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Trump election commission officials sued by Democratic member over silence

WASHINGTON -- Matthew Dunlap, one of four remaining Democratic members of President Donald Trump's election integrity commission, sued the panel's top officials including Vice President Mike Pence and Kansas Republican Kris Kobach, saying they've shut him out of the panel.

Dunlap, an outspoken critic of the commission's Republican majority's tactics, filed a federal court complaint Thursday in Washington, demanding the panel be compelled to conduct its business fairly and with his full participation.

That will be essential to "allow me and all of my fellow commissioners to fulfill our roles as full participating members and provide a meaningful report to the President," Dunlap said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.

The named defendants are Pence, the panel's chairman; Kobach, the secretary of state for Kansas who serves as vice chairman; and the day-to-day operations manager, Andrew Kossack. Originally five of the 12 members were Democrats, but one died recently. Dunlap is the secretary of state for Maine.

Trump chartered the commission earlier this year, saying the 2016 vote was riddled with fraudulently cast ballots. The members were tasked with studying state and federal voting procedures and recommending ways to enhance confidence in the system. It's held two public meetings, one at the White House and the second in New Hampshire, where picket signs greeted them and state officials defended their safeguards and said there was little proof to back up the allegations.

Dunlap says he's heard nothing since the last meeting in September other than an acknowledgment that they'd received his letter in October asking why he hadn't heard anything from them.

--Bloomberg News

O.J. Simpson allegedly kicked out of Vegas hotel bar for breaking glasses

O.J. Simpson was tossed out of a Las Vegas hotel bar after causing a drunken ruckus, according to a report published Thursday.

The Juice was sloshed when he started breaking glasses at the Cosmopolitan Hotel's Clique bar about midnight, staffers told TMZ.com.

Security guards escorted the 70-year-old Simpson out of the hotel. The disgraced gridiron great was reportedly pleasant to the guards.

The incident happened five weeks after Simpson walked out of a Nevada lockup after spending nearly nine years behind bars for the 2007 robbery of two memorabilia dealers at a Sin City casino.

--New York Daily News

L.A. prosecutors form special Hollywood sexual assault task force

LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey announced the creation of a special task force for examining the allegations of sex abuse roiling Hollywood.

Lacey made the announcement Thursday as local law enforcement agencies investigate allegations made against such Hollywood heavyweights as producer Harvey Weinstein, director James Toback and actor Ed Westwick, among others.

The district attorney said she has assigned a group of veteran sex crimes prosecutors to work together to examine the cases and "ensure a uniformed approach to the legal review and possible prosecution of any case that meets both the legal and factual standards for criminal prosecution."

The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating at least two allegations against Weinstein and one against Westwick. The Beverly Hills Police Department has open investigations involving Weinstein and Toback.

All three have denied any wrongdoing.

Lacey said the police have yet to forward any cases to prosecutors for review.

--Los Angeles Times

Top Catalan lawmaker sent to pretrial detention

MADRID -- The former president of the Catalan parliament, Carme Forcadell, was remanded in custody by a Spanish judge Thursday as the legal crackdown continues against the rebellious region's former leaders.

Bail for Forcadell, 61, was set at $175,000, according to local media and the news agency Europapress, quoting judicial sources.

Along with five other former officials from the regional Catalan parliament, she was facing charges including rebellion, linked to the autonomous territory's vote for independence.

Prosecutors had asked for Forcadell and three of the officials to be detained without possibility of bail.

The government of Catalonia was dismissed by the central government in Madrid after the regional parliament approved a unilateral declaration of independence on Oct. 27.

Several Catalan politicians have since been charged with rebellion, sedition and misappropriation of public funds for their role in the region's independence push.

Catalonia's ex-president, Carles Puigdemont, and four other former Cabinet members fled to Brussels after being sacked, and remain free there despite the issuance of an international arrest warrant.

--dpa

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

 

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