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Three Big Things

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  • McGahn to skip hearing as Democrats debate next steps

    WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats are facing yet another brazen attempt by President Donald Trump to stonewall their investigations , this time with former White House counsel Donald McGahn defying a subpoena for his testimony on orders from the White House.

    A lawyer for McGahn said he would follow the president’s directive and skip Tuesday’s House Judiciary hearing, leaving the Democrats without yet another witness — and a growing debate within the party about how to respond.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, backed by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, is taking a step-by-step approach to the confrontations with Trump. Nadler said the committee would vote to hold McGahn in contempt, and take the issue to court.

    “You face serious consequences if you do not appear,” Nadler warned McGahn in a letter on the eve of the hearing. Democrats are encouraged by an early success on that route as a federal judge ruled against Trump on Monday in a financial records dispute with Congress.

    But that hasn’t been swift enough for some members of the Judiciary panel who feel that Pelosi should be more aggressive and launch impeachment hearings that would make it easier to get information from the administration. Such hearings would give Democrats more standing in court and could stop short of a vote to remove the president.

    The issue was raised in a meeting among top Democrats Monday evening, where some members confronted Pelosi about opening up the impeachment hearings, according to three people familiar with the private conversation who requested anonymity to discuss it.

    Maryland Rep. Jamie Raskin made the case launching an impeachment inquiry would consolidate the Trump investigations as Democrats try to keep focus on their other work, according to the people.

    Pelosi pushed back, noting that several committees are doing investigations already and they had already been successful in one court case. But the members, several of whom have spoken publicly about the need to be more aggressive with Trump, are increasingly impatient with the careful approach. Other Democrats in the meeting siding with Raskin included Rhode Island Rep. David Cicilline, California Rep. Ted Lieu and freshman Colorado Rep. Joe Neguse.

    Just before the start of the meeting, Cicilline tweeted: “If Don McGahn does not testify tomorrow, it will be time to begin an impeachment inquiry of @realDonaldTrump.”

    In the hours after the discussion, Pelosi and Nadler met privately. Shortly after emerging from that meeting, Nadler said “it’s possible” when asked about impeachment hearings. But he noted that Democrats had won a court victory without having to take that step.

    “The president’s continuing lawless conduct is making it harder and harder to rule out impeachment or any other enforcement action,” Nadler said.

    McGahn’s refusal to testify is the latest of several moves to block Democratic investigations by Trump, who has said his administration will fight “all of the subpoenas.” The Judiciary committee voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt earlier this month after he declined to provide an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. And the House intelligence committee is expected to take a vote on a separate “enforcement action” against the Justice Department this week after Barr declined a similar request from that panel.


  • Governor Ivey issues statement, orders flags at half-staff in honor of fallen Auburn Police officer

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) -- Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued the following statement regarding the incident in Auburn, which fatally wounded one officer and injured two other officers:

    “Just last week, in Alabama and across the country, we honored the sacrifice of the men and women in law enforcement during National Peace Officers Memorial Week. As we began this week, our state was met with the tragic news that shots were fired on three of our police officers, which took the life of Officer William Buechner and wounded two other officers.

    “Far too often, we are reminded of the grave sacrifice the men and women in law enforcement make each day and night they go to work. Sadly, this year in our state three men did not have the chance to return home to their families and friends, all because they risked their lives to protect our communities.

    “The city of Auburn is somewhere I was able to call home for four important years of my life, and it will always have a very special place in my heart. I know that many others in Alabama and across the country are mourning this loss alongside Officer Buechner’s family and Auburn residents.

    “I commend the members of state and local law enforcement who bravely pursued and successfully captured the shooter to ensure the safety of the many students and families in the Auburn area. We offer our support and prayers to the two officers recovering from their injuries and send prayers of comfort to the Buechner family. The ultimate sacrifice of Officer Buechner will never be forgotten.”

    The governor has issued a statewide directive to fly flags at half-staff to honor this fallen hero.


  • POLICE: Wristband used to identify man who died after attending Hangout Festival

    GULF SHORES, Ala. (WKRG) -- A man has died of a possible overdose after he was found passed out on the ground in Gulf Shores wearing a Hangout wristband. 

    According to Gulf Shores Police, 20-year-old Griffin Gaunt of Fairhope was found on the ground at Cove Avenue and Highway 59 around 11:30 Sunday night. That's almost 2 miles away from the Hangout Festival. Police say 911 operators received a report he may have taken drugs. 

    He was taken to the South Baldwin Regional Medical Center where he later died Monday morning. 

    Gulf Shores Police say the Hangout wristband helped them identify Gaunt, who came into the hospital as a John Doe. 

    Detectives are currently investigating what happened prior to when Gaunt passed out. If you have any information, please call Detective Michael Hoguet at 251-968-9841. 

    Gaunt's older brother tells News 5, "The only thing I can say about Grif is that I loved my brother and he will be missed by everyone in our family. We appreciate all of the love and support we are receiving. It shows how many people Grif touched in his life."

    This is a developing story. Stay with WKRG.com for the latest information. 


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