investigations
March 31, 2021

New York state prosecutors in Manhattan investigating former President Donald Trump and the Trump Organization's finances have subpoenaed the bank records of Allen Weisselberg, the company's chief financial officer, The New York Times reports.

Several people with knowledge of the matter told the Times that prosecutors are also looking into gifts Weisselberg and his family received from Trump, including an apartment in New York City, and it appears this extra scrutiny may be part of an effort to get Weisselberg to cooperate with investigators. Weisselberg, 73, has worked at the Trump Organization for several decades, starting when Trump's late father, Fred Trump, ran the company. He has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

The investigation began with prosecutors looking into the Trump Organization's role in making hush money payments to two women who said they had extramarital affairs with Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, made a $130,000 payment to one of the women, porn actress Stormy Daniels, and said Weisselberg helped come up with the plan to have the Trump Organization reimburse Cohen.

The probe now has several facets, with investigators also looking into whether the Trump Organization has falsely reported property values in order to get loans and tax breaks. Several banks that work with Trump and the Trump Organization, including Capitol One and JPMorgan Chase, have reportedly turned their records over to prosecutors, who also obtained Trump's tax information in February. Catherine Garcia

March 11, 2021

The New York State Assembly announced on Thursday that it is opening an impeachment inquiry into Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D).

Cuomo is facing two scandals: in recent weeks, several women have accused him of sexual harassment, including one aide who claimed he groped her last year, and his administration is being criticized for the way it reported the coronavirus-related deaths of nursing home residents.

The State Assembly's judiciary committee will investigate the allegations, and will have the authorization to interview witnesses and subpoena documents, Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) said.

Earlier Thursday, 59 Democratic members of the New York State Legislature signed a statement calling on Cuomo to immediately step down. Cuomo has denied touching anyone inappropriately, and apologized for making comments that made aides feel uncomfortable. He has repeatedly said he will not resign, and wants New Yorkers to wait for the results of an investigation overseen by the New York attorney general. Catherine Garcia

March 2, 2021

Investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney's office are taking a closer look at Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg, as they continue a probe into former President Donald Trump and his family business, people with knowledge of the matter told The New York Times.

They are investigating potential financial fraud, and whether Trump and the Trump Organization manipulated property values in order to receive loans and reduce property taxes, the Times reports. Weisselberg, 73, has worked for the Trump Organization for decades, starting at the company when it was helmed by Fred Trump, the former president's father.

Two people familiar with the matter said prosecutors have been asking witnesses about Weisselberg, and spoke with one person about Weisselberg's sons — Barry, the property manager of Trump Wollman Rink in Central Park, and Jack, who works at Ladder Capital, one of Trump's lenders. None of the Weisselbergs have been accused of wrongdoing, and there is no indication Barry and Jack are a focus of the probe, the Times says.

The investigation began more than two years ago, with the district attorney looking into hush money payments made to two women who said they had affairs with Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's former personal lawyer and fixer, arranged the payments, and pleaded guilty to federal campaign finance charges. He testified before Congress that Weisselberg came up with a strategy to hide the fact that the Trump Organization was reimbursing Cohen for making payments to one of the women, pornographic actress Stormy Daniels. Trump has called the investigation "a witch hunt." Catherine Garcia

February 8, 2021

The office of Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger launched an investigation on Monday into phone calls former President Donald Trump made to state election officials during an attempt to overturn the presidential election results.

Walter Jones, a spokesman for Raffensperger's office, confirmed to ABC News that the investigation has begun, and said the inquiry will be "fact-finding and administrative in nature." The probe was triggered on Monday after George Washington University law professor John Banzhaf filed a formal complaint, saying Trump may have violated three Georgia state laws: conspiracy to commit election fraud, criminal solicitation to commit election fraud, and intentional interference with performance of election duties.

Trump, who lost Georgia to President Biden, subsequently made calls to Raffensperger and the secretary of state's chief investigator in his quest to overturn the results. In a recording made on Jan. 2, Trump is heard asking Raffensperger to "find" 11,780 votes — the exact number he would need to win the state.

Once the investigation is finished, the State Election Board will decide whether a criminal referral should be sent to the state attorney general or Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who has said Trump's call to Raffensperger was "deeply disturbing." She also stated that "anyone who commits a felony violation of Georgia law in my jurisdiction will be held accountable." People close to Willis told ABC News even if the case is not referred to her, she might still pursue her own investigation. Catherine Garcia

January 21, 2021

Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) set off a metal detector on Thursday as he tried to enter the House chamber while carrying a gun, HuffPost reports.

Reporter Matt Fuller witnessed Harris set off the metal detector and then stand as an officer used a wand to scan him. It was then discovered that Harris' suit coat was concealing a firearm. Harris was refused entrance to the Chamber, Fuller reports, and he asked Rep. John Katko (R-N.Y.) to take the gun so he could go onto the House floor for a vote. Katko responded that he didn't have "a license" and would not take the weapon, Fuller said.

Speaking to other lawmakers near him, Harris complained that he asked his staff to remind him about the metal detectors, and they had failed to do so, Fuller reports. Harris left, and upon his return 10 minutes later, he did not set off the metal detector. A Capitol Police spokesperson told Fuller the situation is under investigation.

