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Netflix’s ‘Fuller House’ to end after fifth season

Netflix announced in an emotional video Thursday that the fifth season of “Fuller House” will also be its last.

The video showed clips of the show and announced the final season will air in the fall. Candace Cameron Bure, one of the show’s stars, was heard saying in a narration, “We saved the best for last.”

The series is a reboot of the hit sitcom “Full House” that ran on ABC for eight seasons, from 1987 to 1995.

‘FULLER HOUSE’ STAR CANDACE CAMERON BURE BLASTS FAT-SHAMING INSTAGRAM TROLL

Most of the actors from “Full House” returned to revive their roles in “Fuller House,” including Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Andrea Barber. Fellow castmates Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier and Lori Loughlin also made regular appearances on the show. Notably absent from the reboot were Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who both played Michelle Tanner.

Sweetin told Fox News in August that she thought the reboot was “a little bit more adult” than the original series.

“We have the audience of adults that are my age and [co-star] Candace [Cameron’s] age in their late 30s, 40s, who grew up watching us as kids, and now have kids of their own, we can be a little bit more adult,” Sweetin told Fox News.

‘FULLER HOUSE’ STARS JOHN STAMOS AND BOB SAGET GO ON DOUBLE DATE WITH THEIR WIVES

The show ranks in the “top performers for Netflix original programming,” Variety reported, citing Nielsen’s content rating service.

Judge in Russia probe case reprimands attorney who quoted ‘Animal House’

A federal judge in a case being prosecuted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Monday scolded a defense attorney who quoted a famous, profane line from the 1978 comedy “Animal House” in a recent court filing.

United States District Court Judge Dabney L. Friedrich ripped into attorney Eric Dubelier, a U.S.-based attorney for Concord Management, a Russian company that has been indicted by Mueller.

Concord Management is one of the Russian entities accused of participating in Moscow’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

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Friedrich told Dubelier, a former assistant U.S. attorney, she had read his latest filing and “you have made many inappropriate remarks.” She told him to “knock it off.”

In a filing last week, Dubelier referenced “Animal House” and said, “The Special Counsel’s argument is reminiscent of Otter’s famous line, ‘Flounder, you can’t spend your whole life worrying about your mistakes! You f—ed up . . . you trusted us. Hey, make the best of it.’”

“Animal House” is the cult-classic starring John Belushi, Tim Matheson, Donald Sutherland and Kevin Bacon about two fraternities at a fictional college.

In court Monday, Dubelier responded by saying the judge had a “bias” against him and said he would need to consult with his client to see if he should stay on the case.

RUSSIAN COMPANY, ACCUSED IN MUELLER PROBE OF BEING TROLL FARM, PLEADS NOT GUILTY

A federal grand jury last February indicted 13 Russians and three Russian companies for allegedly interfering in the election, in a case brought by Mueller that detailed a sophisticated plot to wage “information warfare” against the U.S. Concord Management was among those entities.

When Concord Management pleaded not guilty in May, Dubelier said in court, “The government has indicted the proverbial Ham sandwich.”

Fox News’ Jake Gibson and Bill Mears contributed to this report.

This small-dollar platform helped Democrats win the House. Now Republicans are racing to compete.

Washington (CNN)ActBlue, the online fundraising platform for liberal candidates and causes, helped drive more than $ 1.2 billion into federal campaigns in the midterm elections. That money fueled Democratic victories in the House and has left Republicans scrambling to build an equivalent powerhouse on the right.

