81ºF

Senate Democrats block Republican police reform plan

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Republican attempt at police reform stopped even before a debate as Democrats blocked the policing bill, saying that it didn't go far enough.

Senator Democratic leader Chuck Schumer called the GOP bill "the legislative equivalent of a fig leaf, something that provides a little cover, but no real change."

On Wednesday in the White House Rose Garden, President Donald Trump stated that Democrats police reform bill showed that the party wanted to weaken law enforcement.

“The Democrats want to weaken very substantially our law enforcement and our police and frankly they want to defund, largely, at least largely.  There are some that want to defund and abolish our police, if you can believe that, and we’re not letting that happen,” Trump said.

Democrats will press forward Thursday with a House vote on their bill.

In other news from the Hill, bombshell allegations surrounding the sentencing of convicted felon and the president’s friend Roger Stone as former prosecutor Aaron Zelinsky, a career Justice Department prosecutor who worked on cases as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation, testified to Congress. Zelinsky said Stone was treated different because of politics and that prosecutors were pressured to dramatically reduce Stone’s recommended sentence.

"What I heard repeatedly was that this leniency was happening because of Stone's relationship to the president. I was told that the acting United States attorney was giving Stone a break because he was 'afraid of the president of the united states.' "

The Department of Justice pushed back, saying that Zelinsky's allegations were: "based on his own interpretation of events and hearsay (at best), not first-hand knowledge."

Meanwhile, a federal court is now ordering the case against Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn dismissed despite serious allegations that the case was improperly dropped because of a “gross abuse of power” from Attorney General Bill Barr. All of this despite the fact the Flynn had himself pleaded guilty two times.

“Mr. Barr’s actions make clear in his Department of Justice the President’s allies get special treatment,” House Judiciary Committee Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) said.

Trump said on Wednesday that Flynn is the first of many that he believes will be exonerated and that he was “very happy about General Flynn.”

"I want to congratulate him. He's been through a lot," Trump said.

All of this raises new questions about the way Barr is running the Department of Justice. Last week, he abruptly fired the country’s top federal prosecutor from the southern district of New York Geoffrey Berman.

Berman’s office had already sent the President’s former fixer Michael Cohen to prison and his office was also investigating Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, along with two others who have closed ties to Giuliani.

“I don’t get involved. I just don’t get involved, but the president has to sign a document or, I guess, give it the OK,” Trump said about questions surrounding Stone, Flynn and the firing of Berman.


About the Author: