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Trump doesn’t really want to mount a defense — he wants to be a king above the law: Former federal prosecutor

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Donald Trump at a rally, photo by Gage Skidmore.

President Donald Trump had ample opportunity to mount a defense when he or his lawyers were invited to the Judiciary Committee hearing, but he refused. It makes it puzzling why then the president went off in a six-page letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about not having any “due process” in the impeachment hearings.

Former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne explained to MSNBC host Ali Velshi Tuesday that the president has had a tough time mounting a defense to the accusations against him. Similarly, Republicans in the House used their time to attack Democrats and the process of impeachment instead of mounting any legal defense. Even the GOP’s constitutional law expert, Jonathan Turley, sought only to attack the process of impeachment, saying that it was moving too fast, and the judicial branch should rule on whether Trump’s White House must comply with subpoenas.

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“He fundamentally thinks that he is a king and that he cannot be questioned,” said Alksne. “If you do question him, you’re going to get long letters with lots of exclamation points. It’s really an unhinged, childish, nonlegal defense. And oddly coming out about the same time as he’s saying, ‘Oh, no, this was all above board, and everyone is being so mean to me,’ at the same time that his personal lawyer is essentially confessing that he’s been over in the Ukraine on a personal errand for the president, doing exactly what the president has been accused of doing. I mean, juxtaposing these two things, the letter and [Rudy] Giuliani’s confession will just make your head spin.”

Velshi was confused as to why the president would write such a letter when he could have spoken to Congress, mounted a defense against impeachment, called witnesses, and had his attorneys defend him.

“What is this letter, and this effort meant to do?” Velshi asked. “If the president has six pages of stuff that he wants to say, he was invited by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), the chair of the Judiciary Committee, to participate or to have his lawyers participate in the impeachment proceedings. If he’s got stuff to say, he was invited to say it on the record.”

Alksne agreed, saying that the president could have brought documents and information proving he was working on corruption issues. The president also could have had his House allies call the witnesses that would have proven his defense. Instead, all they wanted was to call the president’s political rivals.

“But he doesn’t want to do that,” she continued. “He wants to just be above the law. Interestingly, notice he signed this. Even [White House Counsel Pat] Cipollone wouldn’t sign this. He had his own temper tantrum, very juvenile, and nobody would sign it, so he had to sign it. That’s what this is. This is a temper tantrum; it’s not a legal document. It does not advance any legal arguments. It does not support whatever is going to be his position when the time comes to go through the impeachment process.”

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Pro-Trump internet trolls tried to hijack Nickelodeon’s kid’s survey on who should be president — and failed

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On Tuesday, Nickelodeon hosted its "Kids Pick The President" straw poll, in which young viewers of the network give their own opinion on who should win the presidential election. The poll has no electoral significance, given that kids cannot vote and given that the survey methodology is not scientific and lets anyone opt in regardless of how it balances the sample.

Despite this, pro-Trump internet trolls reportedly sought to hijack the results, spreading the message to get people to flood the poll with votes for President Donald Trump.

In the end, however, they couldn't even do it. Joe Biden won the poll, 53 percent to 47 percent.

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2020 Election

Wisconsin sees ‘nightmare scenario’ of COVID cases — as Trump ignores medical advice for campaign rally

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Wisconsin residents saw a “nightmare scenario” situation unfold Tuesday as 5,262 COVID-19 cases rocked the state, resulting in 64 deaths as President Donald Trump held a large campaign rally with few masks and zero social distancing.

"This is no longer a slow-motion disaster," said Gregory Poland, director of the vaccine research group at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "This is a disaster in warp speed. And it's maddening to me as a physician because a whole lot of people have died and are dying."

https://twitter.com/MJSphotog/status/1321224234270625794

According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the state Department of Health Services reported 5,262 new cases and 64 deaths Tuesday, both records far above any previous daily counts. The death toll now stands at 1,852.

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2020 Election

Trump’s website hacked and defaced to stop the ‘fake-news’ spread by the president: report

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President Donald Trump's website appeared to have been briefly hacked on Tuesday -- one week before the 2020 presidential campaign.

Visitors to the site briefly saw a fake DOJ takedown notice.

"This site was seized," the message read. "The world has had enough of the fake-news spreaded (sic) by President Donald J. Trump."

"It is time to allow the world to know the truth," the message continued.

The message also claimed "secret conversations" prove the Trump administration "is involved in the origin of the coronavirus."

There is no evidence that is the case, experts believe the virus originated in China.

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