecting him and going after his foes. The president thought he had found that person in William P. Barr. But now, people close to Mr. Trump say, he is not so sure.

The president was cheered this week when Mr. Barr moved to reduce the sentence of a convicted presidential friend, only to be shocked when the attorney general publicly called on Mr. Trump to stop tweeting about it. And after his livid reaction to the Justice Department’s decision to drop a separate case, which he heard about without any advance notice, he learned that Mr. Barr was intervening more favorably on behalf of another presidential ally.

The whipsaw events of recent days have bewildered much of Washington, including some of the people around the president and his attorney general. Once seen as a lock step partnership, it now may be the most complicated relationship in town. The six blocks between the White House and the Robert F. Kennedy Department of Justice Building have become a political buffer zone and no one can be entirely sure what comes next.

Critics assume it is all a Kabuki dance, cynical theater meant to preserve Mr. Barr’s credibility as he executes Mr. Trump’s personal political agenda while pretending to look independent. And it is certainly true that, even now, Mr. Barr continues to demonstrate a willingness to personally take charge of cases with Mr. Trump’s interests at stake.

But insiders insist the tension is real, with potentially profound consequences for an administration that has redrawn the lines at the intersection of politics and law enforcement. Barely a week after being acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial, Mr. Trump is demanding that some of the people whose actions he believes led to his troubles be charged, convicted and sent to prison, and it is not clear that even Mr. Barr is willing or able to go as far as the president wants.

In his only comment on the matter on Friday, Mr. Trump pushed back against Mr. Barr a day after the attorney general told ABC News that the president was making it “impossible for me to do my job” by tweeting about criminal cases and declared that he was “not going to be bullied.”

Mr. Trump cited another comment Mr. Barr made in the same interview affirming that the president had never actually asked for any specific actions in a criminal case. “This doesn’t mean that I do not have, as President, the legal right to do so, I do, but I have so far chosen not to!” Mr. Trump added. The “so far” in there, of course, hung online as a kind of sword of Damocles waiting to fall.

Only in the hours after that tweet did the news emerge that Mr. Barr’s department was dropping a case against Andrew G. McCabe, the former deputy F.B.I. director blamed by Mr. Trump for his role in the investigation into Russian election interference. Two people close to the matter said the Justice Department did not give the president a heads up about the decision.

Then came the more welcome news for the Oval Office that Mr. Barr had ordered a re-examination of the case of Michael T. Flynn, the president’s former national security adviser who pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his contacts with Russia. The new review raised the question of whether Mr. Flynn will actually go to prison.

Mr. Trump has bitterly decried “what Flynn has gone through” while believing that Mr. McCabe has unfairly walked, people close to him said. The president on Friday was angrier about the decision not to prosecute Mr. McCabe than he was at Mr. Barr’s comments in his interview, the people said.

Mr. Trump made no mention of any of those newer developments on Twitter or in several encounters with reporters before flying to Florida for the weekend. But he sometimes waits to publicly respond to such news until after an evening watching Fox News or hearing from friends.

On the fifth floor of the Justice Department, Mr. Barr’s team braced for what they feared would be a stream of critiques and humiliations from the president in what one predicted could be a death by a thousand cuts, not unlike what happened to the last attorney general, Jeff Sessions, who was tormented by the president after recusing himself from the Russia investigation.

Mr. Sessions, like other cabinet members, stoically absorbed Mr. Trump’s invectives, rarely standing up for himself or his employees, even as the president paralyzed, undercut and neutered him. Like other original cabinet members, he left the administration publicly humiliated and vastly diminished.

Mr. Barr faced many risks in speaking out on ABC, according to people close to him. But he knew that no amount of public fealty would stave off a public drubbing or even an abrupt dismissal.

For now, though, there is no expectation at the Justice Department or the White House of an escalation to that level. While Lou Dobbs on Fox Business Network excoriated Mr. Barr for rebuking the president, other Fox hosts who have Mr. Trump’s ear, like Sean Hannity and Laura Ingraham, were generally supportive of the attorney general. Tucker Carlson, another trusted television personality, treated Mr. Barr’s ABC interview like a nonevent on his Fox News show Thursday night.

Ms. Ingraham, who is close to Mr. Barr, said the attorney general was not breaking with the president but, in effect, reassuring him that the Justice Department’s leadership would carry out Mr. Trump’s wishes to clean up what they see as the corruption of his predecessor and that the tweets were neither necessary nor helpful.

“Barr was basically telling Trump, ‘Don’t worry, I got this,’” Ms. Ingraham said on her show.

Some of the attorney general’s critics saw it the same way. Nine Democratic senators, including two presidential candidates, Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, sent a letter to Mr. Barr on Friday calling on him to resign.

His protestations of independence were not credible, they wrote, given his department’s behavior. “It demonstrates that you lied to Congress during your confirmation hearing when you stated that you would ‘keep the enforcement process sacrosanct from political influence,’ and it reveals your unwillingness or inability to maintain the integrity of the D.O.J. and to uphold justice and the rule of law,” the senators wrote.

