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Justice Dept. subpoenas Ariz., Mich., Wis. officials for Trump communications

Jack SmithSpecial counsel Jack Smith has subpoenaed local officials in Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin — three states that were central to former president Donald Trump’s failed plan to stay in power following the 2020 election — for any and all communications with Trump, his campaign and a long list of aides and allies.

The requests for records arrived in Dane County, Wis.; Maricopa County, Ariz.; and County, Mich., late last week, and in Milwaukee on Monday, officials said. They are Wayne among the first known subpoenas issued by Smith, who was named last month by Attorney General Merrick Garland to oversee the Jan. 6 Capitol attack case as well as the criminal probe of Trump’s possible mishandling of classified documents at his Florida home.

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The Supreme Court Will Consider A 'Dangerous' Theory That Could Break American Democracy

SCOTUS to take up election case

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in a redistricting case on Wednesday, and it is no arcane dispute about district lines or partisan balance. North Carolina Republicans have asked the court to embrace a fringe legal theory with no basis in American history that would upend American democracy, eviscerate voting rights, make combating partisan gerrymandering impossible and empower anti-democratic election subverters.

Moore v. Harper involves a bizarre legal gambit known as the independent state legislature theory. It argues that the Elections Clause of the U.S. Constitution provides state legislatures the sole authority to set the “time, place, and manner” of federal elections.

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John Travolta, Parker Stevenson, Kelsey Grammer, more mourn Kirstie Alley: 'I loved her'

Kristie Alley dead at 71

Stunned Hollywood stars including John Travolta, Parker Stevenson and Kelsey Grammer reacted as news spread Monday of Kirstie Alley's death.

The "Cheers" and "Veronica's Closet" actress died at 71 after a brief battle with a recently diagnosed cancer, her children True and Lillie Parker shared on the star's verified Instagram account.

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House January 6 committee has decided to make criminal referrals, chairman says

Jan 6 committee to make recommendations for criminal charges

The House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol has decided to make criminal referrals to the Department of Justice, the panel’s chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, told reporters Tuesday.

Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, said the committee has not narrowed down the universe of individuals who may be referred.

Asked whether Thompson believed any witnesses perjured themselves, he said, “that’s part of the discussion.”

When the panel makes referrals, Thompson said it will be a separate document from the panel’s final report that will be sent to DOJ.

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Officers who defended Capitol from Trump supporters honored

Capitol police honoredLaw enforcement officers who defended the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 were honored Tuesday with Congressional Gold Medals nearly two years after they fought supporters of then-President Donald Trump in a brutal and bloody attack.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the “heroes” as she opened the ceremony in the the stately Capitol Rotunda, which was overrun that day when Trump supporters roamed the halls trying to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election.

In bestowing Congress’ highest honor, Pelosi praised the heroes for “courageously answering the call to defend our democracy in one of the nation’s darkest hours.”

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Man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole bulldogs sentenced to 21 years

Lady Gaga

The man who shot Lady Gaga’s dog walker and stole her French bulldogs in Los Angeles last year has been sentenced to 21 years in prison for the high profile robbery that saw the star offer a $500,000 reward for the return of her pets.

James Howard Jackson, one of three men and two accomplices who participated in the violent robbery of dog walker Ryan Fischer, pleaded no contest to one count of attempted murder, the Los Angeles county district attorney’s office said on Monday.

The agreement came months after US marshals launched a hunt for Jackson, who was mistakenly released from custody in April due to a clerical error.

“The plea agreement holds Mr Jackson accountable for perpetrating a coldhearted violent act and provides justice for our victim,” the DA’s office said in a statement.

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Texas’s top elections official quits after overseeing controversial new voting laws

Texas election official resigns

Texas’s top elections official resigned Monday after an intense year of trying to reassure election skeptics, navigating the rocky launch of new voting laws that resulted in thousands of discarded mail ballots and overseeing a limited audit of the 2020 election.

Secretary of state John Scott, who was appointed by Republican governor Greg Abbott, came under immediate scrutiny from the moment he took the job in October 2021. He was briefly part of former president Donald Trump’s legal team that challenged the results of the 2020 election but said upon taking the job in Texas that he did not dispute that Joe Biden was the winner.

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Avenatti sentenced to 14 years in prison, ordered to pay $11 million

Avenatti gets 14 years

Suspended attorney Michael Avenatti was sentenced on Monday to 14 years in federal prison for defrauding his clients out of millions of dollars and for obstructing the IRS, the office of the U.S. attorney for Los Angeles said.

Avenatti, who pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and a count of obstruction this summer, was also ordered to pay nearly $11 million back to four of his clients and the IRS.

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EPA proposes to close ‘loophole’ for reporting ‘forever chemical’ releases

Forever Chemicals loophole

The EPA said Monday that it is proposing to close a prior “loophole” that allowed some companies to get out of reporting their releases of certain kinds of toxic chemicals.

The agency said it was proposing to end stipulations that let companies get out of disclosing how much PFAS — per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a group of chemicals, some of which have been linked to cancers and other illnesses — they were dumping.

Under current regulations, implemented under the administration of former President Trump, companies did not have to disclose the presence of PFAS if they only made up a small concentration of an overall discharge.

The EPA said that fewer companies than expected reported PFAS releases in 2021 and 2022, and noted that some of them cited this concentration threshold, which the agency is now proposing to remove.

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