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Judge T.S. Ellis has granted Paul Manafort’s request to move to a jail closer to the Washington, D.C. area so he can better prepare for his trial.

Manafort is currently being held in custody at the Northern Neck Regional Jail in Warsaw, Virginia, located more than 100 miles from Alexandria, Virginia, where his trial will be held later this month.

Ellis ordered that Manafort be transported from Northern Neck to the Alexandria Detention Center until his trial “to ensure the defendant has access to his counsel and can adequately prepare his defense,” he wrote in the court filing.

The decision was in response to a series of requests Manafort made late Friday, seeking to delay his trial due to challenges in preparing while in jail and to move the trial to Roanoke, Virginia, a more politically “balanced” part of the state.

In the Virginia case, Manafort faces charges of bank and tax fraud. He’s also set to stand trial in Washington, D.C. in September, facing money laundering and failure to register as a foreign lobbyist charges. He pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Manafort’s bail was revoked last month by the judge overseeing his case in Washington, D.C. after special counsel Robert Mueller accused Manafort of trying to interfere with a witness. Manafort is being held in solitary confinement in the Northern Neck jail to ensure his safety, and his lawyers complained to the judge overseeing Manafort’s case in Washington, D.C. that the situation made it challenging to prepare for trial.

He will likely be placed in protective custody when he arrives at the Alexandria Detention Center, given his high profile status, Alexandria Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Amy Bertsch told TPM Tuesday. Once Manafort arrives at the new facility, he will go through the jail’s intake process, which includes a new booking. If placed in protective custody, he’ll have limited contact with other inmates and will get two hours outside of his cell each day, she said.  

Read the order from Ellis below:

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Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was in a D.C. federal courthouse Tuesday for the first time since his plea deal with special counsel Robert Mueller was announced last December, for a brief hearing ostensibly about a proposal to tweak the logistics around his yet unscheduled sentencing date.

The judge, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan, admitted he also called the hearing, in part, because he hadn’t yet had any face-time with Flynn.

“There was a level of discomfort,” Sullivan said, with the idea of interacting with Flynn  for the first time when he appeared in front of the judge in the future for sentencing.

The judge initially assigned to Flynn’s case, U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras, recused himself soon after Flynn entered his guilty plea, and the case was randomly reassigned to Sullivan.

Flynn, in a red tie and a dark suit, looked upbeat in the courtroom, telling Sullivan he was “doing OK.”

Outside, a spattering of protesters, both supportive and critical of Flynn, had shown up after far-right activists had called for flash mob to support him.

Mueller’s team and Flynn’s attorneys had previously filed court documents requesting that the judge order the pre-sentencing investigation of Flynn begin even while the special counsel was not ready yet to set a sentencing date. In joint court filings, Mueller and Flynn said that “due to the status of the special counsel’s investigation,” they were not ready to schedule his sentencing, but were requesting that work on the probation office’s pre-sentencing report begin so that they could later seek a more “expedited schedule” once Flynn was ready for sentencing.

On Tuesday, Flynn attorney Robert Kelner said that Flynn was eager to bring this “chapter” of his life to a close, and the government had offered this
“appealing” proposal so that he could proceed to sentencing as soon as possible.

Sullivan said that he was concerned that such a request was burden on the probation office, and argued that it would have to do the pre-sentencing investigation all over again once Flynn’s sentencing date was scheduled.

Instead, the judge offered to schedule Flynn’s sentencing date 60 days after the parties announce that they’re ready to proceed to sentencing, instead of the usual 90 days — assuming that doing so wasn’t a burden on the probation officers pulling together the pre-sentencing report.

Both Kelner and Mueller’s team — represented by Brandon Van Grack — said that they would “welcome” that proposal.

Flynn — who, before serving briefly as President Trump’s national security adviser, was a top adviser to Trump’s campaign — pleaded guilty to lying to FBI agents about his contact with a Russian official during the presidential transition. He was fired in February 2017 because, according to the administration, he also misled Vice President Mike Pence about those communications.

Flynn and Mueller are scheduled to file another status report on August 24.

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President Trump on Tuesday issued full pardons to Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond, Oregon cattle ranchers convicted for arson who became a cause célèbre among the anti-government far-right.

“The Hammonds are devoted family men, respected contributors to their local community, and have widespread support from their neighbors, local law enforcement, and farmers and ranchers across the West,” the White House said in a statement. “Justice is overdue.”

