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Prosecutors want 41 months in jail for Bundy militant who bragged about setting up sniper teams to target feds

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Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig Gabriel is asking a federal judge in Portland, Oregon to sentence a controversial militia leader to 41 months in prison after he plead guilty to conspiracy during the armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, The Oregonian reports.

Payne was a founder of Operation Mutual Aid, a right-wing militia organization that dispatched armed members to both of the Bundy clan standoffs. Payne referred to himself as Cliven Bundy’s “militia liaison” and “as a kind of on-the-ground commander.”

“We locked them down,” Ryan Payne bragged to the Missoula Independent. “We had counter-sniper positions on their sniper positions. We had at least one guy—sometimes two guys—per BLM agent in there. So, it was a complete tactical superiority. … If they made one wrong move, every single BLM agent in that camp would’ve died.”

Payne says he was ready to die during the stand-offs.

“Not only would we take a shot for each other,” he says, “we’d take one for you. If somebody infringed on your rights, you call me up. I’ll come stand in between you and the police. It doesn’t bother me, if they’re infringing on your rights. Whoever it is.”

It has also been suggested that Payne planned to kidnap a law officer for a prisoner exchange. The person Payne allegedly wanted to free was Cliven Bundy’s “bodyguard” Schuyler Pyatte Barbeau — who plead guilty to federal weapons charges in June.

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In May, Jerry DeLemus, a prominent right-wing activist who co-chaired the New Hampshire Veterans for Trump coalition, was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in the 2014 Bundy standoff in Nevada.

Watch The Oregonian try to answer the question, “Who is Ryan Payne?”

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Here’s why Trump and Putin are only frenemies at this point

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President Trump’s campaign of “maximum pressure” on Iran has hit an obstacle: Russia.

While the United States insists that Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone in international airspace last week, Russia rejected the charge on Tuesday and supported Iran’s claim that the Global Hawk drone with a 116-foot wingspan was shot down over Iranian territory.

A top Russian official stated Moscow’s intelligence findings at a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday, according to Haaretz, the Israeli daily.

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2020 Election

How the GOP is embracing more ruthless power grabs in the face of huge political challenges

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On Thursday, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on two cases highlighting the collision between partisan power grabs and setting the ground rules for two of the most important elections in America—those for U.S. House and state legislative chambers.

This article was produced by Voting Booth, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

One ruling concerns whether the Trump administration can add a question to the 2020 census that asks if anyone residing in that address is not a U.S. citizen. The other concerns whether hyper-partisanship is unconstitutional when state legislatures run by a single party draw electoral districts to maximize their party’s likelihood of winning elections.

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Hope Hicks may have implicated Jared Kushner in a coverup

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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks frustrated Democrats last week when she refused to answer multiple questions about her time in the White House.

However, Mother Jones' David Corn and Dan Friedman noticed one bit of Hicks's testimony that shines a negative light on Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner.

When asked about her false statement in December 2016 that there had been no contact between members of the Trump campaign and Russian government officials, Hicks said she consulted several top officials who worked for the campaign before making the statement, including Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon -- and Jared Kushner.

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