Trump may be investigated for tax fraud, says Manhattan district attorney
After more than a year-long legal battle with Donald Trump, Manhattan’s district attorney said Monday he could have grounds to investigate the president and his businesses for tax fraud.
District attorney Cyrus Vance is seeking to persuade a federal appeals court to let him enforce a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns, four days before it considers Trump’s request to block the August 2019 subpoena to his accounting firm Mazars USA.
Lawyers cited in the filing “mountainous” public allegations of misconduct linked to Trump and his businesses to justify a grand jury probe into tax fraud, insurance fraud and falsifying business records. Vance had previously said the subpoena was also related to possible insurance and bank fraud.
Jay Sekulow, a lawyer for Trump, declined to comment on the filing, according to Reuters.
A pre-emptive state of emergency has been declared ahead of an announcement regarding the Breonna Taylor case
The police in Louisville, Kentucky, have declared a state of emergency for the department ahead of an announcement from the state’s attorney general in the Breonna Taylor case, regarding police who fatally shot a 26-year-old black woman in her sleep during a drug-related raid.
Many have said the declaration seems to anticipate violent protests, suggesting an unfavorable ruling for those seeking justice in the case. Officials have also closed two federal buildings in anticipation of the announcement and the police force has prohibited officers from taking time off work.
The family of Taylor has received a settlement from the city of $12m in a civil suit stemming from the incident, in which Taylor was mistaken for a suspect in a drug raid. The incident has called into question “no-knock” warrants, in which police enter a home without announcing or identifying themselves.
One more senator comes out against a Trump supreme court nomination
US Senator Joe Manchin, the only Democrat who voted to confirm Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh despite party objections in 2018, said the vote on a new Supreme Court nominee should be delayed until after the November 2020 presidential election “for the sake of the integrity of our courts and legal system”.
“For Mitch McConnell and my Republican colleagues to rush through this process after refusing to even meet with Judge Merrick Garland in 2016 is hypocrisy in its highest form,” he said. “The US supreme court is the highest court in the land and it is simply irresponsible to rush the adequate and proper vetting required of any new candidate for the bench.”
The reactions of Manchin and several Republican senators have been closely watched in recent days to see if a justice nominee from Donald Trump would have enough votes to be confirmed before the 2020 elections. Republican senators Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Susan Collins of Maine have said the next judge should be nominated by whomever is elected in November. Trump has said he intends to pick a woman for the seat and will announce the nomination this week. It is speculated that US circuit court judge Amy Coney Barrett, who is fervently anti-abortion, is at the top of Trump’s list of nominees.
Chuck Schumer honors the legacy of RBG in Senate speech
Chuck Schumer made remarks on the floor of the Senate on Monday honoring the legacy of Ruth Bader Ginsburg days after her death.
Schumer noted that in Jewish tradition only the “most righteous” people die on the eve of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish new year, calling Ginsburg “a woman of great righteousness and valor”.
“She might be the only justice to become a meme,” the New York senator said, citing the “Notorious RBG” meme, which likened the octogenarian judge to the rapper Notorious BIG. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg was, in fact, a rebellious force to be reckoned with.”
Schumer outlined many of Ginsburg’s life accomplishments, including her making the court enforce the constitutional idea that people cannot be discriminated against on the basis of sex. He said if Donald Trump is able to replace the late supreme court justice, reproductive rights, workers’ rights, and voting rights will be imperiled. He also said RBG’s dying wish was that a justice not be picked until after the 2020 elections.
Hello! Kari Paul here in California taking over for the next few hours. Stay tuned for updates.
Today so far
That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague Kari Paul will take over the blog for the next few hours.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- Trump said he wants to have his supreme court nominee confirmed before election day, on 3 November. In a floor speech this afternoon, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell signaled the vote would take place “this year” but he did not specify whether it would happen before or after election day.
- Trump said he would “probably” announce his nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Saturday, following ceremonies honoring the legacy of the late supreme court justice. The president said he has narrowed his list of potential nominees down to five candidates, all of whom are women.