The Hammonds’ case inspired the weeks-long 2016 armed takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federal national preserve in rural Oregon, by “sovereign citizen” militia activists led by Ammon and Ryan Bundy. Hammond supporters viewed the sentencing of the father-son duo as proof of federal government overreach.

Their case dates back to a series of fires they set on public lands that prompted warnings from the Bureau of Land Management. In 2012, they were convicted for a massive 2001 fire they set that burned 139 acres of public land and interrupted production on the lands for two growing seasons. The Hammonds claimed that they were trying to burn off invasive species, but the Justice Department maintained that the fires were set to cover up the Hammonds’ illegal slaughter of deer on BLM property.

Their convictions became a flashpoint in Oregon’s ranching community, with some resenting that the Hammonds were convicted under a 1996 law targeting domestic terrorists.

At sentencing, an Oregon federal judge imposed limited sentences of three months imprisonment for Dwight Hammond and a year and a day for Steven Hammond, who faced separate charges for another fire he had set in 2006. The judge said that imposing the law’s five-year mandatory minimum would “shock the conscience” given the charges.

But the DOJ appealed the sentence to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which, in 2015, ordered that the pair be re-sentenced. In her subsequent re-sentencing, Oregon federal judge Ann Aiken upheld the mandatory minimum, with time served, noting that arson is a dangerous federal crime that places human lives in jeopardy, and she sent the Hammonds back to jail.

It was that decision that sparked the uprising at Malheur. The Bundy brothers—already versed in clashes with the BLM from the 2014 armed standoff over cattle grazing rights that their father, Cliven, led on their family’s Nevada ranch—decamped to Oregon to take control of the wildlife refuge.

During the dramatic 40-day standoff, one of the militia members, LaVoy Finicum, was fatally shot in a standoff with law enforcement, sparking anti-government conspiracy theories. The Malheur takeover ended with some 26 people being charged with felony conspiracy to prevent federal workers from doing their jobs, among other charges.
Most have since been acquitted by federal grand juries.

In its Tuesday statement, the Trump White House blamed the Obama administration for taking an “overzealous” and “unjust” approach towards the Hammonds’ case.

The Hammonds had filed paperwork with the DOJ formally requesting a pardon, and their petition received some 8,500 signatures.

Trump’s decision to grant the pair executive clemency is the latest in a string of pardons for high-profile conservatives. The administration has also granted pardons to controversial figures including far-right pundit Dinesh D’Souza, former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, and former George W. Bush White House official Scooter Libby.

Tierney Sneed contributed reporting. 

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A Michigan group has collected over 430,000 signatures to get a measure expanding voting access on the November ballot, in the latest citizen-driven push to modernize and streamline the voting system in that key Midwestern state.

Promote the Vote, a non-partisan group backed by the American Civil Liberties Union, NAACP, and League of Women Voters, submitted the signatures to Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s office on Monday, the deadline for any ballot measures that would amend the state constitution.

“Today is a good day,” Todd Cook, Promote the Vote’s campaign director, told TPM in a Monday phone interview.

The proposal would impose fixes including automatic voter registration, same-day registration, access to absentee ballots on request, and better access for military service members and overseas voters.

It is the second sweeping citizen-driven ballot measure intended to address issues with voting access and fairness in a state that narrowly swung for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

The other is an anti-gerrymandering proposal brought by Voters Not Politicians (VNP). That measure seeks to take power to draw congressional and legislative maps away from the state legislature and turn it over to a 13-member redistricting commission.

The VNP proposal was finally approved for the November ballot last month after a months-long legal fight brought by Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution (CPMC), a conservative group backed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. But that fight is not yet over.

Though the Michigan Court of Appeals strongly ruled in VNP’s favor, Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette successfully pushed the Michigan Supreme Court to consider overruling that decision. Both CPMC and Schuette maintain that the proposal is so complex that it can’t be considered an amendment to the state Constitution, and should instead be addressed at a constitutional convention. The Republican-dominated state Supreme Court will hold a hearing on the initiative on July 18.

Bearing witness to this ugly legal battle has not deterred Cook and his army of volunteers, he told TPM.

“You always hope that people will look at matters in terms of what they actually are and not read into any political implications,” Cook said of possible court challenges. “We’ll see what happens in terms of Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution and what they do.”

