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U.S. top court rejects convicted congressman Renzi’s appeal

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal by former congressman Richard Renzi seeking to challenge his 2013 conviction stemming from a proposed federal land swap deal the Arizona Republican pushed when in office.

The court’s refusal to hear separate appeals filed by Renzi, who was given a three-year prison sentence for fraud, extortion and money laundering, and co-defendant James Sandlin means both men’s convictions remain intact.

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Renzi was convicted on charges stemming from coercing an investment group in 2005 to buy land from former business partner Sandlin, who then funneled corporate checks to Renzi.

Renzi, who represented Arizona’s 1st congressional district from January 2003 until he left office in 2009, was also convicted of funneling funds from an insurance company he managed into personal and campaign accounts.

Sandlin was convicted of 13 felonies including conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and extortion for his role in the land sale. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld both convictions in an October 2014 ruling.

The cases are Renzi v. U.S. and Sandlin v. U.S., U.S. Supreme Court, No. 14-1082 and 14-1083.

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(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)


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‘Angry’ Trump Michigan voters admit they want ‘this nightmare to end’ in November

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President Donald Trump's Michigan supporters are abandoning their 2016 pick for Vice President Joe Biden as the election comes closer.

In a series of interviews on MSNBC Sunday, revisited voters they'd met earlier in the election cycle in Kent County.

Katey Morse and her husband were both working full time, and their kids were in school back in March, but things quickly changed as the coronavirus spread throughout the country. Luckily, she and her husband didn't lose their jobs, but they, like many parents, are struggling to do virtual school for their kids.

"I'm turning into more of an angry person than I've ever been in my life," she said about how she feels politically, noting that it makes her sad. "I've just got a countdown to November now, and I'm hoping we'll wake up from this nightmare we're in."

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Trump abusing the intelligence community in an attempt to keep them quiet about Russia election hacks: Conservative

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The New York Times Magazine piece outlining President Donald Trump's battles with the U.S. intelligence community revealed that Russia is continuing to wage its own cyberwar against the world. According to conservative Washington Post columnist Max Boot, the devastating report explained the extent to which the president is ignoring the threats to the 2020 election.

“The options faced by the intelligence community during Trump’s presidency have been stark: avoid infuriating the president but compromise the agencies’ ostensible independence, or assert that independence and find yourself replaced with a more sycophantic alternative," wrote Robert Draper in his lengthy investigation into Trump's efforts to politicize international intelligence. According to Boot, the most shocking part of the investigation was that the experts in the intelligence community have been banned from speaking honestly about the Russian attacks.

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2020 Election

‘Incompetent moron’ Chuck Todd ripped for letting Trump official claim Democrats want more COVID-19 deaths

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"Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd is under fire -- once again -- after letting Donald Trump's trade adviser Peter Navarro claim on NBC that Democrats want more Americans to die during the coronavirus pandemic to boost their chances at the polls in November.

Instead of pushing back the NBC host known for his lack of follow-up questions let the comment slide by responding, "I take your point."

Todd's failure to call out the Trump aide for what one Twitter commenter called a "disgusting" comment led to an avalanche of criticism for the MBC political director who recently saw his weekday show cut back to make room for more commentary by colleague Nicolle Wallace.

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