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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 190)

Maryland AG Sues Kushner Apartment Company For ‘Numerous’ Violations

Westlake Legal Group 5db12ee0210000ae2534ae0a Maryland AG Sues Kushner Apartment Company For ‘Numerous’ Violations

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) ― Maryland’s attorney general on Wednesday sued a real estate company once run by President Donald Trump’s son-in-law over allegedly illegal and harmful rental practices, including the kind of rodent infestations the president has accused Baltimore leaders of failing to address.

Attorney General Brian Frosh announced his office’s Consumer Protection Division has filed charges against New Jersey-based Westminster Management, a subsidiary of the Kushner Cos.

Frosh said there have been “numerous” violations of consumer protection laws, which harmed thousands of Maryland residents.

“We’re charging that Westminster and the rental property owners in this case took advantage of consumers, primarily low- and middle-income families, collecting fees and other unlawful costs from them and often failing to make the repairs needed to maintain suitable environments for their tenants,” said Frosh, a Democrat.

Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to the Republican president, stepped down as CEO of the family business before joining the White House. But he still has an ownership stake in the subsidiary.

Laurent Morali, the president of the Kushner Cos., announced last month that the company rejected a settlement offer from Frosh’s office.

“We refuse to be extorted by an ambitious Attorney General who clearly cares more about scoring political points than fighting real crime and improving the lives of the people of Maryland,” Morali said in a statement Wednesday. “We look forward to defending ourselves against these bogus allegations.”

Kushner’s family real estate firm owns thousands of apartments and townhomes in the Baltimore area. Some have been criticized for the same kind of disrepair and neglect that Trump has accused local leaders of failing to address, when he referred to Baltimore as a “rat and rodent infested mess.”

The company says it is proud of its Baltimore-area apartments and has invested “substantial amounts” in upkeep.

The case filed by Frosh contains administrative charges that will be heard before an administrative law judge.

The charges allege the company and rental property owners routinely failed to address hazardous conditions in the properties, including rodent and vermin infestations, water leaks and mold growth.

The case also alleges that Westminster Management and the owners have demanded, collected and retained hundreds of thousands of dollars in illegitimate fees from prospective and actual tenants.

The company frequently charged additional fees that it never incurred and was not entitled to collect under Maryland law when it filed eviction actions, according to the charges.

The company allegedly violated the state’s Security Deposit Law by routinely withholding damages from tenants’ security deposits that were not caused by the tenants and were ordinary wear and tear, such as worn carpeting.

The case also alleges the company engaged in illegal debt collection, because the owners of two Baltimore properties, Dutch Village Apartments and Pleasant View Apartments failed to maintain licenses required to legally rent apartments.

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Louisiana sheriff’s deputy, junior-high teacher wife held on child rape and porn charges: reports

Photos showing the married Louisiana suspects nude with a child were among the items authorities seized when a longtime sheriff’s deputy and a junior high school teacher were arrested this week on child rape and pornography charges, according to a report.

Taken into custody Wednesday were Dennis Perkins, 44, and his wife, Cynthia Perkins, 34, FOX 8 of New Orleans reported.

FLORIDA NANNY WHO ABUSED BOY, 11, AND GOT PREGNANT, SENTENCED TO 20 YEARS IN PRISON

The husband was immediately terminated from his job as a lieutenant with the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, while the wife resigned from her teaching job at a junior high school in Walker, La., the report said.

“It’s a sad day for us, for all law enforcement officers, when you arrest one of your own,” Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard said in a statement. “ … but as I have said in the past, no one is above the law.”

Westlake Legal Group b0ed161a-mug33 Louisiana sheriff’s deputy, junior-high teacher wife held on child rape and porn charges: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/education/teachers fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 5d1c366a-d58d-591c-8d68-75d4267436d7

Cynthia Perkins, 34, and Dennis Perkins, 44, each face multiple counts of child pornography as well as rape charges, authorities say. (Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office)

Both husband and wife were charged with 60 counts of production of pornography involving a child under 13, as well as rape charges, authorities said.

Dennis Perkins was additionally charged with obstruction of justice because he allegedly tossed his cellphone into a river after realizing investigators were about to arrest him while he was on a fishing trip, a source told FOX 8.

The investigation into the couple’s alleged crimes began with a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported.

The number of children who may have been victims of the couple wasn’t immediately known, authorities told the newspaper.

