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Ex-Watergate prosecutor says Trump lacks the authority to pardon Jared Kushner: ‘The president is not above the law’

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Guest hosting “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Friday, MSNBC’s Joy Reid set out to answer the question of whether a sitting president of the United States can be indicted.

Reid began by playing archival NBC News footage of the Saturday Night Massacre during the Watergate investigation that ultimately drove President Richard Nixon from office.

For analysis, Reid brought on former Watergate prosecutor Nick Ackerman, who noted he had a lot more hair in the footage Reid had just played.

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“The bottom line legal issue is the president is not above the law, he is not King George,” Ackerman explained. “In 1776, we made a determination that we were going to be run by a constitution and by laws. We did something pretty radical at that point, we got rid of the king.”

“Could Donald Trump evade all of this by pardoning himself?” Reid asked.

“I don’t think that would work. In fact, I don’t think the pardon power extends to the point where if you have a conflict-of-interest, whether you pardon your relatives, your son-in-law, your daughter, whoever it is, yourself,” Ackerman explained.

“Are you saying that Donald Trump could be prevented by a court from pardoning Jared Kushner or his son?”

“Sure,” Ackerman replied.

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“Under Article III, Section 3, of the United States Constitution, the president has to abide by and execute faithfully the laws of the United States,” Ackerman noted. “That doesn’t mean he can go out there and use them for his own purposes to evade the law and to put himself above the law and i think there would be a strong argument that any such pardon would not be enforceable.”

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Devin Nunes’ income called into question as watchdog asks for investigation of his finances

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According to a report from the Fresno Bee,the non-partisan Campaign Legal Center is requesting a federal investigation into whether U.S. Representative Devin Nunes (R-CA) is receiving legal services in violation of House ethics rules.

Over the past year, the conservative Republicans has launched a handful of lawsuits against critics -- including the McClatchy newspaper chain and a person on Twitter purporting to be one of his cows.

According to the Bee, "The complaint says Nunes appears to be in 'blatant violation of House rules,' because he would have trouble paying for all these lawsuits solely from his congressional salary of $174,000 per year. The group argues he’d only be able to pay if he received legal services for free, at a discounted rate, or based on a contingency fee, meaning the lawyer would get compensated from Nunes’ winnings if he prevails in his lawsuits."

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2020 Election

$1,750+ ticket prices for South Carolina debate spark outrage

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"I think it speaks to the fundamental, endemic corruption of the Democratic Party establishment that you had to pay... multiple thousands of dollars to get into that room."

Unusually loud booing and jeering directed disproportionately at Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren during Tuesday night's Democratic presidential debate—particularly when the senators criticized billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg—sparked probing questions about the class composition of the audience packed inside the Gaillard Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

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Ex-GOP senator hammers lawmakers quaking in their boots out of fear of Trump: ‘Why are you there?’

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Appearing on CNN on Wednesday morning, retired Sen. William Cohen (R-ME) hammered members of his own party still sitting in the Senate who refuse to take on Donald Trump, saying they are failing the country and themselves by standing by in fear.

Speaking with CNN hosts Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, Cohen said kowtowing to the president is nothing new, but has grown worse over the past ten years.

"Some of it has to do with external pressures, that of social media, talk radio, specific channels that have a particular view and then hammer that view home to the constituents who then pressure the members of Congress," he explained. "But you have to ask yourself: Why are you a senator? Why are you there? Are you acting out of sheer fear that if you speak up and take a position that's controversial you'll be punished?"

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