Crimes and Their Punishments – Through the Ages

Punishments for Crimes through the ages – from the bizarre to outrageous, from the sublime to the ridiculous. We don’t know how lucky we are!

Many of us are apt to complain about sentences handed out by our Courts for crimes these days – too harsh, too lenient. But a quick look at some punishments for crimes through the ages, including in some countries today, we should really consider how much we really have to complain about.

Not only have punishments been truly shocking (and in some instances still are), but even some of the crimes are truly unbelievable.

Many Sydney criminal lawyers would have had their work cut out for them if some of these historical crimes were still on the statute books! Lucky for us that our complaints about the justice systems these days are limited to whether an offender should be given a jail sentence or community service, or whether a 2 year sentence is sufficient or whether 5 would have been better, and so on.

Thank goodness we don’t have to contend with crimes for which the penalty is being tortured to death by some truly unimaginable means. Criminal lawyers in Australia, as in Europe, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and others, these days don’t have to plead for the type of mercy that offenders of times gone by had to. And of course, some of these barbaric practices do still exist today in other parts of the globe, as you can see below.

Some Crimes and Some Punishments You Won’t Believe

Take a look …

Crimes and Their Punishments

Experts react to the report that Michael Cohen may soon be charged with crimes and lay out what the big questions … – Business Insider

Michael CohenMichael Cohen.AP Photo/Richard Drew

  • Legal experts reacted to the major New York Times report that President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen may soon face charges.
  • The Times reported Sunday that Cohen may be charged before the end of August.
  • One former federal prosecutor said such a quick turnaround from the initial April raid of Cohen’s properties to him being formally charged could signal his cooperation with the government.
  • Meanwhile, a prominent criminal defense attorney said the idea that such charges are “imminent” should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

Legal experts laid out to Business Insider what to make of the major New York Times report Sunday that President Donald Trump’s former longtime lawyer Michael Cohen may face charges by the end of the month.

One former federal prosecutor said such a quick turnaround from the initial April raid of Cohen’s properties to him being formally charged could signal his cooperation, while a prominent criminal defense attorney said the idea that such charges are “imminent” should be taken “with a grain of salt.”

Cohen is the focus of a criminal investigation in the Southern District of New York into whether he violated campaign-finance laws, committed bank fraud or wire fraud, engaged in illegal lobbying, or participated in other crimes. The FBI raided Cohen’s home, hotel room, and office in April, seizing more than four million documents from Trump’s longtime lawyer.

At the center of the investigation is the $130,000 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, which Cohen facilitated just before the 2016 presidential election to keep her quiet about her allegation of an affair with Trump in 2006 — an allegation Trump has denied. The FBI sought documents related to that payment and similar arrangements with other women.

Investigators have also taken interest in some of Cohen’s business dealings, particularly as they related to his once-sprawling taxi business. Cohen and his wife built up a large taxi business on the back on the 32 licenses they own. Those licenses are known as medallions.

The Times reported federal investigators are probing whether Cohen committed bank and tax fraud through his taxi business, writing that they have zeroed in on more than $20 million in loans obtained by those businesses. The Times reported that investigators are also examining whether any of the arrangements Cohen helped negotiate with women who claimed to have affairs with Trump violated campaign finance or other laws.

‘This may be a cooperation plea agreement’

The Cohen investigation has reached “the final stage,” as The Times reported, with prosecutors weighing whether to file charges before the end of August, two people familiar with the probe told the publication.

Ken White, a criminal defense attorney, told Business Insider in an email that while he accepts that Cohen is being investigated for what The Times laid out in its report, he “would take with a grain of salt the suggestion charges or resolution are imminent.”

“That sounds sketchy,” he said.

Michael CohenCohen.Richard Drew/AP

The Times wrote that it’s still possible for Cohen to plead guilty rather than face indictment, as the president’s former attorney has hinted for much of the past two months that he is willing to work with prosecutors and provide information related to the president. It’s not known yet whether Cohen’s attorneys have discussed such an agreement with prosecutors.

Roland Riopelle, a partner at Sercarz & Riopelle who was formerly a federal prosecutor with the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, told Business Insider in an email that the brief five-month delay between the FBI’s raids and potential charges signals to him that “this may be a cooperation plea agreement.”

“If the matter was contested, the delay could be longer before charges were returned,” he said, adding that the recent “silence from Cohen and his lawyers is also something that weighs in favor of a cooperation deal.”

“The SDNY would not want Cohen and his lawyers wading into the press the way they were, if a cooperation deal is in the works,” he said. “Ultimately, however, it’s really hard to predict these things or read tea leaves accurately. So any inferences must be taken with a grain of salt.”

The outstanding questions

Mitchell Epner, an attorney at Rottenberg Lipman Rich and a former federal prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, laid out the important questions moving forward in an email to Business Insider.

First is whether Cohen is charged by indictment or by information, the latter which would signal that Cohen “is certainly pleading guilty on day one and may already have a cooperation deal,” Epner said. If he is charged by indictment, Cohen “may or may not eventually plead guilty and, if so, might eventually cooperate.”

