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Westlake Legal Group > News Media (Page 232)

Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say

A security guard fatally shot an armed burglar inside a Dallas Apple store Tuesday morning, according to police.

The shooting took place around 2:30 a.m., police said in a press release. At that time, the store was open because of overnight construction, Fox 4 reported.

Westlake Legal Group North-Dallas-Apple-Shooting-KDFW-3 Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 888ad3b2-0a16-5beb-a0d1-bee9d90c5617

A suspected burglar was shot and killed by a security guard in an Apple store early Tuesday, according to police.  (Fox 4 KDFW)

A police spokesman said the store’s back door was open so construction workers could go in and out. The suspect, clad in body armor and armed with an assault rifle, entered the rear of the building “in an attempt to commit a robbery,” Sgt. Warren Mitchell said.

The burglar then allegedly tried to disarm a security guard who was sitting by the door. The security guard pulled out his weapon and fired “multiple shots at the suspect,” Mitchell said.

The burglar fled the store but collapsed in an alley. He was taken to an area hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

TEXAS MAN FATALLY SHOT BURGLAR AND WENT BACK TO BED BEFORE CALLING 911: POLICE

“The loss of life is a tragedy and we are grateful that no one else was involved. Apple cares deeply about the safety of our customers and employees and we are committed to providing a secure environment for all who enter our stores,” the company said in a statement.

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

The case is being investigated by the Dallas Police Department’s Special Investigations United because the security guard is a retired Dallas cop.

Westlake Legal Group North-Dallas-Apple-Shooting-KDFW-2 Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 888ad3b2-0a16-5beb-a0d1-bee9d90c5617   Westlake Legal Group North-Dallas-Apple-Shooting-KDFW-2 Security officer shoots, kills suspected burglar at Dallas Apple store, police say fox-news/us/us-regions/southwest/texas fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc Bradford Betz article 888ad3b2-0a16-5beb-a0d1-bee9d90c5617

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Lindsey Graham Vows ‘Sanctions From Hell’ On Turkey If It Invades Syria

Westlake Legal Group 5d9cc6e8210000420733ce7c Lindsey Graham Vows ‘Sanctions From Hell’ On Turkey If It Invades Syria

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) is vowing to hit Turkey with “sanctions from hell” if it carries out its plan to invade northern Syria.

Delivering his warning in a tweet Tuesday, Graham said congressional action would be “wide, deep, and devastating.” The threat comes just two days after the Trump administration announced it would step aside as Turkey gears up to move into the region, leaving American-allied Kurdish fighters to fend for themselves.

Graham has spoken out vociferously against President Donald Trump’s decision, which was announced Sunday, slamming it as a betrayal of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of local militias battling the self-declared Islamic State. The senator is one of several prominent Republicans ― in addition to foreign policy experts ― who say that if U.S. troops pull out of northern Syria, Turkey would unleash attacks on Kurdish forces, whom it regards as terrorists.

The United States partnered with Kurdish forces and other local militias in 2015 to fight ISIS in northeastern Syria. Since then, around 1,000 U.S. troops have been stationed in the area backing the SDF.

On Monday, Graham urged Trump during a “Fox & Friends” interview and on social media to reconsider his decision, calling it “a disaster in the making” and “a stain on America’s honor.”

He also noted that he hopes the potential sanctions against Turkey “would be veto-proof.”

Trump has not backed down from his decision, but tweeted on Monday that he would “totally destroy and obliterate” Turkey’s economy if it “does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off-limits.”

On Tuesday, Trump defended the policy shift, tweeting, “in no way have we Abandoned the Kurds, who are special people and wonderful fighters,” and praising U.S.-Turkey relations.

Continuing, he asserted that “any unforced or unnecessary fighting by Turkey will be devastating to their economy and to their very fragile currency.”

However, the same day, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said the country would not bow to pressure from the U.S.

“Where Turkey’s security is concerned, we determine our own path, but we set our own limits,” he said, according to The Associated Press.

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One arrested, two sought in fatal shooting of key witness in trial of Dallas cop Amber Guyger

One suspect was in custody and arrest warrants were issued Wednesday for two more in the death of Joshua Brown, a key witness in the murder trial of former officer Amber Guyger, who was convicted of killing a neighbor in his apartment, Dallas police said.

Deputy Police Chief Avery Moore said Brown was killed in a drug deal that devolved into a gunbattle. Brown was found shot to death in a parking lot Friday, two days after Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the September 2018 fatal shooting of Botham Jean. The accountant was eating ice cream in an apartment Guyger mistook for her own.

Moore said the man in custody, Jacquerious Mitchell, told authorities he, Thaddeous Charles Green and Michael Diaz Mitchell had gone to Dallas from Louisiana to buy drugs from Brown. An argument ensued, however, and Jacquerious Mitchell told authorities he was shot by Brown.

