Connect with us

Washington, D.C

18 Dems vote in favor of GOP-led bill cracking down on DC crime

Published

on

18 Dems vote in favor of GOP-led bill cracking down on DC crime


Join Fox News for access to this content

Plus special access to select articles and other premium content with your account – free of charge.

Please enter a valid email address.

By entering your email and pushing continue, you are agreeing to Fox News’ Terms of Use and Privacy Policy, which includes our Notice of Financial Incentive. To access the content, check your email and follow the instructions provided.

Having trouble? Click here.

A House Republican-led bill aimed at overhauling Washington, D.C.’s criminal policies passed with the support of 18 Democrats on Wednesday evening.

Advertisement

It is a sign that crime in the nation’s capital has been an increasingly urgent issue for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Rep. Byron Donalds’ D.C. Criminal Reform to Immediately Make Everyone Safer (DC CRIMES) Act would impose specific changes targeting how juveniles and young adults are prosecuted.

The bill passed the House by a 225 to 181 vote, with only Democratic lawmakers opposed.

FLORIDA SHERIFF’S DEPUTY SEEN FATALLY SHOOTING 23-YEAR-OLD US AIRMAN

Rep. Byron Donalds’ crime bill earned the support of several Democrats, including Rep. Jared Moskowitz, right. (Getty Images)

Advertisement

Democrats who supported the bill include Reps. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla.; Pat Ryan, D-N.Y.; Henry Cuellar, D-Texas; Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas; Jared Golden, D-Maine; Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio; Ruben Gallego, D-Ariz.; and Angie Craig, D-Minn.; among others.

Donalds, R-Fla., said in a statement after its passage, “Our nation’s capital is experiencing a historic crime wave as a result of progressive, soft-on-crime policy. This man-made public safety crisis is unacceptable. Congress has a constitutional responsibility to oversee the District of Columbia and it is imperative that we act quickly to assert our control when local government fails to do its job. The American people deserve a safe capital city and I will not stand idly-by as it descends into chaos.”

House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., similarly blamed Democratic policies for fueling the city’s crime issues.

FLORIDA MAN CONVICTED AFTER ADMITTING TO HEINOUS CRIME DURING JOB INTERVIEW TO BECOME A POLICE OFFICER

Donalds looks on

Rep. Byron Donalds, R-Fla., introduced the DC CRIMES Act, which passed on Wednesday. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

“Democrats’ soft-on-crime policies have significantly changed policing across the country – and some of the worst consequences can been seen in our nation’s capital,” Johnson’s statement read. “Congress has a responsibility to act in the interest of the District of Columbia.”

Advertisement

It is not the first time since the beginning of 2023 that Congress has stepped in to exercise its authority over the capital to crack down on crime.

Last March, both the House and Senate passed a GOP-led resolution overturning the city council’s proposed overhaul of the Washington, D.C., criminal code that would have drastically reduced minimum sentences for armed carjackings and expanded the right to jury trials, which critics say would have caused unnecessary delays.

Donalds’ bill would lower the age classifying “youths” from under 25 to under 18. The classification gives Washington, D.C., courts more flexibility in issuing sentences for crimes committed.

POLICE ON UC IRVINE CAMPUS AFTER ANTI-ISRAEL AGITATORS SWARM BUILDINGS; STUDENTS TOLD TO ‘LEAVE AREA’

Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Fla., is one of the 18 Democrats who voted for the bill. (Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

It would prevent the courts from handing down sentences under the minimum statutory requirements for youth offenders, and stop Washington, D.C.’s progressive city council from changing what those requirements are.

Advertisement

CLICK TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

The bill would also require the Washington, D.C., attorney general to keep the public better informed on youth and juvenile crime rates by creating a public website where statistics are readily available. 

According to a year-to-date crime comparison provided by the Metropolitan Police Department, homicides in the nation’s capital rose 35% from 2022 to 2023, with the overall rate of violent crime climbing 39%. Robberies increased by 67%, while instances of motor vehicle theft have climbed 82%.



