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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 172)

Todd Starnes: Cancelation of ‘The Hunt’ is a victory for gun-toting, Bible-clinging patriots

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071544721001_6071540111001-vs Todd Starnes: Cancelation of ‘The Hunt’ is a victory for gun-toting, Bible-clinging patriots Todd Starnes fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 479d49d5-3605-53ee-ba8d-bb61c72bdaae

I have no doubt that the Hollywood elites hate President Trump and loathe his conservative supporters, who Hillary Clinton dismissively called “the Deplorables.” But the moguls who run the entertainment industry aren’t stupid. They hate empty seats at movie theaters even more.

And that’s why Universal Pictures announced Saturday that it has canceled plans to release “The Hunt,” a grotesque film that depicted elitists hunting and slaughtering supporters of President Trump.

“While Universal Pictures had already paused the marketing campaign for The Hunt, after thoughtful consideration, the studio has decided to cancel our plans to release the film,” a company spokesperson told Fox News in a prepared statement.

CLICK HERE TO PRE-ORDER TODD’S NEW BOOK: “CULTURE JIHAD: HOW TO STOP THE LEFT FROM KILLING A NATION.”

‘THE HUNT’ CANCELED BY UNIVERSAL FOLLOWING SIGNIFICANT BACKLASH

The decision came in no small part thanks to the gun-toting, Bible-clinging audience of my nationally syndicated radio program as well as my Fox Nation show, “Starnes Country.”

The Hollywood Reporter obtained an exclusive copy of the screenplay of “The Hunt” and noted that “red state” characters wore trucker hats, cowboy shirts and owned guns. The script also explains that one of the characters was stalked and hunted like prey for being pro-life.

“Did anyone see what our rat—-er-in-chief just did?” one character asks in the script obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. Another responds: “At least The Hunt’s coming up. Nothing better than going out to the Manor and slaughtering a dozen deplorables.”

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It’s almost as if the screenplay was ripped from the pages of the Democratic Party’s playbook. I would not be terribly surprised if a good many Democratic lawmakers were advisers to “The Hunt.”

President Barack Obama reminded his loyal fan base years ago that politics was something of a blood sport. If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. That’s what he said.

We can remember Hillary Clinton called us “a basketful of Deplorables.” And former Vice President Joe Biden called Trump supporters “virulent people” and “dregs of society” last year.

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And remember how Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., told her supporters to “absolutely harass” Trump administration officials? Or most recently when a “peaceful” protester wished someone would stab Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the heart?

“It’s disgusting,” Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and senior adviser to his reelection campaign, said on <a href=”https://radio.foxnews.com/fox-news-talk/todd-starnes/”>my radio show</a>. “I guess it speaks to how much the left hates Donald Trump.”

I have no doubt that Antifa, democratic socialists, Planned Parenthood and Rep. Waters would be thoroughly entertained by “The Hunt’s” over-the-top carnage. Knee-slapping fun.

However, millions of gun-toting, Bible-clinging Deplorables were clearly not amused at the idea of a movie that satirizes the bloody end of conservatism.

“It’s disgusting,” Lara Trump, the president’s daughter-in-law and senior adviser to his reelection campaign, said on my radio show. “I guess it speaks to how much the left hates Donald Trump.”

She also pointed out Hollywood’s hypocrisy and double-standard.

“If it were Trump supporters that were hunting down folks that were Democrat voters or Nancy Pelosi’s base … could you imagine the outrage and the uproar over something like this?” she asked.

Dozens of Deplorables called my nationally syndicated radio program to declare they would not be bullied or intimidated by the leftist mob.

“We’re not afraid of people that are going to threaten our way and life and our children and our families and our homes,” Mark from New Jersey said in a phone call. “The time has come for people to understand that they’ve probably underestimate the loyalty that we have for the president and things he has done that are so positive and that have affected us in a positive way. It’s time to put a foot down.”

I suspect Universal’s bean counters alerted the studio bigwigs that those Deplorables spend a lot of money on super-sized sodas and Milk Duds at the box office. And the last thing they needed was an all-out boycott.

And that’s why Universal Pictures pulled “The Hunt.” It wasn’t out of a sense of human decency. It was about the bottom line.

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The Deplorables demonstrated that we can facilitate change without having to march in the streets or burn down city blocks.