One of the other men then shot Brown, Moore said. Those men fled the scene, and a manhunt was underway for their capture, Moore said. Jacquerious Mitchell was recovering from his wounds.

Moore said 12 pounds of marijuana, other drugs and $4,000 were seized from Brown’s apartment.

The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and some community leaders in recent days had called for an independent investigation into Brown’s death and the Dallas police department. Moore said some had suggested police were somehow involved.

“I assure you that is simply not true,” Moore said. “I encourage those leaders to be mindful of their actions moving forward because their words have jeopardized the integrity of the city of Dallas as well as the Dallas Police Department.”

Brown’s testimony was crucial because he lived on the same floor as Guyger and heard them talking – but said he did not hear Guyger shout verbal commands or warnings before shooting Jean.

How many years will Guyger stay in prison? That could depend on Jean’s family

Sherrilyn Ifill, the defense fund’s president, said Monday that it is critical to public confidence in the criminal justice system that witnesses who speak out against police violence are fully protected. Ifill said she supports the call by Jean’s family for a comprehensive federal investigation of the Dallas Police Department.

“The circumstances surrounding the murder of Mr. Brown cries out for answers,” Ifill said. “We urge state or federal authorities to follow the trail of misconduct left by this case and fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Brown’s death.”

Westlake Legal Group  One arrested, two sought in fatal shooting of key witness in trial of Dallas cop Amber Guyger

Lawyer S. Lee Merritt, who represents the Jean and Brown families, said Brown had expressed concern to prosecutors about testifying at Guyger’s trial. Two months after Jean’s death, Brown was wounded by a gunman who killed another man outside a Dallas nightclub. Brown was concerned that shooter would be looking for him, Merritt said in a social media post Tuesday.

Brown moved to California but went back to Dallas to testify when prosecutors threatened to issue a warrant for his arrest, Merritt said.

“Brown’s testimony was powerful, but it was also duplicative,” Merritt said. “Nothing he testified to couldn’t have been brought in by other witnesses. It wasn’t worth his life.”

Consider this:Brandt Jean forgiving, hugging Amber Guyger is one thing — the judge’s hug is another

Guyger, 31, told authorities that on the night of the shooting she returned home from an extended shift for the police department when she parked on the wrong floor of her apartment building’s garage, walked down the wrong hallway and into the wrong apartment. She said she believed Jean, 26, was an intruder and shot him in self-defense.

Days later, Guyger was charged with murder and was fired. Last week, a jury convicted Guyger of murder and sentenced her to 10 years; under Texas state law, she must serve at least half the sentence to qualify for early release.

Jean’s brother, Brandt, and Judge Tammy Kemp both hugged Guyger after her sentencing. Kemp also gave Guyger a Bible.

Two days later, police were called to a parking lot where Brown was found lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“I just spoke with Joshua Brown’s mother. She is devastated. We all are,” Merritt posted on Twitter the next day. “Joshua Brown was a key witness in the murder of Botham Jean that helped put Amber Guyger away. We need answers.”

Contributing: The Associated Press

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Megathread: Senate Intel Report Finds Kremlin Directed Russian Social Media Meddling In 2016

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released its report on Russian social media interference efforts during the 2016 elections, with the panel finding that Russian actors were directed by the Kremlin to help President Trump win the election.

The report is the second volume to be released as part of the committee’s investigation into Russian interference efforts in the lead-up to the 2016 elections, with its findings mirroring those of former special counsel Robert Mueller in his own report released earlier this year.

A link to the report can be found here


Submissions that may interest you

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Susan Rice book airs frustration with being put on air in Clinton’s place after Benghazi attack

Westlake Legal Group Susan20Rice Susan Rice book airs frustration with being put on air in Clinton's place after Benghazi attack Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc e2540ea1-917f-5fed-b522-653750f0956d article

“Where is Hillary?”

That was the question then-U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice’s mother asked when she told her she would be appearing on all five Sunday morning political shows on Sept. 16, 2012 — just five days after the terrorist attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. The plan was to appear in place of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, at the White House’s request.

BENGHAZI HERO KRIS ‘TANTO’ PARONTO SHARES LESSONS LEARNED FROM 2012 TERROR ATTACK

“I smell a rat,” her mother said. “This is not a good idea. Can’t you get out of it?”

The exchange was detailed in Rice’s new book, “Tough Love: My Story of the Things Worth Fighting For,” as she recalled what led to and what fueled the biggest political controversy of her government career — those appearances on “Fox News Sunday,” ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’ “Face the Nation,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and CNN’s “State of the Union.” Her flawed characterization of the attacks as resulting from a spontaneous protest later made her the target of GOP criticism that ultimately led to her withdrawing from consideration to succeed Clinton as secretary of state.

Looking back, Rice insisted in her book that she does not believe Clinton set her up – Rice’s mother feels differently – but recognizes that Clinton and National Security Adviser Tom Donilon likely knew what was coming.

