Solar & Home Improvement Contractor Point-Of-Sale Lender Dividend Finance Announces New Lending Platform & Broader Loan Product Suite

 

Dividend Finance Inc., a U.S.-based fintech that specializes in point-of-sale lending to solar and home improvement contractors, announced on Wednesday the launch of a new technology platform. Founded in 2013, Dividend claims it is a leading national provider of renewable energy and energy-efficient financing solutions to property owners.

“We give our customers the opportunity to obtain clean energy financing through a comprehensive suite of financing options. Our flagship product, the EmpowerLoan™, continues to expand its product offerings into the storage and home-energy space.”

Dividend reported that in addition to a new solar + home improvement partner portal, it is now offering its solar contractors an array of new products and enhancements including:

  • Dividend Lite: a new single-page URL application
  • New solar loan terms, including a 25-year 2.99% APR, 20-year 1.49% APR, 15-year 1.49% APR, and 10-year 0.99% APR
  • Flexible credit criteria and funding requirements
  • Same-day approvals and project funding

Skyler Hopkins, Dividend’s SVP of Solar Sales, spoke about the products by adding:

“We’ve been listening to our contractor network and wanted to deliver a comprehensive overhaul in Q4 2020 with a diverse suite of loan product options, a more flexible point-of-sale experience, enhanced credit approvals, and a streamlined funding process.”

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Department of Interior announces e-bike regulations despite lawsuit, conservation concerns

Staff and wire reports

The Department of the Interior on Friday announced that it finalized electric bike (or e-bike) regulations that it says paves the way for land managers to allow more people, especially older Americans and those with physical limitations, to experience bicycling on public lands managed by the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Bureau of Reclamation.

“Enhancing access to our public lands and expanding recreational opportunities to all Americans is a priority for the Trump Administration,” U.S. Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt said in a release. “The new regulations allow our public land managers to provide e-bike access to bike trails, enhancing the opportunities to utilize our public lands to create life-long memories.”

The final regulations come 13 months after Bernhardt ordered the National Park Service to grant e-bike riders the same access in parks as muscle-powered cyclists.

The policy change toward the end of August 2019 came without public disclosure and without an opportunity for the public to comment on the proposal before it was implemented, moves that appear in conflict with the Code of Federal Regulations. The secretarial order called for the policy to be adopted “unless otherwise prohibited by law or regulation” within two weeks. It also called for public comment, after the fact, some time in the future.

Last December, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) filed a lawsuit to overturn the Interior Department’s move to expand e-bike access in the National Park System.

The 31-page filing, made by PEER with three other conservation groups and two individuals, charged that the decision-making process violated the Administrative Procedures Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The plaintiffs also argued that an advisory committee comprised of industry-friendly representatives met regularly with Interior officials to lobby for the increased access and helped develop the new policy.

Officials with PEER said Friday that Interior’s announcement would not derail the lawsuit.

Concerns ranging from the risks of high-speed e-bikes to visitors and wildlife, spooking horses on mixed-use trails, and degrading the quality of the backcountry experience have not been addressed, the organization said.

“The Park Service’s undue haste resembles an e-bike whizzing by with an irresponsible teenager on the throttle,” PEER Senior Counsel Peter Jenkins said in a release. “Interior and the Park Service realized they were caught with their legal pants down and are scrambling for cover.

“This rule is the product of industry influence having nothing to do with improving the park experience – a topic on which the Park Service has yet to even do a preliminary assessment. Given the major challenges facing a Park Service in the grip of a pandemic, this is a questionable use of its limited regulatory resources.”

Bicycling is an excellent way to experience America’s rich natural heritage, and innovations in e-bike design have opened the possibilities for a greater number of people, particularly for those with limitations stemming from age, illness, disability or fitness, especially in more challenging

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The Home Depot Announces 2020 Innovation Award Winners

Breakthroughs in cooking take top two spots

ATLANTA, Oct. 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The Home Depot® today recognized the latest product innovations to hit shelves, in store and online, with the announcement of its 2020 Innovation Award winners. Supporting its DIY and Pro customers, the retailer, its merchants, and suppliers have continued to bring state-of-the-art products to the market throughout 2020.   


The Home Depot announces 2020 Innovation Award Winners

This year, The Home Depot’s overall Innovation Award winner and first runner up define innovation in cooking platforms. From frying to grilling and smoking, the top two products elevate the at-home cooking experience. In addition to appliances and grills, finalists cover categories from across the home including lighting, home security, flooring and more.

