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Wednesday, Sep 18th

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Intelligence chief won't turn over whistleblower complaint to House committee

Counterintelligence Intel Chief Joseph McGuireThe acting director of national intelligence is withholding a secret whistleblower complaint from the House intelligence committee because it involves conduct by someone outside the spy agencies and doesn’t meet the legal requirement for disclosure to Congress, according to letters obtained by NBC News.

But in doing so, acting DNI Joseph Maguire acknowledges he is overruling the intelligence community’s independent watchdog, which thinks the complaint should be turned over.

The letters, written by Jason Klitenic, the DNI’s general counsel, provide Maguire’s side of the story in what has quickly become an acrimonious dispute with Rep. Adam Schiff, chairman of the House intelligence committee.

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Trump names new national security adviser

Robert O'BrienPresident Donald Trump named Robert O'Brien, the US hostage negotiator, his new national security adviser on Wednesday.

"I am pleased to announce that I will name Robert C. O'Brien, currently serving as the very successful Special Presidential Envoy for Hostage Affairs at the State Department, as our new National Security Advisor. I have worked long & hard with Robert. He will do a great job!" Trump tweeted.
The announcement came a week after Trump fired John Bolton, citing disagreements on several issues, and as he confronts a major foreign policy crisis following the attack on Saudi oil facilities -- which the administration has blamed on Iran.

NYT: Prosecutors subpoena 8 years of Trump tax returns

tRUMP TAXES SUBPOENAED

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office has issued a subpoena for eight years of President Donald Trump’s personal and corporate income tax returns as part of an ongoing investigation, according to a new report.

The New York Times, in a article Monday, said the subpoena from DA Cyrus Vance Jr.’s office, was issued last month to Trump’s accounting firm, Mazars USA.

It is not clear if the DA has obtained any of tax returns he is seeking from Mazars.

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Democratic presidential candidates want Kavanaugh impeached after newly surfaced sexual misconduct accusation

Brett kavanaughThe report of a new sexual misconduct allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has sparked fury among figures on both the left and right.

In a Sunday morning tweet, President Donald Trump accused the "LameStream Media" and Democrats of colluding to scare Kavanaugh "into turning Liberal."

And on the left, Democratic presidential candidates former HUD Secretary Julián Castro, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke, and Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kamala Harris of California called for Kavanaugh's impeachment.

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Justice Dept. releases part of Mueller’s conflict-of-interest waiver

Mueller's conflict of interest waiver released

The Justice Department is offering more insight into how it addressed potential conflicts of interest when former FBI Director Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel for the Trump-Russia investigation two years ago, but officials are continuing to keep secret key parts of their internal ethics analysis.

A memo obtained Friday by the pro-transparency organization Property of the People shows that a top Justice Department ethics official concluded that Mueller’s sterling reputation and lengthy history of federal service meant it was unlikely any reasonable person would doubt his independence.

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Appeals Court: Plaintiffs Can Sue Trump in Emoluments Case

Appeals Court Plaintiffs can sue Trump

A federal appeals court in New York has reinstated a lawsuit that claims Donald Trump has unconstitutionally profited from his businesses accepting payments from foreign and domestic governments while he serves as president, violating the foreign and domestic Emoluments Clause of the Constitution. The case was previously dismissed for lack of standing.

The complainants are Jill Phaneuf and Eric Goode, members of Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, described as a “nonpartisan, member‐based organization of restaurants and restaurant workers,” in court documents, along with government watchdog Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. The suit claims Trump through his businesses is effectively the sole owner of restaurants, hotels, and event spaces, which are patronized by foreign and domestic government clientele” and it has given him a competitive advantage and also violated the Constitution.

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Federal prosecutors recommend that Andrew McCabe, former FBI second-in-command, face criminal charge

Andrew McCabeFederal prosecutors recommended seeking criminal charges against Andrew McCabe, the former deputy director of the FBI and a frequent target of criticism by President Donald Trump, according to people familiar with the decision Thursday.

McCabe was fired from the FBI just before his retirement in March 2018 after the Justice Department's internal watchdog concluded that he improperly authorized a leak about a federal investigation into the Clinton Foundation in the final weeks of the 2016 presidential campaign. Investigators concluded that he displayed a lack of candor when asked about the leak.

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