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Tuesday, Oct 22nd

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Acting OMB director says he will not testify in impeachment inquiry

Russ Vought will not testify

Acting Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russ Vought said Monday that he and OMB's associate director for national security programs will not cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry.

“I saw some Fake News over the weekend to correct," Vought tweeted.

"As the WH letter made clear two weeks ago, OMB officials - myself and Mike Duffey - will not be complying with deposition requests this week. #shamprocess” he added.

It was unclear what reporting he was disputing.

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House Intelligence Committee members call on Giuliani to testify

Rudy Guiliani

A Democrat and a Republican on the House Intelligence Committee reiterated Sunday that Rudy Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, should testify before Congress, days after he refused to comply with the House’s impeachment inquiry.

In interviews with CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.) said that Giuliani was key to understanding pressure the Trump administration placed on the Ukrainian government to investigate Vice President Joe Biden and his family, while Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) said testimony from the former New York mayor would be helpful.

“I would say at the very center of this whole ugly episode of the use of military aid and the White House meeting in an effort to get an investigation into Joe Biden and to get Ukraine to interfere in our election is Rudy Giuliani,” Himes said. “Rudy Giuilani has refused to appear before the committee, but he is at the very core of this question.”

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Elijah Cummings, powerful Democratic chairman and Trump target, dies at 68

Elijah Cummings dies at 68

Rep. Elijah Cummings — the Baltimore-area Democrat who chaired the powerful House Oversight Committee and drew the ire of President Donald Trump — died early Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital due to complications from long-standing health challenges, his office said in a statement. He was 68.

Cummings had represented Maryland's 7th Congressional District for 23 years before ascending in January to his perch atop the Oversight panel, from which he oversaw several investigations into the administration. Along with House Intelligence Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), he was one of three committee leaders guiding House Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

Cummings was a force inside the Democratic Caucus who earned the trust of Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to take on some of the toughest and most politically sensitive assignments. Known for his booming oratory and poetic delivery, Cummings quickly emerged as one of Democrats' most effective critics of the Trump administration.

TVNL Comment: Rest in peace, eliah Cummings.  The country and the world have lost a great man far too soon.

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House overwhelmingly votes bipartisan condemnation of Trump withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria

House overwhelmingly votes to condemn Trump Syria moveThe House on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly to condemn President Donald Trump's withdrawal of American forces from northern Syria.

Despite stark divisions over Democrats' Trump impeachment inquiry, Democrats and Republicans banded together and approved a nonbinding resolution by 354-60 vote.

The resolution states Congress' opposition to the troop pullback and says Turkey should cease its military action in Syria. And the measure says the White House should present a plan for an "enduring defeat" of the Islamic State group.

The House debate was extraordinary for the intensity of lawmakers' opinions.

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Democratic leaders walk out of meeting with Trump on Syria, claim president had 'meltdown'

Dem leaders walk out of meetingCongressional Democrats walked out of a White House meeting on Syria Wednesday, claiming President Donald Trump was demeaning to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

"“He was insulting, particularly to the speaker. He called her a ‘third-rate politician,'" said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. "This was not a dialogue, it was sort of a diatribe."

Pelosi said Trump was “shaken up” by having lost most Republicans in a Wednesday vote condemning Trump's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria,

“What we witnessed on the part of the president was a meltdown, sad to say," Pelosi said.

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U.S. appeals court to revisit Trump win in hotel 'emoluments' case

Emoluments case to be revisitedA U.S. appeals court on Tuesday said it would reconsider an earlier ruling that handed victory to U.S. President Donald Trump in a Democratic-backed lawsuit that accuses him of violating anti-corruption provisions of the U.S. Constitution with his Washington hotel.

The Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an order that it would rehear arguments in the case, which was brought by the Democratic attorneys general of Maryland and the District of Columbia.

A three-judge panel of the court ruled on July 10 that the attorneys general lacked legal standing to bring the lawsuit, which alleged violations of constitutional provisions known as the Emoluments Clauses that bans the president from accepting gifts or payments from foreign governments without congressional consent.

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Former Rep. Pete Sessions Subpoenaed Over Giuliani Contacts

pete sessions subpoenaed

Former Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) received a subpoena over his contacts with Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani from a grand jury in connection with a Manhattan federal criminal investigation of the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York.

The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the subpoena, said that it sought documents “related to Mr. Giuliani’s business dealings with Ukraine and his involvement in efforts to oust the U.S. ambassador in Kyiv, as well as any interactions between” Sessions, Giuliani, and four of his associates who were indicted last week in a campaign finance scheme.

Matt Mackowiak, a Sessions spokesman, told TPM that the former congressman was “cooperating with the U.S. Attorney from the Southern District of New York and will be providing documents to their office related to this matter over the next couple of weeks as requested.”

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