Tag Archives: investigating

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy could emerge as a key figure in the committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection

“Kevin McCarthy will be meeting with me this afternoon at Trump National in Bedminster, N.J. Much to discuss!” Trump announced in a statement Thursday.
According to a GOP source familiar with the meeting, McCarthy will sit down with Trump at his New Jersey golf club to discuss upcoming special elections, vulnerable Democrats in 2022 and the GOP’s record-breaking fundraising numbers. But the announcement of the meeting comes the day after the select committee investigating the Capitol riot said that it will hold its first public hearing on July 27, essentially setting a deadline for McCarthy to make his picks as to who will represent the GOP on the commission. Sources tell CNN that McCarthy intends to announce his selections before the first hearing.
McCarthy’s trip to Bedminster also coincides with a series of new revelations this week surrounding Trump’s final days in office that describe the former President’s increasingly defiant and belligerent behavior in refusing to concede his 2020 election loss.
McCarthy is expected to return to Washington following the meeting for a dinner at the White House on Thursday evening honoring German Chancellor Angela Merkel. McCarthy’s office confirms the House minority leader will attend the dinner.
McCarthy can appoint five members of the committee that will investigate the insurrection, which was perpetrated by Trump’s supporters and came hours after the former President held a rally encouraging his followers to fight Congress’ certification of President Joe Biden’s victory.
The timing of the Trump meeting shows McCarthy remains loyal to the former President. Sources say his picks for the committee will likely be supporters and defenders of Trump. It is expected that the GOP leader will avoid controversial firebrands like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia or Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida, in part because House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reserves the right to veto any of McCarthy’s picks.
Still, McCarthy has the option of finding Republican members who will defend Trump and his supporters in what is expected to be a bitter partisan fight, while at the same time remaining loyal to him.
McCarthy himself could be emerge as a key figure in the committee’s investigation. The chairman, Rep. Bennie Thompson, has not ruled out calling McCarthy before the committee to discuss the phone call he made to Trump as rioters stormed the Capitol begging the then-President to tell his supporters to go home.
McCarthy has said he is willing to testify and discuss Trump’s role on January 6 if asked.
A series of books — Michael Bender’s “Frankly We Did Win This Election” and Michael Wolff’s “Landslide” both just came out, and “I Alone Can Fix It” by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker is scheduled to be released next week. All three help paint a picture of the chaotic White House in its final months of Trump’s presidency leading up to the insurrection in January.
In one example, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, was so shaken by Trump’s refusal to concede that he worried he might attempt some sort of illegal gambit to stay in power.
“They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” Milley told his deputies, according to excerpts of the book “I Alone Can Fix It” obtained by CNN.
McCarthy previously met with Trump in Mar-a-lago on January 27, after initially being critical of the former President’s handling of the January 6 insurrection.
McCarthy has since joined many members of his conference in trying to move on and downplay the insurrection and its aftermath. He has opposed forming an independent commission to probe January 6, and CNN reported earlier this month that, according to two GOP sources with knowledge of the matter, he threatened to strip committee assignments from Republicans who accepted Pelosi’s invitation to serve on the select committee.
This story has been updated with additional developments Thursday.

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Police investigating fatal stabbing in northeast Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Janneke Parrish had never met Alex Odonnell, an Austin man battling kidney failure and in need of an organ transplant. But his story, and those of chronic illnesses, rang familiar to her.

“I’ve not had anybody in my family with kidney — with kidney dialysis or kidney failure in the past, but I’ve had family members with health issues that are chronic and that require a lot of a lot of intensive care to manage,” Parrish said. “So for me, when I saw Alex’s story, I thought a lot about my own family and how much I wish I could make a difference for them.”

Author: Russell Falcon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Austin police investigating homicide of woman in north Austin

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Austin Police Department is investigating a homicide off Rundberg Lane in north Austin Saturday evening.

Police said it happened at 1930 West Rundberg Lane, which is near Northgate and Metric Boulevards. The original call came in at 3:20 p.m.

One woman is dead, according to APD. She was found with multiple gunshot wounds and taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead at 4:07 p.m.

No one is in custody right now, and police are speaking with potential witnesses. Police don’t know the suspect’s relation to the victim at this time. They believe this is an isolated incident with no danger to the public.

This comes after a mass shooting off 6th Street in downtown Austin injured at least 14 people early Saturday morning.

