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Sunday, Dec 09th

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Judge green-lights subpoenas in Trump Hotel lawsuit

Judge green-lights subpoenas in Trump Hotel lawsuit

A federal judge on Monday said lawyers for Maryland and Washington, D.C., can begin issuing subpoenas in a lawsuit that accuses President Donald Trump of using his luxury hotel in Washington to unconstitutionally profit from his political office.

The attorneys general in Maryland and Washington say they plan to serve as many as 20 companies and government agencies with subpoenas by midday Tuesday. It’s the first time a lawsuit alleging a president violated the Constitution's emoluments, or anti-corruption, clauses has advanced to the discovery stage.

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Stone snubs Senate document request, invoking Fifth Amendment

Stone snubs Senate document requestPresident Donald Trump's longtime political ally Roger Stone invoked his Fifth Amendment protection as he declined to share documents and testimony with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a letter posted Tuesday by the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Dianne Feinstein.

"Mr. Stone's invocation of his Fifth Amendment privilege must be understood by all to be the assertion of a Constitutional right by an innocent citizen who denounces secrecy," Stone's attorney, Grant Smith, said in the letter, dated Dec. 3.

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Trump's ex-campaign chief Paul Manafort 'tried to strike deal with Ecuador to hand Julian Assange over to US'

Manafort tried to make a deal with Ecuadorian president

Donald Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort allegedly tried to strike a deal with Washington and the government of Ecuador over Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, the New York Times has revealed.

Mr Manafort made the trip to Ecaudor in May 2017 mainly to see if he could negotiate a deal under which China would invest in the South American country's power system, possibly yielding a large commission for Mr Manafort.

But the talks with President Lenín Moreno turned to a diplomatic sticking point between the United States and Ecuador: the fate of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

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After CIA briefing, Republicans say 'no question' Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi murder

CIA director briefs Senate on Khashoggi deathFollowing a briefing by CIA director Gina Haspel Tuesday on the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, leading Republican senators told reporters that there was "zero question" that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the brutal murder.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Sen. Bob Corker, a Tennessee Republican, said "I have zero question in my mind that the Crown Prince MBS ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening. Planned it in advance. If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes. Guilty," Corker said.

Corker called the Trump administration's claim that there is no direct evidence of the crown prince's involvement "unacceptable."

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Federal appeals court rules against another immigration crackdown attempt

Federal appeals court rules against immigration crackdown

A federal appeals court has struck down a portion of federal law that makes it a crime to encourage foreigners to enter or reside in the United States illegally.

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled that the provision violates the First Amendment by covering speech that is constitutionally protected.

Judge A. Wallace Tashima said the statute appeared to apply to statements amounting to “pure advocacy on a hotly debated issue in our society.”

“Criminalizing expression like this threatens almost anyone willing to weigh in on the debate,” Tashima wrote in a 42-page opinion issued Tuesday.

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Emails of top NRCC officials stolen in major 2018 hack

RNCC hacked

The House GOP campaign arm suffered a major hack during the 2018 election, exposing thousands of sensitive emails to an outside intruder, according to three senior party officials.

The email accounts of four senior aides at the National Republican Congressional Committee were surveilled for several months, the party officials said. The intrusion was detected in April by an NRCC vendor, who alerted the committee and its cybersecurity contractor. An internal investigation was initiated and the FBI was alerted to the attack, said the officials, who requested anonymity to discuss the incident.

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Much-anticipated Jeffrey Epstein civil case trial set for Dec. 4

Jeffrey Epstein trial starts Dec. 4thA long-awaited-for trial that promises a first-ever exploration of the sexual misdeeds of billionaire convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is expected to begin Dec. 4 in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.

During a two-hour hearing on Wednesday, Circuit Judge Donald Hafele dispensed with a series of routine motions filed by attorneys representing Epstein and those representing his longtime nemesis, lawyer Bradley Edwards.

Unless the two agree to settle their differences during yet another mediation session on Sept. 21, the civil lawsuit is expected to go to a jury nearly 10 years after it was filed.

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Mueller is about to have his say -- in a big way

Robert Mueller: three court filings to come this weekThroughout his investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller has imposed on his team an ironclad rule: nobody leaks and nobody speaks -- out of court, that is.

But when it comes to official court filings -- indictments, plea agreements, sentencing memos -- Mueller has been loquacious and at times downright chatty, disclosing in compelling narrative fashion crucial details about his investigation and tantalizing clues about what might happen next.

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Putin trip to Washington to meet with President Trump is now 'out of question,' Kremlin says

Putin: No meeting with Trump in WashingtonRussian President Vladimir Putin won't be coming to Washington for a second summit with President Donald Trump anytime soon, a Putin spokesman said Monday.

"Now it is out of (the) question," Dmitry Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told Russia's state's news agency Tass. He said it's unclear when the two world leaders could meet next, adding that the current diplomatic standoff had created an "untenable pause" in U.S.-Russia relations.

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