Wednesday, July 24th, 2019
Are Robert Muller. The special counsel said his report would be his last word on Russian election. Interference and obstruction congress insisted otherwise what are they wanNA know beyond the report which he said was his testimony. I'm Steve of INSKEEP with Noel King and this is up I from N._P._R.. News first privacy then bias now antitrust big tech companies are facing new scrutiny. The Justice Department is asking if the companies are stifling competition partition. What are they expect to find and school district in Pennsylvania threatened families who owed money for school lunches that takes a lot of people off drive against everything that I believe is decent and good? Why did the school district turn away donors who want to help out stay with us? 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Organic options for all honest products are fair fair trade certified and when you choose to drink and honest product money goes to fair trade certified suppliers to help support their communities visit honest tea dot com slash podcast to learn more what can Robert Mueller add to she the four hundred and forty eight pages of his written report we find out today as he takes questions before to congressional committees the former special counsel spent almost two years examining Russia's interference in the election and confirmed it he also examined possible obstruction of justice by the President Muller found numerous acts but set a sitting president could not be indicted having said that he explicitly appealed to Congress not to call him to testify now. I hope and expect this video only time that I will speak to you in this manner. There has been discussion about an appearance before Congress any testimony from this office would not go beyond our report it contains our findings and analysis and the reasons for the decisions we he made we chose those words carefully and the work speaks for itself and the report is my testimony or it was until today N._p._R.. Justice reporter Ryan Lucas has been covering this investigation from the beginning a Ryan Ryan Luther so everybody wants something today right. Let's run down the list. What do the Democrats want from Robert Mueller? We'll Democrats have been angling for this day for a very long time. They were actually yesterday holding a mock testimony with AIDS to prepare for it so there's been a lot of build pulled up but as of late there's also been an attempt to kind of tamp down expectations as to what we would hear Muller Muller of course is famously straight edged. He's made clear as we heard that he didn't WanNa. Testify doesn't want to stray be on what's in his report speaking of Democrats last night. They say that's okay remember Muller's final report. It's very long. It's dense. It's written by lawyers. It's not approachable for a lot of people and it's not something that a lot of Americans have read Democrats think that having Muller speak in public on TV with clips that will run on loop on cable <hes> we'll reach a far greater number of Americans than his written report has to this point they want to use their time to focus on several episodes of possible of obstruction of justice by the president they also planned to dig in on contacts between trump associates and. Russians that are documented in the report put a spotlight on the campaigns willingness to accept Russian help. They want to highlight those things bring them to life for the American people okay so the Democrats hoping to get a lot out of today's testimony what Republicans want in many ways for so Republicans the status quo is a good thing they want to protect the president they want to emphasize the fact that Muller did not charge anyone for conspiring with Russia. They're also expected to raise questions about the integrity the even-handedness of the investigation itself they've been in pushing allegations of political bias on Muller's team for months. We've heard that over and over from them. They've also alleged that the F. B.. I. Committed surveillance abuses against the trump campaign. Some of the president's most ardent supporters are on these committees and they may go after Muller on on those exact issues so he's going to appear before two committees today house judiciary and House intelligence. We're expecting about five hours of testimony in all. Are we going to hear Robert Mueller say anything new. That's a good question and frankly it's pretty much up to Robert Muller himself. He has made clear as we said doesn't want to be here doesn't want to testify doesn't want to say anything beyond what is in the report the Justice Department in fact sent him a letter A. With guidance this week that his testimony should not go beyond what's in the report <hes> that includes discussions about investigative steps or decisions that his team made which is something that Democrats have expressed interest in <hes> the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Adam Schiff sent muller a letter yesterday land based in the D._O._J.. About this said the administration was essentially trying to obstruct legitimate congressional investigation and he said it should have no impact on mother's testimony <hes> it would be a major accomplishment for either side to get something new out of Muller but again neither side is really banking on that and just really quickly Taylor did something interesting here. He asked for one of his top aides to sit next to him today and assist him. What's significant there right? The top aide is errands ably he will be at the hearings today 'cause a lot of stir on the hill but what this may boil down to his essentially big sprawling investigation Taylor may need some help with the details okay N._p._R.. Justice reporter Ryan Lucas. Thanks Ryan and you can follow more special coverage of the Muller hearing on N._P._R.. Member stations N._p._R.. Dot Org and later today on all things considered <music> okay. The Justice Department says it is investigating the power of some big tech companies. It's an antitrust investigation in announcing this probe federal prosecutors did not name names but they seem to be talking about the likes of facebook Amazon and Apple Alan Google the really big ones Congress has already been questioning those companies over privacy protections allegations of bias and the spread of false information n._p._R.. Tech correspondent Arthur Shahani is on the line from Silicon Valley. Hey Artie high or so. Let's start with this antitrust review. That was the the D._O._J.'s words. What does it mean? What are they looking into so the key issue is whether these companies we all know in use our stifling competition? There's a school of thought that says if a product of spree that's fantastic tastic for consumers. You can't beat free who cares if it's maker as a monopoly but that is coming under attack with this other school that free isn't really free in the case of facebook or Google the user who provides the data has been turned into the the unwitting product in the case of Amazon small businesses that sell on the platform have to pay to play advertise to be seen and then their data gets turned into corporate intelligence Amazon to drive them out of business apple may be giving it's developers who are the heart and soul the APP store a raw deal so the Justice Department is going to look