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Vindman will be the ‘crucial witness’ — and GOP smears against him will be ‘self-defeating’: Ex-prosecutor

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On Tuesday’s edition of CNN’s “New Day,” former federal proseuctor Elie Honig walked through the importance of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman’s upcoming testimony in the impeachment hearings.

“He’s going to be a crucial witness,” said Honig. “The crux of Vindman’s testimony has to do with Gordon Sondland, who we know was in direct contact with President Trump. Vindman has testified before that Sondland discussed what the deliverable would be — that’s an important word — in order to get the meeting. He talked about the investigation into the Bidens, that the Ukrainians would have to deliver an investigation into the Bidens. That goes right to the quid pro quo. Now also, of course, Vindman listened to that July 25 phone call live, and his reaction was that this was about getting a White House meeting. It was a demand for him to fulfill this particular prerequisite in order to get the meeting. Again, that goes to the central corrupt exchange here.”

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“Now, Vindman also gives us a couple really interesting and, I think, important details,” continued Honig. “First of all, he talks about the power disparity between the United States and Ukraine. He says, here’s how important, here’s how desperate Ukraine was for that foreign aid. It was 10 percent of their annual military budget. He reported his concerns up the chain, not once, but twice, to NSC lawyer John Eisenberg, who is refusing to testify, so we don’t know what happened with those complaints. And Vindman says he tried to correct the July 25 transcript. There was a mention of the company Burisma that did not make it into the final version.”

“What are Republicans going to do?” added Honig. “They’re not just going to sit back and take it. They’re going to argue that he’s dealing in second-hand information. Remember, mostly because he also first-hand heard that phone call and they may do what they did before, which I think is self-defeating, which is to question his patriotism. Donald Trump has called him what he calls everybody who testifies against him, a Never Trumper. I think that’s ridiculous.”

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Trump didn’t fill request for ventilators when a Democrat called for help — but he did after a Republican called: Congresswoman

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President Donald Trump praised Sen. Corey Gardner (R-CO) during his Wednesday press conference for his request for 100 ventilators, which Trump said he sent right away. He overflowed with praise for Gardner, and promised, "they'll be there very shortly."

The problem, however, is that the request has been coming from Democrats as Colorado has been searching for more. It was only when Gardner called that Colorado got ventilators, Rep. Diane DeGette (D-CO) told CNN Wednesday evening.

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Andrew Cuomo threatens to bail on CNN interview when his brother shows vintage photo of governor in bellbottoms

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) appeared to feign anger during a CNN interview Wednesday in which his brother, Christopher Cuomo, showed a vintage photo of their family with the elder brother clad in bellbottoms, a rhinestone belt and an unfortunate attempt at an afro.

The younger Cuomo is still suffering from the effects of coronavirus, appearing redfaced and wiping his brow. However, his brother noted that he seemed more animated than he has in days.

"Now I've seen you referred to a little bit recently as the 'Love Gov' and I'm wondering if that's making you a little soft on the president, that you don't want to really criticize him, because you need him and now's not a time for fighting," said the younger Cuomo. "But don't you have to balance that with calling him out if he's doing things that you don't think are great for the people of your state to be hearing and experiencing? Love Gov?"

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‘Complete nonsense’: CNN’s Daniel Dale blows up Trump’s lie that California admitted to widespread voter fraud

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On Wednesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," fact-checker Daniel Dale dismantled President Donald Trump's claim, repeated at the day's coronavirus press conference, that a lawsuit proved a million people voted illegally in California.

"He had a voter fraud commission that was disbanded without producing any such evidence," Dale told anchor Erin Burnett. "This is complete nonsense ... the specific lie was about a California settlement with a conservative group called Judicial Watch."

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