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Trump’s Hush Money And Illicit Activities Exposed By Prosecutors

While Trump Tweeted “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” after the court filings, the documents suggest that Trump may have known more about campaign

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U.S., Prosecutors
In these 2018 photos, Paul Manafort leaves federal court in Washington, left and attorney Michael Cohen leaves federal court in New York. VOA

Court filings Friday from prosecutors in New York and special counsel Robert Mueller laid out why Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, and Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign manager, deserve prison time.

The filings say Cohen made illegal hush money payments to two women — Stormy Daniels, an adult film actress, and former Playboy model Karen McDougal — ahead of the 2016 election to keep them quiet about their sexual encounters with Trump.

Federal prosecutors said Cohen made the payments in “coordination with and the direction of” Trump.

The filings also disclose an attempt by a Russian to wield influence in the campaign.

Fbi, Prosecutors
Former FBI Director James Comey is sworn in during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

In one filing, Mueller details how Cohen spoke to a Russian who “claimed to be a ‘trusted person’ in the Russian Federation who could offer the campaign ‘political synergy’ and ‘synergy on a government level.’”

Trump has denied any collusion with Russia, and Russia has denied any interference in the U.S. presidential campaign.

The filings also exposed lies told by Manafort during interviews with prosecutors and the FBI.

Trump USA, fbi, Prosecutors
Protesters urging the White House not to impede Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian meddling gathered outside the White House and in Lafayette Park, just north of the White House, in Washington. VOA

Manafort told “multiple discernible lies,” the court documents said, including about his communications with a political consultant with alleged ties to Russian intelligence and about interacting with Trump administration officials after Manafort was indicted in 2017.

Also Read: Former FBI Director James Comey To Testify Before House

While Trump Tweeted “Totally clears the President. Thank you!” after the court filings, the documents suggest that Trump may have known more about campaign and business contacts with the Russians than he has admitted. (VOA)

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10 State Attorneys General to Sue Trump Administration from Making Changes to U.S. Endangered Species Act

About 1,600 species are currently protected by the act and the administration says streamlining regulations is the best way

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FILE - Monarch butterflies cling to a plant at the Monarch Grove Sanctuary in Pacific Grove, California, Dec. 30, 2014. VOA

At least 10 state attorneys general say they will join conservation groups in suing the Trump administration from making drastic changes to the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

U.S. officials have announced a revision of the nearly 50-year-old set of laws that environmentalists credit with saving numerous animals, plants and other species from extinction.

About 1,600 species are currently protected by the act and the administration says streamlining regulations is the best way to ensure those animals stay protected.

“The revisions finalized with this rule-making fit squarely within the president’s mandate of easing the regulatory burden on the American public without sacrificing our species’ protection and recovery goals,” Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

Attorney Generals, Trump, Endangered Species
At least 10 state attorneys general say they will join conservation groups in suing the Trump administration from making drastic changes to the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Pixabay

The proposed changes include considering the economic cost when deciding to save a species from extinction. The law currently says the cost to logging or oil interests will have no bearing on whether an animal, bird, or other species deserves protection.

The revised act would also end blanket protection for a species listed as threatened — a designation that is one step away from declaring an animal population as endangered — and reduce some wildlife habitat.

Conservation and wildlife groups took little time in denouncing the changes, calling them President Donald Trump’s gift to logging, ranching, and oil industries.

‘Beginning of the end’

Also Read- Vaping Industry Group Sues U.S. Government to Delay Upcoming Review of Thousands of E-Cigarettes on Market

“These changes crash a bulldozer through the Endangered Species Act’s lifesaving protections for America’s most vulnerable wildlife,” the Center for Biological Diversity’s Noah Greenwald said. “For animals like the wolverine and monarch butterflies, this could be the beginning of the end.”

The center’s Brett Hartl added that putting a price tag on whether a species deserves to live opens the door for political interference.

“You have to be really naive and cynical and disingenuous to pretend otherwise. That’s the reason Congress prohibited the Fish and Wildlife Service from doing that. It’s a science question — is a species going extinct, yes or no?”

Attorney Generals, Trump, Endangered Species
U.S. officials have announced a revision of the nearly 50-year-old set of laws that environmentalists credit with saving numerous animals, plants and other species from extinction. Pixabay

Attorneys general from 10 states along with environmental groups say they will take the administration to court to preserve the Endangered Species Act. Several congressional Democrats are also denouncing the changes.

Also Read- Naga-inhabited Areas To Be Integrated By Nagaland Government

Republican President Richard Nixon signed the Endangered Species Act into law in 1973 as part of the new environmental awareness that was sweeping the country in the early 1970s, which included Earth Day and the Clear Water and Air acts. (VOA)