Tag Archives: testifies

Stress from scuffle with police ‘more than Mr. Floyd could take’, medical officer testifies

George Floyd’s scuffle with police, along with Derek Chauvin’s knee pressed into his neck, was too much for his underlying heart condition and caused the death of the 46-year-old Black man, the local county’s chief medical officer told a Minneapolis court on Friday.

“[The adrenaline is] going to ask your body for more oxygen so that you can get through that altercation,” said Dr. Andrew Baker, the Hennepin County medical examiner who conducted the autopsy on Floyd and ruled his death to be a homicide.

Baker’s testimony marked the 10th day of the murder trail of Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer who is facing trial on charges of second-degree unintentional murder; third-degree murder; and second-degree manslaughter in connection with the death of Floyd.

“And in my opinion, the law enforcement subdual restraint and the neck compression was just more than Mr. Floyd could take by virtue of those heart conditions,” Baker said.

Baker’s testimony veered somewhat from what the court had previously heard from other medical witnesses called by the prosecution.

Floyd died on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pressed a knee on the back of his neck for around nine minutes as two other officers held him down.

Witness reaffirmed autopsy report

The outcome of the high profile trial is being closely watched after video of the arrest of Floyd captured by a bystander prompted widespread outrage, setting off protests over race and police brutality across the U.S. and around the world.


Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell questions Baker at the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. (Court TV/Associated Press)

The prosecution says Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck while detaining him on suspicion of using a counterfeit bill at a convenience store, caused his death. But the defence argues Chauvin did what his training taught him and that it was a combination of Floyd’s underlying medical conditions, drug use and adrenaline flowing through his system that ultimately killed him.

The court has so far heard from prosecution medical experts, including a leading lung specialist, who have testified that Floyd died from asphyxia — or insufficient oxygen — because of the actions of police. Baker has not ruled asphyxiation to be a cause of Floyd’s death.

Previous witnesses had significantly downplayed Floyd’s pre-existing medical conditions and drugs found in his system as playing a role in his death. 

However, Baker reaffirmed the findings of his autopsy report. He said those elements were contributing factors, though not the primary cause of death.

Adrenaline impacts

Under questioning by prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, Baker explained that Floyd had narrowed coronary arteries — about 75 per cent blockage in his left anterior descending artery and 90 per cent blockage in his right coronary artery. Floyd also had hypertensive heart disease, meaning his heart weighed slightly more than it should.


Chauvin’s defence attorney Eric Nelson cross-examines Baker. (Court TV/Associated Press)

Floyd’s confrontation with police, which included being pinned facedown on the pavement while Chauvin pressed his knees into his neck, produced adrenaline that made Floyd’s heart beat faster.

Baker testified that Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” 

Asked to explain cardiopulmonary arrest, Baker said that was “fancy medical lingo for the heart and the lungs stopped.”

He also explained the definition of “homicide” in an autopsy report, that it was a medical and not a legal term, which is applied when the actions of other people were involved in an individual’s death.

Cross-examination 

During cross-examination, Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson seized on the potential role played by Floyd’s heart condition and drugs found in his system.

“In your opinion, both the heart disease as well as the history of hypertension and the drugs that were in his system played a role in Mr. Floyd’s death?” Nelson asked Baker.

“In my opinion, yes,” Baker said. 


Chauvin takes notes at his trial in the death of George Floyd. (Court TV/Associated Press)

Baker also agreed that he had certified overdose as the cause of death in other autopsies where that individual had much lower levels of fentanyl in their system than was found in Floyd.

Nelson asked Baker if he recalled having conversations last year with prosecutors in which he described the level of fentanyl found in Floyd’s system was a “fatal level.”

“I recall describing it in other circumstances, it would be a fatal level,” Baker said.

But Baker also agreed that he had described Floyd’s s death as a “multifactorial process.”

He said drugs and hypertension were not “direct causes” but they were “contributing causes.”

The trial continues. 

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Shouts of ‘you’re killing him’ could have prompted Chauvin to reassess use of force, trainer testifies

Derek Chauvin could have potentially reassessed his actions when irate bystanders yelled at him that he should get off of George Floyd because he was “killing him,” a lieutenant who trains police officers in use-of-force techniques acknowledged on Tuesday.

Lt. Johnny Mercil, a Minneapolis police officer, was one of the officers who trained Chauvin in proper use-of-force techniques. He was also the latest in a series of senior officers with the force, including Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo, who have testified that Chauvin, with his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck during their confrontation on May 25, 2020, used excessive force and violated police procedure.

Chauvin, 45, who is white, faces two murder charges — second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder — in Floyd’s death. The 46-year-old Black man died after Chauvin pressed his knee against the back of Floyd’s neck for around nine minutes as other officers held him down. Chauvin’s trial is now in its second week. 

Use-of-force trainer testifies 

During cross examination, Chauvin’s lawyer Eric Nelson, who has argued that police at the scene were distracted by what they perceived as a growing and increasingly hostile crowd of onlookers, asked if Mercil agreed that a crowd jeering at police officers will raise alarms within the officers. Mercil agreed.

However, prosecutor Steve Schleicher quickly followed up with his own question about the bystanders, asking: “If they’re saying ‘Get off him, you’re killing him,’ should the officer also take that into account and consider whether their actions need to be reassessed?”

“Potentially, yes,” Mercil said.

Earlier, Mercil was asked more specifically about the use-of-force procedures and how they relate to this specific case.

Knee to neck not part of training

He was shown a picture of Chauvin with his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck. Schleicher asked Mercil if that restraint was part of the training at the Minneapolis Police Department.

“No sir,” he said.

Mercil said a knee on the neck is an authorized use of force, but that officers are told to stay away from the neck if possible. Schleicher asked Mercil how long such a technique should be used if an officer were to employ it. 

Mercil said it would depend on the resistance being offered.

“Say, for example, the subject was under control and handcuffed — would this be authorized?” Schleicher asked.

“I would say no,” Mercil said.


Defence attorney Eric Nelson, left, and Chauvin are seen in Hennepin County District Court on Tuesday. (Court TV/The Associated Press)

Video captured by a bystander showed the handcuffed Floyd repeatedly say he couldn’t breathe. 

