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Stanford rape judge asks for money to help fight well-funded recall campaign

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The judge who sparked widespread outrage — and a credible recall campaign — after handing down a lenient sentence to a Stanford University swimmer convicted of rape is seeking money to help remain on the bench.

Judge Aaron Persky made his first public statement about the Brock Turner case on a website devoted to fighting the recall effort, reported The Mercury News.

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“I believe strongly in judicial independence,” the judge said in a statement posted on RetainJudgePersky.com. “I took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not to appease politicians or ideologues. When your own rights and property are at stake, you want the judge to make a fair and lawful decision, free from political influence.”

Perksy said he’d earned a “reputation for being fair to both sides” in a 20-year career as a public servant, including as a criminal prosecutor in Santa Clara County and in 12 years as a Superior Court judge.

He asked other California judges for funding assistance and endorsements, and his website claims to have raised $3,600 — which is far less than the $100,000-plus raised by his recall proponents.

The judge sentenced Turner, a former All-American swimmer, to just six months in jail, which was cut to three months with good behavior, for a conviction for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

Turner left jail on Friday and will return to his hometown in Ohio.

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Persky imposed a lighter sentence than the potential 14-year prison term, saying anything more severe would have a “severe impact” on the former star athlete.

A petition drive to remove Persky from the bench, after he earned a six-year term in June, drew more than 1 million signatures.

Persky said last week that he had requested to be removed from criminal cases and assigned to the court’s civil division.

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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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