Investigative

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Republican snorted cocaine with escort who had ‘No Show’ government job

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.

Matt Gaetz Scandal

Matt Gaetz scandal deepens as associate admits paying 17-year-old for sex

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.

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Rudy Giuliani

US officials search Trumps attorney's home and office as part of Ukraine investigation

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.

Andrew Brown

Judge denies requests to release body-cam video of shooting

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.

Capitol Riots

Richard Barnett who posed inside Pelosi’s office is released from D.C. jail

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.

Derek Chauvin trial

Murder, manslaughter: Jury has found Derek Chauvin guilty on all the counts

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.

GiveSendGo

US police and public officials donated to Kyle Rittenhouse, data breach reveals

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.

FedEx Indianapolis

Cops took away Indy shooter’s gun a year before massacre at the FedEx facility

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.

Jon Ryan Schaffer

Oath Keeper becomes first Capitol insurrectionist to rat out fellow rioters

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.

Capitol Riots

Capitol Police watchdog paints damning picture of Jan. 6 failures

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.

Daunte Wright

Kim Potter appears in court as Wright family calls for ‘full accountability’

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.

Minneapolis

Officer Kimberly Potter who fatally shot Daunte Wright charged with manslaughter

Former police officer Kimberly Potter was charged with second-degree manslaughter on Wednesday after fatally shooting the 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright, officials said. The white former suburban Minneapolis police officer was arrested earlier in the day in relation to the shooting dead of Wright during a traffic stop on Sunday in Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis. The killing of Wright ignited days of unrest and clashes between protesters and police. The charge against Potter was filed on Wednesday, three days after Wright was killed.

Caron Nazario

Officer who handcuffed and pepper-sprayed black army lieutenant is fired

When a patrol car activated its siren and emergency lights behind Caron Nazario in December, the Army lieutenant says he was reluctant to immediately pull over. That stretch of road, just west of Norfolk, Va., was dark, and there didn't seem to be anywhere to stop safely.

Black Lives Matter

Daunte Wright shot dead by cops outside Minneapolis during a traffic stop

The officer who killed a young Black man during a traffic stop outside Minneapolis on Sunday accidentally fired her gun instead of a Taser during the arrest, the Brooklyn Center police chief said Monday afternoon. “This was an accidental discharge that resulted in the tragic death of Mr. [Daunte] Wright,” Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon said during a Monday press conference where body-camera footage of the shooting was released. He noted that the “very senior officer” involved shouted “Taser, Taser!” during the arrest, apparently unaware that she’d pulled out her handgun.

Federico Klein

Judge releases Trump appointee charged in Capitol riot

A federal judge has granted pretrial release to the only Trump administration appointee known to have been charged in connection with the storming of the Capitol during the certification of electoral votes on Jan. 6. U.S. District Court Judge John Bates said he was disturbed by the disloyalty to the country that the former State Department official, Federico Klein, 42, displayed by battling with police as the crowd sought to force its way inside, but the judge said that betrayal did not establish that it was too risky to let Klein out of jail as he awaits trial.

GiveSendGo

Proud Boys and other far-right groups raise millions via Christian funding site

A data breach from Christian crowdfunding site GiveSendGo has revealed that millions of dollars have been raised on the site for far-right causes and groups, many of whom are banned from raising funds on other platforms. It also identifies previously anonymous high-dollar donors to far-right actors, some of whom enjoy positions of wealth, power or public responsibility. Some of the biggest beneficiaries have been members of groups such as the Proud Boys, designated as a terrorist group, many of whose fundraising efforts were directly related to the 6 January attack on the Capitol.

COVID-19

Documents show Trump officials helped suppress coronavirus CDC reports

Top former Trump administration advisors helped suppress scientific information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention they felt was harmful to President Trump, and attacked the agency's credibility, according to documents obtained by House Democrats. The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis sent letters to former Trump advisers Scott Atlas, Paul Alexander, and Steven Hatfill, asking for documents and communications about the former administration's response to the pandemic.

Criminal Investigation

Investigators seize documents from Trump executive's former daughter-in-law

Officials from the Manhattan District Attorney's Office took possession of documents potentially related to the Trump Organization and its chief financial officer, Allen Weisselberg, on Thursday as part of an ongoing investigation into the former president's finances.

Matt Gaetz Scandal

The relationship with a scandal-prone local tax collector got him into big trouble

His Seminole County tax office was the only one in the state where employees were armed with pistols and body armor. He wore his own law enforcement badge and carried a sidearm at tax collector conferences. He let people pay property taxes with Bitcoin. He tweeted Islamophobic comments, installed a remote-controlled sprinkler system to spray petition gatherers he didn’t like and doled out fat contracts to his groomsmen shortly after winning the usually humdrum Orlando-area office with a campaign to stop “crony capitalism.”

