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Trump is facing serious legal danger — and it has nothing to do with the Mueller report

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The modern-day Republican Party is masterful when it comes to grabbing soundbites and repeating them endlessly in the hope of persuading public opinion—and the most prominent GOP mantra of recent weeks has been “no collusion, no obstruction, complete and total exoneration,” President Donald Trump’s March 24 tweet in response to Robert Mueller’s final report for the Russia investigation. That theme and slight variations of it have been echoed countless times in the right-wing media. But Esquire’s Ryan Lizza, in an in-depth article posted online this week, explains why Trump’s legal problems are far from over.

Mueller’s report has yet to be released publicly, although Attorney General William Barr has said that a redacted version will be sent to Congress in mid-April. Lizza notes that the “most serious accusation against Trump”—that he “affirmatively and criminally conspired with Russians in their twin plots to hack and distribute Democratic e-mails and spread disinformation through social media”—was also “the least likely to be proven” during Mueller’s investigation. And even though Trump “acted like a person with something to hide,” it was “always unlikely that he was stupid enough” to “have engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the enemy.”

But Lizza quickly adds that even though Mueller’s probe did not establish a full-fledged criminal conspiracy between Trump and the Russian government, Trump’s supporters are conflating Mueller’s assessment (as described by Barr) with a claim that the president is “in the clear here, there and everywhere”—and that claim “has obscured his legal troubles in New York.”

Lizza explains that in New York, Trump is facing investigations at both the federal and state levels—federal as in prosecutors for the Southern District of New York, state as in the New York State Attorney General’s office (now headed by Democrat Letitia James, elected in the 2018 midterms).

“The state’s attorney general and its Department of Taxation and Finance also have active investigations of Trump entities,” Lizza observes. “Across the East River, in Brooklyn, the Eastern District of New York is reportedly looking at Trump’s inaugural committee. But Trump may have the most to fear from SDNY.”

Lizza notes that Mueller’s probe led to SDNY investigations and the legal problems of Michael Cohen, who pled guilty to tax evasion and bank fraud and will be starting a three-year prison sentence in May.

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“Proving collusion with Russia is difficult,” Lizza writes. “Proving bank fraud is easy…. SDNY prosecutors treated Cohen like a hardened criminal, and they made it clear they wanted his superiors at the Trump Organization and other institutions put on notice.”

Lizza goes on to say, “The point here is not that Trump is a criminal or to engage in anti-Trump fantasies about the president being taken away in handcuffs. It is simply to point out that the real danger for Trump—and his closest family members—is from zealous prosecutors in New York who have already shown in the Cohen case that it is rather easy to find criminality, especially around taxes and banking, when the target is, to put it mildly, less than scrupulous with his books.”

Lizza concludes his piece by stressing that in light of everything SDNY prosecutors have had to say about Cohen’s activities in the Trump Organization, it is certainly reasonable to believe that from a legal standpoint, “there is real danger for Trump in New York.”

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Virginia Democrats are so fired up that the party chair had to scold them: ‘Sit down — be quiet’

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Democrats in Virginia are fired up as they gathered in Richmond for their annual gala dinner.

Political analysts believe the Democratic Party of Virginia has a good chance to win control of the state legislature in 2019's election, before setting their sights on the Commonwealth continuing its recent trend of voting Democratic in presidential elections.

Patrick Wilson, a political reporter for the Richmond Times-Dispatch, attended the event.

He reported that Democrats were so "noisy" that it was hard to hear the speakers, which include presidential candidates Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

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‘Everyone knows what to expect’ at Trump’s Amway Center re-election kickoff

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Donald Trump considers himself a legendary salesman, but can he really sell America on giving him four more drama-filled years at the White House?

Tuesday, he'll make his big pitch.

The 2020 reelection kickoff rally is being held in Orlando, Florida and campaign operations chief Michael Glassner says the "historic" event "has already generated tens of thousands of ticketing requests."

There's little mystery about how the night will go down.

Expect Trump, the self-promoting hero of his ghost-written book "The Art of the Deal," to claim the US economy is richer, the military stronger, and the country more respected than ever in history.

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Florida man’s own family blasts him after he was arrested for racist threats: ‘This isn’t how we were raised’

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After a Florida man was arrested for trying to start a race war, a member of his own family slammed his values.

"A Florida man’s social media posts that threatened violence against African-Americans, Jews and homosexuals and that urged his followers to start a race war netted him a $1 million bond," the Miami Herald reported Saturday. "And then there’s another $100,000 bond he would have to pay to get out of Lee County Jail because of a weapons charge."

Joshua Leff, 40, is being held in the Lee County Jail.

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