We led the charge on my radio program and on “Starnes Country,” proving that when gun-toting, Bible-clinging patriots stand together we can accomplish great things.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE FROM TODD STARNES

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071544721001_6071540111001-vs Todd Starnes: Cancelation of ‘The Hunt’ is a victory for gun-toting, Bible-clinging patriots Todd Starnes fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 479d49d5-3605-53ee-ba8d-bb61c72bdaae   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6071544721001_6071540111001-vs Todd Starnes: Cancelation of ‘The Hunt’ is a victory for gun-toting, Bible-clinging patriots Todd Starnes fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fox-news/entertainment/media fox news fnc/opinion fnc article 479d49d5-3605-53ee-ba8d-bb61c72bdaae

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Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Angered by His Death

Westlake Legal Group merlin_157993011_85c45aea-aae2-47b5-9a92-51140e9c2349-facebookJumbo Jeffrey Epstein’s Accusers Angered by His Death Suicides and Suicide Attempts Sex Crimes Prisons and Prisoners Manhattan (NYC) human trafficking Epstein, Jeffrey E (1953- ) Deaths (Fatalities) Child Abuse and Neglect

The suicide of Jeffrey Epstein on Saturday left his accusers around the country stunned and angered that they would never see him face a full reckoning for his exploits, after coming so close.

Mr. Epstein, a wealthy financier, was believed to have recruited dozens of girls and young women into his orbit, and many anticipated that new federal charges in Manhattan filed last month would lead to a public airing of allegations of sexual abuse that had been obscured for years.

But that chance ended abruptly Saturday, when Mr. Epstein, 66, was found lifeless in his cell at a Manhattan federal jail. Officials said he had hanged himself.

[Read more about Mr. Epstein’s suicide at a Manhattan federal jail.]

Several accusers, some speaking through lawyers, said they hoped that the authorities would continue their investigation, focusing on other people in Mr. Epstein’s circle who they said had helped recruit, train and coerce his victims.

Robbie Kaplan, an attorney representing an accuser who was a minor at the time of the conduct and was included in the federal indictment, said they “will continue to fight tirelessly on their behalf not only to seek justice, but also to ensure that all of the facts of his monstrous crimes become known to the world.”

That may happen. Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, said Saturday the suicide was disturbing but his office would continue to investigate, noting that Mr. Epstein’s indictment included a conspiracy count.

“To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you,” Mr. Berman said in a statement.

Mr. Epstein’s suicide came a day after a federal appeals court released a cache of previously sealed documents, including depositions that revealed disturbing details about Mr. Epstein’s conduct. One accuser, Virginia Giuffre, said in depositions that she had been kept as a “sex slave” with the assistance of Ghislaine Maxwell, Mr. Epstein’s longtime confidante.

Ms. Maxwell, in another deposition in the case, called Ms. Giuffre’s accusations “an absolute lie.” Her lawyers could not be reached for comment on Saturday. A day earlier, their office had said they were out of the country and unavailable to comment.

David Boies, a New York attorney working with a number of women who say they were victimized by Mr. Epstein, including Ms. Giuffre, said his death was the end of just one chapter.

“Jeffrey Epstein did not act, and could not have done what he did, alone,” Mr. Boies said. “Justice demands that those who acted with him also be held accountable.”

His colleague, Sigrid McCawley, added, “The victims await the true justice they have sought and deserve.”

A range of accusers had previously worked with investigators who had been building a case against Mr. Epstein more than a decade ago.

He avoided federal charges from that case thanks to a plea agreement in 2008 that allowed him to admit to state charges of solicitation of prostitution from a minor. He served 13 months in jail but was allowed to leave the jail for 12 hours a day, six days a week, to work at his office in Florida.

Mr. Epstein’s case resurged in recent months after a Miami Herald investigation last year further examined that plea agreement.

Mr. Epstein was arrested last month at Teterboro Airport and charged by Manhattan federal prosecutors with sex trafficking of girls as young as 14, renewing hope among his accusers that he would face overdue accountability.

Jennifer Araoz, who said she had been raped by Mr. Epstein after being recruited outside her Manhattan high school in 2001, said she was angry he would not have to face anyone in court.

