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Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens promised supporters that he’d continue to fight for conservative policies in a Saturday speech that came on the heels of his second felony charge.

“We have been viciously attacked by the liberal media and their allies,” Greitens told a crowd at the Texas County Lincoln Day dinner, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Though the audience appeared receptive, Greitens’ ability to lead the state is in serious jeopardy as the scandals swirling around him continue to metastasize.

The governor was charged Friday evening with felony computer tampering, for allegedly using a donor list from the veterans’ charity he founded to raise funds for his 2016 gubernatorial campaign. The St. Louis Circuit Attorney’s office, which brought that charge, is already pursuing a separate felony charge against Greitens for allegedly taking a nonconsensual nude photo of a woman and threatening to leak it.

As the twin scandals have played out in recent months, the governor has remained defiant, insisting he only engaged in an affair with the woman and committed no crime. In a Friday night statement, he also defended his work with the veterans’ charity.

“We helped thousands of veterans, won national awards for excellence, and became one of the finest veterans’ charities in the country,” Greitens said. “I stand by that work.”

Legislative leaders and Attorney General Josh Hawley, all Republicans, have called for Greitens to resign immediately. Republican Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard announced that he’s even planning discussions with Democratic leadership about keeping pieces of legislation passed by both chambers off the governor’s desk. Minority Floor Leader Gina Walsh has cast Greitens as an illegitimate leader, saying she doesn’t believe bills he signs should become law, according to the Associated Press.

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Scandal-plagued Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens was charged with a second felony Friday night for allegedly illegally obtaining a donor list from a charity and using it for fundraising efforts in his gubernatorial campaign.

“St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner reviewed the evidence turned over to her by my office and determined that there is probable cause to file criminal charges against the Governor,” Attorney General Josh Hawley said in a statement. “The Office stands ready to assist the Circuit Attorney’s Office where appropriate and if needed. These are serious charges—and an important reminder that no one is above the law in Missouri. Like all criminal defendants, Governor Greitens is presumed innocent under the law until proven guilty.”

The computer tampering charge came after Hawley announced earlier in the week that investigators had discovered evidence that Greitens obtained the donor list from the veterans charity he ran, the Mission Continues, and sent it to his campaign.

Greitens denied any wrongdoing in a Friday night statement.

“In the seven years I ran that organization, we helped thousands of veterans, won national awards for excellence, and became one of the finest veteran’s charities in the country. Those were some of the best years of my life, and I am grateful every day for the chance to help the men and women I served with,” he said. “I stand by that work. I will have my day in court. I will clear my name.”

A grand jury previously indicted Greitens in February with an invasion of privacy charge for allegedly taking a nude photo of a woman with whom he was having an affair in 2015. The governor has admitted to the affair but has denied the woman’s allegations of blackmail, violence, and sexual coercion.

Hawley, a Republican candidate for Senate, and other prominent Republicans have called for Greitens to step down as they worry that the embattled governor could weigh the entire party down. However, Greitens has refused to step aside and insists that the allegations made about him are all part of a witch hunt.

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The Democratic National Committee filed a lawsuit in federal court in Manhattan Friday against President Trump’s campaign, some of his allies and associates, as well as Russians and Wikileaks. The suit alleges that the Russian effort to meddle in the 2016 election was a racketeering enterprise.

The complaint details the various alleged connections Trump associates had with Russians. It relies on information that has been released via Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, as well as on media reports.

President Trump is not a named defendant in the lawsuit, but his son Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, longtime ally Roger Stone and former campaign chairman Paul Manafort are. Manafort deputy and ex-campaign aide Rick Gates is a defendant, as is former campaign advisor George Papadopoulos. Both pleaded guilty in Mueller’s probe and are currently cooperating with it.

Among the other defendants are the Russian Federation, its intelligence entity the GRU, the hacker Guccifer 2.0, Wikileaks and Julian Assange. Aras and Emin Agalarov — the father-son Russians who helped Trump bring his Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013 —  are also defendants.

The complaint zeroes in on the hacking of the DNC during the 2016 campaign. It alleges that the hack involved violations of the Wiretap Act and the Stored Communications Act.

“No one is above the law and the perpetrators of this attack must be held accountable,” DNC Chair Tom Perez said in a statement. “They successfully hacked the Democratic Party in 2016 and they will be back. We must prevent future attacks on our democracy, and that’s exactly what we’re doing today.”

