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Manhattan DA kept Manafort’s New York charges ‘under wraps’ as an ‘insurance policy’ against Trump pardon: Ex-prosecutor

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Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance, Jr. filed state charges against former Donald Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort that were kept under wraps as an insurance policy against a presidential pardon, former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade explained on MSNBC on Saturday.

Anchor Kendis Gibson played a clip of Trump learning about the new state charges against Manafort from a reporter’s question.

“President Trump right there caught off-guard as he realizes that state crimes are exempt from presidential pardons,” Gibson noted. “Thirty-four minutes after Paul Manafort faced his final federal sentencing, New York prosecutors announced sixteen state charges against him, ranging from everything from residential mortgage fraud to conspiracy charges — that Trump will not be able to pardon if Manafort is convicted and found guilty.”

“How unusual was it for the state prosecutors to announce these charges less than an hour after Manafort’s federal sentencing?” he asked.

“Very unusual, especially since they do seem to go to a lot of the same conduct that was already charged in the federal case,” McQuade noted.

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“The timing, the duplication of the charges I think clearly suggests that this was something that was kept under wraps so the sentencing judges weren’t aware of it until after it was filed and then filed I think as an insurance policy against a pardon to ensure that Paul Manafort is ultimately held accountable for these charges,” she explained.

“Some questions about double jeopardy are lurking out there, but I think this is clearly an effort to avoid Paul Manafort escaping accountability for his crimes through a pardon,” she added.

McQuade also believes that state prosecutors may be more successful at flipping Manafort than special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Writing in The Daily Beast, McQuade said, “state charges against Manafort can work as a backstop.”

“Is Vance’s goal simply to ensure that Manafort is held accountable by facing prison time for his crimes? That alone would be a worthy goal for a defendant whose crimes were as pervasive and sophisticated as Manafort’s,” she explained.

“Or is Vance instead thinking that by applying more pressure on Manafort, he can do what Mueller could not—convince him to cooperate by neutralizing President Trump’s pardon power. Checkmate?” McQuade concluded.

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Trump hates women of color for birthing babies keeping him from ‘making America white again’: MSNBC analyst

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President Donald Trump's loathing of women of color is driven by the fact he hates the babies they birth, a Rutgers University professor argued on MSNBC on Friday.

"The Beat" anchor Ari Melber interviewed Prof. Brittney Cooper about Trump's racist attacks on four young women of color in Congress.

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Former White House communications director Hope Hicks likely lied to Congress -- and Democrats have a plan to prove it, a Democrat on the House Judiciary said on MSNBC on Friday.

Anchor Peter Alexander interviewed Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) about potential perjury by Hicks, who was a close confidant of Trump during his campaign, transition, and administration.

"It has been several months since President Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen testified that President Trump directed him to pay hush-money payments to adult film star Stephanie Clifford, also known as Stormy Daniels, but new documents muddy the waters a bit for former White House communications director Hope Hicks, who testified to the House Judiciary Committee that she had no knowledge of the payments before they were made," Alexander reported.

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‘Liberal paper straws don’t work’: Trump wants plastic straws but has ‘bigger problems’ to worry about

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Swapping paper for plastic turned out to be the last straw for Donald Trump, who said Friday there are "bigger problems" than plastic drinking straws -- the day after his reelection campaign manager promoted branded ones on Twitter.

The president made his position clear to reporters at the White House when, between questions about Iran and China, one asked him about growing efforts to ban plastic straws.

"I do think we have bigger problems than plastic straws," Trump replied.

After a brief pause, he expanded on the point, asking: "You have a little straw. What about the plates, the wrappers and everything else that are much bigger and made of the same material?"

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