Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon’s (D) “political future” will be “in the hands of a jury” 11/9, “when her trial on theft charges begins.” Dixon is “accused of asking wealthy developer pals to donate gift cards worth thousands of dollars, saying they would be given to poor families — then using them” for “personal shopping sprees” and “knickknacks at Target.”
Dixon “faces a separate trial later on perjury charges stemming from accusations that she didn’t report gifts” from her ex-boyfriend, “a real estate developer who received tax breaks from the city.” Dixon has said she won’t resign, but “a plea deal is not an option,” and “under state law, she can’t remain in office if convicted of any felony or misdemeanor related to her official duties” (Nuckols, AP, 11/7).
Jury selection begins 11/9, and it is “perhaps” the most important part of the trial, in which “race and politics will play critical roles, outside observers say.” Dixon’s defense team “will want jurors who like their mayor and the work she has done,” and “would be wise to select jurors from her political base of older black women,” while the “white Republican” prosecutor is “apt to favor those who will dispassionately review the evidence” (Bykowicz, Baltimore Sun, 11/9).
Pictures May Be Worth More Problems
Ex-KY state Rep./‘03 KY GOV candidate Steve Nunn (R), “facing a murder charge in the shooting” death of his ex-fiancee, “has been indicted” on “six counts of wanton endangerment” for allegedly firing “a gun near six police officers” before his arrest (Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/7).
Police are also “tracking” Nunn’s “digital footprints,” specifically “looking to see whether Nunn kept” a “naked” photo of his ex-fiancee “on his cell phone, as witnesses have alleged,” in possible violation of “a domestic violence order against him.” According to another search warrant, police “are also checking for child pornography on Nunn’s computers” (Honeycutt-Spears/Alessi, Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/8).
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After spending a few minutes re-litigating the Democratic primary, Donald Trump turned his focus to Obamacare. “I inherited a mess, believe me. We also inherited a failed healthcare law that threatens our medical system with absolute and total catastrophe” he said. “I’ve been watching and nobody says it, but Obamacare doesn’t work.” He finished, "so we're going to repeal and replace Obamacare."
Donald Trump lobbed his first attack at the “dishonest media” about a minute into his speech, saying that the media would not appropriately cover the standing ovation that he received. “We are fighting the fake news,” he said, before doubling down on his previous claim that the press is “the enemy of the people." However, he made a distinction, saying that he doesn't think all media is the enemy, just the "fake news."
"The FBI rejected a recent White House request to publicly knock down media reports about communications between Donald Trump's associates and Russians known to US intelligence during the 2016 presidential campaign, multiple US officials briefed on the matter tell CNN. But a White House official said late Thursday that the request was only made after the FBI indicated to the White House it did not believe the reporting to be accurate."