Once-Secret FBI Informant Reports Reveal Wider-Ranging Operation to Spy on Trump Campaign

Once-secret reports show the FBI effort to spy on the Trump campaign was far wider than previously disclosed, as agents directed an undercover informant to make secret recordings, pressed for intelligence on numerous GOP figures, and sought to find “anyone in the Trump campaign” with ties to Russia who could acquire dirt “damaging to Hillary Clinton.”

The now-declassified operational handling reports for FBI confidential human source Stefan Halper — codenamed “Mitch” — provide an unprecedented window both into the tactics used by the bureau to probe the Trump campaign and the wide dragnet that was cast to target numerous high-level officials inside the GOP campaign just weeks before Americans chose their next president in the November 2016 election.

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The New York Times Retracts the Story Asserting Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was Killed by a Trump Supporter

In a quiet but stunning correction, the New York Times backed away from its original report that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick was killed by a Trump supporter wielding a fire extinguisher during the January 6 melee at the Capitol building. Shortly after American Greatness published my column Friday that showed how the Times gradually was backpedaling on its January 8 bombshell, the paper posted this caveat:

UPDATE: New information has emerged regarding the death of the Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick that questions the initial cause of his death provided by officials close to the Capitol Police.

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Biden to Extend Student Loan Payment Freeze Until September 2021

President-elect Joe Biden will order the Department of Education to extend the student loan payment moratorium through September in one of his first presidential moves.

Joe Biden is set to sign the executive order on Wednesday following his inauguration, extending the current pause on student loan payments, which has been in effect since March, according to CBS News. The order is a fulfillment of Biden’s campaign promise to prioritize the U.S. student loan debt crisis.

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Keystone XL Pipeline to be Scrapped Again

President-elect Joe Biden announced on Wednesday that he would cancel a permit critical to the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The move marks the second time that a Democratic administration has effectively killed the $8 billion project. While environmental and conservation groups praised the move, TC Energy, the company behind the pipeline’s construction, argued in an earlier Supreme Court brief that scrapping the project would strip 1,500 construction workers and 300 inspection and management workers of their jobs.

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Default Settings for Inauguration Flag Donations Sends Money to Planned Parenthood

The default settings to sponsor inauguration flags sends money to the Presidential Inaugural Committee’s partners — including the Planned Parenthood of America, the nation’s largest abortion provider.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee installed an “extensive public art display” that includes 191,500 flags on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Americans may symbolically sponsor flags by donating through ActBlue Charities.

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Over 100 House Republicans Support Removing Liz Cheney from Leadership Role

Over half of all Republican members of the House of Representatives are prepared to support an effort to remove Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) as Chair of the House GOP Conference, according to Breitbart.

It has been reported that approximately 115 House Republicans are committed to voting in favor of a “no confidence” motion on Cheney’s leadership, which could allow for Cheney to be removed and replaced. The position is the third highest-ranking role in House GOP leadership, only behind the House Minority Whip and House Minority Leader.

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FAKE NEWS: CNN Botches Story About Virginia Man Arrested at Police Checkpoint in Washington D.C.

Virginia man who was arrested at a police checkpoint in Washington D.C. over the weekend, has been released from custody following a brief court appearance.

Although initial news reports hyped the story, investigators said they do not consider Wesley Beeler, a security contractor who was working in the area, to be a threat to public safety.

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Biden Vows to Undo President Trump’s Pro-Life Policies

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have promised to undo a number of President Donald Trump’s pro-life policies.

Biden has indicated that he will reverse the Mexico City Policy, which bars foreign organizations receiving U.S. funding from providing abortions, abortion information or abortion referrals. He has also promised to restore federal funding to Planned Parenthood, to repeal the Hyde Amendment and to renew legal action against the Little Sisters of the Poor.

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Hungary Weighs Big Tech Sanctions over ‘Systemic Abuses’ of Free Speech

Hungarian Justice Minister Judit Varga said Monday that Hungary is considering sanctions against big tech firms over alleged “systemic abuses” of free speech, Reuters reported.