Ms. Warren and three other Democratic senators also unveiled legislation barring an attorney general and other top Justice Department officials appointed by a president from participating in matters related to the president, his family or his campaign associates.

Although Mr. Trump and Mr. Barr both said the president has not directly asked for any specific inquiries, the president has long pressured law enforcement officials both publicly and privately to open investigations into political rivals and to drop inquiries into him or his associates.

Since Watergate, past presidents in both parties have had a tradition in place aimed at preventing political influence from the White House on Justice Department investigations, especially criminal inquiries that involved administration officials or friends of the president.

“It tries to prevent the interference by forcing all White House contact to go through a funnel at the top of the Justice Department,” said John Yoo, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley who served in the Justice Department under President George W. Bush.

Mr. Trump’s first White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, issued similar rules in a Jan. 27, 2017, memo that prohibited White House officials from communicating with most Justice Department officials about “ongoing or contemplated cases.” Only the president, vice president or White House counsel were allowed to initiate such communications, Mr. McGahn wrote, and they must be directed to the attorney general or three other top Justice Department officials.

“In order to ensure that D.O.J. exercises its investigatory and prosecutorial functions free from the fact or appearance of improper political influence, these rules must be strictly followed,” Mr. McGahn wrote.

But scholars said Mr. Trump is right that he has the power to intervene if he chooses. Under Article II of the Constitution, any president has the authority to directly oversee criminal cases carried out by the Justice Department. There are no statutes that limit the contact between the White House and the Justice Department.

“The president can do what he wants,” said Bruce Green, a law professor at Fordham University. “His only restraints are self imposed. There are no legislative restraints.”

The only real recourse, he added, would be impeachment. “If a president attempted to misuse the Justice Department and its criminal justice power for private ends, that’s an abuse of power that is potentially impeachable,” Mr. Green said. “We can guess in 2020 how that would play out.”

Maggie Haberman contributed reporting from New York, and Katie Benner and Michael Crowley from Washington.

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The 9 craziest things seized by Customs and Border Protection

Drugs, fake IDs and counterfeit goods are only the beginning of what Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seize on a daily basis. Here are nine crazy things people have tried to sneak across international borders:

1. Live pigeons

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Feb. 1: An Australian man was caught with two pigeons hidden in his pants on an international flight from Dubai to Melbourne, Australia. (AP)

Customs officials stopped a 23-year-old Australian man after they discovered two eggs in a vitamin container in his luggage. It was under his pant legs that they discovered pigeons wrapped in padded envelopes and secured to each of the man’s legs with a pair of tights. Officials also seized seeds in his money belt and an undeclared eggplant.

The bird smuggler arrived in Australia on a flight from Dubai in February 2009. Charges of wildlife smuggling carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of about $70,430.

2. Egyptian mummy linen 

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Mummy linen 

CBP officers in Michigan seized five jars of ancient Egyptian mummy linen coming illegally through the northern border in May 2019.

Inspection of a shipment on a Canadian mail truck in Marysville on May 25 revealed the illegal antiquities believed to be from between 305 to 30 BCE, the agency said. The U.S. government focused on repatriating the artifacts back to Egypt.

3. Live tarantulas

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Tarantula’s confiscated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are shown in this December 3, 2010 handout photo released to Reuters January 18, 2011. REUTERS/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service/Handout

CUBAN MAN WHO RAN COMPLEX MIGRANT-SMUGGLING OPERATION GETS MORE THAN 4 YEARS IN PRISON

Yuck! A German man in 2011 pled guilty to shipping hundreds of live tarantulas into the U.S. through the mail. Sven Koppler, 37, admitted mailing some 247 live tarantulas to federal agents in Los Angeles, who were posing as buyers as part of an investigation dubbed “Operation Spiderman,” according to Reuters.

The investigation began when a routine inspection revealed about 300 live tarantulas in a package he mailed to Los Angeles. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agents placed more orders for spiders from Koppler and were sent a total of five packages containing dozens of live and dead tarantulas. Koppler was arrested when he traveled to Los Angeles months later. He received a total of $300,000 from tarantula sales to spider fanciers in dozens of countries.

4. Man disguised as a car seat 

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Enrique Aquilar Canchola, a 42-year-old Mexican national, hides in the seat of a vehicle as part of an attempt to illegally emigrate to the United States at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Ysidro, California, June 7, 2001. . HK/SV – RP2DRIDIHJAA

Mexican national Enrique Aguilar Canchola can be seen sewn into a passenger seat of a vehicle in an attempt to illegally enter the U.S.

Canchola was stopped at the San Ysidro border crossing in California in 2001. This was only the beginning of intricate and potentially dangerous compact spaces undocumented immigrants have tried to squeeze into to cross the U.S. border.

5. Black market bologna

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In November 2019, CBP officers seized more than 150 pounds of the curious deli meat at port of entry in El Paso, Texas. The CBP said bologna is prohibited to cross the border due to its pork content. Pork products from overseas could introduce foreign animal diseases to the U.S. pork industry. The smuggler tried to tell officers it was turkey ham when questioned about the red rolls lying in the back of his truck.