Another important question is what prosecutors are involved in charging Cohen — specifically, whether anyone from special counsel Robert Mueller’s office joins the team in the Southern District of New York that has been handling the probe. Mueller, who is investigating Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, handed off the inquiry to the Southern District of New York at first.

“If there are any people from the Special Counsel’s office, that will strongly indicate that they are still trying to flip Michael Cohen,” Epner said.

Lastly, Epner said if Cohen is charged, whether any of the charges “factually overlap with” Trump will be key. 

The Times reported it’s unclear whether any of the potential charges prosecutors may soon file are related to any work Cohen did for Trump or his presidential campaign.

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The SEC has charged a former rising star VC, accusing him of 'misappropriating millions of dollars' and barred him for 5 years

Michael Rothenberg

  • The SEC announced charges and a settlement with Michael Rothenberg, the founder of Rothenberg Ventures.
  • The SEC charged Rothenberg with overcharging investors to fund personal projects. Rothenberg did not admit or deny the allegations in the settlement.
  • Rothenberg will be barred from the brokerage and investment advisory business for five years.
  • Just hours after the settlement, Rothenberg reportedly filed a lawsuit against Silicon Valley Bank for making it appear like he had misappropriated investors’ money.

Michael Rothenberg, the founder of a flashy San Francisco VC firm that imploded under a cloud of controversy in 2016, has settled charges with federal regulators alleging that he misappropriated millions of dollars from investors.

The SEC announced on Monday that it has charged Rothenberg with overcharging investors to fund personal projects, including a virtual reality company. The settlement includes barring Rothenberg from the brokerage and investment advisory business for five years, after which he will have a right to apply again.

Rothenberg “misappropriated millions of dollars” from the funds he raised from nearly 200 investors, including using an estimated $7 million of “excess fees” spent to support his personal business ventures and “to pay for private parties and events at high-end resorts and Bay Area sporting arenas,” the SEC said in a press release. 

Rothenberg was not immediately available for comment. 

The 34-year old founder of Rothenberg Ventures did not admit or deny the SEC’s allegations in the settlement, which must be approved by a federal district court. The amount of civil penalties that Rothenberg could be on the hook for will be decided by the court. 

Just hours after the settlement, Rothenberg filed a lawsuit against Silicon Valley Bank for making it appear like he had misappropriated investors’ money, according to CNET. He claims the bank acted against his instructions in transferring $4.25 million to a wrongly established bank account.

“Having been effectively branded as an embezzler by the bank’s unauthorized transfer, the management company collapsed, costing fund investors tens of millions in would-be investment gains and destroying Mr. Rothenberg’s career,” the lawsuit claims, per CNET.

“It’s refreshing to see a government agency function the way it’s supposed to”

Rothenberg Ventures was a high-flying venture firm that publicly imploded in 2016. It was known for its over-the-top parties and spending — as well as its young, charismatic founder, Mike Rothenberg. Back in 2016, the company admitted to its investors that the Securities and Exchange Commission was looking into the company, according to an email obtained by Business Insider

On top of that, multiple employees filed wage complaints against the company with the state of California, several people told Business Insider, and they also cooperated with the SEC investigation.

One of them who was involved in this process told us, “The SEC was extremely professional and easy to work with. It’s refreshing to see a government agency function the way it’s supposed to.”

The firm, which had over $50 million under management, ran out of operating money, and all its employees except its lawyer were told they were put on “unpaid leave” a year ago, according to a lengthy account of the firm’s troubles on Backchannel.

Business Insider talked to several former employees of the company who described their experiences with Rothenberg using words like “charming” and “convincing,” “vengeful,” “a messed-up human being,” “megalomaniac,” “master manipulator” and “lack of empathy.”

EXCLUSIVE ON BI PRIME: ‘The future will be won or lost on this technology. I’m very concerned’: The founder of a $9 billion company warns that China is on track to dominate the US in AI

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Disney Channel's Animated Della Duck Has 'Criminal Minds' Behind … – Deadline

If the voice of Della Duck in today’s season finale of Disney Channel’s DuckTales sounds familiar, you must be a fan of CBS police procedural Criminal Minds. Actress Paget Brewster from that show has originated the sound for Della, who has been a rarely seen character.

Della Duck is the twin sister of Donald Duck and long-lost mother to Huey, Dewey and Louie. She made her first animated onscreen appearance in the series earlier this season on DuckTales and was first mentioned in a Donald Duck newspaper comic strip and animated short film in the late 1930s. 

Della is a fearless pilot and explorer. As kids, Della and Donald were Scrooge’s original adventure crew, eager to chart the unknown.

Leading up to the finale, the boys discovered the truth behind their mother’s disappearance when Scrooge revealed that Della took his secret rocket ship, got caught in a cosmic storm, and became lost in the dark abyss before the triplets were hatched. In the cliffhanger season one finale, a destroyed rocket ship appears on the moon, and, as the screen pans in, Della can be seen longing for her sons while watching a newscast on an old television screen.

