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GOP judiciary senator asks Supreme Court to give Trump pardon power that could blow up Mueller probe

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A Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to give President Donald Trump even broader authority to issue pardons — which could have a dramatic impact on the Russia investigation.

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) has filed a 44-page amicus brief in the Gamble v. United States case that would consider whether to end a 150-year-old exception to the Fifth Amendment’s double jeopardy clause, reported The Atlantic.

The dual-sovereignty doctrine allows state and federal courts to prosecute the same person for the same criminal offense — which may be the only thing standing in the way of Trump pardoning Paul Manafort and other associates in the special counsel probe.

Hatch filed the brief Sept. 11, arguing that the exception should be overturned.

“The extensive federalization of criminal law has rendered ineffective the federalist underpinnings of the dual sovereignty doctrine,” Hatch argues. “And its persistence impairs full realization of the Double Jeopardy Clause’s liberty protections.”

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The U.S. Constitution grants presidents broad authority to pardon federal, but not state, crimes.

Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman, pleaded guilty earlier this month in the special counsel probe, and Robert Mueller has threatened to send some of those charges to state court if he fails to comply with the terms of a cooperation agreement with investigators.

If the dual-sovereignty doctrine were overturned, as Hatch has asked, a Trump pardon would protect Manafort from prosecution in New York and elsewhere, and he would be essentially freed from his obligation to testify against his associates.

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“If Hatch gets his way,” said Elie Honig, a former assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey, “a federal pardon would essentially block a subsequent state-level prosecution.”

A spokesman for Hatch denies his interest in Gamble — which involves a convicted robber later charged with a firearm violation — was related to the Mueller probe.

Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh could be sitting on the court by the time the case is heard later in this Supreme Court term, which opens Oct. 1.


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Trump is facing massive criticism for his attacks on young women of color in Congress

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US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.

"All they do is complain," Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products "Made in America."

"These are people that hate our country," he said of the four lawmakers. "If you're not happy here, you can leave."

Trump also accused the four first-term congresswomen -- who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African American origin -- of having "love" for US "enemies like Al-Qaeda."

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Trump’s campaign is spending massively at his own businesses — and even more on lawyers

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President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election campaign filed their latest campaign finance reports on Monday.

Anna Massoglia, a researcher at the money in politics watchdog group Open Secrets, dissected the numbers and made two startling discoveries.

In the three months covered, from April through June, Trump's campaign and affiliated joint fundraising committees spent $326,094.24 at Trump businesses, including six figures at both Mar-a-Lago and Trump Hotel DC.

Trump's campaign also spent over $1.3 million on legal bills. He spent approximately $7 million on legal bills in 2018, Massoglia noted.

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Trump is ‘one pointy white hat shy of a Klan rally’: GOP strategist Rick Wilson ripped Trump as a ‘flagrant racist’ on MSNBC

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Republican strategy ripped President Donald Trump for being a "flagrant racist" during a Monday night appearance on MSNBC.

Lawrence O'Donnell interviewed Wilson about Trump's latest nativist attacks on young women of color in Congress.

"Rick Wilson, is this a campaign strategy? Is this Donald Trump and his campaign advisers thinking, well, our only hope is going for the voters we already have and energizing them and getting them to come and squeak out that electoral formula once again?" O'Donnell asked.

"Absolutely, Lawrence. As everyone else stated on the show, it’s been obvious for a long time from the long arc of his dad to redling to the Central Park Five to birtherism to this stuff today, this guy, he's racist adjacent in of the best day of his life," Wilson is explained.

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