US Domestic News Roundup: Trump to face criminal charges in Stormy Daniels hush money probe; Analysis-Biden's strategic silence on Trump may be tested in days ahead and more
Michael Cohen, who became a top executive at Trump's real estate company and then his personal lawyer, testified twice before the Manhattan grand jury that voted on Thursday to indict Trump following an investigation into a hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
Following is a summary of current US domestic news briefs.
Trump to face criminal charges in Stormy Daniels hush money probe
Donald Trump is due to be fingerprinted and photographed in a New York courthouse next week as he becomes the first former U.S. president to face criminal charges in a case involving a 2016 hush money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels.
Trump's expected appearance before a judge in Manhattan on Tuesday, as the Republican mounts a bid to regain the presidency, could further inflame divisions in the United States. A New York judge in a document unsealed on Friday authorized Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, to disclose that Trump had been indicted, but it was not clear when the specific charges would be made public.
Analysis-Biden's strategic silence on Trump may be tested in days ahead
When Joe Biden was asked on Friday morning about the impact that the indictment of his White House predecessor and political rival Donald Trump would have on America, the U.S. president had an emphatic response: no comment. "I'm not going to talk about Trump's indictment," Biden elaborated after being pressed several times by reporters.
'Absolute chaos': Illinois theater roof collapse sums up destruction by storms
A rock concert was in store on a Friday evening at the Apollo Theatre in Belvidere, Illinois, with hundreds of people looking forward to an evening of death metal music to start the weekend. What followed was "chaos, absolute chaos" in the words of Belvidere Police Chief Shane Woody as vicious storms brought down the roof half an hour into the show with 260 people inside the theater.
US says far-right activist convicted over 2016 voter suppression scheme
A social media influencer who once had 58,000 Twitter followers was convicted by a federal jury of election interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential race over a voter suppression scheme, the Justice Department said late on Friday. Douglass Mackey, also known as “Ricky Vaughn,” was convicted of the charge of conspiracy against rights stemming from his scheme to deprive individuals of their constitutional right to vote, the Justice Department said in a statement. Mackey faces a maximum of 10 years in prison.
Meet Juan Merchan, the judge presiding over Trump's criminal case
When Donald Trump walks into Justice Juan Merchan's courtroom on Tuesday to face criminal charges, it will be a first for a former U.S. president but familiar territory for the veteran judge who serves on Manhattan's criminal court. Merchan last year oversaw a criminal trial of the Trump Organization that ended with the real estate company convicted by a jury of tax fraud and hit with fines, while one of its longtime executives, Allen Weisselberg, pleaded guilty and was sent to jail.
Violent US storm kills more than 20 people
A violent storm packing high winds and heavy rains ripped through Southern and Midwestern sections of the United States as it headed east on Saturday, leaving at least 22 dead and scores injured, according to officials and media reports. At least five people were killed in Arkansas, according to officials, as first responders sifted through debris for more possible victims after tornadoes sliced through the state on Friday.
Survivor of Mexico detention fire and his family cross into U.S.
After her husband survived a fire which killed dozens of migrants at a detention center in northern Mexico, Venezuelan Viangly Infante crossed into the United States on Saturday, in search of new opportunities for her three children. Infante's husband, Eduard Caraballo, was transferred by ambulance from a hospital in Ciudad Juarez, where the fire happened, to a health center in El Paso, Texas, where he is receiving oxygen for damage to his lungs.
US Republicans defend Trump by attacking criminal justice system
Many Republicans in the U.S. Congress have responded to Donald Trump's looming Tuesday arraignment by characterizing the criminal justice system as corrupt, in accusations that parallel their earlier broadsides against the nation's elections after the former president's 2020 defeat. Trump and his allies in the House of Representatives and Senate have used rhetoric that echoed his false claims of widespread election fraud in the build-up to the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol by his supporters.
Wall Street Journal demands immediate release of reporter arrested in Russia
The Wall Street Journal on Saturday demanded the immediate release of Evan Gershkovich, a Moscow-based correspondent who was arrested by Russia's FSB security service on suspicion of spying. "Evan's case is a vicious affront to a free press, and should spur outrage in all free people and governments throughout the world, the newspaper said in a statement on Twitter.
Trump's ex-fixer Michael Cohen poised to be key witness in criminal case
A former lawyer for Donald Trump who once said he would do anything to protect the former U.S. president is now poised to serve as a key witness in the criminal trial of his longtime boss. Michael Cohen, who became a top executive at Trump's real estate company and then his personal lawyer, testified twice before the Manhattan grand jury that voted on Thursday to indict Trump following an investigation into a hush payment to porn star Stormy Daniels before the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
(With inputs from agencies.)