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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump disavowed a campaign rally chant of "send her back," where the president's supporters targeted Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., during a campaign event in Greenville, North Carolina, on Wednesday evening, telling reporters on Thursday afternoon that he "was not happy with it."

"I disagree with it," Trump said in the Oval Office, encouraging reporters to ask the supporters for an explanation of why they chanted during his remarks last night.

Trump would not say whether he would tell his supporters to not repeat the chant.

"I was not happy with it, I disagree with it," he said. "But again, I didn’t say that, they did. But I disagree."

The president on Wednesday night let the chant go on for about 12 seconds without saying a word. On Thursday, pushed by ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on why he did not begin speaking sooner, he claimed he did.

"If you would have heard, there was a tremendous amount of noise and action and everything else," he said. "I started very quickly. And I think you know that."

The top Republican in the House, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, adamantly defended Trump, asserting that the president bears no responsibility for the chants of "send her back" after a week-long back-and-forth with progressive Democrats and charges of racist rhetoric.

McCarthy told reporters earlier in the day that the chants "have no place in our country," but when pressed why it's OK for the president to use that language, but not his supporters, the California Republican insisted the president never said that.

"The president clarified very clearly that he did not tell somebody –" McCarthy told ABC News senior congressional correspondent Mary Bruce, cutting himself off. "He talked about the love of this country."

"He talked about people who don't love this country, you can leave," he continued. "This is an issue about ideology."

In a series of tweets last weekend, Trump first criticized the progressive Democratic congresswomen for what he characterized as "horrible and disgusting actions," telling them to stop criticizing the government and "go back" to where they came from.

Asked about the president’s muted response in North Carolina, where Trump did not intervene but just stood on stage as supporters chanted, McCarthy contended he was told "it was a small group off to the side."

"The president did not join in. The president moved on," McCarthy said. "You want to dislike the president so much you've gonna accuse him of trying to do something he did not do? From the places that he moved on in the speech -- he never joined in on it -- and you want to try to hold him accountable for something that happened in a big audience?"

"What he did, in his responsibility was right," McCarthy insisted. "He moved on to make them stop in the process. That's exactly what the president did and the president talked about the greatness of this country."

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the unofficial captain of the so-called "Squad," told reporters that the president’s campaign rhetoric targeting her Democratic colleague, Omar, is putting "millions of people in danger."

"I think the president put millions of Americans in danger last night. His rhetoric is endangering lots of people," Ocasio-Cortez, D-New York, said. "This is just not just about threats to individual Members of Congress, but it is about creating a volatile environment in this country through violent rhetoric that puts anyone like Ilhan, anyone who believes in the rights of all people, in danger. And I think that he has a responsibility for that environment."

The House of Representatives voted largely along party lines Tuesday to formally condemn the tweets, with just four House Republicans and one independent lawmaker siding with Democrats to adopt the measure.

North Carolina Republican Rep. Mark Meadows, one of the president’s top allies on Capitol Hill, said that the president’s supporters at last night’s rally in his home state were not repeating the president’s language.

"If you've been at any rally you know the president doesn’t control the chants," Meadows told Bruce.

"The president obviously loves this country and wants people here to love this country. And anything that would indicate there is not a love for this country is something people are going to react to," he continued. "Too much emphasis is being placed on rallies and chants."

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Even though Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s closest aides, may have had detailed knowledge of the scheme to pay off porn star Stormy Daniels, federal prosecutors decided privately that they didn’t have the evidence to charge Hicks with a crime, sources revealed to ABC News for the first time today.

The news comes only hours after a trove of documents connected with the hush-money probe were released by the US Attorney’s Office in Manhattan. The records – hundreds of pages connected with search warrants issued in 2018 – show that Hicks, along with Trump, spoke by phone to former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen as Cohen formulated his plan to pay $130,000 to Daniels. The goal was to keep Daniels from going public with her allegations about a tryst with Trump in 2006.

The newly-unsealed court records suggest that President Donald Trump and his campaign may have had prior knowledge of a deal to silence Stormy Daniels, the adult film actress who allegedly engaged in an extra-marital affair with the then-presidential candidate in the weeks leading up the 2016 election.

In unredacted search warrant documents unsealed on Thursday, an FBI special agent described a series of phone calls in October of 2016 between the president’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, the president’s then-campaign press secretary, Hope Hicks, and Trump himself.

In between calls with Hicks and Trump – one of which was a three-way phone conversation – Cohen communicated by text and phone with two executives at American Media Inc., publisher of The National Enquirer, at times immediately afterwards. In those discussions, Cohen repeatedly invoked the name “Keith,” referring to Keith Davidson, the lawyer representing adult film-star Stormy Daniels.

The content of these communications is not made explicit by the FBI agent, but the timing suggests the group was discussing the hush-payment deal with Daniels.

In a footnote in the documents, the FBI special agent says Hicks later told investigators that “to the best of her recollection, she did not learn about the allegations made by Clifford until early November 2016. Hicks was not specifically asked about this three-way call.”

During her testimony before Congress last month, Hicks denied ever being present during conversations between Cohen and Trump about Daniels, or ever having direct knowledge of Cohen's payments to Daniels. Efforts by ABC News to reach Hicks for comment through her attorney were not immediately successful.

Two sources briefed on the matter told ABC News Hope Hicks will not be charged by prosecutors in the Southern district of New York. While Hicks did not have a formal cooperation agreement, the the sources told ABC News that she answered questions when confronted about the phone call.

In no way, the sources said, could Hicks be described as forthcoming. However, she answered questions when asked and her answers led prosecutors to conclude they could not establish that she committed a crime.

As part of the timeline of calls disclosed by prosecutors, after Cohen spoke with Daniel’s attorney Keith Davidson, he reached out on Oct. 8, 2016 to Trump, whom he was unable to connect with less than an hour later. According to prosecutors, Cohen then calls then-campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, but they don’t connect at first, but then speak for six minutes.

Conway has been previously asked if she had any knowledge about the hush money payments. “They didn't cross my desk as campaign manager,” Conway told CNN in May 2018. Reached by ABC News Thursday, the now senior counselor to the president confirmed her past statements still stand as accurate and she had no knowledge of the payments.