Source link

Advertisement
Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Washington, D.C

Rulings highlight how Trump’s classified documents case could have gone differently had it been brought in DC | CNN Politics

Published

on

Rulings highlight how Trump’s classified documents case could have gone differently had it been brought in DC | CNN Politics




CNN
 — 

Before indicting Donald Trump last year for allegedly mishandling classified documents, federal prosecutors had to decide where to bring the charges: Washington, DC, or Florida.

Ultimately, they charged the former president in Florida, a decision that has proven to be a fateful one — underscored by the vastly different approaches taken by DC judges as compared to the federal judge now presiding over the criminal case in Florida.

Those approaches became apparent in the past week as opinions were unsealed from two DC federal judges indicating how much more quickly and harshly for Trump the case might have played out had it remained in Washington.

Advertisement

And over the long weekend, the federal judge overseeing Trump’s case now in Florida has been thrust into a new debate about a gag order for the former president — an issue judges in DC already tackled.

In the recently unsealed opinions, DC District Court Chief Judge James “Jeb” Boasberg and his predecessor, Judge Beryl Howell, demonstrate a deep skepticism to arguments by Trump and his co-defendants on questions of attorney-client privilege and grand jury secrecy that Judge Aileen Cannon has spent months deliberating over in Florida.

Though it’s been nearly a year since special counsel Jack Smith indicted Trump for mishandling classified documents, the case remains stalled amid Cannon’s reluctance to rule on issues before her and appears unlikely to go to trial before the November election.

Cannon now is being asked to respond to a new request from prosecutors to curtail Trump’s ability to comment about law enforcement and witnesses involved in the documents case, because he keeps suggesting misleadingly the FBI was prepared to use deadly force against him during the search of Mar-a-Lago in 2022.

A federal judge in DC, Tanya Chutkan, who’s handling a separate criminal case against the former president related to the 2020 election, placed a gag order on Trump months ago preventing him from commenting about witnesses and others in that case in a way that could intimidate them or hurt the proceedings.

Advertisement

Cannon hasn’t yet responded to prosecutors imploring her to limit Trump’s speech in a filing Friday night.

The bulk of evidence against Trump in the documents case was taken in through a DC federal grand jury that continued to hear testimony months after the FBI seized hundreds of classified documents from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August 2022. But the Justice Department moved the investigation to a Miami grand jury in its final few weeks before charging Trump in South Florida’s federal court because much of Trump’s allegedly criminal actions took place at Mar-a-Lago, in Palm Beach, Florida.

Prosecutors have publicly disclosed little about the choice to move the case to Florida, though it has become a topic of discussion in the fights with the defense teams over secrecy, especially at a recent hearing before Cannon. “I can say that the investigation that was ongoing before the DC grand jury had – had adequate nexus to continue in Washington. I’m not prepared to comment on the date on which a decision to charge in Florida was made or what the internal deliberations were on that subject,” special counsel’s office prosecutor David Harbach told Cannon at a hearing last week.

Trump and his co-defendants’ attorneys have spent months trying to exploit that move, with the hopes that Cannon may think differently from Howell and Boasberg and want to scrutinize the prosecutors’ choices.

Cannon is now being asked to re-examine fundamental portions of the case that Howell and Boasberg had already ruled on, including prosecutors’ ability to secure testimony in the DC grand jury from Trump’s former attorney Evan Corcoran. Trump’s team is seeking to cut that testimony out of the prosecutors’ case entirely — an approach that might have been harder for the defense if the case had stayed in DC.

Advertisement

Last year, Howell ordered Corcoran to testify in front of the grand jury after finding that his conversations with Trump were not protected by attorney-client privilege because they were in furtherance of a crime. Corcoran’s testimony ended up informing key portions of the indictment against Trump and included detailed accounts of Trump’s alleged efforts to keep the classified materials hidden from federal authorities.

