Article of the Day: 9/17/20 An important obituary

Here’s a man with very interesting ideas. I highly recommend the Q&A video found here: https://youtu.be/tv0ingTSKYo. It’s included in the article.

Stanley Crouch, Critic Who Saw American Democracy in Jazz, Dies at 74

A prolific author, essayist, columnist and social critic, he challenged conventional thinking on race and avant-garde music.

By Sam RobertsSept. 16, 2020

Stanley Crouch, the fiercely iconoclastic social critic who elevated the invention of jazz into a metaphor for the indelible contributions that Black people have made to American democracy, died on Wednesday at a hospital in the Bronx. He was 74.

His wife, Gloria Nixon Crouch, said the cause was complications of a long, unspecified illness.

Mr. Crouch defied easy categorization. A former Black nationalist who had been seared by witnessing the 1965 Watts race riots in his native Los Angeles, he transformed himself into a widely read essayist, syndicated newspaper columnist, novelist and MacArthur Foundation “genius award” winner whose celebrity was built, in part, on his skewering — and even physical smackdowns — of his former intellectual comrades.

All the while he championed jazz, enlarging its presence in American culture by helping to found Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, one of the country’s premier showcases for that most American of musical genres, and by promoting the career of the celebrated trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who co-founded the jazz center in 1991 and remains its artistic director.

Mr. Crouch proclaimed himself a “radical pragmatist,” defining it this way:

“I affirm whatever I think has the best chance of working, of being both inspirational and unsentimental, of reasoning across the categories of false division and beyond the decoy of race.”

Espousing that pragmatism, he found ready adversaries among fellow Black Americans, whom he criticized as defining themselves in racial terms and as reducing the broader Black experience to one of victimization. He vilified gangsta rap as “‘Birth of a Nation’ with a backbeat,” the Rev. Al Sharpton as a “buffoon,” the Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan as “insane,” the Nobel laureate Toni Morrison “as American as P.T. Barnum” and Alex Haley, the author of “Roots,” as “opportunistic.”

By contrast, he venerated his intellectual mentors James BaldwinRalph Ellisonand Albert Murray, who, by his lights, saw beyond the conventions of race and ideology while viewing the contributions of Black people as integral to the American experience.

(Mr. Crouch disdained the expression African-American, saying: “I use Negro, black American, Afro-American. And I might throw brown American in eventually. I don’t use African-American because I have friends who are from Africa. But I do use Afro-American, because that means it’s derived but it’s not direct.”)

Mr. Crouch said he had largely taught himself to write by devouring books as a child and then drawing on an innate lyrical sensibility, which he expressed in poetry as well as in prose. He wrote of the jazz trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie:

“He rose from the position of an odd fish to a star surfer riding the high, high curving water of a trend, sank into the position of those miracles taken for granted, but periodically returned to view, dripping with new wisdoms, beckoning as others followed him on the thin boards of art and entertainment that those who make their name in jazz must ride, atop the roller coaster waves of public taste, swinging all our blues in a fickle brine where they are forever at peril.”

Mr. Crouch attended, though never graduated from, two community colleges, but his stature as a writer led to teaching positions at Pomona, Pitzer and Claremont Colleges, all of them in Claremont, Calif., east of Los Angeles, where he was known as a charismatic poet and teacher of English and theater in the late 1960s and early ’70s. (At Pomona, one of his students was George C. Wolfe, who became artistic director of the Public Theater in New York.)

At Claremont, he established Black Music Infinity, a band made up of young musicians from the area, all of whom went on to become noted avant-garde figures, among them the saxophonists David Murray and Arthur Blythe and the bassist Mark Dresser.

Two of Mr. Crouch’s anthologies of his writings.
Two of Mr. Crouch’s anthologies of his writings.

After transplanting himself to New York in 1975, Mr. Crouch wrote for The Village Voice, where he was hired as a staff writer in 1980 and fired in 1988 after a fistfight with a fellow writer.

“The two best things that have ever happened to me were being fired by The Voice and being hired by The Voice, in that order,” he told The New Yorker.

As a syndicated columnist he was long based at The Daily News in New York.

His anthologies included “Notes of a Hanging Judge: Essays and Reviews, 1979-1989” (1990); “The All-American Skin Game, or, The Decoy of Race: The Long and the Short of It, 1990-1994” (1995); “Always in Pursuit: Fresh American Perspectives, 1995-1997” (1998); and “Considering Genius: Writings on Jazz” (2006).

He turned to fiction in 2000, with “Don’t the Moon Look Lonesome: A Novel in Blues and Swing,” and to biography in 2003, with “Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker.”

Mr. Crouch was a senior creative consultant for Ken Burns’s 10-part documentary series “Jazz,” broadcast in 2001. He received a Whiting Foundation Award for nonfiction in 1991 and a MacArthur Foundation fellowship in 1993 for his work in musicology and ethnomusicology. In 2019 he was named a Jazz Master for jazz advocacy by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Stanley Lawrence Crouch was born on Dec. 14, 1945, in the South Central section of Los Angeles to James and Emma Bea (Ford) Crouch. His father was a heroin addict and hustler who was in jail when Stanley was born and didn’t meet his son until Stanley was 12. His mother was a housemaid who raised Stanley, his older sister, who became an accountant, and their younger brother, who died of complications of gunshot wounds in 1980.

Mr. Crouch said his mother had been instrumental in his development as a writer, teaching him the alphabet and spelling before he enrolled in school, and introducing him to jazz. (She and her schoolmates had once greeted Duke Ellington at the Los Angeles railroad station.)

Frequently confined to his home with asthma, Stanley read voraciously, started a jazz club in high school and joined a local repertory theater called Studio Watts. He taught himself to play the drums freestyle, in sharp contrast to the jazz purist he later became (at one point famously lambasting Miles Davis for playing electric jazz-rock fusion).

“Since I was doing this avant-garde stuff, I didn’t have to be all that good, but I was a real knucklehead,” Mr. Crouch told The New Yorker. “If I hadn’t been so arrogant and had just spent a couple of years on rudiments, I’d have taken it over, man, no doubt about it.”

At the same time, in an era of racial strife and struggles for civil rights, his political consciousness was sharpened. After years of broken government promises to alleviate poverty and provide economic opportunity, Blacks in the Watts section took to the streets, and Mr. Crouch responded by embracing an incipient black nationalism.

His early writings led him to academia. He was appointed poet-in-residence at Pitzer College, became the first full-time faculty member of the Claremont Colleges Black Studies Center, and joined the English department at Pomona when he was 22. Within five years he published a poetry collection, “Ain’t No Ambulances for No Nigguhs Tonight” (1972), taking the title from a remark reportedly made during the Watts riots.

After he and his partner, Samerna Scott, a former Pomona student, moved to New York, they separated, and she returned to California with their daughter, Dawneen, who goes by Gaia. He married Gloria Nixon, a sculptor, in 1994. They lived in the West Village in Manhattan until recently, when they moved to Brooklyn.

In addition to his wife and his daughter, Gaia Scott-Crouch, he is survived by a granddaughter.

Stanley Crouch in an undated photo. He viewed American democracy through the prism of jazz.Martine Bisagni

Mr. Crouch met Mr. Marsalis when the trumpeter was a teenager studying at the Juilliard School in Manhattan. He went on to write liner notes for Mr. Marsalis’s albums and become his primary artistic consultant in generating a neo-classicist movement in jazz and helping to establish Jazz at Lincoln Center.

“All young jazz musicians coming up today realize that they have to know blues and swing — which are at the core of all jazz, from Armstrong to Marsalis — and this simply wasn’t the case 15 years ago,” Peter Watrous, a former jazz critic for The New York Times, said. “Wynton and Stanley are responsible for that. Therein lies the whole story of the jazz renaissance.”

His writings on race often ran against the grain of liberal orthodoxies. Writing in The New York Times Book Review, Deirdre English, a former editor of Mother Jones magazine, said that in the anthology “Notes of a Hanging Judge” Mr. Crouch “sets himself apart from and above the tides of current opinion, sternly hammering a gavel of righteousness — or sometimes only righteous indignation.”

She cited his “refusal to accept the notion that victimization and degradation are the defining motifs of African-American history,” which means “abandoning any notion of African innocence or superiority” and denying “that white racism ever had the power to reduce the black race to a traumatized martyrdom.”

In exhorting Black people to shoulder responsibility and debate reasonably, she wrote, Mr. Crouch “comes off less like a hanging judge than a knowing and anxious father figure.”

He could be equally critical of his white counterparts. In 2003, he was dismissed by JazzTimes after publishing a column under the title “Putting the White Man in Charge,” in which he argued that white music critics were overly eager to promote jazz musicians of their own race, thus allowing themselves “to make themselves feel more comfortable about being in the role of evaluating an art from which they feel substantially alienated.”

Mr. Crouch in 2003. He said he found many discussions of race “simple-minded and overly influenced by ideas of determinism — if you’re poor, you’re going to act a certain way.”Robert Hale

Mr. Crouch said in an interview with The Times in 1990 that too many discussions of race were “simple-minded and overly influenced by the ideas of determinism — if you’re poor, you’re going to act a certain way” — a self-perpetuating path that, he said, his public-school teachers had stopped him from taking.

