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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 119)

Rick Perry denies resignation reports while facing questions over Ukraine call

Westlake Legal Group AP19276859212445 Rick Perry denies resignation reports while facing questions over Ukraine call Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/cabinet fox news fnc/politics fnc article 30ca8585-8bc4-57f0-977a-2cd6605c9d7e

Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday denied rumors that he would resign amid allegations he played a role in the controversy surrounding President Trump and Ukrainian officials.

“No. I’m here, I’m serving,” Perry said at a news conference in Vilnius, Lithuania, as Politico reported. “They’ve been writing the story for at least nine months now. One of these days they will probably get it right, but it’s not today, it’s not tomorrow, it’s not next month.”

Politico had reported that Perry was expected to announce his resignation by the end of November.

HOUSE DEMS SUBPOENA PENTAGON, WHITE HOUSE BUDGET OFFICE IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY

A recent Axios report said Trump told House Republicans that he called Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July based on a recommendation by Perry. The issue centered on allegations that Trump pressured Ukrainian officials to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, over their business dealings in the country. Trump repeatedly has denied doing anything wrong.

The former Texas governor acknowledged pressing Trump to call Zelensky, has denied mentioning the Bidens to either leader.

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“Absolutely, I asked the president multiple times, ‘Mr. President, we think it is in the United States’ and in Ukraine’s best interest that you and the president of Ukraine have conversations, that you discuss the options that are there,’” he said.

He also denied pressuring the Ukrainian government two appoint two American businessmen on the board of the state-owned gas company, Naftogaz. He did say he made some recommendations, but only at the behest of that country.

Westlake Legal Group AP19276859212445 Rick Perry denies resignation reports while facing questions over Ukraine call Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/cabinet fox news fnc/politics fnc article 30ca8585-8bc4-57f0-977a-2cd6605c9d7e   Westlake Legal Group AP19276859212445 Rick Perry denies resignation reports while facing questions over Ukraine call Louis Casiano fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/cabinet fox news fnc/politics fnc article 30ca8585-8bc4-57f0-977a-2cd6605c9d7e

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‘So what?’ Trump attorney Jay Sekulow dismisses second whistleblower coming forward

Westlake Legal Group Sekulow-Hannity 'So what?' Trump attorney Jay Sekulow dismisses second whistleblower coming forward fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 218de1be-0ec8-5fbf-837f-ff37237922be

President Trump’s attorney dismissed the appearance of a second whistleblower in regard to his July phone call with the president of Ukraine.

Jay Sekulow told “Hannity” on Monday that by the White House releasing the call transcript it renders future whistleblowers moot.

“They’re now talking about a second whistleblower, and my statement on that is: ‘so what’,” he said.

“We’ve already released a transcript. Is it really relevant what some other person who may or may not have heard the conversation thought about it?”

IG COULD NOT EXPLAIN 18-DAY WINDOW BETWEEN UKRAINE CALL AND WHISTLEBLOWER COMPLAINT: SOURCES

Sekulow said Trump’s critics are raring to find any scandal they can pin on him, especially one that could lead to impeachment.

“They couldn’t get Russia, they couldn’t get obstruction,” he said.

More from Media

“Then it was quid pro quo with Ukraine.”

Sekulow continued dismissing the second whistleblower’s appearance, pointing to how the first whistleblower had contact with staff from Rep. Adam Schiff’s, D-Calif., House Intelligence Committee.

He claimed the whistleblower neglected to tell the inspector general he had interacted with Schiff’s team.

“So now, what do we have, a second whistleblower. Again, the transcript’s out, it speaks for itself — it’s not an impeachable offense, period,” he said.

Attorney Mark Zaid, who represents both whistleblowers, first told ABC News that the second individual is – like the first whistleblower – an intelligence official, and has firsthand knowledge of certain allegations contained in the first whistleblower complaint, which was not based on any firsthand knowledge.

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Later in his interview on “Hannity,” Sekulow also criticized the lawsuit brought against the president by New York County District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.

He read from the judges ruling, temporarily halting a subpoena of Trump’s tax returns, and characterized the events as the “House of Representatives basically extending their investigation through the local D.A.”

