Fugees rapper's case that crossed Hollywood, DC goes to jury
The case against a Fugees rapper accused in multimillion-dollar political conspiracies across two presidencies wound down with closing arguments Thursday that capped off a trial with testimony from actor Leonardo DiCaprio and former Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
Plea discussions launched in stalled 9/11 case at Guantanamo
Prosecutors have initiated discussions on a potential plea agreement to resolve the long-stalled case of five men held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, charged with planning and providing assistance for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Watchdog: Little help from Trump officials in census probe
A watchdog agency investigating the origins of a failed attempt to add a citizenship question to the 2020 census form was unable to question top Trump administration officials because they either refused to cooperate or set unacceptable interview terms.
McGahn: Effort to get Mueller fired was 'point of no return'
Former White House counsel Don McGahn told lawmakers in a closed-door interview last week that he regarded President Donald Trump’s demand to have special counsel Robert Mueller fired as “a point of no return” for the administration if carried out.
Senate confirms Merrick Garland to be US attorney general
Judge Merrick Garland, President Joe Biden's pick to be attorney general, answers questions from Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., as he appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee for his confirmation hearing, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Feb. 22, 2021. Garland will now inherit a Justice Department embattled by a turbulent era under Trump, who insisted that the attorney general and the department must be loyal to him personally, battering the department’s reputation. In the last month of Trump's presidency, Attorney General William Barr resigned after refuting Trump's false claims that widespread electoral fraud had led to his defeat. Ad“Let’s hope our incoming attorney general applies that no-nonsense approach to the serious challenges facing the Department of Justice and our nation,” McConnell said. “So I very much want to be the kind of attorney general that you’re saying I could become, and I’ll do my best to become that kind of attorney general.”___Associated Press writer Lisa Mascaro contributed to this report.
Bergdahl appeals court-martial over Trump, McCain comments
Bowe Bergdahl filed the complaint in federal court in Washington, D.C. last month, asking a judge to overturn his court martial conviction. Bergdahl says Trump's statements and actions by the late U.S. Sen. John McCain and his military judge violated his Fifth Amendment right to a fair trial. In his appeal, Bergdahl said McCain intensely pressured the Army to charge him, calling Bergdahl a “deserter” and threatening to hold a hearing in the Senate Armed Services Committee if Bergdahl went unpunished. But around that same time, Nance was appointed by then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a member of Trump’s cabinet — to the immigration judge post, effective the following year. He wants a federal judge to overturn his conviction and sentence and expunge it from his record, restoring his military rights.
Justice Dept. seeks resignations of Trump-era US attorneys
WASHINGTON – The Justice Department will ask U.S. attorneys who were appointed by former President Donald Trump to resign from their posts, as the Biden administration moves to transition to its own nominees, a senior Justice Department official said Monday. But the U.S. attorney overseeing the federal tax probe involving Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, will remain in place. The Justice Department has been investigating the finances of Hunter Biden, including scrutinizing some of his Chinese business dealings and other transactions. Hunter Biden confirmed the existence of the investigation in December after a round of subpoenas was issued in the case. CNN first reported that the Justice Department was seeking the resignations.
AP sources: Alabama senator has indicated he won't run again
“I would say that is his greatest accomplishment, to get money allocated to the state for many different projects,” former Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said. Still, the GOP primary could serve as a microcosm of the larger national tug of war over the direction of the Republican Party. While Shelby has amassed a conservative voting record, the measured Republican senator has not embraced the bombastic populist style of Trump and Trump-like candidates. I don’t think there is anyone who has meant more to the state of Alabama in that position in my lifetime,” former Gov. ___This story has been edited to correct that Bill Armistead is the former chairman of the Alabama Republican Party.
