The US justice department’s internal watchdog launched an investigation on Friday after revelations that former president Donald Trump’s administration secretly seized phone data from at least two House Democrats as part of an aggressive leaks inquiry related to the Russia investigation into Trump’s conduct.
The deadly insurrection at the US Capitol was “planned in plain sight” but intelligence failures left police officers exposed to a violent mob of Trump supporters, a Senate investigation has found. The Capitol police intelligence division had been gathering online data since December about plots to storm the building on 6 January, including messages such as: “Bring guns. It’s now or never.” But a combination of bad communications, poor planning, faulty equipment and lack of leadership meant the warnings went unheeded, allowing the insurrectionists to overrun the Capitol and disrupt certification of Joe Biden’s election victory. Five people died.
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The announcement by New York Attorney General Letitia James that her office is “actively investigating the Trump Organization in a criminal capacity” was greeted with a wave of nearly unanimous snap analysis that this spelled big trouble for former President Donald Trump and his company. But behind the scenes, many lawyers, including experienced prosecutors in New York, expressed confusion about what the move actually signifies. It turns out that James’ unusual public statement portends bad news for Trump and his family-run operation but not for the reason you likely suspect.
The New York attorney general's office has opened a criminal tax investigation into top Trump Organization officer Allen Weisselberg, increasing the legal pressure on the long-time aide to former President Donald Trump, people familiar with the investigation say. The pressure on Weisselberg is mounting from two directions with the attorney general looking into his personal taxes, while prosecutors in the district attorney's office are digging into his role at the Trump Organization, his personal finances, and benefits given to his son Barry, a long-time employee of the Trump Organization.
The House on Wednesday passed a bill to establish a commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, earning relatively little support from Republicans as GOP leaders sought to quash a bill negotiated by one of their own members. Lawmakers passed the bill in a 252-175 vote, with 35 Republicans joining all Democrats in support.
When Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex. But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500.
The scandal engulfing Matt Gaetz, one of Donald Trump’s brashest supporters in Congress, deepened on Friday after an associate admitted sex trafficking involving a minor and agreed to cooperate with investigators. Joel Greenberg, a former tax collector in Florida, said he and unidentified others paid a 17-year-old girl for sex and he provided the girl with drugs, according to court papers cited by multiple media outlets. Greenberg, 37, is expected to plead guilty to six federal charges, including financial crimes, in court in Orlando on Monday.
Former Navy Secretary Kenneth Braithwaite traversed the globe in his brief tenure under the Trump administration, spending about $2.4 million in air travel, according to figures and documents obtained by USA TODAY. Braithwaite spent $232,000 the week before President Joe Biden's inauguration to fly to Wake Island, a tiny Pacific atoll, where, according to Navy spokesman Capt. Jereal Dorsey, no sailors or Marines are stationed.
A small but powerful section of the Department of Justice (DOJ) is under renewed scrutiny after a federal judge tore into former Attorney General William Barr and ordered the DOJ to release a memo that let former President Trump claim he was exonerated by the Mueller probe. Critics of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), which provides legal advice to the White House and Cabinet agencies, have long argued it acts as a rubber stamp for the president and essentially drafts laws behind closed doors.
Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Ruslan Ryaboshapka said in an interview published on Wednesday that he believes he was fired from his position last year for refusing to investigate President Biden’s son Hunter Biden at the request of Rudy Giuliani and former President Trump.
A senior Drug Enforcement Administration official told NPR efforts to target drug cartels operating inside Mexico have unraveled because of a breakdown in cooperation between law enforcement agencies and militaries in the two countries. "We're willing to share [intelligence] with our counterparts in Mexico but they themselves are too afraid to even engage with us because of repercussions from their own government if they get caught working with DEA," said Matthew Donahue, the DEA's deputy chief of operations.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the legal affairs of Donald Trump of late, what you should know is that the guy is very likely fucked. With the ex-president facing no fewer than 29 lawsuits and three criminal investigations, his tax returns are currently in the hands of Manhattan district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., whose team is also working to flip the Trump Organization employee who knows where all the bodies are buried and has both (1) cooperated with prosecutors in the past and (2) made some rather interesting comments about the company’s legal dealings.
A judge ruled that a former South Carolina restaurant manager who forced a Black man with intellectual disabilities to work more than 100 hours a week without pay, owes the former employee more than $500,000. According to The Post and Courier, Bobby Paul Edwards, 56, is serving a 10-year prison sentence for forcing John Christopher Smith, 43, to work at J&J Cafeteria without pay.
The Justice Department sharply escalated an investigation into President Donald Trump’s longtime confidant and lawyer Rudy Giuliani Wednesday by executing search warrants at his Manhattan home. The actions were part of a long-running probe into Giuliani’s dealings with a shadowy cast of characters in Ukraine during Trump’s presidency. The FBI also arrived Wednesday morning at the D.C.-area home of another attorney who had dealings with Ukrainians and remains close to Giuliani and Trump.
A judge on Wednesday denied requests to release body-camera video in the case of a Black man who was shot to death by North Carolina deputies as they tried to arrest him on drug-related warrants. Judge Jeffery Foster said he believed the videos contained information that could harm the investigation or threaten the safety of people seen in the footage. He said the video must remain out of public view for at least 30 days.
