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Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to Paul Manafort’s clients

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Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russia official who is linked to Ukrainian political clients of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort.

The Palmer Report was first to note on Monday that a news publication in the Ukraine had published photos of Giuliani in the company of Hennadiy Kernes, the mayor of Kharkiv and a friend of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

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Yanukovych was a client of Manafort’s before he was forced to flee to President Vladimir Putin’s protection in Russia.

The sighting of Giuliani is unusual because the normally talkative politician has laid low since the election of President Donald Trump. It’s not clear if Giuliani has been interviewed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.

According to reporter Matthew Kupfer, Giuliani is visiting Ukraine to attend a security conference.

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So much for ‘originalism’ — Trump’s impeachment defense is a constitutional dumpster fire

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In the absence of any exculpatory evidence, Donald Trump's defense against impeachment increasingly relies on arguments that fly directly in the face of the Constitution. Trump himself set the standard last July with his grandiose claim that "Article II says I can do anything I want," which encountered no serious pushback from his fellow Republicans.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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Trump lawyer Purpura busted by MSNBC for lying on the Senate floor during impeachment trial

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Moments after the end of the Saturday's Senate impeachment trial of Donald Trump concluded, MSNBC host Brian Williams pointed out that one of Donald Trump's attorney's lied on the Senate floor about the president's Ukraine scandal-- and he had a clip handy to prove it.

Sharing footage of attorney Mike Purpura stating the higher-ups in Ukraine were unaware that Donald Trump was withholding aid until after the government helped him by announcing an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden, the MSNBC host called the attorney out.

To make his point that Pupura was being untruthful, Williams then showed a clip of Defense Department official Laura Cooper, who testified that Ukrainians were asking about the delay on the day of the Trump phone call that was the starting point of the impeachment trial.

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Any normal president could find some defense attorneys who aren’t clowns and grifters

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

Donald Trump's penchant for telling reporters about his crimes doesn't leave his legal defense team a lot to work with. In the first week of his Senate trial, they've pounded the desk and rended their garments over how mean their Democrats opponents are toward their client. But the worst is yet to come--WaPo reports that during the next phase of the proceedings, Trump's legal team will offer "a scorched-earth defense of President Trump in the impeachment trial, mounting a politically charged case aimed more at swaying American voters than GOP senators — and damaging Trump’s possible 2020 opponent, Joe Biden."

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