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Steve Linick. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

State Department Inspector General Steve Linick provided "assorted news clippings and conspiratorial memos" on alleged Democratic wrongdoing in Ukraine that "he did not assign credibility to" on Wednesday in a private committee hearing that he requested, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: Interview notes involving Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and "Ukrainian officials about the Bidens" appeared to be among the materials, which were addressed to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, per NYT.

  • Giuliani was subpoenaed this week by the House Intelligence Committee to produce documents by Oct. 15 related to his and President Trump's alleged efforts to push Ukraine's government to investigate Joe Biden.
  • Giuliani has yet to state if he would cooperate with the subpoena, but he said he would comply with the impeachment inquiry if Trump tells him to.

The big picture: The whistleblower complaint — which cites a phone call between Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Trump — alleges that the president used "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 election" and claims that Giuliani and Attorney General Bill Barr appeared to be involved in the effort as well.

What they're saying:

“The briefing and documents raise troubling questions about apparent efforts inside and outside the Trump Administration to target specific officials, including former Vice President Joe Biden's son and then-U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Masha Yovanovitch, who was abruptly removed as Ambassador in May after a sustained campaign against her by the President’s agent, Rudy Giuliani.
The documents provided by the Inspector General included a package of disinformation, debunked conspiracy theories, and baseless allegations in an envelope marked 'White House' and containing folders labeled 'Trump Hotel.' These documents also reinforce concern that the President and his allies sought to use the machinery of the State Department to further the President’s personal political interests."
— Joint statement from the chairs of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight and Reform committees

Background: Linick said the materials were delivered to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "earlier this year from someone purporting to be at the White House," per the Times, and "a legal adviser at the department" passed it on to Linick's office.

  • Linick "doubted" the origin of the materials, but "thought lawmakers should have it in light of their investigative work," NYT reports.

Go deeper: Fact check: What Joe and Hunter Biden actually did in Ukraine

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - World

HRW: Over 100 former Afghan security members dead or missing under Taliban rule

Members of the Taliban movement patrol Kabul's airport in September. Photo: Valery Sharifulin/TASS via Getty Images

The Taliban have "killed or forcibly disappeared" over 100 former members of Afghanistan's security forces since the group took power in August, a Human Rights Watch report published Tuesday found.

Why it matters: Former military members and officials from the ousted government, activists and other Taliban critics are facing peril amid executions driven by revenge — despite Taliban promises of an "amnesty" with no retributions, notes the New York Times, which first reported the news.

4 hours ago - World

Barbados becomes a republic, replacing U.K. queen with president

Combination images of Dame Sandra Mason, president of Barbados, and Britain's Prince Charles at her swearing-in ceremony in Bridgetown, Barbados, late Monday.

Barbados officially became a republic at midnight local time after Dame Sandra Mason was sworn in as the Caribbean nation's first president in a ceremony attended by the United Kingdom's Prince Charles.

Why it matters: Mason replaced Britain's Queen Elizabeth as head of state Tuesday — removing the country's final remaining colonial tie to the U.K. almost 400 years after the first British ships arrived in Barbados.

Right-wingers making McCarthy sweat for future Speaker post

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy stands with his Republican colleagues outside the House on Nov. 17. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Right-wing elements in the Republican Party are complicating House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy's attempts to become the next speaker of the House should the GOP take back the majority in 2022.

Why it matters: While McCarthy has worked carefully to build trust among the conservatives who tanked his chances at clinching the speakership in 2015, they're still circling ahead of the next Speaker vote in January 2023.