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Adam Schiff on Roger Stone commutation: "Republicans won't stand up for the rule of law"

House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) criticized Republicans for not speaking out against President Trump's commutation of Roger Stone's prison sentence, pointing out on ABC's "This Week" that Stone was convicted for lying to a GOP-led committee.

The big picture: Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Pat Toomey (R-Penn.) are the only Republican senators who have condemned the move, with Romney calling it "unprecedented, historic corruption" and Toomey noting that Stone was "duly convicted" by a jury.


  • Trump lashed out at both senators on Twitter late Saturday night, calling them RINOs (Republicans In Name Only) and accusing former FBI officials of spying on his campaign.
  • Schiff claimed Trump has "abused the pardon power" to protect himself from "criminal liability," which he said is an impeachable offense. But he added: "If the Republicans won't even say a word, of course they're not going to vote to impeach and convict."

What he's saying: "Republicans won't stand up for the rule of law, won't stand up for the independence of the Justice Department. It shouldn't matter, but this was a Republican-led investigation that Roger Stone lied to," Schiff said.

  • "The committee was then chaired by a Republican, and here you have no more than a couple Republicans willing to say a single word about someone who came before Congress and lied to them, intimidated witnesses and obstructed them. Why? Because he did it to cover for a president of their party."
  • "This is the distinction between now and Watergate. The Republicans then would not have stood for this, and Nixon understood that. Donald Trump understands that he has these Republicans cowed."

Go deeper: Robert Mueller speaks out on Roger Stone commutation

Senate Democrats block vote on McConnell's targeted COVID relief bill

Senate Democrats on Wednesday blocked a vote on Republicans' $500 billion targeted COVID-19 relief bill, a far less comprehensive package than the $1.8 trillion+ deal currently being negotiated between the Trump administration and House Democrats.

Why it matters: There's little appetite in the Senate for a stimulus bill with a price tag as large as what President Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have been calling for. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's (R-Ky.) "skinny" proposal was mostly seen as a political maneuver, as it had little chance of making it out of the Senate.

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Hunter Biden firestorm underscores the hazy line between politics and influence campaigns

The recent firestorm over the New York Post’s publication of stories relying on data from a hard drive allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden shows the increasingly hazy line between domestic political “dirty tricks” and a foreign-sponsored disinformation operation.

Why it matters: This haziness could give determined actors cover to conduct influence operations aimed at undermining U.S. democracy through channels that just look like old-fashioned hard-nosed politics.

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"I stood up for that": Pope Francis voices support for same-sex civil unions

Pope Francis voiced his support for same-sex civil unions for the first time as pope in the documentary “Francesco,” which premiered Wednesday at the Rome Film Festival, per the Catholic News Agency.

Why it matters: The pope’s remarks represent a break from the position of the Roman Catholic Church, which has long taught that homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered" and contrary to natural law.

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Countries waiting to see if Trump wins before moving on Israel normalization

The White House is attempting to leverage momentum from Israel's normalization deals with Bahrain and the UAE to get more Arab countries on board before the U.S. election.

Driving the news: President Trump wants Sudan's removal from the U.S. state sponsors of terrorism list to be accompanied by a pre-election announcement on Israel.

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Poll: 92% of battleground state voters are "extremely motivated to vote"

91% of likely voters nationally say they are "extremely motivated to vote," including 92% in battleground states Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, according to a Change Research/CNBC Poll.

Why it matters: The 2020 election could see record-breaking levels of voter turnout. Voters last week cast ballots at five times the rate they did at this point in the 2016 election, per the U.S. Elections Project. Over 39 million ballots have been cast in early voting states as of Wednesday.

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OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma to plead guilty to 3 criminal charges

Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, will plead guilty to three federal criminal charges Wednesday as part of a more than $8 billion settlement with the Justice Department, AP reports.

Why it matters: "The settlement is the highest-profile display yet of the federal government seeking to hold a major drugmaker responsible for an opioid addiction and overdose crisis linked to more than 470,000 deaths in the country since 2000," AP notes.

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GM dives full-throttle into electric GMC Hummer

What has LeBron James as a pitchman, some slightly awkward promotional phrasing ("watts to freedom"), and a six-figure starting price? The electric GMC Hummer.

Driving the news: General Motors unveiled the vehicle — a reborn version of the deceased mega-guzzler — with a highly produced rollout Tuesday night that included a World Series spot. The company also began taking reservations.

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CEO confidence skyrockets on expectations of layoffs and wage cuts

The Conference Board; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. consumers remain uncertain about the economic environment but CEOs are feeling incredibly confident, the latest survey from the Conference Board shows.

Why it matters: Confidence among chief executives jumped 19 points from its last reading in July, rising above the 50-point threshold that reflects more positive than negative responses for the first time since 2018.

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