DMX’s longtime New York-based lawyer, Murray Richman, said the rapper was on life support Saturday evening at White Plains Hospital.
“He had a heart attack. He’s quite ill,” Richman said.
Richman said he could not confirm reports that DMX, 50, overdosed on drugs and was not sure what caused the heart attack.
“I’m very sad about it, extremely sad. He’s like my son,” Richman said. “He’s just a tremendous person, tremendous entertainer, tremendous human being. And so much to offer, so much to say. Not the run-of-the-mill rapper. A person of great depth.”
DMX, whose real name is Earl Simmons, made a splash in rap music in 1998 with his first studio album It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, which debuted No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart. The multi-platinum selling album was anchored by several hits including Ruff Ryders’ Anthem, Get At Me Dog and Stop Being Greedy.
The rapper had four other chart-topping albums including …And Then There Was X, Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, The Great Depression and Grand Champ. He has released seven albums and earned three Grammy nominations.
Along with his music career, DMX paved his way as an actor. He starred in the 1998 film Belly and appeared in Romeo Must Die a couple years later with Jet Li and the late singer Aaliyah. DMX and Aaliyah teamed up for the film’s soundtrack song Come Back in One Piece.
The rapper also starred in Exit Wounds with Steven Seagal and Cradle 2 the Grave with Li.
Over the years, DMX has battled with substance abuse. The rapper cancelled a series of shows to check himself into a rehabilitation facility in 2019. In an Instagram post, his team said he apologized for the cancelled shows and thanked his fans for the continued support.
Last year, DMX faced off against Snoop Dogg in a Verzuz battle, which drew more than 500,000 viewers.
A man was arrested on hate-crime and assault charges after a Filipino American woman was attacked near New York City’s Times Square, police said early Wednesday.
Police said Brandon Elliot, 38, is the man seen on video kicking and stomping the woman on Monday. They said Elliot was living at a hotel that serves as a homeless shelter a few blocks from the scene of the attack.
He was taken into custody at the hotel around midnight. Tips from the public led to his apprehension, police said.
Elliot was convicted of stabbing his mother to death in the Bronx neighbourhood in 2002, when he was 19. He was released from prison in 2019 and is on lifetime parole. The parole board had previously twice denied his release. His record also included an arrest for robbery in 2000.
“When you’re releasing people from prison and you’re putting them in homeless shelters you’re asking for trouble,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told WPIX-TV. “There’s got to be a safety net and there’s got to be resources for them…. You just shake your head and say, ‘What could possibly go wrong’ and this is what goes wrong. It just never should happen.”
Elliot faces charges of assault as a hate crime, attempted assault as a hate crime, assault and attempted assault in Monday’s attack, police said. It wasn’t immediately known whether he had a lawyer who could speak on his behalf. He was expected to be arraigned by video Wednesday.
Victim suffered serious injuries
The victim was identified as Vilma Kari, a 65-year-old woman who immigrated from the Philippines, her daughter told the New York Times. The newspaper did not identify Kari’s daughter.
Kari was walking to church in midtown Manhattan when police said a man kicked her in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, stomped on her face, shouted anti-Asian slurs and told her, “You don’t belong here,” before casually walking away.
She was discharged from the hospital Tuesday after being treated for serious injuries, a hospital spokesperson said.
The attack was among the latest in a national spike in anti-Asian hate crimes and happened just weeks after a mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent.
The surge in violence has been linked in part to misplaced blame for the coronavirus pandemic and former president Donald Trump’s use of racially charged terms such as “Chinese virus” and “China virus.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called Monday’s attack “absolutely disgusting and outrageous.” He said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses did not intervene.
“I don’t care who you are, I don’t care what you do, you’ve got to help your fellow New Yorker,” de Blasio said Tuesday.
Mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, the son of Taiwanese immigrants, said the victim “could easily have been my mother.” He, too, criticized the bystanders, saying their inaction was “exactly the opposite of what we need here in New York City.”
WATCH | De Blasio, Yang respond to ‘horrifying’ attack:
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and mayoral candidate Andrew Yang react to the violent attack on a 65-year-old Filipino American woman that was caught on a security camera. 1:06
The attack happened late Monday morning outside a luxury apartment building two blocks from Times Square.
Two workers inside the building who appeared to be security guards were seen on surveillance video witnessing the attack but failing to come to the woman’s aid. One of them was seen closing the building door as the woman was on the ground. The attacker was able to casually walk away while onlookers watched, the video showed.
