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Rachel Maddow outlines how Trump’s new lawsuit will fail — but his lawyers will profit

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On Monday, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow dug into the lawsuit President Donald Trump filed in his personal capacity against House Oversight chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) to block public scrutiny of his personal finances. Her short explanation: the lawsuit is going to do nothing except let his lawyers buy nice things for their families.

“The law here ever since 1975, reaffirmed over and over again since then, is that even when Congress is terrible, even in the worst case scenario when Congress is being a bunch of freaking jerks, even when Congress plainly is issuing subpoenas in what is obviously terrible bad faith, even when they are at rock bottom in terms of their credibility and what they’re trying to do, they have absolute authority to do what they want to do,” said Maddow. “The courts may or may not like why a particular committee or subcommittee in Congress is seeking some kind of information. But they’re Congress. They are a coequal branch of government. They get to decide what they want to look into.”

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“And that clear precedent, that clear and unequivocal precedent, means that our president today did something desperate, that is, destined to fail and fail quickly, when the president today decided he was going to bring a personal lawsuit against Congress,” said Maddow.

“Even if it were a super far-fetched investigation that they were pursuing, what the case law in this area tells us is that the courts would still stay out of it,” Maddow continued. “But in this case, it’s not that far-fetched. I mean, the president’s longtime personal lawyer just testified to Congress under oath that President Trump committed multiple financial felonies, and he pointed them to the documents that would show evidence of that. Kind of seems like there might be a really good reason for Congress to see those records.”

“As much as I’m sure the president’s lawyers are enjoying the billable hours here, this lawsuit appears on track to fail and without much suspense,” Maddow said. “I’m not a lawyer. Don’t hire me for anything. But once the president did this today, we spoke with a number of people today who are lawyers, including experts in the field, and they told us … this is not an area of law where there is wiggle room.”

“This lawsuit may be an effort by the president to slow things down but it’s certainly not going to stop what Congress is doing,” Maddow concluded.

Watch below:

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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Shep Smith blasts autocrats in first public remarks since leaving Fox News — and donates $500,000 to protect journalists

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On Thursday, for the first time since exiting Fox News, reporter Shepard Smith gave public comments at the International Press Freedom Awards — and used the occasion to blast autocratic leaders who use their power to suppress journalism.

"Intimidation and vilification of the press is now a global phenomenon. We don’t have to look far for evidence of that,” said Smith. "Our belief a decade ago that the online revolution would liberate us now seems a bit premature, doesn’t it? Autocrats have learned how to use those same online tools to shore up their power. They flood the world of information with garbage and lies, masquerading as news. There’s a phrase for that."

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