Westlake Legal Group Sekulow-Hannity 'So what?' Trump attorney Jay Sekulow dismisses second whistleblower coming forward fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 218de1be-0ec8-5fbf-837f-ff37237922be   Westlake Legal Group Sekulow-Hannity 'So what?' Trump attorney Jay Sekulow dismisses second whistleblower coming forward fox-news/world/conflicts/ukraine fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/justice-department fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 218de1be-0ec8-5fbf-837f-ff37237922be

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‘Bats**t Crazy!’ Susan Rice Unloads On Trump Over Syria Withdrawal

Westlake Legal Group 5d9beb732100002a04333eb8 ‘Bats**t Crazy!’ Susan Rice Unloads On Trump Over Syria Withdrawal

Former national security adviser Susan Rice didn’t hold back when asked about President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon Kurdish allies in Syria by pulling U.S. troops out as Turkey gets set to invade. 

“This is batshit crazy,” Rice, who served under President Barack Obama, told Stephen Colbert on Monday evening.

She added:

“These are the people who for the last four years have been fighting on our behalf with our equipment to defeat ISIS. And they have done it with enormous efficacy and they’ve sacrificed immensely, and we basically just said to them, ‘See ya.’” 

Trump said the United States would withdraw from northern Syria, angering Democrats and Republicans alike. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), typically a staunch Trump supporter, called it a “stain on America’s honor.”

Rice compared the Turks, who consider Kurds to be terrorists, to “the hungry wolf trying to kill the lamb.” 

“It’s just appalling,” she said, adding that the United States made a promise to stand with the Kurds if they helped to defeat ISIS.

See more of her discussion with Colbert below: 

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Rep. Kinzinger on Trump’s Syria withdrawal: ‘We certainly have not won the war against ISIS’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093016249001_6093015561001-vs Rep. Kinzinger on Trump's Syria withdrawal: 'We certainly have not won the war against ISIS' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d8bc225b-025d-5c52-b372-9a9bd2ab05cb article

Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., spoke out Monday against President Trump withdrawing troops in northern Syria and addressed the potential action from Turkey, warning it will embolden Islamic State terrorists.

On Monday, Trump defended his decision to withdraw troops, even as his Republican allies in both the Senate and House vehemently criticized the move.

Kinzinger, who co-founded the Friends of A Free, Stable and Democratic Syria Caucus, said it shouldn’t take very long for Turkey to enter Syria and as a result, the Kurds would have to abandon their ISIS prisoners.

TURKEY ANNOUNCES INCURSION OF NORTHEAST SYRIA, US-BACKED KURDS HAVE VOWED ‘ALL-OUT’ WAR

“I mean, think about if 10,000 ISIS fighters get released. The president keeps saying we’ve won this war against ISIS. We certainly have not won the war against ISIS. We’ve made gains,” Kinzinger said Monday on “The Story with Martha MacCallum.” “And, if you release 10,000 of them, that’s incredible.”

The congressman ripped Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who earlier Monday praised the president’s move and criticized the U.S.’s presence in the region and the significance of having a small number of troops present in Syria.

Kinzinger argued the troops were doing their jobs helping in the fight against terror.

“This is exactly the kind of fight that people like Rand Paul actually said he wanted to do instead of 200,000 troops,” Kinzinger said. “So, it comes to a point where if… Americans believe that for whatever reason terrorism has decided that they’re done fighting, then that’s fine, but this is not a U.S. endless war. This is an endless war that the terrorists have decided to do against us.”

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Kinzinger added, “If we can if we can keep that back with three or four hundred troops, we ought to do that.”

Fox News’ Martha MacCallum and Andrew O’Reilly contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093016249001_6093015561001-vs Rep. Kinzinger on Trump's Syria withdrawal: 'We certainly have not won the war against ISIS' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d8bc225b-025d-5c52-b372-9a9bd2ab05cb article   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6093016249001_6093015561001-vs Rep. Kinzinger on Trump's Syria withdrawal: 'We certainly have not won the war against ISIS' Victor Garcia fox-news/world/world-regions/middle-east fox-news/world/terrorism/isis fox-news/world/conflicts/syria fox-news/shows/the-story fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc d8bc225b-025d-5c52-b372-9a9bd2ab05cb article

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2 Injured In New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Accident

Westlake Legal Group ap_19278566556924-364513ef18612931a29d5e80e5c64b55b70940e5-s1100-c15 2 Injured In New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Accident

Hot air balloons are inflated during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico on Saturday. Susan Montoya Bryan/AP hide caption

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Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

Westlake Legal Group  2 Injured In New Mexico Hot Air Balloon Accident

Hot air balloons are inflated during the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta in New Mexico on Saturday.

