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Coalition of major media outlets moves to unseal redactions on Trump-related Deutsche Bank document

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From Barack Obama to Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton to George W. Bush, every U.S. president elected after the 1970s has publicly released their tax returns — every one except Donald Trump, who has said he will do so after an IRS audit is completed. Journalists, seeking information about Trump’s tax returns, have been pursuing Trump’s Deutsche Bank records — and on Wednesday, a coalition of major media organizations filed a motion in federal court to unseal redacted names on documents having to do with his taxes.

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The motion was submitted by attorneys representing a who’s-who of mainstream media outlets, including the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Associated Press (AP), CNN and Politico. And in their motion, they argued that the American public has a right to know what is in those documents.

The motion asserted, “Deutsche Bank recently informed the court that it has tax returns relating to some of the Trump-related entities or individuals, but redacted the names of these entities and/or individuals from its submission to the court. Through this motion, (the coalition) seek to enforce the public’s First Amendment and common law rights of access to judicial proceedings and the records therein — specifically, to unseal the redacted names so as to be able to inform the public which persons’ or entities’ tax returns are at issue in this litigation.”

Attorneys for Deutsche Bank have defended the redactions as being legally necessary in order to protect the privacy of clients. But the coalition of media organizations disagrees.

In their motion, they explained, “There is no genuine privacy concern implicated by Deutsche Bank confirming what is already widely understood: that it has copies of certain of the president’s or his affiliates’ financial records. But it would set a disturbing precedent to allow redactions of such rudimentary facts to go unchallenged, particularly in a case involving a sitting president.”

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Trump uses Middle East peace plan event to praise Pompeo for berating NPR reporter: ‘Did a good job on her’

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During an event at the White House celebrating the unveiling of President Trump's new Middle East peace plan, Trump took a moment to praise Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for his recent dust up with an NPR reporter.

Standing alongside Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump pointed to "our great Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo," prompting a standing ovation in the room --  a standing ovation that seemingly impressed Trump.

"Whoa," Trump said, marveling at the applause. "That's impressive -- that was very impressive. That reporter couldn't have done too good a job on you yesterday, huh?"

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Sen. Ron Johnson scrambles after accidentally becoming fourth GOP senator to support Bolton testimony

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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) on Wednesday briefly became the fourth Republican senator to say that former National Security Adviser John Bolton should testify -- and then he changed his mind.

Democrats would need four Republican senators to vote with them in order to hear Bolton's testimony. Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mitt Romney (R-UT) are all on record wanting to hear Bolton's testimony.

And on Tuesday, Johnson suggested to reporter Adam Klasfeld that he was ready to hear Bolton's testimony. But the senator quickly walked back his remarks.

This would be a major breakthrough. Adding him to Romney and Collins, only one more Republican vote needed. https://t.co/wsWPdU2xTi

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Republicans who are sick of being routinely embarrassed now have the perfect chance to flip on Trump

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One of the great mysteries of our time is why so many Republicans who are willing to bet their reputations on relentlessly defending Donald Trump, especially now.

This article was originally published at Salon

It'd be one thing if he were in rarefied George W. Bush post-9/11 territory with an approval rating hovering in the upper 80s, or if he had delivered an electoral map like Ronald Reagan's 1984 steamrolling of Walter Mondale. But neither of those is remotely true. Trump is a flop-sweating mess, and more of us should be asking why they don't just cut bait and try their luck with conserva-droid Mike Pence.

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