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Thursday, Feb 27th

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Trump Demands Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg Recuse Themselves From Cases Involving Him

Trump demands Sotomayor and Ginsberg recuse themselvesPresident Trump lashed out at two liberal Supreme Court justices on Tuesday, escalating his battle with the judicial system to new heights despite entreaties by his attorney general to refrain from Twitter blasts that complicate the administration’s legal fights.

Weighing in on a domestic matter on a day of ceremony and meetings in India, Mr. Trump seized on an opinion by Justice Sonia Sotomayor and a years-old comment by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to demand that the two Democratic-appointed jurists recuse themselves from any cases involving him.

“‘Sotomayor accuses GOP appointed Justices of being biased in favor of Trump,’” he wrote on Twitter, citing Laura Ingraham of Fox News. “This is a terrible thing to say. Trying to ‘shame’ some into voting her way? She never criticized Justice Ginsberg when she called me a ‘faker’. Both should recuse themselves on all Trump, or Trump related, matters!”

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Will your vote count? Veil of secrecy makes it impossible for Florida voters to know

Florida election integrity shoruded in secrecyFlorida’s March 17 presidential primary will be a referendum on state and county elections officials’ efforts to build a wall to stop hacking attempts that are constantly bombarding the system.

At a time when 59 percent of the public doesn't trust the election process, state elections officials have thrown a veil of secrecy over that work, refusing to disclose details about the weaknesses detected in their systems and whether they’ve been fixed.

Florida has doubled down on secrecy since federal officials reported at least four counties were hacked in 2016. The state forced all 67 elections supervisors to sign nondisclosure agreements before they could receive federal funding for elections security, be briefed about vulnerabilities found by cybersecurity experts or even hook up to the state’s voter registration system.

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Trump squabbles with CNN's Jim Acosta over Russia coverage during news conference in India

Trump attacks CNN in IndiaPresident Donald Trump took his battle with CNN overseas on Tuesday, as he and correspondent Jim Acosta clashed over truth-telling and reports over Russian interference in U.S. elections.

After Trump attacked CNN during a wide-ranging news conference in India, Acosta told the president: "I think our record on delivering the truth is a lot better than yours sometimes, if you don’t mind me saying."

Acosta was responding to Trump's criticism of CNN's coverage of reports that Russia is seeking to interfere in the U.S. election, just as it did in 2016, in order to help the president win.

"Your record is so bad you ought to be ashamed of yourself,” Trump told Acosta later. "You have the worst record in the history of broadcasting.”

Responded Acosta: “I’m not ashamed of anything and our organization is not ashamed."

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Court dumps Nunes' suit against Trump dossier firm

Devin Nunes' suit dumped

A federal judge has tossed out a racketeering lawsuit former House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes filed last year against the private investigation firm at the heart of the Trump-Russia saga.

Alexandria, Va.-based U.S. District Court Judge Liam O'Grady's two-page order issued Friday made short work of Nunes' suit, which sought $9.9 million in damages from Fusion GPS, its founder Glenn Simpson and a nonprofit watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability.

The judge also signaled that pressing on with the legal battle could result in sanctions against Nunes and his attorney, Steven Biss.

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B. Smith, model turned restaurateur and lifestyle maven, dies at 70

B.Smith dies at 70

Barbara “B.” Smith, a steelworker’s daughter who became one of the top black models on magazine covers in the 1970s and later parlayed her glamour and personality into ventures as a restaurateur, TV host and lifestyle maven, died Feb. 22 at her home in East Hampton, N.Y. She was 70.

Her death was announced in a statement by her family. Ms. Smith was diagnosed in 2013 with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and closed her restaurants — in Manhattan, on Long Island and at Union Station in Washington — over the next two years. She went on to champion Alzheimer’s research with her husband and caretaker, Dan Gasby, with whom she published a 2016 book, “Before I Forget.”

Ms. Smith — she shortened her first name to the initial “B.” during her modeling career — was widely regarded as a leading African American entrepreneur in fields that had long been unwelcoming to minorities.

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HR McMaster to publish book that may pose headaches for Trump

McMaster book may be detrimental to TrumpDonald Trump is trying to stop the publication of a book by his third national security adviser, John Bolton, but he will soon have to contend with a volume published by his second.

Lt Gen HR McMaster will publish Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World, on 28 April.

Bolton’s book, The Room Where It Happened, is reported to contain details of events central to the president’s impeachment over his approaches to Ukraine, which he survived after acquittal in the Senate.

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Julian Assange Extradition Hearing Begins In London

Julian Assange extradition

The extradition hearing for WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange began Monday in London — the latest turn in the legal saga of perhaps the world's most famous secret-spiller.

American officials want Assange, 48, brought to the U.S. to face charges. The U.S. government lawyer, James Lewis, argued that the case is not about journalism or First Amendment rights, but about computer hacking and publishing unredacted classified documents. "Reporting or journalism is not an excuse for criminal activities or a license to break ordinary criminal laws," Lewis told the Woolwich Crown Court, according to The New York Times.

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Pompeo appeared to coordinate with Giuliani on Ukraine, new docs show

Pompeo worked with Guiliani on Ukraine“Pls have Mr. G bring the documents,” reads the March 27, 2019, email from a State Department official to someone who worked for “Mr. G.,” better known as former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, a central figure in the Ukraine pressure campaign that culminated in the impeachment of President Trump.
"S is happy to meet with him tomorrow for 10 minutes,” went an email, apparently between State Department officials, the next day (both sender and recipient are redacted, though the title “Office Manager to the Secretary of State” is visible in the sender’s signature). “S” was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is suspected by Democrats to have had a more central role in that Ukrainian campaign than has yet been publicly acknowledged. (One of Pompeo’s top deputies, Lisa Kenna, also calls him “S” in scheduling emails.)

Judge won’t bow out of Roger Stone case

Judge won't bow out of Roger Stone case

The federal judge who sentenced President Donald Trump's longtime adviser Roger Stone to more than three years in prison last week has decisively rejected a defense request that she drop off the case before ruling on a pending new trial motion challenging the conduct of a juror at his trial.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson's sharply worded order also dressed down Stone's defense team for using the court's docket to air what she said were meritless claims that she is biased against him.

"At bottom, given the absence of any factual or legal support for the motion for disqualification, the pleading appears to be nothing more than an attempt to use the Court’s docket to disseminate a statement for public consumption that has the words 'judge' and 'biased' in it," Jackson wrote Sunday.

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