“We have to live with the scars of his actions for the rest of our lives, while he will never face the consequences of the crimes he committed, the pain and trauma he caused so many people,” Ms. Araoz said in a statement.

The new documents and details emerging in the case have raised extensive questions about the scope of Mr. Epstein’s network — which appears to have spanned from New York to New Mexico to the Caribbean — the number of victimized girls, and the help he received from loyal companions.

Jack Scarola, a Florida attorney who represents additional women, said the victims regretted that they might not get answers and that the chance to hold Mr. Epstein responsible may have died with him.

“My primary reaction is that Jeffrey Epstein’s victims have been once again failed by the justice system and cheated out of an opportunity for justice,” he said.

Mr. Scarola said he was stunned that Mr. Epstein had not been on suicide watch, given both his high profile and that prison officials suspected he had attempted to kill himself last month. Mr. Epstein had been placed on suicide watch after he was found injured in his cell on July 23, but he was taken off six days later, according to an official familiar with his detention.

Authorities did not immediately explain why he was taken off suicide watch. The F.B.I. said it was investigating, and Attorney General William P. Barr said in a statement that a special inquiry would be opened into what had happened.

“I was appalled to learn that Jeffrey Epstein was found dead early this morning from an apparent suicide while in federal custody,” Mr. Barr said.

Spencer Kuvin, another attorney, said one of his clients was feeling some sense of closure that the person who had wronged her was gone forever. But she was also frustrated again that he would not answer for his crimes in court, Mr. Kuvin said.

“I think that she’s in shock,” Mr. Kuvin said.

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Connecticut man accused of social media threat to local Puerto Rican festival

A Connecticut man was arrested early Saturday for a social media post that police say implied a threat to the New Haven Puerto Rican Festival, according to reports.

Jeffrey Hanson, 53, of Orange, Conn., was charged with breach of peace and held on $50,000 bond, Fox 61 reported.

Sources told the station that Hanson, using the screen name “Jake Wilson,” posted an online comment to a local news story about the festival, saying that the gathering was “why we need 30 round magazines.”

YANKEES GM BRIAN CASHMAN FACES SWARM OF COPS WITH ‘GUNS DRAWN’ AFTER MISTAKEN FOR CAR THIEF

The festival was taking place as scheduled Saturday.

Westlake Legal Group jeffrey-hanson-1 Connecticut man accused of social media threat to local Puerto Rican festival Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/connecticut fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 16fa30b0-5018-56d9-a4f1-b4823bf3991c

Mugshot for Jeffrey Hanson, 53, of Orange. Conn. (New Haven Police Department)

New Haven Police Chief Otoniel Reyes told the station the comment was ‘not a credible threat” but had caused concern ahead of the celebration, the station reported.

“It certainly makes us feel a little bit more demoralized to see that there are people that have such hate in their heart,,” Reyes said, “but that’s why we do what we do and what we do every day, is try to bring unity in a world that at some times tries to be divisive

PUERTO RICO JUSTICE SECRETARY SWORN IN AFTER SUPREME COURT OVERTURNS PREDECESSOR’S INAUGURATION

New Haven Mayor Toni Harp issued a statement commending the police for their quick response “to this particularly troubling incident.”

“In New Haven, we will not allow hate, racism, gender bias, or elitism divide us as a city,” Harp said, according to the New Haven Register. “In New Haven, we will defend equally the rights of all — in this case, the rights of Puerto Rican Americans — to assemble peacefully to celebrate their culture and their traditions.”

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The festival was held one week after a gunman who told police he was targeting “Mexicans” killed 22 people and wounded 24 others in a shooting at an El Paso, Texas Walmart.

“Now it’s one group, next week it can be another and at one point it could be your group,” Harp told Fox61. “So I would suggest to people who think they are superior to others that we are all the same, we are all one human family and we should take care of one another.”

Click for more from Fox61.com.

Westlake Legal Group jeffrey-hanson-1 Connecticut man accused of social media threat to local Puerto Rican festival Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/connecticut fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 16fa30b0-5018-56d9-a4f1-b4823bf3991c   Westlake Legal Group jeffrey-hanson-1 Connecticut man accused of social media threat to local Puerto Rican festival Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/connecticut fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 16fa30b0-5018-56d9-a4f1-b4823bf3991c

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United Airlines passenger accused of hiding video camera in plane’s first-class bathroom

A Texas man was arrested and charged with video voyeurism Thursday after allegedly hiding a video camera in the first-class bathroom of a United Airlines flight this past spring.

