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INDIANAPOLIS — I-Team 8 spoke with political science professors who said we as a nation are in uncharted waters with the indictment of former President Donald Trump.

Historically, the closest comparison we’ve seen is what happened with Richard Nixon in the 70’s.

President Richard Nixon resigned in 1974. Two years after the Watergate scandal where high ranking people in the Nixon administration broke into the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

“A former president being indicted is not the same as a having a sitting president leave office because of some type of criminal matter,” said Professor Aaron Dusso who teaches political science at IUPUI.

Even though he said this indictment doesn’t rise to the level of what happened with Richard Nixon, he told I-Team 8 it is still very historically significant.

“How do you think history will remember this time,” asked I-Team 8 reporter Kody Fisher.

“Woah, that’s a big question. I would say that history will look back at this as one of the most polarized times in the US history assuming that there’s a united states to look back on it,” said Dusso who added, “polarization is one of those key factors that people point to to the demise of democracy.”

IU Northwest Political Science Professor Marie Esenstein agreed.

She told I-team 8 the United States hasn’t seen polarization like this since the Civil War.
“I think we just need to do a better job of actually promoting political tolerance. You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to accept it, you don’t have to agree with it, but you should tolerate and support others who disagree with you just because that’s an American ideal and that’s what makes our democracy work,” said Esenstein.

Moving forward, Dusso said this indictment has the potential of changing politics. The worst case scenario he sees is the creation of a tit for tat retaliation by political parties advocating for indicting former presidents just because this indictment happened.

“I have my doubts that that is going to happen, but I can’t predict the future,” said Dusso.

Dusso told I-Team 8 this isn’t the first time a politician has been charged with a crime. It’s just the first time it’s reached this far up the political ladder.

President Trump has proposed large cuts to medical research in the White House budget.  With that shadow hanging over their heads, officials from the nation’s medical research nerve center—the National Institutes of Health—along with the National Cancer Institute and other top research agencies — are talking to Senators about saving their funding. 

Lawmakers from both parties are saying the prognosis for medical research is good. They want to increase funding for research, not cut it. 

Senator James Langford, R-OK, talked about a man he met on a recent flight home. He was part of a trail at NIH that may save his life. 

“I was sitting next to a gentleman flying on my way back to Oklahoma,” said Langford,  “It reminded me again of how many people are still around because of the work that you’re doing.” 

During a hearing on Capitol Hill leaders of the nation’s top medical research agencies talked about medical breakthroughs, like treatment for sickle cell disease which impacts 100,000 Americans. 

And important research like efforts to combat the opioid crisis — including the creation of a non-addictive painkiller.

Dr. Francis Collins, NIH Director said, “We are working now with pharmaceutical companies.” 

Funding for medical research increased steadily over the last four years. But the latest budget from the Trump administration proposes billions of dollars in cuts. And that’s leading to criticism by senators from both parties. 

Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, R-AL, said government-funded medical research represents some of the most important work being done in the country. 

“I’m not interested in cutting your budget. I’m interested in increasing it,” said Shelby.

The Trump administration says the cuts are tough choices in the effort to pare back government spending. 

But if Thursday’s hearing was any indication, belt-tightening will not come at the expense of medical research. 

WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — In September of 2017, the US Department of Education proposed changes to the way federally funded colleges and universities handle allegations of sexual misconduct. The changes would roll back rules put in place under the Obama Administration designed to make it easier for victims to come forward.

But opponents complained—and the Trump Education Department agreed—the rules were unfair to the accused.

Today Senators are hearing from advocates for victims, the accused, and school administrators as lawmakers begin writing new laws to deal with sex assaults on campus.

It’s an emotional issue on both sides of the debate.

“The Obama administration instructed schools to take the issue of sexual violence seriously,” said Fatima Goss-Graves, CEO of the National Women’s Law Center.

Reports of sexual assaults on campuses piled up during the Obama administration, prompting the U.S. Department of Education to issue new guidelines.

Goss-Graves says the Obama guidelines were designed to make it easier for victims to come forward.

But advocates for the accused, like attorney Patricia Hamill, say they tipped the scales of justice.

Hamill says, “Students who are accused are oftentimes assumed to be guilty.”

Two years ago, the Department of Education under President Trump reversed the guidelines and proposed new rules.

The changes increase the threshold needed to find accused students guilty and they allow the accused to directly confront accusers in a hearing.