“These people were on a mission,” he said of his teachers. “They had a perfect philosophy: You will learn this. If you came in there and said, ‘I’m from a dysfunctional family and a single-parent household,’ they would say, ‘Boy, I’m going to ask you again, What is 8 times 8?’

“When I was coming up,” he continued, “there were no excuses except your house burned down and there was a murder in the family. Eight times eight was going to be 64 whether your family was dysfunctional or not. It’s something you needed to know!”

Mr. Crouch ultimately wove together his celebration of jazz and his vision of American democracy. Jazz, he wrote, is “the highest American musical form because it is the most comprehensive, possessing an epic frame of emotional and intellectual reference, sensual clarity and spiritual radiance.”

He added: “The demands on and the respect for the individual in the jazz band put democracy into aesthetic action. The success of jazz is a victory for democracy, and a symbol of the aesthetic dignity, which is finally spiritual, that performers can achieve and express as they go about inventing music and meeting the challenge of the moment.”

Giovanni Russonello and Julia Carmel contributed reporting.

Article of the Day: September 4, 2020

Trump: Americans Who Died in War Are ‘Losers’ and ‘Suckers’

The president has repeatedly disparaged the intelligence of service members, and asked that wounded veterans be kept out of military parades, multiple sources tell The Atlantic.

Jeffrey GoldbergSeptember 3, 2020

Donald Trump greets families of the fallen at Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day 2017.Chip Somodevilla / Getty

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

From the April 2020 issue: The president is winning his war on American institutions

Belleau Wood is a consequential battle in American history, and the ground on which it was fought is venerated by the Marine Corps. America and its allies stopped the German advance toward Paris there in the spring of 1918. But Trump, on that same trip, asked aides, “Who were the good guys in this war?” He also said that he didn’t understand why the United States would intervene on the side of the Allies.

More Stories

President Trump visiting U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan on Thanksgiving Day.
James Mattis

Trump’s understanding of concepts such as patriotism, service, and sacrifice has interested me since he expressed contempt for the war record of the late Senator John McCain, who spent more than five years as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said in 2015 while running for the Republican nomination for president. “I like people who weren’t captured.”

Read: John McCain’s death brought out the worst in the Trump administration

There was no precedent in American politics for the expression of this sort of contempt, but the performatively patriotic Trump did no damage to his candidacy by attacking McCain in this manner. Nor did he set his campaign back by attacking the parents of Humayun Khan, an Army captain who was killed in Iraq in 2004.

Trump remained fixated on McCain, one of the few prominent Republicans to continue criticizing him after he won the nomination. When McCain died, in August 2018, Trump told his senior staff, according to three sources with direct knowledge of this event, “We’re not going to support that loser’s funeral,” and he became furious, according to witnesses, when he saw flags lowered to half-staff. “What the fuck are we doing that for? Guy was a fucking loser,” the president told aides. Trump was not invited to McCain’s funeral. (These sources, and others quoted in this article, spoke on condition of anonymity. The White House did not return earlier calls for comment, but Alyssa Farah, a White House spokesperson, emailed me this statement shortly after this story was posted: “This report is false. President Trump holds the military in the highest regard. He’s demonstrated his commitment to them at every turn: delivering on his promise to give our troops a much needed pay raise, increasing military spending, signing critical veterans reforms, and supporting military spouses. This has no basis in fact.”)

Eliot A. Cohen: America’s generals must stand up to Trump

Trump’s understanding of heroism has not evolved since he became president. According to sources with knowledge of the president’s views, he seems to genuinely not understand why Americans treat former prisoners of war with respect. Nor does he understand why pilots who are shot down in combat are honored by the military. On at least two occasions since becoming president, according to three sources with direct knowledge of his views, Trump referred to former President George H. W. Bush as a “loser” for being shot down by the Japanese as a Navy pilot in World War II. (Bush escaped capture, but eight other men shot down during the same mission were caught, tortured, and executed by Japanese soldiers.)

When lashing out at critics, Trump often reaches for illogical and corrosive insults, and members of the Bush family have publicly opposed him. But his cynicism about service and heroism extends even to the World War I dead buried outside Paris—people who were killed more than a quarter century before he was born. Trump finds the notion of military service difficult to understand, and the idea of volunteering to serve especially incomprehensible. (The president did not serve in the military; he received a medical deferment from the draft during the Vietnam War because of the alleged presence of bone spurs in his feet. In the 1990s, Trump said his efforts to avoid contracting sexually transmitted diseases constituted his “personal Vietnam.”)

Amy J. Rutenberg: What Trump’s draft deferments reveal

On Memorial Day 2017, Trump visited Arlington National Cemetery, a short drive from the White House. He was accompanied on this visit by John Kelly, who was then the secretary of homeland security, and who would, a short time later, be named the White House chief of staff. The two men were set to visit Section 60, the 14-acre area of the cemetery that is the burial ground for those killed in America’s most recent wars. Kelly’s son Robert is buried in Section 60. A first lieutenant in the Marine Corps, Robert Kelly was killed in 2010 in Afghanistan. He was 29. Trump was meant, on this visit, to join John Kelly in paying respects at his son’s grave, and to comfort the families of other fallen service members. But according to sources with knowledge of this visit, Trump, while standing by Robert Kelly’s grave, turned directly to his father and said, “I don’t get it. What was in it for them?” Kelly (who declined to comment for this story) initially believed, people close to him said, that Trump was making a ham-handed reference to the selflessness of America’s all-volunteer force. But later he came to realize that Trump simply does not understand non-transactional life choices.

“He can’t fathom the idea of doing something for someone other than himself,” one of Kelly’s friends, a retired four-star general, told me. “He just thinks that anyone who does anything when there’s no direct personal gain to be had is a sucker. There’s no money in serving the nation.” Kelly’s friend went on to say, “Trump can’t imagine anyone else’s pain. That’s why he would say this to the father of a fallen marine on Memorial Day in the cemetery where he’s buried.”

I’ve asked numerous general officers over the past year for their analysis of Trump’s seeming contempt for military service. They offer a number of explanations. Some of his cynicism is rooted in frustration, they say. Trump, unlike previous presidents, tends to believe that the military, like other departments of the federal government, is beholden only to him, and not the Constitution. Many senior officers have expressed worry about Trump’s understanding of the rules governing the use of the armed forces. This issue came to a head in early June, during demonstrations in Washington, D.C., in response to police killings of Black people. James Mattis, the retired Marine general and former secretary of defense, lambasted Trump at the time for ordering law-enforcement officers to forcibly clear protesters from Lafayette Square, and for using soldiers as props: “When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution,” Mattis wrote. “Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside.”

Read: James Mattis denounces President Trump, describes him as a threat to the Constitution

Another explanation is more quotidian, and aligns with a broader understanding of Trump’s material-focused worldview. The president believes that nothing is worth doing without the promise of monetary payback, and that talented people who don’t pursue riches are “losers.” (According to eyewitnesses, after a White House briefing given by the then-chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joe Dunford, Trump turned to aides and said, “That guy is smart. Why did he join the military?”)

Yet another, related, explanation concerns what appears to be Trump’s pathological fear of appearing to look like a “sucker” himself. His capacious definition of sucker includes those who lose their lives in service to their country, as well as those who are taken prisoner, or are wounded in battle. “He has a lot of fear,” one officer with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s views said. “He doesn’t see the heroism in fighting.” Several observers told me that Trump is deeply anxious about dying or being disfigured, and this worry manifests itself as disgust for those who have suffered. Trump recently claimed that he has received the bodies of slain service members “many, many” times, but in fact he has traveled to Dover Air Force Base, the transfer point for the remains of fallen service members, only four times since becoming president. In another incident, Trump falsely claimed that he had called “virtually all” of the families of service members who had died during his term, then began rush-shipping condolence letters when families said the president was not telling the truth.

Read: Top military officers unload on Trump

Trump has been, for the duration of his presidency, fixated on staging military parades, but only of a certain sort. In a 2018 White House planning meeting for such an event, Trump asked his staff not to include wounded veterans, on grounds that spectators would feel uncomfortable in the presence of amputees. “Nobody wants to see that,” he said.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.Jeffrey Goldberg is the editor in chief of The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror.

Article of the Day: August 29, 2020

Below is the beginning of an article in Christianity Today. It describes an experience of a young man with the police. I have heard the same experience described by other friends of mine. I suggest that, if we have not had this experience, we should be slow to judge the response of others who have.

Paul’s Word to Police: Protect the Weak

As black Christians have long understood, the New Testament has a strong theology of law enforcement.

