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McConnell’s impeachment collusion admission handed the Democrats a powerful new weapon to damage the president

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Mitch McConnell’s admission on Fox News that he is working behind the scenes with the White House to stack the Senate impeachment trial gives Democrats a potent weapon against the GOP, wrote Greg Sargent and Paul Waldman in the Washington Post.

“If Democrats play their procedural cards right, they can pressure Republicans to allow for a much fairer and more open trial that could actually produce new revelations — and if they refuse, extract a political price for it,” they wrote.

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“By telling Sean Hannity that the process of Trump’s trial will be set up ‘in coordination with Trump’s legal team,’ McConnell told the world he wants to rig the process to produce maximal benefit for Trump,” they explained. “But McConnell might not actually be able to do this, if he doesn’t have 51 GOP votes for it — which could be the case, if vulnerable GOP senators don’t want to go along with it. And that allows Democrats to make a public case for a much fairer and more open process — and to try to force those vulnerable GOP senators to take a stand on whether they, too, want a fair and open process.”

For example, they can demand the administration produce documents and witnesses that the Trump administration has refused to allow in the House, and lean on vulnerable Republicans like Susan Collins (R-ME) and Cory Gardner (R-CO) to take their side by holding McConnell’s words over their head. And if they refuse, it will be a potent weapon in campaign ads.

“Democrats can seize on McConnell’s sneering proclamation that he’ll turn the trial into a massive coverup (which he may not even be able to do) to press for a process that could do the opposite — allow for a full airing out of aspects of this scandal that the White House has tried to keep buried,” they concluded. “And that might not be so easy for vulnerable GOP senators to resist.”

You can read more here.

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CNN

‘What the hell does that mean?’ CNN’s Berman buries Tucker Carlson’s non-apology for employing racist lead writer

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Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Monday night acknowledged that his former lead writer, Blake Neff, had been let go after it was revealed that for years he had posted racist messages in a chat room under a pseudonym.

Oliver Darcy, the CNN reporter who broke the story about Neff, told hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota on Tuesday that it was notable that Carlson never said he was sorry for employing a straight-up racist to write for his show.

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2020 Election

Why is the stock market soaring amid a pandemic? Because Trump thinks that may save him

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Donald Trump isn't a smart man, but he knows how to manipulate the stock market. Not only is he allegedly engaging in market manipulation while president, but it's a Trump con that goes back decades.

Back in October 2018, the New York Times published a Pulitzer Prize-winning profile of Trump's extensive tax fraud schemes, and in the process of that reporting uncovered one of the ways Trump screwed with the financial markets. Journalists David Barstow, Susanne Craig and Russ Buettner reported that Trump would routinely engage in a scam known colloquially as "greenmailing." It involved Trump, along with his father, Fred, as his "wing man," exploiting the news media to pump up the price of a stock by planting rumors, devised by Trump himself, about a takeover. This would drive up the price of the stock, only for Trump to either sell or to demand "lucrative concessions from the target company to make him go away."

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CNN

‘Not even Nixon rewarded his henchmen this way’: CNN’s Avlon lists off all the criminals Trump sprung with pardons

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On CNN Tuesday, fact-checker John Avlon broke down the pattern of President Donald Trump rewarding criminals in his orbit with pardons and commutations.

"The Trump orbit has far more than the fair share of felons, many of them out of prison only after sucking up to the president," said Avlon. "Roger Stone is a felon and just the latest beneficiary of the presidential gift to loyalists. A commutation of his 40-month sentence. Even though one of the prosecutors testified they had pressured to go easy on Stone because of the relationship with president. He tampered with witnesses, he was the campaign's primary conduit to Wikileaks, and had hoped to be rewarded for not rolling over on Trump. Not even Nixon rewarded the henchman this way."

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