Justice


OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 10:39 AM PT – Friday, July 19, 2019

The Justice Department has announced an overhaul to the federal criminal justice system as momentum behind the bipartisan First Step Act takes effect. The department has already rolled out key elements of the law. In a landmark display, President Trump will give 2,200 non-violent federal inmates what he calls “a second chance at life.”

“We will have done something that hasn’t been done in many many years and it’s the right thing to do,” he stated.

The plan includes a risk and needs assessment program, which is the cornerstone upon which inmates qualify for freedom. Offenders must have a history of good behavior and complete the assessment in order to have their release dates recalculated. The course reportedly includes everything from community transition awareness, job training, and re-offending prevention among other criteria.

Attorney General William Barr watches as inmates work in a computer class during a tour of a federal prison Monday, July 8, 2019, in Edgefield, S.C. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Back in 2018, President Trump said this will reduce crime and mainly allow low-level drug offenders a chance at redemption.

“Prison reform legislation that will reduce crime while giving our fellow citizens a chance at redemption, so if something happens and they make a mistake they get a second chance at life,” he explained.

The Trump administration has also tapped the private sector to help inmates reenter society by helping them find jobs and housing after release. The effort is being applauded by civil rights groups, who say the measure aims to undo tough-on-crime policies which disproportionately affected minorities and nonviolent offenders back in the 80’s and 90’s.

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Trump saluted America in A #MAGA July 4 event, despite critics, What Do you Think About His Speech?

Trump salutes America in elaborate July 4 event, despite critics — and a downpour of rain
Despite concerns that he would use the Fourth of July event as a glorified campaign rally, President Trump used his “Salute to America” speech Thursday evening to praise the men and women of the armed forces and American exceptionalism. With the Lincoln Memorial as a backdrop and flanked by camouflaged See More Bradley fighting vehicles, Trump stuck mainly to the script during his speech – praising the spirit that “runs through the veins of every American patriot” and attempting to strike a more unifying and conciliatory tone than he is generally known to take.

While Trump’s speech set a unifying tone, the lead-up to the event was far from harmonious – with Trump’s opponents,especially 2020 Democratic presidential candidates, slamming him on everything from the cost of the event to the perceived exploitation of the holiday for a political purpose. Two outside groups, the National Parks Conservation Foundation and Democracy Forward, want the Interior Department’s internal watchdog to investigate what they say may be a “potentially unlawful decision to divert” national parks money to Trump’s “spectacle.”

White House seeking all options on citizenship question for 2020 census
President Trump on Thursday doubled down on his push for a citizenship question on the 2020 Census, promising that his administration is “working very hard” on the controversial issue — as reports say he is mulling using an executive order to get the question on the census. “So important for our Country that the very simple and basic ‘Are you a Citizen of the United States?’ question be allowed to be asked in the 2020 Census,” he tweeted. He added that the Commerce and Justice departments were “working very hard on this, even on the 4th of July!” Earlier this week, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced that his department was going ahead with the printing of the census without the citizenship question, apparently indicating that the administration had dropped the controversial issue. That decision came after a Supreme Court ruling last week that blocked the citizenship question for the time being until more reasoning from the administration was provided.

Ocasio-Cortez calls border officials liars after new report on offensive Facebook posts
In a Twitter message Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., branded the leadership of U.S. Customs and Border Protection as liars after a news site reported that CBP officials knew much longer than they claimed about a Facebook group on which some past and current CBP employees had posted offensive material. Ocasio-Cortez was the subject of some of this material. ProPublica, a self-described non-profit news group, reportedly has obtained screenshots of doctored images of Ocasio-Cortez, including one that shows a smiling PresidentTrump forcing her head toward his crotch.

According to Politico, top CBP officials had known about offensive posts “for up to three years” – even though officials claimed this week that they had only recently learned about them. “Looks like CBP lied,” Ocasio-Cortez charged Thursday, one day after the Politico story appeared. “Reporting shows they knew about it for *years.* This is a big deal.”

