National

Man at large after sexually assaulting 21-year-old woman sunbathing in Central Park

WABC-TV

(NEW YORK) — A man is at large after committing a sexual attack on a 21-year-old woman sunbathing in New York City’s Central Park, according to police.

The young woman was alone and sunbathing in the Great Hill section of the park when a man came toward her exposing himself around 1:30 p.m. on Monday, New York Police Department Chief of Patrol John Chell said at a news conference.

“She screams and gets up to run,” but “he tackles her from behind” and “tried to get on top of her,” Chell said.

The victim fought the man off and he fled, Chell said.

Officers scoured the park for witnesses on Monday afternoon, Chell said. Police said they’re checking for surveillance video.

The attack unfolded in “one of the most iconic locations in the world” for New Yorkers and visitors, NYPD Deputy Commissioner Tarik Sheppard said.

Police “are going to continue to be out here until we feel that this perpetrator is off the streets,” Sheppard said.

There’s no pattern of sexual assaults in Central Park, Chell noted.

The attacker is described as a Black man in his 30s with curly hair, police said. He has a medium build and is about 6 feet tall, police said.

Authorities urge anyone with information to call 1-800-577-TIPS.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

National

Trump expressed concern that returning classified docs after subpoena could result in criminal charges, according to sealed notes

A police car is seen outside former U.S. President Donald Trump’s residence in Mar-A-Lago, Palm Beach, Florida on Aug. 8, 2022. (GIORGIO VIERA/AFP via Getty Images)

(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump privately expressed concerns that turning over potentially classified documents in his possession after a May 2022 subpoena could result in criminal charges while repeatedly engaging in what prosecutors have described as an effort to enlist his lawyers to lie and destroy documents for his benefit, according to transcripts of audio notes reviewed by ABC News.

Prosecutors allege that rather than comply with the subpoena, Trump opted to hide dozens of classified documents from his own lawyers, and federal agents eventually seized 102 classified documents — including 17 top secret documents — after they executed a search warrant at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August 2022.

The notes, which ABC News first reported on last year, are at the center of an ongoing legal battle in the former president’s federal classified documents case, where prosecutors have used the detailed notes about Trump’s behavior and statements as key evidence to demonstrate that the former president attempted to obstruct justice by hiding documents from investigators.

Aileen Cannon, the judge overseeing the case, is hearing arguments Tuesday on Trump’s effort to limit prosecutors’ use of the notes and to have the entire case dismissed based on the role of the notes in the government’s case.

Two months before agents searched Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s former lead attorney Evan Corcoran’s notes — which prosecutors have used to bolster their case against the former president — describe that Trump repeatedly blamed his legal troubles on his “political enemies,” was reluctant to allow the review of boxes that prosecutors say contained dozens of classified documents, and engaged in conduct that prosecutors believe was an effort to “corrupt” his attorneys by concealing Trump’s alleged retention of classified documents.

“He raised a question as to, if we gave them additional documents now, would they, would they, the Department of Justice, come back and say well, why did you withhold them and try to use that as a basis for criminal liability or to make him look bad in the press,” according to Corcoran’s notes about what Trump asked his attorneys in May 2022 after prosecutors subpoenaed the former president to turn over any classified documents in his possession, records reviewed by ABC News say.

“Well look isn’t it better if there are no documents?” Trump also asked his attorneys after raising concerns about prosecutors “opening up new fronts against him,” according to Corcoran’s notes.

A spokesperson for the special counsel’s office declined to comment to ABC News. A spokesperson with the Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

Prosecutors alleged in a recent court filing that Trump attempted to “enlist [Corcoran] in the corrupt endeavor” by suggesting he falsely tell the FBI that Trump did not have classified documents or that he hide or destroy them rather than turn them over.

“Trump tried to enlist his attorney in his criminal endeavor, tested his attorney’s receptiveness, and then manipulated his attorney to achieve his criminal ends when the attorney did not accept his overtures,” prosecutors wrote in a recent filing.

Trump pleaded not guilty last year to a 40-count indictment related to his handling of classified materials, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to get the documents back. Trump has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.

Defense lawyers have repeatedly argued that the notes from Trump’s lawyer are protected by attorney-client privilege, but a federal judge in Washington, D.C. last year determined that notes could be used as evidence after prosecutors demonstrated that Trump deliberately misled his attorneys in furtherance of a crime, piercing attorney-client privileges invoked by two of his lawyers.

