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Prominent Democratic Party donor Ed Buck appears in court, Sept. 19. Photo: Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

California Democratic megadonor Ed Buck was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges concerning 2 drug overdose deaths in his West Hollywood home and allegations that he gave methamphetamine to 3 other men.

The big picture: Buck was charged last month with maintaining a drug house after a third man overdosed in his apartment. He survived. Buck was charged days later over the 2017 death of Gemmel Moore, NBC notes. An indictment first obtained by Fox 11 Los Angeles shows Buck now also faces charges over the death of Timothy Dean in January.

  • The deaths of the 2 African American men at Buck's apartment were previously ruled accidental. 50 civil rights groups and the Los Angeles LGBT Center urged police in January to investigate reports that Buck had a history of bringing gay black men to his apartment to allegedly inject them with crystal meth for sexual gratification.
  • His defense lawyer denies the allegations, the New York Times reports.

Background: Buck was a prominent LGBTQ activist in California. He's donated thousands of dollars to local Democrats, former President Obama, 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and animal rights causes.

Read the indictment:

Go deeper

Biden explains justification for Syria strike in letter to Congress

Photo: Chris Kleponis/CNP/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden told congressional leadership in a letter Saturday that this week's airstrike against facilities in Syria linked to Iranian-backed militia groups was consistent with the U.S. right to self-defense.

Why it matters: Some Democrats, including Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), have criticized the Biden administration for the strike and demanded a briefing.

9 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes Johnson & Johnson's one-shot COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration on Saturday issued an emergency use authorization for Johnson & Johnson's one-shot coronavirus vaccine.

Why it matters: The authorization of a third coronavirus vaccine in the U.S. will help speed up the vaccine rollout across the country, especially since the J&J shot only requires one dose as opposed to Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech's two-shot vaccines.

Updated 9 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios