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Republicans invoke 'nuclear option,' clearing way for Gorsuch confirmation

Nuclear option voted in Senate to ensure Gorsuch appt.Republicans voted Thursday to invoke the "nuclear option" to strip Democrats of their power to block Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch from being confirmed — a victory with far-reaching consequences that could forever change the way justices are approved and shatter the Senate's bipartisan traditions.

The dramatic action, approved by a party-line vote, cleared the way for the Republican majority to end the Democrats' filibuster of Gorsuch's nomination immediately afterward. Senators voted 55-45 to end debate and advance Gorsuch's nomination to a final up-or-down confirmation vote on Friday.

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Democrats Filibuster Donald Trump’s Supreme Court Nominee

House fillibusters GorsuchDemocrats on Thursday followed through with their threats to filibuster Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, setting the stage for Republicans to unilaterally change the rules to force through his confirmation.

Nearly all Democrats voted to block President Donald Trump’s court pick. They needed 41 to pull it off, and they had 44. Four Democrats sided with Republicans to end the filibuster: Sens. Michael Bennet (Colo.), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.) and Joe Manchin (W.Va.).

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House Intelligence Republicans Boycott Briefing From FBI’s Russian Double Agent

House Intel GOP boycott mtg. with FBI doubler agentA House Intelligence Committee Democrat tried to reach across the aisle to reboot the committee’s stalled Russia investigation. Republicans met his gesture with total silence.

Republicans boycotted a Wednesday briefing on Russian intelligence methods organized by Democratic Rep. Eric Swalwell, who had hoped the committee’s members could gather in a bipartisan manner to hear non-controversial testimony from an expert.

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Nunes steps aside from Russia probe

Intel Com. in House of RepresentativesHouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) will temporarily step aside from an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, including interactions between Moscow and the Trump campaign.

The move comes as the House Ethics Committee announced that it is investigating allegations that Nunes may have mishandled classified information. With the Ethics Committee now formally involved in the dispute, Nunes could no longer oversee the Russia probe, although he will remain in place as chairman of the Intelligence Committee.

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The Latest: Ethics panel to probe complaints against Nunes

Devon NunesThe House Ethics Committee is investigating allegations that intelligence committee Chairman Devin Nunes (NOO'-nehs) may have made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

The full 10-member committee is investigating the allegations, a departure from the usual procedure of having a smaller subcommittee handle a probe, and an indication of the seriousness of the claims.

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Dems reach magic number to block Supreme Court nominee

Dems reach magic number to block GorsuchSenate Democrats have clinched enough support to block Neil Gorsuch's nomination to the Supreme Court, setting up a "nuclear" showdown over Senate rules later this week.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) announced on Monday that he will oppose President Trump's pick on a procedural vote where he will need the support of eight Democrats to cross a 60-vote threshold. Coons is the 41st Democrat to back the filibuster.

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Report: Senate Intelligence Committee Rejects Immunity Deal With Michael Flynn

Michael FLynnThe Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected Michael Flynn's request for immunity from prosecution in exchange for his testimony into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, congressional sources told NBC News.

President Donald Trump's former national security advisor's lawyer was told the move was "wildly preliminary" and "not on the table" at this point, a senior congressional official told NBC. It does not necessarily rule out immunity at a later date, since the Senate investigation is ongoing.

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