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Ukraine begged Trump to raise issue of their captive sailors with Putin — he didn’t and Russia state TV gloated

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The ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is being painted by Congress and the press against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine.

As more and more sworn deposition transcripts are released, researchers are able to link up the testimony of events with real-time reactions, giving us a remarkable insight into the implications of foreign policy decisions.

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Investigative journalist Julia Davis flagged one key part of testimony in the transcript released of the deposition by Ukraine embassy political officer David Holmes.

The transcript reveals Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the former federal prosecutor who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, interviewing Holmes about Ukraine’s desperation to set up a meeting with Trump.

“I think you mentioned also in your testimony, and you just talked about how important it was for Ukraine to have this meeting, vis-a-vis thein domestic audience, but also vis-a-vis their
adversary the Russians,” Schiff said.

“That’s right,” Holmes replied.

The two then discussed how Trump would not meet with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky — but would meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

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“That it was a set back to Ukraine, that the President wouldn’t meet with Zelensky, but he would meet with Putin,” Schiff said. “Is that night?”

“That’s correct,” Holmes replied.

“When the President was going to meet Putin — President Putin this next time, the Ukrainians asked us in strong terms, if the President is going to meet him, could he at least please raise the issue of our detained crew members who remained in Russian captivity at that time,” Holmes testified.

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He noted he did not know if Trump raised the issue, but said it “was a very important issue in Ukraine at the time, that these crew members were still detained by Russia, in Russia jails, and the president had canceled his last meeting over that issue, but was choosing to meet him without resolving the issue,” Holmes explained.

Holmes testified he is not sure if Trump raised the issue. But researcher Davis put the testimony in context:

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Inspector general found ‘no evidence of political bias’ in Trump-Russia probe: report

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DOJ argues Congress can’t stop Trump Org from taking foreign payments — despite Constitution’s emoluments clause

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The so-called emoluments clause has been the center of a case that many legal scholars have been making that President Donald Trump is regularly violating the Constitution by continuing to accept payments from foreign governments via his businesses.

The Washington Post reports that an attorney from the Trump Department of Justice argued on Monday that the emoluments clause doesn't actually prevent Trump from accepting payments from foreign governments, even though the clause specifically states that "no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State."

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Chris Wallace shreds Ken Starr: Trump’s scandal ‘a much bigger issue than whether Bill Clinton lied about sex’

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Fox News host Chris Wallace argued that the deeds President Donald Trump is accused of are more serious to the country than President Bill Clinton's actions, who was impeached for lying about sex.

During a break in impeachment hearings on Monday, Wallace called out Ken Starr's "characterization of this process and what we heard today... he said that the presentation against the president is narrow, prosecutors look through the world through dirty windows, it's slanted."

"And you know, it just seems to me -- and Ken, I see you there on the screen so I'll be talking directly to you -- when you compare this to the Clinton impeachment, which was basically about whether the president had lied under oath about sex," Wallace continued. "I'm not talking about whether this story is true or not."

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