NY Governor ♡s Gay Marriage, NY Lawmakers, Not So Much
NY State Assembly Dragging Its Feet On The LGBTQ Community?
After a week of heightening anticipation, NY Governor David Patterson today announced he will introduce a gay marriage bill Thursday. Although the legislation is the same that was introduced two years ago by hisÂ predecessor and passed by a wide margin in the State Assembly, already the NY State Legislature sounds to be stalling. The New York Times reports:
â€œThis is not a guarantee of anything,â€ said AssemblymanÂ Micah Z. Kellner, a Democrat from the Upper East Side who noted that it took two months for legislation legalizing same-sex marriage to get through the Assembly in 2007 before it ultimately stalled. The Senate never acted on the bill.
The legislation is likely to have an especially long road in the Senate, where more lawmakers oppose same-sex marriage than support it. Gay rights advocates are now actively seeking more senators â€“ both Democrats and Republicans â€“ to vote for the bill.
While Mr. Paterson has said he would like to see lawmakers â€œfight it outâ€ and debate the bill on the floor of both houses even if it fails, Albany tradition dictates that the bill is likely to come to a vote only when it has enough support to pass. SenatorÂ Thomas K. Duane, a Democrat and the billâ€™s chief supporter in the Senate has said he opposes the governorâ€™s notion of fast-tracking it. And the Senate majority leader,Â Malcolm A. Smith, has said he would bring the bill to the floor when it has enough support.”
But the most disappointing words came from the NYÂ Â State Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. In the now-traditional mode of, “It’s the economic crisis, stupid,” mirroring Vermont’s vetoed governor Jim Douglas and even pro-gay marriage NJ Governor Jon Corzine, politicians have been mimicking the John McCain mantra of “let’s drop everything and focus on nothing but the economy” as an excuse to, in the words of DADT-delayerÂ Defense SecretaryÂ Robert Gates,Â â€œpush that one down the road Â little bit.â€ ViaÂ politickerny.com:
“Shams Tarek, a spokesman for the state Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, said the conference members are “going to expand their majority by focusing on the state’s economy, creating jobs and undoing the fiscal damage done by 40 years of Republican rule.”
WhileÂ some gay marriage advocates arenâ€™t soÂ sure they want a vote before they are certain of a victory, perhaps the biggest stumbling block on the road to gay marriage for the country’s third-largest state is Democratic Senator of The Bronx, Ruben Diaz. Diaz is an ordained minister, and has publicly opposed same-sex marriage on numerousÂ occasions, along with being “critical of the city hosting theÂ Gay Games, claiming that doing so would lead to an increase inÂ AIDSÂ cases and to wider acceptance of homosexuality by young people.”
Additionally, “in 2003, DÃaz filed a lawsuit to stop the expansion of theÂ Harvey Milk SchoolÂ (a school for gay students who suffer discrimination in traditional settings), claiming that the school infringed the rights of heterosexual students.”
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Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
Donald Trump‘s attorney Evan Corcoran, who allegedly directed another Trump attorney to draft the false statement claiming all classified and sensitive documents had been returned, has been ordered to testify before a grand jury and hand over documents and records to Special Counsel Jack Smith in the Mar-a-Lago classified documents criminal investigation.
Trump appealed U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell’s decision ordering Corcoran to testify and hand over documents, including handwritten notes. The Appeals Court in light speed mode, rejected Trump’s appeal.
Corcoran will be testifying before the grand jury on Friday, CNN reports.
RELATED: ‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
One former top DOJ official, Brandon Van Grack, says the “Special Counsel is about to get access to the most critical evidence in the case. Should allow DOJ to make a charging decision without significant delay.”
He did not define what “without significant delay” means in terms of days, weeks, or months.
Van Grack served at Main Justice for eleven years, including as a lead prosecutor in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, and later, as the Chief of the DOJ’s Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) Unit.