AP Exclusive: DOJ rescinds ‘zero tolerance’ immigration rule
A court-appointed committee has yet to find the parents of 628 children separated at the border early in the Trump administration. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)WASHINGTON – The Justice Department rescinded a Trump-era memo that established a “zero tolerance” enforcement policy for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, which resulted in thousands of family separations. Most families have not been prosecuted under zero tolerance since 2018, when the separations were halted, though separations have continued on a smaller scale. Prosecutions had dropped sharply after the Trump administration declared a pandemic-related health emergency that allows them to immediately expel Mexicans and many Central Americans without applying immigration laws. The “zero tolerance” policy was one of several increasingly restrictive policies aimed at discouraging migrants from coming to the Southern border.
AP Exclusive: DOJ rescinds ‘zero tolerance’ immigration rule
A court-appointed committee has yet to find the parents of 628 children separated at the border early in the Trump administration. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)WASHINGTON – The Justice Department on Tuesday rescinded a Trump-era memo that established a “zero tolerance” enforcement policy for migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, which resulted in thousands of family separations. Most families have not been prosecuted under zero tolerance since 2018, when the separations were halted, though separations have continued on a smaller scale. Then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with Trump and other top leaders in his administration, were bent on curbing immigration. The “zero tolerance” policy was one of several increasingly restrictive policies aimed at discouraging migrants from coming to the Southern border.
Biden halts border wall building after Trump's final surge
Biden on Wednesday ordered a “pause” on all wall construction within a week, one of 17 executive orders issued on his first day in office, including six dealing with immigration. The full amount under contract would have extended Trump’s wall to 664 miles (1,069 kilometers). Trump said the border wall would be “virtually impenetrable” and paid for by Mexico, which never happened. Company spokeswoman Liz Rogers said work at Friendship Park is separate and done by another company. ___This story has been corrected to show that border wall contractor SLSCO Ltd. says another company is doing the work at Friendship Park in San Diego.
Watchdog: DOJ bungled 'zero tolerance' immigration policy
A court-appointed committee has yet to find the parents of 628 children separated at the border early in the Trump administration. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, along with other top leaders in the Trump administration, were bent on curbing immigration. The “zero tolerance” policy was one of several increasingly restrictive policies aimed at discouraging migrants from coming to the Southern border. About 5,500 children have been separated from their parents since Trump took office, and many of those parents were deported without their children. The watchdog report found that judges, advocacy groups and even federal prosecutors raised concerns over the policy.
As end approaches, Trump gets doses of flattery, finality
Barr offered his resignation last Monday after weeks of tension with Trump brought about an early exit from his post. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)NEW YORK – President Donald Trump’s administration is ending how it began, with over-the-top declarations of praise for the chief executive. Attorney General William Barr offered his resignation last Monday after weeks of tension with Trump brought about an early exit from his post. In the six weeks since his defeat by Biden, Trump has been increasingly disengaged from his job. But with Trump largely in hiding, it fell to Pence to make a public show of meeting with those distributing the vaccine.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren's book 'Persist' to come out in April
This combination photo shows Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., at the 110th NAACP National Convention on July 24, 2019, in Detroit and the cover of her book "Persist." (AP Photo, left, and Metropolitan Books via AP)NEW YORK – Sen. Elizabeth Warren has a book coming out about six key experiences and perspectives. “Persist” will refer to Warren's recent bid for the Democratic presidential nomination, won by Joe Biden, but is not a campaign memoir. Warren was represented by Robert Barnett and Daniel Martin of Williams & Connolly, where clients have ranged from former President Bill Clinton to a political rival of Warren's, Sen. Mitch McConnell. A portion of author proceeds from “Perisist” will be donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank, the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, the Worcester County Food Bank, and the Merrimack Valley Food Bank.
Trump says Barr resigning, will leave before Christmas
FILE - In this Oct. 15, 2020, file photo, Attorney General William Barr speaks during a roundtable discussion on Operation Legend in St. Louis. Barr went Monday to the White House, where Trump said the attorney general submitted his letter of resignation. Trump said Deputy Attorney General Jeff Rosen, whom he labeled “an outstanding person,” will become acting attorney general. But Democrats have repeatedly accused Barr of acting more like the president’s personal attorney than the attorney general, and Barr had proved to be a largely reliable Trump ally and defender of presidential power. Trump was also said to blame Barr for comments from FBI Director Chris Wray on election fraud and mail-in voting that didn’t jibe with the president’s alarmist rhetoric.
