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Democrats believe they left GOP reeling after first day of impeachment hearings: They ‘were grasping at straws’

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According to a report at Politico, Democratic leaders believe the first day of Donald Trump impeachment hearings went very well and that the Republican Party is already back on its heels after some devastating testimony from two diplomats with knowledge about Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine.

As the report notes, “House Democrats’ attempts to present a damning case of alleged abuses by President Donald Trump finally went their way.”

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After six hours of testimony that was alternately explosive — revelations of another Trump phone call that blows apart his defense that he was concerned about Ukraine corruption — and exquisitely detailed, Democrats saw what the GOP had to offer in response and were pleased.

“I think if the American public was listening — and I guarantee you they were — the Republicans were grasping at straws,” explained House Intel committee Democrat Val Demings (D-FL). “The arguments that they made were process or procedural. They brought up President [Barack] Obama. Not once did they  really deal with the evidence, the substance of the case in front of us today.”

According to the report, House Peaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said she was tied up with meetings all day as the hearing progressed, but was exceedingly pleased with what she had heard.

“You know what? I’ve been working all day,” the California Democrat told reporters. ” But I’m very proud of our Democrats. And I think what has come forth has given us further truth of what happened at the time.”

While the GOP — including the rarely-seen White House spokesperson Stephanie Grisham and Trump son Eric were calling the proceedings “boring,” — Democrats insisted they were anything but.

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“In boredom, there can be great significance,” explained Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN). “This is of great consequence and gravity. I wouldn’t assign the word ‘exciting’ to it, of course not. But we have a responsibility to pay attention.”

“Democrats secured key sound bites that many believe will tick up support for impeaching Trump in the coming weeks. The two witnesses — acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine William Taylor and senior State Department official George Kent — offered highly detailed accounts of Trump’s attempts to strong-arm Ukraine to damage his own political rival,” Politico reports. “And Taylor revealed damaging new evidence against Trump’s involvement — describing how he recently learned his staffer overheard Trump on the phone talking about investigations he wanted, underscoring the president’s intense interest in persuading Ukraine to help damage Biden’s campaign.”

Another Democrat believes the hearings are working as planned.

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“The most important thing to me is not the minute-by-minute, hour-by-hour, tweet-by-tweet conversation on this,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) said. “My constituents expect me to take an objective, stand-back approach that isn’t determined by one hour of testimony.”

You can read more here.

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‘You don’t get to dictate terms’: Trump soundly mocked for demanding speedy resolution to impeachment

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President Donald Trump broke with his Republican defenders, who say impeachment is moving too fast, and demanded a quick resolution to the constitutional process.

House Democrats moved the impeachment process from the Intelligence Committee to the Judiciary Committee after nearly two weeks of testimony, and Trump called for a speedy end to the matter.

"The Do Nothing Democrats had a historically bad day yesterday in the House," Trump tweeted. "They have no Impeachment case and are demeaning our Country. But nothing matters to them, they have gone crazy."

"Therefore I say, if you are going to impeach me, do it now, fast, so we can have a fair trial in the Senate, and so that our Country can get back to business," he added. "We will have Schiff, the Bidens, Pelosi and many more testify, and will reveal, for the first time, how corrupt our system really is. I was elected to 'Clean the Swamp,' and that’s what I am doing!"

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InfoWars made up lies about Islamic community to help Alex Jones generate more traffic: former writer

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On Thursday, The New York Times reported that Josh Owens, a former staffer at the fringe conspiracy theory site InfoWars, admitted that his team knowingly promoted fake stories about Islamberg, a rural religious community founded by mostly Black Muslims from New York City on the border between New York and Pennsylvania.

According to Owens, InfoWars initially conducted interviews with people near the community, hoping that they would tell horror stories about a group of militants hellbent on enslaving America under Sharia law. Instead, locals described the people of Islamberg as "kind, generous neighbors." This wasn't a story Alex Jones would have been able to sell to his far-right conspiracy theorist audience — so, Owens said, his team decided to just lie.

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Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian lawmaker met this week to discuss Joe Biden conspiracy theories

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A Ukrainian lawmaker says he met in recent days with Rudy Giuliani to discuss a conspiracy theory involving Joe Biden.

Andriy Derkach, a member of Ukraine's parliament, said Thursday in a Facebook post that he met with President Donald Trump's personal lawyer to discuss the creation of an interparliamentary group to fight corruption and investigate the alleged misuse of U.S. taxpayer money by Ukraine's government, reported Reuters.

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