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Judge thinks Mueller’s team is going too easy on Manafort and Gates in bail hearing

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A federal judge suggested special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is going too easy on Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she was inclined to impose stricter bail conditions on Manafort and Rick Gates, who spent last week in home confinement after they were arrested on a variety of charges, reported Politico.

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A magistrate judge put the pair in home confinement after their arraignment on charges of money laundering and failure to register as a foreign agent.

Manafort agreed to pay $10 million if he failed to appear in court, and Gates agreed to pay $5 million — but Jackson found little assurance in their promises.

The judge asked why prosecutors appeared willing to “forgo” GPS monitoring for Manafort and Gates, who Mueller’s office have argued should be considered flight risks.

Prosecutor Greg Andres told the court that both men had surrendered and posted bond, so the government didn’t think GPS monitoring was necessary.

Gates had asked to be allowed to travel overseas as part of his consulting work, but Jackson said he shouldn’t expect that.

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Manafort has offered a Trump Tower condo, another apartment in New York City’s Chinatown and a home in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to ensure his appearance in court, but the judge wasn’t sure how much those properties were actually worth.

The Obama-appointed judge also expressed skepticism at having Manafort’s wife or one of his daughters offer personal guarantees as part of the bond package.

Jackson has suggested a May 7 trial date, and she scheduled another hearing for Dec. 11.

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The judge also has considered issuing a gag order in the case, but that topic was not addressed at Monday’s hearing.


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Adam Schiff moves to implicate Pence in the Ukraine scandal as Republicans go off the rails

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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Why saying ‘OK boomer’ at work is considered age discrimination – but millennial put-downs aren’t

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The phrase “OK boomer” has become a catch-all put-down that Generation Zers and young millennials have been using to dismiss retrograde arguments made by baby boomers, the generation of Americans who are currently 55 to 73 years old.

Though it originated online and primarily is fueling memes, Twitter feuds and a flurry of commentary, it has begun migrating to real life. Earlier this month, a New Zealand lawmaker lobbed the insult at an older legislator who had dismissed her argument about climate change.

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Republicans are getting scared about Gordon Sondland’s Wednesday impeachment testimony: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland may be the most dangerous witness for President Donald Trump in the impeachment hearings so far, and that's in part because he has a lot to lose.

And according to CNN's Shimon Prokuecz, his scheduled testimony for Wednesday morning is making Republicans nervous:

Multiple GOP sources say they are most worried about what Gordon Sondland will do tomorrow - and whether he will turn on the President. The fear, Republicans say, is that he could undercut the last GOP defense. @mkraju

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