By Esau McCaulley, August 27, 2020

Esau McCaulleyAugust 27, 2020

I grew up in a poverty-stricken neighborhood in Huntsville, Alabama. By the time I was 16, I was confident that football would be my path to college. The letters and phone calls from college coaches had just begun. All I had to do was perform on the field, keep up my grades, and stay out of trouble.By “trouble,” I didn’t mean my own behavior. I was afraid of being harassed by the police and afraid that I might find myself in an encounter that spun out of control.I came of age in the aftermath of the Rodney King incident, which confirmed my fears of the police. But “driving while black” was not simply a problem I saw on the news. It was something I experienced.One night my junior year, my friends and I had plans to go to the mall and, later, a party in the same part of town. We stopped at a gas station to grab some snacks and fuel before continuing on to the night’s festivities. After I finished filling the tank, I climbed back into the car and got ready to leave. Then I noticed that a black SUV had pulled up close behind us. Another drove up to my left, and another parked in front of my car. I thought I was being carjacked, but who would carjack someone at a well-lit gas station?When police came filing out of the SUVs, I realized what was going on. “Put your hands where we can see them,” an officer said.“I’m not putting my hands anywhere,” one of my friends said.Right then, my future flashed before my eyes. Had all my planning been for naught? Had I exchanged my dreams for a bag of chips and a few gallons of fuel?I told my friend to be quiet and do as the officer said. When the officer ordered us to get out of the car, we complied. I asked him what was going on. He said that this particular gas station was a known drug hub and that he had seen us conducting a drug deal. I couldn’t help but think that this location was also a known place to acquire gas. But what could we do?The whole thing lasted less than 20 minutes. They found nothing in their search. I expected some apology, some further explanation for why they had detained us other than for being young and black. Instead, they gave us back our licenses and told us we were free to go.But I didn’t feel free. I felt powerless and angry. I had come too close to losing it all: the football scholarship, the path out of poverty, and the chance to help my family. I had been briefly terrorized.Over the years, I have been stopped between seven and ten times, on the road or in public spaces, for no crime other than being black. The people I love have also been stopped, searched, accused, and humiliated with little to no legal justification. These disclosures might give the impression that I don’t like police officers. On the contrary, I have known many good ones. I recognize the dangers they face and the difficulties inherent in the vocation they choose. But having a difficult job does not absolve one of criticism; it simply puts the criticism in a wider framework. That wider framework has to include the history of the police in this country—their legal enforcement of racial discrimination and the terror they have visited on black bodies.The dark silt of that history has been brought to the surface by recent events, most notably the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. The many protesters who have marched in our nation’s streets bear witness to the fact that Floyd is not the first. Black Americans have been “under the knee” for not days or weeks but centuries, and this cumulative oppression is once again front and center in our national consciousness.More of this article may be read at Christianitytoday.com

Article of the Day: August 18, 2020–A Bi-Partisan Blockbuster

G.O.P.-Led Senate Panel Details Ties Between 2016 Trump Campaign and Russian Interference

A nearly 1,000-page report confirmed the special counsel’s findings at a moment when President Trump’s allies have sought to undermine that inquiry.

By Mark Mazzetti and Nicholas FandosUpdated 11:25 a.m. ET

President Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at the Group of 20 summit in Japan last year.
President Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia at the Group of 20 summit in Japan last year.Erin Schaff/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — A sprawling report released Tuesday by a Republican-controlled Senate panel that spent three years investigating Russia’s 2016 election interference laid out an extensive web of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russian government officials and other Russians, including some with ties to the country’s intelligence services.

The report by the Senate Intelligence Committee, totaling nearly 1,000 pages, provided a bipartisan Senate imprimatur for an extraordinary set of facts: The Russian government undertook an extensive campaign to try to sabotage the 2016 American election to help Mr. Trump become president, and some members of Mr. Trump’s circle of advisers were open to the help from an American adversary.

The report drew to a close one of the highest-profile congressional inquiries in recent memory, one that the president and his allies have long tried to discredit as part of a “witch hunt” designed to undermine the legitimacy of Mr. Trump’s stunning election nearly four years ago.

Like the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who released his findings in April 2019, the Senate report did not conclude that the Trump campaign engaged in a coordinated conspiracy with the Russian government — a fact that Republicans seized on to argue that there was “no collusion.”

But the report showed extensive evidence of contacts between Trump campaign advisers and people tied to the Kremlin — including a longstanding associate of the onetime Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Konstantin V. Kilimnik, whom the report identifies as a “Russian intelligence officer.”Mueller Report Shows Depth of Connections Between Trump Campaign and RussiansDonald J. Trump and 18 of his associates had at least 140 contacts with Russian nationals and WikiLeaks, or their intermediaries, during the 2016 campaign and presidential transition.

The Senate report for the first time identified Mr. Kilimnik as an intelligence officer. Mr. Mueller’s report had labeled him as someone with ties to Russian intelligence.

Democrats highlighted those ties in their own appendix to the report, noting that Mr. Manafort discussed campaign strategy and shared internal campaign polling data with Mr. Kilimnik, and later lied to federal investigators about his actions.

Democrats also laid out a potentially explosive detail: that investigators had uncovered information possibly tying Mr. Kilimnik to Russia’s major election interference operations conducted by the intelligence service known as the G.R.U.

“The committee obtained some information suggesting that the Russian intelligence officer, with whom Manafort had a longstanding relationship, may have been connected to the G.R.U.’s hack-and-leak operation targeting the 2016 U.S. election,” Democrats wrote. “This is what collusion looks like.”

The assertion was a sign that even though the investigation was carried out in bipartisan fashion, and Republican and Democratic senators reached broad agreement on its most significant conclusions, a partisan divide remained on some of the most politically sensitive issues.

The Senate report said that the unusual nature of the Trump campaign — staffed by Mr. Trump’s longtime associates, friends and other businessmen with no government experience — “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.”

The Senate investigation found that two other people who met at Trump Tower in 2016 with senior members of the Trump campaign — including Mr. Manafort; Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son — had “significant connections to Russian government, including the Russian intelligence services.”

The report said that the connections between the Russian government and one of the individuals, Natalia V. Veselnitskaya, “were far more extensive and concerning than what had been publicly known.”

Since the release of Mr. Mueller’s report, Attorney General William P. Barr and numerous Republican senators have tried to discredit the special counsel’s work — dismissing the investigation into the 2016 election as “Russiagate.”

Releasing the report less than 100 days before Election Day, lawmakers hope it will refocus attention on the interference by Russia and other hostile foreign powers in the American political process, which has continued unabated.

The report is the product of one of the few congressional investigations in recent memory that retained bipartisan support throughout. Lawmakers and committee aides interviewed more than 200 witnesses and reviewed hundreds of thousands of documents, including intelligence reports, internal F.B.I. notes and correspondence among members of the Trump campaign. The committee convened blockbuster hearings in 2017 and 2018, but much of its work took place in a secure office suite out of public view.

Portions of the report containing classified or other sensitive information were blacked out.

The Intelligence Committee released four previous volumes on its findings over the past year. The first focused on election security and Russia’s attempts to test American election infrastructure, and included policy recommendations to blunt future attacks. The second provided a detailed picture of Russia’s use of social media to sow political divisions in the United States.

Lawmakers then produced a study of the response by the Obama administration and Congress in the highly partisan run-up to the 2016 election. Most recently, they found that a 2017 intelligence community assessment, assigning blame to Russia and outlining its goals to undercut American democracy, had been untainted by politics and was fundamentally sounddespite attacks on it by Mr. Trump’s allies.

The committee focused its work on intelligence and counterintelligence matters. It did not investigate attempts by Mr. Trump to hinder the work of federal investigators.

The report arrived in a fraught political moment, particularly for Republican senators on the panel who signed off on it and thus may find themselves at odds with Mr. Trump and other influential figures in their party. Since Mr. Mueller finished his work, Republicans close to Mr. Trump have sought to recast the president as the victim of politically motivated national security officials in the Obama administration.

The Justice Department’s independent inspector general has found that law enforcement officials had sufficient basis to open the Russia investigation and acted without political bias.

But two other Senate panels, the Judiciary and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committees, are conducting investigations premised on picking apart aspects of the special counsel’s inquiry. And though they have not disputed Russia’s interference, they have decidedly turned the party’s focus away from the actions of a hostile foreign power toward the workings of the investigation it spawned, arguing that Mr. Mueller should never have been appointed and that the F.B.I. should have dropped any inquiry involving the Trump campaign long before he was.

The Justice Department is doing a similar post-mortem. Mr. Barr told a congressional committee last month that he was determined “to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus ‘Russiagate’ scandal.” He has appointed a criminal prosecutor, John H. Durham, to review the investigation and the actions of intelligence and law enforcement officials trying in 2016 to understand the Kremlin’s interference and possible links to Trump associates.

Much of the Intelligence Committee investigation was overseen by Senator Richard M. Burr, Republican of North Carolina, but he temporarily stepped asideas the chairman of the panel in May because of a federal investigation into a rush of stock sales he made before the coronavirus pandemic began rattling the United States. As they watched a similar House investigation over Russian interference splinter under partisan bickering and Mr. Trump attacked Mr. Mueller, Mr. Burr and Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the panel, worked steadily to ensure they could come to an authoritative bipartisan conclusion. Mr. Burr voted to endorse the final conclusions.

The findings broadly echo Mr. Mueller’s conclusions. His report documented attempts by Moscow to undermine confidence in the electoral process and sway the election toward Mr. Trump by hacking and dumping Democratic emails and engaging in sophisticated manipulation campaigns using social media.

