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Parma Bro Martin Shkreli seeks to overturn part of his conviction

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Former drug company executive Martin Shkreli on Friday asked a judge to throw out part of his criminal conviction, a day after prosecutors sought to have him jailed until his sentencing.

In a motion filed in Brooklyn federal court, Shkreli’s lawyers said their client was convicted of conspiring to manipulate the stock price of his old company, Retrophin Inc, after a prosecutor improperly defined a key legal term during closing arguments.

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The motion does not seek to overturn Shkreli’s conviction on two more serious counts of defrauding investors in his hedge funds. Those counts carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years, though Shkreli is likely to serve far less time, in part because his investors did not lose money.

Instead, it challenges his conviction of conspiring to manipulate Retrophin’s stock price by telling employees what to do with their shares. Shkreli’s lawyers said a prosecutor falsely told jurors in closing arguments that Retrophin employees were automatically “affiliates” of Retrophin under federal securities law, which would restrict how they could trade their shares.

A representative for the prosecutors declined to comment.

The motion came the day after prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Kiyo Matsumoto to revoke Shkreli’s $5 million bail.

They said Shkreli could be a “danger to the community,” pointing to a Sept. 4 Facebook post in which he offered $5,000 to followers who could grab a strand of Hillary Clinton’s hair during her upcoming book tour.

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The post prompted an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service, which is charged with protecting the former Democratic presidential candidate. Shkreli is an outspoken fan of President Donald Trump, a Republican.

“However inappropriate some of Mr. Shkreli’s postings may have been, we do not believe that he intended harm and do not believe that he poses a danger to the community,” Shkreli’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, said in an email.

Shkreli, 34, was convicted in August of defrauding investors of two hedge funds he ran, MSMB Capital and MSMB Healthcare, and of conspiring to manipulate Retrophin stock. He was acquitted of stealing from Retrophin to pay back investors.

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Before the trial, Shkreli was best known for raising the price of anti-infection drug Daraprim by 5,000 percent in 2015 while he was chief executive of Turing Pharmaceuticals. The move sparked outrage by patients and U.S. lawmakers, earning him the nickname “pharma bro.”

(Reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Andrew Hay)

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Melania Trump scorched by columnist for standing by president’s Thunberg bullying: ‘Indefensible’

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In a piece for the Washington Post, columnist Karen Tumulty called out first lady Melania Trump for her statement defending her husband's bullying of 16-year-old environmental activist Greta Thunberg in a fit of jealousy after she was selected Time Magazine's Person of the Year.

Responding to a statement from the White House that stated, “BeBest is the First Lady’s initiative, and she will continue to use it to do all she can to help children. It is no secret that the President and First Lady often communicate differently — as most married couples do. Their son is not an activist who travels the globe giving speeches. He is a 13-year-old who wants and deserves privacy,” Tumulty wasn't having it.

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BUSTED: Devin Nunes is hiding how he’s paying for all his frivolous lawsuits — which could land him in more trouble

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On Saturday, the Fresno Bee dived into a lingering question: How does Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) pay for all the lawsuits he is filing against journalists, satirists, and political critics?

"Nunes, R-Tulare, has filed lawsuits against Twitter, anonymous social media users known as Devin Nunes' Cow and Devin Nunes' Mom, a Republican political strategist, media companies, journalists, progressive watchdog groups, a political research firm that worked for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and a retired farmer in Nunes’ own district," noted the Bee.

These lawsuits were mainly filed in Virginia — a state with very loose laws against so-called "SLAPP suits," or meritless lawsuits intended to drown people in legal expenses in retaliation for expressing political opinions. Nunes was assisted in these suits by Steven Biss, a Virginia attorney, and yet except for the suit against the retired farmer, there is no clear record in Nunes' FEC reports of how he paid for the suits.

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Trump brings up Brett Kavanaugh in rage tweet at Democrats about coming impeachment trial

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On Saturday, President Donald Trump brought up Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh in a bizarre rant against the "Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems" and his anger over the direction of the impeachment process:

After watching the disgraceful way that a wonderful man, @BrettKavanaugh, was treated by the Democrats, and now seeing first hand how these same Radical Left, Do Nothing Dems are treating the whole Impeachment Hoax, I understand why so many Dems are voting Republican!

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