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Dem chairman batters Trump’s White House for blocking interviews with ex-staffers: ‘They’re basically stonewalling’

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The Trump administration has rebuffed efforts by House Democrats to interview former White House officials directly on at least two occasions, CNN reported Friday.

According to the report, the White House chided House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD), saying the panel should have contacted the White House instead of those ex-staffers directly.

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“At the center of one of the disputes is former chief of staff John Kelly, whose cooperation is central to Cummings’ investigation into the White House’s handling of security clearances, including Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner,” CNN reported. “Cummings’ staff reached out to Kelly directly by phone on multiple occasions, which prompted a stinging response from White House counsel Pat Cipollone.”

In a letter Cipollone sent to Cummings in late February, the White House counsel criticized the committee chairman for not consulting with him first — a move Cummings said was akin to “stonewalling.”

“Once again, these actions disregard my earlier request to the Committee regarding contacts with former or current White House officials,” Cipollone wrote. “Consulting with my office will ensure that the Committee efficiently obtains access to the information and individuals to which it is entitled and that any disclosure of privileged information to Congress is properly authorized.”

“The President’s lawyers, they know that’s not accurate. It’s not accurate,” Cummings said. “So they’re basically stonewalling. That’s what it is.”

The House Oversight chairman told CNN the committee still has not spoken to Kelly.

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“They block us from everything,” he said.

The report added that House Oversight aides said earlier in March that the White House “refused three times to confirm or deny that a memo from Kelly on White House security clearances even existed.”


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Derek Chauvin accused of illegally voting in Florida — where he was allegedly registered as a Republican

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Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been accused of committing felony voter fraud in Florida.

Dan Helm, a candidate for Supervisor of Elections in Pinellas County, sent a letter to the State Attorney of Orange County outlining the allegations.

"I write to inform you that, Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd in Minnesota, voted in Orange County Floriday in 2016 and 2018 as a registered Republican," Helm wrote to Aramis Ayala.

He said he discovered the information in the voter file.

"While living in Minnesota, working there, paying taxes there, Derek Chauvin cannot claim residency in Orange County. His home, residency and where he intends to live is in Minnesota, not Florida," he charged. "This is a violation of our election laws, specifically Fla. Stat. 104.011 (2)."

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Justin Trudeau dons mask to attend anti-racism protests — and takes a knee in solidarity

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While President Donald Trump refuses to wear a coronavirus mask and demanded "no kneeling" on Friday, there was a far different scene developing in Canada.

"Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knelt on the ground as part of a crowd gathered on Parliament Hill Friday afternoon, in solidarity with anti-racism demonstrators protesting police killings of Black people," CTV News reported Friday. "The demonstration is one of multiple events in Canada, following days of demonstrations against racism and police brutality in numerous American cities."

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Texas man threatens protesters with chainsaw — while shouting the n-word

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