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Former Rep. William Jefferson may soon get date to report to prison
Apr-19-2012 726 0

A court hearing Friday could determine whether former Rep. William Jefferson, D-New Orleans, will begin serving his 13-year corruption sentence before summer. Some legal experts expect federal prosecutors to ask Judge T.S. Ellis III, who presided over Jefferson's six-week 2009 trial, to revoke Jefferson's $50,000 bail and set a date for him to begin his sentence.

Ellis also could allow Jefferson to self report by a court-imposed deadline.

After sentencing Jefferson, Ellis rejected calls by prosecutors to imprison him immediately and instead allowed him to remain free with an electronic monitor pending resolution of his appeals.

Friday's hearing was scheduled after Jefferson's lawyers failed to meet last week's deadline for filing an appeal with the full 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Legal experts said the decision indicates his lawyers will go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge a unanimous ruling last month by a three-judge 4th Circuit panel rejecting Jefferson's request for a new trial.

The high court probably won't decide whether to take the case -- and they accept only a tiny percentage -- until next fall.

University of Richmond law professor Carl Tobias, who has been closely following the case, said it is possible prosecutors will argue the unanimous verdict by the 4th Circuit panel makes it unlikely he'll succeed with his Supreme Court appeal.

Ellis "has been pretty strict when it comes to corruption cases," Tobias said, "and if the prosecutors move to (set a date to report to prison) the judge may well grant it."

Kevin Thomas, a consultant with the MPM Group, which helps clients with sentence-mitigation efforts, said he thinks it's likely prosecutors will prevail.

"It was unusual for him (Jefferson) to stay out after sentencing and I would be shocked if the judge let him stay out now that the appellate court has ruled," Thomas said. "But then again his attorney (Robert Trout) is formidable and he could talk a starving dog off a meat wagon."

Jefferson, 65, isn't likely to be remanded into prison immediately, though. In a filing with Judge Ellis, lead prosecutor Mark Lytle expressed no objections if Jefferson chose not to attend Friday's session at the federal courthouse in Alexandria, Va.

Neither Lytle nor Trout would comment Wednesday.

Tobias said it's no surprise Jefferson's lawyers decided not to file an appeal with the full 4th Circuit, given the unanimous ruling by the three-judge panel.

In a 64-page ruling issued March 26, the appellate judges rejected the legal arguments by Jefferson that Judge Ellis erroneously instructed the jury about what the accepted practice is for official acts by a member of Congress.

Jefferson's lawyers argued the government had dramatically expanded the definition -- taking it beyond what most consider official acts, such as casting votes, introducing bills and committee work -- to include influencing foreign officials in Western Africa on behalf of private business executives.

"The (judge's) instructions did not in any way supplant the statutory definition of what constitutes an official act; it simply explained to the jury that an official act need not be prescribed by statute, but rather may include acts that a congressman customarily performs," according to the three judges.

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Victoria Bekiempis Sep-27-2016 98 0
The former federal judge Donald Trump called anti-cop for her position on stop and frisk during Monday night’s presidential debate said the bombastic billionaire's snipe was “very cheap.”

Shira Scheindlin was a Manhattan federal court judge in August 2013 when she ruled that stop and frisk — as practiced in New York City — was unconstitutional because it overwhelmingly targeted minorities, violating their civil rights.

The ruling led to the city and the NYPD to overhaul the way the tactic is used — and was brought up when Trump was talking about the need for “law and order” in the inner-cities.

Stop and frisk “worked very well, Mayor Giuliani is here, worked very well in New York" and “brought the crime rate way down in New York City.”

Donald Trump gets stop-and-frisk facts totally wrong in debate
Moderator Lester Holt then pointed out the policing tactic was “ruled unconstitutional in New York, because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men.”

Trump told Holt he was wrong — and then slammed Scheindlin without referring to her by name.

“It went before a judge, who was a very against-police judge,” Trump said.

Asked about Trump's comment, Scheindlin told the Daily News, “Well, that's not such an easy answer because I think that was former Mayor Giulani's take on it. I think he was probably the one who prepped Mr. Trump on the issue.”

“It was Mr. Giuliani's position that I think Mr. Trump was taking as his script,” she told The News by phone from Vienna, where she's traveling.