‘I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes’

Corcoran made multiple audio recordings to memorialize his interactions with the former president, including meeting with Trump on May 23, 2022 to discuss his response to a subpoena for any classified documents stored at Mar-a-Lago.

During an approximately one-and-a-half-hour meeting with both Trump and attorney Jennifer Little, Trump brought a box to their first meeting to demonstrate its contents, showing the attorneys his newspaper clippings, Post-it notes, and photos, and other materials.

“I don’t want anybody looking, I don’t want anybody looking through my boxes, I really don’t, I don’t want you looking through my boxes,” Trump said, according to a portion of the notes included in the indictment against Trump. “Look I just don’t want anybody going through these things.”

Corcoran wrote that he attempted to focus on Trump’s response to the subpoena, though the former president frequently returned to the topic that he was being targeted by political opponents.

“He repeated many times that he felt he was really being targeted,” Corcoran noted.

“Look, you know, I have ten different actions against me. They are trying to get me. They’re going after me. These people are ruthless,” Trump remarked while boasting about his own administration. “I’ve done all these great things for the country. I improved the economy, I lowered taxes, I did this, I did that, built the wall.”

Corcoran recalled that he tried to steer the conversation back to the boxes and warned the former president about the legal consequences of not complying with the subpoena.

“Well what if we, what happens if we just don’t respond at all or don’t play ball with them?” Trump asked, according to a portion of the notes included in the indictment.

“Well, there’s a prospect that they could go to a judge and get a search warrant and that they could arrive here and get a search warrant,” Corcoran responded.

According to Corcoran, Trump repeatedly asked during their meeting if it would be “better if we just told them we don’t have anything here.”

During an interview with Smith’s team, Little largely corroborated Corcoran’s recollection of the meeting, telling investigators that she “very clearly” warned Trump about the seriousness of the subpoena and told him “it’s going to be a crime” if he failed to comply but swore otherwise.

After speaking about the subpoena for more than an hour, Trump concluded the meeting to attend a series of interviews before reconvening with the attorneys in the afternoon. According to Corcoran, Trump suggested that the attorneys — who he noted were both single — “take a walk along the beach” and that “maybe … sparks will fly.”

But while waiting poolside at Mar-a-Lago for their next meeting with Trump, Corcoran said Little warned — based on her conversation with two other Trump attorneys — that if they pushed Trump to comply with the subpoena, “he’s just going to go ballistic,” Corcoran noted.

Little added that “there’s no way he’s going to agree to anything and that, that he was going to deny that there were any more boxes at all,” according to Corcoran’s notes.

‘Isn’t it better if there are no documents?’

Later in the afternoon on May 23, 2022, Corcoran and Little met with Trump in a small library at Mar-a-Lago, ditching their phones outside the room at the direction of the former president, according to Corcoran.

Sitting feet from Trump across a small table, Corcoran said Trump asked about the legal consequences for complying with the subpoena while cautioning that prosecutors “really wanted to get him anyway they could.”

Trump blamed the investigation on his “political enemies” who wanted to “weaken him and get him not to run” for president. Trump said he was “just trying to understand what the best way” was to respond to the investigations and claimed that prosecutors would “keep opening up new fronts against him.”

According to Corcoran’s notes, Trump expressed concerns that returning “additional documents” following the subpoena could become the “basis for criminal liability.

“He asked again, he said — Well look, isn’t it better if there are no documents?” Corcoran noted.

Corcoran added that during their meeting, Trump repeatedly recounted that a lawyer for Hillary Clinton “deleted all of her emails” so “she didn’t get into any trouble.”

“He was great, he did a great job,” Trump told the lawyers, according to the notes.

Prosecutors allege that during the meetings with his attorneys, Trump attempted to test Corcoran’s receptiveness to evading the subpoena, though the meeting concluded with the two setting a plan for Corcoran to return to Mar-a-Lago to search through the boxes for documents responsive to the subpoena.

“Look, so you’re — so if I’m hearing you right, what you want is to come back and have me or somebody go through and find some, get any classified documents if there are any. That, that, sounds like that’s the plan you want, is it?” Trump said, repeating the plan multiple times, according to the notes.

