Richard Hershberger is a paralegal working in Maryland. When he isn't doing whatever it is that paralegals do, or taking his daughters to Girl Scouts, he is dedicated to the collection and analysis of useless and unremunerative information.
In the end, four people were shot dead at the intersection in Miramar, authorities said, including two robbery suspects, a bystander, and hostage UPS driver Frank Ordonez -- a man who relatives say had been substituting for a colleague who had called out from work that day.
The slain robbers and hijackers were Lamar Alexander, 41, and Ronnie Jerome Hill, 41, both of Miami-Dade County, the FBI said. Authorities haven't released the name of the bystander who was killed.
Numerous questions about the chase and its finale remain, including who shot Ordonez and the bystander.
Obligatory Impeachment Hearings Something or Other
The House Judiciary Committee is taking the reins of the impeachment inquiry, holding its first hearing with testimony on the constitutional grounds for impeachment.
The committee, which will be responsible for drafting potential articles of impeachment, is hearing from four constitutional law experts: Noah Feldman, Pamela Karlan, Michael Gerhardt and Jonathan Turley, who is also a CBS News legal analyst.
Harris told aides of her intentions in an all-staff call. A person familiar with the call said she sounded distraught. While Harris had qualified for the December debate in her home state, she was running dangerously low on cash — lacking the resources to air TV ads in Iowa — and her staff was gripped by long-running internal turmoil. Story Continued Below
Still, the news came as a shock to some of her biggest supporters. Just as Harris was announcing the news internally, a super PAC had cleared more than $1 million in TV ads in Iowa to boost her struggling campaign. The ad, which argued she was the best-equipped candidate to take on Trump, was canceled.
“Eleven months ago at the launch of our campaign in Oakland I told you all: ‘I am not perfect.' But I will always speak with decency and moral clarity and treat all people with dignity and respect. I will lead with integrity. I will speak the truth. And that’s what I have tried to do every day of this campaign. So here’s the truth today,” Harris wrote in a note to supporters. “I’ve taken stock and looked at this from every angle, and over the last few days have come to one of the hardest decisions of my life. My campaign for president simply doesn’t have the financial resources we need to continue ."
Harris, who spent Thanksgiving in Iowa with family, took a deep look at the campaign’s resources over the holiday and decided she did not have a path to the nomination. A Harris campaign aide said the expected impeachment trial in January further complicated the situation.
She made the decision Monday after discussions with her family and senior aides. Harris will travel to the early states this week to thank staff and supporters for their dedication to the campaign.
The change of plea, if entered and accepted by the judge, also would close the complicated appeal that Hunter filed earlier this year. In an unusual move, the East County congressman appealed his prosecution in July to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal even before his trial opened.
Hunter, who will turn 43 on Saturday, and his wife were charged in August 2018 with 60 criminal counts related to their use of Hunter’s campaign contributions and each faced decades in prison if convicted on all charges.
Both pleaded not guilty to the charges when they were arraigned.
Margaret Hunter, 44, changed her plea in June to guilty to a single count of conspiracy and agreed to testify against her husband. She faces up to five years in prison when she is sentenced in April, but is likely to serve substantially less time.
The couple has three children.
According to the indictment, the Hunters relied for years on campaign contributions to pay routine family expenses such as dental bills, home repairs and fast-food meals. They also used the donations to pay for exotic vacations, private-school tuition, video games and plane tickets for Margaret’s mother to travel to and from Poland.
The Hunters used more than $500 in campaign funds to fly the family’s pet rabbit, Eggburt, across the country with them, Margaret Hunter admitted in her plea agreement.
The initial indictment also alluded to several unnamed “individuals” who appeared to have more than professional relationships with Duncan Hunter.
Earlier this year, as the congressman continued to deny his guilt and prosecutors disclosed more of their evidence in public court filings, it became clear that Hunter had extramarital affairs with at least five different women over many years -- and paid for them with campaign funds.
Though never identified publicly, three of the women were noted to be lobbyists and two others were reported to be congressional staffers.
Hunter is still in Congress but has been stripped of all committee assignments and is not being endorsed or supported by the Republican Party, drawing strong candidates looking to take his seat.
AG Barr: Epstein Death “Perfect Storm of Screw-ups”
Attorney General William Barr said he initially had his own suspicions about financier Jeffrey Epstein’s death while behind bars at one of the most secure jails in America but came to conclude that his suicide was the result of “a perfect storm of screw-ups.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, Barr said his concerns were prompted by the numerous irregularities at the New York jail where Epstein was being held. But he said after the FBI and the Justice Department’s inspector general continued to investigate, he realized there were a “series” of mistakes made that gave Epstein the chance to take his own life.
“I can understand people who immediately, whose minds went to sort of the worst-case scenario because it was a perfect storm of screw-ups,” Barr told the AP as he flew to Montana for an event.
Barr’s comments come days after two correctional officers who were responsible for guarding the wealthy financier when he died were charged with falsifying prison records. Officers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas are accused of sleeping and browsing the internet — shopping for furniture and motorcycles — instead of watching Epstein, who was supposed to be checked on every 30 minutes.
Epstein took his own life in August while awaiting trial on charges he sexually abused girls as young as 14 and young women in New York and Florida in the early 2000s.
His suicide cast a spotlight on the federal Bureau of Prisons, which has been plagued by chronic staffing shortages and outbreaks of violence. The indictment unsealed this week against the officers shows a damning glimpse of safety lapses inside a high-security unit
This will, of course, have precisely zero effect in settling down those pesky "Epstein Didn't Kill Himself!" feelings many folks have.