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UPDATE: Former House Speaker Hastert pleads guilty in federal hush-money case

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Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty on Wednesday to federal charges of evading bank rules about large cash transactions in a deal reached with prosecutors in a hush-money case stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct.

Federal prosecutors recommended a sentence of zero to six months in prison for Hastert, but the judge said he could potentially sentence him to up to a maximum of five years and a fine of up to $250,000 when he is sentenced in February.

The plea marks a dramatic downfall for someone who once ranked among the country’s most powerful politicians.

(Reporting by Fiona Ortiz; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)

Report typos and corrections to [email protected].
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CNN

‘It’s voter discouragement’: Jake Tapper says Trump efforts to curb Dem votes doesn’t count as ‘suppression’

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CNN host Jake Tapper on Sunday disagreed with the notion that President Donald Trump and Russians tried to "suppress" Democratic votes by engaging in what he called large-scale voter "discouragement."

During a panel discussion on CNN, Democratic analyst Jennifer Granholm slammed Trump's campaign for "voter suppression."

"The thing that concerns me about the launch, Jake, of this new — of his re-election [campaign], he has already raised $100 million," Granholm said of Trump. "His campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who ran the digital campaign last time around, said that this time this campaign is going to be bigger, better and badder."

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2020 Election

Can at least half the 2020 Democrats please quit right now?

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OK, Democrats — you’ve had your fun. You grew up being told that everybody could run for president, and then everybody did. Except that this mad anthill scramble of presidential candidates, which resembles a bunch of kindergarteners descending on not enough cookies, really hasn’t been fun so far. All you’ve managed to do is put the fear of God — or the fear of the other guy, more like — into the voters, provoking widespread PTSD flashbacks to November 2016.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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CNN

Conservative columnist Max Boot: ‘It’s reality that’s pushing for impeachment’

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Max Boot, a conservative columnist for The Washington Post, argued on Sunday that "reality" is "pushing for impeachment."

On CNN's Reliable Sources program, host Brian Stelter asked if it is the media's fault that the possible impeachment of President Donald Trump has become a topic of discussion.

"Journalist are doing their jobs and reporting the facts," national security analyst Samantha Vinograd insisted. "I don’t think that putting the press in one basket is helpful. Trump does that, but we shouldn’t do that."

Boot said that attacking the media over impeachment amounts to "blaming the messenger."

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