Floyd had been detained outside a convenience store after being suspected of paying with a counterfeit bill. All four officers were later fired. The footage of the arrest prompted widespread outrage, setting off protests across the U.S. and around the world.

The prosecution says Chauvin pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as he lay handcuffed on the pavement was the cause of his death. But the defence argues Chauvin did what his training taught him and that it was a combination of Floyd’s underlying medical conditions, drug use and adrenaline flowing through his system that ultimately killed him.

Records show that Chauvin was trained in the use of force by the police department in October 2018.   

On Tuesday, Mercil also told Hennepin County District Court that police should try to put a suspect in the “recover” position, sit them up or stand them up, as soon as possible to decrease the risk that they might have difficulty breathing while on their stomachs.

‘I would say it’s time to de-escalate the force’

Under cross-examination by Nelson, Chauvin’s lawyer, Mercil acknowledged that, in his experience, there have been times when suspects he was in the process of detaining were lying about having a medical emergency.

Mercil also testified that circumstances can change minute to minute; that a suspect can go from being compliant and peaceful to violent, and he agreed that all of those considerations play a part in the use of force.

He also said there have been times when an unconscious suspect regained consciousness.

Mercil also acknowledged that just because a person is handcuffed, doesn’t mean the suspect is in control, and that he has trained officers to restrain suspects as “long as they needed to hold them.”

But Schleicher then asked Mercil whether it’s inappropriate to hold a suspect in a position where the officer’s knee is across their back or neck once the person is under control and no longer resistant.

“I would say it’s time to de-escalate the force.”

“And get off of them,” Schleicher said.

“Yes sir,” Mercil said.

Mercil agreed that if an officer is placing body weight with the knee on a person’s neck and back it would decrease the person’s ability to breathe. He also agreed that it would be inappropriate to restrain someone in that way after they had lost their pulse. 

Mercil was asked if there was ever a time when an individual lost their pulse, suddenly came “back to life” and became more resistant. 

“Not that I’m aware of,” he said.


Witness Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant and expert in use-of-force techniques, testifies at Chauvin’s murder trial. (COURT TV/Associated Press)

Use of force ‘was excessive’: expert

In other testimony, Jody Stiger, a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant serving as a prosecution use-of-force expert, said officers were justified in using force while Floyd was resisting their efforts to put him in a squad car.

But once Floyd was on the ground and had stopped resisting, Stiger said officers “should have slowed down or stopped their force as well.”

Stiger said that after reviewing video of the arrest, “my opinion was that the force was excessive.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Chauvin violated policy in pinning Floyd’s neck after he stopped resisting, police chief testifies

The Minneapolis police chief testified on Monday that now-fired officer Derek Chauvin violated departmental policy in pinning his knee on George Floyd’s neck and keeping him down after Floyd had stopped resisting and was in distress.

Continuing to kneel on Floyd’s neck once he was handcuffed behind his back and lying on his stomach was “in no way, shape or form” part of department policy or training, “and it is certainly not part of our ethics or our values,” Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said.

Arradondo, the city’s first Black chief, fired Chauvin and three other officers the day after Floyd’s death last May, and in June called it “murder.” At that time, the police chief said Floyd’s death was not due to a lack of training and that “Chauvin knew what he was doing.”

Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death on May 25. The white officer is accused of pinning his knee on the 46-year-old man’s neck for nine minutes, 29 seconds, as Floyd lay face-down in handcuffs outside a corner market, where had been accused of trying to pass a counterfeit $ 20 bill for a pack of cigarettes.

De-escalating should be ‘layered’ into use of force

Under questioning from prosecutor Matthew Frank, Arradondo said it’s the police department’s policy that officers should consider minimizing physical force during an arrest even while force is being used to restrain a suspect.

“The goal is to resolve the situation as safely as possible. So you want to always have de-escalation layered into those actions of using force.” the police chief said.


Assistant Minnesota Attorney General Matthew Frank speaks as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill discusses motions before the court on Monday in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. (Court TV/The Associated Press)

Chauvin, who had been on the force for 19 years, failed to follow his training in several respects, Arradondo said. He could tell from Floyd’s grimaces that Chauvin was using more than the maximum “light-to-moderate” pressure an officer is allowed to use on someone’s neck.

The officer did not relent in using force even as Floyd fell unconscious and he did not provide mandated first aid to a dying Floyd, Arradondo said.

“It’s contrary to our training to indefinitely place your knee on a prone, handcuffed individual for an indefinite period of time,” he said.

Arradondo’s testimony came after the emergency room doctor who pronounced Floyd dead testified that he theorized at the time that Floyd’s heart most likely stopped because of a lack of oxygen.

Dr. Bradford Langenfeld, who was a senior resident on duty that night at Hennepin County Medical Center and tried to resuscitate Floyd, earlier took the stand at the beginning of Week Two at Chauvin’s murder trial.

WATCH | ER doctor describes efforts to resuscitate George Floyd:

Dr. Bradford Langenfeld told the murder trial of a former Minneapolis police officer that paramedics found George Floyd without a pulse when they brought him to the ER. 1:59

Langenfeld said Floyd’s heart had stopped by the time he arrived at the hospital. The doctor said that he was not told of any efforts at the scene by bystanders or police to resuscitate Floyd but that paramedics told him they had tried for about 30 minutes.

Under questioning by prosecutor Jerry Blackwell, Langenfeld said that based on the information he had, death by asphyxiation was “more likely than the other possibilities.”

The defence argues that Chauvin did what he was trained to do and that Floyd’s use of illegal drugs and his underlying health conditions caused his death.

Chauvin lawyer Eric Nelson questioned Langenfeld about whether some drugs can cause hypoxia, or insufficient oxygen. The doctor acknowledged that fentanyl and methamphetamine, both of which were found in Floyd’s body, can do so.

The county medical examiner’s office ultimately classified Floyd’s death a homicide — that is, a death at the hands of someone else.

Opioid antidote of no use during cardiac arrest

The full report said Floyd died of “cardiopulmonary arrest, complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint, and neck compression.” A summary report listed fentanyl intoxication and recent methamphetamine use under “other significant conditions” but not under “cause of death.”