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Dennis Perkins was transferred to a detention center in Livingston Parish, with bond set at 1.6 million, and was later transferred to the Ascension Parish Jail. Cynthia Perkins was being held in Lieu of a $500,000 bond, according to The Advocate.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a statement about the arrests.

“Protecting Louisiana children is one of my top priorities,” Landry said. “So my office and I will continue to do all we can to find and arrest child predators.”

Westlake Legal Group mug33 Louisiana sheriff’s deputy, junior-high teacher wife held on child rape and porn charges: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/education/teachers fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 5d1c366a-d58d-591c-8d68-75d4267436d7   Westlake Legal Group mug33 Louisiana sheriff’s deputy, junior-high teacher wife held on child rape and porn charges: reports fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/louisiana fox-news/us/education/teachers fox-news/us/crime/sex-crimes fox-news/us/crime/police-and-law-enforcement fox news fnc/us fnc Dom Calicchio article 5d1c366a-d58d-591c-8d68-75d4267436d7

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Laura Ingraham makes the case for another Hillary Clinton presidential run

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097216362001_6097227221001-vs Laura Ingraham makes the case for another Hillary Clinton presidential run Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2d5b2f23-1f68-5b11-8370-1afbee4edf0b

Laura Ingraham made the case for yet another Hillary Clinton presidential run Wednesday saying the Democratic field has proven its weakness and that she might be a “stronger candidate.”

“Just a few months ago, I dismissed the idea of Hillary 2.0 kind of out of hand. She wouldn’t be that arrogant and ungracious toward the current field. No way,” Ingraham said on “The Ingraham Angle.” But then the weakness of the Democrats sleep surprised even me.  Nothing’s working.”

HILLARY CLINTON BACKS OUT OF DC EVENT ALSO SET TO INCLUDE TULSI GABBARD, KIRSTJEN NIELSEN: REPORT

Clinton in recent weeks has privately stated she would enter the 2020 presidential race if she were certain she could win, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Ingraham spoke of the weakness among the Democratic frontrunners, in particular former Vice President Joe Biden.

“The walking, talking gaffe-a-matic machine known as Joe Biden may have dropped in the polls for a few weeks, but now he’s back on top. And what seems to be the grudging recognition that the other top candidates, Warren and Sanders, are just not going to cut it in key battleground states where common sense still means something,” Ingraham said. “I mean, who doesn’t think that Hillary is a stronger candidate than that goofball Biden.”

The host made the case for why Clinton may be a possibility.

“She has instant name recognition, a massive fundraising apparatus that could be reactivated, and her old campaign team would quickly reconstitute,” Ingraham said.

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Ingraham laid out what could be pushing Clinton to run and what could also be stopping her.

“A combination of Hillary’s pride, her desire for revenge, a weak Democratic field and a consultancy class that can sell sand in the desert may be pointing us toward another Trump-Clinton face off,” Ingraham said. “Of course, Hillary is smart enough to know that the only thing worse than losing once to Donald Trump would be losing twice to him. And that, too, is a distinct possibility.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097216362001_6097227221001-vs Laura Ingraham makes the case for another Hillary Clinton presidential run Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2d5b2f23-1f68-5b11-8370-1afbee4edf0b   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097216362001_6097227221001-vs Laura Ingraham makes the case for another Hillary Clinton presidential run Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/the-clintons fox-news/politics/elections fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 2d5b2f23-1f68-5b11-8370-1afbee4edf0b

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Reeker expected to testify this weekend in impeachment inquiry

Ambassador Philip Reeker is expected to appear in closed session before three Democrat-led House committees conducting an impeachment investigation into President Trump on Saturday, a congressional source told Fox News.

REPUBLICANS PRESS FOR WHISTLEBLOWER TESTIMONY, AND FOR ANSWERS ON A HEARING DELAY

Westlake Legal Group Reeker_headshot Reeker expected to testify this weekend in impeachment inquiry fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 1f894239-41fe-5a51-b123-8b75cf444cb8

Acting Assistant Secretary of State Philip Reeker is expected to appear in a closed session Saturday. (State Department)

Reeker’s testimony was originally scheduled for Thursday but members did not want to question the witness during a ceremony where the late Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., will lie in state at the Capitol. Cummings’ funeral will be in Baltimore on Friday.

