What Happened: As if Bill Barr hadn't demonstrated that he was hardly the most independent attorney general with his four-page summary of the findings of the Mueller report last month, his press conference ahead of the release called his allegiances into question even more.
It took in millions of dollars shipping fentanyl-laced heroin, methamphetamines, and hundreds of thousands of counterfeit Xanax tablets across the US—until the Manhattan district attorney's office shut it down, and arrested the three men who allegedly ran it.
What Really Happened: Welp, after a lot of political rigamarole, President Trump gave his State of the Union speech last week—and what a speech it was.
And the light of hope for better days to come.” He talked of Robert Frost’s poem, “Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening” and of inspiration drawn from Lockerbie’s town crest, with its simple motto, “Forward.” He spoke of what was then a two-decade-long quest for justice, of how on windswept Scottish mores and frigid lochs a generation of FBI agents, investigators, and prosecutors had redoubled their dedication to fighting terrorism.
Rosenstein did, though, repeat past assertions that unyielding encryption blocks crucial investigative avenues, and potentially endangers public safety."There is nothing virtuous about refusing to help develop responsible encryption, or in shaming people who understand the dangers of creating any spaces—whether real-world or virtual—where people are free to victimize others without fear of getting caught or punished," Rosenstein said.It is not so certain, though, that encryption meaningfully hinders law enforcement to the degree that the government alleges.
At the same time, the forced resignation of attorney general Jeff Sessions, and appointment of his chief of staff Matt Whitaker to be the acting attorney general—a decision that is of at least debatable legality—has raised fears that the Trump administration is closing in on firing Mueller himself.Yet as the dust settles from the midterms and Sessions’ abrupt departure, there are five clear reasons to be optimistic that the rule of law will hold, and that Mueller will be able to complete his probe, regardless of what he ultimately finds.
For Republicans, it’s an opportunity to press forward on reforms to healthcare and tax policy that evaded them in the first two years of the Trump presidency.This election also comes at a critical time for the tech industry, when members of both parties are beginning to challenge the dominance of companies like Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Apple.