Britain: ‘Almost Certain’ Russia Tried to Meddle in 2019 Elections

Britain’s foreign ministry said Thursday Russia sought to interfere in Britain’s 2019 general election by illicitly acquiring sensitive documents relating to a planned free trade agreement with the United States and leaking them online.
 
In a statement submitted to the British House of Commons, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said, “It is almost certain that Russian actors sought to interfere in the 2019 General Election through the online amplification of illicitly acquired and leaked Government documents.”
 
Raab said the documents relating to the British-U.S. trade deal were “illicitly acquired before the 2019 General Election and disseminated online via the social media platform Reddit.”
 
Raab said their investigation found that when the documents made little impact, further attempts were made to promote illicitly obtained material online before the election. He said Britain reserves the right to respond with appropriate measures in the future.
 
Russia’s Foreign Ministry declined requests for immediate comment but said it would respond later Thursday. President Vladimir Putin has laughed off similar allegations in the past.
 

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GOP Restricts Convention Attendance Over Coronavirus Fears

The Republican National Committee is sharply restricting attendance on three of the four nights of its convention in Jacksonville, Florida, next month, as it looks for ways to move forward with the event while coronavirus cases are spiking in the state.  
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said in a letter to RNC members that only the roughly 2,500 regular delegates to the convention would be permitted to attend the opening three nights of the convention. Delegates, their guests and alternate delegates would be permitted to attend the final night, Aug. 27, when President Donald Trump is set to deliver his acceptance speech.  
The move comes after the GOP was forced to move most of the convention from Charlotte, North Carolina, after local officials ruled out a full-capacity crowd amid the pandemic.  
“When we made these changes, we had hoped to be able to plan a traditional convention celebration to which we are all accustomed,” McDaniel said. “However, adjustments must be made to comply with state and local health guidelines.”
In recent weeks, Florida has seen significant increases in confirmed cases, with Jacksonville instituting a face-covering mandate and the state limiting gatherings to 50% of a venue’s capacity.
The RNC was still working to determine a programming lineup for the event. McDaniel said the convention was planning to use both indoor and outdoor spaces. GOP officials familiar with the planning said the marquee evening program, including Trump’s speech, were expected to take place outdoors to accommodate the largest crowd possible.
The GOP will be providing on-site temperature checks and face-coverings, and will have COVID-19 testing available for attendees.  
“We can gather and put on a top-notch event that celebrates the incredible accomplishments of President Trump’s administration and his re-nomination for a second term — while also doing so in a safe and responsible manner,” McDaniel wrote.
The formal business of the renominating Trump will still take place in Charlotte, but with a far smaller group of delegates casting proxy votes. 

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Four More Years? Trump Struggles to Outline Second Term Plan

