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Devin Nunes is leading a small group of House intel Republicans to build a case against the FBI and DOJ: report

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In recent weeks, a small group of House Intelligence Committee Republicans have been meeting behind closed doors, secretly building a case against senior officials at the Justice Department and the FBI, Politico reports.

The group, headed by committee chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), is hoping to prove that senior leaders at the nation’s top agencies mishandled the infamous dossier alleging ties between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russian government. The group is functioning in tandem with the committee’s official investigation, but the GOP leaders have not yet informed Democrats of their efforts.

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According to Politico, Republicans are hoping to present a report next year that details what they see as corruption in the upper echelons of the U.S government. The GOP has long questioned the validity of the Trump dossier, and have repeatedly expressed frustration with the Justice Department’s reported use of those memos throughout the FBI’s investigation.

This isn’t the first time Nunes took his own creative liberty with the direction of the House intelligence committee’s probe. In April, Nunes—a former member of Trump’s transition team—temporarily stepped aside from leading that investigation. The House Ethics Committee had opened an investigation into the California Republican after he hastily arranged a press conference to accuse the Obama administration of improperly “unmasking” members of the Trump transition team. Despite his temporary recusal, Nunes continued to “unilaterally” issue subpoenas in the committee’s investigation.

He’s likewise publicly expressed frustration with the people running the investigation into Trump’s campaign.

“I hate to use the word corrupt, but they’ve become at least so dirty that who’s watching the watchmen?” Tunes asked on Fox News. “Who’s investigating these people?”

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“I think what we are seeing in our committee … is an effort to attack the Department of Justice, an effort to attack the FBI, to attack Bob Mueller, is an effort to undermine the investigations and these institutions out of fear of what they’ll find and try to discredit them in advance,” House intel committee ranking member Adam Schiff (D-CA) told Politico. “It’s a pernicious thing to do that will ultimately inflict long-term damage on these institutions.”

Nunes’ shadow investigation is in lock-step with the Trump orbit’s efforts to malign the FBI and special counsel investigation. Wednesday, Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., told a crowd of young conservative activists there are “people at the highest levels of government that don’t want to let America be America.”

Former CIA head ret. Gen. Mike Hayden called Trump Jr.’s rhetoric “scary.”

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“That is an appeal to the heart of autocracy and challenging the patriotism for the folks who work in the United States government,” Hayden told CNN’s Don Lemon. “We have good institutions in this country, they are imperfect, they make mistakes. We have imperfect people that send messages they shouldn’t send. But that doesn’t undercut the legitimacy of these institutions. We’re now seeing a constant attack, not just from the president but, as was suggested just a few minutes ago, from other members of the party, attacking institutions of the American government. It’s those institutions, the rule of law, the processes that keep us a free people.”

Hayden later assured Lemon despite the barrage of attacks from the Trump administration and people loyal to the president, America’s institutions are “actually” holding up pretty well.

“That sound you hear from Washington is actually the sound of American institutions pushing back—whether the law enforcement, the courts, the press, American intelligence, Don we’ve even had moments we have the NFL and boy scouts of America pushing back,” Hayden said.

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Bill de Blasio learned of federal investigation — and suspended his 2020 bid the next day: report

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Friday that he was ending his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

There may have been more to the timing than previously reported.

"Federal election officials asked Mayor de Blasio for more information about his presidential campaign fundraising after he used a state political action committee to pay for expenses related to the bid – seemingly against the law," the New York Daily News reported Friday. "The Federal Election Commission demanded that de Blasio 2020 clarify a debt the campaign owed his NY Fairness PAC in a letter Thursday – the day before Hizzoner dropped out of the race."

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White House Counsel busted working to keep whistleblower report from Congress: report

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President Donald Trump's White House counsel has reportedly been personally involved in keeping Congress from reviewing a whistleblowing report involving Ukraine.

"The revelation that Trump pushed Zelensky to pursue the Biden probe, which was first reported by The Wall Street Journal, represents the most detailed account so far of the president’s conduct that prompted a U.S. intelligence official to file a whistleblower action against the president," The Washington Post reported Friday. "The disclosure comes amid new details about the White House’s role in preventing Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire from complying with Congressional demands for the material in the complaint."

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Watch Ex-CIA official break down the ‘three crimes’ Trump committed if Ukraine scandal is true

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President Donald Trump could be charged with committing three federal crimes if the whistleblower reports involving the White House seeking campaign interference from Ukraine are correct.

MSNBC "Deadline: White House" anchor Nicolle Wallace interviewed Jeremy Bash on Friday -- and worried about the safety of the whistleblower.

"The stakes could not be any higher, the risk to his career -- or her career -- and reputation and perhaps legal standing could not be any higher for this whistleblower. That's why we’re glad to be joined by national security analyst, former chief of staff of the CIA and Department of Defense, someone I wanted to talk to about this story all week, Jeremy Bash," Wallace said.

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