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Monday, Jul 24th

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Flynn may have broken law, say Oversight leaders

Flynn may have broken the lawFormer national security adviser Michael Flynn may have broken the law by taking money from Russia and Turkey without permission, the top lawmakers on the House Oversight Committee said Tuesday.

“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else,” Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told reporters Tuesday. “It appears as if he did take that money, it was inappropriate — and there are repercussions for the violation of law.”

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Former U.S. officials to testify at May 8 Senate hearing on Russia probe

Former US officials to testify in Moscow probeTwo former U.S. officials, intelligence director James Clapper and deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, will testify next month in a Senate investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Senate Judiciary Committee said on Tuesday.

Four congressional committees are investigating the issue after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered hacking of the Democratic political groups to try to sway the election toward Republican Donald Trump. Moscow has denied any such meddling.

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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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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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Mark Sanford has nothing left to lose. And he’s here to haunt Donald Trump.

SanfordNone of this feels normal. The congressman greets me inside his Washington office wearing a wrinkly collared shirt with its top two buttons undone, faded denim jeans and grungy, navy blue Crocs that expose his leather-textured feet.

Nearing the end of our 30-minute interview, he cancels other appointments and extends our conversation by an hour. He repeatedly brings up his extramarital affair, unsolicited, pointing to the lessons learned and relationships lost. He acknowledges and embraces his own vulnerability—political, emotional and otherwise. He veers on and off the record, asking himself rhetorical questions, occasionally growing teary-eyed, and twice referring to our session as “my Catholic confessional.”

And then he does the strangest thing of all: He lays waste to the president of his own party.

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Trump EPA nominee ordered to release emails with energy industry

Scott PruittAn Oklahoma judge on Thursday ordered President Donald Trump's nominee to run the Environmental Protection Agency to turn over thousands of emails he exchanged with or about the fossil fuel industry by next Tuesday, though he may already be confirmed for the position by then.

Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, whose confirmation hearing for head of the EPA is scheduled for Friday, was ordered by Oklahoma County District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons to fulfill public records requests for more than 3,000 emails by the Center for Media and Democracy.

TVNL Comment;  The Senate vote should be postponed until the contents of the emails are revealed.  But they will vote before Tuesday.  Watch this space.

Yep.  Pruitt was just confirmed.  The swamp increases.

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Congress rejects Obama veto of 9/11 bill; first override of his presidency

9/11 veto overridden by CongressThe House and Senate voted Wednesday to reject President Obama's veto of legislation allowing lawsuits against foreign sponsors of terrorism — the first successful override of a presidential veto since Obama took office.

The president had vetoed the legislation Friday because he said the bill — known as the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA — would infringe on the president’s ability to conduct foreign policy. It was the 12th veto of his presidency.

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