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Lawyer says Clarence Thomas groped her when she was a student in 1999

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An Alaska-based lawyer says that conservative Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas groped her at a dinner party in 1999.

The National Law Journal reported Thursday that attorney Moira Smith posted on Facebook earlier this month that she was sexually assaulted by Thomas when she was 23 and a resident scholar at the Truman Foundation.

Smith — now vice president and general counsel of Alaska’s Enstar Natural Gas Co. — said that Thomas grabbed and squeezed her buttocks multiple times at the Falls Church, Virginia home of her then-boss.

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On October 7, as the rest of the world reeled from the revelation of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s 2005 Access Hollywood audio tape, Smith quietly posted to Facebook about her encounter with Thomas.

“He groped me while I was setting the table, suggesting I should sit ‘right next to him,’” she recalled.

The Journal contacted Smith’s housemates from 1999 and all three of them confirmed that Smith told them about the incident 17 years ago when it took place. The housemates all said that when Smith gave them the news, they had no idea what to tell her to do.

Smith said that she had gone to the dinner thrilled and excited to have the opportunity to meet a Supreme Court justice, but came away with feelings of “shock and distress.”

When the Journal contacted Thomas’ office, the justice released a statement through a court spokeswoman that said, “This claim is preposterous and it never happened.”

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Other guests at the dinner, when contacted by the Journal, “said they had no prior knowledge about any claim of untoward activity.”

Thomas was confirmed to the court only after a contentious confirmation process in which Thomas’ employee Anita Hill accused him of sexual harassment and sexualized bullying in the workplace.

Conservative media and its operatives immediately set about discrediting Hill, calling her emotional stability into question and accusing her of being an attention-seeking hysteric.

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Thomas denied the allegations and was ultimately confirmed to the court in 1991.

In an interview with the Journal, Smith said, “We now know that many men in power take advantage of vulnerable women. That willingness by men in power to take advantage of vulnerable women relies on an unspoken pact that the women will not speak up about it. Why? Because they are vulnerable. Because they are star-struck. Because they don’t want to be whiners. Because they worry about their career if they do speak out. But silence no longer feels defensible; it feels complicit.”

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Trump proposed evacuating 25 million people from Seoul as tensions with North Korea escalated: new tell-all

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According to a new book by counter-terrorism expert Peter Bergen, Donald Trump proposed evacuating all 25 million citizens living in Seoul, South Korea at a time when tensions were on the rise with North Korea's Kim Jong-un.

The Guardian reports Bergen states in his book, "Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos," the president was shown a map of North and South Korea in 2017 at a time when Kim was ordering an increase in missile tests.

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Two impeachment articles expected against President Trump: reports

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Democrats are expected to announce on Tuesday two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, US media reported Monday evening, after laying out their case at a hearing against a president they branded a "clear and present danger" to national security.

The articles will focus on abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, The Washington Post said, citing three official familiar with the matter.

It added that the full House of Representatives would vote on the articles next week, ahead of a trial in the Senate.

CNN said a third article on obstruction of justice was still being debated, and the network's sources cautioned that plans were still being finalized.

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Ambassador McFaul ‘shocked’ Trump invited Sergey Lavrov back to the Oval Office: ‘What are they thinking?’

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Former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul repeatedly said he was shocked that President Donald Trump will meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday.

McFaul was interviewed Monday evening by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC "The Last Word," where he contrasted how Trump is treating the Russian government of President Vladimir Putin to the Ukrainian government of President Volodymyr Zelensky.

"Ambassador McFaul, I want to get your reaction to the Russian foreign minister meeting tomorrow at the White House, in the Oval Office, with President Trump," O'Donnell said. "That's his second time. President Zelinsky still hasn't gotten that meeting and Donald trump apparently, apparently may be voted articles of impeachment in committee this week because of his interactions with President Zelensky."

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