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Trump impeachment accelerates as the House prepares for 8 witnesses in 3 days this week

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Last week saw several crucial developments in the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump, including the public testimony of diplomats William Taylor, George Kent, and Marie Yovanovitch, and the private testimony of State Department official David Holmes.

But as Sam Brodey wrote for The Daily Beast, this week’s schedule could be even more consequential, with eight witnesses scheduled to testify in a three-day period.

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“Set to testify are several witnesses with firsthand knowledge of Trump’s July 25 call with President Zelensky, and their accounts will test Republicans’ central defense that the impeachment case is based on hearsay,” wrote Brodey. “The public will also hear from several officials who are poised to fill in key gaps in the story of exactly how and why security aid to Ukraine was held up as Trump sought to secure promises from the new government.”

The schedule begins on Tuesday, with the testimony of Soviet-born war hero and national security strategist Alexander Vindman and foreign service aide and Mike Pence official Jennifer Williams, who directly heard the phone call between Trump and Zelensky. Republicans also plan to call Ukrainian special envoy Kurt Volker and National Security Council official Tim Morrison, whom they believe will exonerate the president.

Then on Wednesday, the committee will call EU Ambassador and Trump campaign donor Gordon Sondland, who has come under fire for repeatedly changing his story about his knowledge of Trump’s delay of military aid to Ukraine, and Defense Department official Laura Cooper, who alleges the Ukrainians knew the aid had been delayed. Republicans will also be calling Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs David Hale.

Finally, on Thursday, the House will hear from national security official Fiona Hill, who, prior to being succeeded by Morrison, raised concerns with the foreign policy backchannel set up by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. She spoke about the issue to former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who also opposed the arrangement.

This enormous parade of witnesses will likely change the political equation once again — and the public will learn more about how the Ukraine affair went down.

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham leaves job after never once briefing the press

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White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who never once held a briefing, has reportedly lost her job.

CNN reported that Grisham is returning to the East Wing where she will serve as First Lady Melania Trump's spokesperson.

According to the report, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows is considering Trump campaign spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany to replace Grisham.

Former Freedom Caucus spokesperson Alyssa Farah was also said to be under consideration for the job.

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The hype behind Trump’s unproven coronavirus drug started off as a bizarre Twitter chat that soon landed on Fox News

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On the same day coronavirus was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, three strangers found one another on Twitter and discussed their hopes for a treatment using the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

That March 11 conversation between a cryptocurrency investor, a law school graduate and a self-described philosopher led to a paper published two days later on Google Docs -- which falsely claimed the approval of two major universities and the National Academy of Sciences -- and soon landed them on Fox News, reported Politico.

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Scathing column rips Jared Kushner for being a dangerous ‘doofus’ over his coronavirus bungling

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Writing in The Guardian this Tuesday, Arwa Mahdawi contends that although some like to characterize Jared Kushner as a "supervillain," he lack the charisma for such a title. But in many way, his lack of charisma is one of his greatest strengths, because it has helped him fly under the radar.

"Politics has become a reality TV show and quiet Kushner is often too boring to bother with; it is far more interesting to focus on his glamorous wife, Ivanka Trump, or his garrulous father-in-law," Mahdawi writes. "Yet over the past few years Kushner has managed to insert himself into the highest levels of decision-making while largely remaining behind the scenes."

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