These new revelations come from a cache of documents unsealed on Thursday after the judge in Cohen's case ordered prosecutors to make public some documents related to Cohen's campaign finance violations, which he pleaded guilty to in August.

The violations to which Cohen pleaded guilty stem from the hush-money agreements which the documents released Thursday show were possibly being discussed by Cohen, Hicks and Trump.

Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison for his admitted crimes. He's been in ongoing cooperation with prosecutors since he entered his plea. During his plea hearing, Cohen told the court he had made payments to the women "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" who was later identified as Trump.

These new records were unsealed by an order from U.S. Judge William Pauley, who said that "every American" should have the opportunity to "scrutinize" the materials after prosecutors signaled that they had ended their investigation into the Trump Organization's involvement in the hush money payments.

"The campaign finance violations discussed in the materials are a matter of national importance," Judge Pauley said, denying the government's request for limited redactions.

The government confirmed the conclusion of the its investigation in a letter filed Thursday.

On Wednesday, after Judge Pauley suggested that the government’s probe had concluded, the president's attorney, Jay Sekulow, said the president’s legal team was “pleased” by the news.

Cohen's attorney, Lanny Davis, however, expressed displeasure with prosecutors decision to drop the proceedings in his own statement issued Wednesday evening.

“Case closed? Why is Michael Cohen — after all his voluntary cooperation and testimony that Mr. Mueller said was credible and went to “core issues” and all the information and documents he voluntarily provided to prosecutors and to congress — the only member of the Trump company to be prosecuted and imprisoned?" Davis said in the statement. "Especially since prosecutors found that virtually all of Michael’s admitted crimes were done at the direction of and for the benefit of Donald Trump? Why?”

In a statement of his own that he made from prison on Thursday, Cohen said that "as I stated in my open testimony, I and members of The Trump Organization were directed by Mr. Trump to handle the Stormy Daniel`s matter; including making the hush money payment. The conclusion of the investigation exonerating The Trump Organization`s role should be of great concern to the American people and investigated by Congress and The Department of Justice."

During his congressional testimony in February, Cohen testified that he had "pled guilty in federal court to felonies for the benefit of, at the direction of, and in coordination with Individual #1" who is known to be Trump. Trump has denied these claims.

Cohen had previously testified before Congress, and later pleaded guilty to lying about elements of his first testimony.

This is a developing story, check back for updates.

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Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- The congressman leading Republicans' efforts to retake the House in 2020 disavowed the "send her back" chants at President Trump's rally last night in North Carolina, saying there's "no place for that kind of talk."

"I didn't watch the rally last night, sorry, but there's no place for that kind of talk. I don't agree with it,"Rep. Tom Emmer, R-Minn., the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, appearing at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast with reporters Thursday.

Emmer also defended Trump, saying he doesn't have a "racist bone" in his body and that the criticism has been "manufactured" by Democrats in Washington.

The House voted on Tuesday to condemn Trump's attacks, and one Texas Democrat forced the House to consider an impeachment resolution against Trump based on the attacks, which was defeated in an overwhelming vote on Wednesday.

"What he was trying to say he said wrong. What he was trying to say is that if you don't appreciate this country you don't have to be here," Emmer said. "It has nothing to do with your race or gender, or your family history. It has to do with respecting and loving the country that is giving you the opportunities that you have."

"I had somebody say to me recently, 'You know when Ilhan talks, Ilhan makes it look like she lets people believe she hates America.' Now I don't know if that's true, but as somebody said to me back at home, they said to me, 'How about a little gratitude with that attitude?'"

Emmer was referring to freshman Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who Trump lambasted for comments about 9/11 and al-Qaida. In a highly controversial tweet, Trump told Omar, as well as New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other members of the "squad" of progressive female Democrats to "go back" to their home countries.

Three of the four members of the group -- Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley -- were born in the U.S. and Omar was a refugee from Somalia who came to the U.S. as a teen.

Asked if he would advise Republicans to break with the president -- particularly around his comments on race -- Emmer said "I'm not gonna tell somebody what they should do."

The Minnesota Republican also defended the NRCC's hardball messaging tactics this cycle.

After the House vote to condemn Trump's attacks on Tuesday, the NRCC flooded reporters' email inboxes with messages referring to Democrats as "deranged." The committee has also increasingly given Trump-style nicknames to Democrats, a tactic that has been criticized by current and former House Republican lawmakers.

The NRCC is an "organization whose job is to define who they are, to make it clear to the American public," Emmer said.

The committee is working, as Trump has done, to make Ocasio-Cortez and her colleagues the new face of the Democratic Party, and lump all Democrats in with their progressive proposals.

"If you want to call them the 'Squad,' you should call them the 'Leadership Squad,'" Emmer said. "The rest of their conference you can call the new 'Red Army of Socialists.'"

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump weighed in for the first time on the protests in Puerto Rico, where thousands have called on Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign.

Trump's tweets come as the unrest on the island grew more violent Wednesday night, when police fired tear gas on those marching in San Juan.

The president tweeted the people of Puerto Rico "are great" but "much of their leadership is corrupt" -- a charge he's made before.

He noted Rosselló was "under siege" and, as he has before, lambasted San Juan's mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz, saying she "is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance."

The mayor has made clear in recent days that she's on the side of the protesters, and she was also among the targets of the profanity-filled secret Telegram chat group that included the governor and other top officials that helped spark the protests.

A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2019

A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much....

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2019

In a new statement issued Thursday morning, Rossello acknowledged the widespread protests, saying they "have not gone unnoticed for me, my family and certainly for anyone in Puerto Rico."

He said he respected the demonstrations "not only as a democratic exercise, but as a natural manifestation of the anger at recent events," but criticized what he said were the minority of protesters who "chose the wrong methods and violence, even with the use of weapons, Molotov cocktails and other explosives, causing injuries and impacting officers of the Puerto Rico Police."

"This challenge to law and order will be addressed accordingly," he said of the violent demonstrators.

