R. Lee Ermey, famous for playing Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in Full Metal Jacket, died Sunday from complications of pneumonia. He was 74.
A U.S. Marine Corps staff sergeant, drill instructor, and honorary gunnery sergeant, he spent 11 years in the military, including 14 months in Vietnam. When he retired, Ermey decided to take acting classes, and ended up working as a technical adviser on Apocalypse Now, in addition to playing a helicopter pilot. His Full Metal Jacket performance earned Ermey a Golden Globe nomination, and in addition to acting in films, he also had several voiceover roles, including as the lead green plastic soldier in the Toy Story movies. Catherine Garcia
On Wednesday, President Trump's former divorce attorney Jay Goldberg told The Wall Street Journal he believed federal prosecutors would flip Trump's lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, and he elaborated on this concern on Thursday's evenings Out Front with Erin Burnett. Goldberg, a former federal prosecutor, explained that he believes Cohen might tell prosecutors things he thinks they want to hear about Trump, and maybe even wear a wire to generate incriminating evidence, to get lenient treatment, even though, he said, he believes Trump did not break the law.
Cohen is "of a type that I've recognized in the past as one not suited to stand up to the rigors of jail life," Goldberg said. He agreed with Burnett that Cohen is "of weak character," and he suggested that Cohen would be scared of sexual assault. "Prison has a racial overtone, and a person like Michael doesn't see himself walking down Broadway while people are clamoring, 'You're going to be my wife,'" Goldberg said.
Goldberg says he's thinks Cohen will talk to prosecutors because he's worried about getting raped in prison.
"He's not suited to stand up to the rigors of jail life... Michael doesn't see himself walking down Broadway while people are clamoring, 'you're going to be my wife.'" pic.twitter.com/5IciTrNzp5
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 19, 2018
Lawyer Michael Avenatti, who's suing Cohen and Trump, told Burnett he has "absolutely" no doubts that Cohen will flip "and I haven't had any doubts for weeks." Furthermore, he expressed confidence that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is trying to ensure that the state can prosecute Cohen if Trump pardons him, is working with federal prosecutors to "leave a window open" for state charges. "Michael Cohen is going to be indicted, it is a near certainty," Avenatti said, "and it is a near certainty that he is going to roll over on the president."
On Wednesday morning, John Avlon expressed doubt that Cohen would flip, telling CNN's Chris Cuomo and Alisyn Camerota that "everything we know about Cohen shows that, I mean, his loyalty to Trump takes on the level of religion. I mean it is a deep and personal and definitional thing for him." Watch below. Peter Weber
Could Michael Cohen flip on President Trump?
"Everything we know about Cohen shows that, I mean, his loyalty to Trump takes on the level of religion," says @JohnAvlon https://t.co/nvBXQfYTOp pic.twitter.com/39sT9vVQFx
— New Day (@NewDay) April 19, 2018
A Syrian-born German national linked to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks was captured more than a month ago by U.S.-backed forces in Syria, the Pentagon announced Thursday.
Spokesman Eric Pahon said that Mohammad Haydar Zammar was apprehended by members of the Syrian Democratic Forces as they continue their fight against the Islamic State. In the 9/11 Commission report, Zammar was described as an "outspoken, flamboyant Islamist" who enthusiastically praised "the virtues of violent jihad." He also reportedly said he influenced Mohammed Atta, one of the hijackers, and Ramzi Binalshibh, who is accused of assisting the hijackers and al Qaeda operatives. Catherine Garcia
On Thursday, the Justice Department sent Congress redacted, unclassified memos written by former FBI Director James Comey detailing private conversations he had with President Trump. The Republican chairmen of the House Judiciary, Intelligence, and Oversight and Government Reform committees had requested and threatened to issue a subpoena for the memos.
The Associated Press almost immediately obtained copies of the memos, which don't reveal much that hasn't already been told by Comey in either his congressional testimony last year or his new book, A Higher Loyalty. In a letter to the chairmen, Assistant Attorney General Stephen E. Boyd said that the Justice Department has concluded that releasing the memos will not "adversely impact any ongoing investigation or other confidentiality interests of the executive branch."
In one memo, Comey said Trump confided he had major concerns about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's judgment, and a few days later, then-White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked if Flynn's communications were being monitored under a secret surveillance warrant. In another, Comey wrote that Trump said he was told by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country has "some of the most beautiful hookers in the world."
Late Thursday, the three chairmen released a joint statement that criticizes Comey and claims his memos show that Trump "wanted allegations of collusion, coordination, and conspiracy between his campaign and Russia fully investigated." Catherine Garcia
A lawyer for Andrew McCabe, the former acting director of the FBI, said on Thursday that the Justice Department inspector general's office has sent federal prosecutors a criminal referral regarding McCabe.
The inspector general released a report saying that in 2016, McCabe misled investigators who were trying to figure out who disclosed information to a Wall Street Journal reporter about an investigation into the Clinton Foundation; McCabe has called the accusations "egregious inaccuracies." McCabe was fired last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, while the inspector general's office was still working on its report and just before he was eligible for full retirement benefits.
McCabe's lawyer, Michael Bromwich, told The New York Times he's "confident that, unless there is inappropriate pressure from high levels of the administration, the U.S. attorney's office will conclude that it should decline to prosecute." McCabe asserts that the report and his firing are meant to discredit him as a witness in Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into whether President Trump obstructed justice while trying to interfere with the Russia probe. Catherine Garcia
Former professional cyclist Lance Armstrong has agreed to pay the federal government $5 million to settle fraud allegations, averting up to $100 million in penalties.
The U.S. Postal Service, which once sponsored Armstrong's team, argued that Armstrong defrauded taxpayers by accepting money while using performance-enhancing drugs, NPR reports. In a statement, the disgraced cyclist said he was ready to "move forward with my life." Chad Reader, acting attorney general for the Justice Department's civil division, said the settlement "demonstrates that those who cheat the government will be held accountable."
Armstrong admitted in 2013 that he did use performance-enhancing drugs, and he was stripped of his Tour de France wins and banned from competition for life. His former teammate, Floyd Landis, sued Armstrong in 2010 under the False Claims Act, and federal prosecutors joined his suit in 2013 on behalf of the USPS. As part of the settlement, Landis, who also admitted to doping, will receive about $1.1 million. Catherine Garcia
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency could announce as early as Friday that Wells Fargo is being fined $1 billion for, among other things, charging customers for car insurance they didn't need, a person familiar with the penalty told CNN Money.
Last year, the company apologized for forcing as many as 570,000 customers into purchasing unnecessary car insurance, and said after conducting an internal review, it was discovered that 20,000 or so of those clients may have defaulted on their car loans and had their vehicles repossessed because of the insurance cost. Wells Fargo also announced in October that some mortgage borrowers were charged after missing a deadline to lock in interest rates, even though the delay was caused by the company and not customers. Catherine Garcia
Queen Elizabeth II made it official on Thursday, publicly announcing for the first time that it is her "sincere wish" that "one day," Prince Charles lead the Commonwealth.
Being head of the 53-nation Commonwealth is not hereditary, and upon the queen's death, the role would not automatically go to the Prince of Wales. The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting is underway in London, and Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said he believes it's likely the leaders will confirm Prince Charles on Friday. They will also discuss ocean conservation, trade, and cybersecurity during the two-day summit.
The queen told the 46 leaders and seven foreign ministers gathered at Buckingham Palace on Thursday it was a "pleasure" to welcome them to her home, and it is her "sincere wish that the Commonwealth will continue to offer stability and continuity for future generations, and will decide that one day the Prince of Wales should carry on the important work started by my father in 1949." Catherine Garcia