Susan Montoya Bryan/AP

Two people suffered minor injuries after a hot air balloon struck a power line, igniting a fire when the gondola made a hard landing on the outskirts of Rio Rancho, N.M.

Local reports say it was a day of hard landings for other balloons flying as part of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. The annual Fiesta attracts balloon pilots from around the globe and 40 U.S. states.

In the first incident, the pilot and passenger — both women — were thrown from the gondola when it landed and bounded along wide terrain before catching fire. They were hospitalized with what was reported as non-life-threatening injuries. The balloon had hit a power line on its descent, causing some equipment damage. An investigation is underway.

In another incident, a balloon called “Mr. Fish” hit a tree before snagging on a light pole near the Lovelace Medical Center in northeast Albuquerque. The pilot, who said he had 30 years flying experience, said he had tried to land elsewhere, but unfriendly winds brought him into the city. There were no injuries.

A passenger with a preexisting medical condition was treated at the Fiesta launch site after a reported third hard landing on the field.

The nine-day Fiesta featured 550 hot air balloons and attracted more than 886,000 spectators, according to the organization’s website.

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Tyler Perry says he’s ‘ignored’ in Hollywood, opens new studio in Atlanta: ‘I know what I do is important’

Westlake Legal Group Tyler20Perry Tyler Perry says he's 'ignored' in Hollywood, opens new studio in Atlanta: 'I know what I do is important' Julius Young fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/faith-values fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a295b552-0201-5223-aae5-e63804ea8cf5

Tyler Perry has long been a proponent of non-conformity and in Hollywood, the seemingly prolific one-man band says because of this, the industry has overlooked the magnitude of his impact.

“I clearly believe that I’m ignored in Hollywood, for sure, and that’s fine. I get it,” Perry told Gayle King in an interview for “CBS This Morning” ahead of the opening of his new film studio Tyler Perry Studios, which he owns outright.

“My audience and the stories that I tell are African-American stories specific to a certain audience, specific to a certain group of people that I know, that I grew up, and we speak a language,” he added. “Hollywood doesn’t necessarily speak the language. A lot of critics don’t speak that language. So, to them, it’s like, ‘What is this?’”

Perry, 50, said he knew the reach of the work he’s done and understood the industry’s hesitation over his projects, adding that it’s been his mission to speak to the people with whom he identified since he broke into the fold as the beloved Madea, one of a litany of characters he created early on.

TYLER PERRY WON’T LEAVE ATLANTA DESPITE ABORTION LAW BACKLASH IN HOLLYWOOD

“I know what I do is important. I know what I do touches millions of people around the world,” he added. “I know how important every word, every joke, every laugh [is]. I know what that does for the people where I come from and the people that I’m writing for. So, yeah, I get that.”

Perry welcomed a who’s who of celebrity talent to usher in the new headquarters for his TV and film studio in Atlanta – including Beyoncé, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, a Destiny’s Child reunion.

TYLER PERRY SENDING RELIEF TO DORIAN-DEVASTATED ISLANDS USING HIS OWN SEAPLANE IN NASSAU: REPORT

Oprah Winfrey, Ava DuVernay, Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Will Smith, Halle Berry, Spike Lee, Whoopi Goldberg and Viola Davis also were on hand to ring in the affair with the “Alex Cross” star who became the first African-American filmmaker to own his own major film studio.

TYLER PERRY STEPS IN TO HELP 4 CHILDREN OF SLAIN SINGLE MOM

Last month, Perry opened up about Georgia’s controversial “heartbeat” abortion law that has angered many in Hollywood and sparked calls to boycott filming in the state. Perry said he disagrees with the sentiment.

