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In an unprecedented court escalation, Trump protesters could be facing decades in prison for Inauguration demonstrations

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Nearly six months after Donald Trump was sworn into office, more than 200 protesters who gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest his inauguration are facing felony charges that carry sentences of 70 to 80 years.

According to Al Jazeera, the 212 protesters were arrested by the Metropolitan Police Department and initially charged with felony rioting, a crime that carries a 10-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine. On April 27, the Superior Court of the District of Columbia added additional charges that include urging to riot, conspiracy to riot and destruction of property.

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The possibility of long-term prison sentences for these protesters could have a chilling effect on participation in future rallies, particularly at a time of heightened levels of anti-Trump activism. While it’s unclear whether police departments will respond to large-scale political protests in a similar fashion, a dangerous precedent has been set. These legal actions may also infringe on the demonstrators’ First Amendment rights, as they directly target anti-Trump protest movements.

Olivia Alsip, a 23-year-old from Chicago, told Al Jazeera she never envisioned participating in the anti-Trump protests on inauguration day could leave her facing an 80-year prison sentence: “It seems that innocent until proven guilty is a falsehood—all the way from the prosecution and police to the people who had previously supported me in my activism.”

Alsip and the other defendants face the additional strain of having to pay for travel expenses to and from Washington for each of their court hearings before they go to trial. “Most of us don’t have a whole lot of money,” she said. “Generally we are fighting the rich because we are economically or politically disadvantaged and don’t have a lot of capital.”

As political protests and civil disobedience reach their highest levels since the 1960s, 18 states have responded by proposing over 30 bills aimed at suppressing demonstrations by increasing and expanding penalties for protesters. A new law in Missouri prohibits protesters from covering their faces with masks or other disguises. Florida, Tennessee, Georgia and Iowa have introduced bills that call for increased penalties for blocking traffic and demonstrating on private property.

The American Civil Liberties Union has called these new laws “unconstitutional,” vowing to “fight in statehouses against any bill that violates the First Amendment.”

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While several defendants have pleaded guilty to shorten their sentences, about 130 of the defendants have joined a “points of unity” agreement pledging to reject any potential plea deals and cooperation with prosecutors. On May 26, 21 defendants filed motions to have their cases dismissed.

Following the January 20 arrests, lawyers for some of the arrested protesters filed a class action lawsuit against the MPD alleging that law enforcement engaged in excessive use of force and conducted false arrests. The Office of Police Complaints, a D.C. government agency, has called for an independent investigation evaluating the actions of MPD officers that day.

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One of the 2 articles of impeachment against Trump points the way to disqualify him from running for president again

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If President Donald Trump were to be acquitted on articles on impeachment in a U.S. Senate trial and win reelection in 2020, he would be the first president in United States history to be impeached in the House yet win a second term. That’s one possible scenario, depending on what happens in a likely Senate trial and the 2020 presidential election. But journalist Lauren Frias, in an article for Business Insider, describes another scenario: Trump is removed from office by the Senate yet runs for president again anyway.

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Trump pretends he was in the military during White House reception

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President Donald Trump held a White House Hanukkah party a few weeks before the Jewish holiday and during the event, he seemed to be claiming he served in the military when he didn't.

"Like we used to say in the military, make a path,” Trump said.

https://twitter.com/jeffmason1/status/1204938676876263425

Trump not only never served in the military he actively dodged the draft, getting a pass due to alleged bone spurs in his feet. It's unknown if Trump actually has bone spurs, but such a condition doesn't disappear.

Bob Kerrey, a former Nebraska Senator and SEAL officer in the U.S. Navy went after the president in March demanding to see proof of the bone spurs.

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America shocked Louie Gohmert outed suspected whistleblower during hearing

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Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) named the latest person that right-wing media believes is the White House whistleblower during Wednesday's impeachment proceedings in the House Judiciary Committee.

https://twitter.com/AndrewDesiderio/status/1204926692428570624

People were shocked by Gohmert's speech. People suggested the Texas Republican should be referred to the House Ethics Committee for investigation and/or be censured and/or expelled from the House of Representatives.

Here's some of what people were saying:

Cut his mic, escort him the hearing, strip him of all committees....then make him sit a Matt Gaetz and Jim Jordan's lunch table!

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