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Former Watergate prosecutor pours cold water on Trump hint he may pardon Flynn: ‘He’s in for a big surprise’

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Appearing on MSNBC’s AM Joy, a former Watergate prosecutor scoffed at President Donald Trump’s hint that he might issue a pardon to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, saying the president is on for a “big surprise” if he thinks that will solve his problems.

Speaking with host Joy Reid, attorney Nick Akerman was asked about Trump’s comment Friday afternoon when the president told reporters, “I don’t want to talk about pardons for Michael Flynn yet. We’ll see what happens, let’s see.”

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“What would be the practical legal consequences if Donald Trump were to pardon Michael Flynn” Reid asked Akerman.

“The practical consequences are that he wouldn’t be charged with a crime, but he’s already spilled his guts. He’s already told Mueller everything he knows,” Akerman replied. “In addition to that, his cooperation agreement requires him to also speak to local and state officials. So I guarantee you that Mueller has already had Flynn speaking to the attorney general of the state of New York’s people, who are doing this jointly with him. So that if somehow Mueller’s team was disbanded, and that group had to go, state attorney generals could simply step in here and use state crimes as opposed to federal crimes.”

Asked about the FBI investigation, Akerman said it was not going to be easy to stop Mueller at this point in the game.

“The central crime here relates to the fact that a crime was committed when they [the Russians] hacked the Democratic National Committee for those emails,” he explained. “The only question that remains is, who else was involved, was the Trump campaign part of the conspiracy to get those emails out to throw the election to Donald Trump.”

“There are good laws in New York state that cover the exact same crimes,” he concluded. “So if the president somehow thinks he’s going to derail this investigation by getting rid of Mueller, he’s in for a big surprise.”

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Rudy Giuliani whines he only has ‘five friends left’ after once again misdialing journalist

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On Thursday, the New York Daily News reported that President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani accidentally complained to a journalist that he had lost most of his friends as a result of the Trump impeachment business.

The confession, made to an unknown associate named "Tony," came after he put his phone in his pocket while it was still running, thinking he had ended his call — the latest in a number of similar mishaps Giuliani has had with his phone.

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Japan’s prime minister calls for nationwide closure of schools for a month over coronavirus

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday urged schools nationwide to close for several weeks to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, as authorities reported the country's fourth death linked to the outbreak.

The move comes as crew members from the Diamond Princess, a coronavirus-stricken cruise ship quarantined off Japan, began leaving the vessel where more than 700 people have tested positive for the disease.

"The government considers the health and safety of children above anything else," Abe said.

"We request all primary, junior high and high schools... across the nation to close temporarily from March 2 next week until their spring break."

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The Constitution prohibits Trump from pardoning Roger Stone: law professor

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President Donald Trump has been dropping hints for a long time that he will pardon ally Roger Stone, the man who lied to Congress and obstructed justice to conceal the truth about his efforts to acquire emails that Russian hackers stole from Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign.

Corey Brettschneider, a professor of political science at Brown University and visiting professor of law at Fordham Law School, argues in an editorial for Politico that the Constitution might prohibit Trump from issuing this particular pardon, despite the fact that the president's clemency powers are generally seen as very broad.

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