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Hometown: Atlanta
Home country: US
Member since: Sat Jun 1, 2013, 12:19 AM
Number of posts: 3,777

Journal Archives

Michael Avenatti Arrested by Feds at California State Bar Hearing

Source: Daily Beast

Ex-Stormy Daniels lawyer and Trump antagonist Michael Avenatti was led out of the State Bar Court in Los Angeles by federal agents on Tuesday evening.

The arrest occurred outside the disciplinary hearing in which the State Bar of California has accused the hard-charging, tough-talking attorney of using a doctored document to scam a client out of nearly $840,000, funneling money from a lawsuit settlement fund to his own personal use.

The State Bar of California, the official attorney licensing agency, has sought to put Avenatti on “involuntary inactive status,” setting in motion a timeline for disbarment proceedings.

During a break in testimony, members of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, who are prosecuting Avenatti in a separate criminal matter in Orange County, parleyed with Avenatti's team of lawyers and took the lawyer into custody.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/michael-avenatti-arrested-by-feds-at-california-state-bar-hearing

Trump authorized Soleimani's killing 7 months ago, with conditions

Source: NBC News

President Donald Trump authorized the killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani seven months ago if Iran's increased aggression resulted in the death of an American, according to five current and former senior administration officials.

The presidential directive in June came with the condition that Trump would have final signoff on any specific operation to kill Soleimani, officials said.

That decision explains why assassinating Soleimani was on the menu of options that the military presented to Trump two weeks ago for responding to an attack by Iranian proxies in Iraq, in which a U.S. contractor was killed and four U.S. service members were wounded, the officials said.

The timing, however, could undermine the Trump administration's stated justification for ordering the U.S. drone strike that killed Soleimani in Baghdad on Jan. 3. Officials have said Soleimani, the leader of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps' elite Quds Force, was planning imminent attacks on Americans and had to be stopped.

Read more: https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/national-security/trump-authorized-soleimani-s-killing-7-months-ago-conditions-n1113271?cid=sm_npd_ms_tw_ma

Donald Trump tied with Barack Obama as most admired man of the year, poll finds

Source: Newsweek

Donald Trump is considered to be the most-admired man by more Americans this year than in his first two years in office, tying with Barack Obama as the most admired men in the country, with 18 percent of respondents of a new poll naming either the current or former president as top on their list.

The new Gallup poll released Monday shows that admiration for Trump has increased in 2019, despite the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's report and the president's impeachment in the House of Representatives. In 2017, the president was the second-most admired man, chosen by 14 percent of respondents, while in 2018 the number decreased to 13 percent. Comparatively, Obama has been the most admired man for 12 years in a row.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey results showed a clear partisan divide, with most more Democrats saying they admired Obama the most, and the more Republicans supporting Trump. However, Obama had a slightly more non-partisan fan base, with 3 percent of Republicans as well as 12 percent of independents choosing the former president as their favorite. Only 2 percent of Democrats listed Trump as the man they most admired, while just 10 percent of independents did so.

As Gallup noted—according to its polling—the result is in line with Trump's increased overall popularity. The polling agency shows the president finishing out 2019 with a higher approval rating than previous years, at 45 percent. Meanwhile, Obama's continued popularity with Americans appears to be an outlier, with only former President Dwight D. Eisenhower having been considered the most admired man by a double-digit amount of respondents after he left office. In the past two years, 19 percent and 17 percent of respondents cited Obama as the most admired man in the poll.

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/donald-trump-tied-barack-obama-most-admired-man-year-poll-finds-1479637

Nearly 100,000 Georgia voters to remain purged from voting rolls

Source: Axios

A federal judge on Friday denied an effort led by the voting rights group Fair Fight Action to return roughly 98,000 Georgia voters to the state's voter rolls.

What's happening: This ruling is part of a larger initiative for the state to cancel approximately 300,000 inactive voter registrations, due to those voters moving away or not participating in elections.

The big picture: Voter suppression has been a hot-button issue in Georgia in the wake of the 2018 gubernatorial race between Stacey Abrams (D) and now-Gov. Brian Kemp (R). Abrams has called Kemp an "architect of voter suppression" for attempting to purge voter rolls while serving as Georgia's secretary of state, Axios' Ursula Perano writes.

Go deeper: New Georgia voting machines fail to ease worries over election security

Read more: https://www.axios.com/georgia-voters-purge-judge-41270b24-a367-4747-b7be-cd991bcfbff4.html

Edited to add: The judge in this case is Steve Jones, appointed by Obama, confirmed in 2011.

Judge Dismisses State Charges Against Paul Manafort, Clearing the Way for Pardon

Source: Law & Crime

A New York judge on Wednesday morning “hastily dismissed” state mortgage fraud charges against onetime Trump 2016 campaign chairman Paul Manafort–paving the way for a presidential pardon.

Manhattan Supreme Justice Maxwell Wiley tossed the 16-count indictment against Manafort without discussion or explanation during a hearing which reportedly lasted all of 90 seconds.

