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November 14, 2018

Lisa Storie-Avenatti, the wife of Stormy Daniels' lawyer Michael Avenatti, is refuting reports that she was involved in a domestic dispute that led to Avenatti's arrest Wednesday in Los Angeles.

TMZ first reported Avenatti's arrest on suspicion of domestic violence Wednesday afternoon, saying his estranged wife was injured and filed a report against him on Tuesday. Storie-Avenatti's lawyer quickly released a statement to BuzzFeed News, saying that the TMZ article "is not true as it pertains to my client." Storie-Avenatti "was not subject to any such incident on Tuesday night," the attorney said. "Further, she was not at Mr. Avenatti's apartment on the date that this alleged incident occurred. My client states that there has never been domestic violence in her relationship with Michael and that she has never known Michael to be physically violent toward anyone."

In an update to the original article, TMZ says that initially a law enforcement official told the outlet the "alleged victim was Avenatti's estranged wife. We now know it was not. The incident involved a different woman." Avenatti filed for divorce last November. Catherine Garcia

November 5, 2017

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has five rib fractures, including three displaced fractures, and is in too much pain to fly back to Washington, D.C., following an altercation on Friday with a neighbor at his home in Kentucky, Paul's chief strategist said Sunday.

In a statement, Doug Stafford said the type of injury Paul sustained "is caused by high velocity severe force. It is not clear exactly how soon he will return to work, as the pain is considerable as is the difficulty in getting around, including flying." He also said Paul has lung contusions, and displaced rib fractures can lead to pneumonia, internal bleeding, and laceration of internal organs.

Authorities said Paul's neighbor in Bowling Green, Rene Boucher, tackled Paul from behind Friday while he was mowing his lawn, and Paul had difficulty breathing and cuts around his mouth. It's unclear what triggered the assault. Boucher has been charged with one count of fourth-degree assault, and if found guilty of this misdemeanor, could face up to one year in prison. Catherine Garcia

July 13, 2017

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) recently underwent another surgery for deep tissue infection, but is back in fair condition, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said Thursday.

The House majority whip was shot June 14 while practicing with his fellow Republicans for the Congressional Baseball Game. A bullet pierced his hip and went through bones, organs, and blood vessels, and he immediately went into surgery. He was in the intensive care unit for several days, then upgraded to fair condition and moved out of the ICU; last week, MedStar Washington Hospital Center said Scalise was in serious condition due to infection, and back in the ICU.

In a statement, the hospital said the 51-year-old "will require careful monitoring to see if and when further interventions are necessary." Catherine Garcia

July 13, 2017

The Republican operative and financier who told The Wall Street Journal in May about his attempts to get Hillary Clinton's missing emails from Russian hackers before the 2016 presidential election died by suicide just a few days after his interview, The Chicago Tribune reports.

Public records obtained by the Tribune show that Peter Smith, 81, was found deceased in a Rochester, Minnesota, hotel room. His cause of death is listed as "asphyxiation due to displacement of oxygen in confined space with helium." Police discovered a note in the room that said there was "no foul play whatsoever" and he decided to take his own life because of a "recent bad turn in health since January 2017" and he had a "life insurance policy of $5 million expiring."

Smith spoke with the Journal in early May, and when the paper published its story in late June, it noted that Smith died on May 14, days after his interview. He told the Journal he believed that emails Clinton said she deleted because they contained personal information actually were related to her official duties, and he had a hunch Russian hackers had those messages. The Journal also reported that Smith wrote emails to people working with him referring to Michael Flynn, then an adviser to Donald Trump and later his national security adviser for a brief time, as an ally. At the time the story was released, a Journal reporter who spoke with Smith said they believed he had died of natural causes. Catherine Garcia

July 6, 2017

Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) underwent surgery Thursday for "the management of infection," MedStar Washington Hospital Center announced, several weeks after he was shot while practicing for the Congressional Baseball Game.

The hospital said Scalise, who was readmitted to the intensive care unit on Wednesday, is in serious condition. On June 14, Scalise was shot in the hip, with the bullet going through bones, internal organs, and blood vessels, and he has had to undergo several surgeries. Catherine Garcia

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