The Washington Post was first to report the lawsuit.

Read the full complaint below:

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It’s been over four months since the world learned that Missouri’s governor allegedly tied a woman up in his basement, took a nude photo of her without consent, and threatened to release it publicly. Two months since he was indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge for that incident. A week since the woman’s graphic version of the 2015 events — including the claim that he pressured her into a sex act while she sobbed on the floor — was released in disturbing public testimony. And days since Missouri’s top leadership told him to resign following news that he may face an unrelated felony charge for matters involving a charity he founded.

But Eric Greitens is still sitting in the governor’s mansion in Jefferson City, with no plans to step down. The Republican governor admits he had an affair but insists he committed no crime, and that he’ll be vindicated in court.

But the Missouri GOP sees things differently: Increasingly, it views Greitens as an anchor, defiantly dragging the entire state party down with him.

State Republicans worry that the longer Greitens spends firing off defensive tweets and huddling with his defense lawyers, the more it will split their party and demoralize Republican voters, dooming the party’s chances in the November midterms. Foremost among the GOP’s concerns is the state’s closely watched U.S. Senate race, which could help determine control of the chamber.

“What I know from the data is that this information flow is awful for Republicans,” Missouri GOP strategist James Harris told TPM. “They’re not talking about efforts to lower taxes in the state, trying to improve education. Instead everything that’s on TV is about deviant sexual activity, assault, coerced sexual acts. It’s not good.”

Greitens’ approval numbers in Missouri are now underwater. And there’s possible precedent for Greitens’ scandals hurting other Missouri Republicans. In February, Democrats won a state assembly race in a deep-red district, leading some state GOPers to point the finger at Greitens.

But the impact could be much greater. For the GOP, the biggest risk is the potential damage to Attorney General Josh Hawley’s campaign against Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) whose poll numbers have improved this spring.

Hawley, a one-time Greitens ally, has distanced himself from the governor. Last week, he called for Greitens to resign or be impeached. On Tuesday, Hawley announced that he’d turned over to the St. Louis Circuit Attorney evidence from his own probe that he said showed Greitens illegally used a donor list from his veterans’ charity to raise money for his 2016 campaign.

But McCaskill and state Democrats are accusing Hawley of going easy on Greitens for too long.

“Hawley was asleep at the wheel,” McCaskill’s campaign said in response to the press conference, noting that the allegations about the charity had been public since October 2016.

A top Missouri Democratic Party official accused Hawley in a statement of looking “the other way to protect his friend and donor until it became politically untenable for him to do so.”

Greitens hasn’t made Hawley’s situation any easier. The governor filed a restraining order against the attorney general this week, accusing Hawley of prejudging his guilt in the blackmail matter. He also put out a dismissive statement calling Hawley “better at press conferences than the law.”

“It is unfair to attack the attorney general for doing his job,” Harris said, likening Greitens’ scandals to a “bunch of weights tied around” Hawley as he campaigns. “Hawley didn’t commit these potential crimes. All these things originated in the governor’s basement.”

Lawmakers, who had a tense relationship with Greitens even before the scandals broke, are now rushing to put space between themselves and the governor. GOP House leadership this week released a joint statement saying that “the time has come” for his resignation. In a searing statement of his own, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard accused Greitens of causing “tension, conflict and hostility” during his time in office and pressed for impeachment proceedings to begin “immediately.”

Lawmakers resented Greitens’ brusque attitude and his calls to root out the corrupt GOP political establishment in Jefferson City. They criticized his hypocrisy for campaigning on transparency and good government while raking in hundreds of thousands in dark money donations. The former NAVY Seal and Rhodes scholar’s naked political ambition also grated. No one quite forgot that he’d bought up domains like years before he was ever elected to public office.

The state GOP’s distaste for the governor was evident in the comments political strategists made to TPM. He’s a “narcissist” and “sociopath” guilty of “moral turpitude,” they said.

Even Greitens’ top donor has ditched him. Roofing company magnate David Humphreys, who gave over $2 million to the governor’s 2016 campaign, cut ties last week after the House released a report in which Greitens’ former lover testified that he forced her to give him oral sex while she cried, slapped her on multiple occasions, and threatened her.