After years of work, Mr. Mueller found dozens of contacts between Trump associates and Russian-connected actors, evidence that the Trump campaign welcomed the Kremlin’s attempts to sabotage the election and “expected it would benefit electorally” from the hacking and dumping of Democratic emails.

New York Times reporters are combing through the report for the most important developments. Check back for updates.

Article of the Day: August 9, 2020

The health care scare

I sold Americans a lie about Canadian medicine. Now we’re paying the price.

Wendell PotterAugust 6, 2020

In my prior life as an insurance executive, it was my job to deceive Americans about their health care. I misled people to protect profits. In fact, one of my major objectives, as a corporate propagandist, was to do my part to “enhance shareholder value.” That work contributed directly to a climate in which fewer people are insured, which has shaped our nation’s struggle against the coronavirus, a condition that we can fight only if everyone is willing and able to get medical treatment. Had spokesmen like me not been paid to obscure important truths about the differences between the U.S. and Canadian health-care systems, tens of thousands of Americans who have died during the pandemic might still be alive.

In 2007, I was working as vice president of corporate communications for Cigna. That summer, Michael Moore was preparing to release his latest documentary, “Sicko,” contrasting American health care with that in other rich countries. (Naturally, we looked terrible.) I spent months meeting secretly with my counterparts at other big insurers to plot our assault on the film, which contained many anecdotes about patients who had been denied coverage for important treatments. One example was 3-year-old Annette Noe. When her parents asked Cigna to pay for two cochlear implants that would allow her to hear, we agreed to cover only one.

Clearly my colleagues and I would need a robust defense. On a task force for the industry’s biggest trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), we talked about how we might make health-care systems in Canada, France, Britain and even Cuba look just as bad as ours. We enlisted APCO Worldwide, a giant PR firm. Agents there worked with AHIP to put together a binder of laminated talking points for company flacks like me to use in news releases and statements to reporters.

Here’s an example from one AHIP brief in the binder: “A May 2004 poll found that 87% of Canada’s business leaders would support seeking health care outside the government system if they had a pressing medical concern.” The source was a 2004 book by Sally Pipes, president of the industry-supported Pacific Research Institute, titled “Miracle Cure: How to Solve America’s Health Care Crisis and Why Canada Isn’t the Answer.” Another bullet point, from the same book, quoted the CEO of the Canadian Association of Radiologists as saying that “the radiology equipment in Canada is so bad that ‘without immediate action radiologists will no longer be able to guarantee the reliability and quality of examinations.’ ”

[Trump is trying to end Obamacare during the pandemic. That puts us all at risk.]

Much of this runs against the experience of many Americans, especially the millions who take advantage of low pharmaceutical prices in Canada to meet their prescription needs. But there were more specific reasons to be skeptical of those claims. We didn’t know, for example, who conducted that 2004 survey or anything about the sample size or methodology — or even what criteria were used to determine who qualified as a “business leader.” We didn’t know if the assertion about imaging equipment was based on reliable data or was an opinion. You could easily turn up comparable complaints about outdated equipment at U.S. hospitals.

(Contacted by The Washington Post, an AHIP spokesman said this perspective was “from the pre-ACA past. We are future focused by building on what works and fixing what doesn’t.” He added that the organization “believes everyone deserves affordable, high-quality coverage and care — regardless of health status, income, or pre-existing conditions.” An APCO Worldwide spokesperson told The Post that the company “has been involved in supporting our clients with the evolution of the health care system. We are proud of our work.” Cigna did not respond to requests for comment.)

Nevertheless, I spent much of that year as an industry spokesman, my last after 20 years in the business, spreading AHIP’s “information” to journalists and lawmakers to create the impression that our health-care system was far superior to Canada’s, which we wanted people to believe was on the verge of collapse. The campaign worked. Stories began to appear in the press that cast the Canadian system in a negative light. And when Democrats began writing what would become the Affordable Care Act in early 2009, they gave no serious consideration to a publicly financed system like Canada’s. We succeeded so wildly at defining that idea as radical that Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), then chair of the Senate Finance Committee, had single-payer supporters ejected from a hearing.

Today, the respective responses of Canada and the United States to the coronavirus pandemic prove just how false the ideas I helped spread were. There are more than three times as many coronavirus infections per capita in the United States, and the mortality rate is twice the rate in Canada. And although we now test more people per capita, our northern neighbor had much earlier successes with testing, which helped make a difference throughout the pandemic.

The most effective myth we perpetuated — the industry trots it out whenever major reform is proposed — is that Canadians and people in other single-payer countries have to endure long waits for needed care. Just last year, in a statement submitted to a congressional committee for a hearing on the Medicare for All Act of 2019, AHIP maintained that “patients would pay more to wait longer for worse care” under a single-payer system.

While it’s true that Canadians sometimes have to wait weeks or months for elective procedures (knee replacements are often cited), the truth is that they do not have to wait at all for the vast majority of medical services. And, contrary to another myth I used to peddle — that Canadian doctors are flocking to the United States — there are more doctors per 1,000 people in Canada than here. Canadians see their doctors an average of 6.8 times a year, compared with just four times a year in this country.

[The pandemic could put your doctor out of business]

Most important, no one in Canada is turned away from doctors because of a lack of funds, and Canadians can get tested and treated for the coronavirus without fear of receiving a budget-busting medical bill. That undoubtedly is one of the reasons Canada’s covid-19 death rate is so much lower than ours. In America, exorbitant bills are a defining feature of our health-care system. Despite the assurances from President Trump and members of Congress that covid-19 patients will not be charged for testing or treatment, they are on the hook for big bills, according to numerous reports.

That is not the case in Canada, where there are no co-pays, deductibles or coinsurance for covered benefits. Care is free at the point of service. And those laid off in Canada don’t face the worry of losing their health insurance. In the United States, by contrast, more than 40 million have lost their jobs during this pandemic, and millions of them — along with their families — also lost their coverage.

Then there’s quality of care. By numerous measures, it is better in Canada. Some examples: Canada has far lower rates than the United States of hospitalizations from preventable causes like diabetes (almost twice as common here) and hypertension (more than eight times as common). And even though Canada spends less than half what we do per capita on health care, life expectancy there is 82 years, compared with 78.6 years in the United States.

When the pandemic reached North America, Canadian hospitals, which operate under annual global budgets — fixed payments typically allocated at the provincial and regional levels to cover operating expenses — were better prepared for the influx of patients than many U.S. hospitals. And Canada ramped up production of personal protective equipment much more quickly than we did.

Of the many regrets I have about what I once did for a living, one of the biggest is slandering Canada’s health-care system. If the United States had undertaken a different kind of reform in 2009 (or anytime since), one that didn’t rely on private insurance companies that have every incentive to limit what they pay for, we’d be a healthier country today. Living without insurance dramatically increases your chances of dying unnecessarily. Over the past 13 years, tens of thousands of Americans have probably died prematurely because, unlike our neighbors to the north, they either had no coverage or were so inadequately insured that they couldn’t afford the care they needed. I live with that horror, and my role in it, every day.

Related stories:

Americans, take it easy. Justin Trudeau is not the liberal hero you think he is.

What happens when our insurance is tied to our jobs, and our jobs vanish?

How the U.S. health-care system puts people with diabetes in danger

Educational Idea of the Day: July 27, 2020

Education: An Idea

After teaching fourth and fifth grade for over twenty years at excellent schools with excellent colleagues I have some ideas about what quality education should look like. The short answer is this: Children will thrive in an educational environment in which the work that they do is relevant, important, and practical. 

An historical example: When I was in high school I took trigonometry. I had a thoughtful and compassionate teacher who I remember fondly. However, I never understood what trigonometry was for. The subject, as presented, was not relevant to anything in my life. There was no question that I was concerned about that trigonometry helped me answer. The only reason the math class was important was that I needed to pass it. Getting a grade was not important enough to me to stimulate my learning. Finally, it seemed to me that trigonometry was all about memorizing facts. So, the practice of trigonometry was all about memorization of irrelevant material which wasn’t really important. This is a fairly accurate description of much of our current educational practice.

Several years later, I found myself teaching fourth and fifth grade math. In learning how to do measurements we encountered trees. How tall were they? All of a sudden trigonometry was relevant. We could use some trigonometric ideas to discover the height of trees. This was an important idea. If we wanted to see if a tree might fall on the school, we needed to know its height—an important question that needed to be solved.  Finally, I helped the kids design a practical device for measuring the angle from the ground to the top of the tree. Each kid had one. Each child became a surveyor as we went outside on a journey of discovery. Every tree and building became something to be learned about.

I know this idea—Make it relevant, important, and practical!—works because I saw it work over the course of two decades with a wide variety of children. I believe it works in every subject. More to come!

Corruption of the Day: July 27, 2020

Corporate Insiders Pocket $1 Billion in Rush for Coronavirus Vaccine

Well-timed stock bets have generated big profits for senior executives and board members at companies developing vaccines and treatments.

