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Lt Colonel Alexander Vindman is ‘the kind of witness that prosecutors dream about’: Mimi Rocah

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Former Assistant U.S. Attorney Mimi Rocah said Lt. Colonel Alexander Vindman will be a “star witness” when he testifies before Congress.

Vindman, who is on active duty in the U.S. Army and received a Purple Heart for his service in Iraq, is scheduled to testify on Tuesday before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

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He is the director for European affairs on the National Security Council and attended Ukraine President Zelensky’s inauguration with Energy Secretary Rick Perry, special envoy Kurt Volker and Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, who have become known as “The Three Amigos.”

For analysis, MSNBC’s Brian Williams interviewed Rocah on “The 11th Hour.”

“Counselor, is this what you would call in the law a star witness?” Williams asked.

“Absolutely,” Rocah replied.

“You know, this is the kind of witness that prosecutors dream about,” she added.

“For a couple of reasons. One, as you pointed out, he’s a first-hand witness,” Rocah explained. “He was on the call. So, amongst other things, he can be questioned about what were those ellipses in the summary, is there more? I don’t want to raise expectations because this call is damning as it is, but there are factual questions that he now gets to be asked.”

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“Two, the Republicans can’t make this argument — which I think was a ridiculous argument, anyway — but they can’t make it with him of, well, he doesn’t have any first-hand knowledge,” she noted. “We need to know everything surrounding the call.”

“And finally, he’s — I mean, leave it to Fox News — but he’s active-duty military,” Rocah noted. “We also have a person — notwithstanding the allegations on Fox News tonight — of impeccable character and that’s a pretty good witness to have.”

Watch:

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Internet disgusted after Buffalo first responders cheer cops charged with assaulting 75-year-old protester

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Commenters on Twitter expressed both contempt and disgust for Buffalo firefighters and police officers who turned out in front of Buffalo City Court to support two suspended police officers with applause and cheering.

Moments after officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault and then released without having to post bail, they were greeted as heroes outside the courthouse.

After a video was posted showing the celebration, commenters on Twitter vented at cops and firefighters for defending the two officers who assaulted the 75-year-old man who had to be rushed to a hospital after they shoved him to the ground where he sustained a head injury.

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Donald Trump’s lurch toward fascism is backfiring spectacularly

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

During the 2016 campaign, as Donald Trump railed against "Mexican rapists" and other "criminal aliens," pollsters found that the share of Americans who said that immigrants worked hard and made a positive contribution to our society increased significantly, and noticed a similar decline in the share who said they take citizens' jobs and burden our social safety net. After Trump was elected and began pursuing his Muslim ban, the share of respondents who held a positive view of Islam also increased pretty dramatically. I'm not aware of any polling of the general public about transgender troops serving in the military before Trump decided to discharge them, but Gallup found that 71 percent of respondents opposed his position after he did.

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Judge blocking release of Jeffrey Epstein records has ties to officials linked to Epstein: report

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On Saturday, the Miami Herald reported that a judge who blocked the release of grand jury material in the Jeffrey Epstein child sex abuse case has ties to three officials with a vested interest in the outcome of the lawsuits surrounding the scandal.

"Krista Marx, the Palm Beach chief judge who also heads a panel that polices judicial conduct, has potential conflicts of interest involving three prominent players embroiled in the Epstein sex-trafficking saga: State Attorney Dave Aronberg, who has been sued by the Palm Beach Post to release the grand jury records; Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, whose department’s favored treatment of Epstein while he was in the Palm Beach County jail is part of an ongoing state criminal investigation; and ex-State Attorney Barry Krischer, part of the same investigation in connection with his decision not to prosecute Epstein on child-sex charges," wrote Julie Brown, a reporter who has extensively covered the Epstein case.

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