News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: Gunman had file on SCOTUS justice, judge says; state AG charged in fatal crash

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Gunman apparently targeted this SCOTUS justice, judge says

Lawyer Roy Den Hollander, the gunman who killed the son of U.S. District Judge Esther Salas of the District of New Jersey, was apparently targeting U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Salas told CBS News’ 60 Minutes. After Hollander killed himself, authorities searched a locker belonging to the gunman and found a folder on Sotomayor, along with a gun and ammunition, Salas said. The full story, set to air Sunday, reports on the dramatic rise in threats against judges. (60 Minutes, the Associated Press, the Washington Post)

State AG faces misdemeanor charges in fatal crash

South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg has been charged with three misdemeanors for striking and killing a pedestrian with his car while driving home from a GOP dinner in September 2020. Ravnsborg called 911 and told authorities that he thought he had hit a deer but didn’t see anything when he searched the area with a cellphone flashlight. Ravnsborg was charged with careless driving, driving out of his lane, and operating a motor vehicle while on his phone. Authorities found no evidence that Ravnsborg had been drinking before the crash. He was on his cellphone about a minute before the crash but not when it happened, prosecutors said. (The Associated Press, the Sioux Falls Argus Leader)

3 lawyers charged with coaching asylum applicants to lie

Three New York lawyers have been accused of participating in schemes to coach asylum-seekers to lie and to submit fraudulent applications on their behalf. Husband and wife lawyers Ilona Dzhamgarova, 44, and Arthur Arcadian, 42, are accused of coaching asylum applicants to claim that they were persecuted because they were members of the LGBTQ community. Julia Greenberg, 41, is accused of getting client referrals from Russian America, a company that allegedly encouraged their clients to create blogs that were critical of their home countries to support claims that it was unsafe for them to return. (Law360, Department of Justice press release)

Judge seeks internal probe of failures in businessman’s prosecution

U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan of the Southern District of New York on Wednesday urged the U.S. Department of Justice to conduct an internal probe of systemic failures in the prosecution of an Iranian businessman. Nathan found no proof that prosecutors knowingly withheld evidence or intentionally misrepresented facts in the prosecution of Iranian businessman Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad. But Nathan said there were “grave derelictions of prosecutorial responsibility,” and the DOJ’s Office of Professional Responsibility should investigate. In September 2020, Nathan had ordered every federal prosecutor in Manhattan to read her decision criticizing the prosecution failures in the case. The businessman had been charged with violating sanctions against Iran before charges were dropped. (The New York Law Journal, Reuters, Nathan’s Feb. 17 order)

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