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Tuesday, Oct 04th

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Acting U.S. spy chief overhauls agency in defiance of congressional concerns

Richard Grenell overhauls intel agency defying Congressional oversightDefying congressional oversight concerns, U.S. President Donald Trump’s acting director of national intelligence on Friday unveiled organizational changes to his agency.

Richard Grenell, who is expected to be replaced in coming months by Trump’s full-time nominee, said the changes were the result of a lengthy review and would make more efficient use of funds and enhance intelligence support for the Pentagon.

Grenell, a Trump loyalist who also serves as U.S. ambassador to Germany, proceeded with the reorganization after rebuffing a request last month for details of changes he planned from the Democratic chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam Schiff.

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House Votes To Revive Equal Rights Amendment, Removing Ratification Deadline

ERA revived in House of Representaatives

The U.S. House has voted to remove the deadline on ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment in an attempt to revive the amendment. The 232-183 vote fell largely along party lines with five Republicans supporting the measure and zero Democrats opposing it.

Changing the deadline is a key part of one route that some ERA proponents believe would lead to the amendment becoming a part of the Constitution, but the path forward is uncertain.

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Senate hears opening arguments making the case against Trump

Trump impeachment trial begins

House managers, led by Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), began presenting three days of opening arguments Wednesday in the historic Senate impeachment trial of President Trump on charges of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

Earlier in the day, Trump said at a news conference in Switzerland that he “can live either way” with the Senate’s decision on whether to call witnesses in a trial focused on his administration’s conduct toward Ukraine.

The crux of the House case is the allegation that Trump withheld military aid and a White House meeting to pressure Ukraine to investigate former vice president Joe Biden, a political rival, as well as his son Hunter Biden.

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Supreme Court ruling pulls rug out from under article of impeachment

Supreme Court The decision by the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump undercuts the second article of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines last week.

That second article of impeachment charges President Trump with obstruction of Congress for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas in the absence of a final court order. In so charging him, the House Judiciary Committee has arrogated to itself the power to decide the validity of its subpoenas, as well as the power to determine whether claims of executive privilege must be recognized, both powers that properly belong with the judicial branch of our government, not the legislative branch. The House of Representatives will do likewise.

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The 2 articles of impeachment against President Trump explained – and what happens next

Trump articles of impeachmentThe House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday unveiled two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.

The articles – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress – are charges of wrongdoing that lay out specific assertions of how the president violated the U.S. Constitution and the oath of his office.

Each of the articles will be voted on separately by the Judiciary Committee later this week, possibly Thursday. Those the panel approves will go to the full House for a vote, probably with a simple majority in the Democratic-controlled body on each article.

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Lobbyist says he wasn't lobbying when he tried to oust Ukrainian ambassador. Experts disagree.

Robert LivingstonAn allegation that Bob Livingston, a congressman-turned-lobbyist, sought to oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine raises questions about whether he violated a federal law that requires lobbyists to disclose their work for foreign clients.

Livingston, a former high-ranking House member who heads an influential Washington lobbying firm, repeatedly called Foreign Service Officer Catherine Croft and pressed for the ouster of the ambassador, Marie Yovanovitch, Croft told impeachment investigators last week.

In Croft's written statement, she said Livingston told her that Yovanovitch – now a key figure in impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump – was an “Obama holdover” associated with George Soros, the billionaire investor, philanthropist, Democratic donor, and Trump critic.

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State Department official testifies as part of impeachment inquiry

Philip ReekerPhilip Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of European and Eurasian affairs, is testifying before the House committees conducting the impeachment inquiry in a closed deposition on Saturday. Reeker is the latest in a line of current and former administration officials testifying about their knowledge of a July 25 call where President Trump asked the Ukrainian president to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden.

An official working on the impeachment inquiry told CBS News that Reeker received a subpoena to appear.

"In light of an attempt by the State Department to direct Ambassador Philip Reeker not to appear for his scheduled deposition, and efforts by the State Department to also limit any testimony that does occur, the House Intelligence Committee issued a subpoena to compel his testimony. As is required of him, Ambassador Reeker is now complying with the subpoena and answering questions," the official said.

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