Top winners include:  

Overall Winner: The Frigidaire Air Fry Range by Electrolux saves time and space with its all-in-one stove, oven and new Air Fry Range cooking capabilities. The large-scale cooking capacity features no-flip technology that allows food to crisp evenly on all sides.

First Runner Up: The Masterbuilt Gravity-Fed Grill/Smoker enables quick-start cooking by reaching peak temperatures of 700°F faster than ever – in just 13 minutes. The innovative gravity technology holds over 12 hours of charcoal, ensuring constant fuel. Smart control technology allows for hands-off smoking, grilling, searing, baking, or roasting.

Second Runner Up: The Lutron Sunnata Touch Dimmer with LED+ Technology installs within 15 minutes with existing wiring, offering custom light control using the same captive-touch technology applied in modern touch screens to enable fast, accurate and responsive action.

“As the product authority in home improvement, we are honored to recognize our supplier partners who bring the most innovative and exclusive products to the market that deliver the best value to our customers,” said Ted Decker, president and chief operating officer for The Home Depot. “Today, we acknowledge our supplier partners for their remarkable work through our annual Innovation Awards Ceremony.”

In addition to the top three winners, The Home Depot recognized these finalists for their high marks in product innovation:

  • Adjusta-Pull Cabinet Hardware by Liberty Hardware allow cabinet handles to be easily lengthened without the need for a power drill or additional holes in the cabinetry.
  • Daltile QuicTile is real porcelain that can be installed in one day at a 30 percent more cost-efficient price point than traditional porcelain tile.
  • Hampton Bay Mara Ceiling Fan by King of Fans installs 50 percent faster than traditional fans using the slide-on mounting bracket, click-and-lock blades, and magnetic light kit.
  • Henry Roof Coatings extends roof life up to five years by protecting against sun, rain, and snow damage by locking in granules to reduce granule loss.
  • Husky 1 – 1/4″ Ratcheting PVC Cutter by GreatStar uses 40 percent less force to effortlessly cut PVC pipes and includes a lifetime warranty and replacement blades to ensure the product is a longstanding purchase.
  • Lockly Smart Locks increase security with its patented technology that ensures a unique digital keypad every time someone approaches the door, allows users to grant remote access to guests and
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White House announces no changes to safety procedures after Trump positive COVID-19 test

The White House said Friday it will continue following the coronavirus safety procedures it already has in place after President TrumpDonald John TrumpPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus Secret recordings show Melania Trump was frustrated about criticism of Trump 2018 border separation policy: CNN MORE tested positive for COVID-19. 

When asked what changes would take place after the president’s diagnosis, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany did not rule out making future changes to existing guidelines but did not announce any changes from existing procedures.

“We put in place safety procedures. The White House Correspondents’ Association has spaces between the chairs, we wear masks in the White House when we can’t socially distance, the president, we make sure we’re always six feet away and we stay away from each other. So we’ll move forward with those same procedures, and we believe that we will protect those here in the White House as we come to work,” McEnany said on Fox News. 

The president announced early Friday that he and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus Secret recordings show Melania Trump was frustrated about criticism of Trump 2018 border separation policy: CNN MORE had tested positive for COVID-19 and would begin quarantining in the White House “immediately.” He is experiencing mild symptoms, though he has not appeared on camera or made any other public remarks since he announced his diagnosis. Reports have surfaced that he is suffering from a mild fever, and he was taken to Walter Reed Military Medical Center later Friday. 

“President Trump remains in good spirts, has mild symptoms, and has been working throughout the day. Out of an abundance of caution, and at the recommendation of his physician and medical experts, the President will be working from the presidential offices at Walter Reed for the next few days. President Trump appreciates the outpouring of support for both he and the First Lady,” McEnany said in a statement. 

White House senior adviser Hope HicksHope Charlotte HicksPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus Trump aide Hope Hicks tests positive for COVID-19 MORE and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel have also tested positive for the coronavirus. Vice President Pence, who was last seen with Trump on Monday, tested negative, as did former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Poll: Biden notches 7-point lead ahead of Trump in New Hampshire Jim Carrey to make his SNL debut as Joe Biden this week MORE, who debated Trump in Cleveland on Tuesday. McEnany also said on Fox News that she tested negative for the coronavirus.

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Kitchen Theatre Company Announces 2020-2021 Season

The season will feature recordings of previous productions, an online Script Club and more.

Kitchen Theatre Company Announces 2020-2021 Season

The Kitchen Theatre Company, Central New York’s Off Broadway theatre, is excited to announce plans for it’s 2020-2021 season. The Journey to 30: A Celebration of KTC’s Past, Present and Future will offer twenty hybrid and online events and culminate in one live, World Premiere production in June of 2021. The season will build towards the theatre’s 30th Anniversary next season.