“The announcement from a panel of three judges in the appeals court – less than a day after Trump sought to put Corcoran’s testimony on hold – adds momentum to the special counsel investigation as it seeks to secure evidence that could make or break a federal criminal case against Trump,” CNN explains. “The Justice Department has successfully argued in court that prosecutors have enough evidence that Trump’s interactions with the lawyer were part of a possible crime that they can pierce the confidentiality of the conversations between the two.”
‘National Security Implications’: Former DOJ Official Speculates on Ruling Ordering Trump Attorney to Hand Over Docs
A former top Dept. of Justice official says a federal judge’s expedited ruling ordering an attorney for Donald Trump to testify against his client before a grand jury and hand over documents very well may be related to “national security.”
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell ruled that DOJ Special Counsel Jack Smith had successfully made the case Donald Trump may have committed a crime, via his attorneys, in his classified documents case. That finding allowed her to invoke the crime-fraud exception, and order Trump attorney Evan Corcoran to testify before the grand jury investigating the ex-president’s unlawful retention and refusal to return hundreds of classified documents.
Former FBI General Counsel Andrew Weissmann, who also worked for Special Counsel Robert Mueller and headed the DOJ’s Criminal Fraud Section, Wednesday afternoon on MSNBC said it’s possible Judge Howell’s expedited decisions were related to national security.
Tuesday night Judge Howell ordered DOJ to provide information by 6:00 AM Wednesday.
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Trump appealed Howell’s ruling, and Wednesday afternoon the Appeals Court denied his appeal related to the documents, Politico reports.
“I’ve never seen anything that quick. It’s very hard to know why. I have to say, to me, when I think about what can be a plausible reason– and this is pure speculation – is that there must be something in the papers that gave the judges concern about national security implications, because it’s such a short timeframe.”
“The reason this is a bombshell is you could end up with Evan Corcoran as a key, fundamental witness against Donald Trump in an obstruction of justice case and a false statements case,” Weissmann adds.
According to Politico, Wednesday’s appeals court ruling “effectively permits the Justice Department to circumvent Trump’s attorney-client privilege after a lower-court judge found that the documents likely contain evidence of a crime.”
NEW: Trump Lawyer’s ‘Critical Evidence’ Will Help DOJ Make Decision to Charge ‘Without Significant Delay’: Former Prosecutor
This article was updated to correctly spell Andrew Weissmann’s last name.
RIGHT WING EXTREMISM
Trump Appeals After Judge Agrees With Special Counsel on Crime-Fraud Exception and Requires His Attorney to Testify
Donald Trump’s attorneys have appealed a ruling that requires one of his lawyers to testify before a grand jury investigating his unlawful removal, retention, and refusal to return classified documents from the White House.
Attorneys for the Special Counsel “said there is evidence of a deliberate effort not to turn over all the material covered by the subpoena,” The Washington Post reports, citing people familiar with the matter.
U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell had reportedly agreed with Special Counsel Smith that there is sufficient evidence proving Donald Trump may have committed a crime via his attorneys, and ruled his attorney must testify before a grand jury. The ruling, which was not made public, was handed down Friday night, NBC News reported Wednesday afternoon.
Judge Howell “ruled in favor of applying the ‘crime fraud’ exception to Trump’s attorney-client privilege and ordered Trump lawyer Evan Corcoran to testify before the federal grand jury.”
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Trump’s attorneys have already appealed the ruling.
“People familiar with the matter said an appeals panel has already begun reviewing the decision, after Trump’s lawyers appealed,” The Washington Post adds. “The extraordinarily quick timeline suggests that the judges — all nominated by Democratic presidents — intend to rule swiftly.”
Trump could take his case all the way to the Supreme Court, but The Post says it’s “not clear he would have a much better chance of success there.”
According to an NBC News report from October, Corcoran directed another Trump attorney, Christina Bobb, to sign the letter claiming a thorough search of Mar-a-Lago had been made and all classified or “sensitive” documents had been returned. That was proven untrue after federal agents, executing a search warrant, recovered hundreds of documents with classified markings.
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