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Name: Don
Gender: Male
Hometown: Massachusetts
Home country: United States
Member since: Sat Sep 1, 2012, 03:28 PM
Number of posts: 60,344

Journal Archives

Report: Trump Learned of Flynn Plea on the News

Source: The Daily Beast

President Trump and his legal team learned about the apparent plea deal struck by former White House National Security Adviser Michael Flynn through news reports Friday morning, according to ABC News. Flynn was charged with making false statements to the FBI, according to a new indictment filed by the special counsel’s office. Law enforcement officials said Flynn has turned himself in to the FBI, Reuters reported. He will reportedly plead guilty to the accusation that he misled the Bureau during a January 2017 interview.



Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/report-trump-learned-of-flynn-plea-on-the-news

Justice Department considering federal charges in Steinle case

Source: The Hill

BY AVERY ANAPOL - 12/01/17 09:28 AM EST

The Justice Department is considering federal charges against the undocumented immigrant charged in the death of Kate Steinle.

Jose Ines Garcia Zarate was acquitted by a jury Thursday of murder and manslaughter in the 2015 shooting but was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.

A Justice Department spokeswoman said Friday on “Fox & Friends” that the department is considering federal charges against Zarate. “We’re looking at every option and we will prosecute this to the fullest extent available under the law because these cases are tragic and entirely preventable,” Sarah Isgur Flores, the DOJ Director of Public Affairs, said.

Flores said that the department is looking at other cases to determine what charges they would pursue, but possibilities include felony reentry and violating supervised release.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/362745-justice-department-considering-federal-charges-in-in-kate-steinle

Review of Charlottesville rally response finds law enforcement was 'flawed' and uncoordinated

Source: The Hill

BY AVERY ANAPOL - 12/01/17 09:59 AM EST

A former federal prosecutor’s review of law enforcement response at the August Charlottesville white supremacist rally that left one dead found that police were not sufficiently prepared for the event.

Former U.S. Attorney Tim Heaphy conducted an investigation of the "Unite the Right" rally at the request of city officials. The full report is available online.

Heaphy’s investigation found that police prepared a “flawed plan” for the rally, which was held over August 11 and 12 in response to proposals to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. “The City of Charlottesville protected neither free expression nor public safety on August 12,” Heaphy wrote in his report.

Heaphy said that law enforcement was particularly unprepared for the torch-lit march that white nationalists organized on the night of August 11 at the University of Virginia.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/362751-review-of-charlottesville-rally-response-finds-law-enforcement-was

Poll: Feinstein leads progressive challenger by double-digits

Source: The Hill

BY LISA HAGEN - 12/01/17 10:02 AM EST

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) leads her top progressive challenger by a double-digit margin, according to a new poll.

A new poll from the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that Feinstein leads her challenger, California Senate Pro Tem President Kevin de León (D), 45 percent to 21 percent among likely voters. Thirty-three percent are undecided.

Feinstein has a resounding lead in every region of the state and has a more than 2-to-1 lead in his home region of Los Angeles. Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, also has a huge lead in the Bay area: 54 to 17 percent.

Feinstein has been a long-time staple in California politics, but she has come under fire from progressives who argue she hasn’t held President Trump accountable. Many progressives and groups have rallied around de León since he entered the race. But de León and any other Democrat looking to jump into the race will have an uphill battle since Feinstein has served in the Senate since 1992.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/362752-poll-feinstein-leads-progressive-challenger-by-double-digits

Johnson to back Senate tax plan, putting GOP leaders close to passing massive bill

Source: The Washington Post

By Damian Paletta and Erica Werner December 1 at 9:25 AM

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) will vote for the GOP tax overhaul package, a spokesman said Friday, giving Republican leaders support from one of their party’s final few holdouts and moving the bill much closer to passing.

Johnson’s support came after a late night of negotiations, following a standoff on the Senate floor Thursday when Johnson and two other members aired concerns about the bill.

He has long complained that the tax cut package does not provide enough benefits for a certain type of business, though he has requested numerous changes in recent days and it could not be immediately learned what precisely made him decide to back the bill.

Support from the Wisconsin Republican is a boost for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but GOP leaders still need to win backing from at least one more holdout before they can be assured they have enough votes to pass the bill.

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/johnson-to-back-senate-tax-bill-putting-gop-leaders-close-to-securing-passage/2017/12/01/0226ff98-d6a2-11e7-b62d-d9345ced896d_story.html

Read the special counsel's charges against Flynn

BY THE HILL STAFF - 12/01/17 09:33 AM EST

Special counsel Robert Mueller has charged President Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn with “willfully and knowingly” making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador, Mueller's office announced Friday morning.

