Fine, I’ll go on record about whether San Francisco government workers should have their pop taken away, in case I ever have to testify about this before a Congressional committee. Nope. I don’t think...
Reactions to New Jersey governor, Chris Christie’s cuts and privatizations are mixed depending on where you fall on the ideological spectrum. But one thing that irks me is the reaction that all these spending...
No law is really law in the Tarheel State until it's been ruled on by at least three judges. Or so it seems. This time, it's the state's latest version of a voter ID law that has been blocked from implementation.
North Carolina's Court of Appeals on Tuesday blocked the state's new voter ID law from taking effect, a move that will likely prevent it from being in place in time for the 2020 elections.
The ruling, coming two weeks before the Tarheel State holds its presidential primaries on March 3, is a victory for civil rights groups and advocates who have argued the law would disenfranchise poor and minority voters. A separate ruling in federal court has already issued a block of the voter ID law through the state's primaries, and Tuesday's decision all but ensures a block through the general election in November until another ruling.
In Tuesday's decision, the court said voter ID provisions "likely will have a negative impact on African Americans because they lack acceptable IDs at a greater rate than white voters."
The North Carolina Republican Party Chairman Michael Whatley called the voter ID ruling "ridiculous" and said the opinion was "invalidating the votes of more than 2 million North Carolinians who voted for a constitutional amendment in 2018."
"The opinion, issued by the North Carolina Court of Appeals, ignores the fact that more than 30 other states have enacted similar laws which have been upheld by federal courts," Whatley said in a statement on Tuesday. "An overwhelming percentage of North Carolinians of every demographic support voter ID and we are very disappointed to see a panel made up of three Democratic judges overturning their votes by judicial fiat."
President Trump Commutes Blagojevich Sentence, Pardons Others
President Trump commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich of Illinois, the Democrat who was convicted of trying to essentially sell Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for personal gain, and pardoned the financier Michael R. Milken and Bernard B. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, the president announced on Tuesday.
“Yes, we commuted the sentence of Rod Blagojevich,” Mr. Trump told reporters just before boarding Air Force One for a four-day trip to the west coast where he is scheduled to hold three campaign rallies. “He served eight years in jail, a long time. He seems like a very nice person, don’t know him.”
Mr. Kerik, the former New York City police commissioner, was convicted of tax fraud and lying to the government. And he said he had also pardoned Mr. Milken, the investment banker who was known in the 1980s as the “junk bond king” and who has fought for decades to reverse his conviction for securities fraud.
Mr. Trump commuted the former governor’s sentence on Tuesday after saying for years that he was considering intervening in Mr. Blagojevich’s case. By commuting the sentence, the president would free Mr. Blagojevich from prison without wiping out the conviction. Republicans have advised the president against it, arguing that Mr. Blagojevich’s crime epitomizes the corruption that Mr. Trump had said he wanted to tackle as president.
The president’s decision came the same day that he pardoned or commuted the sentences of eight others including Edward J. DeBartolo Jr., a former owner of the San Francisco 49ers who pleaded guilty in 1998 to concealing an extortion attempt and eventually surrendered control of his team.
An appropriate ending to one of the strangest political through lines of the last year or two.
A federal jury in Manhattan has convicted attorney Michael Avenatti of trying to extort Nike.
Avenatti, the California lawyer who gained fame representing adult film star Stormy Daniels, was found guilty Friday afternoon of honest services wire fraud, extortion and transmitting a threat in an interstate communications charges.
He could face up to 42 years in prison.
There are other trials still awaiting him for defrauding multiple clients, including Stormy Daniels. It's not clear if any of his clients will or can ever be made whole for the money he (allegedly) took from them. From Hero of the Resistance to possible Presidential candidate to convicted felon, it's been a long and awful fall from grace.
A federal prosecutor in the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s ally Roger Stone dramatically resigned Tuesday shortly after the Department of Justice said it will force prosecutors to cut their recommended prison sentence for Republican political operative.
Aaron Zelinsky’s resignation as a special assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., was announced in a footnote of a court filing notifying a judge that Zelinsky was withdrawing from Stone’s case.
“This Court is advised that the undersigned attorney has resigned effective immediately after this filing as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia,” the filing said.
A spokesman for prosecutors did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the departure of Zelinsky, who earlier worked on special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators in the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
On Monday night, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington told the judge in a filing that Stone should get a prison term of seven to nine years when he is sentenced Feb. 20 for crimes related to lying to Congress about his contacts with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential election and his efforts to get an associate, comedian Randy Credico, to cover for his lies.
Zelinsky was one of four prosecutors who signed that sentencing memorandum.
But Justice Department officials reportedly objected to the very stiff recommended prison term for the 67-year-old Stone, right after it became public, and now plan to recommend a lower sentence later Tuesday in court.
Trump early Tuesday morning blasted the original recommended sentence for Stone.
Trump called the original sentencing suggestion “disgraceful” and also tweeted that “this is a horrible and very unfair situation.”