5.1.19

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05.01.2019 • WedneSday • M 1

ST. LOUIS POST-dISPaTCH • A13

NATION&WORLD DIGEST

WASHINGTON | RUSSIA PROBE

Minnesota officer convicted in killing

Dems keep up pressure

MINNEAPOLIS — A Minneapolis police officer was convicted of third-degree murder Tuesday in the fatal shooting of an unarmed woman who approached his squad car minutes after calling 911 to report a possible rape behind her home, a rare instance of an officer being convicted after asserting he fired in a life-or-death situation. Mohamed Noor was also convicted of manslaughter in the July 2017 death of Justine Ruszczyk Damond, a 40-yearold dual citizen of the U.S. and Australia whose death bewildered and angered people in both countries. Noor, a police officer for the past two years who testified that he shifted to policing from a career in business because he “always wanted to serve,” was acquitted of the most serious charge of intentional seconddegree murder. Minnesota sentencing guidelines call for up to 15 years on the murder conviction and nearly five years on the manslaughter conviction, although judges aren’t bound by the guidelines and can impose lower sentences.

White House resisting efforts to follow up on Mueller investigation LISA MASCARO AND MARY CLARE JALONICK

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Democrats are steeling for an extraordinary fight with President Donald Trump as the White House stonewalls congressional oversight demands in the aftermath of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. In the latest case, Trump, his family and the Trump Organization filed a lawsuit against Deutsche Bank and Capital One attempting to thwart congressional subpoenas into his financial and business dealings, asserting

the requests are out of bounds. That comes as Trump’s treasury secretary is declining to produce the president’s tax returns, Attorney General William Barr is threatening to back out of his agreement to appear this week before the Democratic-led House Judiciary Committee, and former White House counsel Don McGahn and other officials are being encouraged not to testify before Congress. “He’s prepared to fight us tooth and nail. And we’re prepared to fight him back,” said Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee. “He obviously has something to hide.” The standoff pits the legislative and executive branches against each other in a constitutional showdown not seen since the

Watergate era. Neither side is expected to back down. From Trump’s perspective, since Mueller finished his report on Russian interference into the election, there’s no further need to investigate. It’s a view largely backed by the president’s party in Congress. But Democrats say it’s their duty to conduct oversight even as they also are confronting the limits of their own enforcement powers. Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said the stonewalling “certainly builds the case that the administration and the president is engaged in wholesale obstruction of Congress, completely extraconstitutional, trying to make the presidency not responsive to Congress, trying to make the presidency into a monarchy.”

Nadler said the White House’s position is “absolutely unacceptable.” Impeachment proceedings, though, which would run through Nadler’s committee, remain off the table for now, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi is urging the House chairmen to push forward with their oversight agendas. Republicans have largely stood by Trump and shown little interest in the oversight agenda many view as little more than a partisan attack on the president. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, in his first remarks in Washington since the special counsel’s report was released almost two weeks ago, said he “didn’t hear a single word about the Mueller report” from constituents at home in Kentucky.

Mental health staff cleared in Parkland FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. — The mental health professionals who treated the Parkland school shooter before his murderous rampage had no legal responsibility to warn anyone that he was violent, a judge ruled Tuesday. Broward Judge Patti Englander Henning threw out lawsuits against Henderson Behavioral Health, which treated gunman Nikolas Cruz before he shot 34 people — 17 fatally — at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018. Florida law is clear, the judge said: Mental health workers have no duty to protect the public from possible harm by someone they have no control over. Unlike other medical doctors, who can rely on diagnostic tools to confirm diseases, mental health professionals cannot accurately predict whether a person will be violent, she explained. BRIEFLY TERROR PLOT: Mark Domingo, an Army veteran accused of plotting terrorist attacks in California, was demoted and discharged from the military for a serious offense, a U.S. official said Tuesday. Military records show Domingo served about 16 months in the Army, including a four-month stint in Afghanistan in fall 2012. BORDER WALL: Democrats controlling the House are attempting to use a popular veterans measure to block President Donald Trump from transferring $3.6 billion from military base construction to build his long-sought wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. The $108 billion measure, which was introduced Tuesday, funds veterans benefits and improvements to military bases. FALSE ACCUSATION: A Michigan college student said Tuesday that pro-Trump agitators recruited him to falsely claim he was raped by Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, then published the smear without his permission. Hunter Kelly, 21, said conservative activists Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman sought to use him for the “despicable scheme.” HEATED TOBACCO: U.S. health officials on Tuesday said Philip Morris can sell a cigarette alternative that heats tobacco without burning it. The Food and Drug Administration has not yet decided whether to allow the device, IQOS, to be advertised as less harmful than cigarettes. A decision on that marketing pitch could come later this year.