Administrators like Dr. Jeff Howard from East Tennessee State University fear the new rules complicate school disciplinary hearings. Advocates say they will force victims to relive the trauma.

Dr. Howard says, “We can’t duplicate a court of law.”

“I believe making it harder for them to come forward and report their sexual violence,” says Fatima Goss-Graves.

Instead of allowing the Department of Education to write the rules, Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander wants Congress to step up with a bipartisan solution that protects the rights of victims and the accused.

“What would be best is if we could agree in the Congress,” says Alexander.

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a damning depiction of Donald Trump, the president’s former lawyer on Wednesday cast him as a racist and a con man who used his inner circle to cover up politically damaging allegations about sex, and who lied throughout the 2016 election campaign about his business interests in Russia.

Michael Cohen, who previously pleaded guilty to lying to Congress, told lawmakers that Trump had advance knowledge and embraced the news that emails damaging to Hillary Clinton would be released during the campaign. But he also said he had no “direct evidence” that Trump or his aides colluded with Russia to get him elected, the primary question of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

Cohen, shaking off incessant criticism from Republicans anxious to paint him as a felon and liar, became the first Trump insider to pull back the curtain on a version of the inner workings of Trump’s political and business operations. He likened the president to a “mobster” who demanded blind loyalty from underlings and expected them to lie on his behalf to conceal information and protect him — even if it meant breaking the law.

“I am not protecting Mr. Trump anymore,” Cohen declared.

“My loyalty to Mr. Trump has cost me everything: my family’s happiness, friendships, my law license, my company, my livelihood, my honor, my reputation, and soon my freedom,” Cohen said. “I will not sit back say nothing and allow him to do the same to the country.”

Cohen’s matter-of-fact testimony about secret payments and lies unfolded as Trump met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. At a Vietnam hotel and unable to ignore the drama thousands of miles away, Trump lashed out on Twitter, saying Cohen “did bad things unrelated to Trump” and “is lying in order to reduce his prison time.”

In testimony that cut to the heart of federal investigations encircling the White House, Cohen said he arranged a hush money payment to a porn actress at the president’s behest and agreed to lie about it to the public and the First Lady. He said he had lied by claiming that Trump was “not knowledgeable” about the transaction even though the president had directly arranged for his reimbursement. And he said he was left with the unmistakable impression Trump wanted him to lie to Congress about a Moscow real estate project, though the president never directly told him so.

In one revelation, Cohen said prosecutors in New York were investigating conversations Trump or his advisers had with him after his office and hotel room were raided by the FBI last April. Cohen said he could not discuss that conversation, the last contact he said he has had with the president or anyone acting on his behalf, because it remains under investigation.

The appearance marked the latest step in Cohen’s evolution from legal fixer for the president — he once boasted he’d “take a bullet” for Trump — to a foe who has implicated him in federal campaign finance violations. The hearing proceeded along parallel tracks, with Democrats focusing on allegations against Trump while Republicans sought to undermine Cohen’s credibility and the proceeding itself.

As Republicans blasted him as a convicted liar, a mostly unrattled Cohen sought to blunt the attacks by repeatedly acknowledging his own failings. He called himself a “fool,” warned lawmakers of the perils of blind loyalty to a leader undeserving of it and pronounced himself ashamed of what he’d done to protect Trump.

Cohen is due to begin a three-year prison sentence in May, and described himself as cooperative with multiple investigations in hopes of reducing his time behind bars. He is seen as a vital witness for federal prosecutors because of his proximity to the president during key episodes under investigation and their decade-long professional relationship.

The first of six Trump aides charged in the Trump-Russia investigation to testify publicly about crimes committed during the 2016 campaign and in the months that followed, Cohen also delivered biting personal commentary on a president he said never expected to win in the first place.

“He never expected to win the primary. He never expected to win the general election,” Cohen said. “The campaign — for him — was always a marketing opportunity.”

He recounted how Trump made him threaten schools he attended to not release his grades and SAT scores and denigrated blacks as “too stupid” to vote for him. He said Trump once confided to him that, despite his public explanation of a medical deferment from the Vietnam War because of bone spurs, he never had any intention of fighting there.

“I find it ironic, President Trump, that you are in Vietnam right now,” Cohen said.