Still, most GOP lawmakers waited to call for Greitens to step down until this week’s barrage of bad news. Dave Robertson, chair of the political science department at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, said that’s likely because they feared alienating their base, which is closely allied with President Trump and turned out for Greitens in significant numbers.

“Like Republicans everywhere in the country, Republicans here — including in rural areas where many of the leaders of the state legislature are from — are very wary of moving faster than the people,” Robertson said.

What remains to be seen is how much damage Greitens has already done.

“If the governor is removed quickly, the impact will be less noticeable,” Missouri GOP consultant Scott Dieckhaus said. “If he is allowed to linger in the Governor’s Mansion, I think it will have a catastrophic impact on Republican elections this fall.”

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Paul Manafort wants to see more records of conversations between Special Counsel Robert Mueller and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on the scope of the Russia probe.

Manafort lawyer Kevin Downing argued for that they and the court were entitled to additional Justice Department records in a sometimes contentious federal court hearing Thursday on Manafort’s motion to have the indictment against him thrown out. Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, claims the order naming Mueller special counsel is a violation of DOJ regulations. Manafort also argues that Mueller’s investigation has exceeded the authority granted to him by exploring Manafort’s business dealings in Ukraine.

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Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump’s longtime personal attorney, on Wednesday dropped his defamation lawsuits against BuzzFeed News and Fusion GPS, apparently due to the federal criminal investigation he now faces.

“The decision to voluntarily discontinue these cases was a difficult one,” Cohen’s attorney David Schwartz told Politico in a statement Thursday morning. “We believe the defendants defamed my client, and vindicating Mr. Cohen’s rights was — and still remains — important. But given the events that have unfolded, and the time, attention, and resources needed to prosecute these matters, we have dismissed the matters, despite their merits.”

Cohen filed lawsuits against BuzzFeed News and Fusion GPS in January over the publication of the dossier compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. The dossier alleged that Cohen met with Kremlin officials, a claim he has denied.

Trump’s longtime lawyer has been under grand jury investigation for several months for alleged “criminal conduct that largely centers on his personal business dealings. The investigation became public shortly after the FBI raided Cohen’s home, office, and hotel room last week.

In a Thursday morning statement, Buzzfeed News said that Cohen’s decision to drop the lawsuit shows that Cohen “no longer thinks an attack on the free press is worth his time.”

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A federal judge has ordered that Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach be held in contempt of court for disobeying her orders in the proof-of-citizenship voter registration case.

Judge Julie Robinson in her decision Wednesday bashed Kobach’s failure to  send postcards to voters whose registrations were restored by her previous move to block the proof-of-citizenship requirement for the 2016 election.

“Kansans have come to expect these postcards to confirm their registration status, and Defendant ensured the Court on the record that they had been sent prior to the 2016 general election,” Robinson said. “They were not, and the fact that he sent a different notice to those voters does not wholly remove the contempt, nor does his attempt to resend postcards eighteen months after the election and five months after Plaintiffs notified him of the issue.”

She also took issue with Kobach’s refusal to update the state’s training manual for election officials to reflect her 2016 order blocking the proof-of-citizenship requirement. Kobach had argued that he need not change the manual until the Supreme Court had a chance to weigh in on the case, and that he communicated with election officials via email the changes in policy due to her 2016 order.

However he also refused to change the publicly available online version of the manual, until finally taking it down weeks before the contempt hearing in March.

“If this document was only available internally, the Court would be persuaded that Defendant did not disobey the Court’s order. But it was publicly available; the e-mails updating the document were not,” Robinson said Wednesday.

The judge also criticized Kobach for appearing to throw his staff under the bus in his ever-changing defenses of his actions regarding her 2016 order, and said she was “troubled by Defendant’s failure to take responsibility for violating this Court’s order.”

“Defendant deflected blame for his failure to comply onto county officials, and onto his own staff, some of whom are not licensed attorneys,” she said.

She ordered that Kobach cover the attorneys fees’ of the challengers in the case or the costs of their efforts to bring Kobach in compliance with her order. She said further remedies would be deferred until her final decision in the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging to the proof-citizenship requirement. The trial was in March.

Read Judge Julie Robinson’s decision below:

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The law firm representing Michael Cohen — which this week fought in court to shield communications between Cohen and President Trump from government investigators — has received payments from President Trump’s re-election campaign.

The payments to the law firm by Trump’s campaign could ultimately complicate any efforts by Robert Mueller’s team to win Cohen’s cooperation in the Russia investigation.

