Mar-a-Lago workers moved boxes of papers before the FBI arrived
May 29, 2023
Two employees at former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club moved boxes of papers around the property a day before FBI agents and a federal prosecutor arrived at the premises in an effort to recover classified documents, reports HuffPost.
The Washington Post first reported that a maintenance employee at the Florida club told federal prosecutors he saw Trump’s valet, Walt Nauta, moving the boxes on June 2, 2022, into a storage area before he offered to help without knowing what the boxes contained. That same day, a lawyer for Trump contacted the Justice Department and said DOJ officials could come to Mar-a-Lago to pick up classified files, people familiar with the investigation told the newspaper.
Jay Bratt, a top prosecutor for the Justice Department, traveled to Mar-a-Lago on June 3 and was handed a batch of classified files and a signed letter attesting that a search had been carried out for any other such material but that none had been found, The New York Times added.
But two months later, on August 8, the FBI executed a search warrant on the property amid concerns that sensitive documents remained at the Trump estate and seized more than 100 other classified files in a storage area and in Trump’s office.
The revelation adds new context to Trump’s behavior surrounding the classified files and potentially broadens the timeline for any potential criminality and obstruction. The Post added that prosecutors have also gathered evidence that Trump’s team had conducted a “dress rehearsal” for moving files he wanted to keep.
The latest reports come at a pivotal time in the investigation. The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, May 23, that Justice Department Special Counsel Jack Smith is nearly finished collecting testimony and evidence after speaking with top aides to the former president and maids and maintenance staff at the Florida estate, which serves as Trump’s residence and is also a private club.
And the Post reported last month that federal investigators have gathered evidence Trump may have sifted through boxes of documents after receiving a subpoena to return them.
Trump’s lawyers also wrote to Attorney General Merrick Garland this week, requesting a meeting to discuss the probe—claiming it was an “ongoing injustice” centered on baseless claims.
Prosecutors have reportedly homed in on whether Trump attempted to obstruct the government’s efforts to recover the files. The saga went on for months after the National Archives attempted to recover documents missing from his White House tenure, and the Justice Department eventually sent agents to Florida with a subpoena to recover the files. The recovery culminated in the bombastic FBI search on August 8.
Some in Trump’s orbit have reportedly been preparing for an indictment, which could present serious legal peril for the former president. He lambasted the ongoing probe during a CNN town hall-style event earlier this month; but also appeared to claim he was allowed to take anything he wanted when he left the White House in January 2021.
“I took the documents; I’m allowed to,” he said during the live event. He later added that when he left Washington he had “boxes lined up on the sidewalk.”
“Everybody knew we were taking those boxes,” Trump said.
Several other investigations into his behavior after his loss of the 2020 election are ongoing, including his effort to overturn the presidential election results in Georgia.
Research contact: @HuffPost
Awkward silence: Ron DeSantis’s bold Twitter gambit flopped
May 26, 2023
It was the announcement not heard around the world. Ron DeSantis plotted to open his presidential campaign early on Wednesday evening, May 24, with a pioneering social media gambit—introducing himself during an audio-only Twitter forum with Elon Musk. His 2024 effort began instead with a moment of silence. Then several more, reports The New York Times correspondent Matt Flegenheimer.
A voice cut in, then two—Musk’s?—only to disappear again. “Now it’s quiet,” someone whispered. This was true.
“We got so many people here that we are kind of melting the servers,” said David Sacks, the nominal moderator, “which is a good sign.” This was not true.
Soon, all signs were bad. Hold music played for a spell. Some users were summarily booted from the platform, where hundreds of thousands of accounts had gathered to listen.
“The servers are straining somewhat,” Musk said at one point—perhaps unaware that his mic was hot, at least briefly.
For 25 minutes, the only person unmistakably not talking (at least on a microphone) was DeSantis.
The Florida governor’s chosen rollout venue was always going to be a risk, an aural gamble on Musk, a famously capricious and oxygen-stealing co-star, as well as the persuasive powers of DeSantis’s own disembodied voice. (“Whiny,” Donald Trump has called him.)
But the higher-order downsides proved more relevant. Twitter’s streaming tool, known as Spaces, has been historically glitchy. Executive competence, core to the DeSantis campaign message, was conspicuously absent. And for a politician credibly accused through the years of being incorrigibly online—a former DeSantis aide said he regularly read his Twitter mentions—”the event amounted to hard confirmation, a zeitgeisty exercise devolving instead into a conference call from hell,” Flegemheimer wrote.