Choon Ping Lee is accused of planting the camera onboard United flight 646 from San Diego to Houston on May 5, KTRK reports.

According to the outlet, a female first-class passenger noticed a “device with a blue blinking light” near the bathroom cabinet and close to a door hinge.

Westlake Legal Group airplane-bathroom-istock United Airlines passenger accused of hiding video camera in plane's first-class bathroom Janine Puhak fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article a874aaeb-036c-5625-97a6-2fe51c85086e

A stock image of an external shot of an airplane restroom. (iStock)

FLIGHT ATTENDANT FIRED FOR ALLEGEDLY BEING DRUNK DURING UNITED FLIGHT: ‘THIS IS APPALLING’

Unsure if the mysterious item was part of the plane, the woman finished using the restroom and grabbed the item with a paper towel and gave it to a member of the flight crew.

After landing in Houston, crew members turned the device over to airline security officials, who quickly determined that it was a video recording device. The United officials then handed it over to the FBI.

Federal agents were able to identify the clothing and accessories worn by the person who installed the creepy camera in the United restroom, KHOU reported, and connected it to Lee, who was seen in surveillance footage boarding the flight while wearing the same outfit.

United officials confirmed that Lee, a native of Malaysia and employee of Halliburton, also sat in first class on United flight 646 on May 5.

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After reviewing the camera, the FBI said that the device also contained illicit footage filmed in the bathroom of an Emirates flight.

Lee has been charged with video voyeurism within the maritime and territorial jurisdiction of the United States. If convicted, he faces up to twelve months, a fine or both.

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He is being held in a Houston-area detention facility ahead of a bond hearing, the Houston Chronicle reported.

“The safety and security of our customers is our top priority,” a United spokesperson told Fox News. “When our crew was alerted of this issue they acted quickly to notify the appropriate authorities. We will fully cooperate and support this investigation as it moves forward.”

Click for more from ABC13.com.

Westlake Legal Group 87ecab31-Capture United Airlines passenger accused of hiding video camera in plane's first-class bathroom Janine Puhak fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article a874aaeb-036c-5625-97a6-2fe51c85086e   Westlake Legal Group 87ecab31-Capture United Airlines passenger accused of hiding video camera in plane's first-class bathroom Janine Puhak fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest fox-news/us/crime fox-news/travel/general/airlines fox-news/lifestyle fox news fnc/travel fnc article a874aaeb-036c-5625-97a6-2fe51c85086e

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Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas As Demonstrations Continue

Westlake Legal Group ap_19222452156374_wide-e338504568e9e59c2ee12fccedf309013716ff98-s1100-c15 Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas As Demonstrations Continue

The protests in Hong Kong began in response to a proposed extradition law. Demonstrations have expanded to include other demands. Vincent Thian/AP hide caption

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Vincent Thian/AP

Westlake Legal Group  Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas As Demonstrations Continue

The protests in Hong Kong began in response to a proposed extradition law. Demonstrations have expanded to include other demands.

Vincent Thian/AP

Protests continued in Hong Kong for a 10th straight weekend on Saturday, as demonstrators organized across the city, blocking multiple roads and a key tunnel under Victoria Harbor.

The protests checkered much of Hong Kong. At the airport, demonstrators dressed in black filled the arrivals hall with a massive sit-in, cheering in Cantonese, “Go, Hong Kong people!” and calling for the resignation of Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam. It was the second day of what protesters said would be a three-day occupation at the airport.

Protesters also demonstrated outside of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong, marched through the city’s Central District, parts of the Kowloon Peninsula and a neighborhood in the New Territories, where police officers in riot gear cleared the demonstration with tear gas.

In Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui district, protesters set fires outside of a police station, prompting the police to release a statement that the fires posed “a serious threat” to public safety.

The protests were originally sparked by a bill that would have allowed China to extradite people from Hong Kong. That bill has since been shelved, but not formally withdrawn, by Hong Kong’s government. Demonstrators are demanding the bill be permanently withdrawn. They are also calling for the direct election of the city’s leaders, seats on the Hong Kong legislature and an investigation into police conduct during the demonstrations.

