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Ex-staffer for Oklahoma’s GOP governor hit with felony and misdemeanor in ‘upskirt’ photo case

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A former staffer for Oklahoma’s Republican Gov. Mary Fallin has been charged with a felony and misdemeanor in connection with alleged “upskirt” photos he took of an activist during a state budget meeting.

Travis Brauer charged with offering fraudulent evidence, a felony, and misdemeanor destruction of evidence after court documents revealed his alleged attempts to hide and destroy evidence on his phone, reported KFOR-TV.

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A community organizer recording video of the May 23 legislative meeting accused Brauer of taking photos or recording video up her skirt, and state troopers told the gubernatorial aide he could be cleared by turning over his cell phone for forensic analysis.

The 29-year-old Brauer declined, but later agreed to turn over his phone after returning from a lake trip.

State troopers said Brauer told them he’d lost the phone after he returned, and instead handed over his laptop — where investigators discovered a one-hour gap in phone activity during the budget meeting.

Computer records also show Brauer searched for the accuser several times on Facebook after she reported his suspicious activity, and he then searched the internet multiple times over the next two days for methods to recover or “completely wipe” data on Android phones.

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He resigned from his state government position in July, and three witnesses told troopers they believed the woman’s claims were a setup because Brauer had applied to work as a staffer for the White House.

Brauer, who admits to drinking with a lobbyist and another staffer before the meeting, said he doesn’t remember taking any photos there and can’t explain the one-hour gap in cell phone data.

“I don’t think I took a picture of her,” Brauer told investigators, according to the report. “(But) if he were to do something like that, it would have been to make fun of (her) like he did the protesters the night before.”

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Fallin was listed as a witness in the case because she directed Brauer to turn over his phone to investigators.

“It is unfortunate that a former staffer who had worked in my office is facing these charges,” she said in a statement. “I take this situation very seriously. I expect everyone in my office to act with integrity and professionalism.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Texas governor busted sending racist call-to-arms a day before El Paso attack: ‘take matters into our own hands’

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On Thursday, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-TX) tweeted out a message of unity and promised to work to reduce violence in his state, in the wake of the shooting in El Paso that left 22 dead and dozens more injured:

Today we had hearings responding to the tragic shooting in El Paso.

We focused on community healing, combating domestic terrorism, reducing hateful ideologies, & keeping guns out of hands of deranged killers while respecting 2nd Amendment rights.

We’ll keep TX safe.#txlege pic.twitter.com/ymct4aiSgK

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Facebook bans far-right website from pro-Trump advertising after they try to skirt transparency rules

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On Thursday, NBC News reported that Facebook has banned the Epoch Times from placing political advertisements, after the right-wing website tried to conceal its multimillion-dollar dark money streams and get around the social network's political advertising transparency rules in its propaganda supporting President Donald Trump.

The Epoch Times had tried to skirt rules by running ads under puppet names like "Honest Paper" and "Pure American Journalism," confusing users about who was really behind the ads.

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GOP leaders are pressuring Kansas Republican to resign from Congress immediately: report

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On Thursday, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Republicans in Kansas and Washington are pressuring Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS) to step down after just eight months in office.

It is currently unclear why they are calling for his resignation.

Watkins has thus far given no indications he will leave office. His spokesman Jim Joice stated that he has no plans to resign, and disputed the idea that Republican officials are pressuring him to do so, but acknowledged there have been conversations around the topic.

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