Saturday News: Slap on the wrist


ROBIN HAYES WILL PLEAD GUILTY TO LYING TO THE FBI: According to his agreement with prosecutors, Hayes will plead guilty to a single count of lying to the FBI. In a court document, he acknowledged that in August 2018 he “falsely stated to federal agents . . . that he had never spoken” with Causey “about personnel or personnel problems at the . . . Department of Insurance or about Greg Lindberg or John Gray.” Prosecutors said while the maximum sentence for the offense is five years, Hayes could be sentenced to up to six months, or serve no time at all under sentencing guidelines. The plea deal says prosecutors “recommend a sentence at the low end of the . . . range.” Hayes could not be reached. His attorney, Kearns Davis, would not comment.

MEDIA GROUP SUES NC BOE OVER FEDERAL PROBE OF NC VOTERS: A group of local and national news organizations is suing North Carolina election officials for records connected to 2018 federal subpoenas that targeted hundreds of voters across the state. The suit seeks public voter data gathered by state and county election boards months after they received subpoenas from U.S. Attorney Robert Higdon's office in a secretive voter fraud probe. Both the Wake County Board of Elections and the State Board of Elections are named in the suit, filed Friday afternoon by a media coalition that includes WRAL parent company Capitol Broadcasting Co., The News & Observer and The Washington Post. The complaint says the two boards are "knowingly and intentionally" violating North Carolina public records law and have been unable to identify any justification for refusing to produce the records, originally requested by WRAL News in May.

TILLIS QUESTIONED ABOUT CUTS TO MILITARY IN FT. BRAGG VISIT: Although Tillis was at Bragg primarily to hear complaints about poor conditions in on-base housing — which won’t be affected by any potential cuts — some in the audience cited those cuts to question his broader commitment to the military. In a news conference after the meeting, Tillis defended that vote but said he’s also committed to the military. He also criticized the recent push by the Democrat-led U.S. House of Representatives to start an impeachment investigation into Trump based on an anonymous whistleblower complaint. That complaint raised the possibility that Trump tried to use the influence of the presidency to pressure foreign officials to get involved in the 2020 U.S. elections. Earlier this year, The Fayetteville Observer reported, the U.S. Army found mold, lead and other contaminants in on-base housing. That Army report ranked Bragg’s housing conditions as the worst of 43 Army bases studied.

IN 2017 MEETING, TRUMP TOLD RUSSIAN DIPLOMATS HE WAS "UNCONCERNED" ABOUT ELECTION INTERFERENCE: President Trump told two senior Russian officials in a 2017 Oval Office meeting that he was unconcerned about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election because the United States did the same in other countries, an assertion that prompted alarmed White House officials to limit access to the remarks to an unusually small number of people, according to three former officials with knowledge of the matter. The comments, which have not been previously reported, were part of a now-infamous meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, in which Trump revealed highly classified information that exposed a source of intelligence on the Islamic State. He also said during the meeting that firing FBI Director James B. Comey the previous day had relieved “great pressure” on him. A memorandum summarizing the meeting was limited to a few officials with the highest security clearances in an attempt to keep the president’s comments from being disclosed publicly, according to the former officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive matters.

HOUSE DEMS ISSUE SUBPOENA TO SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO IN FIRST STEPS OF IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY: The subpoena and demands for depositions were the first major investigative actions the House has taken since it launched impeachment proceedings this week in light of revelations that Mr. Trump pushed President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine to investigate Joseph R. Biden Jr., a contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, possibly using United States aid as leverage. Democrats said more subpoenas — and possibly the scheduling of their first formal impeachment hearing — would come in the next week. The subpoena for documents is far-reaching and mirrors early voluntary requests sent to the State Department and the White House. It demands a full transcript of the July call between Mr. Trump and Mr. Zelensky, a list of any State Department officials who listened to or received a readout of the call, and any records created by the department in relation to it. It also seeks any files related to efforts by the president’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to push investigations into Mr. Biden or other matters involving Ukraine; and it calls for records related to the Trump administration’s decision to temporarily withhold $391 million in security aid from Ukraine. Mr. Pompeo was given one week to produce the material.



I was afraid of that...

When I saw Hayes was pleading guilty to lying ahead of the court date, I figured he had struck a deal. And it looks like a pretty sweet deal, with maybe no jail time at all.

TANJ (There Ain't No Justice)