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New Attorney General cracking down on unregistered foreign agents — like Paul Manafort: report

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Attorney General William Barr is leading a crackdown on unregistered foreign agents, The New York Times reported Wednesday.

“The move, one of the first significant initiatives under Attorney General William P. Barr, shows that the Justice Department has made a priority one of the targets pursued by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III: potential violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, which requires lobbyists and others to disclose any work they do to further the interests of foreign governments,” The Times reported. “Prosecutors had for decades mostly ignored such violations as lobbyists accepted millions of dollars from other nations.”

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Of interest, the new effort will be overseen by a former top prosecutor who had worked for special counsel Robert Mueller.

Brandon Van Grack, who was a deputy chief in DOJ’s counterespionage unit, will lead the new effort.

Van Grack was involved in the successful prosecutions of former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn.

Read the full report.

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Trump smears former Ukrainian ambassador as she delivers devastating testimony against him

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President Donald Trump on Friday lashed out at former United States ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch as she delivered devastating testimony about corruption within his administration.

"Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad," the president wrote. "She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her in my second phone call with him."

The president then asserted that he had the absolute right to fire any ambassador he wanted, before bragging about doing more to help Ukraine than former President Barack Obama ever did.

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‘Shame on her!’ Conservatives howl in rage after Marie Yovanovitch invokes diplomats killed at Benghazi

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Former Ukraine ambassador Marie Yovanovitch invoked the names of diplomats killed during a raid at Benghazi -- and online conservatives were furious.

The former ambassador testified in the second public hearing of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, and she invoked the memory of her slain colleagues to describe the sacrifices made by officials in the State Department.

"We honor these individuals," Yovanovitch testified. "They represent each one of you here and every American. These courageous individuals were attacked because they symbolized America. What you need to know, what Americans need to know, is that while thankfully most of us answer the call to duty in far less dramatic ways, every foreign service officer runs the same risks, and very often so do our families."

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GOP lawmakers will turn on Trump the moment the public leans a few more points towards impeachment: conservative

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According to Bulwark columnist Philip Rotner, GOP lawmakers for the moment are parroting Donald Trump's insistence that he is innocent of any wrongdoing with regard to withholding aid to Ukraine's president unless he was given political dirt on his political opponent, but that could quickly come to an end if certain key witnesses are allowed to testify.

As the conservative columnist noted, he previously said that the president would base his defense on the simple phrase "I didn't do it," and -- now that the impeachment hearings have started -- it appears the GOP is running with the president's spin.

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