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CORRUPTION

Rick Perry’s Role in Trump Ukraine Extortion Plot Was Greater Than Previously Known: Report

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Secretary of Energy Rick Perry was more involved in President Donald Trump’s extortion plot to pressure Ukraine for dirt on Joe Biden than previously known. The former Texas governor, according to Politico, may not have “explicitly called on Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter,” but he worked to pressure that embattled country’s leaders to root out corruption.

Perry also “played an active role in the Trump administration’s efforts to shape decisions by the newly elected government of President Volodymyr Zelensky,” and “pushed for Ukraine’s state-owned natural gas company Naftogaz to expand its board to include Americans.”

Two of those Perry sought to install on that board are “long-time energy executives based in Perry’s home state of Texas.”

Perry replaced Vice President Mike Pence, attending the inauguration of Ukraine President Zelensky, which sent a warning shot to the new president that he needed to play ball with the Trump administration in order to receive support. That support included $400 million in congressionally-approved military aid. Ukraine is fighting Russia, which illegally annexed Crimea, a portion of Ukraine.

He was labeled “was one of the administration’s ‘three amigos‘ on Ukrainian policy, along with Kurt Volker, the U.S. special representative for the Ukraine conflict, and Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union.”

The Energy Secretary reportedly will submit his resignation effective before year’s end.

Image by U.S. Dept. of Energy via Flickr 

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CORRUPTION

Trump to Grant Clemency to Former Giuliani Partner and Disgraced NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik

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In what appears to be the third act of executive forgiveness President Donald Trump will sign this week the former, disgraced NYPD Commissioner Bernard Kerik, a friend and former partner of Rudy Giuliani, will be granted clemency, CNBC reports.

All these pardons and commutations appear to be sending a strong message that despite his claim to be a strong anti-corruption president Trump is more than willing to protect friends and others who have committed crimes similar to those he has been accused of.

Trump earlier Tuesday commuted the sentence of a former co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers who was convicted of a felony for not reporting extortion and bribery. He had bribered a governor $400,000 for a gambling-related license.

Trump is also expected to now commute the sentence of former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted of trying to sell Barack Obama’s Senate seat.

 

Image of Kerik by Gage Skidmore via Flickr and a CC license

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CORRUPTION

In Yet Another Apparent Message Trump Expected to Commute Sentence of Ex-Governor Who Wanted to Sell Obama’s Senate Seat

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President Donald Trump apparently isn’t finished signing pardons. Earlier Tuesday he commuted the sentence of the former San Francisco 49ers co-owner who was convicted of not reporting extortion and bribery. Now Trump is expected to commute the sentence of former Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was caught on tape wanting to sell the Senate seat of then-president elect Barack Obama, ABC News reports.

Blagojevich called the seat “fucking valuable thing,” saying he was not just going to give it away for nothing.

Trump appears to be issuing pardons for felons who have committed criminal acts similar to those he has been accused of.

Trump was impeached in December for his extortion of Ukraine.

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CORRUPTION

Bill Barr Ouster Demanded by Over 1100 Ex-Justice Dept Officials in Scathing Letter

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According to a report from the New York Times, over 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials have signed on to a letter calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to step down.

The report states the letter insists, “Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice,” adding those actions “require Mr. Barr to resign.”

The Times notes that signers of the letter come from across the political spectrum, adding, “Protect Democracy, a nonprofit legal group, gathered the signatures from Justice Department alumni and said it would collect more.”

Pointing out that the impetus for the letter is related to Barr’s interference in the Roger Stone case that led to prosecutors who handled it resigning en masse, the Times also reports that the signees, “Also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency’s inspector general and to Congress.”

You can read more here.

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