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New York man describes church beating that killed his son: ‘Blows that hurt drive out evil’

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The New York State man who took part in a church beating that nearly killed both of his sons invoked a Biblical verse to explain the rationale behind them, WKTV-TV reported.

“Blows that hurt drive off evil,” said Bruce Leonard, who admitted to whipping both youths “so they would understand the hurt they caused” by molesting not only their sister, but the children of their half-sister, Sarah Ferguson. He said that he whipped 17-year-old Lucas Leonard and 17-year-old Christopher Leonard 20 times apiece with an electrical cord.

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The older son died as a result of the injuries he received during the attack last October. The younger son admitted in earlier testimony that they had abused sister Grace Leonard as well as Ferguson’s children. Grace Leonard testified that she was abused by her brothers between the ages of 4 or 5 and 13.

Gawker reported that Bruce Leonard then said he gave the cord to Ferguson, who whipped both boys in their groins, prompting him to say that the attack got “too big, too crazy” after Lucas Leonard started bleeding from his groin.

As Reuters reported, Leonard pled guilty last week to first- and second-degree assault in exchange for testifying against not only Ferguson — who is charged with second-degree murder — but six other people charged in connection with the assault

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Trump’s ‘indefensible’ comments just made it ‘much much harder’ for GOP to win in 2020: Ex-RNC Chair

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President Donald Trump's latest anti-Semitic trope is going to make it "much much harder" for Republicans to hold control of the White House in 2020, the former chair of the Republican National Committee (RNC) explained on MSNBC on Tuesday.

Michael Steele was interviewed by MSNBC's Chris Matthews on "Hardball."

"There’s a long-respected leader of what's called Jewish Republicans, Matt Brooks -- I've known him for a long time -- this guy has the job of helping get votes, Republican votes, in the community, which generally votes Democrats," Matthews noted. "What is he going to deal with this baby, this assault on religious identity and trying to claim you must vote your group?"

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Whistleblower alleges misconduct in IRS audits — and it could finally deliver Trump’s tax returns: report

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On Tuesday, Politico reported that House Democrats received a tip from a whistleblower about possible misconduct at the Internal Revenue Service in audits of presidential tax returns — and plan to use this revelation to bolster their legal case for obtaining President Donald Trump's tax returns.

In a federal court motion, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA), who is seeking the president's tax returns, included a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin from earlier this month, informing him that the committee received an "undisclosed communication ... from a Federal employee setting forth credible allegations of 'evidence of possible misconduct' — specifically, potential 'inappropriate attempts to influence the mandatory audit program.'"

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Washington Post editorial board calls Trump too cowardly to pass background checks in scathing editorial

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The Washington Post just published a scathing editorial saying that President Donald Trump is far too cowardly to fight for gun safety laws or any kind of gun reform.

For a brief few days, while Trump was on vacation, he was willing to say that background checks needed to be tightened. But once he was on the phone with the National Rifle Association, everything changed. It isn't the first time. When Trump promised action after the Parkland, Florida massacre he said to the faces of parents who'd just lost their children. The next day he reneged. Now Americans are back at step one, where the next shooting is around the corner and even if police are on scene to take the shooter down in less than 60 seconds, people will still die.

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