Victims As Young As Six Reported
12 people are dead and an estimated 50 more have been wounded by a lone gunman shooting randomly into the premiere of the “Batman: The Dark Knight Rises”Â movie minutes after midnight in a Colorado multiplex, according to multiple reports. The assassin, who first threw a teargas canister into the theater he reportedly accessed from an outside exit, was subdued and taken into custody by police after a call at 12:39 AM local time. Ten people died at the Century Aurora 16 multiplex theater in Aurora, Colorado, and four died at or on the way to the hospital.
UPDATE: NBC reports the gunman James Holmes, born 12/13/87.
“Witnesses said gunman wore a gas mask and was clad in black,” the Denver Post reported:
A witness, Benjamin Fernandez, 30, said he was watching the movie when he heard a series of explosions. He said that people ran from the theater and there were gunshots as police shouted ‘get down!”
Frenandez said he saw people falling, including one young girl.
Salina Jordan, 19, was in Theater 8 and saw people hit in her theater. She said one girl was struck in cheek, others in stomach including a girl who looked to be around 9 years old.
Jordan said it sounded like firecrackers until someone ran into Theater 8 yelling “they’reÂ shooting out here!”
The police came running in, telling people to run out. Some police were carrying or dragging bodies, she said.
Robert Jones, 28, was in Theater 9 when the shooting started.
Jones said when he first saw smoke billowing from the front of the theater, he thought it was a special effect. Shots rang out almost immediately after.
“I thought it was pretty much the end of the world,” Roberts said.
Roberts stayed flat on the ground until police came into the theater.
Tammi Stevens said her son, 18-year-old Jacob Stevens, was inside Theater 9 when the shooting started. Stevens was waiting for her son at Gateway High School while police interviewed him.
Jacob told his mom that he saw a guy walk into the theater wearing body armor and throw some sort of cannister that then emitted some sort of gas.
“You let your kids go to a late night movie…you never think something like this would happen,” Stevens said.
Aurora, a Denver suburb, is about 13 miles from Littleton, Colorado — site of the April 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
In that incident, two teenage students, Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris, armed themselves with guns and bombs and opened fire inside the high school. They killed 13 people and wounding 23 others before killing themselves.
Editor’s note: This report has been updated to reflect the change in the number of reported dead from 14 to 12.
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‘Jurors Meet With Defendant’: Anger Grows Over Report GOP Senators Met With Trump to Map Out ‘Rigged’ Impeachment Trial
News from The Washington Post that top White House officials held a clandestine meeting Thursday with Republican Senators to map out a plan to limit the Senate impeachment trial while President Trump has been secretly “courting” Senate Republicans in an effort to gauge and gain their loyalty has many angered and alarmed.
The House is expected to pass articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump, which would require the Senate to hold an impartial trial, over which the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court would preside. It very much is a legal proceeding with historic consequences for the future of America’s democracy.
Republicans appear to not have grasped this fact, not the gravity of their constitutional duties.
Many Americans are growing angered as a result. Some are calling the Senate impeachment trial “rigged” before it has even begun. Others are pointing out that this is akin to jurors meeting with the “defendant to discuss how long they think they have to let the trial go on.”
“Juries don’t collude with the accused criminals they’re judging,” one person on Twitter said. “Only collusion, only obstruction,” said another.
Take a look at the responses:
Meanwhile, the fact that the target of an investigation is conspiring with the very public servants who will serve as jurors on his trial is shocking to some.
I'm no judge or lawyer, but I don't think the person on trial is supposed to have their lawyers and friends meet with the jury to decide how the trial can be made most beneficial to them……. right? https://t.co/izu0pu3t26
— Avi Bueno (@Avi_Bueno) November 21, 2019
Trump will be controlling his own impeachment trial in the Senatehttps://t.co/YbcSHauWRe
— Individual-1 (@codename_karla) November 21, 2019
I didn't know the White House has a say in designing the impeachment trial procedure. Very convenient. https://t.co/PlsLrZzBhX
— Gabriel Snyder (@gabrielsnyder) November 21, 2019
“A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately … to map out a strategy.”
Well, that raises no questions whatsoever. https://t.co/9k2ObktAg9
— Greg Greene (@ggreeneva) November 21, 2019
In case you accidentally believe the lies of @senatemajldr & @SenateGOP that Senators should be impartial jurors. Juries don’t collude with the accused criminals they’re judging. #ImpeachmentHearings Cc: @SenateDems https://t.co/5VYTemmztD
— BiblioRomancer (@biblioromancer) November 21, 2019
Only collusion, only obstruction. https://t.co/F3SuUzEx9v
— Nik Shah (@NikhaarShah) November 21, 2019
Well now we know. Trump has rigged the trial even tho no impeachment trial has been recommended.https://t.co/pMmuEJVrhC
— Tina Routhier (@tynab_r) November 21, 2019
— Michael Balter (@mbalter) November 21, 2019
Republicans: [denounce entirely routine closed-door depositions]
Also Republicans: [meet behind closed doors with Trump to discuss strategy for trial in which they themselves will be the jurors]https://t.co/I8k1O0uNO8
— The Moscow Project (@moscow_project) November 21, 2019
jurors meet with defendant to discuss how long they think they have to let the trial go on before hanging the jury.
