Trump-Russia Roundup: November 15-November 20

Democratic leaders are protecting Mueller’s investigation and defending the rule of law this week. Read how they’re stepping up:

When more than 100,000 Americans took to the streets to protest Trump’s attacks on the Trump-Russia investigation, progressive leaders in Congress took note.

This week, Senate Democrats filed a lawsuit claiming that Trump’s appointment of Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general violates the Constitution. And just today, Sen. Schumer called on the DOJ Inspector General to investigate Whitaker’s potential communications about Mueller’s probe with the White House.

They’re fighting for us. This Thanksgiving, we’re thankful for these leaders who’ve stepped up to protect Mueller’s investigation and defend the rule of law.

Become the resident Trump-Russia expert at your dinner table by catching up on Whitaker and the rest of this week’s news:

CNBC: Trump answers written questions on Russia from special counsel Mueller: legal team
Trump has submitted answers to written questions posed to him by Mueller’s office, Trump’s legal team announced today. Neither the questions nor answers were made public.

The Washington Post: Schumer to Justice inspector general: Investigate Whitaker’s contact with White House
The Senate’s top Democrat has asked the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate Whitaker’s communications with the White House, citing concerns that he might have shared with Trump confidential information regarding Mueller’s probe.

The New York Times: Democratic Senators Challenge Whitaker Appointment in Court
Three Democratic senators asked a judge this week to issue an injunction barring Whitaker from exercising the powers of head of the Justice Department, arguing that Trump’s installation of Whitaker as acting attorney general violated the Constitution.

Reuters: Trump would not intervene if Whitaker moves to curtail Mueller probe
Trump said in a Fox News interview that he would not intervene if Whitaker, his acting U.S. attorney general, moved to curtail Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference.

The Washington Post: Trump says he wouldn’t stop acting attorney general from curtailing Mueller inquiry
In the same interview, Trump essentially shut the door to sitting down with Mueller, telling Fox News host Chris Wallace that his written answers mean “probably this is the end” of his involvement in the inquiry.

The Guardian: Republicans and Democrats pressure Whitaker not to interfere in Mueller investigation
Rep. Adam Schiff, the prominent Democrat who will take control of the House intelligence committee in January, called the appointment of Whitaker “unconstitutional” and vowed to expose him if he attempts to thwart Mueller’s investigation.

CNN: Trump attacks likely House Intelligence chair as ‘little Adam Schitt’ on Twitter
Trump disparaged Rep. Schiff in a profane tweet, misspelling his name “Schitt” and accusing the likely incoming House Intelligence chairman of baselessly criticizing the appointment of Whitaker.

Business Insider: Lindsey Graham isn’t sure if Whitaker is the ‘best choice’ for attorney general, citing ‘problematic’ comments
Senator Graham was noncommittal on Whitaker, saying that he’s “not sure” Whitaker is the “best choice” to stay in the role, and acknowledging that he’s said things that would likely prove “problematic” to his confirmation.

CNN: Sen. Jeff Flake: ‘Worth using a little leverage’ to get Mueller bill passed
Sen. Flake said in an interview that he’s threatened to vote against federal judicial nominees because “it’s worth using a little leverage” to spur a vote on a bill to protect Mueller’s investigation.

Maine Beacon: Collins breaks with Flake, refuses to compel vote on protecting Mueller
Senator Collins has declined to join her Republican colleague Sen. Flake in using the processes of the Senate to insist on a bill to protect Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference.

The Hill: Top House Oversight Dem says he will do ‘anything and everything’ to make Mueller’s findings public
The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee said that he will do “anything and everything” to make the findings of Mueller’s Russia investigation available to the public.

The Hill: Majority of Americans say Congress should protect Mueller: poll
Seven in ten respondents told CBS News in a poll released this week that Trump should not take action to hinder Mueller’s investigation, a number which includes 76 percent of independents and 57 percent of Republicans.

The Daily Beast: Trump Attacks Mueller as ‘Disgrace to Our Nation,’ Claims White House Is Running ‘Smoothly’
Fresh indictments stemming from the investigation are expected imminently, according to several reports, and Trump appears keen to get in a pre-emptive strike.

Reuters: U.S. judge refuses Russian firm’s bid to dismiss Mueller indictment
A federal judge last week refused to dismiss criminal charges against a Russian company accused by Mueller of funding a propaganda operation to sway the 2016 presidential election.

The Washington Post: Julian Assange has been charged, prosecutors reveal inadvertently in court filing
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been charged under seal, prosecutors inadvertently revealed in a recently unsealed court filing — a development that could significantly advance the probe into Russian interference and have major implications for those who publish government secrets.

That’s it (for now!). It’s all real news. Nothing fake here.

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