Vox Sentences: “You sold your country out”

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Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s sentencing is postponed; the Trump administration’s bump stock ban is final.


Michael Flynn isn’t going to prison — yet


Dana Verkouteren via AP

  • A federal judge delayed sentencing for Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser. Flynn was accused of lying to the FBI in the course of its Trump-Russia investigation. [USA Today / Kevin Johnson and Bart Jansen]
  • In an eyebrow-raising moment, US District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan suggested that Flynn had committed treason. “Arguably, you sold your country out,” Sullivan said. [Washington Post / Spencer Hsu, Matt Zapotosky, and Carol Leonnig]
  • But Flynn is not guilty of treason. There’s a very good reason for that: The bar for treason is really high. [Vox / Dylan Matthews]
  • So Sullivan later walked back his comments, acknowledging he was incorrect to suggest Flynn had committed treason. [CNN / Jake Tapper]
  • Whatever the case, it was very clear that Sullivan was not happy with Flynn — and may have been ready to give him prison time. [Vox / Andrew Prokop]

Bump stocks get banned

  • President Donald Trump’s administration has finally banned bump stocks, which effectively let semiautomatic weapons mimic machine guns. [CNN / Laura Jarrett]
  • The regulation requires bump stock owners to turn in or destroy the devices within 90 days of publication, which is likely to happen on Friday. [BuzzFeed / Dominic Holden]
  • The Trump administration’s regulation came in response to the Las Vegas mass shooting in October 2017, when a gunman used bump stocks to modify the guns he used to kill 58 people and injure hundreds more at a country music concert. [NPR / Laurel Wamsley]
  • The bump stock ban is one of the very few steps Trump has taken to pull back access to guns. For the most part, Trump has been a very close ally of the NRA. [New York Times / Michael Shear and Sheryl Gay Stolberg]
  • The research indicates that stricter gun laws would save lives. Massachusetts, which has the lowest gun death rate in the country, even treats guns a bit like cars, with license and registration required. [Vox / German Lopez]

Miscellaneous

  • President Trump is shutting down his personal charity after a New York attorney general investigation alleges it found a “shocking pattern of illegality.” [Washington Post / David Fahrenthold]
  • Elon Musk was annoyed by Los Angeles traffic, so he built a tunnel under Hawthorne, California, because of course he did. [LA Times / Laura J. Nelson]
  • Federal officials and others accused of wrongdoing have taken a page from Trump’s playbook to defend themselves: blaming the “deep state.” [NYT / Julian E. Barnes, Adam Goldman, and Charlie Savage]
  • This year’s Black List — the most-liked screenplays that haven’t yet found a producer — includes a movie about “a social-media influencer, the worst guy ever, and the eventual president of the United States,” and the time traveler who comes back from the future to stop him. And then they fall in love. [Vulture / Mark Harris]
  • A judge in Missouri sentenced a deer poacher to watch Bambi once a month during his year in prison, a “creative” sentence that falls into a legal gray area. [Slate / Aaron Mak]

Verbatim

“To paraphrase Joseph Stalin, one turkey thrown out of a plane is a tragicomedy; 46 million turkeys killed in a slaughterhouse is Thanksgiving dinner.” [The Atlantic / Annie Lowrey]


Watch this: Why Colombia is losing the cocaine war

There’s a reason Colombia can’t beat cocaine. [YouTube / Johnny Harris]


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