The Journey to 30 is divided into three themes, and offered in four acts (see attached for specific date and titles).

 

 

 

  • The Past: Three streaming videos of previous productions recorded live in the Percy Browning Performance Space starring some of Ithaca’s favorite actors (Karl Gregory, Susannah Berryman and Erica Steinhagen) capped by a personal retrospective film directed by KTC’s Artistic Director Emerita Rachel Lampert.

  • The Present: KTC will tackle the vital conversations happening around racial and social justice through our online Script Club. Featuring 5 plays by Pulitzer, Obie and Ovation-award winning playwrights of color, each event will be hosted by some of the best actors and directors of color from around the U.S.

  • The Future: The Kitchen will offer a front row seat to the creation of the next generation of American plays through two innovative New Play Development Workshops, performed live and streamed directly from the Kitchen Stage.

The season will conclude with a return to production, with one live, in-person World Premiere, staged outside in June of 2021 – SHAPE by Kara-Lynn Vaeni – with the support of the National Endowment for the Arts, Southern Methodist University, and Ithaca’s own Advantage Fitness.

“This season is so incredibly rich with great stories” said Interim Artistic Director David Winitsky. “The amazing 30-year story of the Kitchen Theatre itself; the vital stories of Americans of color, shared with the best actors, directors and playwrights of color; and the future story of the American theatre itself in two outstanding new plays. And best of all – I am bursting with excitement to fully return to the (outdoor) stage with Kara-Lynn Vaeni’s hilarious and moving story of strength and transformation, SHAPE. I can’t imagine a better pandemic season, and I can’t wait for our audiences to take The Journey to 30 with us.”

The season also has a simple subscription model – one price, $229, which includes 20 events and one ticket to SHAPE. The theater is also introducing a new Pay What You Want subscription for new subscribers. This plan is designed for patrons to invest in the longevity of the theatre while providing the widest access to the arts for our community.

Reanna Lavine, Director of Development and Communications at the theatre says, “Our new subscription model puts our patrons front and center. That’s why, instead of asking people to buy seats to a show, we’re asking people to subscribe to something beyond attendance. The Kitchen Theatre doesn’t exist without the people who see its great value to the community, and this moment is all

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Central Garden & Pet Announces Pricing of $500 Million of Senior Notes

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) (NASDAQ: CENTA) (“Central”), announced today it has priced an offering of $500 million aggregate principal amount of 4.125% senior notes due 2030 (the “notes”), which represents an increase in the offering size of $100 million from the previously announced offering of $400 million. The sale of the notes is expected to close on October 16, 2020, subject to customary closing conditions. The notes will be unconditionally guaranteed on a senior basis by each of Central’s existing and future domestic restricted subsidiaries who are borrowers under or guarantors of Central’s senior secured revolving credit facility or guarantee Central’s other debt. Central intends to use the net proceeds from the offering to redeem its outstanding 6.125% senior notes due 2023 (the “existing notes”), and to pay related fees and expenses, with the remainder for general corporate purposes.

BofA Securities, Inc, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Truist Securities, Inc. will serve as joint book-running managers for the offering, and BMO Capital Markets Inc., KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. and U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. will serve as co-managers.

Copies of the prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained by contacting BofA Securities, Inc, NC1-004-03-43; 200 North College Street, 3rd Floor, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department or by calling 1-800-294-1322; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC., c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, Attention: Prospectus Department, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717 or by calling 1-866-803-9204; or Truist Securities, Inc., 3333 Peachtree Road NE, 9th floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, Attention: Prospectus Department or by calling 1-404-926-5906. The prospectus may also be obtained from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Offers of securities will be made only by means of a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The prospectus is part of a shelf registration statement that has become effective under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In addition, this press release does not constitute a notice of redemption with respect to the existing notes. Any such notice of redemption will be separately issued by Central when and if the existing notes are called for redemption.

About Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Company is a leading innovator, producer and distributor of branded and private label products for the lawn & garden and pet supplies markets. Committed to new product innovation, our products are sold to specialty independent and mass retailers. Participating categories in Lawn & Garden include: Grass seed and the brands PENNINGTON®, and THE REBELS®; wild bird feed and the brand PENNINGTON®; weed and insect control and the brands AMDRO®, SEVIN®, and OVER-N-OUT®; fertilizer and the brands PENNINGTON® and IRONITE®; live plants from BELL NURSERY; outdoor cushions and pillows from ARDEN COMPANIES; and decorative outdoor patio products under the PENNINGTON® brand. We also provide a host of other regional and application-specific garden brands and supplies. Participating categories in Pet

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Central Garden & Pet Announces Offering of $400 Million of Senior Notes

Central Garden & Pet Company (NASDAQ: CENT) (NASDAQ: CENTA) (“Central”), announced today it has commenced an offering, subject to market and other conditions, of $400 million aggregate principal amount of senior notes due 2030 (the “notes”). The notes will be unconditionally guaranteed on a senior basis by each of Central’s existing and future domestic restricted subsidiaries who are borrowers under, or guarantors of, Central’s senior secured revolving credit facility or guarantee Central’s other debt. Central intends to use the net proceeds from the offering, together with cash on hand, to redeem its outstanding 6.125% senior notes due 2023 (the “existing notes”) and to pay related fees and expenses.

BofA Securities, Inc, J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Truist Securities, Inc. will serve as joint book-running managers for the offering, and BMO Capital Markets Inc., KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. and U.S. Bancorp Investments, Inc. will serve as co-managers.

Copies of the prospectus relating to the offering may be obtained by contacting BofA Securities, Inc, NC1-004-03-43; 200 North College Street, 3rd Floor, Charlotte, NC 28255-0001, Attention: Prospectus Department or by calling 1-800-294-1322; J.P. Morgan Securities LLC., c/o Broadridge Financial Solutions, Attention: Prospectus Department, 1155 Long Island Avenue, Edgewood, NY 11717 or by calling 1-866-803-9204; or Truist Securities, Inc., 3333 Peachtree Road NE, 9th floor, Atlanta, Georgia 30326, Attention: Prospectus Department or by calling 1-404-926-5906. The prospectus may also be obtained from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at http://www.sec.gov.

This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Offers of securities will be made only by means of a prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The prospectus is part of a shelf registration statement that has become effective under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. In addition, this press release does not constitute a notice of redemption with respect to the existing notes. Any such notice of redemption will be separately issued by Central when and if the existing notes are called for redemption.

About Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Company is a leading innovator, producer and distributor of branded and private label products for the lawn & garden and pet supplies markets. Committed to new product innovation, our products are sold to specialty independent and mass retailers. Participating categories in Lawn & Garden include: Grass seed and the brands PENNINGTON®, and THE REBELS®; wild bird feed and the brand PENNINGTON®; weed and insect control and the brands AMDRO®, SEVIN®, and OVER-N-OUT®; fertilizer and the brands PENNINGTON® and IRONITE®; live plants from BELL NURSERY; outdoor cushions and pillows from ARDEN COMPANIES; and decorative outdoor patio products under the PENNINGTON® brand. We also provide a host of other regional and application-specific garden brands and supplies. Participating categories in Pet include: Animal health and the brands ADAMS™, COMFORT ZONE®, FARNAM®, HORSE HEALTH™ and VITAFLEX®; aquatics and reptile and the brands AQUEON®, CORALIFE®, SEGREST™ and ZILLA®; bird & small animal and the brands KAYTEE®, Forti-Diet®

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White House Announces 2020 Fall Garden Tours

This fall, the White House will open its gardens and grounds to visitors.  The grounds will be open on Saturday, October 17, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM, and Sunday, October 18, from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

Visitors will have the opportunity to discover firsthand the beauty of the South Lawn, First Ladies Garden, White House Kitchen Garden, and the newly renovated Rose Garden. In August of 2020, First Lady Melania Trump unveiled the restoration the iconic Rose Garden.

This event is free and open to the public, however, a ticket is required for all attendees (including small children).  The National Park Service (NPS) will distribute free, timed tickets near the public entrance at the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest throughout each tour day. The entry point for all guests will be located near the intersection of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest. Please arrive 15 minutes before your preferred entry time. Please note, tickets will be distributed every half hour—one ticket per person—on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests attending Fall Garden Tours at the White House should expect the following precautions to be taken during their visit:

  • Guest capacity is limited and event hours are extended.
  • All guests (ages 2 years and over) are required to wear a face covering and practice social distancing during their visit to the White House complex.
  • Social distancing will be encouraged during the check-in process.
  • Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the tour route.

