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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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The Texas man who founded a company that develops and publishes blueprints to create 3-D printed guns was charged with child sexual assault Wednesday, according to the Austin Statesman.

An affidavit reviewed by the newspaper alleges that a girl under the age of 17 told her counselor at the Center for Child Protection that she had sex with a 30-year-old man, whom she identified as Cody Wilson, at a local hotel on Aug. 15. The man paid her $500, according to the report.

Wilson is not yet in custody, according to the Statesman. He did not immediately respond to TPM’s email requesting comment, and his cellphone inbox was full.

Texas considers sexual assault a second-degree felony punishable by between two to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

Wilson allegedly met the girl on SugarDaddyMeet.com and began exchanging messages with her. He went by the username “Sanjuro,” per the affidavit reviewed by the Statesman. In the lead-up to their encounter, they shared nude photographs, and Wilson, via text, allegedly shared his name and told her he was a “big deal.”

The Austin resident is currently embroiled in a high-profile battle with the federal government over the legality of the open-sourced 3-D printed gun blueprints his company, Defense Distributed, has shared online. After the State Department in 2013 ordered Wilson to pull the plans from the internet, Wilson sued the Obama administration on First Amendment grounds. The Trump administration settled with Wilson earlier this year, allowing him to share the 3-D weapons plans online.

Various states have subsequently sued Wilson on national security and public safety grounds, and a Seattle federal judge has ordered him to halt the distribution of his plans.

Wilson also served as the founder of the now-defunct Hatreon, a far-right answer to Patreon, a platform that allows content creators to solicit paid subscriptions from supporters.

After last summer’s deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, Wilson told TPM that he spent “12 grand a month” of his own money to fund the site, which he called a “passion project.” He said he was personally “not right-wing” but was “sympathetic” to the “alt-right” and didn’t believe they should be “banished from the internet.”

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Democrat Tony Evers is pulling ahead of Scott Walker in the race to become Wisconsin’s next governor, according to a Marquette University Law School poll released Tuesday.

Evers earned 49 percent of support among likely voters, compared to 44 percent for Walker. This is the first time since Evers won the nomination this August that he has led Walker in the Marquette poll, regarded as the premium in-state survey. Last month, the two nominees were tied at 46 percent.

The results are the latest in a string of bad news for the two-term Republican incumbent, who has repeatedly acknowledged that this election is the “toughest” of his career. Both Sabato’s Crystal Ball and the Cook Political Report rank the race as a “toss-up.”

Walker previously won his seat in GOP wave years, and his crackdown on voting rights and sweeping cuts to the state education budget have bruised his reputation among Wisconsin voters.

Support for Evers, the state schools superintendent, appears to be bolstered by independent voters. Per Marquette, GOP support for Walker and Democratic support for Evers are both over 90 percent. Among independents, the breakdown is 52 percent for Evers and just 32 percent for Walker.

Results also looked good for Democrats in the U.S. Senate race, with incumbent Tammy Baldwin expanding her lead from two points to 11 in her race against GOP challenger Leah Vukmir. Baldwin earned 53 percent of likely voters compared to 42 percent for Vukmir.

The Marquette survey was conducted among 800 registered Wisconsin voters from Sept. 12-16. The margin of error was plus or minus 4 percentage points

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Hours after Christine Blasey Ford went on the record accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of attempted sexual assault, Kavanaugh’s far-right supporters were hard at work trying to explain away the allegations.

One particularly flimsy conspiracy theory circulating in recent days is that Ford is acting out of revenge because Kavanaugh’s mother, a Maryland state judge, foreclosed on Ford’s childhood home.

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In an unprecedented move, President Trump has ordered the Justice Department and FBI to publicly release a handful of former top government officials’ unredacted texts about the Russia investigation.

The affected officials include former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former senior FBI official Peter Strzok, former FBI attorney Lisa Page, and former Justice Department lawyer Bruce Ohr, according to a Monday statement from the White House.

Trump has attacked all of these individuals publicly, smearing them as part of a “deep state” effort to undermine his investigation by launching the “witch hunt” investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. The president is not supposed to directly involve himself in ongoing federal investigations.

Trump has also directed the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and Justice Department to immediately declassify a number of documents related to the Russia probe, the White House announced.

The relevant documents are the FBI’s application to obtain a surveillance warrant against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, all FBI interviews prepared about the Page surveillance applications, and all interviews the FBI conducted with Ohr about the Russia investigation.

The White House claimed Trump is making these requests “for reasons of transparency.”

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Following Friday’s announcement of Paul Manafort’s cooperation agreement with federal prosecutors, his attorney, Kevin Downing, made remarks outside D.C.’s federal courthouse.

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