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Second New York prison worker accused of helping murderers’ breakout

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A second New York prison employee was arrested on Wednesday for the escape of two convicted murderers who have eluded a massive police manhunt for almost three weeks, police said.

Clinton Correctional Facility officer Gene Palmer, 57, allegedly took frozen hamburger meat embedded with smuggled tools to the inmates, Richard Matt and David Sweat, CNN quoted Clinton County District Attorney Andrew Wylie as saying.

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Wylie also said Palmer escorted the men into the catwalk area behind their cells to fix electrical breakers so the inmates could use hot plates to cook food. Authorities have said Matt and Sweat used the catwalks during their June 6 escape.

Matt, 48, and Sweat, 35, cut through the steel walls of their adjoining cells, slipped through a steam pipe and emerged from a manhole outside the prison’s fortress-like walls in Dannemora, New York, according to authorities.

They used tools brought into the prison by Joyce Mitchell, 51, a training supervisor in the prison tailor shop, who is charged with aiding their escape, Wylie has said.

New York State Police said Palmer has been charged with promoting prison contraband, destroying evidence and official misconduct. Palmer is set to be arraigned in Plattsburgh Town Court late on Wednesday, the police said in a statement.

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Police said the escapees may have at least one gun from a cache of weapons in a cabin where they hid about 20 miles (30 km) from the maximum security prison.

Major Charles Guess of the New York State Police told a news conference that Sweat and Matt were believed to have been last seen entering woods near the cabin in Owls Head, New York, on Saturday.

A bloody sock and other items found at the cabin, which is reportedly owned by corrections officers, were tested for DNA, and Guess said police had “100 percent assurance they were in that area.”

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More than 1,000 law enforcement officers scoured 75 square miles (194 square km) in rugged Franklin County, east of the prison.

Authorities are focused on the Adirondack Mountains, the largest wilderness area east of the Mississippi River, state Department of Environmental Conservation Captain John Streiff said.

Mitchell, the training supervisor, supplied hacksaw blades and a screwdriver bit to the men, whose good behavior landed them on the prison’s honor block.

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(Reporting by Pete DeMola; Additional reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Susan Heavey and Eric Beech)


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Mnuchin admits White House has transcript of Ukraine call and ‘they’re going to be kept confidential’

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Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin confirmed on Sunday that the White House does have a transcript of President Donald Trump's call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky.

During an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, host Chuck Todd asked Mnuchin if he had an objection to Congress' request to see a transcript in which Trump allegedly asks Zelensky to open an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden.

While confirming that a transcript of the call exists, Mnuchin said that House Democrats have no right to see it.

"What I have a problem with is Congress asking for a transcript between world leaders," he told Todd. "I think that those are confidential discussions and that’s a difficult precedent."

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‘Should we talk about Ivanka?’: MSNBC guest calls for Trump family investigation if Biden’s son is scrutinized

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During a panel discussion on Donald Trump's call for an investigation of Joe Biden's son Hunter over his Ukraine dealings, an "AM Joy" guest said if Congress is going to investigate politician's kids why not start with Ivanka Trump and her brothers Don Jr. and Eric.

Speaking with MSNBC host Joy Reid, Intercept columnist Mehdi Hasan called out President Donald Trump for his "brazenness" going after the former vice president's son.

"There's so much to say about this story, as for the Ukrainian denials, what are they going to do, come out and say, 'Yes, Donald Trump did pressure our president eight times in a single phone call'? It's absurd." Hasan began.

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Lindsey Graham drives bus over Trump kids to get to Biden: ‘You can’t investigate one family and not the other’

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Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested on Sunday that the children of both President Donald Trump and Joe Biden should be investigated.

While speaking to Fox News host Maria Bartiromo, Graham was asked if he is calling for an investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son over dealings in the Ukraine. President Donald Trump allegedly also asked Ukraine's president for help with the Bidens.

"Yeah, I want the Department of Justice to appoint somebody to look at the role the Ukraine played if any in the 2016 elections," Graham told Bartiromo. "There are a lot of allegations out there how Ukraine fed information maybe to the Democrats."

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