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Women's March organizers hope to re-energize protests, draw thousands despite 'marcher fatigue'

Womens march 2020Beset by internal wrangling, divergent strategies and perhaps a bit of protest fatigue, Women's March protesters were expected to turn out by the thousands Saturday, hoping that grit and determination might make up for the absence of the millions who hit the streets in 2017.

Like the first protest only days after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the national Women's March will take place in Washington, D.C., with sister marches planned in Chicago, New York, Milwaukee, Los Angeles and Oakland, among other cities.

A slate of marches and events were also scheduled across five continents in cities like Oslo, Norway; Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Lagos, Nigeria.

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Trump adds legal heavyweights Starr, Dershowitz to impeachment team

Ken Starr on Trump legal team.President Donald Trump turned to some legal heavyweights to help defend him in his Senate impeachment trial with the addition on Friday of former independent counsel Ken Starr, who paved the way for former President Bill Clinton’s 1998 impeachment, and prominent lawyer Alan Dershowitz.

The team defending the Republican president will be led by White House counsel Pat Cipollone and Trump private attorney Jay Sekulow, Trump’s legal team and a source said. Trump adviser and former Florida attorney general Pam Bondi and former independent counsel Robert Ray will also be on the team, according to the source familiar with the team’s composition.

The trial formally got underway on Thursday, though it will start in earnest on Tuesday with opening statements. The trial in the Republican-led Senate will determine whether Trump is removed from office.

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NYT: Justice investigating alleged Comey leak of years-old classified info

DOJ investigating Comey leak         Justice Department officials are investigating a years-old classified Russian intelligence document leak and whether former F.B.I director James Comey was the person who illegally provided reporters with information, The New York Times reports.

The probe is the second time federal officials have a looked into Comey regarding leaked information. The former FBI head has been frequently labeled a "leaker" by President Trump. What makes this investigation abnormal, though, is that federal prosecutors usually investigate leaks when classified information is reported by the press, not years after the fact, the Times reports.

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State Department abruptly cancels briefings on Iran, embassy security

Pompeo cancels briefings on Iran

The State Department abruptly canceled two classified congressional briefings Wednesday that were supposed to focus on embassy security and the U.S. relationship with Iran, Capitol Hill aides said, infuriating lawmakers and staffers seeking answers on the fallout from President Donald Trump's decision to kill a senior Iranian general.

The cancellations also coincide with the release of documents suggesting that associates of Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani had put the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine under surveillance — an issue that touches on both embassy security and the president's impeachment.

“Staff are furious,” a House aide said about the scuttled embassy security session. “This briefing is required by law every month, and today's was the most important we've had scheduled in a long time. The State Department has given us no explanation whatsoever.”

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Yovanovitch calls for investigation following evidence released by lawmakers

Marie Yovanovich

Former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch called for an investigation Tuesday into “what happened” after newly released evidence suggested that her movements were being monitored.

Yovanovitch requested the investigation through her lawyer Lawrence Robbins, who issued a statement on her behalf.

“Needless to say, the notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch’s movements for unknown purposes is disturbing,” he said in the statement obtained by The Hill. “We trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation to determine what happened."

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Parnas Associate Tracked Ousted Ambassador’s Movements in Kyiv: Docs

Parnas associate tracked Yovanovich

On the eve of a Senate trial to remove President Trump, House Democratic investigators have released a trove of documents obtained from the phone of Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani’s who was tasked with carrying out key parts of the plot to pressure the new president of Ukraine to do political favors for Trump.

The evidence released includes eye-popping new details about several parts of the story pieced together during the impeachment inquiry—particularly Giuliani’s campaign to remove Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine who testified that she was ousted after being targeted in what she described as a smear campaign by Trump and his allies.

In one exchange from March 2019, Robert F. Hyde, a Trump donor and Republican Congressional candidate whose involvement in the Ukraine saga has not been previously detailed, sent texts to Parnas that implied he had access to people spying on Yovanovitch in Kyiv, according to the newly released documents.

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Russians Hacked Ukrainian Gas Company at Center of Impeachment

Russians hacked Barisma

With President Trump facing an impeachment trial over his efforts to pressure Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and his son Hunter Biden, Russian military hackers have been boring into the Ukrainian gas company at the center of the affair, according to security experts.

The hacking attempts against Burisma, the Ukrainian gas company on whose board Hunter Biden served, began in early November, as talk of the Bidens, Ukraine and impeachment was dominating the news in the United States.

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