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‘The Mueller effect’: How the special counsel might be ‘draining the swamp’ better than Trump ever could

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s appointment in May to investigate Russia’s interference in the American presidential election and potential collusion with Donald Trump’s campaign may already have achieved an unintended consequence — “draining the swamp” of lobbyists working on behalf of foreign interests. The Washington Post‘s Rosalind Helderman calls this phenomenon “the Mueller effect.”

According to The Post, Mueller’s probe has so far resulted in a massive uptick of individuals and firms who work for foreign interests to either file or amend foreign agent registrations. The report even claims that there are more people registering as foreign agents now than in the same amount of time over each of the last 20 years.

Mueller seems to have already claimed his first victim: Tony Podesta, whose lobbying firm was shuttered following revelations that he worked for Ukranian interests close to Russia — and for Trump’s now-indicted campaign chairman Paul Manafort. Mueller’s 12-count indictment of Manafort alleges that the former Trump campaign chairman hired The Podesta Group along with another lobbying firm to work on behalf of a pro-Russia Ukranian party under the guise of representing Ukraine’s government.

Joe Sandler, an ethics and lobbying lawyer who specializes in Foreign Agents Registration Act compliance told the Post that in the aftermath of the Podesta revelation at the end of October, “my colleagues are being contacted by waves of clients concerned about this.” As the report notes, failure to register under FARA is a felony and can result in a five-year sentence.

Since Mueller’s appointment and subsequent interest on suspected foreign agents like Manafort and Michael Flynn, Thomas J. Pulak, a partner at the King & Spalding international law firm, said more people have contacted him asking if they have to register under FARA than in the previous administration.

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“I think it all goes back to Mueller — this is of acute concern after Manafort and Podesta — and my sense is that it’s going to continue that way for some time,” Spulak told the Post. “If there’s a new normal for foreign agents, it’s going to be to pay a lot more attention to it.”


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Florida county GOP disinvites ex-Trump official from fundraiser because he criticized the president’s racist tweets

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Anthony Scaramucci, who had an infamously short career as President Donald Trump's director of White House communications, is now paying a price for calling out the president's racist tweets.

Politico reports that the Palm Beach County GOP has disinvited Scaramucci from speaking at its annual fundraising event because he criticized Trump's tweets telling four Democratic women of color to "go back" to the countries they came from even though all four are American citizens.

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Trump-loving congressman fumes after US attorney shuts down his claim threats against him were ignored because of politics

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On Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is feuding with a federal prosecutor over the decision not to charge a man who left a threatening voice message for his office.

"Gaetz, you pathetic piece of sh*t," said the voicemail. "Do you know that I could blow your f**king head clean off your shoulders from over a mile away. Watch your back, b*tch. You pathetic little piece of sh*t. You got your head so far up Trump’s ass, I could still take it off your shoulders. F**k you Gaetz. I’m coming after you, b*tch," the message said.

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WATCH: Gas station employee busted for snarling at customers to go back to Mexico or ‘ICE will come’

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In a video posted to Facebook, an employee at a Bucky's Mobil store in Naperville, Illinois was caught on video telling two Hispanic women they need to go back where they came from, later adding that ICE would be coming.

According to CBS Chicago, the unidentified man behind the counter was featured in a video posted to Facebook by Mafer Hmurphy of Tabasco, Mexico, who wrote: "Check this guy who didn't want to sell us anything because we are Mexicans, what a way to treat tourists."

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