DMITRI LOVETSKY, ASSOCIATED PRESS

PREPARATIONS UNDERWAY FOR PARADE TO MARK WWII Self-propelled artillery vehicles are transported by trucks Tuesday after a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in St. Petersburg, Russia. The parade, which takes place at Dvortsovaya Square on May 9, will mark 74 years since the Allied victory in World War II.

Barr faces showdown at hearing Senate Democrats likely to call out AG for protecting Trump ERIC TUCKER AND MARY CLARE JALONICK

Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Attorney General William Barr will face lawmakers’ questions today for the first time since releasing special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report, in what promises to be a dramatic showdown as he defends his actions before Democrats who accuse him of spinning the investigation’s findings in President Donald Trump’s favor. Barr’s appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee is

MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD: President Donald Trump and his national security team are weighing whether to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign terrorist organization, the White House said Tuesday. — Lee wire reports

president, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. Democrats are likely to focus on Barr’s statements and actions in the last six weeks that unnerved them. The first hint of discontent surfaced last month when Barr issued a four-page statement that summarized what he said were the main conclusions of the Mueller report. In the letter, Barr revealed that he and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein cleared Trump of obstruction of justice after Mueller and his team found evidence on both sides of the question but didn’t reach a conclusion. Barr is likely to defend himself by noting how he released the report on his own even though he

didn’t have to under the special counsel regulations, and that doing so fulfilled a pledge he made at his confirmation hearing to be as transparent as the law allowed. After the letter’s release, Barr raised eyebrows anew when he told a congressional committee that he believed the Trump campaign had been spied on, a common talking point of the president and his supporters. He also equivocated on a question of whether Mueller’s investigation was a witch hunt, saying someone who feels wrongly accused would reasonably view an investigation that way. That was a stark turnabout from his confirmation hearing, when he said he didn’t believe Mueller would ever be on a witch hunt.

Biden enjoys surge N. Carolina campus after official launch shooting leaves 2 dead Former vice president polling well ahead of the crowded field DOUGLAS PERRY

RAPE SENTENCING: James McClusky, an upstate New York judge who stoked social media outrage for sentencing a former school bus driver to probation in the rape of a 14-year-old, is getting “numerous vitriolic” phone calls, court officials said Tuesday.

expected to highlight the partisan schism around Mueller’s report and the Justice Department’s handling of it. It will give the attorney general his most extensive opportunity to explain the department’s actions, including a press conference held before the report’s release, and for him to repair a reputation bruised by allegations that he’s the president’s protector. Barr also is invited to appear Thursday before the Democraticled House Judiciary panel, but the Justice Department said he would not testify if the committee insisted on having its lawyers question the attorney general. His appearance today will be before a Republican-led committee chaired by a close ally of the

Tribune News Service

WASHINGTON — A new national poll shows former Vice President Joe Biden’s support growing after his announcement last week that he’s running for president next year. In a CNN/SSRS poll of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents released Tuesday, Biden was the preferred candidate of 39% of respondents. (He came in at 28% in CNN’s mid-March poll, before he announced he was officially in the race.) Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders landed at 15%, down 4 points in the past month, a significant

downward trend for the only candidate other than Biden to have near-universal name recognition. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has the support of 8% of the CNN/SSRS survey’s respondents. She was followed by South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg (7%), former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke (6%) and California Sen. Kamala Harris (5%). Biden was the front-runner in most Democratic polls for months but it was only last Thursday when he formally announced he was getting into the race. In a Quinnipiac University National Poll, also released Tuesday, Biden leads the pack with support from 38 percent of respondents. Warren placed second with 12 percent and Sanders came in third at 11 percent. Buttigieg ended up with 10 percent in this poll, and Harris took 8 percent.

Suspect is in custody; he appears to have acted alone, police say TOM FOREMAN JR.

Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A shooting on a North Carolina university campus left two people dead and four wounded Tuesday, prompting a lockdown and chaotic scene in the state’s largest city. UNC Charlotte issued a campus lockdown late Tuesday afternoon, saying shots were fired. The campus was declared secure in the evening after a suspect was taken into custody. “Shots reported near kennedy. Run, Hide, Fight. Secure yourself immediately,” the university said in an alert, referring to the school’s Kennedy building on

campus. Mecklenburg Emergency Medical Services Agency said on Twitter that two people were killed, two others had lifethreatening injuries and another two people were treated for less serious injuries. They said the numbers could change. Aerial shots from local television news outlets showed police officers running toward a building, while another view showed students running on a campus sidewalk. Police said one suspect was in custody, and it didn’t appear that others were involved.It was not immediately clear whether the victims were students. The university has more than 26,500 students and 3,000 faculty and staff. The campus is located northeast of the city center and is surrounded by residential areas.