Cook said that Promote the Vote’s proposal was “much simpler and much more straightforward” than VNP’s, which would make it difficult for CPMC to just replicate the same line of attack.

CPMC spokesperson Dave Doyle told TPM that the group had not yet reviewed Promote the Vote’s amendment and had no further comment at this time.

For now, Promote the Vote is waiting for the Secretary of State’s office to certify their signatures and holding its breath for any possible legal challenges. According to Cook, they have organized community meetings across the state and are going door-to-door to try to educate Michiganders about the reforms they hope to achieve.

This post has been updated. 

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Does Rudy Giuliani believe longtime Trump fixer Michael Cohen will flip on his former boss? It depends on the day.

Giuliani, the TV-friendly face of the President’s legal team, has been all over the map on this question in the weeks since FBI agents raided Cohen’s apartment, office and hotel room. The one thing Giuliani has repeated over and over is that Cohen has nothing incriminating on Trump—but Giuliani’s public comments have undercut that claim, too.

Underlying all of this public blustering and flip-flopping is an important fact: plea deals aren’t just handed out like candy. Prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York are likely still digging through the reams of documents they seized from Cohen as part of their probe into Cohen’s business dealings and the hush money payments he made to women on Trump’s behalf.

If Cohen doesn’t have additional useful, incriminatory information to divulge, they won’t offer him a deal. Cohen, for his part, is suggesting that he has a pretty song to sing, and that he intends to do so.

Back on May 6, ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos asked Giuliani if he was “concerned” that Cohen would cooperate with prosecutors.

“No,” Giuliani replied. “I expect that he is going to cooperate with them. I don’t think they’ll be happy with it because he doesn’t have any incriminating evidence about the President or himself.”

But these comments came days after Giuliani divulged that Trump reimbursed Cohen for the $130,000 October 2016 payment to former adult film star Stormy Daniels to keep her from publicly discussing her alleged affair with Trump. Trump had previously said he knew nothing about the payment, which is reportedly one of the topics under scrutiny in the New York probe of Cohen.

In the same interview with ABC, Giuliani said Cohen may even have doled out payments to other women on Trump’s behalf.

“The agreement with Michael Cohen, as far as I know, is a longstanding agreement that Michael Cohen takes care of situations like this then gets paid for them sometimes,” Giuliani said.

As the weeks passed, stories piled up about Cohen feeling sidelined and abandoned by Trump, fueling rumors that Cohen planned to flip. Giuliani dropped in to the Fox News studios on June 13 to try to quash the gossip.

“I checked into this last night. It’s not so,” he said of Cohen. “He’s not cooperating, nor do we care because the President did nothing wrong.”

“We’re very comfortable if he cooperates that there’s nothing he can cooperate about with regard to President Trump. I am absolutely certain about that from everything I know about that investigation,” Giuliani added.

Not long after, Cohen broke his silence. In a July 1 interview with Stephanopoulos, he said his first loyalty was to his family and country. He hinted, for the first time, that he may have damaging information on the President, declining to answer questions on whether Trump had advance knowledge of the Daniels payment or the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting between Trump campaign staffers and Russians offering dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Cohen said he’d wait to consult with his new lawyers—one of whom is Clinton ally and Trump critic Lanny Davis—before deciding on any cooperation deal, but acknowledged he planned to break his joint-defense agreement with Trump.

Giuliani brushed off these significant developments in a round of July 8 interviews, telling CNN Cohen “should cooperate.”

“I don’t know what he has to flip over,” Giuliani said. “What I do know is there is no evidence of wrongdoing with President Trump. So we’re very comfortable. If he believes it’s in his best interest to cooperate, God bless him. He should cooperate. I think the man has been horribly treated by the people he’s going to cooperate with, but sometimes you have no other choice.”

As long as Cohen tells the truth, Giuliani continued, “we’re home free.”

In further evidence of the Trump-Cohen split, Davis mocked Giuliani’s “definition of ‘truth’” on Twitter.

“Trump/Giuliani next to the word ‘truth’ = oxymoron,” Davis wrote. “Stay tuned. #thetruthmatters.”