Brewster will recur alongside the voice cast, which includes David Tennant as Scrooge McDuck; Danny Pudi, Ben Schwartz and Bobby Moynihan as the voices of Huey, Dewey and Louie, respectively; Kate Micucci as Webby Vanderquack; Beck Bennett as Launchpad McQuack; and Toks Olagundoye as Mrs. Beakley.

DuckTales airs daily on Disney Channel. Season two of the Disney Television Animation-produced series will debut later this year.

The animated comedy-adventure series chronicles the adventures of Duckburg’s most famous trillionaire, Scrooge McDuck; his triplet grandnephews – Huey, Dewey and Louie; temperamental nephew Donald Duck; and the trusted McDuck Manor team. 

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Prosecutors preparing charges for Michael Cohen; could announce by end of August – CNN

The US Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York has been investigating Cohen for possible bank and tax fraud and campaign finance violations related in part to a $130,000 hush money payment made to silence porn star Stormy Daniels’ allegations of an affair with Trump. Trump has denied an affair.
Investigators are also examining more than $20 million in loans obtained for Cohen and his family’s taxi companies, The New York Times reported Sunday night, citing people familiar with the matter.
Criminal charges against Cohen would be a major setback to President Donald Trump because Cohen has long been in his inner circle. Cohen has prided himself over the years on his reputation as Trump’s pit bull and once said he “would take a bullet” for Trump.
But Trump’s longtime consigliere has since broken allegiance with his former boss. Cohen has expressed a willingness to cooperate with the investigation, but it isn’t clear if prosecutors are interested in a deal or what information he has to offer them. The US Attorney’s office operates under the guidelines of the Justice Department, which advises against indicting a sitting president.
The Cohen investigation was referred to the Southern District of New York by special counsel Robert Mueller. Should Cohen seek to make a deal to avoid indictment, it could require him to cooperate with any investigation prosecutors wish, including the Russia probe.
As of last week, Cohen hadn’t met with prosecutors in New York, according to people familiar with the matter.
FBI agents raided Cohen’s hotel room, office and home in April. At the time prosecutors said their investigation had been underway for months. The search warrant authorizing the raid referenced Cohen’s taxi medallion business, the identity of banks that loaned him money and payments made to suppress negative information during the presidential campaign.
Investigators are finalizing the charges, but the timing of their announcement is fluid, the sources say. Prosecutors’ plans to make a decision by the end of August was first reported by the New York Times.
The prosecutors who have been investigating Cohen have been mindful of the election cycle when weighing when to charge him, a person familiar with the matter told CNN, and as a result have considered bringing charges either before September or waiting to do so until after the midterm elections.
Cohen’s attorney, Lanny Davis, declined to comment when contacted by CNN. A spokesman for the US attorney’s office also declined to comment.
According to the Times, investigators are trying to determine whether Cohen misrepresented the value of his assets to obtain the loans from two financial institutions that have catered to the taxi industry. They are also scrutinizing whether he failed to properly report his income from taxi medallions to the Internal Revenue Service, the Times reported.
CNN previously reported that Cohen is under investigation for possible bank and tax fraud, that his taxi medallions are a focus of the investigation, and that one of the banks that made the loans was Sterling National Bank. The Times, citing financial records and people with knowledge of the matter, reported that the other financial institution is the Melrose Credit Union.

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MY VIEW: Christmas comes early for top criminal lawyers – Daily … – Daily Nation


By ELVIS ONDIEKI
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Just as a gospel artiste knows if he or she is still relevant depending on the gigs they get during the December festive season, we are at a time when a criminal lawyer will know if they are on top of their game.

This is due to the ongoing arrests of individuals linked to corruption. The swoops often occur on Fridays and my imagination tells me that criminal lawyers must be keeping their phones fully charged and with at least four standby power banks every Friday night, awaiting a distress call to act for someone who has become a guest of the State.

At times I visualise a lawyer who has woken up on a Saturday morning when the crickets are still awake. I see his dreary eyes looking at his phone in askance, wondering why no one has looked for him. He checks if he accidentally activated aeroplane mode; but swallows a bitter mound on realising the gadget is fully online. He then checks news to see if anyone might have been arrested, and on realising there is a big shot who is now acclimatising at some basement cell, he wonders how he missed out on that “business”.

They are interesting beings, these criminal lawyers. In my career, I have interacted with many of them. I have seen the fiery ones who lead a witness into a hole during a court session and by the time the witness discovers how deep a mire he has dug himself into, the lawyer has poured soil on him and buried all his evidence.

SHORT-TEMPERED LAWYERS

I have seen short-tempered lawyers who blow their fuses and turn the courtroom into a battleground for shouting and finger-pointing as they face off with their opponents. I have seen some who recite submissions to magistrates or judges as if it is a script they have crammed. I have witnessed those who know the laws of the land like the back of their hands, wrestling down hapless prosecutors with fine mastery of the law.

But whenever I attend a court session, I often wonder if a strictly religious person can be a criminal lawyer. This is a job where you are needed to help a person to be set free, whether or not they committed a wrong. You are required to examine every nuance of the prosecution evidence and spot that one weakness that you can magnify and in the end get a lighter sentence for your client — or having the accused released altogether.