“We will figure this out. Go through the documents, if we’ve got any classified stuff, get it to DOJ,” Trump said, according to the notes.

Prosecutors allege that Corcoran’s rebuff to Trump’s suggestions resulted in the former president adopting a different plan — deceiving his attorney by having his “trusted body man” and co-defendant Walt Nauta move the boxes from the storage room in Mar-a-Lago to prevent Corcoran from conducting a complete search.

In the days between the May 23 meeting with Trump and Corcoran’s June 2 review of the boxes at Mar-a-Lago, prosecutors allege that Trump coordinated for Nauta to remove 64 boxes out of the storage room to Trump’s personal residence, where Trump planned to “pick from them,” according to text messages between Nauta and a Trump family member. By the time Corcoran returned to Mar-a-Lago to review the boxes, only about 30 of the 64 boxes moved by Nauta were returned for the search.

‘Don’t call me with any bad news’

Corcoran described the process of searching through the boxes in the cramped storage room during a humid June day as a “laborious” and unpleasant task, though Corcoran noted that contents of the boxes — “thousands” of Post-it notes, magazines, emails with senators and heads of state, books, notebooks, and briefing materials — offered a unique window into Trump’s state of mind as president.

“If Robert Caro or some other presidential biographer had been in my position, they would have been absolutely in heaven,” Corcoran said in his notes.

Corcoran also noted that the boxes included an odd variety of contents, including presidential memorabilia, Make America Great Again hats, gifts from foreign leaders, clothing — including underwear and socks — and toiletries like mouthwash, toothpaste, and razors. Some of the boxes were sealed with white duct tape and many included a typed note about the destination for the box, such as “W-H to M-A-L.”

According to Corcoran, Trump’s description of the boxes’ contents suggested they became “catch-all depositories for what he’d gone through day after day” when he reviewed materials in the White House residence.

“I had to read these things at night so that I could be ready, that’s the only time I could read something, and I had to read them so I could be ready for calls or meetings the next day,” Trump told Corcoran about how briefing memos, notes, and emails ended up in the boxes. “I just had boxes in the, in my bedroom, you know, a lot of boxes and I’d just, you know, read these things and then throw them in there.”

While Trump told Corcoran he instructed others to declassify any of the documents that entered his residence, the former president appeared to acknowledge in his conversation with Corcoran that simply bringing the documents into his residence did not result in declassifying the documents.

“I told people to declassify — anything that comes into the residence should be declassified. And I told people. I told lawyers that. I don’t know what was done, I don’t know how they were marked. But that was my position,” Trump said, according to Corcoran.

Corcoran’s search of the room ultimately resulted in a half-inch stack of classified documents, which he sealed in a redweld envelope using duct tape.

“Did you find anything?” Trump asked Corcoran after he concluded his search. “Is it bad? Good?”

According to Corcoran, Trump asked Corcoran about how he planned to store the documents, particularly “anything really bad in there.”

“He made a funny motion as though — well okay why don’t you take them with you to your hotel room and if there’s anything really bad in there, like, you know, pluck it out. And that was the motion that he made. He didn’t say that,” Corcoran noted.

The following day, Corcoran coordinated for Jay Bratt, then the deputy chief of the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and FBI agents to visit Mar-a-Lago to take custody of the responsive documents.

Corcoran received a panicked call from Trump about the visit from federal officials on the morning of their visit, according to Corcoran’s notes.

“Oh that’s very bad. What, you know, what do they want? What are they trying to, why are they trying to get something on me again?” Trump said, according to the notes.

While Corcoran emphasized that the meeting was a routine step that he coordinated, Trump still expressed concern that “this is very bad” and was particularly interested in Bratt’s attendance at the meeting.

“Why is the top guy coming? It’s very unusual, very unusual, you know?” Trump remarked, though Corcoran noted that Trump’s tone about the meeting appeared to change over the day.

According to Corcoran, Trump personally encouraged showing Bratt and the FBI agents the storage room where the documents were stored, over the advice of Corcoran. According to prosecutors, despite Corcoran’s search resulting in return of 38 documents bearing classification markings, Trump still possessed 102 classified documents in Mar-a-Lago — in part due to his effort to hide documents from Corcoran when he attempted to comply with the subpoena — which would be discovered when federal agents returned to Mar-a-Lago two months later with a search warrant.