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort filed a series of court motions late Friday seeking to delay and move his trial in Virginia, which is slated to begin in Alexandria later this month. He also reiterated his concern about alleged leaks to the media from the FBI and Justice Department, despite the judge in the Virginia case previously showing skepticism that such allegations would be addressed in the lead-up to the trial.

“Mr. Manafort has been subject to negative press since the leaking of the Special Counsel’s investigation more than a year ago; however, the recent bail revocation and his subsequent detention has exacerbated the situation,” one of Manafort’s court filings said. “Time is needed to allow passions to cool and to permit the seating of an impartial jury.”

Manafort is facing charges that include bank fraud and tax fraud in Virginia, in a case that was brought in addition to the charges of money laundering and failure to disclose foreign lobbying brought against him by special counsel Robert Mueller in Washington, D.C. Manafort has pleaded not guilty in both cases.

Ironically it was Manafort who resisted the special counsel’s offer to consolidate the Virginia charges, brought in February, into the case in D.C., which was initially brought by Mueller last October. There was speculation that Virginia would offer Manafort a more favorable jury pool than D.C., but that keeping the trials separate also came at a risk, given the pro-prosecution bent of the Virginia district.

The D.C. case is scheduled to begin in September.

A Request to Delay the Virginia Case

It was well known, when Manafort first opted to let the case proceed in Virginia, that the Eastern District of Virginia has a reputation of moving quickly in case proceedings, earning it the nickname “rocket docket.”

Now Manafort is claiming he needs more time to prepare, pointing both to the decision by the judge in the D.C. case to put him jail while he awaits trial due to allegations of witness tampering, as well as the special counsel’s discovery production schedule.

According to Manafort, he received 50,000 pages of documents from Mueller only last Friday.

He requested that U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis delay the Virginia case until after his case in D.C. wraps up.

Manafort Offers More Details About Leak Allegations

At a hearing on June 29, Ellis said he wasn’t ready to hold a hearing on Manafort’s allegations of Justice Department leaks to the media, which Manafort requested. The judge also said he would not dismiss the case on the basis of the allegations, but that Manafort could seek a venue change (more on that later).

At that hearing, however, the special counsel turned over to Manafort notes drafted by the FBI on a meeting FBI agents and DOJ officials had with AP reporters in April 2017. The notes were referenced in questioning during the June hearing with an FBI agent who was present in the meeting and was later involved in a search of Manafort’s storage. (The appropriateness of that search was one of the topics of the hearing).

Manafort, on Friday, included those lightly-redacted notes in a court filing requesting that Ellis order the government to “turn over all communications and notes of the meeting as well as any internal complaints filed with respect to the same.”

Manafort Wants to Move The Trial To Roanoke

In addition to his request that his Virginia trial be delayed, Manafort on Friday requested that it be moved to Roanoke, an area of the state with a “more balanced” political split than Alexandria between Trump and Hillary Clinton supporters, Manafort said.

“It is not a stretch to expect that voters who supported Secretary Clinton would be predisposed against Mr. Manafort or that voters who supported President Trump would be less inclined toward the Special Counsel,” the filing said.

Should Mueller Get To Mention Manafort’s Trump Ties?

Manafort had requested last month that mention of Manafort’s work on the Trump campaign — which mostly came after the alleged activity giving rise to the charges — be excluded from the trial. On Friday, Mueller had a chance to respond in court filings.

The special counsel said that he specifically wanted to include in the case allegations that Manafort received $16 million in loans — using “false and fraudulent representations,” according to Mueller — from a bank whose executive was seeking to work for the Trump administration.

The banker, who is referred to as “senior executive at Lender D” in the Mueller filing, is Steve Calk, who served on the Trump’s campaign economic advisory team and reportedly desired to be Trump’s Army Secretary.

 

 

 

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Former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort on Friday asked the judge overseeing his Virginia case to move the upcoming trial from Alexandria, a suburb of Washington, D.C., to Roanoke, Virginia.

Manafort argued that it will be impossible for him to receive a fair trial if it takes place in Alexandria.

Manafort lamented in the filing that his indictment has been the subject of intense national media attention and claimed that the coverage “has often been sensationalized and untethered from the facts in the case.” He argued that media attention to Manafort’s upcoming trial has been “most intense in and around Washington, D.C.,” including Alexandria.