Under cross-examination from Nelson, Langenfeld said Floyd’s carbon dioxide levels were more than twice has high as levels in healthy person, and he agreed that that could be attributed to a respiratory problem. But on questioning from the prosecutor, the doctor said the high levels were also consistent with cardiac arrest — the stopping of the heart.

Langenfeld also testified that neither he nor paramedics administered a drug that would reverse the effects of an opioid overdose. The doctor said giving Narcan once a patient is in cardiac arrest would provide no benefit.

The doctor also told the court that paramedics made no mention that Floyd may have suffered a drug overdose before he was brought to the hospital.

Floyd’s treatment by police was captured on widely seen bystander video that sparked protests that rocked Minneapolis and quickly spread to other U.S. cities and beyond and descended into violence in some cases.

WATCH | Knee on George Floyd’s neck ‘uncalled for,’ veteran officer says:

At the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, the officer with the most seniority on the Minneapolis Police Department said the use of force on George Floyd was ‘uncalled for’ and ‘totally unnecessary.’ 0:55

Langenfeld said that “any amount of time” a patient spends in cardiac arrest without immediate CPR decreases the chance of a good outcome. He said there is an approximately 10 per cent to 15 per cent decrease in survival for every minute that CPR is not administered.

The city of Minneapolis moved soon after Floyd’s death to ban police chokeholds and neck restraints. Arradondo and Mayor Jacob Frey also made several policy changes, including expanding requirements for reporting use-of-force incidents and documenting attempts to de-escalate situations.

Prosecutors have already called supervisory officers to build the case that Chauvin improperly restrained Floyd. A duty sergeant and a lieutenant who leads the homicide division both questioned Chauvin’s actions in pinning Floyd to the ground.

“Totally unnecessary,” Lt. Richard Zimmerman, the longest-tenured officer on the force, testified Friday. He said once Floyd was handcuffed, he saw “no reason for why the officers felt they were in danger, if that’s what they felt, and that’s what they would have to feel to be able to use that kind of force.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Police could have ended George Floyd’s restraint after he was handcuffed, former sergeant testifies

A former Minneapolis police supervisor, on duty the night George Floyd died, says officers could have stopped restraining him after he was handcuffed and no longer resisting.

That testimony from David Pleoger, now retired, was a key part of the prosecution’s case on the fourth day of the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin. It included a snippet of a call between Pleoger and Chauvin — in which Chauvin says he was going to call Pleoger and request that he come to the scene where Chauvin and three other officers had had their encounter with Floyd.

Jurors also heard the emotional testimony of Floyd’s former girlfriend along with evidence from two paramedics who attended to Floyd that day, one of whom said that when he arrived, he thought Floyd was dead.

Chauvin, 45, who is white, faces two murder charges — second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder — in the death of Floyd on May 25, 2020. The 46-year-old Black man died after Chauvin pressed a knee on the back of Floyd’s neck for around nine minutes as two other officers held him down. Video captured by a bystander showed the handcuffed Floyd repeatedly say he couldn’t breathe. 

Floyd had been detained outside a convenience store after being suspected of paying with a counterfeit bill. All four officers were later fired. The footage of the arrest prompted widespread outrage, setting off protests across the U.S. and around the world.

For the prosecution, Pleoger, who had worked with Chauvin for eight years, and whose duties as a sergeant included reviewing police use-of-force incidents, may have offered the most important evidence.


Courteney Ross, the former girlfriend of George Floyd, offers emotional testimony at the trial into his death. (Court TV/The Associated Press)

Indeed, his opinion on the officers’ use of force against Floyd became a point of contention between the prosecution and Eric Nelson, defence counsel for Chauvin. 

Prosecutor Steve Schleicher asked Pleoger, based upon his review of this incident, if he believed the restraint on Floyd should have ended at some point.

That prompted Nelson to object, who argued that Pleoger, because of the “criticality” of the incident, had hiked the review of it up the chain of command, and that he had only reviewed the police officers’ body camera video.

But Judge Peter Cahill allowed Schleicher to ask one question about Pleoger’s view of the incident.

“Do you have an opinion as to when the restraint of Mr. Floyd should have ended in this encounter?” Schleicher asked.

Pleoger answered: “When Mr. Floyd was no longer offering up any resistance to the officers, they could have ended the restraint.”


Paramedic Derek Smith testified that he couldn’t find Floyd’s pulse upon arriving on the scene. ‘In layman’s terms? I thought he was dead,’ he told court. (Court TV/The Associated Press)

Schleicher followed up: “And that was when he was handcuffed and on the ground and no longer resistant?” 

Yes, Pleoger replied.

Pleoger had gone to the scene after he was contacted by a dispatcher, who was concerned about what she had seen of the arrest on a city surveillance camera.

He testified that, after hearing from the dispatcher, the first person he called was Chauvin.

Chauvin told Pleoger: “I was just going to call you and have you come out to our scene here,” according to a clip of their conversation played in the Hennepin County District Court in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday.

“We just had to hold a guy down. He was going crazy. He wouldn’t go in the back of the squad,” Chauvin said, as the recording cut off. 

Pleoger described the rest of the conversation, saying that he believed Chauvin told him they had tried to put Floyd in the back of the squad car but that he became combative and injured his nose or mouth. He said Chauvin told him that, after struggling with Floyd, Floyd had suffered a medical emergency and the ambulance was called.

Court also heard from Seth Bravinder, a paramedic, who said when he arrived, he saw no signs that Floyd was breathing or moving, and it appeared he was in cardiac arrest. A second paramedic, Derek Smith, testified that he couldn’t find a pulse: “In layman’s terms? I thought he was dead.”

But the most emotional testimony came from Floyd’s former girlfriend Courteney Ross who chronicled some of their struggles with opioid addiction.

Ross wept through much of her testimony as she told the court about how she met Floyd, their relationship, and their battle with addiction to painkillers.

