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By Alex Moe, Rebecca Shabad and Marianna Sotomayor

WASHINGTON — House Democrats announced a plan Monday to vote on re-open the federal government when they take control of the chamber on Thursday.

“Democrats are taking action to lead our country out of this mess. This legislation reopens government services, ensures workers get the paychecks they’ve earned and restores certainty to the lives of the American people,” said Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., in a joint statement.

Democrats, who outlined the plan as the shutdown stretched into Day 10, unveiled a short-term funding bill known as a continuing resolution that would fund the Department of Homeland Security until Feb. 8. Separately, they plan to pass six remaining government spending bills that passes new funding for those other agencies for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

The incoming chairwoman of the House Appropriations Committee, Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., officially filed the legislation on Monday.

Democrats will assume the majority in the House on Thursday. The first vote will be to elect a new speaker of the House; later in the day, they will vote on their appropriations plan.

The move is unlikely to be successful. There is no guarantee that Senate Republicans, who control that chamber, would agree to take up any measure passed by the Democratic House, or that President Donald Trump — who has been demanding funding for a border wall — would support the effort.

“It’s simple: The Senate is not going to send something to the President that he won’t sign,” said Don Stewart, a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

McConnell has said that negotiations between House and Senate would still need to happen in order to re-open the government.

“In order to get us out of this mess, a negotiated solution will need to check these boxes. It’s really simple. It will need the support of 60 senators — which will obviously include a number of Democrats. It will need to pass the House. And it will need a presidential signature,” McConnell said recently on the floor. “That’s how we make a law in this situation. Sixty votes in the Senate, a majority in the House, and President Trump’s signature. That’s what’s needed.”

Before the shutdown, the Senate did pass a so-called “clean” funding measure that excluded spending for the wall.

Pelosi and Schumer noted that prior vote in their statement Monday.

“It would be the height of irresponsibility and political cynicism for Senate Republicans to now reject the same legislation they have already supported,” they said. “Once the Senate passes this legislation and puts us on a path to reopening government, the President must come to his senses and immediately sign it into law.”

President Trump on Monday highlighted his insistence on funding for his border wall. “Democrats, come back from vacation now and give us the votes necessary for Border Security, including the Wall,” he tweeted in the morning, ahead of the Democrats’ announcement.

“I’m here, ready to go,” he told Fox News later Monday. “It’s very important. A lot of people are looking to eat their paycheck, so I’m ready to go anytime they want. We are not giving up. We have to have border security, and the wall is a big part of border security. The biggest part.”



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Nigel Farage warns May 'he will step back into fray' to defend Leave with new BREXIT PARTY

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NIGEL Farage has warned Prime Minister Theresa May he will “step back into the fray” and defend the Leave vote as he threw his weight behind a new Brexit Party.

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Adam Schiff says he will subpoena Michael Cohen to testify before his committee ‘if necessary’

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By Allan Smith

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that he will subpoena President Donald Trump’s former longtime attorney Michael Cohen to testify before his committee “if necessary.”

“Yes, we’ve given Michael Cohen a date that we’d like him to come in either voluntarily or, if necessary, by subpoena,” Schiff, D-Calif., told CBS’s Margaret Brennan.

Cohen is already slated to testify before the House Oversight Committee next month prior to the start of his three-year prison sentence. In a statement announcing his testimony to that congressional panel, Cohen said he looked “forward to having the privilege of being afforded a platform with which to give a full and credible account of the events which have transpired.”

Last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to nine federal felonies, including two campaign-finance violations stemming from his facilitation of hush payments to women who allege affairs with Trump and one related to making false statements to Congress about the scope and status of a proposed Trump Tower project in Moscow so he could be consistent with Trump’s public pronouncements.

Trump has denied any affairs and has accused Cohen of lying to get a reduced sentence. Following Cohen’s sentencing, Trump defended his efforts to build a Trump-branded tower in Russia while running for president of the United States as “very legal” and “very cool.”

In a disputed story, BuzzFeed reported last week that Trump ordered Cohen to lie to Congress about the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project. The report cited two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter and stated that special counsel Robert Mueller had documents and other evidence to back up the assertion.