The building’s management company said the workers were suspended pending an investigation. The workers’ union said they called for help immediately.
Residents of the building defended the workers Wednesday in a letter to the management company and the media. They contend that a video clip focusing on the suspect and the assault was “unfortunately cut to inadvertently exclude the compassionate action” taken by staff members, which they said included giving the victim aid and alerting medics.
Philippine government reacts
Philippine Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Manuel Romualdez said the victim is Filipino American.
The country’s foreign secretary, Teodoro Locsin Jr., condemned the attack in a Twitter post, saying: “This is gravely noted and will influence Philippine foreign policy.”
Locsin did not elaborate how the attack could influence Philippine policy toward the United States. The countries are longtime treaty allies, and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte is a vocal critic of U.S. security policies who has moved to terminate a key agreement that allows large-scale military exercises with American forces in the Philippines.
“I might as well say it, so no one on the other side can say, ‘We didn’t know you took racial brutality against Filipinos at all seriously.’ We do,” Locsin said.
Increase in hate crimes
This year in New York City, there have been 33 hate crimes with an Asian victim as of Sunday, police said. There were 11 such attacks by the same time last year.
On Friday, in the same neighbourhood as Monday’s attack, a 65-year-old Asian American woman was accosted by a man waving an unknown object and shouting anti-Asian insults. A 48-year-old man was arrested the next day and charged with menacing. He is not suspected in Monday’s attack.
The NYPD last week said it was increasing outreach and patrols in predominantly Asian communities, including the use of undercover officers to prevent and disrupt attacks.
“This is crucial to the equation,” de Blasio said of the new policing efforts. “It’s a very few people but we need to find each and every one of them and stop this.”
Gunmen in northwest Nigeria kidnapped around 30 students overnight from a forestry college near a military academy, three students said on Friday, in the fourth mass school abduction since December.
The Federal College of Forestry Mechanization sits on the outskirts of Kaduna city, capital of Kaduna state, in a region roamed by armed gangs, who often travel on motorcycles.
Kaduna state’s security commissioner, Samuel Aruwan, confirmed the attack but did not say how many students had been taken.
Sani Danjuma, a student at the college, said those abducted were all female students, but authorities were unable to confirm this. Other students said some of the young women had managed to escape during the attack.
Local resident Haruna Salisu, speaking by phone, said he had heard sporadic gunshots at around 11:30 p.m.
“We were not panicking, thinking that it was a normal military exercise being conducted at the Nigerian Defence Academy,” he said.
WATCH | Nigerian girls released:
A group of 279 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped at gunpoint have been released. But mass abductions for ransom are on the rise, and the government is under increasing pressure to make them stop. 2:02
“We came out for dawn prayers, at 5:20 a.m., and saw some of the students, teachers and security personnel all over the school premises. They told us that gunmen raided the school and abducted some of the students.”
Salisu said she had seen military personnel taking the remaining students into the academy.
On Friday morning, relatives of students gathered at the gates of the college, which was surrounded by around 20 army trucks.
Banditry has festered for years in northwest Nigeria, rendering large swathes of the region lawless.
The trend of abduction from boarding schools was started by the jihadist group Boko Haram, which seized 270 schoolgirls from a school at Chibok in the northeast in 2014, around 100 of whom have never been found.
It has since been taken up by armed criminal gangs seeking ransom.
Within the last few weeks, 279 schoolgirls were freed after being abducted from their boarding school at Jangebe in northwest Nigeria’s Zamfara state, and 27 teenage boys were released after being kidnapped from their school in the north-central state of Niger, along with three staff and 12 family members. One student was shot dead in that attack.
Military and police attempts to tackle the gangs have had little success, while many worry that state authorities are making the situation worse by letting kidnappers go unpunished, paying them off or, as in Zamfara, giving them amenities.
In late February, the presidency said President Muhammadu Buhari had urged state governments to “review their policy of rewarding bandits with money and vehicles, warning that the policy might boomerang disastrously.”
The unrest has become a political problem for Buhari, a retired general and former military ruler who has faced mounting criticism over the rise in violent crime, and replaced his long-standing military chiefs in February.
Two men wanted in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol were arrested over the weekend, including one who reportedly served as a bodyguard to former president Donald Trump’s longtime political confidant Roger Stone, federal authorities said Monday.
Roberto Minuta breached the Capitol grounds and “aggressively berated and taunted U.S. Capitol police officers” during the Jan. 6 insurrection, the FBI said in court papers.
