Front Page Talking Points

FOR THE WEEK OF APR 22, 2019

Common Core State Standard
SL.CCS.1/2/3/4 Grades 6-12: An essay of a current news event is provided for discussion to encourage participation, but also inspire the use of evidence to support logical claims using the main ideas of the article. Students must analyze background information provided about a current event within the news, draw out the main ideas and key details, and review different opinions on the issue. Then, students should present their own claims using facts and analysis for support.

Democrats want investigator Robert Mueller to testify about newly released report on Russian election meddling

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1.gifRead any follow-up news coverage, such as on planned congressional hearings. Share a quote or fact.

2.gifNow pick an editorial or opinion column about this topic. Why do you agree or disagree with its viewpoint?

3.gifSummarize other, unrelated news about the president.

Americans finally see most of a lengthy report from the Justice Department investigator who led a 22-month look into Russian interference in our 2016 presidential election and into whether the winner's campaign helped that operation. Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team also examined possibly illegal steps to obstruct investigators. A 448-page report released last week, with some sections blacked out, says the inquiry doesn't show that President Trump or anybody connected to his campaign engaged in a criminal conspiracy with Russian trolls and hackers. It also says the president repeatedly tried to impede and even end the investigation.

This is among the most-discussed findings: "If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state. Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment." In other words, there's not a legal basis to accuse him, but it's not a declaration of innocence either.

The report found numerous contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russians, but said there was "insufficient evidence" of criminal acts to violate election law. Congressional Democrats, who have a majority in the House, now want to hear directly from Mueller. Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., last Thursday sent the investigator a request for testimony at a House Judiciary Committee hearing in May. "Even in its incomplete form, the Mueller report shows disturbing evidence that President Trump obstructed justice," the committee chairman said. "We have to get to the bottom of this."

President says: "As I have been saying all along – no collusion, no obstruction!" – April 18 tweet

Attorney general says: "There was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion with the Russian government's hacking." – William Barr

Congressional Democrat says: "The American people must hear from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in person to better understand his findings. We are now requesting Mueller to appear before House Judiciary [Committee] as soon as possible." – Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., in tweet on day of report's release

Front Page Talking Points is written by Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2019
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