The dismissal comes as an implicit rebuke of Manhattan District Attorney (DA) Cyrus Vance, Jr., who had prosecuted Manafort in an effort to ensure that President Donald Trump would not be able to pardon the disgraced Republican lobbyist.

Manafort was previously convicted of multiple federal crimes related to essentially the same set of facts that led to his New York State charges. A president, however, can only pardon federal crimes. State crimes are outside the purview of the president’s pardon power.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/judge-dismisses-state-charges-against-paul-manafort-clearing-the-way-for-pardon/

Scoop: House Dems attend Trump's holiday party amid impeachment

Source: Axios

Half a dozen House Democrats attended the White House Congressional Ball last night while their colleagues on the Judiciary Committee worked late into the night on articles of impeachment, according to two sources familiar with the event.

Why it matters: If you're looking for clues about which House Democrats might vote against impeaching President Trump next week, one tempting place to start is with those who chose to be Trump's guests at the annual ball — but that doesn't mean the two lists will totally overlap.

Democrats attending the party included:
Antonio Delgado (NY-19)
Susie Lee (NV-3)
Elaine Luria (VA-2)
Jim Costa (CA-16)
Josh Harder (CA-10)
Gil Cisneros (CA-39)

Read more: https://www.axios.com/house-dems-trump-ball-impeachment-c3c3006b-59fc-47d0-92fb-b260bffaed19.html

'Nuclear device' report evacuates Ohio neighborhood; hazmat, bomb squad respond

Source: Fox 13

A reported “nuclear device” prompted authorities to evacuate a northwestern Columbus, Ohio neighborhood.

Hazmat and bomb squad crews responded around 6 p.m. Thursday to a home in the Cranston and Riverside drives area, Columbus Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin told our media partner 10TV.com in Columbus.

In a 911 call, a man said he was working on a quantum physics generator in his garage and that he suffered burns, the television station reported. Crews found no signs of radiation on the man who called 911, first responders said.

Hazmat crews were checking the garage, and then bomb squad and an arson team will investigate.

Read more: https://www.fox13memphis.com/news/trending/nuclear-device-report-evacuates-columbus-neighborhood-hazmat-bomb-squad-respond/XGRDANUTQZEG5EXVDRFON4WNHQ/

President Trump signs bill making animal cruelty a federal felony

Source: ABC News

Animal cruelty has officially become a federal felony after President Donald Trump signed the bill into law on Monday afternoon.

The bipartisan bill, Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture (PACT) Act, criminalizes certain acts of animal cruelty. The bill was passed in the Senate by unanimous decision on Nov. 5 after being approved in the House in late October.

"Passing this legislation is a major victory in the effort to stop animal cruelty and make our communities safer," Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., said earlier this month when the bill, which Toomey sponsored along with Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., passed in the Senate. "Evidence shows that the deranged individuals who harm animals often move on to committing acts of violence against people. It is appropriate that the federal government have strong animal cruelty laws and penalties."

The bill, introduced in the House by Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., is an expansion on the 2010 Animal Crush Video Prohibition Act, which made the creation and distribution of "animal crushing" videos illegal

Read more: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-sign-animal-cruelty-bill-law-making/story?id=67295654

At least something decent crossed this man’s desk.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Hospitalized

Source: New York Times

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was admitted to Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore on Friday night after experiencing chills and fever earlier in the day, a Supreme Court spokeswoman said on Saturday.

Justice Ginsburg was initially evaluated at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington before being transferred to Johns Hopkins for further evaluation and treatment of any possible infection, the spokeswoman, Kathleen Arberg, said in a statement.

Justice Ginsburg’s symptoms abated after treatment with intravenous antibiotics and fluids, Ms. Arberg said, adding the justice expected to be released from the hospital as early as Sunday morning.

Justice Ginsburg, 86, has had a series of health scares lately, including surgery for lung cancer and radiation treatment for pancreatic cancer in the last year. Over the years, Justice Ginsburg has also had surgery for early-stage pancreatic cancer in 2009 and treatment for colon cancer in 1999.

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/23/us/justice-ruth-bader-ginsburg-hospitalized.html

These Are the Judges Who Will Decide Whether House Dems Should Get Unredacted Mueller Report

Source: Law & Crime

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will hear oral arguments next week on an effort by House Democrats to obtain the full and unredacted report by former special counsel Robert Mueller–including still secret, closely-guarded grand jury materials.

Those discussions won’t take place in front of the entire D.C. Court of Appeals, but will instead be overseen by a three-judge panel.

The panel system operates by way of the chief judge’s discretion. Here, that means Merrick Garland chose Neomi Rao, Thomas Griffith and Judith Rogers to deliberate and decide the next stage of the lawsuit aimed at forcing the release of Mueller’s entire report.


Rao was appointed by President Donald Trump in order to replace now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh earlier this year. A decided member of the conservative movement, Rao enraged judicial reform and women’s rights advocates just by virtue of her nomination as Trump’s hand-picked Kavanaugh successor.

Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/these-are-the-judges-who-will-decide-whether-democrats-get-the-unredacted-mueller-report/
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