Missouri Governor Indicted

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) was indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge, the Kansas City Star reports.

“The charges stem from a 2015 affair and allegations that he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she ever spoke publicly about the affair.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch confirmed Greitens was taken into custody and then booked at the St. Louis Justice Center.

Nashville Mayor’s Phone Seized

“The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation says it has obtained nude photos of a woman taken on the phone of former Sgt. Rob Forrest, evidence that investigators believe shows Nashville Mayor Megan Barry (D) engaged in an affair with her former bodyguard while he was on duty,” the Tennessean reports.

“The photos are referenced in an affidavit in support of a search warrant that Nashville Judge Steve Dozier signed Tuesday seeking access to the contents of Barry’s cellphone… Documents show the TBI obtained a search warrant and took possession of Barry’s phone Friday. The mayor and her attorney have refused to share the passcode to unlock it.”

32 New Charges Filed Against Manafort and Gates

“New charges were filed Thursday against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business partner, ratcheting up the legal pressure on them as they prepare for a trial later this year,” the Washington Post reports.

“A new indictment has long been expected in special counsel Robert Mueller’s prosecution of Manafort and his right-hand man, Rick Gates, on fraud and money laundering charges. Manafort served as President Trump’s campaign chairman from June to August 2016. Gates also served as a top official on Trump’s campaign. The new indictment contains 32 counts, including tax charges.”

Meanwhile, the Daily Beast reports that Gates fired his lawyer and, contrary to recent media reports, he is not about to make a deal with Mueller.

Trump Proposes a Ratings System for Movies

President Trump suggested violent entertainment is to blame for mass shootings in the United States, the Daily Beast reports.

His solution: “You see these movies, they’re so violent. And yet a kid is able to see the movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved. And maybe they have to put a rating system for that. You get into a whole very complicated, very big deal but the fact is that you are having movies come out that are so violent with the killing and everything else that maybe that’s another thing we’re going to have to discuss.”

“It was unclear whether Trump was aware that the Motion Picture Association of America already rates films based on graphic sexual or violent content; or if he was suggesting that ratings system needs to be overhauled.”

Official Focused on Election Security Being Shoved Aside

“The head of a federal agency who has helped U.S. states protect election systems from possible cyber attacks by Russia or others is being removed from his post by Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and the White House,” Reuters reports.

“Matthew Masterson, currently chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, has been passed over for a second four-year term as one of the agency’s four commissioners… It is up the House speaker to recommend a nominee for the commissioner post that Masterson currently holds, with the president then making a formal nomination.”

Rick Hasen: “Masterson, a Republican appointee has been completely nonpartisan and professional, and willing to work across the aisle on issues… And it suggests he’s being canned because he’s not a party hack.”

Trump Has Led to More Law School Applicants

Above the Law: “We’ve known for a while that more people are taking the LSAT — we’re talking a double-digit increase. But exactly why has largely remained a source of speculation and anecdotal reports that the surprising results of the 2016 election were motivating people to go to law school. Now we have the hard data to support that hypothesis.”

“Kaplan Test Prep conducted a survey of over 500 pre-law students and the results confirm the suspicions of many in the industry: the Trump Bump is real. Thirty-two percent of respondents said politics were a motivating factor in deciding to apply.”

Mueller Knows How to Keep a Secret

BuzzFeed News: “More than nine months into special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — the most-watched, most-speculated-about criminal probe in recent history — his office continues to unveil new criminal charges that catch the press, the public, and the political world off guard.”

“Prosecutors are bound by confidentiality and ethics rules not to disclose information about pending criminal investigations, and grand jurors and court employees involved in grand jury proceedings are barred from talking about their work. It’s common for criminal charges to come as a surprise. But Mueller’s ability to control the flow of information in such a high-profile investigation and deliver a shock with the revelation of a new case has stood in contrast to the steady stream of behind-the-scenes stories coming out of the Trump administration.”

Pence Rallies Conservatives to Fight In 2018 Elections

Vice President Mike Pence “rallied thousands of conservative activists on Thursday to fight back against a Democratic drive to take over the U.S. Congress in 2018 elections, calling a Republican victory at the midterm votes crucial to advancing President Trump’s agenda,” Reuters reports.

Said Pence: “The other side is motivated. The other side is mobilized. And so today, to the men and women of this conservative movement, I admonish you: Let this be the day that we as a movement decided to deliver another victory for the American people in 2018.”

He described Democrats as only against Trump: “Their platform can be summed up in only one word: Resist. Resist our policies. Resist our president, and resist the progress the progress that you and I and our entire movement has fought for so hard, so long, to achieve.”

The NRA Goes on the Offensive

“After a week of media silence following the school shooting in Florida, the National Rifle Association went on the offensive in its first public response to the massacre, pushing back against law enforcement officials, the media, gun-control advocates and the teenage survivors of the massacre who have pleaded for stricter gun laws,” the Washington Post reports.

“The NRA also released an advertisement Thursday morning that said ‘the mainstream media love mass shootings’ and claimed that members of the media benefit from covering mass shootings in an effort ‘to juice their ratings and push their agenda.'”