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Democrats need to ‘intensify’ demand for Trump’s taxes: columnist

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On Monday, Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent warned that Democrats need to intensify their demand for President Donald Trump’s tax returns.

Sargent explained that with the release of Attorney General Bill Barr’s summary of special counsel Robert Muellers’ report that now is the time for Democrats to continue putting pressure on Trump to release his tax returns.

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Trump claimed that Barr’s summary granted him “total exoneration.”

“Democrats should, if anything, be intensifying their effort to access Trump’s tax returns right now, not dragging their feet on it,” Sargent wrote.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] has delegated the job of getting at Trump’s tax returns to Rep. Richard E. Neal [D-Mass] the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee. Under the law, the committee can request any individual’s tax returns, after which the Treasury Department ‘shall’ furnish them,” the column said.

He explained that Neal is not acting with a sense of urgency to demand Trump’s tax returns. He noted that there is no precedent for how to go about it because previous presidents released them voluntarily.

He wrote, “Notably, the memo points out that while there is no precedent for seeking a president’s tax returns under this particular provision of the law, it’s because, for decades, presidents and presidential candidates voluntarily released them.”

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Sargent added, “Here’s the thing. The urgency of all these matters should not in any way be seen as diminished by the conclusion of the Mueller investigation. That’s because, even if no criminal charges were brought for conspiracy with Russia, the Mueller inquiry and its spinoffs have nonetheless added substantially to the broader case against Trump’s corruption.”

Read the full column here.

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Columnist nails Republicans for only caring about Hunter Biden now that his father is running for president

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One of the critical questions that must be answered by Republicans, according to one Washington Post columnist, is why they didn't care about Hunter Biden's position at Burisma for so many years.

In a Sunday piece, James Downie asked why Republicans didn't do anything about Hunter Biden five years ago when it was first revealed that vice president's son was on the board of a Ukraine energy company. The House and the Senate were being run by Republicans until this year. They haven't had problems with other partisan investigations against high-profile leaders. There were ten investigations into the Benghazi attacks, three hearings, 29 witnesses, and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testified for 11 hours. Yet, it was only after Joe Biden announced he was running against President Donald Trump that Republicans discovered an issue.

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Republican staffer caught spying on Democrats during Judiciary Committee meetings

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A Republican staffer from the Ways and Means committee was caught spying on Democrats during their work over the weekend.

According to a Judiciary Committee source, the female staffer was ultimately discovered and ran out of the committee room once it was discovered she was there, tweeted Olivia Beavers, a writer at "The Hill."

"A Judiciary source says the committee, which has been practicing for their Monday impeachment hearing this whole weekend, came across a female GOP Ways and Means staffer in the hearing room today, but that she ran out once discovered," she tweeted.

https://twitter.com/Olivia_Beavers/status/1203784487559213056

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New York Times editorial board asks Trump if he didn’t do anything wrong — why he won’t let witnesses testify

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The New York Times editorial board issued a scathing op-ed Sunday detailing the ways in which President Donald Trump is destroying one of the key branches of the United States government.

While many presidents battle with Congress, Trump has taken his "obvious contempt" to a whole new level. But if he was truly innocent of the accusations he's facing, then why is he hiding so much.

"If Mr. Trump is so clear in his own mind that he didn’t try to pressure the Ukrainian government to interfere in the 2020 election, why won’t he send the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to testify under oath that there was no quid pro quo?" asked The Times. "Instead, he has issued a blanket refusal to allow officials of his administration to testify or submit documents demanded by Congress. His approach is pitting Republican House members’ fealty to him against their respect for their own institution. They are making a fateful choice to diminish the House."

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