DOJ subpoenas 30 Trump associates in Jan. 6 probe – National & International News – TUE 13Sep2022

DOJ subpoenas 30 Trump associates in wide-ranging Jan. 6 probe. DOJ and Trump's attorneys agree on Mar-a-Lago special master.
September 13th, 2022     National & International News


DOJ subpoenas 30 Trump associates in Jan. 6 probe. Minnesota nurses strike for better pay, staffing. Ukraine’s eastern offensive caught Russia off guard.



DOJ subpoenas 30 Trump associates in Jan. 6 probe

Over the weekend, the news broke that the Justice Department had subpoenaed several current and former associates of Donald Trump. New reporting says that over 30 people were subpoenaed. Among them were Bill Stepien, Trump’s former campaign manager; Sean Dollman, former CFO of Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign; and Dan Scavino, Trump’s former Deputy Chief of Staff. Stepien, Dollman, Scavino and many of the other subpoena recipients figured prominently in Trump’s campaign to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

The subpoenas are broad, requiring everything from documents, grand jury testimony and any communications with certain key figures in Trump’s orbit.

The information sought encompasses a wide range of topics including fundraising practices by Trump’s Save America PAC, the scheme to promote slates of fake electors in 6 battleground states, the planning of Trump’s rally on the Ellipse on Jan. 6, and anything related to efforts to overturn the results of the election.

Analysts say this flood of subpoenas may be a final burst before a 60-day quiet period that DOJ typically observes ahead of an election.

Mar-a-Lago case: DOJ, Trump’s attorneys agree on special master

In another case, Trump’s attorneys and the DOJ attorneys have agreed on an acceptable candidate for a special master to review 11,000 documents seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home. Federal Judge Raymond Dearie was one of two candidates proposed by Trump’s team. Dearie, 78, was appointed to the federal bench by President Ronald Reagan in 1986. He’s served for many years in the Eastern District of New York (EDNY), now as a senior justice. Deary also served a 7-year stint on the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, or FISA court.

Andrew Weissmann, a federal prosecutor and harsh critic of Trump, tweeted that DOJ “would be wise” to agree to Dearie. Weissmann said Dearie “is a beloved judge in the EDNY – absolute integrity and fairness”.

It’s not clear when the presiding judge in the case, Aileen Cannon, will decide on an appointment for special master. Cannon also has not yet responded to the DOJ’s request to allow them access to the documents for use in their investigation. 

DOJ and Trump’s team also disagree about the timeline for the special master’s review. While DOJ wants the review wrapped up in five weeks, by October 17, Trump’s team wants 90 days.


Minnesota nurses strike for better pay, staffing

15,000 nurses in Minnesota are in the middle of a 3-day strike seeking contracts with area hospitals offering better pay and working conditions. Members of the Minnesota Nurses Association agreed to and announced the strike last month to allow hospitals to prepare. The MNA has been in contract negotiations with two major hospital groups in Minneapolis and neighboring St. Paul. The striking nurses normally work in about 13 hospitals in the Twin Cities area. 

The nurses’ main complaint is chronic understaffing. Understaffing in healthcare facilities has been a problem since before the pandemic. But since February 2020, there are 37,000 fewer people working in healthcare. During the pandemic, many staff nurses left hospital positions to take much better paid work as travel nurses. This has increased pressure on the staff nurses that remain to work longer and less predictable hours, while working alongside higher-paid temporary colleagues who don’t know their way around their workplace.

The nurses also say they want a 30% increase in pay over three years (way less than hospitals are offering). However, the nurses are willing to accept less pay if hospitals work to rectify their staffing issues.

As an indication of how serious the situation is, the striking nurses are going without pay for the duration of the strike because the Minnesota Nurses Association has no strike fund. If their concerns aren’t addressed, we are likely to see many more strikes like this across the country in the near future.

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Ukraine’s eastern offensive caught Russia off guard

Since the beginning of September, Ukraine’s military has managed to retake about 2000 square miles of territory in the east that had been under Russian control. For weeks, Ukraine had amassed troops in the south and advertised an upcoming offensive there. The deception seems to have worked as Russia dispatched a large proportion of its troops to the south. When Ukraine instead moved to the east, they reportedly outnumbered Russian troops 8-to-1.

Ukraine’s successes also seem to have made some impact in Russian attitudes to the war. Commentators on Kremlin-sponsored TV have recently been critical of the military’s prosecution of the war, though not of the invasion itself. Some commentators have even publicly speculated that Putin may be receiving faulty information.

The Kremlin is casting around looking for someone to blame for their losses. They tend to downplay the Ukrainians’ own military and strategic ability and instead say that NATO support has given them an unfair advantage. From the beginning, Putin has portrayed this invasion as a fight back against eastward NATO encroachment. To date, the US has sent Ukraine about $13 billion in military aid and has shared intelligence with them. 

However, it would be unwise to expect Putin to accept defeat and call for peace talks. Instead he’s more likely to mobilize more troops and bring in heavier artillery.

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