The lawyers representing Manafort argued that potential jurors in Alexandria will be “are far more likely to have closely followed the developments and news coverage in the Manafort case in light of the division’s close connection with the nation’s capital.” They also argued that potential jurors in the area are more likely to be opponents of President Donald Trump and likely to associate Manafort with the President.

“Nowhere in the country is the bias against Mr. Manafort more apparent than here in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” they wrote.

Read the filing:

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To ensure his safety, Paul Manafort is being held in solitary confinement at a Virginia jail for “at least 23 hours a day,” his attorneys claimed in Thursday court filings appealing his pretrial detention.

The attorneys argued that Manafort’s confinement at Warsaw, Virginia’s Northern Neck Regional Jail made it “effectively impossible” for him to prepare for his two separate upcoming criminal trials.

The former Trump campaign chairman’s bail was revoked in mid-June after he allegedly engaged in witness tampering while confined to house arrest. Manafort allegedly attempted to communicate with former business partners who helped coordinate his shady lobbying work in the Ukraine. A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., convened by special counsel Robert Mueller, subsequently indicted Manafort for the alleged witness tampering. He already faced charges including failure to disclose foreign lobbying, money laundering, bank fraud and tax fraud.

Manafort has pleaded not guilty on all counts.

Washington D.C. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson said she could think of no other alternative than jail to ensure that Manafort would not commit crimes while awaiting trial.

Appealing that ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, Manafort’s lawyers said that Mueller’s team failed to provide sufficient evidence that their client engaged in obstruction of justice. His communications with his former business partners, they said, “were extremely limited.”

In its own Thursday filing, Mueller’s team opposed Manafort’s request for the “extraordinary relief” he seeks. Prosecutors noted that both they and the district court have “taken steps to minimize the impact” on Manafort’s trial preparation, offering to work with his attorneys on requests to house him in a more accessible facility. Mueller also said these difficulties were common to all “defendants incarcerated pending trial.”

Prosecutors also rejected the argument that they did not adequately prove that Manafort was improperly contacting potential witnesses.

Manafort’s trial in the DC case is set to begin Sept. 17. His separate case in the Eastern District of Virginia on charges including bank fraud and filing false tax returns is scheduled for trial on July 25.

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Arthur Jones is a former leader of the American Nazi Party who describes the Holocaust as “an international extortion racket.”

He’s also a Republican congressional nominee.

Thanks to some procedural maneuvering by Jones and the Illinois GOP’s botched opportunities to block his campaign, this avowed white nationalist will appear on the November ballot on the Republican Party ticket in the safely blue 3rd Congressional District. Jones doesn’t pose a real threat to Democratic incumbent Rep. Dan Lipinski, but his campaign has forced both the state and national GOP to answer, yet again, for the openly racist candidates running in the party’s name.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) entered the fray late last week, urging Illinois voters to either “write in another candidate, or vote for the Democrat.”

“This bigoted fool should receive ZERO votes,” Cruz declared.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday declined to follow in Cruz’s footsteps by boosting Lipinski, but urged Jones to drop out of the race because “there is no room in our politics for a person like that.”

Jones, a retired insurance agent, is a perennial candidate, having run for the 3rd District seven previous times, in addition to seeking other local offices. But this year, with no other Republicans in the running, Jones successfully collected the 832 signatures he needed for his nominating petition. He caught the GOP by surprise by submitting the petition on the last possible day.

The Illinois GOP attempted to derail his campaign, scouring his petition signatures for irregularities that could merit a legal challenge and attempting to recruit candidates to challenge Jones both in the primary and on a third-party ticket. They failed on all counts.

In the March primaries, while Lipinski was fending off a credible challenger on the Democratic side, Jones received over 20,000 votes on the Republican side —presumably including some cast by voters unfamiliar with his views.

Local Republicans say the failure to stop Jones has to do with the demographics of the district, which is heavily Democratic. A Republican candidate would have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to get on the ballot, and would almost certainly lose to Lipinski, who is backed by Chicago’s Democratic machine.

But out of concern for appearing to enable a Nazi’s campaign, the Illinois GOP has launched an anti-Jones messaging campaign, conducting robocalls, sending out mailers, and condemning his views in statement after statement.

“The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District,” Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider told TPM via email on Thursday.

The Republican Party has had to confront the question of what to do about candidates like Jones with increasing frequency of late. In Wisconsin, open anti-Semite Paul Nehlen campaigned to unseat House Speaker Paul Ryan, while John Fitzgerald is running for Congress in California with the primary goal of “exposing” the Holocaust as fake.

