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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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RNC chairwoman raked over the coals for accusing others of nepotism — despite being Mitt Romney’s niece

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Ronna Romney McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and the niece of Sen. Mitt Romney (R-UT) thinks that the Democrats have a problem with nepotism.

Reacting to the recently aired ABC News interview with Hunter Biden, in which the former vice president's son admitted that his family name had opened doors for him that might have otherwise been closed, McDaniel accused the Bidens of engaging in "obvious nepotism."

"Hunter Biden got $50K a month from a Ukrainian energy company, despite having ZERO experience in energy," she wrote. "His justification? That he was also on the board of Amtrak – more obvious nepotism. If that’s not the swamp, I don’t know what is!"

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Giuliani fires back at Bolton after leaked deposition roils the White House

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Over the summer, former national security advisor John Bolton fiercely opposed efforts by Rudy Giuliani and others in the White House to pressure Ukraine to dig up information on Donald Trump's political rival Joe Biden and his son.

Bolton said he didn't want to be part of the "drug deal" White House Chief-of-Staff Mick Mulvany and E.U. Ambassador Gordon Sondland were cooking up in Ukraine. He also referred to Giuliani as "a hand grenade who’s going to blow everybody up.” The reports emerged from a leaked deposition by Fiona Hill, the president’s former advisor for Russian and Eurasian affairs.

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Trump’s attempt to unskew impeachment polls just hilariously backfired

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President Donald Trump for the past week has frantically tried to convince his supporters that support for his impeachment is still low -- despite the fact that multiple reputable pollsters have found support for impeaching the president has increased dramatically.

According to the polling average as calculated by FiveThirtyEight, an estimated 50.3 percent of Americans now support impeachment, while 43.8 percent oppose impeachment. This is a stark contrast from just one month ago when support for impeachment was at only 40 percent, while opposition was at 51 percent.

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