Trump Supporters at Rally Indifferent to Manafort, Cohen Cases

Posted: August 22, 2018, 3:40 pm

Trump Supporters at Rally Indifferent to Manafort, Cohen Cases President Donald Trump waves after speaking during a rally, Aug. 21, 2018, in Charleston, West Virginia. CHARLESTON, WEST VIRGINIA — Washington may be buzzing about presumed double legal blows to President Donald Trump, with the Paul Manafort verdict and Michael Cohen's guilty plea, but little of it appeared to matter to his supporters in West Virginia.
Trump's backers dismissed the developments as more proof that his critics are determined to stop him from keeping his campaign promises.
The president spoke Tuesday night at a campaign-style rally in Charleston, hours after Manafort, his former campaign chairman, was found guilty of eight financial crimes, and his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight felonies, including two counts of violating federal campaign finance law.
During his rally remarks, Trump returned to several of his favorite themes — calling the media “fake news,” and callin..

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Democrats Quick to Denounce Legal Woes of Trump’s Former Aides

Posted: August 22, 2018, 3:11 pm

Democrats Quick to Denounce Guilty Pleas, Convictions of Trump's Former Aides FILE – House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi speaks to reporters after a news conference in San Francisco, Aug. 21, 2018. U.S. President Donald Trump Wednesday criticized the integrity and legal skills of his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, saying on Twitter that anyone looking for a good lawyer should not retain the services of Cohen. Trump was making his first public statements about his former personal attorney, who a day earlier implicated Trump in a campaign cover-up and faces four to five years in prison when sentenced in December.
Cohen pleaded guilty Tuesday to campaign finance law violations as well as bank and tax fraud. Cohen's pleas came after he testified that Trump directed him to commit a crime by paying hush money to porn star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the closing weeks of the presidential campaign to influence the 2016 election. Both women said they had ..

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Democratic Official: DNC Stopped Hack Attempt of Voter File

Posted: August 22, 2018, 2:15 pm

Democratic Official: DNC Stopped Hack Attempt of Voter File FILE – people stand outside the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters in Washington. CHICAGO — The Democratic National Committee says it has thwarted an attempt to hack its database that houses information on tens of millions of voters across the country.
A party official said DNC contractors notified the party Tuesday of an apparent hacking attempt. The committee notified law enforcement. The official said no information was compromised.
The party official said it's not clear what third party was attempting the hack.
Bob Lord is the DNC's chief security officer. He briefed the leaders of state parties on the matter at a party gathering this morning in Chicago. The DNC distributes the voter file to state parties for Democratic candidates to use the information.
Lord said in a statement afterward that the Trump administration is not doing enough to protect American democracy.

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Trump Downplays Ex-Campaign Manager, Personal Lawyer Becoming Felons

Posted: August 22, 2018, 1:58 pm

Trump Downplays Ex-Campaign Manager, Personal Lawyer Becoming Felons This combination of photos shows recent images of Michael Cohen, left, former personal lawyer for U.S. President Donald Trump; Trump, center; and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. WHITE HOUSE — U.S. President Donald Trump is publicly downplaying the significance of his former campaign manager and a longtime trusted lawyer becoming felons.
In a series of Wednesday morning tweets, Trump again assailed his own Justice Department for carrying out a “witch hunt” and praised Paul Manafort, who the president said refused to break and make up stories to get a deal as did Michael Cohen.
​Manafort, who ran Trump's 2016 election campaign for three pivotal months, is likely to be sentenced to years, if not decades, of prison time after his conviction on eight fraud charges. Manafort also faces a second trial on a different set of charges next month in Washington.
Trump noted that 10 of the 18 charges could not ..

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Inside Catch and Kill: Cohen, a Porn Star, and ‘Individual 1’

Posted: August 22, 2018, 11:54 am

Inside Catch and Kill: Cohen, a Porn Star, and 'Individual 1' President Donald Trump's former attorney Michael Cohen (C) leaves Federal court, Aug. 21, 2018, in New York. His name is Donald John Trump, but federal prosecutors have a simpler moniker for the 45th president: Individual 1.
Dry legalese and generic aliases could do nothing to tone down the tale of the scheme to protect Trump outlined in court documents Tuesday. The criminal campaign finance case against the president's former lawyer, Michael Cohen, revealed a complex, illegal operation to stifle sex stories and distribute hush money. The documents also lay out new details about the involvement of Trump's real estate company.
Cohen's plea agreement and the details it revealed now pose a direct threat to the president, perhaps one even more damaging than the separate special counsel investigation examining whether the president's campaign coordinated with Russia to sway the 2016 election.