The nonprofit ActBlue occupies a unique space on the political landscape, serving as a one-stop giving vehicle for virtually every candidate and organization on the left. More than 14,800 groups and candidates use the platform.
Adding in the money ActBlue helped send to liberal groups and non-congressional candidates, the online engine helped move a record $ 1.6 billion to Democratic candidates and causes in this cycle. The average donation: $ 39.67.
“Small-donor energy was everywhere,” said Erin Hill, the executive director of ActBlue, which married technology with red-hot Democrat anger at President Donald Trump and his policies to smash records in the midterms.
    “People wanted to do something constructive with their frustration” and “send a signal … that they were coming for seats, and they had the resources to do that,” she added.
    Trump, a celebrity-turned-politician, saw big online small-dollar fundraising success in 2016. Nearly two-thirds of the money he collected from other individuals in his campaign came in amounts of $ 200 or less, federal data show.
    But there’s no central online fundraising clearinghouse in his party to help all Republicans. Instead, GOP candidates tend to rely on several for-profit vendors for those services.
    “It’s like a body of water with a dam, and the Democratic dam has got this big hole they can open and close and let water out,” Josh Holmes, a Republican consultant and former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, said of ActBlue.
    “Republicans have these little cylinders,” he said. “When the water pressure is low, you can’t tell much difference between Republican online fundraising and Democratic online fundraising. But when the water pressure is really high, like it was in 2018, there’s a huge difference.”
    In the wake of last month’s elections, party leaders are racing to catch up.
    Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who donated more than $ 112 million with his wife, Miriam, to a constellation of Republican super PACs and groups to become the GOP’s biggest donor in the midterms, has urged top Republican leaders to ramp up the GOP’s online fundraising infrastructure.
    A working group that includes Republican National Committee officials and House and Senate political aides already has reached “conceptual buy-in” on a plan to build a structure that allows greater back-end collaboration among the for-profit vendors, said a Republican strategist involved in the discussions.
    But Matt Gorman, a former National Republican Congressional Committee official, said it may take time to close the online fundraising gap, given ActBlue’s 14-year head start and the ingrained patterns of political giving among the GOP’s small-dollar contributors.
    Democratic low-dollar donors “are more likely to give to several different candidates across the country they know a bit about but are generally for the cause,” he said.
    “Republican low-dollar donors are more focused on the person. They will give, but to certain people,” he said. “It’s a cultural problem.”
    More than half — 54.9% — of the money from individual donors to Democratic House candidates in the midterms flowed through ActBlue, its data show. In the end, the party netted 40 House seats to seize the majority in the chamber, giving Democrats their best election results since Watergate.
    Michael Malbin, executive director of the Campaign Finance Institute, said ActBlue’s growing influence “is part of the story of nationalized politics.”
    It offered energized Democrats a way to turn their small money into big results, said Malbin, whose group tracks political fundraising.
    “My friends who live in Massachusetts could give money in Georgia,” Malbin said. “They knew very little about the governor’s race or House candidates down there. They just knew these looked like OK people and they were in close races. And they were interested in national results.”
    The nonprofit has seen explosive growth since its founding in 2004 during President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign — when it processed less than $ 1 million across all federal races.

    Two years later, the number had jumped to $ 16 million. By 2016, the last presidential cycle, it had hit nearly $ 695 million before nearly doubling to more than $ 1.2 billion in the 2018 election.
    The group has seized on advances in technology — the advent of one-click donating and Apple wallet, for instance — to allow motivated donors to act quickly when candidates or causes catch their attention. Nearly 6 million maintain “express” accounts that store donors’ payment information and addresses, making it easier to donate to multiple candidates over an election cycle.
    The group’s central role in Democratic fundraising means its constant testing and tweaks — such as experiments to see whether enlarging or moving the “donate” button yields more contributions — immediately benefit thousands of candidates, Hill told CNN.
    Sheldon Cohen, a retired counselor who lives in Hopewell Junction, New York, used ActBlue to donate to more Democratic candidates than he can remember — sending $ 10 or $ 25 at a time to Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s Senate campaign or to the re-election campaign of Pennsylvania Rep. Conor Lamb. (O’Rourke lost; Lamb won.)
      Cohen, whose credit card information is stored with ActBlue, said he often sat on his computer, reading Twitter during the campaign and “if a candidate appealed to me I would send a few bucks here and few bucks there.”
      “It was money they couldn’t raise in their own states,” he said. “As a liberal, I felt like I was helping.”

      Bashing Melania Trump for White House Christmas decorations latest sign of media hypocrisy, critics say

      Even Pat Sajak thinks the media is going too far.

      First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the White House’s Christmas décor on Monday and – for the second year in a row – she is being attacked, mocked and even vilified for the people’s house’s holiday furnishings, which many critics feel is a sign of widespread hypocrisy.