Also arrested over the weekend was Isaac Steve Sturgeon, 32, of Dillon, Mont., who is charged with shoving a metal police barricade into police officers during the insurrection, according to court records.
Meanwhile, Jacob Chansley, the Phoenix man who sported face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns while inside the Capitol during the siege, will remain jailed until trial, a judge in Washington ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth explained that Chansley carried a spear into the Capitol, ignored orders from police to leave, used a bullhorn to encourage other rioters and was among the first rioters into the building.
Chansley doesn’t fully appreciate the severity of the charges against him, Lamberth said. The judge said he has no faith that Chansley would follow release conditions.
At least five people, including a Capitol Police officer, died as a result of the violence at the Capitol, and two other officers took their own lives in the days after. More than 300 people have been charged with federal crimes.
Minuta, 36, of Hackettstown, N.J., had been “equipped with military-style attire and gear, including apparel emblazoned with a crest related to the Oath Keepers,” the FBI said, referring to the far-right antigovernment militia.
The New York Times identified Minuta as one of six people who provided security to Stone in the hours before the assault on the Capitol. Stone, who was pardoned after his sentence for several felony charges was initially commuted by Trump, was in Washington the day of the assault but has denied any involvement.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Benjamin Gianforti told a magistrate judge in White Plains federal court that Minuta was among Oath Keepers who illegally provided freelance security in Washington for “various high-profile individuals who I won’t name.”
Minuta, who was arrested at his tattoo shop in Newburgh, N.Y., told federal agents “something to the effect of: ‘Why am I being targeted here? Why aren’t you going after Antifa and Black Lives Matter members?”‘ Gianforti said.
The prosecutor said the statements suggest “a lack of remorse for his actions and an ongoing allegiance to the ideology that led him to break the law.”
He accused Minuta of “screaming at Capitol Police officers on Jan. 6 and indeed spitting at their feet, which is one of the most disrespectful gestures that one can do.”
Gianforti said Minuta had cancelled his phone account on March 1 and gotten rid of his iPhone while moving between a Texas dwelling and his New York business.
Ben Gold, Minuta’s court-appointed attorney, said his client was not violent on Jan. 6. A magistrate judge agreed, letting him be freed on $ 150,000 US bail despite the prosecutor’s request he be held as a danger to the community and risk to flee.
“He’s not a flight risk. He’s not a danger to the community,” Gold said.
The lawyer said a criminal complaint describing the charges says Minuta entered the Capitol forcefully, but yet the description afterward “doesn’t say he used an ounce of force.”
Authorities said Sturgeon, the Montana man, was identified through police body camera video and photographs posted to social media.
The FBI said Sturgeon, who owns a lawn care business, traveled to Kenya on Jan. 24 and was deported from that country to New York. He was arrested Saturday at John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Sturgeon told a federal magistrate Monday he “wasn’t trying to flee,” adding he’s a frequent traveller.
His defence attorney declined to comment on the charges.
Prosecutors said Sturgeon faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.
The White House warned that the U.S. may consider a military response to the rocket attack that hit an airbase in western Iraq where American and coalition troops are housed. A U.S. contractor died after at least 10 rockets slammed into the base early Wednesday.
“We are following that through right now,” U.S. President Joe Biden told reporters. “Thank God, no one was killed by the rocket, but one individual, a contractor, died of a heart attack. But we’re identifying who’s responsible and we’ll make judgments” about a response.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki suggested that the “calculated” U.S. airstrikes last week could be a model for a military response. Those strikes were in response to an attack on American forces in northern Iraq earlier in February.
“If we assess further response is warranted, we will take action again in a manner and time of our choosing,” Psaki said.
Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby said the U.S. contractor “suffered a cardiac episode while sheltering” from the attack and died shortly afterward. Kirby said no service members were injured and all are accounted for. British and Danish troops also are stationed at the base.
Joe Biden has promised a return to diplomacy and to restart talks around the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal. But changes to the political landscape in the Middle East could make that difficult. 2:01
The death of the contractor Wednesday is heightening worries that the U.S. could be drawn into another period of escalating attacks, complicating the Biden administration’s desire to open talks with Iran over the 2015 nuclear deal.
The latest attack also comes two days before Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Iraq despite concerns about security and the coronavirus pandemic. The much-anticipated trip will include stops in Baghdad, southern Iraq and the northern city of Irbil.
The rockets struck Ain al-Asad airbase in Anbar province early in the morning, U.S.-led coalition spokesperson Col. Wayne Marotto said.
Kirby said the rockets were fired from east of the base, and that counter-rocket defensive systems were used to defend forces at the base. He said the U.S. can’t attribute responsibility for the attack yet, and that the extent of the damage was still being assessed.
It’s the same base that Iran struck with a barrage of missiles in January of last year in retaliation for the killing of Soleimani. Dozens of U.S. service members suffered concussions in that strike.
Rocket launch pad found
The Iraqi military released a statement saying that Wednesday’s attack did not cause significant losses and that security forces had found the launch pad used for the rockets — a truck. Video of the site shows a burning truck in a desert area.
British Ambassador to Iraq Stephen Hickey condemned the attack, saying it undermined the ongoing fight against the Islamic State group.
“Coalition forces are in Iraq to fight Daesh at the invitation of the Iraqi government,” he tweeted, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. “These terrorist attacks undermine the fight against Daesh and destabilize Iraq.”
Denmark said coalition forces at the base were helping to bring stability and security to the country.
“Despicable attacks against Ain al-Asad base in Iraq are completely unacceptable,” Danish Foreign Minister Jeppe Kofod tweeted. The Danish armed forces said two Danes who were at the base at the time of the attack are unharmed.
Last week’s U.S. strike along the border was in response to a spate of rocket attacks that targeted the American presence, including one that killed a coalition contractor from the Philippines outside the Irbil airport.
After that attack, the Pentagon said the strike was a “proportionate military response.”
Marotto, the coalition spokesperson, said the Iraqi security forces were leading an investigation into the attack.
Frequent rocket attacks in Baghdad targeting the heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the U.S. Embassy, during Donald Trump’s presidency frustrated the administration, leading to threats of embassy closure and escalatory strikes. Those attacks have increased again in recent weeks since Biden took office following a lull during the transition period.
U.S. troops in Iraq significantly decreased their presence in the country last year and withdrew from several Iraqi bases to consolidate chiefly in Ain al-Asad, Baghdad and Irbil.
Prosecutors at Donald Trump’s impeachment trial said Wednesday they would prove that the former president was no “innocent bystander” but the “inciter in chief” of the deadly attack at the U.S. Capitol aimed at overturning his election loss to Joe Biden.
Opening the first full day of arguments, the lead House prosecutor said they will lay out evidence that shows the president encouraged a rally crowd to head to the Capitol on Jan. 6, then did nothing to stem the violence and watched with “glee” as a mob stormed the iconic building. Five people died.
“To us it may have felt like chaos and madness, but there was method to the madness that day,” Rep. Jamie Raskin said.
The day’s proceedings were unfolding after an emotional start Tuesday that left the former president fuming when his attorneys delivered a meandering defence and failed to halt the trial on constitutional grounds. Some allies called for yet another shakeup to his legal team.
Trump is the first president to face an impeachment trial after leaving office and the first to be twice impeached. The Jan. 6 Capitol riot followed a rally during which Trump urged his supporters to “fight like hell,” words his lawyers say were simply a figure of speech. He is charged with “incitement of insurrection.”
Impeachment manager Rep. Joe Neguse said that Trump “used his speech as a call to arms.”
House Democratic prosecutors are seeking to link the former Republican president directly to the deadly riot, replaying videos of the rioters trying to stop the certification of Biden’s victory and Trump’s statements urging them to fight the election results.
“This was, as one of our colleagues put it, so cogently on Jan. 6 itself, the greatest betrayal of the presidential oath in the history of the United States. The evidence will show you that he saw it coming and was not remotely surprised by the violence,” Raskin said.
Security footage not previously released
The prosecutors are arguing that Trump’s words weren’t just free speech but part of “the big lie” — his relentless efforts to sow doubts about the Nov. 3 election results. Those began long before the votes were tabulated, revving up his followers to “stop the steal,” though there was no evidence of substantial fraud.
They used Trump’s own words — from his tweets dating from months before the election in which he warned his supporters the vote would be rigged and from the days following it, repeating his messages of “stop the steal” and “stop the count” — as well as video clips played in the Senate. More video was expected Wednesday, including some that hasn’t been seen before.
Trump knew very well what would happen when he took to the microphone at the outdoor White House rally that day, almost to the hour that Congress gavelled in to certify Biden’s win, Neguse said.
“This was not just a speech,” he said.
Trump’s supporters were prepped and armed, ready to descend on the Capitol, Neguse said. “When they heard his speech, they understood his words.”
