July 17, 2019

Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzmán will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The notorious Mexican drug cartel leader was found guilty in February on all ten counts against him, including narcotics trafficking and murder. And on Wednesday in a Brooklyn, New York federal court, he was sentenced to life in prison plus 30 years for what Judge Brian Cogan called Guzmán's "overwhelming evil," CNBC reports.

Guzmán was previously imprison at two maximum-security facilities in Mexico, but broke free twice and was most recently captured in early 2016 and extradited to the U.S. the next year. He's since been held in a Manhattan jail where, ahead of his Wednesday sentencing, Guzmán said he underwent "psychological, emotional, and mental torture 24 hours a day," per The New York Times. Breaking the silence he'd maintained throughout all of the three-month trial, Guzmán also alleged that he'd been denied a fair trial "when the whole world was watching," NBC News reports.

On the other side, the head of New York's Drug Enforcement Administration called Wednesday's sentencing "justice not only for the Mexican government, but for all of Guzmán's victims in Mexico," the Times reports. Guzmán will likely be sent to America's highest security prison in Colorado, and also must pay $12.6 billion in restitution. Still, Guzmán's former Sinaloa cartel has "hardly faltered despite the arrest of some of the group's top leaders," nonprofit investigative group InSight Crime reported in October. Kathryn Krawczyk

4:14 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi officially requested articles of impeachment against President Trump on Thursday, and Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer asked the network's senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano for his reaction. "If you ask me if there is enough evidence on which to base articles of impeachment, the answer is yes, because impeachment is essentially political," Napolitano said, adding that Democrats would "get more evidence if they wait to hear from Secretary [Mike] Pompeo, Director [Mick] Mulvaney, former Ambassador [John] Bolton."

Assuming the House impeaches Trump and we "go to a Senate trial, who testifies on behalf of the president?" Hemmer asked. "Himself," Napolitano replied. "You believe that could happen?" Hemmer asked. "I do," Napolitano said. "I think it will be the most dramatic legal-political event in the history of our era, with the president of the United States testifying under oath in front of the chief justice and the full Senate and 200 million people watching on television."

Hot Air's Allahpundit found that implausible. "Can you imagine the horror among Trump's advisers and Senate cronies if he suddenly started chirping about wanting to testify?" he asked. White House Counsel "Pat Cipollone and [Sen.] Lindsey Graham would chloroform him and lock him in the White House basement to prevent it. ... No one around him trusts him to keep his story straight if he has to answer questions under oath. He lies easily and rarely convincingly." Allahpundit talked himself up from a 0.1 percent chance to 49 percent, though, after "considering that American politics has become a reality show, and that Trump is a compulsive narcissist who wrongly thinks he can outsmart anyone, and that he knows the TV ratings for him if he testified really would be as yuuuge as Napolitano says."

In case Napolitano's views on impeaching Trump weren't clear, he told Hemmer on Wednesday that "the Democrats have credibly argued that he committed impeachable offenses," and if he were in the House, he "certainly would" vote to impeach Trump. Peter Weber

3:13 a.m.

After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attended NATO receptions at Buckingham Palace and Lancaster House on Monday evening, he returned to his London hotel and quietly slipped downstairs meet with the Hamilton Society, "a conservative group that included a small number of wealthy Republican donors," CNN reported Thursday, citing an invitation to the event and interviews with several attendees. The off-the-books gathering "only serves to heighten speculation that Pompeo may be eyeing a run for the Senate in Kansas next year," CNN says.

Pompeo called reports that he is preparing to contest an opening Senate seat next year "completely false" as recently as this week, and his political ambitions did not come up when he was mingling with the wealthy Republicans on Monday night, one attendee told CNN, "but everyone was talking about them after he departed." The attendees had to leave their cellphones outside the room so there would be no recording of Pompeo's remarks.

President Trump also met with donors during the London summit, only his Tuesday "roundtable with supporters" was listed on his official schedule. The fundraiser, hosted by Trump Victory, was expected to raise $3 million for Trump's re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, a Trump campaign official told CNN. Peter Weber

2:07 a.m.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi warned a reporter from the conservative Sinclair TV network not to "mess with" her on Thursday, and The Late Show found that advice sound, to the tune of "Bad Bad Leroy Brown."

Before her "spirited" press conference, "Pelosi had a big announcement" on the impeachment inquiry, Stephen Colbert said in his monologue, though he seemed underwhelmed that "we're about to start the beginning of the middle" of impeaching President Trump. He chuckled at Pelosi's notion that "we Catholics don't hate anyone," historically speaking, but he tipped his hat to her moxie: "Nancy Pelosi prays for the president, and I pray for that reporter. 'Uh, Madame Speaker, follow-up question: Can I have my balls back?'"

It was certainly "a feisty and festive day in Washington, D.C," Jimmy Kimmel said on Kimmel Live. Pelosi announced that "the House Judiciary Committee will now draft articles of impeachment against the president of the Untied States. This is big: This will be the first draft Donald Trump can't dodge."

