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Trump-loving congressman fumes after US attorney shuts down his claim threats against him were ignored because of politics

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On Wednesday, the Washington Examiner reported that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is feuding with a federal prosecutor over the decision not to charge a man who left a threatening voice message for his office.

“Gaetz, you pathetic piece of sh*t,” said the voicemail. “Do you know that I could blow your f**king head clean off your shoulders from over a mile away. Watch your back, b*tch. You pathetic little piece of sh*t. You got your head so far up Trump’s ass, I could still take it off your shoulders. F**k you Gaetz. I’m coming after you, b*tch,” the message said.

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While the message is horrible, and Gaetz clearly justified in wanting the authorities to investigate whether there was a credible murder threat, his response when the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California determined there was not a threat was to go on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show and accuse the prosecutor of a “double standard” against conservatives — which would be a bit strange if true, as the U.S. Attorney, David Anderson, was appointed by President Donald Trump.

“This Office prosecutes threat cases against public officials when law enforcement has determined there is a credible possibility that the threat could be carried out and the case otherwise meets our standards for prosecution,” said Anderson’s spokesman, Abraham Simmons. “In assessing such threat cases, this Office does not take into consideration the politics of the public official who has been threatened. This Office prosecutes threat cases without discrimination on the basis of the public official’s viewpoint or any other impermissible basis.”

Gaetz, for his part, is fuming about Anderson’s “deeply flawed read of the criminal code,” arguing that the law does not make violent threats against congressmen illegal just because FBI officials do not believe the threat is credible.

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He also characterized the Washington Examiner’s original reporting of the story as “bullsh*t” and complained, “You didn’t bother to reach out … Even when left wing sites smear me, they at least seek my comment on the smears.”


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‘Blow up the phones’: Demands that #BoltonMustTestify surge after new Trump’s Ukrainian aid freeze

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A day after Democratic lawmakers demanded that former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, grassroots political action groups urged the American public to call their representatives and add their voices to the call for a fair trial.

"Hearing from first-hand witnesses in the Senate trial is now a necessity," tweeted the progressive group Stand Up America. "Call your senators now and demand a fair trial."

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Donald Trump has been a real estate developer, a TV show host, a casino owner, a politician and more. But through it all, there has been one constant: Trump has surrounded himself with sleazy characters. Oddly enough, those are exactly the people who helped propel him to becoming the 45th president of the United States.

That's the thesis of the new book by Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Michael Rothfeld and Joe Palazzolo, titled aptly enough, "The Fixers: The Bottom-Feeders, Crooked Lawyers, Gossipmongers, and Porn Stars Who Created the 45th President." I spoke with Rothfeld during a recent edition of Salon Talks about the book, a veritable encyclopedia of the unsavory characters that have made Trump who he is, alongside some new reporting.

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How corporate lawyers made it harder to punish companies that destroy electronic evidence

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In the early 2000s, a series of civil lawsuits against giant corporations illustrated the disastrous consequences that could ensue if a defendant failed to provide electronic evidence such as company emails or records. In one suit against tobacco giant Philip Morris in 2004, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler concluded that the company deliberately deleted troves of emails that contained incriminating information. She fined the company $2.7 million for the breach, levied $250,000 fines against each of the company supervisors found culpable and barred them from testifying at the trial.

Big corporations rallied for changes and got them. In 2006, the rules that govern federal litigation were changed to create a “safe harbor” that would protect companies from consequences for failing to save electronic evidence as long as they followed a consistent policy and, when put on notice of imminent litigation, preserved all relevant materials.

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