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National Enquirer may be ‘exposed to prosecution’ if they did favors for the Saudis: Former US attorney

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Former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance told MSNBC on Tuesday that American Media, Inc., the parent company of the National Enquirer, may be exposed to legal jeopardy if there was any Saudi funding or favors exchanged for the publication of a magazine promoting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Host Hallie Jackson noted that when AMI asked the Department of Justice if they needed to register as a foreign agent before publishing the so-called “Saudi edition,” they told DOJ there had been “no foreign funding” for what was “purely a business decision based upon anticipated revenue.” Vance wasn’t convinced, and noted a few peculiarities.

“First is the timing,” she replied. “This happens in the summer of 2018 after Bob Mueller’s predilection for charging people with failing to file as an agent has become well known, and everyone is on notice when they have these dealings that they need to consider registering.”

“But also DOJ is very careful to tell AMI that their decision is based on the facts, as AMI has presented them, being accurate,” Vance continued. “It looks like that may not be the case.” Vance added that if the project had been funded by the Saudis or through a front, or if AMI received any favors in exchange, there would be trouble on the line.

“Then all bets are off,” she said. “DOJ’s advice won’t be binding and AMI could be exposed to further risk of prosecution.”

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South Korean fighter jets fire 400 warning shots at Russian military plane

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South Korean fighter jets fired nearly 400 warning shots at a Russian military aircraft on Tuesday after it violated the country's airspace, with Seoul warning of a far stronger reaction if a breach reoccurs.

The Russian A-50 early warning and control aircraft breached South Korean airspace twice off its east coast, the defence ministry official said, forcing the air force to scramble fighters.

Moscow denied any of its military aircraft had violated South Korean airspace, saying its planes had carried out planned drills over international waters.

But Seoul said a warplane entered South Korean airspace near the disputed Dokdo islets -- which are also claimed by Japan -- the first such violation since Korean War hostilities ended in 1953.

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2020 Election

Democrats are on the verge of setting a ‘time bomb’ for any candidate who can defeat Trump

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If a new president takes over the White House in January 2021, he or she may quickly find that the Democratic Party that just won control of the executive branch left a loaded gun in the hands of the Republicans, who are all too eager to use it.

That should be the takeaway from reports about the budget negotiations between the House Democrats and the Trump administration. According to Bloomberg reporter Sahil Kapur, the parties are coalescing around an agreement to raise spending by $350 billion, offset that increase somewhat with about $75 billion, and extend the debt ceiling — now set to expire in the fall — to July 31, 2021.

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2020 Election

State Sen. Royce West enters Democratic primary to challenge John Cornyn

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State Sen. Royce West made it official Monday: He’s running for U.S. Senate, joining a crowded and unsettled Democratic primary in the race to unseat Republican John Cornyn.

“I’m battle tested,” West told supporters at a campaign launch event. “You’ve seen me in battle, and I’m ready today to announce my candidacy for the United States Senate.”

The Dallas attorney has been viewed as a potential primary contender for some time now, but he remained mum publicly on his plans. In June, West met with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., where he reportedly had a “positive meeting” and signaled that he was likely to throw his hat in the ring. He filed the Federal Election Commission paperwork to formally launch his bid Friday.

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