President Donald Trump is adamant that he wants another four years in office. It’s less clear what he would do with them.
The Republican president repeatedly assailed Democratic rival Joe Biden during a rambling, hourlong Rose Garden news conference Tuesday that doubled as a reelection rally. But he offered few clues about what he would do if he remains in the White House. He similarly stammered through an interview last month when pressed by a friendly TV host to talk about what a second term would look like.
With the election less than four months away, Trump’s focus is more on winning than on how he would govern. He’s offered no substantive policy proposal, opting instead for heated rhetoric on race, crime and socialism aimed at his most loyal supporters. Biden, meanwhile, is releasing a growing number of proposals touching on topics including trade and climate change.
Trump is reshaping his campaign, announcing Wednesday that veteran GOP operative Bill Stepien will replace Brad Parscale as campaign manager. But it’s unlikely the move will change Trump’s preference to focus more on messaging rather than a policy agenda. Some Republicans said that reflects the challenge of asking voters for another term amid overlapping public health and economic crises.  
“During a reelection campaign, you basically are making the argument that the status quo is really good and that the challenger is insufficient to do the job. And for more than three years, he could credibly make that argument about the economy,” said Mike DuHaime, senior adviser to former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s 2016 presidential campaign.
“The problem comes when the status quo isn’t good and there is hard data — both on the economy and with COVID — that shows that,” DuHaime said, referring to the coronavirus. “That makes it much harder to make an argument about the next four years.”
Still, the question of what to do with four years in the White House is one of the most basic elements of a presidential campaign — even for an incumbent. Trump’s challenge became apparent late last month when he struggled to answer the question during an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News Channel.
“You know the story, riding down Pennsylvania Avenue with our first lady and I say, ‘This is great,’ but I didn’t know very many people in Washington. It wasn’t my thing. I was from Manhattan,” Trump said as part of his answer, before eventually calling John Bolton, his former national security adviser, an “idiot.”
Trump didn’t name a single policy objective, and, in the days that followed, the messaging from the White House seemed to rely solely on the idea that because Trump presided over a strong economy once, he would be the right person to build it back. But it has yet to put forth much of a positive agenda, instead focusing on painting a dystopic picture of the nation if Biden came to power.
“There has never been an election where we’ve had this kind of difference” between the candidates, Trump said, before painting a bleak, crime-filled portrait of the Democrats’ governing philosophy. “It’s radical left, and it’ll destroy our country.”
His Rose Garden address on Tuesday haphazardly bounced from topic to topic, from China to statues to Biden and back again, resembling not an official government event but rather a facsimile of the campaign speech the president had wanted to give three nights earlier at a New Hampshire rally that was called off because of sparse crowds and a somewhat ominous weather forecast.
It was a display of Trump in full, an equal mix of braggadocio, grievance and vicious partisan politics. But what was missing were any specific plans to right the country’s economy or improve the fortunes of its citizens.
“There’s no agenda because he himself is the agenda,” said presidential historian Jon Meacham. “In 2016, Trump was a vehicle; now, amid a cataclysmic pandemic that he has failed to manage, fewer people outside the core base want to hear anything other than how do we get safely back to real life. Because he has no answer to that overarching question, he just talks — about, inevitably, himself.”
There have been presidential candidates in the past tripped up by the question “Why do you want to be president?” including, perhaps most notably, Ted Kennedy ahead of the 1980 election. But it is rare for an incumbent to have so little to detail as to why he should be able to keep his job.
When asked for the president’s second-term agenda, the White House pointed to Trump’s response to COVID-19 but offered little in the way of specifics.
 
“As the President continues to lead a whole-of-government response to a global pandemic, restore law and order to our communities, and rebuild the economy,” said spokesperson Judd Deere, “the White House is engaged in an ongoing policy process for a bold second term agenda that continues the ‘Transition to Greatness’ that ensures we are a safer, stronger, more prosperous America.”  
White House officials also pointed to promises of better trade deals and maintaining law and order, but the lack of details gave Biden’s team an opening.  
“This president’s inaction to get the virus under control has cost thousands of lives and millions of jobs. Why should voters continue to let him lead during this once-in-a-generation crisis?” said Biden national campaign spokesperson TJ Ducklo. “Don’t ask him, he doesn’t have an answer.” 

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As COVID-19 Cases  Rise Worldwide, Some Governments Offer Subsidies

