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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 12, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 12, 2019

SATURDAY JULY 6, 2019: I.C.E. RAIDS TO START “FAIRLY SOON”

Pres. Trump announced that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) raids in communities would begin “fairly soon”, which is as soon as the upcoming weekend. During interviews he told reporters that he doesn’t consider them as raids, but I.C.E. will be “removing people, all of these people who have come in over the years illegally”. Last month I.C.E. said the raids would target newly arrived migrants in order to discourage future migrants and refugees from coming in the United States.

SUNDAY JULY 7, 2019: TOM STEYER WILL BE JOINING THE 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Presidential candidate Tom Steyer (D).

The billionaire environmental activist who is known for running the “Need to Impeach” campaign, Tom Steyer, will be joining the 2020 Presidential race in the upcoming days. Steyer will be joining the already crowded Democratic primary field with over 20 candidates. His campaign will most likely be mainly focused on economics, the environment and holding Pres. Trump accountable. Steyer has previously spend millions in midterm and general elections and on his campaign “Need to Impeach” which is focused on impeaching Pres. Trump.

MONDAY JULY 8, 2019: FIRST 2020 CANDIDATE DROPS OUT OF RACE

Congressman Eric Swalwell (D-CA)

U.S. Congressman from California, Eric Swalwell, announced that he will be dropping out of the Presidential race and will instead run for his fifth term in the House of Representatives. Swalwell entered the race in April but has not had significant improvements in his polling numbers since then, which resulted in him staying at the bottom. Swalwell’s priorities for running were tackling gun violence and fixing the student debt crisis. Swalwell was one of the youngest candidates in the race, alongside Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

TUESDAY JULY 9, 2019: U.S. IS SENDING ASYLUM SEEKERS TO MEXICO

The Trump administration has started a new program called “Migrant Protection Protocols” whose purpose is to reduce the number of migrants who live and work in the U.S. while waiting for their asylum hearings. Due to the new program, the U.S. has started sending migrants seeking asylum to the northeastern state of Tamaulipas, Mexico. It’s a part of Mexico that the U.S. State Department warns against all travel, because it is known for high crime and kidnapping rates. In most cases, many asylum seekers are not warned that they will be taken back to Mexico where they may have to wait for months, with no food or a place to sleep at unless they can afford it for themselves.

WEDNESDAY JULY 10, 2019: FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS LAWYERS FROM QUITTING CENSUS FIGHT

Protest outside of the Supreme Court about the citizenship question on the 2020 Census.

A federal judge had received a notification by the Justice Department that there may be a possible replacement of lawyers in the 2020 Census fight and that it “won’t cause any disruption in the matter”. The judge blocked that decision, because there was not a reason provided as to why judges would be replaced. After the citizenship question on the 2020 Census was blocked by a federal judge, the Justice Department announced they would not continue the fight to have it but Pres. Trump reversed that decision. He is now fighting to keep the question on the census, which shows an urgency to keep the same lawyers in order to resolve those legal claims once again.

THURSDAY JULY 11, 2019: HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE AUTHORIZES SUBPOENAS

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for 12 current and former members of the Trump administration regarding matters of Russian meddling in the 2016 Presidential election and the separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border. The committee will be seeking testimony and documents relating to ” the Trump administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy and other family separation policies and practices; detention of children and families; and discussions about or offers of presidential pardons to Department of Homeland Security officials or employees” .

FRIDAY JULY 12, 2019: SECRETARY OF LABOR ANNOUNCES RESIGNATION

Former Secretary of Labor,
R. Alexander Acosta.

Labor Secretary, R. Alexander Acosta, has announced he will be resigning from his position after continued question about his handling of a sex crimes case involving financier Jeffrey Epstein. In 2008, Acosta had agreed to a plea deal which would give Jeffrey Epstein 13 months in jail after being accused of sexually abusing dozens of young women and girls. Acosta’s resignation will come into effect on July 19 and his Deputy, Patrick Pizzella, will serve as the acting Labor Secretary.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 5, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JULY 5, 2019

SATURDAY JUNE 29, 2019: PRES. TRUMP APPEALS JUDGE’S BORDER WALL RULING

A federal judge had recently blocked the Trump administration from using $2.5 million to construct a wall along the southern border of Mexico. On Saturday, Pres. Trump announced that they will be appealing that decision and believe that they will win the appeal since the border wall is “an immediate need for this country. Pres. Trump has been unable to receive congressional approval for the project.

