It’s Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Let’s start here.
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1. New ruling and evidence
A federal judge in Washington, D.C. has ruled that former White House counsel Don McGahn must testify before Congress in the impeachment inquiry.
ABC News Supreme Court Contributor Kate Shaw tells “Start Here” the ruling could have implications beyond McGahn’s case, “The White House has been making the argument with respect to McGahn, with respect to [John] Bolton, with respect to Mick Mulvaney, that these advisers enjoy something called absolute immunity, that Congress can’t even require them to show up to answer questions and then maybe fight about whether things are protected by executive privilege… and this decision is a powerful rebuke of that legal argument.”
The Department of Justice has vowed to appeal the order.
In the meantime, Democrats are pushing ahead with impeachment. A report from the House Intelligence Committee is expected to be released as soon as next week, according to Chairman Adam Schiff who in a letter to colleagues on Monday said, “The investigative work continues, and we are learning additional information almost every day.”
ABC News has learned that the committee has obtained new material in the impeachment inquiry from Lev Parnas, an indicted associate of President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, according to multiple sources familiar with the matter.
“Our sources tell us that it’s a lot of stuff,” ABC News Senior Editorial Producer John Santucci says. “It’s a lot of videos, it’s a lot of recordings, it’s images– there are documents, some are in English, some are in Ukrainian, [but] we don’t know the exact substance.”
2. Gallagher case
President Donald Trump ordered Eddie Gallagher, a Navy SEAL accused of war crimes, to be allowed to retire and keep his rank, Defense Secretary Mark Esper revealed on Monday.
Esper also defended his decision to fire Navy Secretary Richard Spencer, saying he was “flabbergasted” to learn that Spencer bypassed him and told the White House that Gallagher would be allowed to retain his Trident pin if they did not intervene to stop a disciplinary proceeding.
I was not pleased with the way that Navy Seal Eddie Gallagher’s trial was handled by the Navy. He was treated very badly but, despite this, was completely exonerated on all major charges. I then restored Eddie’s rank. Likewise, large cost overruns from past administration’s…..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2019
Gallagher was acquitted of killing a wounded, captive ISIS fighter, but was sentenced to four months of time served and a reduction in rank for posing with a corpse during a 2017 deployment to Iraq. Trump granted him clemency on Nov. 15.
In a letter acknowledging his termination on Sunday, Spencer said, “I have strived to ensure our proceedings are fair, transparent and consistent, from the newest recruit to the Flag and General Officer level,” adding that he “cannot in good conscience obey an order I believe violates the sacred oath I took.”
ABC News Chief Global Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz talks about the implications of the case on the podcast, “I was in touch with someone I vastly respect who’s been in the Navy SEALs for decades and he said the leaders of the special warfare community will feel like they’ve been chopped off at the knees by having the president stop this review.”
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3. Museum heist
Theives in Germany made off with “priceless” jewels and art from the Green Vault at Dresden’s Royal Palace within minutes early Monday morning.
ABC News Foreign Correspondent James Longman joins “Start Here” from the scene of the crime, “Authorities here are talking about their cultural value being greater than their material value… it is an extraordinarily important cultural icon for Germany.”
“Start Here,” ABC News’ flagship podcast, offers a straightforward look at the day’s top stories in 20 minutes. Listen for free every weekday on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, iHeartRadio, Spotify, Stitcher, TuneIn or the ABC News app. Follow @StartHereABC on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for exclusive content and show updates.
‘Only thing I could think of’: An 88-year-old Korean War veteran saved a 10-year-old girl’s life after he used a 2-foot tall Christmas nutcracker lawn ornament to beat an attacking pitbull off of her.
‘Violent overthrow of democracy’: A South Florida man has been arrested for allegedly planning bomb attacks against two college deans, according to federal authorities.
‘Senseless loss of life’: A convicted criminal out on parole for armed robbery has been charged with killing University of Illinois at Chicago student Ruth George, according to police.
‘Tired and hurt and frustrated’: An 11-year-old boy has died after he was shot at a birthday party in Cleveland, according to police.
From our friends at FiveThirtyEight:
‘What do Americans think about impeachment?’: FiveThirtyEight partnered with Ipsos to see how people’s opinions change over the course of the inquiry. Here are the results of our first FiveThirtyEight/Ipsos poll on impeachment, conducted using Ipsos’s KnowledgePanel. We’ll be checking in with these same Americans again in the coming weeks to see how their views on impeachment shift.
Doff your cap:
A bald eagle that had been shot twice in the wing is being rehabilitated after it was rescued by conservation officials in Missouri.
The female eagle was found by Missouri Department of Conservation Agents Sean Ernst and Haeley Eichler in a cornfield north of Paris, Missouri, after the landowner called to report it had seen the bird in the same spot for several days in a row, Ernst told ABC News.
The eagle was then transported to a facility for the Raptor Rehabilitation Project, an organization run by the veterinary school at the University of Missouri, Ernst said.
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