The arrangement could also violate campaign finance laws, if the Trump campaign’s payments cover legal work on the federal probe into Cohen’s financial dealings being conducted by prosecutors with the US Attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Trump’s 2020 campaign paid over $214,000 to McDermott, Will and Emory during the last three months of 2017, FEC records show. The campaign paid the firm an additional $13,000-plus in the first three months of this year.

All three lawyers representing Cohen in the federal probe into his financial dealings work for McDermott. Todd Harrison and Joseph Evans were retained last week after the raid of Cohen’s apartment, hotel room, and office. Stephen Ryan was brought on Monday, but has been representing Cohen in the various Russia investigation since last June.

The Cohen probe reportedly grew out of a referral from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who handles the federal Russia investigation. But these two probes are being run separately.

Neither Ryan nor Cohen responded to TPM’s requests for comment Wednesday. A Trump 2020 campaign official who has handled press inquiries and a spokesperson for McDermott also did not respond.

It likely would be legal for the Trump campaign to pay Cohen’s legal bills in the Russia investigation, as long as both parties agreed to it, since that probe grew out of the 2016 campaign, experts in campaign finance say. But if the payments also cover McDermott’s representation of Cohen in the probe into his finances, they could violate campaign finance laws.

“Anything about Cohen’s business dealings would have nothing to do with the campaign and can’t be covered by the campaign,” said Larry Noble, general counsel at the Campaign Legal Center.

Even if the Trump campaign is only paying McDermott for its Russia-focused work on Cohen’s behalf, the fact that the same lawyers are representing Cohen in the financial probe creates a complicated ethical situation, raising questions about whose interests are being represented: Cohen’s, Trump’s, or the Trump Organization’s.

The exceptional no-knock search warrants executed against Cohen last week underlined the real legal exposure he faces in that investigation. Legal experts have speculated that federal agents may be trying to convince Cohen to cooperate and divulge anything he may know about the financial dealings of Trump and the Trump Organization, where Cohen has long been a trusted adviser.

Cohen has reportedly said he’d rather “jump out of a building than turn” on his friend and longtime business partner. If the Trump campaign is paying for Cohen’s legal representation, he’s even less likely to do so.

For now, Cohen’s and Trump’s legal interests appear to largely be in sync. Lawyers for both Cohen and Trump argued before Judge Kimba Wood this week that they should get the first pass at reviewing which documents seized from Cohen by federal agents are covered by attorney-client privilege.

Ryan explicitly said that Cohen intervened to stop the U.S. Attorney’s office from conducting that review because of his concern about communications related to Trump. Ryan said he knew materials related to the Trump Organization “are among those that have been seized.”

“My swim lane was Russia,” Ryan said in court on Monday, noting he’d only begun working “on campaign finance issues” in the past few weeks.

Those issues presumably relate to Cohen’s $130,000 payment to adult film star Stormy Daniels days before the election to keep her from going public with a story about her alleged affair with Trump.

Though Ryan said he expected the Russia investigations to be a “dry hole” when it comes to Cohen, the New York case was a separate matter.

“Candidly, this man’s life has been turned upside down over the past week,” Ryan said of Cohen, noting that the investigation “has come out of the blue.”

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Republican state legislative leaders in Missouri on Tuesday night called for Gov. Eric Greitens (R) to resign amid mounting legal troubles that have brought embarrassment and national news attention to the Show-Me State.

“When leaders lose the ability to effectively lead our state, the right thing to do is step aside,” House Speaker Todd Richardson, House Majority Leader Rob Vescovo and House Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr said in a joint statement to local media. “In our view, the time has come for the governor to resign.”

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard said in his own statement that it is his “wish that we immediately start impeachment proceedings” if Greitens declines to step down.

But the governor is refusing to relent.

“In three weeks, this matter will go to a court of law — where it belongs and where the facts will prove my innocence,” Greitens said in a statement of his own. “Until then, I will do what the people of Missouri sent me here to do: to serve them and work hard on their behalf.”

The legislative leaders’ push came hours after Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, announced that he had discovered and turned over to St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner evidence that Greitens may have committed a felony in connection with using the veterans’ charity he founded to raise money for his campaign for governor.

A grand jury convened by Gardner in February had indicted Greitens on a separate felony charge for allegedly taking a nonconsensual nude photo of a woman with whom he was having an affair, and threatening to share it.