Being a criminal lawyer, I believe, needs guts. Not everyone will want to plead on behalf of a person who everyone knows they committed a heinous crime.

And whether it is by design or by the demands of the profession, I have never heard a lawyer saying their client’s goose is cooked in our chats outside court. Every lawyer will always sound confident that their client will survive.

I recently overheard a conversation between two criminal lawyers representing high-profile Kenyans in an ongoing corruption trial. One lawyer said, rather boisterously, how he saw a way through for his client. He, however, said the other man’s client was in trouble for having been mentioned a couple of times in witness statements. The other lawyer did not think so, or he rather chose to make light of the situation.

I would love to know how they really feel when their clients are found guilty by the courts. Do they go home stressed when someone is escorted from the dock to the cell after being jailed or do they just lick their lips and say it was a “pleasure doing business”?

As government agencies continue to smoke out individuals linked to corruption, my curiosity would be satiated to know how much criminal lawyers will have minted at the end of the year. I can bet there are those already counting a fortune, experiencing some sort of an early Christmas.

I wonder whether in the evening as they watch news with their families, they look at the highlights of their court appearances and feel proud for standing for individuals being ridiculed and vilified by virtually every other Kenyan. Do they use the “somebody’s got to do it” argument perhaps? Or do they say kazi ni kazi?

Finally, I hope you have watched the skit by English comedian, Mr Bean, where he plays the role of the devil welcoming people to hell, classifying them into groups.

He calls murderers to one group then looters, pillages and thieves in another. He then adds that lawyers should join the thieves. “You are in that lot, too,” he says. The laughter from the crowd reveals that the public knows there is some sad truth in the joke.

______________

Elvis Ondieki is ‘Nation’ reporter. Caroline Njung’e’s column resumes soon.

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Criminal Minds Season 14: Release Date, Cast, Update – Otakukart – Otakukart

Criminal Minds Season 14 will be back and finally, the premiere date of the upcoming season has been revealed. The series centers around FBI’s BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit). The unit is full of highly skilled officers which include Emily Prentiss who is a special agent and Interpol’s former head profiler. We get to see the Jennifer “J.J” Jareau who after turning into a profiler manages to get her job done amid her motherhood and married life.

Criminal Minds Season 14 Release Date:

Criminal Minds Season 14 will be releasing on 26th September, and it will air at 10 P.M. at CBS Network. The executive producer Harry Bring announced the premiere date, and the official statement read:

“Criminal Minds S14 premiere date confirmed. Wednesday, September 26, 2018. 10 pm CBS.”

Many fans inquired about the new season because, the show hasn’t been performing very well and it has been down by 30% which is huge, but still, the series is one of the consistent shows on the network. According to reports, the previous season gathers of over 5.7 million viewers which is amazing, so the announcement of Season 14 wasn’t surprising.

In an interview with TV Line, Erica Messer, the executive producer revealed the status of the upcoming Criminal Minds Season 14. Messer said:

“They feel like two incredibly important pieces to our team, who won’t be available if they’re held captive. They won’t be available to help us solve the case, which is crazy. The challenges we’re coming up with now are, ‘Gosh, if we have two of our MVPs sitting on the sidelines here, what can we do? What clues do they possibly leave behind for us to help find where they’re being held or how we help to solve this case without them?’ It’s one of the first times, I think, we’ve ever been without, truly, truly without the help of both of them.”

Criminal Minds Season 14 Cast:

The possible cast for Criminal Minds Season 14 includes:

Joe Mantegna as David Rossi.
Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis.
Daniel Henney as Matt Simmons.
Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss.
Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez.
Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid.
Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia.
A.J Cook as Jennifer Jareau.

That’s all for now; we will be back with more news and updates on Criminal Minds Season 14.

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White House Counsel Has Cooperated Extensively With Mueller's Obstruction Inquiry – New York Times

White House Counsel Has Cooperated Extensively With Mueller’s Obstruction Inquiry

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Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel. For a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client is unusual, but Mr. McGahn views his role as protecting the presidency, not the president.CreditErin Schaff for The New York Times
  • Aug. 18, 2018

WASHINGTON — The White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, has cooperated extensively in the special counsel investigation, sharing detailed accounts about the episodes at the heart of the inquiry into whether President Trump obstructed justice, including some that investigators would not have learned of otherwise, according to a dozen current and former White House officials and others briefed on the matter.

In at least three voluntary interviews with investigators that totaled 30 hours over the past nine months, Mr. McGahn described the president’s furor toward the Russia investigation and the ways in which he urged Mr. McGahn to respond to it. He provided the investigators examining whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice a clear view of the president’s most intimate moments with his lawyer.

Among them were Mr. Trump’s comments and actions during the firing of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, and Mr. Trump’s obsession with putting a loyalist in charge of the inquiry, including his repeated urging of Attorney General Jeff Sessions to claim oversight of it. Mr. McGahn was also centrally involved in Mr. Trump’s attempts to fire the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, which investigators might not have discovered without him.

