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Friend of Boston bomber to be sentenced for obstructing investigation

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A friend of the Boston Marathon bomber who admitted to obstructing the investigation into the deadly 2013 blast, one of the highest-visibility attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, is set to be sentenced on Tuesday.

Kazakhstan national Dias Kadyrbayev was one of three friends to face federal charges for removing a backpack containing fireworks from bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s college dorm hours after the FBI released photos of the suspect and his older brother.

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Federal prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for Kadyrbayev, who pleaded guilty in August after his roommate and fellow Kazakh exchange student Azamat Tazhayakov was convicted of obstruction of justice.

Tsarnaev, 21, was found guilty of killing three people and injuring 264 others with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race’s crowded finish line. A jury sentenced him to die by lethal injection for his crimes.

The stepfather of a police officer who was shot dead by the Tsarnaev brothers at about the time Kadyrbayev was visiting the dorm said in a court filing that the defendant could have saved his stepson’s life if he had immediately told the FBI he suspected Tsarnaev was one of the bombers.

“The impact this crime has had on our family is immeasurable,” said Joseph Rogers, whose stepson Sean Collier, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology police officer was killed by the Tsarnaevs. “Every day is a struggle knowing that he is gone and being aware of the circumstances surrounding his murder, specifically that it could absolutely have been prevented.”

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Kadyrbayev will be able to speak at the hearing where U.S. District Judge Douglas Woodlock sets his sentence, although he is under no obligation to do so.

Tazhayakov, who was found guilty by a jury of the same charges, and Robel Phillipos of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who was convicted of the lesser charge of lying to investigators, are set for sentencing on Friday.

Prosecutors are seeking a four-year sentence for Tazhayakov, because he had agreed to testify against Tsarnaev at trial, although he was not called to the witness stand.

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The charges against the three men trace back to the evening of April 18, 2013, three days after the bombing, when the FBI released photos of the Tsarnaev brothers, saying they were suspects in the bombing.


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Trump’s ‘adolescent’ letter to Turkey stuns ex-White House adviser: ‘It is unprecedented’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," David Gergen, a former White House adviser to four presidents, was astonished by President Donald Trump's letter to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an warning him "don't be a fool."

"I don't want to laugh about it because it's — this is a letter that was actually sent, at least, he says it was," said host Erin Burnett. "Have you ever seen anything like this?"

"Well, Erin, many presidents write tough letters, nasty letters, angry letters, frustrated letters. The normal presidents then put them in a jar in a file called 'burn before sending,'" said Gergen. "This had such an adolescent quality to it when I read it, I immediately called my researcher, and I said, see if this is fake."

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White House ripped for ‘ridiculously misogynistic stereotype’ in attack on Speaker Pelosi

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The White House was harshly criticized for an attack on Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) launched by White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.

Grisham was already under fire for claiming President Donald Trump had been "measured" in a meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) when she lashed out at the female speaker.

https://twitter.com/PressSec/status/1184598320330788864

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CNN

Democratic senator burns Trump’s ‘belligerent’ behavior: ‘Something I have never seen in my 27 years in Congress’

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) laid into President Donald Trump's behavior during his Syria meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

"You were there, you were inside the White House for that meeting," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What unfolded exactly?"

"Well, the president came in and he was in a belligerent state from the beginning," said Menendez. "He smacked down a whole bunch of papers on the table and said, you all asked for this meeting, I reluctantly agreed to it. No one had asked for the meeting. Speaker Pelosi said, Mr. President, we didn't ask for a meeting, we asked for a briefing to understand the consequences of your actions. He said, Well, then let's end the meeting. She said, while I'm here, it's my duty as the speaker to tell you that the House has just passed, I think 362, I forget exactly the number, a resolution opposing your decision and calling upon a strategy for ISIS. He just went on and said that's a political hit job and it went downwards from there."

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