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New GOP rules ban ethics office from reporting crimes — even if lawmakers are ‘raping children’

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New rules passed in by congressional Republicans this week explicitly bar the Office of Congressional Ethics from reporting any crime directly to law enforcement.

On Monday, House Republicans voted in secret to strip the independent Office of Congressional Ethics of most of its power. What’s left of the office will be moved under the House Ethics Committee, which is controlled by the Republican majority.

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Huffington Post reporter Ryan Grime noted on Tuesday that a provision buried deep within the new rules prevents the Office of Congressional Ethics from notifying law enforcement of any type of crime.

“If at any time the board of the Office discovers information indicating that a matter which is the subject of a review by the board may involve a violation of a criminal law, the Board will immediately refer the matter to the Committee on Ethics for further review,” the rules state. “Nothing in the previous sentence may be construed to authorize the Board to refer any matter directly to law enforcement.”

LGBT advocate John Aravosis pointed out that the rules would even prevent the office from reporting incidences of child rape.

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Last year, former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for fraud charges linked to allegations that he sexually abused boys while he was a high school wrestling coach more than 30 years ago.

During Hastert’s tenure as Speaker, congressional Republicans turned a blind eye to Florida Republican Rep. Mark Foley’s inappropriate relationship with an underage male page. Foley resigned after text messages he sent to the page were leaked to the press.


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WATCH: Protesters celebrate as Chase Bank was set ablaze during Portland protests

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Trump alerts ‘active-duty U.S. military police’ for possible deployment to Minnesota: report

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President Donald Trump's administration is contemplating using active-duty U.S. troops in an attempt to quell the protests in Minneapolis, the Associated Press reported early Saturday morning.

As unrest spread across dozens of American cities on Friday, the Pentagon took the rare step of ordering the Army to put several active-duty U.S. military police units on the ready to deploy to Minneapolis, where the police killing of George Floyd sparked the widespread protests," the AP reported.

"Soldiers from Fort Bragg in North Carolina and Fort Drum in New York have been ordered to be ready to deploy within four hours if called, according to three people with direct knowledge of the orders. Soldiers in Fort Carson, in Colorado, and Fort Riley in Kansas have been told to be ready within 24 hours. The people did not want their names used because they were not authorized to discuss the preparations," the AP explained.

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John Roberts joins liberals as Supreme Court rejects challenge to Newsom’s COVID-19 limits on California church attendance

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In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court on Friday rejected an emergency appeal from the South Bay United Pentecostal Church in Chula Vista, California. The San Diego area church tried to challenge the state's limits on attendance at worship services:

The church argued that limits on how many people can attend their services violate constitutional guarantees of religious freedom and had been seeking an order in time for services on Sunday. The church said it has crowds of 200 to 300 people for its services.

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