Ted Cruz schools Kaepernick, adds ‘context’ after ex-NFL star quotes Frederick Douglass ‘Fourth of July’ speech
Sen. Ted Cruz responded Thursday night after former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernickposted a passage earlier on the Fourth of July from a famous speech by Civil War-era abolitionist Frederick Douglass. The passage Kaepernick cites is from Douglass’ speech, “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” Douglass delivered to the speech at a meeting of the Rochester Ladies’ Anti-Slavery Society in Rochester, N.Y., on July 5, 1852 – nearly nine years before the Civil War began.

Kaepernick posted the following portion, without adding any comments: “What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? This Fourth of July is yours, not mine…There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking andbloody than are the people of these United States at this very hour.” “You quote a mighty and historic speech by the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass,” Sen. Cruz writes in response, “but, without context, many modern readers will misunderstand.”

Closely watched June jobs report to be released Friday
Wall Street will be closely watching Friday’s release of the June jobs report, which could provide insight into whether the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates at its July meeting. As the U.S. enters the longest economic expansion on record, investors are looking at the Department of Labor’s monthly payroll and unemployment data for signs that the rapid job growth over the past two years is softening and lending way to an overall growth slowdown.

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MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
US energy independence race producing tons of oil, not so much profit.
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Presidential salaries, from George Washington to Donald Trump.

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Trump says Sleepy Joe reminds him of running against “Crooked Hillary” in 2016. Do you think Joe Biden has a chance?

Trump, Biden give preview of 2020 general election as they blast each other in Iowa
In what could be a preview of the 2020 general election campaign for the White House, both Joe Biden and President Trump took repeated, personal swipes at each other during dueling political events in different Iowa communities on Tuesday afternoon. Trump tore into Biden as “Sleepy Joe” and said See More the former vice president reminds him of running against “Crooked Hillary” in 2016. On the other side of the state, at about the same time, Biden said the Trump presidency “has got to end,” after labeling the president an “existential threat to America” earlier in the day.

The president hit Biden for visiting Iowa “once every two weeks,” mocking the former vice president for repeatedly mentioning his name. Meanwhile, Biden employed a similar line of attack. “One of my staff showed me that apparently he had my speech on — on Air Force One,” Biden said at Iowa Wesleyan University in Mount Pleasant. “I guess he’s really fascinated with me. I find it fascinating.”

Sanders to make his case for Democratic socialism
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., is expected to make a speech on Wednesday touting his idea of Democratic socialism, a systempromising Medicare-for-all, free public college and a $15-per-hour minimum wage, all of which have caused Republicans to dismiss him as too far to the left. Sanders is expected to defend these ideals as the “unfinished business” necessary to restore America to Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal era if he’s elected president in 2020. His campaign platform will largely hinge on the promise to address the growing wealth inequality and guarantee economic rights that he feels all American’s are entitled to.

Jon Stewart shames lawmakers on behalf of 9/11 first responders
Jon Stewart slammed lawmakers who missed a hearing Tuesday on 9/11 victims’ compensation fund and called on them to back up their words with actions and help American heroes who are still suffering today. The sparse attendance by lawmakers was “an embarrassment to the country and a stain on the institution” of Congress, Stewart said during the hearing, adding the “disrespect” shown to first responders now suffering from respiratory ailments and other illnesses, “is utterly unacceptable.” Lawmakers from both parties said they support the bill and were monitoring the hearing amid other congressional business.

Still, the empty seats were unacceptable to Stewart. “That drove me nuts,” the comedian said in an interview on “Shepard Smith Reporting.” “They kept saying it’s a ‘sub-subcommittee.’ There’s still people on the sub-subcommittee that aren’t here. Either 9/11 was a priority or it wasn’t. But, your deeds have to at some point match your tweets and your words. Today it didn’t.”

Donald Trump Jr. to testify on Russia again
Donald Trump Jr. will testify Wednesday behind closed doorsbefore the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee, as part of what the president has called an “unfair” effort to subject his son to yet another interview on Russia-related matters. The interview will likely be relatively brief. Trump Jr. has already provided more than twodozen hours of testimony before Congress. The latest meeting comes after the committee’s Republican chairman, North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr, subpoenaed him as part of the panel’s Russia investigation.

Donald Jr’s latest testimony comes as House Democrats on Tuesday passed a civil enforcement resolution that Democrats say effectively holds Attorney General William Barr and former White House counsel Don McGahn in contempt of Congress. On Monday, a key Democrat-led committee postponed its own contempt vote and said the Justice Department was cooperating with its investigation.