With an ever-increasing number of coronavirus cases, the Australian government has announced a $1.4 billion package to counter the nation’s rising unemployment rate.  Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced Thursday the government will spend more than $1 billion on a current wage subsidy program that will pay half of all wages for apprentices employed by small businesses, while the remaining $400 million will fund new courses for thousands of future workers to prepare them for the skills that will be in demand during a post-pandemic economy. The financial aid package is being introduced as Australia’s official unemployment rate rose to 7.4%, or nearly 1 million people, the highest rate in 22 years.  Australia has nearly 11,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections, according to Johns Hopkins University’s coronavirus tracker.  FILE – Response personnel prepare to distribute goods to residents inside a public housing tower, locked down in response to an outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Melbourne, Australia, July 9, 2020.The surge in new cases has been entirely located in southern Victoria state, which reported 317 new cases on Thursday, its biggest one-day rise in infections. Australia’s second-most populous state shut down its shared border with neighboring New South Wales after a fresh outbreak of coronavirus in Melbourne, Victoria’s capital city.  Melbourne is in the early stages of a six-week lockdown in an effort to contain the disease. The deaths of two elderly men in Victoria state brings the total coronavirus death toll in the state to 29, and the total nationwide toll to 113.   People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walk through a shopping area in Tokyo, July 3, 2020.Meanwhile, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike said Thursday the city has recorded more than 280 new COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period, the biggest one-day number for the Japanese capital.   Koike told reporters the city has conducted 4,000 coronavirus tests, another single-day record. The rising uptick in new COVID-19 cases could force Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to reconsider a new campaign aimed at encouraging domestic tourism to offset the loss of foreign visitors.   And India is nearing one million total coronavirus infections, with the health ministry announcing Thursday more than 32,700 new cases over the past 24 hours, its biggest one-day record since the start of the pandemic. India now has more than 936,000 confirmed cases, with well over 24,000 deaths.FILE – A hospital staff walks past rows of beds at a makeshift COVID-19 care center at an indoor sports stadium in New Delhi, India, July 8, 2020. With the latest global figures showing 13.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and more than 580,000 deaths, other countries facing rising case numbers are re-imposing restrictions or adding new ones.     All visitors to Greece must show border guards a negative COVID-19 test result that is no more than 72 hours old.    Romania extended its nationwide state of alert for another 30 days.    Israel is threatening to re-impose a complete nationwide lockdown if its coronavirus case numbers don’t start falling in the next few days.     South Africa revived a ban on the sale of alcohol, saying its doctors and hospitals have no time or facilitates to deal with injuries related to heavy drinking.    That country had more than 311,000 confirmed cases on Wednesday — Africa’s highest and the world’s eighth highest, according to Johns Hopkins. South Africa’s death toll is 4,453 people.    Kenyan officials say the coronavirus killed four health workers and sickened 450 others in the country’s biggest maternity hospital.    Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gestures while attending the flag unveiling ceremony at the Alvorada Palace in Brasilia, on July 15, 2020. – Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro tested positive for coronavirus again, CNN Brazil said on Wednesday,…Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who spent months minimizing COVID-19 as nothing  more than a “little flu” and mocking those who take the virus seriously, said Wednesday he has tested positive again.He first tested positive last week and says he will be tested again before this week is over.   

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US Again Breaks World Record for Most Reported COVID-19 Cases in a Day

The United States shattered its own record Wednesday for the most reported COVID-19 cases in a 24-hour period – 67,600 according to Johns Hopkins University.With nearly 3.5 million confirmed cases and more than 137,358 deaths, the United States leads the world in both counts. Brazil trails the U.S. with some 1.9 million confirmed cases and 75,366 deaths.States that had been easing lockdowns and restrictions are starting to reimpose them as health officials blame the coronavirus resurgence on people who refuse to wear masks or ignore social distancing rules.The country’s two largest brick-and-mortar retailers – Walmart department stores and Kroger supermarkets said Wednesday that all customers walking through their doors will be required to wear face masks starting next week.About 35 percent of all Walmart stores are in cities and towns where local governments have no face covering mandates. Walmart has more than 5,000 stores in the United States and Puerto Rico, according to its corporate website.”Walmart has a great deal of influence in this regard,” Walton College of Business Professor Alan Ellstrand told the cable news network CNN. “It may signal to the public that if a large retailer like Walmart supports requiring customers to wear a mask, it is good for Americans to do so more broadly as well.”Walmart says it will station what it calls “heath ambassadors” at the front doors of its stores to remind customers to cover their mouths and noses. Shoppers at Walmart’s Sam’s Club warehouse stores will be given face masks if they don’t have one.The United States has no nationwide mandate for people to wear face masks in public leaving that up to the states. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the practice.Other countries facing rising case numbers are reimposing lifted restrictions or adding new ones.All visitors to Greece must show border guards a negative COVID-19 test result that is no more than 72 hours old.Romania was extended its nationwide state of alert for another 30 days.Israel is threatening to reimpose a complete nationwide lockdown if its coronavirus case numbers don’t start falling in the next few days.South Africa revived a ban on the sale of alcohol, saying its doctors and hospitals have no time or facilities to deal with injuries related to heavy drinking.That country had more than 311,000 confirmed cases on Wednesday – Africa’s highest and the world’s eighth highest, according to Johns Hopkins. South Africa’s COVID-19 death toll is 4,453 people.Kenyan officials say the coronavirus killed four health workers and sickened 450 others in the country’s biggest maternity hospital.Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, who spent months minimizing COVID-19 as nothing  more than a “little flu” and mocking those who take the virus seriously, said Wednesday he has tested positive again.He first tested positive last week and said he will be tested again before this week is over. 