6. Live songbirds

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Songbirds 

Sony Dong, 56, was arrested in 2016 for again trying to smuggle endangered “good luck” songbirds into Los Angeles from Vietnam. He was sentenced to a year and a half in prison in 2018 and ordered to pay a $5,500 fine after the judge said the conditions in which the tiny birds were trafficked — taped to the legs and ankles of smugglers — were “deplorable,” according to the East Bay Times.

In 2010, Dong had been sentenced to four months in prison after Customs officers found 14 live Asian songbirds, individually wrapped in cloth and strapped to his legs as he tried to pass through LAX after a 15-hour flight from Ho Chi Minh City.

The tiny birds reportedly cost a few dollars each in Southeast Asia but collect between $500 and $1,000 when sold illegally at Chinese markets in Southern California.

7. A whole pig’s head 

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In this Oct. 11, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, CBP Agriculture Detector K-9 named Hardy looks at a roasted pig’s head at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.(U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

Hardy the Beagle, who works for CBP as an agriculture detector, discovered this roasted pig’s head and other remnants at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in October 2018. A passenger traveling from Equador was relieved of his leftovers and they were destroyed to avoid introducing foot and mouth disease, classical swine fever and other animal diseases.

8. Dead birds for pet food 

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Agriculture specialists with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized a package of dead birds from the luggage of a passenger traveling from China. 

Just this week Customs announced that agents in Washington, D.C., seized a package of dead birds from the luggage of a passenger traveling from China. CBP agriculture specialists inspected the passenger’s bag and found the prohibited birds, which the passenger said were food for his cat. Officers seized and incinerated the deceased animals so as to avoid spreading the highly contagious bird flu.

9. Live tropical fish 

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“Goldfish market in Tung Choi Street in Hong Kong, China”

This may have been the most daring attempt of them all. Customs officials stopped a woman in 2005 when she arrived in Melbourne off a flight from Singapore. There they found 51 live tropical fish in plastic bags tucked into a custom-made apron tied around her waist.

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“During the search, customs officers became suspicious after hearing ‘flipping’ noises coming from the vicinity of her waist,” the Australian Customs Service said in a press release. “An examination revealed 15 plastic water-filled bags holding fish allegedly concealed inside a purpose-built apron.” See the photo at NBC.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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Tucker Carlson, Mark Steyn slam ‘Creepy Porn Lawyer’ Avenatti as ‘sleazy chancer’ after conviction

Westlake Legal Group Video-32 Tucker Carlson, Mark Steyn slam 'Creepy Porn Lawyer' Avenatti as 'sleazy chancer' after conviction fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fe723ac9-a560-5966-b4a0-7c910c6c5498 Charles Creitz article

Tucker Carlson and Mark Steyn reacted on “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Friday to celebrity attorney Michael Avenatti’s conviction in a federal case in which he was accused of trying to extort Nike.

Carlson joked that Avenatti, once mooted as a potential 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, is more likely to be behind bars than on a debate stage with other White House contenders.

SEN. BEN SASSE MOCKS ‘NOTED SCUMBAG’ AVENATTI AFTER GUILTY VERDICT

“I guess the headline is that man is not going to be the Democratic nominee. He’s not going to be giving the State of the Union address next January,” Carlson said. “Creepy Porn Lawyer [Avenatti]… came to the end of the road today.”

Carlson and Steyn then criticized Avenatti for gallivanting in public wearing expensive suits and engaging in hours of media appearances while one of his former clients, Stormy Daniels, was stuck working in striptease establishments.

“This guy was actually just some sleazy chancer  — as we say in Ireland — an undoubted criminal, the most reprehensible kind of guy,” Steyn said. “If he were really the guy those rubes at CNN took him for he would be laughing at us the same way that that awful [former FBI acting director Andrew] McCabe guy is laughing at us today.”

Earlier in the segment, Carlson said that the media owed America an apology for promoting Avenatti, playing off a video clip of MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle saying she owed the attorney an apology for doubting his importance.

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“You owe America an apology for promoting a guy you knew was filthy at the time but because he hated the same person you hate you made him seem like a hero,” Carlson said. “You should acknowledge that the guy you made famous is now going to jail for extortion.”

Steyn noted that Carlson was the only media figure who had Avenatti pegged from the start, asking: “How was it that [you were] the only person in the media who could see that this guy was just a Creepy Porn Lawyer while everyone else thought this very week he should be standing on stage somewhere in Concord, New Hampshire, thanking everyone for his victory on primary night, because he was supposed to be the magic bullet that would take out Donald Trump?”

Westlake Legal Group Video-32 Tucker Carlson, Mark Steyn slam 'Creepy Porn Lawyer' Avenatti as 'sleazy chancer' after conviction fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fe723ac9-a560-5966-b4a0-7c910c6c5498 Charles Creitz article   Westlake Legal Group Video-32 Tucker Carlson, Mark Steyn slam 'Creepy Porn Lawyer' Avenatti as 'sleazy chancer' after conviction fox-news/shows/tucker-carlson-tonight fox-news/politics/executive/law fox-news/person/michael-avenatti fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc fe723ac9-a560-5966-b4a0-7c910c6c5498 Charles Creitz article

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