For a lawyer to share so much with investigators scrutinizing his client is unusual. Lawyers are rarely so open with investigators, not only because they are advocating on behalf of their clients but also because their conversations with clients are potentially shielded by attorney-client privilege, and in the case of presidents, executive privilege.

“A prosecutor would kill for that,” said Solomon L. Wisenberg, a deputy independent counsel in the Whitewater investigation, which did not have the same level of cooperation from President Bill Clinton’s lawyers. “Oh my God, it would have been phenomenally helpful to us. It would have been like having the keys to the kingdom.”

Mr. McGahn’s cooperation began in part as a result of a decision by Mr. Trump’s first team of criminal lawyers to collaborate fully with Mr. Mueller. The president’s lawyers have explained that they believed their client had nothing to hide and that they could bring the investigation to an end quickly.

Mr. McGahn and his lawyer, William A. Burck, could not understand why Mr. Trump was so willing to allow Mr. McGahn to speak freely to the special counsel and feared Mr. Trump was setting up Mr. McGahn to take the blame for any possible illegal acts of obstruction, according to people close to him. So he and Mr. Burck devised their own strategy to do as much as possible to cooperate with Mr. Mueller to demonstrate that Mr. McGahn did nothing wrong.

It is not clear that Mr. Trump appreciates the extent to which Mr. McGahn has cooperated with the special counsel. The president wrongly believed that Mr. McGahn would act as a personal lawyer would for clients and solely defend his interests to investigators, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.

In fact, Mr. McGahn laid out how Mr. Trump tried to ensure control of the investigation, giving investigators a mix of information both potentially damaging and favorable to the president. Mr. McGahn cautioned to investigators that he never saw Mr. Trump go beyond his legal authorities, though the limits of executive power are murky.

Mr. McGahn’s role as a cooperating witness further strains his already complicated relationship with the president. Though Mr. Trump has fought with Mr. McGahn as much as with any of his top aides, White House advisers have said, both men have benefited significantly from their partnership.

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Mr. McGahn is guiding the Supreme Court pick, Brett M. Kavanaugh, left, through his confirmation.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

Mr. McGahn has overseen two of Mr. Trump’s signature accomplishments — stocking the federal courts and cutting government regulations — and become a champion of conservatives in the process.

But the two rarely speak one on one — the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, and other advisers are usually present for their meetings — and Mr. Trump has questioned Mr. McGahn’s loyalty. In turn, Mr. Trump’s behavior has so exasperated Mr. McGahn that he has called the president “King Kong” behind his back, to connote his volcanic anger, people close to Mr. McGahn said.

This account is based on interviews with current and former White House officials and others who have spoken to both men, all of whom requested anonymity to discuss a sensitive investigation.

Through Mr. Burck, Mr. McGahn declined to comment. A spokesman for the special counsel’s office also declined to comment for this article.

Asked for comment, the White House sought to quell the sense of tension.

“The president and Don have a great relationship,” the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement. “He appreciates all the hard work he’s done, particularly his help and expertise with the judges, and the Supreme Court” nominees.

Mr. McGahn’s route from top White House lawyer to a central witness in the obstruction investigation of the president began around the time that Mr. Mueller took over the investigation into whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia’s interference in the presidential election.

When Mr. Mueller was appointed in May 2017, the lawyers surrounding the president realigned themselves. Mr. McGahn and other White House lawyers stopped dealing on a day-to-day basis with the investigation, as they realized they were potential witnesses in an obstruction case.

In the following weeks, Mr. Trump assembled a personal legal team to defend him. He wanted to take on Mr. Mueller directly, attacking his credibility and impeding investigators. But two of his newly hired lawyers, John M. Dowd and Ty Cobb, have said they took Mr. Trump at his word that he did nothing wrong and sold him on an open-book strategy. As long as Mr. Trump and the White House cooperated with Mr. Mueller, they told him, they could bring an end to the investigation within months.

Mr. McGahn, who had objected to Mr. Cobb’s hiring, was dubious, according to people he spoke to around that time. As White House counsel, not a personal lawyer, he viewed his role as protector of the presidency, not of Mr. Trump. Allowing a special counsel to root around the West Wing could set a precedent harmful to future administrations.

But he had little ability to intervene. His relationship with the president had soured as Mr. Trump blamed him for a number of fraught moments in his first months in office, including the chaotic, failed early attempts at a ban on travelers from some majority-Muslim countries and, in particular, the existence of Mr. Mueller’s investigation.

The son of a Treasury Department investigator, Mr. McGahn, 50, briefly attended the Naval Academy before transferring to Notre Dame, graduating in 1991. He attended Widener University’s Commonwealth Law School in Pennsylvania, then came to Washington and climbed the ranks of the Republican establishment, alternating between private firms and a stint on the Federal Election Commission.

Mr. McGahn joined the Trump team as an early hire said to like the candidate’s outsider position. His lack of a degree from a top law school bothered Mr. Trump, but the candidate saw that Mr. McGahn was respected by most of his peers, according to veteran party strategists.

