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Attorney Alex Van der Zwaan pleads guilty in Mueller probe of Trump-Russia collusion

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A London-based attorney pleaded guilty Tuesday afternoon in the special probe of Trump campaign ties to Russia, according to CNN’s Marshall Cohen.

Alex Van der Zwaan admitted to lying to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators and FBI agents about his contacts with a former Trump campaign associate and another person about his work for Ukrainian politician Yulia Tymoshenko.

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The attorney was hired by Paul Manafort more than five years ago to draft a report for his pro-Kremlin client Viktor Yanukovych to justify the jailing of a political rival.

Van der Zwaan, whose father-in-law German Khan was named in the Steele dossier, pleaded guilty to lying about the last time he’d spoken with Rick Gates, a former Trump campaign associate and longtime Manafort lieutenant, and a second, unnamed person.

Court documents show Van der Zwaan said he last spoke with Person A in 2014, when they discussed the unnamed person’s family, but investigators say the attorney recorded a phone call between the pair in September 2016 about legal work for Tymoshenko.

Van der Zwaan was accused of secretly recording that call and destroying a follow-up email that same month.

He was also accused of lying to FBI and special counsel investigators about his last conversation with Gates, in mid-August 2016.

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Van der Zwaan was charged Friday, the same day Mueller indicted 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies in connection with efforts to influence the U.S. presidential election.

Gates is expected to plead guilty to money laundering and other charges in the probe.

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BUSTED: Trump’s White House sent out anti-Vindman talking points — trashing their own staffer

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President Donald Trump's war on his own employees escalated on Tuesday when the White House spread talking points designed to result in a coordinated attack on a decorated active-duty Army officer.

"The Trump White House has taken the extraordinary step of distributing talking points to allies of the president trashing one of its employees," The Daily Beast reported after obtaining a copy of the document.

"On Tuesday morning, White House aide Julia Hahn emailed Trump surrogates under the subject line, “Vindman’s Complaints Are Nothing More Than Policy Disagreements,” according to messages reviewed by The Daily Beast. Hahn, a Steve Bannon protege and one of his former allies in the White House, works on outreach and communications involving pro-Trump talking heads and other players in conservative media," The Beast reported.

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Don Lemon notes the GOP panic after their own witnesses gave testimony harming Trump: ‘Worried much?’

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CNN anchor Don Lemon explained how witnesses called by Republicans in the impeachment inquiry destoryed the defenses employed by President Donald Trump and his allies.

"Now, let's just be honest, the shakedown -- that's exactly what it is -- the shakedown is exposed, people," Lemon said.

"And the evidence comes from the Republican's own witnesses," he noted. "The former envoy to Ukraine, Kurt Volker -- who resigned just one day after the release of the whistleblower's report -- telling the president's defenders exactly what they did not want to hear."

"They called him apparently expecting him to say what he said in his closed-door testimony, that he saw no evidence of a quid pro quo, or let's call it for what it is again -- a shakedown," he continued. "Well, now he says he was wrong."

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Trump declares it was a ‘great day for the GOP’ — and is mercilessly ridiculed for his absurd claim

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President Donald Trump responded to the end of the day's impeachment hearings by saying that it was a great day for the Republican Party and for the United States. There were many people who disagreed, however.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1196958035127783427

Every person who testified before Congress has said that Trump's obsession with Joe Biden was concerning enough to alert others. Even National Security Council aide Tim Morrison stressed that he didn’t believe there was anything inappropriate about the call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. But when Rep. Val Demmings (D-FL) asked him why then he felt the need to report it if there was nothing wrong, Morrison struggled to find an answer.

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