US Women’s World Cup team a bunch of sore winners?
The U.S. women’s 13-0 shellacking of Thailand to kick off their Women’s World Cup title defense on Tuesday inspired confidence.But it also came under criticism from some who felt the team showed poor sportsmanship by continuing to score and celebrate in front of an already-beaten opponent. “0.0 problem with the score line as this is THE tournament BUT celebrating goals (like #9) leaves a sour taste in my mouth like many of you, Tweeted Taylor Twellman, ESPN soccer analyst.

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Texas governor signs controversial ‘Save Chick-fil-A’ billinto law. 
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MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Lawsuit aiming to block T-Mobile-Sprint merger filed by group of US state attorneys general.
Amazon surpasses Google, Appleas world’s most valuable brand: report.
What Trump’s new ethanol rulesmean for you.

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#Mueller May Have Quit, But The Democrats Won’t Give Up On Their #Trump #Impeachment Dreams! Whos Campaign Does This Really Hurt?

How Robert Mueller may have set the tone for the 2020 election

As Mueller bows out, more Democrats call for Trump’s impeachment
If Robert Mueller thought his only public remarks since being appointed special counsel would put the Russian collusion allegations and Democrats’ calls to impeach President Trump to rest, he was mistaken. If anything, See More Mueller’s statement Wednesdaymay have assured that the debate over whether to impeach Trump will be a dominant issue heading into the 2020 president election.

Speaking from the Justice Department, Mueller announced the closing of his office and told reporters he did not plan to testify before Congress. He explained that his team did not have the “option” to charge President Trump with a crime, citing longstanding Justice Department policy that a sitting president cannot be indicted. However, Mueller also stressed that there “was not sufficient evidence to charge a conspiracy” with regard to whether members of the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russian government during the 2016 presidential election.

On the question of obstruction, Mueller said, “If we had had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said that. We did not determine whether the president did commit a crime.” Prominent Democrats seized on Mueller’s words to call for Trump’s impeachment. House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said that all options were “on the table” and that it was up to Congress to hold Trump accountable for any alleged crimes. 2020 Democratic presidential candidates such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., Rep. Seth Moulton, D-Mass., and Beto O’Rourke all called for impeachment proceedings to begin.

Pelosi under new impeachment pressure
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., walked a fine line on Wednesday as she tried to assure party colleagues that lawmakersin the House will continue looking into impeaching President Trump, while advocating against rashness. Pelosi, speaking hours after Mueller’s statement, praised his work but promised to continue investigating Trump. The House speaker has maintained that Democrats should not begin impeachment proceedings against Trump, but has faced increasing pressure from members in her caucus to reverse course. Fellow Democrats have accused Pelosi of holding off on impeachment for political reasons.

Mystery over USS John S. McCain ‘out of sight’ directive as Meghan McCain blasts Trump
A mystery continues to surround a reported U.S. military email that called for the USS John S. McCain to be “out of sight” during President Trump’s recent visit to U.S. troops stationed in Japan, where the ship was docked. On Wednesday, both President Trump and acting Defense SecretaryPatrick Shanahan denied any knowledge of the order, which led to the ship’s name first being covered with a tarp and then being obscured by a paint barge prior to Trump’s visit over Memorial Day weekend. The Wall Street Journal, which reported the story, directlycontradicts Shanahan. The Journal cites an unnamed U.S. official as saying that Shanahan was aware and approved measures to ensure the ship did not interfere with the president’s trip.

The ship is named for the father and grandfather of the late U.S. Sen. John S. McCain III, with whom Trump had feuded prior to the Arizona Republican’s death from cancer last year at age 81.The Journal feature apparently infuriated Meghan McCain, daughter of the late senator, who tweeted, in part, the following: “Trump is a child who will always be deeply threatened by the greatness of my dads [sic] incredible life … Trump won’t let him RIP. So I have to stand up for him.”