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As Trump Warns Iran Not to Execute 3 Protesters, Their Lawyers Request Retrial

Iranian lawyers representing three men sentenced to death for involvement in antigovernment protests last November say they have asked the judiciary for a retrial of their clients, potentially averting executions that many Iranians and President Donald Trump fear are imminent.Defense lawyers Babak Paknia and Hosein Taj were quoted Wednesday by Iranian state media as saying they and a third attorney, Mostafa Nili, jointly submitted a request to the office of Iranian judiciary chief Ebrahim Raisi to overturn the death sentences against their three clients and retry the men. Nili tweeted that he, Paknia and Taj got full access to their clients’ court files for the first time earlier in the day.Iran’s Supreme Court upheld the death sentences against defendants Amir Hossein Moradi, Mohammad Rajabi, and Saeid Tamjidi last Friday, according to an earlier tweet by Nili. The men, all in their mid-20s, had been convicted of vandalism, arson, waging war against the state and armed robbery for participating in the November 2019 nationwide protests against the government’s 50 percent increase in subsidized gasoline prices in a recession-hit economy.Their lawyers, in a July 1 open letter published by state-approved news site jamaran.ir, already had denounced the judiciary’s case against their clients as based on “confessions that were extracted under aberrant conditions.” They also criticized what they said were irregularities in legal procedures, such as the judiciary’s persistent refusal up to that point to grant them access to the case files.In a July 10 interview with the jamaran.ir, Paknia also said the three defendants “absolutely did not set fire to banks and cars” while participating in the November 2019 protests.While some of the demonstrators looted and set fire to banks, gas stations and stores, London-based rights group Amnesty International (AI) said most were peaceful. Iranian security forces killed at least 300 people in a violent crackdown on the protests, AI has said.Moradi was arrested as part of that crackdown in November 2019. Rajabi and Tamjidi were detained in December after being extradited to Iran from neighboring Turkey, to where they had fled the month before.The lawyers said they based their request for a retrial of the three men on Article 477 of Iran’s Code of Criminal Procedure. It gives Iran’s judiciary chief the power to order the nation’s Supreme Court to overturn a verdict that he deems to be “evidently in contravention of Sharia (Islamic law)” and issue a new one.In a 2016 report on Iran’s criminal code, Amnesty said Article 477 “provides a window of opportunity to reverse unjust decisions and miscarriages of justice.” But it said the legal provision also lends itself to abuse because the phrase “evidently in contravention of Sharia” allows the judiciary chief “to resort to uncodified laws to order that a judgment be overturned.”In an interview with Iranian state news agency ISNA published Wednesday, Taj, one of the lawyers, expressed hope that next week, Raisi would order a retrial and suspend any plans to execute the three defendants.In comments reported by Iranian state media Tuesday, Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili confirmed the Supreme Court’s finalizing of the death sentences but did not say when they would be carried out.Iran’s upholding of the death sentences, and its executions of several other Iranians in recent days for drinking alcohol, allegedly spying for the United States and membership of a banned Kurdish political party, prompted Iranians worldwide to flood Twitter with messages calling for a stop to Iran’s use of capital punishment. The Persian hashtag “Don’tExecute” trended globally on Tuesday, appearing in almost 4.5 million tweets according to The New York Times.Trump took notice of the social media outpouring of support for the three Iranian protesters.سه نفر در ایران برای شرکت کردن در تظاهرات محکوم به مرگ شده اند. اعدام آنها در هر لحظه قابل انتظار است. اعدام این سه نفر پیامی اسفناک به دنیا می فرستد و نباید انجام شود. #اعدام_نکنید
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 15, 2020In his first Persian-language tweet in months, along with an identical English tweet posted Wednesday, Trump said the executions of Moradi, Rajabi and Tamjidi were “expected momentarily.”“Executing these three people sends a terrible signal to the world and should not be done! #StopExecutionsInIran,” Trump wrote.“There are not many issues on which Iranians are united,” said Nazanin Boniadi, an Iran-born British-American actress and human rights activist, in a message to VOA Persian.“Millions of us reacted to the upholding of the death sentences of these three young men and condemned it,” Boniadi wrote. “I hope Iran will hear these voices and stop forced confessions, imprisonments and executions of innocents.”This article originated in VOA’s Persian Service.