Floyd’s drug use is a central argument in Chauvin’s defence. The prosecution believes Chauvin’s knee pressing into Floyd’s neck as he lay handcuffed on to the pavement was the cause of his death. But the defence argues it was a combination of Floyd’s underlying medical conditions, drug use and adrenaline flowing through his system that ultimately killed him.

Under cross-examination, Nelson asked Ross about some incidents of Floyd’s drug use, including an overdose he suffered in March 2020. 

“You did not know that he had taken heroin at that time?” Nelson asked.

She said she didn’t.

Nelson also focused on pills they had purchased that same month that were different than other painkillers purchased in the past.

Ross testified that instead of relaxing her, they made her jittery, and she couldn’t sleep at night.

Ross also testified that in May, she used similar pills and that she experienced the same effects. Nelson reminded her that she has previously told FBI agents that the pill made her feel like she was going to die, although she said she didn’t recall saying that to the agents.

She said she noticed a change in Floyd’s behaviour about two weeks before his death. Court also heard that she had told FBI agents that the pills made Floyd bounce around and be unintelligible at times.

However, prosecutor Matthew Frank tried to downplay the potential toxicity of those pills, getting Ross to agree that, obviously, neither she or Floyd had died from ingesting them in March or May.

She said Floyd “had a lot of energy” after using them.

Court also heard that Floyd’s pet name for Ross in his phone was “Mama” — testimony that called into question the widely reported account that Floyd was crying out for this mother as he lay pinned to the pavement.

In some of the video, Floyd can be heard calling out, “Mama!” repeatedly and saying, “Mama, I love you! … Tell my kids I love them.”

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

‘My instincts were telling me something is wrong,’ Police dispatcher testifies at Chauvin murder trial

For nine minutes and 29 seconds, former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, crushed his knee into the neck and back of George Floyd, an application of unreasonable force that led to the death of the 46-year-old Black man in May last year.

Or, the 19-year veteran police officer did exactly as he had been trained to do, and Floyd’s death was the result of a combination of underlying medical conditions and toxic drugs in his system. 

These were the competing narratives laid out by the prosecution and defence, respectively, in their opening statements at the Chauvin’s murder trial in Hennepin County District Court in Minneapolis Monday. 

Floyd’s death on May 25, 2020, sparked a series of protests around the world against police brutality and racial injustice. 

Chauvin, 45, faces two murder charges: second-degree unintentional murder and third-degree murder. Chauvin is also charged with the lesser offence of second-degree manslaughter.

WATCH | Prosecution lays out case against Derek Chauvin:

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell outlined the state of Minnesota’s case against the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. 0:59

Prosecution focuses on use of force

Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell wasted little time showing jurors the graphic bystander video footage of Chauvin, with his knee pressed into Floyd’s neck and back while Floyd shouted that he was in pain and could not breathe, until he eventually went motionless.

“He put his knees upon his neck and his back, grinding and crushing him, until the very breath — no, ladies and gentlemen — until the very life, was squeezed out of him,” Blackwell said.

Blackwell went through the nine minutes and 29 seconds that he said Chauvin had Floyd pinned to the ground, pointing out the former officer’s actions.

Chauvin “didn’t let up,” he told the court. “He didn’t get up,” even after Floyd, who was handcuffed on the ground, said 27 times that he couldn’t breathe, Blackwell said.

Indeed, for half of that time, while Floyd was either breathless or unconscious, Chauvin continued to apply pressure to Floyd, the prosecutor said.

Nor did Chauvin release Floyd, Blackwell said, when a paramedic arrived on the scene and checked Floyd’s pulse.

It was only when paramedics wanted to “move the lifeless body of George Floyd onto the gurney” that Chauvin released his hold on Floyd, Blackwell said. Floyd was pronounced dead in hospital later that night.

‘Check his pulse’

Blackwell said witnesses will also include bystanders who “called the police on police.” The prosecutor drew the jury’s attention to part of the video showing angry bystanders yelling at the officers.

One of those people was Donald Williams. He was one of three witnesses to testify Monday at the trial. Williams can be heard on the video yelling, “Check his pulse, check his pulse” to another officer at the scene.

Williams told the court he was trained in mixed martial arts, including choke holds and testified that Chauvin appeared to increase the pressure on Floyd’s neck several times with a shimmying motion.

Williams recalled that Floyd’s voice grew thicker as his breathing became more laboured, and he eventually stopped moving. He said he saw Floyd’s eyes roll back in his head, likening the sight to fish he had caught earlier that day.

Williams said he saw Floyd “slowly fade away … like the fish in the bag.”

Dispatcher called sergeant about arrest 

The trial also heard from Minneapolis police dispatcher Jena Scurry, who testified that she saw part of Floyd’s arrest unfolding via a city surveillance camera and was so disturbed that she called a duty sergeant.

Scurry said she grew concerned because the officers hadn’t moved after several minutes.

“You can call me a snitch if you want to,” Scurry said in her call to the sergeant, which was played in court.

She told the court Monday that she wouldn’t normally call the sergeant about the use of force because it was beyond the scope of her duties, but “my instincts were telling me that something is wrong.”

In his opening statement, Blackwell said that among the other witnesses scheduled, court will hear from one bystander and a fire department employee trained in first aid who wanted to check Floyd’s pulse but was warned off by Chauvin, who reached for his mace and pointed it in her direction.

In the coming days of the trial, Blackwell said the jury will also hear from use of force experts, including one who will testify Chauvin’s use of force was “capable of killing a human or putting his or her life in danger.”

WATCH | Chauvin’s lawyer gives overview of defence:

Attorney Eric Nelson presented his defence of the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd. 1:00

Defence cites Floyd’s strength, health conditions 

But Eric J. Nelson, Chauvin’s lead defence counsel, told the jury that the “evidence is far greater than nine minutes and 29 seconds.”

Floyd was resisting arrest, and Chauvin arrived to assist other officers who were struggling to get Floyd into a squad car, Nelson said.

Three officers couldn’t overcome the strength of Floyd, he said.

“You will learn that Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career,” Nelson said.

“The use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing.”

Nelson said it was Floyd’s underlying health conditions, including a “compromised heart,” in combination with the fentanyl and methamphetamine he had ingested and the adrenaline flowing through his body that caused his death. 

Floyd’s friends, family gather outside court

Before opening statements began, Floyd’s friends and family gathered outside the courthouse entrance, kneeling for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time that it had initially been reported Chauvin had forced his knee into Floyd.

“If we can’t get justice for a Black man here in America, we will get justice everywhere else in America,” said Philonise Floyd, George Floyd’s brother. “This is the starting point. This is not a finishing point.”

WATCH | George Floyd’s brother demands justice:

Philonise Floyd says his family will get justice as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin goes on trial in the death of his brother, George Floyd 1:29

Floyd family attorney Ben Crump said for all those people who continue to say that the murder trial is a difficult one, “we refute that.”

“We know that if George Floyd was a white American citizen, and he suffered this painful, tortuous death with a police officer’s knee on his neck, nobody, nobody, would be saying this is a hard case,” Crump said.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

No evidence Antifa or ‘fake’ Trump supporters spurred Capitol riot, FBI’s Wray testifies

FBI Director Christopher Wray on Tuesday sought to beat back right-wing conspiracy theories suggesting that fake supporters of former U.S. president Donald Trump stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.

It was Wray’s first testimony in Congress since the attack — a failed bid to block Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s November election victory — was carried out by supporters of Trump who, in a speech near the White House, exhorted them to march to the Capitol in protest.

“I was appalled that you, our country’s elected leaders, were victimized right here in these very halls,” Wray testified before the Senate’s judiciary committee.

“That siege was criminal behaviour, pure and simple. It’s behaviour that we, the FBI, view as domestic terrorism.”

Early on, Republicans on the panel sought to equate the Jan. 6 riot to the occasional violence that ensued in months of racial justice protests in dozens of U.S. cities last year.

The senior Republican on the panel, Chuck Grassley, made repeated references to Antifa and violence committed by those who might be described as being left on the political spectrum, including a fatal shooting incident in Portland last year and the near-fatal shooting of Congressman Steve Scalise in 2017 by a suspect who posted a photo of Bernie Sanders on his Facebook profile.

But Wray was unequivocal in terms of what the agency has learned so far about the events of Jan. 6.

“We have not to date seen any evidence of anarchist violent extremists or people subscribing to Antifa in connection with the 6th,” he said.

Last month in another Senate hearing, Republican Ron Johnson of Wisconsin brought up the possibility that “agent provocateurs” and “fake Trump protesters” had circulated among the crowd on Jan. 6, citing an article by a right-wing think-tank.

Wray said there had been no evidence presented yet of fake Trump protesters crashing the event, which appears to have been planned for weeks according to previous testimony, and he reiterated his assertion from 2020 hearings that white supremacists “have been responsible for the most lethal attacks over the last decade” in terms of domestic terrorism.

Hundreds charged so far

The U.S. Justice Department has charged more than 300 people on criminal counts ranging from conspiracy to attacking police and obstructing Congress.

Five people in attendance died that day, including a Trump supporter who was fatally shot and a Capitol police officer who was killed in circumstances that are still unclear. Three others suffered fatal medical episodes, according to reports.

At least 18 people associated with the far-right Proud Boys — which Canada labelled a terrorist group last month — have been charged and nine people tied to the anti-government militia known as the Oath Keepers are facing charges they conspired as far back as November to storm the Capitol to prevent Biden from becoming president.

Biden took office on Jan. 20.

Federal investigators including the FBI have come under scrutiny since Jan. 6 over why more was not done to protect the Capitol ahead of the attack.

On Jan. 5, the FBI’s Norfolk, Va., office distributed a raw, unverified intelligence report which warned that violent extremists intended to disrupt Congress.

Still unclear how Capitol Police officer was killed

Wray told lawmakers on Tuesday the intelligence was shared with other law enforcement agencies three different ways, but acknowledged he personally did not see the report until a few days later.

As to why other top law enforcement officials did not see it, Wray said: “I don’t have a good answer to that.”

Senator Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat, said to Wray: “What I don’t understand is why this … raw intelligence didn’t prompt a stronger warning and alarm.”

The FBI has yet to arrest any suspects in the death of Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, or for pipe bombs that were discovered outside the headquarters of both the Republican and Democratic national committees.

The FBI has obtained a video that shows a suspect spraying bear spray on police officers, including Sicknick, according to a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.

Citing an ongoing investigation, Wray said he couldn’t yet disclose a cause of death for Sicknick.

Democrats and some Republicans condemned Trump for his weeks of false claims leading up to Jan. 6, that the election was stolen. He repeated that claim in his first significant speech since leaving the presidency last week.

But Wray said he stood by comments made by former attorney general Bill Barr, who had infuriated Trump after the election when he said the Justice Department did not have evidence of any widespread election fraud.

“We are not aware of any widespread evidence of voter fraud, much less that would have affected the outcome of the presidential election,” Wray told lawmakers.

We are not aware of any widespread evidence of voter fraud, much less that would have affected the outcome of the presidential election,” Wray told lawmakers.

In a newly unsealed search warrant, investigators say rioters carried weapons inside the Capitol including tire irons, sledge hammers, stun guns, bear spray and, in at least one case, a handgun with an extended magazine.

“Everyone involved must take responsibility for their actions that day, including our former president,” said Grassley, who was among those who voted to acquit Trump on a count of incitement of insurrection in a Senate impeachment trial last month.

WATCH | Former FBI agent Jack Cloonan on the domestic terrorism threat:

Given the events of Jan. 6, the likelihood of someone attempting an attack around the presidential inauguration is ‘extremely high,’ says former FBI special agent Jack Cloonan. 7:46

Senate judiciary committee chair Dick Durbin, a Democrat, said the government has not done enough to protect against threats from far-right extremists and white supremacists, and accused the Trump administration of playing down those threats.

He said the Trump administration “never set up a task force to combat the numerous incidents” from the far-right, and instead focused on Black Lives Matter activists.

With respect to other issues, Wray said he was concerned about violent attacks against Asian Americans during the past year. But he stopped short of condemning  what he called “rhetoric” — offensive language used by Trump and other legislators regarding the pandemic that Democrats have characterized as pejorative or racist.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Psychiatrist testifies about ‘rape myths’ at Harvey Weinstein trial

A forensic psychiatrist with expertise in rape trauma took the stand as a prosecution witness at former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s Manhattan rape trial on Friday, explaining why some sexual assault victims do not report attacks or avoid their abusers.

Barbara Ziv, who also testified for prosecutors at entertainer Bill Cosby’s 2018 sexual assault retrial, said popular views of sexual assault were often coloured by “rape myths,” including that rape usually occurs between strangers.

Ziv said most victims of rapes and sexual assaults know their attackers, do not fight back during the attacks, and maintain contact with their attackers. She also said some resist coming forward promptly because they feel ashamed or fear retribution.

“They’re hoping that this was just an aberration,” said Ziv, who teaches at Temple University in Philadelphia.

Ziv’s testimony could help prosecutors show jurors why some women who have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct might have stayed in contact with him after it occurred.


Forensic psychologist Dr. Barbara Ziv leaves the court on Friday after telling Harvey Weinstein’s trial that some alleged victims of rape resist coming forward promptly because they feel ashamed or fear retribution. (Jeenah Moo/Getty Images)

Weinstein, 67, has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting two women, Mimi Haleyi and Jessica Mann, and other charges that could put him in prison for life if he were convicted. The trial is expected to last into March.

Since 2017, more than 80 women, including many famous actresses, have accused Weinstein of sexual misconduct, fuelling the #MeToo movement.

Weinstein has denied any nonconsensual sex, and his lawyers said in opening statements on Wednesday that emails from his accusers would show they maintained warm relations.

The trial is widely seen as a watershed moment for #MeToo, in which women have accused powerful men in business, entertainment, media and politics of sexual misconduct.

On cross-examination, Weinstein lawyer Damon Cheronis confronted Ziv with her testimony in a separate case where a student sued her school over an alleged sexual assault.

According to Cheronis, Ziv testified for the defence that had the student been conscious she could have spoken up against her attacker. But Ziv said the comment was taken out of context.

Witnessed asked about regret years later

Cheronis also asked Ziv if a woman could view a consensual encounter years later as nonconsensual because she had come to regret it.

“Anything is possible,” Ziv answered. “It’s not usual.”

On Thursday, actress Annabella Sciorra from The Sopranos testified that Weinstein had violently raped her in her home in the early 1990s, and then harassed her for years.

While that alleged conduct occurred too long ago to support a separate rape charge against Weinstein, prosecutors hope it will show that Weinstein is a repeat sexual predator, the charge that could put him in prison for life.

Sciorra testified that her encounter with Weinstein left her depressed, causing her to drink heavily and cut herself, and unable to tell her family what had happened.

Under questioning from another of Weinstein’s lawyers, Donna Rotunno, Sciorra acknowledged that she had not reported the alleged rape to authorities or sought medical help.

“At the time, I didn’t understand that it was rape,” she said.

Cosby has been appealing his conviction and three- to 10-year prison sentence from his 2018 retrial.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Elon Musk testifies in defamation trial over his tweet about British cave diver

Elon Musk testified at his defamation trial on Tuesday, arguing that his inflammatory Twitter message at the centre of the case was sent in response to an “unprovoked” insult he received from the man now suing him.

Musk, the billionaire chief executive of Tesla, was the first witness to testify in the lawsuit brought by a British cave diver who gained fame for his leading role in the rescue of 12 boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand last year.

The diver, Vernon Unsworth, says Musk, who also founded the rocket company SpaceX, falsely labelled him a pedophile on Twitter and should pay punitive and other damages for harming Unsworth’s reputation.

The case stems from an offer Musk made to furnish a mini-submarine from SpaceX to assist in the cave rescue in July 2018.

Unsworth told CNN on July 13, 2018, three days after the rescue was completed, that Musk’s offer was a “PR stunt” and that Musk should “stick his submarine where it hurts.”

Two days later, Musk lashed out at Unsworth in a series of tweets, including one which called the cave diver a “pedo guy.” Musk later apologized for the comment, saying it was a common insult in South Africa where he grew up.

Unsworth called the slur a lie that has harmed his reputation.


Rescue workers take out machines last July after 12 soccer players and their coach were rescued in Tham Luang cave complex in the northern province of Chiang Rai, Thailand. (Soe Zeya Tun/Reuters)

Musk was called to testify after a jury was selected to hear the case and the two sides delivered opening statements.

Musk said he was merely responding in kind to Unsworth’s remarks. Those comments were “an unprovoked attack on what was a good-natured attempt to help the kids,” Musk testified in federal court in Los Angeles. “It was wrong and insulting, and so I insulted him back.”

“I thought [Unsworth] was just some random creepy guy,” Musk added. “I thought at the time that he was unrelated to the rescue.”

Pressed under questioning by lawyer Lin Wood, Musk testified that he did not mean for his tweet about Unsworth to be taken literally.

“I assume he did not mean to sodomize me with a submarine … Just as I didn’t literally mean he was a pedophile,” he said.

Unspecified damages

The judge explained the case hinges on whether a reasonable person would take Musk’s Twitter statement to mean that he was calling Unsworth a pedophile.

Despite removing the tweets, Tusk later suggested in emails to the news website BuzzFeed that Unsworth was a “child rapist” and had moved to northern Thailand to take “a child bride who was about 12 years old at the time.” He provided no evidence.

To win the defamation case, Unsworth needs to show that Musk was negligent in publishing a falsehood that clearly identified the plaintiff and caused him harm. “Actual malice” on Musk’s part does not need to be proven because the judge has deemed Unsworth a private individual rather than a public figure.

Unsworth is seeking unspecified damages for pain, suffering and emotional distress. The defence has resisted efforts to turn over financial records to show Musk’s wealth, but has stipulated his net worth exceeds $ 20 billion.

A jury of five men and three women is weighing the case.

In an opening statement earlier in the day, lawyer Taylor Wilson, another member of Unsworth’s legal team, said the tweet in question was more than a slip-up, and Musk had no business branding Unsworth a predator “in what should have been one of the proudest moments of his life.”

