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Afternoon Briefs: Trump's 'clemency blitz' helps Blago; federal judges to discuss Roger Stone case

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President Trump goes on a ‘clemency blitz,’ and the list is long

President Donald Trump has pardoned junk bond king Michael Milken, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik and former San Francisco 49ers owner Edward J. DeBartolo Jr. in what the Associated Press calls a “clemency blitz.” Milken violated securities laws, Kerik committed tax fraud, while DeBartolo paid $400,000 to former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards to obtain a riverboat gambling license. Trump also commuted the sentence of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who has served eight years of a 14-year prison sentence for political corruption. Trump pardoned or commuted the sentences of a total of 11 people. (The New York Times, the Associated Press, White House announcement)

Federal judges will discuss Roger Stone intervention

A group of federal judges in the independent Federal Judges Association will meet Wednesday to discuss the Department of Justice’s intervention in the criminal case against Roger Stone, a former adviser to President Donald Trump. The head of the group, U.S. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, said she called the meeting to discuss potential political motivation in the handling of the case. The DOJ had overruled prosecutors who sought a seven-to-nine-year sentence for Stone, telling the court that the initial recommended sentence could be considered excessive. (The Washington Post, USA Today,

Rhode Island lawyer is sentenced for Ponzi scheme

A Rhode Island lawyer was sentenced last week to eight years in prison for a $10.3 million Ponzi scheme. Prosecutors said 45-year-old Monique Brady used money from the scam to pay for multiple trips to the Super Bowl, a $1 million home and a lavish lifestyle. In addition to serving prison time, Brady will have to pay restitution of $4.8 million to her 23 victims. (Law360, the Providence Journal, U.S. attorney press release

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