“I’ve got nothing to hide. I’ve got nothing to hide. If they ask. I want you to show them,” Trump told Corcoran in June.

Later that day, Trump walked into the meeting where Corcoran handed over the classified documents to federal officials, personally shaking the hands of Bratt and the FBI agents.

“I’m glad you’re here. I — I appreciate what you’re doing. If you need anything at all just ask Evan,” Trump said, according to Corcoran.

After Trump left the meeting, Corcoran escorted the federal officials to the storage room where Trump’s boxes were stored, allowing them to look at the room but not touch any of the boxes.

Later that day, Corcoran noted that he received a phone call from Trump, who was onboard his plane en route to New Jersey for the summer.

“Well we’re taking off. But look, Evan, don’t call me with any bad news, okay? Don’t call me with any bad news,” Trump said, according to the notes.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

National

Woman arrested after police find dead body in backseat of crashed car

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(NEW YORK) — A 32-year-old woman has been arrested after police found a dead woman in the backseat of her car that authorities say was not a result of the single-vehicle accident she had been involved in.

The Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office in Minnesota responded to a single-vehicle accident at approximately 7 a.m. on Saturday morning on Interstate 90 going eastbound near the Highway 42 Exit in Olmstead county when police encountered Margot Lewis, a 32-year-old woman being tended to by a somebody passing by, according to a statement from the Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office released on Monday.

“The driver of the vehicle, identified as Margot Lewis, a 32-year-old female of an unknown residence, was out of the vehicle and being tended to by a passerby. In checking to see if anyone else was in the vehicle, a deceased individual, a 35-year-old female, was located in the back seat,” police said. “The condition of the deceased was suspicious, and it was immediately apparent that the death was not a result of the motor vehicle accident.”

Police were able to eventually identify the victim but said that the name of the deceased is currently being withheld until her next of kin has been notified.

“Ms. Lewis was transported by Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service (MCAS) to the hospital, where she was medically cleared. Ms. Lewis was then transported to the Adult Detention Center (ADC) and placed under arrest for Interference with a Dead Body,” authorities said.

Lewis is now expected to make an appearance in court on this case on sometime on Tuesday, according to the Olmstead County Sheriff’s Office.

Minnesota State Patrol, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA), Eyota Fire Department, and Mayo Clinic Ambulance Service assisted with the initial call and authorities from the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office said that they extend “sincere condolences to the friends and family of the deceased.”

The investigation into the incident is currently ongoing and no further information will be released at this time.

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

National

Woman, 26, plunges to death after being swept over waterfall at Glacier National Park

National Park Service

(NEW YORK) — A 26-year-old woman has drowned after being swept over a waterfall and getting trapped under the gushing water for several minutes, officials said.

The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon when authorities began receiving received multiple 911 calls routed through Glacier County dispatch at approximately 5:20 p.m. saying that an unnamed 26-year-old woman from Pennsylvania was swept over St. Mary’s Falls on the east side of Glacier National Park in Montana and fell approximately 35 feet into the water below, according to a statement from the National Park Service (NPS) released on Monday.

“According to witnesses, the woman was washed over the falls and trapped under water for several minutes,” NPS said. “Bystanders pulled her from the water below the falls and administered CPR until emergency responders arrived. Park rangers and Babb ambulance personnel took over CPR upon arrival.”

Park rangers were on the scene at 5:45 p.m., approximately 25 minutes after the incident was first reported, NPS said.

An ALERT helicopter landed nearby shortly after for further support at about 6:20 pm and assisted with resuscitation efforts but the victim never regained consciousness.

“Resuscitation efforts were terminated at about 7 pm and ALERT personnel pronounced the woman deceased,” NPS said. “ALERT flew the body to the 1913 Ranger Station near St. Mary, MT where they were met by the Glacier County coroner at about 7:30 pm. The coroner is transporting the body to the medical examiner in Missoula, MT for an autopsy.”

The death is currently under investigation while additional details are still being gathered and the victim’s next of kin is currently being notified in advance of releasing the woman’s name.

“Park staff would like to thank Glacier County, ALERT, Babb Ambulance and US Border Patrol for their support, along with numerous bystanders for their immediate assistance,” NPS said. “The park extends their deepest condolences to family and friends of the woman and asks that the public respect their privacy.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

National

Judge in Trump classified docs case questions government about funding for special counsel

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(WASHINGTON) — During a two-hour hearing Monday morning, the judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s classified documents case pressed government attorneys to provide more information about the funding of special counsel Jack Smith’s investigation, at one point remarking that the funding presents a “separation of powers concern.”

