May 23, 2018

Prosecutors launch sex-crimes investigation into Harvey Weinstein

Producer Harvey Weinstein. Photo: Gary Gershoff/WireImage

New York federal prosecutors have started a criminal probe into sex-abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein over whether the veteran Hollywood producer had lured or persuaded women to travel across state lines for the purpose of carrying out a sex crime, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The publication reports that local prosecutors haven’t brought any criminal charges against Weinstein since the start of the #MeToo movement, and that federal prosecutors are infuriated. Individual sexual assault allegations are typically handled by local authorities, experts told the WSJ.

The details: Authorities in New York City and Los Angeles launched probes into Weinstein following a slew of sexual-harassment accusations from women in October. Both are still pending.

  • The WSJ said it's unclear what specific allegations federal prosecutors are reviewing, and that the probe is unrelated and independent from an inquiry by the Manhattan District Attorney — who was lambasted for not prosecuting Weinstein even though a woman had provided police with a recording in which Weinstein admits to groping her breasts.

What they’re saying: Weinstein’s lawyer, Benjamin Brafman, told the WSJ that he has met with federal prosecutors to “dissuade” them from proceeding. “Mr. Weinstein has always maintained that he has never engaged in nonconsensual sexual acts,” Brafman said.

What to watch: NYPD officials said the agency is prepared to arrest Weinstein and is awaiting permission from the Manhattan District Attorney's office.

Go deeper

Tanker truck appears to plow into Minneapolis protesters

A tanker truck appears to have driven toward protesters during a peaceful demonstration in Minneapolis, video from the scene shows.

Details: The incident happened as thousands gathered the Interstate 35W Bridge across the Mississippi River just before 6 p.m. on Sunday, per CBS Minnesota. Gov. Tim Walz had "ordered highways and interstates to start closing at 5 p.m.," according to the Star Tribune.

Editor's note: This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").

U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Protests continued across the country for the sixth day in a row on Sunday, as demonstrators called for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd, EMT Breonna Taylor, jogger Ahmaud Arbery and countless other black Americans who have suffered at the hands of racism and police brutality.

What's happening: Protestors in D.C. broke one police barricade outside the White House on Sunday evening after reportedly demonstrating for several hours. The atmosphere was still largely peaceful as of 6pm ET.