      While the first lady was criticized for last year’s all-white theme, the patriotic red used this season has been equally condemned, with many detractors claiming it looks like the handmaids’ outfits in “The Handmaid’s Tale.”

      “The War on Christmas has evolved into more of the media’s War on Trump,” fumed Media Research Center vice president Dan Gainor.

      Mainstream media outlets such as The Washington Post, USA Today, Time, HuffPost, San Francisco Chronicle and Vice all mocked the decorations, often masking their disdain by focusing on the backlash of trolls on social media.

      Even House Beautiful, a lifestyle magazine geared towards interior decorators, launched a full-blown attack on the decorations with a feature headlined, “So, The 2018 White House Christmas Theme Is Apparently ‘The Shining.’”

      The piece features snarky commentary such as “another year in the Trump White House, another opportunity to add a touch of holiday magic to the banality of evil,” and “the overwhelming feeling of dread was one of the many sources of inspiration for this year’s decorations.”

      ‘If she were married to someone the media approved of, it would be all Melania all the time’

      — Pat Sajak

      House Beautiful wrote that last year’s theme was “a terrifying amount of white,” while the 2018 decorations feature too much red. The magazine’s over-the-top takedown of the White House decorations evokes everything from white supremacy and the migrant caravan to comparing a Christmas wreath to a “bottomless pit of despair.”

      Meanwhile, similar publications had fawned over the Christmas decorations of past administrations. “We’re seriously jealous of Michelle Obama’s Christmas decorations,” Good Housekeeping wrote in 2016, for example.

      Grand Foyer and Cross Hall are seen during the 2018 Christmas preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (AP)

      Grand Foyer and Cross Hall are seen during the 2018 Christmas preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (AP)

      “According to the juvenile style mavens that dominate the lefty media, Melania’s Christmas style is somehow ‘spooky’ or ‘deeply haunted.’ Compare that to how The Washington Post described Michelle Obama as a ‘pro in dressing up the place’ whose decorations delivered her own ‘steady recognition of military service,’” Gainor said.

      The decorations include more than 20,000 feet of lights, 14,000 ornaments, 12,000 bows, wreaths made from pencils, an enormous gingerbread house, 40 topiary trees and a lot of red – which the first lady’s office called “a symbol of valor and bravery.” The decorations were revealed via a slickly produced video showcasing concepts turning from initial sketches to reality, with Melania’ “Be Best,” well-being campaign front and center.

      Gainor was particularly offended by a vulgar Funny or Die video spoof of the actual White House unveiling that mocked Melania’s accent and declared that the trees were dipped in blood.

      ‘This boorish reporting about the First Lady’s holiday decorating is culturally divisive and unnecessary’

      — DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall

      “Liberal comedy has turned into a 24-7 anti-Trump joke without an iota of humor,” he said.

      Media critic and DePauw University professor Jeffrey McCall feels that Christmas season should be a time for the nation to celebrate together – which was allowed during the Obama administration.

      “Melania’s decorating touches have not received the same courtesy in a number of media accounts, as if reporters had any sense of stylish interior design in the first place,” McCall told Fox News. “This boorish reporting about the First Lady’s holiday decorating is culturally divisive and unnecessary.”

      Melania Trump’s White House Christmas décor doesn’t receive the praise that past first ladies received. (AP)

      Melania Trump’s White House Christmas décor doesn’t receive the praise that past first ladies received. (AP)

      The Hill media reporter Joe Concha told Fox News that “it’s obvious the faux outrage about all-things Trump is simply performance art to play on the emotion readers and viewers” at this point – with Melania’s Christmas decorations being the latest example.

      “Attacking a first lady, which is normally a big no-no, is now part business decision to generate clicks and ratings, part of loathing for anything with the Trump name attached,” Concha said.

      Concha pointed out that Melania’s favorability is higher than most politicians, which could result in negative coverage of the first lady backfiring.

      “Feel free to attack over Christmas tree selections because there’s little upside outside of a quick clicks hit while any last shred of integrity goes out the window,” Concha said.