And the Missouri House last week released a report based on its investigation of those allegations, including testimony in which the woman claims Greitens hit her, threatened to blackmail her, and coerced her to engage in sexual acts while she wept.

Hawley and a number of Missouri lawmakers had already called for Greitens to step down as a result of his conduct with the woman.

Greitens has admitted to the affair but denied the allegations of blackmail, physical violence, and sexual coercion.

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It’s not easy to convince a federal judge to view the law enforcement process as biased and illegitimate from the outset. But that’s essentially the case that lawyers for President Trump and Michael Cohen are trying to make before U.S. Judge Kimba Wood.

Through their attorneys, the president and his longtime fixer are claiming that the current atmosphere of “toxic partisan politics” means Justice Department prosecutors can’t be trusted to sort through the reams of material that federal agents seized from Cohen to determine which are covered by attorney-client privilege. Meanwhile, they’re insisting that they aren’t impugning the government’s integrity.

Prosecutors counter that any questions about DOJ’s impartiality are the result of attacks leveled by Trump himself.

In their court filings and oral arguments, Trump and Cohen’s attorneys criticized last week’s raid as overzealous and suggested that Trump’s own Justice Department may be biased against him.

“There is a growing public debate about whether criminal and congressional investigations by the government are being undertaken impartially, free of any political bias or partisan motivation,” Todd Harrison, an attorney for Cohen, wrote in a Monday morning court filing.

Lawyers for Cohen and Trump argue that they should be allowed the “first cut” at perusing the seized material to filter out privileged conversations between the two men. They say typical DOJ protocol, in which a “filter” or “taint” team of prosecutors who are not involved in the case handles that task, will not suffice.

Harrison and Trump attorney Joanna Hendon argued at a hearing Monday that, as Hendon said, there is a “tremendous risk that privileged material may not be recognized as such” by DOJ prosecutors. Both teams have said that the incredible sensitivities involved in a raid on the office of a sitting President’s personal attorney require special treatment.

“The stakes are too high,” Harrison argued.

“The American public is watching,” and partisan attacks are “going back and forth” in the media’s coverage it,” he added.

Harrison repeatedly reiterated that he wasn’t saying the government “did anything wrong.” The issue, he said, is that the situation is just too “combustible.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tom McKay said this is a predicament of the defendants’ own making. He pointed out that of the three parties involved in the litigation, only two have made “inflammatory public statements” about the case.

Trump raged last week that the investigation into Cohen represented “a whole new level of unfairness,” calling the raid a “disgraceful situation” and an “attack on our country in a true sense.” And the Cohen case follows a sustained, months-long campaign by Trump to discredit the FBI.

Though Cohen described the agents who conducted the search as “extremely professional,” his attorney, Stephen Ryan, said their actions were “completely inappropriate and unnecessary.”

McKay told the court that the “toxic partisan politics” lamented by Cohen’s team are only furthered by these sorts of remarks, noting that federal agents only secured the warrants after convincing a magistrate judge that they had concrete evidence of Cohen’s criminal conduct.

McKay accused Cohen of trying to “drum up media attention” about his case and then pointing to that attention to try to convince the court to rule in his favor.

Granting “special treatment” to Cohen just because his client happens to be the President of the United States undermines the concerns about the perception of fairness that Cohen and Trump claim to have, McKay said.

Trump’s words have come back to haunt him in court before. Attorneys fighting his ban on immigrants from a handful of majority-Muslim countries; his proposed transgender military ban; and his efforts to phase out the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have cited the President’s tweets as evidence of his prejudices.

But in this instance, Trump and his longtime fixer are trying to leverage their attacks on the DOJ’s integrity to obtain what prosecutors say is preferential treatment in a criminal investigation directly related to their own business dealings.

Judge Wood, an appointee of President Ronald Reagan, has settled for now on a middle path, allowing both Cohen and the government to sort through the reams of seized material to assess how much of it may be privileged. Though she left open the possibility that an independent special master may have a role in the privilege review, Wood made a point of emphasizing her belief in the scrupulousness of DOJ investigators.

“I have faith in the Southern District U.S. Attorney’s office that their integrity is unimpeachable,” Wood said pointedly as Monday’s hearing wrapped up.

Those comments left the impression that criticizing the DOJ won’t be a winning legal strategy.

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