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Uncertainty Looms Over House Race After Hunter Indictment

Posted: August 22, 2018, 10:55 am

Uncertainty Looms Over House Race After Hunter Indictment FILE – Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. SAN DIEGO — Despite an ongoing FBI investigation into his campaign spending, U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter coasted through the June primary election largely unscathed, finishing first by a 30-point margin and establishing himself as a strong favorite to hold the seat in November.
That's now changed.
On Tuesday, the Republican congressman and his wife were charged by a federal grand jury with using more than $250,000 in campaign funds to finance family trips to Italy and Hawaii, golf outings, school tuition, theater tickets — even fast food purchases — and attempting to conceal the illegal spending in federal records.
The 48-page indictment brings a jolt of uncertainty into the contest, in a year when Democrats have targeted a string of Republican-held House seats across the state.
“People disregard a lot of political issues, bu..

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Indictments? Impeachment? A Look at Trump’s Legal Woes

Posted: August 22, 2018, 10:10 am

Indictments? Impeachment? A Look at Trump's Legal Woes FILE – U.S. President Donald Trump answers a question during an interview with Reuters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Aug. 20, 2018. A bad day in court for his former associates could foreshadow hard days ahead for President Donald Trump. But it's unlikely he'll find himself in a courtroom facing criminal charges, at least while he's president.
On Tuesday, Trump's former personal lawyer and “fixer,'' Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to campaign-finance violations. Cohen said Trump directed him to arrange the payment of hush money to two women who claimed they had affairs with Trump, acknowledging the payments were made to influence the election.
Michael Cohen leaves Federal court in New York, Aug. 21, 2018. Around the same time, a jury found former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort guilty of eight financial crimes unrelated to the campaign. It was the first trial victory f..

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Warren Wants IRS to Disclose Candidates’ Tax Returns

Posted: August 22, 2018, 4:56 am

Warren Wants IRS to Disclose Candidates' Tax Returns Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., speaks in a park in Berryville, Va., where Congressional Democrats unveiled their new agenda, July 24, 2017. U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren has proposed a package of reforms to combat government corruption with new limits on lobbying, rules governing financial holdings and disclosures by officials, and transparency measures meant to better inform the public about how policies are made.
The Massachusetts Democrat said the changes would address what she called the “most obscene parts of how money now influences Washington,” as she discussed her bill Tuesday at the National Press Club in Washington.
Among her proposals is to have the Internal Revenue Service release the tax returns of presidential, vice presidential and congressional candidates, as well as those from businesses or non-profit groups the candidates operate. For those wanting to be president or vice president, those returns would date ..

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Analysts: Mueller’s Probe Reveals Corruption in Trump’s Circle

Posted: August 22, 2018, 4:39 am

Two former close associates of U.S. President Donald Trump have turned out to be guilty of serious crimes. On Tuesday, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of bank and tax fraud, while Trump's former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to eight crimes. Analysts say the two cases reveal corruption at the core of Trump's circle although the legal actions may not have an immediate effect on his loyal base. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.

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Facebook, Twitter Remove Accounts Linked to Iran, Russia

Posted: August 21, 2018, 10:55 pm

Facebook, Twitter Remove Accounts Linked to Iran, Russia FILE – An iPhone with Twitter, Facebook and other apps, May 21, 2013. Social media giants Facebook and Twitter said they have removed hundreds of pages and accounts linked to Russia and Iran ahead of the midterm elections in the U.S.
Facebook said it had removed 254 Facebook pages and 116 Instagram accounts that originated in Iran and were part of a disinformation campaign that targeted countries around the world, including the U.S. and Britain.
The social media companies acted on a tip from cybersecurity firm FireEye, which said on Tuesday that the accounts were promoting Iranian propaganda, including discussion of “anti-Saudi, anti-Israeli and pro-Palestinian themes.”
“We've removed 652 Pages, groups and accounts for coordinated inauthentic behavior that originated in Iran and targeted people across multiple internet services in the Middle East, Latin America, UK and US,” Nathaniel Gleicher, head of cybersecurity policy ..

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