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AG Barr Reveals Durham’s Probe Into FBI May Have Developments By Summer’s End

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Attorney General William Barr revealed Sunday in an interview with Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo that before the summer’s end Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham will update the American public on the Justice Department’s investigation into what he’s uncovered regarding the FBI’s probe into Trump campaign and Russia.

Bartiromo’s interview with Barr on “Sunday Morning Futures,” is the first time the Attorney General has given a time frame for the information. He also noted that he was surprised by the lack of public interest in Durham’s investigation.

Unfortunately, in the opinion of this writer, the lack of public interest in the Durham probe may have more to do with the Justice Department’s secrecy to discuss the investigation publicly and the failure – as of yet – to indict or hold many of those involved legally accountable for their actions.

Although Barr has been the most informative on the Durham investigation during his interviews, other Justice Department officials have been less than cooperative when asked about developments in the probe and therefore making it less likely to garner public interest.

Durham’s investigation, however, is expanding on the evidence amassed by both Congress and Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s December report. That report revealed numerous omissions and lies in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Application on Carter Page, a short term 2016 Trump campaign volunteer.

“So that has been surprising to me, that people aren’t concerned about civil liberties and the integrity of our governmental process in terms of the future of Durham’s investigation,” Barr said. “You know, he’s pressing ahead as hard as he can. And I expect that, you know, we will have some developments hopefully before the end of the summer.” Still, Barr made it clear that Durham’s probe is expected to continue passed the November’s election.

He noted one caveat, that depends “on who wins the election.”

He also discussed with Bartiromo the unmasking of Trump campaign officials during the 2016 elections saying, “I would say it’s unusual for an outgoing administration, high level officials, to be unmasking very, you know, very much in the days they’re preparing to leave office. Makes you wonder what they were doing.”

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Nation

Minnesota farmer’s lawsuit prompts removal of race and sex-based grant program

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Five months after Minnesota farmer Lance Nistler filed a federal lawsuit with the help of the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), the state has removed race- and sex-based preferences from its Down Payment Assistance Grant Program. This significant policy change followed Nistler’s legal challenge, which highlighted the discriminatory nature of the program’s selection process.

Pacific Legal Foundation writes involvement in Nistler’s case drew attention and criticism from Minnesota progressives. Writing in the Minnesota Reformer, Sigrid Jewett accused PLF of using Nistler “as a pawn in a larger culture war game.” She questioned why a California-based legal firm with numerous Supreme Court victories would be interested in representing a small Minnesota farmer pro bono.

PLF opposes all race- and sex-based preferences in the law, and that’s the real reason the firm chose to represent Nistler. The foundation stands against discrimination in various domains, including government board selections, school admissions, government contracts, and grant distributions, such as in Nistler’s case.

Here are the facts: Minnesota’s Down Payment Assistance Grant Program offers up to $15,000 toward the purchase of farmland. Recipients are chosen through a lottery system. However, before the policy change, even if a recipient was among the first picked through the lottery—as Nistler was, being selected ninth—they could be bumped to the back of the line if they were not a racial minority, female, LGBTQIA+, or otherwise designated as an “emerging” farmer by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

Despite being chosen ninth in the lottery, which awarded grants to 68 applicants, Nistler did not receive a grant. He was moved from ninth to 102nd on the waitlist because he is a white male.

Nistler grew up on his family farm, milking cows. “They would lose money every year,” he says of the family operation. After he left for school, his family sold the cows and switched to farming soybeans, oats, and wheat. Lance’s father and uncle now run the farm, but they’re getting older. Lance, who has a degree in electronic engineering and worked in HVAC, is interested in buying a 40-acre chunk of the family farm, becoming the fourth-generation farmer in his family.

The land isn’t just going to be given to Lance. This is a working farm, and the Nistlers aren’t a wealthy family that can transfer land from one generation to the next without consideration. “My dad and uncle, they don’t have 401(k)s or anything,” Lance says. “I mean, the land and the equipment, that’s their retirement. This stuff isn’t given away. I’m not just going to get it handed down to me and inherited. It has to be purchased, and it is not cheap.”

Despite being from a farming family, Lance considers himself a new farmer—he has never owned farmland before, and he has an electronics background. Buying these 40 acres would be a huge step for Lance, planting him firmly in the farming world, which is what Minnesota’s grant program aimed to do. The idea that he would have qualified as an emerging farmer if only his skin were a different color struck Lance as wrong.

“The country we live in, the idea is it’s equal opportunity for everyone,” he says. “And if that’s what it is, then well, why shouldn’t I have the same chances?”

When Lance filed his lawsuit in January, the complaint argued that the discriminatory process violated the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. The complaint stated:

“Nistler brings this lawsuit to vindicate his constitutional right to equal protection of the law. He brings it to give all Minnesotans a fair chance at a difference-making grant program. He brings it in the hope that he will be able to own that small farm in the near future. He brings it because he is not giving up on his dream.”

In May, after Lance called attention to the unconstitutional policy, Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed legislation removing the race and sex prioritization from the program. Now, Minnesota will treat farmers equally—as the Constitution promises.

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