NYC: Gay Man’s Attackers Sought By NYPD After Brutal Beating In Queens
The New York City Police Department is asking for help finding the men who brutally beat a 62-year old gay man and LGBT activist in Sunnyside, Queens. Lou Rispoli, (image, right), who married his partner of 31 years just last year when same-sex marriage became legal in New York, was taken off life support yesterday after the weekend attack.
“Lou didn’t feel it was right to be afraid,” friend of the family Mark Horn told The New Civil Rights Movement, but added that Lou was not someone who would have gotten into a car with strangers. The attack, which happened late at night, when Rispoli often went for walks in the neighborhood he spent most of his life, may or may not have been an anti-gay bias crime. Sadly, as New York City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer said at a press conference Thursday, “LouÂ is now dying at Elmhurst Hospital,â€ adding, he “will not survive, and this will be a homicide.”
â€œThis is a tragedy for the neighborhood, for the city and for his family,â€ Councilman Van Bramer also stated. â€œWe donâ€™t know if he was attacked because he was a gay man. In this neighborhood gay men and women can walk in safety without worrying about who they areâ€¦ Yes, the public is safe but we always have to stay alert.â€
Sometime after 2:00 AM Â on Saturday,Â on 43rd Avenue near 41st Street in Sunnyside, Queens,Â Rispoli “was hit in the head with a blunt object with such force that neighbors who heard the assault but did not see it thought he had been shot,” according to Andy Humm at Gay City News:
“The one eyewitness who has come forward has not been able to provide much of a description of the two assailants other than that they were likely in their 20s. A third man, who stood lookout by a car that the group, including Rispoli, may have emerged from prior to the assault, was tall. The car has variously been described as an SUV or a white two-door.”
Rispoli and his husband raised two daughters together. The family released a statement, saying:
Ask anyone who has known Lou to describe him, andÂ the words you will hearrepeated over and over areÂ â€œlovingâ€Â andÂ â€œgenerous.â€
This is a manÂ who opened the home he shared with his husband of 32Â years to people from allÂ over his neighborhood in Queens, the city, the country and indeed the world.
Much of Louâ€™s loveÂ and generosity was expressed at the dinner table,Â through the amazing multi-course meals that almost magically flew out of hisÂ kitchen. And atÂ these events he was able to engage people in conversations that would enable usÂ all to laugh with love at our own humanity.
That such a man, whose life hasÂ touched so many so deeply, should beÂ struck down so violently is incomprehensible to us. And as Lou laysÂ dying surrounded by those who love him, we find ourselves speechlessÂ with grief and disbelief.
Horn, a friend of Rispoli and his husband for decades, is hoping someone will have the courage to step forward. “People knew him and saw him, he liked to take long walks.”
Speaker Christine Quinn’s office did not respond to repeated requests for comment.
Photo of Lou Rispoli via Mark Horn
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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.
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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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