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Republicans worried Ron Johnson’s investigation of Obama officials will blow up in their faces: report

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According to a report from Politico, not all Republicans are on-board with an investigation by Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) into the actions of former officials who served President Barack Obama’s administration, fearing it could blow up in their faces during a tough election year.

Johnson, in his capacity as the senior Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, is set to open an inquiry into officials in the previous administration who were involved in the federal government’s investigation into Russian ties to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in a move that, reportedly, will please Donald Trump.

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According to the report, “He [Johnson] is also investigating corruption allegations involving Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic presidential nominee, stemming from the younger Biden’s role on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Trump and congressional Republicans have claimed the former vice president sought to shield his son from a Ukrainian-led investigation into Burisma — though Biden denies the allegation,” with Politico adding that, “In both instances, Democrats have accused Johnson of abusing his power, misusing the Senate’s oversight resources to boost Trump’s political prospects, and even operating a Russian disinformation front that jeopardizes U.S. election security — all serious allegations, even in today’s hyperpartisan Senate.”

Democrats are not the only ones having misgivings about Johnson’s hearings, as some Republicans think there are more important fights for the party to engage in with the economy in free-fall and GOP prospects at the ballot box not looking good.

“Privately, Senate Republicans are worried that the efforts to relitigate the Russia investigation and the events of 2016 could backfire, according to a GOP senator who was granted anonymity to candidly address the situation,” Politico’s Andrew Desiderio reports. “Republicans are especially concerned about the perception that their priorities are not in order as the country is reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, staggeringly high unemployment and unrest over recent police killings of unarmed African Americans.”

According to one Democrat, Johnson is wasting his time and carrying water for the Republican National Committee.

“We’re in the middle of a pandemic and a peaceful uprising against police brutality, and [Johnson is] running errands for the Republican National Committee,” Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI said in an interview. “And it’s a misuse of his position.”

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) — who is also launching a similar investigation — came to Johnson’s defense and said that neither he nor his Republican colleague are doing Trump’s bidding.

“So I think [Johnson] is just sort of a good-government guy, and that’s driving his passion,” Graham explained. “Nobody said that about me when I supported the Mueller investigation. I was a great guy. Now that I want to know how it got so off the rails and got so corrupt, I’m shilling for Trump. Not gonna work.”

You can read more here.

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2020 Election

Trump ripped as a ‘traitor’ by veterans for his mask photo-op at Walter Reed Hospital

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The veteran advocacy organization Vote Vets on Sunday blasted President Donald Trump for holding a photo-op at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

After a round of golf on Saturday, Trump traveled to the hospital to be photographed by the press pool wearing a mask, which was a first since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vote Vets, which says it has raised over $120 million since being founded in 2006 and made over 50 million voter contacts, released a new video on Trump's visit.

The ad says it shows "what wounded warriors see when Trump comes for a photo-op."

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2020 Election

Trump’s push to reopen schools prematurely is an assault on states’ rights that may prove deadly

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It’s hard to avoid a sense of déjà vu as the Trump regime threatens to withhold federal education funding from states that refuse to re-open their schools this fall. The contours of the “debate,” such as it is, perfectly align with the one we had a couple of months ago about re-opening businesses in the midst of a pandemic.

Then, as now, conservatives tried to frame the issue as a choice between re-opening and staying stuck in quarantine indefinitely. Those less moored to reality, including the President, insisted that proponents of quarantines were only motivated by a desire to undermine Trump’s prospects for re-election. The real divide at the time was between those of us who wanted to follow the science, build up adequate testing and contact-tracing capacity and re-open safely once the rate of infection had declined, and those, mostly on the right, who wanted to re-open prematurely either because they believed we’d achieve herd immunity if we let the outbreak run its course or because they thought Covid-19 was a “hoax” that was no more serious than the seasonal flu.

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2020 Election

How 68,000 COVID-19 survivors created a world-class patient resource group in just four months

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Diana Berrent was one of the first people in her hometown of Port Washington, New York, to get COVID-19. Back then, in early March 2020, only immunocompromised and seniors were believed to be high-risk; hence, as a 46-year-old yoga practitioner and runner, Berrent was "shocked" when she woke up with a 103-degree fever and respiratory infection — symptoms that strongly suggested she had coronavirus, which was later confirmed by a test.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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