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, who is the top-ranking Republican on the House Oversight Committee, wrote a letter to Reeker, the acting assistant secretary of state, demanding that the deposition be rescheduled to a business day to allow more GOP lawmakers to attend.

Jordan called on Reeker to explain the reasoning behind the rare Saturday deposition. He said he regrettably had to ask Reeker directly for the information because he had he has “no confidence” that Rep. Adam Schiff, as the leader of the impeachment inquiry, is “operating fairly or in good faith.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE ALL-NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Former Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Charles Kupperman is expected to appear in a closed session on Monday and Timothy Morrison, a special assistant to the president, is expected to appear in a closed session next Thursday. The Committees are in ongoing discussions with other witnesses.

Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group Reeker_headshot Reeker expected to testify this weekend in impeachment inquiry fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 1f894239-41fe-5a51-b123-8b75cf444cb8   Westlake Legal Group Reeker_headshot Reeker expected to testify this weekend in impeachment inquiry fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox news fnc/politics fnc Danielle Wallace article 1f894239-41fe-5a51-b123-8b75cf444cb8

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Donald Trump Jr. on impeachment: When is it ‘going to be enough?’

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097216316001_6097218875001-vs Donald Trump Jr. on impeachment: When is it 'going to be enough?' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5cecfdac-6a5d-50b0-b7ee-232349a23a8a

Donald Trump Jr. appeared on “Hannity” Wednesday night and voiced his frustration with Democrats continuing to pursue impeachment against his father President Trump, calling it “disgraceful.”

“It’s a telephone game of nonsense proportions. But, you know, the media gets that first wave. They get it directly from [Rep. Adam] Schiff. They get to run with it as though it’s fact,” Trump said. “In a month when they open up the process and everyone else sees it, they will have done the damage. That’s why it’s disgraceful.”

TRUMP ALLIES PUSH BACK ON ‘QUID PRO QUO,’ SAY ENVOY TESTIFIED UKRAINE INITIALLY UNAWARE OF AID HOLDUP

Trump continued to vent his frustration with the Ukraine controversy following former Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report.

“This shouldn’t be going on here. If this was going on in a banana republic, we’d say that’s pretty bad,’ Trump told host Sean Hannity. “It’s going on in the United States of America. It’s going on in Congress. And it’s enough.”

Trump wondered allowed why the media didn’t have a problem with House Democrats and their lack of transparency.

“I’m surprised that the media, who has been so vocal about not wanting democracy to die in darkness, Sean, they don’t want it to die in darkness,” Trump said. “They’re totally fine with this being and going on in total darkness. It’s a disgrace.”

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The president’s oldest son praised Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., for his protest Wednesday and asked Hannity when “enough is enough.”

“It was great to see guys like Matt Gates and so many other Republicans, the House, finally say enough is enough. But when is it really going to be enough, Sean?” Trump asked. “When are they actually going to do something about it? Because this is nonsense.”

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097216316001_6097218875001-vs Donald Trump Jr. on impeachment: When is it 'going to be enough?' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5cecfdac-6a5d-50b0-b7ee-232349a23a8a   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097216316001_6097218875001-vs Donald Trump Jr. on impeachment: When is it 'going to be enough?' Victor Garcia fox-news/shows/hannity fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc article 5cecfdac-6a5d-50b0-b7ee-232349a23a8a

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Nationals crush Astros in Game 2 to take commanding World Series lead

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close Nationals crush Astros in Game 2 to take commanding World Series lead

SportsPulse: This may be the most energetic World Series we’ve seen in a long time. For both teams, their exuberance on and off the field has been propelled by the joy often seen in Latin baseball culture. USA TODAY

HOUSTON — In their quest to regain their dignity, and then get on even ground, and then think about maybe making the postseason, the Washington Nationals rolled out 50 players this season. Some were well-paid superstars, a few more were journeymen on short-term commitments, and others still merely a hope and a prayer in the form of a waiver-wire claim.

Wednesday night, with a championship perhaps hanging in the balance, the Nationals leaned on every last resource they had to once again hold off the Houston Astros until they could deliver a punishing, decisive blow.

Stephen Strasburg battled Justin Verlander and the exhausting Astros lineup to a standstill for six innings and 114 pitches, long enough for one of the Nationals’ itinerant heroes to come to the fore.