Cohen gave lawmakers his first-person account of how he arranged to buy the silence of a porn actress and a Playboy model who said they had sex with Trump. He described a February 2017 conversation with Trump in the Oval Office in which the president reassured him that reimbursement checks sent through Federal Express were coming but would take some time to get through the White House system.

He said the president spoke to him a year later to discuss the public messaging around the transaction, and had even once put his wife, Melania, on the phone so that Cohen could lie to her.

“Lying to the first lady is one of my biggest regrets,” Cohen said. “She is a kind, good person. I respect her greatly, and she did not deserve that.”

In an allegation relating to Mueller’s probe, Cohen said he overheard Trump confidant Roger Stone telling the candidate in the summer of 2016 that WikiLeaks would dump damaging information about Clinton.

Trump put Stone on speakerphone as Stone relayed that he had communicated with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and that “within a couple of days, there would be a massive dump of emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Cohen said. Damaging emails U.S. officials say were hacked by Russia were later released by WikiLeaks.

Trump responded by saying “wouldn’t that be great,” Cohen said.

Stone disputed that account Wednesday, and Barry Pollack, a lawyer for Assange, said Stone and Assange did not have the telephone call that Cohen described.

Cohen’s claims that Trump had advance knowledge of the emails contradict the president’s assertions that he was in the dark, and it is not clear how legally problematic that could be for Trump anyway. Mueller has not suggested that mere awareness of WikiLeaks’ plans, as Stone is purported to have had, is by itself a crime.

Cohen also suggested Trump implicitly told him to lie about a Moscow real estate project. Cohen has admitted lying about the project, which he says Trump knew about as Cohen was negotiating with Russia during the campaign. Cohen said Trump did not directly tell him to lie, but “he would look me in the eye and tell me there’s no business in Russia and then go out and lie to the American people by saying the same thing.”

Cohen said he does not have direct evidence that Trump colluded with the Russian government during the election, but that he has “suspicions,” including after a June 2016 meeting between the president’s oldest son and a Kremlin-connected lawyer.

“I wouldn’t use the word ‘colluding.’ Was there something odd about the back-and-forth praise with President Putin?” Cohen said. “Yes, but I’m not really sure I can answer that question in terms of collusion.”

Federal prosecutors in New York have said Trump directed Cohen to arrange payments to buy the silence of porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal in the run-up to the 2016 campaign. Cohen has said he acted out of “blind loyalty.”

He said he was presenting the committee with a copy of a check Trump wrote from his personal bank account after he became president to reimburse Cohen for the hush money payments. He offered up other exhibits as well, including examples of financial statements he said Trump had drawn up to show he was wealthier than he really was.

Associated Press writers Laurie Kellman, Lisa Mascaro, Chad Day, Michael Balsamo and Colleen Long contributed to this report.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Russia investigation snared another associate of President Donald Trump with the arrest Friday of self-described political “dirty trickster” Roger Stone.

The charges brought by special counsel Robert Mueller reveal new details about how the Trump campaign sought to benefit from the release of hacked material damaging to Hillary Clinton. But they don’t definitively answer the key question in the Russia probe: Did the Trump campaign coordinate with Russia’s efforts to sway the 2016 election?

Some takeaways from the indictment against Stone.


Lying to Congress. Obstructing the House intelligence committee’s Russia investigation. And witness tampering.

The charges stem from what prosecutors say were Stone’s efforts to conceal the nature of his discussions during the 2016 election about WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that released thousands of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. U.S. intelligence agencies and Mueller’s investigators have said Russia was the source of that hacked material.

Prosecutors say Stone lied during his Sept. 26, 2017, testimony before the House intelligence committee about his interactions regarding WikiLeaks and his communications with the Trump campaign. They say he also falsely claimed he didn’t have documents requested by the committee when he did. And he is accused of “corruptly” persuading one of his associates, New York radio host Randy Credico, not to testify before the House intelligence committee in an effort to conceal Stone’s false statements.

Stone has denied any wrongdoing, saying any misstatements he made were “immaterial and without intent.”


He’s a longtime political consultant, a purveyor of conspiracy theories and an unabashed reveler in his own reputation for underhanded tactics.

A self-described “dirty trickster” with a tattoo of former President Richard Nixon on his back, Stone served on Trump’s campaign during the early months of the 2016 presidential race. Though he was quickly ousted from the campaign, he has remained an ardent defender of the president and a colorful critic of the Mueller probe.

The indictment and Stone’s response Friday only served to build on that reputation.