“I thought, to use that comment that I was anti-police was very cheap,” she said.

“I was very respectful of police.”

Scheindlin, who was on the bench for more than two decades before she stepped down in March, also reiterated her view on stop and frisk did not apply to the tactic in general.

"I found that stop and frisk as practiced in New York is unconstitutional," said Scheindlin, who's now at white shoe law firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan.

"If you have a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot, then of course you can stop someone."

But she also didn't buy Trump's claims that stop and frisk saved New York City from crime.

“There's no cause-and-effect proof,” she said. “Crime dropped in that decade anyway — nationally.”

Scheindlin said the way stop and frisk had been used in the city strained relations between police and the public.

“What that really did was to sow distrust between police and the community. That's all it achieved, that I can tell,” she said.

The number of police stops in New York City peaked in 2011 at 685,700, and plummeted to 22,900 in 2015. Rather than go up, crime dropped to record lows as stop-and-frisks declined.

There were 536 murders in 2010 and 352 in 2015.

In 2011, minorities accounted for some 91% of stops — and 88% of everyone stopped was "totally innocent," according to data compiled by the New York Civil Liberties Union.

Despite the dramatic decline in number, minorities still account for about 89 percent of stop-and-frisk cases. In 2015, 80 percent of all people involved in stop-and-frisks were "totally innocent" of any crime, NYCLU data also show.

Reps for Trump and Giuliani did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
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Sep-26-2016 73 0
“Anyone here want to vote for Trump?” Renado Demoulin asks on a Saturday afternoon in his barber shop, Whoo’s Nexxt, in North Tampa. There is silence: buzzers pause, eyebrows raise. 
Only one person, a fellow barber, feels the need to vocalize his response. “Nah, are you for real?” he proclaims. None of the 16 eligible black voters in the room plan on voting for Trump in November. 
“I keep it real, Trump is racist,” says 24-year-old Kianna Williams.

But despite their dislike of Trump, there is not a lot of love for Clinton. If real enthusiasm for her existed here, Demoulin says, it would pulsate inside the barber shop. It isn’t. 

Big turnout among African American voters is at the top ofthe Clinton campaign’s Florida wish-list. Popular black-oriented magazines glisten witha photo of Clinton grasping Obama’s hand. The African American Mothers of theMovement campaigned in the state over the weekend. Bill Clinton will campaignin some heavily black populated counties in north Florida later this week, creole language ads are targeting Haitian voters, and an advoiced by Michelle Obama is on the radio in black communities across the state. 

On Monday, there will even be debate watch parties in barber shops.
“The black vote is the mostcohesive vote in the whole state, and has been. The margin of victory thatblack voters have given Democrats in the last three election cycles have beenhuge compared to margins of victory within the Latino community or the whitecommunity,” explains Susan McManus, a University of South Florida politicalscientist.

According to her analysis of datafrom the Florida division of elections, 81 percent of Florida’s black voters are Democrats.

But how many of these voters will Clinton turn out? The result will have profound effects on theresults in the Sunshine State. 

In both 2008 and 2012, Obama wonthe black vote in Florida by more than 95 percent. Since then, there has not been a dramatic change in the number black voters. As of this summer, the percentage of registered black voters in Florida slipped to 13.3 percent from 13.6 percent, in2013 yet 1.25 million more black voters were registered in the 2016 primarythan during the 2012 primary.
Furthermore, Clinton is,predictably, the favorite among black Floridians, garnering 69 percent support in arecent CBS News poll?. Meanwhile, disdain for Trump is palpable.

 “I expect black vote to be down a little from 2012. It was a historical vote. But I don’t suspect it to go back to 2000 or 2004 levels,” explains Steve Schale, who ran Obama’s operation in the state in 2012. “We don’t need it to be at 2012 levels we just need it to be close to that and I think it will be close to that.”  

He argues that in 2012 there was the fear, primarily pushed by Republicans, that the black and Latino vote would not hit 2008 numbers. It did. 

“When you see people in need youhelp them,” says Demoulin, a 41-year-old Sanders-turned-Clinton supporter who ishosting a debate watch party with the Clinton campaign onMonday night. But at this point a major stumbling block is thatClinton is, simply put, not Obama -- and he worries that his watch party might do little to change that. 

