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Former House Intel chair says Trump should pardon Roger Stone — if he’s not planning on running in 2020

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Former Republican chair of the House Intelligence Committee Mike Rogers told CNN on Tuesday that pardoning Roger Stone would hurt President Donald Trump’s chances for re-election.

Host Jim Sciutto recapped Monday’s White House press conference, during which press secretary Sarah Sanders refused to answer whether the president planned to pardon his longtime associate, and asked Rogers if it would be “politically palatable” to do so, and whether Trump would even “care about the politics?”

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“Well, I think it depended on if he want to run for president again,” replied Rogers wryly. “I don’t think it is politically palatable to do that and then seek re-election for office. I think if you read the original indictment of Roger Stone that they even indicated in there, the prosecution indicated, there is likely charges to be filed subsequent to this.”

“There is more to this story than we’re seeing in the original indictment,” Rogers continued, noting that Stone is still under investigation. “I think it gets harder, not easier, for the president to even offer that pardon.”

Rogers added that he expected Stone to flip.

“I know everybody said he’s not going to testify against the president,” Rogers said. “He left it open by saying they won’t make me lie about the president. There is a lot of truth in there that may or may not get people in trouble.”

Watch the video below.

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‘That’s how authoritarian countries work’: CNN’s Toobin warns Trump is acting like a dictator

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On CNN Wednesday, legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin broke down the significance of President Donald Trump's decision to pardon several high-powered friends accused of political corruption and tax crimes.

"There is no doubt, under the Constitution, the president has the power to do this," said Toobin. "This is not legally a — an open question. And there is a history of controversial pardons, whether it's President Clinton pardoning Marc Rich, a fugitive financier, or George Herbert Walker Bush pardoning the Iran-Contra people on his way out of the office."

"So what makes this so troubling is in the middle of his term, here he is assigning friends, basically friends and friends of friends, to get pardons and clemency, which is how authoritarians behave, which is playing favorites with your personal friends at a time when you are playing with the opposite of favorites with prosecutorial decisions," said Toobin. "I want these people prosecuted, these people freed — that's how authoritarian countries work. Countries where there is the rule of law, there are systems in place for who gets prosecuted, who gets clemency. This is a very individually-focused way to run a presidency."

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GOP’s portrayal of Trump as a corruption fighter torn to shreds as ‘complete nonsense’

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Republicans who defended President Donald Trump during impeachment hearings insisted that he wasn't trying to shake down the Ukrainian government to investigate his political foes, but was instead sincerely concerned about fighting corruption abroad.

CNN's John Avlon, however, argued on Wednesday that Trump showed these claims were "complete nonsense" after he unleashed a slew of pardons and commutations for corrupt former public officials, including former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich and NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, who both were sent to prison after being found guilty of abusing their offices for personal gain.

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2020 Election

Pete Buttigieg answers those who question his family values: ‘I’ve never had to pay off a porn star’

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Mayor Pete Buttigieg appeared on CNN Tuesday for a town hall in Nevada where he was asked about his sexual orientation. Thus far, Buttigieg is the first openly gay presidential candidate being taken seriously by both the media and the electorate.

He was asked by a voter how he would deal with the flood of personal attacks on his sexual orientation and his family.

He explained that it would happen and he was ready for it. Speaking about his coming-out story, Buttigieg said that he wasn't sure what impact it would have on his career but that he didn't want to not have a personal life anymore after he got out of the military.

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