Reuters US Domestic News Summary
The Hatch Act of 1939 limits the political campaigning activities of federal employees, except the president and vice president. Donald Trump released from contempt order in New York civil probe Donald Trump was formally released on Wednesday from an order finding him in contempt of court for having failed to comply with a subpoena from New York's attorney general, who is investigating the former U.S. president's business practices.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Alleged truck driver posed as victim after Texas migrant deaths
The alleged driver of a truck carrying dozens of migrants who died in the suffocating heat in Texas this week initially tried to pass himself off as a victim to escape authorities before he was arrested, U.S. and Mexican officials said on Wednesday. The death toll in the incident rose to 53 as some migrants who had been trapped in the sweltering tractor-trailer died in the hospital, local officials said.
R&B singer R. Kelly sentenced to 30 years in prison in sex case
R. Kelly was sentenced on Wednesday to 30 years in prison, following the multiplatinum R&B singer's conviction for exploiting his stardom and wealth over decades to lure women and underage girls into his orbit for sex. The sentence was imposed nine months after Kelly, 55, was convicted of racketeering and sex crimes, in a trial that amplified accusations that had dogged the singer of the Grammy-winning hit "I Believe I Can Fly" for two decades.
Pfizer Inc and partner BioNTech SE said on Wednesday they signed a $3.2 billion deal with the U.S. government for 105 million doses of their COVID-19 vaccine, which could be delivered as soon as later this summer. The deal includes supplies of a retooled Omicron-adapted vaccine, pending regulatory clearance, according to Pfizer.
Ketanji Brown Jackson, picked by President Joe Biden to become the first Black woman on the U.S. Supreme Court, is set to be sworn in to begin serving the lifetime job on Thursday with the formal retirement of liberal Justice Stephen Breyer. Jackson, 51, was confirmed by the Senate on April 7. Breyer, 83, has served on the court since 1994 and announced his plans to retire in January. Breyer will officially retire and Jackson will take her two oaths of office at noon (1600 GMT) on Thursday shortly after the court issues the last of its rulings of its current term.
Shifting U.S. abortion landscape: What you need to know right now
Abortion rights groups are flooding state courts with lawsuits seeking to stop the enforcement of bans that began taking effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade case that legalized abortion nationwide. Meanwhile, Democratic-led states are trying to pass legislation that would strengthen protections for abortion providers and patients, anticipating an influx of women from abortion-hostile states seeking to terminate pregnancies.
Ex-Giuliani associate sentenced to 20 months for campaign finance violations, fraud
Lev Parnas, a onetime associate of Donald Trump's former personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on Wednesday for violating U.S. campaign finance laws during the 2018 elections and for wire fraud conspiracy. Parnas, 50, was convicted in October of seeking funds from Russian businessman Andrey Muraviev to donate to candidates Parnas believed could help secure licenses to operate cannabis businesses. U.S. law bars foreign individuals from contributing to campaigns.
The House of Representatives panel probing the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol said on Wednesday it had subpoenaed Pat Cipollone, who was White House counsel for then-President Donald Trump. "The Select Committee's investigation has revealed evidence that Mr. Cipollone repeatedly raised legal and other concerns about President Trump’s activities on January 6th and in the days that preceded," the committee said in a statement.
A congressional probe into the Jan. 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol by Donald Trump supporters faced questions on Wednesday about what steps it had taken to corroborate a White House aide's account of the then-president having struggled with Secret Service agents in his armored SUV that day. U.S. media outlets, citing Secret Service sources, said the head of Trump's security detail, Robert Engel, and the driver of the car were prepared to challenge the aide's testimony that Trump grabbed the steering wheel of the modified Chevrolet Suburban when he learned that the Secret Service would not drive him to the Capitol, where thousands of his supporters rioted.
U.S. Energy Secretary Granholm violated ethics law, watchdog says
U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm violated a law that limits the political participation and speech of federal employees during an interview in late 2021, a government watchdog said. The Hatch Act of 1939 limits the political campaigning activities of federal employees, except the president and vice president.
Donald Trump was formally released on Wednesday from an order finding him in contempt of court for having failed to comply with a subpoena from New York's attorney general, who is investigating the former U.S. president's business practices. Justice Arthur Engoron of a New York state court in Manhattan purged the subpoena after Attorney General Letitia James agreed that Trump's recent submissions from his personal records were sufficient.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)