“I do believe that Hillary Clinton and Tom Donilon appreciated what I did not,” Rice said. “The first person to tell the public about a highly political tragedy was likely to pay a price.”

In the memoir, Rice recalled delivering talking points provided to her by the CIA, which were corrected after the fact — the result, she said, of updated intelligence. She soon became the face of the Obama administration’s response to the attack, which was strongly criticized by GOP lawmakers.

SUSAN RICE SLAMS TRUMP’S TROOP WITHDRAWAL FROM SYRIA

During her appearances, Rice said that the terrorist attack in Benghazi spun out of “demonstrations” that had been taking place.

“This information turned out to be wrong,” Rice wrote, “and days after my appearance, the [Intelligence Community] revised its judgment to reflect their subsequent determination that there were no protests.”

Rice was also called out for supposedly claiming that the attack was in response to an anti-Muslim video that was posted online. In her book, she insisted this is not what she said — making the distinction that the video was her stated reason for unrest in Cairo, Egypt, and that the Benghazi attack was in turn inspired by what was happening in Cairo.

The political climate was tense at this time, less than two months before a presidential election, but Rice described the period after the election as even worse, “because there was no end in sight to the incoming hits.” At this point, Rice was being considered for the secretary of state job. She lamented that with the exception of President Barack Obama himself, she did not feel that the White House had her back at this time.

“I was distressed initially to see little pushback coming from the White House, with the very notable exception of the president himself,” she recalled. “I needed colleagues in the White House to assist from the podium in the press room and to provide support to my small press and legislative affairs teams.” At one point, she cried to her husband that she felt like she was “floating out here alone, without the necessary support.”

Rice faced attacks concerning her capabilities from Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham, the late John McCain and Kelly Ayotte. She eventually took herself out of the running. Rice’s 9-year-old daughter was undergoing tests for “frightening hallucinations” and Rice’s mother was “traumatized,” she wrote.

But Rice explained that she “would have felt guilty and selfish” if she had refused to go on the shows that fateful Sunday. “I am a team player, and I don’t like shunting off on others what I am capable of doing.”

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

In hindsight, however, she said: “By deferring to that instinct, by putting the cause and the team first, I did myself a disservice.”

Westlake Legal Group Susan20Rice Susan Rice book airs frustration with being put on air in Clinton's place after Benghazi attack Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc e2540ea1-917f-5fed-b522-653750f0956d article   Westlake Legal Group Susan20Rice Susan Rice book airs frustration with being put on air in Clinton's place after Benghazi attack Ronn Blitzer fox-news/politics fox news fnc/politics fnc e2540ea1-917f-5fed-b522-653750f0956d article

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Impeachment inquiry doesn’t entitle House committee to grand jury evidence in Mueller report, DOJ says

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department told a federal judge that a House committee investigating President Donald Trump is not entitled to grand jury evidence from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, saying it has failed to explain which specific testimony it needs access to or how it would help its investigation into potential obstruction by the president.

“There is this generalized notion that this is an important matter because of impeachment and, therefore, [they] should have access to everything,” Elizabeth Shapiro, an attorney in the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said during a two-hour hearing in federal court Tuesday. “It also needs to be particularized and they shouldn’t get a pass on that because of impeachment.”

U.S. District Court Judge Beryl Howell heard arguments on whether the House Judiciary Committee should receive the underlying grand jury evidence behind Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election

The panel subpoenaed the evidence as part of the wide-ranging impeachment investigation of Trump, who calls the inquiry a partisan witch hunt. The Judiciary Committee is focusing on potential obstruction of justice, as described in 10 episodes in the Mueller report. But Attorney General William Barr redacted grand jury evidence from the report and argued against disclosing it under the subpoena.

Shapiro said there first needs to be a “degree of formality” in the form of a full House vote on an impeachment inquiry before treading into  dangerous territory of “penetrating grand jury evidence.” House Democrats have argued that a full House vote isn’t necessary to move forward with an impeachment inquiry.

“I think we can look at history,” Shapiro said, citing the impeachment investigation of Richard Nixon. “Grand jury information only went to the House after there is a formal vote.”

A ruling by Howell, chief judge for the D.C. district who oversees the grand jury, could resolve a key dispute about the status of the House’s investigation of Trump.

Six committees have been conducting investigations of Trump since Democrats regained control of the chamber in January. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced Sept. 24 that all of the inquiries now fall under the umbrella of a formal impeachment investigation and that no floor vote is necessary. But Republicans have argued that only the full House can authorize an impeachment inquiry.