This time, it was Kurt Suzuki, a veteran catcher of 13 seasons and three playoff runs, who manhandled a Justin Verlander fastball for a seventh-inning, go-ahead home run that may one day be remembered as a championship blow.

VERLANDER: Astros pitcher sets postseason strikeout record

ASTROS: Commissioner concerned about controversy with assistant GM

Suzuki’s blast unleashed a seventh-inning cavalcade of runs – six in all – as they finished Verlander and then watched the Astros self-implode. Two innings later, Minute Maid Park largely emptied, they claimed a 12-3 victory that sends them back to the nation’s capital with a commanding 2-0 World Series lead.

Win two of three at Nationals Park, and D.C. will have its first World Series champion since the 1924 Washington Senators survived a seven-game fight against the New York Giants.

That was two franchises ago in Washington’s largely checkered baseball history. And perhaps that’s what’s most stunning about this Nationals run: For much of October, save for two harrowing elimination games, they’ve made it look easy.

They’re now on an 18-2 run counting the final days of the regular season and are 10-2 in these playoffs.

History may record this Game 2 as the Series-deciding win, one that will look like a blowout to future generations.

Until the seventh, it was a standoff that eventually devolved as the Nationals imposed their will.

Manager’s special

The postseason is filled with forks in the road that pass unremarkably or become the site of a season-crushing pileup.

In the bottom of the sixth inning, Nationals manager Dave Martinez opted to intentionally walk Astros rookie Yordan Alvarez after a fading Strasburg threw him a pair of balls. He’d yielded a double to Yuli Gurriel after a seven-pitch battle, and after Alvarez’s walk, Carlos Correa worked a full count off him.

But Straburg induced a popout from Correa for a crucial second out, and Astros manager A.J. Hinch tossed rookie Kyle Tucker to pinch hit.

While Tucker worked an eight-pitch at-bat, it was Strasburg who seemed in control of the moment, all the way through the final pitch, a curveball Tucker half-heartedly waved at for the final out.

After Suzuki’s home run, Hinch tried a similar gambit. It failed spectacularly.

Verlander issued a walk to Victor Robles, finishing his night, and after reliever Ryan Pressly issued a walk and got a sacrifice bunt, the great Juan Soto loomed at the plate.

Hinch wanted no part of the rookie who’d already laced four hits in two games, so he opted to load the bases.

It fired up the merry-go-around.

Howie Kendrick followed with a two-out smash off Alex Bregman’s glove at third for an infield single Then, one of those forgettable waiver claims, Asdrubal Cabrera, lashed a Pressly pitch for a two-run single.

Suddenly, 2-2 became 6-2. And the Astros still weren’t out of the nightmare.

Bregman blues

After a grim Game 1 performance that included a ninth-inning strikeout in a 5-4 loss, Bregman said he had to turn things around, “ASAP.” He literally did, crushing a Strasburg mistake changeup to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the first.

But his blue period was not yet done.

Bregman wasted yet another Astros scoring chance by grounding out with two outs in the third. And in that neverending seventh inning, he couldn’t corral Kendrick’s ground ball, allowing the crucial fourth run to score.

Two batters later, it become an utter circus, when he charged a Ryan Zimmerman grounder and threw wildly to first base. Zimmerman had an RBI single and another run scored on Bregman’s error.

Both teams will fly to Washington on Thursday morning. The flight may feel longest to Bregman.

State of the series

The stage now shifts to Nationals Park for Games 3, 4 and – if necessary – 5, with Anibal Sanchez facing Zack Greinke on Friday night. Given their deficit, the Astros may consider bringing ace Gerrit Cole back on early rest in Game 4 – or regular rest if forecasted rains pelt the area Saturday.

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Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump threats to ignore part of Constitution raise questions about fitness for office

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097160934001_6097111188001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump threats to ignore part of Constitution raise questions about fitness for office fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc fdd8189f-5028-58f8-a842-da6f553dab29 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano

In nearly three years in office, President Trump has spent federal dollars not authorized by Congress, separated families and incarcerated children at the Texas-Mexico border in defiance of a federal court order, pulled 1,000 American troops out of Syria ignoring a commitment to allies and facilitating war against civilians, and sent 2,000 troops to Saudi Arabia without a congressional declaration of war.

He has also criminally obstructed a Department of Justice investigation of himself but escaped prosecution because of the intercession of an attorney general more loyal to him than to the Constitution.

