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‘You can hear Republican talking points disintegrating’ during Vindman testimony: CNN’s Toobin

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The testimonies of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and State Department official Jennifer Williams on Tuesday offered damaging accounts of their concerns about President Donald Trump’s efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.

CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin came away impressed by the two officials’ testimony, and he said they made a significant dent into the Republican Party’s strategy to defend Trump.

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“There was a sound you can hear during a lot of the testimony today, which was Republican talking points disintegrating, like crystals falling apart,” he said.

Host Jake Tapper asked him to elaborate, and Toobin responded by running down all the ways that the testimony hurt the GOP’s case.

“The idea that all of the information that the Democrats have produced so far was secondhand — well, obviously, today, we heard a great deal about the president’s own role in the July 25th phone call,” Toobin said. “The second point was that, well, Ukraine didn’t know that the aid was conditioned on pursuing these investigations for the president’s political benefit. Col. Vindman refuted that, convincingly.”

Toobin also said that the testimony debunked the talking point that Trump couldn’t have been trying to extort Ukraine because they wound up getting their military aid after all.

“Dan Goldman, the counsel, did a very effective job of showing that the reason the aid was produced was that the whistleblower had come forward at that point,” he said.

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CNN’s Cuomo smacks down GOP congressman for claiming Democrats have no impeachable offense on Trump

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Cuomo Prime Time," Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) tried to claim that Democrats had no impeachable offenses against Trump — and anchor Chris Cuomo promptly fact-checked him.

"I still ask that question, what was the impeachable offense?" said Mullin. "They started with quid pro quo, moved to bribery and when the articles of impeachment came out, they say it's high crimes and misdemeanors. From day one they have been in search of a crime. They've been trying to explain to the American people why they're impeaching a duly elected president. Underneath the past impeachments it was very clear. Clinton committed perjury. Andrew Johnson, he removed the Secretary of War illegally and Nixon broke into the DNC. Those are impeachable offenses. I ask the question—"

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Trump and Barr’s attacks could chill the FBI from investigating future election crimes: Ex-FBI counsel

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former FBI general counsel James Baker warned that President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's attempts to smear and discredit the FBI — even in the face of an inspector general report broadly exonerating their investigation of Russia — could lead to FBI agents steering away from investigations of future election interference.

"I think it sends a terrible message," said Baker. "The president's statements, I think in his tweet, whenever it was, about Director Wray — I mean, the FBI is not a 'broken' organization. It is not and has not been. It's a tremendous organization. It's out there every day defending America. So the American people should rest assured that the FBI is there, doing its job. It's protecting all of us."

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Bill Barr is acting as ‘the president’s lawyer’ against the agency he is supposed to be leading: Ex-FBI deputy director

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On Tuesday's edition of CNN's "OutFront," former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe excoriated Attorney General William Barr for trying to poison public perception of the FBI — even as his own department's inspector general debunked right-wing conspiracies of an FBI-centric "deep state" working to bring down President Donald Trump.

"The attorney general of the United States is saying others, but also you, acted in bad faith," said anchor Erin Burnett.

"That's absolutely false," said McCabe. "It didn't happen. I know that. I didn't need the IG to tell me that. But it's good the IG reported there is no situations of that what so far."

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