News Roundup

Afternoon Briefs: House seeks grand jury info to determine Trump’s truthfulness; billionaire storms out of court

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Top lawyer for House tells court that grand jury info could help determine whether Trump lied

The top lawyer for the U.S. House of Representatives told a federal appeals court Monday that grand jury information redacted from former special counsel Robert Mueller’s report regarding Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election could help determine whether President Donald Trump lied to Mueller. House general counsel Douglas Letter urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to rule quickly because the information is important to the impeachment inquiry of Trump. A federal judge had ruled last month that the material should be released to the House Judiciary Committee. (The National Law Journal, the Washington Post)

Billionaire storms out of courtroom after judge revokes his right to represent himself

Billionaire Alki David stormed out of a Los Angeles courtroom Friday after a judge said she wouldn’t allow him to represent himself in a civil trial by a former employee alleging sexual harassment and wrongful firing. Judge Michelle Williams Court said an Instagram video posted by David made it appear as if he was violating her orders on purpose. In the video, David appeared to be bragging about opening statements that he made that were stricken from the record. As he was leaving the courtroom, David told the plaintiff that she was “not getting a penny” and called her lawyer “a sack of shit.” (Law360)

Former state chief justice files defamation suit over super PAC ad claiming mall ban

Former Alabama chief justice and failed Senate candidate Roy Moore has filed a lawsuit claiming that he was defamed by a super political action committee advertisement that said he had once been banned from an Alabama mall when he was pursuing relationships with teenage girls. The suit says the super PAC, known as Highway 31, was the alter ego of a different PAC, but donor information didn’t have to be disclosed because the PAC was formed late in his campaign. Moore was twice suspended from the bench for refusing to obey court orders to remove a Ten Commandments statue from the courthouse and for telling state probate judges they had a duty to deny marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He is running for the Senate again in 2020. (, Courthouse News Service)

Sweden drops rape investigation of WikiLeaks founder

Sweden has dropped a rape investigation of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after determining the evidence was insufficient to indict. Assange is being held in a British jail pending a hearing on extradition to the United States, where he is accused of conspiring with U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to download classified information. Assange had been holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly seven years until his asylum was revoked for “discourteous and aggressive behavior” and meddling in the affairs of other countries. (The New York Times, the Washington Post)

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