SUNDAY JUNE 30, 2019: KIM JONG UN AND DONALD TRUMP MEET AT THE D.M.Z.

Pres. Trump and Kim Jong Un at the North Korean side of the D.M.Z.

Pres. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met at the Demilitarized Zone (D.M.Z.) on Sunday, which is the border that separates North and South Korea. The two leaders shook hands on the North Korean side, making Trump the first U.S. president to cross the border into North Korea. Pres. Trump also invited Kim Jong Un to the White House and both leaders agreed to visit each other’s countries “at the right time”.

MONDAY JULY 1, 2019: PRES. TRUMP SIGNS HUMANITARIAN AID PACKAGE FOR MIGRANT CARE

Pres. Trump signed a $4.6 billion humanitarian aid package that is meant to assist the federal government cope with the immigrants coming to the U.S.- Mexico border. However, the package is not meant to help the conditions of the facilities migrants are being kept at. The bill is supposed to help support the care of migrants taken into custody and sets guidelines of how the Trump administration must handle the situation.

TUESDAY JULY 2, 2019: INSPECTOR REPORT SHOWS DANGEROUS CONDITIONS AT FACILITIES

Dangerous overcrowding at a facility in Texas.

A new inspector report shows dangerous overcrowding conditions at detention facilities migrants are being held at. The report also showed that around 30% of minors were being held for longer than the 72 hours permitted, some more than two weeks while awaiting trial.

Earlier in the week, Democratic lawmakers had visited the detention facilities in Texas and are calling this a “human rights crisis” because of the inhumane and unsanitary conditions experienced at these facilities.

WEDNESDAY JULY 3, 2019: FEDERAL JUDGE BLOCKS OHIO ABORTION LAW

Protestors when the bill passed in Ohio.

A federal judge temporarily blocked the Ohio law that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat could be detected, which can be as early as six weeks when most women do not know yet they are pregnant.This temporary block will allow clinics to continue to provide the procedure in Ohio, even though a legal faceoff will continue in the courts.

THURSDAY JULY 4, 2019: TRUMP’S 4TH OF JULY CELEBRATION COULD HAVE COSTED $92 MILLION

Pres. Trump’s 4th of July celebration in Washington D.C.

The Trump administration has not yet disclosed how much their Fourth of July celebration in Washington D.C. fully costed. Only the National Park Service cost was $2.5 million in taxpayer money. The aircraft show was another major cost, which most likely cost over $2 million. The administration was thinking about a military parade again in 2018, but defense officials had estimated the costtwould have been around $92 million. A Pentagon spokesman mentioned that the finalized costs of the parade will be finalized after the event is over.

FRIDAY JULY 5, 2019: PRES. TRUMP CONSIDERING EXECUTIVE ORDER FOR CENSUS QUESTION

After federal courts challenged the administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, Pres. Trump said on Friday that he is considering issuing an executive order. The reason for the executive order would be to add a citizenship question onto the 2020 census, which federal courts blocked. Lawyers and the administration have a court-ordered Friday afternoon deadline to provide a reason as to why the question should be including in the 2020 census.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 28, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 28, 2019

SUNDAY JUNE 23, 2019: FORMER CONGRESSMAN JOE SESTAK ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL RUN

Former Congressman Joe Sestak (D-PA).

Retired Navy Admiral and former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, announced on his website that he will be joining the 2020 Presidential race and the already crowded Democratic field. Sestak was also a part of former U.S. President Bill Clinton’s national secutiry team. Sestak had postponed announcing his candidacy, because he had to care for his daughter who was ill with brain cancer.

MONDAY JUNE 24, 2019: U.S. ANNOUNCES NEW IRAN SANCTIONS

Earlier in the week, Pres. Trump had called off military strikes against Iran that would have killed at least 150 people. The “close-call” strikes came after a U.S. drone was shot down by Iranian military. The reason behind the actions taken by Iran was that the U.S. drone had entered Iranian airspace but the U.S. is arguing that it was international territory. The Trump administration is interested in holding negotiations with Iran, but they will not comply until the sanctions placed on Iran are lifted.

TUESDAY JUNE 25, 2019: STEPHANIE GRISHAM NAMED NEW WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY

New White House Press Secretary, Stephanie Grisham

The Chief Spokeswoman for First Lady Melania Trump, Stephanie Grisham, has been named the new White House Press Secretary. Grisham will be replacing former White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, whom earlier this month announced that she would be stepping down from her position.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 26, 2019: SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER WILL TESTIFY INFRONT OF CONGRESS

Special Counsel Robert Mueller, has agreed to testify before congressional committees in the upcoming month. After multiple subpoenas issued by the chairmen of the U.S. House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees, it is planned for Mueller to appear in front of those committees on July 17 to testify about his report on the Russia interference investigation.