“Atlanta has been the dream. It has been the promised land,” Perry told The Associated Press last month. “So, when I got here, this whole state and city has been amazing to me and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Also, I put $250 million in the ground here and in the studio. So, when you have a quarter of a billion dollars sat down in the ground, you can’t just up and leave.”

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The law bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which could happen as early as six weeks into pregnancy before many women realize they’re expecting. The law is set to become enforceable Jan. 1, although a judge temporarily blocked it last week.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Tyler20Perry Tyler Perry says he's 'ignored' in Hollywood, opens new studio in Atlanta: 'I know what I do is important' Julius Young fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/faith-values fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a295b552-0201-5223-aae5-e63804ea8cf5   Westlake Legal Group Tyler20Perry Tyler Perry says he's 'ignored' in Hollywood, opens new studio in Atlanta: 'I know what I do is important' Julius Young fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/georgia fox-news/faith-values fox-news/entertainment/celebrity-news fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article a295b552-0201-5223-aae5-e63804ea8cf5

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Searching for answers: A US lab in Cincinnati is seeking possible links between vaping and lung disease

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Searching for answers: A US lab in Cincinnati is seeking possible links between vaping and lung disease

It can take six tries for a child to quit vaping. Here are three key signs your kid might be vaping. USA TODAY

CINCINNATI — The search for answers to the mysterious lung disease apparently related to vaping goes through a low-slung building in an industrial park in a northern Cincinnati neighborhood.

The Forensic Chemistry Center in Cincinnati operates under the authority of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. As a result, it’s a secretive place, and FDA officials declined repeated requests to tour the lab or speak with its leadership. An agency spokeswoman answered questions that The Enquirer submitted by email.

In the vaping investigation, the laboratory has received more than 400 samples of vaping products from 18 states, “and those numbers continue to increase,” the FDA said.

“More than half of the vaping liquid products have undergone some form of evaluation, and additional testing on these and other samples continues daily,” the FDA said. “Many samples have contained little to no liquid, which limits the number and types of tests FDA is able to conduct on each submission.”

Discontinued: E-cigarette sales discontinued at Walgreens, Kroger as crisis continues

The lab is testing the cartridges for chemicals “including nicotine, THC and other cannabinoids, opioids, cutting agents/diluents and other additives, pesticides, poisons and toxins.”

“Sample results to date have not identified a single substance associated with all illnesses,” the FDA said. “Identifying compounds present in the samples associated with illnesses will be one piece of the puzzle and will not necessarily answer all questions about causality, which makes our ongoing work critical.”

The lab’s website says the facility is the nation’s “premier national forensic laboratory” where scientists conduct “analyses related to criminal, regulatory and counterterrorism investigations.”

Sixty scientists work at the lab. Another 11 people work in administration, information technology, chemical hygiene and quality management. Among its high-profile investigations that officials were willing to reveal include examining seafood from the Gulf of Mexico for contamination after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Deaths rise to 18: Vaping-related lung injury cases surge to 1,080

The lab supports the FDA’s criminal investigations, enforcement and import operations as well as other federal and state agencies. It investigates “product tampering, counterfeit and unapproved drugs, and fraudulent/adulterated FDA-regulated products,” the FDA said.

The Forensic Chemistry Center’s portfolio is growing so much that the FDA intends to start work in the next year on a laboratory expansion. The lab would get new equipment as well as more space, thanks to moving the FDA’s regional office to the federal building downtown.

The lab’s director is Doug Heitkemper, who received his doctorate in analytical chemistry from the University of Cincinnati in 1989. He has spent his career at the FDA and served as the lab’s branch director for 13 years before taking the top job this year.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last week that 1,080 cases of lung disease have been confirmed in 48 states and one U.S. territory. Eighteen deaths in 15 states have been attributed to the illness.

New York and Massachusetts have banned vaping products in light of the lung diseases, and on Oct. 1, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine proposed a ban for the Buckeye State.

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Former Bush aide: ‘Clearly lines have been crossed’ to warrant Trump impeachment inquiry

Westlake Legal Group Andy-Card Former Bush aide: 'Clearly lines have been crossed' to warrant Trump impeachment inquiry Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44b4716c-de1c-5ce5-aafc-6a06f70b3ca9

A former aide to President George W. Bush insisted on Monday that the pending impeachment inquiry against President Trump is “warranted” and that “clearly lines have been crossed.”

