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House Intel Dem slams GOP for holding up investigations in last-ditch effort to protect Trump

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California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, who sits on the House Intelligence Committee, said she was losing patience with her Republican colleagues for refusing to name members to the committee, and thereby holding up congressional investigations, many of which focus on President Donald Trump and his associates.

“It should be of no surprise to anyone that they are dragging their feet,” Speier said. “They do not want this committee to start its work and at some point, we’re going to lose our patience and have to do something more dramatic if they don’t actually appoint their members and allow the committee to organize and get started.”

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Speier went on to say the Republican recalcitrance was holding up the work of the committee.

“We really cannot do any work,” she said. “Subpoenas can not be issued, to my knowledge. There is no path forward for us to reinstitute the investigation until they organize on their side.” She added that Republicans were “doing their level best to try to prevent” Trump associate Michael Cohen and others from testifying publicly, but predicted that they would fail.

“We want this to be a very transparent and open committee, something that we really haven’t seen during the Republican control of that committee,” Speier said. “We will attempt to have as many hearings that are open as possible and make sure that the public is aware of as much as we can provide them.”

Watch the video below.

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The hammer will fall during the Trump impeachment hearings — only if you believe in magic

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Whether you want the hammer to come down on Donald Trump or finally get the chance to dismiss the whole impeachment inquiry as wrongheaded, the hammer may fall this week if you believe in magic.

Wednesday is Opening Day for the Democrats’ assault on the White House, a chance for House Intelligence Committee members led by Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) to put the Ukraine impeachment case against Trump in public view.

The idea among Democrats, of course, is that because people refuse to read, public hearings will take the testimony from former ambassadors and national security people out from the shadows and into the light, where all can hear directly from these witnesses, adjudge their independence and credibility and move toward a declaration of impeachment. Schiff said public hearings will show "the most important facts are largely not contested" related to Trump's use of "illicit" means to secure damaging information on his political rivals.

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Dutch man arrested for ‘Black Pete’ suicide bomb threat

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Dutch police have arrested a man who threatened in a social media post to blow himself up over plans to sideline "Black Pete", a Christmas-time character provoking accusations of racist stereotyping.

The arrest is the latest controversy over the country's traditional Saint Nicholas side kick, portrayed in winter parades and by many Dutch children with a black face, thick red lips, woolly hair and a golden earring.

"A 49-year-old man from The Hague was arrested Monday afternoon after he threatened to blow himself up in support of the Saint Nicholas tradition," police said in a statement.

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Trump’s claim on halting Ukraine aid contradicted by Pentagon official Laura Cooper

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According to a new report from The Daily Beast, after the Pentagon's June announcement that it would give Ukraine $250 million in aid, Defense Department officials received a list of questions, seemingly originating from President Trump, seeking information about the aid.

“We got a question from my chain of command forwarded down from the chief of staff, I believe, from the Department of Defense, asking for a follow-up on a meeting with the President,” top Pentagon official Laura Cooper testified on Capitol Hill last month. “The way the email was phrased, it said follow-up from POTUS meeting, so follow-up from a meeting with the President. So, you know, I'm thinking that the questions were probably questions from the President. That's how I interpreted that subject line.”

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