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US court lets Congress members sue Trump over foreign payments

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A federal court on Friday refused to immediately dismiss a lawsuit accusing President Donald Trump of violating a constitutional anti-corruption provision by accepting foreign payments through his hotels and businesses without the permission of the U.S. Congress.

U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan in Washington said in a 58-page ruling that lawmakers who brought the suit had legal standing to sue the president for allegedly flouting the U.S. Constitution’s “emoluments” clause, which prevents federal officeholders from accepting presents and other benefits from foreign governments without the “consent” of Congress.

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The lawsuit, filed in June 2017, is the third constitutional challenge to Trump’s business interests while in office, but it is notable because the plaintiffs are themselves members of Congress.

U.S. District Judge Peter Messitte in Greenbelt, Maryland, has allowed a similar lawsuit to move forward, but in December 2017 a judge in Manhattan threw out yet another case, which is now on appeal.

The members of Congress involved in the suit are all Democrats but also include Senator Bernie Sanders, an independent who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. They are represented by the Constitutional Accountability Center, a Washington-based liberal legal organization.

Reporting by Andrew Chung; Editing by Sandra Maler

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California offers to reimburse Trump for abortions — but he has to free the women from non-disclosure agreements

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The state of California is offering to reimburse President Donald Trump for any abortions he's paid for in the state, but there's a catch.

On Friday, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a "notice of violation" against the state for mandating universal abortion coverage in health insurance plans sold in the state, which the administration claims is "unlawful discrimination."

“Once again, President Trump’s administration is delivering on his promise to protect human life and all Americans’ freedom of conscience,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement.

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2020 Election

Elizabeth Warren wins coveted Iowa caucuses endorsement from the Des Moines Register newspaper

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Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) received a coveted endorsement on Saturday evening when her 2020 bid was endorsed by the Des Moines Register newspaper.

"Who would make the best president at this point in the country’s history? At a time when the economic deck has become so stacked against working Americans that the gap between rich and poor is the highest in more than 50 years? At a time when a generation of war has stressed military families and sapped the treasury?" the newspaper asked. "The Des Moines Register editorial board endorses Elizabeth Warren in the 2020 Iowa Democratic caucuses as the best leader for these times."

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Lev Parnas’s attorney hilariously trolls Mitch McConnell in bid for witnesses during impeachment trial

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The attorney for Lev Parnas trolled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Saturday in a bid for a "fair" impeachment trial.

Attorney Joseph Bondy posted to Twitter a video mashing together the audio of Trump meeting with Parnas and Igor Fruman along with the music from Rick Astley's 1987 song "Never Gonna Give You Up."

Posting the song as an online prank, known as rickrolling, dates back to at least 2007.

Included with the video was a message to McConnell and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC). Bondy urged the two to "vote with integrity and conscience."

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