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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.”

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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?”

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.

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


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Pelosi blasts Trump as ‘not a well person’ and wonders if GOP is motivated by a ‘manhood thing’: report

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) briefed members of the Democratic Caucus on Saturday about the state of negotiations over the next coronavirus stimulus bill.

Luke Broadwater, a congressional correspondent for The New York Times, posted a thread about the call on Twitter, citing "sources on call."

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) was also on the call, and reportedly blasted White House chief of staff Mark Meadows for the failure to reach a deal.

“Meadows, when John Boehner and Paul Ryan was Speaker, impeded every agreement they tried to make with us on must-pass legislation," Hoyer reported said.

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Democratic pressure on intel agencies exposed a motherlode of information on foreign meddling helping Trump: report

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On Saturday, Politico reported that congressional Democrats believe their pressure campaign on the intelligence community was crucial to exposing Russia's newest plot to interfere with U.S. elections on behalf of President Donald Trump.

"For weeks, top Democratic lawmakers in the House and Senate have been blaring warnings and demanding briefings and public disclosures from the intelligence community, shrugging off Republican charges that they’re politicizing intelligence," reported Andrew Desiderio and Kyle Cheney. "And Democrats can now point to evidence that their pressure campaign might be working. On Friday, the Trump administration’s counterintelligence chief publicly confirmed that Russia is attempting to harm Joe Biden’s candidacy in 2020. The official, William Evanina, even singled out a pro-Russia Ukrainian, Andrii Derkach, as a key participant in the Kremlin’s new effort."

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Pelosi ‘going for the jugular’ as Republicans fight among themselves over COVID-19 aid: report

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes she has the upper hand in negotiations with Republicans over the next round of stimulus in response to economic catastrophe resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new report in The New York Times.

The newspaper recounted how Pelosi responded to CNBC anchor Jim Cramer's suggestion she invokes John Lewis to get Republicans to help "minorities" and vulnerable Americans during the economic crisis.

“Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn for what you just described," Pelosi replied.

"The comment — unusually coarse for Ms. Pelosi, 80, who was educated by nuns — was part insult, part dare and part slogan for a woman who believes she has the upper hand in crisis negotiations and does not intend to lose it. And it reflected how, two weeks into stalled talks over another round of federal assistance to prop up a battered economy, and less than three months before Election Day, the speaker of the House is going for the jugular," the newspaper explained.

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