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This is the ‘crazy and terrifying lesson’ we can learn from Trump’s lack of respect for the law

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On Wednesday, Harry Litman, a former United States attorney and deputy assistant attorney general wrote in The New York Times that President Donald Trump’s attempt to prosecute his political enemies was “positively Putinesque.”

Trump sought to have the Department of Justice prosecute former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former F.B.I. Director James Comey.

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“Tuesday’s revelation that the president had ordered his White House counsel to prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey illustrates the fragility of even apparently bedrock political norms in the Age of Trump,” Litman wrote.

He added, “In fact, Mr. Trump was deadly serious — and this latest story illustrates just how fragile the system has become in less than two years since he took office.”

Mr. McGahn is hardly a Lincolnesque figure, but he is sufficiently steeped in American legal and political culture, and sufficiently experienced, to be able to rebuff the president,” Litman said. “The screaming question here is what could have happened — or might happen in the near future — if the order had been issued to Trump crony Matt Whitaker.”

“The principle that the president may not simply prosecute political enemies is part of the DNA of American political culture, but Mr. Trump is the heedless radioactive force indifferent to the nature of the bonds he is breaking,” he concluded.

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Never-before-seen tax docs show Trump’s businesses made themselves seem more profitable to lenders and less profitable to tax officials

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Documents obtained by ProPublica show stark differences in how Donald Trump’s businesses reported some expenses, profits and occupancy figures for two Manhattan buildings, giving a lender different figures than they provided to New York City tax authorities. The discrepancies made the buildings appear more profitable to the lender — and less profitable to the officials who set the buildings’ property tax.

For instance, Trump told the lender that he took in twice as much rent from one building as he reported to tax authorities during the same year, 2017. He also gave conflicting occupancy figures for one of his signature skyscrapers, located at 40 Wall Street.

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‘Make it a twofer’: Trump brutally mocked after claiming ‘rumor has it’ CNN’s president will resign ‘momentarily’

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President Donald Trump unleashed his second attack on the media over the course of less than 24 hours, this time attacking his top news target, CNN, as "a virtual fraud." The president also claimed "rumor has it" CNN's president, Jeff Zucker, "will be resigining momentarily?" (The typo is Mr. Trump's.)

Now that we have found out that @CNN is a virtual fraud, rumor has it that Jeff Zucker will be resigining momentarily?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 15, 2019

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Trump and the end of the American myth of meritocracy

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The following is chock-a-block with spoilers for "Succession" Season 2, including the finale, so proceed with caution.For understandable reasons, the internet is all a-chatter about the final scenes of Season 2 of "Succession." On Sunday's finale, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), who spent most of this season looking like a whipped puppy, finally stuck it to his old man, Logan Roy (Brian Cox), throwing the patriarch under the bus during a live press conference, during which Kendall was supposed to offer himself up as the fall guy for Waystar Royco's criminal behavior. It was a moment of Kendall showing spine and competence, and understandably, audiences cheered him on.
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