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‘The highest of high crimes’: Rudy Giuliani accidentally blows up Trump’s defense against impeachment on Twitter

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Rudy Giuliani has been conspicuously absent from Twitter and TV in recent days as the legal and political crises engulfing him and his most high-profile client, President Donald Trump, have become increasingly dire.

But on Wednesday night, he returned to Twitter with a bang. He tried to defend his role in the Ukraine scandal, which has been called a “shadow foreign policy” and an “irregular, informal channel”:

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Far from exculpatory, these claims are explosive.

As I noted on Twitter, Giuliani is contradicting himself here. He has previously described his efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden, the DNC, and the 2016 campaign as unrelated to his legal work. “I’m not acting as a lawyer,” Giuliani told The Atlantic last month of his activities in Ukraine. “I’m acting as someone who has devoted most of his life to straightening out government.”

But while Giuliani’s new version of events may help him if he wants to make a claim of attorney-client privilege, it actually makes Trump’s role in the scheme look even more damning than it already is. Legal experts argued that it only strengthened the case for impeachment.

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“This merely confirms what was so outrageous: Giuliani wasn’t a representative or employee of the United States; his duty of loyalty was 100% to his (personal capacity) client. And yet Trump told Ukraine it had to dance to Rudy’s tune,” said Marty Lederman, a law professor at Georgetown University Law Center. “[A] a tune *designed to advance Trump’s personal interests*–in order to remain in the U.S.’s good graces (e.g., to secure access, aid, etc.). This is the highest of high crimes–using the leverage of his position as chief diplomat to advance his own interests.”

He added:

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Other legal experts agreed.

“Wow,” said conservative lawyer George Conway. “This tweet is powerful evidence of an impeachable offense—that [Trump’s] dealings with the Government of Ukraine were for his own personal benefit, and not for the nation’s. Keep tweeting and talking, [Rudy.]”

CNN legal analyst and former federal prosecutor Elie Honig concurred, tweeting to Giuliani: “You just admitted you acted solely (‘everything I did’) in the personal and political interests of Donald Trump when dealing with Ukraine, not the national interests of the United States. Lawyer up – for your client’s sake, if not for your own.”

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Indeed, the huge mountain of evidence gathered in the impeachment probe has conclusively shown that Giuliani was playing a central role in U.S. foreign policy with Ukraine. He was working with and directing the negotiations of State Department diplomats. This isn’t even controversial — no Republicans have denied that Giuliani carried out this role.

It’s bad enough to have a rogue agent not officially aligned with the U.S. government mucking around in foreign policy. But if, as Giuliani now claimed, he was working specifically to promote the interests of the president as his client, that means Trump was employing State Department officials to do the work of his personal legal defense.

Add it to the list of impeachable offenses.

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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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WATCH: Buffalo cops and firefighters cheer officers charged with assault as they leave the courthouse

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According to a report from both CNN and MSNBC, the two Buffalo police officers who were charged with second-degree assault after shoving a 75-year-old anti-police brutality protester to the ground where he sustained head injuries were greeted with applause after they were arraigned on Saturday morning.

MSNBC's Alex Witt noted that both officers were released without having to post bail.

According to ABC News, "Officers Aaron Torglaski and Robert McCabe were charged with second-degree assault during their video arraignments on Saturday and were released on their own recognizance. They both entered no guilty pleas and are expected back in court on July 20."

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