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Damning details: Here’s exactly how the Trump administration made a secret deal with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska

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CNN’s John Avlon on Wednesday cobbled together some recent reporting about the Trump Treasury Department’s recent dealings with Russian oligarch and top Putin ally Oleg Deripaska — and it delivered a damning timeline of events.

Avlon started off by discussing a secret document obtained by the New York Times showing that Deripaska and his allies could actually benefit from a sanctions deal recently cut by the Trump administration that the paper says would “free [Deripaska] from hundreds of millions of dollars in debt while leaving him and his allies with majority ownership of his most important company.”

“The Treasury Department seems to be doing its damnedest to help a Russian oligarch by relieving sanctions, hiding the evidence and duping the Senate in the process,” Avlon explained.

He then detailed how Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin claimed that he was easing sanctions on Deripaska’s company in exchange for Deripaska slashing his stake in the firm.

“But there’s one problem — that wasn’t the real deal,” Avlon said. “Instead, there was a confidential document… that laid bare the generous terms being offered.”

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In the wake of the deal, Avlon pointed out, shares of Deripaska’s company “skyrocketed,” which “made the Putin pal even richer.”

To sum up, Avlon said that “it’s really just a stunning story” that the Trump team thought they could pull this off.

“After all the focus on Russian sanctions… they think they could get away with a secret deal,” he said.

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Trump thinks impeachment is over after House vote

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Following a vote by the Democratic House to table an effort by Rep. Al Green (D-TX) to approve articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, the president gloatingly told reporters "that's the end of it," and mocked the resolution as a "ridiculous project."

"The House of Representatives rejecting a bid to launch impeachment proceedings against President Trump, and President Trump declaring victory," reported CNN's Erin Burnett. "Telling reporters seconds ago 'We've just received an overwhelming vote against impeachment, and that's the end of it.' He went on to call it the 'most ridiculous project.' Riding high now over how the whole saga over his racist tweets is playing out."

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There are enough votes to impeach Trump if it comes to the floor: CNN’s April Ryan quotes congressman

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On Wednesday, the House voted 332 to 95 to table articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump brought forth by Rep. Al Green (D-TX). Democrats were divided, with 137 members agreeing to table the resolution. All 194 Republicans and independent Justin Amash also voted to do so.

But despite the resounding defeat for Green's measure, one congressman told CNN commentator and American Urban Radio Network director April Ryan that while many Democrats want to continue with investigations for the time being, he believes there would be enough votes to pass it if it actually made it to the floor.

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CNN

Pelosi slaps Trump with a backhanded compliment: ‘He’s a great distractor — that’s what this is about’

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House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday accused President Donald Trump of making a racist attack on four U.S. congresswomen to distract from failures in his administration.

At a press conference, Pelosi told the reporters that lawmakers were "gentle" in condemning only Trump's tweets as "racist" in a recent vote.

"We weren't saying he is racist," she explained. "We were saying that the words that he used were racist."

"We all know the argument that could be made against us in terms of our philosophy, in terms of our priorities and the rest," Pelosi said. "And the president knows there are arguments that could be made against him and, therefore, he wants to distract from them."

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