“It’s a Criminal Enterprise”: Calls to Impeach Barr Intensify After Reports AG Pressured Foreign Officials to Help Discredit Mueller Probe 

“It’s a Criminal Enterprise”: Calls to Impeach Barr Intensify After Reports AG Pressured Foreign Officials to Help Discredit Mueller Probe

“Barr decided a long time ago that he was going to be a fixer for Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.”

By Jake Johnson

Calls for U.S. Attorney General William Barr to be impeached alongside President Donald Trump intensified late Monday in the wake of reports that Barr has pressured British, Italian, and Australian intelligence officials to help the administration discredit former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

The Washington Post reported Monday night that Barr in recent weeks “has held private meetings overseas with foreign intelligence officials seeking their help in a Justice Department inquiry that President Trump hopes will discredit U.S. intelligence agencies’ examination of possible connections between Russia and members of the Trump campaign during the 2016 election.”

“Trump is committing crimes from the Oval Office. He must be impeached—and every single person involved must be held accountable.”
—Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Just last week, according to the Post, Barr traveled to Italy to urge that country’s intelligence officials to assist the inquiry into the Mueller probe.

The Justice Department confirmed in a statement Monday that Barr asked the president to connect him with foreign officials to gather information about the Mueller inquiry.

The Post story came shortly after the New York Times reported that Trump, at Barr’s request, asked Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison during a recent phone call to help the U.S. attorney general “gather information for a Justice Department inquiry that Mr. Trump hopes will discredit the Mueller investigation.”

“The White House curbed access to a transcript of the call… to a small group of aides,” the Times reported, citing an anonymous official. “The restriction was unusual and similar to the handling of a July call with the Ukrainian president that is at the heart of House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.”

The new revelations detailing Barr’s close involvement with Trump’s efforts to deploy the resources of the Justice Department for his own personal political interests sparked demands that the attorney general face impeachment proceedings as well.

“This isn’t a presidential administration, it’s a criminal enterprise,” tweeted 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro. “The evidence is clear: both Trump and Barr must be impeached.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), also a 2020 Democratic presidential contender, said “Trump is committing crimes from the Oval Office. He must be impeached—and every single person involved must be held accountable.”

Progressives called for Barr’s ouster following news that the Justice Department refused to investigate Trump’s July phone call with Ukrainian leader Volodymyr Zelensky, during which the U.S. president pressured Zelensky to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

The call and whistleblower complaint it sparked led House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to launch a formal impeachment inquiry into the president.

“I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it,” Trump told Zelensky, according to a memo of the call released by the White House. “I’m sure you will figure it out.”

According to the Times, Trump’s conversations with Zelensky and Morrison of Australia show “the extent to which Mr. Trump views the attorney general as a crucial partner: The president is using federal law enforcement powers to aid his political prospects, settle scores with his perceived ‘deep state’ enemies, and show that the Mueller investigation had corrupt, partisan origins.”

As MoveOn’s Karine Jean-Pierre put it on Twitter Monday night, “Bill Barr decided a long time ago that he was going to be a fixer for Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s personal lawyer.”

Source: “It’s a Criminal Enterprise”: Calls to Impeach Barr Intensify After Reports AG Pressured Foreign Officials to Help Discredit Mueller Probe | Common Dreams News

Interfaith Voices: Sunday Mornings on Activate Radio

Interfaith Voices: Sunday Mornings on Activate Radio

The Nations Leading Religion News Magazine

We are super excited to welcome a new show to Sunday mornings on Activate Radio! Interfaith Voices, the nations leading religion news magazine has been produced for nineteen years and is the nation’s only public radio show exclusively about religion. The show will be broadcast on Activate Radio on Sunday mornings at 8 am eastern. This is the time slot formerly held by Theology In Action, hosted by David Concepcion, one of the original shows from Occupy Boston Radio.

Interfaith Voices provides a weekly deep-dive into the beliefs and traditions across many religions with meaningful conversations exploring “how faith intersects with culture, public policy, and the news of the day. ” It is our understanding at Activate Media that Interfaith Voices is created and produced entirely by women.

“We were born just three days after 9/11, when a feisty nun got the idea to host a multi-faith panel on religion and terrorism, live on the radio. The phones rang off the hook, and it became clear that listeners were hungry for informed, respectful dialogue on religion in the public square. We carry on that mission today with our weekly show hosted by Amber Khan.”