Westlake Legal Group  Impeachment inquiry doesn't entitle House committee to grand jury evidence in Mueller report, DOJ says

Mueller’s 22-month investigation found no conspiracy between Trump’s campaign and Russia, despite that country’s sweeping and systematic effort to influence the 2016 election. But the report released in April outlined potential obstruction when Trump tried to thwart the special counsel inquiry and have Mueller removed. Mueller made no decision about whether to charge Trump with obstruction because Justice Department policy forbids charging a president while in office.

The Judiciary Committee subpoenaed grand jury evidence to explore Trump’s knowledge of Russian efforts to interfere in the election, the president’s knowledge of potential criminal acts by his campaign or administration, and actions taken by former White House counsel Don McGahn. The Mueller report described episodes when Trump directed McGahn to remove the special counsel, which McGahn ignored.

But Douglas Letter, counsel for the House, said the committee has “gotten nowhere near” what it thought it will be able to get as part of its investigation. He said the committee has received a “very limited” number of FD-302 forms, which are FBI documents summarizing interviews with witnesses. He said the committee has yet to receive 302 forms involving McGahn, whom the committee views as a key witness. 

“The very heart of what we need to look into … we’re getting almost nothing,” Letter said. 

“We need to find out, was he engaging in helping to fix the election? … Did he have a motive and did he obstruct justice?” Letter argued. “The only way that we were going to be able to do that is see what was in those redactions.”

The Justice Department has argued in legal filings that a “minuscule” 0.1% of the Mueller report dealing with potential obstruction of justice was redacted. And the department said releasing the evidence could hurt pending cases that grew out of the Mueller investigation.

Also at the heart of the debate is what exactly the ongoing impeachment inquiry covers.

Shapiro said the findings of the Mueller report “is not currently the basis” of the impeachment investigation and that it is narrowly focused on allegations that Trump pressured the president of Ukraine to investigate a potential presidential rival. 

But Letter said the impeachment investigation’s scope is wider than that and covers potential obstruction of justice by the president.

“We don’t just have an impeachment investigation that’s focusing on Ukraine” even though “the media is focusing on that,” Letter said. 

In legal filings, the House Judiciary included a 1974 letter from the Watergate era as an exhibit. Rep. Peter Rodino, D-N.Y., who was then head of the Judiciary Committee, wrote to U.S. District Court Judge John Sirica asking for grand jury materials in the investigation of President Richard Nixon. Rodino cited a House vote of 410-4 to authorize an impeachment investigation.

The top Republican on the committee, Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, also filed an argument in the case urging the judge to reject the request. Collins said that Congress sometimes deserves access to grand jury evidence but that the Judiciary Committee shouldn’t gain access yet, for lack of a full House vote.

“The problem for the committee, however, is the House has not authorized it to conduct a formal impeachment proceeding,” Collins said in the filing. “Without an explicit delegation of authority from the House, the committee’s investigation is regular legislative oversight and does not fall within” rules governing access to grand jury evidence.

Separately, the committee filed another federal lawsuit to force McGahn to testify. The White House has opposed the move under a claim of absolute immunity, which Democrats contend doesn’t exist.

More on congressional investigations of President Donald Trump:

Nancy Pelosi announces formal impeachment inquiry into Donald Trump over Ukraine scandal

‘We’re fighting all the subpoenas.’ Congress and Trump prepare to battle over wide-ranging probes

‘Slow-motion constitutional car crash’: Trump, Congress battle over investigations with no end in sight

Westlake Legal Group  Impeachment inquiry doesn't entitle House committee to grand jury evidence in Mueller report, DOJ says

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California wildfire risk may cause power outages in 30 counties for more than 600,000 customers

The largest utility in California has warned it may cut off power for large parts of the northern part of the Golden State starting Wednesday and Thursday to prevent its equipment from sparking wildfires during expected warm, windy weather.

The National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning from 5 a.m. Wednesday until 5 p.m. Thursday for the North Bay Mountains and Valleys and East Bay hills and valleys in the San Francisco Bay Area due to “extreme fire danger.”

“Really extreme fire weather is what we’re looking at right now, what the weather models are showing,” Cal Fire Chief Mike Mohler told FOX40 on Monday, adding: “This is the largest, most concerning event that we’ve had in 2019.”

Cal Fire said the agency is preparing for a widespread period of conditions that could allow blazes to spread and is starting additional aircraft, ground crews, and personnel to respond if needed.

CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES: SEEKING SOLUTIONS TO A WICKED PROBLEM

A similar warning has been issued for the Santa Cruz Mountains from 5 p.m. Wednesday through noon on Thursday due to a combination of “gusty and potentially strong, damaging north or northeast winds” combined with low humidity.

“Strongest winds are expected in the hills, but gusty winds will develop locally in the valleys and near the coast as well,” the NWS San Francisco Bay Area office said in a forecast discussion. “These conditions will result in critical fire weather conditions from Wednesday into Thursday, especially across the  North Bay, East Bay, and Santa Cruz Mountains.”