“You can tell from some of the mistakes that it’s real,” Musk said.
At 6:26 p.m., DeSantis finally announced himself—long after his campaign had announced his intentions, reading from a script that often parroted an introduction video and an email sent to reporters more than 20 minutes earlier.
“Well,” he opened, “I am running for president of the United States to lead our great American comeback.”
After ticking through a curated biography that noted his military background and his “energetic” bearing, DeSantis stayed onine. Sacks, a tech entrepreneur who is close with Musk, acknowledged the earlier mess.
“Thank you for putting up with these technical issues,” he said. “What made you want to kind of take the chance of doing it this way?”
DeSantis swerved instantly to his Covid-era stewardship of Florida.
“Do you go with the crowd?” he asked, recalling his expert-flouting decision-making, “or do you look at the data yourself and cut against the grain?”
Rivals agreed: If he hoped to differentiate himself, Mr. DeSantis had succeeded, in his way.
“‘Rob,’ Trump posted on Truth Social, a standard troll-by-misspelling, winding to a confusing (if potentially juvenile) punchline: “My Red Button is bigger, better, stronger, and is working.”
Even Fox News piled on.
“Want to actually see and hear Ron DeSantis?” read a pop-up banner on its website. “Tune into Fox News at 8 p.m. (ET)” (Urging donations once he got on the air, DeSantis wondered if supporters might “break that part of the internet as well.”)
Minor as a tech snag might prove in the long run, it was a dispiriting turn for DeSantis after months of meticulous political choreography.
So much of his strength as a contender over the past year was theoretical, said Flegenheimer: the mystery-box candidate constructing a national profile on his terms: slayer of liberals, smasher of foes, the Trumpy non-Trump.
He would conquer and coast. He would Make America Florida. He would be a sight to behold. Presumably.
The reality of DeSantis’s pre-candidacy has been less imposing, shadowed by uneasy public appearances, skittish donors, and a large polling gap between him and Trump.
With better tech, perhaps, a visual-free campaign debut might have been a clever way to rediscover that past aura, to let listeners fill in the mystery box as they choose, before Trump tries to chuck it offstage.
Or maybe the governor’s ostensible advantages—looking the part, before the full audition—were always doomed to translate poorly on Wednesday, when there was nothing to see. It is difficult to project indomitable swagger and take-on-all-comer-ism at an invisible gathering devoid of non-friendly questioning or workaday voters.
Research contact: @nytimes
Harlan Crow again refuses to give Senate Dems details of his relationship with Clarence Thomas
May 25, 2023
A lawyer for Republican donor Harlan Crow has told Senate Judiciary Democrats that the billionaire businessman will not provide them with information about his relationship with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, reports NBC News.
Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have asked Crow to provide a full accounting of the gifts, trips, and travel accommodations given to Thomas, or to any other justices or their family members.
Indeed, a May 8 letter from 11 Democratic members of the Judiciary panel, led by Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Illinois), directs Crow to provide the committee with itemized lists of all gifts worth more than $415, real estate transactions, and transportation or lodging given to Supreme Court justices or their family members; as well as a list of the occasions when Crow provided any of the justices with entrance to any private, members-only clubs.
Michael D. Bopp, Crow’s attorney, told Durbin in a letter on Monday, May 22, that he believes the committee doesn’t have the authority to “investigate Mr. Crow’s personal friendship with Justice Clarence Thomas.”
Congress “does not have the constitutional power to impose ethics rules and standards on the Supreme Court,” Bopp wrote. “Doing so would exceed Congress’s Article I authority and violate basic separation of powers principles. That precludes the Committee from pursuing an investigation in support of such legislation.”
In response, Durbin released a statement saying the letter “did not provide a credible justification for the failure of Crow and three corporate entities to respond to the Committee’s written questions.”
“The Committee will respond more fully to this letter in short order, and will continue to seek a substantive response to our information requests in order to craft and advance the targeted ethics legislation needed to help restore trust in the Supreme Court,” Durbin said in a statement. “As I’ve said many times before: The Chief Justice has the power to establish a credible, enforceable code of conduct for the Court today. However, if the Court will not act, this Committee will.”
