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Mueller won’t answer questions about Steele dossier because Trump ordered Barr to investigate it

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Special counsel Robert Mueller will not address questions about the origins of the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia.

Republicans were expected to question Mueller to find out how the FBI started its investigation into Russian efforts to hack Democratic officials in an effort to aid Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

But Mueller cited an investigation authorized by Attorney General William Barr, ordered by the president, into the origins of that probe.

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“The Justice Department has asserted privileges concerning investigative information and decisions,” Mueller told the House Judiciary Committee. “Ongoing matters within the Justice Department and deliberations within our office. These are Justice Department privileges that I will respect.”

Trump and his Republican allies have asserted the probe, and a resulting FISA warrant, was based on opposition research conducted by former British spy Christopher Steele, but Mueller told lawmakers he could not answer their questions about that investigation because the Justice Department was looking into it.

“The department has released a letter on instructions on my testimony,” he said. “I therefore will not be able to answer questions on certain areas that I know are of public interest. For example, I am unable to address questions about the initial opening of the FBI’s Russia investigation which occurred months before my appointment or matters relate today the so-called Steele dossier.”

“These matters are subject of ongoing review by the department,” Mueller added. “Any questions on these topics should therefore be directed to the FBI or the Justice Department.”

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Adam Schiff moves to implicate Pence in the Ukraine scandal as Republicans go off the rails

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In the panoply of contradictory and incoherent defenses of Donald Trump, a favorite of Republicans has been to harp on the claim that witnesses to Trump's extortion scheme against Ukraine were all "second-hand" or "third-hand." This has always been confounding, as the official summary readout of the famous phone call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky shows Trump clearly conditioning military aid and U.S. support on Zelensky giving a public boost to Trump's conspiracy theories about former Vice President Joe Biden and other Democratic leaders. The witnesses so far have simply affirmed what the written record demonstrates amply.

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Why saying ‘OK boomer’ at work is considered age discrimination – but millennial put-downs aren’t

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The phrase “OK boomer” has become a catch-all put-down that Generation Zers and young millennials have been using to dismiss retrograde arguments made by baby boomers, the generation of Americans who are currently 55 to 73 years old.

Though it originated online and primarily is fueling memes, Twitter feuds and a flurry of commentary, it has begun migrating to real life. Earlier this month, a New Zealand lawmaker lobbed the insult at an older legislator who had dismissed her argument about climate change.

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Republicans are getting scared about Gordon Sondland’s Wednesday impeachment testimony: report

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Ambassador Gordon Sondland may be the most dangerous witness for President Donald Trump in the impeachment hearings so far, and that's in part because he has a lot to lose.

And according to CNN's Shimon Prokuecz, his scheduled testimony for Wednesday morning is making Republicans nervous:

Multiple GOP sources say they are most worried about what Gordon Sondland will do tomorrow - and whether he will turn on the President. The fear, Republicans say, is that he could undercut the last GOP defense. @mkraju

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