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Former Federal Prosecutor: ‘Fair to Say’ Charges in Trump Criminal Investigation ‘Are on the Horizon’

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Noted former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti says it is “fair to say” that “charges are on the horizon” in the Manhattan District Attorney’s investigation into the Trump Organization, which possibly could include Donald Trump, employees of his business, and/or members of his family.

Mariotti warns that Tuesday’s news of Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. impaneling a special grand jury does not mean that anyone will be charged.

“The mere fact that a special grand jury was empaneled does not mean that any particular person will be charged. It does not necessarily mean that Trump himself will be charged,” Mariotti said on Twitter.

“But it is fair to say that Vance’s investigation is far along and that charges are on the horizon.”

Those words echo The Washington Post’s reporting, which said the “move indicates that District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.’s investigation of the former president and his business has reached an advanced stage after more than two years,” and: “It suggests, too, that Vance believes he has found evidence of a crime — if not by Trump then by someone potentially close to him or by his company.”

He also says today’s news “is the second sign in recent days that Vance’s investigation has entered the home stretch. Recently, NY AG Tish James announced that her office would investigate Trump ‘along’ with the Manhattan DA. This just means that some of her staff are joining the DA’s effort.”

On the issue of possible fraud, Mariotti says “Fraud is just when you lie to people to get their money. So the case usually comes down to whether the defendant knew the statements in the documents were false.”

“It’s easier to prove knowledge for people involved in preparing or authorizing the documents, like Weisselberg.”

And he cautions on jumping to conclusions, one way or another.

 

 

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CRIME

‘Blood Everywhere’ and ‘The World Is Dead’: Prosecutor Details Accused School Mass Shooter’s Alarming Note

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Oakland County, Michigan prosecutor Karen McDonald revealed a teacher was so alarmed by a note she saw on Ethan Crumbley‘s desk the morning of the shooting she took a photo of it with her cell phone and alerted school administrators. Hours later eleven students would be shot. Four of them died.

That note, McDonald revealed, “contained the following: a drawing of a semi-automatic handgun pointing at the words, ‘the thoughts won’t stop help me.’ In another section of the note was a drawing of a bullet with the following words above that bullet: ‘blood everywhere.’ Between the drawing of the gun and the bullet is a drawing of a person who appears to have been shot twice and bleeding. Below that figure is a drawing of a laughing emoji. Further down the drawing are the words, ‘my life is useless,’ and to the right of that are the words, ‘The world is dead.'”

Crumbley, 15, is the accused Oakland High School mass shooter who is now facing murder and terrorism charges and is being charged as an adult. On Friday McDonald announced she is charging his parents with four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter.

“As a result,” of the teacher finding the note, McDonald told reporters, “James and Jennifer Crumbley were immediately summoned to the school. A school counselor came to the classroom and removed the shooter and brought him to the office with his backpack.”

She says the school counselor had obtained the note but Crumbley “had already altered it.”

“The drawings of the gun and the bloody figure were scratched out along with the words ‘help me,’ and ‘my life is useless,’ ‘The world is dead,’ and ‘blood everywhere.’ Those were all altered by him”.

Earlier: Prosecutor Reveals Disturbing Texts, Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Against Parents of Michigan High School Accused Shooter

“At the meeting James and Jennifer Crumbley were shown the drawing and were advised that they were required to get their son into counseling within 48 hours. Both James and Jennifer Crumbley failed to ask their son if he had his gun with him, or where his gun was located, and failed to inspect his backpack for the presence of the gun, which he had with him.”

McDonald says the parents “resisted the idea of … their son leaving the school at that time. Instead, James and Jennifer promptly left the high school without their son. He was returned to the classroom.”

The mass shooting began shortly thereafter.

Ethan Crumbley is accused of murdering four of his classmates and wounding seven others. The students who died are Hana St. Juliana, 14; Madisyn Baldwin, 17; Tate Myre, 16; and Justin Shilling, 17.

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Prosecutor Reveals Disturbing Texts, Involuntary Manslaughter Charges Against Parents of Michigan High School Accused Shooter

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The parents of 15-year old Ethan Crumbley, the accused Oxford High School mass shooter, have been charged with four counts of homicide involuntary manslaughter, CNN reports. The prosecutor also revealed a disturbing text exchange between Crumbley and his mother.

Crumbley, who is being charged as an adult. is accused of murdering four Michigan high school students and wounding seven others in the deadliest school shooting in at least three years. He faces charges including terrorism and murder.

“The semiautomatic handgun recovered in the attack was bought by the suspect’s father on Nov. 26, four days before the shooting, the county sheriff has said,” CNN adds. “Prosecutors are considering information regarding the purchase of the gun and its accessibility and storage, along with other details. The weapon is a 9mm Sig Sauer SP2022 pistol, authorities have said.”

Friday afternoon Oakland County, Michigan, prosecutor Karen McDonald (photo) in a news conference said the charges against Crumbley’s parents are intended to hold the individuals who contributed to this tragedy accountable,” and to “send a message.”

In a stunning development McDonald told reporters a teacher had caught “Ethan Crumbley searching ‘ammunition’ on his cell phone in class” and reported it to school officials. School officials contacted Crumbley’s mother via a voicemail and via an email “but received no response from either parent.”

“Thereafter,” McDonald continued, “Jennifer Crumbley exchanged text messages with her son on that day, stating: ‘LOL. I’m not mad at you. You have to learn not to get caught.'”

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‘Bags and Bags’ of Money Found Stashed in Bathroom Wall at Joel Osteen’s Megachurch: Report

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A plumbing repair at televangelist Joel Osteen’s megachurch in Houston reportedly led to the discovery of “bags and bags” of cash and checks in a bathroom wall.

The discovery came several years after someone stole $600,000 in cash and checks from a safe at Osteen’s Lakewood Church, according to a report from KRPC Channel 2. The station suggested that whoever stole the money in 2014 may have hidden it in the bathroom wall.

A plumber named Justin, who works for a large contractor, told the station he got a call about a loose toilet at the church on Nov. 10.

“Justin said he started working on the toilet and had to remove the tile and insulation,” the station reports. “Once he removed the insulation, he discovered about 3,000 envelopes full of checks. Some had cash in it. Justin said he called the church’s maintenance supervisor and had to stay at the church for almost seven hours.”

READ MORE: Joel Osteen denounced as ‘grifting scumbag’ after his megachurch pockets millions in COVID-19 relief

Houston police investigators later questioned Justin and removed the rest of the wall, discovering “bags and bags” of money and checks.

“Justin said the church or HPD never thanked him or reached out to him about $25,000 reward money,” the station reported, referring to the reward that was offered following the 2014 theft. “Justin said he even called Crime Stoppers about reward money, but never heard back. He even tried reaching out to Joel Osteen but hasn’t heard back.”

A representative from the church confirmed the discovery in a statement.

“Recently, while repair work was being done at Lakewood Church, an undisclosed amount of cash and checks were found,” the church representative said. “Lakewood immediately notified the Houston Police Department and is assisting them with their investigation. Lakewood has no further comment at this time.”

In 2014, Houston police said $200,000 in cash and $400,000 worth of checks were stolen from a safe at the church. At the time, the church said the stolen money represented funds that were contributed during one weekend of services.

Watch KPRC’s report below.

 

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