Curt Devine
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Former Florida state senator charged in spoiler candidate scheme

Former Florida state senator charged in spoiler candidate scheme

(CNN)A former Florida state senator who in disgrace four years ago was charged Thursday with campaign finance violations related to a hotly contested state Senate race in the 2020 election, authorities said.Frank Artiles, 47, turned himself in to authorities in Miami one day after his home was searched by investigators with the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office.The county's top prosecutor, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, accused Artiles at a news conference on Thursday afternoon of paying an old friend almost $45,000 to mount a intended to illegally sway the election.Artiles, a Republican...

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March 18, 2021
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Six former wrestlers say Rep. Jim Jordan knew about abusive OSU doctor

Six former wrestlers say Rep. Jim Jordan knew about abusive OSU doctor

(CNN)Tito Vazquez says he still remembers the day three decades ago when, as a wrestler at Ohio State University, the doctor he'd gone to see about a bloody nose insisted on examining his genitals. He also recalls how one of his coaches dismissed his immediate complaint. "'I have nothing to do with this,'" Vazquez quoted the assistant coach saying, as he effectively ended the conversation and went on with wrestling practice. That coach, Vazquez says, was Jim Jordan, now an Ohio congressman and an influential voice in Republican politics, perhaps best known for his pugnacious defense of...

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March 6, 2020
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Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day

Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day

(CNN)"Trump or war. Today. That simple.""If you don't know how to shoot: You need to learn. NOW.""we will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount."In the weeks, days and hours ahead of Wednesday's siege on the Capitol by President Donald Trump's zealous supporters, the warning signs were clear: online posts from hate groups and right-wing provocateurs agitating for civil war, the deaths of top lawmakers and attacks on law enforcement.And now, as the dust settles and the country struggles to make sense of the...

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January 8, 2021
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Man in 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt during Capitol riot identified

Man in 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt during Capitol riot identified

(CNN)A rioter who wearing a sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase "Camp Auschwitz" has been identified as Robert Keith Packer of Virginia, according to three sources who spoke with CNN.An image of Packer inside the Capitol, whose sweatshirt bore the name of the Nazi concentration camp where about 1.1 million people were killed during World War II, has evoked shock and disbelief on social media. The bottom of his shirt stated, "Work brings freedom," which is the rough translation of the phrase "Arbeit macht frei" that was on the concentration camp's gates.Packer did not respond to CNN's...

January 10, 2021
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Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day

Extremists intensify calls for violence ahead of Inauguration Day

(CNN)"Trump or war. Today. That simple.""If you don't know how to shoot: You need to learn. NOW.""we will storm the government buildings, kill cops, kill security guards, kill federal employees and agents, and demand a recount."In the weeks, days and hours ahead of Wednesday's siege on the Capitol by President Donald Trump's zealous supporters, the warning signs were clear: online posts from hate groups and right-wing provocateurs agitating for civil war, the deaths of top lawmakers and attacks on law enforcement.And now, as the dust settles and the country struggles to make sense of the...

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January 8, 2021
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How QAnon's lies are hijacking the national conversation

How QAnon's lies are hijacking the national conversation

(CNN)It started with a Tweet from a QAnon supporter at 2:09 in the morning: #SubpoenaObama. Though devoid of context, the cryptic message made sense to anyone in tune with the groundless conspiracy theory that the Obama administration -- prior to leaving office in 2017 -- had taken active measures to undermine the incoming Trump presidency. Within a minute, the same Twitter account sent another tweet encouraging others to push the hashtag, adding that if they do, "good things will happen."Dozens of QAnon enthusiasts obliged, and before long the hashtag was on fire, at times racking up...

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October 16, 2020
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Body cam footage shows raid on former Florida Covid data scientist's home

Body cam footage shows raid on former Florida Covid data scientist's home

(CNN)Florida state police released Thursday afternoon showing officers waiting before they entered the home of a former state data scientist and the testy confrontation that followed when she exited -- providing new context about a controversial police raid that has attracted national attention this week.Officers were serving a Monday morning at the home of Rebekah Jones, a coronavirus data scientist who was fired from the state and has accused Florida officials of covering up the extent of the pandemic.The state Department of Law Enforcement is investigating whether Jones illegally...

December 11, 2020
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A dark money mystery in the Sunshine State

A dark money mystery in the Sunshine State

(CNN)A month before Election Day in Florida a mysterious company called Proclivity, Inc. contributed $550,000 to a pair of newly formed political action committees in the state.Two days later, the money flowed from the PACs to an Orlando-area print and advertising firm.Shortly thereafter, came a torrent of nearly identical political fliers seemingly intended to siphon away support from Democratic candidates by tricking voters into casting their ballots for purported spoiler candidates who demonstrated no real interest in getting elected. None, for example, engaged in typical campaigning...

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November 24, 2020
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Stop the Steal's massive disinformation campaign connected to Roger Stone

Stop the Steal's massive disinformation campaign connected to Roger Stone

(CNN)It is an internet battle cry: Stop the Steal has swept across inboxes, Facebook pages and Twitter like an out-of-control virus, spreading misinformation and violent rhetoric -- and spilling into real life, like the protest planned for DC this weekend. But while Stop the Steal may sound like a new 2020 political slogan to many, it did not emerge organically over widespread concerns about voting fraud in President Donald Trump's race against Joe Biden. It has been in the works for years. Its origin traces to Roger Stone, a veteran Republican operative and self-described "dirty trickster"...

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November 14, 2020
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Twitter permanently suspends Steve Bannon account after talk of beheading

Twitter permanently suspends Steve Bannon account after talk of beheading

(CNN Business)Twitter permanently suspended an account belonging to former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon after he suggested Thursday morning that Dr. Anthony Fauci and FBI Director Christopher Wray should be beheaded. His comments were made in a video posted to his Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter accounts. Bannon falsely claimed President Trump had won reelection, despite several key states still being too close to call, and said that he should fire both Fauci and Wray.He then said he would go further: "I'd put the heads on pikes. Right. I'd put them at the two corners of the...

November 3, 2020
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