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REVEALED: Leaked audio outs Boeing executives for ignoring pilots demands on 737 Max

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On Tuesday, The New York Times reported that before the Ethiopian Airlines crash, pilots urged Boeing executives to push the Federal Aviation Administration to issue an emergency airworthiness directive for the 737 Max’s Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS), only for it to fall on deaf ears.

“My question to you, as Boeing, is why wouldn’t you say this is the smartest thing to do?” said American Airlines pilot and union official Michael Michaelis on a leaked audio recording of the meeting in November, just after the Lion Air crash. “Say we’re going to do everything we can to protect that traveling public in accordance with what our pilots unions are telling us … These guys didn’t even know the damn system was on the airplane, nor did anybody else.”

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Boeing vice president Mike Sinnett said “You’ve got to understand that our commitment to safety is as great as yours,” but declined to do as Michaelis asked, saying that pilots now had the advance warning and training necessary to handle the system as is. He also added, “We don’t want to rush and do a crappy job of fixing the right things and we also don’t want to fix the wrong things … For flight-critical software, I don’t think you want us to rush, rush it faster.”

Boeing declined to comment on the recording.

MCAS is an anti-stalling system that is designed to correct for the 737 Max’s unique weight distribution. While the investigation into the fatal Lion Air and Ethiopian crashes is not yet complete, it is speculated that in both cases, MCAS overcorrected and pitched down the planes after takeoff, with the pilots unable to work out how to disable the system.

An emergency airworthiness directive had already been issued for MCAS after Lion Air, requiring that manuals instruct pilots how to handle malfunctions of the system. But pilots also wanted Boeing to push the FAA to issue a second directive to upgrade the faulty software itself, something that they were reportedly unwilling to do as it would temporarily ground the aircraft.

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George Conway: GOP senators are right to fear John Bolton’s ‘devastating’ testimony

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President Donald Trump's lawyers made no mention of John Bolton in their opening statement -- but his testimony could blow up their impeachment defense.

Bolton submitted the manuscript for his new book to the White House last month for review, which likely means that at least some of the president's legal team were aware of the former national security adviser's claims, wrote attorney George Conway for the Washington Post.

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Legal experts: Donald Trump cannot use ‘executive privilege’ to block John Bolton testimony

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It remains to be seen whether or not Republicans in the U.S. Senate will vote to include testimony from witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, including former National Security Adviser John Bolton — who has said that he would testify if subpoenaed. Trump has asserted that he will invoke executive privilege if Bolton or any other national security officials are called to testify. But according to an article for Just Security written by six contributors (Harold Hongju Koh, Rosa Hayes, Annie Himes, Dana Khabbaz, Michael Loughlin and Mark Stevens), U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts “should reject any such executive privilege claim” and “require Bolton’s testimony.”

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GOP Sen. Ron Johnson: ‘My guess’ is John Bolton is telling truth about Trump and Ukraine

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who once personally lobbied President Donald Trump to release the hold on military aid to Ukraine, seemed to give former national security adviser John Bolton some credibility while talking with reports on Monday.

Politico's Kyle Cheney reports that Johnson said that "my guess is John Bolton tells the truth," although he said he still wanted to hear the Trump administration's full case and also questioned the "exquisite" timing of the leak about Bolton's upcoming book, in which he reportedly says Trump told him he was holding up military aid to Ukraine until it agreed to launch an investigation into former Vice President Joe Biden.

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