Bopp argued that the committee lacks a legislative purpose in its request for such a list. He said the “Supreme Court has explicitly stated that Congress has no authority to engage in law enforcement investigations or to conduct investigations aimed at exposing citizens’ private affairs for the sake of exposure.”
Thomas has been under fire over allegations reported by ProPublica that he failed to properly disclose trips and gifts paid for by Crow, the sale of Thomas’ and his relatives’ properties to Crow, and tuition that Crow had paid for one of the justice’s relatives.
Thomas said after ProPublic’s reports that he had been advised that the trips and gifts were “personal hospitality from close personal friends” and did not have to be reported in disclosures.
Research contact: @NBCNews
Driver arrested on multiple charges after crashing truck with Nazi flag into White House barriers
May 24, 2023
A 19-year-old Missouri man, accused of driving a truck into barriers near the White House on Monday, May 22, made incriminating statements that have led investigators to believe he was seeking to harm the president, NBC News reports.
The suspect—identified as Sai Varshith Kandula of Chesterfield by U.S. Park Police on Tuesday morning—made threatening statements about the White House at the scene of Monday night’s incident, a law enforcement official told NBC News. A Nazi flag was seized by authorities at the scene.
The charges against Kandula for allegedly “threatening to kill, kidnap, inflict harm on a president, vice president, or family member,” stem from statements he made to multiple law enforcement agencies, according to a Secret Service representative.
The suspect was interviewed by Secret Service investigators Monday night, the agency representative said, during the ongoing probe that also involves United States Park Police, the FBI and U.S. Capitol Police.
Kandula was further charged with assault with a dangerous weapon, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, and trespassing.
Authorities said the preliminary investigation indicates Kandula “intentionally crashed” into the bollards outside Lafayette Park.
No one was injured. The truck was found to contain no weapons or explosives, the official said, without providing further details about the incident.
Asked for their reaction, the official said: “I don’t think there’s any place for a Nazi flag or the statements that he made.”
The white U-Haul box truck crashed into the barriers on the north side of Lafayette Square, just a few hundred feet from the White House, just before 10 p.m. (ET).
President Joe Biden’s exact whereabouts at the time of the incident were unclear. He had met with House Speaker Kevin McCarthy on Monday night at the White House to discuss the debt limit.
“There were no injuries to any Secret Service or White House personnel and the cause and manner of the crash remain under investigation,” Anthony Guglielmi, the Secret Service chief of communications, said in a statement Monday night.
Guglielmi said in a later statement posted to Twitter that the truck had been deemed safe by Washington, D.C., police and that “preliminary investigation reveals the driver may have intentionally struck the security barriers.” Park Police would file charges with investigative support from the Secret Service, Guglielmi said.
The Reuters news agency published an image showing a Nazi-style red flag emblazoned with a swastika laid on the ground beside the van. Reuters, citing its own photographer on the scene and a witness, reported that this and other pieces of evidence apparently taken from the truck had been placed on the sidewalk and were then seized by officers.
Research contact: @NBCNews
NAACP issues travel warning for Florida: The state ‘has become hostile to Black Americans’
May 23, 2023
The NAACP issued a formal travel advisory for Florida on Saturday, May 20—saying the state has become “hostile to Black Americans” under Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’s (R) leadership, reports The Hill.
“On a seeming quest to silence African-American voices, the Governor and the State of Florida have shown that African-Americans are not welcome in the State of Florida,” the travel advisory reads.
“Due to this sustained, blatant, relentless, and systemic attack on democracy and civil rights, the NAACP hereby issues a travel advisory to African-Americans, and other people of color regarding the hostility towards African-Americans in Florida,” the group added.
The advisory points to several of DeSantis’s controversial policies, including legislation he signed Monday, May 22, to prohibit colleges from spending public funds on diversity, equity. and inclusion efforts.
The Florida governor also previously signed the Stop WOKE Act, which restricts how workplaces and schools can discuss race during required training or instruction—and which blocked an Advanced Placement African American Studies course in the state’s public schools, claiming it lacked “educational value.”
“Let me be clear—failing to teach an accurate representation of the horrors and inequalities that Black Americans have faced and continue to face is a disservice to students and a dereliction of duty to all,” NAACP President and CEO Derrick Johnson said in the statement.
