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New Republican impeachment strategy goes down in flames before first witness is called

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Republicans this week released a set of talking points on Ukraine that have already been refuted although the first impeachment hearing isn’t until Wednesday.

According to Bloomberg, the talking points were distributed by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee.

  • The July 25 summary of the call between Trump and Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy “shows no conditionality or evidence of pressure.”
  • Both Zelenskiy and Trump have said there was no pressure on the call.
  • The Ukraine government was not aware of a hold on U.S. security assistance at the time of the July 25 call.
  • Trump met with Zelenskiy, although not in the Oval Office, and U.S. security assistance flowed to Ukraine in September 2019 — both of which occurred without Ukraine investigating Trump’s political rivals.

Democrats contend that the call record shows that President Donald Trump did ask Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky for a quid pro quo when he suggested that military aid would flow after Ukraine did a “favor” by investigating former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

The idea that both Trump and Zelensky have denied there was “pressure” on the call is also not likely to convince Democrats, who believe that both men have a vested interest in that line of defense.

It is unclear exactly when Ukraine became aware that military aid had been frozen but Laura K. Cooper, the deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, testified that Ukraine knew about the freeze by early August.

The Republicans’ final argument is that Trump did eventually meet with Zelensky and released the military aid.

But the White House only agreed to the release the aid and meet with Ukraine’s president after officials caught wind that members of Congress were looking into it.

“Only at the last minute, after key members of Congress erupted in protest over Mr. Trump’s actions, did the White House release the aid,” The New York Times reported on Monday.

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Fox News reporter and right-wing conspiracy theorists planned to wiretap family of slain DNC staffer Seth Rich: report

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The Daily Beast on Monday evening broke a bombshell report on a secret 2017 meeting in Texas on a right-wing conspiracy theory where espionage was discussed.

"One of their topics was responding to online critics of wealthy Texas businessman Ed Butowsky, who had recently been outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story about murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich," The Beast reported. "The group that gathered at Butowsky’s home included a conspiracy theorist, a Fox reporter fighting for her career, a former private intelligence contractor married to star journalist Lara Logan, and a Democratic PR operative who lost his business in the face of sexual assault allegations."

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Maddow breaks down potential ‘direct financial connection’ between the Russian government and Donald Trump

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MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow read bombshell excerpts from a new book set for release on Tuesday.

The host interviewed David Enrich, finance editor at The New York Times, about his forthcoming book Dark Towers: Deutsche Bank, Donald Trump, and an Epic Trail of Destruction.

The host of "The Rachel Maddow Show" read excerpts from the book.

"There was no doubt that Deutsche Bank had extensive business dealings with Russia, and those dealings included acting as a conduit for dirty money to get out of Russia and into the western financial system," Enrich wrote.

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Trump said he ‘loved’ the fact that America is more divided than ever: ex-GOP congressman

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President Donald Trump bragged about increasing divisions in America during a White House meeting, a former Republican congressman explained on MSNBC on Monday.

Former Rep. David Jolly (R-FL) told host Joy Reid that "Donald Trump has intentionally tried to create the anxiety" that Americans are explaining.

"Garry Kasparov, the Russian freedom activist, has said the point of disinformation isn't to manipulate the truth, it's to exhaust your critical thinking," Jolly explained. "To exhaust your critical thinking, that's what we're experiencing as voters."

"I had a colleague that was in a meeting in the Roosevelt Room and he said he heard Trump say, 'Have you ever seen the nation so divided?' My colleagues and others said, 'No, we haven't.' Trump said, 'I love it that way.' This is the currency that he's peddling as political strategy, but it's not one we have to accept," Jolly explained.

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