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‘That pardon may not be worth the paper it’s written on’: Legal analyst warns against trusting Trump pardons

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During an MNSBC panel discussion with legal experts, it was argued that anyone thinking Trump might pardon them should probably think twice.

Former U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance said that the president of the United States takes an oath to uphold the laws and the Constitution, yet that isn’t a concern to this president.

“Apparently, the law is no more important to him than anything else is,” Vance said. “He is willing to order people to violate the law, not to achieve some good gain, not to achieve some positive goal, but to fulfill a campaign promise that he’s made in hopes that he can be reelected in 2020. It’s really abominable.”

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Ian Bassin, former associate counsel to former President Barack Obama, encouraged anyone thinking that Trump will protect them to think twice.

“Well, I would have some advice for federal officials and workers right now who are considering what to do, which is: Be very careful what orders you follow, because that pardon may not be worth the paper it’s written on,” Bassin explained. “Let’s play this out: If a federal official violates federal law in following a Trump order, it’s unlikely that the Trump Administration is going to prosecute them because if the president is willing to pardon them, he is probably willing to intervene with DOJ to stop a prosecution.”

In that case, Bassin assumed that Trump would simply order a preemptive-pardon to prevent any other administration from charging them.

“But here is the catch,” he continued. “If that subsequent administration concludes that that pardon was actually invalid and unconstitutional because it was in violation of the president’s ‘Take Care Clause’ and decides to prosecute and let a judge or court answer that question, if you’re a federal official, do you want to gamble your freedom on whether a court sides with Trump’s interpretation of the Constitution?”

Even MSNBC host Chris Hayes said that a federal official would have to guess whether or not Trump was actually going to pardon them.

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“That and three bucks gets you on the subway,” he quipped. “I wouldn’t counsel anyone to take a pledge from the president like he will be there for you when you need him. But it’s a very good point in terms of what this sort of constitutional parameters are here.”

Watch the full conversation below:

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Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report

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The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.

"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.

"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.

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Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo

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Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.

Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.

In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.

But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."

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Threatened and endangered species among the animals hard by Australia’s bushfires

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Australia's bushfires have burned more than half the known habitat of 100 threatened plants and animals, including 32 critically endangered species, the government said Monday.

Wildlife experts worry that more than a billion animals have perished in the unprecedented wave of bushfires that have ravaged eastern and southern Australia for months.

Twenty-eight people died in the blazes, which have swept through an area larger than Portugal.

Officials say it will take weeks to assess the exact toll as many fire grounds remain too dangerous to inspect.

But the government's Department of the Environment and Energy on Monday issued a preliminary list of threatened species of plants, animals and insects which have seen more than 10 percent of their known habitat affected.

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