Gilbert Chagoury

Foreign billionaire conspired to violate election law in straw donor scheme

A Lebanese-Nigerian billionaire agreed to pay the U.S. government $1.8 million to resolve allegations that he conspired to violate federal election laws in a “straw donor” scheme to route illegal foreign contributions to U.S. presidential and congressional candidates, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Capitol Riots

Police officers sue Donald Trump for injuries resulting from Capitol riot

Two US Capitol Police officers have filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, accusing him of inciting the deadly 6 January insurrection and saying he was responsible for physical and emotional injuries they suffered as a result.

POLITICO

Sources: Secret Service inserted itself into case of Hunter Biden’s gun

On Oct. 23, 2018, President Joe Biden’s son Hunter and daughter in law Hallie were involved in a bizarre incident in which Hallie took Hunter’s gun and threw it in a trash can behind a grocery store, only to return later to find it gone. Delaware police began investigating, concerned that the trash can was across from a high school and that the missing gun could be used in a crime, according to law enforcement officials and a copy of the police report obtained by POLITICO.

Shortnews

Civil War

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.

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Civil War

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. Ryan chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that funds the more than 2,000-member police force. The panel has opened investigations into the security failure that led to protesters supporting President Trump to breach the Capitol that included entering the House and Senate chambers.

The Ohio Democrat said police were able to hold off the violent mob for an hour and fifteen minutes but backup such as the National Guard did not arrive in time to prevent the crowds from overtaking law enforcement.

Ryan said that the up to 1,500 Capitol Police present plus another 1,000 D.C. Metropolitan Police were overwhelmed by an estimated crowd of up to 20,000 people.

"These were violent people who were swinging lead pipes at cops," Ryan said. "They were hell-bent at bum-rushing the cops."

Police said four people at the Capitol died, including a 12-year Air Force veteran who was shot after she tried to climb through glass broken by protesters near the House chamber.

Top security officials have been under pressure by the security failure after Democratic and Republican lawmakers were left shell-shocked by the threat to their safety in a building considered to be impenetrable.

Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund defended the Capitol Police’s response to Wednesday’s riots, saying the department had a “robust plan” in place ahead of the demonstrations.

ABC News/Ipsos

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.

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ABC News/Ipsos

Joe Biden has more respect for military than Trump

A majority of respondents said in a new poll 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.

Most independents stood with Biden, with 65 percent saying he had a higher respect for the military, compared to 35 percent of independents who said Trump did.

The ABC News/Ipsos poll surveyed 533 adults in the U.S. between Sept. 11 and 12. The margin of error amounted to 4.7 percentage points.

The poll was conducted after Trump faced controversy when The Atlantic published a report that said the president made several disparaging comments about slain military members. Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations.

The Atlantic cited multiple sources when reporting the president canceled a 2018 trip to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery in France, where Americans who died in World War I are buried, due to concerns about his hair getting ruined in the rain.

He reportedly asked senior staff, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.”

Almost 2 in 3 Americans disapprove of Trump's handling of pandemic:...
Biden leads by 5 points nationally in Fox News poll
The sources also said Trump called the U.S. Marines killed at Belleau Wood during the war “suckers” because they had died.

The Associated Press and Fox News have said they confirmed at least some of the reporting.

But the White House has stood by the president, saying at least 25 former and current officials said on the record they did not hear the comments reported in The Atlantic.

Prison Suizide

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.

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Prison Suizide

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.

Ocasio was a resident of Windsor, Ct. He had been an inmate at the prison facility since August 5 over charges of third-degree burglary, the DOC said.

His bond was set at $10,000, and it is unclear whether he was seeking legal counsel.

His death comes as the prison population has proven to be at an elevated risk of contracting the novel COVID-19 virus due to the close quarters inmates share.

According to an analysis published by researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the infection rate among inmates is reportedly 5.5 times higher than in the overall U.S. population.

Over 1,300 inmates in Connecticut prisons have tested positive for COVID-19 since the outbreak began in the U.S., the DOC reported.

Following Ocasio's death, the American Civil Liberties Union called for a "full investigation" into the Department of Corrections regarding the situation.

"Daniel Ocasio should still be alive today, and the DOC had a duty to prevent his death," ACLU of Connecticut Executive Director David McGuire said in a statement Friday.

Banevicius told CNN that the DOC investigation is ongoing and did not provide further deatils. However, he added that, "it is saddening and unfortunate when anyone makes the conscious decision to take their own life," he said.

Philipp Amthor

Keine Bestechlichkeit

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.

Carlos Ghosn

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.