“We don’t have a black-on-blackrace. It is a caucasian lady and something else that are our options now. So itis not like you are voting for your guy to get in,” says Demoulin, who recallsObama drawing black voters -- young and old -- to the polls in 2008 and 2012.He says that voting is a requirement in his house, where three of his five kidsare eligible to vote. 

The African American vote is especially crucial in in Demoulin’s county, Hillsborough, which went Republican in 2000 and 2004 only to become a Democratic county in the last two elections, thanks in large part to an energized black vote that doubled in size in 2008. 

Black millennials areparticularly important voting block for Clinton. Nineteen percent of registered black votersin Florida are millennials, compared to the 11 percent of registered Baby Boomers who are black.

Many black millennials whosupported Obama do not feel a connection to the 68-year-old female white nominee. McManus, the USF professor, says she’s seen the “tepidness” of that support on display in her classrooms.

“I researched Obama and I had alot of exchanges with people. I was educating people about why they should votefor him,” explains Adrial Allen, a 22-year-old recent USF graduate who works at the barber shop, of hisconversations about the race in 2012. He calls those conversations “healthydebates.” 

Now, Allen no longer cares enough to engage his friends in politicaldiscussions.
“I don’t really talk to myfriends about it now. I don’t want to lose my friends,” explains Allen, who willvote for a third-party candidate in November. 
Is it possible that he could decideto go with Clinton? “I don’t really pay attention to people trying to convinceme,” he says firmly.

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Evelyn Rupert Sep-18-2016 152 0
President Obama called on the black community to show Hillary Clinton the same support they did for him in an impassioned speech at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation gala Saturday night.

"We have achieved historic turnout in 2008 and 2012, especially in the African-American community. I will consider it a personal insult and an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election," he said. "You want to give me a good send-off? Go vote."

2012 marked a record turnout for black voters, and 93 percent of black voters backed Obama over Mitt Romney, according to exit polls.

A recent Washington Post report gave Clinton an 80 percent lead over Donald Trump among black voters.

But Obama warned the audience to not sit back.

"If you care about our legacy, realize everything we stand for is at stake. All the progress we've made is at stake in this election.

"My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot. Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot. Good schools are on the ballot. Ending mass incarceration, that's on the ballot right now," he said. "And there is one candidate who will advance those things, and there is another candidate whose defining principle, the central theme of his candidacy is opposition to all that we've done. There's no such thing as a vote that doesn't matter, it all matters."

In her keynote address at the dinner, Clinton similarly presented herself as a way to carry on Obama's legacy while warning against a Trump presidency without mentioning the GOP nominee by name.

"We need ideas not insults, real plans to help struggling Americans in communities that have been left out and left behind, not prejudice and paranoia," she said. "We can't let Barack Obama's legacy fall into the hands of someone who doesn't understand that, whose dangerous and divisive vision for our country will drag us backwards."

Obama and his former secretary of State talked briefly between their two speeches, a White House official said.

The Obamas, riding a high approval rating, are key allies for Clinton in the final stretch of the campaign. Michelle Obama ripped into Trump and lauded Clinton as the most experienced presidential candidate in history at an event at George Mason University on Friday.

In a statement, the Republican National Committee (RNC), said voters shouldn't allow Clinton to continue the Obama administration's policies.

"Hillary Clinton only represents more of the same stale Democrat policies which have failed black Americans for decades. Over the past eight years, black youth unemployment is up and paychecks are flat, but Hillary Clinton is merely rehashing an agenda that has moved America further away from prosperity for all," the RNC said. "Donald Trump is putting forth new ideas that will generate millions of good jobs, deliver school choice, and put the American people first once again. Our Party is committed to fighting for the black vote and giving every American an opportunity to achieve their dreams."
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Heidi M Przybyla Sep-08-2016 107 0
Former secretary of State Colin Powell advised his successor, Hillary Clinton, on how to circumvent federal records requirements in a newly released email exchange about how best to handle communications over digital devices.

The email, dated two days after Clinton was sworn into office in 2009, was released by Rep. Elijah Cummings, the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee. Cummings also included documentation showing that, during his tenure, Powell had sent classified emails over his private AOL account - but as of July, had still not responded to a request to contact his service provider to retrieve them.

