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Trump and Manafort are using the mafia’s favorite legal technique that could lead to a pardon: ex-federal prosecutors

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Despite efforts on the president’s part to distance himself from his former campaign manager, an analysis of a legal agreement between Donald Trump and Paul Manafort reveals that the two are using a common mob technique that could eventually lead to a pardon.

Earlier on Thursday, Trump’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani revealed to Politico that the president and his former campaign manager have a joint-defense agreement that allows them to communicate in a manner that is protected by attorney-client privilege.

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“All during the investigation we have an open communication with them,” Giuliani told Politico. “Defense lawyers talk to each other all the time, where, as long as our clients authorize it, therefore we have a better idea of what’s going to happen. That’s very common.”

In an interview with The Atlantic, former federal prosecutor Elie Honig said those sorts of agreements are commonly used by the mafia to get their stories straight.

“These types of agreements are very common in mob and street-gang cases,” the ex-assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted over 100 members and associates of La Costa Nostra told the magazine. “I’ve seen some joint-defense agreements with 20 participants … It enables and facilitates all defendants to get together and say, ‘Let’s get our ducks in a row.’”

“Strategically, it enables all the different defendants and targets in a case to get together, work out what they’re going to say, and get on the same page so as not to implicate each other,” he added.

Former federal prosecutor Jeffrey Cramer told the Atlantic that the agreement signals that “both Trump and Manafort that their interests are aligned.” Patrick Cotter, another ex-prosecutor, said it’s “another way [for Manafort] to demonstrate his loyalty to Team Trump.”

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Though Honig said Trump’s team must be wary of the appearance of a potential pardon being a means of obstructing justice, Cramer told the magazine the move is “not a bad roll of the dice” for Manafort.

“As we’ve seen from Trump’s past pardons, Manafort won’t need to wait on career prosecutors or the [White House’s] pardon office to make a recommendation,” the prosecutor added. “It’s really just about waiting on the president’s whim.”

Read the entire report via The Atlantic.

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Trump supporters lose their minds when church shows Nativity scene in immigrant cages

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MAGA supporters are losing their minds after a photo of the Nativity scene at Claremont United Methodist Church was posted to Facebook.

The scene depicts Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus separated and put in their own cages, a reference to the families separated at the U.S.-Mexico border. Inside the church, the family is shown as reunited.

Senior minister Karen Clark Ristine shared the image on Facebook with the message hoping that everyone in the United States could see the photo and read the story for Christmas.

"The theological statement posted with the nativity: In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world," she wrote. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death."

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Columnist nails Republicans for only caring about Hunter Biden now that his father is running for president

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One of the critical questions that must be answered by Republicans, according to one Washington Post columnist, is why they didn't care about Hunter Biden's position at Burisma for so many years.

In a Sunday piece, James Downie asked why Republicans didn't do anything about Hunter Biden five years ago when it was first revealed that vice president's son was on the board of a Ukraine energy company. The House and the Senate were being run by Republicans until this year. They haven't had problems with other partisan investigations against high-profile leaders. There were ten investigations into the Benghazi attacks, three hearings, 29 witnesses, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours. Yet, it was only after Joe Biden announced he was running against President Donald Trump that Republicans discovered an issue.

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Republican staffer caught spying on Democrats during Judiciary Committee meetings

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A Republican staffer from the Ways and Means committee was caught spying on Democrats during their work over the weekend.

According to a Judiciary Committee source, the female staffer was ultimately discovered and ran out of the committee room once it was discovered she was there, tweeted Olivia Beavers, a writer at "The Hill."

"A Judiciary source says the committee, which has been practicing for their Monday impeachment hearing this whole weekend, came across a female GOP Ways and Means staffer in the hearing room today, but that she ran out once discovered," she tweeted.

https://twitter.com/Olivia_Beavers/status/1203784487559213056

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