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House Democrats Zero in on the President’s Talks With Putin — and Whether Trump Broke the Law to Conceal Them

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House Democrats investigating the administration have a long list of questions to pursue about President Donald Trump’s actions in office and before his entry into politics. One of the most intriguing of these lines of inquiries led to a letter sent Monday by the chairs of the Intelligence, Oversight, and Foreign Affairs committees: what exactly is the nature of Trump’s communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin?

The letter from Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA), Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Eliot Engel (D-NY) asks the White House for a large swath of documents and records including:

• The substance of President Trump’s communications with President Putin, including any discussion between the two individuals—during in-person encounters and phone calls— on matters that are within the Committees’ jurisdiction;
• The existence and contents, if applicable, of any documents related to President Trump’s communications with President Putin;
• Whether any such communications have provided a basis for reconsideration, modification, or implementation of foreign policy;
• Whether President Trump or any person(s) acting at his behest or with his knowledge sought to conceal, obscure, or otherwise misrepresent the substance of those communications to other federal officials, departments, or agencies, and/or to shield President Trump from scrutiny by Congress or law enforcement; and
• Whether President Trump, or any person(s) acting at his behest or with his knowledge, failed to create records of, or in any way destroyed, suppressed, mishandled, or otherwise withheld any federal or presidential records, contrary to federal law, including the Federal Records Act and Presidential Records Act.

The letter noted that the House has previously requested basic information to about whether Trump destroyed records of his meetings with Putin, but that request was ignored. Because of this lack of response, the chairmen wrote, “we are now expanding our investigation.”

In January, the Washington Post reported that Trump has gone to unprecedented lengths to conceal information about his meetings with Putin from those within his administration. Not only is this atypical, its the exact opposite of what presidents usually want because their aides can help shape policy and interpret foreign adversaries’ actions when they are involved in these meetings.

And last year, the White House announced that it would stop the practice of regularly issuing readouts of phone calls between Trump and foreign leaders, which means the public has no idea how often he speaks with Putin by phone.

The committee chairmen note that Trump’s bizarre actions with regard to Putin “raise profound counterintelligence and foreign policy concerns, especially in light of Russia’s ongoing active measures campaign to improperly influence American elections.” Indeed, in light of the Trump campaign’s repeated coordination with Russian agents in 2016, and the president’s efforts to interfere in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s campaign, his work to hide his communications with Putin looks downright sinister.

 

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US Breaks 100,000 Mark for Coronavirus Deaths

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At 1:02 PM the United States coronavirus death toll passed the 100,000 mark. It’s been just four months and eight days since the first case of the deadly virus was diagnosed in the U.S.

According to Johns Hopkins and NBC News, the death toll is now 100,012.

President Donald Trump spent months not taking action and downplaying the threat, then falsely claiming it would “disappear,” like a “miracle.”

A new study shows President Trump’s decision to cut off incoming traffic from China forced hundreds of thousands to enter the U.S. without being tested, likely resulting in the huge numbers of coronavirus infections. Trump repeated that deadly error when he shut down traffic from Europe.

The United States has more infections and more coronavirus deaths than any other nation, by far.

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.

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DOJ Refuses to Prosecute GOP Senator Accused of Dumping Stocks in Post-Coronavirus Briefing Insider Trading Scandal

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Bill Barr’s Dept. of Justice has closed the file on U.S. Senator Kelly Loeffler, refusing to prosecute the Republican from Georgia accused of insider trading. Loeffler, who is in an increasingly desperate election bid, was accused of selling millions of dollars in stocks after receiving confidential information on the impending coronavirus pandemic before it tanked the markets.

The FBI was looking into stock trades of Sen. Loeffler, along with those of Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Sen. Richard Burr (D-NC). All investigations except for the one into Senator Burr have been dropped, The Wall Street Journal reports.

All three Senators whose cases were dropped have said their investment advisors made the trades without their prior knowledge.

Loeffler was appointed to her seat in January by Gov. Brian Kemp to complete the term of Senator Johnny Isakson, who resigned. She is down in the polls. Her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, is the chairman of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). He gave Trump’s Super PAC a $1 million check last week. The couple reportedly have donated $3.2 million to political campaigns, mostly Republican.

“Loeffler and her husband sold 27 stocks between January 24 and February 14 at a value of $1.28 million and $3.1 million, according to Senate financial disclosure records,” CNN reported in March. “They also purchased three stocks for between $450,000 to $1 million, including shares in Citrix, a software company used for teleconferencing that’s one of the few that’s gained value amid the coronavirus outbreak.”

Her husband “recently acquired as much as $415,000 in stock in DuPont de Nemours, a chemical company that manufactures protective equipment in exceedingly high demand because of the coronavirus pandemic,” the AP reported last month.

 

 

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‘Effective Immediately’: Amy Cooper Terminated After Calling 911 to Claim a Black Man Was ‘Threatening My Life’

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Amy Cooper has lost her job (permanently), her dog (at least temporarily), and her anonymity after she decided to threaten a Black man with calling 911 and telling police he was threatening her life. She fulfilled that threat, and it was recorded.

Christian Cooper, the Black man who recorded the video that’s gone viral and was the target of Amy Cooper’s apparently unfounded threat, said he stood up to her Monday morning because he refused to be intimidated.

The Washington Post reports Amy Cooper’s employer had placed her on administrative leave Monday. Franklin Templeton, a well-known investment firm, has reviewed the video and terminated her, “effective immediately.”

Christian Cooper, 57, is a Harvard grad, a science editor, and a “birder.”  All he wanted from Amy was to follow the law and leash her dog to prevent him from destroying the grounds in Central Park, which is home to many birds.

It was a simple request.

“I’m not interested in repercussions,” Christian told The Post. “It’s unfortunate what happened. There was definitely a lapse in judgment. But she put the dog on the leash, and I don’t need to see anything else happen to her.”

Many on social media, citing examples, noted that calling the police on a Black man and claiming he is threatening you can be an invitation to have him shot. Amy acknowledged that fact in her apology Monday night.

 

 

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