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Time’s Up demands probe into why no Weinstein prosecution

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The Time’s Up movement campaigning against sexual harassment on Monday demanded an investigation into a Manhattan prosecutor for failing to bring a criminal case against disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

The group called on New York’s Democratic state governor, Andrew Cuomo, to open an investigation to determine why Cyrus Vance did not prosecute the 66-year-old Hollywood ex-powerbroker in a 2015 case, arguing it could have saved other potential victims.

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Italian model Ambra Battilana was one of the first women to come forward accusing Weinstein of sexual assault. But her case was dismissed and discredited.

Reports that Vance “could have been improperly influenced” by Weinstein and that senior officials in the Manhattan district attorney’s office “may have sought to intimidate Battilana are particularly disturbing and merit investigation,” the movement said.

“An independent investigation into the full decision-making process in this case, including a full review of the correspondence within the office and with any representatives for Mr Weinstein, must be undertaken immediately,” it added.

“Given the multitude of credible reports of Mr Weinstein’s behaviors after the DA’s decision not to prosecute in this case, arguably his continued victimization of others could have been avoided.”

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There was no immediate comment from the prosecutor’s office.

“It’s very much under active investigation, I really can’t say anything else,” Vance told AFP last week when asked about the possibility of Weinstein being charged.

Weinstein hired Ben Brafman, one of America’s most celebrated criminal defense lawyers to represent him in New York last November, just days after New York police confirmed they were gathering evidence for a possible arrest warrant in another rape allegation.

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Brafman’s past clients include former IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn, who ultimately escaped criminal prosecution by Vance for alleged sexual assault in 2011.

Around 100 women have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct since a New York Times expose was published last October, with allegations ranging from harassment to rape. Weinstein denies any non-consensual relations.


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Former four-star general speculates whistleblower scandal could involve Trump giving Putin an American

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It remains unclear exactly what were the issues cited by the whistleblower who expressed concern at actions of President Donald Trump as a threat to national security, at least one of which involved a promise the president allegedly made in a phone call with a foreign leader.

But former Gen. Barry McCaffrey had a chilling thought about what it could possibly be — and posted his speculation on Twitter:

SHEER SPECULATION. Is it possible that the WHISTLEBLOWER issue was Trump discussing with Putin handing over our former US Ambassador to Moscow Mike McFaul to Russian authorities? https://t.co/0PnQn0upiA

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House Judiciary Committee considering vote to hold Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress: report

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On Thursday, the Washington Post reported that the House Judiciary Committee is considering a vote to hold President Donald Trump's former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in contempt of Congress, after a lengthy hearing on Wednesday in which Lewandowski aggressively attacked members of the committee and admitted that he routinely lies to media outlets.

This development comes after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told members of her caucus that she supports holding Lewandowski in contempt.

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‘This person has to be very senior’: Ambassador McFaul breaks down two possible whistleblower motivations

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America's former ambassador to Russia on Thursday broke down what we know about the whistleblower alleging wrongdoing by President Donald Trump.

Ambassador Michael McFaul was interviewed by MSNBC chief legal correspondent Ari Melber on "The Beat."

"In my understanding, have -- having worked closely with the intelligence community, when I was in the government -- nobody that I know would go to these steps unless there was something really serious. This is not about the inappropriate use of classified material," McFaul noted. "It’s something much bigger."

"We’re talking about someone who is at a senior enough level to have this level of access, who knows the rules and knows they can lose their job or worse," Melber noted.

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