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Thursday, Jun 22nd

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Devin Nunes Vanished the Night Before He Made Trump Surveillance Claims

Devin Nunes midnight runHours before the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee announced his shocking claims about surveillance of the Trump transition team on Wednesday morning, he practically disappeared.

Rep. Devin Nunes was traveling with a senior committee staffer in an Uber on Tuesday evening when he received a communication on his phone, three committee officials and a former national security official with ties to the committee told The Daily Beast. After the message, Nunes left the car abruptly, leaving his own staffer in the dark about his whereabouts.

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Intel Dem blasts decision to cancel public hearing

Adam SchiffThe ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee on Friday denounced the cancellation of an open hearing related to the panel's investigation of Russian interference in the presidential election that was expected to occur Tuesday.

Several former senior Obama administration officials were set to testify.

"We don't welcome cutting off public access to information," Rep Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told reporters immediately after the chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), announced the cancellation,

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GOP Rep. Hunter under criminal campaign finance investigation

Rep. Hunter being invetigatedThe Justice Department is investigating Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), the House Ethics Committee revealed in a statement on Thursday.

The ethics panel was reviewing alleged campaign finance violations by Hunter but has halted that work at the request of the Justice Department, the panel said.

“The Department of Justice has asked the Committee to defer consideration of this matter and the Committee, following precedent, unanimously voted on March 22, 2017, to defer consideration of this matter at this time,” the House Ethics Committee in a statement.

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Thursday vote on health care bill canceled

Mark MeadowsPresident Donald Trump and conservative House Freedom Caucus members failed to strike a deal on the GOP Obamacare replacement Thursday, endangering the prospects of passage and all but assuring any immediate vote on the measure would fail.

Hours later, House leaders canceled a planned Thursday night vote on the legislation. There was no immediate word when a vote might occur.

Negotiations between Trump and the arch-conservatives opponents of the bill reached at least a temporary standstill after Freedom Caucus members were told recent concessions to the far-right represented a final offer. The group rejected that, wanting more.

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Schumer: Dems Will Filibuster Gorsuch Nomination

Chuck SchmerOn the final day of the confirmation hearings for Judge Neil Gorsuch, the Senate Democratic leader announced his opposition to the Supreme Court nominee.

In a speech on the Senate floor, Chuck Schumer said Gorsuch "will have to earn 60 votes for confirmation," setting up a showdown with Republican leaders who may attempt to change Senate rules.

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Rep. Elijah Cummings Suggests Trump May Have Fired Preet Bharara To Block Investigation

Elijah CummingsRep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, questioned on Sunday President Donald Trump’s motives in firing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, suggesting that he might have been acting in his own self-interest to stop a potential corruption investigation.

On Friday, the Trump administration asked 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama to resign. While it’s not unusual for presidents to put their own people in these positions, it’s normally not quite so abrupt and sudden.

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The coming GOP assault on regulations

BannonWhile President Donald Trump has launched a noisy crusade to slash regulations that constrain American businesses, Republicans in Congress have embarked on a less prominent but potentially more lasting effort to make it much harder for federal agencies to create new regulations in the future.

There is a flurry of anti-regulatory legislation floating around Capitol Hill, but it is becoming clear that the key Republican vehicle to rein in rulemaking will be Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s Regulatory Accountability Act. A 16-page draft of the legislation obtained by POLITICO was significantly less radical than several aggressive bills recently passed by the House of Representatives, but industry groups have pinned their hopes on this one attracting support from enough moderate Democrats to overcome a Senate filibuster and make it to Trump’s desk. And even if the Portman bill won’t automatically ensure “the deconstruction of the administrative state” promised by White House adviser Steve Bannon, it could still dramatically curtail the power of government regulators in the long run.

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