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Wikileaks now claims Ecuador cut off Julian Assange’s internet access

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Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said on Monday that its founder Julian Assange’s internet was shut down by the government of Ecuador, deflecting blame from the U.S. or British governments who have sparred with Assange for releasing sensitive material.

“We can confirm Ecuador cut off Assange’s internet access Saturday, 5pm GMT, shortly after publication of (Hillary) Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speechs (sic),” the statement from WikiLeaks said.

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Assange has lived and worked in Ecuador’s London embassy since June 2012, having been granted asylum there after a British court ordered him extradited to Sweden to face questioning in a sexual molestation case involving two female WikiLeaks supporters.

WikiLeaks said Assange lost internet connectivity on Sunday night.

“We have activated the appropriate contingency plans,” added the Twitter message on Monday. People close to WikiLeaks say that Assange himself is the principal operator of the website’s Twitter feed.

Over the last two weeks, Democratic Party officials and U.S. government agencies have accused the Russian government, including the country’s “senior-most officials,” of pursuing a campaign of cyber attacks against Democratic Party organizations ahead of the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

WikiLeaks has been one of the most prominent internet outlets to post and promote hacked Democratic Party materials. While denying any connection with a Russian hacking campaign, Assange has refused to disclose WikiLeaks’ sources for hacked Democratic Party messages.

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Sources close to both the Democratic Party and WikiLeaks say they believe WikiLeaks has acquired as many as 40,000-50,000 emails hacked from the personal accounts of John Podesta, the former White House advisor who now chairs of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Despite Assange’s complaint that his internet connection was cut, WikiLeaks posted on Monday afternoon what it said was a fresh batch of Podesta’s emails.

According to a summary of the latest emails posted on Russia Today, a media outlet with close links to the Russian government, highlights include campaign staff discussions about “galvanizing Latino support” and about how to handle media queries about Clinton’s “flip-flopping” on gay marriage. (Reporting by Mark Hosenball; Editing by Julia Edwards and Sandra Maler)

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‘You morons’: Republicans unleash a flood of mockery as they ask Sondland if he was involved in ‘drug deals’

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During a back-and-forth with GOP counsel Stephen Castor, US Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, was asked his thoughts on previous closed-door testimony from former national security adviser John Bolton, who characterized Sondland's dealings with Ukraine by using the metaphor of a "drug deal."

The metaphor caught on with other GOP questioners, such as GOP House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Devin Nunes, causing some to wonder if he even knows that Bolton was being metaphorical. Nunes' comments prompted some pushback from House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who told him that "no one thinks they're talking about a literal drug deal here. Or a drug cocktail. The import, I think, of [Bolton's] comments is quite clear, that he believed that this bargain, this quid pro quo ... was not something he wanted to be a part of."

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GOP senators lob out excuses to avoid watching impeachment hearings: ‘Took my kid to school’

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European ambassador Gordon Sondland's impeachment testimony sent shock waves through Washington D.C. on Wednesday -- but they seemingly weren't felt by Republican senators.

Per CNN's Michael Warren, multiple GOP senators said on Wednesday that they were not watching Sondland's testimony, which directly implicated President Donald Trump in a quid-pro-quo scheme with Ukraine.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), for example, said that he "took my kid to school" instead of watching Sondland, while Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) said he was busy "chairing my own hearing."

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Ken Starr says ‘it’s over’ for Trump: Democrats know ‘the president in fact committed the crime of bribery’

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Former independent prosecutor Ken Starr suggested on Wednesday that President Donald Trump impeachment could now be a sure thing.

Following the testimony of European Union Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Fox News host Bret Baier called the witness "very damning" for Trump -- and Starr agreed.

"We've gotten close to the president," Starr said of Sondland's testimony. "The president may have covered himself by saying no quid pro quo, the record is muddled. So we have Gordon Sondland's understanding. It doesn't look good for the president substantively."

Starr compared the current process to the articles of impeachment that were drafted against President Richard Nixon.

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