THURSDAY JUNE 27, 2019: SUPREME COURT RULES AGAINST CITIZENSHIP QUESTION ON 2020 CENSUS

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Trump administration did not provide an adequate explanation as to why they were planning on adding the citizenship question onto the 2020 census. The Trump administration was planning on adding a citizenship question to the 2020 census that would require people to declare whether they were citizens or not. The administration argued that the question would have been used to enforce voting rights but many believed it was for a different motive. Many organizations and states challenged the plan, which led to a federal judge barring the question for the future census.

FRIDAY JUNE 28, 2019: FIRST DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY DEBATES

All of the Democratic Presidential candidates during the First Primary Debates.

Two nights, 20 candidates and one Democratic Presidential nomination. The first Democratic primary debates were ones to remember, with candidates stealing the spotlight each night and “underdogs” proving that they were capable of the Presidential duties. Candidates in both nights focused mostly on policies involving healthcare, climate change, foreign policy and immigration.

Many believed that Sen. Elizabeth Warren won the first night of debates with her slogan “I have a plan for that”, and Julián Castro showed that even though he has been a “background candidate”, he had great plans involving immigration. Many candidates such as Sen. Cory Booker and Mayor Pete Buttigieg also showed off their Spanish skills in the first night of the debates. Booker had received the most airtime on Wednesday night but did not particularly stand out with any of his plans or policies, compared to other candidates.

In the second night of debates, many believe that Sen. Kamala Harris won the night because she was able to connect with the audience through her personal experiences and also confronted Former Vice President Joe Biden about past actions anf comments. Sen. Bernie Sanders was able to stand out on the stage with his Medicare-for-All plan, whereas Biden held on to the already established Obamacare. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is one of the only candidates that is primarily focusing her campaign on women, but it is believed that some of her policies were overshadowed by other candidates during Thursday’s debate.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 7, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: JUNE 7, 2019

SUNDAY JUNE 2, 2019: PRES. TRUMP CALLS MEXICO “ABUSER” OF THE UNITED STATES

Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

In a tweet on Sunday, Pres. Trump mentioned that Mexico is an “abuser” of the United States because they have not “stopped” the migrants coming in from Central America. Pres.

Trump is threatening to impose a 5% tariff on all exports sent from Mexico to the U.S., unless Mexico blocks the migrants trying to come to the United States.

MONDAY JUNE 3, 2019: CONGRESS SENDS DISASTER AID BILL TO PRES. TRUMP

After a 10-day recess, the $19B disaster aid bill for Puerto Rico is finally being send to Pres. Trump. The bill was first held up in recess by conservative Republicans, because they believed the bill should not be rushed through without a recorded vote since the bill was originally supposed to be voted on by a voice vote. There was also a feud between Democrats and Republicans on how much aid should actually be given to Puerto Rico for disaster relief.

TUESDAY JUNE 4, 2019: HOUSE VOTES TO PROTECT “DREAMERS”

DACA advocates during a protest

By a vote of 237-187, the House of Representatives voted to pass a bill that would end the threat of deportation for “Dreamers” who entered the U.S. when they were children. Out of the 237 Yes votes, only 7 Republicans voted to pass the bill. However, there is not much hope for the bill to also pass in the Senate since it has a Republican majority.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 5, 2019: SENATE LAUNCHES BID TO BLOCK SAUDI ARMS SALES

Senate Democrats and Republicans have united to introduce more than a dozen resolutions that would block the Trump administration’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia. This bipartisan stance displays a major push-back on Pres. Trump’s foreign policy regarding Saudi Arabia. Leading this effort is Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) who is the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His effort is supported by many but two of the top ones are Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-K.Y.).

THURSDAY JUNE 6, 2019: DEPARTMENTS OF JUSTICE AND COMMERCE REJECT HOUSE SUBPOENAS

The Trump administration has been considering to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The House Oversight and Reform Committee subpoenaed the Departments of Justice and Commerce for documents that would validate the want to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census. The Assistant Attorney General, Stephen Boyd, said the documents requested by the Committee are protected by attorney-client privilege and therefore cannot be disclosed with the Committee.

