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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

“Donald Trump insists he is willing — eager, even — to sit down for a tough interview with Robert Mueller. His lawyers have other ideas, and hope to strictly limit any questioning of the president under oath or prevent it from happening altogether. Whether they can pull this off is a legal and constitutional question for which the precedents do not look good.

“As they consider the options, they and and their boss would do well to learn from Bill Clinton, who was asked to testify on four separate occasions while under investigation during his presidency.

“On three of those occasions, Clinton and his lawyers readily agreed to the requests, without the issuance of a subpoena. It was only when independent counsel Kenneth Starr sought Clinton’s testimony again, more than three years later, that his defense attorneys strenuously objected. They managed to stall for almost six months before Starr finally sent over a subpoena, and the battle over that demand ended up before a federal judge in Washington in July 1998.

Why was Clinton initially so willing to testify, and then so hesitant?…”

My new post on Buzzfeed News looks back at the last presidential probe that led to impeachment — and what Clinton’s prosecution by the Office of Independent Counsel may mean for Trump. It includes excerpts from a previously sealed court hearing on the subpoena that the OIC issued to Clinton after his lawyers stalled his grand jury appearance in the Lewinsky case for six months.

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Dr. Mehmet Oz and Sean Hannity

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Fox News prime-time host Sean Hannity is priming his audience to see election fraud in any defeat for Dr. Mehmet Oz, his favored candidate who currently leads the GOP primary for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania with two percent of votes outstanding. If the fast-closing hedge funder Dave McCormick takes the lead and the Oz camp claims the election has been stolen, it could set up a potentially explosive proxy war with Hannity’s colleague Laura Ingraham, whose Fox program favors McCormick and has suggested he is likely to prevail when all the votes are counted.

The GOP primary was a chaotic slugfest that split Fox’s slate of pro-GOP hosts in an unusually public way. Hannity was Oz’s most prominent supporter, reportedly securing the support of former President Donald Trump and using his program to endorse the TV personality, give him a regular platform, and target the challenge from right-wing commentator and Fox & Friends regular Kathy Barnette. Ingraham, meanwhile, used her Fox program (which airs in the hour following Hannity’s) to promote McCormick, criticize Oz, and defend Barnette.

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Overturning Roe v. Wade is very unpopular, yet another poll confirms. Nearly two out of three people, or 64 percent, told the NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll that Roe should not be overturned, including 62 percent of independents. The poll also includes some good news for Democrats.

According to the poll, the prospect of the Supreme Court striking down Roe in the most extreme way is motivating Democratic voters more than Republicans: Sixty-six percent of Democrats say it makes them more likely to vote in November compared with 40 percent of Republicans. That echoes a recent NBC poll finding a larger rise in enthusiasm about voting among Democrats than Republicans.

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