By Lidia Kelly MELBOURNE (Reuters) -Australia is investigating whether a blood clotting case recorded on Friday is related to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine, a health official said, raising concern in a nation where most people are expected to receive the drugmaker's shot. A 44-year-old man was admitted to a Melbourne hospital with clotting days after receiving the AstraZeneca vaccine, suffering serious thrombosis and a low count of platelets, or blood cells that stop bleeding. "Investigators have not at this time confirmed a causal link with the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine, but investig...
Federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York have announced a conviction of a Trump supporter who threatened perceived political opponents and their families.
Robert Lemke pleaded guilty to to making threatening interstate communications to a New York City-based family member of a journalist, prosecutors announced.
"From November 2020 through early January 2021, the defendant sent threatening electronic and audio messages to approximately 50 victims, including journalists and politicians, targeting those individuals as a result of their statements expressing that then-President Trump had lost the 2020 presidential election. On January 6, 2021, the same day that individuals purporting to protest the 2020 presidential election gathered in Washington, D.C. and stormed the Capitol Building, Lemke sent a series of these threatening text messages to journalists, members of Congress, other politicians, and their families," prosecutors explained in a release.
Prosecutors also said Lemke threated the brother of a congressman. The New York Times reported that it was the families of ABC News journalist George Stephanopoulos and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) who were threatened.
U.S. Attorney Damian Williams blasted Lemke's conduct.
"Robert Lemke was frustrated with the result of the 2020 Presidential Election. Rather than attempting to effect change through legal discourse or any of the other freedoms of expression that all Americans enjoy, he instead sent threatening messages to the family member of a journalist. Inevitably, elections result in frustrations for some – that is part of the political process – but trying to instill fear in others by threat will not be tolerated by law enforcement," he said.
Lemke is scheduled to be sentenced in December.
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will not have the vote of a retired career prosecutor as he seeks his eighth term in the U.S. Senate during the 2022 midterm elections.
Bob Teig, who served 32 years as a federal prosecutor in Cedar Rapids, announced Grassley had lost his support in a column published Saturday by the Des Moines Register.
"I admit it. I've been a closet Grassley-crat; joined by thousands of similar Iowans who repeatedly elected Chuck Grassley to the U.S. Senate," Teig wrote. "But admiration has reverted to embarrassment and, as of Oct. 9, pity for a sad man who has lost his way."
"Grassley showed Oct. 9 that he has lost his principles to politics," he said, referring to Grassley accepting Trump's endorsement at an Iowa State Fair rally.
"Senator, you are not a pawn or a puppet. You are the longest-serving Republican in the Senate and have held elective office continuously since 1959. You don't need Donald Trump's endorsement, he needs yours," Teig wrote. "What is he going to do, tell people to vote against you? Why would you roll over to have your stomach scratched?"
Teig says he's had enough.
"I can't vote for you again. I don't recognize you, and I don't know which Grassley I would be voting for: the one who speaks his mind and means it, or the one who lacks the courage of his convictions," he explained. "It looks like you don't know either."
He noted that in 2011, when it looked like Republicans might deny Grassley chairmanship of the Judiciary Committee, the longtime lawmaker said, "Maybe I should just go home and ride my tractor."
"It's all too clear there is no honor in politics. But there is honor in working the land. That tractor is waiting," Teig wrote.
Read the full column.
Former Watergate prosecutor Jill Wine-Banks urged Democrats in Congress to aggressively enforce subpoenas issued by the House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the U.S. Capitol.
Wine-Banks was interviewed about Steve Bannon refusing to comply with a subpoena by MSNBC anchor Alicia Menendez.
"Do you see a political strategy?" Menendez asked.
"I see obstruction of congress," Wine-Banks replied. "I see crime."
"I think we've long since passed the time when we can allow witnesses to ignore subpoenas," she explained. "You had said earlier in the hour 'use it or lose it' and it's true. If Congress doesn't use the powers that it has to compel testimony, they cannot exercise their constitutional right for oversight and that's what this is."
"We need new laws to prevent a recurrence of January 6th, and the only way we can do that is for Congress to have all the information that it has requested. In the letters to the people subpoenaed so far, it lays out very good cause for those people to come in and testify," she explained.
"So I think whether he is doing this to be a martyr, or whether he's doing this as a legal strategy, we know that the law does not allow him to fail, for example, to show up for his deposition. He has to come in if he wants to claim any privilege, including the Fifth Amendment, he can do it when he comes into the room," she said. "He can't do it by saying I'm not coming because I think I have executive privilege because the ex-president says I have it."
Jill Wine Banks www.youtube.com
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