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Oklahoma Republican pleads guilty to child sex trafficking after getting caught with 17-year-old boy

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Former Oklahoma state Sen. Ralph Shortey (R) pled guilty this week to federal child sex trafficking charges after he was caught in a motel room with an underage boy in March.

The Hill reported Saturday that Shortey’s legal team filed paperwork to enter a guilty plea in order to evade three charges related to child pornography, which — if convicted — would result in much harsher sentencing.

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Under the trafficking charge, Shortey faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life.

“It is in my best interest and in the best interest of my family,” he wrote in paperwork associated with the plea deal.

Shortey and the unnamed youth began corresponding on Craigslist earlier this year. The boy said he needed money for “spring break” and Shortey replied that he didn’t have any “legitimate things” he needed help with, but asked if the teen would be interested in “sexual stuff.”

“Yes,” the teen replied and a tryst was arranged.

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“Officers reportedly found an open box of condoms in Shortey’s backpack,” said The Hill, “as well as a bottle of lotion in the victim’s backpack when they were found at the motel in March. The teenager confirmed to police that they intended to have a sexual encounter, according to the Oklahoman.


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Billionaire Trump-loving governor took $125,000 in bailouts meant for struggling farmers: report

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On Thursday, the Associated Press reported that Gov. Jim Justice (R-WV) received $125,000 in emergency stabilization payments for his farms, as part of the bailout program authorized by President Donald Trump to help farmers avoid losses due to the trade war with China.

Justice, a Trump-loving business magnate who briefly switched to the Democratic Party to run for governor of West Virginia and switched back to the GOP after the election, hardly fits the profile of a struggling farmer. He is worth $1.5 billion, and owns over 50 businesses, including a network of coal mines and the Greenbriar luxury resort, a popular gathering place for Republican officials.

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Here’s why Sondland’s testimony is devastating to Trump — whether he wants it to be or not

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Veteran Newsweek reporter Kurt Eichenwald outlined in a thread that EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland delivered testimony to the House that was devastating for President Donald Trump whether Sondland wanted it to be or not.

"While wrapped in diplomatic-speak and hemming-and-hawing, the statement of Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to European Union, is devastating to Trump and Giuliani," Eichenwald said. "Given the surrounding evidence, either Giuliani has to say he lied to Sondland, or Trump has to be impeached it is important to dig through it, because, while quite clear on most dates, it takes jumping a bit around in the statement to figure out the date of the key event."

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Trump’s EU ambassador is using the ‘Don Jr. defense’ of being too dumb to break the law: national security expert

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Gordon Sondland, the man whom President Donald Trump appointed to be his ambassador to the European Union, told congressional investigators on Thursday that he didn't understand that President Donald Trump might be holding up establishing direct contact with Ukraine's government unless the government agreed to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

However, given that the president did ask him to run all Ukraine policy through attorney Rudy Giuliani, and given that Giuliani was already publicly boasting about trying to get Ukraine to probe Biden, Sondland's testimony raises the question of what he actually believed the president's intentions were in withholding aid to the country this past summer.

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