Though he was a senior campaign aide, it is not clear whether Mr. Mueller’s investigators have questioned Mr. McGahn about whether Trump associates coordinated with Russia’s effort to influence the election.

Mr. McGahn’s decision to cooperate with the special counsel grew out of Mr. Dowd’s and Mr. Cobb’s game plan, now seen as misguided by some close to the president.

Last fall, Mr. Mueller’s office asked to interview Mr. McGahn. To the surprise of the White House Counsel’s Office, Mr. Trump and his lawyers signaled that they had no objection, without knowing the extent of what Mr. McGahn was going to tell investigators.

Mr. McGahn was stunned, as was Mr. Burck, whom he had recently hired out of concern that he needed help to stay out of legal jeopardy, according to people close to Mr. McGahn. Mr. Burck has explained to others that he told White House advisers that they did not appreciate the president’s legal exposure and that it was “insane” that Mr. Trump did not fight a McGahn interview in court.

Even if the president did nothing wrong, Mr. Burck told White House lawyers, the White House has to understand that a client like Mr. Trump probably made politically damaging statements to Mr. McGahn as he weighed whether to intervene in the Russia investigation.

Inside the counsel’s office, lawyers feared that on the recommendation of Mr. Dowd and Mr. Cobb, the White House was handing Mr. Mueller detailed instructions to take down the president and setting a troubling precedent for future administrations by giving up executive privilege.

At the same time, Mr. Trump was blaming Mr. McGahn for his legal woes, yet encouraging him to speak to investigators. Mr. McGahn and his lawyer grew suspicious. They began telling associates that they had concluded that the president had decided to let Mr. McGahn take the fall for decisions that could be construed as obstruction of justice, like the Comey firing, by telling the special counsel that he was only following shoddy legal advice from Mr. McGahn.

Worried that Mr. Trump would ultimately blame him in the inquiry, Mr. McGahn told people he was determined to avoid the fate of the White House counsel for President Richard M. Nixon, John W. Dean, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to obstruct justice in the Watergate scandal.

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Mr. McGahn’s relationship with the president soured as Mr. Trump blamed him for a number of fraught moments in his first months in office, including the existence of the special counsel’s inquiry.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times

Mr. McGahn decided to fully cooperate with Mr. Mueller. It was, he believed, the only choice he had to protect himself.

“This sure has echoes of Richard Nixon’s White House counsel, John Dean, who in 1973 feared that Nixon was setting him up as a fall guy for Watergate and secretly gave investigators crucial help while still in his job,” said the historian Michael Beschloss.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers still had a chance to keep Mr. McGahn’s insider knowledge from the special counsel. By exerting attorney-client privilege, which allows the president to legally withhold information, they would have gained the right to learn what Mr. McGahn planned to tell investigators and what he might reveal that could damage the president. But the president’s lawyers never went through that process, although they told people that they believed they still had the ability to stop Mr. Mueller from handing over to Congress the accounts of witnesses like Mr. McGahn and others.

Mr. Mueller has told the president’s lawyers that he will follow Justice Department guidance that sitting presidents cannot be indicted. Rather than charge Mr. Trump if he finds evidence of wrongdoing, he is more likely to write a report that can be sent to Congress for lawmakers to consider impeachment proceedings.

Unencumbered, Mr. Burck and Mr. McGahn met the special counsel team in November for the first time and shared all that Mr. McGahn knew.

To investigators, Mr. McGahn was a fruitful witness, people familiar with the investigation said. He had been directly involved in nearly every episode they are scrutinizing to determine whether the president obstructed justice. To make an obstruction case, prosecutors who lack a piece of slam-dunk evidence generally point to a range of actions that prove that the suspect tried to interfere with the inquiry.

Mr. McGahn gave to Mr. Mueller’s investigators, the people said, a sense of the president’s mind-set in the days leading to the firing of Mr. Comey; how the White House handled the firing of the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn; and how Mr. Trump repeatedly berated Mr. Sessions, tried to get him to assert control over the investigation and threatened to fire him.

Despite the Trump lawyers’ insistence that cooperation would help end the inquiry, the investigation only intensified as last year came to a close. Mr. Mueller had charged Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman and his deputy and won guilty pleas and cooperation agreements from his first national security adviser and a campaign adviser.

Mr. Dowd said that cooperation was the right approach but that Mr. Mueller had “snookered” Mr. Trump’s legal team. The White House has handed over more than one million documents and allowed more than two dozen administration officials to meet with Mr. Mueller in the belief that he would be forced to conclude there was no obstruction case.

“It was an extraordinary cooperation — more cooperation than in any major case — no president has ever been more cooperative than this,” Mr. Dowd said, adding that Mr. Mueller knew as far back as October, when he received many White House documents, that the president did not break the law.