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Path to White House Runs Through America’s ‘Rust Belt’

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, WISCONSIN — The sprawling paper mill situated on the banks of the Wisconsin River that flows through Wisconsin Rapids has long been one of its most defining and important features.
 
“It is the bloodline, the lifeline of Wisconsin Rapids,” said Scott Krug, a Republican lawmaker who represents the town and surrounding areas in the Wisconsin State Assembly.  
 
“It is the one thing that has survived everything the city has been through and the country has been through. Through world wars, great Depressions – it has been here, and it is the solid,” Krug explained to VOA during a recent interview conducted across the river from the facility.
 
“It is what we depend on.”
 
Several generations of Krug’s family worked at the paper mill, from its peak when thousands of workers passed through its doors, to its valleys, including the present, when roughly 900 workers who collect a paycheck from current owner Verso Corporation will be the last.  
 
The mill is scheduled to close in July, in part because the COVID-19 pandemic tanked demand from businesses using the mill’s paper for advertising. Krug is seeking a new owner.
 
“It hits you that this is the first time that this plant will ever shut down in its 120-year history,” Krug said. “That’s something that impacts me to my core.”
 
It also impacts workers beyond the walls of the mill, such as Laura Delaney, who manages her family’s timber harvesting operation and trucking company. She oversees a workforce and equipment deployed in the forests surrounding Wisconsin Rapids. About 40% of the wood Delaney’s company processed supplied the mill.
 
“They were one of the largest suppliers for us to take our hardwood and aspen to,” Delaney told VOA. Now, she’s sitting on tons of timber with no buyer.  
 
“No further deliveries whatsoever. So, the sale that we were cutting on, we had to stop.  There’s timber sitting on the landing that can’t go anywhere. We can’t do anything with it. It’s just sitting there,” she said.
 
Delaney is growing concerned about keeping her employees on the job and making payments due on new equipment.  
 
“Those machines are upwards of $700,000. They don’t pay for themselves if they aren’t working,” she said.
 
The story of the Wisconsin Rapids paper mill is not a new or unique illustration of the impact of the loss of manufacturing jobs on local economies. But it is the latest in a narrative that has defined states like Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania as the “Rust Belt” – areas where many middle-class workers have lost quality manufacturing jobs in the past several decades, as plants and mills that made everything from cars to refrigerators have closed.  
 
They are also areas where those out of work or worried about losing their jobs or small businesses say they feel overlooked or forgotten by politicians in Washington.  
 
“This is the average Joe in Wisconsin Rapids,” Krug said. “The blue-collar worker who has put 30 years of his lifeblood into this, and has bought a home and has a mortgage, and maybe has a small business on the side.”
 
“What we do is very important, but I think it is forgotten a lot,” explained Delaney, who added that some of the paper products produced from the wood she harvests are also found in personal protection equipment (PPE) employed in the fight against COVID-19. “If people stopped and thought about where everything they use comes from, they would be surprised.”
 
Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin are also three states that President Donald Trump narrowly won on his path to the White House in the 2016 general election and are “battleground” states in which both Democrats and Republicans are fighting for votes in the 2020 contest.
 
In Wisconsin, home to a bulk of the country’s timber and paper industry, many voters supported Trump on campaign promises to return manufacturing jobs to the U.S.
 
“I feel that he has had to fight an uphill battle the whole time he’s been in there,” Delaney said. “If he was left to do the job that he said he was going to do, he would do it very well.”
 
Despite several years of a trade war with China and other nations, manufacturing jobs have not rebounded enough to make up for the 5.5 million positions the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports were lost between 2000 and 2017.
 
“We’re losing jobs because we’re moving towards automation,” said Stephen Deller, a professor and community economic development specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  
 
“More and more, manufacturing is using automation technologies to increase productivity, and that’s not a Wisconsin phenomenon, that’s a phenomenon across all of manufacturing around the world,” Deller said. “We don’t need the amount of labor to produce the manufactured goods we’re producing. So, if you look at purely employment, yes, manufacturing is taking a bit of a hit.”
 
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to Wisconsin’s economy, and job losses in the state since March have erased any gains in the manufacturing sector Wisconsin experienced since 2011.
 
In current opinion polling, former Vice President Joe Biden has increased his lead over Trump in Wisconsin.
 