Austin police officer Juan Asencio said they are trained to give medical aid to victims, like they gave to the woman found off Rundberg Lane and to the mass shooting victims.

“When we had the large shooting in downtown, many officers did an amazing job with providing first aid to many victims that we had… officers were able to apply tourniquets and chest seals and stuff like that and were able to help out a lot of victims,” Asencio said.

This is a developing story and will be updated as more details become available.

Author: Jaclyn Ramkissoon
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

State Bar investigating AG Ken Paxton for misconduct over election lawsuit to protect Trump

Texas Politics

Posted: Updated:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton makes comments during a news conference in Dallas (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS (AP) — The Texas bar association is investigating whether state Attorney General Ken Paxton’s failed efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election based on bogus claims of fraud amounted to professional misconduct.

The State Bar of Texas initially declined to take up a Democratic Party activist’s complaint that Paxton’s petitioning of the U.S. Supreme Court to block Joe Biden’s victory was frivolous and unethical. But a tribunal that oversees grievances against lawyers overturned that decision late last month and ordered the bar to look into the accusations against the Republican official.

The investigation is yet another liability for the embattled attorney general, who is facing a years-old criminal case, a separate, newer FBI investigation, and a Republican primary opponent who is seeking to make electoral hay of the various controversies. It also makes Paxton one of the highest profile lawyers to face professional blowback over their roles in Donald Trump’s effort to delegitimize his defeat.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office did not respond to requests for comment. Paxton’s defense lawyer, Philip Hilder, declined to comment.

Kevin Moran, the 71-year-old president of the Galveston Island Democrats, shared his complaint with The Associated Press along with letters from the State Bar of Texas and the Board of Disciplinary Appeals that confirm the investigation. He said Paxton’s efforts to dismiss other states’ election results was a wasteful embarrassment for which the attorney general should lose his law license.

“He wanted to disenfranchise the voters in four other states,” said Moran. “It’s just crazy.”

Texas’ top appeals lawyer, who would usually argue the state’s cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, notably did not join Paxton in bringing the election suit. The high court threw it out.

Paxton has less than a month to reply to Moran’s claim that the lawsuit to overturn the results in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin was misleading and brought in bad faith, according to a June 3 letter from the bar. All four of the battleground states voted for Biden in November.

From there, bar staff will take up the case in a proceeding that resembles the grand jury stage of a criminal investigation. Bar investigators are empowered to question witnesses, hold hearings and issue subpoenas to determine whether a lawyer likely committed misconduct. That finding then launches a disciplinary process that could ultimately result in disbarment, suspension or a lesser punishments. A lawyer also could be found to have done nothing wrong.

The bar dismisses thousands of grievances each year and the Board of Disciplinary Appeals, 12 independent lawyers appointed by the Texas Supreme Court, overwhelmingly uphold those decisions. Reversals like that of Moran’s complaint happened less than 7% of the time last year, according to the bar’s annual report.

Claire Reynolds, a spokeswoman and lawyer for the bar, said state law prohibits the agency from commenting on complaints unless they result is public sanctions or a court action.

The bar’s investigation is confidential and likely to take months. But it draws renewed attention to Paxton’s divisive defense of Trump as he and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush vie for the former president’s endorsement in the Republican primary to run for attorney general in 2022.

On the Democratic side, Joe Jaworski, the former mayor of Galveston, has said he’ll run. Moran said Jaworski is a friend but that he played no role in the complaint against Paxton.

Paxton’s election challenge was filled with claims that failed to withstand basic scrutiny. A succession of other judges and state elections officials have refuted claims of widespread voter fraud, and Trump’s own Justice Department found no evidence of fraud that could have changed the election’s outcome.

Nonetheless, Paxton’s lawsuit won him political and financial support from Trump loyalists at a time when fresh allegations of criminal wrongdoing led many in the state GOP to keep their distance from the attorney general.

Last fall, eight of Paxton’s top deputies mounted an extraordinary revolt in which they accused him of abusing his office in the service of a wealthy donor. The FBI is investigating their claims.

Paxton has denied wrongdoing and separately pleaded not guilty in a state securities fraud case that’s languished since 2015. He has also used his office in ways that have benefited allies and other donors.