"In the past few days I have apologized to the Puerto Rican people and that request remains alive. I have the commitment, stronger than ever, to carry out the public policy for which we have worked so hard in all areas of government. I recognize the challenge before me for recent controversies, but I firmly believe that it is possible to restore confidence and that we can, after this painful and painful process, achieve reconciliation," he said.

The uproar began Saturday, after the nonprofit journalism group Center of Investigative Journalism published nearly 900 pages of conversations from a leaked group chat between Rosello and several top aides that detail efforts to manipulate public narratives, operations to discredit negative press coverage and criticism of opposition leaders.

The conversations, made through the Telegram app, also contain sexist, homophobic and misogynistic comments from the members of the group, according to the report. These messages have not been independently authenticated by ABC News. After the revelation of the messages, Rossello announced the resignation of a number of government officials including Luis Rivera Marin, the secretary of state.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin expressed confidence a budget deal with Democrats could be reached ahead of a looming deadline, but said hurdles still remain for negotiations between the Trump administration and Democrats on Capitol Hill.

On Thursday, during an interview on CNBC, Mnuchin said the Trump administration, House and Senate have agreed on raising the federal borrowing limit for two years and have set budget cap numbers for 2020 and 2021.

"The good news is we've reached an agreement between the administration, the House and the Senate on top line numbers for both year one and year two. We're now discussing offsets, as well as certain structural issues and we've agreed as a part of that deal, there would be a long-term two-year debt ceiling increase," Mnuchin said on "Squawk Box."

"So I think all of our first choice is to try to reach an overall agreement and we are working hard to do that. But if for whatever reason we don't get there in time I am encouraging a debt ceiling increase," he added.

Mnuchin warned House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a letter that the Treasury Department could run out of money in early September, and asked for an increase to the debt ceiling before Congress leaves for summer. Congress leaves for recess on July 26, leaving little time for negotiators to strike a deal.

In the meantime, Democrats have balked at the reported $150 billion in budget the Trump administration has demanded to offset spending increases. At stake is the potential for another government shut down after the fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

On Wednesday, Mnuchin spoke on the phone with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. He said he has plans to talk with Pelosi again Thursday. He was at a meeting in France with G7 finance ministers.

Despite the ticking clock, Mnuchin sounded optimistic about reaching a deal before Congress skips town.

"I don't think the market should be concerned. I think that everybody is in agreement that we won't do anything that puts the U.S. government at risk in terms of our issue of defaulting. And I think that nobody wants a shutdown in any scenario," Mnuchin said.

Pelosi said that she hopes to present legislation to floor by next Thursday.

"That's so that we can send it in a timely fashion to the Senate so that they can go through their, shall we say, particularly senatorial process to get it done in time before they leave," she said.

President Donald Trump has not weighed in on the current negotiations.

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Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump has nominated Vice Adm. Michael Gilday to lead the Navy, after his Senate-confirmed pick suddenly decided to retire.

Earlier this month, Adm. William Moran, who was slated to become the next chief of naval operations on Aug. 1, announced he would retire because of his association with a former Navy public affairs officer, who was investigated two years ago for inappropriate conduct.

Moran, who is a four-star admiral serving as the deputy chief of naval operations, was highly regarded, but Navy Secretary Richard Spencer said Moran's contacts with the former public affairs officer called into question his judgment.

Trump's new nominee is currently the director of the Joint Staff and previously commanded the U.S. 10th Fleet and Fleet Cyber Command, the Navy's cyber component.

If confirmed, he would be the first officer to lead a military service who has also commanded a service cyber component, according to Fifth Domain.

(1/3) The entire Navy should be very excited by today’s announcement. Admiral Mike Gilday is a true cutting edge warfighter, a surface warrior who, by virtue of his leadership at 10th Fleet, fully appreciates the challenges we face in the cyber warfare arena...

— Adm. John Richardson (@CNORichardson) July 18, 2019

"The entire Navy should be very excited by today’s announcement," tweeted the current chief of naval operations Adm. John Richardson on Thursday. "Admiral Mike Gilday is a true cutting edge warfighter, a surface warrior who, by virtue of his leadership at 10th Fleet, fully appreciates the challenges we face in the cyber warfare arena and the increasing pace of competition in new domains."

"His experience as the director of the Joint Staff will ensure that the Navy continues to look for every opportunity to collaborate with other services, allies, and partners around the world. Pending confirmation, the Navy will be in good hands with Admiral Gilday at the helm," Richardson continued.

The president bypassed seven sitting four-star admirals in picking Gilday, according to the U.S. Naval Institute. The last time a three-star admiral was nominated to be the chief of naval operations was in 1970.

Gilday is a native of Lowell, Massachusetts, and a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. He holds graduate degrees from the Harvard Kennedy School and the National War College.

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Brad Greeff/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Trump administration has stopped placing children at Florida's Homestead Shelter, a facility for undocumented migrant teens that's become a lightning rod for 2020 politics.

The suspension was confirmed by government officials who say demand for beds at the temporary influx shelter has declined, although 1,300 teens remain at the site and local officials are concerned that proper hurricane evacuation plans are not in place.

Democrats have called for the site to be closed, and several 2020 presidential candidates have joined protests against the facility. On a recent trip, Sen. Elizabeth Warren said she saw children there "being treated like prisoners."

Sen. Bernie Sanders called the facilities "racist child prisons" and pinned the blame on the Trump administration -- although the practice of holding kids in such facilities was also employed under President Barack Obama.

Democratic Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, whose district includes the grounds of the Homestead facility, expressed concern that federal officials don't have a plan to evacuate the shelter in the event of a hurricane.

"I still have not seen a hurricane evacuation plan for the Homestead facility, and as long as they continue to hold children during hurricane season, this is an extremely dangerous form of neglect," she tweeted Tuesday.

Amnesty International -- a group that details abuse and torture by governments -- is calling today for Homestead to close.

In a new report, Amnesty International said the center for undocumented migrant children had an "inadequate system" for kids to report sexual abuse by staff.

The facility provides booths with direct phone lines for children to report abusive behavior. But the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, Margaret Huang, told ABC News there are still barriers for those children who need to report malpractice.