As the months passed on, it became apparent that Mr. McGahn and Mr. Burck had overestimated the amount of thought that they believed the president put into his legal strategy. Rather than placing the blame on Mr. McGahn for possible acts of obstruction, Mr. Trump has yet to even meet with the special counsel, his lawyers resisting an invitation for an interview. Mr. McGahn is still the White House counsel, shepherding the president’s second Supreme Court nominee, Brett M. Kavanaugh, through the confirmation process.

Mr. Mueller, armed with Mr. McGahn’s account, is still trying to interview witnesses close to the president. But the White House has a new lawyer for the investigation, Emmet T. Flood, who has strong views on privilege issues. When the special counsel asked to interview Mr. Kelly, Mr. Flood contested the request, rather than fully cooperate.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Top Trump Aide Gives Mueller Coveted Details. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe

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Criminal Minds Season 14: Release Date, Cast, Update – Otakukart

Criminal Minds Season 14 will be back and finally, the premiere date of the upcoming season has been revealed. The series centers around FBI’s BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit). The unit is full of highly skilled officers which include Emily Prentiss who is a special agent and Interpol’s former head profiler. We get to see the Jennifer “J.J” Jareau who after turning into a profiler manages to get her job done amid her motherhood and married life.

Criminal Minds Season 14 Release Date:

Criminal Minds Season 14 will be releasing on 26th September, and it will air at 10 P.M. at CBS Network. The executive producer Harry Bring announced the premiere date, and the official statement read:

“Criminal Minds S14 premiere date confirmed. Wednesday, September 26, 2018. 10 pm CBS.”

Many fans inquired about the new season because, the show hasn’t been performing very well and it has been down by 30% which is huge, but still, the series is one of the consistent shows on the network. According to reports, the previous season gathers of over 5.7 million viewers which is amazing, so the announcement of Season 14 wasn’t surprising.

In an interview with TV Line, Erica Messer, the executive producer revealed the status of the upcoming Criminal Minds Season 14. Messer said:

“They feel like two incredibly important pieces to our team, who won’t be available if they’re held captive. They won’t be available to help us solve the case, which is crazy. The challenges we’re coming up with now are, ‘Gosh, if we have two of our MVPs sitting on the sidelines here, what can we do? What clues do they possibly leave behind for us to help find where they’re being held or how we help to solve this case without them?’ It’s one of the first times, I think, we’ve ever been without, truly, truly without the help of both of them.”

Criminal Minds Season 14 Cast:

The possible cast for Criminal Minds Season 14 includes:

Joe Mantegna as David Rossi.
Aisha Tyler as Dr. Tara Lewis.
Daniel Henney as Matt Simmons.
Paget Brewster as Emily Prentiss.
Adam Rodriguez as Luke Alvez.
Matthew Gray Gubler as Dr. Spencer Reid.
Kirsten Vangsness as Penelope Garcia.
A.J Cook as Jennifer Jareau.

That’s all for now; we will be back with more news and updates on Criminal Minds Season 14.

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A Friar's suicide, a lawyer who pressed on and the truth about Pa.'s Catholic Church sex abuse | Maria Panaritis – Philly.com

Stephen Baker plunged a knife into his heart at an Altoona-area monastery five years before Pennsylvania’s attorney general, inspired by the friar’s serial abuse of boys across four states, did the same to the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania.

Baker had been a serial abuser of boys across Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, and Minnesota. He committed suicide in 2013, days after his secrets were made public. The revelation served as a catalyst for the state investigation that dropped with explosive force onto the church a few days ago.

We should thank a Boston lawyer for having let the world — and criminal investigators — know about Baker’s past.

How the investigation began is, in itself, a testament to the power of civil law when others are doing their best to keep criminality secret.

State authorities convened two grand juries over four years of seven of the state’s Roman Catholic dioceses to uncover the litany of clergy abuse in the church statewide that had been concealed for decades.

The first grand jury report came in 2016 and was about the Altoona-Johnstown diocese. That probe included criminal charges against the Franciscan men who had supervised Baker. Then came the second grand jury and its nearly 900-page condemnation of the church, its priests, and top leaders in the dioceses of Allentown, Scranton, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Erie and Pittsburgh, a breathtaking document  made public this past Tuesday.


 


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MICHAEL BRYANT / Staff Photographer

Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro stood with victims of clergy abuse while unveiling a nearly 900-page grand jury report on Tuesday.

 

The work led by state prosecutors amounts to the most comprehensive probe into clergy abuse by U.S. law enforcement to date.

A close review of the two grand jury reports and news clippings show that Mitchell Garabedian, the Massachusetts clergy abuse lawyer whose heroics during the 2002 Boston scandal were made famous by the movie Spotlight, was the person who helped investigators learn about Baker.

 


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ED HILLE / Staff Photographer

St. Bernadine Monastery in Hollidaysburg, Pa., is where Franciscan Friar Stephen Baker killed himself as his abuse of children across multiple states became public in 2013.

 

As I laid all this out for him in a phone call Thursday, Garabedian was surprised to hear of his unwitting role. (The man has handled so many clergy abuse cases, it’s a wonder his brain has not been fried. I forgive him for not realizing his consequential role here.)

