The Rundown for February 19, 2020

TRUMP GOES ON PARDON SPREE… President Trump went on an unexpected pardon spree yesterday. He took action to help out 11 high-profile people convicted in corruption scandals. Trump granted clemency to Trump commuted the 14-year prison sentence of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was convicted for trying to sell President Barack Obama’s vacated Senate seat for personal gain. Blagojevich was removed from office in 2009, the same year he appeared on the NBC reality show “The Apprentice” when Trump was host. Trump also pardoned former New York police commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was sentenced to four years imprisonment in 2010 after pleading guilty to eight felony charges, including tax fraud and lying to White House officials. In a separate case in 2006, Kerik pleaded guilty to accepting tens of thousands of dollars while working as city corrections commissioner but avoided jail time by agreeing to pay $221,000 in fines and avoided jail time. Former junk bond king Michael Milkin, who became infamous for his involvement in the financial scandals of the 1980s, also received a presidential pardon. President Trump also signed an executive order granting clemency for former San Francisco 49ers owner Eddie DeBartolo Jr., who was convicted in 1998 as part of a gambling fraud case against former Louisiana Governor Edwin Edwards. Also pardoned was former George W. Bush administration official David Safavian, who was convicted of perjury in 2006 as part of his involvement in the Jack Abramoff lobbying and corruption scandal.

JUDGES CALL EMERGENCY MEETING OVER WHITE HOUSE INTERFERENCE… The Federal Judges Association has called an emergency meeting to discuss President Trump and Attorney General Bill Barr’s intervention in the sentencing recommendation of former Trump advisor Roger Stone. District Judge Cynthia Rufe, who leads the association of around 1,100 life-term federal judges, announced the meeting following an open letter signed by more than 1,000 former Justice Department employees calling on Barr to resign over the Stone case. Last week, Trump expressed anger over the length of the sentence, prompting the Justice Department to withdraw the recommendation.

ROGER STONE TO BE SENTENCED THIS WEEK… A federal judge declared yesterday that former Trump advisor Roger Stone will be sentenced for multiple crimes this week but his punishment will be delayed until his request for a new trial is resolved. Last week, Stone’s lawyers requested a new trial after it was revealed the jury forewoman in Stone’s trial posted anti-Trump messages on social media. Stone was convicted in November of lying to Congress, obstructing a congressional inquiry and trying to block the testimony of a witness.

HOMELAND SECURITY FAST-TRACKS BORDER WALL… The Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that it has issued waivers to bypass multiple federal statutes in order to build a long section of border wall between the U.S. and Mexico. A department spokesman said the waivers are part of an effort to construct 177 miles of wall along the border. Last week, the Defense Department asked to divert nearly $4 billion from its weapons programs to help build the wall. The request would shift $2 billion in defense appropriations and $1.6 billion in overseas contingency operations to fund the wall.

BOY SCOUTS FILES FOR CHAPTER 11… The Boy Scouts of America confirms yesterday that it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy amid a flood of lawsuits over allegations of child sexual abuse spanning several decades. The bankruptcy is not expected to affect the organization’s programs. The Boy Scouts has offered apologies to anyone harmed and encouraged victims to come forward. The 110-year-old organization has been struck by a wave of lawsuits in states that have removed legal obstacles that prevented people from suing over old allegations of child sex abuse.

ENTERTAINMENT
JURY DELIBERATING IN WEINSTEIN CASE… Jurors in Manhattan have begun deliberations in Harvey Weinstein’s rape trial. Weinstein is accused of raping a woman in a Manhattan hotel room in 2013 and forcibly performing oral sex on another woman, TV and film production assistant Mimi Haley, in 2006. Jurors will also be examining actress Annabella Sciorra’s account of a mid-1990s rape in considering whether Weinstein should be categorized as a sexual predator. Weinstein’s lawyers contend the acts were consensual.

OZZY OSBOURNE BATTLNE PARKINSON’S DISEASE… Ozzy Osbourne has canceled his North American tour in order to have further treatment for Parkinson’s disease. The 71-year-old Black Sabbath frontman revealed his diagnosis last month and plans to see doctors in Switzerland in April. Last April, Osbourne postponed a U.S. tour last April after a fall.

SPORTS
NHL SCORES
PHILADELPHIA 5 – Washington 1… Travis Konecny scored a goal and had two assists in leading the Flyers past the Capitals. Claude Giroux also set up two goals.

PITTSBURGH 5 – Toronto 2… Sidney Crosby scored a goal and assisted on three others as the Penguins skated past the Maple Leafs. Bryan Rust had a goal and two assists.

DETROIT 4 – Montreal 3… Andreas Athanasiou netted two of the Red Wings three unanswered goals in the third period in a come-from-behind win over the Canadiens. Anthony Mantha assisted on two goals.

OTTAWA 7 – Buffalo 4… Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Artem Anisimov scored two goals apiece as the Senators outshot the Sabres. Pageau also had two assists.

ST. LOUIS 3 – New Jersey 0… Goalie Jordan Binnington stopped all 17 shots in the Blues’ blanking of the Devils. Ivan Barbashev found the net twice.

Carolina 4 – NASHVILLE 1… Andrei Svechnikov’s second-period goal gave the Hurricanes the lead for good in their defeat of the Predators. Justin Williams had two assists.

WINNIPEG 6 – Los Angeles 3… The Jets scored three third-period goals on their way to doubling up on the Kings. Blake Wheeler netted two goals and had an assist. Nikolaj Ehlers added a goal and two assists. Mark Scheifele also assisted on two goals.

TONIGHT’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Rangers are at Chicago…
Dallas hosts Arizona…
Boston is at Edmonton…
Colorado hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Florida is at Anaheim…
Vancouver hosts Minnesota

TOP 25 COLLEGE MEN’S BASKETBALL SCORES
#1 Baylor 65, OKLAHOMA 54…
#5 Dayton 66, VCU 61…
#8 FLORIDA STATE 82, Pittsburgh 67…
#7 MARYLAND 76, Northwestern 67…
Illinois 62, #9 PENN STATE 56…
#10 Kentucky 79, LSU 76…
#15 Creighton 73, #19 MARQUETTE 65…
#17 WEST VIRGINIA 65, Oklahoma State 47

NBA REGULAR SEASON RESUMES TOMORROW

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