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Hatch Act hearing erupts in chaos as House Republicans fume over threat to subpoena Kellyanne Conway

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A House Oversight Committee hearing erupted in chaos after Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) angrily defended Kellyanne Conway from allegations that she broke federal law by advocating for GOP candidates during TV appearances.

The independent Office of Special Counsel sent the Trump administration a letter earlier this month detailing Conway’s “numerous violations” of the Hatch Act, which forbids most executive branch employees from using their positions for political advocacy, and recommended her firing by the White House.

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“Mr. Chairman, this subpoena, one, is not necessary,” Meadows told committee chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD). “Quite frankly it is not following the law. I can tell you that what we have here is a political spectacle. We’re talking about keeping politics out of government. This subpoena is nothing more than a political spectacle. We are better than this, Mr. Chairman.”

Meadows warned that removing Conway for what the special counsel found to be repeated violations of federal law would violate the rights of legislators — who are not bound by the Hatch Act.

“If we’re going to have the same standard, let me just tell you, there is ethical complaints about every single member of Congress that does some kind of TV hit here in the Capitol where they start to talk about it,” Meadows said. “Mr. Swalwell, Mr. Schiff, if we’re going to use the same standard, they’re violating the very rules of the House.”

Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) then inaccurately claimed that Democrats had opened their House Oversight duties by targeting President Donald Trump.

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“This is one more example of the Democrats’ obsession going after this president,” Jordan said. “You got to go back, remember how this committee started this Congress? Who was the first announced witness of the entire 116th Congress, who was it? Michael Cohen.”

“First big hearing, who do they bring in front of the committee and Congress?” he added. “Who do they bring in front of the Congress? A guy that’s a convicted liar who sits in prison today, first big hearing.”

Cummings told the Ohio Republican he was out of order, and Jordan angrily denied it and asked for his time to be reset.

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“No, I don’t freeze my time, I have to yield time to you, I am not doing that,” Jordan said. “Are you asking me to yield time?”

Cummings reminded lawmakers their first hearing was nearly a month earlier on drug prices, and Jordan tried to split rhetorical hairs by saying Cohen’s hearing was announced earlier, even though it occurred weeks later.

“Don’t be funny with the words,” Cummings chided him, and Jordan smirked and insisted he wasn’t. “Don’t put it out there, things that are not accurate. That’s not accurate.”

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Jordan asked if the chairman regretted announcing Cohen first, and Cummings muttered in disgust.

“Oh, god,” Cummings said.

The committee later voted to subpoena testimony from Conway over objections by the GOP minority.

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2020 Election

‘I don’t care’: Watch Kamala Harris shut down Chris Hayes for asking a dumb question about Trump

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Sen. Kamala Harris shut down MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes during a post-debate interview on Tuesday evening.

Hayes questioned Harris about her call for Twitter to follow their terms of service and kick President Donald Trump off of the platform.

"Do you think he puts people’s lives in danger when he targets them in tweets?" Hayes asked.

"Absolutely," Harris replied.

"Do you think he knows that?" Hayes asked.

"Does it matter?" Harris replied.

"The fact is he did it. The fact is that he is irresponsible, he is erratic," she explained. "He is like a 2-year-old with a machine gun."

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2020 Election

Democrats blast Trump and demand his impeachment at CNN debate

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Democratic White House hopefuls united in searing condemnation of Donald Trump during their fourth debate Tuesday, saying the president has broken the law, abused his power, and deserves to be impeached.

From the opening moments, most of the dozen candidates on stage launched fierce broadsides against Trump over the Ukrainian scandal at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.

"The impeachment must go forward," said Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is neck and neck with former vice president Joe Biden at the head of the 2020 nominations race.

"Impeachment is the way that we establish that this man will not be permitted to break the law over and over without consequences," she thundered.

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2020 Election

Here are 3 winners and 4 losers from the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate

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Twelve Democrats took to the stage Tuesday night for yet another debate in the party's 2020 president primary hosted by CNN and the New York Times.

After only ten candidates qualified for the previous debate, an additional two — Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard and wealthy donor and former hedge fund manager Tom Steyer — made it to the stage this round for an even more crowded event.

The candidates discussed a range of important policy issues, but since the format was a debate, and they're all competing for the same nomination, it is ultimately most critical who won and who lost the night. Here are three winners and four losers — necessarily a subjective assessment, of course — from the debate:

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