GOP’s Tuberville defeats US Sen. Jones, flips Alabama seat
Jones ran an ad showing Tuberville using the phrase to respond to student hecklers after leaving a coaching job. Three years ago, Jones became the first Alabama Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate in a quarter-century. Although he was denied a full term in the Senate, Jones said there was important work to continue. Tuberville’s victory party was held in a hotel ballroom not far from the Alabama Capitol. Jones’ party was at an outside space in Birmingham where most people wore masks.
Jones fights for survival in Alabama as Tuberville coasts
Jones has been on a campaign blitz while Tuberville has adopted a strategy akin to running out the clock. Tuberville has announced fewer public campaign events, concentrated media appearances on conservative talk radio and has refused to debate Jones. Trump is expected to easily carry the state again, meaning Jones would have to win over some Trump voters. There are some discouraging signs for Jones, including that national Democratic groups haven't reported significant spending in Alabama, according to finance reports. But if Jones does win, McCrary said it would cement the possibility that Democrats can win in areas once thought impossible.
Supreme Court fight could elevate Kamala Harris' profile
(AP Photo/Michael Perez)SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Kamala Harris is poised to become a leading figure in the Democratic opposition to President Donald Trump's Supreme Court pick, with her status as both a lawmaker and vice presidential nominee putting her in the center of the fight. The California senator is in a unique role following the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday. She was widely praised by Democrats for her questioning of Brett Kavanaugh during the last Supreme Court confirmation fight. Beyond her questioning of Kavanaugh, he pointed to her 2017 questioning of then-Sen. Jeff Sessions as Trump’s first attorney general. “That would give her the flexibility to be able to be in D.C., maybe a little bit more than during a traditional presidential campaign closing stretch,” he said.
Bergdahl lawyers say judge's job application posed conflict
The motion filed Friday seeks to have the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces re-examine the impartiality of retired Army Col. Jeffrey Nance, the military judge who sentenced Bergdahl. The motion says Nance was working to secure a job with the Department of Justice at the time of his ruling in the Bergdahl case. Following Trump’s comments, Bergdahl’s attorney asked Nance to dismiss the case because of Trump’s comments “vilifying” Bergdahl. While he declined to rule in the defense’s favor, he said at the time he had concerns about Trump’s comments affecting public perception of the military justice system. He said then that he would consider Trump’s comments a factor promoting leniency.
US election spotlight mostly bypasses mainline Protestants
It’s one of the few times that a mainline Protestant denomination entered the national spotlight amid a volatile election year abounding in political news about evangelicals and Catholics. Rarely garnering national attention are the mainline Protestant denominations that dominated America’s political and civic leadership for much of its history, beginning in colonial times. Through the mid-20th century, most Protestants in the U.S. belonged to mainline churches, but now they are outnumbered by evangelicals. Polls in recent years indicate that about one-quarter of U.S. adults identify as evangelical, and less than 15% as mainline Protestant. The mainline churches have been politically active in a number of less-partisan ways, notably in registering voters and recruiting poll watchers.
Sen Jones of Alabama calls rival Tuberville 'Coach Clueless'
Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama has called Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville Coach Clueless for the former football coach's recent comments about the coronavirus. (AP Photo/John Minchillo, File)MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama called Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville “Coach Clueless” on Friday, stepping up attacks on the former college football coach for his recent comments about the coronavirus. Tuberville, a former college football coach, told FOX10 said he didn’t see the report. “And Doug Jones should have recognized that simple fact,” Tuberville campaign manager Paul Shashy wrote in an email. You don’t downplay those things that you know put people’s lives and their livelihoods in jeopardy,” Jones said.