“Under the leadership of Governor DeSantis, the State of Florida has become hostile to Black Americans and in direct conflict with the democratic ideals that our union was founded upon,” Johnson added.
Research contact: @thehill
D.C. police officer arrested, accused of leaking info to Proud Boys leader
May 22, 2023
A Washington, D.C., police lieutenant was arrested on Friday, May 19, after he was accused of telling the leader of the far-right Proud Boys, Henry “Enrique” Tarrio, that he would be arrested for his actions before, during, and after the January 6, 2021, Capitol attack, reports The Washington Post.
Shane Lamond, a 24-year veteran of the D.C. police and then the department’s head of Intelligence, was indicted on one count of obstruction of justice and three counts of making false statements—and was scheduled to be arraigned later Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, prosecutors said.
Lamond, 47, of Stafford, Virginia, was in touch with Tarrio, who was arrested on January 4, 2021, for his part in burning a Black Lives Matter flag stolen from an historic African American church weeks earlier. Tarrio and three other Proud Boys leaders were convicted of seditious conspiracy in the Capitol riot earlier this month.
In his trial, Tarrio’s defense argued that his communications with Lamond showed the Proud Boys did not conspire to commit violence and that the group had shared its plans with law enforcement.
But Tarrio’s prosecutors and Friday’s indictment cited other messages showing how much Lamond was sharing with Tarrio during the weeks leading up to the attack. Prosecutors alleged in Tarrio’s trial that Proud Boys’ anger at police deepened when they received advance word that Tarrio would be arrested in Washington and that it contributed to their planning for violence in opposing federal authority—a key element of their convictions.
Lamond, who was suspended with pay from the D.C. police a year ago, could not immediately be reached for comment.
His attorney, Mark E. Schamel, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the indictment. Schamel has described his client’s contacts with Tarrio as professional and part of his work to obtain intelligence and prevent clashes between the Proud Boys and other groups. Lamond’s wife had posted on social media that her husband was being criticized for doing his job.
In a statement in February, Schamel said his client did nothing to aid January 6 rioters and “was only communicating with these individuals because the mission required it.” He added that Lamond “was instrumental” to Tarrio’s arrest and that “there is no legitimate law enforcement officer who is familiar with the facts of this case who would opine otherwise.”
The indictment is a black mark against the D.C. police department, which has otherwise been lauded for rescuing the understaffed and unprepared Capitol Police force during the siege. D.C. officers—many in riot gear and many of whom were injured—became the face of the fight to defend the Capitol and lawmakers from the mob.
Research contact: @washingtonpost
Democrat Donna Deegan wins Jacksonville mayoral race, defeating DeSantis-backed rival
May 19, 2023
Democrat Donna Deegan pulled a major upset on Tuesday, May 16—defeating her GOP rival in the runoff mayoral election in Jacksonville, Florida, reports HuffPost.
Deegan secured 52% of the vote, according to The Associated Press, prevailing over Daniel Davis, who was endorsed by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R); and making history as the first woman elected to the post.
Deegan will succeed outgoing Republican Lenny Curry, who had to step down due to term limits.
Jacksonville, the 13th-biggest U.S. city, had been the largest city led by a GOP mayor, according to CNN.
“Everybody said it could not be done in Jacksonville, Florida,” Deegan said following her victory. “We did it because we brought the people inside.”
Her win was celebrated by party leaders, including Nikki Fried, the Florida Democratic Party chair.
The contest went to a runoff race after no candidate secured 50% of the vote in the first round. Deegan came out ahead, but with only 39.4% of the vote.
Deegan, a former local TV news anchor, founded a nonprofit called the DONNA Foundation to support cancer patients and survivors after her own bout with the disease. She is a three-time breast cancer survivor.
Research contact: @HuffPost
Bombshell lawsuit accuses Rudy Giuliani of sexual harassment, wage theft, and more
May 17, 2023
Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani—who, more recently, served as personal lawyer to former President Donald Trump—has been named in a bombshell sexual harassment suit, charging him with demanding sexual favors, and engaging in alcohol-fueled rages, and wage theft, reports CBS News.
The suit is being brought by a woman Giuliani hired to handle business development for his firm. It is filled with multiple allegations about his sexual demands.
