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Colin Powell demands answers over false Iraq intel: reports

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LONDON — Ex-secretary of state Colin Powell called on the CIA and Pentagon to explain how he was given unreliable information which proved key to the US case for invading Iraq, the Guardian reported Wednesday.

Powell’s landmark speech to the United Nations on February 5, 2003, cited intelligence about Iraq leader Saddam Hussein’s bioweapons programme gained from a defector, codenamed Curveball.

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But he has now admitted that he lied to topple the dictator, in an interview with the Guardian.

“It has been known for several years that the source called Curveball was totally unreliable,” Powell told the British newspaper.

“The question should be put to the CIA and the DIA (Defense Intelligence Agency) as to why this wasn’t known before the false information was put into the (report) sent to Congress, the president’s state of the union address and my 5 February presentation to the UN.”

The defector, real name Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, told the Guardian that he lied to the BND, Germany’s secret service, by claiming in 2000 that Iraq had mobile bioweapons trucks and had built clandestine factories.

During Powell’s speech, Janabi was described as “an Iraqi chemical engineer” who “supervised one of these facilities.”

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“He actually was present during biological agent production runs and was also at the site when an accident occurred in 1998,” Powell told the UN.

Janabi was exposed as an unreliable source when the BND visited Bassil Latif, his former boss at the Military Industries Commission in Iraq, who said there were no trucks or factories.

However, the BND continued to cooperate with the trained chemical engineer, and the false statements were eventually passed on to senior US policymakers by the intelligence services.

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The resulting conflict claimed more than 100,000 civilian lives and ruined the political standing of the then US president George W. Bush and his defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

Hans-Christian Stroebele, a Green deputy in Germany’s federal parliament, told the Guardian Janabi had arguably broken the German law which forbids warmongering.

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Fox News legal analyst makes stunning prediction: Trump will testify under oath in impeachment trial

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Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano predicted that President Donald Trump would testify during his impeachment trial.

Napolitano told "America's Newsroom" anchor Bill Hemmer on Thursday that he believed the president would testify on his own behalf once the House votes to impeach him and the Senate holds a trial, reported The Hill.

“If you go to a Senate trial, who testifies on behalf of the president?” Hemmer asked.

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Mitch McConnell may let Republicans write Senate impeachment rules without Democratic votes

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is plotting to shut out Democrats on impeachment if a bipartisan compromise on rules for the trial can't be reached.

The Kentucky Republican said this week that he hopes to reach an agreement on rules for the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, but he's also readying a "backup plan" in case he can't reach an agreement with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, reported Vanity Fair.

“The first thing Sen. Schumer and I will do is see if there’s a possibility of agreement on a procedure,” McConnell said. “That failing, I would probably come back to my own members and say, ‘Okay, can 51 of us agree how we’re going to handle this?’”

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Fresno Bee burns Nunes to the ground in scathing editorial

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The editorial board of the Fresno Bee has written a scathing takedown of Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for his extraordinary fealty to President Donald Trump, which the editors say is harming the country.

Specifically, the editorial accuses Nunes of forsaking his oath of office as a congressman to serve as Trump's most loyal toady on the House Intelligence Committee.

"As has been true for nearly all of Trump’s first term, Nunes has relinquished his proper role as an independent representative of Congress and has instead acted like a member of the Trump 2020 re-election team," the editorial states.

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