"The challenge is the booths are in very public locations, there's no privacy," Huang said. "So there's no privacy and no protection for kids to report abuse."

A spokesperson for Caliburn, the private company contracted to run Homestead, disputed Amnesty International's claims, saying children also have access to the lawyers to report abuse on site.

"We follow [Office of Refugee Resettlement] policy in reporting any significant incidents or sexual abuse allegations revealed on site," spokesperson Tetiana Anderson said in a statement to ABC News.

The Amnesty International inspectors also raised concerns about privacy for children using the bathroom, saying there were only shower curtains and no doors in some of the kids' restrooms.

When minors are taken into Border Patrol custody at the southern border, the agency classifies them as "unaccompanied alien children" if they are not traveling with a parent or legal guardian. The Department of Homeland Security is then responsible for taking them to the government network of private care providers.

The federal government uses facilities like the one at Homestead to handle surges of new arrivals when the network of nonprofit and commercial housing organizations runs out of space to take children from the border.

Those "temporary influx shelters" are used as a last-resort option, but an HHS spokesperson said there's no plan yet to close the shelter completely.

"It is premature to speculate about putting the shelter into 'warm status' like happened in April 2017," HHS spokesperson Mark Weber said in a statement to ABC News.

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liveslow/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday which of the 25 Democratic presidential candidates will be participating in the second Democratic primary debates set for July 30 and 31 in Detroit.

Only 20 candidates in the large primary field will debate on stage over the two nights, a cap previously set by the DNC. CNN, the network hosting the debates, will announce the lineups for each night on Thursday in the 8 p.m. ET hour during a live drawing on the network, according to a network spokesperson.

The candidates who are participating, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • Montana Gov. Steve Bullock
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • New York Mayor Bill de Blasio
  • Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney
  • Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  • New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke
  • Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Author Marianne Williamson
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

This will be Bullock's debut on the Democratic debate stages, after failing to qualify for the first debates in Miami at the end of June. California Rep. Eric Swalwell, who dropped out of the race on July 8, was the 20th candidate on stage for the first debates.

The candidates who will not be debating on either night are former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak and Tom Steyer, the billionaire activist who entered the race just over a week ago.

CNN also announced on Wednesday the randomization of their live drawing on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The candidates will be split into tiers before the live drawing, with the first draw including 10 candidates (Bennet, Bullock, de Blasio, Delaney, Gabbard, Gillibrand, Hickenlooper, Inslee, Ryan and Williamson), the second including six candidates (Booker, Buttigieg, Castro, Klobuchar, O'Rourke and Yang) and the final draw including the four polling frontrunners (Biden, Harris, Sanders and Warren).

CNN and the DNC decided on this methodology, based on polling, "to ensure support for the candidates is evenly spread across both nights," according to CNN and DNC officials.

CNN also reported that to determine the lineups for both nights, each candidate's name will appear on a card and will be placed into one box, and another box will hold cards with the date of each night. A CNN anchor will pick a card from both the first and second boxes for each drawing. Once every candidate is matched with one of the two nights of debates, the network will announce the podium positions for each night, according to public polling.

The DNC announced in February that candidates could qualify by either meeting a grassroots fundraising threshold or polling threshold. The only candidate who met one threshold but will not be on stage is Gravel, who met the grassroots fundraising threshold by achieving more than 65,000 unique donors. In announcing the ways to qualify, however, the DNC explicitly said the polling threshold would take primacy over the grassroots fundraising threshold.

The debates aren't just an opportunity for candidates to pitch their campaigns to voters as they try to break out among the crowded field, but a chance to make a splash on stage that leads to an increase in donations, which some of the lower tier candidates need after spending more money than they raised in the second quarter of 2019, according to reports filed to the Federal Election Commission Monday.

On the heels of last month's debates, some candidates touted strong fundraising hauls, and a couple saw a bump in polls.

In two recently published polls conducted after the debates, Warren had 19% support among Democratic voters, one of her best showings in polls in the early months of the campaign.

During the second night of debates on June 27, Harris saw a breakout moment when she took on Biden over his comments on working with segregationists, which he has since apologized for, and his stance against busing to integrate schools decades ago, telling a personal story of being bused.

Her campaign said the California senator raised $2 million in the 24 hours following the debate, the most in a single day since her campaign launch. She also saw some of her highest poll numbers since the start of the cycle, with 20% support in a Quinnipiac national poll conducted right after the debates and 23% support in a Quinnipiac California poll released Monday.

Another candidate who sparred with a competitor on stage was Castro, during a heated exchange with fellow Texan Beto O'Rourke, in which he called out the former congressman's stance on decriminalizing border crossings.

In a press release Monday, Castro's campaign said he raised $1.1 million of his $2.8 million haul between April and June in the four days following the debates.

Candidates won't debate again until September, when ABC News, in partnership with Univision, hosts the third primary debates in Houston on Sept. 12 and 13. These debates, and the debates in October, which the DNC hasn't announced a date for yet, have more stringent qualifying guidelines. Candidates must meet both the polling and the individual donor threshold, requiring candidates get at least 2% support in four DNC-approved polls and at least 130,000 individual donors over the course of the election cycle, with a minimum of 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.

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Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Bernie Sanders called on his fellow Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday to reject donations from health insurance and pharmaceutical industry executives during what was labeled as a "major address" in Washington, D.C., but an ABC News review of Federal Election Commission records earlier in the day found that Sanders himself accepted some of the same types of donations earlier in the campaign cycle.

As part of Sanders' "No Health Insurance and Pharma Money Pledge," which his campaign previewed in a press release Wednesday morning ahead of the "Medicare for All" speech he delivered later in the day, the senator promised "to not take contributions from the health insurance or pharmaceutical industry."

The pledge specifically identifies "contributions over $200 from the PACs, lobbyists, or executives of health insurance or pharmaceutical companies," excluding what it terms "rank-and-file workers employed by pharmaceutical giants and health insurance companies." It additionally provides a list of "companies covered by the pledge," which are members of the America’s Health Insurance Plans association and Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America group.

In a review of Sanders' publicly available campaign donation information, ABC News identified at least three contributions of more than $200 from two individual donors who could be considered executives at companies included on the list.

