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August 4, 2020

Manhattan DA Probing Trump Org

This Day in History | 1854

Henry David Thoreau’s classic Walden, or, A Life in the Woods is required reading in many classrooms today. But when it was first published—on August 4, 1854—it sold just around 300 copies a year.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

What makes the Manhattan DA investigation of Donald J. Trump different from the others? That’s a fair question. President Trump has avoided any major defeats while he’s been in office. But part of the reason for that is that the president of the United States, can’t be prosecuted, at least not the way we can be prosecuted. There’s not much the Feds can do to take out a president. Our system was designed that way to protect the president and other politicians from political prosecutions. Those protections do not exist at the state level. Which means the district attorney for Manhattan can still subpoena a president and his financial records. There’s long been a rumor that both the Manhattan DA and the Southern district of New York have been sitting on info that could be very damaging to President Trump and the Trump organization. The latest reports from Reuters suggest that information might be embarrassing as well as criminal. Call us skeptical. But we’ll be paying attention to what happens nonetheless. 

For tens of millions of Americans things are bad, and they are about to get worse. Eviction protections for people who’ve been unable to pay their rent has now expired. And there are a lot of tenants out there who are bracing for the loss of their homes. We have a story below – outlining this horrible situation. It’s tough for the families, it’s tough for the landlords, who would like to let people live for free in their apartments, but also have mortgage payments to make. And think about the law enforcement officials, who have to deal with this as well. Normally its a sheriff’s deputy who gets dispatched to kick someone out of their house. You can add that to the list of job responsibilities they have now. It’s sorta like dealing with an unbelievable amount of negativity from the people they’ve sworn to protect, enforcing mask orders, etc. 

One of the drivers of that negativity is what happened in Minneapolis Minnesota. And today we are getting even more visual evidence about the death of George Floyd. And it’s not pretty. Our approach to covering these types of stories revolves around one question. Do our readers – need to know? Do they need to see it? In this case, the answer is yes. In order for us to move forward as a country we have to have all the facts. Watch the video. But also know that it doesn’t reflect the vast majority of police officers who are on the job to defend and protect. All of the officers who responded to an angry anti-masker in Pennsylvania deserve a medal. The suspect fired off his AK-47 at cops. He had just lost his job, and his kids due to a domestic dispute and fallout from the coronavirus. He lived after his altercation with police. He probably shouldn’t have. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Manhattan DA Probing Trump and his Business Over More than ‘Hush-Money’ Payments

(Reuters) – Manhattan’s district attorney on Monday suggested a grand jury subpoena for U.S. President Donald Trump’s tax returns was part of an investigation of “possibly extensive and protracted criminal conduct at the Trump Organization,” including alleged insurance and bank fraud.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance raised the scope of the probe in court papers filed in federal court in Manhattan on Monday. He is seeking to dismiss Trump’s latest challenge to the subpoena for eight years of personal and corporate tax records.

Asked about the investigation at a coronavirus press briefing on Monday, Trump repeated that he believed he is the victim of a political “witch hunt,” which he said was “Democrats’ stuff” and started “even before I got in” to office.

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Wave of Evictions Expected as Moratoriums End in Many States

(AP) – Kelyn Yanez used to clean homes during the day and wait tables at night in the Houston area before the coronavirus. But the mother of three lost both jobs in March because of the pandemic and now is facing eviction.

The Honduran immigrant got help from a local church to pay part of July’s rent but was still hundreds of dollars short and is now awaiting a three-day notice to vacate the apartment where she lives with her children. She has no idea how she will meet her August rent.

“Right now, I have nothing,” said Yanez, who briefly got her bar job back when the establishment reopened, but lost it again when she and her 4-year-old daughter contracted the virus in June and had to quarantine. The apartment owners “don’t care if you’re sick, if you’re not well. Nobody cares here. They told me that I had to have the money.”

Find out more here

Daily Mail Publishes Leaked Bodycam Footage of George Floyd Arrest, Killing

(The Minneapolis Star Tribune) – A British media company on Monday published segments of two leaked body-worn camera videos showing the arrest and death of George Floyd in May at the hands of Minneapolis police.

The Daily Mail published an article with the videos on its website at 10:53 a.m. Central time. It showed about 10 minutes of video from former officer Thomas Lane’s bodycam and about 18 minutes from former officer J. Alexander Kueng’s bodycam.

The two former officers’ bodycam videos were made available for public viewing inside the Hennepin County courthouse in mid-July, but were prohibited from being recorded or publicly distributed.

It’s unclear how the Daily Mail got the videos. The article said they were “leaked” to the company. Hennepin County District Court spokesman Spenser Bickett confirmed that the court was aware of the leak, and said an investigation was underway. “The court will provide no further comment on this matter at this time,” Bickett said in an e-mail.

Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is leading the prosecution of the four former Minneapolis police officers charged in Floyd’s death, issued a statement that he was not the source of the leak.

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Man Fires at Officers with AK-47 a Day After Refusing to Wear a Mask

(NBC News) – A man in Pennsylvania opened fire last week on a Bethlehem cigar store employee after refusing to wear a mask inside the store, police said.

The next day, police said, he shot at officers with an AK-47 during a traffic stop near his home.

A man identified by police as Adam Zaborowski, 35, of Slatington, entered Cigars International in Bethlehem Township, about 70 miles north of Philadelphia, at 11:23 a.m. Friday, police said. He was not wearing a face covering as the store requires and the governor has mandated, according to Bethlehem police.

Employees advised the man that customers must wear masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus, police said.

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Police said the staff told Zaborowski that if he was not comfortable wearing a face covering, they would serve him curbside. Zaborowski became irate, grabbed two cigars from a shelf and exited the store without paying, police alleged.

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Related | Poll: 82% of Americans Support National Facemask Mandate

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