Private company building border fence gets cease-and-desist order
A legal dispute unfolded this week between private contractors who have built a half-mile fence between a New Mexico city and Mexico, and the mayor of that city who is arguing that the fence didn’t get proper authorization. “We Build the Wall,” began construction of the border fence on private land in Sunland Park, N.M., last Friday using money raised through crowdfunding, the Dallas Morning News reported. The city shares a border with El Paso, Texas, and Mexico. The company had planned to finish construction by Friday, but Sunland Park’s Mayor Javier Perea said Tuesday that the 18-foot fence surpasses the city’s maximum height of 6 feet. On Wednesday, he issued a cease-and-desist order.

CNN’s Chris Cuomo faces backlash for appearing to mock armed rape survivor
CNN anchor Chris Cuomo responded to several critics who slammed him Wednesday over a tweet they said appeared to mock a National Rifle Association (NRA) member and rape survivor. Kimberly Corban appeared in an NRA ad advocating her Second Amendment right after going into detail how she survived a rape when she was 20 years old. “I’m a mother of two, and if a predator or anyone else tries to harm me or my family, they have to come through my firearm first,” Corban said. Cuomo reacted to the ad, tweeting “Only in America.”

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MINDING YOUR BUSINESS
Stocks slump to three-month lows, bonds rally, as recession fears rise with trade war.
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This city is home to the ‘nation’s hottest housing market’ this season.

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Trump sues to block subpoenas of business records #MagaFirstNews W/ @PeterBoykin An asylum overhaul to counter a border crisis President Trump has called for a sweeping overhaul to an asylum system he has long said is rife with fraud — including a new fee to process asylum applicants, and the capacity to rapidly adjudicate applicants’ claims while also barring them from working in the U.S. in the meantime. In a presidential memorandum, Trump specifically told Attorney General Barr and See More acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan that the move was necessary to address a crisis at the border. Arrests along the southern border have skyrocketed in recent months, with border agents making more than 100,000 arrests or denials of entry in March, a 12-year high. Immigration courts that process asylum claims currently have a backlog of more than 800,000 cases. ‘Issued to harass’: Trump sues to block subpoenas of business records President Donald Trump filed a lawsuit Monday against Deutsche Bank and Capital One in an attempt to block congressional subpoenas for his business records, claiming House Democrats are simply attempting to harass him. Two House committees subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions earlier this month as part of investigations into Trump’s finances. The lawsuit by Trump, his sons Donald Jr. and Eric and his daughter Ivanka, was filed in Manhattan federal court. The Trump Organization and the Donald J. Trump Revocable Trust are among the other plaintiffs. Politico reported that in a joint statement, Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters, chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee and Adam Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, called the Trump suit “meritless” and claimed it was a delay tactic. Tension over Attorney General Barr’s testimony escalates House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Monday night that President Trump “has demonstrated on a daily basis his obstruction of justice” amid a conflict between the White House and Congress over the terms of scheduled testimony by Attorney General William Barr before the House Judiciary Committee. Barr is scheduled to testify before the Senate and House Judiciary panels this week on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report. However, the Justice Department informed the House committee on Sunday that Barr would not attend the scheduled Thursday hearing if committee lawyers seek to question him. When asked if she had a message for Barr Monday evening, Pelosi said: “Respect the constitution. Honor your oath of office. Honor the request of Congress. For the American people.” The skirmish over Barr’s testimony came as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein submitted his long-anticipated resignation, effective May 11. The growing tension could add even more intrigue to Tuesday’s scheduled meeting between Trump, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on a national infrastructure package ‘Medicare for All’ showdown House Democrats will hold their first-ever hearing on Medicare for All legislation on Tuesday, advancing a sweeping proposal that several prominent 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls have embraced — even as some progressives caution the hearing may amount to a “farce,” and President Trump and top Republicans call the idea a socialist prescription for disaster. The 10 a.m. ET Rules Committee hearing concerns the Medicare for All Act of 2019, which promises to rapidly provide coverage for “all people living in the U.S.” within two years, according to the current draft of the bill and a summary released by Washington Democrat Rep. Pramila Jayapal. ‘Gone way too soon’: Remembering director John Singleton Hollywood is mourning the loss of Oscar-nominated writer and director John Singleton. The 51-year-old “Boyz n the Hood” director died Monday after having been in a coma for 12 days, following a stroke. Singleton’s family made an agonizing decision to remove him from life support. Stars flooded social media to pay tribute to Singleton, remembering him as an iconic director and a trailblazer in his industry. “I was discovered by a master filmmaker by the name of John Singleton,” Ice Cube, who starred in “Boyz n the Hood,” wrote on Twitter alongside a photo of the two at the Cannes Film Festival in the ’90s. “He not only made me a movie star but made me a filmmaker. There are no words to express how sad I am to lose my brother, friend & mentor. He loved bring the black experience to the world.”

