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Waffle House shooter was part of rightwing extremist movement: report

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The alleged Waffle House shooter had declared himself to be part of the rightwing extremist “sovereign citizen” movement, according to USA Today.

Travis Reinking, 29, is believed to have been the shooter who killed four at a 24-hour diner outside Nashville. Reinking had been arrested outside the White House last year and had his guns taken away because he is mentally ill, according to reports.

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At the White House, Reinking had declared himself a “sovereign citizen” who is not required to follow the nation’s laws.

The FBI says that sovereign citizens are “anti-government extremists who claim the federal government is operating outside its jurisdiction and they are therefore not bound by government authority—including the courts, taxing entities, motor vehicle departments, and even law enforcement.”

Reinking’s massacre was stopped when hero James Shaw Jr. took a bullet to get the gun off him and throw it away. Shaw has said he’s not a hero—that he was just trying to save his own life and ended up saving others in the process.

Reinking is still at large in Tennessee after sunset and police believe he may be armed.

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So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire

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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump lawyer Purpura busted by MSNBC for lying on the Senate floor during impeachment trial

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Moments after the end of the Saturday's Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump concluded, MSNBC host Brian Williams pointed out that one of Donald Trump's attorney's lied on the Senate floor about the president's Ukraine scandal-- and he had a clip handy to prove it.

Sharing footage of attorney Mike Purpura stating the higher-ups in Ukraine were unaware that Donald Trump was withholding aid until after the government helped him by announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, the MSNBC host called the attorney out.

To make his point that Pupura was being untruthful, Williams then showed a clip of Defense Department official Laura Cooper, who testified that Ukrainians were asking about the delay on the day of the Trump phone call that was the starting point of the impeachment trial.

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Any normal president could find some defense attorneys who aren’t clowns and grifters

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Donald Trump's penchant for telling reporters about his crimes doesn't leave his legal defense team a lot to work with. In the first week of his Senate trial, they've pounded the desk and rended their garments over how mean their Democrats opponents are toward their client. But the worst is yet to come--WaPo reports that during the next phase of the proceedings, Trump's legal team will offer "a scorched-earth defense of President Trump in the impeachment trial, mounting a politically charged case aimed more at swaying American voters than GOP senators — and damaging Trump’s possible 2020 opponent, Joe Biden."

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