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Conservative Never-Trumper warns Democrats to avoid Russia in new impeachment inquiries

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Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin warned Democrats Tuesday to avoid the trappings of the Russia investigation if they’re investigating the president over his Ukraine scandal.

Monday evening, centrist freshmen Democrats with national security backgrounds announced that they were now supporting impeachment. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) spoke out Tuesday about President Donald Trump pressuring Ukraine to find dirt on a political opponent. He called it an abuse of power, but at the same time, Trump is blocking an “urgent” whistleblower complaint from being turned over to intelligence committees in Congress.

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Thanks to Trump and Rudy Giuliani’s own admissions, the Democrats finally have the information necessary to file articles of impeachment. Sources close to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) have said that she intends to announce impeachment at 5 pm.

“However, the House must avoid at all costs the debacle that has occurred regarding other investigations,” Rubin wrote in The Post. “Without the power to enforce subpoenas for administration figures to testify and to produce documents, the House Judiciary Committee hearings have bogged down into endless procedural delays, process fights and nonproductive inquiries. Court battles have dragged on. That is not the way for Congress to proceed.”

The goal, she said, must be to pass the impeachment quickly and put pressure on Republicans. Officials are also just a little over one year from the 2020 election, where six Republicans could lose their seats if it becomes clear they are trying to manipulate the law, cover for Trump or lie to Americans.

“House leadership and Democratic presidential candidates need to begin a national campaign to pressure Senate Republicans to act in defense of the Constitution,” Rubin said.

It isn’t confirmed that the whistleblower complaint is about the Ukraine scandal, but Rubin said that Intelligence chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) will question acting director of national intelligence Joseph Maguire about the complaint this week. Maguire is required by law to hand over the complaint to Congress and Rubin told Schiff he should have subpoenas ready if Maguire refuses to do so.

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“If Schiff does not receive such information within two weeks, the committee should assemble all information in the public record, including Trump’s and Giuliani’s latest admissions (e.g., Trump did ask to delay the delivery of aid), confirm the administration has refused as required by law to turn over needed information and refer the matter to the House Judiciary Committee to vote on two articles of impeachment,” Rubin wrote. “Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who spoke directly with the Ukrainians, can provide a sworn statement substantiating the Ukrainians’ concern that Trump was pressuring them to dig up dirt on former vice president Joe Biden and his son.”

With the filing of impeachment, fruitless court battles are over, Rubin explained. The law opens up many doors for Democrats seeking information like this complaint and a score of additional information Trump has worked to hide from Americans.

“Let the administration prepare its defense for the Senate, and let the advocates of impeachment and removal run a vigorous campaign to enlist as many Senate Republicans as possible,” Rubin wrote. “That’s it. That’s the process.”

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Read the full column at The Washington Post.


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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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Florida Republican Matt Gaetz admits Trump’s legal defense was ‘like an 8th grade book report’ — only worse

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that President Donald Trump's team of lawyers weren't quite the legal eagles that he thinks they might be, said Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio.

Questioned about his take on the way the case is unfolding in the Senate, Gaetz said that the House presented it like it was going to be on "cable news." For many that may be an insult, but it appears to Gaetz that was a compliment.

Desiderio said that Gaetz then lamented that the White House presented their case more like “an 8th-grade book report.”

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