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New Trump lawyers known for winning tough white-collar criminal trials



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WASHINGTON — In 2011, drug enforcement agents tailing a Colombian narcotrafficker in Miami got more than they bargained for. They watched the man hand $108,000 to a federal immigration officer.

Later, at the federal agent’s corruption trial, his lawyer, Marty Raskin, had a different explanation for the cash.

Attorneys Marty and Jane RaskinRaskin and Raskin

He said the drug trafficker gave it to the agent for safekeeping overnight because he was “afraid to hold the money in his hotel room.”

Raskin won the case. The agent walked, acquitted by a federal jury.

Raskin, 71, and his wife, Jane Raskin, 62, are now directing their legal firepower in the service of a different client: Donald J. Trump, the president of the United States.

The Raskins, based in Miami, are the newest members of the Trump legal team. They came on board last week, around the same time as Rudolph Giuliani, the former New York mayor.

While Guiliani’s appointment drew significant attention, the Raskins hiring was somewhat overlooked. But unlike the 73-year-old Giuliani, who rarely appears in court these days, the Florida couple has been laboring for years in the legal trenches, establishing a long track record of successfully defending clients in white-collar federal criminal prosecutions.

“Jane and Marty are superb lawyers with really deep experience in federal criminal cases,” said Ryan Stumphauzer, a former federal prosecutor who practices white collar criminal defense in Miami.

Marty Raskin, Stumphauzer said, is “one of these rare guys who is both incredibly effective but also very well liked and trusted. His word and his credibility mean something. He’s a finesse player.”

Michael “Pat” Sullivan, who retired last year after 45 years with the Miami U.S. Attorney’s Office, told NBC News the Raskins “just bring very good judgment on how to handle whatever they are facing. They don’t want drama, they don’t want turmoil and they’ll try to tamp that down.”

They are also likeable and charming people, the retired prosecutor said — friendly adversaries.

Stumphauzer added that he suspected that the hiring signaled that some part of the Mueller investigation is now focusing on South Florida.

What exactly Mueller is examining in the Sunshine State is known only to him and his team, but likely targets of scrutiny include a transaction in which a Russian oligarch purchased Trump’s Palm Beach mansion in 2008 for $95 million — more than double what Trump paid for it in 2004.

There has also been considerable news media attention to the purchase by Russians of condos in Trump’s Sunny Isles development north of Miami Beach, which has been dubbed “Little Moscow” by locals.

The Raskins declined to comment for this story. Lawyers in South Florida have been scratching their heads about how they came into Trump’s orbit.

“I’m not aware of an obvious Trump connection, but Trump’s down here a lot in South Florida,” said Kendall Coffey, a former U.S. attorney in Miami who said the Raskins have an excellent reputation.

Lawyer Ty CobbCourtesy Hogan Lovellsnull

One White House official with direct knowledge said that Ty Cobb, who is coordinating the White House legal response to the Robert Mueller investigation, brought the Raskins in.

They were then interviewed by Jay Sekulow, another member of Trump’s legal team, the official said. Lastly, he said, they spent time alone with the president.

If Trump examined their record of tangling with the Justice Department, he may have been impressed.

The 2014 acquittal of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent, Juan F. Martinez, was seen as a stunning victory for the defense.

“The evidence in that case was overwhelming,” Stumphauzer said. “The fact that he got that guy off to me is nothing short of amazing.”

Another high-profile client was SabreTech Corp., an aviation contractor accused of illegally transporting hazardous oxygen generators on the ValuJet flight that crashed in the Everglades in 1996. The canisters ignited a fire that caused the plane to crash, killing 110 people.

The company was acquitted on most of the federal charges, and all but one conviction was reversed on appeal. The state criminal case ended in a plea agreement resulting in the dismissal of all 220 counts of homicide. A federal judge imposed an $11 million penalty and the state plea agreement called for a $500,000 fine. The company went out of business.

While those cases made headlines, much of the work the Raskins have done was behind the scenes, quietly negotiating favorable dispositions for clients who found themselves in the crosshairs of federal prosecutors.

On their website, they describe a series of cases in which they won good outcomes for defendants facing serious legal jeopardy.

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Really, Nicola? SNP blunder as £700k spent on ‘political propaganda’ thank-you letters



NICOLA Sturgeon is facing a backlash after the Scottish Government splashed out more than £700,000 on COVID-19 thank-you letters.

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Glad we left? EU chief admits it will be difficult to vaccinate 70% of adults by summer



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Biden to reinstate Trump Covid travel restrictions, impose new ban on South Africa



President Joe Biden plans to sign restrictions Monday on travel to the United States to mitigate Covid-19 transmission, two White House officials confirmed Sunday.

The ban would prevent most non-U.S. citizens from entry if they have recently been in South Africa where a new strain of Covid-19 has been identified. The virus has claimed more than 418,000 American lives and infected upwards of 25 million across the U.S., according to an NBC News tracker.

The president is also expected to reinstate broader restrictions that were in effect much of the past year but rescinded by then-President Donald Trump days before his term ended. Those limits would affect non-U.S. citizens traveling from the United Kingdom, Ireland and much of Europe under what is known as the Schengen countries who share a common visa process. Travelers from Brazil would also be affected.

Reuters was first to report on the restrictions.

Before Biden took office, incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki in a tweet criticized Trump’s decision to rescind the bans he had implemented.

“With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” she said.

The restrictions, which Trump rolled back on Jan. 18, were set to take effect on Tuesday.

The CDC also said Sunday that, effective Jan. 26, it would no longer consider exceptions to its requirement that international travelers present a negative coronavirus test. Airlines had asked the agency to relax the rule for some countries with limited testing capacity.

“As variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus continue to emerge in countries around the world, there is growing evidence of increased transmissibility of some of these variants, as well as unknown health and vaccine implications,” a CDC spokesman said in a statement. “Testing before and after travel is a critical layer to slow the introduction and spread of COVID-19 and emerging variants.”

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