WATCH | Trump could suffer permanent damage politically regardless of verdict:
A panel of U.S. politics experts break down the first day of former president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial and what the goal is, considering the Senate is unlikely to convict him. 8:06
House impeachment manager Rep. Eric Swalwell detailed how Trump announced the rally on Twitter, writing on Dec. 19: “Big protest in D.C. on January 6th. Be there, will be wild!”
Swalwell said that Jan. 6 was Trump’s “last chance to stop a peaceful transition of power.” He said Trump’s tweet wasn’t a “casual, one-off reference or a single invitation” and that for the next 18 days, he reminded his supporters “over and over and over” to show up.
“This was never about one speech,” Swalwell said. “He built this mob over many months with repeated messaging until they believed that they’d been robbed of their vote, and they would do anything to stop the certification.”
As violence mounted in the states during the weeks and months before Trump supporters marched to the Capitol, the House managers argued he could have told loyalists to stand down, but didn’t.
The mob “didn’t come out of thin air,” said Rep . Joaquin Castro.
But during a break in the trial Wednesday afternoon, many Republicans appeared indifferent to the Democratic prosecutors’ case and made it clear they were still unlikely to convict.
Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley said the prosecutors’ case was “predictable” and included information that was already public.
Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson, another close ally of Trump, said the trial “is going to be pretty tedious.” He said the two sides would be better served to make their case “in a couple hours, and be done with this.”
Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said Democrats have “put a real good team together,” but said he didn’t think anything had been said “by either side that has changed any votes.”
CNN reported that some Republican senators didn’t even appear to be listening to what the prosecutors were laying out.
Trump frustrated with legal team
Senators, many of whom fled for safety on the day of the attack, watched Tuesday’s graphic videos of the Trump supporters who battled past police to storm the halls.
A frustrated Trump on Tuesday night revived his demands to focus his defence on his unsupported claims of voter fraud, repeatedly telephoning former White House aide Peter Navarro, who told the Associated Press in an interview he agrees. He is calling on Trump to fire his legal team.
“If he doesn’t make a mid-course correction here, he’s going to lose this Super Bowl,” Navarro said, in a reference to public opinion, not the unlikely possibility of conviction.
Republicans made it clear after Tuesday’s proceedings that they, too, were unhappy with Trump’s defence, many of them saying they didn’t understand where it was going — particularly Castor’s opening.
6 of 50 Republicans vote that trial is constitutional
Security remains extremely tight at the Capitol, which is fenced off with razor wire and patrolled by National Guard troops.
Six Republicans joined with Democrats on Tuesday to vote to proceed with the trial in a 56-44 vote. A two-thirds threshold of 67 votes would be needed for conviction.
WATCH | Highlights from Day 2:
Democrats opened former U.S. president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial with some of the worst scenes captured of the Capitol Hill riots on Jan. 6. While Trump’s conviction is unlikely, it could still serve to further divide Republicans. 2:32
It appears unlikely that the House prosecutors will call witnesses, and Trump has declined a request to testify. The trial is expected to continue at least until the weekend.
Trump’s second impeachment trial is expected to diverge from the lengthy, complicated affair of a year ago. In that case, Trump was charged with having privately pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, then a Democratic rival for the presidency.
This time, Trump’s “stop the steal” rally rhetoric for two months after the Nov. 3 election and the storming of the Capitol played out for the world to see.
The Democratic-led House impeached the president swiftly, one week after the attack.
CD Projekt Red (CDPR) was the internet’s favorite developer just a few months ago, but the tide has turned following the troubled release of Cyberpunk 2077. In true cyberpunk fashion, things are getting even worse for CDPR today following a major cyberattack. The perpetrators claim to have swiped source code to the company’s games, as well as embarrassing internal documents. All will be released unless CDPR pays up, which it says it isn’t going to do.
The unnamed attackers were able to CDPR’s Perforce server, which is a software development and management platform. From this, the attackers claim to have extracted the source code for The Witcher 3 and Cyberpunk 2077. In addition, they vacuumed up PR, administration, and investor relation documents. This was technically a ransomware event, so the attackers encrypted CDPR systems.
The threat, then it two-fold: pay up to get the decryption key and prevent the perpetrators from releasing the data. CDPR points out it had backups and has already started restoring them — the Polish dev will not be negotiating with the attackers, so the release of data might be inevitable. Assuming, of course, that this isn’t a bluff on the part of the attackers. In its statement, CDPR clarifies that the stolen data does not contain any personal information belonging to players.
