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Ex-Detroit mayor to be released from prison amid coronavirus: ally

Michael Leahy

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Ex-Detroit mayor to be released from prison amid coronavirus: ally

DETROIT (AP) — Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick is being quarantined at a federal prison while awaiting a likely release in June, which would be years before he was scheduled to finish his 28-year sentence for corruption, a pastor said Friday.

The U.S. Bureau of Prisons declined to comment about Kilpatrick, saying only that he remains in custody at the prison in Oakdale, Louisiana. Federal prosecutors in Detroit said they had no information about the possible release.

The Rev. Keyon Payton, who has urged President Donald Trump to shorten Kilpatrick’s sentence, said Kilpatrick now is being granted relief under a federal policy that gives officials discretion to move some inmates because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“To my understanding, after a 25-day quarantine, we are expecting Mr. Kilpatrick to be released to his mother’s home in Atlanta. … We’re just elated to share the news and celebrate his home confinement. We are in constant communication with the White House,” Payton said.

It wasn’t immediately known if Kilpatrick would have to return to prison once the coronavirus threat had passed. Payton said he and other Kilpatrick allies hope Trump formally reduces the sentence to time served.

Kilpatrick, 49, was Detroit’s mayor from 2002 until 2008. In 2013, he was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, fraud, extortion and tax crimes. The government called it the “Kilpatrick enterprise,” a years-long scheme to shake down contractors and reward allies.

Kilpatrick has served only a quarter of his 28-year prison sentence. With good time credits, he’s been listed for release in 2037.

The White House declined to comment. Payton, a pastor in Pontiac, Michigan, is national director for community outreach and engagement at the Ebony Foundation, which announced the development.

The foundation is the charity arm of the company that publishes Ebony Magazine.

Owner Willard Jackson got a phone call from Kilpatrick on Thursday “to let him know he was going straight into quarantine and wanted to hold a press conference when he got out,” Ebony spokeswoman Sabrina Taylor said.

Payton said he and others gave a packet of information about Kilpatrick to a Trump aide, Ja’Ron Smith, during a January meeting in Detroit. They believe Kilpatrick’s sentence was excessive and that he deserved a commutation.

State Rep. Karen Whitsett, a Detroit Democrat, said Trump told her Thursday that Kilpatrick would be released. He was in Michigan to visit a Ford Motor Co. factory.

Under Bureau of Prisons policy, priority is supposed to be given to inmates who have served half of their sentences or inmates with 18 months or less left and who served at least 25% of their time.

Michael Leahy has worked in various news organizations and now aims to make Report Door one of the best and fastest growing news websites in the U.S. He contributes to the US section. He loves going around different people in the US and loves meeting new people and making new friends.

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U.S. DOJ closing insider trading probes into three senators: WSJ

Michael Leahy

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Patriotic Poles led astray by mis-labelled Ukrainian cucumbers

(Reuters) – The U.S. Department of Justice is closing probes into three U.S. senators over stock trades made shortly before the coronavirus market turmoil, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The three senators include Republicans Kelly Loeffler of Georgia and James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California, the Journal reported, adding that prosecutors are alerting their defense attorneys about the closing of the probes.

However, the DOJ’s related probe into Senator Richard Burr is continuing, according to the newspaper.

Representatives for Burr, the DOJ and the FBI declined to comment.

The senators were investigated over selling large amounts of stock before the coronavirus-induced market meltdown and after closed-door briefings on the outbreak this year.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru. Editing by Gerry Doyle

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NYC sexual assault victim has no chance of survival: ADA

Michael Leahy

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NYC sexual assault victim has no chance of survival: ADA

A 64-year-old woman who was left in a vegetative state following a vicious attack and rape in East Harlem is not expected to recover, The Post has learned.

The woman, whose name was not released, has survived this long only due to life support equipment and is expected to die within days, Manhattan ADA Justin McNabney said at the arraignment of her alleged attacker, Frankie Harris.

The violent assault, which was captured on camera, occurred at East 111th Street near 2nd Avenue just before 11:30 p.m. May 18 — when the creep allegedly put the woman in a chokehold for three minutes, pulled her to the ground and raped her, according to authorities. 

Harris, 38, of Bushwick, was arrested over the weekend and charged with attempted murder, rape and sexual abuse in connection with the attack, cops said.

