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Monday, Feb 20th

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Congressman: Rarely used law could make Trump tax returns public

Bill PascrellA New Jersey congressman says a rarely invoked 1924 law could be used to examine President Donald Trump's tax returns for possible conflicts of interest and Constitutional violations.

Rep. Bill Pascrell, a Democrat who serves on the Ways and Means Committee, has asked the committee’s chairman, Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas, to order the Treasury Department to provide tax returns to the committee. Brady's office did not respond to a request for comment Friday.

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Trump brings up vote fraud again, this time in meeting with senators

Trump still talking voter fraudPresident Donald Trump can’t stop—won’t stop—talking about the election.

On Thursday, during a meeting with 10 senators that was billed as a listening session about Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, the president went off on a familiar tangent, suggesting again that he was a victim of widespread voter fraud despite the fact that he won the presidential election.

As soon as the door closed and the reporters allowed to observe for a few minutes had been ushered out, Trump began to talk about the election, participants said, triggered by the presence of former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who lost her reelection bid in November and is now working for Trump as a Capitol Hill liaison, or “Sherpa,” on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.

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Jeff Sessions confirmed as U.S. Attorney General

Jeff Sessions confirnedAlabama Senator Jeff Sessions was confirmed Wednesday as the next U.S. Attorney General.

The Senate split mostly along party lines in the vote for Sessions. Only one Democrat - West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin - crossed the aisle to support Sessions.  The final vote was 52-47.

Sessions will be sworn in shortly by President Donald Trump.

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Sanders, Dems read Coretta Scott King's letter after Warren silenced

Sanders reads Coretta King letterSenate Democrats are taking to the Senate floor to read Coretta Scott King's letter after Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) was temporarily banned from speaking.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) took the Senate floor on Wednesday to read the 1986 letter King wrote opposing Sen. Jeff Sessions's (R-Ala.) nomination for a federal judgeship.

"The idea that a letter and a statement made by Coretta Scott King, the widow of Martin Luther King Jr. ... could not be presented and spoken about here on the floor of the Senate is, to me, incomprehensible," he said from the Senate floor.

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McConnell: Warren’s blistering Sessions speech broke Senate rules

McConnell shuts down WarrwenSenate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) accused Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) of breaking the Senate’s rules with a blistering floor speech against Sen. Jeff Sessions’s attorney general nomination.

The Senate’s top Republican interrupted Warren’s speech to argue that she was violating the upper chamber’s rules, despite an initial warning by GOP Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.), who was presiding over the Senate.

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House passes bill requiring warrant for email searches

email surveillance bill passed in HouseA bipartisan bill to update privacy laws was unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives that would require law enforcement to get a warrant in order to review citizens' email more than 180 days old -- right now, they don't need one.

The Email Privacy Act was approved by the House on Monday night and would replace the decades old Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which includes a loophole allowing law enforcement to gather older email without permission.

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House votes to roll back rule to prevent mentally ill from buying guns

House votes to roll back gun restriction for mentally illThe U.S. House of Representatives voted Thursday to repeal an Obama administration rule aimed at keeping firearms out of the hands of people with severe mental illness on the grounds that it may unfairly infringe on their Constitutional rights.

The House voted along party lines, 235 to 180, to repeal a regulation adopted in December requiring the Social Security Administration to send information about people receiving supplemental payments and insurance to the FBI's National Instant Criminal Background Check System if they are mentally ill.

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