1 Chicago Officers Cleared In Laquan McDonald Coverup
A judge has ruled that the three White officers accused of lying about the deadly shooting of an African American teenager in Chicago in 2014 are not guilty. Thomas Gaffney, David March and Joseph Walsh had been charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice, and official misconduct for allegedly lying about Officer Jason Van Dyke's killing of Laquan McDonald. How can this be given the video evidence contradicts their version of events? Judge Domenica Stephenson says the prosecution’s case was weak and simply didn’t meet the burden of proof. She also said that common wording in reports did not indicate conspiracy. “She didn't say these things didn't happen,” offers ABC7 Legal Analyst Bob Milan. She said the evidence didn't meet the burden of beyond a reasonable doubt. And that's the way the system should work.” As for Van Dyke, he was convicted of second-degree murder in McDonald’s death – and will be sentenced later today. Prosecutors want him to serve at least 18 years, but he could get nearly 100 years (if he gets the maximum for each count). He was convicted of second-degree murder, as well as 16 counts of aggravated battery – one count for each time he shot McDonald.
2 White House Writes to Speaker Pelosi to Postpone Upcoming Trips Overseas
In what appears to be the ultimate game of “tit for that,” President Trump has responded to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's request to delay the State of the Union address, sort of. But more on that in a minute. As you’ll recall, Speaker Pelosi requested to delay the State of the Union address this week. An as she noted during a briefing yesterday, she hadn’t heard any response from the White House on the matter. “No,” she offered in part. “I haven’t heard.” She did three hours later – as that’s when the White House sent a letter postponing Pelosi's upcoming trips overseas. In the missive, President Trump cites the government shutdown as the reason for postponing her trip to Brussels, Egypt and Afghanistan – at least via military aircraft – and says he feels it would be best if Pelosi "were in Washington negotiating with me" about border security. The letter does not include any mention of the State of the Union, which is still scheduled for January 29th.
3 House To Retake Vote On Controversial Govt Funding Bill
House members will retake a vote on a short-term government funding bill next week. The unusual move was prompted by an outcry from Republicans when the measure was approved by a voice vote, which is a group yay-or-nay tally. Republicans demanded a member-by-member vote, which Democratic leaders agreed to after a brief recess. The Democratic bill extends government funding through February 28th. One-quarter of the government has been shut down since December 22nd. The House bill is expected to go nowhere in the Republican-led Senate.