      ‘Liberal comedy has turned into a 24-7 anti-Trump joke without an iota of humor’

      — Dan Gainor, VP, Media Research Center

      Conservative actor James Woods took to Twitter, pointing out that “Since no American magazine will put her on a cover,” her fans will simply have to celebrate the first lady themselves. The tweet racked up over 74,000 likes and thousands of comments that offer the polar opposite of what many media outlets have published — including a note from Pat Sajak.

      “If she were married to someone the media approved of, it would be all Melania all the time. Every move would be breathlessly recorded and every outfit would be featured in multiple publications. Her intelligence and beauty would be highlighted 24/7,” the “Wheel of Fortune” host responded.

      NewsBusters managing editor Curtis Houck told Fox News that the practice of attacking Melania’s decorations “silly” and “pathetic” but the first lady has proven to have thick skin – which is necessary because of the way the media portrays her as a villain.

      The official White House Christmas tree is seen in the Blue Room during the 2018 Christmas Press Preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (AP)

      The official White House Christmas tree is seen in the Blue Room during the 2018 Christmas Press Preview at the White House in Washington, Monday, Nov. 26, 2018. (AP)

      “Michelle Obama was hailed by the media on what felt like a daily basis. As expected, Mrs. Trump won’t be afforded anywhere the same level of praise for her decision-making, let alone her fashion sense,” Houck said.

      McCall feels that Melania and Christmas decorations “should be off-limits for polarizing news coverage and commentary,” regardless of whether or not reporters agree with President Trump and his policies.

      “The media outlets that have chosen to cheap shot the First Lady and her Christmas decorations come off looking like so many Scrooges,” McCall said.

      Fox News’ Janine Puhak contributed to this report.

      Steve Hilton: Trump is fighting the elitist enemy within his own White House

      Over the Thanksgiving break, I read Bob Woodward’s “Fear: Trump in the White House.”

      When it came out in September the snooty elitists on the East Coast salivated over its juicy gossip: “Trump watches TV a lot!” and the story it told of a president they see as an ignorant, dangerous barbarian.

      Here are a few of the condescending highlights…

      From Judy Woodruff, PBS: “It is a stunning look inside the Trump presidency, exposing a chaotic White House led by a man who has said he believes the key to power is fear.”

      From Jamie Gangel, CNN: “I think what Woodward has presented here is a devastating portrait, Brooke. We’ve heard about chaos, we’ve heard about dysfunction, but the details of this book are like nothing we’ve heard before…’

      From Mika Brzezinski, co-host, MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,”: “All the anecdotes certainly ring true to the man we know and the man who never evolved or stepped up when he won the presidency”…

      The East Coast elite held up this book as evidence of why Donald Trump is not fit to be president. Well, either they haven’t read the book, or they’re deliberately distorting what’s in it.

      What Bob Woodward has actually done is write a book in praise of President Trump. The Woodward account, in fact, tells the story of a president who’s totally focused on his agenda, clear about his priorities, and obsessed with delivering the promises he was elected on — but blocked at every turn by almost everyone around him.

      What Bob Woodward has actually done is write a book in praise of President Trump. The Woodward account, in fact, tells the story of a president who is totally focused on his agenda, clear about his priorities, and obsessed with delivering the promises he was elected on — but blocked at every turn by almost everyone around him.

      Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, former economic chief Gary Cohn, former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, current Defense Secretary General Mattis — and especially Rob Porter, the White House staff secretary who resigned in disgrace over wife-beating allegations — these men were in President Trump’s inner circle and they literally plotted and schemed with each other to overturn the result of the 2016 election.

      Donald Trump’s signature issue for decades has been trade. He was elected to get out of TPP, NAFTA and other trade deals that hurt American workers. He couldn’t have been clearer about it. Here’s what he said on August 24, 2016

      “We are going to stop the TPP, totally re-negotiate NAFTA, one of the worst trade deals ever made by mankind, and protect every last American job.”

      From day one the president wanted to deliver on that by introducing tariffs and renegotiating trade deals. But globalists including Gary Cohn and General Mattis did everything in their power to stop him.

