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‘Insane and inane’: Devin Nunes’ closing remarks dismantled by Bloomberg columnist

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Devin Nunes

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) ignored all the evidence presented in the impeachment hearings and instead asked viewers to accept an implausible counter-narrative about the whistleblower complaint that prompted the inquiry.

The House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Republican gave a closing statement Thursday that laid out a timeline that he argued proved the complaint was made after special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation failed to result in impeachment, reported Bloomberg’s Jonathan Bernstein.

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“What, then, is Nunes really saying?” Bernstein wrote. “What Trump says: This is a witch hunt, meaning in Trump’s odd vocabulary a hunt by witches, and investigations by witches are inherently illegitimate. So if Schiff is a witch, and Nancy Pelosi is a witch, and the witnesses are witches, and the whistle-blower was most definitely a witch, then they have no basis for action against the president, and it doesn’t really matter what so-called evidence they might present.”

“Is that a stretch?” he added. “Maybe, but it’s a lot less inane/insane than what Nunes is asking us to believe.”

The former special counsel testified July 24 before Congress, but Democrats came away from the hearing disappointed — and Nunes claims they took another shot at taking down Trump’s presidency.

The president’s phone call the following day, July 25, became the subject of a whistleblower complaint that alerted the intelligence community’s inspector general to Trump’s request to his Ukrainian counterpart to investigate Joe Biden.

According to all nine witnesses in the impeachment hearings, Trump and his attorney Rudy Giuliani had been engaged for months in those efforts.

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Congressional Republicans have shifted the defense of the president’s actions and are currently sitting on the position that Trump did what was alleged, but there’s nothing wrong with his actions.

But Nunes offered something a bit more mind-bending.

The California Republican argued that the whistleblower was able to line up about a dozen foreign policy and national security staffers — in some cases, Trump appointees — and convince them to testify that Trump’s call was inappropriate.

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Nunes’ theory also rests on the possibility that the whistleblower could have scheduled the call or set in motion Giuliani’s efforts to dig up campaign dirt on Biden in Ukraine.

He also asked viewers to believe that Democrats invented a scandal involving Ukraine instead of just hyping evidence that had already been turned up by Mueller, who described multiple instances where Trump appears to have obstructed justice.

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The ranking Republicans closing argument isn’t just implausible, according to Bloomberg — it rests somewhere between inane and insane.


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Republican Kevin McCarthy gets taken down by former top GOP colleague

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Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) was attacked by a former Republican colleague who alleged McCarthy and his fellow members of Congress have allowed the House GOP to become the official shill for the White House.

In a profile for the New York Times, former Oversight Committee Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) shamed the GOP House for the way that a once-respectable institution has fallen.

“Congress no longer operates as an independent branch of government, but as an appendage of the executive branch,” said Davis. “He is made for that role.”

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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday's impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

"In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA)," MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. "Obviously, it was the vice president's office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?"

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Florida Republican Matt Gaetz admits Trump’s legal defense was ‘like an 8th grade book report’ — only worse

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) admitted that President Donald Trump's team of lawyers weren't quite the legal eagles that he thinks they might be, said Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio.

Questioned about his take on the way the case is unfolding in the Senate, Gaetz said that the House presented it like it was going to be on "cable news." For many that may be an insult, but it appears to Gaetz that was a compliment.

Desiderio said that Gaetz then lamented that the White House presented their case more like “an 8th-grade book report.”

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