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Ex-CIA officer Phil Mudd: ‘The president can call us dogs, but he will never muzzle us’

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Former senior intelligence officials signed a letter standing in solidarity with former CIA director John Brennan after President Donald Trump revoked his security clearance.

“We feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House,” the letter said. “We know John to be an enormously talented, capable and patriotic individual who devoted his entire adult life to the service of this nation.”

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Ex-CIA officer Phil Mudd signed the letter and told CNN’s Jim Acosta exactly why.

“It’s pretty simple. Yesterday you saw the former faces of the intelligence community, people who did congressional testimony, people who might have appeared in clips on CNN. Today you see the people behind them,” Mudd said.

He continued: “My peers, the people of my generation and there’s one simple reason dozens of us signed up. They are Republicans, Democrats, people across the CIA signed on to this letter that just came out. In my career, we looked at adversaries an potential adversary such as China and Russia.”

“One of the characteristics of those adversaries or potential adversaries was people like Vladimir Putin, who tried to prevent their opponents from speaking and they used legal and illegal means to do so,” he said.

He added, “The president can call us dogs, but he will never muzzle us. The thing we served for, one of them was the right to speak in a democratic society. I don’t care about security clearances. This is not about security clearances, this is about people being told they cannot speak in a democratic society where we have the freedom to speak.”

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Watch the video below via CNN.

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Sondland is in ‘tremendous trouble’ no matter how he tries to change his testimony tomorrow: NYT columnist

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On Tuesday, in the wake of testimony from several witnesses in the impeachment hearing that broadly implicated EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland in improper backchannel foreign policy, New York Times columnist Wajahat Ali suggested that Sondland is in "tremendous trouble" — and that no testimony he could give tomorrow will get him out of this mess:

No. He will be trying to save himself. The perjury plus multiple stellar witnesses paint a damning portrait. He's in tremendous trouble. https://t.co/CxN5w0EErb

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Even the Republican witnesses make Donald Trump look like a depraved criminal

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The second half of Tuesday's hearing offered something new in the Donald Trump impeachment inquiry: Witnesses called by the Republican minority on the House Intelligence Committee. It's understandable why Republicans would want these two men.

One of them was Tim Morrison, a former National Security Council aide who is among the few people directly exposed to Trump's famous phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky who claims to believe there was nothing wrong with it. The other was Kurt Volker, a former special envoy to Ukraine, who appears to have been a major actor in Trump's extortion scheme in that country. Indeed, Volker was deemed one of the "three amigos" — along with Energy Secretary Rick Perry and Trump donor/EU ambassador Gordon Sondland — who Trump entrusted with Ukrainian relations as he exerted increasing pressure on the country's leaders to give into his extortion scheme.

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Impeachment: Trump’s ‘hearsay’ defense just crashed and burned

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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