On Wednesday, "the House heard testimony from four legal scholars, three of whom agreed that Trump's abuse of power is worse than any president in the history of presidents," Kimmel said. "These were professors from Stanford Law, Harvard Law, highly respected schools, and so naturally Trump sent his scariest crow out to discredit their credits." But Kellyanne Conway wasn't alone — Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) tried to co-opt Willie Nelson to mock Stanford and Harvard Law, succeedingly only in making a mockery of himself, Kimmel laughed.

"What? 'Mama's don't let your babies go to Harvard or Stanford'? That took a weird turn," Trevor Noah agreed at The Daily Show, dramatizing Gohmert's bizarre polemic. While most of Wednesday's legal scholars "agreed that DJT needs to GTFO," he added, "according to the Republicans on the committee, these people weren't saying this because they're constitutional scholars; no, they were saying it because they're drinking Trump haterade." And one of them, Pamela Karlan, gifted them "a joke that backfired hard" involving 13-year-old Barron Trump, Noah sighed. "No, professor, what were you doing? You were brought in for your legal expertise, not to try and make jokes. The C in C-SPAN doesn't stand for comedy." He advised people to stick to making fun of Don Jr. and Eric. Watch below. Peter Weber

1:33 a.m.

President Trump's favorite brand of concealer is having a moment.

On Wednesday, The Washington Post published an article about several undocumented immigrants who used to work at Trump's golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. They revealed that the face makeup he uses is by the Swiss brand Bronx Colors in a shade so potent it would regularly stain his golf shirts and they would have to run down to the pro shop to buy replacements.

Bronx Colors was thrilled by this free advertising, and decided to capitalize on its moment in the spotlight. The company has revived its dormant Twitter account and updated its website with a special promotion: for a limited time, buy any item and receive the Boosting Hydrating Concealer in BHC06, "Donald Trump's favorite Bronx Colors product and color," for free. The concealer is already a steal at €6.50 a tube, and offers "beautiful, natural-looking coverage you can count on." Yes, for just €6.50, you too can have that fluorescent orange glow that no tanning bed can legally provide. Catherine Garcia

12:12 a.m.

Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to misuse campaign funds, but he has shown no rush to quit Congress. He has blown off reporters who've asked when he is resigning, and as of Wednesday, Politico reports, he had not met with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) to discuss his legal situation. "Our patience is not unlimited," a top Democratic leadership aide told Politico. A GOP lawmaker added that Hunter would be given time to "get his affairs in order .... but not forever."

The House Ethics Committee took the first step in nudging Hunter out the door on Thursday, telling him in a letter to stop voting in the House. If he does vote, the top Democrat and Republican on the committee warned Hunter, "you risk subjecting yourself to action by this committee, and by the House, in addition to any other disciplinary action that may be initiated in connection with your criminal conviction."

"In the past, members who have cut plea deals or been convicted of criminal offenses have come under enormous pressure to leave office quickly or face action by their colleagues, including expulsion," Politico reports. "The late Rep. James Traficant (D-Ohio), for instance, was expelled by the House following his conviction on bribery and other corruption charges. Traficant was convicted in April 2002, but then he refused to resign. Following a 'trial' by the House Ethics Committee, Traficant was expelled from the chamber three months later by a 420-1 vote."

Hunter took a plea deal to avoid dozens of federal counts of campaign finance violations for improperly diverting hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds for personal use, including, allegedly, extramarital affairs with lobbyists and congressional staffers. House GOP leaders asked Hunter to give up his committee assignments when he was indicted last year, and when he didn't, they forced his hand. Peter Weber

12:07 a.m.

It was a big day for Michael Orlando Clark Jr., and he wanted all of his kindergarten classmates to be a part of it.

Clark was adopted on Thursday, and his entire class came to the hearing in Grand Rapids, Michigan, filling up the courtroom benches and holding up paper hearts. They introduced themselves to Judge Patricia Gardner and told her how much they loved Clark. As soon as Gardner banged the gavel, making the adoption official, the kids burst into applause.

"We began the school year as a family," Clark's teacher told WZZM. "Family doesn't have to be DNA, because family is support and love." Clark was one of 36 children who were adopted during Kent County's 23rd annual Adoption Day, and he couldn't stop smiling throughout the hearing. After the event, as his father spoke to WZZM about the adoption, he was no longer able to contain his excitement. "I love my daddy," he told the reporter. "I love him so much." Catherine Garcia

December 5, 2019

A sad milestone was reached this week, with the Ray Pfeifer Foundation reporting that 200 New York City firefighters have now died from "9/11 illness."

The foundation, which provides assistance to 9/11 first responders with medical bills not covered by insurance, said that Dennis Gilhooly, a retired FDNY captain, and Brian Case, a retired firefighter, are the 199th and 200th FDNY deaths related to the attacks on the World Trade Center, CBS News reports.

Toxins were released when the World Trade Center towers collapsed, and more than 50,000 people who were exposed have become sick, CBS News says. Studies have found a high number of deaths from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and brain malignancies among 9/11 first responders and others who were exposed to the dust cloud after the towers fell. Catherine Garcia

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