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Trump just gave away the game on his bribery scheme in a live interview to baffled Fox News hosts

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As I argued on Thursday, the impeachment proceedings have delivered decisive evidence for a charge of bribery against President Donald Trump for his role in the Ukraine scheme. But most Republicans disagree. They argue that the testimony and evidence presented so far doesn’t show that Trump withheld congressionally approved military aid to induce Ukraine to give him something of value in exchange — investigations of his political opponents.

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I believe this argument rests on a willful refusal to honestly assess the facts (and disregards the withholding of a White House meeting entirely). But on Friday, Trump made it even harder for Republicans to deny the obvious in an interview with Fox News by once against making the link between the military aid and the investigations explicit.

Throughout the discussion, the hosts of “Fox & Friends” shifted uncomfortably, seeming to realize the president was just digging himself in deeper.

He began talking about the Democratic National Committee’s “server,” which Trump believes — as a part of an elaborate and debunked conspiracy theory attempting to exonerate Russia for its 2016 election meddling — is in Ukraine. On his infamous phone call on July 25 with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Trump brought up this conspiracy theory when asking for the key part of the bribe, an investigation into the 2016 election.

“They gave the server to Crowdstrike, or whatever it’s called. Which is a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian,” Trump said over the phone to the Fox hosts Friday. “Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?” (Again, this server theory is completely debunked nonsense that not even House Republicans will defend.)

“Are you sure they did that?” asked host Steve Doocy, injecting a modicum of sense.

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“Well, that’s what the word is,” Trump replied. “That’s what I asked, actually, in my phone call, if you know.”

Host Brain Kilmeade began looking nervous, tapping his fingers and trying to interject. “Right—” he said, but Trump didn’t let him cut in.

“I mean, I asked it very point-blank,” Trump continued. “Because we’re looking for corruption. There’s tremendous corruption. We’re looking for — why should we be giving hundreds of millions of dollars to countries when there’s this kind of corruption?”

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So there it is. For all of the Republicans who say there isn’t enough evidence to conclude Trump was withholding the military aid to get investigations he desired — i.e., soliciting a bribe — the president just put the whole story together on national TV.

Republicans have said that Trump really just cared about fighting “corruption” in Ukraine, so his withholding of aid was a part of legitimate U.S. policy. But in the interview, he made clear that “corruption” to him just means the conspiracy theories that even the mainstream GOP won’t believe. And the 2016 investigation was always related, of course, to the second investigation Trump wanted of Vice President Joe Biden, which he has also referred to as being about “corruption.”

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But no one credible thinks the problem of corruption in Ukraine is tied to Biden and the DNC. That’s only Trump’s warped version of corruption, which just happens to directly affect his personal political interests. And that’s the corruption that he thought could be addressed by the investigations he sought, which could then prompt the release of the hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid. In other words, it was a quid pro quo.

And yet, will any Republicans care that he just admitted to the whole bribery scheme on cable news? Probably not.

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Donald Trump sounds like a complete lunatic because he’s isolated himself in a far-right media bubble

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Welcome to another edition of What Fresh Hell?, Raw Story’s roundup of news items that might have become controversies under another regime, but got buried – or were at least under-appreciated – due to the daily firehose of political pratfalls, unhinged tweet storms and other sundry embarrassments coming out of the current White House.

If you have an older relative who spends way too much time stewing in the conservative media, you may have experienced a moment when you not only disagreed with him, but you realized that you had no earthly clue what he was going on about. Perhaps it was when he started talking about the UN plot to eliminate golf courses and replace paved roads with bicycle paths. Maybe he stopped you in your tracks with a discourse on why flies were attracted to Barack Obama, or complained about the government insisting on referring to Christians as "Easter-worshippers" or expressed outrage over 9/11 hijackers being given leniency by Muslim jurists.

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Trump’s claim impeachment ‘nullifies’ 2016 election blown up in new House Judiciary Committee report

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released their report outlining the offenses committed by President Donald Trump, and the legal framework for impeachment — which clears the way for Congress to write and approve articles of impeachment against him.

One of the key issues examined by the report is the claim, repeatedly made by the president and his supporters, that impeachment would "nullify" the 2016 presidential election and the popular will — which is already a weak claim given that Trump never won the popular vote, and that impeaching Trump would still install Mike Pence as president. But the report more broadly rejects the entire claim that an election result immunizes a president from punishment for official misconduct.

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READ IT: House Judiciary Committee releases report defining Trump impeachable offenses

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On Saturday, the House Judiciary Committee released a report outlining the impeachable acts committed by President Donald Trump.

"Our President holds the ultimate public trust," said the report, titled "Constitutional Grounds for Presidential Impeachment," in its introduction. "A President faithful only to himself—who will sell out democracy and national security for his own personal advantage—is a danger to every American. Indeed, he threatens America itself."

The report clarifies the procedures for impeachment, analyzes whether president can be "impeached for abuse of executive powers," and "whether it is preferable to await the next election when a President has sought to corrupt that very same election."

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