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Trump’s defense against campaign finance charges transparently weak: Former US attorney

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MSNBC legal analyst Chuck Rosenberg patiently explained why the campaign finance allegations against President Donald Trump rise above a simple mistake — and constitute a crime.

Panelists on “Up With David Gura” debated whether Trump could — or should — face legal jeopardy after his attorney Michael Cohen turned over evidence the president took part in a scheme to secretly pay off two of his alleged mistresses just ahead of the election.

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“The argument made here by the president and his lawyers is, this isn’t his fault,” Gura said. “He entrusted his legal strategy to Michael Cohen, Michael Cohen made the mistakes — why should he be responsible? In other words, don’t blame me, blame the lawyer. How much salience does that have when you look at the legal side of things?”

Rosenberg, a former U.S. Attorney and head of the Drug Enforcement Agency, walked through the weaknesses of the president’s latest defense.

“Think about taxes,” he said. “If you make a mistake on your taxes, that’s not a crime, okay? That’s a mistake. You might owe money, you might be audited, have to pay a fine, but that’s handled civilly.”

“If for seven years running,” Rosenberg added, “you hide foreign bank accounts, omit income, you do a whole bunch of things we would say are intentional indicia of tax fraud — that’s a crime. That’s the same thing here. Mistakes are not crimes, they’re mistakes. This doesn’t seem like a mistake.”

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NBC attacks Ronan Farrow’s upcoming book as a ‘smear’

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NBC is responding to Ronan Farrow's new book — which claims that the network quashed his reporting on rape accusations against movie producer Harvey Weinstein to protect Matt Lauer, who faced similar accusations — by dismissing it as a "smear."

This article first appeared in Salon.

In a memo sent to NBC employees on Monday and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, NBC News President Noah Oppenheim argues that Farrow's upcoming book "Catch and Kill" is a "smear" and "rests on the allegation that NBC’s management knew about and took steps to hide Matt Lauer’s misconduct before his firing in November of 2017." It also dismisses the accusation that the network "squashed" Farrow's reporting into the rape accusations against Weinstein in order to protect Lauer as a "conspiracy theory."

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Trump’s ex-Russia aide said the president used a ‘shadow foreign policy’ to ‘personally benefit’ himself: report

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Fiona Hill, a former top White House adviser on Russia, revealed to congressional investigators on Monday that President Donald Trump conducted policy toward Ukraine for his personal benefit, according to a new report from the Washington Post.

She reportedly said that the president used his attorney Rudy Giuliani to a “run shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvented U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit” himself.

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‘He’s cooked’: Sam Donaldson warns Trump the Senate may vote to convict him after impeachment trial

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Veteran newsman Sam Donaldson on Monday evening told CNN viewers not to assume that Senate Republicans would refuse to remove President Donald Trump from office during an impeachment vote.

"Breaking news," CNN Don Lemon alerted. "A CNN source saying that the effort to pressure Ukraine for political help alarmed John Bolton so much that the told an aide to alert White House lawyers that Giuliani was a hand grenade who will blow everyone up. And a source familiar with Fiona Hill’s testimony says the former Russia adviser told lawmakers she was she saw wrongdoing in the Ukraine policy and reported it."

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