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GOP-linked Russian agent doesn’t fear persecution by the Kremlin after cooperating with FBI

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On Friday, The Daily Beast reported that Maria Butina, who admitted in court to being a covert agent of Russia in December, is seeking expedited deportation back to Russia. And curiously, she does not fear reprisal at the hands of the Kremlin:

In the filing, released on Friday, Butina asked for a judicial order of removal, which would keep her and the government from having to go through the typical process Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) uses to deport immigrants. In short, the filing expedites her deportation from the country. In the filing, Butina a Russian national, who pleaded guilty to one conspiracy count said she does not expect to face persecution or torture in Russia.

This is surprising, given that Butina entered a plea agreement that required her cooperation with federal authorities, and the Russian government has a history of carrying out hits on former assets they no longer trust.

Butina was part of a complex scheme to infiltrate the National Rifle Association and the Republican Party, organized with the help of Vladimir Putin ally Alexander Torshin. She has been romantically involved with GOP strategist Paul Erickson, who is under investigation as part of the scheme and has been indicted in a completely separate fraud case in South Dakota.

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Former FBI agent explains why Trump just opened himself to more legal problems

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Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa explained that the recent revelations that President Donald Trump made a promise to a foreign leader that made an intelligence official uncomfortable enough to declare themselves a whistleblower.

Rangapp explained that the President has a fairly wide latitude to conduct foreign affairs as he sees fit. But "when it comes to the 'outside world,' the President represents the sovereign: He is basically the voice of the United States and can negotiate with world leaders on its behalf."

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Canada’s Trudeau admits to racist ‘brownface’ makeup in high school Halloween costume

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Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized Wednesday for wearing brownface makeup to a party 18 years ago, as he scrambled to get on top of a fresh blow to a re-election campaign dogged by controversy.

Time magazine published the photograph one week into a federal election campaign with Trudeau's Liberal Party in a tight contest against the Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer.

Trudeau, 47, whose party won a landslide victory in 2015, has already been under attack for an ethics lapse and other controversies.

The black-and-white photograph shows Trudeau, then 29, wearing a turban and robes with his face, neck and hands darkened at a gala party in 2001.

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A veteran teacher explains why Trump is incapable of learning

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While dyslexia has been mentioned now and then as one of the reasons Donald Trump is so ignorant of what it takes to govern in a free society, I want to explore it as foundational to his inability to learn and grow while in office—and also as a way to link disparate troubling elements in his makeup.

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