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Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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As Josh Kovensky and I reported, Donald Trump’s 2017 inauguration transgressed the degree of sleazy billionaire access-peddling that has become standard at presidential inaugurations.

A provision tucked into House Democrats’ landmark HR1 bill would put an end to all of that. The “Presidential Inaugural Committee Oversight Act” received little attention given all the other voting rights and campaign finance reform proposals stuffed into the 571-page piece of legislation.

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Paul Erickson, the longtime GOP operative and boyfriend of admitted Russian agent Maria Butina, has been indicted by a federal grand jury on 11 counts of wire fraud and money laundering.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Erickson’s home state of South Dakota brought the case, alleging Erickson ran a criminal scheme through a chain of assisted living homes and defrauded investors through a separate company. Erickson pleaded not guilty at a Wednesday arraignment.

The case appears unrelated to the foreign agent indictment brought against Butina by in Washington, D.C. last year.

Prosecutors in the D.C. case identified Erickson as the conduit between Butina and top officials in the world of GOP politics, including at the National Rifle Association.

Butina pleaded guilty to one conspiracy charge in that case in December, agreeing to cooperate with the investigation.

Read the full indictment against Erickson below.

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Hours after reports first surfaced of a racist photo on Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam’s yearbook page, top state and national Democratic figures issued impassioned calls for his resignation.

But that didn’t stop conservatives from trying to play the hypocrisy card. Despite all evidence to the contrary, Trump administration officials, conservative activists and far-right journalists claimed that the media and Democrats who often speak out against racism were trying to protect one of their own.

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