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House panel subpoenas Corey Lewandowski amid possible Senate run

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The House Judiciary Committee announced Thursday that it had served former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski with a subpoena to testify before Congress next month.

Lewandowski has been reportedly considering a Senate run in New Hampshire and is expected to make an appearance at a Trump rally in the state on Thursday night. The House panel’s announcement came hours after Trump told a local radio station his former aide would be “a great senator.” A Democratic committee source insisted the announcement was not planned to coincide with the Trump event.

The committee also issued a subpoena to former White House deputy chief of staff for policy Rick Dearborn. By an NBC News count, the committee has issued seven subpoenas so far this year.

In a statement, House Judiciary Chair Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said his committee was summoning the two former Trump aides to testify publicly on Sept. 17. The committee had voted to authorize the subpoenas in July.

“These witnesses were involved in President Trump’s extensive efforts to obstruct the Special Counsel’s investigation,” the committee said on Thursday.

Nadler said he expects their testimony “will help the Committee determine whether to recommend articles of impeachment against the President or other Article 1 remedies.”

“Corey Lewandowski and Rick Dearborn were prominently featured in the Special Counsel’s description of President Trump’s efforts to obstruct justice by directing then-White House Counsel Don McGahn to fire the Special Counsel, and then by ordering him to lie about it,” Nadler said.

The Mueller report said Trump had asked Lewandowski to convince then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian election interference, and publicly say that the president had not done anything wrong. Sessions recused himself in March 2017 for the probe following reports that he met with the Russian ambassador during the 2016 election.

Lewandowski told Mueller he didn’t pass the message on to Sessions, and tried to have Dearborn do it. Dearborn did not, the report said.

A lawyer representing Lewandowski addressed the subpoena in a statement on Thursday.

“Mr. Lewandowski has voluntarily appeared before and cooperated with Congress three times, answering questions for hours. He also has spoken for hours with the Special Counsel’s office. In light of this, it is fair to ask what could be gained from requiring him to appear yet again.”

A spokesperson for Republicans on the Judiciary Committee criticized the subpoenas as a “waste” of “time and taxpayer dollars.”

“Special Counsel Mueller has already testified about his full report and to the fact that his investigation was not hindered in any way,” the spokesperson said. “Moreover, our committee has had access to the FBI’s interview summaries on these individuals for months, so these subpoenas—like the one to Hope Hicks—only waste more time and taxpayer dollars as Democrats demand information we already have.”

Trump fired Lewandowski as his campaign manager after six tumultuous months on the job, but the two have remained close and he often travels with Trump on Air Force One for his political rallies.



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Federal judge bars Georgia from using electronic-only voting system in 2020

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A federal judge in Georgia ruled Thursday that the state must do more to protect the security of its elections and ordered that it no longer use its electronic-only system after 2019.

“This case arises in a technology context where Georgia’s current voting equipment, software, election and voter databases are antiquated, seriously flawed and vulnerable to failure, breach, contamination and attack,” wrote U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg, who is based in Atlanta.

If Georgia cannot implement a recently approved voting system in time, the judge further ordered that the state must be prepared to return to an all-paper system, a move that she declined to mandate last year.

The lawsuit, known as Curling v. Raffensberger, was brought in 2017 by a voting-rights group, along with a handful of Georgia voters.“This is a big win for all Georgia voters and those working across the country to secure elections and protect the right to vote,” David Cross, the plaintiffs’ attorney, said in a statement. “The court ordered Georgia to finally take critical steps it has long refused to take to protect elections against interference and voters against disenfranchisement.”

Georgia is one of the few states that has electronic voting but does not produce paper receipts. According to a study released this week by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University, South Carolina and Pennsylvania have committed to replacing their paperless systems by 2020.

In late July, Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger said in a statement that the new system would be in place in time for the March 24, 2020, presidential primary.

“Elections security is my top priority,” Raffensperger said. “We look forward to working with national and local elections security experts to institute best practices and continue to safeguard all aspects of physical and cybersecurity in an ever-changing threat environment.”

The case’s origins date to August 2016 when a cybersecurity researcher was able to quickly download a vast trove of Georgia’s election management data and materials.

In her Thursday ruling, Totenberg expressed her clear dissatisfaction with Georgia’s slow-moving pace.

“The imminent threats of contamination, dysfunction and attacks on State and county voting systems, disparaged by the Secretary of State’s representatives at the 2018 hearing virtually as a fantasy and still minimized as speculative at the 2019 hearing, have been identified in the most credible major national and state cybersecurity studies and official government reports,” she added.



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Watch out, Leo! Varadkar’s minister hints at leadership challenge as pressure piles on PM

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IRELAND’S Health Minister Simon Harris has talked up his lofty ambition to be the country’s next Prime Minister as current leader Leo Varadkar comes under increasing pressure from frustrated voters.

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