Bradley Moss, a DC-based lawyer with extensive national security experience, said that the ruling from Howell provided Cannon a “clear road map” to consider the attorney-client privilege issues.

But Cannon hasn’t even scheduled a hearing on the topic, which the parties began arguing over in court papers in February.

“That she continues to sit on the matter is inexcusable,” Moss said.

Compared to the DC judges, Cannon has been more reluctant to rule on issues before her, often giving wide latitude for defendants’ claims to be argued over several rounds in court and has entertained attempts to pull the case away from its central issues and into arguments viewed as fringe by a broad spectrum of legal scholars.

Advertisement

Howell, in a pre-indictment ruling that let investigators obtain details of conversations Trump had with his attorney that otherwise would have been protected by privilege, said that there was “strong evidence” that Trump “intended” to hide the classified documents. Howell’s 84-page opinion last March agreed with prosecutors’ arguments of potentially criminal obstructive behavior by Trump that is now central to the criminal case.

Howell analyzed much of the same Trump conduct that girded charges that were filed roughly three months later, and the judge found that prosecutors had put forward “sufficient” evidence of a crime to allow for the privilege to be breached. That is a lower bar than what an eventual jury will have to grapple with in the case.

Judge Beryl A. Howell

But the exercise required Howell to confront some of the very same Trump defenses that his lawyers are now putting before Cannon.

For instance, Howell made the point that even if Trump, as a former president, had the authority to keep the classified materials, he was required by a relevant law to “safeguard” the information, and in this case the “classified documents were stored in unauthorized and unsecured locations,” she said.

A similar argument Trump made in his trial court has tied Cannon up in knots. While she ultimately rejected a Trump bid to dismiss the case on the grounds he could have kept them post-presidency, she did so after hours of oral arguments, an additional round of written arguments and with a ruling that sidestepped the legal merits of the argument.

The newly unsealed ruling from Boasberg, meanwhile, rejected a request this month from Trump and his co-defendants that the DC-based judge hand over to Cannon several records of confidential grand jury proceedings.

Advertisement

The effort to transfer the records is being spearheaded by Trump’s valet and co-defendant Walt Nauta, who is seeking to bring scrutiny to a 2022 interaction his attorney had with prosecutors after Nauta stopped cooperating against Trump.

Boasberg’s ruling included a word of caution — perhaps an implicit jab at Cannon — about the possibility that the confidentiality of the grand jury would be hurt if its records were handed over to another court that is not fully steeped in that grand jury’s history.

It was an apparent dead end with the DC-based judge.

“Such a court, venturing beyond its expertise, may disclose more material than warranted,” Boasberg wrote.

Boasberg, an Obama appointee, cited extensive case law and even prior decisions in DC. He has also sent a “recommendation” to Cannon on how to handle secrecy of other grand jury records more relevant to the case, which Boasberg’s court has provided to the Florida court.

Advertisement
Jude James Boasberg

Boasberg’s ruling called out Nauta’s lawyers for trying to game the system with Cannon in Florida in a search for past secret courts records that they think could help him.

Boasberg deemed it, bitingly, a “fishing expedition.”

“His request extends to matters he knows nothing about,” Boasberg wrote. “He imagines that upon transfer to Florida, the court presiding over his criminal case would sift through the records docket by docket and entry by entry, plucking out whatever material it deems relevant to his defense.”

Still, Nauta’s attorney continued to argue to Cannon last week that even without the older records from DC, she could reopen the dispute Boasberg previously handled in her court.

Cannon, a Trump appointee confirmed to the bench in late 2020, has far less experience than the DC court handling cases where high-stakes political implications intersect with national security interests.

For instance, Boasberg previously served as the chief judge on another powerful judicial bench that works almost solely in the national security space, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The court looks at surveillance warrants related to national security intelligence matters, and it handles extensive classified issues from its base out of Washington.

