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This week in the Russia investigations: Rod Rosenstein denies explosive report and a reprieve on the secret documents Trump allies want declassified and disclosed.

The wire

Like a scene in a cowboy movie, a bar brawl burst from behind closed doors on Friday and spilled into the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue. Instead of a saloon, the venue for this fistfight was Justice Department headquarters.

Unlike an old-school dust-up, however, not all the identities of the combatants are obvious.

It was more duel than debate Friday night in Dallas as Republican Sen. Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Rep. Beto O'Rourke went after each other from the start. Snappy and heavy on snark, Cruz and O'Rourke held nothing back in the first of three debates.

Updated, September 21, 7:48 p.m. ET

A federal judge has ordered the Trump administration to make its main official behind the 2020 census citizenship question — Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross — available to testify out of court for the lawsuits over the hotly contested question.

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Updated at 8:47 p.m. ET

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein denied an explosive report on Friday that said he discussed secretly recording President Trump at the White House and that he might seek to recruit members of the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment in order to remove Trump.

Rosenstein called the story "inaccurate and factually incorrect."

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