Preet Bharara Details Impeachment 'Nightmare Scenario' at L.A. Tech Summit
Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, walked into the Upfront Summit tent in the middle of sunny and bright Pasadena Thursday morning and brought a hush over the crowd as he spoke passionately against President Donald Trump, urging the audience to go out and vote him out of office.
"I've come to a conclusion that whatever your specific issue you care about, for your family and the world is, the No. 1 way to get there in nine months is to have a different president," Bharara said." So don't forget the forest for the trees, think about that in November."
Bharara was fired by Trump months into his term after he refused to step down when then-Attorney General asked him to. He's since become an outspoken critic of the Trump administration and hosts his own podcast and appears regularly on cable news.
At turns puzzled and other times openly dismayed and dejected by the state of current affairs, Bharara said the impeachment trial has been marked by softball questions and the strange lack of witnesses and documents.
He said Republican members of Congress appear intimidated by ramifications of being challenged politically in the upcoming elections should they do anything against Trump, like allow John Bolton to testify, because "how can you prefer this guy to Mike Pence if you're a Republican?" Bharara said he believes U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice would rather abstain from getting involved in the political fighting over witnesses than take an aggressive stand or even a peripheral role.
"The person I feel most bad for, other than all of America," Bharara said to laugher, "is John Roberts, who cannot be happy sitting up there, he prides himself on not getting into politics and preserving institutional activity. He doesn't want to put his thumb on the scale in one way or the other, so my guess is he'll just abstain."
Plus, should Roberts allow for witnesses, for example, Senate rules allow for him to be overruled "and that's a terrible look for the Chief Justice."
Bharara weighed in on Bolton, noting that the White House appears to be "effing with him" by telling him his book violates the law and hurts sources and methods because of its classified material. The government is the arbiter of what's classified, and "the reason you know it's B.S. is that the manuscript is sitting unsecured somewhere on some NatSec officer's desk."
For Bharara, the "nightmare scenario" is that Trump has been allowed to get away with the stuff revealed in the Mueller investigation, and what's revealed in the impeachment trial, and that by continuing to escape accountability he commits "worse things in the future and gets away with it."
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NASA is restoring a squiggly graphic representation of its acronym, known as "the Worm," to a place of prominence, 28 years after it was consigned to the dustbin of space history.
NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine declared that "the worm is back" today in a tweet — and revealed that it's been painted on the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket that's due to launch NASA astronauts to the International Space Station as soon as next month. That demonstration mission will mark the first time U.S. astronauts have been launched to orbit from U.S. soil since the retirement of the space shuttle fleet in 2011.
The worm was born in 1975 as an alternative to NASA's original "meatball" logo, which put the acronym inside a blue sphere with a spacecraft zooming around it. Not everyone was a fan: In 1992, the worm fell out of favor and was expunged from use, except on T-shirts and souvenir items. Now the worm has turned.NASA said officials are still assessing exactly how and where the worm will be used, and that the meatball will keep its status as the space agency's primary symbol. Today's turnabout surprised space fans: Some even suspected it was a late April Fool's prank. For the full rundown on the worm, check out Keith Cowing's post at NASA Watch.
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Baffled by the restrictions and sensing a race against the clock until they run out of cash or the program does, small businesses are scrambling to apply for government-backed loans to keep their companies afloat.
The requirements are especially confusing for venture-backed companies, many of which could be excluded from help under the original working of the $2 trillion stimulus package signed into law last week in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.