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Trump claims he signed a law that’s been on the books for decades

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- Commentary

President Donald Trump announced on Monday that he signed legislation that has, in fact, been law for many years:

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Many observers quickly pointed out that Trump was wrong. The Whistleblower Protection Act became law in 1989. The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act became law in 1998.

On June 23, 2017, Trump did sign the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act — which is the law that the tweet he quoted referred to.

The Ukraine scandal, which has led to Trump’s impeachment proceedings, was sparked by a whistleblower complaint filed under the 1998 law, which offers significantly less protection than the 1989 law. It does, however, require that whistleblowers not face retaliation — though it provides no enforcement mechanism for this provision.

Trump seems to be bemoaning the irony of the fact that he signed a whistleblower protection law (even though he doesn’t seem to know which one), and he now finds himself under political threat because of a whistleblower. He may also be suggesting that he shouldn’t be criticized for going after the whistleblower, given that he signed such a law, though the first reading seems more plausible.

But Trump has previously championed the VA law, which sought to protect whistleblowers for good reason. The troubled agency has long been accused of underserving veterans, and enabling employees to report waste, fraud, and abuses could help improve the department’s ability to serve its clients. Of course, this is why whistleblower protections in all agencies and businesses are a good idea — they can help expose wrongdoing.

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Trump, though, is much more interested in concealing his own wrongdoing than actually helping governmental institutions function better, so it makes sense that he may be rethinking his stance on whistleblower protections.

Maybe then it’s not so surprising that the VA whistleblower law seems to be having trouble of its own, as CNN’s Daniel Dale noted:

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Lev Parnas’s lawyer declared ‘open war’ on AG Bill Barr during Maddow interview: attorney

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The attorney for Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas appears to be using a novel legal strategy, attorney Luppe Luppen explained on Friday.

Joseph Bondy, the attorney for Parnas, was interviewed Friday evening by Rachel Maddow, following the day's end of the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

Luppen, who offers legal analysis on his popular @nycsouthpaw Twitter account, came to a conclusion that seemed to surprise him after watching the interview.

"I’ve never seen a lawyer sit on a cable panel show and make that much news," Luppen wrote.

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Democratic prosecutors wrap up case against Trump

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Democratic prosecutors on Friday wrapped up three days of arguments for seeking Donald Trump's removal from office, as the US president's lawyers prepared to take their turn presenting his defense in the Senate's historic impeachment trial.

For a final eight-hour stretch, the 100 senators listened as Democrats argued that Trump abused the power of the presidency in pressuring Ukraine to launch investigations that would help him politically and then sought to block efforts by Congress to investigate.

Democrats said they had met the burden of proof as they warned Republicans that Trump would remain a grave danger to the nation if left in office.

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‘Give me a break’: Internet unleashes on ‘snowflakes’ Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski for complaint about Schiff

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CNN's Manu Raju revealed after the Senate adjourned that Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) audibly disputed Rep. Adam Schiff's (D-CA) quotation of a CBS News report threatening senators.

"She shook her head and said, 'No they didn't. No, that's not true,'" Raju reported.

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), Jim Risch (R-ID) Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and John Barrasso also said that the report was false.

https://twitter.com/GriffinConnolly/status/1220891285910892544

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