An investigation is ongoing, and CDPR says it has fixed the security hole that allowed the attackers access in the first place. It didn’t address the claim that sensitive information was in the wild and might appear for download at some point. Likewise, the developer didn’t talk about how, if at all, this attack will slow its progress on fixing Cyberpunk 2077.
CDPR has been teasing Cyberpunk for the better part of a decade, but the launch in late 2020 was a disappointment for many. The game didn’t run well on current-generation consoles, and even on the PC, you needed a very expensive video card to turn on any of the fancy lighting effects. This is also coming at a time when high-end PC hardware is more expensive and harder to find than usual. The developer has promised several major updates to address the performance issues, but the design of the world has also drawn criticism. For example, Night City police will simply spawn on foot wherever you are when you’ve got a wanted level, but you can’t get in a car chase. Another thing you can’t do in Night City: get a haircut. That’s a little too close to reality right now.
Clearly, CDPR still has a lot of work to do on Cyberpunk, and this will probably delay things. If the attackers do end up releasing or selling the stolen data, maybe we’ll see some internal documents that help explain how Cyberpunk ended up such a mess.
Donald Trump’s historic second impeachment trial opened Tuesday in the Senate with graphic video of the deadly Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Congress and the defeated former president whipping up a rally crowd — saying “We’re going to walk down to the Capitol!” — as he encouraged a futile fight over his presidency.
The lead House prosecutor told senators the case would present “cold, hard facts” against Trump, who is charged with inciting the siege of the Capitol to overturn the presidential election he lost to Democrat Joe Biden. Senators sitting as jurors, many who themselves fled for safety that day, watched the jarring video of the chaotic scene, which included rioters pushing past police to storm the halls and Trump flags waving.
“That’s a high crime and misdemeanor,” said Rep. Jamie Raskin, in opening remarks. “If that’s not an impeachable offence, then there’s no such thing.”
Trump is the first president to face impeachment charges after leaving office and the first to be twice impeached . The Capitol siege stunned the world as rioters ransacked the building to try to stop the certification of Biden’s victory, a domestic attack on the nation’s seat of government unlike any in its history. Five people died.
Figure of speech, say Trump lawyers
Each side has two hours to make its case on Tuesday, after which the Senate is expected to vote and reject the Republican efforts to dismiss the trial.
Trump’s lawyers insist that he is not guilty on the sole charge of “incitement of insurrection,” his fiery words just a figure of speech, even as he encouraged a rally crowd to “fight like hell” for his presidency. Five people died as a result of the ensuing siege of the Capitol.
Front Burner21:38Trump’s impeachment: Will history repeat itself?
Donald Trump is facing an historic second Senate impeachment trial. Will the former U.S. president avoid conviction once again? Politico reporter Andrew Desiderio explains why all signs point to an acquittal. 21:38
While acquittal is likely, the trial will test the nation’s attitude toward his brand of presidential power, the Democrats’ resolve in pursuing him, and the loyalty of Trump’s Republican allies defending him.
“In trying to make sense of a second Trump trial, the public should keep in mind that Donald Trump was the first president ever to refuse to accept his defeat,” said Timothy Naftali, a clinical associate professor at New York University and an expert on Richard Nixon’s impeachment saga, which ended with Nixon’s resignation rather than his impeachment.
“This trial is one way of having that difficult national conversation about the difference between dissent and insurrection,” Naftali said.
Security remained extremely tight at the Capitol, a changed place after the attack, fenced off with razor wire and armed National Guard troops on patrol. The nine House managers walked across the shuttered building to prosecute the case before the Senate.
Constitutional arguments up first
In filings, lawyers for the former president lobbed a wide-ranging attack against the House case, dismissing the trial as “political theatre” on the same Senate floor invaded by the mob.
Trump’s defenders are preparing to challenge both the constitutionality of the trial and any suggestion that he was to blame for the insurrection. They suggest that Trump was simply exercising his First Amendment rights when he encouraged his supporters to protest at the Capitol, and they argue the Senate is not entitled to try Trump now that he has left office.
WATCH | Amherst College law professor Lawrence Douglas on Trump’s 2nd trial:
The second impeachment trial of former U.S. president Donald Trump is not without precedent, says law professor Lawrence Douglas, nor is it likely to result in a conviction. 4:04
Witnesses unlikely to be called
But the House prosecutors argued there is no “January exception” for a president on his way out the door. Rep. Joe Neguse, referred to the corruption case of William Belknap, a war secretary in the Grant administration, who was impeached, tried and ultimately acquitted by the Senate after leaving office.
