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Top federal judge issues rare statement after Trump goes after Roger Stone court case

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After President Donald Trump’s attacks on Judge Amy Berman Jackson overseeing the criminal case against his ally Roger Stone, the chief judge in the U.S. District Court in Washington D.C. spoke out Thursday against undue influence.

“Public criticism or pressure is not a factor” in sentencing decisions, Chief Judge Beryl Howell said in a statement.

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Trump had lashed out at District Judge Jackson in a recent tweet, falsely accusing her on Tuesday of having put Paul Manafort — the president’s former campaign manager — in solitary confinement.

That attack came after Trump had expressed outrage that the U.S. Justice Department recommended Stone receive a sentence of up to nine years. In a move dictated by Attorney General Bill Barr, the department subsequently amended its sentencing memo and called for a more limited sentence. These moves drew widespread criticism as it appeared that the president or his appointees were directly intervening in a criminal case to benefit his friend.

Howell seems to have been concerned that the outrage around the sentencing could influence the public perception of the integrity of Jackson’s sentencing decision, which is still forthcoming.

“The Judges of this Court base their sentencing decisions on careful consideration of the actual record in the case before them; the applicable sentencing guidelines and statutory factors; the submissions of the parties, the Probation Office and victims; and their own judgment and experience,” Howell said.


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2020 Election

‘Donald Trump is going to get indicted’ when New York gets his tax returns: David Cay Johnston

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On Saturday's edition of MSNBC's "AM Joy," Pulitzer Prize-winning Trump biographer David Cay Johnston predicted that the Supreme Court's decision on President Donald Trump's tax returns will lead to an indictment from New York prosecutors.

"What do you think might be out there?" asked host Joy Reid.

"Well, Donald Trump has already had two income tax fraud trials by the state of New York and the city of New York," said Johnston. "They were civil fraud, not criminal fraud. The New York Times in October of 2018, in this brilliant project on Trump's taxes based on records we know came from his niece — without question, he and his siblings are major-league tax cheats."

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2020 Election

More than 20 million people face eviction by the end of September as GOP threatens to cut aid: study

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One in five Americans who live in rentals could face eviction by the end of September as Congressional Republicans move to cut off unemployment assistance and other coronavirus relief, according to an analysis by the Aspen Institute.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Tucker Carlson’s ex-lead writer has a history of racist, homophobic and misogynistic social media posts

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Blake Neff, the lead writer of The Tucker Carlson Show on FOX News, resigned on Friday after CNN uncovered a trove of disgustingly racist, homophobic and misogynist social media posts that Blake published under the handle “CharlesXII” on AutoAdmit (aka. XOXOhth), a largely unmoderated message board used by lawyers and law school students.

Among Neff’s most telling posts are a reference to “foodie faggots,” a comment stating, “Black doods staying inside playing Call of Duty is probably one of the biggest factors keeping crime down,” and another comment stating that Democratic U.S. House Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, and Rashida Tlaib, all women of color, want to “MAKE YOUR COUNTRY A DUMPING GROUND FOR PEOPLE FROM THIRD WORLD SHITHOLES.”

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