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@RealDonaldTrump facing more battles ahead as Dems outraged over #MuellerReport before its release #MAGAFirstNews with @PeterBoykin OUTRAGE BREWS OVER MUELLER REPORT BREWS BEFORE ITS RELEASE: Amid high anticipation, the Justice Department on Thursday is expected to release a redacted version of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, and Democrats have See More already cried foul … Attorney General William Barr is set to hold a 9:30 a.m. ET news conference, accompanied by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller investigation after the special counsel’s appointment in May 2017. Neither Mueller nor other members of his team will attend, according to special counsel spokesman Peter Carr. Congressional Democrats have criticized the timing of the news conference, accusing Barr of trying to spin the report and conducting a media campaign on behalf of Trump before Congress and the public see it. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said the panel was expected to receive a copy of the report between 11 a.m. and noon. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., tweeted that Barr “has thrown out his credibility & the DOJ’s independence with his single-minded effort to protect @realDonaldTrump above all else. The American people deserve the truth, not a sanitized version of the Mueller Report approved by the Trump Admin.” TRUMP SEEKS VINDICATION, BUT FIGHT OVER MUELLER REPORT ONLY BEGINNING: Although Attorney General Barr has already revealed that Mueller’s report absolved the Trump team of illegally colluding with Russia, Democrats have signaled that the release will be just the beginning of a no-holds-barred showdown with the Trump administration over the extent of report redactions, as well as whether the president obstructed justice during the Russia investigation … Trump’s legal team is preparing to issue a comprehensive rebuttal report on Thursday, to challenge any allegations of obstruction against the president, Fox News has learned. The lawyers originally laid out their rebuttal in response to written questions asked by Mueller’s team of the president last year, according to a source close to Trump’s legal team. Karl Rove: Months of Democrats demanding redacted Mueller report ahead 60 PEOPLE CHARGED IN OPIOID STING: Federal authorities said Wednesday they have charged 60 people, including a doctor accused of trading drugs for sex and another of prescribing to his Facebook friends, for their roles in illegally prescribing and distributing millions of pills containing opioids and other drugs … U.S. Attorney Benjamin Glassman of Cincinnati described the action, with 31 doctors facing charges, as the biggest known takedown yet of drug prescribers. Robert Duncan, U.S. attorney for eastern Kentucky, called the doctors involved “white-coated drug dealers.” Authorities said the 60 includes 53 medical professionals tied to some 350,000 prescriptions and 32 million pills. The operation was conducted by the federal Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force, launched last year by the Trump administration. – The Associated Press NORTH KOREA TEST-FIRES TACTICAL WEAPON: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un on Wednesday watched as his country test-fired a new tactical guided weapon, state-run media reported … The Academy of Defense Science launched the weapon, The Associated Press reported, citing the Korean Central News Agency. The rogue regime’s leader reportedly spoke about the implication of the test-fire, saying that “the development of the weapon system serves as an event of very weighty significance in increasing the combat power of the People’s Army.” DEMS AVOIDING REP. OMAR? – It appears some Democrats may already perceive controversial freshman lawmaker Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., as potentially toxic to their careers … At least two Democrats have reimbursed the campaign contributions made by Omar, who has been at the center of numerous controversies since she was sworn in last January. North Carolina’s 9th congressional district candidate Dan McCready refunded $2,000 to Omar in March after she donated to his campaign last November ahead of the 2018 midterms, WSOC reported Wednesday. A spokesman for McCready told the news station he’d refunded Omar’s contribution because “he believes there is no place for divisiveness in politics, and McCready did not feel it is appropriate to accept the donation.” A winner still has not been declared in the 9th congressional district race, which became ensnared in accusations of absentee ballot fraud after Election Day. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-Ga., also rejected Omar’s $2,000 donation that was made March 27.

