News Roundup

As WRAL reports, McCrae Dowless was charged with several felonies this week related to his alleged involvement in the Bladen County absentee ballot saga that has made North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District race a subject of national interest.  Dowless was arrested on Wednesday and charged with obstruction of justice, conspiracy to commit obstruction of justice, and illegal possession of an absentee ballot.  Four other people also were charged for their alleged involvement in the scheme.  Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said that the investigation is ongoing and that additional charges may be forthcoming.  Last week, the State Board of Elections decided that a new election would be held for the congressional seat, and a date for that contest is expected to be announced on Monday.  Keep reading for more news.

Buncombe ICE.  WLOS reports that Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller announced this week that the county will no longer hold individuals on the basis of detainer requests issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  Miller said that the move was intended to increase trust between communities of color and law enforcement.  He also said that his office will continue to cooperate with federal agencies in cases where a person is the subject of a warrant.

Alleged Domestic Terrorist.  USA Today reports that a federal grand jury in Maryland has indicted Coast Guard Officer Christopher Paul Hasson for illegally possessing weapons and planning a domestic terror attack targeting prominent politicians.  The report says that Hasson is a self-described white nationalist and had written a hit list of politicians that included Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.

Michael Cohen.  On Wednesday, former attorney and soon to be federal prisoner Michael Cohen testified before the House Oversight and Reform Committee and accused President Donald Trump of a variety of wrongdoing.  Among other things, Cohen said that Trump participated in campaign finance violations by reimbursing him for hush money payments to Stormy Daniels.  Cohen presented one purported reimbursement check that appeared to have been signed by Trump while he was in office.  Cohen also testified that he witnessed Trump take a phone call in 2016 from Roger Stone where Stone indicated that he had just spoken with Julian Assange and that WikiLeaks was preparing to release emails that would damage Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Roger Stone.  Late last week Federal District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson issued a gag order that prevents Roger Stone from speaking publicly about the criminal case against him arising from his alleged coordination with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign.  Jackson issued the order because Stone had posted a picture of her on his Instagram account that appeared to depict crosshairs and was interpreted by some as a threat.  Stone denied that he intended to threaten Jackson by posting the picture.

Impersonation Situation.  As Uganda Spencer recently discovered in Chatham County, when you decide that you’re going to impersonate your daughter in court it’s best to think through the plan carefully because things can go sideways in a hurry.  For one thing, it’s better if you don’t have several outstanding warrants of your own because if you do it’s much easier for law enforcement to discover your true identity during processing.

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