Thursday News: More ICE, more guns


SENATE TAKES AIM AT NC SHERIFFS' AUTONOMY: Two months after the House passed a bill requiring North Carolina sheriffs to cooperate with federal immigration officials, a revised measure surfaced in the Senate on Wednesday. The new proposal, which now is backed by the North Carolina Sheriffs' Association, includes a process for a judge to order whether a person should be held under an immigration detainer but no longer allows people to sue and fines to be levied against sheriffs who don't cooperate. The Senate Judiciary committee also discussed a proposal to allow people to purchase as many handguns as they want during a five-year period with a single pistol purchase permit instead of requiring them to get a permit from their local sheriff before buying each gun.

3 FROM EASTERN NC CHARGED WITH VOTER FRAUD: State investigators say the three used fraudulent addresses to vote in the May 2018 primary election, according to a news release from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Investigators also determined one of the individuals voted twice in that election, it says. Terrell William Graham, 31, of Goldsboro, and David Edward Williams, 55, of Goldsboro, were each charged with one count of corruptly taking the oath prescribed to voters, the release says. Keymonti Winn-Hocutt, 19, of New Bern, was charged with one count of corruptly taking the oath prescribed to voters and with one count of double voting, the release says. The SBI began the investigation into allegations of election-law violations the request of the N.C. State Board of Elections. The violation is a Class I felony. The possible election violations occurred during the early voting period before the May 2018 primary, the release says.

HICKS RECEIVES 3 LIFE SENTENCES IN CHAPEL HILL MURDERS OF MUSLIM STUDENTS: Moments after a North Carolina man pleaded guilty to gunning down three Muslim university students, a prosecutor played a cellphone video of the slayings in court Wednesday as one of the victims' relatives fainted, others wept and a man cursed the confessed killer openly. Craig Stephen Hicks, 50, pleaded guilty to three counts of first-degree murder more than four years after the February 2015 slayings and two months after incoming District Attorney Satana Deberry dropped plans to seek the death penalty in hopes of concluding a case she said had languished too long. Hicks burst into a Chapel Hill condo owned by 23-year-old Deah Barakat and fatally shot Barakat, his wife, Yusor Abu-Salha, 21 and the woman's 19-year-old sister Razan Abu-Salha. At the time, Chapel Hill police said Hicks claimed he was provoked by competition over parking spaces at the complex where they lived. Relatives said the victims were targeted because they were Muslim, and asked federal authorities to pursue hate-crime charges.

TRUMP WOULD ACCEPT OPPO RESEARCH ON HIS 2020 RIVALS FROM FOREIGN OPERATIVES: President Donald Trump said Wednesday that if a foreign power offered dirt on his 2020 opponent, he’d be open to accepting it and that he’d have no obligation to call in the FBI. “I think I’d want to hear it,” Trump said in an interview with ABC News, adding, “There’s nothing wrong with listening.” The role of Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., in organizing a 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer offering negative information on Hillary Clinton was a focus of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian meddling in the last presidential campaign. Mueller painstakingly documented Russian efforts to boost Trump’s campaign and undermine that of his Democratic rival. But while Mueller’s investigation didn’t establish a criminal conspiracy between Russia and Trump’s campaign, Trump repeatedly praised WikiLeaks in 2016 and celebrated information exposed by Russian hackers.

TRUMP LACKEY WILLIAM BARR SET TO INVESTIGATE CIA OVER RUSSIA PROBE: Justice Department officials intend to interview senior C.I.A. officers as they review the Russia investigation, according to people briefed on the matter, indicating they are focused partly on the intelligence agencies’ most explosive conclusion about the 2016 election: that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia intervened to benefit Donald J. Trump. The interview plans are the latest sign the Justice Department will take a critical look at the C.I.A.’s work on Russia’s election interference. Investigators want to talk with at least one senior counterintelligence official and a senior C.I.A. analyst, the people said. Both officials were involved in the agency’s work on understanding the Russian campaign to sabotage the election in 2016. While the Justice Department review is not a criminal inquiry, it has provoked anxiety in the ranks of the C.I.A., according to former officials. Senior agency officials have questioned why the C.I.A.’s analytical work should be subjected to a federal prosecutor’s scrutiny. Attorney General William P. Barr, who is overseeing the review, assigned the United States attorney in Connecticut, John H. Durham, to conduct it.