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CORRUPTION

Impeachment Probe Looking Into Mulvaney Involvement With Ukraine Before Trump Phone Call: Report

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According to a report at the Daily Beast, Democrats are asking questions about acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s curious decision to hold up a weapons shipment to Ukraine before Donald Trump’s phone call with President Zelensky.

The report notes that Mulvaney, in his other job as head of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), held up the sale of Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine even after the Trump administration had approved the sale.

The Beast reports, “The unusual move didn’t just foreshadow the huge fight that has President Donald Trump now facing impeachment. It also caught the eye of congressional investigators in the impeachment inquiry. This summer, OMB delayed the provision of a second shipment of military aid to Ukraine. An Intelligence Community whistleblower pointed to the Trump administration’s decision to temporarily hold up the aid as a source of concern about alleged efforts to extort Ukraine. Democrats responded by opening an impeachment inquiry.”

According to one Democrat, Mulvaney has some explaining to do.

“If I were an enterprising reporter, I’d spend a little bit of time on the issue of Javelin missiles,” Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA) told reporters on Wednesday.

The report goes on to note that Mulvaney has been closed-mouthed about the decision even when pressed by the Pentagon.

“Various officials, including the anonymous whistleblower whose account launched the impeachment probe, have said that OMB—which remains under Mulvaney’s leadership after his promotion to Trump’s acting chief of staff—declined to explain to the Department of State, the Pentagon, and Capitol Hill why it froze the 2019 aid package,” the report states. “The postponement generated quiet confusion and frustration for months. It is highly unusual for OMB to get involved with funds that had already been apportioned by Congress, as the Ukraine aid had.”

That, in turn, has drawn scrutiny from House investigators.

“Mulvaney’s skepticism about the Javelin sales has drawn the attention of impeachment investigators, who are scrutinizing his work on Ukraine policy,” The Beast reports. “He is already a central focus of the impeachment inquiry, thanks to his role in delaying nearly $400 million of U.S. security aid to Ukraine. Officials have testified that the Trump administration temporarily withheld that aid in an effort to force Kyiv to announce an investigation of the Bidens.”

You can read more here.

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CORRUPTION

Busted: Barr Personally Briefed Trump on DOJ Investigation Into 9 Discarded Ballots

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Attorney General Bill Barr personally briefed President Donald Trump about nine ballots that were found discarded in Pennsylvania.

President Trump first revealed the investigation onto the small number of discarded ballots in an interview with Fox News Radio on Thursday. He later repeated and embellished his claims when talking with reporters later that day.

ABC News, which first reported Barr’s extreme involvement with the case and briefing the president, noted that Trump, “without evidence, argued that it bolsters his baseless claims of widespread fraud in mail-in voting.”

Trump used the information from the attorney general to spread more false allegations about by-mail voting being unsafe.

The Justice Dept. Thursday afternoon issued a press release claiming all nine were ballots cast for Trump. It later deleted that document and published a new one stating 7 of the 9 indicated votes for the president, and two were sealed and the contents unknown.

It is generally not regular practice for an attorney general to brief a president about a small situation. It is almost unheard of for the DOJ to issue a press release or comment on an investigation in progress, especially to reveal major details about the case.

“They were Trump ballots — eight ballots in an office yesterday in — but in a certain state and they were — they had Trump written on it, and they were thrown in a garbage can. This is what’s going to happen,” Trump told Fox News Radio. “This is what’s going to happen, and we’re investigating that.”

He later told reporters, “You know they found I understand eight ballots in a wastepaper basket in some location, they found it was reported in one of the newspapers that they found a lot of ballots in a river. They throw them out if they have the name ‘Trump’ on it I guess,” the President claimed.

“Okay, well they still found them in a river whether they had a name on it or not but the other ones had the Trump name on it. And they were thrown into a wastepaper basket.

NCRM found no reports of ballots being found in a river.

NBC News on Thursday noted that “the White House appeared to have a coordinated rollout of the information coming from the Justice Department.”

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CORRUPTION

‘What Does Putin Have on Him?’ Trump Gives Russia a Pass on Alexei Navalny Poisoning

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All eyes have been on Russia since opposition leader Alexei Navalny fell ill in Siberia.

Navalny was finally air-lifted to German, where the government announced toxicology tests found “unequivocal evidence of a chemical nerve agent,” according to CNN.

“Alexey Navalny was the victim of an attack with a chemical nerve agent of the Novichok group,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. “This poison can be detected without a doubt in the samples.”

Trump was asked about the poisoning on Friday against the backdrop of the alleged pattern of Vladimir Putin poisoning political opponents.

But Trump refused to condemn the attack or hold Putin to account.

“Once again Trump passes on a chance to hold Russia accountable. What does Putin have on him?” CNN analyst Joe Lockhart asked.

Here’s what others were saying:

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CORRUPTION

DeJoy ‘Surprised and Confused’ After House Oversight Committee Subpoenas Him for Ignoring Deadlines

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The Democratic-led House Oversight Committee has followed through on its promise to subpoena the Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, after he failed to meet deadlines for document production in both the House and Senate.

“You are hereby commanded to be and appear before the Committee on Oversight and Reform,” the subpoena, signed by Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) reads.

The Postmaster General says he was “surprised and confused” upon receiving the subpoena.

“We remain surprised and confused by Chairwoman Maloney’s insistence on issuing a subpoena to the Postal Service in the midst of ongoing dialogue with her staff,” the USPS says, as USAToday’s Nicholas Wu reports. “We fully intend to comply with our obligations under the law.”

The Committee has been investigating why the USPS has been removing hundreds of mail sorting machines and post office collection boxes, also known as mailboxes, and suspending overtime.

Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez weighs in:

 

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