China has recently indicated it will not allow the protests to go on indefinitely, and has called demonstrators “violent radicals” who are under foreign influence.

When Britain returned Hong Kong to China 22 years ago, China employed a “one country, two systems” principle, allowing Hong Kong to retain its own legal system, currency and civil service. Since then, fears have grown that Beijing is attempting to subvert that autonomy and erode democratic freedoms and the rule of law in the city.

NPR’s Anthony Kuhn reports that some visitors to Hong Kong from China’s mainland are not supportive of the demonstrations. Lei Yong, a visitor to Hong Kong from China’s central Henan province, was yelling at the protesters, reports Kuhn. Lei said of the extradition bill, “This bill must be implemented. How can you not punish the bad guys?”

“It just shows this huge disparity, this gap, in the thinking and the culture of people in mainland China and Hong Kong,” Kuhn reports.

In an interview last month, leading pro-democracy activist Joshua Wong told NPR, “We are not afraid of the Communist regime.”

“Now is the summer of discontent, and as a Hong Konger, I am born, I live, and I love my hometown,” Wong told NPR. “We should determine our own destiny instead of the Hong Kong people’s future being dominated by Beijing.”

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'We need answers. Lots of them.': Congress calls for investigations after Jeffrey Epstein's death

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close &apos;We need answers. Lots of them.&apos;: Congress calls for investigations after Jeffrey Epstein&apos;s death
CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close &apos;We need answers. Lots of them.&apos;: Congress calls for investigations after Jeffrey Epstein&apos;s death

Jeffrey Epstein pleaded not guilty to charges of drug trafficking and allegedly sexually abusing dozens of underage girls in New York and Florida. USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Several members of Congress are calling for investigations following the apparent suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, the disgraced financier who faced federal sex trafficking charges before his death.

Epstein was found “unresponsive in his cell” about 6:39 a.m. Saturday and given life-saving measures. He was later transported from Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan to a hospital where he was pronounced dead, according to a statement by the MCC, which is part of the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

The Bureau of Prisons said the FBI would be investigating the incident. Attorney General William Barr said he was “appalled” to hear about Epstein’s suicide and added that Epstein’s death “raises serious questions that must be answered.” 

Barr said the Department of Justice Inspector General would open an investigation in addition to the FBI investigation. 

More: Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, awaiting sex trafficking charges, dead of apparent suicide

More: Jeffrey Epstein ‘misappropriated vast sums of money,’ billionaire Leslie Wexner alleges

Lawmakers want answers over what led to Epstein’s death while reiterating the need to probe a controversial plea deal he struck with former Labor secretary Alex Acosta. 

Democratic Rep. Lois Frankel said Epstein’s death did not mean the investigation into his controversial plea deal in 2007 would end. Frankel represents Palm Beach, Fla., where Epstein owned a home and where prosecutors say he sexually abused dozens of minor girls. 

“With the obvious end to criminal proceedings against Epstein, it is important that the US House Committee on Oversight and Reform begin its investigation,” she wrote, reiterating her prior calls for an investigation into Epstein’s plea deal.

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., said the “Trump DOJ cannot be trusted to take it from here” and called for an independent investigation into Epstein’s death. 

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close &apos;We need answers. Lots of them.&apos;: Congress calls for investigations after Jeffrey Epstein&apos;s death

Jeffrey Epstein has had a long list of friends from high places, including the likes of Stephen Hawking, Bill Clinton and President Trump. But did Epstein leverage these connections? We explain. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

Epstein had been accused of sexually abusing “dozens of minor girls” in his homes in Manhattan and Palm Beach from 2002 to 2005. 

A Miami Herald investigation in November 2018 revealed Acosta had been directly involved in negotiating a plea deal with Epstein’s lawyers in 2007. Acosta had brokered a deal with Epstein that allowed him to avoid a longer prison sentence and federal sex-trafficking charges, a sentence many considered light. 

Epstein pleaded guilty to state felony prostitution charges and agreed to pay restitution to his victims, register as a sex offender and serve 13 months in county jail. While serving his jail term, Epstein was permitted to leave the jail to work for 12 hours a day, six days a week. 

