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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.

“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.

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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.”

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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2020 Election

Panicked GOP leaders scrambling to get Jeff Sessions to run for Senate so they won’t be saddled with Roy Moore

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According to a 2020 election analysis in the Washington Post, top Republican Senate leaders are cringing at the notion that former Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore could be their nominee for the seat currently being held by Democrat Sen. Doug Jones -- and are looking for a way out.

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NRA owes $1.6 million in unpaid bills to vendor who runs NRATV

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The National Rifle Association has a hefty bill that remains unpaid, despite making a huge haul in fundraising for the 2016 election.

According to Betsy Woodruff at the Daily Beast, the NRA owes $1.6 million to their vendor, Ackerman McQueen, they've used for advertising for years. The company is the one responsible for doing the media for NRATV, the group's streaming service for pro-gun television.

The two have had a long relationship and err on the side of quiet privacy, which Woodruff said on MSNBC, shows just how acrimonious the battle has become.

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2020 Election

Michael Moore warns that Trump will be hard to beat: ‘He hasn’t lost one inch of his fired-up insane base’

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Left-wing filmmaker Michael Moore thinks that Democrats had better get ready for a very tough fight in the 2020 presidential election.

Even though polls continue to show that President Donald Trump is historically unpopular, Moore believes that the president's base is fired up to reelect him and will crawl over glass to vote for him again next year.

In particular, Moore was struck by the massive enthusiasm that greeted the president at his big kickoff rally in Orlando, Florida.

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