One of the individuals who gave to the Sanders campaign is Lynn McRoy, who identifies herself on her LinkedIn page as vice president and global medical lead, breast cancer at Pfizer. She's additionally identified as the breast cancer lead with U.S. Medical Affairs at Pfizer Oncology in an October 2018 press release. Pfizer is among numerous pharmaceutical companies on Sanders' list.

ABC News found at least four contributions from McRoy to Sanders thus far in 2019, including one of $500 and another of $250, which would be in violation of the pledge if McRoy is considered an "executive."

McRoy's additional two donations, of $100 and $70, fall below the pledge's $200 threshold, though were given within eight and three days, respectively, of her $250 contribution on March 28.

Another donation of $1,000 came from Schiffon Wong, who identifies herself on LinkedIn as the executive director, global evidence and value development at EMD Serono, a company covered on Sanders' list that describes itself as a “biopharmaceutical business of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany in the U.S.” Both EMD Serono and Merck are on Sanders' list.

In each instance, the job titles of the donors were provided in non-specific terms -- as "medical director" and "researcher" for McRoy and Wong, respectively. Such descriptors are common in FEC reports and both individuals disclosed their employers, as is required.

The Sanders campaign also received a contribution of $250 from Austin Kim, who is listed as the executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of Acadia Pharmaceuticals, a publicly traded company that produces a drug to treat Parkinson's disease-related hallucinations. Acadia is not, however, listed on the pledge's list as it is not a member of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

In response to ABC News' inquiry about these contributions, the Sanders campaign said it will be returning them and any other donations that don't meet the parameters of the pledge.

"This pledge was launched today with our full knowledge that some money may need to be returned," Sanders campaign spokesperson Sarah Ford told ABC News. "We're glad to donate the three donations worth $2700 out of nearly $40 million received since launch."

The campaign's acceptance of donations from executives in an industry renounced by its candidate is similar to a situation Sanders' Senate colleague Cory Booker, D-N.J., found himself in earlier this month when he returned a donation from a pharmaceutical executive after it was uncovered by ABC News. Booker returned a $2,800 contribution to his campaign from the executive vice president and chief compliance officer at Eagle Pharmaceutical, which had been accepted despite the senator's 2017 vow to no longer take money from pharmaceutical companies.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., another Democratic presidential candidate, who said in June during the party's first primary that big pharmaceutical companies don't "own" her, has also accepted nearly $30,000 from individuals affiliated with the industry this year, including more than $22,000 from executives and high-level officers of Minnesota-based pharma company Medtronic, FEC filings show. Klobuchar has not said she would return the pharmaceutical money she received.

The move by Sanders to disavow such high-dollar industry donations comes amid a week in which health care has become a focal point of the Democratic presidential race. On Monday, former Vice President Joe Biden released a proposal to expand the Affordable Care Act and provide a public health care option, leading to criticism from Sanders, whose Medicare for All plan would completely replace the private insurance industry and place all Americans on a government-run program.

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adamkaz/iStock(WASHINGTON) -- The GOP is ramping up efforts to centralize its fundraising apparatus, wiping out other small-dollar donor tools considered to be rivals to a President Donald Trump-backed platform in order to close the gap with Democrats on grassroots support.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, an organization focused on electing Republicans to state-level offices across the country, announced Wednesday it removed Give.GOP from its domain registry, virtually shutting down the newborn online fundraising tool amid an intraparty legal battle that is roiling tensions with leaders of the party.

"The Republican Party is one team working towards one goal: winning -- up and down the ballot," RSLC President Austin Chambers said in a statement. "President Trump's strong leadership in making WinRed a great success for every candidate and committee has been critical to that mission, and the RSLC has every intention in serving as a key partner."

The RSLC, which said the money-processing firm was using the ".gop" domain without their approval, signaled that Give.GOP could potentially thwart the success of WinRed, the Republican Party's answer to the powerhouse ActBlue, a fundraising tool with a virtual monopoly over online fundraising for Democrats.

"Their actions prey on the good intentions of activists who are tricked into believing they are supporting the Republican Party. We won't stand for this deception, and we will always do what's right for the Party, the president, and the tens of millions of hardworking Americans who support our cause," Chambers continued.

The RNC's chief of staff, Richard Walters, praised the RSLC's decision to shut down Give.GOP, writing in a tweet, "The @gop appreciates @achambersgop's leadership and his efforts to promote technology that supports the re-election of @realDonaldTrump and Rs up and down the ballot."

With the White House, the Republican National Committee, along with two campaign arms, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and Republican Governer's Association, insisting that Republican candidates unite behind WinRed, the founder of Give.GOP argues that his platform is not a competitor to WinRed as it's focused on giving donors a one-in-all online donation tool contrary to WinRed's focus on providing a fundraising tool for campaigns.

Amid the GOP's lackluster performance with small-dollar donations in recent cycles, and the party seeing bruising losses in the 2018 midterm elections, Paul Dietzel launched Give.GOP on July 2, claiming to offer candidates and Republican groups a cost-friendly option that would charge a smaller percentage in processing fees than the existing competition (WinRed).

"Apparently, we are being punished for empowering donors to give directly to conservative causes," Dietzel said in a statement provided to ABC News on Wednesday. "Despite the fact that the Platform has already successfully empowered donors to give to more than a dozen committees with ZERO fees, Washington committees are attempting to shut down this movement of grassroots donors."

In the wake of his site being shut down, Deitzel, a former Republican candidate himself who ran in the 2014 GOP primary for Louisiana's 6th Congressional District seat, forcefully defended his fundraising tool, which he plans to revive, dismissing the push to consolidate around WinRed.

"This grassroots, donor-powered platform is not changing and will continue to empower donors to support conservatives and Trump-supporters through a new domain name that will be released soon," he said.

But the announcement Wednesday is only the most recent step by the party's top brass to ensure that WinRed is the sole platform devoted to building up their small donor network.

The tension between the Republican Party and Give.GOP peaked earlier this month when the RNC sent out cease-and-desist letters to Dietzel, alleging the rogue fundraising platform's illegal use of the party's trademarks, including the elephant logo and the name GOP.