Amber Khan, Host and Executive Producer

Amber Khan is the executive producer and host for Interfaith Voices, an award-winning public radio program that explores how beliefs intersect in public life and influence our interconnected world.

Amber credits her third grade Catholic school teacher for her interest in talking about religion and politics. When Ms. McWhinney asked her to talk about being Muslim, Amber was glad to share – until she was asked to explain the difference between Sunnis and Shia, and she could not answer. The resulting unsettling feeling sparked a curiosity and interest in the history of Islam and the diversity of religious practices.

Today, her reporting is informed by two decades of work as an field organizer, policy advocate and strategic communications advisor to public interest groups, private foundations and faith-based campaigns. In those roles, Amber has been a frequent featured speaker at national and global fora for policies and a commentator on a variety of issues including women’s rights, civil rights and the intersection of faith and politics. Now in the role of the interviewer, she enjoys engaging with academics, thought leaders, practitioners and observers of the trends shaping our world. Khan is graduate of Rhodes College and resides with her family in the Washington, DC suburbs.  – from Interfaith Voices Website.

Our goal in finding a program like this to broadcast on Sunday mornings was to be able to educate and open dialogue between people of diversified cultures. To bring people together based on root commonality, over their morning coffee or breakfast.

‘History Will Judge Us Harshly’: Horror and Outrage as Trump Slashes Refugee Cap to Record Low 

History Will Judge Us Harshly’: Horror and Outrage as Trump Slashes Refugee Cap to Record Low

“There are truly no words that can describe how insidious and deleterious this is,” said one Arizona lawmaker

by Jake Johnson

In what rights groups condemned as a move driven not by America’s capacity to resettle those fleeing violence and persecution but solely by President Donald Trump’s hate-filled political agenda, the State Department on Thursday said the U.S. will accept no more than 18,000 refugees over the next fiscal year.

The cap marks an all-time low since the U.S. refugee admissions program was established in 1980. The previous low of 30,000 was set by the Trump administration last year.

“The president is abusing his power by using people seeking safety as an opportunity to rile up hostility and create a climate of fear.”
—Ryan Mace, Amnesty International USA

Trump on Thursday also signed an executive order that would empower states and localities to refuse to resettle refugees.

“To cut the number of refugees the U.S. will accept to this low of a number reflects nothing more than this administration’s attempts to further hate, division, and prejudice in a country that once valued dignity, equality, and fairness,” Ryan Mace, grassroots advocacy and refugee specialist at Amnesty International USA, said in a statement.

“Sadly, this number isn’t based in fact,” said Mace. “The fact is, the U.S. has the capacity to accept far more refugees than this. We know that we can vet them and resettle them at rates far higher than this—because the U.S. has done it for decades. This is purely a political decision, and one that couldn’t come at a worse time. The president is abusing his power by using people seeking safety as an opportunity to rile up hostility and create a climate of fear.”

The “unprecedented reduction in admissions” for fiscal year 2020 represents the third consecutive year the Trump administration has dramatically lowered the number of refugees allowed to enter and resettle in the United States. In July, as Common Dreams reported, Trump administration officials privately floated the possibility of cutting the refugee cap to zero.

According to Politico, which obtained a document on the administration’s new refugee cap, “the 18,000-person refugee ceiling contains several carveouts”:

The administration will reserve 5,000 slots for refugee persecuted on the basis of religion, and 4,000 spaces for Iraqis who assisted U.S. forces in that country. Another 1,500 refugee placements will be set aside for residents of Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, according to the document.

After the carveouts, the administration will make another 7,500 spaces available to the remainder of the refugee pool. The document shared with lawmakers said that group could include referrals from U.S. embassies, refugees joining family members and refugees to be resettled as the result of an Obama-era agreement with Australia.

David Miliband, president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, said in a statement that the Trump administration’s refugee limit represents “unspeakable setback for refugee mothers who wish to see their children in school, parents who wish to work and support their family, and children who deserve a chance at life that isn’t solely defined by the instability and the trauma of their childhood.”

“This is a very sad day for America,” said Miliband. “Refugee resettlement is an essential lifeline that the U.S. provides for the most vulnerable refugees at a time of unprecedented global crisis.”

Source: ‘History Will Judge Us Harshly’: Horror and Outrage as Trump Slashes Refugee Cap to Record Low | Common Dreams News