By David Gelles and Jesse DruckerJuly 25, 2020

A trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine announced by Moderna in January. Since then, Moderna insiders have sold shares totaling about $248 million.
A trial of a potential coronavirus vaccine announced by Moderna in January. Since then, Moderna insiders have sold shares totaling about $248 million.Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

On June 26, a small South San Francisco company called Vaxart made a surprise announcement: A coronavirus vaccine it was working on had been selected by the U.S. government to be part of Operation Warp Speed, the flagship federal initiative to quickly develop drugs to combat Covid-19.

Vaxart’s shares soared. Company insiders, who weeks earlier had received stock options worth a few million dollars, saw the value of those awards increase sixfold. And a hedge fund that partly controlled the company walked away with more than $200 million in instant profits.

The race is on to develop a coronavirus vaccine, and some companies and investors are betting that the winners stand to earn vast profits from selling hundreds of millions — or even billions — of doses to a desperate public.

Across the pharmaceutical and medical industries, senior executives and board members are capitalizing on that dynamic.

They are making millions of dollars after announcing positive developments, including support from the government, in their efforts to fight Covid-19. After such announcements, insiders from at least 11 companies — most of them smaller firms whose fortunes often hinge on the success or failure of a single drug — have sold shares worth well over $1 billion since March, according to figures compiled for The New York Times by Equilar, a data provider.

In some cases, company insiders are profiting from regularly scheduled compensation or automatic stock trades. But in other situations, senior officials appear to be pouncing on opportunities to cash out while their stock prices are sky high. And some companies have awarded stock options to executives shortly before market-moving announcements about their vaccine progress.

The sudden windfalls highlight the powerful financial incentives for company officials to generate positive headlines in the race for coronavirus vaccines and treatments, even if the drugs might never pan out.

Some companies are attracting government scrutiny for potentially using their associations with Operation Warp Speed as marketing ploys.

For example, the headline on Vaxart’s news release declared: “Vaxart’s Covid-19 Vaccine Selected for the U.S. Government’s Operation Warp Speed.” But the reality is more complex.

Vaxart’s vaccine candidate was included in a trial on primates that a federal agency was organizing in conjunction with Operation Warp Speed. But Vaxart is not among the companies selected to receive significant financial support from Warp Speed to produce hundreds of millions of vaccine doses.

“The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has entered into funding agreements with certain vaccine manufacturers, and we are negotiating with others. Neither is the case with Vaxart,” said Michael R. Caputo, the department’s assistant secretary for public affairs. “Vaxart’s vaccine candidate was selected to participate in preliminary U.S. government studies to determine potential areas for possible Operation Warp Speed partnership and support. At this time, those studies are ongoing, and no determinations have been made.”

Some officials at the Department of Health and Human Services have grown concerned about whether companies including Vaxart are trying to inflate their stock prices by exaggerating their roles in Warp Speed, a senior Trump administration official said. The department has relayed those concerns to the Securities and Exchange Commission, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

It isn’t clear if the commission is looking into the matter. An S.E.C. spokeswoman declined to comment.

Andrei Floroiu, the chief executive of Vaxart, received stock options worth about $4.3 million in June. A month later, they were worth more than $28 million.
Andrei Floroiu, the chief executive of Vaxart, received stock options worth about $4.3 million in June. A month later, they were worth more than $28 million.Will Ragozzino/Patrick McMullan

“Vaxart abides by good corporate governance guidelines and policies and makes decisions in accordance with the best interests of the company and its shareholders,” Vaxart’s chief executive, Andrei Floroiu, said in a statement on Friday. Referring to Operation Warp Speed, he added, “We believe that Vaxart’s Covid-19 vaccine is the most exciting one in O.W.S. because it is the only oral vaccine (a pill) in O.W.S.”

Well-timed stock transactions are generally legal. But investors and corporate governance experts say they can create the appearance that executives are profiting from inside information, and could erode public confidence in the pharmaceutical industry when the world is looking to these companies to cure Covid-19.

“It is inappropriate for drug company executives to cash in on a crisis,” said Ben Wakana, executive director of Patients for Affordable Drugs, a nonprofit advocacy group. “Every day, Americans wake up and make sacrifices during this pandemic. Drug companies see this as a payday.”

Executives at a long list of companies have reaped seven- or eight-figure profits thanks to their work on coronavirus vaccines and treatments.

Shares of Regeneron, a biotech company in Tarrytown, N.Y., have climbed nearly 80 percent since early February, when it announced a collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services to develop a Covid-19 treatment. Since then, the company’s top executives and board members have sold nearly $700 million in stock. The chief executive, Leonard Schleifer, sold $178 million of shares on a single day in May.

Alexandra Bowie, a spokeswoman for Regeneron, said most of those sales had been scheduled in advance through programs that automatically sell executives’ shares if the stock hits a certain price.

Moderna, a 10-year-old vaccine developer based in Cambridge, Mass., that has never brought a product to market, announced in late January that it was working on a coronavirus vaccine. It has issued a stream of news releases hailing its vaccine progress, and its stock has more than tripled, giving the company a market value of almost $30 billion.

Moderna insiders have sold about $248 million of shares since that January announcement, most of it after the company was selected in April to receive federal funding to support its vaccine efforts.

The stock of Moderna, which has its headquarters in Cambridge, Mass., has more than tripled during its work on a vaccine. Adam Glanzman/Bloomberg

While some of those sales were scheduled in advance, others were more spur of the moment. Flagship Ventures, an investment fund run by the company’s founder and chairman, Noubar Afeyan, sold more than $68 million worth of Moderna shares on May 21. Those transactions were not scheduled in advance, according to securities filings.

Executives and board members at Luminex, Quidel and Emergent BioSolutions have sold shares worth a combined $85 million after announcing they were working on vaccines, treatments or testing solutions.

At other companies, executives and board members received large grants of stock options shortly before the companies announced good news that lifted the value of those options.

Novavax, a drugmaker in Gaithersburg, Md., began working on a vaccine early this year. This spring, the company reported promising preliminary test results and a $1.6 billion deal with the Trump administration.

In April, with its shares below $24, Novavax issued a batch of new stock awards to all its employees “in acknowledgment of the extraordinary work of our employees to implement a new vaccine program.” Four senior executives, including the chief executive, Stanley Erck, received stock options that were worth less than $20 million at the time.

Since then, Novavax’s stock has rocketed to more than $130 a share. At least on paper, the four executives’ stock options are worth more than $100 million.

So long as the company hits a milestone with its vaccine testing, which it is expected to achieve soon, the executives will be able to use the options to buy discounted Novavax shares as early as next year, regardless of whether the company develops a successful vaccine.

Silvia Taylor, a Novavax spokeswoman, said the stock awards were designed “to incentivize and retain our employees during this critical time.” She added that “there is no guarantee they will retain their value.”

Two other drugmakers, Translate Bio and Inovio, awarded large batches of stock options to executives and board members shortly before they announced progress on their coronavirus vaccines, sending shares higher. Representatives of the companies said the options were regularly scheduled annual grants.

Vaxart, though, is where the most money was made the fastest.

At the start of the year, its shares were around 35 cents. Then in late January, Vaxart began working on an orally administered coronavirus vaccine, and its shares started rising.

Vaxart’s largest shareholder was a New York hedge fund, Armistice Capital, which last year acquired nearly two-thirds of the company’s shares. Two Armistice executives, including the hedge fund’s founder, Steven Boyd, joinedVaxart’s board of directors. The hedge fund also purchased rights, known as warrants, to buy 21 million more Vaxart shares at some point in the future for as little as 30 cents each.

Selling Vaxart stock made more than $197 million in profit for Armistice Capital, a hedge fund that owned two-thirds of the company’s shares. Rafael Henrique/Getty Images

Vaxart has never brought a vaccine to market. It has just 15 employees. But throughout the spring, Vaxart announced positive preliminary data for its vaccine, along with a partnership with a company that could manufacture it. By late April, with investors sensing the potential for big profits, the company’s shares had reached $3.66 — a tenfold increase from January.

On June 8, Vaxart changed the terms of its warrants agreement with Armistice, making it easier for the hedge fund to rapidly acquire the 21 million shares, rather than having to buy and sell in smaller batches.

One week later, Vaxart announced that its chief executive was stepping down, though he would remain chairman. The new C.E.O., Mr. Floroiu, had previously worked with Mr. Boyd, Armistice’s founder, at the hedge fund and the consulting firm McKinsey.

On June 25, Vaxart announced that it had signed a letter of intent with another company that might help it mass-produce a coronavirus vaccine. Vaxart’s shares nearly doubled that day.

The next day, Vaxart issued its news release saying it had been selected for Operation Warp Speed. Its shares instantly doubled again, at one pointing hitting $14, their highest level in years.

“We are very pleased to be one of the few companies selected by Operation Warp Speed, and that ours is the only oral vaccine being evaluated,” Mr. Floroiu said.

Armistice took advantage of the stock’s exponential increase — at that point up more than 3,600 percent since January. On June 26, a Friday, and the next Monday, the hedge fund exercised its warrants to buy nearly 21 million Vaxart shares for either 30 cents or $1.10 a share — purchases it would not have been able to make as quickly had its agreement with Vaxart not been modified weeks earlier.