Forecasters said the windy stretch of weather may be the strongest offshore wind event in the area since the October 2017 North Bay Fires.

In Northern California, Pacific Gas & Electric announced possible blackouts in 30 northern and central counties starting Wednesday that could affect more than 600,000 customers. The utility said that, based on the latest forecast models, the peak winds will occur from early Wednesday morning to Thursday midday and customers may be affected by a power shutoff even if they are not experiencing extreme weather conditions in their specific location.

Westlake Legal Group pge_1 California wildfire risk may cause power outages in 30 counties for more than 600,000 customers Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 07d4d91d-ca05-5d8f-bb05-ad7ced348a2f

Pacific Gas & Electric said it could cut off power to a large swath of Northern California later this week to prevent its equipment from starting wildfires during hot, windy weather. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

“This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we’ve seen in our territory in recent years and we want our customers to be prepared for an extended outage that may last several days,” Michael Lewis, senior vice president, PG&E Electric Operations, said in a statement. “We want our customers to be aware that, based on this number, it could take several days to fully restore power after the weather passes and safety inspections are completed.”

While PG&E has not confirmed any power shutoffs, the local police departments have announced that outages are likely.

The Lafayette Police Department said that 21,421 PG&E customers in the towns of Moraga, Orinda, and Lafayette in Contra Costa County could expect a shutoff beginning shortly after midnight on Wednesday and lasting through at least Thursday afternoon.

Westlake Legal Group pge_2 California wildfire risk may cause power outages in 30 counties for more than 600,000 customers Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 07d4d91d-ca05-5d8f-bb05-ad7ced348a2f

Pacific Gas & Electric may shut off power in parts of 30 counties in the northern and central parts of California on Wednesday and Thursday due to increased fire danger. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Officials said area residents should plan for family and pet medical needs, in addition to having enough fuel and water for each person and pet.

“Remember, gas stations, stores and ATMs in the immediate area will be closed,” police said, adding, “Know how to use the manual release on your garage door”

DRONES THE LATEST CRITICAL TOOL TO FIGHT WILDFIRES

On Monday evening around 4:30 p.m. Napa County officials said the utility was shutting off power to customers starting Wednesday morning and may extend five days or longer, KTVU reported.

Cal Fire said the state’s top five most destructive fires in terms of structure loss have taken place between September and November, with three blazes erupting in October in weather conditions that were a mix of gusty winds and low humidity. In addition to being careful to prevent blazes during high fire danger periods, officials told FOX40 on Monday that everyone should also have an evacuation plan ready.

“Wildland fires know no boundaries,” Mohler told FOX40 on Monday. “So, that traditional, ‘Oh, I don’t live next to a hillside with brush,’ no longer exits. If you look at the Tubbs Fire, it jumped the 101 Freeway, six lanes and went into what we would consider an urban neighborhood.”

Next month marks the one-year anniversary of the Camp Fire, the state’s most destructive wildfire ever, that killed 85 people and destroyed in excess of 18,000 structures. Power lines owned by PG&E were blamed in sparking that blaze, and the company filed for bankruptcy in January as it struggled with billions in potential liabilities.

CLICK HERE FOR THE NEW FOXBUSINESS.COM

Last month, PG&E shut off power to more than 48,000 customers in seven counties in wine country and the Sierra Nevada foothills as the humidity plunged, temperatures rose and winds kicked up. The outages lasted less than a day, and no major problems were reported.

In Sonoma County, PG&E cut power to 700 people in the Santa Rosa area, where the Tubbs Fire in October 2017 killed 22 people and destroyed more than 5,000 homes. In January, state investigators said that blaze was sparked by a private electrical system.

Westlake Legal Group pge_3 California wildfire risk may cause power outages in 30 counties for more than 600,000 customers Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 07d4d91d-ca05-5d8f-bb05-ad7ced348a2f

Southern California Edison said that more than 106,000 customers in parts of eight counties could face power cuts. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

The risk of power outages this week isn’t just limited to Northern California. In the southern part of the state, Southern California Edison’s website showed Tuesday that more than 106,000 customers in parts of eight counties could face power cuts.

The largest numbers of potentially affected SoCal Edison customers are in Los Angeles County and to the east in San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Also under consideration are areas to the west in Ventura County and to the north in Kern, Tulare, Inyo, and Mono counties.

Fox News’ Louis Casiano, Samuel Chamberlain, and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Westlake Legal Group pge_1 California wildfire risk may cause power outages in 30 counties for more than 600,000 customers Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 07d4d91d-ca05-5d8f-bb05-ad7ced348a2f   Westlake Legal Group pge_1 California wildfire risk may cause power outages in 30 counties for more than 600,000 customers Travis Fedschun fox-news/weather fox-news/us/us-regions/west/california fox-news/us/disasters/fires fox-news/us/disasters/disaster-response fox-news/us/disasters fox news fnc/us fnc article 07d4d91d-ca05-5d8f-bb05-ad7ced348a2f

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Whoopi Goldberg accuses Trump admin of trying to ‘dismantle our system of law’ with Sondland decision

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Goldberg-AP-Getty Whoopi Goldberg accuses Trump admin of trying to 'dismantle our system of law' with Sondland decision Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6461b4c1-b41a-598e-91da-da304c32b6c8

“The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg accused President Trump of trying to break down the United States’ legal norms by blocking an ambassador from testifying Tuesday about the Ukraine controversy.

