The US House Intelligence Committee launched an investigation today into the Department of Homeland Security’s intelligence office, including its actions in Portland, Oregon, and its involvement in other anti-racism protests across the country.
“The reporting regarding the monitoring of peaceful protesters, creating and disseminating intelligence reports about journalists and protesters, and potential exploitation of electronic devices is deeply troubling,” Committee Chairman Adam Schiff wrote in a letter to top DHS officials, Reuters reports.
The battle between Donald Trump and New York’s Manhattan DA Cy Vance is quite the dust-up. And we’re fewer than 100 days from the election.
Some reactions to the news earlier that New York prosecutors argue they are justified in seeking Trump’s tax returns because of public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.
District Attorney Vance is seeking eight years of the Republican president’s personal and corporate tax records, AP reminds us.
Former senate majority leader Harry Reid, a godfather of Democratic politics in Nevada, issued a blistering statement in response to Trump’s attacks on the state’s effort to expand vote-by-mail ahead of the November election.
Donald Trump has no integrity and no scruples. That’s why he’s lying about our state leaders and threatening a bogus lawsuit simply because Democrats made it easier for people to vote,” Reid said. “His desperate tweets are the clearest sign he knows he’s going to lose in November. Trump should be more focused on preventing more deaths from this global pandemic and ensuring our economy recovers.”
Once a swing state, Nevada has become increasingly Democratic, a shift that is due in no small part to the “Reid Machine.” Even in retirement, he has continued to help Democrats take control of the state at every level.
In 2016, it elected the nation’s first Latina senator. In 2018, Democrat Jacky Rosen ousted incumbent Republican senator Dean Heller, while Democrat Steve Sisolak won the governor’s race, replacing a Republican who was term-limited.
Top US public health expert Anthony Fauci has again warned against re-opening schools in states where coronavirus cases are surging.
Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert in the nation, made the comments during a video conference on Monday with physicians and medical students at New Hampshire’s Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, according to the Associated Press.
He said the “default principle” should be to return children to school in the fall but insisting that “every child has to go back to school is not really realizing the fact that we have such a diversity of viral activity.”
In some areas it may not be prudent to send children back to school until the outbreak is more contained, he explained.
Trump on Monday told reporters that he does not always agree with Fauci, accusing him of changing his position on a travel ban from China and the efficacy of face masks. He added that the men have a good rapport and that he likes Fauci.
It’s been another fascinating day in US political news and there’s more to come, so do stay tuned.
Here’s what’s been happening so far today:
- New York prosecutors argue they are justified in seeking Trump’s tax returns because of public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”
- Trump threatens a ban on Tik Tok, the Chinese video-sharing social networking service owned by ByteDance of Beijing, unless company is purchased by 15 September.
- Barack Obama is revving up on the 2020 campaign trail, after his official, in-person chat with Joe Biden last week. Obama has just endorsed 118 Democrats in various races.
- New Jersey US district court judge Esther Salas issued her first public statement in a video since a lawyer, known for posting anti-feminist screeds and who had trolled Salas with misogynist and racist messages, came to her New Jersey home and shot dead her son and wounded her husband. Salas called for greater protection for judges’ personal details.
New York prosecutors argue they are justified in seeking Trump’s tax returns because of public reports of “extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization.”
Expanding on our earlier post, lawyers from the Manhattan district attorney’s office argued that in court on Monday.
The Associated Press has more:
Manhattan District Attorney District Attorney Cyrus Vance is seeking eight years of the Republican president’s personal and corporate tax records, but has disclosed little about what prompted him to request the records, other than part of the investigation is related to payoffs made to women to keep them quiet about alleged affairs with Trump.
In their court filing Monday, though, attorneys for Vance said Trump’s arguments that the subpoena was too broad stemmed from “the false premise” that the probe was limited to so-called “hush-money” payments.
“This Court is already aware that this assertion is fatally undermined by undisputed information in the public record,” Vance’s lawyers wrote.
They said public reporting demonstrates that at the time the subpoena was issues “there were public allegations of possible criminal activity at Plaintiff’s New York County-based Trump Organization dating back over a decade.”
These reports describe transactions involving individual and corporate actors based in New York County, but whose conduct at times extended beyond New York’s borders. This possible criminal activity occurred within the applicable statutes of limitations, particularly if the transactions involved a continuing pattern of conduct,” the lawyers said.
The lawyers urged Judge Victor Marrero to swiftly reject Trump’s arguments, saying the baseless claims were threatening the investigation. Marrero, who ruled against Trump last year, has scheduled arguments to be fully submitted by mid-August.
“Every day that goes by is another day Plaintiff effectively achieves the ‘temporary absolute immunity’ that was rejected by this Court, the Court of Appeals, and the Supreme Court,” Vance’s lawyers said.
Trump just answered questions from reporters at the White House, expanding on his threat to ban Tik Tok, disagreeing with Fauci, and again promoting hydroxychloroquine, even as top administration officials acknowledge that there is no evidence the drug is an effective treatment for the virus.
Responding to a handful of questions on Monday afternoon, Trump said the social media platform Tik Tok must be sold to Microsoft or another company by 15 September or it will be shut down in US. He also said the Treasury should receive payment as a portion of any deal between the social media platform and a US company.
He then said that hydroxychloroquine was only “politically toxic” because he promoted it and noted that he took the drug with no side effects. He also never tested positive for the virus.
“I don’t agree with Fauci on everything,” Trump said when pressed on why he disagrees with the top infectious disease doctor on the efficacy hydroxychloroquine.
Pressed on why the US has so many deaths, Trump responded that the nation has done an “amazing job”.
The president also claimed that he was “very involved” with the ongoing negotiations on Capitol Hill.
This is setting the bar a little low, but Trump gets a green bar for keeping his promise to say Merry Christmas instead of the more universal Happy Holidays.
In a new federal court filing, the Manhattan district attorney’s office suggested for the first time that it is investigating Trump and his company for possible fraud, the New York Times is reporting.
According to the Times: “The office of the district attorney, Cyrus Vance, made the disclosure in a new federal court filing arguing Mr. Trump should have to comply with its subpoena seeking eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns. Mr. Trump has asked a judge to declare the subpoena invalid.
The prosecutors did not directly identify the focus of their inquiry but said that “undisputed” news reports last year about Mr. Trump’s business practices make it clear that the office had a legal basis for the subpoena.”
Read the full tory here.
House Democrats are escalating their investigation into the firing of Steve Linick, who led office of the inspector general at the State Department, issuing four subpoenas for top aides to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump suddenly fired Linick in May at the urging of Pompeo. At the time, Democrats announced an investigation into the firing, saying it “may be an act of illegal retaliation.”
Democrats say Linick had been conducing an investigation that examined whether Pompeo and his wife improperly used government resources, which the secretary of state has repeatedly denied. Pompeo recently called Linick a “bad actor” who wasn’t fulfilling the role of inspector general.
The state department has long resisted oversight by Congress, including, Democrats say, their requests for interviews.
Read more from Politico here.
Source: The Guardian |NewsColony