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‘Very strong evidence, if not proof’: Trump’s campaign may have illegally coordinated with the NRA during the 2016 election: report

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On top of suspicions that President Donald Trump’s campaign nefariously coordinated with the Russian government as a part of the 2016 campaign, and in addition to the sworn statement by Michael Cohen that Trump directed him to engage in criminal campaign finance violations, the Trump campaign now stands accused of another form of illegal campaigning: coordinating with the National Rifle Association.

The allegations come from Mother Jones and in a joint investigation with The Trace.

According to the report, Trump and the NRA both targeted ads to the same area in Virginia, during the same timeslot and to the same demographic with ads that were complementary. This wasn’t merely a coincidence, either. The report found that both the NRA and the Trump campaign directed the ad buy through two nominally separated organizations that, in fact, are hard to distinguish.

The ad buys by both the Trump campaign and the NRA were even authorized by the same person, according to the report: Jon Ferrell, the CFO of National Media.

It is a violation of campaign finance laws for outside groups to coordinate their election spending with a candidate, so these findings raise serious questions about the campaign’s and the NRA’s legal exposure. And since other evidence makes clear that the Trump campaign was hardly ethically rigorous when it came to its regard for norms, laws, and national security, the allegation isn’t particularly hard to believe.

The report continued:

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Reporting by The Trace, which has teamed up with Mother Jones to investigate the NRA’s political activity, shows that the NRA and the Trump campaign employed the same operation—at times, the exact same people—to craft and execute their advertising strategies for the 2016 presidential election. The investigation, which involved a review of more than 1,000 pages of Federal Communications Commission and Federal Election Commission documents, found multiple instances in which National Media, through its affiliates Red Eagle and AMAG, executed ad buys for Trump and the NRA that seemed coordinated to enhance each other.

Individuals working for National Media or its affiliated companies either signed or were named in FCC documents, demonstrating that they had knowledge of both the NRA and the Trump campaign’s advertising plans.

This is very strong evidence, if not proof, of illegal coordination,” Larry Noble, a former general counsel for the Federal Election Commission, told Mother Jones. “This is the heat of the general election, and the same person is acting as an agent for the NRA and the Trump campaign.”

Ann Ravel, a former chair of the Federal Election Commission, reviewed the records for the outlet and agreed.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen a situation where illegal coordination seems more obvious,” she said. “It is so blatant that it doesn’t even seem sloppy. Everyone involved probably just thinks there aren’t going to be any consequences.”

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Israel’s Netanyahu just christened a building named after Trump — that doesn’t even exist

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spent his Father’s Day dedicating a new Trump Tower-type building that hasn't been built in a town that doesn't exist.

Standing in front of a large sign saying "Trump Heights," Netanyahu, who is being forced back into another election, announced the building before planning even began, Axios reported.

A great day on the Golan. PM Netanyahu and I had the honor to dedicate “Trump Heights” — first time Israel has dedicated a village in honor of a sitting president since Harry Truman (1949). Happy Birthday Mr. President!! @POTUS pic.twitter.com/fdYWzokFLK

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This graphic explains why Speaker Pelosi is resistant to impeachment

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has told her caucus that they can do investigations into the president without impeachment. The difference, however, is that there are fewer legal benefits available to Congress in their oversight role than in impeachment.

Theoretically, it should enable Democrats to do the research they need, but the White House is taking the bold step to defy the oversight the Constitution outlines. The only option open to the Democrats has been to go to court with their case outlining how the White House is breaking the law. Thus far, they've won two lawsuits about their investigations, and they will likely gain more.

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Trump says if GOP paid for Steele dossier ‘there’d be hell to pay’ — Republicans paid for half of it

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President Donald Trump tweeted out once again that he doesn't know the difference between a man hired to do opposition research and an entire country intruding on an election to sway the result.

In a Sunday Twitter rant, Trump proclaimed that if Republicans had done something like that, "there'd be hell to pay."

......If Republicans ever did that to the Democrats, there would be all hell to pay. It would be a scandal like no other!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2019

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