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DOJ Investigating Gaetz for Trip to Bahamas With Pot Purveyor Who Allegedly Paid for Female Escorts: CBS

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The Dept. of Justice’s investigation into U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz includes a trip the Florida Republican took with a marijuana merchant, physician, and donor who allegedly “may have paid” for airline flights, hotel stays, and escorts.

CBS News reports “investigators are scrutinizing a trip Congressman Matt Gaetz took to the Bahamas with Jason Pirozzolo, a marijuana entrepreneur, Orlando hand surgeon and donor to Gaetz.”

“Multiple sources familiar with the federal probe tell CBS News Pirozzolo and Gaetz traveled to the Bahamas in late 2018 or early 2019 and Pirozzolo paid for travel expenses, accommodations, and female escorts,” CBS’s Major Garrett reports.

“Investigators also want to know if Gates was accepting paid escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors,” Garrett adds. “In a 2018 podcast Pirozzolo highlighted Gaetz’s push for legislation expanding federal cannabis research, something that could have been a boon to Pirozzolo and other marijuana merchants.”

Former federal prosecutor Arlo Devlin-Brown told CBS, “traveling across state lines is what creates a federal ‘hook’ for a prosecution.”

It “doesn’t matter” if Gaetz “personally paid them as long as he knows someone is doing that,” Devlin-Brown says. “If there’s evidence of a quid pro quo, that the Congressman was provided with benefits in return for him sponsoring some legislation that’s of interest to the donor, that’s a federal crime.”

“Investigators also want to know if Gaetz was accepting paid escorts in exchange for political access or legislative favors,” Garrett reports.

Gaetz has denied the allegations.

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CRIME

Trump Supporter Who Was ‘Heavily Armed’ Pleads Guilty After Firing Gun Into Car Full of Black Girls

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A supporter of former President Donald Trump has pleaded guilty to intimidation with a dangerous weapon and willful injury after he fired multiple shots into a car filled with Black girls last year.

Local news station KCCI reports that 26-year-old Michael McKinney is now admitting to “causing the occupants to fear serious injury from my action” and also seriously injuring a 15-year-old girl whom he shot in the leg.

McKinney shot into the car while attending a pro-Trump rally at the Iowa Capitol building in December, exactly one month before the deadly January 6th pro-Trump riot that took place at the United States Capitol building.

“McKinney was wearing body armor and heavily armed when he participated in a pro-Trump parade of slow-moving vehicles through Des Moines on Dec. 6,” reports KCCI. “Police say he had a pistol, another firearm in his vehicle and was carrying two loaded magazines.”

Witnesses say that the girls’ car was surrounded by Trump supporters after they drove by and began taunting them. The car’s driver put the vehicle in reverse to escape the Trump supporters and struck a pickup truck, at which point McKinney drew his weapon and started firing at them.

McKinney faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for both charges he’s pleading guilty to, although in exchange prosecutors are dropping the more serious charge of attempted murder.

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Trump CFO Allen Weisselberg Could Face Indictment as Soon as This Summer: NYT

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The New York Times is reporting that former Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg could be charged as soon as this summer.

The news implies that Weisselberg isn’t cooperating with the district attorney’s office yet. It was thought that Wisselberg would quickly make a plea deal with DA Cy Vance to save himself legally. Weisselberg would be the first indictment in this case.

“In recent weeks, a grand jury has been hearing evidence about Mr. Weisselberg, who is facing intense scrutiny from prosecutors as they seek his cooperation with a broader investigation into Mr. Trump and the Trump Organization, the people with knowledge of the matter said,” reported the Times. “The prosecutors have obtained Mr. Weisselberg’s personal tax returns, the people said, providing the fullest picture yet of his finances.”

Weisselberg’s ex-daughter-in-law has been cooperating with the DA office handing over evidence that she has.

“The investigation into Mr. Weisselberg focuses partly on whether he failed to pay taxes on valuable benefits that Mr. Trump provided him and his family over the years, including apartments and leased cars as well as tens of thousands of dollars in private school tuition for at least one of his grandchildren,” said the report. “In general, those types of benefits are taxable, although there are some exceptions, and the rules can be murky.”

Read the full report from the New York Times.

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CRIME

Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police

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A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.

“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”

“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.

There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.

“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”

 

This is a breaking news and developing story. 

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