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State Department issued ‘midnight call’ to block Sondland testimony after he turned over his private messages

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The State Department delivered a phone call shortly after midnight on Tuesday to instruct the attorney for European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland to not allow his client to testify before Congress.

Sondland attorney Robert Luskin tells Yahoo News’ Mike Isikoff that he received a phone call from the State Department at 12:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning that told him Sondland should not show up for his scheduled deposition later that morning.

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What’s more, the State Department’s last-minute request came after Sondland turned over Ukraine-related documents to the State Department, including his personal WhatsApp messages that were referenced by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) during his press conference on Tuesday.

Sondland has emerged as a key figure in the investigation into President Donald Trump’s efforts to push the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents.

In explosive text messages released last week, former Ukrainian special envoy Kurt Volker suggested to Sondland that the Ukrainian government needed to agree to assist the president’s investigations in order to secure a face-to-face meeting between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

In one particularly damning text message exchange, veteran diplomat Bill Taylor told Sondland that it was “crazy” to tie Ukrainian military assistance to the country helping the president’s electoral prospects. Sondland then sent back a text message denying any quid pro quo — and then urging Taylor to take the discussion offline.

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Kellyanne Conway accused of violating Hatch Act at least 50 times this year — on Twitter alone

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According to a report from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway has "surpassed 50 violations of the Hatch Act on Twitter alone this past year."

Explaining the numbers, the report states, "CREW’s report on Conway’s continued violations outlines five categories of tweets that violate the Hatch Act: attacking or mocking Democratic presidential candidates, attacking the Democratic Party, promoting President Trump's re-election, promoting the Republican Party, and attacking President Trump's political adversaries. Conway has multiple violations in each category," before noting that Twitter's Terms of Service indicates one of Trump's closest aides is in violation and should have her account suspended.

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2020 Election

GOP giving up trying to reclaim House seats as 2020 wipeout looms: report

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Faced with a ticket likely headed by an unpopular president and watching the Democrats rake in campaign cash ahead of the 2020 election, the Republican Party is conceding they will not win back the House by reclaiming seats they lost in the so-called 2018 "blue wave" election.

According to a report from Politico, Democratic candidates have been stockpiling massive amounts of cash to wage war in what is expected to be a high turnout election with Donald Trump as the face of the Republican Party and seats that the GOP thought they might have a shot at now appearing unattainable.

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Trump supporters cry bitter tears after bus company they never bothered paying leaves them stranded

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Hundreds of Trump supporters this week were left stranded by bus company U.S. Coachways after the organizers for a "March for Trump" rally in Washington D.C. failed to pay them.

The Daily Beast's Will Sommer reports that the Trump supporters had expected U.S. Coachways to pick them up and bring them to D.C. where they were set to rally against House Democrats' impeachment inquiry. After the buses never showed up, however, Trump supporters claimed that the bus company was part of a "deep state" conspiracy aimed at silencing their voices.

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