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Chief Justice John Roberts Issues New Year’s Eve Warning to Stand Up for Democracy

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In a progressive welcoming move, Chief Justice John Roberts issued his New Year’s Eve annual report urging his fellow federal judges to stand up for democracy.

“In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital,” he wrote. “We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability.”

He also offered, “We should reflect on our duty to judge without fear of favor, deciding each matter with humility, integrity and dispatch.”

Roberts then encouraged judges to “do our best to maintain the public’s trust that we are faithfully discharging our solemn obligation to equal justice under the law.”

The annual report did not specifically reference President Donald J. Trump by name, but it was certainly implied given the looming Senate impeachment trial. The full document can be read here.

Roberts was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003. President George W. Bush nominated him as Chief Justice of the United States, and he took his seat September 29, 2005.

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Harvey Weinstein Guilty of Sexual Assault Including Rape

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Harvey Weinstein has been found guilty of two counts sexual assault and not guilty of sexual predation by a jury in New York. He was found guilty on one count of rape and not guilty on another. Allegations made by two women are the foundation of the case. More than 100 women have accused Weinstein of various acts of sexual misconduct, including rape.

“The jury in New York convicted Weinstein, 67, of third-degree rape against former aspiring actress Jessica Mann, as well as a count of criminal sexual act in the first-degree against former production assistant Mimi Haley,” NBC News reports. “But the jury found him not guilty on the two most serious counts, predatory sexual assault, as well as a count of first-degree rape against Mann.”

Weinstein could “go straight to jail,” former federal prosecutor and MSNBC legal analyst Cynthia Alksne said.

On Friday the jury said they were unanimous on some of the five charges but deadlocked on others. The judge asked them to continue deliberating, which they did Monday morning, quickly reaching a conclusion after five days.

UPDATE: 12:30 PM ET –
Judge has remanded Weinstein into custody without bail.

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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Federal Officials Tell Bernie Sanders Russia Is Working to Help His Presidential Campaign: WaPo

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The Washington Post reports U.S. government officials have briefed Senator Bernie Sanders that Russia is working to assist his presidential campaign.

“President Trump and lawmakers on Capitol Hill have also been informed about the Russian assistance to the Vermont senator, according to people familiar with the matter,” the Post notes.

The type or extent of assistant Russia allegedly has undertaken is not known.

“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders told The Washington Post in a statement. “My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do.

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In Apparent Message, Trump Signs Surprise Pardon for Felon Convicted of Failing to Report Extortion and Bribery

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President Donald Trump Tuesday morning unexpectedly signed a full pardon for a man who was convicted of not reporting extortion, a $400,000 bribe he paid to the now-former governor of Louisiana.

Former San Francisco 49ers co-owner Edward DeBartolo, Jr. received the pardon from President trump, who appears once again to be using his power to pardon as a means of sending a message to those who might testify against him. Trump was impeached for extortion of Ukraine.

Voice of America News White House bureau chief Steve Herman breaks the news:

“After striking a deal to provide evidence against former Gov. Edwin W. Edwards of Louisiana,” The New York Times reported in 1998, “Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., the co-owner of the San Francisco 49ers, pleaded guilty today to concealing an alleged extortion plot by Mr. Edwards that involved the licensing of a riverboat casino.”

Trump signed the pardon today after meeting with former NFL greats, who spoke in favor of DeBartolo.

 

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