They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker

In public statements following their Tuesday arrests, former Utah attorneys general John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff's lawyer remained confident that they would be found innocent on the various bribery and obstruction of justice charges they were hit with.

The Salt Lake Tribune described it as "the most sweeping political scandal in Utah history." Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) called it "a black eye for our state." But though they now face a litany of allegations of criminal activity, including the acceptance of gifts and wielding the power of their office to aid associates, the two men asserted their innocence.

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Former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff and John Swallow were accused Tuesday of numerous bribery and obstruction of justice charges, most of them felonies. The charging documents from the Salt Lake City district attorney allege a decadent lifestyle of private jets, all-expense-paid vacations and veiled threats of violence for those who caused trouble.

Shurtleff, a Republican, served as the state's top legal official from 2001 to 2013. He was succeeded by Swallow, also a Republican, who had been one of his top deputies. Swallow resigned less than a year after taking office, as federal and state investigations into his and Shurtleff's alleged improprieties intensified. Both men had also pursued failed bids for Congress (Shurtleff for a U.S. Senate seat in 2009; Swallow for a House seat in 2002 and 2004.)

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An activist who is rallying a Bundy Ranch-style militia to the Texas border to address the ongoing crisis there reportedly released a YouTube video in which he said those crossing illegally would be warned: "Get back across the border or you will be shot."

Operation Secure Our Border, with its own Facebook page, is being organized by members of the "Patriot" movement along with Oathkeepers and Three-Percenters, according to the San Antonio Express News. Those are some of the same militia groups that came to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's defense earlier this year.

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A saga over prostitution allegations against a powerful U.S. senator and the media outlet that first reported them just got another major twist.

The Washington Post reported Monday night that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) has asked the Justice Department to investigate intelligence indicating that the Cuban government planted the allegations in U.S. and Latin American media outlets, bringing the scandal back into the spotlight more than a year after it appeared to have burned out.

Understandably, it can be difficult to keep all of it straight. So here’s a guide to the players involved in the debunked allegations that Menendez paid underage women for sex in the Dominican Republic, a story first published by the Daily Caller just days ahead of the New Jersey Democrat’s 2012 reelection.

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A 22-year-old Indiana man is facing both state and federal charges after allegedly posting a rambling message on Facebook in which he claimed ties to Las Vegas cop killers Jerad and Amanda Miller, made death threats against state judges and law enforcement officers, and warned that a local courthouse would be "blown to pieces within the month" -- before claiming that it had all been written as satire.

In federal charges unsealed Monday, Samuel Bradbury, of Pine Village, Ind., was accused of using interstate communications to make threats and willfully threatening to use explosives. That's in addition to four Class C felony intimidation charges Bradbury faces in state court. Bradbury could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the federal charges alone.

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A Texas Target store is once again at the center of a gun rights fight.

The gun control group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, which is backed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said Monday that its Texas chapter was told on Sunday to leave the parking lot outside a Target store in San Antonio, where it had been holding a "Stoller Jam" demonstration.

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The following is an excerpt from Chapter 1 of As Maine Went: Governor Paul LePage and the Tea Party Takeover of Maine, by Mike Tipping.

At 8 a.m. on February 4, 2013, a signal crackled to life from the WXME radio tower in Aroostook County, about a mile and a half from the Canadian border. The broadcast went out locally on the AM band as well as the station’s online stream. The signal was picked up from the Internet and rebroadcast through a network of low-power FM repeaters maintained by volunteers willing to skirt the edges of FCC regulations in towns across Maine. Listeners tuning in that morning were greeted first with a medley of patriotic and religious songs and then by the voices of Jack McCarthy and Steve Martin, hosts of the Aroostook Watchmen radio show.

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Utah is one of the major hotbeds for disputes between the Bureau of Land Management and those who consider the federal agency in a permanent state of overreach.

Now the feud is spreading to another arena: contracts in which the agency pays local sheriffs for law enforcement on federal land. Alongside all the BLM-related controversy in the West, the BLM has allowed its contracts with five Utah county sheriff offices to expire over the past year or so.

The agency says that the move is wholly unrelated to any of broader disagreements over federal authority, which gained national attention since the Bundy Ranch standoff in Nevada. But the Utah county sheriffs believe otherwise.

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