A federal judge has paved the way to forcing U.S. President Donald Trump to hand over eight years of tax returns to a Manhattan district attorney, as the court rejected the idea that the sitting occupant of the White House cannot be investigated.
Judge Victor Marrero of Manhattan federal court found that there were no grounds for an argument from Trump’s legal team that an investigation would impede the president’s ability to carry out his constitutional duties.
Lawyers for Trump plan to appeal the ruling, CNN and The New York Times reported.
The ruling rejects the idea that the president is totally immune from all criminal processes, saying that no one is above the law, while also noting that Trump effectively sought to shield his family, not only himself.
Opponents have long sought the wealthy real estate mogul’s tax returns, and Trump, breaking with decades of tradition, refused to release the documents when he ran for high office.
Manhattan district attorney Cyrus R Vance Jr is seeking the tax returns as part of an investigation into alleged hush money payments to two women, including the adult film star Stormy Daniels.
Vance’s case involves Michael Cohen, Trump’s former lawyer who is now in jail, and whether any illegal campaign contributions were made as part of his efforts to pay Daniels.
Trump has denied having an affair with the actress.
Vance is a Democrat, and his efforts are being painted by the Trump side as an effort by political opponents to go after the president.
Edited by Emmanuel Yashimhttps://nnn.ng/court-orders-trump/
United States court allows publication of John Bolton’s book, in blow to Trump
A United States court on Saturday ruled that the publication of a tell-all book by former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward, denying an attempt by President Donald Trump’s administration to prevent its release.
In his decision Judge Royce Lamberth said that the government failed to prove “irreparable harm” by halting the book’s publication, since much of its contents have already been disclosed through media reports.
“With hundreds of thousands of copies around the globe – many in newsrooms – the damage is done,” Lamberth said in his decision. “There is no restoring the status quo.”
But Lamberth also slammed Bolton saying he “gambled with the national security of the United States” and has exposed himself to possible forfeiture of profits and criminal liability in future court proceedings for failing to fully comply with the government’s classified information review.
The book, titled “The Room Where It Happend,” is scheduled to be released this Tuesday. It depicts Trump’s foreign policy as feckless and driven by personal interest.
Bolton says Trump asked his Chinese counterpart to purchase United States agricultural products to help his re-election bid.
He also told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that he could intervene in a law enforcement probe to aid a Turkish bank, according to experts published in media reports.
The court’s decision will likely ensure a wider readership of the bombshell book, which comes roughly four months before the US presidential election.
Trump called the decision a “BIG COURT WIN against Bolton” despite losing the injunction request and referred to Bolton as a warmonger who “likes dropping bombs on people, and killing them.”
“Bolton broke the law and has been called out and rebuked for so doing, with a really big price to pay,” Trump said. “Now he will have bombs dropped on him!”
Lamberth said Bolton’s allegation that the White House classification review process was politically motivated did not hold up and he should have allowed more time for review of his 500-page manuscript.
“Many Americans are unable to renew their passports within four months, but Bolton complains that reviewing hundreds of pages of a National Security Advisor’s tell-all deserves a swifter timetable,” Lamberth said.
In his conclusion, Judge Royce Lamberth wrote that Bolton had also “exposed his country to harm and himself to civil [and potentially criminal] liability.”
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/united-states-court-allows-publication-of-john-boltons-book-in-blow-to-trump/
Court sentences businessman to 5 years imprisonment for forgery, cheating
A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Gwagwalada, FCT, on Tuesday sentenced a businessman, Eze Solomon, to five years imprisonment for forgery and cheating.
Chief Magistrate, Baba Shani, sentenced Solomon to three years for forgery and two years for cheating, without an option of fine.
Shani also ordered the convict to pay N3 million as compensation to a businesswoman, Ms Julkart Dangin.
He said that the sentence would serve as a deterrent to the convict and others from committing such crime in future.
” The convict also misled the court by lying about being ill and forging a fake hospital report to that effect which during investigations revealed was not true,” he said.
Shani said that the prosecution counsel, Emeka Ihekoronye, has proved his case beyond reasonable doubt.
Ihekoronye told the court that Solomon forged documents of two shops located in Wuse market and had been collecting rent from 2005 to 2011.
