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Rudy Giuliani can be prosecuted for Ukraine-gate — even if Bill Barr won’t act on Trump: Ex-federal prosecutor

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Attorney General Bill Barr has made it clear that he will never prosecute President Donald Trump regardless of what he does. Trump’s key ally, Rudy Giuliani, however, enjoys no such protections.

Former assistant U.S. attorney Mimi Rocah authored a piece outlining that based on public information, Giuliani can be prosecuted for his actions.

Trump confirmed this week that he had conversations with President Volodymyr Zelensky on July 25 and made “about eight” demands Ukraine work with Giuliani to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son. Trump then confirmed that he blocked nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine, before trying to say it had nothing to do with his efforts to find dirt on the Bidens.

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“It is not yet clear if Trump explicitly mentioned the hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid previously promised to Ukraine during the July 25 call — but whether he did or did not is legally irrelevant,” Rocah wrote. “It does seem clear, however, that the Trump-Zelensky conversations are part of a broader campaign by Trump to pressure Ukraine into doing election opposition research, using previously promised military aid package as leverage.”

At the same time, a whistleblower filed a complaint that Trump said something so inappropriate that the senior intelligence official raised it with the director of national intelligence and the inspector general. It’s still unconfirmed whether that complaint dealt with Ukraine or another issue entirely. The DNI is blocking Congress from having access to the complaint, despite laws mandating he do so.

The demand that Ukraine investigate Biden dates back to previous conversations Giuliani was having months ago where he asked Ukrainian officials to work with him to accuse Biden of crimes, whether they were real or not. Those officials refused, saying that there was an investigation and Biden was not involved.

When asked, Giuliani admitted that he couldn’t say 100 percent that Trump didn’t threaten Ukraine.

“There are several different federal laws that might apply to Giuliani’s conduct here. Most obviously, Giuliani appears to be in violation of the Logan Act, which makes it a crime for private citizens who attempt to intervene without authorization in disputes or controversies between the United States and foreign governments,” Rocah wrote. “He is Trump’s personal lawyer, not a government official, and so his involvement is clearly a complicating, detrimental element for U.S. diplomatic interests. Ukraine officials need to know who is speaking for the president and, as Ukrainian journalist Serhiy Leshchenko wrote this week, who is trying to ‘drag’ Ukraine into a U.S. presidential election.”

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She explained that Giuliani and Trump’s actions, as reported, raise to the level of federal criminal bribery and extortion conspiracy.

“While the factual record is not fully developed, federal investigations are opened every day against people with far less known and incriminating information. Any objective prosecutor, I believe, would agree with that,” she continued.

She cited a recent piece by former U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade explaining how what Trump and Giuliani have confessed to publicly falls under the federal bribery statute for a public official:

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The essence of both crimes is a demand by a public official to obtain something for himself to which he is not entitled in exchange for performing an official act of his office. Here, if the reporting is correct, Trump may be similarly committing bribery and extortion by using the power of his office to demand a thing of value, dirt on Biden, in exchange for an official act, the provision of military aid. This is precisely the kind of old-fashioned corruption scheme that the bribery and extortion statutes were designed to punish.

If Giuliani agreed to assist in the plot he aided and abetted the conspiracy, she explained. It falls under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and she said that as a former mob prosecutor, Giuliani should know better. Most of such bribery crimes don’t involve explicit quid pro quo and the law accounts for that.

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“These are not things I say lightly or indeed ever imagined I would have to say about the top law enforcement official in America. But here we are,” she closed.


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Here’s why Trump contradicted his own White House on the Supreme Court rulings

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Following the Supreme Court's pair of 7-2 decisions rejecting President Donald Trump's claim to have absolute immunity from subpoenas, he blasted the ruling on Twitter, claiming he being unfairly targeted and the victim of "prosecutorial misconduct." However, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany released a statement saying that "President Trump is gratified by today’s decision."

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‘They deserve it’: Republican strategist tells GOP it’s their own fault for going down with Trump because ‘they know better’

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Republican strategist Susan del Percio said that there is no excuse for GOP members who failed to do the right thing and fight back against President Donald Trump when they had the opportunity.

Speaking to MSNBC's Joy Reid Thursday, del Percio called Trump "the anchor" around the GOP's necks, "dragging them down."

"But, you know what, they deserve it," she continued. "There are Republicans out there that deserve this because they know better. They should have been better on impeachment. They should have been holding him accountable all along. Now they are scared and worried about themselves. Well, boohoo, you brought it on. there's no excuse."

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Trump officials demanded the Army ‘dig for misconduct’ to justify firing Lt. Col. Vindman

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This week, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman willingly left the Army after decades of honorable service. He cited a concerted campaign of "bullying" from the highest branches of power in the United States, and now more details are becoming known.

A New Yorker report revealed that top aides to President Donald Trump were told that they needed to find dirt on Vindman that could justify the firing of the decorated war hero.

"Vindman expected to go to the National War College this fall—a low-profile assignment—then take another foreign posting," the New Yorker reported. "But, in a final act of revenge, the White House recently made clear that Trump opposed Vindman’s promotion. Senior Administration officials told [Defense Secretary Mark] Esper and Ryan McCarthy, the Secretary of the Army, to dig for misconduct that would justify blocking Vindman’s promotion. They couldn’t find anything, multiple sources told me. Others in the military chain of command began to warn Vindman that he would never be deployable overseas again—despite his language skills and regional expertise."

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