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Trump’s SOTU attacks on investigations look like a desperate Hail Mary to escape political doom

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The most memorable line from President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address was his warning to Democrats that he would not work with them on legislation unless they agreed to drop investigations into his administration.

“If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation,” the president said on Tuesday. “It just doesn’t work that way!”

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So far, it looks like many Democrats and other political observers are laughing off Trump’s warning as a desperate Hail Mary pass to avoid meeting his political doom.

MSNBC’s Steve Benen, for instance, observes that the president’s decision to attack investigations in his State of the Union shows that “Donald Trump is afraid of what investigations might produce.”

Republican strategist Rick Wilson, meanwhile, writes that Trump’s pleas to not investigate him are a sign of obvious desperation that demonstrate just how much he is worried about what the multiple probes swirling around him and his associates will turn up.

“Trump knows his legal peril grows by the day, and he’s struggling to pry it off him while there might still be time,” Wilson writes. “Robert Mueller wasn’t in the House chamber tonight, but Trump’s odd performance and shambolic affect tells you the president felt the special counsel’s presence.”

Similarly, Trump’s political opponents did not appear to be fazed by the president’s threats to veto their legislation unless they backed off investigating him.

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Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) literally laughed off Trump’s warning during a CNN appearance on Wednesday.

“He’s scared — he’s got something to hide!” Schumer told CNN’s John Berman. “Because if he had nothing to hide, he’d just shrug his shoulders and let these investigations go forward.”

If Trump seriously hoped he could scare off investigators with threats during his big speech on Tuesday, the reaction so far indicates his plan is backfiring.

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‘Smoking gun so hot it’s still on fire’: Ex-US Attorney astonished by text shown in Vindman testimony

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A former U.S. Attorney says Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman has delivered "smoking gun" evidence of a quid pro quo arrangement between President Donald Trump and Ukraine.

The National Security Council staffer told a House impeachment inquiry that he was aware of -- and alarmed by -- efforts as early as March to pressure Ukraine to announce an investigation of Joe Biden and his son, which he believed were conducted to deliver a political benefit the president.

The counsel for House Democrats then showed a text sent 30 minutes before Trump's July 25 call to Ukraine's president Volodymyr Zelensky, which shows the special envoy Kurt Volker dangling a White House visit to a Zelensky aide in exchange for an investigation.

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‘Perfectly impeachable’: George Conway says Vindman and Williams testimony is ‘absolutely devastating’ for Trump

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On Tuesday, as Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams testified publicly about their knowledge of the Ukraine scandal, conservative lawyer George Conway called the testimony "devastating" for President Donald Trump — and proclaimed his conduct both impeachable and criminal.

This testimony, from two witnesses to the July 25 call, is absolutely devastating. That call was absolutely “perfect,” all right—perfectly impeachable.

And criminal.

— George Conway (@gtconway3d) November 19, 2019

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Former Obama officials torch Trump’s press secretary for ‘bald-faced lie’ about leaving mean notes

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham on Tuesday told a tall tale about Obama officials -- and now many of them are calling her out for it.

While talking to reporters, Grisham alleged that Obama staffers in January 2017 left notes that read, "You will fail" for Trump officials.

The story immediately raised suspicions among reporters who were skeptical that such notes would have remained a secret for nearly three years, especially given how leak-prone the Trump White House has been.

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