“He was constantly pressuring her, making sexual comments, sexual remarks, to her, about her, about himself. When they were supposed to be working he would, as our client alleges, then grope her and try to initiate sexual contact,” attorney Justin Kelton said.
Kelton was talking about his client, Noelle Dunphy, and the complaint she filed in Manhattan Supreme Court charging Giuliani with sexual abuse, harassment, and wage theft. He reportedly refused to pay her the $1 million salary he promised.
It is a complaint filled with shocking details, including that Giuliani allegedly:
- Drank morning, noon, and night, and was frequently intoxicated—and, therefore, his behavior was always unpredictable;
- Took Viagra constantly, would expose himself, and tell her that he could not do any work until “you take care of this;” and
- Made clear that satisfying his sexual demands—which came virtually anytime, anywhere—was an absolute requirement of her employment.
The suit says Giuliani “often demanded that Dunphy work naked, or in short-shorts with an American flag on them that he bought for her.”
The suit also claims Giuliani “demanded oral sex while he took phone calls,” including with then-President Donald Trump, and told her he enjoyed it “because it made him feel like Bill Clinton.”
“She alleges that on several occasions she objected, clearly, that he did not respect those objections,” Kelton said.
When Dunphy asked him if his firm had a human resources department where she could file a complaint, he reportedly laughed it off. Giuliani said that he did not have a human resources department, the suit charges, and bragged that no one would ever sue him because he was connected to then-President Trump, and he had private investigators who would punish anyone who complained, according to the lawsuit.
There was also the matter of his reportedly inappropriate comments when he had been drinking—comments recorded by Dunphy.
“Making all kinds of extremely vulgar, sexual remarks, racist remarks. Comments about the genitalia of Jewish men, for example. Comments about different ethnic groups. Comments about the bodies of prominent women like Hillary Clinton and Elizabeth Warren, imagining them in sexual scenarios,” Kelton said.
In published reports, Giuliani’s attorney had said he “categorically denies all of the allegations of this frivolous complaint.” However, the attorney did not comment on whether his client and Dunphy were romantically entangled.
Ted Goodman, a political and communications advisor to Giuliani, claimed “she’s taken part in ‘prior schemes to defraud high net-worth men,” according to a 2016 New York Post story. He also claimed she, “bragged about extorting $5 million” from the son of a successful Wall Street investor, with a fake rape claim in 2011.
“Mayor Giuliani’s lifetime of public service speaks for itself and he will pursue all available remedies and counterclaims,” Goodman said.
The suit also claims Giuliani gave Dunphy access to more than 23,000 of his emails—some allegedly containing classified and privileged exchanges with then-President Trump, his family, secretaries of state, and former attorneys general.
Dunphy is seeking $10 million.
Research contact: @CBSNews
Zelensky rules out peace talks with ‘insane’ Putin: ‘It’s a joke for him’
May 16, 2023
Russian leader Vladimir Putin is “insane,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said as he journeys around Europe to shore up support for Kyiv ahead of the country’s long-touted counteroffensive against the Kremlin, reports Newsweek.
“It’s a joke for him,” Zelensky said during a visit to Italy over the weekend, according to a Ukrainian media readout. “He does not understand what is happening. He is an insane human.”
“Russia started the war. Russia took lives. The war is on our land,” Zelensky said, in a readout of his interview with Italian media published by his office. “We have not proposed an artificial plan. We have proposed how to get out of this situation, to end the war, according to the law, respecting the UN Charter, international law, people, values.”
Zelensky here referenced his Ukrainian Peace Formula, which is a ten-point plan that outlines Kyiv’s conditions for peace. He has previously dismissed the possibility of negotiating with Putin. He said in January that he was “not interested” in meeting with the Russian president for peace talks.
There is “no point in attempts by certain countries or influential individuals to mediate between Ukraine and Russia to end the war,” according to Zelensky’s office. However, Kyiv “welcomes the proposals of third parties to help overcome the crises provoked by the war and end the war,” the presidential office said in a statement referring to Zelensky’s appearance in Italian media.
“We are a civilized state and we want peace, but a just peace. And we want fair and just sentences for the murderers,” Zelensky told Italian outlets.
Zelensky met with Italian political leaders, including Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni and the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, during a visit to Rome on Saturday, May 13. Kyiv’s European allies are pledging further support ahead of a concerted push-back against Russian forces.