The hearing, conducted by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, was a continuation of Friday’s hearing in which defense attorneys sought to have the documents case dismissed on the grounds that Smith was unlawfully appointed as special counsel.

Trump pleaded not guilty last year to 40 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials after leaving the White House, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to get the documents back. Trump has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.

Defense lawyer Emil Bove argued Monday that the funding of the special counsel’s office was unconstitutional because it relies on a “permanent indefinite appropriation” that is outside of the normal budget process.

“Is there any cap to the funding?” Judge Cannon asked.

“No, and I think that is part of the reason … to be very wary of who can access it and why,” Bove said. “There is no check on the scope of what’s going on here.”

As Bove hammered at the constitutionality of the special counsel’s office, Smith himself sat just feet away in the courtroom, occasionally jotting down notes during the argument. Smith did not attend Friday’s hearing.

While Cannon appeared skeptical of Bove’s argument at times — including accusing him of doing a “flip flop” on his position about the independence of the special counsel’s office — she pressed assistant special counsel James Pearce about the office’s budget.

“It is the full commitment of the DOJ that the special counsel has the funding to continue this prosecution,” Pearce said.

Pearce claimed that the change in funding source would result in “no effect or change whatsoever” to the case.

However, Bove argued that the Department of Justice funding the special counsel would result in a “very strong” response,” including congressional action and additional motions from defense counsel.

“It is difficult for me to imagine how that resolves the motion here,” Bove said. “I think there would be a very strong political response.”

Cannon appeared to backtrack on some of her comments during the hearing, remarking, “I am not indicating anything. I am just trying to cover the scope of what has been briefed here.”

Cannon heard arguments Monday afternoon about imposing a gag order on Trump to prohibit statements that endanger law enforcement. Previewing his argument at the end of the morning hearing, Bove described the proposed gag order as “truly extraordinary effort to gag [Trump’s] ability to speak at a debate and the campaign trail.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

National

Kevin, world’s tallest dog who stood at 7 feet on his hind legs, dies just days after getting record

Guinness World Records

(NEW YORK) — The world’s tallest male dog Kevin, who could stretch to approximately 7 feet tall when standing on his hind legs, has died just days after his record-breaking achievement was announced to the world, according to Guinness World Records.

The three-year-old Great Dane, who lived in West Des Moines, Iowa with his family, passed away this week following an unplanned surgery after falling ill, according to Guinness World Records.

“Our whole family is devastated about Kevin. He was just the best giant boy,” Kevin’s owner Tracy Wolfe said in a statement. “We are so glad that he was able to break the record and have that light on him. He absolutely adored the attention. I wish these giant breeds, and all dogs, could live longer than they do. It’s never enough time.”

Kevin claimed his record after measuring in at 0.97 m (3 ft 2 in) tall from his feet to his withers, although he was around 7 ft tall when he stood up on his hind legs, according to Guinness.

“Kevin’s favourite activity is probably taking naps. Holding the couch down is his favorite pastime, I think,” said Wolfe. “Kevin is funny and he is super duper friendly. In fact, overly friendly. You don’t want to keep your mouth open too much when he’s around … But everybody loves seeing him as long as they don’t get whipped by his tail.”

The average Great Dane is around 0.76 m (2 ft 6 in) to the withers and when he stood on his hind legs, he was taller than his other owner, Roger Wolfe.

“He was also a bit of a scaredy cat who was terrified of the vacuum and would run away whenever it came near him,” Guinness said in their statement announcing his death.

A spokesperson for Guinness World Records said: “We are deeply saddened to learn that Kevin suddenly passed away after unexpected health complications. Tracy and the team at the vet clinic she works in did everything they could to save Kevin after he became ill. Our thoughts and support are with the Wolfe family as they navigate this difficult time.”

Copyright © 2024, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

National

New Jersey man allegedly flew to Florida to attack fellow gamer: Sheriff

Nassau County Sheriff’s Office

(NEW YORK) — A New Jersey man faces an attempted murder charge after allegedly flying to Florida and attacking a fellow gamer with a hammer over an online dispute, authorities said.