She and her co-hosts were discussing the State Department’s decision to prevent Gordon Sondland, the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, from testifying during a closed-door session with the House Intelligence Committee. President Trump defended the decision on Tuesday, tweeting that the committee was a “totally compromised kangaroo court.”

“Stop trying to dismantle our system of law,” Goldberg said on Tuesday. “This is how we do it. It’s not perfect. It’s not great to some people but we have a whole set of laws that you have to follow and sometimes it works in your favor … and sometimes it doesn’t,” she said.

More from Media

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION BLOCKS AMBASSADOR FROM TESTIFYING IN HOUSE IMPEACHMENT DEPOSITION

She added that the committee wasn’t a “kangaroo court.”

“These are your peers,” she added in an apparent message for Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio. Co-host Joy Behar criticized Jordan, who defended the administration’s decision to block Sondland’s testimony.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

“He’s in the cover-up,” Behar said. “That’s what he does for a living, Jim Jordan. He covers up crimes.”

When co-host Meghan McCain chimed in, she favored not allowing the testimony because a closed-door session would reinforce the air of “secrecy” surrounding the Ukraine controversy.

She also pushed back on the “kangaroo court” descriptor but argued that Schiff was making the impeachment inquiry process unnecessarily “partisan.”

Westlake Legal Group Trump-Goldberg-AP-Getty Whoopi Goldberg accuses Trump admin of trying to 'dismantle our system of law' with Sondland decision Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6461b4c1-b41a-598e-91da-da304c32b6c8   Westlake Legal Group Trump-Goldberg-AP-Getty Whoopi Goldberg accuses Trump admin of trying to 'dismantle our system of law' with Sondland decision Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry fox-news/person/whoopi-goldberg fox-news/person/joy-behar fox-news/person/donald-trump fox news fnc/entertainment fnc article 6461b4c1-b41a-598e-91da-da304c32b6c8

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White House Blocks Sondland Testimony, Signaling Plan to Stonewall Impeachment Inquiry

WASHINGTON — The White House all but declared war on the House impeachment inquiry on Tuesday, intervening for the first time to block the testimony of a key witness as President Trump signaled his administration would try to starve investigators of more witnesses and documents.

The decision to block Gordon D. Sondland, the United States ambassador to the European Union, from speaking with investigators for three House committees came just hours before he was to appear on Capitol Hill, provoking an immediate conflict with potentially profound consequences for the inquiry and for the president himself.

Mr. Trump, defiant as investigators dig further into his efforts to pressure Ukraine to find dirt on his political rivals, declared the inquiry illegitimate in a signal that he plans to stonewall Congress, an act that could itself build the case for charging him in an impeachment proceeding with obstruction.

“I would love to send Ambassador Sondland, a really good man and great American, to testify,” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning around the time Mr. Sondland was to appear, “but unfortunately he would be testifying before a totally compromised kangaroo court, where Republican’s rights have been taken away.”

[Catch up on all the day’s news here.]

House Democrats quickly said they would regard the president’s stance as amounting to obstruction. Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, said the administration’s refusal to allow Mr. Sondland to appear was “strong evidence” of “obstruction of the constitutional functions of Congress, a coequal branch of government.”

Mr. Schiff told reporters that the State Department was also withholding text messages Mr. Sondland had sent on a private device that were “deeply relevant” to the inquiry.

“The American people have the right to know if the president is acting in their interests, in the nation’s interests with an eye toward our national security, and not in his narrow personal, political interests,” Mr. Schiff told reporters. “By preventing us from hearing from this witness and obtaining these documents, the president and secretary of state are taking actions that prevent us from getting the facts needed to protect the nation’s security.”

In a statement, Mr. Schiff and the chairmen of the two other committees leading the investigation said they would promptly issue a subpoena for Mr. Sondland’s testimony and documents.

The decision to block Mr. Sondland from being interviewed was delivered at the last minute, after the ambassador had already flown to Washington from Europe, and lawmakers had returned from a two-week recess to observe the questioning.

Trump administration lawyers and aides have spent days puzzling over how to respond to the impeachment inquiry, and the abrupt move suggested that the president’s team has calculated that he is better off risking the House’s ire — and even an impeachment article focused on the obstruction — than setting a precedent for cooperation with an investigation they have strenuously argued is illegitimate.

