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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.

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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

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.

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


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Israel’s election outcome remains unclear — but the ‘ultimate loser’ will be Palestinians

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Israel is facing political turmoil as Tuesday’s election remains too close to call. With 92% of the vote counted, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and ex-military chief Benny Gantz’s Blue and White party appear to be nearly tied. Both leading candidates aiming to be prime minister had run on platforms vowing to take harsh measures targeting Palestinians. Netanyahu promised to annex nearly a third of the occupied West Bank, in violation of international law, if he won re-election. Earlier this year, Gantz had threatened to bomb Gaza back to the “Stone Ages.” On Tuesday night, Gantz said he had fulfilled his mission by preventing Netanyahu’s outright re-election, while Netanyahu did not claim victory or concede defeat in a speech to supporters. From Jerusalem, we speak with Palestinian attorney Diana Buttu about the significance of the snap election. “It’s not clear who will be the ultimate victor,” Buttu says. “I can tell you who will be the ultimate loser, and that’s the Palestinian people.”

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Longtime GOP strategist explains why his party is getting crushed in the war of ideas

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Republican strategist Stuart Stevens on Wednesday warned the GOP that Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) might not be a pushover candidate against President Donald Trump in 2020.

Writing on Twitter, Stevens admitted that he had "no idea" if Warren would beat Trump next year, but he did say that "Trump and supporters are destroying [the] credibility of any center-right argument" thanks to Trump's "corrupt and unstable" governance.

When one of Stevens' followers said that Warren would not be able to fulfill her promises just by taxing the wealthy, he countered that this idea is still more popular than anything Republicans are championing.

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‘Just like Brett Kavanaugh’: GOP candidate who pleaded guilty to sexual battery claims he was the real victim

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A GOP congressional candidate in Utah is comparing himself to Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — favorably — to explain away his guilty plea to two counts of sexual battery, according to The Salt Lake Tribune.

Cory Green, an Army Reserve and Navy veteran and private security officer running for Utah's 1st Congressional District, was charged with forcible sexual abuse in 2010 after he allegedly brought two teenage masseuses to a Motel 6, performed a sex act with an escort in front of them, and then paid one of the teenage girls for sex. He insists that the girl lied about her age and that his victim extorted him.

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