Ex-FBI agent: Attacks from Trump 'outrageous' and 'cruel'
Strzok, a former FBI agent who was fired because of derogatory text messages about Donald Trump, writes in a new book that he believes the president has been compromised by Russia. Strzok, for his part, expresses measured regret for the texts in Compromised: Counterintelligence and the Threat of Donald J. Trump, due out Tuesday. Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation revealed significant contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia but found insufficient evidence of a criminal conspiracy. By his own count, Strzok says, Trump has attacked him since then more than 100 times in tweets. After Trump accused Strzok of treason, he appealed to the FBI for a statement condemning the remarks, but got none.
Harris bringing energy, dollars and more to Biden's campaign
In her first two days as Joe Biden's running mate, Kamala Harris has fired off the campaign's sharpest criticism of President Donald Trump's shortcomings. And Harris herself was a critic of Bidens record on race, notably assailing him during a primary debate for previously opposing federally mandated busing. But Harris signaled Wednesday that shell offer a strong defense of Bidens record on race. Harris is already delivering for the campaign in a tangible way: With a record-breaking fundraising haul. Through her nearly two decades in California politics, Harris built a network of deep-pocketed donors in Hollywood and the state's legal circles.
'See you in court': ACLU files nearly 400 cases versus Trump
As of this week, the ACLU has filed nearly 400 lawsuits and other legal actions against the Trump administration, some meeting with setbacks but many resulting in important victories. As of this week, the ACLU has filed nearly 400 lawsuits and other legal actions against the Trump administration, some meeting with setbacks but many resulting in important victories. Donald Trump has provided a full employment program for ACLU lawyers on all of our issues, Romero said. By a similar 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court also allowed the implementation of the Trump administration policy barring transgender people from enlisting in the military. In an email, Turley questioned the wisdom of the torrent of lawsuits against the Trump administration.
Barr able to put his stamp on executive power as Trump's AG
They ask Attorney General William Barr about elder fraud. Democrats have suggested he should be impeached and are holding hearings into what they say is the politicization of the Justice Department under his watch. Then, when Bush was elected, Barr joined the Justice Department first as assistant attorney general of the Office of Legal Counsel, then as deputy attorney general, and finally as attorney general. The actions have resulted in open letters signed by thousands of Justice Department alumni who have demanded Barrs resignation. He points to the Justice Department inspector generals report that found flaws in how the FBIs Russia investigation was conducted.
Alabama Senate race sets up to be contentious slugfest
Tuberville has never held public office but cast himself as a better match with Alabama voters in his victory speech. What Doug really means is one liberal Alabama, Tuberville said on election night. I think Tuberville is probably a two touchdown favorite, Mowery said. Although Trump is expected to win Alabama easily, his margin in November might be less than in 2016, McCrary said. ... Its going to be a battle, but we are going to win the war," Alabama Republican Party chair Terry Lathan said.
In defeat, Sessions still says Trump right for the nation
But Sessions took special care when discussing the matter that dominated and ultimately doomed his comeback attempt. Sessions was the first sitting senator to endorse Trump in the 2016 primary campaign, but even that didnt necessarily mean Trump had the approval of a heavyweight. Sessions, once Alabama attorney general and a U.S. attorney under President Ronald Reagan, had been elected to the Senate in 1996. Yet in Trump, Sessions finally found his vessel. And despite all the brow beating, Sessions said Trump and those issues remain the right path for the GOP and the country.
Seeking comeback, Sessions faces Tuberville in Alabama race
Sessions faces former Auburn University football Coach Tommy Tuberville in the July 14 Republican runoff. (AP Photo/Kim Chandler)MONTGOMERY, Ala. Seeking to reclaim his old Senate seat from Alabama, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions faces former college football coach Tommy Tuberville a political newcomer endorsed by President Donald Trump. Trump casts a long shadow over the Alabama race, backing Tuberville after turning decisively against his former Cabinet member. We dont want him back in Washington. Sessions responded quickly: My honor and integrity are far more important than these juvenile insults. He may be endorsing Tommy Tuberville today, but then they can have a falling out, McDade said.
