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‘Exhibit A for obstruction’: Legal experts say Roger Stone’s commutation is all about Trump protecting himself

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Former Federal Prosecutor Cynthia Alksne told MSNBC that the recent announcement by President Donald Trump to commute Roger Stone’s sentence is possibly an example of obstruction of justice.

Host Steve Kornacki asked if the commutation would erase the crime from Stone’s record or if that would require a pardon.

“Well, the question is, does he really care?” Alksne asked. “I mean, Roger Stone takes such great pride in being a dirty trickster. I’m not sure he cares about his conviction, the truth of the matter is, as long as he doesn’t have to go to jail. He can continue to appeal and make those attempts, but this isn’t a get out of jail free card. Lots of people are arguing, well, maybe we need to use this as part of an obstruction of prosecution against the president and this is exhibit A, especially given his statements today, that the reason why he thinks the president is going to do it is because, basically, he had goods on the president and he kept silent. So perhaps down the road, there is a prosecution, an obstruction prosecution by a different White House and Justice Department, but it seems unlikely to me, but that’s obviously possible.”

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See the video below along with other comments from law experts:

Other lawyers and legal scholars similarly commented:

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Arizona swing voters are rejecting Trump’s law-and-order attacks on Joe Biden: focus group

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A focus group of Arizona voters held by NPR has found that President Donald Trump's claims that former Vice President Joe Biden will abolish the police are falling flat.

The focus group showed voters a Trump campaign ad featuring a fictitious elderly woman frantically dialing 911 when an intruder entered her house -- only to be told that the entire police department had been defunded thanks to Biden.

However, even Trump voters in the focus group found the ad to be way over the top.

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2020 Election

If Trump loses two more states it’s ‘ballgame over’: AP reporter

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Appearing on MSNBC's " Morning Joe," Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire explained Donald Trump's chances of being re-elected have reached the point where, if he loses the electoral votes of one more, he will be out of luck and out of office.

Speaking with co-host Joe Scarborough, Lemire was asked where Trump stands in the battleground states he so desperately needs.

"Both campaigns agree that there are six battleground states to decide this election: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida," he began. "Now the president has to play defense and has had to spend resources and had to go the past week to places like Ohio, Texas -- Georgia is another one where he has to play defense. We don't see, outside of perhaps New Hampshire, a place where Democrats have to do the same now that the Trump campaign has ceded Michigan."

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Trump’s executive orders are confusing and unconstitutional — and likely to hurt his own voters. He doesn’t care.

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As we went into the weekend, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had washed his hands of the negotiations over the vitally necessary COVID-19 relief package, leaving Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and former Tea Party zealot turned White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to try to hash out a deal. Word was that the Democrats had come down from their demand for $3 trillion in various relief programs to $2 trillion, while the White House stuck to its offer of $1 trillion and not a penny more. By Friday, the Senate was going home and the talks had irretrievably stalled.
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