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White House security adviser confirms ambassador’s testimony on Trump’s Ukraine scheme

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President Donald Trump’s top Russia and Europe adviser confirmed the acting ambassador to Ukraine’s account of a scheme to pressure the foreign ally to investigate Joe Biden.

Tim Morrison, an adviser to Trump’s National Security Council, corroborated testimony by acting ambassador Bill Taylor about efforts to withhold security aid and dangle a White House visit to pressure Ukraine to help in the president’s re-election campaign, reported the Washington Post.

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Morrison told House impeachment investigators that he alerted Taylor to the scheme, but said he did not necessarily see the president’s demands as improper or illegal, according to sources familiar with his deposition.

Instead, Morrison said he saw the efforts as problematic for U.S. policy in the region.

The deposition came as the House voted to formalize its impeachment inquiry, on largely partisan 232-196 vote.

Morrison told colleagues Wednesday that he plans to leave the Trump administration.

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DOJ inspector general ‘surprised’ after Bill Barr challenged his investigation’s conclusions

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Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz told the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday that he was surprised that Attorney General Bill Barr and U.S. Attorney John Durham have been publicly challenging the conclusions of his lengthy investigation into the origins of the FBI's probe into contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian agents.

When asked by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to comment on Barr and Durham's remarks on his investigation, Horowitz said he saw no basis for them to challenge his findings.

"I was surprised by the statement," he said. "I didn't necessarily know it was going to be released on Monday. We did meet with Mr. Durham, as I mentioned... We did discuss the opening issue. He said he did not necessarily agree with our conclusion about the opening of a full counterintelligence investigation, which is what this was."

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‘Jaw dropping’: Libertarian explains how Trump’s congressional defenders are gaslighting America

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Libertarian columnist Jacob Sullum of Reason Magazine has tried to keep an open mind about impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump -- but he has found himself confounded time and again by the president's defenders completely misstating or misrepresenting basic facts.

In his latest column, Sullum calls out Republican lawyer Stephen Castor for making a "jaw dropping" argument that Trump never asked Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate his political opponents, despite the fact that the White House's own readout of the now-infamous July 25th call shows he did exactly that.

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Trump’s education secretary overrides department findings on defrauded student borrowers: report

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Although the Trump Administration has had a high turnover since 2017, one of the people who has remained is Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. Trump’s education secretary, from 2017 to late 2019, has had more than her share of critics; some of them include college students, and a December 11 report by Cory Turner for NPR describes DeVos’ battle with recipients of student loans who say there were defrauded.

Turner reports, “These borrowers — more than 200,000 of them — say some for-profit colleges lied to them about their job prospects and the transferability of credits. They argue they were defrauded and that the Education Department should erase their federal student loan debt under a rule called ‘borrower defense.’”

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