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White House takes stonewalling to new level — and instructs 81 Trump associates to ignore Congress: report

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The Trump White House on Wednesday took its stonewalling of Congress to a new level.

The Washington Post’s Rachael Bade reports that the White House has told the House Judiciary Committee that it is “instructing folks not to comply with the doc requests sent to 81 Trump allies and affiliates” by Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY) earlier this year.

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In a letter sent to Nadler, White House attorneys accused the House Judiciary Chairman of trying to have a “do-over” of the Mueller investigation while also arguing Congress has no right to investigate the executive branch for how it exercises its powers.

“Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized ‘do-over’ of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice,” the letter said.

It is Department of Justice policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted, which leaves Congress as the only institution that is capable of holding the president liable for criminal wrongdoing while he is serving in the White House.

Read the whole letter below.

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Rudy Giuliani urged Justice Dept to go easy on wealthy Venezuelan client: report

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Rudy Giuliani told U.S. prosecutors that his wealthy Venezuelan client deserved leniency in a criminal investigation, according to his indicted associate Lev Parnas and others.

Alejandro Betancourt, who's reportedly an unindicted co-conspirator in a money laundering case, introduced President Donald Trump's lawyer to the father of Venezuela’s opposition leader Juan Guaido, reported Reuters.

Betancourt told Guiliani at a meeting in Spain that he secretly bankrolled Guaido’s efforts to take over leadership of Venezuela, according to four people familiar with the situation.

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Get ready for Enron II: Republicans are re-opening the energy market to underhanded dealing

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Neil Chatterjee, head of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, is taking our nation back to pre-Enron days when the commission was so weak it didn’t even explicitly prohibit manipulating energy markets.

Under Chatterjee, a former Mitch McConnell aide, the number of new investigations was halved – to 12 – in fiscal 2019, compared with the previous year. The commission reached just two settlement agreements for $14 million, a sixth or less of the annual average for penalties since 2007.

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Newly released emails show White House prepared to freeze Ukraine aid hours before Trump’s phone call

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White House budget officials were preparing to freeze aid to Ukraine the night before President Donald Trump's infamous July 25 phone call to the country's new president, according to newly released emails.

The Office of Management and Budget handed over nearly 200 pages of records related to the president's actions toward Ukraine to the transparency group American Oversight, and one of the heavily redacted emails from July 24 shows OMB officials shared a “Ukraine Prep Memo” with Michael Duffey, reported CNN.

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