In January 2013, Garabedian confirmed to the press that he had just settled a civil case with the Diocese of Youngstown and with the Franciscan Friars of the Third Order Regular, headquartered in Hollidaysburg, Pa. He had represented nearly a dozen child victims at a Catholic high school in Warren, Ohio, where Baker had worked during the 1980s.

 


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ED HILLE / Staff Photographer

Attorney General Kathleen Kane in March 2016 announced criminal conspiracy charges against three leaders of the Altoona-area Franciscan Order who enabled Friar Stephen Baker to abuse scores of boys. This was part one of the probe that culminated a few days ago with a report about criminality at six more of the state’s eight Catholic dioceses.

The Associated Press filed a story. The account crossed into Pennsylvania and instantly terrified people who knew that Baker had served for years as an athletic trainer at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown, Pa., after his assignment in Ohio.

The friar killed himself  days after the news broke.

As the headlines made their way to Cambria County District Attorney Kelly Callihan, herself a product of Catholic schools, the Johnstown law enforcement chief could not — did not — look away. She launched a probe into Baker’s time at Bishop McCort High School there in the 1990s.

This made Callihan a hero, too, because we now know from the grand jury’s exhaustive review of testimony and church records from all seven dioceses that men in law enforcement positions across the state had been corrupted by the church’s influence and opted for concealment over prosecution, too.

 


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ED HILLE / Staff Photographer

This is the Hollidaysburg, Pa., monastery where Friar Stephen Baker killed himself.

 

“When he died I had to make a decision whether the investigation had to continue on,” Callihan told me two years ago, when I interviewed her about the Baker case in the wake of the Altoona-Johnstown grand jury report’s release. “We knew we could not investigate or hold him accountable because he was dead. But what I learned in that short amount of time was that I had information that it went deeper than just his acts.”

By the end of 2013, Callihan had handed over her investigation to the attorney general’s office, fearing it was much bigger than her small staff in central Pennsylvania could handle.

By early 2014, then-Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s office had impaneled a grand jury and assigned a team of attorneys general and agents to pursue what would become, by 2016, a full examination of concealment within the Altoona-Johnstown diocese and among leaders of  Baker’s Franciscan order.

Kane’s office revealed those findings in March 2016 and filed child endangerment charges against several Franciscan superiors, two of whom were convicted a few months ago.

 


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ED HILLE / Staff Photographer

Robert M. Hoatson, a former priest, on the University of Pittsburgh campus in Johnstown, Pa., as the state attorney general announced criminal conspiracy charges against three leaders of a Franciscan Order in March 2016.

Flooded with calls from new victims, the office impaneled a second grand jury to expand the probe to include six other dioceses. (The Archdiocese of Philadelphia was excluded because local prosecutors there already had found decades of horrors through two grand jury probes revealing rampant abuse and concealment there, too.)

Investigators dropped subpoenas on diocesan offices across the state before Josh Shapiro, Kane’s elected successor, took over in January 2017. Shapiro oversaw the fight against intense efforts by the church to stop release of the report.

Garabedian told me he refuses to play the church’s civil-litigation hardball: take the money and run, but only if you and your victim clients keep your mouths shut afterward. He does not accept confidentiality seals on settlements.

“I represented at least 85 victims in Baker, combining Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania,” he said. “And a new Baker victim has recently come forward.”

Justice shouldn’t be the job of private lawyers alone. But let’s hope that guys like Garabedian keep watch. Because our children need them.


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The US Department of Housing and Urban Development is suing Facebook over 'unlawful' advertising tactics (FB)

getty facebook zuckerberg hearing headshot

  • Federal regulators have served Facebook with a complaint over the company’s ad targeting tools available to housing advertisers.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development’s complaint sides with advocacy groups that brought a lawsuit against Facebook in March.
  • The lawsuit claims that Facebook violates fair-housing laws, which follows a massive investigation by ProPublica.

The Justice Department filed a “statement of interest” on Friday that sides with housing groups who claim that Facebook’s advertising platform violates fair-housing laws.

The statement allows a suit filed in March, led by the National Fair Housing Alliance, to live on. According to the housing groups, Facebook’s tools allow advertisers to target by sex, religion, familial status and national origin, which violate fair-housing laws.

The company has been in hot water over its housing advertising practices since 2016, when ProPublica published a report about Facebook’s monitoring of housing ads. Since then, Facebook has updated its policies and added machine learning that identifies housing, credit, and employment ads, but a follow-up report from ProPublica in November found that ads continued to not be policed.

Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said that Facebook’s practice, “creates and harvests user data to develop profiles for each user, categorizing them into groups based on demographics, interests, behaviors and other criteria.” He added that “categorizing of Facebook users based on protected characteristics” violates the Fair Housing Administration (or FHA). Specifically, the Justice Department commented on the Communications Decency Act portion of the lawsuit — not the entire lawsuit.

“There is no place for discrimination on Facebook; it’s strictly prohibited in our policies,” Facebook said in a statement. “Over the past year we’ve strengthened our systems to further protect against misuse. We’re aware of the statement of interest filed and will respond in court.”

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