He said that the shops originally belonged to Dangin, who thought that the said shops have been revoked by the Federal Capital Territory Administration all this while.
He said Solomon deceived the occupants of the said shops with forged documents claiming to be the caretaker of the said property and has so far collected N6 million from them as rent.
The prosecution counsel said that the occupants of the shops, Mr Ikechuchwu Ebowusi and Leonard Ogoli, reported the matter to the police when their shops were sealed by the FCT Administration for not paying ground rate.
He said that when the occupants approached Solomon on why the rate was not paid, he promised to pay but never did.
The prosecution counsel said police investigations revealed that the convict was never the caretaker or given custody of the shops by the owner.
He said the offence contravened the provisions of sections 320 and 364 of the Penal Code.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)https://nnn.ng/court-sentences-businessman-to-5-years-imprisonment-for-forgery-cheating/
Alleged fraud: Court admits taxi driver to N2m bail
Justice Peter Kekemeke of an FCT High Court Nyanya on Tuesday admitted a taxi driver, Paschal Chijioke, who allegedly swindled a businesswoman too bail in the sum of N2 million.
The police charged Chijioke with two counts bordering on armed robbery.
The police alleged that the defendant, with others who are at large, on Sept. 2, 2019 in Karu , FCT while armed with dangerous weapons robbed Ms Christiana Ogundipe N200, 000.
The police also alleged that the defendant stole a techno cell phone value at N45,000.
The offence, the police said, contravened the provisions of sections 6 (b) of Robbery and firearms special provision Act, Laws of the Federation.
Kekemeke admitted the defendant to bail following an application for bail moved by defence counsel, Mr J.A. Mustapha.
The prosecution counsel Mr Chukwuemeka Ugwuanya did not object to the bail application.
“I have taken a careful notice of the complaint of the complainant, the evidence is not such that can warrant the refusal of his bail.
” The weight of the evidence seems light, the defendant is deemed Innocent until proven guilty, in the circumstance of this case I shall exercise my discretion in favour of the defendant.
” The defendant is hereby granted bail in sum of N2 million and two sureties in like sum, one who must be owner of certificate of occupancy within Abuja ” he ordered.
He then adjourned the matter until Sept. 28 for trial.
Earlier, when the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty but the judge admonished him to tell the court the truth.
” The court is not the place to lie, it will not help you, did you do these things? the judge asked .
The defendant then told the court that on that faithful day ‘we took the victim to Mararaba , we were three in number’
“One of us claimed to be a foreigner who brought goods like iPhones and gold necklaces for sale.
“He said he doesn’t have Nigerian currency, so we then agreed that we are going to help him get Nigerian money.
“We then went to where we can do that ,on getting there we told him that we have a film, It is the film that we will wash in a chemical and it will turn to money” he said.
He told the court that when that was done, it turned to money and they asked how they can get the chemical.
He added that they were directed to a laboratory scientist.
” We all were able to contribute certain amount, after the process, and the victim promised to contribute N200, 000 which she did after four days.
The Judge said , “now that you have said the truth, it will go a long way to help you.” (NAN)
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
Court remands driver over alleged rail track vandalism
A Chief Magistrates’ Court in Kafanchan, Kaduna State on Tuesday ordered a 23-year-old driver, Haliru Jibrin, to be remanded in a correctional facility over alleged vandalism.
The police charged Jibrin wity criminal consiparcy, mischief and theft, contrary to sections 317, 275 and 327 of the Kaduna State Penal Code Law.
The state counsel, Mathias Joseph, told the court that the defendant was arrested by men of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on June 6.
Joseph alleged that the defendant and two others, now at large, went to the railway tracks along Katul crossing in Kachia and damaged some rail facilities.
When the charges were read to him, he pleaded not guilty.
The prosecution thereafter prayed the court for an adjournment to enable the state call its witnesses to prove its case against the accused person.
In his ruling, the presiding judge, Abdulaziz Ibrahim, ordered that the defendant be remanded in Kafanchan correctional centre.
Ibrahim adjourned the matter until June 25 for further mention.
Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)https://nnn.ng/court-remands-driver-over-alleged-rail-track-vandalism/