NATION ROUNDUP: Tornadoes flip campers, damage homes in Southern Plains
Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, May 21, 2019
OKLAHOMA CITY — A tornado touched down Tuesday near Tulsa International Airport, injuring at least one person and damaging about a dozen homes, amid storms in the Southern Plains that brought a deluge of rain and powerful winds, closing an interstate and flipping campers at a raceway.
Storms could bring more tornadoes and flash flooding to parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma on Tuesday.
Storms Monday evening flipped campers at Lucas Oil Speedway in Hickory County, Missouri, injuring seven people, four of whom were taken to hospitals. The speedway’s grandstand also was destroyed, forcing cancellation of racing this weekend that was expected to draw about 3,000 campers. Details about injuries were not immediately available.
Police to return property seized from San Francisco reporter
SAN FRANCISCO — A San Francisco journalist whose equipment was seized in a police raid will get back his property, a police attorney said Tuesday at a court hearing, but that did not resolve larger issues in the case that alarmed journalism advocates.
Authorities have said the May 10 raids of freelancer Bryan Carmody’s home and office were part of a criminal investigation into what police called the illegal release of a report on the death of former Public Defender Jeff Adachi, who died unexpectedly in February.
But media organizations across the country criticized the raids as a violation of California’s shield law, which specifically protects journalists from search warrants. The Associated Press is among dozens of news organizations siding with Carmody and seeking to submit a friend-of-the-court brief.
Tennessee House speaker to resign amid text message scandal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee’s embattled House Speaker Glen Casada announced Tuesday he plans to resign from his leadership post following a vote of no confidence by his Republican caucus amid a scandal over explicit text messages.
The move is unprecedented in Tennessee’s modern political era. The last Senate speaker resignation came in 1931. And in 1893, a House speaker declined to resign and his office was declared vacant, according to legislative librarian Eddie Weeks.
Casada announced the decision just a day after previously shrugging off a 45-24 secret ballot vote from his GOP caucus determining they no longer had confidence in his ability to lead the Tennessee House. Shortly after the hours long decision, Casada said he would work “months” to regain trust from his colleagues and previously spelled out an “action plan” to reassure them.
However, the promise wasn’t enough to satisfy critics and instead an increasing number of Republican leaders, including the House’s top officers, began demanding he step aside, including a stern warning from Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee saying he would call a special legislative session if Casada didn’t voluntarily give up the key spot.
Casada has been dogged by calls to resign since it was revealed he exchanged text messages containing sexually explicit language about women with his former chief of staff several years ago, among other controversies.
McGahn defies subpoena for testimony, faces contempt vote
WASHINGTON — House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler gaveled open a Trump-Russia hearing Tuesday with an empty witness chair and a stern warning that former White House Counsel Don McGahn will be held in contempt for failing to appear in defiance of the committee’s subpoena..
“Our subpoenas are not optional,” Nadler said. The panel will hear from McGahn “one way or another,” he said. “This committee will have no choice but to enforce the subpoena against him.”
Democrats are facing yet another attempt by President Donald Trump to stonewall their investigations . This time they’re blocked from hearing from McGahn — a chief eyewitness to the president’s handling of the federal Russia investigation — on orders from the White House.
Rep. Doug Collins, the ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee, spoke scornfully of Nadler’s position, calling the session a “circus” and saying the chairman preferred a public “fight over fact-finding.”