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Tuesday, Nov 21st

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ABA deems another Trump judicial nominee ‘not qualified’

Leonard GraszAnother one of President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees — this time, to the powerful appellate courts — has been deemed "not qualified" by the American Bar Association.

Leonard Steven Grasz was nominated in August to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and has his confirmation hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee this week. But in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee obtained by POLITICO, the American Bar Association says members of its standing committee unanimously concluded, with one person abstaining, that he was not qualified to serve as a federal judge.

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Tony Podesta stepping down from lobbying giant amid Mueller probe

Tony Podesta

Democratic power lobbyist Tony Podesta, founder of the Podesta Group, is stepping down from the firm that bears his name after coming under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.

Podesta announced his decision during a firm-wide meeting Monday morning and is alerting clients of his impending departure.

Podesta is handing over full operational and financial control to longtime firm CEO Kimberley Fritts, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting. Fritts and a senior group of the Podesta team will be launching a new firm in the next one or two days. Sources said the transition has been in the works for the past several months.

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Former Trump aide George Papadopoulos pleads guilty in Mueller probe

Former Tump aide Papadopoulos pleads guiltyA former campaign aide to President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to lying to federal agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty on Oct. 5 to one count of lying to FBI agents about the nature of his interactions with "foreign nationals" who he thought had close connections to senior Russian government officials. The plea was unsealed Monday.

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Manafort and Rick Gates indicted by federal grand jury on 12 counts

Manafort indicted by Mueller grand jury

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign official Rick Gates have been indicted as part of special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, ratcheting up pressure on President Donald Trump who has dismissed the sprawling probe as a “witch hunt.”

Manafort and Gates are the first people to be publicly charged as part of Mueller’s probe. The men were indicted on 12 counts, according to a 31-page indictment unsealed on Monday morning, including money laundering, operating as unregistered foreign agents of the government of Ukraine, failing to disclose overseas bank accounts and making false statements to federal authorities.

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These 13 Wire Transfers Are A Focus Of The FBI Probe Into Paul Manafort

Manafort money transfers are focus of investigation

The FBI's investigation of Donald Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, includes a keen focus on a series of suspicious wire transfers in which offshore companies linked to Manafort moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013.

Much of the money came into the United States.

These transactions — which have not been previously reported — drew the attention of federal law enforcement officials as far back as 2012, when they began to examine wire transfers to determine if Manafort hid money from tax authorities or helped the Ukrainian regime close to Russian President Vladimir Putin launder some of the millions it plundered through corrupt dealings.

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Trump just set a new low in job approval. Here's why.

Trump approval at all time low - 10/17President Donald Trump's job approval rating has dipped to a record-low 38 percent, according to a new poll.

Almost six in 10 Americans, 58 percent, disapproved of his performance in office in the NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Sunday.

Trump's previous low was 39 percent in May. His current approval ratings are the lowest recorded in the NBC/Journal poll for the fall of a president's first year in office. George W. Bush was 88 percent, Barack Obama at 51 percent and Bill Clinton at 47 percent.

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From Teddy Bears to Trump Towers, Here’s How Money Laundering Works

Money laundering from teddy bears to Trump TowerThe Sinaloa drug cartel has long been the most powerful and sophisticated operation of its kind, a criminal enterprise that reaches into 24 of Mexico’s 32 states and as many as 50 countries.

But for all its military-style sophistication and expansive taproots, the billion-dollar organization keeps bumping up against a basic, old-world problem: how to move cash.The cartel sells most of its drugs in the United States to addicts who often pay for their heroin fixes in wads of singles and fives. That eventually adds up to more than $20 billion that has to make its way back over the border every year, which is a logistical nightmare: One kilogram of cocaine translates into three kilograms of cash.

Smugglers shoehorn stacks of bills into air mattresses, washing machines, cereal boxes, and anything else with a cavity and decent odds of sneaking past border guards—but the sheer glut of greenbacks mandates savvier solutions.

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