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Trump’s DOJ has never asked for a shorter prison sentence for someone who wasn’t an ally: op-ed

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In an op-ed for the Washington Post this Thursday, the executive director for the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), writes that Attorney General Bill Barr’s meddling in the Roger Stone case is like nothing he’s ever seen before. According to Noah Bookbinder, Barr’s actions in the days leading up to Stone’s sentencing “appropriately sent a chill down the spines of prosecutors across the country.”

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“Federal prosecutors submitted their sentencing recommendation regarding Mr. Stone on Feb. 10; the following day, the Justice Department called that recommendation excessive and replaced it with a recommendation calling for “far less” imprisonment — and just after President Trump tweeted his own disapproval of the original sentencing recommendation,” Bookbinder recounts. “All four career prosecutors on the case withdrew from the matter, with one of them resigning from the department altogether — a sign of how extraordinary and unwelcome the intervention was.”

Barr’s claim that his decision was made before Trump’s tweets doesn’t matter, Bookbinder contends, because he and others in the Justice Department already knew that Trump felt Stone’s prosecution was unfair. While Judge Amy Berman Jackson’s sentencing Stone to 3.5 years was not unusual, Barr’s successful push to lower the prosecutions sentencing recommendation was.

“As a former federal corruption prosecutor and senior staffer at the United States Sentencing Commission, I can say unequivocally that what Mr. Barr and his team did was something I have never seen before,” Bookbinder writes. “It calls into question his fitness to play a leading role in our nation’s justice system. The top prosecutor in the land must demonstrate a commitment to protecting the rule of law, not the president and his allies.”

According to Bookbinder, there’s one crucial question no one at the DOJ can answer: Is there a single case where the department overruled career prosecutors which the defendant was not an ally of President Trump, or someone who could testify against him?

Read his full op-ed over at The Washington Post.

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Rep. Jim Jordan draws attention to Trump’s coronavirus failures in letter attacking World Health Org

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Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) dragged the Republican members of the House Oversight and Reform Committee into blaming the World Health Organization (WHO) for the slow action by the United States to combat the coronavirus crisis.

Throughout the crisis, the WHO has shied away from placing any blame on the Chinese government, which is in essence the Communist Party of China," he said in a letter. "You, as leader of the WHO, even went so far as to praise the Chinese government’s 'transparency' during the crisis, when, in fact, the regime has consistently lied to the world by underreporting their actual infection and death statistics."

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‘We’re still flying blind’: MSNBC host aghast that US has tested less than 1 percent of Americans

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Horrifying statistics were confirmed Thursday, that the United States has over 450,000 cases of coronavirus and still under 1 percent of the population has been tested.

The information came after President Donald Trump said the previous day that he was expecting to reopen the country within a few weeks. At the same time, it was revealed that Trump is pulling back the funding for the test sites. There are roughly 30,000 new cases of coronavirus daily and over 3 percent of those have been fatal.

"The so-called Community-Based Testing Sites program was intended to jumpstart initial testing capabilities to critical areas across the US, according to the agency," CNN reported. "But given FDA approval for individuals to self-administer nasal swab tests at sites, the demand for personal protective equipment and trained health care providers will be reduced, a FEMA spokesperson said in a statement."

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Judge orders unaired ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ footage turned over to plaintiffs suing Trump

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A judge has ruled that unaired footage from the reality TV show Celebrity Apprentice should be handed over to a group of entrepreneurs who say they were scammed by Donald Trump and his children who repeatedly endorsed a questionable multilevel marketing company on the show, according to a report from Bloomberg.

"Trump and his three oldest children were sued in 2018 for their roles in promoting ACN from 2005 to 2015 with Trump suggesting people could invest in the company’s desktop video phone with little or no risk," writes Bloomberg's Erik Larson. "The service was quickly eclipsed with the advent of smartphones and the plaintiffs claim they lost hundreds of thousands of dollars by putting their faith in the Trumps."

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