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Schools closed over teen obsessed with #Columbine #MAGAFirstNews with @PeterBoykin Criminal referrals tied to Mueller probe may have wide reach; Schools closed over teen obsessed with Columbine CRIMINAL REFERRALS TIED TO MUELLER PROBE COULD HAVE WIDE REACH: As many as two dozen individuals may be implicatedin House Intelligence Committee ranking member Devin Nunes’ criminal referrals to the Justice Department arising out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s recently concluded Russia See More probe, sources have confirmed to Fox News … The sources confirmed that the referrals related in part to the anti-Trump dossier compiled by British ex-spy Christopher Steele, and his work for the Clinton camp and the Democratic National Committee-funded firm Fusion GPS. Meanwhile, three top Republican Senate committee chairmen said Tuesday that the DOJ has 10 days to explain itself as to why FBI investigators looking into Hillary Clinton’s email use in 2016 sought access to “highly classified information” they said was “necessary” to complete their probe, but later withdrew the request and cleared Clinton of wrongdoing. Attorney General William Barr is expected to release a redacted version of the Mueller report to the public on Thursday. FBI failed to provide details on contact with Clinton campaign lawyer: Judicial Watch This combination of undated photos released by the Jefferson County, Colo., Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 shows Sol Pais. On Tuesday authorities said they are looking pais, suspected of making threats on Columbine High School, just days before the 20th anniversary of a mass shooting that killed 13 people. (Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office via AP) SCHOOLS CLOSED OVER WOMAN ‘INFATUATED’ WITH COLUMBINE MASSACRE: Multiple Denver-area school districts have canceled classes for Wednesday after a Miami woman “infatuated” with the 1999 Columbine massacre made threats and traveled to Colorado where she bought firearms earlier this week, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office and the FBI … Sol Pais, 18, who has a history of making “concerning” comments, arrived in Colorado from Miami early Monday and bought a pump action shotgun and ammunition, the FBI told reporters Tuesday evening. The FBI’s Miami office had reportedly alerted its Denver counterpart after learning of the potential threat.Authorities said Pais was last seen in the foothills of Denver and remains at large. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is currently leading multiple agencies in a massive manhunt. TRUMP MOVES TO DENY BAIL TO SOME ASYLUM SEEKERS – Amid a surge of Central American migrant families at the U.S.-Mexico border, the Trump administration on Tuesday reportedly moved to deny bail to some asylum seekers … According to the Wall Street Journal, if the ruling issued by Attorney General William Barr takes effect, it could mean that asylum seekers could spend more time in jail while their cases are decided. The ruling is due to be implemented in 90 days. Nearly 60K known or suspected illegal immigrants in federal prisons, DOJ says A VOW TO REBUILD NOTRE DAME CATHEDRAL IN FIVE YEARS: French President Emmanuel Macron vowed Tuesday to rebuild the badly burned Notre Dame Cathedral in five years, as dramatic footage was released showing the heroism of firefighters who battled the blaze for hours … “We will rebuild Notre Dame even more beautifully and I want it to be completed in five years,” Macron said in a televised address to the nation. “We can do it.” Macron added that Monday’s inferno “reminds us that our story never ends. And that we will always have challenges to overcome. What we believe to be indestructible can also be touched.” TRUMP HAS 2020 PREDICTIONS: President Trump offered his thoughts Tuesday night on which two Democratic contenders he thinks will be left standing in the 2020 Democratic presidential primary. Out of the crowded pool of contenders, Trump predicted on Twitter that former Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders will be the final two in the battle to be the party’s nominee …  “I believe it will be Crazy Bernie Sanders vs. Sleepy Joe Biden as the two finalists to run against maybe the best Economy in the history of our Country (and MANY other great things)!” he wrote. “I look forward to facing whoever it may be. May God Rest Their Soul!” ‘WASHED UP CELEB’ LIAR: Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx described “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a “washed up celeb who lied to cops” in texts messages released Tuesday by her office in response to a public-records request by the Chicago Tribune … Foxx compared Smollett’s case to her office’s pending indictments against R&B singer R. Kelly in text messages to Joseph Magats, her top assistant, on March 8, the paper reported “Pedophile with 4 victims 10 counts. Washed up celeb who lied to cops, 16 (counts),” she wrote. “… Just because we can charge something doesn’t mean we should.”

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