But on Friday, Mueller spokesperson Peter Carr disputed BuzzFeed’s report in an unprecedented statement from the Special Counsel’s Office, saying its “description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

BuzzFeed is standing by its story, but the news site has yet to publish a follow-up on its original report.

Speaking with Brennan on Sunday, Schiff pointed to comments Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani made on a pair of Sunday show appearances and said he would further probe the matter.

“I guess this morning [Giuliani] said that he’s not writing off the possibility that the president did talk to Michael Cohen about his testimony or that others may have as well,” Schiff said. “And we need to know exactly what those conversations were. They’re certainly not protected by any kind of a privilege. And if anyone was instructing — whether it was the president or other people affiliated with the White House or the Trump Organization — encouraging a witness to lie, we need to know about it.”

“And I will say one other thing,” Schiff continued. “We know that the president’s public statements have been false as it pertains to his business dealings with Russia. And so the combination of his public falsehoods with false testimony before Congress certainly contributes to a picture of obstruction of justice.”

Giuliani said Sunday that he was “100 percent certain” that Trump never directed Cohen to lie to Congress, but Giuliani did leave the door open to the two men discussing Cohen’s 2017 testimony ahead of time.

If Trump did have discussions with Cohen about his testimony, Giuliani told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union” that it “would be perfectly normal.”

“And so what if he talked to him about it?” Giuliani added.



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‘100 percent’ certain Trump didn’t direct Cohen to lie, but ‘so what’ if they discussed testimony

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By Allan Smith

President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that he is “100 percent certain” the president never directed his former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen to lie in congressional testimony about a proposed construction project in Moscow.

But Giuliani did leave the door open to the possibility that the two men discussed Cohen’s testimony.

Giuliani’s comments came after a disputed BuzzFeed story claimed Cohen told special counsel Robert Mueller that the president personally instructed him to lie to congressional investigators to minimize links between Trump and the proposed Moscow building project. The report, which cited two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter, claimed Cohen was told to provide the false impression that talks on the proposed construction project had ended before they actually had.

In an interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” Giuliani denied that Trump told Cohen to lie, saying he was “100 percent certain of that.”

Giuliani added that he was pleased the special counsel’s office pushed back on BuzzFeed’s story.

“And the inaccuracy is that there’s no evidence that the president told him to lie,” he said. “And then to answer your question, categorically I can tell you his counsel to Michael Cohen throughout that entire period was ‘tell the truth.'”

Mueller spokesperson Peter Carr, in an unprecedented statement from the Special Counsel’s Office, disputed BuzzFeed’s report, saying its “description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.”

Buzzfeed is standing by its story, but the news site has yet to publish a follow-up on its original report.

The story prompted some Democrats to call for impeachment proceedings.

Late last year, Cohen pleaded guilty to making false statements to Congress about the timing of discussions on the proposed Trump Tower Moscow project, which he testified had ended in January of 2016, before the first primary votes were cast. Cohen admitted in his guilty plea that, in reality, those discussions continued into that summer and added that he was not truthful with congressional investigators because he wanted to be consistent with Trump’s public pronouncements.

Cohen did not, however, say that Trump had directed him to lie.

Giuliani said Sunday that the talks on the proposed Trump Tower Moscow venture went on as late as November 2016 — a point he made in December as well. That timeline is longer than the one Cohen offered in his guilty plea.

In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union,” Giuliani said that “as far as” he knows, Trump did not have discussions with Cohen about his testimony to congressional investigators in late 2017.

Trump “certainly had no discussions with him in which he told him or counseled him to lie,” Giuliani said. But, he added, if Trump did have discussions with Cohen about his testimony, it “would be perfectly normal.”

“And so what if he talked to him about it?” Giuliani added.

That prompted a strong response from attorney George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and a staunch critic of the president on social media.

“’Perfectly normal?'” Conway tweeted. “It’s perfectly insane for witnesses in or subjects of a criminal investigation to be discussing testimony.”



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