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There’s Evidence to Open Case Against Donald Trump: Indian-American Attorney Preet Bharara

Mr Bharara said in the ABC News interview that watching how Mr Comey's interactions with Mr Trump and how his firing played out "felt a little bit like deja vu".

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The Department of Justice has obtained search warrants; one of which was issued for the DisruptJ20 Facebook page, which organized protests upon President Trump's inauguration (VOA).
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  • The former US attorney for the Southern District of New York made the remarks in an ABC news interview on Sunday night
  • Mr Bharara was in office until March when he and 45 other US attorneys remaining as holdovers from the former President Barack Obama’s administration were asked to step down
  • The Indian-American said Mr Trump, when he was still the president-elect, made a series of “unusual phone calls” to him

New York, June 12, 2017: Indian-American prosecutor Preet Bharara who was fired by Donald Trump’s administration in March, has said that said there were “absolute evidence” to begin a case for obstruction of justice against the President, the media reported. The former US attorney for the Southern District of New York made the remarks in an ABC news interview on Sunday night when asked whether he believed that there was enough evidence for a case claiming that Trump tried to obstruct the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) probe into former national security adviser, Michael Flynn’s ties with Russian officials.

“There is absolutely evidence to begin a case for obstruction of justice by Trump,” Mr Bharara said in his first television interview since being fired by Trump in March.

“No one knows right now whether there is a provable case of obstruction… there’s no basis to say there’s no obstruction.”

ALSO READ: Can US President Donald Trump be Indicted for Obstruction of Justice?

Mr Bharara was in office until March when he and 45 other US attorneys remaining as holdovers from the former President Barack Obama’s administration were asked to step down.

Mr Bharara, a friend and former colleague of James Comey — the FBI director fired by Trump in May — attended the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on June 8 when Mr Comey testified about conversations he had with the President about the agency’s overall Russia investigation and its probe into Flynn.

Mr Bharara said in the ABC News interview that watching how Mr Comey’s interactions with Mr Trump and how his firing played out “felt a little bit like deja vu”.

The Indian-American said Mr Trump, when he was still the president-elect, made a series of “unusual phone calls” to him.

“In reporting the phone call to the chief of staff to the attorney general I said, it appeared to be that he was trying to cultivate some kind of relationship,” Mr Bharara said.

“It’s a very weird and peculiar thing for a one-on-one conversation without the attorney general, without warning between the president and me or any United States attorney who has been asked to investigate various things and is in a position hypothetically to investigate business interests and associates of the President.”

After Trump took office, Mr Bharara refused to take one of Mr Trump’s calls.

“The call came in. I got a message. We deliberated over it, thought it was inappropriate to return the call. And 22 hours later I was asked to resign along with 45 other people,” Mr Bharara said.

“To this day I have no idea why I was fired,” Mr Bharara added. (IANS)

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President Donald Trump Key Force In Driving The Midterms Elections

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters

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Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks at a rally endorsing the Republican ticket in Erie, Pennsylvania, VOA

Three weeks before a crucial U.S. midterm election, it would be difficult to find much that Democrats and Republicans agree on. Both parties, however, seem to agree on one thing: President Donald Trump will be the key issue in elections that will determine control of Congress for the next two years.

For many voters, the “Trump factor” could be a deciding consideration in this year’s midterms. And as the president campaigns on behalf of Republicans around the country, he is quick to remind his supporters that he has a huge personal stake in the outcome on Nov. 6.

“All of this extraordinary progress is at stake,” Trump told a recent rally in Southaven, Mississippi. “I’m not on the ballot. But in a certain way, I am on the ballot. So please, go out and vote. Go out and vote.”

Motivating Democrats

As much as Trump motivates his core supporters, he also energizes critics like Jenny Heinz, who helped organize a recent anti-Trump rally in New York City.

“There is an active resistance to this president, who is operating as if he is above the law.”

No question, Trump is the central figure in this year’s election, according to American University analyst David Barker.

“Yes, Democrats from the day after the election in 2016 have been waiting for this day, and it is all about Trump,” Barker told VOA. “Trump fully embraces that. He wants it to be all about him.”

Historically, midterm elections have been a mix of local issues, local candidates, and partly a referendum on the sitting president.

This year’s campaign seems to have accelerated a trend whereby midterm congressional elections have increasingly become nationalized.

“It really is now all national, and everyone is kind of looking at this as either a referendum for or against the president and his party,” said George Washington University expert Lara Brown.

Trump
supporters of President Donald Trump, wearing Mike Braun for Congress shirts, cheer as he arrives for a campaign rally at the Ford Center in Evansville, Ind. VOA

In the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, a majority of voters in both parties said a congressional candidate who shares their view of Trump is an important consideration as they assess the coming midterms.

Seizing the spotlight

Unlike some presidents who have tried to resist the idea that the midterms are a presidential referendum, Trump has willingly embraced it.

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon told Associated Press Television that he favors the approach.

“I think if you make this a national referendum and nationalize this election on the success of President Trump’s program, it is a clear winner, and I think the Democrats get crushed.”

Others are skeptical, including former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

“All right, fine. You want it to be about you? Well, every candidate on the ballot now has to account for your behavior, has to account for your tweets,” said Steele, a recent guest on VOA’s Plugged In with Greta Van Susteren.

Climate Change, Trump
President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. VOA

Trump hopes to boost Republican turnout in November; but, Democrats argue he is likely to be just as effective in spurring their voters to the polls.

Maryland Democratic Representative Dutch Ruppersberger also spoke on Plugged In.

“When all you do is care about yourself and not about people, not about what they need – like your seniors needing medical care. And you just want to look good and knock them out (politically), which is happening, this is hurting. And this is why, I think, a lot of people will come out (to vote).”

Tending the base

Trump has been aggressive on the campaign trail courting his base, especially in Republican-leaning states where many of this year’s closer Senate races are taking place.

“They are focusing on their base, and they are trying to make sure that they are going to show up and vote. And it could make some difference in close midterm elections,” said University of Virginia analyst Larry Sabato.

Trump, USA
House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis. administers the House oath of office to Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md., during a mock swearing in ceremony on Capitol Hill in Washington, . VOA

Some Republicans have urged Trump to try and broaden his appeal beyond his base during campaign visits this year.

But Gallup pollster Frank Newport said the president has limited options.

Also Read: Obama On Why Its Important To Vote In This Midterm Elections

“He has kind of given up on attempting to broaden his appeal, it looks like. It fits more with his style,” said Newport. “He has, as we all know, a very combative style. He likes to have enemies because that gives him somebody to fight against. So, it would be hard for a president like Trump anyway to try and broaden his appeal.”

Trump’s name will not appear on the Nov. 6 ballots, but, he will clearly be front and center in the minds of voters, and the midterm results could determine the future of his presidency. (VOA)