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Monday, Oct 22nd

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Kavanaugh friend Mark Judge: 'I will cooperate' with FBI probe of sex assault claims

ark Judge will cooperate with FBIA lawyer for Mark Judge, the high school buddy of embattled Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, told CNBC that Judge "will answer any and all questions posed to him" by the FBI about serious sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh.

The cooperation offer came on the heels of several senators asking for Kavanaugh's final confirmation vote to be delayed until the FBI has a chance to investigate claims that he tried to rape a 15-year-old high school girl in the early 1980s while Judge looked on.

"If the FBI or any law enforcement agency requests Mr. Judge's cooperation, he will answer any and all questions posed to him," Judge's lawyer Barbara Van Gelder told CNBC in an email.

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Drama: Flake pushes delay — Murkowski Too!

Senator Flake requests week delay for FBI probeThe Senate Judiciary Committee on Friday voted to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, one day after testimony from Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.

The full Senate could vote as soon as Saturday to proceed with Kavanaugh’s nomination, and a final vote may come next week. It was unclear, however, whether that timeline would hold. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) sought a one-week delay in the full Senate’s vote for an FBI investigation into sexual assault claims that have been made against Kavanaugh. Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) determines the vote schedule.

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House Intel votes to release Russia transcripts

House Intel votes to release documentsHouse Intelligence Committee on Friday voted to release dozens of transcripts from its now shuttered investigation into Russian interference, likely teeing up a massive document dump ahead of the November midterm elections.

The transcripts include testimony from several of President Trump’s associates and campaign officials, including Steve Bannon, Hope Hicks, Jared Kushner, Donald Trump Jr., and Roger Stone.

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Religious magazine rescinds endorsement of Brett Kavanaugh after sexual assault testimony

Brett kavanaughA religious magazine rescinded its endorsement of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh Thursday after hearing emotional testimony from a woman accusing him of sexual assault.

The editors of America Magazine, a weekly Jesuit publication, initially endorsed Kavanaugh. The publication noted his stance on abortion and his lengthy career on the bench. But that all changed Thursday after hearing from Christine Blasey Ford, who detailed accusations that Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed and tried to remove her clothes at a party when they were both teens.

Kavanaugh has vehemently denied the allegations.

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Protester shouts at Sen. Jeff Flake in elevator: ‘Tell me it doesn’t matter’

Protester to Flake: Tell me my assault doesn't matter

A protester who said she was sexually assaulted approached Senator Jeff Flake in an elevator Friday after he released a statement saying he would be voting in favor of Brett Kavanaugh for a seat on the Supreme Court.

The unidentified woman could be heard shouting at Flake, R-Ariz., during a CNN live shot before the Senate Judiciary Committee moved toward a vote on Brett Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court Friday morning. Flake had previously been undecided.

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Man Accused In U.K. Nerve-Agent Attack Is Russian Intelligence Officer, Report Says

Man Accused in UK Nerve-agent is Russian operative

A British-based investigative group claims that one of two men charged with attempted murder in the nerve-agent poisoning of Sergei Skripal earlier this year is a highly decorated officer in Russia's military intelligence service.

Bellingcat, an open-source investigation website that has reported on the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria, says that one of the two men — whose passport name is Ruslan Boshirov — is actually Anatoly Chepiga, who was deployed to Chechnya three times and in 2014 was given a "Hero of the Russian Federation" citation, the country's highest award.

Boshirov and another man whose passport name is Alexander Petrov, have been charged in the U.K. in the March attack in Salisbury on the Russian ex-double agent Skripal and his daughter Yulia using the Novichok, a type of nerve agent developed in the Soviet Union in the 1980s.

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House committee votes to relax Endangered Species Act

House eases rules on endangered species

A House panel passed four GOP-backed bills Thursday to amend the Endangered Species Act (ESA), making compliance easier for industries, states and landowners.

The Natural Resources Committee’s bills would give priority to science submitted by state and local governments when federal officials decide whether to protect species, require the Interior Department to consider conservation actions that could happen in the future when making ESA decisions and let Interior prioritize or discharge petitions for species protections under some circumstances.

Taken as a whole, the bills would represent the biggest changes to the ESA in decades.

Republicans on the panel, led by Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah), said the changes would make the ESA work better for industry and landowners, as well as the imperiled species themselves.

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Mueller cooperator fears retribution from Russia

Mueller witness fears Russian retribution

A California man who admitted to unwittingly facilitating Russian interference in the 2016 election and later cooperated with special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into the subject now fears for his safety, the man's attorney said in a court filing Wednesday.

Richard Pinedo, 28, is set to be sentenced next month for selling bank account numbers to Russian internet trolls who used the numbers to buy web ads aimed at advancing President Donald Trump's campaign and fomenting strife among Americans during the contentious election.

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Ford '100 percent' certain Kavanaugh assaulted her

Dr. Ford

A "terrified" and visibly emotional Christine Blasey Ford described in vivid detail on Thursday her allegation that Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her at a party in Maryland in 1982.

In front of rapt senators from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ford explained how Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge took her into a room at the party and how the alleged assault changed the course of her life.

"I believed he was going to rape me,” Ford said. “I believed Brett was going to accidentally kill me."

Subtly addressing questions from some Kavanaugh supporters about why she didn't come forward earlier, Ford recalled that she had told herself she "should just move on" because she was not raped. And questioned by Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ford said that she was “100 percent” certain that it was Kavanaugh that assaulted her and nobody else.

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