The metal detectors were installed after the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol. Several Republican lawmakers have tried to go around the metal detectors to avoid being scanned, and on Thursday, Fuller said he saw Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.), and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) refuse to be wanded down after setting off the metal detectors. Boebert earlier boasted that she will always have her gun on her while in D.C.

Members of the House are not permitted to carry firearms onto the floor, and Fuller tweeted that a person "who would have a good sense of this situation" told him there are "a lot more members than we think who go to the floor armed." Catherine Garcia

December 3, 2020

As recently as this summer, the Department of Justice investigated the roles of Elliott Broidy, a Republican fundraiser, and Abbe Lowell, a lawyer for President Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner, in an alleged scheme to pay a bribe in exchange for a pardon, two people familiar with the matter told The New York Times.

On Tuesday, redacted court documents were unsealed that showed the existence of the investigation into possible unregistered lobbying and bribery. People familiar with the case told the Times that Sanford Diller, a billionaire real estate developer from the San Francisco area, solicited help from Broidy and Lowell in an attempt to get clemency for Hugh Baras, a psychologist from Berkeley who received a 30-month prison sentence after being convicted of tax evasion and improperly claiming Social Security benefits.

The Times reports that Diller was set to make "a substantial political contribution" to an unspecified recipient in order for the pardon to be made, and the court documents state that as part of the effort, the White House Counsel's Office was approached by someone who wanted to make sure the "clemency petition reached the targeted officials." Diller died in February 2018, and the Times says there is no evidence that the plan moved ahead following his death.

No one has been charged in this inquiry, and a Justice Department official said no member of the government is "currently a subject or target of the investigation disclosed in this filing." Reid Weingarten, a lawyer for Lowell, confirmed to the Times that his client did represent Baras, who never received clemency. Broidy's attorney, William Burck, told the Times his client was asked by Diller to assist on a clemency petition, and it was not a lobbying effort. Both Weingarten and Burck downplayed the investigation, with Weingarten saying it was "much ado about precious little."

Broidy was a top fundraising official for Trump's inauguration and later became the deputy finance chair of the Republican National Committee. In October, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to violate the Foreign Agents Registration Act in connection with another case involving an attempt to influence the Trump administration on behalf of Chinese and Malaysian interests. Catherine Garcia

September 14, 2020

More details emerged on Monday about a Saturday night car crash involving South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R).

During an impromptu press conference on Sunday night, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced that Ravnsborg had been involved in a fatal car accident near Highmore. She did not share any additional information. Almost immediately, Ravnsborg's office released a statement saying he was uninjured in the crash and was cooperating with the investigation.

On Monday, state investigators with the Department of Public Safety said Ravnsborg reported that he struck a deer with his 2011 Ford Taurus on Saturday night, but he had actually hit a man, whose body was found on Sunday. Ravnsborg's office said he called 911 after the accident, but state investigators did not reveal whether he reported the crash via 911. The accident took place as Ravnsborg drove home from a dinner hosted by the Spink County Republicans.

The victim has been identified as Joseph Boever, 56. His cousin, Victor Nemec, told KELO-TV that earlier Saturday, Boever had crashed his truck into a hay bale near Highway 14, and planned on fixing it Sunday. Nemec doesn't think Ravnsborg called 911, because no sirens were heard leaving Highmore on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning, Nemec wasn't able to get in touch with Boever, and when he drove by the spot where his cousin left his truck and saw police officers and emergency vehicles, he called authorities looking for information. Victor and his brother, Nick Nemec, were asked to identify Boever's body later that night. "My worst fear is that they're trying to get ducks in a row to absolve the attorney general of any wrongdoing," Nick told KELO-TV. He added that it was upsetting to think that the body may have been out there overnight, as the family doesn't "know if cousin Joe was laying on the highway for 22 hours or if they had bagged him up before that." The Department of Public Safety said the investigation is ongoing. Catherine Garcia

September 1, 2020

The Army announced on Tuesday that there will be an "in-depth investigation into the chain of command actions" at Fort Hood related to the death of Spc. Vanessa Guillen.

Gen. John Murray, the commanding general of Army Futures Command, will lead the probe, the Army said. The remains of Guillen, 20, were found in June, several months after she was reported missing. The Army's Criminal Investigation Division said the suspect in her disappearance was another Fort Hood solider, who died by suicide when approached by authorities.

Located in Texas, Fort Hood houses 36,500 soldiers. As of late July, CNN reports, there have been 23 deaths at the base this year, including four homicides, seven suicides, and seven off-duty accidents. The Army said there are now "several investigations underway at Fort Hood which are tasked with reviewing a wide range of topics and concerns. Gen. Murray will roll those efforts into a more complete and comprehensive investigation that will delve into all activities and levels of leadership."

This new investigation is separate from an independent review of Fort Hood that began in August, the Army said, and "will look at all the actions of the command from the lowest level to the senior level at the post," Army Chief of Staff Gen. James McConville said. Secretary of the Army Ryan McCarthy told reporters on Tuesday that this year, there has been a major increase in the number of felonious crimes and sexual assault reports at Fort Hood, and the Army must "understand the root causes so that we can make the appropriate changes." Catherine Garcia

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