The two had never met in-person before the suspect showed up at the victim’s home in Fernandina Beach over the weekend “apparently to confront the victim,” Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper said during a press briefing on Monday announcing charges in the case.

The incident is believed to have originated from an “online altercation,” Leeper said, calling the case “a weird one.”

The suspect, Edward Kang, 20, allegedly gained entry into the victim’s home through an unlocked door and — wearing all-black clothes, gloves and a mask — attacked him with a hammer when the victim got up from gaming to use the bathroom late Saturday or early Sunday, according to Leeper.

The victim, who is believed to be around the same age as Kang, was able to wrestle his assailant to the ground, Leeper said. He and his stepfather, who was woken up by screams for help, were able to disarm the suspect and restrain him until deputies arrived, Leeper said.

“Upon arrival, they discovered a significant amount of blood in the entryway of the home and the victim’s bedroom,” Leeper said.

The victim sustained “severe” head wounds during the assault, the sheriff said. The victim has since been released from a hospital, he said.

Kang was booked into the Nassau County Jail on Sunday and charged with attempted second-degree murder and armed burglary. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

Leeper said the investigation is ongoing and charges may be upgraded.

When asked about a motive in the assault, Kang allegedly told deputies that the victim is a “bad person online,” Leeper said. He also allegedly asked how much jail time you receive for breaking and entering and assault, according to Leeper.

“I would say, Mr. Kang, it will be a long time before you play video games,” Leeper said.

The victim and suspect allegedly knew each other from the online video game ArcheAge, according to Leeper. The Korean massively multiplayer online role-playing game will no longer be accessible in the United States as of Thursday, its publisher announced in April, citing the “declining number of active players.”

Kang reportedly told family he was going to meet a friend he met years ago through an online video game, Leeper said. He flew from Newark, New Jersey, to Jacksonville, Florida, and arrived at a hotel near the victim’s home early Friday morning, according to Leeper. He allegedly purchased a hammer and flashlight at a hardware store upon landing in Florida, with receipts found in his hotel room, Leeper said.

“This incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential real-world consequences of online interaction,” Leeper said. “We urge the public to exercise caution, report any suspicious online behavior to the authorities and always ensure that their homes are securely locked.”

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National

Prosecutors say gag order is needed to keep Trump from inviting ‘violent act’ on law enforcement

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(NEW YORK) — Prosecutors on Monday told the judge overseeing Donald Trump’s federal classified documents case that a limited gag order was necessary to prevent the former president from inviting a “violent act” on the law enforcement agents involved in the case.

As assistant special counsel David Harbach attempted to demonstrate that Trump was aware of the “predictable response of some of his supporters” when he made false statements about FBI’s August 2022 search of Mar-a-Lago — including a campaign statement that President Joe Biden was “locked & loaded ready to take me out & put my family in danger” — Judge Aileen Cannon challenged the prosecutor to produce evidence and justify the constitutionality of the proposed gag order.

“The most important thing is it talks about an event that is central to this case in utterly misleading terms,” Harbach argued. “The government is at a loss to conceive any possible reason Mr. Trump would say something so false … and inviting of retributive violence.”

“Where on the attachments do you see a call for violence?” Cannon responded after criticizing prosecutors for not producing ample evidence of a pattern of conduct from Trump’s other criminal and civil cases.

Trump pleaded not guilty last year to 40 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials after leaving the White House, after prosecutors said he repeatedly refused to return hundreds of documents containing classified information and took steps to thwart the government’s efforts to get the documents back. Trump has denied all charges and denounced the probe as a political witch hunt.

Cannon pressed Harbarch on the argument that a modification of Trump’s release conditions — rather than a standalone gag order like in the former president’s federal election interference case — would avoid issues related to the First Amendment.

“Do conditions of release still need to comport with the Constitution?” Cannon asked. “The First Amendment is in the Constitution.”

Cannon also expressed skepticism about the impact of Trump’s statements on the law enforcement officers, highlighting that any public filings included redactions for the names and identifying information of law enforcement agents. Harbach responded by arguing that some agents were previously doxed, and described Trump’s recent statements as “beyond irresponsible.”

Harbach argued that there is “ample danger between now and trial … that some sort of violent act will occur” because of Trump’s conduct, and said that Cannon needed to impose the restrictions on Trump’s speech to protect the integrity of the proceedings. When Cannon suggested waiting until trial to impose any restrictions on speech, Harbach argued immediate action was necessary.

