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Arizona county settles parts of U.S. rights suit against sheriff

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An Arizona county agreed on Wednesday to settle three key parts of a 2012 lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department against controversial sheriff Joe Arpaio and his deputies over alleged civil rights violations, a spokesman said.

In a unanimous vote, Maricopa County supervisors approved agreements they said were aimed at preventing any repeats of alleged past abuses that included retaliating against public officials, discriminating against Latino inmates and improperly conducting workplace immigration raids.

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Under the agreements, the county agreed to oversight by the Justice Department and to new policies, procedures and training to remedy the claims. The county does not concede any wrong-doing and will not be asked to pay any monetary damages, according to settlement documents.

“Maricopa County has always intended to settle this case,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Steve Chucri said in a statement after the vote. “We are pleased we can settle these three items and move forward.”

Still to be decided is the result of allegations stemming from non-immigration related traffic stop enforcement, county officials said. That could come at a trial scheduled to begin on Aug. 10.

Last month, U.S. District Court Judge Roslyn Silver ruled that she would adopt the findings made by another federal judge in a separate 2007 racial-profiling case leveled against Arpaio and his operations.

The judge in that case found that Arpaio’s deputies racially profiled Latino drivers and unlawfully detained them during traffic stops. The Justice Department’s lawsuit was broader.

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An Arpaio spokesman said it was “inappropriate to comment at this juncture. … We look forward to addressing the issue in the near future.”

Justice Department officials could not immediately be reached for comment.

The settlement comes as Arpaio is fighting to remove judge Murray Snow in the racial profiling case, while asking Snow to stay the case while an appeal is considered by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. That appeal is expected to be filed by July 24.

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Snow has refused to remove himself, rejecting claims that his decisions could be seen as biased.

He said that motion filed by Arpaio and his chief deputy Gerard Sheridan was “legally insufficient and untimely.”

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Arpaio and other past and current top officials face civil contempt hearings for repeatedly violating Snow’s court orders. Possible punishments include fines, restitution and increased oversight of the sheriff’s office. They could also face criminal contempt proceedings.

(By David Schwartz. Reporting by David Schwartz; Editing by Daniel Wallis and Eric Walsh)


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John Oliver explains how the Ukraine scandal so stupid even Fox News ‘idiot’ Steve Doocy should understand it

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"Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver closed out his season with a special report for Fox News hosts who seem to be struggling with the basic understanding of things like "bribery" or the concept that attempted crimes are still actually crimes.

At the top of Sunday's show, Oliver played a clip of Fox News host Laura Ingraham who made the argument that if Trump tried to commit a crime and didn't manage to pull it off, then he's clearly innocent.

"Attempted bribery isn't in the constitution," proclaimed Ingraham, forgetting about what "high crimes and misdemeanors" covers. "Remember, Ukraine got its aid, it was 14 days delayed, big deal. And Ukraine never made any public statement about the investigation."

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This is the energy executive who first exposed Trump’s Ukraine scandal: report

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CNN host Chris Cuomo did a special investigative report by Drew Griffin looking at the money trail from Russia to President Donald Trump's Ukraine scandal.

"You probably don’t know Dale Perry, but history may record this energy executive as one of the first who sounded the alarm about what would become President Trump’s impeachment inquiry," said Griffin. "In April, Perry’s former business partner Andrew Favorov, now a director at Ukraine's state-owned gas company Naftogaz, says two shady characters had approached him, with a secret management plan to take over the management from the inside. Those two shady characters Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, are two low-level, Soviet-born businessmen from south Florida. And they were trying to clear the way for their own gas business."

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‘A slam-dunk-case’: MSNBC analysts predict GOP will defend Trump — and ‘the guy is going to get off’

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More evidence was outed Sunday as the Wall Street Journal revealed emails from EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland, who promised to keep the White House abreast of President Donald Trump's demand for an investigation by Ukraine. The news prompted an MSNBC panelists to explain that it wouldn't matter how much evidence was presented, Republicans will never vote to remove Trump.

Host Geoff Bennett asked about the witness testimony and preponderance of evidence that "all points in one direction at this point, that President Trump orchestrated this entire" Ukraine investigations.

"It's a slam dunk case, and yet we know the guy is going to get off," said Los Angels Times White House reporter Eli Stokols. "That's effectively what you're saying. Because all the testimony has lined up so closely, the fact that [EU Ambassador Gordon] Sondland has come to come in, and because testimony from [Ambassador Bill] Taylor and others, has had to change testimony, Republicans have no choice -- the president has no choice but to try to dismiss the entire thing as partisan."

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