The new criminal allegations prompted an exodus of the top lawyers from Paxton’s office. But Solicitor General Kyle Hawkins was still serving as Texas’ top appellate lawyer at the time of the election lawsuit.

Although the solicitor general usually handles cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, it was a private Washington D.C.-based lawyer who brought election challenge with Paxton. Hawkins has since moved to private practice. A spokesman for his firm said “we can’t help you” with questions about why he didn’t handle the suit.

Author:
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

HPD investigating possible human smuggling after 90 people found in SW Houston

Author: T.J. Parker

This post originally appeared on ABC13 RSS Feed

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — What began as a reported kidnapping in a southwest Houston neighborhood turned out to be something bigger, according to police.

More than 90 people were found huddled inside a modest two-story home on Friday, prompting the Houston Police Department to look into possible human smuggling.

Friday night, Houston Police confirmed to ABC13 that five people found inside the home have tested positive for COVID-19.

Police began administering rapid tests after some of the people informed them that they couldn’t smell or taste, signifying virus symptoms.

According to the police department, the home is located in the 12200 block of Chessington Drive, which is located just off the South Beltway near the Southwest Freeway.

Just after 1 p.m., police offered their first statements on what they found.

According to police, they were informed about the location the night before through tips, leading to a search warrant being served this morning.

There were no children among the dozens of people crowded in the home, with the youngest being a person in their early 20s. Only five women are among them, with the rest identified as males.

In the early stage of the investigation, police said they have to keep the people inside for now until the investigation is complete.

Police added there are no serious injuries among any of the individuals, and investigators believe this is a smuggling case rather than a trafficking one.

Police are trying to figure out who the victims are and who is responsible for placing them in the home.

Follow TJ Parker on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.

Star Wars: Republic Commando Dev Apparently Investigating Switch Frame Rate Issues

Republic Commando

If you got your hands on Star Wars: Republic Commando for Nintendo Switch earlier this week, you might have noticed – or at least heard – about some distracting frame rate issues in this version. We’ve had a bit of a mixed experience, too.

Videos on YouTube show the game’s frame rate can be anywhere between 15 and 40 FPS. It’s got a number of players requesting a fix of sorts and some have contacted Aspyr via its support page. Now, one Reddit user (brokowska420) has apparently received the following response back from the company.

In the message, the developer says it’s investigating the “performance and low frame rates” in the Switch release and hopes to resolve them soon:

Hello, thanks for reaching out to Aspyr Support.

We appreciate you reaching out about this issue. Our devs are currently investigating the Switch’s performance and low frame rates, hopefully we’ll be able to resolve them soon. We appreciate your support, and apologies for the frustration.

We’ll close this issue for now, but we’ll tag it, and if a fix is released we’ll let you know! If you have any other questions or concerns, send us a new message and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Aspyr Support

Aspyr, unfortunately, hasn’t had the best run with other Star Wars releases, either. When Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy arrived on the Switch last April, players quickly identified a major cross-play loophole.

Fortunately, it was patched within a few weeks – so if the frame rate is playing up in Republic Commando, it’ll be sorted out sooner rather than later. How have you found the Switch version of the game so far? Leave a comment down below.

Texas investigating allegations that unaccompanied migrant children

Gov. Greg Abbott[2] on Wednesday called for the federal government to close a San Antonio facility housing unaccompanied migrant children after he became aware of allegations of sexual assault.

“In short, this facility is a health and safety nightmare,” Abbott said at a press conference outside the Freeman Coliseum, which is reportedly housing[3] more than 1,300 teens who recently crossed the U.S.-Mexico border without a parent or guardian.

The announcement came as Texas and the federal government are locked in battle over a recent increase in the number of migrants crossing the state’s southern border.

Abbott said complaints about sexual assault were reported early Wednesday to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services as well as the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. The governor did not know the identities of those who alleged assault, nor did he provide many details. He said he was concerned more than one child may have been assaulted. He also said that DPS will investigate the allegations.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services did not immediately respond to questions after Abbott’s announcement.

The press conference, Abbott said, was to alert President Joe Biden’s administration and push them to move the children housed in the coliseum to other federally run facilities with more “space, personnel and resources to ensure safety.” He also said the facility was short on staff, some kids were not eating enough food and those infected with the coronavirus were not separated from healthy teens.

A spokesperson for Abbott said the governor told federal officials about the allegations before the press conference.

