State and National Government

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) – A third man has been found guilty in the beating of a black man who was left severely injured the day of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
News outlets report that 19-year-old Daniel Borden of Ohio entered an Alford plea Monday to a charge of malicious wounding in the attack on DeAndre Harris.
The plea means Borden did not admit guilt but acknowledged that prosecutors had enough evidence to convict him.
The attack on Harris in a parking garage Aug. 12 by a group of men was captured in photos and videos widely shared online.
Borden’s plea follows the conviction of two other men. A fourth man is awaiting trial.

Ben Cline Facebook photo

Delegate Ben Cline says the Republican party will have no problem acting a united front this fall in the 6th Congressional district, despite the strong divisions within it in recent months. Over the weekend, Cline won the Republican nomination to succeed Bob Goodlatte at a convention preceded by bitter party in-fighting. But he believes the GOP left it united, as WFIR’s Evan Jones reports.

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(from ABC News) President Trump said in a tweet Sunday that he is ordering the Department of Justice to “look into” whether his 2016 presidential campaign was improperly “infiltrated or surveilled” for political purposes. Trump added that he’d ask whether “any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration.” The Department of Justice currently did not have a comment on the tweet. The tweet is the latest escalation by the president in fueling an assertion that the Trump campaign may have been spied on by the  FBI or the DOJ. President Trump has sent out a series of tweets in recent days advancing the accusation first voiced by some conservative commentators that the FBI had a spy in the Trump campaign.

The Washington Post and New York Times have reported in recent days that the FBI sent an informant to talk to several Trump campaign aides during the 2016 election. The Times cited unnamed sources that these contacts were made only after the FBI had gathered information that the informant’s targets had made suspicious contacts with Russians during the campaign. The reports do not assert that there was an informant embedded inside the campaign or that the informant ever acted improperly.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A federal appeals court says a man who received two partial pardons from Virginia governors is not entitled to further judicial review.

Travion Blount was initially sentenced to six life terms for his role in a 2006 Norfolk house-party robbery he committed when he was 15 years old.

But then-Gov. Bob McDonnell issued a partial pardon reducing the prison sentence to 40 years. Earlier this year, outgoing Gov. Terry McAuliffe cut the sentence even further, to 14 years.

In a decision issued Tuesday, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond ruled the pardons Blount received render his request for a new sentencing hearing moot. Blount initially sought the resentencing following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring life sentences for juveniles convicted of non-homicide crimes.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter started his commencement address at Liberty University in Virginia with a gentle jab at President Donald Trump.

Carter’s speech Saturday came a year after Trump spoke to Liberty graduates.

Carter began by noting the crowd was even bigger than 2017.

Carter said, “I don’t know if President Trump would admit that.” The remark harkened back to controversies over Trump’s claim of a massive inauguration crowd exceeding 1 million, despite photographic evidence suggesting otherwise.

Carter is the third president Liberty has hosted for commencement. The university is a hub for conservative politics, often frequented by candidates courting evangelical voters.

Carter is an evangelical as well, but with a more progressive view of Christianity.

The bulk of Carter’s speech emphasized broad themes of human rights and equality.

Republicans in the 6th Congressional District will select their party’s nominee tomorrow at a convention in Harrisonburg. If follows accusations by some candidates that party leaders in the district were trying to rig the rules to favor one candidate. Whoever emerges will carry the party banner in the district Bob Goodlatte has represented for a quarter century. WFIR’s Evan Jones has more:

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