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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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Roger Stone, pictured exiting a federal courthouse in Florida on January 25, 2019, is a renowned political dirty trickster who has consulted with Trump for four decades, (AFP Photo/JOE RAEDLE)

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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Scientists alarmed as first ever nest of giant ‘murder hornets’ is found in the United States

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After months of meticulous tracking, authorities in the western US state of Washington on Friday said they had uncovered the first ever nest of the deadly Asian giant hornet in the country.

The nest was found on Thursday by Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) entomologists on a property in Blaine, near the border with Canada, the agency said in a statement.

It added that an attempt to eradicate the nest of wasps -- the world's largest hornet species also known as the "murder hornet" -- would take place on Saturday.

"The successful detection of a nest comes after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets on October 21 (Wednesday), caught in a new type of trap the agency had placed in the area," the statement said.

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2020 Election

Mormons fed up with Trump’s vulgar rhetoric and behavior are flocking to the Democratic Party

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Mormons in the United States have traditionally been reliable Republican voters, but some members of the conservative church put off by President Donald Trump are switching sides and backing veteran Democrat Joe Biden.

Support for Trump among members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which emphasizes family values and morals, is especially lagging among women.

Experts say that could have a significant impact in some key battleground states -- notably Arizona and Nevada, where Mormons represent six percent of the population.

"There are things about Biden that I don't agree with, but I think it's more important not to vote for Trump," said Melarie Wheat, a 36-year-old mother of five who lives in the western state of Utah, where the LDS Church is headquartered.

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‘Nuts!’ The Lincoln Project mocks Jared and Ivanka for their ‘comical’ threat to sue over Times Square billboards

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The Lincoln Project on Friday night fired back at White House advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump for threatening to sue over billboards in Times Square attacking their response to the coronavirus crisis.

The ads show the couple smiling alongside coronavirus death tolls for New Yorkers and Americans.

https://twitter.com/ProjectLincoln/status/1319294071513346053?s=20

Kushner and Trump's attorney, Marc Kasowitz, on Friday sent a letter to the Lincoln Project warning that the billboards were defamatory. “Those ads show Ms. Trump smiling and gesturing toward a death count of Americans and New Yorkers, and attribute to Mr. Kushner the statement that “[New Yorkers] are going to suffer and that’s their problem” (alteration in original), with body bags underneath,” the letter read.

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