into whether small businesses would be startups and consumers are getting harmed and also how these companies got to be so big or laws violated along the way so have any of the company said. Said anything about this in response to N._p._R.'s inquiry Google pointed to its testimony in Congress last week Google's headed economic policy made the case that his company creates lots of opportunity for others. It's advertising tools have helped small businesses grow and and its employees have gone on to build more than two thousand startups in the case of Amazon Apple. They didn't immediately respond N._P._R.'s request but apple made the case that it's APP store is safe and trusted for customers and also great for developers. There's Amazon C._E._O.. Jeff Bezos has pointed out that other businesses are selling more to customers on his site than Amazon is facebook declined to comment though they have also said before they face vigorous competition from other platforms I would note at the two separate hearings also last week. WanNa facebook's leaders was making the case that regulators should let the company make its own digital currency so while the government's worried about tech giant's being too big a facebook is trying to get waiter bucks libra actually all right so now that this review is underway. What's what's the next step what happens next? This isn't a quick turnaround. There's no clear timeline on how long the Justice Department will take <hes> and two examples from the path point to wildly different outcomes A._T. and T. which started with a D._O._J.. Review was formerly broken up Microsoft also brought into court and loss ultimately was not broken up so what we know for sure is that big tech will stay major political issue throughout the coming months N._p._R.'s earthy Shahani thanks again are the thank you all right. We have an update now on Pennsylvania School district that threatened families over unpaid student lunch debt. It's the Wyoming Valley West School district outside of Wilkes Barre Pennsylvania dozens of parents. They're owed the school. Total of twenty. Two thousand dollars for lunches. Officials threatened to put kids in foster care if their parents did not pay since N._p._R.. First reported the schools debt collection efforts several donors have stepped forward to settle the cafeteria tab but that is not ended the story N._P._R.. Report of Avi Allen has been chasing this story down. Hey Bobby hey so someone offered to pay the debt for the the kids who was it so five people actually stepped forward to clear this tab and one of them was a prominent media figure who wants to remain anonymous but you know was so outraged by the story worry that tried to reach out to these school officials and you know get rid of this delinquent meal debt but county officials are not responding so people have come forward and said we'll pay the kids debt and the schools just got nothing. It's about that yeah. That's the really weird part of people when they I heard that you know there there were donors out there who are willing to get rid of this school debt that that would be the end of the story but <hes> now we know that no that's not the story and in fact besides the the prominent media figure who I just mentioned who wants to take care of this debt anonymously. There's another person who tried to intervene who actually had the same exact experience. It's this Guy Todd Carmichael and he's the chief executive of the Coffee Roasting Company Law Colom they're based in Philadelphia <hes> Adelphia and he told me about growing poor and being raised we know with three siblings by a single mother outside of Spokane Washington and he said you know being shamed about not having enough money to pay for a meal is something he actually experienced as a kid himself. Itself and threatening to take kids away from their parents is just something that makes them really really angry. You're threatening people who are struggling with taking their children because they can't pay for the hot much. This kind of drives against everything. Thanks I believe is decent good in American friendly and neighborly who we are the people I mean I know you've been talking to school officials. Do you have any idea why they're just blowing off these donors. It's really hard to say because officials have gone into. It's a bunker mode. I mean I've contacted them seven eight times over the past day and they're just not getting back to me <hes> Carmichael and the other donors say they're just mystified about this whole situation I mean the district Wyoming Valley West which is in the in the poconos area. You know one of the poorest in Pennsylvania so you think officials there would be receptive to donations worth tens of thousands of dollars <hes> but Carmichael has his own theory about what's really going on here. He says this really isn't about money at all. He thinks it's about teaching people who are struggling some kind of moral lesson no matter what the consequences are now that is interesting all right just quickly our parents still getting the threatening letters or have they stopped coming so county officials sent a cease and desist note to the school district and they did agree to no longer use foster care as a form of debt collection one thing on the point out though is a couple of days ago when I actually had an interview with the president of the school district Joe Mazer he said while the letters ignited a national firestorm he claimed many locals locals in the working class community actually support it but a lot of people call me and said it's the right thing. Everybody should pay their way if they could afford it. N._P._R.'s Bobby Allen Bobby. Thanks so much hey thank you. The Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg says she is not going anywhere. There's plenty of speculation about the eighty six year old who has been treated for cancer. The retirement of liberal justice would likely change the makeup of the Supreme Court but GINSBURG tells N._p._r.'s Nina Totenberg she remains at work. When you you get a colder hangnail? There's a substantial portion of the population a large part of it female but men to who go into a complete panic pick someone not panicked some there was a senator at I think it was after the pancreatic cast who announced with great clearly that I was going to be dead within six months that senator who's named I forgotten is now himself did and I am very much alive. GINSBURG also said she disapproves of an idea floated by some Democrats. They've talked about expanding expanding the size of the Supreme Court. You can hear more than interview on the N._p._R.. Politics podcast right now and that is up I for Wednesday July twenty four. I'm no well king. I'm Steve inskeep join us tomorrow and since the news does not stop when the podcast does follow us on twitter that up I for the most important stories of the debt and if you like your news on demand you should check out the N._p._r.. One APP you're going to get a mix of local national and international news wherever you go whenever you want it and you can also here podcast based on what you like you can download N._p._R.. One in the APP store so Americans Kinda oh recycling to the Mafia and a huge mistake by this guy garbage in New York that was lack of control substance. It was a cartel control the flow.