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Here are the two most likely reasons why the Public Corruption Unit investigated Trump pal Jeffrey Epstein

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The two most likely reasons that Jeffrey Epstein is being prosecuted by the Public Corruption Unit were explained by a former federal prosecutor on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” on Monday.

Host Joy Reid interviewed former Southern District of New York prosecutor Mimi Rocah, who supervised sex trafficking prosecutions for the office.

“It did seem interesting, that it’s being handled out of the office’s public corruption unit,” Reid noted. “What should we take from that?”

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“It is unusual,” Rocah replied. “The public corruption unit handles cases that involve — just like it sounds — public officials. Whether it be elected officials — or it can be police officers, it can be anyone who holds some kind of position of public trust, basically.”

Rocah, a distinguished fellow in criminal justice at Pace Law, explained the two causes for the Public Corruption Unit handling the case.

“One is that we see somebody who is either a public official or an elected official who was involved in the sex trafficking scheme with Epstein, with which he is now charged,” she explained. “That is possible.”

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“The other possibility is we know … that there was real mishandling — at a minimum — of the plea in Florida with Epstein. And that involves prosecutors and defense attorneys. Even attorneys can be considered public officials. Is that something now that the southern district is looking at, sort of that piece of it?” she asked. “Of how and why did Epstein get that ridiculous slap on the wrist that really shocks anyone’s conscious who understands how serious this case is.

She added that it could be both causes.

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GOP leader McCarthy swats aside Fiona Hill’s national security testimony debunking his Ukraine conspiracy theory

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On Thursday, during one of the final scheduled impeachment hearings this week, National Security Council official Fiona Hill demolished President Donald Trump's conspiracy theory that Ukraine, rather than Russia, meddled in the 2016 election, calling it a "fictional narrative" and noting that it originated with the Kremlin itself.

But in conversation with reporters, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) flatly disbelieved Hill's testimony, and insisted he still held onto the theory.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told me that he was not going to lose any GOP votes during impeachment.

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Environmental justice advocates blast Trump EPA for ‘dangerous’ rollback of chemical disaster rule

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"Safety requirements at these facilities should be stepped up, not rolled back. But this is what we've come to expect from the Trump EPA."

Environmental justice groups condemned the Trump administration Thursday for catering to the chemical industry after the Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rollback of Obama-era disaster prevention measures that were implemented to protect workers at and residents of communities with chemical plants.

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Trump’s personal interests have directly undermined national security and election integrity: CNN correspondent

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On Thursday's edition of CNN's "The Situation Room," correspondent Jim Sciutto broke down a key takeaway from the impeachment hearings.

"We are one year away — less than a year away from the next election, three years after Russia, with consequence, interfered, meddled in the 2016 election," said Sciutto. "One thing is clear from everybody who testified, the president of the United States never expressed any interest in defending the U.S. against that kind of interference. What he did, he was interested in a whole lot of other stuff that undermines that goal of defending U.S. elections from Russian interference, one of which Fiona Hill highlighted there, presenting an alternate explanation, a false one it was Ukraine that somehow hacked the DNC server, not Russia."

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