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GOP ‘rising star’ in Kansas facing 290 years in prison after felony indictments

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The United States Attorney for Kansas unsealed federal charges against Sedgwick County, Kansas Commissioner Michael O’Donnell on Friday.

Commissioner O’Donnell, 33, is charged with five counts of wire fraud, five counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering.

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He is facing 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine for each of the 5 counts of bank fraud, 20 years and a $250,000 fine for each of the five counts of wire fraud and 20 years and a $500,000 fine for each of the 2 counts of money laundering.

If convicted on all charges, Commissioner O’Donnell could be facing 290 years in federal prison and up to $7.25 million in fines.

The charges are related to O’Donnell’s successful campaign as a Republican running for the state legislature.

“O’Donnell has been a rising star in Kansas Republican politics, but has had his share of trouble along the way,” The Wichita Eagle reported.

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Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron Smith and Mona Furst are prosecuting Commissioner O’Donnell; the case was investigated by FBI Special Chuck Pritchett of the FBI and Detective Jon Gill of the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office. Kansas U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister was nominated by President Donald Trump.

“Michael always played a little fast and loose, but the seriousness of these charges, I don’t think anybody would have predicted this,” House Minority Leader Jim Ward, (D-Wichita) told The Wichita Eagle.

“Wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering. That’s some serious stuff,” said Sen. Gene Suellentrop (R-Wichita).

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Commissioner Richard Ranzau called for O’Donnell to resign in the wake of the indictments.

Asked if he would resign, O’Donnell’s attorney, Mark Schoenhofer suggested he would not.

“I doubt it,” Schoenhofer replied. “I haven’t talked to him about it, but my belief is he’ll probably continue serving the people of Sedgwick County.”

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Watch KSNW report on the indictments:

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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.

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Wisconsin political professor shatters the biggest misconception about Trump’s base with a revealing poll

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One of the most enduring ideas the general public, and especially Democrats, have about President Donald Trump's supporters is that they are bound by an unflappable, cult-like devotion to the president that transcends any sort of logic, reason, or reservations.

But in a lengthy thread on Twitter Tuesday, former University of Wisconsin-Madison professor and Marquette Law School Poll Director Charles Franklin revealed polling data that show this isn't quite true. There are plenty of solid Trump partisans — but voters supporting Trump are, on average, less attached to him than voters opposing Trump are repelled by him:

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Trump told NRA’s Wayne LaPierre he’s not ‘waffling’ anymore — background checks are off the table

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President Donald Trump made a congratulatory phone call to National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre to let the far-right organization know that the White House was reversing itself and would not be supporting universal background checks for firearms sales.

Following shooting massacres in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Trump had argued the time was now for background checks.

"Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks," Trump argued. "Perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!"

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Three more major NRA leaders are out — as gun group continues downward spiral

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Tuesday, three more members of the National Rifle Association have stepped down making it a total of seven NRA board members to leave in the last several months, CNN reported.

The first three were board members who complained about the money NRA chief Wayne LaPierre used to pay for a Beverly Hills wardrobe. Their responsibilities were cut and they left shortly after.

Professional sports shooter Julie Golob left the board just one week ago before her three-year term was up.

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