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Ex-Watergate prosecutor pinpoints why Trump ‘can’t take the Fifth Amendment’

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Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks argued on MSNBC’s “All In with Chris Hayes” that the President of the United States can not assert the Fifth Amendment — yet Donald Trump may do so anyway.

“He cannot take the Fifth Amendment, that would be political suicide,” Wine-Banks, the former General Counsel for the US Army, argued.

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Michael Cohen can take the Fifth Amendment,” she acknowledged. “But the President of the United States cannot say, ‘I can’t answer questions because they might incriminate me in another matter.’ That just is not politically acceptable.”

“But you know what, Jill, I have heard that and I understand why you say that, but you know, I would have thought not releasing your tax returns was political suicide,” Hayes replied. “There’s lots of things he’s done, if it comes down you either sit down and talk or plead the Fifth, he might plead the Fifth.”

“I agree that he might do it, because I’m predicting what a totally sane person would do,” Wine-Banks answered. “It would be complete chaos in the Congress if the president said, ‘I’m not answering questions because they would incriminate me.'”

Hayes said President Trump agrees, showing a highlight reel of Trump bashing defendants to assert their Fifth Amendment rights.

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“You see the mob takes the Fifth,” Trump said in one clip. “If you are innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?”

Wine-Banks also analyzed the legal jeopardy facing Cohen, which may all come down to New York real estate transactions.

“I would say that in the case of the Cohen taking the Fifth in the civil case, it is inevitable that he has to do that,” she explained. “I would say that it’s not a fear about Stormy Daniels and it’s not even possibly a fear about how many there are — because I would predict that there’s more than the two that we know about for hush money — but that it’s probably related to business transactions that skirt the line.”

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“There were probably payments that might be considered bribes, in connection with some of the housing that’s been built in New York and maybe even overseas,” Wine-Banks concluded.

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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‘It’s terrifying’: Vandals burn Virginia Beach military family’s car after long string of incidents

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On Tuesday, WAVY CBS 17 News reported that a military family in Virginia Beach, Virginia had their car set on fire, in the latest and most severe incident in a long string of vandalism targeting their property.

“It’s terrifying, hearing my kids scream this morning,” said Mendy Hanner. “I don’t see any reason to put anyone through this."

The incidents started last year, with nails left in their driveway. It escalated to graffiti on the garage door and rocks being thrown through their windows. The Hanners put up surveillance equipment, but the perpetrator knocked over their floodlights and spray-painted their camera.

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Trump slurs media as ‘fake and corrupt’ for disputing his claims about Elton John

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President Donald Trump hyped his claims about selling out a New Hampshire rally in a new attack on the news media.

The president insisted Monday that he enjoyed "massive overflow crowds" at his rally last week at SNHU Arena in Manchester, and slurred journalists as "fake and corrupt" for reporting the venue wasn't filled to capacity.

The Fake and Corrupt Media is sooo bad for our Country, The Enemy of the People! https://t.co/GPiklem0u1

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 20, 2019

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George Conway erupts on Trump lackeys who are smearing Scaramucci: ‘These people work for a rapist!’

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Several anonymous Trump officials told the Washington Examiner this week that former White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci regularly abused staff members in the 11 short days in which he was employed by the president.

George Conway, the husband of Trump White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, lashed out on Tuesday at the Trump officials who anonymously attacked Scaramucci and accused them of overlooking President Donald Trump's own abusive behavior.

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