Appearing on MSNBC, former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card expressed his support for the launched inquiry into Trump’s communications with Ukraine.

“I do think that an impeachment inquiry is warranted. Clearly lines have been crossed,” Card told MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson.

The MSNBC analyst did, however, acknowledge that he wasn’t certain if Trump’s actions were an “impeachment offense yet” and warned Democratic lawmakers to not “call a molehill a mountain.”

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI: TRUMP IS ‘A TRAITOR TO THE UNITED STATES’

“I don’t know if that’s an impeachable offense yet. “We don’t know yet, because most people in Congress have already made up their mind when they haven’t seen any evidence,” Card explained.

“I want people to calm down, take a look at it. Don’t call a molehill a mountain. They tend to do that. There’s hyperbole on both sides. So this is a serious process. I want to help the president do his job because he’s our president.

“I also don’t want him to be distracted by others who are trying to undermine him and I do want the impeachment process if it’s going to go forward, to be done deliberately, without hyperbole, without exaggeration, and see where it leads based on the facts.

“Don’t make it about politics.”

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Card also admitted that he didn’t take Trump’s recent remarks about China investigating the Bidens seriously, calling them “a little bit frivolous and kind of baiting” and comparing the president to a “carnival barker.”

He also called for people on both sides to “step back” and “stop some of the hot rhetoric.”

Westlake Legal Group Andy-Card Former Bush aide: 'Clearly lines have been crossed' to warrant Trump impeachment inquiry Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44b4716c-de1c-5ce5-aafc-6a06f70b3ca9   Westlake Legal Group Andy-Card Former Bush aide: 'Clearly lines have been crossed' to warrant Trump impeachment inquiry Joseph Wulfsohn fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/politics fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 44b4716c-de1c-5ce5-aafc-6a06f70b3ca9

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After stumbles, the White House aims to hone its impeachment defense.

Westlake Legal Group 5d9bdb3e2100009004abc1df After stumbles, the White House aims to hone its impeachment defense.

WASHINGTON (AP) — As House Democrats fire off more subpoenas, the White House is finalizing a high-stakes strategy to counter the impeachment threat to President Donald Trump: Stall. Obfuscate. Attack. Repeat.

Trump aides are honing their approach after two weeks of what allies have described as a listless and unfocused response to the impeachment probe. One expected step is a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejecting the inquiry because Democrats haven’t held a vote on the matter and moving to all but cease cooperation with Capitol Hill on key oversight matters.

The strategy risks further provoking Democrats in the impeachment probe, setting up court challenges and the potential for lawmakers to draw up an article of impeachment accusing Trump of obstructing their investigations. But as lawmakers seek to amass ammunition to be used in an impeachment trial, the White House increasingly believes all-out warfare is its best course of action.

“What they did to this country is unthinkable. It’s lucky that I’m the president. A lot of people said very few people could handle it. I sort of thrive on it,” Trump said Monday at the White House. “You can’t impeach a president for doing a great job. This is a scam.”

House Democrats, for their part, issued a new round of subpoenas on Monday, this time to Defense Secretary Mark Esper and acting White House budget director Russell Vought. Pelosi’s office also released an open letter signed by 90 former national security officials who served in both Democratic and Republican administrations, voicing support for the whistleblower who raised concerns about Trump’s efforts to get Ukraine to investigate political foe Joe Biden.

“A responsible whistleblower makes all Americans safer by ensuring that serious wrongdoing can be investigated and addressed, thus advancing the cause of national security to which we have devoted our careers,” they wrote. “Whatever one’s view of the matters discussed in the whistleblower’s complaint, all Americans should be united in demanding that all branches of our government and all outlets of our media protect this whistleblower and his or her identity. Simply put, he or she has done what our law demands; now he or she deserves our protection.”

The House Intelligence, Oversight and Foreign Affairs committees are investigating Trump’s actions pressing Ukraine to investigate Biden and his son, potentially interfering in the 2020 election. The former vice president, for his part, has accused Trump of “frantically pushing flat-out lies, debunked conspiracy theories and smears against me.” Trump also withheld hundreds of millions of dollars in military assistance to Ukraine.

