By Roselle Chen NEW YORK (Reuters) - Donald Trump’s former lawyer and fixer, Michael Cohen, said he would go in for a seventh interview on Wednesday with the Manhattan district attorney’s office pursuing a criminal investigation into the former U.S. president. In a brief interview with Reuters, he likened a March 1 U.S. Supreme Court decision denying Trump's last-ditch effort to keep his tax records private to the “holy grail” for Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr.'s investigation into whether the Trump Organization committed financial crimes. After that ruling, Vance’s office obtained m...
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An eastern Iowa man is suing his employer for religious discrimination, alleging he was fired after stating the company’s support of gay pride was an “abomination to God.”
Daniel Snyder, 63, of Riverdale is suing Arconic, formerly known as Alcoa, in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa.
Snyder had worked at the company’s Riverdale plant for almost 10 years, when, in June 2021, he received an email from Arconic CEO Tim Myers inviting employees to respond to an “engagement survey” seeking employees’ input on ways the company could improve. The email stated that responses would be anonymous.
Snyder attempted to respond to the survey by clicking a link in the email and was routed to a company webpage displaying a rainbow flag in promotion of “Gay Pride Month.” Snyder alleges he believed the flag was part of the anonymous survey and that the company was seeking his feedback on the topic.
The webpage included a space where Snyder could type in a comment and he wrote, “It’s an abomination to God. Rainbow is not meant to be displayed as a sign for sexual gender.”
Arconic later informed Snyder that his comment was not part of the survey and had been posted on the company’s message board where it could be seen by other employees, at least one of whom was offended. Snyder was summarily suspended and then terminated for violating the company’s “diversity policy,” the lawsuit claims.
Prior to being fired, Snyder alleges, he informed Arconic officials that his written statement was based on his sincerely held Christian beliefs. He alleges that when he explained he had thought he had been responding to an anonymous survey, Arconic officials responded with derisive laughter.
Snyder “sincerely believes that the Bible shows that the rainbow is a sign of the covenant between God and man, and thus that it is sacrilegious to use the rainbow to promote relationships and ideologies that violate God’s law,” the lawsuit alleges.
The lawsuit goes on to say that, in practice, Arconic’s diversity policy “actually punishes diversity of opinion, allowing only one opinion — the company’s approved narrative on morally freighted issues — while treating any employee’s religious opinion or objection to the contrary, even if intended to be anonymous and expressed in a single instance, as grounds for immediate termination with no accommodation whatsoever. The ‘zero tolerance diversity policy’ is, in fact, an intolerance policy designed to expel from Arconic’s workforce anyone who dissents for religious reasons from its corporate moral views.”
Snyder claims Arconic was aware of Snyder’s strongly held religious beliefs as the company had granted him a religious accommodation to not work on Sundays so he could preach at a local church, and he had previously sought permission to form a prayer group at work.
Arconic has yet to respond to the lawsuit, and a company spokesman could not be reached for comment early Monday.
Snyder’s lawsuit seeks unspecified damages for alleged retaliation, religious discrimination, and violations of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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On May 9, Michael Cohen — former President Donald Trump’s ex-personal attorney and “fixer” — testified during a closed-door meeting held as part of an anti-Trump lawsuit. During his testimony, according to the Daily Beast’s José Pagliery, Cohen revealed that his former boss had a bizarre quirk back in 2015: He was fearful of a pie being thrown in his face.
Pagliery, in an article published by the Beast on May 23, reports, “Former President Donald Trump’s fear of getting hit in the face with a pie was so severe that he repeatedly instructed security guards to savagely beat any hooligan who tries, his ex-attorney recently testified behind closed doors. The Daily Beast has exclusively reviewed a recent four-hour deposition of Michael Cohen, the former Trump Organization consigliere who famously took the fall for his boss’ porn star hush payment scheme and was ultimately imprisoned and disbarred. And Cohen said Trump lied about his role in a 2015 incident that left protesters bloody.”
In September 2015, protests were held outside of Trump Tower in New York City in response to some of Trump’s anti-immigrant comments. The lawsuit alleges that Trump ordered Keith Schiller, who headed his private security team, to go out of his way to be violent with protesters — which Trump has denied. But Cohen, on May 9, testified that Trump did, in fact, encourage violence against those protesters.
“The Trump Organization has been accused of hiding — for nearly seven years of the ongoing litigation — that Cohen was actually in the room when Trump spoke to his security chief, Keith Schiller, in the pivotal moments before the violent showdown outside the building on Fifth Avenue,” Pagliery explains. “Although Trump previously swore that he did not order his guards to do anything, Cohen testified to the complete opposite — opening up the possibility that his former boss lied under oath. No recording or transcript of Cohen’s deposition is publicly available, but The Daily Beast was able to review the entire questioning session.”
The Beast previously reported, in late April, that Trump had a fear of pineapples, tomatoes or bananas being thrown at him, but according to Pagliery, Cohen’s May 9 testimony “touches on another apparent Trump anxiety: pieing.”
“When being questioned,” Pagliery reports, “Cohen explained how his former boss, at one point, became obsessed over the way computer biz billionaire Bill Gates once got attacked with a pie to the face.”
Cohen testified, “For some reason, that upset Mr. Trump terribly. We were all instructed that if somebody was to ever throw anything at him, that if that person didn’t end up in the hospital, we'd all be fired.”
The Beast contacted Cohen to confirm that May 9 testimony. And the former attorney, according to Pagliery, “clarified that Trump, at times, seemed obsessed with pies.”
Cohen told the Beast, “It wasn’t just one time. It was an ongoing and regular thing. As he would go out to various different open venues, he would always remind Keith (Schiller) to keep his eyes open. He never would turn around and say, ‘If anyone throws a rock or a bottle….’ It’s always a pie. He always brought up that pie thing.”
The president of San Francisco's San Mateo County Harbor District deleted her Twitter account after comparing pro-housing activists to Nazis, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
“Class war news of the day: Today some Nazis, I mean YIMBYs, are casing St. Francis Woods in SF because 100 years ago there were restrictive covenants,” Nancy Reyering wrote in the now-deleted tweet.
“What’s next —” the tweet continued, “Molotov cocktails?”
Reyering drew condemnation from from State Democratic Sen. Josh Becker, who said he had family members die in the Holocaust.
“As a Jew with relatives killed by the Nazis in the Holocaust, I beseech all to remember the 6 million Jews lost,” Becker tweeted on Sunday. “I renounce San Mateo County Harbor Commissioner Nancy Reyering’s using that term to describe housing advocates & hope she will only us it when referring to actual Nazis.”
According to the Chronicle, the controversy stems from a fight over the new state law SB9, which allows property owners to divide their lots in half and build two units on each portion.
"Bay Area suburbs have tried a variety of creative strategies to circumvent the law, including a novel tactic that officials in the affluent Peninsula town of Woodside deployed in February, claiming all land parcels had to be preserved as mountain lion habitat," the Chronicle reports. "St. Francis Wood pursued a different route, petitioning for a historic designation that would allow it to keep residential lots in tact."