“That die has already been cast … by defendant’s conduct,” Harbach said.

The first hour of the hearing grew contentious at times, as Cannon pushed Harbach for evidence and details.

“I don’t appreciate your tone,” Cannon told Harbach at one point. “I expect decorum in this courtroom at all times.”

“I didn’t mean to be unprofessional. I apologize for that,” Harbach later said

The request for a gag order by the special counsel follows a month of escalating rhetoric from Trump about federal agents’ use-of-force policy during their August 2022 search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate for classified documents.

In a filing last month, Smith argued that Trump’s statements that law enforcement officers were “complicit in a plot to assassinate him” were intentionally false and misleading, and “put a target on the backs of the FBI agents.”

Trump’s defense attorneys responded to the request by claiming that prosecutors have failed to demonstrate that Trump’s statements resulted in any material threats or harassment against law enforcement.

Echoing the former president’s defense against the limited gag order in his New York criminal hush money case, Trump’s lawyers wrote that the proposed gag order — which they describe as a “shocking display of overreach and disregard for the Constitution” — amounts to political interference by limiting Trump’s statements ahead of this week’s presidential debate and the Republican National Convention in July.

“[T]he motion is a naked effort to impose totalitarian censorship of core political speech, under threat of incarceration, in a clear attempt to silence President Trump’s arguments to the American people about the outrageous nature of this investigation and prosecution,” defense lawyers said in a June filing.

The gag order hearing, being conducted by U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon, follows a continuation this morning of Friday’s hearing in which defense attorneys are seeking to have the documents case dismissed on the grounds that Smith was unlawfully appointed as special counsel.

‘False and extremely dangerous’

Trump’s recent public statements related to the Mar-a-Lago search, during which agents found more than 100 documents with classified markings, have emphasized the use-of-force policy in place during the raid, which Trump has repeatedly associated with “Biden’s DOJ.”

Prosecutors argue that law enforcement employed the Department of Justice’s standard use-of-force policy, which allows the use of force “when the officer has a reasonable belief that the subject of such force poses an imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to the officer or to another person.”

In filings, Smith also emphasized that the search was scheduled in the off-season when Trump and his family were not present at Mar-a-Lago and that it was conducted with coordination with Secret Service and Mar-a-Lago staff — and that Trump’s lawyer was notified before the search was executed.

In a rare public rebuke, the FBI issued a statement last month to confirm that law enforcement used standard protocols related to use of deadly force during the raid, adding that, “No one ordered additional steps to be taken and there was no departure from the norm in this matter.”

Attorney General Merrick Garland also described accusations that the DOJ authorized Trump’s assassination as “false and extremely dangerous” and added that the same policy was in place during the search of President Biden’s home during the investigation into his retention of classified documents.

Threats against law enforcement

Prosecutors have emphasized that the proposed gag order against Trump would be narrowly limited — solely prohibiting Trump from falsely speaking about “FBI agents intending to murder him and his family” — in order to protect the safety of law enforcement officials.

To illustrate the threat against law enforcement officials, prosecutors claimed that Trump’s rhetoric encouraged a supporter to make threats to an FBI agent associated with the Hunter Biden case, including threatening that supporters would “hunt you down” and “slaughter you” if Trump does not win the 2024 election.

Prosecutors also argued that a Trump supporter attacked an FBI field office in Cincinnati with an AR-15 and a nail gun in August 2022 after the raid on Mar-a-Lago — an attack which prosecutors say was partially inflamed by Trump’s comments on social media after the raid.

Defense lawyers wrote that Trump has engaged in his “constitutionally protected campaign speech” and that prosecutors have failed to prove that Trump’s statements have directly resulted in threats or harassment.

In addition to highlighting two examples of threats or violence, prosecutors broadly argued that Trump’s inflammatory language about the raid has created a “combustible atmosphere” that poses an immediate risk to law enforcement.

“No court would tolerate another defendant deliberately creating such immediate risks to the safety of law enforcement, and this Court should not wait for a tragic event before taking action in this case,” prosecutors said in a filing last week.

Trump’s other gag orders

Trump has generally been unsuccessful in challenging the gag orders imposed in his other criminal and civil cases, occasionally securing stays of the orders but failing to overturn the orders as unconstitutional.

