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Friday, May 26th

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Rep. Elijah Cummings Suggests Trump May Have Fired Preet Bharara To Block Investigation

Elijah CummingsRep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, questioned on Sunday President Donald Trump’s motives in firing U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, suggesting that he might have been acting in his own self-interest to stop a potential corruption investigation.

On Friday, the Trump administration asked 46 U.S. attorneys appointed by former President Barack Obama to resign. While it’s not unusual for presidents to put their own people in these positions, it’s normally not quite so abrupt and sudden.

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Intel panel calls for wiretap evidence by Monday

Devin NunesHouse Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and ranking member Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) have asked the White House to offer by Monday any evidence showing Trump Tower was wiretapped.

A congressional aide confirmed to The Hill that Schiff and Nunes made the request in a letter to the White House. The letter was first reported by The Associated Press.

Trump has kept his distance from the press since last weekend, when he accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower before the November election.

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The coming GOP assault on regulations

BannonWhile President Donald Trump has launched a noisy crusade to slash regulations that constrain American businesses, Republicans in Congress have embarked on a less prominent but potentially more lasting effort to make it much harder for federal agencies to create new regulations in the future.

There is a flurry of anti-regulatory legislation floating around Capitol Hill, but it is becoming clear that the key Republican vehicle to rein in rulemaking will be Ohio Senator Rob Portman’s Regulatory Accountability Act. A 16-page draft of the legislation obtained by POLITICO was significantly less radical than several aggressive bills recently passed by the House of Representatives, but industry groups have pinned their hopes on this one attracting support from enough moderate Democrats to overcome a Senate filibuster and make it to Trump’s desk. And even if the Portman bill won’t automatically ensure “the deconstruction of the administrative state” promised by White House adviser Steve Bannon, it could still dramatically curtail the power of government regulators in the long run.

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Senators to White House: How Will Kushner Avoid Overlap Between Business Empire and Government Work?

Warren and Carper question Kuschner's conflictsTwo senators and a congressman are pressing the White House to disclose exactly how Jared Kushner will comply with conflict of interest laws.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter to the Trump administration Wednesday, prompted by our recent story that detailed how Kushner, a top aide to President Trump, is keeping parts of his family real-estate empire.

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Senate panel approves Trump's Israel envoy despite Dem opposition

Senate panel approves Israel envoyThe Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday approved David Friedman to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Israel despite opposition from Democrats.

The committee voted to clear Friedman's nomination in a 12-9 vote.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) was the only Democratic senator to support Friedman's nomination, according to multiple reports.  Democrats had voiced concerns over Friedman's previous comments backing Israel settlements and opposing a two-state solution.

TVNL Comment:  Friedman is an advocate of extreme right wing polkicies in Israel. This is a terrible choice.

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Two Republicans sign on to effort demanding Trump’s tax returns

Trump Two House Republicans endorsed a Democratic effort on Friday calling on the House and Senate committees with oversight of the Internal Revenue Service to request copies of President Trump’s tax returns.

Reps. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Walter Jones (R-N.C.) signed a letter urging the chairmen of the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee to ask for copies of Trump's tax documents from the last decade.

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Schumer asks FCC for waiver to trace Jewish center bomb threats

Schumer asks FCC for waiverSenate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Tuesday asked the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for a waiver to unscramble anonymous phone numbers that had been used to call in bomb threats to a New York Jewish Community Center.

A wave of anti-Semitic acts, including bomb threats to JCCs and vandalism of Jewish cemeteries, has drawn concern in Washington and around the nation. Since the start of 2017, there have been roughly 100 threats to 81 JCCs across the U.S.

Schumer's letter specifically referred to a series of bomb threats that were made on Feb. 27 to 11 JCCs, several of them in or near New York.

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