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Trump administration launches investigation into carmakers’ deal with California against White House wishes

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According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, the Justice Department has opened up anti-trust investigations against four major automakers who have made a deal with California on emissions controls opposed by President Donald Trump.

The report states that Justice Department lawyers are seeking to determine if Ford Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, BMW AG and Volkswagen AG violated federal competition laws after making the deal with California that go beyond what the Trump White House desires.

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The Journal reports, “The new antitrust inquiry by the Justice Department stands to escalate tensions between Washington, Sacramento and the auto industry over plans by the Trump administration to roll back clean-air mandates on auto makers.”

“California regulators have said they are willing to ease mandates, but not nearly as far as the Trump administration, which has proposed eliminating all upcoming increases in the efficiency requirements,” the reports states, adding, “The four companies and the California Air Resources Board announced the deal to signal support for keeping one, nationwide emissions standard.”

According to a source familiar with preliminary investigation, the Justice Department’s antitrust division “is acting on its own accord and without direction from or coordination with the White House.”

In a statement, Honda Motor claimed, “Honda will work cooperatively with the Department of Justice with regard to the recent emissions agreement reached between the State of California and various automotive manufacturers, including Honda.”

You can read more here (subscription required).

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GOP will be ‘aided and abetted’ by Russian bots and trolls defending Trump: Former FBI counter-intel chief

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The former assistant director for counterintelligence at the Federal Bureau of Investigation warned Americans to "hunker down" because Russian intelligence will be repeating Republican talking points.

Frank Figliuzzi was interviewed Thursday by MSNBC's Brian Williams on "The Last Word."

"Frank, Fiona Hill -- who richly deserves it -- has been awarded front page status tomorrow morning on the front page of The New York Times, and I imagine newspapers and websites across this country," Williams noted.

"It was extraordinary today when she -- in effect, begged -- asked, certainly, members of the committee to stop supplying Russian talking points, to stop advancing Russian propaganda in the Congress of the United States," he continued.

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Trump has committed 6 impeachable offenses: Harvard Law’s Laurence Tribe says ‘the evidence is all there’

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Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe broke down the six impeachable offenses President Donald Trump has committed during a Thursday appearance on MSNBC's "The Last Word" with Lawrence O'Donnell.

Tribe has argued 36 cases before the United States Supreme Court and taught at Harvard Law for 50 years. He co-authored the 2018 book To End a Presidency: The Power of Impeachment with Joshua Matz.

"Everyone was in the loop, it was no secret. That was the testimony from Ambassador Gordon Sondland yesterday as he implicated the president, Secretary of State, White House chief of staff, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton and other administration officials in the plot to bribe the president of Ukraine to publicly launch an investigation into Joe Biden in exchange for U.S. military aid to Ukraine that was authorized by Congress and that the president was withholding," O'Donnell reported.

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Rachel Maddow breaks down how public opinion is catching up with the facts of Trump’s impeachment

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow on Thursday broke down how the details from the televised impeachment hearings are being reported in local newspapers.

The host read the headlines from multiple newspapers following the damning testimony by Ambassador Gordon Sondland.

The Los Angels Times headlined, "Sonland implicates president." "Envoy says Trump directed effort," was The Wall Street Journal headline.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch headlined, "'Everyone was in the loop. It was no secret': Defiant Sondland says he followed Trump's orders."

"Trump directed pressure on Ukraine, ambassador says," headlined The Kansas City Star.

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