More: Trump’s Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta resigns amid Epstein plea fallout

Facing backlash to the deal and calls to step down, Acosta resigned as President Donald Trump’s Labor secretary shortly after Epstein was indicted again in July.

Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., also renewed her calls for an Oversight Committee investigation.

“Jeffrey Epstein was a serial child molester who evaded accountability because he was rich, powerful & well-connected,” she wrote on Twitter. “We need answers. Most importantly, we need justice for his victims. Oversight must investigate.”

Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, called Epstein’s suicide an “impossibility” that needed further congressional investigation. 

“When an impossibility occurs involving powerful people and possible criminality there must be an investigation to end speculation,” Green wrote. “Because the public has a right to know, I’m calling for a congressional investigation.” 

More: ‘She should be shot’: Ohio man charged after Facebook threat against Ocasio-Cortez

Sen. Ben Sasse., R-Neb., sent a letter to Barr saying that the Department of Justice”should not have allowed this to happen.”

“His death not only deprives his victims of the opportunity to confront him in court and to see him held accountable for his crimes, but also makes it harder to unravel his ring and to hold accountable the many other powerful men who raped and exploited these children,” Sasse wrote.

Sasse asked Barr for answers about Epstein’s suicide, confirmation of the Department of Justice investigations into his death, and for the immediate securing of other evidence related to the case. 

More: Was Jeffrey Epstein on suicide watch when he died? How safeguards aren’t foolproof

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., said he welcomed the Department of Justice and FBI investigations, as “there are many questions that need to be answered in this case.”

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., voiced concern about Epstein’s death.

“We need answers. Lots of them,” she wrote on Twitter. She then retweeted a post from former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, in which Mariotti says that the criminal probe into Epstein would conclude because “no one else was charged in the indictment.”

Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., called on the Bureau of Prisons to “provide answers on what systemic failures of the MCC Manhattan or criminal acts allowed this coward to deny justice to his victims.”

Contributing: Doug Stanglin, Kevin McCoy 

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/08/10/jeffrey-epstein-death-congress-members-call-investigation/1975275001/

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Was Jeffrey Epstein on suicide watch when he died? How safeguards aren't foolproof

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Was Jeffrey Epstein on suicide watch when he died? How safeguards aren&apos;t foolproof

Less than three weeks ago, Jeffrey Epstein was found in his New York jail cell with injuries to his neck that were signs of a possible suicide attempt or assault. 

The bruises were likely enough to put the wealthy financier on suicide watch, if determined to be self-inflicted, or warrant extra surveillance and assessments, experts say. 

Nevertheless, Epstein, who was awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges with girls as young as 14, was found unresponsive early Saturday morning in his jail cell. He was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead after an apparent suicide by hanging.

How Epstein died: Disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein, awaiting sex trafficking charges, dead of apparent suicide

The Federal Bureau of Prisons did not respond to a message from USA TODAY asking whether Epstein, 66, was on suicide watch at the time of his death. But his injuries sustained July 23 – and the high-profile nature of his case – have raised questions whether the Metropolitan Correctional Center followed proper procedures to ensure Epstein didn’t kill himself. 

“If he was on suicide watch, there will be a lot of explaining to do within that correctional facility,” said Lindsay Hayes, an expert on inmate suicide and prevention and a project director for the National Center on Institutions and Alternatives. 

Federal jails and prisons are required to house at least one room for inmates on suicide watch with staff taking shifts to ensure the individual is under “constant observation.” Observers must document behavior, under federal law, and inmates can only be removed from suicide watch when they are determined to be “no longer at imminent risk for suicide” or in need of medical attention.

How are prisoners placed on suicide watch?

Whether someone is placed on suicide watch is determined by mental health professionals, according to Jeff Eiser, a corrections expert with 30 years of experience operating prisons and jails in Ohio. He said the mental health expert would decide the level of care following evaluations.

“Suicide watch comes in different forms.” he said, adding that supervision can come in intervals of checks every 15 or 20 minutes, contrary to perception that it’s at all times. Eiser speculated that Epstein was under intense monitoring, including video surveillance, given his status. 

Epstein shared a cell with Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer facing murder charges. Tartaglione’s attorney last month denied that his client was responsible for Epstein’s injuries. 