"I had an ancient version of a PDA and used it," Powell said in the exchange with Clinton. "If it is public that you have a Blackberry," he said, "it may become an official record and subject to the law."

"Be very careful," warned Powell. "I got around it all by not saying much and not using systems that captured the data," he said.

The exchange shows that Powell gave Clinton “a detailed blueprint on how to skirt security rules and bypass requirements to preserve federal records, although Secretary Clinton has made clear that she did not rely on this advice," said Cummings. It "also illustrates the longstanding problem that no secretary of State ever used an official unclassified email account until the current secretary of State," said Cummings.

Republicans are pressing for additional investigations into Clinton's use of a private email server after FBI director James Comey declined to press criminal charges, even as he concluded that Clinton was "extremely careless" in her use of a private server. The email corroborates what Clinton told the FBI about Powell's advice to her, according to transcripts of her interview released last week.
In both 2014 and 2015, the State Department asked Powell to provide all of his records that were not in the agency’s record-keeping system. In March of 2015, Powell said during an appearance on ABC’s This Week that he no longer had emails from his personal account: “I do not have thousands of pages somewhere in my personal files," he said.

As of July, Powell still had not responded to a request to contact AOL. The Powell emails containing classified information had been identified by the agency's inspector general in February.

"The Republican obsession with Secretary Clinton has reached a fever pitch, and they have been using taxpayer resources to single her out in a desperate and abusive attempt to hurt her presidential campaign," said Cummings.

"If Republicans were truly concerned with transparency, strengthening FOIA, and preserving federal records, they would be attempting to recover Secretary Powell’s emails from AOL, but they have taken no steps to do so despite the fact that this period — including the run-up to the Iraq War — was critical to our nation’s history," said Cummings.

The release also shows the nature of Clinton's original solicitation for advice, dated Jan. 23 of 2009: "What were the restrictions on your use of your blackberry? Did you use it in your personal office? I've been told that the DSS personnel knew you had one and used it but no one fesses up to knowing how you used it! President Obama has struck a blow for berry addicts like us."

Powell has disputed the suggestion that he played a role in Clinton's decision to use a private system. “The truth is she was using it (her personal email) for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did," Powell told the New York Post in August. "Her people have been trying to pin it on me," he said.

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Jason Silverstein Sep-05-2016 206 0
President Obama canceled a scheduled meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte after the loud-mouthed leader ripped him with profane language.

Duterte used foul words with reporters Monday when they asked how he would respond if Obama asked about his overseeing the deaths of more than 2,000 suspected drug runners since he took office in June.

“I am a president of a sovereign state and we have long ceased to be a colony,” he said. “You must be respectful."

“I do not have any master except the Filipino people, nobody but nobody. You must be respectful. Do not just throw questions," he said, finishing by declaring, “Putang ina, I will swear at you in that forum” — a Tagalog phrase for “son of a bitch.”

Hours later, Obama's National Security Council spokesman Ned Price indicated Obama would no longer meet with Duterte.

"Obama will not be holding a bilateral meeting with President Duterte of the Philippines this afternoon," Price said in a statement. "Instead he will meet with President Park of the Republican of Korea."

Obama and Duterte had been expected to meet Tuesday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Laos.

The spat comes just days after his harsh landing in China for the G20 summit. After Air Force One arrived in Hangzhou on Saturday, American and Chinese diplomats got in a shouting match over how Obama should exit his plane, and he was the only world leader who was not greeted with a red carpet.
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steph solis Aug-31-2016 120 0
Angela Corey, a state attorney in northeast Florida who investigated the shooting death of Trayvon Martin and prosecuted Marissa Alexander for firing a warning shot during a domestic dispute, lost the Republican primary on Tuesday for 4th circuit judicial state attorney.

Melissa Nelson, a corporate lawyer and former prosecutor, claimed 64% of the vote over Corey's 26% in the fourth circuit, which oversees Jacksonville, Fla. Nelson will face Kenny Leigh, a write-in candidate who runs a men's only law firm, in the general election. (Fun fact: no write-in candidate has ever been elected to a state attorney position in Florida, the Florida Times-Union has reported.

When news spread of her defeat, many of her critics took to Twitter to express just how happy they were:

Thank God! "Angela Corey" lost her primary bid. That woman was reckless. She put a lot of brothers on death row. Just not Zimmerman.