Varga plans to meet with the Hungarian Competition Authority this week to discuss possible penalties for what he says are unfair commercial practices utilized by social media firms including Facebook and Twitter, according to Reuters. In addition, the minister plans to convene a meeting with the state-sponsored Digital Freedom Committee.

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West Virginia School Bus Drivers File Lawsuit Against School Superintendent over Suspensions Related to Capitol Protest

Two veteran school bus drivers from a West Virginia school district have filed a civil lawsuit for suspensions related to their attendance at the January 6 Washington, DC protest.

Tina Renner and Pamela McDonald were suspended by Jefferson County Schools Superintendent Bondy Shay Gibson after receiving word the drivers had “posted threatening and inflammatory posts on their Facebook pages, had been present at the Electoral protest march on Wednesday that erupted in violence, and had violated […] leave policy.”

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Biden Reportedly Taps Warren Ally Rohit Chopra to Lead Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

President-elect Joe Biden will reportedly nominate Rohit Chopra, an ally of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Chopra is a member of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and if confirmed by the Senate would take over an agency that he helped create alongside Warren approximately a decade ago. Chopra’s selection was first reported by Politico, which cited four individuals with knowledge of the decision.

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Passionately Catholic: Live and Love Every Day

Recently, I went through the drive-through at a local coffee shop. After I received my coffee, the employee said to me, “I just want to tell you that you have a very kind smile.” I looked at her and remarked back, “I bet you have one as well, I just can’t see it.” She was donning a mask and I was not. What are we all missing under the mask?

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Passionately Catholic: What We Are All Missing Under the Mask

Recently, I went through the drive-through at a local coffee shop. After I received my coffee, the employee said to me, “I just want to tell you that you have a very kind smile.” I looked at her and remarked back, “I bet you have one as well, I just can’t see it.” She was donning a mask and I was not. What are we all missing under the mask?

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Three Crucial Questions Remain Unanswered About Capitol Siege

One thing recent history has taught America is the first storyline of major tragedies or controversies is never the most accurate.

Americans were told by the Bush administration that they were sucker-punched by a surprise attack on 9/11 by terrorists, only to learn the CIA and FBI had significant advance evidence of the plot and its players and failed to connect the dots.

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Facebook and Instagram Are Eliminating All Posts that Include the Phrase ‘Stop the Steal’

Facebook announced on Monday that it is purging both Instagram and Facebook, two major social media platforms, of all content that includes the phrase “stop the steal.”

“We are now removing content containing the phrase ‘stop the steal’ under our Coordinating Harm policy from Facebook and Instagram,” Facebook said. “We removed the original Stop the Steal group in November and have continued to remove Pages, groups and events that violate any of our policies, including calls for violence.”

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Passionately Catholic: God Is in Control

Ponder this…

After watching the election results of our pro-life, pro-American president, a reassessment of the future of America must be made by all God-fearing Christians and patriots. Freedom, as defined by God and fundamentally endorsed by our country, has been incrementally removed from our daily lives. I’ve heard some say, “Not to worry, God is in control.”

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U.K. Lockdown Could Last Nearly Three Months

Prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed that the end of lockdown may be delayed beyond mid-February and would last until the end of March, telling MPs the government will be “extremely cautious” about lifting restrictions and reopening schools.

On Monday, Prime Minister Johnson plunged England into a third national coronavirus lockdown. The lockdown includes a strict stay at home orders and the closure of all schools.  Mr Johnson resisted calls from Tory MPs to guarantee the rules will start to be eased after the first review on February 15, the prime minister made it clear that a successful roll-out of the vaccine programme  to the most vulnerable will be key to determining when the lockdown measures can be lifted. Adding on a lag for achieving immunity after vaccination and relieving “the pressure on the NHS”, he then tacked on a further two or three weeks, saying “we should remain cautious of the timetable ahead”, Breitbart reported.

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Dave Portnoy’s ‘Barstool Fund’ Raises $20M, Helps More Than 90 Small Businesses

The Barstool Fund, created by Dave Portnoy, has helped raise more than $20 million, helping nearly 100 small businesses hurt during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns. Portnoy started the Barstool Fund one month ago with his own $500,000 to help small businesses.