      Another central theme of Donald Trump’s campaign was his promise to stop America’s involvement in endless foreign wars. This is how he said it in 2016 :

      “I will never send our finest into battle unless necessary, and I mean absolutely necessary, and will only do so if we have a plan for victory with a capital V.”

      And yet the globalists in his team tried every trick in the book to get the president to break his promises and carry on with the failed policies of the past.

      It’s the same on immigration. One of the most distinctive elements of the Trump 2016 agenda was its promise to end the elitist consensus for uncontrolled immigration that for decades delivered cheap labor to big business Republicans and easy votes to establishment Democrats.

      Could anyone have misunderstood what Donald Trump was saying? Here’s what he said in a presidential debate in 2015:

      “As far as the wall is concerned, we’re going to build a wall. We’re going to create a border. We’re going to let people in, but they’re going to come in legally. They’re going to come in legally. And it’s something that can be done.”

      But on this issue too, we learn from Bob Woodward’s reporting, that far from undermining democracy, as the East Coast elites scream every day, President Trump has been battling to uphold democracy by delivering the policy changes that people voted for.

      Far from describing an unfit and clueless idiot in the Oval Office, the Woodward book portrays a clear-eyed and resolute president fighting exactly the elitist enemy he was elected to fight.

      The only problem is: the enemy is within. Not just within his own administration — but within his own White House. Now, some of those people have gone. Rex Tillerson. Gary Cohn. Rob Porter…they’re out. But far too many are still there.

      Next week, we’ll be in Washington, D.C., right in the swamp and we will bring you a special edition of “SwampWatch: The Swamp in the White House.”

      Yes, we will name names. You do not want to miss it: “The Swamp in the White House,”  next Sunday from D.C.

      Tell me what you think of that @stevehiltonx and @nextrevfnc.

      Adapted from Steve Hilton’s monologue on “The Next Revolution” on November 25, 2018.

      GOP enjoying Pelosi’s fight to regain House Speaker role

      After dealing with their own political infighting a few years ago, House Republicans are kicking up their feet and watching Democrats scrap it out for who will lead the party when it takes control of the lower chamber in January.

      A number of rank-and-file Democrats – tired of the entrenched leadership under Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. – are trying to make sure she doesn’t reclaim the role of House Speaker, despite her role in helping the party take back the House for the first time since 2010. This internal conflict may be dismaying for Democrats hoping for a unified party to fight the Trump administration, but it has the GOP jumping for joy.

      “For those asking, Moulton is NOT on our payroll,” National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman Matt Gorman tweeted last week, in reference to Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., one of the most vocal Pelosi critics.

      In the most open criticism of Pelosi, 16 Democrats put their signature on a letter earlier this week in which they vowed to oppose Pelosi in both the closed-door caucus vote and on the House floor.

      Despite the open hostility from some to Pelosi, it appears the California Democrat is slowly coalescing the party around here.

      Rep. Brian Higgins of western New York announced Wednesday he will now support Pelosi after earlier signing on to a letter opposing her bid.

      One day earlier, Marcia Fudge of Ohio announced she would back Pelosi after earlier flirting with the idea of running for the position herself.

      Pelosi still has a daunting challenge ahead to secure 218 votes, but she is growing closer to that threshold with an aggressive behind-the-scenes campaign focused on addressing some of her skeptics’ top concerns.

      Pelosi seems certain to have enough support to become her party’s nominee for speaker when House Democrats vote by secret ballot on Nov. 28. She will need only a majority of Democrats in that contest.

      But when the full House elects its new leaders Jan. 3, the speaker will need a majority 218 votes, assuming that no one votes “present” or misses the vote and Republicans oppose her en masse, as seems likely.

      While the large majority of Democrats support Pelosi, others are concerned that she is hurting Democratic prospects in key swing districts where she is unpopular with a broad swath of voters. The critics contend the 78-year-old Pelosi needs to step aside and make way for a new generation of leaders.

      Pelosi was the first woman to become speaker and served from 2007 to 2011.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.

      Comey says House Republicans subpoenaed him to testify over Clinton emails, Russia investigation

      Former FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday that Republicans have subpoenaed him to appear before a closed-door meeting of the House Judiciary Committee early next month.