The document quotes Stone encouraging Credico to cover up Stone’s false statements to the House intelligence committee by doing “a ‘Frank Pentangeli,'” a reference to a character in “The Godfather: Part II” who lies before Congress.

Stone, who calls Credico a “rat” and “stoolie,” is also quoted as threatening to take Credico’s dog, Bianca, away from him.

After his release from custody Friday, Stone called in to the conspiracy theory show, Infowars, from the courthouse to dispute the charges. He branded the conversation an “exclusive.” He then walked out smiling to speak to a crowd of reporters and a live cable news audience, torching his arrest as politically motivated.


It says that people in the highest levels of the Trump campaign were trying to find out WikiLeaks’ plans to release derogatory information on Clinton, and Stone was the chosen conduit in that effort.

The indictment says that by June and July 2016, Stone told senior Trump campaign officials that WikiLeaks had obtained documents that could be damaging to Clinton’s campaign. Then later, after WikiLeaks released hacked material from the Democratic National Committee on July 22, 2016, the indictment says a senior Trump campaign official “was directed” to contact Stone about additional releases and “what other damaging information” WikiLeaks had “regarding the Clinton campaign.”

The indictment does not name the official or say who directed the outreach to Stone. It notes that Stone then continued to pass information along about WikiLeaks and quotes conversations he had with Steve Bannon, who served at the highest level of the campaign and later joined the White House.

The indictment doesn’t accuse any campaign officials of wrongdoing or say that they coordinated directly with WikiLeaks. It also doesn’t say that Stone had any special knowledge of WikiLeaks’ plans.


It adds to the growing list of Trump associates who have been charged in the special counsel’s probe. And it renews questions about why so many people around the president have been accused of lying in the Russia investigation.

Stone is the sixth Trump associate charged by Mueller, joining a cast of Trump’s former national security adviser, his campaign chairman, his former personal lawyer and two other campaign aides.

The indictment also paints an unflattering picture of the president’s campaign. It shows that people in then-candidate Trump’s inner circle were actively trying to politically benefit from material stolen from Democratic groups and the Clinton campaign during the election.


The president himself isn’t accused of a crime. Stone isn’t implicated in any conspiracy with WikiLeaks or the Russian government, and neither is anyone else in the campaign.

That lack of direct allegations of colluding with Russian election interference provided new ammunition for Trump and his allies to attack the special counsel’s probe.

After the indictment was announced, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the charges against Stone “don’t have anything to do with the president.” Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow said the indictment “does not allege Russian collusion by Roger Stone or anyone else.”

For his part, the president tweeted: “Greatest Witch Hunt in the History of our Country! NO COLLUSION!”

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — President Donald Trump is hoping his Tuesday night address will change minds and help get funding to build a border wall with Mexico. Democrats however were quick to respond, saying the first priority is getting the federal government fully open again.

In his 10 minute prime-time speech, the president’s first from the Oval Office, Donald Trump outlined several reasons to support building a border wall with emotional examples

“All Americans are hurt by uncontrolled illegal migrations,” he said. “Over the years thousands of Americans have been brutally killed by those who illegally entered our country and thousands more lives will be lost if we don’t act right now.” 

He referenced several examples of violent crimes by known illegal immigrants. He also called for humanitarian and medical assistance at the border, more drug and weapons tracking technology, more border agents and judges, and a $5.7 billion for a steel wall along the U.S. southern border. President Trump said this was a choice between right and wrong. 

University of Indianapolis political science professor Dr. Laura Wilson spoke with News 8 following the speech, and said this was President Trump’s opportunity at a major public appeal in prime time. 

“I think he definitely gave the best shot he could,” she said. “He framed everything not only as a security but a humanitarian crisis.” 
Dr. Wilson explained he invoked the examples of violent crimes to help bring emotion beyond the facts. 

“[He’s] trying to convince people that maybe didn’t see this is as a crisis that in fact this is important and of course the wall is necessary for our country’s security,” she said. 

Within minutes Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi responded together live on television. 

“The president has chosen fear. We want to start with facts,” Pelosi said, outlining problems with border security and agreeing that more needs to be done. 

“We don’t govern by temper tantrum. No president should pound the table and demand he get his way or else the government shuts down,” said Schumer. “Separate the shutdown from the arguments over border security.” 

 Senator Schumer referenced bipartisan legislation that allows for the reopening of the full federal government that continues the discussion on border security. 

