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Grand jury examining whether Ryan Zinke lied to investigators: Washington Post

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U.S. prosecutors have started presenting evidence to a grand jury in Washington to examine whether former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke lied to federal investigators, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing two people familiar with the matter.

The Post said the deliberations were focused on Zinke’s refusal to grant a petition by two Native American tribes, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan, to operate a commercial casino in East Windsor, Connecticut.

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In response to the tribes’ efforts, competing casino operator MGM Resorts International, which opposed the planned casino, launched a lobbying campaign, The Post said.

The tribes alleged that Zinke refused the petition under political pressure. The Interior Department’s inspector general’s office conducted an investigation during which it came to believe that Zinke lied in the course of the inquiry.

The Department Of Justice did not immediately respond to a request for comment and Reuters could not reach Zinke.

Zinke stepped down as interior secretary at the end of 2018. There was no reason given for his departure when it was announced in mid-December, but he had faced scrutiny into his use of security details, chartered flights and a real estate deal in his home state of Montana.

Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Leslie Adler

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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Shep Smith blasts autocrats in first public remarks since leaving Fox News — and donates $500,000 to protect journalists

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On Thursday, for the first time since exiting Fox News, reporter Shepard Smith gave public comments at the International Press Freedom Awards — and used the occasion to blast autocratic leaders who use their power to suppress journalism.

"Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” said Smith. "Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that."

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