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CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin provides roadmap for House Intel Democrats to expose Trump’s sketchy finances

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CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin wrote Friday that House Democrats are not just planning to step over Donald Trump’s supposed “red line” — but that they are going to “obliterate” it.

Toobin recalled in his New Yorker column that in 2017, the president told the New York Times that if special counsel Robert Mueller investigated his family finances, he’d be crossing a “red line.”

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It’s unclear whether Mueller has investigated Trump’s finances — but the president’s warnings against doing so did catch the attention of Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the Democrat poised to become chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

In an interview with Toobin, Schiff explained that his committee’s job is different from Mueller’s in one significant way: Congressional committees “are supposed to monitor the executive branch and expose wrongdoing.”

“The one that has always concerned me is the financial issues, which obviously have come much to the fore this week,” the congressman told the reporter soon after Trump’s former fixer Michael Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison for lying to Congress about Trump Tower Moscow.

“At the end of the day, what should concern us most is anything that can have a continuing impact on the foreign policy and national-security policy of the United States,” Schiff said, adding that “if the Russians were laundering money for the Trump Organization, that would be totally compromising.”

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The congressman, Toobin wrote, has hypothesized that Trump not only “went beyond using his campaign and the Presidency as a vehicle for advancing his business interests,” but also “shaped policy with an eye to expanding his fortune.”

Schiff will soon go from having an 11-person staff as ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee to directing 25 as its chairman — and will get to the bottom of whether his hypothesis is correct.

Read the entire interview via The New Yorker.

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The new Rambo movie is essentially a MAGA fever dream of bigotry

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"Rambo: Last Blood," the latest in the long-running franchise about a traumatized war veteran (Sylvester Stallone) turned on-demand badass, is less an escapist action movie and more a dramatized manifestation of the most notorious sentences from Donald Trump's presidential campaign announcement speech: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people." Even for a series that has always been shaped by a right wing worldview, the only reason for this latest sequel to exist — besides generating profits from die-hard Stallone fans — is to validate MAGA-world bigotries about Mexicans.This article first appeared in Salon.

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Corey Lewandowski, Stephen Miller and the wages of contempt in TrumpWorld

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One of the worst side effects of the Trump presidency is the unleashing upon the world of these squinty-eyed, shaved-head, pissy little monsters like Corey Lewandowski and Stephen Miller, providing them a platform where they can spread their hatred of and contempt for decency and democracy and all things right and just well beyond their lonely basements and bedrooms where they had heretofore been confined. Guys like them have always been with us. You can probably recall running across one or two of them in a civics class in high school or college, shooting their sweaty palms into the air from the back row, trying to be recognized so they could challenge one liberal shibboleth or another.

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Ex-DHS head Kirstjen Nielsen leaves Atlantic Ideas Festival stage after outrage from grassroots movement

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Grassroots outrage apparently led Kirstjen Nielson, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security, to bow out of the Atlantic Ideas Festival Friday—but it's unlikely to represent more than a Phyrric victory over the mainstreaming of the President Donald Trump administration.

Critics pointed to Nielsen's oversight of the department's acceleration of Trump's war on immigrants, including the administration's family separation policy.

"No one from Trump's administration should get a soft landing to sanitize their actions while supporting and pushing forward a white nationalist, fascist agenda," advocacy group CREDO Action said in a statement.

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