In one of the letters, the RNC also argued that the party committee has yet to receive any funds from Give.GOP, despite the platform's claims that it has been accepting and processing contributions to the RNC.

The Give.GOP founder also launched Anedot in 2010, an online fundraising vendor used by many conservative organizations and Republican campaigns, including Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign, Sen. Rick Scott's campaign and former House Speaker Paul Ryan's leadership PAC.

But the party decided to steer away from Anedot, RNC spokesperson Mike Reed said in a statement to ABC News, in part because of its "long history of working with scam PACs."

"Anedot also positions itself as a non-partisan entity," Reed added. "It obviously makes more sense for the RNC to work with a platform that is aligned completely with the Republican Party and the President."

The RNC also announced earlier this year that it will not support Republican candidates and state committees that refuse to use the party-backed WinRed, which was first reported by Politico and confirmed by ABC News.

The highly-anticipated WinRed platform officially launched in late June, with the full endorsement of the White House, RNC, NRSC, and the National Republican Congressional Committee, as a "game-changer for turning grassroots enthusiasm into online fundraising," according to the release.

Republican leaders painted the newly-launched tool as a key vehicle central to their success in the upcoming 2020 elections and Trump's campaign said that they began the process of phasing their online operations over to WinRed at the time of the launch.

"The Trump campaign will be the most innovative Presidential campaign in American history, and WinRed is a critical component of our strategy," said Brad Parscale, campaign manager for the Trump campaign in a statement. "With WinRed, we will have the cutting-edge technology needed to translate grassroots enthusiasm into the resources we need to win in 2020."

The RNC reiterated Trump's endorsement of WinRed on Wednesday, further illustrating the committee's push to cement it as the party's sole small-donor platform.

"WinRed has the full backing of President Trump and his campaign," Reed told ABC News in a statement Wednesday. "WinRed is a revolutionary tool in the fundraising arsenal for Republicans that will transform the way GOP candidates and conservative causes across the country raise money."

It's unclear how many campaigns and committees are currently using the platform, and how much WinRed has brought in since its launch.

But earlier on Wednesday, ActBlue announced its second quarter fundraising, in which the site collected a total of $420 million from 3.3 million individual donors for nearly 9,000 Democratic campaigns and organizations in the first half of this year, nearly double the $249 million it brought in by the first half of 2017.

On June 30, the last day of the second quarter, ActBlue said it pulled in the most contributions in a single day -- over 390,000 -- in its history. June 30 also marked the second biggest haul for ActBlue ever, with over $12 million raised.

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ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer is warning against any roadblocks to passing a 9/11 victims compensation bill after Sen. Rand Paul objected to passing the measure over how much the bill would cost.

The bill passed the House overwhelmingly on Friday, 402-12. Proponents are waiting for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote.

But when Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., attempted to pass the bill in the Senate on Wednesday by unanimous consent, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., objected, raising questions about how to pay for the fund, which will continue through 2090.

"Any new program that's going to have the longevity of 70, 80 years should be offset by cutting spending that's less valuable. We need, at the very least, to have this debate," Paul said.

Appearing unannounced at a press conference organized by Gillibrand Wednesday afternoon, Schumer fired back.

"Is the great American tradition of helping those who helped us in war time ... over?" Schumer shouted. "I don’t hear Rand Paul get up on the floor and say we have to pay for the entire defense budget with the money for our soldiers. Why is he doing it now? For these first responders, they are no different than our soldiers!"

Schumer also warned McConnell against attaching the 9/11 bill to a bill to raise the debt ceiling, which would also deal with budgets. McConnell has vowed to pass the bill by August, after having received the badge of New York Police Department Detective Luis Alvarez, who recently lost his battle with cancer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been engaged in a debate over raising the debt ceiling, which must be done before Congress' August recess to avoid a possible default, which could roil the economy.

"I've heard a rumor it would be on the debt ceiling ... You never know what games come up when you try to add it to something," Schumer said.

Schumer said he spoke with Pelosi and Mnuchin Wednesday morning, and that the topic of the 9/11 bill did not come up in that conversation. Yet he reiterated his warning, giving no sense of where the "rumor" that the bill would be attached on the floor came from.

Comedian Jon Stewart has been a vocal advocate of the bill, traveling to Capitol Hill many times to urge its passage. On Friday, he urged McConnell to take the bill up on the Senate floor, saying "This is necessary, it is urgent, and it is morally right."

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead(WASHINGTON) -- President Donald Trump continued his now days-long attacks on four congresswomen at his Greenville, North Carolina, rally on Wednesday night, eliciting the raucous crowd of supporters into "send her back" chants.

Just the mere mention of Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., and Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass, the thousands of supporters gathered at the president's campaign rally launched into prolong boos.

The president, just days after making tweets calling on the four congresswomen known as "the squad" to leave the country, slammed Rep. Omar for past comments she made regarding the terror attacks on September 11 and accused the representative of having a "history of launching vicious anti-Semitic" comments.

"Send them back," rallygoers erupted. Amid the chants, one supporter shouted "go back Somalia." Others yelled, "traitor."

Digging in, the president launched into a vicious series of attacks aimed the four freshman congresswomen, ripping Rep. Pressley for thinking "people with the same skin color all need to think the same." On Rep. Talib, he called her out, stating she used the "F word" to describe his presidency – adding "that’s not nice, even for me." And yet, the president himself used profanity earlier in his speech, complaining about the "bullsh--" his administration has gone through thanks to the special counsel investigation.

 The president also zeroed in on Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, telling the North Carolina crowd that he didn't have time to "go with three different names" and instead just opted for Cortez. And the president also reiterated his attacks from over the weekend where he told the four congresswomen to go back to their home countries.

"I said I have a suggestion for the hate-filled extremists who are constantly trying to tear our country down, they never have anything good to say, that's why I say, hey, if they don't like it let him leave. Leave, let him leave," the president said.

In response to the president's rally, Rep. Omar shared an excerpt from the Maya Angelou poem "Still I Rise" on Twitter.