Read the charges below.


or here:


Susan Collins: If Roy Moore wins, 'we have to seat him'

By Miranda Green, CNN

Updated 12:15 PM ET, Thu November 30, 2017

Washington (CNN)Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Thursday that Senate Republicans will have little choice but to seat Alabama Senate hopeful Roy Moore if he wins next month.

"If he is elected, there are no grounds under the Constitution to fail to seat him," Collins said at a breakfast held by The Christian Science Monitor. "The Constitution says you can only look at citizenship, whether they are a resident of the state, and if they are the proper age. So we have to seat him."

Moore's campaign was rocked earlier this month by allegations that he pursued relationships with teenage girls while in his 30s, including accusations of sexual assault. He has denied all the allegations.

Several Republicans have come out against Moore's candidacy, and Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colorado, the head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said if Moore wins, the Republican-controlled Senate should vote to expel him. Collins, who noted Thursday that she supported Sen. Luther Strange, Moore's opponent, in the Alabama Republican Senate primary, said she will take her cues from a Senate Ethics Committee investigation that she believes will be set up if Moore wins.


Mass. district attorneys on Thursday said they would dismiss more than 6,000 drug convictions


Massachusetts district attorneys on Thursday said they would dismiss more than 6,000 drug convictions due to misconduct by a former drug lab chemist and two former state prosecutors. It marks the second time this year that thousands of drug charges were wiped away due to official misconduct.

The latest dismissals follow years of litigation over crimes committed by Sonja Farak, a former chemist at the Amherst drug lab. Farak was arrested in 2013 on charges of stealing from the evidence locker to feed her own addiction. She pleaded guilty in 2014.

Farak’s misconduct was compounded further by two former state prosecutors in the attorney general’s office who withheld evidence regarding the scope of the chemist’s crimes. Last June, a Springfield judge ruled that the prosecutors committed a “fraud upon the court.”

Two women convicted for drug possession based in part on evidence handled by Farak filed a lawsuit in the state Supreme Judicial Court in September, alleging that prosecutors never notified them of the misconduct findings against either Farak or the prosecutors. In early November, a judge ordered all Massachusetts district attorneys to review their case files for Farak-related convictions and identify charges they were willing to dismiss.


Trump wants to gut America's progress against AIDS

By Michael Gerson Opinion writer November 30 at 7:40 PM

I am not in the “ignore President Trump’s tweets because they are a distraction from important things” camp. His most recent micro-harangues — accusing (without evidence) a news executive of wrongdoing, hinting that a television host may have been involved in murder and embracing the debunked anti-Muslim rantings of Britain’s alt-right — indicate some type of degeneration. The president seems to be in a downward spiral of anger, compulsion, conspiracy theorizing and prejudice that is alternately offensive and frightening. But the thing is, Trump’s tweets are also distracting from other important matters of governance. And here is one that can’t get lost in the general madness: The Trump administration is proposing a reduction in funding and a shift in strategy in the fight against global AIDS that together would increase infections, cost lives and threaten the extraordinary progress of the past 15 years.

A little history. In January of 2003 — as a cresting wave of death from AIDS swept across sub-Saharan Africa — George W. Bush proposed the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), the largest initiative to fight a single disease in history. (I was one advocate for the plan within the Bush administration.) The legislation passed rapidly, with bipartisan support. The effort — including mass treatment, prevention and compassionate care — was continued and expanded under President Barack Obama.

On this World AIDS Day, the results are truly remarkable. PEPFAR supports 13 million people on lifesaving treatment. Thanks to PEPFAR, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria , and the increasing contributions of countries themselves, more than half of people in the world needing AIDS treatment are getting it.

But there is a predictable challenge ahead. Africa is experiencing a historic youth bulge and will have more than 800 million young people by 2050. How fast and far the AIDS virus spreads among them will determine much about the future of the epidemic. And the extent of that spread will be determined (in addition to direct outreach to young people) by the level of AIDS treatment.


Judge questions Fusion GPS claims in Trump dossier probe

Giving a House panel more information on clients and payments wouldn't invade First Amendment rights, court suggests.

By JOSH GERSTEIN 11/30/2017 05:51 PM EST

A federal judge overseeing a legal dispute between Fusion GPS and the House Intelligence Committee suggested Thursday that forcing the private investigation firm to identify more of its clients and vendors wouldn’t run afoul of the First Amendment.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon repeatedly noted that data the intelligence panel is seeking from Fusion’s bank as part of the investigation into Russian influence in the 2016 election would reflect only the names of those who exchanged funds with Fusion and the amounts of those transactions, but would not reveal the substance of what the firm did.

“It would be clients and vendors and the amount, but not what the work was for,” said Leon, who issued no immediate ruling.

Fusion GPS, the investigative outfit that commissioned the so-called dossier of accurate, inaccurate and unverified claims relating to Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, has asked the court to block or narrow a subpoena the House Intelligence Committee issued to the firm’s bank.

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