      In a Thanksgiving Day tweet, Comey said he would be happy to answer the House Judiciary Committee’s questions, but will “resist a ‘closed door’’ for fear that his testimony will be leaked and distorted.

      “Got a subpoena from House Republicans. I’m still happy to sit in the light and answer all questions,” Comey tweeted. “But I will resist a ‘closed door’ thing because I’ve seen enough of their selective leaking and distortion. Let’s have a hearing and invite everyone to see.”

      The subpoena calls Comey to testify as part of the congressional inquiry into allegations of anti-Trump bias that led to the shutting down of the probe of Hillary Clinton’s private email server and the opening of the investigation into purported ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

      Comey’s tweet partly confirms a story published in Politico that reported that the former FBI director and former President Barack Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, had both been subpoenaed.

      So far Lynch has not made any public statement on the subpoena.

      The office of Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., the outgoing chair of the House Judiciary Committee, was also unavailable for comment.

      Comey has been the target of attacks by both Trump and Republicans for his time at the head of the FBI, with the president labelling the investigation into allegations of collusion between his campaign and Russia – now headed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller – a “witch hunt.”

      Former FBI Director James Comey being sworn in during a Senate testimony.

      Former FBI Director James Comey being sworn in during a Senate testimony. (Reuters)

      Democrats, however, argue that the GOP-led investigation in the House is itself a partisan move to undermine Mueller’s investigation and have promised to renew investigations of their own into Trump’s attacks on the FBI and Justice Department when they take the House majority in January.

      In a statement sent to Fox News, Comey’s lawyer, David Kelley, said: “Mr. Comey embraces and welcomes a hearing open to the public, but the subpoena issued yesterday represents an abuse of process, a divergence from House rules and its presumption of transparency. Accordingly, Mr. Comey will resist in Court this abuse of process.”

      The news of the subpoenas comes on the heels of a busy week in the Mueller investigation that saw Trump provide the special counsel with written answers to questions about his knowledge of Russian interference in the 2016 election, his lawyers said Tuesday, avoiding at least for now a potentially risky sit-down with prosecutors.

      The compromise outcome, nearly a year in the making, offers some benefit to both sides. Trump at least temporarily averts the threat of an in-person interview, which his lawyers have long resisted, while Mueller secures on-the-record statements whose accuracy the president will be expected to stand by for the duration of the investigation.

      The responses may also help stave off a potential subpoena fight over Trump’s testimony if Mueller deems them satisfactory. They represent the first time the president is known to have described to investigators his knowledge of key moments under scrutiny by prosecutors.

      Also this week, it was revealed by the New York Times that Trump told his counsel’s office last spring that he wanted to prosecute Clinton and former FBI Comey, an idea that prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment.

      Then-counsel Don McGahn told the president he had no authority to order such a prosecution, and he had White House lawyers prepare the memo arguing against such a move, The Associated Press confirmed with a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss the situation. McGahn said that Trump could request such a probe but that even asking could lead to accusations of abuse of power, the newspaper said.

      The Associated Press contributed to this report.

      House Dems eagerly planning series of investigations on Ivanka emails, ObamaCare, Sessions

      With several weeks to go before the new Congress is seated, House Democrats have eagerly announced plans to begin a spate of investigations into the White House on a variety of topics — including one of Trump’s executive decisions that followed precedent set by former President Barack Obama.

      The slew of potential probes comes as new polling indicates that Democrats run the risk of alienating moderate voters by overplaying their hand as they retake committee gavels for the first time in eight years.

      The incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., on Monday vowed to look into the White House’s refusal to fully defend the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as ObamaCare, in court against a lawsuit by 20 states.

      Justice Department lawyers argue that because a tax penalty is no longer imposed on those who fail to obtain health insurance, the legal justification that the Supreme Court used to uphold ObamaCare’s constitutionality — Congress’ taxing power — no longer holds.

      “In the next Congress, this committee expects to examine the department’s refusal to defend a duly enacted federal statute, the abrupt resignation of veteran department employees and an apparent determination by this administration to undermine affordable healthcare coverage for millions of Americans,” Nadler said in a statement.

