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Investigators now have ‘concrete evidence’ of collusion between Trump camp and Russian govt: source

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A source close to the investigation into President Donald Trump’s campaign and its ties to Russia says that there is now “specific concrete and corroborative evidence” that individuals within Trump’s immediate orbit coordinated with Russian intelligence operatives during the election.

The Guardian said on Thursday that the U.K.’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has been watching the Trump camp since late 2015, having noticed suspicious “interactions” between Trump associates and well-known Russian agents.

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GCHQ passed the information it had uncovered along to U.S. intelligence agencies as part of the routine exchange of information and for the next six months until summer of 2016, U.S intelligence agencies were receiving information about the contacts from European agencies in Germany, Estonia and Poland.

More information came in to U.S. hands from members of the “Five Eyes” alliance that includes the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

“It is understood that GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information,” the Guardian said. “The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets. Over several months, different agencies targeting the same people began to see a pattern of connections that were flagged to intelligence officials in the US.”

However, after carefully compiling the assembled intelligence, one source close to the investigation said, “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion. This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”

Sources close to the GCHQ told the Guardian that it looks like U.S. intelligence agencies “were asleep” with regards to Russia and its alliance with the Trump team.

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“They [the European agencies] were saying: ‘There are contacts going on between people close to Mr Trump and people we believe are Russian intelligence agents. You should be wary of this,’” the source said. “The message was: ‘Watch out. There’s something not right here.’”

U.S. spy agencies, however, are forbidden from spying on citizens without a warrant — warrants that are very difficult to obtain.

“They are trained not to do this,” the source said, which slowed down the time it took for U.S. agencies to become aware of the threat and respond, which it did in the late summer of 2016.

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‘Bulletproof from a pardon’: Fox News analyst says judge in Stone case just made things tough for Trump

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In the wake of Roger Stone's sentencing of 3.5 years in prison this Thursday, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano posited that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's choice to go along with Attorney General Bill Barr's sentencing recommendation could have been an effort to pardon-proof the sentence from President Trump.

"[Jackson's] trying to make this bulletproof from a pardon," Napolitano said. "Because she went along exactly with what [Barr] requested."

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Adam Schiff sends signal that a Roger Stone pardon would be another impeachable offense

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Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that a presidential pardon for Roger Stone would be an impeachable offense.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced the longtime Republican operative to 40 months in prison, saying Stone had lied to Congress and threatened a witness to cover up possible wrongdoing by President Donald Trump -- and Schiff sent a warning against a pardon.

"Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness," Schiff tweeted.

Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry and trial, agreed with Jackson -- whose language echoed the lawmaker's "corrupt scheme and cover-up" indictment during the Senate trial.

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WATCH: Roger Stone greeted with ‘Lock Him Up!’ chants after getting sentenced to 40 months

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Trump ally Roger Stone frequently led chants of "Lock her up!" about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign -- but on Thursday, the table decisively turned.

After Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison for charges of perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice, a crowd of people greeted the right-wing dirty trickster by chanting, "Lock him up!" outside the courthouse.

At least one supporter of President Donald Trump tried to get a "pardon" chant going, but they were drowned out by the louder "Lock him up" chants.

Watch the video below.

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