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Hawaii lets on-duty cops have sex with prostitutes, and police want to keep it that way

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Police officers in Hawaii are lobbying lawmakers not to repeal a statute that allows them to have sex with prostitutes during the course of legitimate investigations.

Authorities claim that they need the legal protection afforded them by penal code statute §712-1200.5, which states that the legal definition of prostitution — “[a] person commits the offense of prostitution if the person engages in, or agrees or offers to engage in, sexual conduct with another person for a fee” — does “not apply to any member of a police department, a sheriff, or a law enforcement officer acting in the course and scope of duties.”

Honolulu Police Major Jerry Inouye recently told the House Judiciary Committee that “[t]he procedures and conduct of the undercover officers are regulated by department rules, which by nature have to be confidential, because if prostitution suspects, pimps and other people are privy to that information, they’re going to know exactly how far the undercover officer can and cannot go.”

He declined, however, to indicate how often the exemption is used.

A spokeswoman for the Honolulu Police Department, Michelle Yu, wrote in an email to The Associated Press that “[a]ll allegations of misconduct are investigated and the appropriate disciplinary action taken.” It is unclear what the “appropriate disciplinary action” would be, or whether any officers have been disciplined for on-duty behavior because of Hawaii’s strict disclosure laws when it comes to police misconduct.

Derek Marsh, the former co-chair of the Orange County Human Trafficking Task Force, called the statute “antiquated at best,” adding that “[i]t doesn’t help your case, and at worst you further traumatize someone. And do you think he or she is going to trust a cop again?”

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Lauren Hersh, a former prosecutor who now runs the global trafficking program at Equality Now, told the Associated Press that “I can understand you’re in a drug den, and you have a gun to your head and someone says ‘snort this,'” but that the Hawaiian statute is “so dissimilar from that circumstance on so many levels” that the comparison — oft-cited by Hawaiian law enforcement officials — isn’t even apt.

[Image via bon temps jolie on Flickr, Creative Commons Licensed]

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Hope Hicks denied under oath knowing about Trump’s hush-money payments to Stormy Daniels

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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks on Wednesday denied under oath knowing anything about the hush-money scheme set up by former Trump "fixer" Michael Cohen to pay off President Donald Trump's former mistresses.

"Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election," reports CNN's Manu Raju. "Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at White House because of immunity claims."

Hicks told lawmakers today that she did not have knowledge during 2016 campaign of hush-money payments made in run-up to election, per sources. Also she wouldn’t discuss what she learned about those payments during her time at WH bc of immunity claims https://t.co/GZWqzCzpGX

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2020 Election

Trump’s 2020 campaign strategy is familiar: Troll the libs!

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Late on Tuesday, I got an email from an unusual source. A reporter for the conservative publication the Washington Examiner asked if I'd be interested in sharing thoughts on Joe Biden's history of joking "about 'locking up your daughters'" and on "Biden's view of women and gender relations." This was in light of my previous criticisms of Biden's apparent condescension towards girls and women, and his pockmarked history on gender relations in general.

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Cory Booker rips Biden for praising racist senators: ‘You don’t joke about calling black men boys’

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Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) blasted Joe Biden for praising two segregationist senators he'd served with as a lawmaker.

The former vice president and current Democratic presidential frontrunner reminisced about his relationship with Mississippi Democrat James Eastland and Georgia Democrat Herman Talmadge, two notoriously racist senators during the Civil Rights era, reported The Hill.

“At least there was some civility, we got things done," Biden said, recalling that Eastland had never called him "boy." "We didn't agree on much of anything. We got things done, we got it finished."

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