      But Trump’s Justice Department, in choosing not to defend a law in court that it believed was unconstitutional, was following in the footsteps of the previous administration. In 2011, the Obama DOJ announced it would no longer defend the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman.

      Meanwhile, House Oversight Committee Democrats said Tuesday they will also investigate Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner’s use of private email accounts for official White House business, re-launching a 2017 probe into whether Trump administration officials are complying with the Presidential Record Act.

      Committee Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who is expected to become chairman at the beginning of the 116th Congress in January, announced that he wants more information about Ivanka’s use of a personal email account while conducting official administration business one day after a Washington Post report highlighted White House officials’ apparent unease about the issue.

      “We launched a bipartisan investigation last year into White House officials’ use of private email accounts for official business, but the White House never gave us the information we requested,” Cummings said in a statement to Fox News. “We need those documents to ensure that Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and other officials are complying with federal records laws and there is a complete record of the activities of this Administration.”

      “They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton’s, they weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton’s.”

      — President Trump

      But there were early signs that Democrats may be overplaying their hand. In a statement to Fox News, Peter Mirijanian, the spokesperson for Trump’s ethics lawyer Abbe Lowell, emphasized several key distinctions to the Hillary Clinton email scandal that engulfed the 2016 presidential campaign.

      HOUSE INVESTIGATIONS ARE BECOMING INCREASINGLY PARTISAN AND LESS EFFECTIVE, EXPERT TELLS FOX NEWS

      “To address misinformation being peddled about Ms. Trump’s personal email, she did not create a private server in her house or office, there was never classified information transmitted, the account was never transferred or housed at Trump Organization, no emails were ever deleted, and the emails have been retained in the official account in conformity with records preservation laws and rules,” Mirijanian said.

      He added: “When concerns were raised in the press 14 months ago, Ms. Trump reviewed and verified her email use with White House Counsel and explained the issue to congressional leaders.” Mirijanian told the Post that Trump had used a personal account prior to being briefed on ethics rules.

      President Trump also made that argument in remarks to reporters outside the White House on Tuesday, saying the Post’s story was “fake news” and that his daughter had complied with the law and, unlike Clinton, had not deleted tens of thousands of emails — after receiving a subpoenea or otherwise.

      “They weren’t classified like Hillary Clinton’s, they weren’t deleted like Hillary Clinton’s; she wasn’t doing anything to hide her emails,” Trump said. “They’re all in presidential records. … There was no servers in the basement, like Hillary Clinton had. You’re talking about fake news.”

      While Special Counsel Robert Mueller is leading the investigation into any potential illegal collusion between Trump officials and the Russian government, House and Senate Democrats have indicated they are eager to explore peripheral issues. For example, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., requested on Tuesday that DOJ watchdog Michael E. Horowitz probe whether there were any “unlawful or improper communications” between new Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and the Trump White House.

      TRUMP SUBMITS WRITTEN ANSWERS TO MUELLER, AS RUSSIA PROBE WINDS DOWN

      Whitaker previously served as chief of staff to former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and had open lines of communications with the administration.

      Schumer particularly expressed an interest in whether Whitaker had shared any “confidential grand jury or investigative information from the Special Counsel investigation or any criminal investigation” with the Trump White House.

      And last week, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said in an interview with “Axios on HBO” that he and his colleagues will employ committee subpoena powers — which are backed by the legal threat of contempt of Congress — to conduct the triple-threaded inquiry into Trump’s possible use of the “instruments of state power to punish the press,” as well as potential money laundering involving the Trump Organization in Russia. (Trump has since derided Schiff as “little Adam Schitt.”)

      Specifically, Schiff charged that Trump “was secretly meeting with the postmaster [general] in an effort to browbeat” her into “raising postal rates on Amazon,” whose founder and CEO, Jeff Bezos, separately owns The Washington Post.

      “This appears to be an effort by the president to use the instruments of state power to punish Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post,” Schiff said in the interview.

