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“Leader McConnell doesn’t have to put the bills that we have proposed . . . or the bill the House has passed, there are bipartisan bills —and we can debate the issue,” Schumer added. “These pundits are lying, lying when they dismiss the work that has been done,” McConnell said, The Hill reported. “They’re lying when they insist I have personally blocked actions which, in fact, I have championed and the Senate has passed. They are lying when they suggest that either party is against defending our democracy.” Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., on Monday chided Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., for complaining about becoming a victim of “modern-day McCarthyism” for blocking two election security bills last week. The comments followed McConnell’s fiery retaliation at critics, accusing them of “lying” and “modern-day McCarthyism” for targeting his block of the Democrat-supported election security measures. But Schumer challenged McConnell: “Prove them wrong.” “If Leader McConnell doesn’t like being criticized on election security, I challenge him: Let’s debate it on the floor with amendments,” Schumer said, The Hill reported. “I challenge him: support additional appropriations for states to harden their election systems. In both cases, Leader McConnell has not done that.” “There’s an easy way for Leader McConnell to silence the critics who accuse him of blocking election security: stop blocking it,” the Senate minority leader said, The Hill reported.

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A federal judge in D.C. wants President Donald Trump, New York state officials, and the U.S. House of Representatives to come up with a solution that would give the president “very modest relief” in the dispute over a law that allows the release of his tax returns, Politico reports. The Democratic-led House Ways and Means Committee at the beginning of this month filed a lawsuit against the Treasury Department and the IRS in an effort to obtain Trump’s returns. Trump filed a lawsuit against the Ways and Means Committee, New York Attorney General Letitia James and New York Department of Taxation and Finance Commissioner Michael Schmidt to prevent the committee from doing so, arguing the committee lacks a legislative purpose for using the New York law to acquire the taxes. A New York law enacted in early July allows Congress’ tax committees to request public officials’ state tax returns from the commissioner of the New York Department of Taxation and Finance. Judge Carl Nichols of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia acknowledged Trump’s concerns that his New York state tax returns could be turned over before the courts have a sufficient amount of time to consider constitutional and legal issues with the request. He gave the parties until 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday to use their “creativity” to reach an agreement. The separate cases were filed in federal court in D.C. this month.

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In January, Coats again was reportedly in Trump’s dog house when he told a Senate committee that North Korea was unlikely to give up its nuclear weapons, which contradicted the president’s more optimistic view. At last year’s Aspen Security Forum, Coats reportedly angered Trump when he  appeared to criticize the president’s ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer slammed on Sunday President Donald Trump’s choice of Rep. John Ratcliffe to replace Dan Coats as director of national intelligence, The Hill reported. “It’s clear that Rep. Ratcliffe was selected because he exhibited blind loyalty to President Trump with his demagogic questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller ” Schumer said in a statement. “If Senate Republicans elevate such a partisan player to a position that requires intelligence expertise and non-partisanship, it would be a big mistake.” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote on Twitter that the successor for Coats “must put patriotism before politics, and remember that his oath is to protect the Constitution and the American people, not the President.” Trump had reportedly soured on Coats several times during his tenure. Axios reported that Trump was impressed by Ratcliffe’s performance during his questioning of Mueller at congressional hearings on Wednesday. Sen Eliabeth Warren, who is running for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, added in a tweet that “Our Director of National Intelligence should be above partisan politics, speak truth to power, and resist Trump’s abuses of authority. John Ratcliffe doesn’t fit that bill.” It is not yet clear how the Senate overall will react to Ratcliffe’s nomination, according to The Hill.  However, his membership in the House Intelligence Committee will likely appeal to Republican senators.

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“I agree with my fellow members of the Washington delegation that, as we have learned about the gravity of the potential threats to our democracy identified in special counsel Mueller’s report, it has become clear that the House should begin proceedings to determine whether the president’s action necessitate impeachment,” Murray said in a statement shared on her website. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., on Sunday supported an impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, a decision fueled by testimony provided by special counsel Robert Mueller last week. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday said the House would decide whether to begin proceedings, “when we have a best strongest possible case” and that such a decision “will be made in a timely fashion.” Murray, the No. 3 Senate Democrat, joins a growing list of Democrats pushing for impeachment, including all seven of Washington’s Democratic House members. Mueller in his testimony before the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees noted the 2000 Justice Department determination that “a sitting president is constitutionally immune from indictment and criminal prosecution.” He also said his team did not reach a determination whether Trump committed a crime.

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“There is nothing racist in stating plainly what most people already know, that Elijah Cummings has done a terrible job for the people of his district, and of Baltimore itself. Dems always play the race card when they are unable to win with facts. Shame!” he tweeted Sunday. Cummings’ district is about 55% black and includes a large portion of Baltimore. The city has struggled with violent crime, with more than 300 homicides for four years in a row. It has crumbling infrastructure and a police department under federal oversight. Trump’s comments drew swift condemnation from Democrats over the weekend, including some of the party’s presidential candidates. Statements from a spokesman for Maryland’s Republican governor and from the lieutenant governor defended Cummings’ district and its people.  Trump on Saturday lashed out at Cummings, claiming his Baltimore-area district is “considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States.” President Donald Trump on Sunday defended his controversial remarks aimed at Rep. Elijah Cumming and called the Baltimore lawmaker a racist. “If racist Elijah Cummings would focus more of his energy on helping the good people of his district, and Baltimore itself, perhaps progress could be made in fixing the mess that he has helped to create over many years of incompetent leadership. His radical ‘oversight’ is a joke!” he added.

