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‘Blow up the phones’: Demands that #BoltonMustTestify surge after new Trump’s Ukrainian aid freeze

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A day after Democratic lawmakers demanded that former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, grassroots political action groups urged the American public to call their representatives and add their voices to the call for a fair trial.

“Hearing from first-hand witnesses in the Senate trial is now a necessity,” tweeted the progressive group Stand Up America. “Call your senators now and demand a fair trial.”

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The New York Times reported Sunday night that an unpublished manuscript of Bolton’s memoir showed that in August 2019 Trump told the then-national security official that he didn’t want to lift a freeze on aid to Ukraine until the country’s government agreed to launch investigations into Democrats including former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the news “stunning” Monday morning and demanded Republicans end what Democratic leaders have called a “cover-up” of the facts.

“It goes right to the heart of the charges against the president,” Schumer said at a press conference. “Ambassador Bolton essentially confirms the president committed the offenses charged in the first article of impeachment.”

“We have a witness with firsthand evidence of the president’s actions for which he is on trial,” he continued. “How can Senate Republicans not vote to call that witness and request his documents?”

Bolton has previously stated that he would be open to testifying in the impeachment case and has suggested he may have information pertinent to the trial. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), however, has coordinated with the White House on his management of the Senate trial and last week led his party through several votes in which the GOP rejected calls for government documents and witnesses to be subpoenaed.

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“Blow up the phones, children,” actress and activist Sandra Bernhard tweeted after the news of Bolton’s unpublished revelations broke.

Bernhard’s tweet was one of many making similar calls.

As part of its lobbying and mobilization effort, MoveOn.org announced Monday it was rolling out a new billboard campaign aimed at key Republican senators.

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The billboard was positioned on Capitol Hill and targets Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Mitt Romney (R-Utah), and others who have said they would consider having witnesses as part of the impeachment trial.

Republicans “are refusing to hold a fair trial, refusing the Senate access to White House documents and refusing to hear from valuable witnesses,” said Rahna Epting, executive director or MoveOn. “This is not the American way. Republicans are showing that they care more about their loyalty to Donald Trump than the interests of the American taxpayer and upholding our constitution.”

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The few Republicans “who can still choose the Constitution over Trump”, Epting said, “need to know that voters all across the country want the full truth—and history will remember if they stand up for the truth.”


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There’s no respite from Trump’s vindictiveness and foolishness

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As we know, even in the midst of a national emergency, Donald Trump could find time and bandwidth to continue his retribution campaign.

He dismissed Michael Atkinson, the inspector general for the intelligence agencies, for doing “a terrible job,” satisfying his own thirst for vengeance for anyone who actually adhered to law and practice over blind loyalty to Trump himself. Indeed, asked about it the next day, Trump underscored his action by saying, Atkinson “was no Trump supporter, that I can tell you.”

It was an act that we once would have labeled corruption, by Democrats and Republicans – that is using the office for personal purposes – if Congress and too many Americans had not since become inured by so many like instances.

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This is how Taiwan and South Korea bucked the global lockdown trend

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As the coronavirus pandemic sparks global lockdowns, life has continued comparatively unhindered in places like Taiwan, South Korea and Hong Kong after their governments and citizens took decisive early action against the unfolding crisis.

At first glance Taiwan looks like an ideal candidate for the coronavirus. The island of 23 million lies just 180 kilometres (110 miles) off mainland China.

Yet nearly 100 days in, Taiwan has just 376 confirmed cases and five fatalities while restaurants, bars, schools, universities and offices remain open.

The government of President Tsai Ing-wen, whose deputy is an epidemiologist, made tough decisions while the crisis was nascent to stave off the kind of pain now convulsing much of the rest of the world.

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Republican ex-lawmaker with coronavirus scolds Wisconsin GOP for forcing voters to risk their health

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On CNN Tuesday, former Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), who is himself dealing with a bout of COVID-19, chastised the Wisconsin GOP for doing everything in their power to block the state elections from being moved — and forcing many voters to stand in line and risk exposure to the virus to cast their ballot.

"I have to tell you, here in Pennsylvania we have a Democratic governor and Republican legislature," Dent told host Don Lemon. "They postponed the election here from April 28 until June 2. Without any controversy. Everybody agreed it was the right thing to do and they moved on. I'm surprised Wisconsin took this risk, knowing they don't have to."

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