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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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Dr. Trump’s medicine show: Why is the president pushing an unproven drug? Follow the money

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Donald Trump only cares about Donald Trump. He doesn't care about you or the country. He only cares about exploiting this crisis to bail out his business and to get himself re-elected, thereby shielding himself from a series of indictments that surely await him if he loses. The sooner we embrace this easily-observable fact about Trump, the better equipped we'll be to evaluate his decisions during these overlapping health and financial calamities.

The "Trump is all about Trump" maxim goes a long way to explaining his obsessive beer-funneling of a malaria drug called hydroxychloroquine down the gullets of COVID-19 victims.

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New York firefighter gets emotional talking about EMTs who feel guilty they’re too sick to work

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The New York Fire Department is struggling to make its way through the coronavirus crisis. Currently, 493 members of the NYFD have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 3,000 are out sick.

Anthony Almojera, an EMS Lieutenant-paramedic for the FDNY told CNN Tuesday that he doesn't know how they're managing the constant influx of calls for help from New Yorkers.

"It's truly a testament to the EMS workers that we have here, the EMTs and medics," he told host Jim Sciutto. "It's pretty amazing to see how they're going out in spite of seeing all their co-workers get sick. It's frightening for a lot of us. We don't want to bring it home. We don't want to get sick with it but, you know, this is our job, we treat the sick and injured. We still have all of our regular 9-1-1 calls. It's truly a testament to the EMTs."

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‘Can we get a refund?’ Trump flack Stephanie Grisham faces a landslide of mockery after her abrupt dismissal

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham is reportedly being relieved of her duties after having gone a full ten months on the job without holding a single press briefing.

Given that Grisham hauled in a salary of $183,000 despite never actually appearing before reporters to answer questions, some Americans are asking if we can get a "refund" for her purported services.

Others, meanwhile, are simply happy to see her leave despite having rarely, if ever, seen her talk in public.

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