The fundraiser has raised $20,119,270 from more than 156,000 donors and has aided 92 small businesses across the country as of Thursday evening.

Earlier in the day, Portnoy announced his fundraising success on Twitter, but stressed that their mission is far from over.

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Professor: Telling Someone You Can’t Understand Their Accent is ‘Linguistic Racism’

A linguistics and education professor from Michigan State University claims that telling somebody that you can’t understand him is an example of “linguistic racism.”

More specifically, it’s “racist” to ask a person to repeat what he said because you “don’t understand [his] thick accent.”

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Commentary: Our Future

This is no time for despair. This is no time for discouragement, and this is certainly no time for violence. Now is the time to use every constitutional prerogative at our disposal to peacefully fight for the future of our country.

I was deeply disappointed by the outcomes in the Georgia elections and the congressional certification of the electoral college vote making Joe Biden the next President of the United States. However, this is the reality we face, and it is time to acknowledge it.

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Analysis: How the GOP Lost Control of Washington, and What Comes Next

Washington DC

ow that Democrats are poised to control the White House, Senate and House, the traditional game of finger-pointing and recrimination will begin inside the GOP.

The first instinct for politicians will be to assign blame, call names and jockey for position. But the 2020 election wasn’t just an election, it was a political watershed in which the rules and strategy for winning were rewritten.

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Commentary: The Constitutional Politics of President Trump’s Impoundment Move

To understand President Trump’s signing of the latest so-called COVID-19 “stimulus” bill after days of veto threats, we need to understand the critical constitutional history of the Watergate era. 

Citing the Impoundment Control Act of 1974, Trump declared, “I will sign the Omnibus and COVID package with a strong message that makes clear to Congress that wasteful items need to be removed. I will send back to Congress a redlined version, item by item, accompanied by the formal rescission request to Congress insisting that those funds be removed from the bill.” 

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More Than 1.5B COVID Face Masks Will Pollute the Oceans: Study

An estimated 1.5 billion disposable face masks will end up in the oceans this year according to a Hong Kong-based conservation organization.

OceansAsia based its estimate on 52 billion masks being manufactured in 2020 to meet the demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Their report also says that a “conservative” calculation means at least 3 percent of them will be washed out to sea.

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Bill to Ban Biological Men from Women’s Sports Gains Bipartisan Support in Congress

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) introduced legislation to ban biological males from participating in women’s sports.

Gabbard, a Democrat who ran for the 2020 presidential nomination for her party, is the sponsor of H.R. 8932, the “Protect Women’s Sports Act,” alongside Reps. Markwayne Mullin, (R-Okla.), Bill Flores (R-Texas), Bill Johnson (R-Ohio), Rep. Alexander Mooney (R-W.V.), and Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.).

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Top Chinese Official Sees ‘New Window of Hope’ with a Biden Administration

The Chinese government sees “a new window of hope” for improved relations with the Biden administration, China’s foreign minister, Wang Yi, said in an interview with a state-controlled media outlet.

“China-U.S. relations have come to a new crossroads, and a new window of hope is opening,” Wang said in an interview with CGTN.

“We hope that the next US administration will return to a sensible approach, resume dialogue with China, restore normalcy to the bilateral relations and restart cooperation,” added Wang, who accused the Trump administration of trying to start “a new Cold War” with Beijing.

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Virginia State Senator Ben Chafin Dies Due to Complications from COVID-19

Republican Virginia State Sen. Ben Chafin Jr. has died from COVID-19 complications, his office announced in a statement.

Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Virginia Senate Republican Caucus confirmed Chafin’s death, The Hill reported. Chafin represented Virginia’s 38th District in the last six years and was 60 years old.

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Commentary: Dooming Lincoln

It’s one of the ironic facts of history that Lincoln was fond of the tune “Dixie.” Following the capture of Richmond in 1865, he instructed the Union band to play it in celebration of the South’s surrender. “I have always thought ‘Dixie’ one of the best tunes I have ever heard. Our adversaries over the way attempted to appropriate it, but I insisted yesterday that we fairly captured it,” he said. “I now request the band to favor me with its performance.”’