“They actually went the opposite route, they avoided the emotional appeals and said we should separate these things out,” Dr. Wilson said. “They were going for more of a fact-based approach.” 

The speech showdown will ultimately be a wash-out, according to Dr. Wilson. She said those who were already decided on the issue are not  likely to be swayed by either speech. 

“I think that was a lost opportunity for both sides there in terms of convincing the American public. I want to hear people who really believe in something. And I don’t doubt that they did but it didn’t necessarily sound like that when they were reading their scripts,” she said. 

Wednesday marks day 19 of the partial shutdown. Republican senators and President Trump are scheduled to meet for lunch at the capitol. The President will then meet with a group of bipartisan congressional leaders at the White House. 

GARDEN CITY, S.C. (WKRG) – A South Carolina man was told he couldn’t wear his Trump t-shirt as he entered a polling place, so he took it off. According to a Facebook post, that didn’t stop him from voting. Instead he voted shirtless. “Vote Nekkid!” the post reads.  

Vote Nekkid! Good turn out at Murrells Inlet Fire Department precinct- but they made this poor guy take off his Trump shirt to vote. I thought it was ok as long as the shirt wasn’t for someone on the ballot?

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump, still nursing resentment against Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation, says he wishes he’d picked a different leader of the Justice Department.

Trump on Wednesday tweeted a quote from Republican congressman Trey Gowdy, who said Sessions should have told Trump before accepting the job that he planned to recuse himself from the investigation. It comes amid fresh news reports that Trump had asked Sessions to rescind his recusal.

Sessions recused himself for possible conflict of interest, leading to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller.

Gowdy told “CBS This Morning” on Wednesday that “there are lots of really good lawyers in the country. He could have picked somebody else.”

Trump added at the end of his tweet: “And I wish I did!”

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says reimbursement to his lawyer for hush money paid to porn actress Stormy Daniels was done through a monthly retainer and “had nothing to do with the campaign.”

Trump says on Twitter Thursday that his personal attorney Michael Cohen received a monthly retainer “from which he entered into, through reimbursement, a private contract between two parties, known as a non-disclosure agreement, or NDA.”

The president added that “The agreement was used to stop the false and extortionist accusations made by her about an affair.”

Trump previously said he knew nothing about a $130,000 payment made to Daniels days before the 2016 election in exchange for her silence about an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

Trump’s new attorney Rudy Giuilani said Wednesday on Fox News that Trump had reimbursed Cohen.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump insists he “won’t be involved” in any attempt to interfere with the investigation into Russian election meddling — unless he changes his mind.

Trump also is renewing his attacks on James Comey, the FBI director he fired last year, accusing him of lying about Trump’s trip to Moscow in 2013 that has received fresh scrutiny. Early Friday, Trump accused Comey in a tweet of leaking classified information.

“He’s either very sick or very dumb,” Trump tweeted.

On Thursday, the GOP-led Senate Judiciary Committee approved a measure that would safeguard special counsel Robert Mueller from being fired. The move came shortly after Trump, in a television interview, blasted the Justice Department, which oversees the special counsel’s investigation.

“I am very disappointed in my Justice Department. But because of the fact that it’s going on, and I think you’ll understand this, I have decided that I won’t be involved,” the president said in a telephone interview with “Fox & Friends.”

But then he added: “I may change my mind at some point, because what’s going on is a disgrace.”

The Mueller legislation approved by the Senate panel may be largely symbolic, since Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he won’t bring it up for a full Senate vote. But it shows there are limits to Republican support for Trump when it comes to the president’s attacks on the special counsel’s probe.

Four Republicans joined Democrats in a 14-7 committee vote to approve the measure.

Nearly all GOP senators say Trump shouldn’t fire Mueller. And Republicans who support the legislation say it’s necessary to guard against presidential interference by giving Congress more oversight power.

“While my constitutional concerns remain, I believe this bill should be considered by the full Senate,” said Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, chairman of the committee, adding to pressure on McConnell.

Trump has increased his criticism of the Russia investigation since the FBI’s raids on the office and hotel room being used by Michael Cohen, a Trump personal attorney who is under federal criminal investigation in New York for unspecified business dealings.

Trump again called the investigation “a witch hunt” and insisted there was “no collusion” with Russia. Much of his vitriol in his TV remarks was directed at Comey.