How was Epstein injured? Lawyer for Nicholas Tartaglione denies client involved in Jeffrey Epstein’s jail injuries

Lisa Boesky, a clinical psychologist and jail suicide expert from San Diego, said Epstein should have been subject to regular assessments if he had been exhibiting warnings signs. 

“If he made a suicide attempt, a qualified mental health professional should have been repeatedly assessing him to determine his risk for suicide,” Boesky said. “It is critical to know whether that type of evaluation was done.”

If an inmate is deemed a risk to himself, Boesky said, they will be assigned to a suicide-resistant cell, free from items that could be potentially lethal.

Still, Boesky and Eiser said suicides happen even when inmates are under suicide watch.

“One thing in the jail business unfortunately is if somebody wants to hurt themselves at some point, unless you have constant eyes on them, it’s almost impossible to prevent,” Eiser said. “Individuals can drown themselves in their toilet for example. That has happened in jails. It’s just amazing how ingenious they can get when they really want to hurt themselves.

“To point fingers now at anybody would be premature I think,” he said, adding that the case needs to first be investigated to identify the facts. 

Epstein’s death came within 24 hours after long-sealed documents were released by a federal court in a since-settled lawsuit against Epstein’s ex-girlfriend by Virginia Giuffre, one of Epstein’s accusers. The documents included depositions of years of alleged sex acts involving underage girls.

It was unclear before Epstein’s death whether federal prosecutors were pursuing a superseding indictment that would include additional charges and defendants beyond Epstein.

Questions from Congress: ‘We need answers. Lots of them.’: Congress calls for investigations after Jeffrey Epstein’s death

U.S. Attorney General William Barr said the Department of Justice Inspector General would open an investigation in addition to the FBI investigation.

“Mr. Epstein’s death raises serious questions that must be answered,” Barr said.

According to the U.S. Justice Department, suicide is the leading cause of death in jails.

What is suicide watch?

Suicide watch is a more “punitive management of an inmate,” said Hayes. It typically includes being locked in a cell without contact with other inmates, being served only finger foods, and being required to wear a “safety smock” instead of regular jail clothing, he said. 

The smock is usually heavy, quilted fabric that’s difficult to tie together or tear into strips that could be used for an attempted asphyxiation or hanging.

“Being on suicide watch is probably even worse than being harassed by other inmates,” said Hayes, who added that jail and prison inmates often try to get reclassified at a lower level of monitoring at the earliest opportunity.

For that reason, it can be “hard for a clinician to determine if the person is suicidal or not,” or simply wants to return to less restrictive treatment within a jail or prison, said Hayes.

He said federal officials should conduct a rigorous and transparent investigation of the suspected suicide by Epstein, whom he characterized as “probably the most high-profile inmate right now” in the federal correctional system.

“If there was any wrongdoing, people should be held accountable,” said Hayes.

Reach Joey Garrison on Twitter @joeygarrison.

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Marvel’s Chairman Is Also Donald Trump’s Largest Donor

Westlake Legal Group h0ilcbr_g_v6Na7Jzzk0YRlDe0qpQbm1IctaXbSOAPM Marvel’s Chairman Is Also Donald Trump’s Largest Donor r/politics

I’ve been a Marvel fan for my entire life (since the 80s). I still vividly remember the first episode of the X-Men cartoon where Cyclops explains “People fear what they don’t understand.” And Jubilee saying that she’s just a kid who wants a normal life, and saying “I didn’t ask to be born this way.”

Then I remember sentinel’s chasing after and capturing mutants. Chasing Jubilee through a mall to put her in a detention center…

Then I remember Senator Kelly spouting fear mongering stories to cause distrust of mutants and justify their capture and removal…

Then I discover the guy making the most money off that show, and all the toys I bought, is perfectly fine with treating migrants as animals and people of color as lesser people.

Canceled my comic subscription. It’s not much, but I can’t do nothing.

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Naked couple caught in vehicle outside Michigan police department

A Michigan couple was issued with a summons after they were found naked in the back seat of a vehicle outside a suburban Detroit police department.

The incident happened shortly after midnight Aug. 1 in Birmingham, according to the Detroit Free Press.

WOMAN APPEARS TO HOLD UP BEER DURING LEWD SEX ACT ON CROWDED BEACH: ‘BLOODY DISGUSTING’

Their vehicle aroused the suspicion of an officer who was parking his own vehicle, according to WDIV-TV.

