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Trump’s retaliation against witnesses could get him 10 years in prison: Ex-Nixon lawyer

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On Wednesday’s edition of “The Rachel Maddow Show,” former Nixon lawyer William Jeffress warned President Donald Trump that his behavior could put him in legal jeopardy.

“Through his tweets if nothing else, President Trump has made it clear that he’s furious at a number of people, certainly including Don McGahn, including Michael Cohen, likely including others who provided information to Mr. Mueller,” said Jeffress. “And that information made its way into the report and was embarrassing to President Trump.”

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“Now there is a criminal statute on the books. It’s called retaliation against witnesses,” said Jeffress. “It punishes anybody who takes action to retaliate against a witness who has provided truthful information to law enforcement authorities. And President Trump and his lawyers have got to be very cautious in taking any action other than words against any of these people who he is angry at.”

“In terms of what you just said there, other than words, would the kind of criticism that the president has levied already against people who have testified potentially be shaky ground, given the possibility of intimidation of witnesses being invoked here as a relevant statute?” Maddow pressed him. “Would it have to be some sort of act of furtherance to try to cause harm to those persons?” Maddow noted a recent report that the Trump campaign fired McGahn’s law firm ahead of the 2020 election.

“The way the statute reads is, if the president causes any harm to an individual in retaliation for his testimony, that’s a criminal offense carrying a prison sentence of up to 10 years,” said Jeffress. “And, yes, I think if you caused the firing of a law firm that caused harm to the witness, and you did that specifically with intent to retaliate against the witness’ testimony, that would unquestionably be a crime.”

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

We need your support to keep producing quality journalism and deepen our investigative reporting. Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Invest with us in the future. Make a one-time contribution to Raw Story Investigates, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.



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Russia launches floating nuclear reactor in Arctic despite warnings

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Russia will launch the world's first floating nuclear reactor and send it on an epic journey across the Arctic on Friday, despite environmentalists warning of serious risks to the region.

Loaded with nuclear fuel, the Akademik Lomonosov will leave the Arctic port of Murmansk to begin its 5,000 kilometre (3,000-mile) voyage to northeastern Siberia.

Nuclear agency Rosatom says the reactor is a simpler alternative to building a conventional plant on ground that is frozen all year round, and it intends to sell such reactors abroad.

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Amazon fires: how celebrities are spreading misinformation

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Many high-profile figures seeking to denounce the fires in the Amazon -- from Madonna and Cristiano Ronaldo to Leonardo DiCaprio and Emmanuel Macron -- have unwittingly ended up misleading millions on social media, either sharing photographs of the region that are years old or images taken in other parts of the world.

Official figures show nearly 73,000 forest fires were recorded in Brazil in the first eight months of the year, the highest number for any year since 2013. Most were in the Amazon.

- Leaders -

"Our house is on fire. Literally. The Amazon, the lung of our planet which produces 20 percent of our oxygen is burning," France's President Emmanuel Macron said on Twitter, posting a photograph of a burning forest (1) accompanied by the hashtag #ActForTheAmazon.

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US charges 80 in internet fraud and money laundering scheme

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US authorities on Thursday announced charges against 80 people, most of them Nigerians, in a wide-ranging fraud and money laundering operation that netted millions of dollars from victims of internet con jobs.

Federal prosecutors unsealed the dozens of indictments after 17 people were arrested and taken into custody in Los Angeles and elsewhere in the United States.

Most of the remainder of those indicted were believed to be in Nigeria, the US Justice Department said.

The suspects allegedly targeted the lovelorn, the elderly, and small and large businesses, using a variety of scams to persuade their victims to send money over the internet.

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