Lincoln’s feelings aren’t hard to understand. “Dixie” is as good as any song that belongs to America. But what was to Lincoln a beautiful melody that had been “fairly captured” has today been marked down by polite society as an anthem of white supremacy and a relic of “Lost Cause” mythology. Indeed, amidst what they’re calling the “reckoning,” a passionate urgency to expunge the Confederacy from history has perhaps never been stronger. 

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Congresswoman-Elect Spearheads Effort to Keep Ability to Carry Guns in Capitol, Says DC Is Unsafe

Colorado Congresswoman-elect Lauren Boebert, alongside 83 other Representatives, have countered an effort by Democratic legislators to disallow politicians from carrying firearms in the Capitol.

Boebert, a vocal supporter of gun rights, rallied the group of lawmakers to oppose a measure by Democratic California Rep. Jared Huffman to prohibit gun carry throughout Capitol grounds. Huffman garnered support from 19 other House members and said the “current regulations,” which allow concealed firearms for politicians, “create needless risk” in a mid-December letter.

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Vice President Mike Pence Welcomes the Efforts of Representatives and Senators to Object to Electoral College Votes

  In a statement Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence issued a statement through his Chief of Staff Marc Short that he welcomes the actions of some members of the House and Senate, who say they will object to the final certification of the Electoral College vote on Wednesday. “Vice President…

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Berkeley Cheating Allegations Spike Nearly 400 Percent with Online Classes

According to the University of California-Berkeley student newspaper, The Daily Cal, the university’s Center for Student Conduct has seen a 400 percent increase of alleged academic misconduct compared with last year, amounting to more than 300 reports of misconduct as of early November.

The Berkeley Campus Code of Student Contact manual states that academic misconduct includes “cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, or facilitating academic dishonesty.”

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US-Backed Forces Raiding ISIS Cells in Syria

The Syrian Democratic Forces are executing a new series of raids against active ISIS-affiliated militants in eastern Syria with the support of the U.S., VOA News reported Sunday.

The new campaign targets ISIS remnants in the Deir al-Zour province near Iraq, VOA News reported. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) military alliance is focusing on ISIS cells in the northern part of the province.

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Family Files Civil Rights Lawsuit Against Charter School for Mandating Anti-White ‘Critical Race Theory’ Class

A Nevada mother has followed through on her threat to file a civil rights lawsuit against her son’s charter school for refusing to let him opt out of a mandatory class that promotes hostility toward whites as a race.

Democracy Prep at the Agassi Campus (DPAC) forced William Clark “to make professions about his racial, sexual, gender and religious identities in verbal class exercises and in graded, written homework assignments,” creating a hostile environment, the biracial high school student and Gabrielle Clark allege in their federal lawsuit filed Tuesday.

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Four California Small Business Owners Share Their Struggles to Survive Under Lockdowns

California small businesses are crumbling under the weight of a new stay-at-home order and a lack of meaningful financial assistance. 

Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom issued a new region-based lockdown order for California on Dec. 3, forcing more California businesses to close their doors or severely limit operations. 

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MIT Continues to Pay Prof Who Took Jeffrey Epstein Donations, Even After Severe COVID-19 Cuts

Massachusetts Institute of Technology physics professor Seth Lloyd — who accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars from sex offender Jeffrey Epstein — will continue to receive compensation from the university, and will eventually return to his teaching job.

As Campus Reform previously reported, Lloyd was fully aware of $850,000 donated to MIT over a period of 15 years. He was the direct recipient of $225,000 in research donations received after Epstein’s conviction.

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Jake Tapper on White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany: She ‘Lies the Way that Most People Breathe’

CNN anchor Jake Tapper said Sunday that he wouldn’t put White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany on air because she “lies the way that most people breathe.”

Tapper told CNN’s Brian Stelter that throughout President Donald Trump’s term, “you had to steel yourself for interviews with people that might misrepresent the facts.” The CNN anchor said that “once somebody proved themselves to be a liar, I just stopped booking them.”

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Analysis: Republican’s 2020 Wins in State Capitals Sets the Stage for Lasting Victories Through the Next Decade

Carrie Delrosso, a Republican, won her campaign in Pennsylvania’s 33rd House District by defeating House Minority Leader Frank Dermody, a Democrat, to capture the seat. 