Please note the following items are not allowed on the White House grounds:

  • Aerosols, ammunition, animals other than service/guide animals, backpacks and bags exceeding size restrictions (18” x 13” x 7”), balloons, bicycles and scooters, coolers, drones and other unmanned aircraft systems, e-cigarettes, electronic tablets, explosives, firearms, folding chairs, glass, thermal, or metal containers, laser pointers, mace/pepper spray, packages, selfie sticks, signs and flags of any kind, structures, supports for signs and placards, tents, toy guns, umbrellas with metal tips, weapons of any kind, and any other items determined to be potential safety hazards.

The Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items.  Please note that strollers, wheelchairs, umbrellas (no metal tips), and cameras are permitted.  All items needed for medical purposes will be permitted on the tour (such as wheelchairs, electric scooters, glucose tablets, and EpiPens).  Please identify and explain all items needed for medical purposes to Secret Service agents upon arrival.

To check the status of Garden Tours in the event of inclement weather, please call the 24-hour information line at (202) 456-7041.

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White House announces socially distanced fall garden tours

The White House is opening its grounds for its annual fall garden tours amid the coronavirus pandemic, giving socially distanced visitors a first look at the Rose Garden’s recent makeover.

The free tours will be held on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18, the White House announced on Wednesday.

“Visitors will have the opportunity to discover firsthand the beauty of the South Lawn, First Ladies Garden, White House Kitchen Garden, and the newly renovated Rose Garden,” a statement said.

The Rose Garden got its new look in August. The White House hasn’t disclosed how much the refresh cost, but has said the funds were obtained by private donations.

The National Park Service oversees the care and upkeep of the White House’s outdoor spaces.

All guests over the age of 2 will be required to wear face masks and to practice social distancing while touring the White House grounds, guidance about the October event stated.

The National Park Service is poised to distribute free, timed tickets for the fall tours on a first-come, first-served basis at the corner of 15th Street and Constitution Avenue during each of the event’s dates.

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House Intel Committee Chairman Schiff announces subpoenas in Homeland Security whistleblower probe

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff announced subpoenas Tuesday for documents and testimony from the Department of Homeland Security as part of the committee’s whistleblower investigation.

Brian Murphy alleged that officials pressured him to downplay information on Russian influence and the threat represented by White supremacists. The complaint also alleges that Murphy was retaliated against and demoted.

Schiff accused the DHS and Joseph B. Maher, the head of its Office of Intelligence and Analysis, of “effectively blocking the whistleblower from testifying” and failing to provide documents.

DHS has denied the allegations in both the complaint and from Schiff.

WOLF TAKES AIM AT ‘FABRICATED’ COMPLAINTS, REPORTS AT CONFIRMATION HEARING

“The whistleblower complaint from Mr. Murphy is patently false, it’s a fabrication, completely,” acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf said at a Senate confirmation hearing last week.

He said Murphy was reassigned because of allegations he abused his authority by personally directing the collection of information on U.S. journalists.

In this March 3, photo House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff said Tuesday, Sept. 29, that he will subpoena the Department of Homeland Security after a department whistleblower wasn’t allowed access to documents and clearance he needs to testify. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In this March 3, photo House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., talks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington. Schiff said Tuesday, Sept. 29, that he will subpoena the Department of Homeland Security after a department whistleblower wasn’t allowed access to documents and clearance he needs to testify. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

In a letter to Maher, Schiff wrote that Murphy’s lawyers had not been granted temporary security clearances by the DHS that would allow them to work on his deposition in the case, which the committee said it has repeatedly been forced to delay.

“The Committee will no longer tolerate the obstruction and attempts to run out the clock by the Department,” Schiff said in a statement.

The subpoenas aim to force the DHS to hand over records related to an ongoing whistleblower probe and to compel Maher to testify under oath.

ADAM SCHIFF URGES ‘GOOD CONSCIENCE’ REPUBLICANS IN TRUMP ADMINISTRATION TO STEP DOWN: ‘IT IS TIME FOR YOU TO RESIGN’

The DHS denied that it was “stonewalling” the committee and said in a statement that the subpoenas amounted to “obvious political theater.”

DHS said it produced “nearly 3,000 pages of documents” in addition to other materials for the House committee.

The subpoenas are seeking an Oct. 6 deadline for DHS to hand over the documents and testimony from Maher on Oct. 2.

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“The Committee has a responsibility to independently investigate and substantiate Mr. Murphy’s serious allegations, and you and your office have a legal obligation to comply,” Schiff wrote to Maher. “The allegations, as the Committee has underscored repeatedly, fall squarely within the Committee’s legislative jurisdiction and strike at the heart of the Committee’s constitutional oversight responsibility.”

Fox News’ Adam Shaw contributed to this report.

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