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Virginia Republican staffer indicted in election fraud scandal: report

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Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA)

A staffer of former Rep. Scott Taylor (R-VA) was indicted Monday on charges that she gave fake petition signatures to officials in an attempt to get a third-party candidate on the ballot. The goal was to pull votes away from Taylor’s Democratic opponent. Instead, it backfired, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Lauren Creekmore Peabody is one of five on Taylor’s campaign who worked to get petition signatures to help independent Shaun Brown get on the ballot. She was charged with two counts of election fraud, which is punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $2,500 fine.

Taylor’s scheme didn’t work in the end and he lost his seat in 2018 to Rep. Elaine Luria (D-VA).

The investigation has been going on since August 2018 after a radio station found at least five fraudulent signatures on petitions Taylor’s staffers turned in.

The Virginian-Pilot paper did their own investigation, calling 115 people whose signatures appeared to be turned in by Taylor’s campaign. More than half of the signatures were proven to be forged after.

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Democrats managed to keep Brown’s name off of the ballot after approaching a Richmond Circuit Court judge who ruled “out-and-out fraud” was committed in the petitions.

Brown has already been found guilty of conspiracy, fraud and theft for another incident where she defrauded a government program that gave meals to needy children.

Read the full report.

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Trump’s China tariffs won’t even pay for the bailout to farmers hurt by his trade war

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The revenues raised by President Trump’s tariffs on China are not even enough to cover the cost of bailing out farmers hit hardest by his trade war.

“We’ve taken in tens of billions of dollars in tariffs from China,” Trump told reporters Monday. He previously vowed that he would raise so much money from the tariffs that it would eliminate the entire national debt. But the New York Times reports that Customs and Border Protection data shows that the tariffs have raised about $20.8 billion in revenue. That is far less than the $28 billion in bailout funds that Trump vowed to give farmers after China imposed steep retaliatory tariffs targeting the agriculture industry. So far the administration has not offered any bailouts to other industries that have suffered sharp revenue losses in the ongoing trade war.

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Black man and realtor handcuffed for ‘forced entry’ into property’s open house: lawyers

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On Tuesday, the Daily Mail reported that Anthony Edwards has filed a federal lawsuit against the city of Cincinnati and three police officers after he and his real estate agent, Jerry Isham, were handcuffed and detained at gunpoint last year while touring an open house.

The police were summoned by Thomas Branigan, a retired police officer living next door, who called 911 to report them as home invaders and said they had "forced entry" into the house. He later admitted he did not have a view of the door at the time.

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Rob Reiner has the perfect plan for the GOP and Trump’s ‘N-word tapes’ from ‘The Apprentice’

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For years, there have been rumors about the existence of unbroadcast tapes from NBC's "The Apprentice" that are said to document Donald Trump using the N-word.

Actor Tom Arnold has been pushing the idea.

While conventional wisdom may once of held that such a release would be a political catastrophe for a president, the release could actually help Trump in his 2020 re-election campaign, director Rob Reiner argued on Tuesday.

"I’ve heard there are tapes of Trump using the N-word during his time on The Apprentice. Based on the GOP’s support of his racism, they should ask producer Mark Burnett to release the tapes to boost the support of his base," Reiner tweeted.

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