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New York bombing suspect Ahmad Khan Rahami could face hearing in hospital bed

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A lawyer for an Afghan-born U.S. citizen charged with bombings in New York and New Jersey over the weekend asked a federal judge to schedule his first court appearance for Wednesday, possibly in his hospital bed.

Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested on Monday after a gunfight with police in Linden, New Jersey. He is now receiving treatment for his wounds at a Newark hospital, where he could formally face his charges if he cannot travel to the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, his lawyer said.

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“He has been held and questioned by federal law enforcement agents since his arrest,” David Patton, head of the New York city federal public defenders office said in a court filing. “The Sixth Amendment requires that he be given access to counsel on the federal charges, and that he be presented without delay.”

Patton also asked to meet with Rahami, 28, on Wednesday. Police also say they have not yet been able to interview Rahami.

Federal prosecutors said Rahami injured 31 people in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood with a homemade bomb on Saturday night in a case that investigators now regard as terrorism.

He is also charged with planting bombs that went off in Seaside Park, New Jersey, and his hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey, but did not injure anyone. He faces charges from federal prosecutors in both states.

“Inshallah (God willing), the sounds of bombs will be heard in the streets,” Rahami, who came to the United States at age 7, wrote in a journal he was carrying when arrested. “Gun shots to your police. Death to your oppression.”

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The journal also praised slain al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, prosecutors said.

The attacks were the latest in a series in the United States inspired by militant groups including al Qaeda and Islamic State. A pair of ethnic Chechen brothers killed three people and injured more than 260 at the 2013 Boston Marathon with homemade pressure-cooker bombs similar to those used in this weekend’s attacks.

In the past year, an Orlando gunman and a married couple in San Bernardino killed dozens in mass shootings inspired by Islamic State.

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The incidents inflamed the U.S. debate about security and immigration.

Federal investigators were probing Rahami’s history of travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and looking for any evidence that he may have been radicalized or trained in bomb-making on those trips. They still are trying to find out whether he received any help in planning his attack or building the bombs.

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His father, Mohammad Rahami, told reporters outside his family’s chicken restaurant on Tuesday that he had called the Federal Bureau of Investigation about two years ago to report concerns about his son’s involvement with militants.

The FBI confirmed that it had looked into the younger Rahami after what it called a “domestic dispute” but found no evidence tying him to terrorism.

The charging documents lay out a wide swath of evidence pointing to Rahami as the bomber. Surveillance video places him in the area, and his fingerprints were on unexploded devices including a pressure-cooker bomb found blocks away from the blast.

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If Rahami’s first court appearance occurs in the hospital bed, he would not be the first U.S. terrorism suspect to be charged in such a venue.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted last year for his role in the Boston Marathon attacks and sentenced to death, also first faced charges in his hospital bed while he was still recovering from injuries sustained in a gunfight with police.

(Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)


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Mike Pompeo under increasing scrutiny as as Trump impeachment ramps up: report

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On Saturday, WVAS Radio's Scott Simon profiled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo — and how the impeachment investigation is shaping his political situation.

"As the impeachment inquiry against President Trump continues its march through Congress, questions are churning around his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo," wrote Simon. "For example, did he know, as witnesses testified before House investigators, that President Trump sought political favors from Ukraine in exchange for millions in U.S. assistance? Why did he take days to reveal he was on the now infamous July 25 call between Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy? And does he believe allies of the president who — despite the findings of the intelligence community — claim that Ukraine, not Russia, interfered in the 2016 election?"

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Mitch McConnell’s effort to sabotage Trump impeachment could hit this brick wall

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and his GOP allies have signaled that they might pass a highly partisan set of rules designed to sabotage an impeachment trial of President Donald Trump, which might include everything from time limits on Democrats trying to submit evidence, to a parallel public investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden to make Trump's Ukraine behavior look legitimate.

But on MSNBC's "AM Joy," justice and security analyst Matthew Miller walked host Joy Reid through how difficult such a package of rules could be to pass — and how even a small defection of senators from his caucus could block it.

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World leaders mocked Trump because they’re tired of his ‘center of attention’ act: MSNBC guest

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During an MSNBC segment on President Donald Trump's abrupt departure from NATO talks in London after video was released of world leaders making fun of him, an MSNBC guest said those same leaders have become tired of his act.

Speaking with host David Gura, the LA Times Eli Stokols said international diplomats have realized there is no dealing with the president who is in his own world and just wants attention..

"Your colleague had a great line: 'This is a president who views norms like a teenager views curfews,'" Gura began.

"Well, he likes going to these things and blowing them up and being the center of attention," Stokols replied.

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