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OPINION

‘Some People Still Have Guts!’: The 13 Times Donald Trump Defended Roger Stone on Twitter

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President Donald Trump is expected to commute the 40-month sentence of his longtime friend and former campaign advisor Roger Stone, as soon as this evening.  Stone was convicted on seven felony counts. Trump has been defending Stone for years, and in an interview with NBC News’ Howard Fineman late Friday afternoon, Stone all but threatened the president to commute his sentence:

“He knows I was under enormous pressure to turn on him. It would have eased my situation considerably. But I didn’t,” Stone said about Trump – clearly telegraphing to the President he still could “turn on him” if Trump doesn’t keep him out of jail.

Some, like attorney George Conway, are saying Stone’s request “couldn’t be more corrupt.”

What Americans don’t know, although apparently the president does, is what Stone has on Trump.

But here’s Trump, literally over the course of the past three years, defending Stone, who last year was convicted on seven felony counts, including witness tampering, threatening a witness, lying to Congress, and obstruction.

May 10, 2017, in response to tremendous outrage one day earlier when Trump fired FBI Director Jim Comey. Stone said he had talked to Trump.

Dec 3, 2018. Trump appears to be praising Stone for not turning on him – something Stone today (above) reminded him of.

Same day. George Conway suggested Trump’s tweet was witness tampering.

Jan 26, 2019: Here Trump begins to fraudulently frame Stone’s felonies as no big deal. “What about Hillary…”

January 27, 2019: Again, Trump tries to make it appear what Stone did was not as bad as what was supposedly done to Trump. (Nothing was done to Trump.)

Trump suggests that just because Stone wasn’t working for him he wasn’t helping him. As Americans have repeatedly seen, Trump keeps certain people very close.

Quiet for many months, then, Nov 15, 2019: For the third time Trump tries to rehabilitate Stone in the minds of the American people. Stone lied, but so did other people, Trump claims, so, no big deal, he suggests.

Also, Stone wasn’t just convicted of lying to Congress. Witness tampering and obstruction were among the felonies he was charged with and convicted on.

February 12, 2020: Right after this all the DOJ prosecutors on the Roger Stone case would resign in response to Attorney General Bill Barr’s intervention to get Stone’s sentencing recommendation reduced.

Trump attacks the FBI and federal prosecutors.

Feb 13, 2020: One day later, Trump spreads fake news. The foreperson did not have a conflict of interest. And just remember, it’s unprecedented for a president to weigh in on the proceedings of almost any individual, least of all a good friend who appears to be protecting the President.

Feb 20, 2020: Seven days later. Trump works to generate public sentiment for the “dirty trickster.”

Same day. Trump repeatedly has called himself the nation’s chief law enforcement officer. Here he is essentially saying no one should be prosecuted or go to jail for any offense because other people do similar things too. Also, none of the people he mentioned committed crimes.

April 30, 2020: And here’s Trump painting the actual law enforcement agents, the FBI, as the bad guys, because Stone is his good friend and also may have the goods on him.

May 20, 2020: Less than two months ago. Poor Roger, who again reminds that he will not testify against Trump.

What comes next? Multiple news outlets report a commuted sentence. Stay tuned.

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OPINION

“Happy ‘Russia if You’re Listening’ Day!”: Internet Marks 4 Years Since Trump Invited Foreign Interference Into Election

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Four years ago today a visibly younger and sharper candidate Donald Trump held a press conference and uttered these now-infamous words: “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

That would be his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Looking back, having spent countless hours since, watching and listening to President Donald Trump, it certainly seems like his calling out to Russia was pre-planned and pre-scripted.

Just hours later, Russia would hack into Clinton’s servers.

Many continue to believe Trump colluded with President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation to take the White House.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller made clear Trump’s “no collusion” claim was false.

“We did not address ‘collusion,’ which is not a legal term. Rather, we focused on whether the evidence was sufficient to charge any member of the campaign with taking part in a criminal conspiracy. It was not.”

Emphasis on the word “charge.”

Here’s that now-historic and jaw-dropping moment when a candidate for president asked a foreign nation for assistance in getting elected:

And here’s how some on social media are responding to the 4-year anniversary:

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OPINION

Terrified Trump Tries to Attack Biden With Massive Rapid-Fire Twitter Tantrum

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President Donald Trump’s supposed “new tone,” despite what some reporters claimed after his newly-resuscitated coronavirus press briefing, does not exist. On Thursday the embattled president launched a massive rapid-fire retweeting campaign, posting tweet after tweet after tweet of other people’s attacks on the left and on presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

In 59 minutes Trump tweeted or retweeted 40 times, many of all the tweets baseless attacks on Biden and progressive policies.

What stands out is the President, supported by the entire machinery of the United States of America’s federal government, and buoyed by hundreds of millions in campaign cash, had no original thoughts of his own to share with the American voters.

The real Trump, if there is one, lives on Twitter.

He’s not reinforcing this supposed presidential “new tone,” because it does not exist.

He’s not advocating for masks, because he does not believe in them.

He’s barely even talking about the coronavirus pandemic, because he does not care.

Here’s a small sampling of Trump’s tweets from today, exposing what he really cares about, and thinks will hurt Biden.

The gun-brandishing St. Louis lawyers:

“Cancel culture,” aka not wanting to be held accountable:

Attacking Portland mothers who are standing up to protect people protesting about police violence:

Attacking an entire religion:

But no matter what, not this one:

Defending his secret paramilitary police force occupying Portland, and claiming this is not “paramilitary.”

Trump is literally campaigning on the backs of his base – but has no plan, no thoughts of his own.

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OPINION

Harvard Law Professor: ‘Unconstitutional and Unlawful’ for Trump’s Secret Police Force to Police the Streets

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A noted Harvard Law professor says what President Donald Trump’s secret police force is doing in Portland may be “unconstitutional and unlawful.”

Trump’s paramilitary, camouflaged, masked, non-insigniaed, non-name-tagged, highly-weaponized SWAT teams operate at the direction of Homeland Security acting Secretary Chad Wolf.

Professor Noah Feldman, who is also a Bloomberg Opinion columnist, asks, “Can Trump Send Federal Agents into Oregon? Not to Police Streets.”

He writes that “it is unconstitutional and unlawful for DHS officers to enforce non-federal law unless they are deputized by state or local officials — not the president — to do so. And Portland officials, far from making the DHS officers into deputies, have instead publicly expressed their outrage at the officers’ presence and demanded their removal.”

What is clear is the federal government has the legal authority and responsibility to enforce federal law and protect federal property.

But that does not extend to non-federal lands and assets.

If a protestor spray paints graffiti on a federal courthouse (apparently a crime so grievous DHS chief Wolf has to send in the feds, literally, to occupy Portland,) federal law enforcement agents can arrest the alleged perpetrator.

If a protestor spray paints graffiti on a state courthouse, federal law enforcement agents cannot arrest the alleged perpetrator unless they have also committed federal crimes.

Read Feldman’s entire piece here.

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