At the outset of his presidency, Trump took the presidential oath of office promising that he would faithfully execute his obligation to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution.

JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO: TRUMP VIOLATES CONSTITUTION – SPENDS UNAPPROPRIATED FUNDS, RAISES TAXES ON OWN

James Madison, the scrivener of the Constitution, insisted that the word “faithfully” be in the presidential oath and that the oath itself be in the Constitution to remind presidents to enforce laws and comply with constitutional provisions, whether or not they agree with them, and to immunize the oath from congressional alteration.

Earlier this week, Trump referred to a clause in the Constitution as “phony,” and he thereby implied that he need not abide it nor enforce it, notwithstanding his oath.

Here is the backstory.

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The Constitution was written in Philadelphia during the summer of 1787. The framers – the 55 state delegates to the Constitutional Convention who authored the Constitution – had just completed fighting the Revolutionary War, which had ended six years earlier.

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While Americans universally revere the American Revolution today, that was not the case at the time it was fought. Professor Bernard Bailyn of Harvard, whose 75 years of professional study of the colonial mindset is without peer, has argued that in the 1780s about one-third of the colonists supported the revolution, while around the same number favored staying in the British Empire, and about the same number were indifferent.

By 1787, according to Bailyn, there were substantial groups of wealthy persons in America who retained their loyalty to the British king, and there were government officials here who had originally obtained their jobs by royal appointment.

Bailyn has documented fatal violence occurring on American soil between Americans loyal to the king and Americans loyal to the principles of the Declaration of Independence after the British surrender in 1781 and even after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783.

Can the president lawfully enforce only the clauses of the Constitution with which he agrees and ignore those with which he disagrees? In a word: No.

All of this was known to the framers, who feared the resurgence of British influence in the American government. Their fears centered around the corruption induced by titles of nobility – which in those days were often accompanied by lands and income – and gifts of money or real estate.

In order to allay those fears and assure Americans that officials in the new federal government would be immune from foreign seduction, the framers included the Emoluments Clause in the Constitution.

That clause prohibits all federal officials from receiving titles of nobility and any gift, income or fee “of any kind whatever” from a foreign government.

The Constitution is known for phrases of generality and elasticity, the meanings of which are often capable of reinterpretation by modern standards. This is not so for the Emoluments Clause. It originally presented and continues to present an absolute prohibition of the receipt of anything of value by a federal government officeholder from a foreign government.

Last week, Mick Mulvaney, the president’s acting chief of staff, announced a novel interpretation of this clause contending that it only prohibited “profits” to federal officeholders from foreign governments.

By that interpretation, Mulvaney announced, Trump was able to offer a resort in South Florida owned substantially by a family corporation he controls as the host of his next meeting of G-7 – a group that includes heads of government from six foreign countries – so long as the resort did not earn a profit from the gathering.

After a weekend of torrential criticism, Trump announced that he had changed his mind and said he would not host the G-7 meeting at the Miami area resort. Yet, in the process of doing so, he characterized the Emoluments Clause as “phony.”

Who knows what he meant by phony? The clause is in the Constitution and it means what it says. Yet, whatever Trump meant by phony, it constituted at least a disparagement of the Constitution he has sworn to uphold and at worst a threat to ignore clauses he can disparage.

This is most unusual and potentially dangerous, and it raises the question: Can the president lawfully enforce only the clauses of the Constitution with which he agrees and ignore those with which he disagrees? In a word: No.

The doctrine of the separation of powers – which is the backbone of the Constitution – states that Congress writes the laws, the president enforces them, and the courts interpret them. It also offers that the governmental roles of the three branches cannot be intermingled or traded without doing violence to the personal liberties that the separation was intended to secure.

If the president could pick and choose which laws to enforce and which parts of the Constitution to ignore, he effectively would be deciding what the laws mean – a judicial function – and which laws have vitality and which do not – a congressional function.

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Trump has become known for forceful and often tasteless banter. He publicly calls people crude names, uses foul language and sends dog whistles of lawless behavior to much of his base. All that is a question of free speech, personal taste and political risk.