Advertisement

And Howell, also an Obama appointee, is one of the most seasoned judges in the country on the sort of attorney-client privilege disputes that occurred during the Trump grand jury investigations, with more public opinions on the topic in politically charged investigations than perhaps any other judge in the country.

Cannon, conversely, has presided over only four criminal trials since Trump appointed her to the bench in 2020, in a courthouse ​so sleepy it didn’t have a secured facility to look at classified records until months after Trump’s case landed on her docket last June. She is taking months to work through classified records issues in the case, and hasn’t even scheduled hearings on a major set of disputes to come over the national security records the defense lawyers may want to use at trial.

“Simply greater exposure to this litigation process alone speaks to the speed and detail with which these two DC judges handled these matters in comparison to Judge Cannon,” Moss said.

CNN’s Hannah Rabinowitz contributed to this report.

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Washington, D.C

Veterans visit D.C. ahead of Memorial Day with Honor Flight Tri-State

Published

on

Veterans visit D.C. ahead of Memorial Day with Honor Flight Tri-State


play

On Wednesday, 88 military veterans flew from Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport to Washington D.C. for a whirlwind tour of monuments and memorials put on by Honor Flight Tri-State.

But the tour is just part of it. The nonprofit, with its 18 years of experience, has made it so the typical hassles of travel disappear and the vets can focus on connecting with each other and the public. Director Cheryl Popp has led 87 flights herself.

Advertisement

More: Cheryl Popp ‘lives the mission of Honor Flight Tri-State,’ says volunteer

They shared laughs and tears and a raucous homecoming that many of them missed the first time they returned from overseas.

Honor Flight Tri-State started in 2006. Over the years, their flights and buses have gone from being filled with World War II veterans to nearly all Vietnam- and Cold War-era veterans. Even those who served during the Korean War are seldom seen these days.

The organization tries to accommodate everyone with the smoothest trip possible. The normal security checks are bypassed, there are always enough wheelchairs and there’s a team of volunteer medics that accompany every trip. In D.C., the buses even get the occasional police escort.

Advertisement

As one volunteer said, the military is a lot of hurry-up-and-wait, so on these trips, they’ve removed as much waiting as possible.

It’s made possible with an army of volunteers and hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations.

“We will leave no one behind,” the organization states.

Honor Flight Tri-State is doing four trips a year. The trips cost veterans nothing. They just have to apply online. Any veteran 65 or older is eligible whether they served overseas or stateside.

Advertisement

Here are some of their stories.

Reynolds Robertson

Reynolds Robertson, a Clermont County Air Force veteran, touches the flag as he passes underneath it with his daughter Amandalouise Robertson.

The flag send-off has become a tradition for Honor Flight Tri-State.

Robertson said his family has over 300 years of military service dating back at least three generations. On Memorial Day, he’ll be cleaning up five small cemeteries around Clermont County with other Disabled American Veterans members.

Advertisement

Terry Reid

Terry Reid is a Marine who served in Vietnam.

He was enlisted from 1963 to 1967 and served in a mortar infantry battalion there.

After he returned home, he was in the Reserves for over 22 years, worked as a police officer at the University of Cincinnati for 31 years and worked another 11 years at Hughes High School.

Advertisement

His daughter, Karla Tolbert also served in the Army Reserves. “I just feel my patriotism has grown 100%,” Tolbert said of the trip.

David Barry

David Barry visited the Arlington National Cemetery’s Memorial Amphitheater in Washington, D.C., traveling with other veterans and his daughter, Sonya Williams, on the honor flight from Ohio.

Barry served in the Marines from 1966 to 1970. He was wounded twice in Vietnam and had to be taken to Japan on a medevac helicopter.

“This is the welcome home,” Barry said of the trip.

Advertisement

“When I came back from Vietnam there wasn’t anybody there. A lot of vets didn’t even say they were in Vietnam back in the day.”

Paul Dargis

Paul Dargis calls people “man” and sometimes “dude.”

