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Rush Limbaugh tells Fox: ‘The left’ killed Eric Garner with high taxes, not a police chokehold

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Radio host Rush Limbaugh asserted on Sunday that Eric Garner had not died because police put him in an illegal chokehold, but because of high taxes and because tobacco use had been stigmatized in the U.S.

The conservative talker told Fox News host Chris Wallace that protests in the wake of decisions not to prosecute police officers who killed Eric Garner and Michael Brown were part of a “grievance politics” that was “tearing this country apart.”

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Limbaugh argued the demonstrators complaints were not “full-fledged legitimate,” and that President Barack Obama had a responsibility to tell them to end the protests.

“It’s not based on real world grievance, it’s grievance that’s being amplified and made up,” he said.

Wallace, however, said that he could not understand Limbaugh’s insistence that the New York City Police officer had never used a chokehold on Garner.

“What are you talking about that it’s not a chokehold?” Wallace asked.

“I’m listening to experts in police departments around the country that I know tell me it’s not a chokehold,” Limbaugh replied. “It might have been carotid restriction, but it was not a chokehold.”

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“But, Chris, this all misses the point!” the radio host continued. “What was Eric Garner doing? He was selling cigarettes! Loose cigarettes! And the police in New York, because they’re so eager for tax collection, what is being done here with regard to taxes and the state’s desire to collect them no matter what — how many cops were descended on that situation for cigarettes? How many people smoking marijuana did the cops pass by and ignore on the way to Eric Garner?”

“I think the real outrage here is that an American died while the state is enforcing tax collection on cigarettes, this is just absurd! People talk about the left, people want a big state, people want a powerful state. Well, here it is.”

In the end, Limbaugh said that Garner died because of “how we stigmatize tobacco to the point that it’s so despised and reviled that a guy loses his life selling single cigarettes in New York City. It’s absurd.”

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Many conservatives like Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) have turned to arguments about high taxes in the wake of the decision not to prosecute anyone for the death of Garner.

“What kind of callousness is required to say the ‘bigger’ issue in Garner’s death isn’t excessive police use of force, or police practice toward African-Americans generally, but… taxes?” Salon’s Joan Walsh recently noted.

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“I’m not sure I can think of a case of a cop shooting anyone over selling something without charging/paying taxes, ever, in my lifetime,” she added. “On the other hand, there is a very real issue of police using excessive force against African-Americans.”

Watch the video below from Fox News’ Fox News Sunday, broadcast Dec. 7, 2014.

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DOJ employees urged to revolt against Bill Barr for throwing IG report ‘in the trash’ to defend Trump

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne excoriated Attorney General William Barr for his partisan suppression of the inspector general's conclusions about the FBI's Russia investigation.

"Here's the problem. The inspector general has already found that the — the investigation was not motivated in the way that Bill Barr is saying it is, and he's directly taking all the work of all the people and he's throwing it in the trash," said Alksne. "And he's added this other layer of an investigation and now he's broken all the rules, because one of the rules in an investigation is you don't talk about it in the middle, and he's done that. And it's a very threatening thing to the person who did the initial investigation, and it's also a way of putting his thumb on the scale with the guy who's doing the followup investigation, [U.S. Attorney John] Durham. He was talked into issuing a press release that was completely improper."

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GOP lawmaker scrambles for excuses after being cornered with McConnell’s promise to rig Trump impeachment

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On CNN Saturday, anchor Martin Savidge confronted Rep. Mike Johnson (R-LA), one of Trump's biggest defenders on cable television, about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's claim that he was "coordinating" the impeachment strategy with the White House.

"Where is the impartiality there?" asked Savidge. "And it has to be a concern because, as you point out, you are an attorney and you would be worried if a member of the jury had already stated how they were going to consider."

"Yeah, we heard those comments yesterday, as everyone did," said Johnson. "You know, I've actually talked about this with some of my Democrat [sic] colleagues, those who are very much in favor of impeachment. I said isn't it a fair description of what he said? The way I heard that, Mitch McConnell is talking about the scheduling of the trial, what length of trial or what would be involved with that, with the White House, which is not unprecedented. That's what happened in the Clinton proceedings as well, they coordinated with the White House on scheduling. I don't think he's talking about the merits of the case. I think he's talking about how long will be allowed for this to go forward so I don't think there's anything inappropriate about that."

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Jared Kushner’s ties to Saudis could be fair game if Trump keeps going after Hunter Biden: Dem lawmaker

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On MSNBC's "AM Joy," Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) laid out the case for impeaching President Donald Trump — and warned of the consequences for Trump's own family at the hands of future presidents if he is allowed to get away with it.

"He abused his power by trying to trade government resources for a political favor, to knock out a political rival in Joe Biden, the guy that he thought would emerge as nominee for 2020," said Castro. "We can't set a precedent where Congress says it's okay for a president to do that, because if we do that then a few things will happen. Number one, it opens the door for Donald Trump to do it again or a future president to do it again. To ask a country to interfere in our elections and knock out a political rival by digging up dirt."

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