Sessions vies for Senate comeback in race shadowed by Trump
Do not trust Jeff Sessions, Trump tweeted this spring. Do not trust Jeff Sessions, Trump tweeted this spring. He let our Country down.Sessions safely held the Senate seat for 20 years before resigning to lead Trump's Justice Department. Their alliance solidified as Trump adopted the hard-line immigration proposals that Sessions had championed for years in the Senate. Sessions once held the Senate seat so securely he didnt even draw a challenger.
Under Trump, 'You're fired!' even greets federal prosecutors
Bharara had a snickering response to news that his successor as top federal prosecutor was stepping down from the job. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)NEW YORK Former Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara had a snickering response to news that his successor as top federal prosecutor was stepping down from the job. Doesn't sound like stepping down, Bharara tweeted soon after the announcement was made Friday night that Geoffrey S. Berman was out. He explained he was appointed by Manhattan federal judges and wouldn't budge until a successor was confirmed by Congress. A few months into his work, Manhattan judges appointed him permanently because Trump never formally nominated him.
DOJ tries to oust US attorney investigating Trump allies
The Justice Department moved abruptly Friday, June 19, 2020, to oust Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan overseeing key prosecutions of President Donald Trumps allies and an investigation of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. His statement came hours after Attorney General William Barr said Berman was stepping down from his position. The standoff set off an extraordinary clash between the Justice Department and one of the nations top districts, which has tried major mob and terror cases over the years. Democrats have repeatedly accused Trump's Justice Department of political interference, and those concerns have also been pervasive among some rank and file officials in the agency. But as U.S. attorney, he won over some skeptics after he went after Trump allies, and had a direct hand in other investigations that have angered the president.
Trump signs order on police reform, doesn't mention racism
Law enforcement officials applaud after President Donald Trump signed an executive order on police reform, in the Rose Garden of the White House, Tuesday, June 16, 2020, in Washington. But he made no mention of the roiling national debate over racism spawned by police killings of black men and women. Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals," he said before signing the order Tuesday, flanked by police officials. Trumps executive order would establish a database that tracks police officers with excessive use-of-force complaints in their records. The White House has said that is a step too far.
A look at Democrats' sweeping proposals to overhaul policing
The law would allow an officer to be charged for acting with reckless disregard for someones life, causing that person's death. The bill would amend federal misconduct statutes to make it easier for courts to find officers personally liable for the violation of civil rights. The proposal would give specific subpoena power to federal civil rights prosecutors to conduct those investigations and would aid state attorneys general with conducting similar investigations. As attorney general in the Obama administration, Eric Holder frequently criticized violent police confrontations and opened a series of civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices. The civil rights investigations often ended with court-approved consent decrees that mandated reforms.
Rosenstein defends naming special counsel for Russia inquiry
Rosenstein was appearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the first in a series of oversight hearings that coincide with accelerated election-year efforts to review the FBI's Russia investigation. Though Rosenstein was a Trump appointee, he has often been regarded with suspicion by many supporters of the president, and Trump himself, for his role in the Russia investigation. Rosenstein assumed oversight of the Russia investigation after then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions withdrew from the inquiry. The inspector general's report said senior Justice Department officials were given incomplete information by the FBI. The Justice Department moved to dismiss the case last month, saying Flynn's contacts with the diplomat were entirely appropriate and that the FBI had insufficient basis to interview him.
'I can't breathe' a rally cry anew for police protests in US
Protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in police custody Monday, broke out in Minneapolis for a third straight night. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)WASHINGTON I cant breathe.Eric Garner uttered those words six years ago, locked in a police chokehold. It became a rallying cry after his death for demonstrators across the country who protested the killings of African Americans by police. Floyd's death came after Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death in Georgia by a former district attorney investigator and his son, who were not arrested until after video emerged months later. Davis has gone to some protests, but came this morning with his two adolescent children to show them what was happening.