Rebeca Clay-Flores, a Bexar County commissioner, painted a different picture of the conditions than the governor described, however. She said, having been in the facility many times, she saw children being well cared for. The Freeman Expo Center in San Antonio, which KSAT-TV reported held 1,370 teens on Monday[4], has the ability to house up to 2,500 children, according to the federal health department.

“What I saw when I went in there on several occasions, it was well-staffed, the children are very happy and very excited to be here,” she told reporters after Abbott left. “This is not a political issue. This is about children who deserve protection from adults.”

Abbott acknowledged to reporters that he had not been inside the coliseum.

Vulnerable children are often victims of sexual assault. In Texas, children kept in foster care[5] and state-run juvenile lockups often report sexual assault, as well, without the governor’s immediate intervention. Last fall, juvenile justice advocates pleaded for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate[6] sexual abuse in Texas’ youth lockups, which have been plagued by scandal for more than a decade.

Abbott and many other Texas Republicans have repeatedly criticized the Biden administration as it struggles to address an increase in migrants being apprehended near the U.S.-Mexico border. Almost all single adults are being immediately expelled under a pandemic health order issued by Trump that Biden has kept in place, although the current administration is allowing in unaccompanied minors and some families to await their immigration court hearings in the U.S. But Democrats are also loudly questioning where the conservative compassion was less than two years ago under President Trump’s watch, when apprehensions hit near-record figures despite his crackdown on the border.

The number of people crossing the border illegally increases nearly every spring thanks to the weather getting warmer. The past three presidents have struggled at times during their tenures with surges in border crossings. But the number of children being apprehended has been particularly high in recent months, straining federal facilities.

As of Tuesday, the Biden administration had more than 4,200 unaccompanied migrant children in Border Patrol custody and roughly 16,000 in the care of federal shelters run by the federal Department of Health and Human Services. By law, unaccompanied children are not supposed to be held in Border Patrol custody for more than 72 hours except for in emergencies. Since Feb. 22, the White House has opened at least eight emergency influx sites of unaccompanied migrant children in Texas, including Freeman, with a total capacity of about 14,000 beds.

Lomi Kriel, Shawn Mulcahy and Patrick Svitek contributed to this report.

References

  1. ^ Sign up for The Brief (www.texastribune.org)
  2. ^ Greg Abbott (www.texastribune.org)
  3. ^ reportedly housing (www.ksat.com)
  4. ^ KSAT-TV reported held 1,370 teens on Monday (www.ksat.com)
  5. ^ children kept in foster care (www.houstonchronicle.com)
  6. ^ pleaded for the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate (www.texastribune.org)

Jolie McCullough

Williamson County Sherriff's Office investigating death of man charged with killing police officer

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) — Detectives with the Williamson County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death of a man who was recently released from custody while on life support.

WCSO says Raul Ramos Martinez[1], who was arrested and incarcerated in February 2018, died at a local hospital on Friday, after being on life support for underlying medical issues since March 16.

Martinez reportedly visited the hospital due to underlying medical issues on several occasions during his incarceration. After his March placement on life support, WCSO says the Martinez family petitioned the county to release him from custody so medical care could be decided.

The request was granted on Friday. Martinez died shortly after.

Martinez was arrested back on February 25, 2018, in relation to the death of Round Rock Police Officer Charles Whites[2]. Whites, a veteran officer, was working a traffic crash when he was hit by the vehicle Martinez was driving.

Martinez was charged with felony intoxication assault/manslaughter with a vehicle. Round Rock Police said he was on prescription medication on the morning of the crash.

WCSO, in cooperation with other local departments, says it’s investigating the matter out of an abundance of caution due to his extended time in Williamson County custody. The county has also requested the Texas Rangers perform an independent investigation.

Russell Falcon

APD investigating suspicious death in south Austin neighborhood

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Texas Office of Attorney General received nearly 2,000 price gouging complaints during, and following, February’s devastating winter storm that left millions without power and running water, according to records obtained by KXAN.

A total of 1,960 complaints were filed between Feb. 13-26. Utility and electric companies received the most complaints of any type of business. Griddy Energy topped the list with the most complaints — 378 — of any single company. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, came second with 128 complaints, according to state records. ERCOT manages the state’s electrical grid and has been sued for its handling of the winter storm crisis.

Billy Gates