But threats to ignore parts of the Constitution are not matters of speech, taste or risk. They reveal character traits that question Trump’s fitness for office.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE BY JUDGE ANDREW NAPOLITANO

Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097160934001_6097111188001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump threats to ignore part of Constitution raise questions about fitness for office fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc fdd8189f-5028-58f8-a842-da6f553dab29 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano   Westlake Legal Group 694940094001_6097160934001_6097111188001-vs Judge Andrew Napolitano: Trump threats to ignore part of Constitution raise questions about fitness for office fox-news/us/constitution fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/executive/white-house fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/opinion fnc/opinion fnc fdd8189f-5028-58f8-a842-da6f553dab29 Creators Syndicate article Andrew Napolitano

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Jim Jordan defends GOP lawmakers who stormed impeachment inquiry room

Westlake Legal Group Jordan-Republicans Jim Jordan defends GOP lawmakers who stormed impeachment inquiry room fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/jim-jordan fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 3967f76d-7ab9-5521-9c7e-e9bda62fff6f

House Freedom Caucus Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, defended Republican lawmakers who stormed the sensitive compartmented information facility room where Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., was about to hold a Trump impeachment inquiry hearing.

Jordan claimed Wednesday on “The Ingraham Angle” that Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, has not been transparent as he leads the impeachment inquiry.

“Here’s the fundamental question — There’s one person who started this whole thing — the whistleblower — in the whistleblower’s complaint, bullet point number one, he says over the past four months more than half a dozen U.S. officials gave me the basis for this complaint,” Jordan said.

“To date, we dont know who any of those people are. So 435 members of the House who represent over 300 million people in this great country and only one member of Congress — Adam Schiff — knows who the whistleblower is, and who those more than half a dozen U.S. officials who gave him the information that formed the basis of his complaint [are].”

HOUSE REPUBLICANS STORM IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY DEPOSITION: WHAT WENT DOWN

Jordan said his fellow Republican members are frustrated with the level of transparency and fairness in the process.

“Adam Schiff is doing this unfair, partisan process in secret and our members finally said, ‘Enough’,” the Ohio lawmaker said.

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“We’re so frustrated. They reached a boiling point and these guys marched in and said we want to know what’s going on because we represent three-quarters of a million people back home in our districts and they’d like to know what’s going on because you guys are trying to take out a president 13 months before an election.”

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In addition, Jordan and Reps. Steve Scalise, R-La., and Bradley Byrne, R-Ala., reacted to House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson writing a letter to House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, requesting action be taken against those members who stormed the SCIF with their phones — which he said was a breach of policy.

Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat, claimed in the letter the members “intentionally brought their electronic devices into a SCIF.”

“Such action is a blatant breach of security, violates the oath all members of Congress sign,” Thompson continued.

Westlake Legal Group Jordan-Republicans Jim Jordan defends GOP lawmakers who stormed impeachment inquiry room fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/jim-jordan fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 3967f76d-7ab9-5521-9c7e-e9bda62fff6f   Westlake Legal Group Jordan-Republicans Jim Jordan defends GOP lawmakers who stormed impeachment inquiry room fox-news/shows/ingraham-angle fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/politics/elections/house-of-representatives fox-news/person/jim-jordan fox-news/person/donald-trump fox-news/person/adam-schiff fox-news/media/fox-news-flash fox-news/media fox news fnc/media fnc Charles Creitz article 3967f76d-7ab9-5521-9c7e-e9bda62fff6f

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St. John’s lacrosse player arrested after nearly gutting his roommate: cops

A captain of the St. John’s University men’s lacrosse team stabbed and nearly gutted his roommate during a scuffle, police said Wednesday.

The dust-up began when Matthew Stockfeder, 21, apparently woke his roommate up by playing loud music in their off-campus Queens apartment late Monday night, according to law-enforcement sources.

Westlake Legal Group RCPCVX3BZNA2VD26AMNHXAGQ3I St. John’s lacrosse player arrested after nearly gutting his roommate: cops New York Post fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc article 20453788-5b4d-5e2d-a9c0-6f9d4015e629

Matthew Stockfeder, 21 (RedStormSports.com)

The roommate, Justin Corpolongo, 23 — a 2018 university alumnus who used to play on the lacrosse team — told Stockfeder to shut off the tunes, sources said.

So Stockfeder booked it to a home two blocks away on 172nd street around 73rd Avenue in Flushing to hang out with his teammates who lived there.

But the captain repeatedly texted Corpolongo, apparently prompting the rival to show up to the house, police and sources said.

The two men squared off, and the victim tried multiple times to punch Stockfeder, according to a criminal complaint unsealed in Queens court Wednesday afternoon.

