Another Republican has been arrested under suspicion of underage sex trafficking.
According to the Daily Beast, wealthy Minnesota GOP strategist Anton Lazzaro was arrested in Minneapolis Thursday morning, the FBI confirmed.
Lazzaro, who has appeared on Fox News and was known for showing off his wealthy and lavish lifestyle on social media, was indicted on five counts of sex trafficking of a minor and three counts of obstruction of justice.
“U.S. Magistrate Judge Becky R. Thorson ordered that Lazzaro remain jailed until a court hearing next week, after prosecutors claimed six victims had asked for additional protection from Lazzaro,” said the report.
“It’s their strong wish that the United States proceed with a recommendation of detention,” said Judge Thorson, referring to the requests of the survivors.
The court documents say that Lazzaro is accused of recruiting at least five underage victims for paid sex between May and December of 2020 and attempting to recruit a sixth. The indictment says he then “knowingly and intentionally interfered” with the FBI’s investigation as he became aware of it.
The indictment accuses Lazzaro of having “recruited” at least five underage victims for paid sex between May and December last year, and trying to entice a sixth. It also says he “knowingly and intentionally interfered” with the investigation as it closed in on him.
Lazzaro would appear on Fox to promote former President Donald Trump and other GOP officials. He’s been photographed with Trump, Pence, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and former Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA).
This is the second Republican in the past year to be involved in such a scandal. Former GOP tax collector Joel Greenberg pleaded guilty to trafficking a minor along with other charges. He was one of the friends in Rep. Matt Gaetz’s (R-FL) inner circle and Gaetz is now also under investigation, though he denies all accusations.
As the Star Tribune reported, Lazzaro was a huge supporter of President Donald Trump.
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Marjorie Taylor Greene Wants to Award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse
A new bill was introduced Tuesday by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) to award Kyle Rittenhouse the Congressional Gold Medal for “protecting the community of Kenosha, Wisconsin, during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) riot on August 25, 2020.”
Rittenhouse was acquitted last week of all charges, including intentional homicide, stemming from a fatal shooting that involved two protesters in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A third protester sustained injuries from the incident.
The Congressional Gold Medal is the highest honor Congress can award an individual or institution, but it’s unlikely to go anywhere as there are currently zero co-sponsors.
“Kyle Rittenhouse deserves to be remembered as a hero who defended his community, protected businesses, and acted lawfully in the face of lawlessness. I’m proud to file this legislation to award Kyle Rittenhouse a Congressional Gold Medal,” Greene said in a statement.
Not to be outdone, a spokesperson for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), who has offered Rittenhouse an internship with his office, told The Washington Post in response to Greene’s bill, “We are concerned that awarding Kyle with a Congressional Gold Medal will give him a big head during the internship with our office.”
Guilty: All 3 Men Convicted of Murder in the Killing of Ahmaud Arbery
Jurors found Travis McMichael, his father Gregory McMichael and their co-defendant William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. all guilty of murder Wednesday for the fatal shooting of 25-year-old Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man who was killed while jogging through a neighborhood in Glynn County, Georgia.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement that she is “…grateful the jury has found the three men responsible for the senseless murder of Ahmaud Arbery guilty of their crimes. I am hopeful that this verdict gives Mr. Arbery’s family, and people across America, some level of comfort in knowing that these men are being held accountable for taking the life of an innocent young man.”
The federal trial will occur in February and additional sentencing is possible, including life in prison.
CNN legal analyst Laura Coates explained, “The absence of a viable claim of self-defense” bolstered the prosecution’s case against Gregory McMichael, Travis McMichael and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr., who were found guilty of murder in the death of Ahmaud Arbery.
“Even when Travis McMichael took the stand and said, ‘No, he never threatened me. No, I don’t recall him trying to take the gun. No, he never shouted at me.’ How could you possibly make a case at that point for self-defense?” Coates said after the verdict was read.
Coates added, “Travis McMichael pulled the trigger. That is not in dispute.The other two men aided and abetted hunting this man down … These are three people who, for all intents and purposes, are laymen. The prosecution did a phenomenal job ensuring that the jurors saw that each of these men were culpable and that there was no self-defense claim.”
The trial jury consisted of 11 White jurors and one Black juror.
New Video Shows Teen Shot and Killed by Police Had His Hands Up
A Chinese American teen who was fatally shot by Pennsylvania State Police in December of last year had his hands in the air when police opened fire, new unredacted video shared by NBC News shows.
Christian Hall, 19, was standing on the ledge of a highway overpass when police arrived. When they tried to persuade him to get down, they soon realized he had a gun, which was later discovered to be a pellet gun, and they backed off.
Hall had previously been diagnosed with depression.
Video of the incident originally released by authorities show his hands in the air with the gun on one hand. But when police opened fire, the video was blurred. New unredacted video shows that Hall had his hands in the air for 14 seconds, and kept them in the air as he was being struck with rounds from the police.
The Monroe County district attorney ruled the shooting justified and said the lives of the officers were in danger.
“I would like to see an unbiased investigation take place,” said Gareth Hall, Christian’s father. “I personally would like to see those police officers brought up on charges.”
Read the full report over at NBC News. You can watch the unredacted video below, but viewers should be warned that it’s graphic:
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