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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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Trump has now predicted COVID will ‘go away’ in each of the last seven months

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday told "Fox & Friends" that the novel coronavirus "will go away, like things go away."

As Democratic political operative Daniel Wessel notes on Twitter, this is not the first time the president has made bold declarations about the virus disappearing.

Back in February, Trump said the virus "miraculously goes away," then said in March that "it'll go away," and then in April declared that "it's going away."

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2020 Election

‘Scared’ Republicans ask House minority leader to lay out an agenda since Trump can’t

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House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has handed out talking points describing the GOP agenda for the upcoming election, since President Donald Trump has been unwilling to chart a course himself.

Some lawmakers "were scared" when Trump was unable to detail his second-term strategy when asked in a recent interview, so several Republicans asked McCarthy to produce an agenda for their own re-election campaigns, reported Axios.

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Trump’s claims about mail voting were always incoherent — and now they’re falling apart

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I don't know about you, but when I saw Donald Trump do an abrupt pivot on his crusade to depict mail-in voting as a form of voter fraud on Tuesday, I felt the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

That certainly wasn't because I believe he's seen the light and has realized that mail-in voting is perfectly safe, or that he realizes it's imperative at a time when in-person voting may expose people to the deadly coronavirus. No, it was because he singled out Florida as the one state he believes really knows how to handle elections. Anyone who was around 20 years ago to observe the 2000 election will understand why I felt that awful sense of dread.

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