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There’s already a new investigation into Trump’s potential use of foreign meddling in the 2020 election

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House Democrats announced they will investigate the role of Rudy Giuliani, the personal lawyer of President Donald Trump, in what they described Monday as a “scheme” to influence the government of Ukraine to boost his client’s re-election campaign.

This article originally appeared at Salon.

The chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Oversight committees sent letters to the White House and State Department requesting information and documents about the alleged “scheme” by Trump and Giuliani “to coerce the Ukrainian government into pursuing two politically motivated investigations under the guise of anti-corruption activity.”

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“As the 2020 election draws closer, President Trump and his personal attorney appear to have increased pressure on the Ukrainian government and its justice system in service of President Trump’s re-election campaign, and the White House and the State Department may be abetting this scheme,” Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel, Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff and Oversight Chairman Elijah Cummings wrote, noting that Giuliani and Trump “appear to have acted outside legitimate law enforcement and diplomatic channels.”

The New York Times has reported extensively on an effort by Giuliani to persuade the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden’s diplomatic efforts in Ukraine, as well as his son’s role on the board of a Ukrainian energy company.

Giuliani also sought to have the country’s government investigate whether Ukrainian officials tried to harm Trump’s 2016 campaign by releasing damaging information on the president’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, the Times reported.

House Democrats cited a July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which they said the president apparently focused on the investigations, telling Zelensky that he is “convinced the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve [the] image of Ukraine, [and] complete [the] investigation of corruption cases, which inhibited the interaction between Ukraine and the USA.”

The next day, the U.S. special representative for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, was sent to meet with Zelensky, the Democrats said. Days later, they added, Giuliani met Andriy Yermak, an aide to Zelensky, in Spain, where the Ukrainian president’s personal attorney, who has no official administration or diplomatic position, reportedly suggested a “possible heads of state meeting” between Trump and Zelensky and “tweeted an accusation” about Biden’s son.

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Though the State Department has insisted that Giuliani is a “private citizen” who does not hold an official role in the U.S. government, the Zelensky adviser “publicly stated that ‘it was not clear to him whether Mr. Giuliani was representing Mr. Trump in their talks,’” the Democrats wrote.

The chairmen also cited a recent Politico report that said the Trump administration was threatening to withhold more than $250 million in security assistance to Ukraine, already appropriated by Congress, which lawmakers and advocates have argued is critical to pushing back against Moscow.

“If the president is trying to pressure Ukraine into choosing between defending itself from Russian aggression without U.S. assistance or leveraging its judicial system to serve the ends of the Trump campaign, this would represent a staggering abuse of power, a boon to Moscow and a betrayal of the public trust,” the lawmakers wrote.

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“That the State Department has apparently acted as a broker between President Trump’s personal attorney and Ukrainian officials raises serious concerns that the department is complicit in a corrupt scheme that undercuts U.S. foreign policy and national security interests in favor of the president’s personal agenda,” they added.

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‘Money hungry mannequin’ Ivanka Trump buried for her taxpayer-funded ‘field trip’ to India with her dad

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Ivanka Trump was hammered on Twitter for posting pictures of her trip to India where she praised the "grandeur" of the Taj Mahal -- with herself featured front and center before it.

Donald Trump's daughter, a senior White House adviser, has taken to using her Twitter feed to promote herself (usually via photos or video clips) as she travels the world, presumably representing the United States. Monday morning's tweet was no exception, with the two pictures accompanied by, "The grandeur and beauty of the Taj Mahal is awe inspiring!" followed by emojis of the American flag and India's flag.

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Bill Barr’s former classmates: AG has long been motivated by ruthless ambition and ‘fascist’ instincts

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Attorney General William Barr recently expressed frustration over President Donald Trump’s interference in the criminal case of veteran GOP operative Roger Stone, who on February 20, was sentenced to three years and four months in federal prison on charges ranging from jury tampering to lying to Congress. But journalist Adrian Feinberg, in an article for the Independent, expresses great skepticism over the possibility that any real tension is developing between Trump and Barr — whose authoritarian leanings, according to Feinberg, make him make him a perfect attorney general for the president.

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The Postal Service fired 44,000 workers for getting injured while delivering and processing your mail

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One night in 2009, Madelaine Sattlefield lifted an 80-pound tray of letters carefully sorted by Missouri ZIP code. She had done this task thousands of times in nine years, but on this night, her arm seared with pain and went limp by her side. The tray crashed and sent envelopes cascading around her. She could barely move but immediately worried about what an injury might mean for her job.

“Anxiety had kicked in. I was like, what are they going to say, what are they going to do?” Sattlefield said.

Within months, the U.S. Postal Service fired her, one of about 44,000 employees who were either fired or left their jobs under pressure over five years in a program that “targeted” employees with work-related injuries, according to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. A commission ruling on the class action complaint also found that the Postal Service discriminated against an additional 15,130 injured workers by changing their work duties or accommodations, and unlawfully disclosed the private medical information of injured workers across the country.

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