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Tierney Sneed

Tierney Sneed is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked for U.S. News and World Report. She grew up in Florida and attended Georgetown University.

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As we wait for a judge to rule on the legality of the Trump administration’s Census citizenship question, House Democrats are already previewing their intentions to investigate the administration’s decision to add it. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), the incoming chair the Oversight Committee next year, told CNN last week that he plans on bringing in Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who made the call to add the question, to testify about the decision.

Meanwhile, in a lawsuit that Alabama Republicans have brought demanding that the Census exclude undocumented immigrants from the count that doles out U.S. House seats across the country, a Latino group has successfully intervened to defend the current system of counting all residents — not just citizens — in the count.

While Republicans have continued full steam ahead on their efforts to cripple incoming Democratic state governments and entrench their electoral advantage, New Jersey Democrats backed away from passing a controversial redistricting constitutional amendment. The amendment, which would have also needed to pass as a ballot initiative, would have given legislative leaders more sway over the state’s redistricting commission while including other provisions that would have tilted the state’s maps to the left. Gov. Phil Murphy  (D) opposed the bill, which had come under fire from voting rights activists, including the anti-gerrymandering group led by former Attorney General Eric Holder.

Just before he was elected governor in a tight race against Stacey Abrams, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp alleged that the Georgia Democratic Party had tried to hack a voter registration online database. According to a new report, these allegations were, not surprisingly, totally bunk. Kemp had made the claims after independent computer science researchers had identified vulnerabilities in the system, and the state’s Democrats helped pass along the message to the secretary of state. His office has only been able to point to an email that one Democratic volunteer forwarded along laying out what an individual not affiliated with the party had found. Meanwhile, no Democrats or the lawyers also involved in the affair have heard from the state agencies supposedly investigating the allegations.

In North Carolina, where actual election fraud — in the form of an alleged absentee ballot scheme — may have occurred, the state elections board investigating the allegations announced it will hold a hearing on the probe on January 11, which is later than the December 21 date by which the board had initially sought to hold the hearing. That means that North Carolina’s ninth U.S. congressional district, the focus of the investigation, will likely not have a representative for at least the first week of the new Congress. Republicans are not happy about the delay, and are demanding that election officials show evidence that the alleged fraud altered the outcome of the race if they are going to prevent Mark Harris, Republican candidate who unofficial won the the race, from being seated.

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Bijan Kian, a onetime business partner of former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn, has been indicted by a federal grand jury for allegedly acting as an unregistered foreign agent, and engaging in a conspiracy, related to a lobbying campaign aimed to encourage the extradition of a U.S.-based Turkish cleric whose long been an enemy of the Turkish government.

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WASHINGTON – Maria Butina admitted to being part of a conspiracy to develop an unregistered Russian influence campaign in the U.S. in a packed courtroom Thursday. The audience included not only the usual pack of journalists but other spectators, including an activist who often shows up at Russia-related hearings at Congress with a T-shirt that says “spy.”

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President Trump, with his ambivalent relationship with the truth, has found himself at odds with his Justice Department many times, on matters large and small, ranging from claims about terrorist attack data in the United States to whether he directed Michael Cohen to break campaign finance law to silence alleged mistresses.

Now we can add another example to the long list of occasions that the Justice Department has had to distance itself from something the President has claimed.

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