Among those celebrating was Grammy Awards winner John Legend. He told the Times-Union in a statement that Corey failed the voters by pushing for the death penalty, disproportionately charging juveniles of color as adults, and that her ouster is a sign of rejection by her community.

“Prosecutors possess much of the power to end mass incarceration and to make our criminal justice system smarter and more just,” said ten-time Grammy Awards winner John Legend in a written statement. “They have the power to decide whether to charge or not, how to negotiate a plea deal, and whether or not to pursue the harshest punishment possible. With this power should come the responsibility to carry out their duties with balance, wisdom and compassion and without prejudice or bias. They should do so with the goal of bringing healing and safety to the community, rather than merely being as tough as the law will allow.

“Today the voters in Jacksonville and throughout Florida’s 4th Judicial Circuit have decided that Angela Corey failed in that responsibility by aggressively seeking the death penalty and egregiously charging juveniles, particularly those of color, as adults. Her tactics have been rejected by her community, and we applaud the voters for rejecting them.

Corey just happens to be on the cover of the left-leaning weekly magazine, The Nation, this month. The headline asks, "Is Angela Corey the most hated prosecutor in America?" The cover also says "And she doesn't understand why people hate her."
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CBS News Aug-25-2016 196 0
The Obama administration said Wednesday it paid $1.3 billion in interest to Iran in January to resolve a decades-old dispute over an undelivered military sale, two days after allowing $400 million in cash to fly to Tehran.

State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau says the U.S. couldn’t say more about the Jan. 19 payments because of diplomatic sensitivities. They involved 13 separate payments of $99,999,999.99 and final payment of about $10 million. There was no explanation for the Treasury Department keeping the individual transactions under $100 million.

The money settles a dispute over a $400 million payment made in the 1970s by the U.S.-backed shah’s government for military equipment. The equipment was never delivered because of the 1979 Islamic Revolution that overthrew the shah and ended diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Iran.

On Jan. 17, the administration paid Iran the account’s $400 million principal in pallets of euros, Swiss francs and other foreign currency, raising questions about the unusual payment. The $1.3 billion covers what Iran and the U.S. agreed would be the interest on the $400 million over the decades.

The deal has faced increased scrutiny since the administration’s acknowledgment this month that it used the money as leverage to ensure the release of four American prisoners.

Republican critics accuse the administration of paying a “ransom?.”

President Barack Obama and other officials deny such claims, though they’ve struggled to explain why the U.S. paid in cash. President Obama said it was because the United States and Iran didn’t have a banking relationship after years of nuclear-related sanctions, but that wouldn’t rule out using intermediary banks that maintain relationship with both.

Briefing reporters last week, a senior U.S. official involved in the negotiations said the interest payments were made to Iran in a “fairly above-board way,” using a foreign central bank. But the official, who wasn’t authorized to be quoted by name and demanded anonymity, wouldn’t say if the interest was delivered to Iran in physical cash, as with the $400 million principal, or via a more regular banking mechanism.

The money came from a little-known fund administered by the Treasury Department for settling litigation claims. The so-called Judgment Fund is taxpayer money Congress has permanently approved in the event it’s needed, allowing the president to bypass direct congressional approval to make a settlement. The U.S. previously paid out $278 million in Iran-related claims by using the fund in 1991.
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CNN Aug-23-2016 229 0
President Barack Obama is in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on Tuesday and is touring the flood-ravaged city that quickly became a political football.

Obama is set to see firsthand the damage in the state's capital that has caused more than 106,000 residents and households to register for assistance from Federal Emergency Management Agency. More than 60,000 homes were damaged, officials said, and 13 people were killed.

Obama is expected to meet with family members of police officers killed in last month's Baton Rouge attack, a source with knowledge of the President's schedule told CNN. According to the source, the families are expected to meet with him at one location during his trip. Three Baton Rouge area police officers were killed last month when they were ambushed by a gunman. That gunman, Gavin Long, was shot and killed by police.

Given the financial and human cost that has already taken its toll, the President's visit is too late for some Republicans -- and some Louisianans.

The city's newspaper "The Advocate" originally criticized the President for not ending his vacation in Martha's Vineyard immediately to visit the region.

