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Giuliani ‘undermined 28 years of US efforts to try to promote the rule of law in Ukraine’: Pompeo deputy

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President Donald Trump may have instructed his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, to conduct foreign policy on his behalf, but State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary George Kent said that Giuliani made things worse.

According to Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Kent testified behind closed doors that Giuliani’s efforts in Ukraine “undermined 28 years of US efforts to try to promote the rule of law in Ukraine.”

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During a May meeting organized by Trump’s acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, State Department officials and other White House advisers were told that three people would be responsible for Ukraine policy, Kent testified.

Former Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker, Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and Energy Secretary Rick Perry were the only government point people for Ukraine issues.

“Kent told lawmakers he was responsible for six countries, including Ukraine,” CNN reported. “After he was warned to lie low, he said, he took time off to attend his daughter’s wedding and go hiking in Maine, according to Connolly. When he returned, he said, he focused on the other countries.”

Kent was one of the State Department officials who tried to defend former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch from the disinformation campaign to take her down this spring, CNN reported, citing internal emails given to Congress in October.

Read the full report at CNN.com.

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Arkansas church vows to continue services: ‘Jesus died with COVID-19 so that you didn’t have to bear it’

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An Arkansas church intends to hold church services despite recommendations from state officials to limit gatherings as part of the fight against the coronavirus.

Awaken Church, in Jonesboro, vowed in a Facebook post to continue holding services in defiance of a Health Department directive banning gatherings of 10 or more, and after churches in other parts of the country were the source of community outbreaks, reported Newsweek.

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2020 Election

Trump’s path to re-election ‘smashed to splinters’ as his only achievement is swallowed up by the pandemic: report

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In a piece for Politico, Ben White writes that Donald Trump was going into November's election with only one achievement under his belt -- a healthy economy -- and now he has nothing left to run if he wants to be re-elected.

With all of the gains made in the stock market long gone due to the coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of oil prices, White claims that the president's campaign strategy lies in tatters.

"The fundamental pillars of Donald Trump’s presidency — a hot economy, strong job growth and a rocking stock market — are all being smashed to splinters by the ravaging coronavirus, which has shuttered much of the nation and now officially ended a streak of 113 months of job gains dating back to the end of the Great Recession a decade ago," he wrote before noting the explosion of unemployment claims -- over ten million so far -- that has the country reeling.

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Strong signs that judges will increasingly decide how 2020 elections are run during the coronavirus pandemic

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The jaw-dropping conclusion of a federal court hearing on April 1 about Wisconsin’s statewide elections on April 7 was no April Fools’ joke. U.S. District Judge William Conley said the state’s Democratic governor and Republican-led legislature had failed to put their citizenry’s health first by not postponing the statewide election in a pandemic.

“There’s a hurricane coming!” Conley fumed from the bench, interrupting Douglas M. Poland, a lawyer representing the Wisconsin Alliance for Retired Americans, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin and four citizens who sued the state. “You can’t even give me a case where a federal judge stopped a state from stupidly holding an election when most of the voters were not going to go to the polls because there’s a hurricane coming!”

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