Armistice then immediately sold the shares at prices from $6.58 to $12.89 a share, according to securities filings. The hedge fund’s profits were immense: more than $197 million.

“It looks like the warrants may have been reconfigured at a time when they knew good news was coming,” said Robert Daines, a professor at Stanford Law School who is an expert on corporate governance. “That’s a valuable change, made right as the company’s stock price was about to rise.”

At the same time, the hedge fund also unloaded some of the Vaxart shares it had previously bought, notching tens of millions of dollars in additional profits.

By the end of that Monday, June 29, Armistice had sold almost all of its Vaxart shares.

Mr. Boyd and Armistice declined to comment.

Mr. Floroiu said the change to the Armistice agreement “was in the best interests of Vaxart and its stockholders” and helped it raise money to work on the Covid-19 vaccine.

He and other Vaxart board members also were positioned for big personal profits. When he became chief executive in mid-June, Mr. Floroiu received stock options that were worth about $4.3 million. A month later, those options were worth more than $28 million.

Normally when companies issue stock options to executives, the options can’t be exercised for months or years. Because of the unusual terms and the run-up in Vaxart’s stock price, most of Mr. Floroiu’s can be cashed in now.

Vaxart’s board members also received large grants of stock options, giving them the right to buy shares in the company at prices well below where the stock is now trading. The higher the shares fly, the bigger the profits.

“Vaxart is disrupting the vaccine world,” Mr. Floroiu boasted during a virtual investor conference on Thursday. He added that his impression was that “it’s OK to make a profit from Covid vaccines, as long as you’re not profiteering.”

Noah Weiland contributed reporting.

Article of the Day: July 18, 2020–A Southern Saint, working to restore the humanity of all people

John Lewis, front-line civil rights leader and eminence of Capitol Hill, dies at 80

John Lewis, a civil rights leader who preached nonviolence while enduring beatings and jailings during seminal front-line confrontations of the 1960s and later spent more than three decades in Congress defending the crucial gains he had helped achieve for people of color, has died. He was 80.

His death was announced in statements from his family and from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Advisers to senior Democratic leaders confirmed that he died July 17, but other details were not immediately available.

Mr. Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, announced his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer on Dec. 29 and said he planned to continue working amid treatment. “I have been in some kind of fight — for freedom, equality, basic human rights — for nearly my entire life,” he said in a statement. “I have never faced a fight quite like the one I have now.”

His last public appearance came at Black Lives Matter Plaza with D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on June 7, two days after taping a virtual town hall online with former president Barack Obama.

While Mr. Lewis was not a policy maven as a lawmaker, he served the role of conscience of the Democratic caucus on many matters. His reputation as keeper of the 1960s flame defined his career in Congress.

When President George H.W. Bush vetoed a bill easing requirements to bring employment discrimination suits in 1990, Mr. Lewis rallied support for its revival. It became law as the Civil Rights Act of 1991. It took a dozen years, but in 2003 he won authorization for construction of the National Museum of African American History and Culture on the Mall.

In 2012, when Rep. Paul C. Broun (R.-Ga.) proposed eliminating funding for one aspect of the Voting Rights Act, Mr. Lewis denounced the move as “shameful.” The amendment died.

Mr. Lewis’s final years in the House were marked by personal conflict with President Trump. Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, Mr. Lewis said, rendered Trump’s victory “illegitimate.” He boycotted Trump’s inauguration. Later, during the House’s formal debate on whether to proceed with the impeachment process, Mr. Lewis had evinced no doubts: “For some, this vote might be hard,” he said on the House floor in December 2019. “But we have a mandate and a mission to be on the right side of history.”

Born to impoverished Alabama sharecroppers, Mr. Lewis was a high school student in 1955 when he heard broadcasts by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. that drew him to activism.

“Every minister I’d ever heard talked about ‘over yonder,’ where we’d put on white robes and golden slippers and sit with the angels,” he recalled in his 1998 memoir, “Walking With the Wind.” “But this man was talking about dealing with the problems people were facing in their lives right now, specifically black lives in the South.”

Mr. Lewis vaulted from obscurity in 1963 to head the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which he helped form three years earlier. SNCC, pronounced “snick,” had quickly become a kind of advance guard of the movement, helping organize sit-ins and demonstrations throughout the South.

Within weeks of taking over SNCC, Mr. Lewis was in the Oval Office with five nationally known black leaders, including King, Whitney Young, A. Philip Randolph, James Farmer and Roy Wilkins.

Labeled the “Big Six” by the press, they rejected President John F. Kennedy’s request to cancel the March on Washington planned for that August that promised to lure hundreds of thousands of protesters to the doorstep of the White House to push for strong civil rights legislation. The president argued that the march would inflame tensions with powerful Southern politicians and set back the cause of civil rights.

From the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King delivered his aspirational “I Have a Dream” speech. Mr. Lewis, at 23 the youngest speaker, gave a prescient warning: “If we do not get meaningful legislation out of this Congress, the time will come when we will not confine our marching to Washington. . . . We must say, ‘Wake up, America, wake up!’ For we cannot stop, and we will not be patient.”

The toughest of the major addresses, Mr. Lewis’s text had in fact been toned down earlier that day at the behest of his seniors — including King, his mentor. They feared that explicit condemnation of the Kennedy administration’s timidity and the threat of a “scorched earth” approach would create a political backlash. (With the death of Mr. Lewis, all of the speakers from the March are now deceased.)

Retropolis: At the 1963 March on Washington, civil rights leaders asked John Lewis to tone his speech down

The contrast with his elders symbolized Mr. Lewis’s unusual role in those tumultuous years. At critical moments, he rebuffed their advice to give legislation or litigation more time. Handcuffs and truncheons never dulled his belief in confrontation. Yet he stoutly opposed the militant black nationalists such as Stokely Carmichael who would later take over SNCC.

As the last survivor of the “Big Six,” Mr. Lewis was the one who kept striving for black-white amity. Time magazine included him in a 1975 list of “living saints” headed by Mother Teresa. With only mild hyperbole, the New Republic in 1996 called him “the last integrationist.”

Taylor Branch, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian of the civil rights movement who had known Mr. Lewis since the mid-60s, said in an interview, “His most distinguishing mark was steadfastness. He showed lifelong fidelity to the idea of one man, one vote — democracy as the defining purpose of the United States.

“John Lewis saw racism as a stubborn gate in freedom’s way, but if you take seriously the democratic purpose, whites as well as blacks benefit,” Branch added. “And he became a rather lonely guardian of nonviolence.”

On Inauguration Day 2009, Obama, the country’s first black president, gave Mr. Lewis a photo with the inscription: “Because of you, John.” It joined a memorabilia collection that included the pen President Lyndon B. Johnson handed him after signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Ironically, Mr. Lewis had backed the front-runner, Hillary Clinton, in the nominating contest’s early days because of a personal bond with both Clintons. But he switched allegiance once Obama gained some traction.

Bloody Sunday

Passage of the Voting Rights Act, which provided incisors for the 15th Amendment 95 years after its enactment, is the Lewis saga’s richest chapter, what he called “the highlight of my involvement in the movement.”

The 1964 Civil Rights Act was beneficial in terms of public accommodations and employment, but its voting provision was ineffective.

Civil rights workers were attacked frequently, occasionally fatally. Torching and dynamiting of black churches were rising. Perpetrators, though often known, went unpunished. Local registrars continued to bar blacks. Only if black citizens could vote in large numbers, civil rights leaders believed, would Deep South officials enforce laws.

But Johnson told King in December 1964 that Congress, dominated by old-line Southern lawmakers, would reject new legislation.

Both SNCC and King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) decided to step up organizing in Selma, Ala. Black residents there constituted half the population, but only 1 percent could vote.

Weeks of demonstrations produced only confrontations with police. During one set-to, an officer shot an unarmed local resident. In the aftermath, an SCLC staffer proposed a large protest march, from Selma to the state capital, Montgomery.

King was in Atlanta, where his senior advisers persuaded him to stay. The SNCC executive committee, increasingly resentful of SCLC’s dominance, voted to avoid the event. But SNCC Chairman Lewis would not allow himself to abstain. That decision, he said later, “would change the course of my life.”

March 7, 1965, became known as Bloody Sunday. With the SCLC’s Hosea Williams, Mr. Lewis led 600 people to the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Selma’s outskirts. There, police and mounted “posse men” — deputized civilians — blocked them.

Ordered to disperse, the procession held its ground. The troopers charged. Network cameras filmed police in gas masks brutalizing unarmed men, women and children, many dressed for church. Millions that night saw police using clubs and tear gas chasing terrified civilians. Mr. Lewis, his skull fractured, went to the hospital along with 77 others.

“I remember how vivid the sounds were as the troopers rushed toward us,” he wrote in his memoir, co-authored with Michael D’Orso. “The clunk of the troopers’ heavy boots, the whoops of rebel yells from the white onlookers, the clip-clop of horses’ hoofs hitting the hard asphalt, the voice of a woman shouting, ‘Get ’em!’ ”

Bloody Sunday pricked the national psyche deeply. When King called for reinforcements for a second march to take place on March 9, which he would lead, hundreds of volunteers, white and black, hurried to Selma. A white minister was beaten and killed by segregationists.

