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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist explains how Trump pardoning himself would make him ‘a dictator’

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Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Douglas Blackmon on Monday explained on Twitter why President Donald Trump’s declaration that he has the “absolute right” to pardon himself of crimes is setting up a fight that could end up giving America’s executive branch dictatorial powers.

“I’ve written for more than a year that RussiaGate would culminate in constitutional crisis over the president’s pardon power,” wrote Blackmon, who won a Pulitzer for his book on the post-Civil War treatment of black Americans called “Slavery by Another Name.” “Contrary to what Donald Trump or any ‘experts’ have said, the Founders and the Supreme Court have been clear for 230 years, no one is above the law.”

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Blackmon then explained why giving Trump the power to pardon himself for committing crimes would create a completely unaccountable president who had the power to commit crimes with impunity.

“If the President can pardon himself, he can commit any federal crime without fear of prosecution,” he wrote. “This would include bribing members of Congress not to support impeachment proceedings, paying off witnesses against him, ordering federal contracts awarded to his children.”

The bottom line, said Blackmon, is that granting the president the right to pardon himself takes America directly into the realm of tyranny.

“If the president can pardon himself as he claims, we live in a country in which the president can declare himself a dictator,” he concluded. “That is not the United States of America.”

Read the whole thread below.

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Maxine Waters calls for Trump’s Cabinet initiate the 25th Amendment ‘before this would-be dictator takes us all down’

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) called for Donald Trump to be removed from office on Friday.

"Is there one brave member of Trump’s cabinet who would move to initiate the 25th Amendment to remove him from office?" Waters asked on the president's favorite social networking platform.

The 25th Amendment would allow Vice President Mike Pence to ascend to the presidency if a majority of Trump's cabinet declares "the president is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office."

"Now is the time to save our country before this would-be dictator takes us all down!" Waters warned.

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Manhattan DA announces protesters arrested by NYPD will not be charged: ‘Our office has a moral imperative’

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The Manhattan District Attorney announced on Friday that his office would not be prosecuting protesters arrested for low-level crimes.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. announced that Unlawful Assembly and Disorderly Conduct would not be prosecuted during the demonstrations over police violence.

"“The prosecution of protestors charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve. Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists. Our office has a moral imperative to enact public policies which assure all New Yorkers that in our justice system and our society, black lives matter and police violence is a crime. We commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand these achievable aims, and our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard," Vance said in a statement.

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Chicago Police Board president files complaint alleging he was struck 5 times by cops at George Floyd protest

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On Friday, WTTW reported that Ghian Foreman, the president of the Chicago Police Board, has filed a complaint alleging he was beaten in the legs five times by police officers at a protest against the killing of George Floyd last Sunday.

The Chicago Police Board is an independent civilian commission that has power over police disciplinary cases.

"Foreman filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability alleging that he was struck by at least one officer during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police, said Ephraim Eaddy, a spokesperson for the agency," said the report. "Foreman’s complaint, which identifies the officer Foreman said struck him, is one of 344 complaints of police misconduct filed with COPA between midnight May 29 and 7 a.m. Friday, Eaddy said. The complaint itself is confidential."

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