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Wednesday, Nov 22nd

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Michigan Rep. Conyers denies sexual harassment settlements

Rep. John Conyers denies harassment pay offLongtime Michigan Rep. John Conyers on Tuesday denied settling a complaint in 2015 from a woman who alleged she was fired from his Washington staff because she rejected his sexual advances.

The website BuzzFeed News reported on Monday that the office of Conyers, 88, paid the woman over $27,000 to settle the complaint under a confidentiality agreement.

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2nd woman accuses Sen. Al Franken of improper conduct

2nd woman accuses FrankenA second woman has accused Minnesota Sen. Al Franken of improper conduct, saying he put his hand on her bottom as they posed for a picture at the Minnesota State Fair in 2010 — after he had begun his career in the Senate.

Lindsay Menz told CNN last week for a report broadcast Monday that the interaction made her feel "gross." She said she immediately told her husband that Franken had "grabbed" her bottom, and she said she posted about it on Facebook.

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Congressional aides may have answers on pro-Russia GOP platform change

Paul Ryan chief of staff Jonathan Burks

As U.S. investigators probe whether President Donald Trump's campaign orchestrated a Russia-friendly change to the Republican Party platform last summer, three senior Capitol Hill aides — including Speaker Paul Ryan's chief of staff — may have answers about how the episode unfolded.

The three staffers, who have not been accused of any wrongdoing, advised the GOP convention's platform committee on foreign policy matters and had front-row seats when a low-profile group of delegates, acting in conjunction with Trump campaign officials, spiked a proposal urging a tougher U.S. policy against Russian aggression in Ukraine.

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Colorful Trump associate Sater will cooperate with Feinstein request

Felix Slater to cooperate with Feinstein committee

Russian émigré and one-time Trump associate Felix Sater will cooperate with a request by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee to turn over documents and meet with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Mr. Sater intends to be fully cooperative with any and all government investigations in this matter,” Sater’s lawyer, Robert Wolf, told McClatchy via e-mail.

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Kushner got emails about WikiLeaks, Russia in 2016, lawmakers say

Kushner documents demanded by Senate Intel Committee

Jared Kushner received emails in September 2016 about WikiLeaks and about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” and forwarded them to another campaign official, according to a letter to his attorney from the bipartisan leaders of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Kushner failed to turn over the relevant documents when they asked for them last month.

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House Republicans Pass Tax Bill

House passes tax bill

Trump came to the Capitol on Thursday to rally Republicans and implore them to vote yes (and, apparently, give a maundering speech about his trip to Asia). But his whip efforts, late and unnecessary, didn’t seem to do much to move members.

The same Republicans who have appeared doubtful from the beginning over concerns about eliminating the state and local tax deduction ― mostly Republicans from high-tax states such as New Jersey and New York ― ended up voting against the bill.

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Judge declares mistrial in New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez bribery trial

Menendez mistrialA federal judge declared a mistrial Thursday afternoon in the bribery trial of New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez after jurors said they were again deadlocked in the case.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell told U.S. District Judge William Walls that jurors remained unable to reach a unanimous decision — the second time in four days — even though they went through evidence slowly and thoroughly. Lowell said jurors had a strong difference in viewpoints since deliberations began seven days ago.

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