The strategy, if it holds, carries substantial risk to the White House. Privately, some Republicans had urged the White House to allow witnesses like Mr. Sondland to appear, in order to deflate Democratic accusations of a cover-up and offer a public rationale for the president’s actions toward Ukraine. Now, some Republicans worry, Democrats have more fodder to argue publicly that Mr. Trump has something to hide.

Mr. Schiff said the Intelligence Committee, working with both the Foreign Affairs and the Oversight and Reform panels, would continue its work regardless. But the chairman did not detail how he might seek to crank up pressure on the White House to comply, and the standoff may create a quandary for Democrats who had hoped to move quickly in extracting crucial evidence and decide in short order whether to push forward on impeaching Mr. Trump.

Mr. Sondland has become enmeshed in the burgeoning saga of how the president sought to push the Ukrainians to investigate former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., his son and Democrats. Although Ukraine is not in the European Union, Mr. Trump instructed Mr. Sondland — a wealthy hotelier and contributor to his campaign — to take a lead in his administration’s dealings with the country.

Westlake Legal Group impeachment-investigation-tracker-promo-1570214529724-articleLarge-v3 White House Blocks Sondland Testimony, Signaling Plan to Stonewall Impeachment Inquiry United States International Relations Trump, Donald J Trump-Ukraine Whistle-Blower Complaint and Impeachment Inquiry Sondland, Gordon D (1957- ) impeachment House of Representatives Democratic Party

The Evidence Collected So Far in the Trump Impeachment Inquiry

The status of the documents and witness testimony being collected by congressional investigators.

Democrats consider him a key witness to what transpired, including whether the president sought to use a $391 million package of security assistance and the promise of a White House meeting as bargaining chips to essentially bully President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine into digging up dirt on the Bidens and other Democrats.

Mr. Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill rushed to his defense on Tuesday and condemned Mr. Schiff and the Democrats for running what they described as an unfair process, though they made clear they thought Mr. Sondland would have been a helpful witness for the president’s case.

“We were looking forward to hearing from Ambassador Sondland,” said Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio, the top Republican on the Oversight and Reform Committee, adding that Republicans believed Mr. Sondland would “reinforce exactly” what lawmakers and aides heard least week from Kurt D. Volker, the former American special envoy to Ukraine. Mr. Volker told investigators he knew of nothing improper between the two countries, although he turned over a trove of documents that raised further questions.

“But we understand exactly why the administration, exactly why the State Department has chosen to say, ‘Look if it’s going to be this kind of process …,’ ” Mr. Jordan added.

And in the Senate, Mr. Trump’s allies shifted into high gear to orchestrate a counteroffensive on his behalf. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would invite Rudolph W. Giuliani, Mr. Trump’s personal lawyer who was deeply involved in the pressure campaign on Ukraine, to testify before his panel. Mr. Giuliani led the push to enlist the Ukrainians to help investigate the business dealings of the Bidens and a conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election.

“Given the House of Representatives’ behavior, it is time for the Senate to inquire about corruption and other improprieties involving Ukraine,” Mr. Graham said.

It was unclear what the Trump administration’s position would mean for other witnesses expected to testify in the House investigation. Marie L. Yovanovitch, the former ambassador to Ukraine, is currently scheduled to appear on Friday. The State Department has also missed a subpoena deadline to hand over documents the House has demanded related to Ukraine.

Mr. Sondland interacted directly with Mr. Trump, speaking with the president several times around key moments that House Democrats are now investigating, including before and after Mr. Trump’s July call with Mr. Zelensky. The president asked Mr. Zelensky in that conversation to do him “a favor” and investigate the Bidens and matters related to 2016.

Text messages provided to Congress last week showed that Mr. Sondland and another senior diplomat had worked on language for a statement they wanted the Ukrainian president to put out in August that would have committed him to the investigations sought by Mr. Trump. The diplomats consulted with Mr. Giuliani about the statement, believing they needed to pacify him in order to allow the United States to normalize relations with the Ukrainians.

Mr. Sondland was also involved in a back-and-forth with top American diplomats to Ukraine over text last month that suggests some senior State Department officials believed that Mr. Trump may have been holding up the security aid as leverage for getting its leaders to conduct the investigations Mr. Trump wanted.

“As I said on the phone, I think it’s crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign,” William B. Taylor Jr., a top American official in Ukraine, wrote in one exchange in early September.

After receiving the text, Mr. Sondland called Mr. Trump, who asserted it was false.

“Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump’s intentions,” Mr. Sondland wrote in the messages. “The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo’s of any kind.”

Mr. Sondland added: “I suggest we stop the back and forth by text.”

There have been conflicting accounts of Mr. Sondland’s views, however. Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin, told The Wall Street Journal last week that Mr. Sondland had told him in August that the release of the aid was contingent upon Ukraine opening the investigations. Mr. Johnson said he was alarmed and asked Mr. Trump if there was a quid pro quo involved. The president adamantly denied it, he said.