“President Trump was not impeached for run of the mill corruption, misconduct. He was impeached for inciting a violent insurrection – an insurrection where people died, in this building,” Neguse said.”If Congress stands by, it would invite future presidents to use their power without any fear of accountability.”
It appears unlikely that the House prosecutors will call witnesses, in part because the senators were witnesses themselves. At his Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, Trump has declined a request to testify.
Trump’s defence team has said it plans to counter with its own cache of videos of Democratic politicians making fiery speeches. “We have some videos up our sleeve,” senior Trump adviser Jason Miller said on a podcast Monday.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Tuesday that Biden would not be watching the trial of his predecessor.
“Joe Biden is the president, he’s not a pundit,” she said. “He’s not going to opine on back and forth arguments.”
WATCH | Trump’s First Amendment rights could rest on intent:
The events, the words and the context leading up to the Capitol Hill riots will be the key evidence used in former U.S. president Donald Trump’s second impeachment trial in the Senate. 6:39
Typically senators sit at their desks for such occasions, but the COVID-19 crisis has upended even this tradition. Instead, senators will be allowed to spread out, in the “marble room” just off the Senate floor, where proceedings will be shown on TV, and in the public galleries above the chamber, to accommodate social distancing, according to a person familiar with the discussions.
Trump’s second impeachment trial is expected to diverge from the lengthy, complicated affair of a year ago. In that case, Trump was charged with having privately pressured Ukraine to dig up dirt on Biden, then a Democratic rival for the presidency.
This time, Trump’s “stop the steal” rally rhetoric and the storming of the Capitol played out for the world to see, as well the preceding two months in which he claimed without merit on Twitter and in appearances that he was legitimate winner of the election.
The Current20:13What Donald Trump’s impeachment trial means for U.S. political institutions
As former U.S. president Donald Trump’s impeachment trial gets underway this week for his role in inciting the U.S. Capitol attack, some say the country’s political institutions are at stake. To unpack the issue, Matt Galloway speaks with Ken Mack, the Lawrence D. Biele professor of law and affiliate professor of history at Harvard University, and Karen Tumulty, a political columnist for the Washington Post. 20:13
The Democratic-led House impeached the president swiftly, one week after the most violent attack on Congress in more than 200 years.
A conviction in a Senate trial requires two-thirds — or 67 senators — to vote in favour.
U.S. President Donald Trump has finally conceded the 2020 election to president-elect Joe Biden in a new video condemning his violent supporters who stormed the Capitol building on Wednesday.
In the statement posted to Twitter, Trump declined to mention Biden by name or explicitly admit he’d lost the election, instead saying now that Congress has certified the election results, the “new administration will be inaugurated on January 20” and his focus now turns to “ensuring a smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.”
He called the riot in the Capitol a “heinous attack” that left him “outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem.” However, in a video to the pro-Trump rioters on Capitol Hill Wednesday, he told them to go home, but also that he loved them, that they were special people and that he felt their pain. Twitter removed that video.
In the new statement, Trump did not address what Democrats and even some Republicans say was his role in inciting the violence. He did say he “immediately deployed the National Guard,” although it took a long time for order to be restored on Capitol Hill and CNN has reported that it was Vice-President Mike Pence who co-ordinated bringing in the troops.
In the short message, Trump told his supporters that while he knows they are “disappointed,” their “incredible journey is only just beginning.”
WATCH | Trump’s statement about the attack on the U.S. Capitol:
U.S. President Donald Trump has posted a new video on Twitter, more than 24 hours after an angry mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol building, saying he was outraged by the “heinous attack.” He also conceded to president-elect Joe Biden and promised a “smooth, orderly and seamless transition of power.” 2:41
‘We will stop the steal,’ Trump told supporters
The address came at the end of a day where the president stayed out of sight in the White House. Silenced on some of his favourite social media lines of communication, he didn’t comment as several of his top aides, including a cabinet secretary, announced their resignations.
The statement was also a stark reversal for Trump, who has spent months insisting widespread voter fraud cost him the Nov. 3 presidential election despite providing no evidence.
During a rally in Washington on Wednesday, he encouraged his thousands of supporters to march to the Capitol to protest the certification of the electoral college vote.
“We will stop the steal,” he told the crowd, using the rallying cry of protests against the election results.