Westlake Legal Group birmingham-police-dept-Google-Maps Naked couple caught in vehicle outside Michigan police department Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 9a0578ca-5e8a-58e6-8dab-0551197f7fa0

Bloomfield Police Department in Bloomfield, Mich. (Google Maps)

The rear windows were fogged up and the vehicle was parked in a spot reserved for “municipal vehicles only,” the station reported.

After approaching the vehicle the officer found a man and a woman who were both naked. He was a 24-year-old man from Clinton Township; she was a 25-year-old woman from Sterling Heights, according to the station.

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The summonses were for disorderly conduct.

Westlake Legal Group birmingham-police-dept-Google-Maps Naked couple caught in vehicle outside Michigan police department Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 9a0578ca-5e8a-58e6-8dab-0551197f7fa0   Westlake Legal Group birmingham-police-dept-Google-Maps Naked couple caught in vehicle outside Michigan police department Robert Gearty fox-news/us/us-regions/midwest/michigan fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 9a0578ca-5e8a-58e6-8dab-0551197f7fa0

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Thousands protest for fair elections in Moscow, largest in 8 years

Frustration over the exclusion of opposition candidates from Moscow’s local election next month drew tens of thousands of protesters on Saturday, making it the city’s largest protest rally in eight years, by some estimates.

The rally marked the fourth consecutive weekend of demonstrations of the Russian capital’s city council ballot. The demonstration has prompted protests in other cities, reflecting wider frustrations with Russia’s tightly controlled politics.

Westlake Legal Group AP19222530443095 Thousands protest for fair elections in Moscow, largest in 8 years fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 6437b6bc-4078-5b11-9c7a-949c8ddd7cc8

People show posters of detained protesters and the slogan reads “Give us right to vote” during a protest in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (AP)

Unlike the previous two Moscow rallies, where police harshly dispersed the crowds and arrested more than 1,000 protesters, Saturday’s gathering was officially sanctioned.

Beliy Schetchik, a group that monitors attendance of public meetings, said it counted about 50,000 people at the demonstration, but police put that figure at 20,000.

After the rally, hundreds of participants streamed to an area near the presidential administration building to continue with an unauthorized demonstration and were confronted by riot police.

OVD-info, an arrest-monitoring group, said 136 people were detained. The group also said that 86 people were arrested in St. Petersburg at an unsanctioned demonstration in support of the Moscow protests.

BANK ACCOUNTS LINKED TO RUSSIAN OPPOSITION LEADER NAVALNY FROZEN: REPORT

Some opposition figures called for an unauthorized march to follow the permitted rally, but it was unclear if the action would materialize.

Russia’s most prominent opposition leader, Alexei Navalny, remains in jail for breaking protest law. Late last month, he was transferred to a hospital from his detention facility for a condition one physician said was consistent with poisoning.

Lyubov Sobol, one of the city council candidates denied a place on the ballot and a spearhead of the election protest, was arrested before Saturday’s rally, Reuters reported.

“I won’t make it to the protest. But you know what to do without me…Russia will be free!” Sobol wrote on Twitter.

Westlake Legal Group AP19222569585609 Thousands protest for fair elections in Moscow, largest in 8 years fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 6437b6bc-4078-5b11-9c7a-949c8ddd7cc8

Police officers detaining Russian opposition activist Lyubov Sobol near her office in Moscow, Russia, Saturday, Aug. 10, 2019. (AP)

A video on Sobol’s Twitter feed showed officers breaking into her office as she demanded an explanation from them.

Small related protests also were reported in several Siberian cities on Saturday.

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Senators in Russia’s upper-house Federation Council said Friday they will draft legislation to further restrict where citizens can protest, The Moscow Times reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group AP19222530443095 Thousands protest for fair elections in Moscow, largest in 8 years fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 6437b6bc-4078-5b11-9c7a-949c8ddd7cc8   Westlake Legal Group AP19222530443095 Thousands protest for fair elections in Moscow, largest in 8 years fox-news/world/world-regions/russia fox news fnc/world fnc Bradford Betz article 6437b6bc-4078-5b11-9c7a-949c8ddd7cc8

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