Some longtime Republicans, including campaign strategist Steve Schmidt, are leaving the GOP in disgust. In the past few weeks, conservative columnists George Will and Max Boot have published Washington Post op-eds urging Republicans to “vote against the GOP” in the midterms and actively “rooting for a Democratic takeover of both houses in November,” respectively. According to Boot, the GOP has become “a white-nationalist party with a conservative fringe.”

Gov. Rauner took some heat in the press for declining to make similar “country over party” comments, particularly since Lipinski is a conservative Democrat who voted against Obamacare and opposes abortion. J.B. Pritzker, a billionaire Democrat running to defeat Rauner, recently invoked Jones’ candidacy as proof that the governor has “cowered to the worst elements of our politics.”

A spokesman for Rauner’s campaign declined to speak with TPM on the record, but pointed to a tweet Rauner sent on Thursday afternoon urging voters to support “anybody but Arthur Jones” and chiding “the media or anyone else” for implying he thought otherwise.

With local Republicans assailing their own nominee, Lipinski has mostly avoided the subject of Jones’ Nazi sympathies, though his campaign has fired off several fundraising emails on Jones’ “ugly” views. Asked why the campaign hasn’t spent much time discussing Jones, spokesman Jerry Hurckes said they are wary of giving him any more attention.

“If you keep giving this gentleman exposure, his ego just keeps growing and it gets very convoluted as to what is actual and what is not,” Hurckes said.

Jones’ campaign website features an entire section on the Holocaust, which he refers to as “the biggest, blackest, lie in history.” It’s formatted with the sort of random capitalization and bolded quotes you might see on a conspiracy theorist’s blog circa 2003.

In the “about section,” photos show Jones in uniform, speaking at the Aryan Nations World Congress and holding his arm out in a Nazi salute. His campaign’s logo is an elephant draped with a Confederate flag. The slogan: “It’s time to put America First.”

Reached by phone Thursday, Jones referred to Cruz as “Count Chocula,” the cereal box character, and said that an “alien-born person” like the Canadian-born Texas senator had “no business sticking his long, pointed nose into politics in Illinois.” After criticizing the state GOP’s opposition to his campaign, Jones launched into an unprompted diatribe on the “phony issue” of immigrant family separation at the border, and the “NN-22 anti-ship missile” that Iran possesses that he believes will usher in a third world war.

Asked about his long-shot prospects in November, Jones brought up the over 20,000 ballots cast in his name and said he had graver concerns, namely, nuclear war against Iran.

“So that’s my concern: we could in fact end up in a nuclear holocaust that would be the end of mankind, probably,” Jones said.

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Michael Cohen is seeking to dismiss Stormy Daniels’ lawsuit alleging that he “colluded” with her former attorney, Keith Davidson, to discredit her account of having an affair with President Trump.

In a motion filed Tuesday, Cohen’s attorneys argue that the U.S. Central District of California lacks jurisdiction as he neither lives nor works in the state.

Per Daniels’ June complaint, Davidson acted as a “puppet” for Cohen, communicating with him without her knowledge. The suit contained friendly text messages between the two men discussing an attempt to have the former adult film star appear on Fox News to deny her alleged 2006 sexual liaison with Trump.

Davidson subsequently filed a cross-complaint alleging that Cohen recorded their phone calls without his knowledge.

But Cohen’s attorneys say that the state lacks jurisdiction as there is no “connection between Cohen and the state of California.”

“Neither the Complaint nor the Crossclaim allege that Cohen was physically present in the state of California when he performed the acts allegedly arising to the claims therein,” the Tuesday filing states.

In previous filings, Cohen’s team has argued that the matters raised in this particular complaint overlap with other pending cases. Daniels brought a defamation suit against Trump in New York for publicly denying their affair. Federal prosecutors in New York are also looking into the $130,000 in hush money that Cohen paid to Daniels just before the 2016 election as part of a broader probe into Cohen’s financial dealings.

Cohen’s lawyers called the California suit a “blatant attempt at judge-shopping an forum shopping.” They also dismissed the collusion allegations as “a product of complete invention.”

Cohen this week suggested that he may be willing to flip on Trump and cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller and federal prosecutors

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