      Schiff also raised the possibility that the Trump administration’s opposition to AT&T’s $ 85 billion takeover of Time Warner on antitrust grounds may have been motivated by the president’s animus toward CNN, whose parent company is Time Warner. Trump frequently claims that CNN speads “fake news” and that when it does so, it is acting as the “enemy of the people.”

      “We don’t know, for example, whether the effort to hold up the merger of the parent of CNN was a concern over antitrust, or whether this was an effort merely to punish CNN,” Schiff said.

      “It is very squarely within our responsibility to find out,” Schiff said.

      But former GOP Judiciary Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, who is now a Fox News contributor, told Politico in October that Cummings and Schiff shouldn’t get their hopes up.

      “If [North Carolina Rep.] Mark Meadows and [Ohio Rep.] Jim Jordan can’t get documents out of the White House, I don’t know why Elijah Cummings and the Democrats think they’ll do any better,” Chaffetz said.

      Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

      House GOP plans to hold hearing on DOJ’s Clinton Foundation probe

      House Republicans plan to hold a hearing into the Department of Justice’s probe into the Clinton Foundation in December — a month before Democrats will take control of the chamber.

      Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., who is chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations, told The Hill he wants to hear testimony on Dec. 5 from the prosecutor appointed to investigate the controversial foundation, which has been dogged by allegations of “pay to play” when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. The foundation has repeatedly denied the allegations.

      Meadows said it was time to “circle back” with U.S. Attorney John Huber, who was appointed to investigate the foundation.

      “Mr. Huber with the Department of Justice and the FBI has been having an investigation — at least part of his task was to look at the Clinton Foundation and what may or may not have happened as it relates to improper activity with that charitable foundation, so we’ve set a hearing date for December the 5th,” he said.

      Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions revealed in March that he had appointed Huber to lead the evaluation into issues involving the FBI, the Clinton Foundation and the sale of Uranium One, but said he did not intend to appoint a special counsel.

      SESSIONS: FEDERAL PROSECUTOR EVALUATING ALLEGED FBI, DOJ WRONGDOING, NO SECOND SPECIAL COUNSEL FOR NOW

      “Mr. Huber is conducting his work from outside the Washington D.C. area and in cooperation with the Inspector General,” Sessions said, noting that Huber’s review would “include a full, complete, and objective evaluation of these matters in a manner that is consistent with the law and facts.”

      Huber is a federal prosecutor, twice confirmed, unanimously, by the Senate as U.S. attorney for the District of Utah in 2015 and again in 2017. Huber previously served in leadership roles within the U.S. Attorney’s Office as national security section chief and executive assistant U.S. attorney.

      Meadows told The Hill that it’s time for Huber to update Congress, and is also looking to secure testimonies from whistleblowers who could have more information about any wrongdoing.

      “We’re just now starting to work with a couple of whistleblowers that would indicate that there is a great probability, a significant improper activity that’s happening in and around the Clinton Foundation,” he said.

      Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.

      Trump hints at attending next year’s White House Correspondents Dinner, takes swipe at former host

      President Donald Trump on Tuesday suggested that he might attend next year’s White House Correspondents Dinner now that the event is no longer featuring a comedian.

      Trump, in a tweet Tuesday night, wrote, “So-called comedian Michelle Wolf bombed so badly last year at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner that this year, for the first time in decades, they will have an author instead of a comedian. Good first step in comeback of a dying evening and tradition! Maybe I will go?”

      MICHELLE WOLF: WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS’ ASSOCIATION ‘COWARDS’ FOR DITCHING COMEDIANS IN 2019

      The White House Correspondents’ Association announced Monday that Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow would address its annual dinner next year following the pushback over Wolf’s sharply anti-Trump performance last time.

      The role of the host is typically to roast the president and members of the media, with the jokes sometimes taking shots at the most powerful person in the world. But many critics felt Wolf took it too far last year when she launched attacks on President Trump and members of his administration.

      Chernow is far from a comedian, but has written acclaimed biographies of prominent figures such as Alexander Hamilton, George Washington and John D. Rockefeller.

      Presidents traditionally attend the dinner, but Trump has skipped it for two straight years.

      Fox News’ Brian Flood and The Associated Press contributed to this report.