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House Intel leaked sensitive Russia testimony to Trump’s longtime personal lawyer

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President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen reportedly received information from people within the House Intelligence Committee.

The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Cohen, the lawyer at the heart of the Trump-Stormy Daniels debacle who was named in the Fusion GPS dossier, had attained information that had only been revealed in closed-door testimony.

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David Kramer, a former staffer for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) involved in the dossier’s initial release to the FBI, testified before the committee in late December about the salacious document. Days later, his lawyer received a call from a man named Stephen Ryan, Cohen’s representative attorney.

Ryan informed Kramer’s lawyer, Larry Robbins, that he’d heard the dossier contained information that could help Cohen — and asked if he’d be willing to share that information with him. Robbins chose not to, prompting Cohen’s lawyer to ask him not to tell the committee about the call.

“Robbins told the committee anyway,” the Beast reported, noting that soon after, “CNN reported in February that Robbins wrote a letter to the committee complaining about leaks to another client’s lawyer.”

That lawyer, their report confirms, was one that represented Cohen.

The dossier is a cornerstone of an argument by GOP members of the House Intelligence Committee claiming there were abuses that took place in the process of obtaining warrants to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, who had been under FBI watch since at least 2014 for his ties to Russia. Republicans on the committee, which is led by White House ally Devin Nunes (R-CA), wrote and pushed the release of a partisan memo last month claiming the FBI primarily used the dossier to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrants for Page while he worked for the Trump campaign.

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Written by former British spy Christopher Steele, the dossier alleges, among other claims, that Cohen was instrumental in ultimately unsuccessful plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow that coincided with the president’s campaign in 2015 and 2016. The dossier also reportedly details collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.


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American exceptionalism is killing the planet

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Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

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Joni Ernst accused of involvement in ‘dark money’ re-election scheme: report

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According to a report from the Associated Press, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has been accused of illegally working with an outside group to help her re-election prospects in a tough 2020 fight with Donald Trump on the ballot.

According to AP: "An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law."

"Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign," the report continued. "And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her."

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Mike Pompeo under increasing scrutiny as as Trump impeachment ramps up: report

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On Saturday, WVAS Radio's Scott Simon profiled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — and how the impeachment investigation is shaping his political situation.

"As the impeachment inquiry against President Trump continues its march through Congress, questions are churning around his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo," wrote Simon. "For example, did he know, as witnesses testified before House investigators, that President Trump sought political favors from Ukraine in exchange for millions in U.S. assistance? Why did he take days to reveal he was on the now infamous July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy? And does he believe allies of the president who — despite the findings of the intelligence community — claim that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election?"

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