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Ohio vice police officers fired for wrongfully arresting Stormy Daniels

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Two US vice squad police officers were fired for wrongfully arresting porn star Stormy Daniels, who has claimed an affair with President Donald Trump, city officials in Columbus, Ohio confirmed on Friday.

Officers Whitney Lancaster and Steven Rosser were ordered dismissed by Columbus Director of Public Safety Ned Pettus on Thursday, according to documents provided by Pettus’ office.

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Two other officers were suspended for the 2018 strip club arrest of Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, at the Sirens Gentlemen’s Club on sexual misdemeanor charges.

Daniels had charged in a lawsuit that she was arrested for political reasons related to her claim before the 2016 election that Trump had sought to buy her silence over an affair a decade earlier, to avoid it affecting his prospects in the presidential contest.

The charges said that, while topless at the club, she pushed the faces of customers into her breasts.

The charges against her were quickly dropped following her detention. But she sued the city for false arrest and false imprisonment and the case was settled in September 2019 for $450,000.

Pettus said in the dismissal orders that the two officers took actions against Daniels that “deviated significantly from actions taken at every other strip club investigated by you.”

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He pointed out that normally they would file charges against an offender after a club visit and issue a summons for the person’s appearance in court, rather than arresting them on the spot and taking them in to custody as they did with Daniels.

“Not a single other suspect was deprived of their rights by being arrested ‘On View’… except Ms Clifford, demonstrating gross neglect of duty and incompetence,” Pettus wrote.

Prosecutors in New York are investigating payments made to Daniels by Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney who is in prison for violating campaign finance laws.

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‘Didn’t Trump want the death penalty for drug offenses?’: White House mocked for claim Blagojevich was freed to combat ‘aggressive sentencing’

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During an appearance on Fox News this Wednesday, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley addressed President Trump's recent pardons and commutations, specifically the commutation of Rod Blagojevich, suggesting it was done in an effort to clamp down on "aggressive sentencing" by prosecutors.

"The fact is, the president is clearly against excessive sentencing," Gidley said. "Whether it's Rod Blagojevich or Alice Johnson, he's focused on making sure people who serve time in prison, who have rehabilitated, who show regret and show remorse, don't have to rot away in a jail cell their whole life."

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2020 Election

Will Wednesday’s debate finally prove that Bloomberg is not Batman?

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After months of highly repetitive Democratic primary debates that, with pointless inevitability, turn into tedious squabbles over different health care plans that will never actually be passed in their proposed forms, there's finally going to be some real tension going into a debate again. That's because information billionaire and former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg is expected to show up tonight in Las Vegas, having purchased his way into the debate by infusing the airwaves and our very bloodstreams with a series of ads that are as inspiring as Bloomberg the man is not.

This article was originally published at Salon

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Benefits of China trade truce ‘limited’: Fed officials

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While US trade tensions have receded, including with China, Federal Reserve officials worry the danger to the economy is not over, according to minutes of the last policy meeting released Wednesday.

President Donald Trump last month signed a "phase one" agreement with Beijing which prevented some of the most damaging tariffs from taking effect, but punitive duties remain in place on about two-thirds of goods traded between the economic powers.

The truce with China as well as the new continental free trade pact with Mexico and Canada "helped reduce downside risks and appeared to buoy business sentiment," central bankers said in the minutes from the January 28-29 policy meeting.

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