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Judge sets November trial for Trump adviser Stone

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A federal judge on Thursday set a criminal trial for U.S. President Donald Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone for Nov. 5, and cautioned the Republican political operative that he needed to comply with a gag order.

Stone, a self-proclaimed political “dirty trickster,” pleaded not guilty on Jan. 29 to lying to Congress, obstructing an official proceeding and witness tampering. Those charges were brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in its probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

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Stone is a longtime Trump ally who advised his campaign.

U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson had previously tightened a gag order limiting Stone’s public comments on the case after he posted a photo of her on his Instagram account next to an image resembling the crosshairs of a gun.

That order still stands, she told Stone at Thursday’s hearing on the case, but he must follow it. “I expect compliance,” Jackson said.

(Reporting by Andy Sullivan and Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Doina Chiacu and Alistair Bell)

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Audience breaks into applause as Vindman explains why he’s not afraid of testifying against Trump

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Republican efforts to undermine Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman apparently failed to persuade the audience in the impeachment hearing room.

The National Security Council staffer was showered with applause after reading the closing portions of his opening statement for a second time at the request of Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-NY).

"Can you read the last paragraph for me again, the second-to-last one, can you read that again for me?" Maloney said. "I think the American public deserves to have it again."

Vindman agreed, and said his father would probably appreciate that.

"Dad, my sitting here today in the U.S. Capitol, talking to our elected officials, is proof that you made the right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of a better life for our family," Vindman said. "Do not worry, I'll be fine for telling the truth."

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Schiff gives Republicans a lesson on fact witnesses after they complain officials haven’t used the word ‘bribery’

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As the impeachment inquiry into President Trump's alleged attempts to pressure Ukraine's government into investigating his political rivals continues, Democrats have shifted to characterizing Trump's actions as "bribery" to describe how he allegedly offered Ukraine military aid on the condition that its government investigate the Bidens.

In a bid to counter the Democrats’ narrative, some Republicans have pointed out that none of the witnesses have used the word “bribery” during the impeachment inquiry’s hearings. Today, House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) took a moment to clarify why that is.

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‘I did my job’: Lt. Col Vindman fends off Jim Jordan’s disrespectful attack on his service

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Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a national security aide, pushed back on suggestions made by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) that he failed to do his job correctly when he reported President Donald Trump's alleged attempted bribery of Ukraine's president.

At a House impeachment hearing, Jordan asked Vindman why he had gone to a attorney for an advice on Trump's behavior after he was unable to report it to a supervisor.

"You not only didn't go to your boss... you went straight to your lawyer," Jordan said.

"I did my core function, which is coordination," Vindman explained. "I spoke to the appropriate people within the inner-agency and then circling back around, [my attorney] told me not to talk to anybody."

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