Oct 21, 2019

NYT: DOJ distances itself from Rudy Giuliani

Photo: Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Department of Justice officials wouldn't have met with Rudy Giuliani about a fraud case had they known that federal prosecutors were investigating two of his business associates, a DOJ official told the New York Times Sunday.

Why it matters: The highly unusual statement by DOJ spokesperson Peter Carr to the NYT clearly distances the department from President Trump's personal lawyer, whose associates Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman have been indicted in New York on campaign finance charges.

  • Guliani's business dealings with Ukraine are being investigated by federal prosecutors in the New York case against his associates. He's also at the center of the impeachment inquiry for allegedly trying to press Ukraine to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden over unsubstantiated corruption allegations.

What they're saying: Brian Benczkowski, the head of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and other top Justice Department officials met with Giuliani before the pair was charged to discuss a fraud case "in which he and other attorneys were representing the defendants," per the Times.

"When Mr. Benczkowski and fraud section lawyers met with Mr. Giuliani, they were not aware of any investigation of Mr. Giuliani’s associates in the Southern District of New York and would not have met with him had they known."
— Carr's statement to the NYT

Go deeper: Trump's Rudy problem

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Updated 23 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Autopsies say George Floyd's death was homicide

Police watch as demonstrators block a roadway while protesting the death of George Floyd in Miami. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Preliminary results from an independent autopsy commissioned by George Floyd's family found that his death in the custody of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was "homicide caused by asphyxia due to neck and back compression that led to a lack of blood flow to the brain," according to a statement from the family's attorney.

The latest: An updated official autopsy released by the Hennepin County medical examiner also determined that the manner of Floyd's death was "homicide," ruling it was caused by "cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdued, restraint, and neck compression."

The Biden-Trump split screen

Photos via Getty Images: Jim Watson/AFP (L); Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency (R)

The differences between former Vice President Joe Biden and President Trump are plain as day as the two respond to recent protests.

Why it matters: Americans are seeing firsthand how each presidential nominee responds to a national crisis happening during a global pandemic.

Louisville police chief fired after body cameras found inactive in shooting of black man

Louisville police officers during protests. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer fired the city's chief of police Steve Conrad after it was discovered that police officers had not activated their body cameras during the shooting of David McAtee, a local black business owner who was killed during protests early Monday morning.

Why it matters: Mandatory body camera policies have proven to be important in efforts to hold police officers accountable for excessive force against civilians and other misconduct. Those policies are under even greater scrutiny as the nation has erupted in protest over the killing of black people at the hands of police.