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Another Republican lawmaker will not seek re-election after sex harassment claim

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Republican U.S. Representative Patrick Meehan, who used taxpayer money to settle a former staffer’s sexual harassment claim, will not run for re-election, a spokesman for House Speaker Paul Ryan said on Thursday.

Meehan told Ryan of his decision not to run on Thursday, Ryan spokesman Doug Andres said.

Meehan, 62, who has represented his southeastern Pennsylvania district since 2011, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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On Saturday, Ryan removed Meehan from the House Ethics Committee after the New York Times published an article saying Meehan used thousands of dollars of taxpayer funds to settle a sexual misconduct claim from a former female aide who accused him of making unwanted romantic overtures.

Meehan, a married father of three, has said in subsequent media interviews that he considered the aide, who is three decades younger than him, his “soul mate,” but he has denied harassing her.

In recent months, a wave of women and men have accused high-powered men in entertainment, the news media and government of harassment or abuse.

Two other congressmen, Democrat Ruben Kihuen and Republican Blake Farenthold, have said they will not seek re-election next year after they were the subject of sexual misconduct accusations. Both have denied the allegations.

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Former Democratic Senator Al Franken of Minnesota, Democratic Representative John Conyers and Republican Representative Trent Franks resigned from Congress following misconduct allegations. Those lawmakers have also denied the allegations.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh and Lisa Shumaker)

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Trump demands Ukraine whistleblower testify as impeachment inquiry heats up

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Donald Trump demanded Monday that a whistleblower whose warning about the US president's call with Ukraine triggered the impeachment inquiry against him be identified and testify before Congress.

As the president menaced the person who exposed his potential wrongdoing, Trump faced a new setback with his former top Russia advisor, Fiona Hill, sitting for a closed-door deposition Monday before Capitol Hill lawmakers.

Hill served in the National Security Council but left the administration shortly before Trump's July 25 call with his Ukrainian counterpart Volodymyr Zelensky.

Democrats expect her to share her concerns about Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal, including his ouster of the US ambassador to Kiev Marie Yovanovitch, who testified to Congress last week.

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‘Tighter’: Actress Ellen Barkin praises women impeachment witnesses who have Trump’s ‘balls in their fist’

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Actor and producer Ellen Barkin on Monday celebrated the women who have testified against President Donald Trump in the House impeachment inquiry.

Writing on Twitter, Barkin made reference leaked audio in which Trump said that he could grab women by the genitals because he was famous. She also praised former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and former White House aide on Russia Fiona Hill, who are cooperating with House Democrats and the impeachment proceedings.

"Not gonna be much pussy grabbin with his balls in their fists," Barkin wrote on Monday.

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Bill Barr slammed for his ‘incredibly disturbing’ — and false — attack on secularism

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During a speech at Notre Dame’s law school this Friday, US Attorney General William Barr disparaged the rising tide of secularism in America, saying that a lack of religion is tied to societal ills like violence and drug abuse.

“Basically every measure of this social pathology continues to gain ground,” Barr said, adding that problems in society are the result of “moral upheaval.”

“Along with the wreckage of the family, we are seeing record levels of depression and mental illness, dispirited young people, soaring suicide rates, increasing numbers of angry and alienated young males, an increase in senseless violence and a deadly drug epidemic,” he continued.

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