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French Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson dies at 89

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Robert Faurisson, a former French academic who was convicted several times for claiming there was no systematic mass killings of Jews by Nazi Germany, has died aged 89 in his hometown of Vichy, central France, his sister and his editor said Monday.

British-born Faurisson was also a staunch defender of Marshal Philippe Petain, the Vichy French leader who collaborated with Nazi occupiers of the country during World War II.

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He “had just returned from England when he collapsed in the hallway of his home in Vichy” on Sunday evening, his sister Yvonne Schleiter told AFP.

A former professor of French literature at the University of Lyon, Faurisson maintained that the gas chambers in Auschwitz were the “biggest lie of the 20th century”, saying deported Jews died instead of disease and malnutrition.

He also contested the authenticity of the diary of Anne Frank, the Dutch girl who managed to hide with her family from the Nazis for years before being caught and sent to concentration camps.

After France passed a law in 1990 making Holocaust denial a crime, Faurisson was repeatedly prosecuted and fined for his writings.

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He was dismissed from his academic post in 1991.

French historian Valerie Igounet, who wrote a book about him, branded him a “anti-Semitic forger” who “lusted after scandal”.

“He never stopped applying methods of interpretation and of the reading of historical documents in total contradiction with scientific method,” she said.

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In 2012, Faurisson received a prize from Iran’s president at the time, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his “courage, resistance and fighting spirit” in contesting the Holocaust.

In 2008, he became close to French comedian and political activist Dieudonne, who has also been convicted for anti-Semitic insults.

© 2018 AFP

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Trump’s new argument: He’s immune from all criminal investigation in new tax return lawsuit

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Lawyers for President Trump argue that the president is immune from all criminal investigations in a new federal lawsuit seeking to block New York prosecutors from obtaining his tax returns.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Trump sued his longtime accounting firm Mazars USA and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Thursday, after Vance's office subpoenaed the firm to demand eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax returns.

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HBO’s ‘Real Time’ panel provides roadmap for Democrats to get DNI’s Ukraine report and speed-up impeachment

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During the "Overtime" segment of HBO's "Real Time," Bill Maher and his guests took up the problems the Democrats are having acquiring Donald Trump'stax returns as well as other documents they need if they are going to impeach the president.

Responding to a question over whether the state of New York will indict the president, the conversation turned to prosecutors seeking Trump's taxes.

According to presidential historian Tim Naftali, there is precedent allowing the acquisition.

"Is it really that hard to get somebody's frigging, f*cking taxes? " host Bill Maher asked.

"Actually, there is a precedent," Naftali explained. "If the House started on the impeachment hearings, they could act on the precedent of 1974, where Nixon's taxes were turned over to the impeachment committee. So there is a precedent, but they have to make the decision that they are having an impeachment inquiry."

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2020 Election

Trump slams ‘partisan’ whistleblower, Biden pushes back

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US President Donald Trump on Friday vigorously rejected a whistleblower's claim of wrongdoing, amid reports he used a call with Ukraine's president to pressure him to investigate the son of Trump's Democratic rival Joe Biden.

The whistleblower's secret complaint has triggered a tense showdown between Congress, whose Democratic leaders are demanding to review the complaint, and the executive branch which has barred them from doing so.

It has also raised concerns Trump sought to strong-arm Ukraine into providing damaging information on the president's possible 2020 challenger, which would represent dangerous foreign meddling in the US election -- similar to the interference blamed on Russia in 2016, when Trump defeated Hillary Clinton.

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