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White House lawyer says politicians must separate their business and political interests — even though Trump never has

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On Monday, White House lawyer Eric Herschmann tried to change the subject of the impeachment trial to GOP conspiracy theories about Hunter Biden’s work for Ukraine — and made an impassioned argument for overhauling ethics laws to prevent conflicts of interest for senior government officials.

“I actually think that this is something that is undisputed, that Ukraine had a particularly bad corruption problem,” said Herschmann. “It was so corrupt that dealing with corruption and solving the corruption was a priority for our U.S. foreign policy. Here is how one knowledgeable observer of Ukraine put it in 2015. Quote, ‘It is not enough to set up a new anti-corruption bureau and establish a prosecutor fight corruption, the office of prosecutor general needs to be reformed, and the judiciary needs to be overhauled, and the energy sector needs to be competitive and ruled by market principles and not sweetheart deals. It is not enough to push through the laws to increase transparency with regard to the official sources of income. Senior elected officials have to remove all conflicts between their business interests and their government responsibilities.'”

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Putting aside the problem that Hunter Biden’s conduct has nothing to do with the high crimes for which Trump is accused, there is truth to the criticism that Ukraine’s government suffered from endemic corruption. But Herschmann’s criticisms ring hollow given that the president he is defending is completely festooned with business conflicts, from the fact that he uses presidential trips to boost the value of his own real estate properties, to the fact that his children have used the Trump name to gain trademarks from China.

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Trump is shelling out big time for a law firm that threatens to sue everyone

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President Donald Trump's campaign is spending the greatest portion of its money not on advertising or even defense attorneys, but on a law firm that is threatening to sue the media.

A CNN report Friday explained that Charles Harder's Beverly Hills firm, Harder LLP, is the highest-paid legal bill on the publicly available Trump books. The firm, however, is known for "sending letters to newsrooms alleging defamation and for a lawsuit that gutted the website Gawker."

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‘Prepare for the worst’: CNN’s Avlon skeptical Mike Pence up to coronavirus job

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During his "Reality Check" segment on CNN's "New Day," contributor John Avlon cast a jaundiced eye the appointment of Vice President Mike Pence by Donald Trump to be the administration's point man combating the coronavirus pandemic -- pointing out the veep's history when it comes to health matters is highly suspect.

With the president reportedly admitting that he selected Pence to head the task force because he "doesn't have anything else to do," Avlon began with the age-old advice: "Hope for the best, prepare for the worst."

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CDC employees ‘demoralized’ over Trump interference as they grapple with coronavirus crisis: CNN

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Following a report from CNN Dr. Sanjay Guputa that the U.S. is woefully unprepared to handle a massive outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, "New Day" host John Berman relayed that staffers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have become "demoralized" by the White House response that won't allow them to do their jobs.

The concerned Gupta began by describing problems that will soon become apparent by pointing out, "One is that we may not have enough personal protective gear for our health care workers, and then if they're potentially exposed, they're out of the system. they really can't take care of patients for a while. Who's going to backstop that? Two is this idea of surge capacity. You know, look, we've got about a million hospital beds in the united states. We don't run a hospital system in the United States that is built on redundancy, we have a lot of extra redundancy built into it -- so what happens to these patients?"

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