Other members of Congress quickly came to the Minnesota representative's defense, including Rep. Andy Levin, who tweeted, "If there is a white nationalist 'base' big enough to support a presidency built on hatred and fear of these four women of color, our country is in deep trouble."

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris also took to Twitter shortly after the president's rally concluded, slamming the event. "It’s vile. It’s cowardly. It’s xenophobic. It’s racist. It defiles the office of the President. And I won't share it here.It’s time to get Trump out of office and unite the country," the 2020 hopeful wrote

However, the president didn't just go after freshman congresswomen, Trump saved some venom for a number of his potential 2020 Democratic opponents. Trump called out Sen. Elizabeth Warren multiple times throughout the night, mentioning more than once that he should have saved his "Pocahontas" attack on the senator for later in the campaign.

"Pocahontas is gaining a little bit because we probably used the Pocahontas a little bit too early, but that's okay, we'll bring it out of retirement very soon," the president said.

Sen. Bernie Sanders also got a shout out from the president, who said the progressive Democrat "missed his time" and that his chance at the White House was taken away from him. "I don't know why he’s running. He missed his time. Hey Bernie, let me save you a lot of time and effort Bernie, you missed your time. It got taken from you four years ago, Bernie," Trump said.

 President Trump then targeted South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, bringing up the racial turmoil back in his hometown stemming from a police shooting of a black man.

"He goes goes back home and African Americans literally were so angry at him for the lousy job and he's supposed to be like a hot young star. If that's a hot young star, I guess I just don't know stardom anymore. That is not a star," the president said.

Trump opened the Wednesday night rally touting the failed House vote earlier in the afternoon on a resolution to impeach him. "I just heard that the United States House of Representatives has overwhelmingly voted to kill the most ridiculous project I’ve ever been involved in, the resolution how stupid is that, on impeachment," Trump said. "I want to thank those democrats, because many of them voted for us," he added.

This is the first time Trump addressed supporters after his weekend Twitter attack on progressive Democratic congresswomen for, as he described it, their "horrible and disgusting actions." The president said they should stop criticizing the government and "go back" to where they came from.

The rally on Wednesday night, originally scheduled on the same date of special counsel Robert Mueller's congressional testimony, now comes a day after the House of Representatives voted to formally condemn the president's attacks as many Democratic lawmakers continue calls for impeachment. Mueller's testimony was pushed back to July 24.

"The President pointed out that many Democrats say terrible things about this country, which in reality is the greatest nation on Earth, while defending countries and regimes that can't hold a candle to our values and successes," Tim Murtaugh, the Trump campaign's communications director told ABC News in a statement.

Ahead of the rally, Trump campaign aides jumped to the defense of the president, accusing Democratic lawmakers of being socialists. But the campaign stop will also serve as a gauge on whether there's a political price to pay within the president's base.

"President Trump loves this country and takes issue with elected officials who constantly disparage it and spew horrible anti-Semitic rhetoric at the same time. All Democrats have now leapt to the defense of the ‘Blame America First' crowd when they really should be defending America and rooting out anti-Semitism in their ranks," Murtaugh continued in a statement.

The president has a pattern of making similarly inflammatory comments, including his remark about "very fine people on both sides" in Charlottesville -- where a woman was killed during protests -- or calling some Mexicans "rapists" the launch of his campaign in 2015.

Still, the president's base appears to remain supportive.

According to the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, among current Trump supporters -- those who back him against all Democrats -- 52% call it extremely important to them that he wins a second term. In another measure, 48% of adults said there's no chance they'd consider Trump against any Democratic candidate. It's 46% among currently registered voters.

Trump narrowly won North Carolina in 2016.

This is the 26th rally he's held in North Carolina since he first launched his presidential campaign in June 2015.

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Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The House of Representatives voted 230-198 to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt of Congress on Wednesday, related to the House Oversight Committee's investigation into efforts to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census, marking one of the most significant escalations to date in the Democrats' efforts to demand the Trump administration cooperate with their oversight efforts.

Last month, the Oversight Committee voted to recommend that the full House of Representatives hold the two in contempt after President Donald Trump asserted executive privilege over materials related to their census investigation.

Chairman Elijah Cummings has accused both the Justice and Commerce Departments of stonewalling his investigation by withholding documents and preventing witnesses requested by the committee from testifying on the issue.

The resolution would refer the matter to the U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia, a Trump appointee in the Justice Department who is unlikely to pursue the matter. It would also pave the way for Democrats to seek enforcement of their subpoena in civil court, which could lead to a prolonged legal fight.

There is precedent for this. President Barack Obama's former Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt for spurning Republicans demands in their investigation of a federal gun-running scheme known as Operation Fast and Furious. The U.S. Attorney at the time never prosecuted Holder, because he was protected by an assertion of executive privilege by the Obama White House.

In an announcement from the White House Rose Garden last week, Trump backed down from his effort to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census, and instead issued an Executive Order that instructed the Commerce Department to obtain an estimate of the U.S. citizenship through other means.

"The President just admitted what his Administration has been denying for two years -- that he wants citizenship data in order to gerrymander legislative districts in partisan and discriminatory ways. This never had anything to do with helping to enforce the Voting Rights Act. That was a sham, and now the entire country can see that," Cummings said in a statement following the announcement. "The Administration needs to turn over all the documents the Committee has subpoenaed on a bipartisan basis, or else the House will vote to hold Attorney General Barr and Secretary Ross in criminal contempt."

Cummings has said that the committee has obtained new evidence that shows Ross was pushing staff to add the citizenship question months before the department made the request, and that he was doing so at the urging of the White House.

Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd argued in a letter last month that the department has sought to engage in good faith with Cummings and handed over thousands of documents relevant to its investigation.

Boyd accused the committee of refusing to engage with the department over a "limited subset" of the requested documents that might be privileged information.

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Official White House Photo by Tia Dufour(WASHINGTON) -- The House has voted to table Rep. Al Green's impeachment resolution, with a majority of Democrats voting with Republicans to kill the impeachment push, which was based on President Donald Trump’s attacks against four Democratic congresswomen.

The vote was 332-95, with 137 Democrats siding with 194 Republicans and independent Rep. Justin Amash, to end consideration of impeachment. One Democrat, Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon, voted present.