Meanwhile, Johnson had an epiphany. Widespread revulsion was so keen that strong voting rights legislation would be politically feasible after all. The president announced the details to a joint session of Congress on March 15, equating Selma’s significance with that of Lexington, Concord and Appomattox.

When Johnson signed the bill Aug. 6, Mr. Lewis viewed it as “the end of a very long road.” It was also the beginning of the process that extended the franchise to Southern blacks, including Mr. Lewis’s mother, who had opposed her son’s activism.

The bigger revolt

John Robert Lewis was born Feb. 21, 1940, near Troy, Ala., the third of 10 children of Eddie Lewis and the former Willie Mae Carter. Tenant farmers for generations, they saved enough money to buy their own 100 acres in 1944.

John — called Preacher because he sermonized chickens — was the odd child out. He loved books and hated guns. He never hunted small game with other kids. His petition for access to the Pike County library went unanswered.

“White kids went to high school, Negroes to training school,” Mr. Lewis told the New York Times in 1967. “You weren’t supposed to aspire. We couldn’t take books from the public library. And I remember when the county paved rural roads, they went 15 miles out of their way to avoid blacktopping our Negro farm roads.”

College seemed impossible until the family learned of the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville. Aspiring black preachers willing to take campus jobs could attend free.

He arrived determined to perfect his “whooping” — preaching at a high emotional pitch — but he soon found the pull of social activism irresistible. With other Nashville students, he came under the influence of a Vanderbilt graduate student, James Lawson, who had been imprisoned for refusing military service during the Korean War.

Years later, Mr. Lewis successfully applied for conscientious objector status during the Vietnam conflict and broke with Johnson over the war issue earlier than the other “Big Six” leaders.

In ad hoc workshops, Lawson taught “New Testament pacifism” (how to love rather than strike the enemy tormenting you) and Gandhi-style civil disobedience (staying calm when punched in the head).

These lessons mattered in 1960 as the Nashville Student Movement conducted sit-ins aimed at forcing retailers to allow black customers to use the stores’ eateries. Mr. Lewis experienced his first arrest when police collared the quiet young demonstrators, not the roughnecks who had been knocking them off stools.

As the Nashville campaign broadened to include other targets, Thurgood Marshall, the NAACP’s legal lion, delivered a lecture at Fisk University in Nashville, advising restraint. Don’t go to jail, he suggested. Let the NAACP go to court.

Mr. Lewis was appalled. Marshall’s admonitions, he said, “convinced me more than ever that our revolt was as much against this nation’s traditional black leadership structure as it was against racial segregation and discrimination.” The students ultimately prevailed in Nashville.

King wanted to blend the Nashville activists and counterparts elsewhere into an SCLC youth auxiliary. But Lawson argued that SCLC was too cautious. Discussions on the issue led to SNCC’s creation in 1960. Mr. Lewis was an enthusiastic recruit.

Even before Mr. Lewis graduated in 1961 with his preacher’s certificate, he no longer aspired to the ministry. With other SNCC members from Nashville, he volunteered to join an older group, Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), in riding inter-state buses throughout the South. The Supreme Court had already ruled that depots could not be segregated, but that decision was being ignored.

The “Freedom Rides” aroused fierce resistance. Arsonists torched buses in Anniston, Ala., and Birmingham. In several cities, police either looked the other way while crowds beat the riders or arrested the so-called “outside agitators.” Violence became so serious that CORE withdrew.

The SNCC contingent refused to quit. Mr. Lewis, who absorbed his share of bruises and arrests, wound up spending 22 days in Parchman Farm, a Mississippi penitentiary infamous for primitive conditions. But the Freedom Rides drew national attention to the desegregation campaign and attracted recruits. And the Kennedy administration began formal implementation of the Supreme Court decision.

SNCC gained prominence and confidence in its strategy. “We now meant to push,” Mr. Lewis recalled. “We meant to provoke.”

But the group suffered growing pains, including unstable leadership. In June 1963, SNCC’s third chairman resigned suddenly. Mr. Lewis came to Atlanta for an emergency meeting. It ended with his election as chairman.

Chronically broke, SNCC paid its chairman $10 a week plus rent for a dingy apartment. Mr. Lewis would hold the post for three years — longer than anyone else — but tensions scarred his experience. Continued attacks on blacks in the South, growing unrest in northern ghettos and the fact that mainstream leaders declined to break with Lyndon Johnson combined to strengthen SNCC’s separatist element.

Carmichael, that faction’s charismatic leader, preached black nationalism and criticized Mr. Lewis as too measured and accommodating, a “little Martin Luther King.” In 1966, Carmichael (who later renamed himself Kwame Ture) was chosen chairman. SNCC’s white members were shunted aside and urged to leave. Even 30 years later, Mr. Lewis would say of his ouster: “It hurt me more than anything I’ve ever been through.”

Mr. Lewis eventually returned to Atlanta to join the Southern Regional Council, which sponsored community development. In 1968, he joined Robert Kennedy’s campaign for the Democratic nomination for president, as a liaison to minorities. He was with the entourage in Los Angeles when Kennedy was assassinated.

Although the murder devastated him, campaigning had sharpened Mr. Lewis’s interest in seeking public office. So did his marriage, later that year, to Lillian Miles, a librarian by profession and a political junkie by avocation. She was one of his principal advisers until her death in 2012.

Survivors include a son, John-Miles Lewis.

‘Off-the-charts liberal’ 

Mr. Lewis was serving as executive director of the Southern Regional Council’s Atlanta-based Voter Education Project, which helped register millions of blacks, when he ran unsuccessfully for a U.S. House seat in 1977. The position had been vacated when Rep. Andrew Young was tapped by President Jimmy Carter to become ambassador to the United Nations.

Carter subsequently named Mr. Lewis associate director of ACTION, then the umbrella agency of the Peace Corps, VISTA and smaller antipoverty programs. Mr. Lewis headed the domestic division.

His enthusiasm for the assignment cooled when he concluded that the White House was indifferent to VISTA’s mission. He also refused to take sides when Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) challenged Carter’s renomination in 1980. His neutrality irked both camps.

Mr. Lewis resigned in 1979, returning to Atlanta determined to enter politics. He won a city council seat in 1981, part of that body’s first black majority. His initial gambit — to tighten the council’s ethics code — evoked angry resistance.

He cemented his contrarian image by opposing a major road project, arguing that it would disrupt residential neighborhoods and worsen pollution. The road’s backers, including a group of black clergy, gave the controversy a racial tinge. Opposition to the program, the ministers’ leaflet said, was “a vote against the [black] mayor and the black community.”

It was a familiar situation. “Once again,” Mr. Lewis observed in his memoir, “I was accused of not being black enough.” The project, reduced in scale, was approved. The cost for Mr. Lewis: outsider status throughout his five years on the council.

In 1986, when Mr. Lewis again sought the 5th Congressional District Democratic nomination, his opponent was State Sen. Julian Bond, once SNCC’s publicist. Bond was considered the prohibitive favorite.

Tall, handsome and charismatic, Bond was a celebrity. “Saturday Night Live” had him as a guest host. Cosmopolitan magazine anointed him one of America’s 10 sexiest men. He was a lecture circuit star. Profiles described Mr. Lewis as squat, scowling, wooden, humorless.

Atlanta’s black establishment flocked to Bond. So did prominent outsiders, including then-Washington Mayor Marion Barry, comedian Bill Cosby, actress Cicely Tyson and Edward Kennedy.

Mr. Lewis campaigned tirelessly, urging that citizens “vote for the tugboat, not the showboat.” He won by four percentage points because whites — particularly Jews — gave him overwhelming support. The acrid campaign corroded his once-strong friendship with Bond.

When Mr. Lewis arrived on Capitol Hill, the New York Times observed wryly that he was one of the few members “who must deal with the sainthood issue.”

Mr. Lewis was a nominal member of the Democratic leadership as senior chief deputy whip, but he was rarely involved in nose counting or legislative detail. Former representative Alan Wheat (D-Mo.), a colleague in the Congressional Black Caucus, said in an interview, “John’s biggest strength in the House was to motivate people, to gather impetus for key measures. He used his standing as a cultural icon for good causes, never for personal benefit.”

On both social and economic issues, Mr. Lewis lived up to the label he put on himself: “off-the-charts liberal.” Like other members of the Black Caucus, he consistently opposed domestic spending cuts. But he was just as vehement in his opposition to the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court, although many blacks — particularly Georgians — disagreed.

Unlike some other black notables, Mr. Lewis refused to participate in Louis Farrakhan’s 1995 Million Man March in Washington. He also denounced Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic rants. When needled about racial loyalty, Mr. Lewis liked to say, “I follow my conscience, not my complexion.”

In 2010, Obama awarded Mr. Lewis the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country’s highest civilian honor. He continued to say that his conscience demanded that he teach young people the legacy of the civil rights movement. In 2013, he began a trilogy in comic book form called “March.” When a former supporter of the Ku Klux Klan named Elwin Wilson popped out of history in 2009, asking forgiveness for having severely beaten then-Freedom Rider Lewis in 1961 at a Greyhound bus station in Rock Hill, S.C., Mr. Lewis took him on three TV shows to show that “love is stronger than hate.”