FRIDAY JUNE 7, 2019: JOE BIDEN REVERSES STANCE ON ABORTION FUNDING

Presidential nominee, Joe Biden

Earlier this week, Presidential nominee Joe Biden had mentioned that he supported the Hyde amendment which bars the use of federal funds to pay for abortion. During a speech at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Atlanta, Biden mentioned that he had changed his long-standing stance on federal funds for abortion, after the major backlash he had received. He also mentioned that he makes “no apologies” for his previous stance on the Hyde amendment. Biden had once opposed efforts to add abortion exemptions for victims of rape or incest when he was a senator for Delaware. 

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 31, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 31, 2019

MONDAY MAY 27, 2019: TRUMP ADMINISTRATION EXPANDS BORDER PROCESSING

Migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border

The number of migrants has increased to 100,000 each month crossing the southern border of Texas. Due to the increased amount, the Trump administration has decided to fly migrants to San Diego, TX and bus them to centers in California and Texas. When the migrants arrive at those centers, they are processed and usually after released to await a court date. This is the first time in U.S. history an administration has taken those steps for migrants.

TUESDAY MAY 28, 2019: SUPREME COURT ON INDIANA ABORTION RULING

The Supreme Court blocked an Indiana law that barred abortions based on a fetus’ race, sex or disability. However, the Supreme Court allowed a measure to pass in Indiana that would require the burial or cremation of fetal remains. This measure was first signed into law by Vice President Mike Pence in 2016, when he was governor of Indiana, but was blocked by a court. Currently, the Supreme Court has a conservative majority.

WEDNESDAY MAY 29, 2019: SPECIAL COUNSEL ROBERT MUELLER SPEAKS ABOUT INVESTIGATION

Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, at the U.S. Justice Department.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller spoke about the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 Presidential election, at the US Justice Department on Wednesday. Mueller mentioned that the option to charge Pres. Trump with obstruction of justice was not one his office could consider, because of certain Justice Department guidelines. He also announced that he will be closing his office, as special counsel, since the investigation has been concluded.

THURSDAY MAY 30, 2019: DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR SIGNS ABORTION BAN INTO LAW

Protesters in Louisiana

Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA), signed an abortion ban into law that would ban abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when one may not even know yet they are pregnant. The new law made Louisiana the fifth state to enact a law prohibiting abortion as early as six weeks. The new law in Louisiana does not include exceptions for situations involving rape or incest. Despite being a Democratic Governor, Edwards has mentioned that he is pro-life and it is an issue he has been consistent on his whole life.

FRIDAY MAY 31, 2019: LICENSE NOT EXPIRED FOR SOLE ABORTION CLINIC IN MISSOURI

A judge in Missouri has ruled that the only Planned Parenthood left, that has abortion services available, can continue their services. The clinic’s license was supposed to expire this Friday, but the judge ruled that the current license can remain into effect. This ruling does not renew the clinic’s license but allows them to continue their services till a court date on June 4th. If the license does not renew on June 4th, Missouri would be the first state to completely block abortions after Roe v. Wade.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

SUNDAY MAY 5, 2019: OBAMA ADMINISTRATION BORDER PATROL CHIEF NOMINATED AS I.C.E. DIRECTOR

Nominated I.C.E. Director, Mark Morgan

The former Border Patrol Chief under the Obama administration, Mark Morgan, was nominated by Pres. Trump to become the new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E.) director. Morgan is a former F.B.I. agent and the first “outsider” to be the Chief of the Border Patrol. Morgan is known as a an outspoken supporter of Pres. Trump’s desire to build a border wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Originally Ron Vitiello, a former Border Patrol agent, was nominated for the I.C.E. Director position but Pres. Trump withdrew his nomination last month.

MONDAY MAY 6, 2019: TREASURY DENIES REQUEST FOR PRES. TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS

In a letter on Monday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, said that the request for Pres. Trump’s tax returns “lack a legitimate legislative purpose”. Mnuchin also mentioned that the Treasury Department is not “authorized” to disclose the tax returns and the Justice Department will soon provide a legal justification as to why. The House Ways and Means Committee requested for the tax returns to be available by early April, but that did not happen. Now the House Committee has the option to subpoena the the I.R.S. for the tax returns or file a lawsuit.

TUESDAY MAY 7, 2019: GEORGIA GOVERNOR SIGNS “FETAL HEARTBEAT” BILL INTO LAW

Protesters outside of the State Capitol in Atlanta, GA.

Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA) signed a bill into law that bans abortions once a heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks. The bill has sparked outrage and protests across the country, with some of them being in front of the State Capitol in Atlanta. The Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (A.C.L.U.) of Georgia, Sean Young, said that the group will be challenging the new bill in court. The bill is expected to face many legal struggles, but if it is not blocked in court it will go into effect on January 1, 2020.

WEDNESDAY MAY 8, 2019: WHITE HOUSE ASSERTS EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE OVER MUELLER REPORT

Pres. Trump and the White House asserted executive privilege over Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian relations and interference in the 2016 election. Pres. Trump has asserted executive privilege over all of the subpoenaed items. Assistant Attorney General, Stephen Boyd, mentioned that the White House will fully assert executive privilege over the report if the House Judiciary Committee does not delay their vote. The House Judiciary, later that day, voted that they should hold Attorney General, William Barr, in contempt after not complying with the subpoena issued for him.

THURSDAY MAY 9, 2019: PRES. TRUMP NOMINATES NEW SECRETARY OF DEFENSE

Secretary of Defense nominee, Pat Shanahan.

On Thursday the White House announced that Pres. Trump will nominate Pat Shanahan as the next Secretary of Defense. Shanahan has served as the acting Secretary of Defense since January but had not officially been nominated. Shanahan has spent more than thirty years in the private industry working for the Boeing aircraft manufacturing company, and concerns have been raised about his lack of military experience. Even though there are concerns present, Pres. Trump believes that Shanahan is “beyond qualified” to take the role as the Secretary of Defense.

FRIDAY MAY 10, 2019: HOUSE PASSES DISASTER RELIEF PACKAGE FOR PUERTO RICO

Aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Despite opposition from Pres. Trump, the House passed a $17.2 billion disaster aid bill that would assist Puerto Rico with the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017. The bill passed in a 257-150 vote. The bill faced major opposition from House Republicans. Pres. Trump had urged the House Republicans to vote against the bill, because he saw it as “excessive funding” for Puerto Rico. Despite opposition and pressure from the President, 34 Republicans voted in favor of it.

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THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

THIS WEEK IN POLITICS: MAY 5, 2019

MONDAY APRIL 29, 2019: U.S. DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL RESIGNS

Deputy Attorney General,
Rod Rosenstein

The U.S. Deputy Attorney General, Rod Rosenstein, announced on Monday that he will be resigning from his position. His resignation will go into effect May 11 and since it was expected, Pres. Trump has already nominated Deputy Transportation Secretary Jeffrey Rosen to replace him. Rosenstein is who appointed Special Counsel Robert Mueller to take on the investigation, and stayed in his position longer in order to assist Attorney General William Bar with Mueller’s findings.

TUESDAY APRIL 30, 2019: DEMOCRATS REACH AGREEMENT ON INFRASTRUCTURE BILL WITH PRES. TRUMP

Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D- CA), and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer (D-NY), have agreed with Pres. Trump on a $2 trillion infrastructure bill. The purpose of this bill would be to fix the nation’s bridges, roads, waterways etc. Even though there has been tension in D.C. over the Mueller report findings, that did not affect the meeting and productivity between the three leaders.

WEDNESDAY MAY 1, 2019: ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR FACES SENATE PANEL

Attorney General William Barr at the Senate Judiciary hearing.

On Wednesday, Attorney General William Barr, appeared to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Barr was asked about the 4-page summary he provided when the 400+ page Mueller report was released. He compared it as to offering a verdict in a trial and believes that the media was “reading too much” into the findings of Robert Mueller. Barr also went into detail about the “rumored” firing of Robert Mueller from the case and questioned the origins of the FBI counterintelligence probe.

THURSDAY MAY 2, 2019: SEN. MICHAEL BENNET ANNOUNCES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO)

Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) has announced that he is joining the crowded 2020 Presidential Race. Bennet believes that the two main challenges that the U.S. is currently facing are economic mobility and opportunity, and need to restore integrity in the government. Since his entry was delayed, he may face fundraising challenges but he is very optimistic about his political future.

FRIDAY MAY 3, 2019: ATTORNEY GENERAL WILLIAM BARR MAY BE HELD IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS

After Attorney General William Barr failed to appear at a Judiciary panel hearing on Thursday and did not provide the full Mueller report, the House Judiciary Committee is threatening to hold him in contempt of Congress. Chairman Jerrold Nadler provided A.G. William Barr with a new deadline to provide the report, this upcoming Monday. Chairman Nadler also narrowed his request for
underlying materials to those directly cited in the report.

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