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GOP congressman Michael Grimm pleads guilty to tax fraud: defense lawyer

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U.S. Representative Michael Grimm of New York pleaded guilty to a federal felony tax charge on Tuesday, seven weeks after coasting to reelection despite his indictment.

Grimm, a Republican, pleaded guilty in Brooklyn federal court to aiding the preparation of a false tax return in connection with a health food restaurant, Healthalicious, that he co-owned before his political career.

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U.S. prosecutors had charged Grimm in a 20-count indictment unveiled in April that focused on allegedly illegal wage and tax practices at the restaurant. Trial had been scheduled for February.

“While operating a restaurant, we underestimated the gross receipts and used some of the money to pay employees off the books and some other expenses,” Grimm said in court.

It’s unclear whether Grimm intends to resign his seat. Some Congressional Democrats have already begun calling on John Boehner, the Republican speaker of the House of Representatives, to force Grimm to step down.

“Clearly, Speaker (John) Boehner must insist that Congressman Grimm resign immediately,” said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi in a statement from her home earlier on Tuesday. Boehner has not yet commented.

The 44-year-old former Marine and FBI agent, who represents parts of New York City’s Staten Island and Brooklyn boroughs, faces a maximum of three years in prison when he is sentenced on June 8. H

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is lawyers are likely to ask Chen to impose a sentence with no imprisonment.

If he chooses not to resign, he could also face discipline from the House, including reprimand, censure or expulsion.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond; Writing by Joseph Ax; Editing by Diane Craft and Andrew Hay)

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Trump declares it was a ‘great day for the GOP’ — and is mercilessly ridiculed for his absurd claim

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President Donald Trump responded to the end of the day's impeachment hearings by saying that it was a great day for the Republican Party and for the United States. There were many people who disagreed, however.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1196958035127783427

Every person who testified before Congress has said that Trump's obsession with Joe Biden was concerning enough to alert others. Even National Security Council aide Tim Morrison stressed that he didn’t believe there was anything inappropriate about the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But when Rep. Val Demmings (D-FL) asked him why then he felt the need to report it if there was nothing wrong, Morrison struggled to find an answer.

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Four shootings in Philly — in 20-minutes — leave one dead and five wounded

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Police in Philadelphia are spending Monday evening responding to multiple shootings.

"Police are investigating four separate shootings that left one man dead as gunfire erupted across Philadelphia Tuesday night," CBS Philly reports.

One man was killed and two wounded in a triple shooting in the Logan section.

Another man was shot four times in East Mount Airy.

A man is in stable condition after being shot in the chest in Kingsessing.

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NSC aide Morrison flounders as lawmaker asks why he reported Trump’s phone call if he didn’t think it was a big deal

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At the impeachment hearings on Tuesday, National Security Council aide Tim Morrison stressed that he didn't believe there was anything inappropriate about the call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But when Rep. Val Demings (D-FL) asked him why he reported the call to government lawyers, he had no answer.

"You responded to a series of questions about the call and saw nothing wrong with it, yet you skipped your chain of command to go to legal counsel to find out — I guess to find out what to do, because you were concerned about the political fallout, not about anything being appropriate or wrong with the call, is that correct?" asked Demings.

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