On Monday, the Justice Department filed a motion to disqualify the law firm Fletcher & Mack from representing Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) in his upcoming federal trial for misuse of campaign funds.
The law firm, contended DOJ prosecutors, is also representing witnesses who are set to testify against Hunter, and thus has a serious conflict of interest.
Hunter was charged last year, along with his wife Margaret, with spending over $250,000 in campaign funds on personal trips, dental work, and to settle bar tabs, among other things — and falsifying FEC spending reports to make their theft look legitimate. Damning transcripts revealed Hunter’s wife told him to charge a purchase of clothes as “[golf] balls for the wounded warriors, and that he demanded the Navy “go f**k themselves” after personnel refused to allow him to tour a base to make it look as though there was a campaign purpose to his trip to Europe.
Initially, Hunter tried to blame the whole thing on his wife — but this got a lot harder after evidence emerged that Hunter also spent campaign cash on a series of sexual liaisons with mistresses, including three lobbyists and a member of his staff. His wife is now reportedly cooperating with prosecutors.
Despite at least some of this going public before the 2018 midterm elections, Hunter managed to narrowly win re-election to his heavily conservative district, which covers inland portions of San Diego and Riverside County.
Trump’s decision to block coronavirus aid to hard-hit states will cost 4 million jobs: analysis
Negotiations over the next phase of coronavirus relief have stalled as Trump attempts to circumvent Congress with unworkable and legally dubious executive orders that fall far short of the aid that would be included in any Congressional proposal. Though House Democrats already approved a $3 trillion relief bill including an extension on federal unemployment benefits and $1 trillion in aid to states and cities whose tax revenues evaporated amid coronavirus lockdowns, Trump and Senate Republicans have balked at both provisions.
GOP’s use of Kanye West to help Trump has been a spectacular flop: CNN host
On CNN Saturday, Michael Smerconish examined rapper Kanye West's presidential campaign — and how the GOP efforts to boost it to siphon voters from former Vice President Joe Biden don't appear to be working.
"Is Kanye West serious about running for president or is it all part of a dark twisted fantasy?" said Smerconish. "NPR has documented how several operatives, some with Trump ties, are actively helping the superstar get on general election ballots in various states. Kanye West officially on the ballot in Vermont, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and has filed recently in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Jared Kushner met privately with West in Colorado, where the two par took in a friendly conversation ... the RNC and Trump has denied involvement in West's campaign. but the president isn't exactly discouraging the competition."
Greenland’s ice sheet has melted past the point of no return
Greenland's ice sheet may have shrunk past the point of return, with the ice likely to melt away no matter how quickly the world reduces climate-warming emissions, new research suggests.
Scientists studied data on 234 glaciers across the Arctic territory spanning 34 years through 2018 and found that annual snowfall was no longer enough to replenish glaciers of the snow and ice being lost to summertime melting.
That melting is already causing global seas to rise about a millimeter on average per year. If all of Greenland's ice goes, the water released would push sea levels up by an average of 6 meters -- enough to swamp many coastal cities around the world. This process, however, would take decades.