A large mob of rioters later overran police officers and invaded the Capitol building, forcing members of Congress into hiding for their own safety.
As recently as Thursday morning, Trump was still maintaining the election was stolen from him.
Before Trump released his video message on Thursday, the top Democrats in Congress, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, called on Vice-President Mike Pence and Trump’s cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment, a provision of the U.S. Constitution that allows a cabinet majority to remove the president from power if he is unable to discharge the duties of the office.
But a Pence adviser says the vice-president, who would have to lead any such effort, is opposed to using the amendment to oust Trump from the White House.
Barring that, Pelosi has said she would likely reconvene the House to initiate impeachment proceedings against Trump for his role in Wednesday’s violence, which claimed five lives, including that of a Capitol Police officer.
A day later, Republicans and Democrats alike struggled with how best to contain the impulses of a president deemed too dangerous to control his own social media accounts but who remains commander-in-chief of the world’s largest military.
“I’m not worried about the next election, I’m worried about getting through the next 14 days,” said Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, one of Trump’s staunchest allies. He condemned the president’s role in Wednesday’s riots and said, “If something else happens, all options would be on the table.”
In Pelosi’s words, “the president of the United States incited an armed insurrection against America.” She called him “a very dangerous person who should not continue in office. This is urgent, an emergency of the highest magnitude.”
A new report commissioned by the U.S. government suggests “directed” radio energy likely caused brain injuries to American diplomats posted in Cuba and China.
Yet the report by the National Academy of Sciences in Washington stops short of saying the same about Canadian diplomats and their families in Havana and instead leaves open the possibility of other causes.
The report represents the latest attempt to explain the mysterious illness known as Havana syndrome that started causing headaches, dizziness and cognitive problems in American and Canadian diplomats in Cuba in 2016.
Five Canadian diplomats and their families are now suing Ottawa for more than $ 28 million, saying the federal government failed to protect them, hid crucial information and downplayed the illness.
Global Affairs Canada has previously acknowledged that nine adults and five children from diplomatic families developed unusual illnesses in Havana, with symptoms including nausea, dizziness, headaches and trouble concentrating.
While the Canadian government has said it is trying to pinpoint the cause, speculation has largely focused on some kind of acoustic or microwave assault, an unknown contaminant such as a pesticide and even chirping crickets.
The National Academy of Sciences report says the symptoms and features of what U.S. diplomats were experiencing were unlike any known disorder, “including those with known infectious, inflammatory or toxic mechanism.”
Rather, the report says, the diplomats’ complaints of experiencing sudden pain, intense pressure in the face, a loud piercing sound in one ear and sudden dizziness and nausea were “more consistent with a directed radio frequency energy attack.”
WATCH | The Fifth Estate investigates what made the diplomats sick:
Jayme Poisson digs into a new Canadian study that tries to solve the mystery of what caused dozens of Canadian and US diplomats in Cuba to become sick. 18:12
“Studies published in the open literature more than a half century ago and over the subsequent decades by Western and Soviet sources provide circumstantial support for this possible mechanism,” it later adds.
Yet the report makes no such assertions on what happened to the Canadians. It instead leaves open the possibility that their illnesses were caused by a viral infection, exposure to a toxic chemical or some other factor.
Lawyer representing Canadians says report has errors
Paul Miller, the lawyer representing the Canadian diplomats suing the government, said that is because there are several errors in the report — including an assertion that the Canadians did not experience the same sudden pain and loud noise as their U.S. counterparts.
“To suggest in any way that our clients did not have the perception of loud sounds or a sensation of intense pressure or vibration is just incorrect,” Miller told The Canadian Press on Sunday. “They all heard things to different degrees. One family heard it quite loudly and suffered pretty immediate injuries. Others heard it and felt unwell within a day or two.
“If that information is corrected, you might see a different conclusion by the U.S. folks.”
Miller noted that the U.S. researchers did not interview the Canadian diplomats. The report instead says it relied on a study by Halifax’s Dalhousie University and available descriptions of the Canadians’ symptoms and complaints.
The Dalhousie study pointed to neurotoxins, such as pesticides used to kill mosquitos during the Zika epidemic, as the most likely reason. Miller’s clients have disputed that finding, saying more people would have suffered the same symptoms if it were true.
The U.S. report comes as the lawsuit between the Canadian diplomats and the federal government remains unresolved, with Miller hoping for a motion brought by the government to have the diplomats excluded heard by the court next year.
Global Affairs Canada did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.