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Former senator reveals to Maddow how one brave Democrat can reveal key document in impeachment trial

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Near the end of Wednesday’s impeachment trial, Chief Justice John Roberts announced that an agreement had been made to allow senators to read supplemental testimony from Vice President Mike Pence aide Jennifer Williams.

The document will remain classified, despite claims that there is no classified material in the document, only evidence that is damning to the president.

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“In terms of this document potentially being improperly classified, which is something that has been raised in writing by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and raised on the floor of the Senate tonight by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA),” MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow noted. “Obviously, it was the vice president’s office that said it was classified, they are getting publicly criticized for that. If it has been improperly classified and it should be something that the public can see, who adjudicates that?”

“Well, it’s complicated. Ultimately a court does if it gets to that,” said former Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO). “You can’t classify things just to keep them out of the public eye, there has to be a rational basis for the classification. And ultimately it would be a matter for the judges.”

The former lawmaker noted another dynamic.

A single Democratic senator could make the decision to read the document into the record or summarize it, on the Senate floor.

In theory, the senator would be protected from prosecution by the constitution’s speech and debate clause.

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As McCaskill noted, the decision flips the burden of proof, making the administration prove that the document should have been classified.

Following today’s impeachment trial, all 47 Senate Democrats were allowed to view the document in a secure room. Under McCaskill’s theory, it would only take bravery from a single member to reveal if the Trump administration and Pence are unproperly classifying documents to cover-up wrongdoing.

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‘America the racist and pitiful’: Columnist says Trump has turned the US into a laughingstock

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On Friday, writing for The New Yorker, Robin Wright lamented that under President Donald Trump, the rest of the world has cemented a view of America as racist and incompetent — and the country may struggle to redefine itself even after he is gone.

"On the eve of America’s anniversary — our two hundred and forty-fourth — much of the world believes that the country is racist, battered and bruised," wrote Wright. "'Europe has long been suspicious — even jealous — of the way America has been able to pursue national wealth and power despite its deep social inequities,' Robin Niblett, the director of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, also known as Chatham House, in London, told me. 'When you take the Acela and pass through the poorest areas of Baltimore, you can’t believe you’re looking at part of the United States. There’s always been this sense of an underlying flaw in the U.S. system that it was getting away with — that somehow America was keeping just one step ahead of the grim reaper.'"

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Suspicions mount that this Fox News host will run for president in 2024

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Although Fox News’ Tucker Carlson is an incredibly polarizing and divisive figure, he is by no means obscure: the far-right host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” gets huge ratings. And according to Politico’s Alex Thompson, there is talk in right-wing circles of Carlson possibly running for president as a Republican in 2024.

Thompson, in an article published on July 2, explains, “Tucker Carlson’s audience is booming — and so is chatter that the popular Fox News host will parlay his TV perch into a run for president in 2024. Republican strategists, conservative commentators and former Trump campaign and administration officials are buzzing about Carlson as the next-generation leader of Donald Trump’s movement — with many believing he would be an immediate frontrunner in a Republican primary.”

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Trump’s official day starts at 4:45 pm today so he can travel to Mt. Rushmore for a fireworks show denounced as ‘insane’

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President Donald Trump today is living the dream. Actually, living a dream he's had for at least two years: to preside over fireworks at Mt. Rushmore, the iconic 80-year old national monument to four of America's greatest presidents.

The first item on the President's White House schedule is a 4:45 PM ET departure for what will be more than four hours of travel via Marine One, Air Force One, and presumably some form of government ground transportation to the the Black Hills of Keystone, South Dakota, the home of the Mount Rushmore National Memorial. The First Lady is expected to accompany the President.

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