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Federal prosecutors claim Roger Stone used a “The Godfather Part II” reference to advocate for a witness to lie and motioned to use a clip from the movie as evidence in the trial of the one-time Trump campaign adviser.

“The relevant scene is important context for understanding Stone’s references — including what Stone intended to communicate to the witness and how Stone would have understood the witness’ likely understanding of those messages,” Friday’s motion read.

The evidence will be used to help prove alleged witness tampering “with Person 2” via a text message that read “Start practicing your Pantagele [sic],” according to prosecutors.

“The movie clip makes clear that in his communications with Person 2, Stone used the name ‘Frank Pentangeli’ and the lines spoken by that character to persuade Person 2 to behave as Frank Pentangeli did in the movie, i.e., to falsely tell a congressional committee that he did not have knowledge of incriminating information that could lead to perjury charges,” the motion argued.

“The movie clip shows the jury the image that Stone intended to evoke in Person 2’s mind when he sent those communications. To not show the clip at trial would deprive jurors of significant context for understanding critical messages in this case.”

In “The Godfather Part II,” Pentangeli was to testify about his involvement in organized crime but changed his mind and denied any knowledge of Michael Corleone’s crime family when the mob boss entered the hearing.

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“The Post camped outside City Hall and called dozens of city workers and the best they could come up with was a story about a few eyerolls. That’s because City Hall continues to deliver for New Yorkers.” Some City Hall staffers think Mayor Bill de Blasio’s run for the White House is a “joke” and that he “can’t win,” the New York Post reported. “It’s a joke,” one unnamed aide told the news outlet. “The chances seem so low,” that unnamed staffer said. “If we saw a clear shot for winning or polling higher, I think it would make more sense.” A spokeswoman for the mayor, Freddi Goldstein, responded: Another unnamed source told the Post “the look is not great” when de Blasio was in Iowa during a July 13 blackout that hit a large swath of Manhattan’s West Side. “He probably should have come back a little faster.” “I think that he knows that he can’t win. It’s just a lot of eye-rolling . . . He’s doing it because he’s got a big ego and needs to prove something, and I don’t think he’s going to quietly go away and become an adjunct professor at Hunter.” Ahead of the second Democratic presidential candidates’ debate, and just months after his announcement, “multiple” staffers mock and are baffled at the bid, according to the Post.

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Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., faces a challenge for re-election from a 30-year-old Massachusetts mayor campaigning on the House Ways and Means Committee chairman’s inaction on obtaining President Donald Trump’s tax returns, NBC News reported. “So, when you look at the timing here, we’re now very unlikely to see any result before the 2020 election, because Congressman Neal dragged his feet. We also have people in New York that have worked tirelessly to give the American people access to his New York state tax returns.” “I think his action is emblematic of a kind of leader, or lack thereof, that’s he’s been over the last 30 years,” Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse told NBC News about Neal’s authority to obtain President Trump’s state returns. Rep. Neal has held off using the New York state law to obtain his state tax returns because it might jeopardize the ability to obtain federal returns, according to the report. President Trump filed a federal lawsuit this week to block Rep. Neal from using the state law to obtain the federal return. “I know people here in western Massachusetts, and people around the country, are frustrated with the way in which he’s handled this issue from day one. I mean, Democrats took back the House, and it took [months] to put a letter together. I know it doesn’t take us that long to put letters together at City Hall when we have to look at legal issues. “It’s unfortunate that there are folks who aren’t living what he’s living, making statements and comments and Monday morning quarterbacking the situation,” a source told NBC News of Rep. Neal.

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“Somebody goes out and shoots somebody they are called a murderer. We all agree with that, put them away,” Sanders said at the fundraiser. “Put them away. But what happens if somebody runs a pharmaceutical industry and artificially jacks up the price…”  In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Jake Tapper noted that in Detroit on Saturday, Sanders made that case. “In the case of insulin, people are dying, the cost has soared in recent years and you have three companies that control over 90% of the insulin market.” “Murderers,” the crowd answered back. Democratic presidential primary candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Sunday repeated his comparison of the pharmaceutical executives who jack up the prices of life-saving drugs to murderers. “This is a philosophical issue that we have to deal with,” Sanders said Sunday. “If I have a product that cost me a few dollars to make, and I jack up that price, and you can’t afford it, and you die, what do you call them?” he added. The Democratic socialist has pushed for Medicare for all. 

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Billionaire Tom Steyer, a former hedge fund manager, wants to “break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government” and take on President Donald Trump in 2020.

Steyer’s comments came during a Thursday interview on “CBS This Morning.”  Steyer announced his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination on Tuesday.

“To me the biggest question facing the United States is not what we should do, but how are we going to break the corrupt stranglehold that corporations have on our government,” Steyer said.

He added: “For the last 10 years, I’ve been trying to push power back to the people of the United States.

Steyer, who will reportedly spend $100 million of his own funds on his campaign, said his candidacy is “not about the money.” He maintained it is aimed at “trying to retake the government.”

“This is about retaking the democracy from the corrupt corporate power that is determining what happens in Washington, D.C.”

Meanwhile, Steyer’s campaign to impeach Trump will continue under new leadership during his presidential bid.

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