GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN - MARCH 28: President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally at the Van Andel Arena on March 28, 2019 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Grand Rapids was the final city Trump visited during his 2016 campaign. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Republicans are stepping up their fight against against the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump.

GOP lawmakers tried storming a closed door deposition ahead of a witness's testimony and have worked tirelessly to out the whistleblower whose complaint sparked the inquiry in the first place.

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(Photos by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images and Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images)

Former personal lawyer and fixer for President Donald Trump, Michael Cohen, learned his fate Wednesday after pleading guilty to eight charges as part of an investigation led by the Department of Justice Office for the Southern District of New York (SDNY).

As is customary in a sentencing hearing, the defendant may make a statement to the court on their own behalf and Cohen had plenty to say. And most of it was about his former boss, President Trump.

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[DIGEST: New York Times, Politico]

On the first day of the Republican National Convention, chaos already has threatened what organizers hoped would be a smooth nomination for Donald Trump. Delegates opposed to Trump’s presidential candidacy pressed convention organizers for a “roll call” vote on the convention rules themselves. Such a vote would require all 2,472 delegates to participate. Republicans opposed to Trump had secured a majority of delegates from at least nine states or territories to force the vote. However, when the chairman called for a voice vote (on whether even to conduct a roll call vote), he concluded that there were more “no” voice votes, thus temporarily stymying the anti-Trump faction.

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House Speaker Paul Ryan made headlines last week during an interview with CNN, in which he stated he wasn’t prepared to support Donald Trump as the GOP nominee. Trump, claiming he felt “blindsided” by Ryan, angrily responded that he might oust Ryan as GOP Convention Chairman. With the Republican Party on the verge of irreparable fracture, many of Ryan’s fellow conservatives urged him to relent. All eyes are now on Ryan as he prepares to meet with Trump Thursday morning.

"I don't go into Thursday with huge expectations other than just to have the kind of conversation that we need to start having so that we are getting ourselves on the same page as a party," Ryan said, adding that his main goal is to unify the party. Ryan indicated that he will have to become more intimately acquainted with Trump and his policies before he can count himself among his supporters. "I assume that's what Donald wants as well. Again, we don't know each other, we talked once a few months ago on the phone, a very good conversation."

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If there were any doubts about where the Republican Party officially stands on the question of LGBT rights, its recent action settles it. On August 14, the Republican National Committee (RNC) passed a resolution supporting strongly anti-LGBT legislation. The First Amendment Defense Act (FADA) was designed specifically to prevent the federal government from taking any “adverse action” against individuals or organizations for discriminating against LGBT individuals on the basis of religious belief. “Adverse action” is given an uncommonly broad definition in the bill, covering everything from imposing tax penalties to refusing contracts, grant awards or employment.

The bill, which also allows individuals and organizations that have discriminated against LGBT individuals to sue the federal government for monetary damages, was introduced specifically in response to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, the widely celebrated civil rights decision that legalized same-sex marriage in all fifty states.

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