At one point, the victim was holding Stockfeder’s head down when he suddenly “felt a sharp pain to his abdomen,” the complaint states.

He “looked down to see that he was bleeding profusely” — and realized he’d been stabbed.

Corpolongo was rushed to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital in Queens, where doctors determined that a 4- to 5-inch puncture to his small intestine was likely caused by a knife, the complaint states.

He needed surgery but was expected to survive, according to the complaint.

The lacrosse player surrendered to police with his lawyer Wednesday morning.

Police interviewed four people in the house at the time of the brawl, sources said.

Stockfeder, a senior from Melville, LI, was ordered held on $5,000 bail by a Queens Criminal Court judge. His lawyer, Anthony Como, did not immediately return a phone call.

St. John’s said in a statement that it was aware of the incident and cooperating with authorities.

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Westlake Legal Group RCPCVX3BZNA2VD26AMNHXAGQ3I St. John’s lacrosse player arrested after nearly gutting his roommate: cops New York Post fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc article 20453788-5b4d-5e2d-a9c0-6f9d4015e629   Westlake Legal Group RCPCVX3BZNA2VD26AMNHXAGQ3I St. John’s lacrosse player arrested after nearly gutting his roommate: cops New York Post fox-news/us/us-regions/northeast/new-york fox-news/sports/ncaa fnc/sports fnc article 20453788-5b4d-5e2d-a9c0-6f9d4015e629

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‘Something has changed’: People have been vaping for years but now they’re dying. Could it be the devices?

CLOSEWestlake Legal Group icon_close 'Something has changed': People have been vaping for years but now they're dying. Could it be the devices?

Juul dominated the e-cigarette industry, prompting the FDA to call teen vaping an “epidemic.” What does vaping do to your body? We explain. Just the FAQs, USA TODAY

Dr. Mangala Narasimhan carefully inserted the long, thin probe down Gregory Rodriguez’s throat, snaking it past his vocal cords and deep into his damaged lungs.

A ventilator breathed for the 22-year-old college student as Narasimhan began sucking out the yellow, jelly-like clots that had nearly killed him.

“It really was gross,” said Narasimhan, a lung specialist and director of critical care medicine at Northwell Health in New Hyde Park, New York.

Rodriguez`s case is an extreme example of the variety of lung illnesses that have sickened an estimated 1,479 people and killed at least 33 who vaped THC, nicotine or a combination. His lungs had failed so badly last month Narasimhan’s team had to oxygenate his blood for several days by pumping it out through his neck and into an artificial lung.

Rodriguez got sick after vaping an average of one “cart” a day of, among others, Dank Vapes brand marijuana extract he bought illegally online. That counterfeit brand is cited in many of the lung injuries studied, but there is no one device, brand or ingredient linked to all the cases. 

“I guess I put too much trust in them. They just seemed so legit,” said Rodriguez, now recovering at home. “I never thought that someone would put poisons inside a vape cart, never thought they would put a person’s life at risk to save a few bucks.”

Government doctors and scientists are racing to uncover the cause of the outbreak, which initially was blamed on tainted vape oil containing cannabis or nicotine extracts. But researchers and regulators also are scrutinizing the myriad of vape devices themselves, many of which are manufactured in China without U.S. government or third-party safety checks.

Vapers, who often see the devices as safer and healthier than cigarettes, are potentially inhaling a toxic stew of atomized oils, an aircraft de-icing chemical, and toxic heavy metals leaching from the heating elements used to create the “smoke.”

“This appears to be an unforeseeable mixture of elements resulting from the combination of metal, heat, THC and liquid, causing very different lung injuries,” said Dr. Tony Casolaro, a former clinical chief of the pulmonary medicine branch at the National Institutes of Health, who is now a clinical professor at Georgetown University’s medical school.

While many vape pens are manufactured in sophisticated factories, others are cobbled together by online retailers, mom-and-pop shops or vaping enthusiasts. The devices, known as vape pens or e-cigarettes, have been around for more than a decade, and hundreds of different styles and types have flooded the market in recent years, with clunkier, refillable devices being replaced by smaller, harder-to-hack models with scant regulation of how they are made or what they might release when heated.

“If you’re buying cheap hardware from China, you never know what’s going on there,” said Arnaud Dumas de Rauly, a vaping expert helping develop international regulations. “In a certain sense, I’m happy we are having this vaping crisis. It points the finger at some things that should not be in these products.”

