Russia

A federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that the Justice Department must give House lawmakers secret grand jury materials from former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation.

The 2-1 decision from a three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upholds a district court ruling from last year and gives House Democrats a victory in their ongoing legal battles with the Trump administration.

Updated at 6:25 a.m. ET Wednesday

Russia's lower house of parliament on Wednesday approved a constitutional amendment to allow President Vladimir Putin — already the country's longest-serving leader since Josef Stalin — to extend his rule until 2036.

Lawmakers in the State Duma voted 383 to 0 in favor of the amendment, with 43 abstentions. Putin said on Tuesday that Russia's Constitutional Court would have to rule on whether the move would contradict Russian law. Putin's critics have said approval by the court is all-but certain.

Attorney General William Barr has issued new restrictions on opening investigations into politically sensitive individuals or entities, including a requirement that he approve any inquiry into a presidential candidate or campaign.

Barr outlined the new policies in a three-page memo obtained by NPR as the Democratic primaries are underway and the country gears up for November's presidential vote. The memo was first reported by The New York Times.

President Trump's legal position welcoming information from foreigners threatens to open Pandora's box in coming elections and nullify one of the key lessons from 2016, critics warned.

"This is setting precedent that is unheard of in our country," said Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich. "It's dangerous, dangerous, dangerous."

Weeks before the first votes of the 2020 presidential election, Americans report a high level of concern about how secure that election will be and worry about the perils of disinformation, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll.

Forty-one percent of those surveyed said they believed the U.S. is not very prepared or not prepared at all to keep November's election safe and secure.

Russian hackers recently targeted the Ukrainian gas company that was at the center of President Trump's impeachment — and they succeeded in gaining access to its email accounts, according to California cybersecurity firm Area 1 Security.

The hackers are said to have infiltrated Burisma Holdings months after Trump urged Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who had served on Burisma's board.

Ruslan Parshutin was just a teenager, but he still remembers New Year's Eve 20 years ago.

Boris Yeltsin, Russia's first president, flickered on TV screens, speaking slowly and deliberately. Eight years of political and economic turmoil following the collapse of the Soviet Union had taken its toll on him. Yeltsin announced his resignation and handed over power to his energetic 47-year-old prime minister, Vladimir Putin.

Halfway across the world from Washington, D.C., where President Trump on Wednesday became just the third president in U.S. history to be impeached, Trump's counterpart in the Kremlin made clear that he has the American president's back.

During his annual marathon news conference in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin dismissed the charges against Trump as "completely made up."

Updated at 2:44 p.m. ET

Rick Gates, a former top Trump campaign official who pleaded guilty to a range of crimes before becoming a key witness in the Russia investigation, was sentenced to 45 days in jail and three years of probation on Tuesday.

Federal Judge Amy Berman Jackson said Gates can serve his time behind bars intermittently, such as on weekends, over his probation time. She also ordered him to pay a $20,000 fine.

Updated at 9:50 a.m.

The World Anti-Doping Agency's executive committee says Russian athletes can't compete under their flag at international events for the next four years, declaring Russia's Anti-Doping Agency to be noncompliant with its rules. The committee says critical data about Russia's athletics programs was "neither complete nor fully authentic."

Updated at 5:22 p.m. ET

The Justice Department's internal watchdog determined the FBI had sufficient evidence to open the Russia investigation — but sharply criticized the bureau over its surveillance of a former adviser to the Trump campaign.

In his highly anticipated 400-page report, inspector general Michael Horowitz also says he found no evidence of political bias in the FBI's decision to launch its investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The Russian government now has the right to classify individual journalists, bloggers and even social media users as "foreign agents" with a new law signed by President Vladmir Putin on Monday.

Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s spokesperson says there was what they call an "unsophisticated and unsuccessful" attempt to insert code to the office's website on election day earlier this month.

Watch Live: Trump Impeachment Inquiry Day 5

Nov 21, 2019
The Impeachment Hearings
PBS NewsHour

Fiona Hill, the former National Security Council senior director for Europe and Russia, and David Holmes, the political affairs counselor at the U.S. embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, will testify Thursday in the impeachment probe into President Donald Trump.

Updated at 3:20 p.m. ET

Roger Stone, a veteran Republican political operative and longtime confidant of Donald Trump's, was found guilty of all counts by a federal jury in Washington, D.C., on Friday in his false statements and obstruction trial.

The verdict, announced after two days of deliberations by the jury of nine women and three men, adds another chapter to Stone's long and colorful history as a self-described dirty trickster.

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