His reluctance to do so made for offensive optics in the eyes of some Republicans: Obama enjoying rounds of golf with comedians like Larry David and basketball stars like Alonzo Mourning, while a state thousands of miles away faced devastation.

But the editorial board praised his decision to arrive Tuesday.

"We welcome news of President Barack Obama's planned visit to Louisiana today to survey flood damage, which should help to advance relief and recovery in the disaster area as a national priority," the editorial board wrote.

Press secretary Josh Earnest said on Air Force One that Obama will be visiting a neighborhood in East Baton Rouge Parish, and defended the timing of the trip, saying the "President is used to people trying to score political points even in situations where they shouldn't."
Earnest said that $120 million in aid has already been approved and is starting to be paid out to flood-impacted residents.

Trump, who visited the state shortly after the floods, called Obama's visit "too late."
"Tuesday's too late," Donald Trump, told Fox News this weekend. "Hop into the plane and go down and go to Louisiana and see what's going on, because it's a mess."

That's exactly what Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence, did late last week as part of a visit meant to fill what they saw as a leadership vacuum. The Republican ticket toured the flood damage, met with church groups, and distributed supplies at a nearby high school. The visit was well-received by local officials, and for a moment it gave Trump a chance to reveal a presidential timber that he insists he has.

"Because it helped to shine a spotlight on Louisiana and on the dire situation that we have here, it was helpful," said John Bel Edwards, the state's Democratic governor.

Edwards, who greeted Obama when he landed Tuesday, had previously said that he hoped the President would wait a few weeks before making his visit to the state, given the entourage and Secret Service personnel that comes with presidential trips that would have strained resources while officials were coping with the floods.

Baton Rouge's city newspaper last week had called on Obama to cut his vacation short.
"A disaster this big begs for the personal presence of the President at ground zero," read a editorial in The Advocate on Thursday, a day before the Obama trip was announced. "The President's presence is already late to the crisis, but it's better latter than never."

Hillary Clinton, Trump's Democratic opponent, said Monday that she too plans a trip to the flood site -- but used similar reasoning to delay her trip. Her campaign said in a statement that she would come to the state at an unspecified time in the future.

"This month's floods in Louisiana are a crisis that demand a national response," she said. "I am committed to visiting communities affected by these floods, at a time when the presence of a political campaign will not disrupt the response, to discuss how we can and will rebuild together."
Obama's vacation ended Sunday, and the White House has maintained that he has been regularly briefed by senior staff on the situation on the ground and top administration officials also were sent to the Louisiana. Yet his response has earned some comparisons to how George W. Bush handled another natural catastrophe in a Louisiana city, New Orleans, during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Obama has traveled to disaster sites in recent years, touring communities in Oklahoma and Arkansas destroyed by tornadoes along with New Jersey towns hit by Hurricane Sandy.
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Cyra Master Aug-22-2016 145 0
Colin Powell says Hillary Clinton's campaign has been trying to use him to help justify her use of a private email server while she was secretary of State.

The Democratic presidential nominee reportedly told FBI investigators that Powell, another former secretary of State, recommended she use a private email account.

Clinton allegedly discussed email practices with her predecessor during a dinner after she became the top U.S. diplomat in 2009, The New York Times said Thursday.

On Sunday, Powell told the New York Post's Page Six that Clinton was using her private email long before their meeting.

"The truth is she was using it for a year before I sent her a memo telling her what I did [during my term as Secretary of State]," he said.

"Her people have been trying to pin it on me."

But, the Post reported that "despite appearing angered by the situation," Powell added, "It doesn't bother me. It's OK, I'm free."

Journalist Joe Conason first reported the talk in his forthcoming book about Bill Clinton's life after the presidency, "Man of the World: The Further Endeavors of Bill Clinton."

An advanced copy states that Clinton spoke with Powell during a dinner party in Washington, D.C., hosted by Madeleine Albright, another former secretary of State.

"Toward the end of the evening, over dessert, Albright asked all of the former secretaries to offer one salient bit of counsel to the nation's next top diplomat," Conason wrote.

"Powell told [Clinton] to use her own email, as he had done, except for classified communications, which he had sent and received via a State Department computer," he added.

Powell's office released a statement late Thursday saying he had no recollection of the dinner conversation.
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