- Ginsburg will lie in repose at the supreme court on Wednesday and Thursday. House speaker Nancy Pelosi also announced Ginsburg would lie in state at the Capitol on Friday.
- House Democrats released their stopgap government funding bill, which would keep the government open until 11 December. But McConnell quickly signaled he would not support the bill because it does not include bailout funds for farmers, which Trump has demanded. The government is currently set to close on 30 September if a bill is not passed.
- The CDC removed information on the potential airborne transmission of coronavirus from its website. The agency had posted an update on Friday to warn Americans that the virus can spread over a distance beyond six feet, particularly in poorly ventilated areas. The CDC removed the guidance today, claiming the update was posted in error. The news follows reports about Trump administration officials trying to interfere with CDC reports to paint a rosier picture about the pandemic.
Kari will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican chairman of the Senate judiciary committee, said the panel would move “expeditiously” to advance Trump’s supreme court nominee.
In a letter to the Democratic members of the committee, Graham said his view of the judicial confirmation process had changed after witnessing the treatment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault but was ultimately confirmed by the Senate.
“I therefore think it is important that we proceed expeditiously to process any nomination made by President Trump to fill this vacancy,” Graham told his Democratic colleagues. “I am certain if the shoe were on the other foot, you would do the same.”
Trump says he wants supreme court confirmation to happen before election
Speaking to reporters before leaving for Ohio, Trump said that he hoped his supreme court nominee will be confirmed before election day, on November 3.
“I’d rather see it all take place before the election,” the president said.
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said moments ago that a confirmation vote would occur “this year,” but he did not specify whether it would take place before or after election day.
Trump also confirmed the announcement of his nominee will likely come on Saturday, following this week’s ceremonies honoring Ruth Bader Ginsburg at the supreme court and at the Capitol.
Echoing his previous comments to Fox News, the president said he was considering five women for the seat.
Joe Biden has now concluded his speech at an aluminum plant in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The Democratic nominee criticized the president for previously suggesting the US coronavirus death toll would be much lower if Americans who died in blue states weren’t counted.
Biden promised to act as a unifying figure to help bring the country together during this time of national crisis.
The presidential candidate also took a moment to address those who voted for Trump in 2016, saying he knows they felt like they weren’t being heard by Democrats.
“It will change with me,” Biden said. “You will be seen, heard and respected by me.”
Joe Biden argued Trump had failed in his response to coronavirus because he “panicked” rather than confronting the crisis head-on.
“Trump panicked. The virus was too big for him,” Biden said in Wisconsin. “All his life Donald Trump has been bailed out of any problem he faced.”
The Democratic nominee dismissed the president’s claim that he downplayed the threat of the virus because he wanted to help Americans remain calm.
In reality, Biden said, Trump “just wasn’t up to” the challenge of handling the crisis.
Biden blames coronavirus death toll on Trump’s ‘lies and incompetence’
Joe Biden is delivering remarks on the country’s coronavirus death toll at an aluminum plant in Manitowoc, Wisconsin.
The Democratic nominee noted the country is about to hit the “tragic milestone” of recording 200,000 deaths from coronavirus.
Biden said that number represented many “empty chairs” for families who had lost loved ones to the virus.
The presidential candidate emphasized Americans could not allow themselves to become “numb” to the mounting death toll.
“We can’t let the numbers become statistics and background noise,” Biden said.
Biden specifically blamed Trump’s response to the pandemic for causing tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths in the country.
“Due to Donald Trump’s lies and incompetence over the last six months, we have seen one of the greatest losses in American history,” Biden said.
Senate will vote on Trump pick ‘this year’, McConnell says
Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said the chamber would vote on Trump’s supreme court nomination “this year”.
But the Republican leader did not provide much clarity on whether the confirmation vote would occur before or after election day, on November 3.
Democrats have a chance to flip the Senate in November, but even if they do, that seems unlikely to change McConnell’s plans to move forward with a nomination.