He revisited the Edmund Pettus Bridge on anniversaries of Bloody Sunday, often accompanied by political leaders of both parties. “Barack Obama,” he mused, “is what comes at the end of that bridge in Selma.”

Article of the Day: July 14, 2020

As a former teacher (21 years), grandparent of school children, and father of a teacher, I believe it is imperative we follow expert scientific advice to protect those in schools. It is unconscionable that this should be politicized.

We ran the CDC. No president ever politicized its science the way Trump has.

The administration is undermining public health

David Satcher

President Trump participates in a roundtable on law enforcement Monday at the White House.
President Trump participates in a roundtable on law enforcement Monday at the White House. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

As America begins the formidable task of getting our kids back to school and all of us back to work safely amid a pandemic that is only getting worse, public health experts face two opponents: covid-19, but also political leaders and others attempting to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the debate last week around reopening schools more safely showed, these repeated efforts to subvert sound public health guidelines introduce chaos and uncertainty while unnecessarily putting lives at risk.

As of this date, the CDC guidelines, which were designed to protect children, teachers, school staffers and their families — no matter the state and no matter the politics — have not been altered. It is not unusual for CDC guidelines to be changed or amended during a clearance process that moves through multiple agencies and the White House. But it is extraordinary for guidelines to be undermined after their release. Through last week, and into Monday, the administration continued to cast public doubt on the agency’s recommendations and role in informing and guiding the nation’s pandemic response. On Sunday, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos characterized the CDC guidelines as an impediment to reopening schools quickly rather than what they are: the path to doing so safely. The only valid reason to change released guidelines is new information and new science — not politics.

One of the many contributions the CDC provides our country is sound public health guidance that states and communities can adapt to their local context — expertise even more essential during a pandemic, when uncertainty is the norm. The four of us led the CDC over a period of more than 15 years, spanning Republican and Democratic administrations alike. We cannot recall over our collective tenure a single time when political pressure led to a change in the interpretation of scientific evidence.

We can reopen schools in the fall — if we close bars and gyms now

The CDC is home to thousands of experts who for decades have fought deadly pathogens such as HIV, Zika and Ebola. Despite the inevitable challenges of evolving science and the public’s expectation of certainty, these are the people best positioned to help our country emerge from this crisis as safely as possible. Unfortunately, their sound science is being challenged with partisan potshots, sowing confusion and mistrust at a time when the American people need leadership, expertise and clarity. These efforts have even fueled a backlash against public health officials across the country: Public servants have been harassedthreatened and forced to resign when we need them most. This is unconscionable and dangerous.

We’re seeing the terrible effect of undermining the CDC play out in our population. Willful disregard for public health guidelines is, unsurprisingly, leading to a sharp rise in infections and deaths. America now stands as a global outlier in the coronavirus pandemic. This tragic indictment of our efforts is even more egregious in light of the disproportionate impact we’ve witnessed on communities of color and lower-income essential workers. China, using the same mitigation tools available to us and with a far larger population, has had just a tiny fraction of the 3.1 million cases reported here. The United States now has more cases and deaths than any other country and the sixth-highest rate of any large country in the world — and we are gaining on the other five. The United States is home to a quarter of the world’s reported coronavirus infections and deaths, despite being home to only 4.4 percent of the global population.

Sadly, we are not even close to having the virus under control. Quite the opposite, in fact.

That’s what makes it hard to plan for schools. Any parent with a young child knows that classrooms, cafeterias and school buses are petri dishes for the common cold and the flu, even in normal times. And although children are at lower risk for serious illness and death from covid-19, the same is not true for the adults who work in schools, nor for the families children and school staffers go home to each evening. We must pay careful attention to safer school policies, including those the CDC released, to do everything we can to reopen our schools — and our economy — as safely as possible. This cannot happen equitably without additional federal and state resources to ensure that every school district — no matter the Zip code — can take the necessary measures to protect children, teachers and staffers. Black, Latino and Native American communities have suffered disproportionately during the first six months of the pandemic. We cannot let this same tragedy unfold this fall in our schools. The CDC’s guidance is a call for all of our nation to work together so as many schools as possible can reopen as safely as possible. This will mean wearing masks correctly, increasing distance — including by closing bars and restaurants in many places — and tracking and stopping the spread of the virus by supporting patients and protecting contacts.

Trying to fight this pandemic while subverting scientific expertise is like fighting blindfolded. How well and how quickly we adhere to the advice of public health experts at the CDC will determine whether, how soon and how safely our schools can reopen.

It is not too late to give the CDC its proper role in guiding this response. But the clock is ticking.

The CDC is our best defense against pandemics. It needs reform — now.

Trump’s covid-19 inaction killed Americans. Here’s a counter that shows how many. 

To DeVos, the virus is an excuse to strip public money from public schools

Article of the Day: July 11, 2020

Opinions

Robert Mueller: Roger Stone remains a convicted felon, and rightly so

Roger Stone, former adviser to President Trump, leaves following a court hearing in Washington last year. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)By Robert S. Mueller IIIJULY 11, 2020    Add to list

Robert S. Mueller III served as special counsel for the Justice Department from 2017 to 2019.

The work of the special counsel’s office — its report, indictments, guilty pleas and convictions — should speak for itself. But I feel compelled to respond both to broad claims that our investigation was illegitimate and our motives were improper, and to specific claims that Roger Stone was a victim of our office. The Russia investigation was of paramount importance. Stone was prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes. He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so. 

Russia’s actions were a threat to America’s democracy. It was critical that they be investigated and understood. By late 2016, the FBI had evidence that the Russians had signaled to a Trump campaign adviser that they could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to the Democratic candidate. And the FBI knew that the Russians had done just that: Beginning in July 2016, WikiLeaks released emails stolen by Russian military intelligence officers from the Clinton campaign. Other online personas using false names — fronts for Russian military intelligence — also released Clinton campaign emails.

Following FBI Director James B. Comey’s termination in May 2017, the acting attorney general named me as special counsel and directed the special counsel’s office to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. The order specified lines of investigation for us to pursue, including any links or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. One of our cases involved Stone, an official on the campaign until mid-2015 and a supporter of the campaign throughout 2016. Stone became a central figure in our investigation for two key reasons: He communicated in 2016 with individuals known to us to be Russian intelligence officers, and he claimed advance knowledge of WikiLeaks’ release of emails stolen by those Russian intelligence officers. Default Mono Sans Mono Serif Sans Serif Comic Fancy Small CapsDefault X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large XX-LargeDefault Outline Dark Outline Light Outline Dark Bold Outline Light Bold Shadow Dark Shadow Light Shadow Dark Bold Shadow Light BoldDefault Black Silver Gray White Maroon Red Purple Fuchsia Green Lime Olive Yellow Navy Blue Teal Aqua OrangeDefault 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%Default Black Silver Gray White Maroon Red Purple Fuchsia Green Lime Olive Yellow Navy Blue Teal Aqua OrangeDefault 100% 75% 50% 25% 0%Opinion | The Mueller report is riddled with Trump’s lies and manipulation

We now have a detailed picture of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. The special counsel’s office identified two principal operations directed at our election: hacking and dumping Clinton campaign emails, and an online social media campaign to disparage the Democratic candidate. We also identified numerous links between the Russian government and Trump campaign personnel — Stone among them. We did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired with the Russian government in its activities. The investigation did, however, establish that the Russian government perceived it would benefit from a Trump presidency and worked to secure that outcome. It also established that the campaign expected it would benefit electorally from information stolen and released through Russian efforts. 

Uncovering and tracing Russian outreach and interference activities was a complex task. The investigation to understand these activities took two years and substantial effort. Based on our work, eight individuals pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, and more than two dozen Russian individuals and entities, including senior Russian intelligence officers, were charged with federal crimes.

Congress also investigated and sought information from Stone. A jury later determined he lied repeatedly to members of Congress. He lied about the identity of his intermediary to WikiLeaks. He lied about the existence of written communications with his intermediary. He lied by denying he had communicated with the Trump campaign about the timing of WikiLeaks’ releases. He in fact updated senior campaign officials repeatedly about WikiLeaks. And he tampered with a witness, imploring him to stonewall Congress.

The jury ultimately convicted Stone of obstruction of a congressional investigation, five counts of making false statements to Congress and tampering with a witness. Because his sentence has been commuted, he will not go to prison. But his conviction stands. 

Russian efforts to interfere in our political system, and the essential question of whether those efforts involved the Trump campaign, required investigation. In that investigation, it was critical for us (and, before us, the FBI) to obtain full and accurate information. Likewise, it was critical for Congress to obtain accurate information from its witnesses. When a subject lies to investigators, it strikes at the core of the government’s efforts to find the truth and hold wrongdoers accountable. It may ultimately impede those efforts. 

We made every decision in Stone’s case, as in all our cases, based solely on the facts and the law and in accordance with the rule of law. The women and men who conducted these investigations and prosecutions acted with the highest integrity. Claims to the contrary are false.