(IF MANAFORT DID DO THIS HE IS EITHER A TOTAL FOOL AS HE WOULD KNOW THAT HE WILL SPEND THE REST OF HIS LIFE IN A FEDERAL PRISON, OR PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS GOTTEN A MESSAGE TO HIM THAT HE WILL GIVE HIM A PARDON IF HE SHUTS UP ABOUT THE RUSSIA PROBE. iF THIS IS THE CASE, MANAFORT WOULD BE BETTING HIS FREEDOM ON PRESIDENT TRUMP ACTUALLY TELLING HIM THE TRUTH ABOUT GIVING HIM A PARDON. MY QUESTION IS, WOULD YOU OR HE, BET YOUR LIFE ON TRUMP BEING TRUTHFUL TO YOU, FOR ONCE?)(oldpoet56)
Prosecutors: Paul Manafort broke plea agreement, lied to investigators in Russia probe
WASHINGTON (AP) — Special counsel Robert Mueller is accusing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of lying to federal investigators in the Russia probe, in breach of his plea agreement.
Prosecutors say in a new court filing that after Manafort agreed to truthfully cooperate with the investigation, he “committed federal crimes” by lying about “a variety of subject matters.” They are now asking a federal judge to set a date to sentence him.
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Manafort is denying that he lied. His attorneys say in the same filing that he believes he “provided truthful information.”
Manafort had been meeting with the special counsel’s office since he pleaded guilty in September and agreed to cooperate. He remains jailed while awaiting his sentence. He faces multiple years in prison.
A federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration must fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
In his 25-page opinion, Judge John Bates said the Trump White House had again failed to provide justification for its proposal to end the Obama-era program, under which nearly 800,000 people brought to the country illegally as children, known as “Dreamers,” have received work permits and deferral from deportation.
The judge also said in his opinion that he has agreed to delay his ruling to give the Trump administration 20 days “to determine whether it intends to appeal the Court’s decision and, if so, to seek a stay pending appeal.”
President Trump rescinded DACA in September, a decision Bates wrote in his opinion “was arbitrary and capricious” with legal judgment that was “inadequately explained.”
Bates further wrote that the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia holds that if the Trump administration wishes to rescind the program, or take any other action for that matter, it must “give a rational explanation for its decision.”
Bates said his court reaffirms its conclusion that DACA’s rescission “was unlawful and must be set aside.”
Earlier this year, Bates, a George W. Bush appointee, became the third federal judge to reject Trump’s explanation for ending the program, ruling at the time that the decision by the Justice Department that the program was unlawful was “virtually unexplained.”
The judge’s decision on Friday comes amid high political tension over the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies.
Trump has faced backlash for his controversial “zero-tolerance” at the Mexican border, which prioritizes the prosecutions of migrants who illegally enter the United States.
The policy led to the separation of hundreds of migrant children from their parents, causing a bipartisan uproar. A court previously ordered the government to reunite the migrant families by last Thursday, but hundreds of children still remain divided from their parents.
Trump has signed an executive order to end the family separations, but also repeatedly pledged to shut down the government this fall if he fails to secure funding for his long-promised southern border wall.
A federal judge has ruled that a Pennsylvania county seal is unconstitutional for including a cross, handing a legal victory to a Wisconsin-based atheist organization.
U.S. District Judge Edward Smith released a decision Thursday against Lehigh County’s seal, arguing that having a cross included in the emblem “fails the endorsement test.”
“In this case, neither the longevity of the Seal nor the secular symbols surrounding the cross detract from the religious message that a cross conveys to the reasonable observer,” wrote Judge Smith.
“While the court must defer to the government’s articulation of a secular purpose, the court cannot hold that the County’s articulated purpose is secular. Honoring the settlers by retaining a cross on the Seal is the equivalent of honoring the fact that the settlers were Christian.”
Smith noted that his decision was based on The Lemon Test, the legal precedent which allows for state-supported religious entities provided they fulfill a secular purpose.
Smith also expressed disagreement with the Lemon Test, calling Lehigh County’s seal a “passive symbol” which “does not violate the plain text of the Establishment Clause.”
“While the court does not believe the current state of the law applicable to this case comports with the text of the Establishment Clause, the court is not in a position to reject it,” continued Smith.
In August 2016, Freedom From Religion Foundation filed a lawsuit on behalf of multiple local residents against Lehigh County over its seal, which included a prominently displayed Latin cross.
“A prominent Latin cross is centrally displayed on Lehigh County’s seal and flag. The Plaintiffs — four local residents and a membership association of freethinkers … that works to promote the separation of state and church — object to the Latin cross representing the county government,” reads the suit’s introduction.
“Displaying the Latin cross on the county seal and county flag endorses Christianity, which violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The Plaintiffs seek appropriate declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as nominal damages.”
FFRF Co-President Annie Laurie Gaylor said in a statement released Thursday that she and her organization welcomed the district court’s ruling.
“This welcome ruling should settle the matter and get the seal redesigned to be inclusive, to ensure that it does not continue to send a message that only Christian citizens are represented or welcome,” stated Gaylor.