What’s in the ‘juice’?

The federal Food and Drug Administration said it has more than 725 samples, including vaping devices and products that contain liquid, packaging and nearly empty containers to test and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is also developing standards for how to test what users inhale.

While most people who’ve been sickened were consuming marijuana-based products, a few said they consumed only nicotine-based vape juice. Vape pens can be used for THC or other cannabis-based oil or nicotine liquid. The “juice” comes either in a bottle that users can top up their tank with, or in pre-packaged cartridges, depending on the design.

Despite the name, the devices don’t actually vaporize the liquid, but rather turn it into an aerosol. Substances that might be perfectly safe to eat or rub on your skin become something entirely different when heated on a metal or ceramic coil, experts say. And the devices themselves may also be emitting toxic chemicals, particularly if they are held together with lead or cadmium solder.

The heating coil itself is the likely source of most inhaled metals, Johns Hopkins University environmental health professor Ana Rule concluded in a February 2018 report. Her study examined refillable vape devices with metal coils.

The coils, she wrote, are typically composed of “complex metal alloys” but she noted other parts of the device may contribute metals. Additional sources could be the machines used to extract the THC from marijuana plants, or even the solder used to connect metal parts within the vape devices. In her report, Rule said the results suggest “several metals are being transferred from the device to the e-liquid in the tank as well as to the aerosol that is inhaled by the user.”

Columbia University associate professor of environmental health sciences Markus Hilpert said metal coils on tested refillable devices often lacked the shine they started with after a few weeks of use, suggesting they’d become oxidized. Metals can then become combined with the e-liquid after the devices are heated.

Hilpert’s group uses a method for the collection of aerosol directly from devices, which is needed to differentiate ingredients inhaled from the liquids.

The case for vaping regulation

In the majority of aerosol samples analyzed, the researchers found levels of carcinogenic metals in fumes above the minimal risk levels for safe air set by the Department of Health and Human Services. Those levels are not contained in regulations for the devices, and manufacturers trying to cut corners might be using lead or cadmium-based solder and other dangerous metals, experts consulted by USA TODAY said.

Frank Conrad, who owns the cannabis testing facility Colorado Green labs, suggested recently that cadmium has “the motive, means, and opportunity to cause the illness.” Heavy metal particles can be easily carried on a stream of vapor, he said and don’t need to hit the melting point of the metals.

Devin Alvarez, founder and CEO of Straight Hemp Products, said his products use ceramic heating coils and other premium components because they’re believed to be safer than metal coils can dissolve under high heat. 

“Looking at the hardware is critical as it can be a source of harm for the user if not chosen properly,” said Alvarez. 

He recommends regulation of the industry, including the hardware, perhaps through UL, a global safety certification company overseen by the Food and Drug Administration.  

“Vaping is a nascent technology and the cannabis industry has the knowledge, but not the infrastructure to regulate itself,” said Alvarez. “That’s why we’re looking to partner with the federal government and anyone else regulating.”

‘A gigantic uncontrolled experiment’

Dumas de Rauly, CEO of vape company The Blinc Group, said testing labs looking for contaminants might not have the right equipment, including “puff” machines to replicate real-world use. He also noted testing by different labs has yielded wildly divergent results for identical products made by his company.

“When you change states, you have different molecules in play. When things are heated and transported as aerosols, they can become toxic,” said Dumas de Rauly, who also serves as chairman of the International Organization for Standardization standards committee on vaping products. The Swiss-based ISO is a non-profit group that establishes standards for everything from food safety to shipping containers and the strength of bolts used on railroads.

Dumas de Rauly said standardized testing would go a long way to helping regulators understand the causes behind the outbreak.

“Who knows what’s happening,” Hilpert, the Columbia University professor said. “It’s like a gigantic uncontrolled experiment where the people it’s tested on include millions of young people.”

Narasimhan, who has seen the lung illnesses firsthand, said there are no clear answers now. Millions of people vaped without incident for years, she noted.

“A year ago, the same number of people vaped, and we weren’t seeing this. Something has changed. Something has changed in the product and I wish I knew what it was,” she said. “We don’t know how to stop it because we don’t know what’s causing it.”

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/10/23/vaping-devices-under-scrutiny-outbreak-lung-illnesses-continue/4009350002/

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