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Russian oligarch bombshell would ‘make impeachment proceedings absolutely inevitable’: NBC analyst

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UPDATE: Lawrence O’Donnell has issued a statement on the story:

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Fast-tracked impeachment hearings will occur this fall if the bombshell report is true that President Donald Trump had loans with Deutsche Bank co-signed by Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin.

“The source close to Deutsche Bank says that the co-signers of Donald Trump’s Deutsche Bank loans are Russian billionaires close to Vladimir Putin,” MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell reported Tuesday.

For analysis, the host interviewed NBC News national affairs analyst John Heilemann.

“Got to stress ‘if true,’ but if true, the reporting that you have your source, it’s the skeleton key, right, that opens -— picks the lock on so many fundamental mysteries of the Trump era, the ones we thought Robert Mueller was going to answer and we now know the reason that Robert Mueller didn’t answer them, all the connections, the nexus with Russia on a million levels, political, financial, security, everything else, criminal potentially, was because he was basically told he couldn’t look at this stuff,” Heilemann explained. “This was the stuff he wasn’t allowed to go for. He couldn’t go looking for the skeleton key.”

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“So now if we have the skeleton key, it picks a lot of locks and answers a lot of questions and also puts Trump in a very difficult place politically, partly because we’re barrelling towards a re-election campaign and we’re also on the clock for the impeachment hearings. We also know it’s almost Labor Day. We know decisions have to get made,” he continued.

“And in this narrative, this moment, if the skeleton key suddenly were to emerge, it would, I think, make impeachment proceedings absolutely inevitable starting this fall,” he added.

Watch:

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Mike Pompeo called on to resign or be impeached himself

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After Ambassador Gordon Sondland implicated Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the Ukraine scandal during his impeachment testimony on Wednesday morning, calls arose for him to resign — or to be impeached himself.

“Sondland puts Pompeo right in the middle of Trump’s bribery scheme,” former federal prosecutor Joyce Vance told Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post. “And, Pompeo, who listened in on the July 25 call, knew what was at stake — Trump was forcing [Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to announce an investigation into the Bidens that was politically valuable to Trump’s 2020 campaign.”

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Here are 7 key moments from the Democratic primary debate

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Top Democratic candidates for president gathered on Wednesday night in Georgia to debate their respective qualifications for office, all under the shadow of ongoing impeachment hearings in the House of Representatives.

But while they took the time to address President Donald Trump’s conduct and wrongdoing, they didn’t let his issues dominate the night. They addressed a wide range of topics and managed to largely avoid the circular fights that have bogged down many previous debate

Here are seven moments that stood out:

1. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) addressed the central role black voters have in the Democratic Party.

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#PresidentPelosi trends after Sondland testimony implicates Pence in Trump Ukraine scheme

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The hashtag #PresidentPelosi was trending Wednesday as Ambassador Gordon Sondland testified to the House Intelligence Committee in the impeachment hearings on President Donald Trump's Ukrainian schemes for assistance in the 2020 election and implicated Vice President Mike Pence in the effort.

If Trump and Pence are both removed from office over their involvement in the plot, the next in line for the presidency is House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

"I'm fine with Pelosi serving as interim president until we hold an election," tweeted activist Bree Newsom. "Both Trump and Pence are implicated in this conspiracy to extort Ukraine."

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