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May 21, 2020

Going Postal? Trump, Dems Battle Over Mail-in Voting

This Day in History | 1821

Humanitarians Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters along with the International Red Cross.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

We’re going to be quick with the intro today. Things are getting noisey on the political front, some might say petty. Nancy Pelsois is literally talking about dog sh!t from the podium and we’re about to see Hunter Biden come to the Senate to testify about his daddy issues (pun intended) and his ties to a shady Ukrainian gas company, and let’s not forget about China. While it might be ugly,  it’s also a sign that we are in the thick of an election year. We would’ve seen this stuff a long time ago but for this global pandemic. We have stories below about the fight over mail-in voting, which is starting to transcend partisan lines in strange ways. 

You might be surprised to learn that, despite repeated chest thumping by President Trump, and his allies about his travel ban on China – there are still flights coming into the country from, China?

Back to politics, Senate Republicans are gearing up for a big public show trial of Hunter Biden. To What end? Gonna be great TV, but other than that, we’re only going to find out that Hunter walked right through a giant loophole that senators like his father ushered into law. Best-selling Author and investigative reporter Peter Schweizer wrights about this – here.

Read all about the rest below!

-Fraser Dixon 

Vote By Mail Battle: Trump Threatens to Withhold Federal Funding

(McClatchy Newspapers) – President Donald Trump threatened over Twitter Wednesday morning to pull federal funding from Michigan and Nevada for mail-in-voting efforts.

Trump claimed incorrectly, “Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State.”

Michigan’s Secretary of State replied to the president on Twitter: “Hi! I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my GOP colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia.”

Read more here

Flights From Countries Hard Hit By Coronavirus Still Coming, So Are Precautions In Place?

(CBS New York) – Data from flightaware.com shows in the last two weeks international flights to Newark Liberty Airport and John F. Kennedy Airport have arrived from China, South Korea, and much of Europe, including the United Kingdom and Italy.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has regularly blamed the virus coming to New York on air travel.

“Three million European visitors came on flights to JFK or Newark, so that’s another lesson we have to learn,” Cuomo said recently.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection declined CBS2’s request for an on-camera interview. A spokesperson referred all of our questions to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Both agencies would only say there is an “enhanced entry screening,” adding the passenger is asked about medical history, current condition, and some are having their temperature taken.

Customs said state and local officials are ensuring compliance, but New Jersey and New York health officials acknowledge they are not tracking travelers once they land.

“It’s not a state role,” the governor (Cuomo) reiterated.

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Senate Committee Subpoenas Firm With Suspected Ties To Hunter Biden

(NPR) – The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted along party lines Wednesday to subpoena documents and depositions from Blue Star Strategies, a consulting company that worked with the Ukrainian energy company Burisma when Hunter Biden served on its board.

“We need to get to the truth about the Bidens’ relationship with Burisma, and these hearings will provide the Senate with the full picture,” Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said.

Democrats on the committee said Republicans were chasing conspiracy theories and bolstering Russian disinformation efforts by using their power to investigate the Biden family instead of the government response to the coronavirus pandemic, which falls under the committee’s jurisdiction.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., called the investigation “a charade that would be silly if it were not so insidious.”

Read more here

Ohio Congressman Seeks Impeachment Inquiry of Judge in Michael Flynn Case

(Cleveland Plain Dealer) – A Republican congressman who represents Southeast Ohio wants the House Judiciary Committee to open an impeachment inquiry of a federal judge overseeing the criminal case of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

Rep. Bill Johnson of Marietta says he’ll introduce a resolution seeking an impeachment inquiry of Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, arguing that Sullivan has “far exceeded his authority” in the case of Flynn, who admitted lying to the FBI but later withdrew his guilty plea. Sullivan appointed a third party attorney to present legal arguments against dismissing Flynn’s case after Attorney General William Barr declared the Justice Department was dropping charges against Flynn.

Get the latest here

Related: Republicans Are up in Arms About Flynn’s ‘Unmasking.’ He was Reportedly Never Masked in the First Place. 

(The Week) – Republicans have recently taken issue with what they call the “unmasking” of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn in FBI documents, with Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) even announcing an investigation into the matter. But Obama administration officials didn’t actually order Flynn’s name unredacted in official FBI documents because his name was never redacted to begin with, former U.S. officials tell The Washington Post. 

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