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GOP official indicted for human smuggling and sale of children in bizarre international fraud scheme

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On Wednesday, NBC News reported that Maricopa County assessor Paul Petersen has been indicted on 11 counts, including human smuggling and sale of a child, as part of a far-reaching international adoption fraud scheme.

Petersen, according to prosecutors, transported some 40 pregnant women from the Marshall Islands to Utah to give birth, and proceeded to sell the babies to U.S. families for $40,000. He also is accused of fraudulently billing Medicaid for the prenatal costs, by claiming the Marshallese women were residents of Arizona.

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A Republican, Peterson was first appointed to the position of Maricopa County assessor in 2013 after serving as the office’s liaison to the legislature, and won a regularly scheduled election unopposed in 2016.

His adoption law practice first came under scrutiny by the Honolulu Civil Beat in 2018. He was taken into custody by the Arizona Department of Public Safety, Homeland Security Investigations, and officials from the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

“While Mr. Petersen is entitled to a presumption of innocence, our investigation uncovered evidence that he has committed horrible crimes,” said Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes. “Petersen’s illegal adoption scheme exploited highly vulnerable groups in two countries — the birth mothers and families in the Marshall Islands and the adoptive parents here in Utah.”


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Impeachment hearing explodes with applause as Jackie Speier highlights Trump’s daily lies

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Texas Republican Rep. Mike Conaway on Thursday argued that it was not illegal for Republicans to "out" the White House whistleblower.

Conway cited a Washington Post "fact-check" that gave "Three Pinocchios" to the claim that the whistleblower has a statutory right to anonymity.

Following his time, Ambassador Gordon Sondland was questioned by Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA).

During Speier's questioning, she was interrupted by Conaway, who brought up The Post giving "Three Pinocchios."

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Conservative attorney dismantles GOP arguments against impeachment: ‘Trump’s abuse threatens your freedom’

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A conservative attorney knocked down Republican arguments against impeachment one by one in a viral tweet, and urged others to support the removal President Donald Trump.

Bryan Gividen, an appellate attorney from Dallas, touted his conservative bona fides by describing himself as a "pro-religious liberty, pro-life, would snort Cocaine Mitch’s judicial confirmations" if he could -- but still said he supports Trump's impeachment.

"At this point, there is no question that President Trump directed U.S. officials to withhold security funding to the Ukraine so Ukraine would investigate the Bidens," Gividen began. "That is the kind of abuse of the President’s authority we should not tolerate."

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Trump turns bizarre handwritten notes into all-caps Twitter rage spasm: ‘I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO!’

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President Donald Trump on Wednesday wrote down his impeachment inquiry talking points in sharpie marker.

While leaving the White House for a visit to Texas, Trump read his notes to reporters, but refused to take questions.

During the flight, Trump then tweeted out his notes to his 66.9 million Twitter followers.

https://twitter.com/samstein/status/1197200696044654593

....”I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NOTHING! I WANT NO QUID PRO QUO! TELL PRESIDENT ZELENSKY TO DO THE RIGHT THING!” Later, Ambassador Sondland said that I told him, “Good, go tell the truth!” This Witch Hunt must end NOW. So bad for our Country!

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