On Saturday, the Ukrainian leader then travelled to Berlin as Germany unveiled a substantial new military aid package destined for Kyiv. “I thank Germany for the largest military aid package since the beginning of the full-scale Russian invasion,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter.
“Now is the time for us to determine the end of the war already this year. We can make the aggressor’s defeat irreversible already this year,” Zelensky told the media during a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Zelensky then arrived in Paris, adding on social media that, “with each visit, Ukraine’s defense and offensive capabilities are expanding.”
He tweeted, “The ties with Europe are getting stronger, and the pressure on Russia is growing,” as the French government committed to sending more AMX-10 RC “light tanks.”
On Monday, Zelensky arrived in the U.K. for a surprise visit and a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
“The UK is a leader when it comes to expanding our capabilities on the ground and in the air,” Zelensky wrote on Twitter. “This cooperation will continue today.” The British government said in a press release ahead of Sunak’s meeting with Zelensky that the U.K. would provide “hundreds of air defence missiles and further unmanned aerial systems including hundreds of new long-range attack drones.”
Ukraine has been calling for increased military equipment deliveries as it prepares for its spring counteroffensive. However, Kyiv officials have declined to provide specific details on the nature of these operations.
“We are preparing very seriously,” Zelensky said in Italy. “And there will definitely be very serious steps. You will definitely see it, and Russia will definitely feel it.”
However, Zelensky said earlier this month that Ukraine would “need a bit more time” before launching this effort.
Research contact: @Newsweek
Judge in Virginia strikes down federal limit on age of handgun buyers
May 15, 2023
A judge in Virginia has struck down federal laws blocking handgun sales to buyers over 18 and under 21, in a ruling that might augur the rollback of regulation, prompted by the Supreme Court’s sweeping expansion of gun rights last year, reports The New York Times.
Judge Robert E. Payne of Federal District Court in Richmond, Virginia, ruled on Wednesday, May 10, that statutes and regulations put in place over the past few decades to enforce age requirements on sales of handguns, such as semiautomatic Glock-style pistols, by federally licensed weapons dealers were “not consistent with our nation’s history and tradition” and therefore could not stand.
A citizen’s Second Amendment rights do not “vest at age 21,” he added.
In his 71-page ruling, Judge Payne—who was appointed by President George H.W. Bush—repeatedly cited the majority opinion in the landmark case, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, which struck down a New York State law that put tight limits on carrying guns outside the home.
The Justice Department is expected to appeal the ruling in Virginia, which, should it stand, would have a significant, if limited, impact on firearms purchases. The decision, which would not affect state age limits, will take effect when the judge issues his final order, which is expected in the next few weeks.
Elliot Harding, the lawyer who represented young adults including John Corey Fraser, who brought the case, seeking to buy handguns through federal dealers, said the decision would likely lead to similar rulings. “This is definitely the tip of the spear,” he said.
Gun rights groups have been filing lawsuits across the country, in hopes of weakening local and federal gun regulations, basing their claims on the Bruen case. They have had mixed results—winning some cases and losing others. In December, a federal judge in Louisiana upheld the 21-year-old age limit.
“This decision is not a surprise—all bets are off,” said Jonathan Lowy, a lawyer and gun violence activist who has sued firearms manufacturers on behalf of the victims of mass shootings and their families. “Bruen gave license to any judge who has an inclination to strike down any gun law.”
John Feinblatt, the president of the advocacy group, Everytown for Gun Safety, said he expected the ruling to be overturned, but he also anticipated a wave of similar cases over the next year by conservative jurists on the federal bench.
“It’s the latest example of a larger campaign by the gun lobby to see exactly how far radical judges will let them take the Bruen decision,” he said.
The Virginia case was brought by Fraser, who was 20 when he was turned away after trying to buy a Glock handgun from a federally licensed dealer last year. He subsequently challenged the 1968 federal gun control law, and age restrictions imposed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is responsible for enforcing the nation’s gun laws.
Already, 18-year-olds are allowed to buy long guns, including shotguns and semiautomatic rifles, from about 70,000 federally licensed dealers. They have been banned from purchasing handguns, which are the most common weapons used in crimes, through such vendors—but, under federal law, they are legally allowed to buy them from private, unlicensed dealers.
The decision would ease the way for 18-year-olds to procure handguns.
Research contact: @nytimes