Archive for October, 2019

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U.S. judge orders release of President Trump’s tax records, appeals court issues delay
October 18, 2019

Thursday, October 10, 2019

On Monday, United States District Court Judge Victor Marrero issued a ruling against President Donald Trump finding that New York City prosecutors could view his tax records after a subpoena issued by a grand jury. The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating Trump over alleged hush money paid to two women with whom he has been alleged to have had affairs. Such payments could be considered bribery. President Trump sued Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. and his own tax preparer Mazars USA to block the release of eight years of tax returns to the grand jury, but Judge Marrero dismissed the president’s lawsuit. The president’s legal team appealed the decision to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued an administrative stay to Marrero’s order about an hour and a half after the district court ruling.

The appeals court ruling placed a stay on the district court’s ruling until it hears arguments from the president’s lawyers and District Attorney Vance’s office. According to a court clerk, arguments in the case would be scheduled as soon as the week of October 21, with briefs from both parties due in the intervening time until then.

Trump had asked the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York intervene in a New York City criminal proceeding, in which a subpoena had been issued to Trump’s tax preparer. He sought such intervention to prevent Mazars from releasing his tax returns, arguing that, as president, he should be immune from prosecution, and that, by extension, his tax preparer, Mazars USA, could likewise be exempt from investigation. Marrero rejected this argument:

The notion of federal supremacy and presidential immunity from judicial process that the President here invokes, unqualified and boundless in its reach as described above, cuts across the grain of […] constitutional precedents. It also ignores the analytic framework that the Supreme Court has counseled should guide review of presidential claims of immunity from judicial process. Of equal fundamental concern, the President’s claim would tread upon principles of federalism and comity that form essential components of our constitutional structure and the federal/state balance of government powers and functions. Bared to its core, the proposition the President advances reduces to the very notion that the Founders rejected at the inception of the Republic, and that the Supreme Court has since unequivocally repudiated: that a constitutional domain exists in this country in which not only the President, but, derivatively, relatives and persons and business entities associated with him in potentially unlawful private activities, are in fact above the law.

Because this Court finds aspects of such a doctrine repugnant to the nation’s governmental structure and constitutional values, and for reasons further stated below, it ABSTAINS from adjudicating this dispute and DISMISSES the President’s suit.

Following Marrero’s order, the appeals court issued a stay, delaying Mazars’ compliance with the subpoena until it could review the case.

Trump responded to the ruling via Twitter, attacking the subpoena as a political strategy: “The Radical Left Democrats have failed on all fronts, so now they are pushing local New York City and State Democrat prosecutors to go get President Trump.”

The Manhattan district attorney’s office began its probe into Trump’s financial affairs after his former lawyer Michael Cohen was convicted of federal campaign finance law violations connected to payments made to porn actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal to remain silent about alleged affairs with Trump. Cohen is serving a three-year-long prison sentence.

Trump has admitted to ordering the payments, according to prosecutors, but the U.S. Justice Department maintains a policy of not charging the sitting president with crimes.

In recent United States history, it has been customary, but voluntary, for presidential candidates to release their tax returns when running for office. Trump was the first president to refuse to do so since 1976. Trump has cited an Internal Revenue Service audit as prohibiting him from releasing them. The president has a lawsuit to prevent a New York State law from allowing the House of Representatives’ Committee on Ways and Means from gaining access to his records.

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Celebrity plastic surgeon Dr. Frank Ryan dies in car accident aged 50
October 18, 2019

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Plastic surgeon to the stars Dr. Frank Ryan has died in a car accident at age 50. It is reported that the Jeep Ryan was driving crashed over the side of the Pacific Coast Highway and landed on rocks. Lifeguards were first on the scene and unsuccessfully tried to rescue Ryan. It is thought that no other vehicle was involved in the incident.

Dr. Ryan, a celebrity in his own right, performed plastic surgery on several stars including Janice Dickinson, Gene Simmons, Shauna Sand and Adrianne Curry. He appeared on several television shows and became one of the first people to perform plastic surgery on television in 1995.

A representative for Janice Dickinson released a statement about the death of Ryan. She said “Janice is deeply, deeply anguished! She is stunned and wants the world to know what a genius Dr. Ryan was.”

Ryan was traveling with his pet dog at the time of the crash; the dog was found seriously injured in the ocean and was transported to a local veterinarian. Dr. Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Ignatieff leads in tight race in Canadian Liberal “Super Weekend”
October 10, 2019

Monday, October 2, 2006

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Michael Ignatieff has maintained his lead as voting concludes in the “Super Weekend” of delegate selection meetings for the Liberal Party of Canada‘s leadership convention. With 380 of 469 ridings reporting, the former Harvard professor leads with 1162 committed delegates, 30% of the total. Former Ontario premier, Bob Rae, is second with 767 delegates (19.8%), while former federal Environment minister Stephane Dion and former Ontario education minister Gerard Kennedy are battling for third place with 648 and 646 delegates respectively (16.7%). While no clear challenger to Ignatieff has emerged, analysts say that the frontrunner is vulnerable if an “Anybody but Ignatieff” movement emerges and the opposition to him coalesces around one of Rae, Dion or Kennedy on the convention floor in December.

“I feel I’m tremendously well placed,” Ignatieff told CBC News on Sunday, “I think I’ve earned their confidence and trust, but we do have two months to go.”

“It’s a different kind of campaign from here on in,” said Kennedy.

“The whole purpose of the exercise this weekend is to get in position where we can make a run for the prize,” Rae said.

“We have not the biggest machine, but the biggest heart,” Dion said of his campaign.

The results vary around the country. Rae, though a former Ontario premier, has come in third in that province with 17.3% delegate support, well behind Ignatieff and Kennedy who are neck-in-neck in Canada’s largest province with 27.3% and 26.7% support respectively.

In Quebec, Kennedy has proven to be weak, winning only 10 delegates or 1% of the province’s total while Ignatieff leads with 38.4% and Dion and Rae battle for second place with 29.1% and 24.2% support respectively.

Rae is the leader in Newfoundland, Manitoba and Prince Edward Island as well as in British Columbia where he is well ahead of Kennedy, Dion and Ignatieff in that order while Kennedy leads in Alberta where he has three more delegates than Ignatieff.

Ignatieff leads in Saskatchewan, New Brunswick, Yukon and the Northwest Territories.

Across the country, the other four candidates all have less than 5% support. Former hockey great Ken Dryden has 189 delegates (4.9%), Joe Volpe has 172 delegates (4.4%), Scott Brison has won his home province of Nova Scotia but has only 148 delegates across the country (3.8%) and Martha Hall Findlay has won 41 delegates (1.1%) while 104 delegates (2.7%) are uncommitted. With the exception of the uncommitted delegates, the approximately 4,300 delegates elected this weekend are locked into supporting the candidates on whose behalf they have been chosen on the first ballot of the December 2-3 convention being held in Montreal but are free to support other candidates on subsequent ballots. They will be joined by approximately 1,000 delegates who will attend either because they are Members of Parliament, Senators or former Cabinet ministers or because they’ve been chosen by various committees. Nevertheless, this weekend’s results are expected to give a rough idea of what the first ballot results of the convention will be.

About 190,000 party members were eligible to vote in this weekend’s exercise.

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