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Trump-appointed judge utterly crushes Russian firm for trying to squirm out of Mueller election indictment

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U.S. District Court Judge Dabney Friedrich, who was appointed by President Donald Trump, has denied a Russian firm’s attempt to have charges of election interference dropped.

In a Thursday filing, Friedrich ruled against Concord Management and Consulting’s motion to dismiss charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

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Concord’s attorneys had argued that the charges should be dismissed because there is “no such crime” as “interfer[ing] in a U.S. election.”

But in his 32-page ruling, Friedrich struck down each of Concord’s arguments.

“Count I of the indictment—the sole count against Concord—charges that Concord and others ‘knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud the United States by impairing, obstructing, and defeating the lawful functions of the Federal Election Commission, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Department of State in administering federal requirements for disclosure of foreign involvement in certain domestic activities,'” the judge notes.

Friedrich goes on to explain why he decided to “deny Concord’s motion.”

“These cases establish only that the government will have to show—through direct or circumstantial evidence—that Concord had the intent to impair one of the three specific lawful functions alleged in the indictment,” Friedrich says. “Whether it can do so successfully or not, the indictment has alleged that intent, and no more is required at this stage.”

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Earlier this year, Friedrich upheld Mueller’s appointment in the Russia investigation and his authority to indict Concord.

Read the full decision here.

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GOP ex-congressman calls on Justice Roberts to override Republican effort to block witnesses

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In a column for the New York Times, former acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal, former Rep. Mickey Edwards (R-OK) and Georgetown law professor Joshua A. Geltzer urged Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to intercede and demand Senate Republicans allow witnesses in light of the latest John Bolton bombshell.

Following a New Times report that stated "President Trump directly tied the withholding of almost $400 million in American security aid to investigations that he sought from Ukrainian officials, according to an unpublished manuscript of a book that John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, wrote about his time in the White House," the three took to the Times editorial page to implore Roberts to step in.

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Senate GOP will be accessories to obstruction if they shoot down a move by Justice Roberts to call witnesses: Ex-prosecutor

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On Monday, former federal prosecutor Glenn Kirschner said that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) must motion for Chief Justice John Roberts to call witnesses in the Senate impeachment trial — and that if Senate Republicans vote down this decision, they will be "accessories" to obstruction of justice.

Schiff must make a motion to CJ Roberts for witnesses. As I’ve been saying all along, if Roberts grants the motion for witnesses (he will) & the Rs vote to overrule him (they might) that will (de facto) be obstruction of justice & accessory after the fact. https://t.co/yQfUTga7gd

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Trump already planning his victory lap for impeachment acquittal: report

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President Donald Trump is already planning his victory lap for his presumed acquittal in the Senate impeachment trial.

The president and his aides haven't agreed on a plan yet, and it's not clear that new revelations from John Bolton's upcoming book will force Republican senators to agree to witness testimony, but they're discussing how he should celebrate once the trial ends, reported Politico.

“The president is giving a lot of thought to where he goes when he is acquitted and vindicated,” a senior administration official told the website. “This isn’t a one-and-done moment. This will be a sustained exit from a long dreary impeachment process and a great reset to 2020 — not just the 2020 reelection but the 2020 domestic and international arena.”

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