May 18, 2017

John Yoo: Watergate is the wrong Trump comparison

Greg Gibson / AP

A quick history lesson from John Yoo, a leading thinker on executive power who was a George W. Bush deputy assistant attorney general in the aftermath of 9/11, and is now a Berkeley law professor. In a N.Y. Times Op-Ed, "Forget Watergate. Think Iran-Contra," Yoo writes:

Trump's comments [in the Comey notes] come close to obstruction of justice but don't clearly cross the line. ... While he set out his favorable opinion of Mr. Flynn, he stopped short of ordering Mr. Comey to drop the investigation. Mr. Trump's words carried an implicit recognition that Mr. Comey would make the final call.
Unlike in the Watergate case, there is no evidence that the president ordered witnesses to lie, destroyed evidence or tried to block F.B.I. agents from doing their job. At least, no evidence yet. ... [P]ursuing the president for obstruction of justice is likely to fail ...
Trump should look to the example of ... Ronald Reagan. The Iran-contra scandal nearly destroyed Reagan's presidency and could have led to his impeachment. After the revelations [in 1986] that his national security staff had traded arms for hostages held by Iran and transferred funds to the Nicaraguan contras, Reagan cleaned house and agreed to reforms of government oversight of covert action. After that, his presidency not only survived but also thrived.

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Al Sharpton says Floyd family will lead march on Washington in August

The family of George Floyd is teaming up with Rev. Al Sharpton to hold a march on Washington on Aug. 28 — the 57th anniversary of the civil rights movement's March on Washington — to call for a federal policing equality act, Sharpton announced during a eulogy at Floyd's memorial service in Minneapolis Thursday.

Why it matters: The news comes amid growing momentum for calls to address systemic racism in policing and other facets of society, after more than a week of protests and social unrest following the killing of Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

1 hour ago - Health

Medical journal retracts study that fueled hydroxychloroquine concerns

Photo: George Frey/AFP via Getty Images

The Lancet medical journal retracted a study on Thursday that found that coronavirus patients who took hydroxychloroquine had a higher mortality rate and increased heart problem than those who did nothing, stating that the authors were "unable to complete an independent audit of the data underpinning their analysis."

Why it matters: The results of the study, which claimed to have analyzed data from nearly 96,000 patients on six continents, led several governments to ban the use of the anti-malarial drug for coronavirus patients due to safety concerns.

George Floyd updates

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

All four former Minneapolis police officers have been charged for George Floyd’s death and are in custody, including Thomas Lane, J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, who were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter.

The latest: A judge Thursday set bail at $750,000 for each of three ex-officers, AP reports.