Robert D. Luskin, Mr. Sondland’s lawyer, said in a statement that as a State Department employee, his client had no choice but to comply with the administration’s direction. He said Mr. Sondland was “profoundly disappointed” he was not able to testify, and would do so in the future if allowed.

“Ambassador Sondland believes strongly that he acted at all times in the best interests of the United States, and he stands ready to answer the committee’s questions fully and truthfully,” Mr. Luskin said.

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‘Not One Drop Of Blood’: Cattle Mysteriously Mutilated In Oregon

Westlake Legal Group mysterious-bull-deaths__ak__3_custom-b95b20bd3fc836fe6eb9b50ba0459bab6198287f-s1100-c15 'Not One Drop Of Blood': Cattle Mysteriously Mutilated In Oregon

The crumpled carcass of a bull lies on Forest Service ground. It was among several killed and mutilated this summer in eastern Oregon. Anna King/Northwest News Network hide caption

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Anna King/Northwest News Network

Westlake Legal Group  'Not One Drop Of Blood': Cattle Mysteriously Mutilated In Oregon

The crumpled carcass of a bull lies on Forest Service ground. It was among several killed and mutilated this summer in eastern Oregon.

Anna King/Northwest News Network

In early morning light, dust from hooves creates a fog at Silvies Valley Ranch in remote eastern Oregon. Cowboys whistle and talk low to their eager herding dogs. They’re moving the cattle from one vast, sage-studded range to another.

Five young purebred bulls mysteriously showed up dead on the ranch this past summer, drained of blood and with body parts precisely removed.

The ranch’s vice president Colby Marshall, drives his truck down a U.S. Forest Service road.

“Then we’ll get out and take a little walk to where one of the bulls was found. And the carcass is still there,” Marshall says.

Coming upon one of the dead bulls is an eerie scene. The forest is hot and still, apart from a raven’s repeating caw. The bull looks like a giant, deflated plush toy. It smells. Weirdly, there are no signs of buzzards, coyotes or other scavengers. His red coat is as shiny as if he was going to the fair, but it’s bloodless and its tongue and genitals have been surgically cut out.

Marshall says these young livestock were just reaching their top value as breeding bulls. The animals are worth around $6,000 each. And since these are breeding bulls, hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of future calves are lost, too.

Finding these young Herefords in this remote country can sometimes take the ranch’s experienced cowboys days. Ranch staff are now required to ride in pairs and encouraged to carry arms.

“It’s rugged,” Marshall says. “I mean this is the frontier. If some person, or persons, has the ability to take down a 2,000-pound range bull, you know, it’s not inconceivable that they wouldn’t have a lot of problems dealing with a 180-pound cowboy.”

Theories abound

Harney County Sheriff Deputy Dan Jenkins has been working the cattle cases, and has gotten dozens of calls from all over offering tips and suggestions.

“A lot of people lean toward the aliens,” Jenkins says. “One caller had told us to look for basically a depression under the carcass. ‘Cause he said that the alien ships will kinda beam the cow up and do whatever they are going to do with it. Then they just drop them from a great height.”

Westlake Legal Group mysterious-bull-deaths__ak__7_custom-5461189e06fb571bf6f77e68d6840f0e085cc64f-s800-c15 'Not One Drop Of Blood': Cattle Mysteriously Mutilated In Oregon

Dan Jenkins, with the Harney County Sheriff’s Office, has been investigating the killings of several cattle on Silvies Valley Ranch. Anna King/Northwest News Network hide caption

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Anna King/Northwest News Network

Jenkins says the cases have been tough, with little evidence and no credible leads.

He has a running list on his white board scrawled with green marker with the top theories. What’s clear: is it isn’t bears, wolves, cougars or poisonous plants. Nor were the animals shot.

The FBI won’t confirm or deny it’s looking into the multiple slaughters.

Two years ago and 200 miles south near Princeton, Ore., one of Andie Davies’ cows was also found cut up and bloodless.

She and her husband drove concentric circles around the corpse, but they never found any tracks.

And in this dusty country, “everything you do leaves tracks,” Davies says.

Back in the 1980s, one of Terry Anderson’s mother cows was mysteriously killed overnight. Standing on his ranch near Pendleton, Ore., Anderson points to the exact spot where he found her on top of a mountain.

He remembers his cow lying dead, her udder removed with something razor sharp.

“And not one drop of blood anywhere,” Anderson says.

He’s never gotten over it.

“It’s just left a really strange feeling with me since that day. You can’t explain it,” Anderson says. “And, you know, no one else has been able to explain it.”

The Harney County Sheriff’s office continues to field calls on the killings. And Silvies Ranch has put up a $25,000 reward for information that could solve the case.

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