In our news wrap Wednesday, a federal appeals court ordered criminal charges against former national security adviser Michael Flynn be dismissed. The judges ruled 2 to 1 in favor of the Justice Department’s motion to drop the case. Also, Wisconsin's governor has activated the National Guard after violent protesters outside the state capitol overnight tore down statues and injured a state senator.
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U.S. Attorney General William Barr is under new fire tonight over claims that he puts politics before justice.
Democrats renewed the charge at a congressional hearing today. A federal prosecutor testified that superiors pushed a lesser sentence for an ally of President Trump. We will get all the details after the news summary.
A federal appeals court has ordered criminal charges dismissed against former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Today's 2-1 ruling endorsed a Justice Department motion. The trial judge had refused to drop the case, pending a review. Flynn admitted lying to the FBI, and then asked to withdraw his plea.
Democrats in the U.S. Senate today blocked a Republican bill on policing practices. It would increase incentives to ban choke holds and restrict no-knock warrants. But Democrats want stronger mandates.
Ahead of the vote, each side accused the other of bad faith.
Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.:
No final legislation can pass without 60 votes. If Democrats don't like the final product, it won't pass.
The only way there's any downside for Democrats to come to the table is that they would rather preserve this urgent subject as a live campaign issue than pass a bipartisan answer.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y.:
Who is a better guardian of civil rights of African-American when it comes to police reform? The NAACP or Mitch McConnell?
If this bill were such a good path to reform, why wouldn't civil rights organizations from one end of America to another say, go forward, maybe we will get something done? Because they know the bill is a ruse, and nothing will get done.
The House of Representatives votes tomorrow on a more expansive Democratic bill.
The governor of Wisconsin has activated the National Guard after violent protests at the state capitol overnight. A state senator was beaten up in the melee. Crowds tore down statues honoring an anti-slavery leader and women's rights, and they vandalized a number of buildings.
Meanwhile, three white men in Georgia were indicted for murder today in the killing of Ahmaud Arbery last February.
And Louisville, Kentucky, has fired a white officer who fatally shot Breonna Taylor during a no-knock raid in March.
Health officials are warning that a surge in COVID-19 cases could swamp hospitals in the Sunbelt. That follows word of nearly 35,000 new infections nationwide over 24 hours. That is the most since April. And, today, New York, Connecticut and New Jersey announced visitors that from nine high-risk states will have to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Gov. Phil Murphy:
This is a smart thing to do. We have taken our people, the three of us, these three states, through hell and back. And the last thing we need to do right now is to subject our folks to another round.
Meanwhile, federal funding for 13 community-based testing sites will end this month. They were aimed mainly at poor and minority areas. Federal officials said that many other testing sites are still available.
The spike in COVID cases pushed Wall Street's major indexes down more than 2 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 710 points to close at 25446. The Nasdaq fell 222 points, and the S&P 500 dropped 81.
The U.S. Senate approved President Trump's 200th judicial nominee today. Majority Republicans elevated a Mississippi judge to a federal appeals court, as Democrats criticized his record on voting rights. Republicans say that all appeals court vacancies are now filled for the first time in at least 40 years.
They're still counting votes after a flood of mail-in ballots in Tuesday's primaries. Among the major undecided races, Kentucky Democrats Amy McGrath and Charles Booker are competing to challenge Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
And in New York, Jamaal Bowman is seeking to oust fellow Democrat Eliot Engel, who chairs the House — U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Pharmaceutical giant Bayer will pay as much as $10.9 billion to settle lawsuits over the weed-killer Roundup. Thousands of plaintiffs have alleged that it causes cancer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that it is safe when used as directed. Roundup is made by Bayer's subsidiary Monsanto.
And NASA is renaming its headquarters in Washington after Mary Jackson. She was the first black female engineer at the space agency. Her worked helped to launch the original astronauts and was featured in the book and the movie "Hidden Figures." Mary Jackson died in 2005.