When cops questioned Harris, he told detectives he’d met the woman one night in Manhattan and had consensual sex — but denied being involved in the attack, according to McNabney.

Harris switched up his story when cops showed him the surveillance footage from the assault, telling detectives he did not have sex with the woman — but was instead trying to revive her by lying atop her after watching a Puerto Rican man choke her, McNabney said.

Cops also connected Harris to the videos by a black tuxedo jacket that he picked up earlier in the night and was still wearing when he was arrested in the 83rd Precinct on a pair of bench warrants, according to McNabney.

In one of the warrants, Harris was accused of slapping a woman’s butt in Harlem, the ADA said.

This suspect approached a 64-year-old female victim from behind, placed her in a choke hold, and knocked her to the ground.
This suspect allegedly approached a 64-year-old female victim from behind, placed her in a chokehold and knocked her to the ground.DCPI

In the separate warrant, Harris allegedly punched a Hispanic woman in the mouth and spat on another Hispanic woman after threatening to kill Puerto Ricans in Brooklyn.

He was charged with felony assault as a hate crime and forcible touching in the separate cases.

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Trump urges Republicans to block bill extending FISA provisions

Michael Leahy

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Trump urges Republicans to block bill extending FISA provisions

President Trump on Tuesday urged House Republicans to oppose legislation extending Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act provisions, citing abuses of the law against his 2016 campaign.

“I hope all Republican House Members vote NO on FISA until such time as our Country is able to determine how and why the greatest political, criminal, and subversive scandal in USA history took place!” Trump wrote on Twitter.

Trump’s call to action is a boon to privacy advocates in both parties, who for years have faced narrow defeats on measures to restrain government surveillance. But with Republicans in the minority in the House, they will need support from left-wing Democrats who also want to change a Senate-passed bill. If the bill is altered, it will return again to the Senate.

The bill was negotiated in part by Attorney General Bill Barr and passed the Senate 80-16 this month after senators rejected by a single vote a measure to protect US internet browsing records from warrantless collection. With 59 votes in favor and a supporter, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, absent, the provision failed.

Last week, Trump told The Post during a press conference on Capitol Hill that during Senate negotiations, “I purposely said to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch [McConnell], you go and do what you want.”

But Trump added: “Nobody has been abused more than Trump…. so I’m going to be studying it very much.”

On Tuesday, before Trump urged Republican opposition, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said in response to a question from The Post at a press briefing, “Any FISA concerns the president has, they’re real, they’re personal, and they should be considered as we move forward to reauthorize this valuable tool.”

Trump faced divided pressures within the Republican Party. Some allies, including Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, had hoped Trump would block the bill, though Paul said he didn’t hold out much hope after discussing the matter with Trump.

“I think he was sympathetic to the idea that we needed more reform but we didn’t have the votes, basically,” Paul said last week. “I think he should [veto the bill], but I don’t think he will.”

It’s unclear if Trump’s demand for further review of abuses against his campaign will take on more specific form. The Senate Judiciary Committee led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) already is reviewing the FBI’s Russia investigation, though Graham has resisted Trump’s urging to call former President Barack Obama as a witness.

On Tuesday, Trump swore in a new national intelligence director, former Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe. In one of his final acts, outgoing acting intelligence director Ric Grenell declassified transcripts of former Trump adviser Michael Flynn’s December 2016 calls with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to FBI agents including Peter Strzok about those calls, though he argues he did not intentionally lie and the Justice Department has moved to dismiss the case finding no valid reason to interview Flynn.

Trump defenders particularly object to the “unmasking” of Flynn’s identity under FISA by Obama administration officials, as well as the FBI withholding information from the FISA court in applications to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

An investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller ultimately found no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

FISA became law after Watergate to rein in government surveillance. It sets out oversight for surveillance of suspected spies and terrorists, but privacy advocates say it’s insufficient. In 2013, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the FISA court was routinely approving the dragnet collection of domestic call records from phone companies, which Congress ended in 2015.

The pending bill’s reforms require the attorney general to sign off on surveillance of government officials, and opens the door to additional outside expert testimony before the FISA court, where only government attorneys generally are represented.

Paul said last week the pending bill would allow authorities to use FISA to “investigate a presidential election, which is a terrible, terrible injustice, and we should have tried to prevent it.”

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