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Christian charity provided money to Russians attending National Prayer Breakfast amid influence campaign: report

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The National Prayer Breakfast, a gathering of influential conservative elite, may have been the target of Russian agents, according to a review of federal records by The Young Turks.

A Christian charity associated with the event also reported expenses linked to Russians who attended the breakfast in 2017 and in other years, the TYT reports.

According to a court case against alleged Russian operative Maria Butina, the young Kremlin agent worked with a handler, Alexander Torshin, to infiltrate powerful right-wing institutions—such as the Prayer Breakfast.

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“[I]n furtherance of the conspiracy,” Butina’s plea deal says, “Butina helped [Torshin] organize a Russian delegation to the 2017 National Prayer Breakfast… [Torshin] directed Butina to include certain people.”

The Breakfast’s organizer, Doug Coe, has powerful allies on both sides of the political aisle. Hillary Clinton once said Coe is “a genuinely loving spiritual mentor and guide to anyone, regardless of party or faith.”

As the federal government continues to build its case against Butina, her strategy becomes more apparent: to meet influential conservatives through backdoor channels.

“As an alternative,” her plea deal says, “Butina suggested that Russia could use unofficial channels of communication to the same end.”

The National Prayer Breakfast—as well as the NRA—were both targeted.

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Columnist drops the hammer on ‘Stalinist’ GOP for running a bogus ‘show trial’ to exonerate Trump

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In a brutal column for the Daily Beast, longtime political observer Michael Tomasky went all-in on an attack on Republican senators for turning the impeachment trial of Donald Trump into a "Stalinist show trial" where the outcome is known before it even starts.

Reflecting on the impassioned case laid out by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) over the past three days, Tomasky wondered what it would take to get through to Republicans who seem uninterested in fulfilling their constitutional duties.

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‘Take her out!’ Leaked audio purportedly catches Trump demanding firing of Marie Yovanovitch

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An audio recording that has been reviewed by ABC News purportedly catches President Donald Trump demanding the firing of former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.

According to ABC News, the recording was made in April 2018, which was more than a year before Yovanovitch was finally ousted from her position. Additionally, ABC News reports that the recording was made by Igor Fruman, the now-indicted henchman of Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who captured the president's voice during a private dinner where he also met with Fruman's co-conspirator, Lev Parnas.

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Trump may win his impeachment trial battle and end up in even bigger trouble afterward: columnist

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In a column for Politico, senior media editor Jack Shafer claimed that President Donald Trump appears to be winning his Senate impeachment trial battle but that he is setting himself to lose the war in the long run.

According to the columnist, the president is likely responsible for directly coming up with his impeachment defense but also notes that he hasn't looked past the trial and what awaits him if he gets his wish and Senate Republicans dismiss the charges against him.

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