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House Democrats working to obtain Trump’s tax returns – will ‘take all necessary steps’: Report

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The House Ways and Means Committee is working to obtain multiple years of President Donald Trump’s tax returns and will “take all necessary steps,” including litigation, to do so, according to an NBC News exclusive report.

“Every day the American people and Congress learn more about President Trump’s improprieties, from conflicts of interest to influence peddling, potential tax evasion and violations of the Constitution — all roads leading back to President Trump’s finances,” Ashley Etienne, spokeswoman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, said, explaining the reasons that “give the House legitimate legislative, oversight and legal reasons to review the President’s tax returns.”

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The Ways and Means Committee is the only one that has authority to directly request the President’s tax returns, but Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) “has also contacted the chairs of several other House investigative committees, including Oversight and Government Reform, Financial Services, Intelligence and Judiciary, asking them to provide detailed arguments for why they need the president’s tax returns to conduct their probes.”

On Wednesday in an open hearing watch by many Americans Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) specifically asked Michael Cohen if the House should be looking at Trump’s taxes. He said yes.

“Her clear and purposeful line of questioning, which appeared to lay the groundwork for the committee to subpoena the president’s tax returns while capturing the names of those in Trump’s inner circle who may know details of his financials, was widely praised,” Mother Jones reported.

There is one problem Democrats may need the courts to resolve.

“Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, whose department has authority over the IRS, will decide whether or not to grant the request,” NBC notes.

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There are 51 votes to approve calling witnesses in Trump impeachment trial: report

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After pieces of John Bolton's manuscript leaked to the press confirming President Donald Trump's bribery of Ukraine, Republicans have turned to support the witnesses they once opposed.

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) both voted against witnesses and were leaning against them until Bolton's manuscript was leaked to the press after it was turned over to the White House for approval.

PBS News Hour reporter Lisa Desjardins tweeted Monday evening that the news tipped the scales and there were officially 51 votes to approve witnesses.

https://twitter.com/LisaDNews/status/1221951089647538177

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CNN

‘Give me a break’: CNN analyst explains why Trump defense of Rudy Giuliani was terrible

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While the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump paused for a dinner break, CNN analysts responded to the White House's afternoon defense of the president was by blaming the Biden family.

Political commentator Gloria Borger noted that Trump lawyer, Eric Herschmann, going after former President Barack Obama just seemed desperate.

"Give me a break," she said. "What does that have to do with any of this right now? His defense boiled down to, 'He did it, so what? He did it. He was trying to root out corruption.' But if he was concerned about rooting out corruption, why haven't we seen more of that? His defense was, 'He had a reason to do it. It's OK. Therefore it was in the national interest.' This wasn't just about Joe Biden."

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2020 Election

State Department retaliated against NPR by kicking reporter off Mike Pompeo’s plane: report

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The U.S. State Department appears to be retaliating against National Public Radio (NPR) after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suffered a caught-on-tape meltdown following an interview with NPR "All Things Considered" co-host Mary Louise Kelly.

According to PBS "Newshour" reporter Nick Schifrin, the State Department kicked NPR diplomatic correspondent Michele Kelemen off of Pompeo's jet.

"State Department removes NPR’s Michele Kelemen from Sec. Pompeo plane--where she was scheduled for a pool radio rotation--during upcoming trip to London, Kiev," Schifrin reported.

AFP State Department correspondent Shaun Tandon blasted the move on behalf of the State Department Correspondent's Association.

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