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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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Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York speaking at a forum titled “Countering Iran’s Nuclear Terrorist Threats” hosted by the Iranian American Community of Arizona in Phoenix, Arizona. (Gage Skidmoer/Flickr)

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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2020 Election

Bill Barr stunt was an ‘in-kind contribution to the Trump campaign’ by DOJ: election law expert

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The scandal over the Department of Justice hyping 9 ballots in Pennsylvania as proof of Donald Trump's conspiracy theories about voting by mail was an Bill Barr stunt was an "in-kind contribution" an election law expert explained in the Los Angeles Times on Friday.

UC Irvine law and political science professor Rick Hasen explained the scandal in Pennsylvania in a new op-ed.

"The controversy that bubbled up on Thursday over nine mishandled ballots in Luzerne County, Pa., illustrates the danger ahead. Even before the Department of Justice issued its announcement, President Trump and his team were complaining that mail-in ballots from military voters cast for him were being thrown into the trash, a claim fitting into his narrative — unsupported by the facts — that massive voter fraud will be used to take a November victory away from him. ABC News reported that Atty. Gen. William Barr briefed Trump on the case before it was publicly announced," Hasen explained.

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2020 Election

Trump official removed after illegally serving 424 days as head of the Bureau of Land Management: report

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Yet another Donald Trump official has found himself in trouble with the law for running a federal agency without Senate confirmation.

"federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration's leading steward of public lands has been serving unlawfully and has blocked him from continuing in the position. U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said U.S. Bureau of Land Management acting director William Perry Pendley served unlawfully for 424 days without being confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate," the Associated Press reported Friday.

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Dennis Quaid to star in Trump’s $300 million ad campaign against COVID ‘despair’: report

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Americans should expect to see more of actor Dennis Quaid during television commercial breaks, according to a new report by Politico.

"The health department is moving quickly on a highly unusual advertising campaign to 'defeat despair' about the coronavirus, a $300 million-plus effort that was shaped by a political appointee close to President Donald Trump and executed in part by close allies of the official, using taxpayer funds," Politico's Dan Diamond reported Friday.

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