He is an Army veteran who spent his service from 1968 to 1972 in Key West and Germany. His brother was a Vietnam vet “who didn’t talk about it,” Paul said.

He said his time was “like heaven” with real food, a bowling alley and even a bar.

Advertisement

Dargis said he hesitated to go on the honor flight and felt guilty because his service was relatively easy, but his brother reassured, saying, “You served. You served.”

Russel Abney

Russel Abney is a Navy veteran. He was on the USS Belknap, a guided missile frigate, during the Vietnam War cruising the Tonkin Gulf and coordinating strike groups.

“The hardest thing to do was to keep the pilots from trying to run down the MIG-15s,” he laughed. “They would come out and they’d tease and they’d get them to chase them back, but that was nothing more than a trap.”

He said the attitudes toward the military have changed so much in 50 years.

Advertisement

“If you wore a uniform back then, they just assumed you were over there killing people who should have been killed,” he said.

“Today, it’s so much different. I can go to Kroger and people will come up to me say, ‘Thank you for your service.’”

Randall Roth

Air Force veteran Randall Roth enlisted in 1966, about 24 years before Air Force Master Sgt. Tiffany Davis, a soldier also visiting the U.S. Air Force Memorial in Washington, D.C., was even born.

He spent time in the Philippines and then was assigned to an Air Force base in Louisiana servicing B-52 bombers.

Advertisement

Roth said he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and wanted to relist, which would have let him rise to the rank Davis had achieved. However, he ended his service after four years because his parents got sick.

Vince Albers

Army veteran Vincent Albers became close to a set of twins during his basic training back in 1968. He had heard rumors they were both killed in Vietnam.

He asked for help looking up their names at the Vietnam Memorial during the trip, but the guide could not find them.

“Maybe that’s good news,” he said.

Advertisement

Albers served stateside during the Vietnam War. He mainly did funeral details for returning veterans. The secondary job of his unit was being stationed on White House grounds during the massive protests during the war.

“To keep your sanity, you had to separate yourself from your job because we were burying on average three people per week,” Albers said. “It takes a toll. It could have been us.”

Today’s news brings a lot of it back for Albers.

“The lack of empathy in the world that we still have wars. Thousands of people dying because of political idiots,” he said. “The amount of death, unnecessary. It brings back a whole lot of memories. The death is what brings back the memories.”

Jim English

Advertisement

Air Force veteran Jim English brought a handwritten list of people he had lost in the Vietnam War. During his honor flight visit Wednesday, he found all their names on the memorial wall and photographed them.

During the early years of Honor Flight Tri-State, the organizers spent the longest stretch of the day at the World War II Memorial. Now, most of the veterans on the trips served during the Vietnam War so the tour spends more time at that memorial.

The names of the Vietnam War Memorial are listed in chronological order of when they died. Jim English paused at one spot with his son, James English. Together they found five names grouped together.

“They were all on the same plane,” he told his son.

All told, English said he lost nine people in Vietnam. “It’s stupid having wars,” he said. “The whole secret, it’s like when somebody calls you a name, don’t call it back.”

Advertisement



Source link

Continue Reading

Washington, D.C

Police ask for help identifying suspects in Northwest D.C. armed robbery

Published

on

Police ask for help identifying suspects in Northwest D.C. armed robbery


Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) detectives are seeking the public’s help to identify a man who robbed a business on the 2700 block of 14th Street, Northwest Washington, D.C.

At around 10:15 p.m. on Saturday, May 25, 2024, officers responded to the report of a robbery.

SEE ALSO: DC police searching for 2 men in Northwest robbery

The man in question entered the business, pulled out a gun, and demanded money. After the employee working at the time handed over the cash, the robber fled.

Advertisement

Surveillance cameras caught this image of the suspect.

If you recognize this man, MPD are asking for people to call them with information at (202) 727-9099 or to text the Department’s tip line at 50411.



Source link

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Trending