There were 95 Democrats who voted against the move to table the measure. Notable progressives, including Chairmen Jerry Nadler of the Judiciary Committee and Jim McGovern of the Rules Committee, voted “no” against the effort, along with members of the Congressional Black Caucus and Hispanic Caucus, some of the strongest voices for impeachment in Congress.

A large group of moderates, centrists and freshmen voted with Republicans, putting the divisive topic of impeachment on ice - for the time being.

This would have been the first time the chamber will take up the divisive topic under Democratic control.

Green, D-Texas, forced consideration of the measure after introducing articles of impeachment Tuesday evening in the form of a privileged resolution, requiring the House to take up the measure within two legislative days.

Democratic leaders opposed the effort, and aides said it was unclear how the chamber would consider the resolution. Under House rules, the House could have taken up impeachment, moved to table consideration or referred it to the House Judiciary Committee.

"If I had my druthers, I suspect we're not ready to debate that," House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., said earlier on Wednesday.

"I say with all the respect in the world for (Green), we have six committees that are working on following the facts in terms of any abuse of power, obstruction of justice and the rest that the president may have engaged in," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said hours before the vote to table. "That is a serious path that we are on. Not that Mr. Green is not serious, but we'll deal with that on the floor."

Green has pushed to impeach Trump since 2017, and forced several votes on impeachment in the last session of Congress. On Tuesday, he took to the floor to introduce the measure, which cites Trump's attacks against four Democratic congresswomen of color. The House voted to condemn the president's Twitter attacks congresswomen of color on Tuesday, with four Republicans voting alongside Democrats.

Green said on Wednesday that the condemnation did not go far enough.

"If you did what the president has done, you would be punished. What we've done so far doesn't fine him, and it does not remove him from his job. You would lose your jobs. The president cannot be above the law," he said.

Nearly 60 Democrats backed an earlier version of Green's measure in December 2017, which was successfully killed by Republican leaders at the time.

But with the House now in Democrats' hands, the subject is one that party leaders have been reluctant to take up, and have instead called for the continued investigation of the president and the Trump administration.

Democrats harbor political concerns about the vote -- dozens of moderate freshmen would rather discuss the party's agenda than take up impeachment before they return home for the six-week August recess. And while at least 86 House Democrats support launching impeachment proceedings against Trump, according to an ABC News analysis, some said they considered Green's effort premature ahead of special counsel Robert Mueller's testimony next week.

Green's impeachment resolution made no mention of the findings of the Mueller report and the administration's refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas for documents and testimony, which Democrats have labored to highlight in a series of hearings and additional investigations.

"I think there are legitimate reasons to favor impeachment, but I think we need to hear from the man that wrote the report," Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., said on Wednesday.

A former high school history teacher, Clyburn suggested the House might not have to impeach as a result of Democrats' investigative work, pointing to the high-profile witnesses whose testimony eventually forced President Richard Nixon to resign during Watergate.

"It was John Dean’s testimony, Alexander Butterfield’s testimony," he said. "We never got to the point of impeaching Nixon, we didn’t need to because we did good investigative work."

Green said postponing consideration of impeachment until after Mueller's testimony would be "justice delayed."

"I will do this even if I am the only person who is involved in the process," he said. "There are some times on some issues where it's better to stand alone than not stand at all."

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Yana Paskova/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Federal prosecutors have ended their investigation into the Trump Organization's involvement in hush-money payments to two women who alleged they had affairs with President Donald Trump, according to court documents filed in a New York court on Wednesday.

The conclusion of the investigation prompted the judge in the case to order prosecutors to release unredacted documents related to the raid of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen's home in April 2018, including copies of the warrant, warrant applications and supporting affidavits.

The Southern District of New York has been looking into multiple areas of possible legal exposure for Trump for months. It remains unclear what avenues prosecutors may be continuing to follow in this investigation or others related to the president and his businesses.

Typically, prosecutors do not announce the conclusion of an investigation that doesn't result in formal charges being filed. News of the probe's conclusion came in the judge's order to release unredacted versions of the documents. And while the judge's language strongly indicates that the government thinks its investigation is done, the Southern District of New York declined to comment.

"The campaign finance violations discussed in the Materials are a matter of national importance," a federal judge wrote in his order, denying the government's request for limited redactions.

"Now that the Government's investigation into those violations has concluded, it is time that every American has an opportunity to scrutinize the Materials."

The president's attorney, Jay Sekulow, responded to the news of the investigations conclusion in a statement Wednesday.

“We are pleased that the investigation surrounding these ridiculous campaign finance allegations is now closed," Sekulow said in the statement. "We have maintained from the outset that the President never engaged in any campaign finance violation. From the Court’s opinion: “the Government’s investigation into those violations has concluded ... Another case is closed."

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight counts that included campaign finance violations stemming from hush-money agreements with two women, adult actress Stormy Daniels -- whose given name is Stephanie Clifford -- and Playboy model Karen McDougal, both of whom say they had affairs with Trump. The president has denied both women's allegations.

Cohen was sentenced to 3 years in prison in December and is currently completing his sentence in a federal correctional institute in Otisville, New York.

During his plea hearing, Cohen told the court that he made payments to the women "in coordination and at the direction of a candidate for federal office" who was later identified as Trump.

The government filed a motion in February to keep some documents related to the Cohen's campaign violations sealed while they New York prosecutors consider charging Trump Organization in Cohen hush-money scheme pursued an ongoing investigation into the Trump Organization.

But in Wednesday's filing, Judge William Pauley III wrote that the government had "concluded the aspects of its investigation that justified continued sealing" of the documents.

Pauley ordered that the previously-sealed documents, which are to be filed on Thursday, be "unredacted in their entirety" with the exception of names of investigators and some individuals.

Nick Akerman, a former Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York and current partner at law firm Dorsey and Whitney, said that while the judge's filing indicates that prosecutors may be wrapping this specific investigation, other probes could still be ongoing

"We know that there were several and that this is just one of several," he said.

The judge’s order to unseal documents Wednesday relates only to "one particular investigation."

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