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Three Big Things
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Trump denies report he asked to install ally to oversee hush money payment investigation

Trump denies report he asked to install ally to oversee hush money payment investigation

President Donald Trump called the New York Times a “true ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!” Wednesday while denying a report that he asked his then-acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker last year if one of his allies could be made to oversee an investigation into his role in hush money payments made to women in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. >> Read more trending news “The New York Times reporting is false,” Trump said Wednesday. In a separate tweet posted earlier Wednesday, the president said the news media “has never been more dishonest than it is today.” Citing unidentified sources, the Times reported Tuesday that Trump called Whitaker late last year to ask whether Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, could be put in charge of the investigation. Berman, who was appointed by Trump, had recused himself from the matter earlier in the year, before FBI agents raided the home and office of Trump’s former personal attorney, Michael Cohen, ABC News reported. >> FBI sought records related to Trump 'Access Hollywood' tape in Cohen raid: reports According to the Times, Whitaker said privately that he believed his chief role at the Justice Department was to “jump on a grenade” for Trump. However, he knew appointing Berman would be impossible because Berman had already recused himself from the investigation, the Times reported. It was not entirely clear what Whitaker did after Trump made his request, but the Times reported “there is no evidence that he took any direct steps to intervene in the Manhattan investigation.” The newspaper added that he did, however, tell some people in the Justice Department that the New York prosecutors needed “adult supervision.” While testifying Feb. 8 before the House Judiciary Committee, Whitaker said he had not been asked to interfere in any investigation, including the SDNY probe and special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and its possible ties to Trump and his campaign officials. >> More on Robert Mueller's investigation “At no time has the White House asked for, nor have I provided, any promises or commitments concerning the special counsel’s investigation, or any other investigation,” Whitaker said, according to the Los Angeles Times. The New York investigation, headed by Deputy U.S. Attorney Robert Khuzami, has thus far led to several charges against Cohen. He pleaded guilty in August to charges including multiple counts of tax evasion and a campaign finance charge stemming from payments made to two women who posed a danger to Trump’s campaign. He said the payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels and former Playboy playmate Karen McDougal were made at Trump’s direction. He has since agreed to work with investigators. Several investigations are ongoing into Trump and his campaign. 

Unanimous Supreme Court rules states are subject to seizure limits

Unanimous Supreme Court rules states are subject to seizure limits

In a historic first from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justices ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the Eighth Amendment ban on excessive fines does apply to state and local governments, ruling in favor of an Indiana man who had his expensive car seized by police after he was arrested for a small amount illegal drugs. Writing for the High Court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said 'the protection against excessive fines guards against abuses of government’s punitive or criminal law-enforcement authority' found in the Eighth Amendment. Originally, the Bill of Rights was intended only to be applied to the federal government - but over time, the courts have ruled that it also applies to the states, and this was the first time the U.S. Supreme Court took that step when it comes to the issue of police and civil seizures. “For good reason, the protection against excessive fines has been a constant shield throughout Anglo-American history,' Ginsburg wrote. 'Exorbitant tolls undermine other constitutional liberties.' At issue was a Land Rover SUV that Tyson Timbs had purchased before his arrest, with money from an insurance policy after the death of his father. Under Indiana guidelines, the maximum monetary fine which could be levied against Timbs for his crime of dealing in a controlled substance was $10,000 - but the car was worth more than four times that amount. Reaction was swift in favor of the ruling, as the NAACP Legal Defense Fund labeled it, “A huge victory for criminal justice reform.”

America’s first skyport for flying cars coming to Florida

America’s first skyport for flying cars coming to Florida

A massive real estate development is under construction in downtown Miami and when it’s complete, the Paramount Miami Worldcenter will have the first skyport in the U.S. built for flying cars. While that may sound like something you’ve seen on the Jetsons, drones capable of transporting people are becoming a reality. At 27-acres, Miami Worldcenter is one acre smaller than the Hudson Yards complex in Miami, but a full five acres larger than Rockefeller Center. The development will be composed of 11 residential and commercial office buildings, a retail and restaurant promenade, the new Miami Convention Center and several hotels. When it’s complete, the Marriott Marquis will have 1,600 rooms. The Miami Worldcenter is going up next door to the new main terminal of Virgin Trains USA. With the future in transportation in mind, developers are adding a “first” to the Worldcenter’s 60-story tower.  The Paramount will have a Sky-Deck shaped like the stern of a yacht.  Amenities include a cai-chai deck and a pool. The Paramount’s skyport would be directly above the deck. The Paramount will be complete this Spring. The entire Miami Worldcenter is slated to open in 2021.

Unanimous Supreme Court rules states are subject to seizure limits In a historic first from the U.S. Supreme Court, the Justices ruled unanimously on Wednesday that the Eighth Amendment ban on excessive fines does apply to state and local governments, ruling in favor of an Indiana man who had his expensive car seized by police after he was arrested for a small amount illegal drugs.