The White House has struggled to communicate its message beyond Trump’s angry public proclamations and an endless stream of tweets.

Indeed, top officials were absent from the Sunday talk shows, and the sole White House official to appear in public on Monday dodged questions on the inquiry.

Asked whether he believed the president was joking or in any way not serious when he suggested publicly that China should investigate the Bidens, Larry Kudlow, Trump’s top economic adviser, responded: “I don’t honestly know.”

Trump and his team’s initial strategy had been to try to undermine the credibility of the intelligence community whistleblower who first raised questions about Trump’s conduct with Ukraine, just as they tried to undercut special counsel Robert Mueller and his team. They stressed that the whistleblower had only second- or third-hand information and alleged that the person misrepresented the president’s efforts. But now a second whistleblower has come forward to corroborate the information, and a cache of text messages echoes the concerns that have been laid out.

As the impeachment inquiry ramps up, the White House plans to reprise its past response to congressional oversight: open scorn. The president’s aides have ignored document requests and subpoenas, invoked executive privilege — going so far as to argue that the privilege extends to informal presidential advisers who have never held White House jobs — and all but dared Democrats to hold them in contempt.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blew a Friday deadline for complying with a subpoena. But he said over the weekend that the State Department had sent a letter to Congress as its initial response to the request. He also indicated a new willingness to comply, saying: “We’ll obviously do all the things that we’re required to do by law.”

The letter to Pelosi has been delayed as aides work to finalize legislative and communications plans to go along with the legal strategy.

At the same time, Trump’s campaign, which has reported a fundraising surge since the impeachment inquiry, held a curiously timed briefing call with reporters Monday to trumpet its efforts to overhaul the delegate selection process to ensure there is no drama at the Republican National Convention. Trump campaign officials said the effort had nothing to do with concerns about fending off a primary challenge.

Follow Colvin on Twitter at https://twitter.com/colvinj , Miller at https://twitter.com/zekejmiller and Lemire at https://twitter.com/JonLemire

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German bank robber’s 20-hour-long court rant cut off by judge before prison sentence, report says

Westlake Legal Group iStock-gavel German bank robber's 20-hour-long court rant cut off by judge before prison sentence, report says Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 38785952-c927-58d8-9397-ff7c0e252eed

A German man jailed for committing three bank robberies reportedly gave a very rambling, 20-hour-long statement before his sentencing Monday that included anecdotes about his fitness routine and accounts from his criminal career.

A judge in Hamburg’s district court cut off Michael Jauernik before sentencing him to 12-and-a-half years in prison for three bank heists between 2011 and 2018, in which he shot one employee, The Guardian reported.

She said she regretted not interrupting Jauernik, 71, earlier for his repetitions and “excessive digressions.”

Jauernik started robbing banks in the 1970s and served several jail terms. He gained some notoriety in the 1980s when he was dubbed the “Thursday robber” for holding up a string of banks shortly before closing time on Thursdays.

During his prolonged statement, he reportedly said he was “more intelligent and clever than any employee of the criminal police agency” and bragged about his daily fitness regimen in jail. He also boasted about doing situps three times each day and doing 5-K runs, the report added.

Jauernik said he went back to robbing banks after working as a night porter where he found his pension payments “pitiful.” He justified the robberies by insinuating he targeted corrupt financial institutions.

“I didn’t rob supermarkets or old women,” Jauernik said.

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The unnamed judge said it was unlikely he would be rehabilitated.

“We are sure that you will still think it legitimate to rob banks and threaten people in 12 years’ time,” she said. “You suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder, which was on display to everyone who followed the main trial,” she said.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-gavel German bank robber's 20-hour-long court rant cut off by judge before prison sentence, report says Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 38785952-c927-58d8-9397-ff7c0e252eed   Westlake Legal Group iStock-gavel German bank robber's 20-hour-long court rant cut off by judge before prison sentence, report says Louis Casiano fox-news/world/world-regions/germany fox-news/world/world-regions/europe fox-news/world/crime fox-news/odd-news fox news fnc/world fnc article 38785952-c927-58d8-9397-ff7c0e252eed

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