“It’s not that voters are enthusiastic about Joe Biden, but they have soured on Donald Trump,” said Barry Burden, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin- Madison. “I think the real question is whether people trust that Trump is going to lead them to ultimately a better place when it comes to jobs, or whether this is a sign of his failure in trying to deliver on things he was promising four years ago.”
 
As he works to find new ownership for the mill, Krug – the first Republican to represent Wisconsin Rapids in the state assembly in 40 years – also faces reelection on the same ticket as Trump.
 
“The choice for me is still with President Trump. But the choice is a little less solid because of some of the things that were impacted here,” he told VOA. “That’s why we’ve put so much pressure on the administration to try to step in, because it’s time to do some action, to make actions louder than words.”
 
There is job action, but not in Wisconsin Rapids.  
 
Hours away, a new multibillion-dollar facility owned by Taiwanese electronics manufacturer FoxConn promised 13,000 new jobs for the state.  
 
But by the end of 2019, even before the COVID-19 pandemic set in, the company reported that only about 600 people directly worked at the site.
 

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Lawyers: Trump Might Claim Harassment in Tax Return Quest

A week after losing a Supreme Court ruling, President Donald Trump’s lawyers said Wednesday that they were considering challenging a subpoena for his tax records by criminal prosecutors on the ground that it’s a fishing expedition or a form of harassment or retaliation against him.The plans were outlined in a letter to a federal judge overseeing legal squabbles related to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr.’s request to Trump’s longtime accountant for eight years of the president’s personal and corporate tax records in a criminal probe.The judge, Victor Marrero, scheduled a hearing for Thursday.Vance is seeking the records in part for a probe of payments that Trump’s then-personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, arranged during the 2016 presidential race to keep the porn actress Stormy Daniels and model Karen McDougal from airing their claims of extramarital affairs with Trump. Trump has denied the affairs.Cohen was sentenced to three years in prison after pleading guilty to charges related to campaign finance and lying to Congress, among other crimes.In its ruling last week, the Supreme Court rejected arguments by Trump’s lawyers and the Justice Department that the president cannot be investigated while he holds office or that a prosecutor must show a greater need than normal to obtain the tax records.The top court returned the fight over the subpoena to Marrero, saying Trump’s lawyers could still challenge it in the same manner as anyone served with a subpoena.FILE – Demonstrator Bill Christeson holds a sign outside the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices ruled that a prosecutor in New York City can obtain President Donald Trump’s financial records, including tax returns, in Washington, July 9, 2020.Lawyers for the Republican president noted that the Supreme Court in its ruling said they could raise arguments that the subpoenas seek too much information or are designed to impede Trump’s constitutional duties or harass, manipulate or retaliate against him.“The president intends to raise some or all of these arguments,” the lawyers wrote.Lawyers for the prosecutor wrote in the jointly submitted letter that Trump’s lawyers were asking for more than they were allowed. They said Trump’s lawyers were basing their plans on a concurring opinion that conflicted with the Supreme Court’s majority opinion in the case, and that the lower-court judge already had rejected the same arguments Trump’s lawyers were suggesting they might make.Last September, Trump’s lawyers argued to Marrero that the subpoena requests by Vance were a “bad faith effort to harass” Trump. The judge rejected the argument.“This court has already found that there was no demonstrated bad faith, harassment or any other unusual circumstance,” Vance’s lawyers wrote. “And this court has rejected the president’s claim that there was any evidence of a ‘secondary motive’ that goes beyond good faith enforcement of the criminal laws.”FILE – Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.Lawyers for Vance, a Democrat, also objected to a request from Trump’s lawyers that they be entitled to gather new evidence before the subpoenas are enforced and that nothing occur until the Supreme Court issues a mandate.In Wednesday’s letter, they also expressed confidence after the Supreme Court victory, saying they could enforce the subpoena immediately but were holding off, “provided the appropriate schedule moves on an expedited basis.”Vance’s attorney, Carey Dunne, also asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to formally issue a certified copy of its decision last week to the lower court so Trump’s lawyers cannot argue that everyone must wait another three weeks before proceeding.Dunne said issues could arise in the “near future” concerning the applicable statutes of limitations if proceedings are delayed, potentially giving Trump “the absolutely temporary immunity” that the Supreme Court rejected. He also said further delay could result in the fading of memories by witnesses and the loss or disappearance of documents.
 

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