Musk lawyer Alex Spiro countered that Unsworth did not act after the tweet like a man who suffered because of it.

“The plaintiff is saying he has been horribly damaged, and deserves money,” Spiro said. “He doesn’t.”

Tweets in court

Although the case does not involve Tesla, Musk’s Twitter habits have long been under close scrutiny, with investors and regulators expressing concerns about his tweets.

With 29.8 million followers, Musk’s Twitter account is a major source of publicity for his Palo Alto, Calif.-based electric car company, which does not advertise.

His tweets have also previously landed him in court. 

Musk and Tesla reached a $ 40-million US settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission last year on allegations he misled investors with a tweet declaring he had secured financing to buy out the electric car maker. He agreed in the settlement to have future tweets about the company screened.

He was forced back into court on accusations he violated that agreement by tweeting a misleading figure about how many cars Tesla would manufacture this year. The SEC sought to hold him in contempt of court, which led to a new agreement imposing tighter controls on Musk’s tweets about the company.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Impeachment rules process approved in House as another U.S. official testifies

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives approved the rules for its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump, which sets the stage for outlining the process for public hearings and possibly drafting articles of impeachment.

The 232-196 roll call vote overwhelmingly along party lines was the chamber’s first formal vote on a process that’s likely to take months, possibly stretching into the early weeks of the 2020 election year.

Underscoring the gravity of the vote, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi presided over the chamber as it voted on the rules package.

In a floor speech before the vote, Pelosi said, “This is not any cause for any glee or comfort.”

Standing next to a large U.S. flag in the well of the House, the top Democrat in the chamber said the impeachment inquiry was necessary to defend the Constitution and prevent an abuse of power by Trump.

“The times have found each and every one of us in this room,” Pelosi said. She urged lawmakers to vote in favour of the impeachment rules “to protect the Constitution of the United States. What is at stake in all of this is nothing less than our democracy.”


The investigation is focused on Trump’s efforts to push Ukraine to investigate Democratic political rival Joe Biden by withholding military aid and an Oval Office meeting craved by the country’s new president.

Republicans have said that the Democratic-run process has been secretive and tilted against them.

Democrats say their plan follows how impeachment efforts against presidents Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton were run. The public impeachment hearings for Nixon took place after months of investigative work, and years in the case of Clinton’s impeachment.

The White House in a statement said the vote was a violation of “due process.”

“The Democrats want to render a verdict without giving the administration a chance to mount a defence. That is unfair, unconstitutional, and fundamentally un-American,” the statement read.

As rules regarding process are hammered out, testimony continues. Trump’s former top adviser for Russian and European affairs arrived on Capitol Hill in Washington on Thursday to testify to House impeachment investigators, a day after leaving his job at the White House.


Tim Morrison, the former top national security adviser to President Donald Trump, arrives for a closed-door meeting to testify as part of the House impeachment inquiry. (J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

Tim Morrison, the first White House political appointee to testify, didn’t respond to reporters’ questions as he entered.

Morrison, who served on the National Security Council, stepped down Wednesday, and a senior administration official said he “decided to pursue other opportunities.” 

He has been in the spotlight since August, when a government whistleblower said multiple U.S. officials had said Trump was “using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.”

Explaining a ‘sinking feeling’

Morrison will be asked to explain that “sinking feeling” he got when Trump demanded that Ukraine’s president investigate former vice-president Joe Biden and his son Hunter, who sat on the board of Ukraine energy company Burisma. That characterization of Morrison’s state of mind was given by U.S. diplomat Bill Taylor, who testified earlier this month.

Trump also pushed the ally to investigate a discredited theory that Ukraine interfered in the U.S. election through cyber activities that have been found by both congressional teams and special counsel Robert Mueller to have emanated from Russia.


Morrison was brought on board by then national security adviser John Bolton, who is also being asked to testify at a future date. It has been alleged through testimony that Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, had been conversing with Ukrainian leaders outside of traditional U.S. diplomatic circles, with desired outcomes that would benefit Trump.

Morrison’s name appeared more than a dozen times in earlier testimony by Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador in Ukraine, who told impeachment investigators that Trump was withholding military aid unless the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, went public with a promise to investigate the Bidens.  

Taylor said Morrison recounted a conversation that Gordon Sondland, America’s ambassador to the European Union, had with a top aide to Zelensky — Andriy Yermak. Taylor said Morrison told him security assistance would not materialize until Zelensky committed to investigate Burisma. A White House meeting for Zelensky was also held up.

“I was alarmed by what Mr. Morrison told me about the Sondland-Yermak conversation,” Taylor testified. “This was the first time I had heard that the security assistance — not just the White House meeting — was conditioned on the investigations.”


Kevin McCarthy, the House Republican leader who has been critical of the process the Democrats are following, tried to ensure as few members of his party as possible vote in favour of the rules framework. (Al Drago/Reuters)

Taylor testified Morrison told him he had a “sinking feeling” after learning about a Sept. 7 conversation Sondland had with Trump.

Trump has tried to brand those testifying as either unimportant officials, Democrats or so-called Never-Trumpers. It will be harder to impugn Morrison, who has been bouncing around Washington in Republican positions for two decades, having worked for congressmen Mark Kennedy and Jon Kyl, and as a senior Republican staffer on the House’s armed services committee.

It is likely to take weeks or more before the House votes on whether to actually impeach Trump. If the House impeaches Trump, the Senate would hold a trial to decide whether to remove him from office, presided over by the chief justice of the Supreme Court.

Another potential complication is the possibility of a government shutdown on Nov. 21 if further funding is not approved.

Republicans slam ‘sham process’

Pelosi decided to have the impeachment resolution vote following weeks of Republican claims that the inquiry was invalid because the chamber had not voted to formally commence the work.

Republican leaders have called the rules “Speaker Pelosi’s sham process designed to discredit the democratic process” in their daily impeachment email to lawmakers.

The rules lay out how the House’s intelligence committee — now leading the investigation by deposing diplomats and other officials behind closed doors — would transition to public hearings.