New York’s highest court declined to take up Trump’s challenge to the gag order in Trump’s civil fraud case, which prohibited Trump from making comments about judicial staff.

Last week, the same court declined to immediately consider Trump’s challenge to the gag order in his New York hush money case — which prohibits Trump from making statements about jurors, witnesses, and others involved in the case — after determining that “no substantial constitutional question is directly involved” in Trump’s challenge. A mid-level appeals court last month found that the gag order “properly weighed petitioner’s First Amendment Rights against the court’s historical commitment to ensuring the fair administration of justice.”

Trump also unsuccessfully challenged the gag order in his federal election interference case that prohibited from making statements about prosecutors other than Smith, witnesses, and courthouse staff.

“Given the record in this case, the court had a duty to act proactively to prevent the creation of an atmosphere of fear or intimidation aimed at preventing trial participants and staff from performing their functions within the trial process,” a panel of Court of Appeals judges in Washington, D.C., wrote in an order last year upholding the gag order.

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National

FBI announces $10,000 reward for info on cause of deadly New Mexico fires

Omar Ornelas/Anadolu via Getty Images

(WASHINGTON) — The FBI is offering a $10,000 reward for information about the cause of fires that killed two people and have destroyed over a thousand structures near Ruidoso, New Mexico.

The FBI on Sunday offered the reward for any information “leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible” for the South Fork and Salt fires, which began June 17.

Anyone with information to share is asked to contact their local FBI office, or call the FBI’s tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324). The cause of the fires remains unknown.

As of Monday, the fires have consumed an estimated 25,367 acres and 1,400 structures, according to New Mexico state officials, who note the South Fork Fire was 37% contained and the Salt Fire was 7% contained.

Evacuation warnings have been lifted for the South Fork and Salt fires but certain areas remain a “no entry/exclusion zone” due to ongoing recovery efforts by Urban Search and Rescue teams, according to a Village of Ruidoso official update.

“Be prepared for the possibility that your home may be without gas, electricity, and water,” Ruidoso officials further warned.

Currently, the South Fork and Salt fires are staffed with 19 crews, 8 helicopters, 71 engines, 14 bulldozers, and 23 water tenders, according to the state interagency website New Mexico Fire Information.

President Joe Biden on Thursday granted New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s request for a Major Disaster Declaration for the state, freeing federal funds to aid in fire recovery efforts. Gov. Lujan Grisham further signed an executive order authorizing $5.25 million in additional emergency funds to assist the recovery effort.

On Sunday, Gov. Lujan Grisham’s office announced that a Disaster Recovery Center had opened at the Roswell Convention Center in Roswell, about 90 minutes east of the fires, coordinating the efforts of state, federal, local, and county agencies for residents affected by the fires who are in need of assistance.

“Residents can get connected to Disaster Case Management and receive help coordinating both short-term and long-term resources,” Gov. Lujan Grisham’s office said in the announcement.

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National

Shark bites 14-year-old boy on leg at North Carolina beach: Police

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(OAHU, Hawaii) — A 14-year-old boy is recovering after a shark bit him on the leg at a North Carolina beach, authorities said.

The attack unfolded around 12:30 p.m. Sunday, North Topsail Beach Police Chief William Younginer said. Beachgoers sprung into action, getting the boy out of the water and applying towels and pressure to slow the bleeding, he said.

Officers and emergency medical technicians were already at the beach responding to another call, so the response time was about two minutes, Younginer said.

A police officer applied a tourniquet and EMS stabilized the teen before he was taken to the nearest trauma center, Camp Lejune Naval Hospital, Younginer said.

Doctors were able to repair the boy’s leg and he’s expected to be released soon, according to Younginer.

The police chief praised the bystanders who took immediate action.

Also on Sunday, a well-known surfer and lifeguard was killed in a shark attack near the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii, emergency officials said.

Tamayo Perry, 49, had been a lifeguard with Honolulu Ocean Safety since 2016. He was a local surf coach and competed for years in the Pipeline Master Trials, according to his official bio on his coaching site. Perry appeared in the 2002 movie “Blue Crush,” along with episodes of “Hawaii Five-O” and “The Bridge,” according to IMDb.

Click here for what to know about staying safe from sharks.

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