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Lindsey Graham needs to find the ‘moral courage’ to admit Trump is busted: WaPo editorial board

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On Tuesday, in a scathing op-ed, the Washington Post editorial board called out Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) for his ongoing refusal to acknowledge criminal behavior from President Donald Trump in the Ukraine scandal.

“Mr. Graham did say the other day that ‘if you could show me that, you know, Trump was actually engaging in a quid pro quo, outside the phone call, that would be very disturbing,'” wrote the board. “We think we can help the South Carolina Republican. Evidently he has not followed closely the depositions and documents collected by three House committees from present and former senior administration officials. If he had, he would see they contain clear proof that Mr. Trump, acting directly and through his lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani, repeatedly demanded a pledge from Mr. Zelensky to open those political investigations to obtain an Oval Office invitation. There is evidence that U.S. military aid was dependent on the probes, as well.”

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The board noted the growing “chain of evidence” that Trump acted improperly, from “the testimony of two State Department officials about a May 23 meeting they had with Mr. Trump to discuss the newly formed government of Mr. Zelensky” who said that Trump complained Ukraine tried to “take me down,” to Ambassador Kurt Volker testifying that Giuliani “mentioned both the accusations about Vice President Biden and about interference in the 2016 election,” to the demand by Giuliani that Ukraine single out the company Hunter Biden worked for in their public statement, to Ukrainian envoy Bill Taylor testifying that he understood Trump’s words “to mean that Ukraine would not receive the much-needed military assistance” without cooperation.

“Mr. Graham and some other Republicans would portray the July 25 phone call as an isolated event in which Mr. Trump did not clearly conclude a quid pro quo with Mr. Zelensky,” continued the board. “But the evidence presented to Congress shows that the call was part of a process that extended over three months and included repeated and specific demands for Ukraine to undertake political investigations, including of Mr. Trump’s possible 2020 opponent, lodged by Mr. Trump and by the lawyer he told top aides to work with on the deal.”

“Mr. Graham is himself a lawyer and former military prosecutor. He surely can recognize this corrupt campaign for what it is,” the board concluded. “The question is whether he, and other Republicans, have the moral courage to do so.”


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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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Florida Republican Matt Gaetz admits Trump’s legal defense was ‘like an 8th grade book report’ — only worse

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that President Donald Trump's team of lawyers weren't quite the legal eagles that he thinks they might be, said Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio.

Questioned about his take on the way the case is unfolding in the Senate, Gaetz said that the House presented it like it was going to be on "cable news." For many that may be an insult, but it appears to Gaetz that was a compliment.

Desiderio said that Gaetz then lamented that the White House presented their case more like “an 8th-grade book report.”

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