That panel would issue a report and release transcripts of the closed-door interviews it has been conducting with diplomats and other officials with connections to Trump’s interactions with Ukraine.



The judiciary committee would then decide whether to recommend that the House impeach Trump — which would mean he should be removed from office.

Republicans could only issue subpoenas for witnesses to appear if the entire panel approved them, in effect giving Democrats veto power over such requests by the Republicans.

Lawyers for Trump could participate in the judiciary committee proceedings, but “specific requests” by Trump representatives could be denied by Democrats if the White House continues to refuse to provide documents or witnesses sought by Democratic investigators.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News

Robert Mueller testifies Russia investigation did not exonerate Trump

In much-anticipated televised hearings Wednesday morning, former U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller admitted under questioning that President Donald Trump tried to “exert undue influence” over his Russia investigation and was not exonerated by the final report.

The first hearing, before the House judiciary committee, is focusing on whether Trump illegally obstructed justice by attempting to seize control of Mueller’s investigation into whether Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election. The subsequent intelligence committee hearing will dive into alleged ties between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

Questioned by judiciary chair Jerry Nadler, a Democrat from New York, Mueller agreed the report did not exonerate Trump of obstruction of justice 

“The president was not exculpated for the acts that he allegedly committed,” Mueller said in his first Capitol Hill appearance in Washington since wrapping his two-year Russia probe in late March.

Mueller agreed Trump refused to sit down for questioning with the special counsel, despite attempts lasting nearly a year to negotiate an interview.

Mueller also did not dispute a statement by Democrat Hank Johnson of Georgia that Trump tried to get White House counsel Don McGahn to have Mueller removed as special counsel.


Mueller looks at documents as he testifies before Congress on Wednesday. Early on, Republicans accused Mueller of going beyond the scope of his responsibilities as special counsel. (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

In his opening statement, Nadler praised Mueller’s work and the absence of leaks to the media in his nearly two years of work.

With respect to the special counsel’s findings on Trump, Nadler alleged, “Any other person who acted this way would have been charged with a crime.”

Georgia’s Doug Collins, top Republican on the committee, said the investigation has been completed and is now just a distraction from the important work Congress needs to do. 

“No American conspired to throw the election.”

Collins said “baseless gossip” helped launch the investigations into the president. The Republicans have focused on the intelligence document compiled by Christopher Steele that contained information since proved to be untrue.

Texas Republican Louie Gohmert also assailed Mueller for the presence of Peter Strzok on his team. Strzok was an FBI investigator who worked on behalf of the special counsel team for the first few months of its existence, and was reassigned soon after it was discovered he had sent derogatory texts about Trump during the 2016 campaign.

Robert Mueller delivers his opening statement to judiciary and intelligence committees 5:14

“Peter Strzok hated Trump. You didn’t know that before he was made part of your team?” asked Gohmert.

Texas Republican John Ratcliffe accused Mueller of breaching Justice Department guidelines by offering opinions on Trump’s behaviours.

The special counsel detailed several instances in which Trump tried to interfere with the investigation or derail it temporarily or permanently, as well as occasions where he dangled the possibility of pardons to those questioned by authorities or Congressional committees.

“If we had confidence after a thorough investigation of the facts that the president clearly did not commit obstruction of justice, we would so state,” said the report. “Based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we are unable to reach that judgment.

“While this report does not conclude that the president committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him.”

Reluctant witness

Mueller, 74, is a reluctant witness who intended for the report, and then an impromptu news conference in late May, to stand as a testimony.

He had warned he would not stray beyond what has already been revealed in his report, while the Justice Department has instructed him to stay strictly within those parameters.

Mueller frequently gave terse, one-word answers to lawmakers’ questions Wednesday, and referred back to the wording in his report. He at times appeared stilted and halting, and several times asked for questions to be repeated. Many times he said he couldn’t answer certain questions.

Mueller was appointed special counsel on May 17, 2017 by acting attorney general Rod Rosenstein, days after Trump fired FBI director James Comey. Comey has since testified that the president pressured him to drop an investigation into former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn.


‘Maybe I’ll see a little bit of it,’ U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday regarding Mueller’s testimony Wednesday. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Mueller was tasked with looking into “any links and/or co-ordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,” as well as any matters arising from that investigation.

“Our investigation found that the Russian government interfered in our election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” the former FBI director said in his opening statement.

Mueller reasserted in his testimony that his team was guided by two directives from the Office of Legal Counsel in the Justice Department, written decades apart, that conclude a sitting president cannot be indicted. That advice has never been tested before the courts.

Trump believes report clears him

Trump has said the redacted report cleared him of allegations of collusion of Russia. But the report took pains to explain that collusion is not a specific offence in federal law, though conspiracy is.

Mueller, in his testimony Wednesday, also contradicted Trump’s claim he was a candidate for the FBI role left vacant after Comey’s dismissal. Mueller said he was not a candidate when he met with Trump shortly before being appointed as special counsel.

The report stated while Trump and certain members of his campaign team were receptive to information damaging to rival Hillary Clinton, including from Russia, it could not establish those people had engaged in a conspiracy that could meet the standard for a criminal conviction. In certain instances, as with a controversial Trump Tower meeting in 2016 with Russians who promised dirt on Clinton, the special counsel concluded it wasn’t clear the Trump campaign members had intent or knew that they were potentially breaking the law by taking the meeting and not reporting it to the FBI.

Several Trump associates were found to have lied to federal investigators over the course of the probe, and Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen are in prison for various offences. The Cohen prosecution was carried out at the state level, in part derived from information uncovered by the special counsel.


Evidence of a criminal behaviour is not necessarily a precondition for the political process of impeachment. 

Currently, nearly 90 of the 235 Democrats in the House — where an impeachment inquiry would begin — support launching such hearings, as does former Republican Justin Amash, now an Independent.

Ohio Republican Steve Chabot derided the opposition’s motives for bringing Mueller to testify, accusing the Democrats of trying to build up “a groundswell of support” for impeachment.

Attorney General William Barr, to the pleasure of many Republican legislators, has signed off on an investigation into the origins of the FBI probe into the president, which predated Mueller’s appointment as special counsel.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)

CBC | World News