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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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The ‘War on Christmas’ was started more than 500 years ago — by Christians

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If it feels like the “War on Christmas” is getting really old, it is. Almost 15 years have passed since Bill O’Reilly first opened December with a segment called, “Christmas Under Siege”—ten long years in which his cadences and refrains and echoing chorus have become as familiar to most Americans as Handel’s Messiah. More familiar, in fact.

Not that O’Reilly invented the idea. During the 1920’s, Henry Ford’s newspaper published a series of anti-Semitic articles titled, “The International Jew: The World’s Foremost Problem.” Among the complaints:

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Surprise! IG report finds anti-Clinton bias at the FBI

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The Justice Department inspector general's report debunked President Donald Trump’s repeated claims that the FBI’s Russia probe was launched out of anti-Trump bias by FBI leaders. Conversely, it did find anti-Hillary Clinton bias among FBI agents.

Trump claimed for years that the FBI investigation was opened because of anti-Trump bias by FBI leaders, citing text messages sent between former top FBI counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok and former FBI lawyer Lisa Page that criticized him during the 2016 campaign. Inspector General Michael Horowitz concluded that neither Strzok nor Page were in a position to start an investigation into Trump’s campaign and concluded that the FBI probe was justified, refuting claims that the probe was opened because of bias by the FBI’s top officials.

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Here are 5 huge lies Republicans are telling about the new report on the Russia probe

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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz's new report on the origins of Crossfire Hurricane, commonly called the Russia investigation, blew up many of the right wing's favorite talking points and conspiracy theories about the FBI. At the same time, it exposed real failures of procedures meant to protect American citizens against undue surveillance and exposed the need for serious law enforcement reforms.

But most Republicans seem unfazed that the report undercuts President Donald Trump's repeated accusations of "treason" and a "witch hunt," and they show no genuine interest in pushing policy to generally make law enforcement more responsible. Instead, they're trying to pin the blame on the Obama administration and bias against Trump, even though these claims actually distract from the genuine problems uncovered.

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