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GOP senator implicated in Rudy Giuliani plot to smear Biden with help from Russian spy

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Rudy Giuliani and Ukrainian politician Adriy Derkach

The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned one of Rudy Giuliani’s contacts in Ukraine for allegedly trying to interfere in the U.S. election, possibly with the help of a Republican senator.

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney worked closely with Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach, who the Treasury Department described as an active Russian agent for over a decade, to push allegations of misconduct involving Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden.

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“Andrii Derkach and other Russian agents employ manipulation and deceit to attempt to influence elections in the United States and elsewhere around the world,” said Secretary Steven Mnuchin. “The United States will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to counter these Russian disinformation campaigns and uphold the integrity of our election system.”

Derkach had also been supplying documents to Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) and other Republican lawmakers and worked with Giuliani on broadcasts by the pro-Trump One America News Network aimed at undermining impeachment.

“Between May and July 2020, Derkach released edited audio tapes and other unsupported information with the intent to discredit U.S. officials, and he levied unsubstantiated allegations against U.S. and international political figures,” the Treasury Department said in a statement. “Derkach almost certainly targeted the U.S. voting populace, prominent U.S. persons, and members of the U.S. government, based on his reliance on U.S. platforms, English-language documents and videos, and pro-Russian lobbyists in the United States used to propagate his claims.”

Johnson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs, is investigating the origins of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Trump’s ties to Russia, in addition to Biden’s dealings in Ukraine — which formed the basis of the House impeachment trial.

“The more that we expose of the corruption of the transition process between [Barack] Obama and Trump, the more we expose of the corruption within those agencies,” Johnson said last month, “I would think it would certainly help Donald Trump win re-election and certainly be pretty good, I would say, evidence about not voting for Vice President Biden.”

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A whistleblower claims that acting Homeland Security secretary Chad Wolf instructed career officials to downplay Russian efforts to interfere with the election and instead focus on similar efforts by China and Iran.

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‘Highly unusual’: Bill Barr’s Russiagate prosecutor expands probe to include Clinton Foundation

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John Durham, the U.S. attorney appointed by Attorney General Bill Barr to investigate the probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election, has reportedly expanded the scope of his investigation to look into past allegations of wrongdoing by the Clinton Foundation.

The New York Times reports that Durham "has sought documents and interviews about how federal law enforcement officials handled an investigation around the same time into allegations of political corruption at the Clinton Foundation."

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Cops violated Breonna Taylor’s civil rights before they even knocked down her door: Legal expert

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A legal expert explained that Breonna Taylor's civil rights were violated before Louisville police showed up at her apartment to serve a search warrant.

Civil rights attorney Maya Wiley told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" the system that let police off the hook in Taylor's killing was inherently rigged against people of color, because it shields officers from accountability when they make mistakes.

"Remember [this] started as a no-knock warrant, and because she had no criminal record, because there were real questions here, they actually changed it to a knock-and-announce [warrant], that tells you something," Wiley said. "It also tells us we need to know more because, as I said, there were indications the Postal Service inspector said they didn't think there were suspicious packages, so there is a need to understand more."

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2020 Election

Trump made an ‘implicit threat of violence’ when he refused to say he’d leave peacefully: CNN’s Berman

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CNN's John Berman on Thursday accused President Donald Trump of implicitly threatening the use of violence if he loses the 2020 presidential election.

While discussing Trump's refusal to commit to a peaceful transition of power should he lose the 2020 election, Berman said that this was the kind of thing he'd expect to hear from leaders in foreign countries without long traditions of upholding democracy.

"To be clear, the refusal to commit to a peaceful transfer in and of itself is an implicit threat of violence," he said.

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