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Text messages suggest Giuliani’s associates put a tail on Ukraine ambassador Yovanovitch

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U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Among the trove of information released to the House Intelligence Committee by indicted Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas is a string of text messages that suggests Parnas and his cohorts were tracking the movements of U.S. Ambassador to the Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, who was a sharp critic of Giuliani’s scheme to extort Ukraine with military aid.

“She’s talked to three people. Her phone is off. Computer is off,” said Robert F. Hyde in a one text exchange to Parnas. “She’s next to the embassy. Not in the embassy. Private security. Been there since Thursday.”

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“Interesting,” Parnas replied.

Yovanovitch was later recalled from the foreign service at Giuliani’s direction.

Parnas, along with his alleged co-conspirator Igor Fruman, are accused of campaign finance violations surrounding the Ukraine scheme. Giuliani himself is also reportedly under criminal investigation, and the scheme is a key subject of the first article of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

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Over 20K Christians sign petition calling on Catholic group to rescind award for Bill Barr

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A petition put forth by the Christian group Faithful America is urging the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast to cancel a planned award of Attorney General Bill Barr, Newsweek reports.

The petition was signed by over 20,000 Christians, calling Barr's record an example of "unjust, corrupt authoritarianism." As of this writing, the petition has garnered almost 21,000 signatures.

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2020 Election

Fox News anchor hosting first presidential debate picks Trump campaign talking points as topics

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Chris Wallace, the Fox News anchor who will moderate the first presidential debate in one week from today, has decided on the topics. The Commission on Presidential Debates has released the list, and at least half are literally Trump campaign issues and talking points.

The list includes: The Trump and Biden Records, The Supreme Court, Covid-19, The Economy, Race and Violence in our Cities, The Integrity of the Election.

Americans have said in large numbers the debates are of minimal importance to their decision-making, and polls show most voters are already decided. NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray on Sunday reports a new NBC News/WSJ poll shows "a combined 71% of voters don't see the upcoming debates as being very important to deciding their vote."

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2020 Election

Mike Bloomberg raises $16 million to pay fines of 32,000 former felons so they can vote again in Florida: report

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Earlier this year, Vice President Joe Biden and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg were rivals in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary; now, Bloomberg is one of Biden’s most generous donors and is fighting to help him win Florida in the general election — and that includes paying the fines of almost 32,000 African-American and Latino voters who have felony convictions.

Michael Scherer, in the Washington Post, explains that “Bloomberg and his team” have raised $16 million for “a program organized by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to pay the fines, fees and restitution costs for former prisoners who are already registered to vote in Florida but barred by law from participating in the election because of those outstanding debts.”

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