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Trump gearing up to block California’s ability to set its own vehicle emissions standards

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According to a report from The New York Times this Tuesday, the Trump administration is planning to announce that it will be blocking California’s authority to set its own rules on greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles. The announcement will reportedly take place at the headquarters of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this Wednesday.

The Trump administration plans to revoke the waiver which allows California to set vehicle emissions standards despite the Trump’s plan to ease federal vehicle-efficiency standards.

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Attending the announcement are advocacy groups that have championed Trump’s rollback of automobile fuel economy and emissions standards that were established during the Obama administration.

California plans to have over a million zero-emission vehicles and electric hybrids on the road by 2025, but the move from the White House puts that plan in jeopardy. According to reports, Trump’s directive came after he was spurned by state, which secretly negotiated a deal with four major automakers who agreed to voluntarily increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions — which was a direct rebuke to the Trump administration’s plans to roll back emission standards.

“It’s clearly a big slap at California,”environmental law professor Ann Carlson told the LA Times. “It does make you wonder whether there’s a motivation here that’s political rather than legal.”

The EPA and the Department of Transportation reportedly sent a letter to California regulators threatening them with “legal consequences” if the state didn’t cancel its deal with Ford, Honda, Volkswagen and BMW. But according to the LA Times, the administration’s planned rollback has been repeatedly delayed, and it’s still unknown if it will take effect.

A massive legal fight between the federal government and California could be in the works. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia have promised to adopt California’s standards if they break away from the federal government.

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MSNBC panel mocks Devin Nunes for trying to ‘out-crazy’ everyone in the impeachment hearing

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During his Wednesday show with former Republican Rep. David Jolly and "The Root" editor Jason Johnson, MSNBC host Chris Matthews couldn't help but note Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) seemed like a weird outlier during the impeachment hearings.

"It was certainly an interesting show. Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing," Matthews said. "I’m not sure what Nunes was up to. He didn’t seem to be a leader of the pack here, he was doing this out-crazy peripheral stuff about Hunter Biden and Ukraine in 2016 and trying to get the whistle-blower exposed. None of that had to do with the conversations President Trump had with Zelensky or the whole cabal to shake this guy down for dirt on Biden. He was just walking around the far fringes of the topic."

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Republicans want people to become numb to what they already know is true: Dan Rather

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On Wednesday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," longtime reporter Dan Rather highlighted one of the final strategies Republicans have left to try to blunt the public's enthusiasm for impeachment: Desensitize them to the facts that are damning for President Donald Trump.

"What jumped out to me today is the effort by the Republicans to sort of say, listen, everybody knows all of this," said Rather. "They seek to have people become numb to what we already know. That’s what jumped out to me today, because we already know that the evidence we’re talking about now, the solicitation of a foreign power to get involved in our election, the evidence is strong."

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Southern District prosecutors watched impeachment hearing to decide whether to charge Giuliani: CNN reporter

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The first publicly televised impeachment hearing was aired to millions of people on Tuesday. But it wasn't just citizens who were watching, suggested justice correspondent Evan Perez on CNN's "The Situation Room" — it was federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who are currently investigating President Donald Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani.

"Both of [the witnesses], Kent and Taylor, they weighed in on the role of Rudy Giuliani in all this diplomacy," said anchor Wolf Blitzer. "What do you think?"

"Look, I think that's the key part of his testimony," said Perez. "I think we want to hear more from some of the other witnesses, including Ambassador Yovanovitch, and certainly Gordon Sondland, this is part of the story, the story Democrats are laying out for the impeachment inquiry. There is also another part of this, Wolf. I think the prosecutors in the Southern District of New York ... are watching this testimony today, no doubt, and trying to see whether it fits into the criminal investigation still ongoing in which Giuliani is the center of."

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