— johnbrummett (@johnbrummett) November 21, 2019
WHY does the @WhiteHouse have any say in a trial meant to hold #SCPOTUS @realdonaldtrump accountable for impeachable acts? Where’s @TheDemCoalition @IndivisibleTeam @MoveOn & other of @TheDemocrats’ organizations? #MarchOnDC https://t.co/nj3qgVoYk9
— John Zajaros (Jack) (@JohnZajaros) November 21, 2019
— BeUnshakeable (@beunshakeable) November 21, 2019
Image by The White House via Flickr
White House Secretly Meeting With Republicans to Limit Impeachment Trial as President Courts GOP Senators
The Trump White House is in secret talks with top Senate Republicans to draft a strategy on how the impeachment trial will be conducted after the House passes what are expected to be damning articles of impeachment. The president has been focused the past few weeks on sitting down with Senate Republicans individually or in small groups to take the temperature of the caucus and to woo those who have occasionally suggested they might be uncomfortable with the actions he has taken that have led to the current impeachment inquiry.
“A group of Republican senators and senior White House officials met privately Thursday to map out a strategy for a potential impeachment trial of President Trump, including proceedings in the Senate that could be limited to about two weeks,” The Washington Post reports late Thursday afternoon.
Among the Republican Senators who clandestinely met with top Trump White House advisors are: Mike Lee (Utah), Ron Johnson (Wis.), John Neely Kennedy (La.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Ted Cruz (Texas) and Tom Cotton (Ark.). The six strong Trump supporters met, according to the Post, “with White House counsel Pat Cipollone, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, senior adviser Jared Kushner, and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway.”
Earlier Thursday Politico reported “Trump cozies up to GOP during impeachment,”noting the President has been “aggressively courting Senate Republicans” including Susan Collins and Mitt Romney, both seen as potentially dangerous to Trump should the Senate hold an impeachment trial.
In a separate Politico article Politico suggests the White House attempted to convince the majority-Republican Senate to immediately dismiss any articles of impeachment and hold no trial.
Senators “informed the White House that there simply aren’t the votes to approve a motion to dismiss the trial; it would take just three Republicans to block any impeachment vote on the Senate floor.”
The Washington Post echoed that reporting, explaining that “even a two-week trial could run counter to what Trump has expressed privately. The president is ‘miserable’ about the ongoing impeachment inquiry and has pushed to dismiss the proceedings right away.”
Watch: Nunes Stunned When State Dept. Official Knocks Down His ‘Black Ledger Isn’t Real’ Conspiracy Theory
Intelligence Committee Ranking Republican Member Devin Nunes Thursday afternoon appeared stunned when he questioned a U.S. State Dept. official during the impeachment hearings and did not get the answer he anticipated.
Rep. Nunes has been spewing far right wing conspiracy theories during each impeachment hearing over the past two weeks, including the thoroughly debunked lie that Ukraine – not Russia – attacked the U.S. 2016 election.
(Earlier one of today’s witnesses, Dr. Fiona Hill, publicly lambasted the spreading of the false Ukraine conspiracy theory as she sat just feet away from Nunes. The video is here.)
Nunes asked David Holmes, who is the State Dept.’s counselor for political affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine about the “black ledger.”
That line of questioning did not go well for Nunes.
Nunes asked if Holmes had “ever heard of the black ledger.”
“I have,” Holmes replied.
“The black ledger – is that seen as ‘credible’ information?” Nunes asked.
“Yes,” Holmes responded without hesitation.
Surprised, Nunes repeated his question.
“The black ledger is credible?”
“Yes,” Holmes again replied.
Nunes did not look pleased.
“Bob Mueller did not find it credible. Do you dispute what Bob Mueller’s findings were? – They didn’t use it in the prosecution or in the report.”
“I’m not aware that Bob Mueller did not find it credible. I think it was evidence in other criminal proceedings. Its credibility was not questioned in those proceedings, but I’m not an expert on that.”
As Nunes goes back to the well of Ukraine 2016 conspiracy theories, Holmes shoots down his nonsense regarding the black ledger that exposed Manafort’s corrupt dealings in Ukraine: pic.twitter.com/JIo1mvl3Kt
— The Moscow Project (@moscow_project) November 21, 2019
Holmes is correct – it was used as evidence in prosecutions (see below).
The black ledger is a register of off-the-book payments made by the corrupt now-former ruling party of Ukraine – not today’s ruling party.
It contains details of 22 payments allegedly made to Paul Manafort, totaling $12.7 million, by his former client, the ex-President of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort later became Donald Trump’s election campaign chairman. When the ledger was exposed Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign. He is now in prison, serving a 90-month federal sentence.
Mueller actually did find the black ledger credible, as The Washington Post reported one week ago. It was used as evidence in Mueller’s indictment against Manafort.
Rep. Nunes appears to believe the existence of the black ledger and its authenticity are conspiracy theories. He is the one spreading conspiracy theories. The black ledger is real.
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