under investigation
September 14, 2020

During a brief press conference on Sunday evening, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) announced that state Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg (R) was involved in a fatal car accident on Saturday night.

The crash took place west of Highmore, in central South Dakota, and Noem said law enforcement is "working on identifying the deceased and notifying the family." The accident occurred as Ravnsborg was driving home from a dinner hosted by the state GOP.

Following Noem's press conference, Ravnsborg's office released a statement saying he is "shocked and filled with sorrow following the events of last night. As Gov. Noem stated, I am fully cooperating with the investigation and I fully intend to continue to do so moving forward. At this time I offer my deepest sympathy and condolences to the family."

Tim Bormann, Ravnsborg's spokesman, told the Rapid City Journal that Ravnsborg was not injured in the crash. He also said Ravnsborg "drinks lightly," and doesn't think he was drinking at the dinner. A spokesperson for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety said details about the car accident, like whether alcohol was a factor and if any charges are pending, are expected to be shared on Monday. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2020

Ukraine is set to investigate allegations former U.S. ambassador Marie Yovanovitch may have been under illegal surveillance.

Ukraine's interior ministry announced the opening of this criminal probe following new evidence obtained by Congress this week, ABC News reports.

The possibility that Yovanovitch was under illegal surveillance came to light after the release of a series of text messages between Lev Parnas, the indicted associate of President Trump's personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, and Robert Hyde, a Republican politician running for a House seat in Connecticut. Hyde suggests he has people in Kyiv surveilling Yovanovitch, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. He writes to Parnas, "They are willing to help if we/you would like a price." Yovanovitch was ultimately pushed out of her position after a smear campaign against her that Parnas was involved in.

"This certainly makes it sound like Parnas and co. were actively tracking Yovanovitch's movements," Politico's Natasha Bertrand wrote.

"The published records contain the fact of possible violation of the legislation of Ukraine and the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, which protects the rights of a diplomat in the territory of another country," Ukraine's foreign ministry said Wednesday.

Following the release of the texts, Yovanovitch's lawyer in a statement said the "notion that American citizens and others were monitoring Ambassador Yovanovitch's movements for unknown purposes is disturbing," adding, "we trust that the appropriate authorities will conduct an investigation." In an interview with Rachel Maddow, Parnas claimed he didn't believe Yovanovitch truly was under surveillance because Hyde was constantly "drunk."

The State Department has yet to comment, meaning, as NBC News' Josh Lederman points out, Ukraine "has reacted publicly to alleged monitoring of a senior U.S. diplomat before the U.S. government." Brendan Morrow

June 10, 2019

The New York Police Department is investigating a claim that actor Cuba Gooding Jr. groped a woman at a New York City nightclub on Sunday night, ABC News reports.

The alleged incident reportedly took place at Manhattan's Magic Hour Rooftop Bar, with a woman claiming Gooding Jr. grabbed her breast. Officials are seeking the actor, who left the bar after allegedly grabbing the woman, on a forcible touching charge, ABC also reports.

Page Six had first reported that the American Crime Story and Jerry Maguire star was under investigation by New York police, with the woman having reportedly said he was "highly intoxicated" and with her claim having been referred to the NYPD Special Victims Division. Gooding Jr. has not yet commented on the reports. Brendan Morrow

May 14, 2019

Four lawyers connected to President Trump are being investigated by the House Intelligence Committee over allegations they helped the president's former attorney, Michael Cohen, lie to Congress, The New York Times reports.

The House panel, according to the report, has requested documents from Trump lawyer Jay Sekulow, Donald Trump Jr. lawyer Alan S. Futerfas, the Trump Organization lawyer Alan Garten; and Ivanka Trump lawyer Abbe Lowell.

This comes as the committee is looking into Michael Cohen's claim from when he testified before Congress that Trump lawyers helped edit his false testimony, in which he said that Trump's discussions to build a Trump Tower in Moscow ended months before they really did. Their edits, he said, included suggested "additions." Cohen is currently serving a three-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to lying to Congress and to campaign finance violations.

In a letter to attorneys representing the four individuals in question, House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) writes that "it appears that your clients may have reviewed, shaped and edited the false statement that Cohen submitted to the committee," per the Times. Schiff also raises the question of whether the lawyers dangled a pardon before Cohen to prevent him from cooperating.

The lawyers reportedly haven't provided any of the documents the committee has requested, with an attorney for Sekulow saying Schiff is seeking a "truly needless dispute" and that this probe is "far afield from any proper legislative purpose." But Schiff is reportedly ready to issue a subpoena if they don't cooperate. Read the full report at The New York Times. Brendan Morrow

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