The stun-gun-toting Capitol rioter who famously posed for a photo with his feet on a desk in Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office will be released from a Washington, D.C., jail after nearly four months in government custody, a federal judge ruled on Tuesday. Richard Barnett, 60, who left a crude and menacing note for Pelosi and stole a piece of her mail, does not present the kind of danger to society that would warrant his pretrial detention, U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper found.
The jury has found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all the counts he faced over the death of George Floyd. The trial has been one of the most closely watched cases in recent memory, setting off a national reckoning on police violence and systemic racism even before the trial commenced. Chauvin has been found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. Chauvin, only his eyes visible as the rest of his face was hidden behind a surgical mask, watched as the verdict was returned.
A data breach at a Christian crowdfunding website has revealed that serving police officers and public officials have donated money to fundraisers for accused vigilante murderers, far-right activists, and fellow officers accused of shooting black Americans. In many of these cases, the donations were attached to their official email addresses, raising questions about the use of public resources in supporting such campaigns.
More than a year before he killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis, the FBI seized a shotgun from Brandon Scott Hole’s home after his mom had called authorities, warning them he might try to commit “suicide by cop”. On Thursday night, the 19-year-old — who worked at the FedEx Ground-Plainfield Operation until 2020 — got out of his car in the parking lot around 11 p.m. local time and “pretty quickly started some random shooting” in the parking lot with a rifle, gunning down four people before going inside the warehouse, where he fatally shot four more, police said.
A heavy metal guitarist and self-described “founding” member of the Oath Keepers who stormed the U.S. Capitol armed with bear spray has become the first Jan. 6 insurrectionist to plead guilty and cooperate with the feds, prosecutors said Friday. Jon Ryan Schaffer, a 53-year-old from Indiana, pleaded guilty to obstruction of an official proceeding and entering a restricted building with a deadly or dangerous weapon during a Friday hearing. During the hearing, Judge Amit Mehta also revealed that Schaffer will be sponsored for witness protection.
The Capitol Police’s internal watchdog on Thursday described in harrowing detail how officers were woefully underprepared for the Jan. 6 insurrection after leaders failed to communicate intelligence warnings and decided against providing more effective weapons to fight back the violent mob. In testimony before a House committee, Capitol Police inspector general Michael Bolton highlighted two recent reports listing numerous failures by the top brass and called for a major overhaul of training and operations on the force.
The former Minnesota police officer charged with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright, a 20-year-old Black motorist, during a traffic stop made her first court appearance on Thursday as the Wright family called for “full accountability” for his death. Kim Potter, wearing a plaid shirt, confirmed her presence during a brief online hearing and waved to the judge from a table in her lawyer’s office. Potter, 48, was not asked about the shooting or her intended plea. The next court date is set for 17 May.
One Capitol Police officer in critical condition
One Capitol Police officer is in critical condition and 15 were hospitalized after up to 60 officers were injured after a violent pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol on Wednesday. "I'm livid about the whole thing," said Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who added that several police were hit in the lead with lead pipes.
Joe Biden has more respect for military than Trump
A majority of respondents said that they believe Democratic nominee Joe Biden has more respect for the military than President Trump. The ABC News/Ipsos poll found that 61 percent of respondents said Biden had more respect for the U.S. military, compared to 37 percent who said Trump had more respect. The results were split among partisan lines, with 81 percent of Republicans believing Trump has more respect for the military, and 16 percent of Republicans siding with Biden. Among Democrats, 93 percent said Biden was more respectful of the military, while 7 percent said Trump held the high ground.
Inmate found dead with face mask tied around his neck
A Connecticut prison inmate was found dead this week with a cloth mask intended to prevent the spread of the coronavirus tied around his neck. His death was ruled as a suicide by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Daniel Ocasio, 32, was found early on Wednesday with a ligature around his neck. "The ligature was made from the cloth mask issued to the offender population to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus," the statement added. Prison staff tried to help Ocasio by giving him medical attention before he was sent to a hospital and pronounced dead.
Die Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Berlin sieht beim CDU-Bundestagsabgeordneten Philipp Amthor keinen Anfangsverdacht einer Bestechlichkeit und einer Bestechung von Mandatsträgern. Das Verfahren wurde eingestellt, ohne Ermittlungen aufzunehmen. Amthor war wegen seiner Nebentätigkeit und Lobbyarbeit für das US-amerikanische IT-Unternehmen Augustus Intelligence in die Kritik geraten. Der 27-Jährige hat die Zusammenarbeit nach eigenen Angaben inzwischen beendet. Seine Kandidatur für den CDU-Vorsitz in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern zog er zurück.
Befragung im Libanon
Carlos Ghosn will an seinem Aufenthaltsort Beirut im Libanon befragt werden: "Mein Pass ist in den Händen des Generalstaatsanwalts im Libanon, da Japan einen internationalen Haftbefehl gegen mich ausgestellt hat." Japan bemüht sich um die Auslieferung. Ghosn verlangt Sicherheit. Der Architekt des französisch-japanischen Autobündnisses Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi war am 19. November 2018 in Tokio unter anderem wegen Verstoßes gegen Börsenauflagen festgenommen und angeklagt worden. Im April 2019 wurde er auf Kaution entlassen. Ghosn floh in einem Privatjet nach Beirut. Ghosn hatte die Vorwürfe gegen ihn in Japan mehrmals zurückgewiesen.