In Ohio’s 75th House District, Gail Pavliga won her election, flipping the seat to the GOP after running a campaign on solving the opioid crisis in the district. 

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Commentary: Open Borders Oligarch Charles Koch Re-Emerges to Oppose Trump and ‘America First’

The billionaire financier Charles Koch abandoned the Republican Party in the age of President Donald Trump, but he has returned on a white horse following the disputed election to preach the globalist cosmopolitan doctrines that previously had turned the GOP into a national laughingstock.

Koch penned an op-ed for CNN last week in which he urged Republicans to support amnesty for illegal aliens. He framed it as if allowing illegal immigrants to break the law is the “one thing we should all agree on” across the political spectrum.

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At 1PM Saturday, FBI Special Agent in Charge Says No Person or Persons of Interest Identified as Responsible for Christmas Morning Bombing

  During an early afternoon press conference in Nashville Saturday, authorities asserted that investigators had not identified a person or persons of interest in the Christmas morning bombing. Shortly before the press briefing, CBSNews.com reported that person of interest had been identified: “A law enforcement source told CBS News a…

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Six Officers Hailed as Heroes for Running Into Nashville Blast Site Prior to Explosion

Six Nashville police officers were hailed as heroes on Christmas Day after they rushed to evacuate a downtown area of the city prior to an explosion, a law enforcement official said.

“These officers didn’t care about themselves,” Metro Police Chief John Drake said, according to Fox 17. “They didn’t think about that. They cared about the citizens of Nashville. They went in and we’d be talking not about the debris that we have here but potential people.”

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Emails Obtained by FBI Detail How Hunter Biden Landed Ukrainian Gas Gig in 2014

In the weeks before he landed a deal with a Ukrainian gas company in 2014, Hunter Biden strategized with his business partner on how to leverage an upcoming official trip to Kiev by his father, then-Vice President Joe Biden, to clinch the lucrative arrangement, according to emails obtained a year ago by the FBI.

The communications reviewed by Just the News show that the younger Biden referred to his father as “my guy” and took credit for “adding value” because the vice president made comments to Ukrainian leaders about natural gas production that might benefit his new client.

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Rhode Island’s Democrat Governor Caught at Wine Bar After Telling Residents to Stay Home

A Democrat Rhode Island governor who told residents to “stay home except for essential activities” was snapped in a photo at a wine and paint night.

“The picture, taken by Erica Oliveras last Friday, shows Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo sitting at table in Barnaby’s Public House in Providence without a mask,” Fox News reported.

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Dominion Warned Memory Cards Might Need to be Prematurely Removed from Voting Machines

Dominion Voting Systems issued a warning to Georgia officials prior to the 2020 election that memory cards might need to be removed from vote tabulation machines prior to the end of the election to deal with a limitation in its system, according to records obtained by Just the News through an open-records request.

Officials acknowledged Thursday at least 36 memory cards had to be prematurely removed from vote tabulating machines in the Atlanta area that had reached counting limits. The cards were stored in a locked cabinet until polls closed, officials said.

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BLM’s National Arm Gave Little to Local Chapters While Reaping Millions, Local BLM Chapters Allege in Statement

Ten local Black Lives Matter chapters issued a statement Monday accusing the movement’s national arm of providing little to no financial support to its local chapters, which are responsible for carrying out BLM’s mission.

The local chapters, including those of Washington, D.C., Chicago and Philadelphia, said in the statement that Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation has provided no acceptable financial transparency surrounding the “unknown millions of dollars” it has reaped since its founding in 2013.

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Epstein Attorney Had Prior Relationship with Prosecutor Who Helped Negotiate Sweetheart Deal

An attorney for convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein had a prior relationship with a prosecutor who helped negotiate Epstein’s sweetheart deal, according to a person familiar with a full report on the investigation.

The Department of Justice released an executive summary of a report Thursday that found “poor judgement” but no “misconduct” in former U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta decision to scrap an investigation into Epstein’s child sex trafficking ring through a Sept. 24, 2007 non-prosecution agreement.

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