A bill by New York lawmakers aims to make it easier to prosecute former presidents after they leave office if they are accused of criminal activity.
New York senator Michael Gianaris and assemblyman Nick Perry, who proposed the bill, said it was aimed at making sure presidents could be held to account “like every other New York citizen”, according to the New York Post.
“Clearly the privileges of the Office of president were not intended to make the holder of the office above the law, and was not intended to empower a president with the ability to thwart and sabotage an active, legitimate investigation as New York prosecutors have accused the president of doing,” Mr Perry said.
The US Justice Department currently has a decades-old policy that a president cannot be arrested or prosecuted while in office. The new bill would honor that policy, but would pause the statute of limitations until a president leaves office, meaning that a criminal case could still proceed even if the limitations period ended during a president’s term.
It would apply to all future presidents, regardless of their party affiliation, and would pertain to potential state criminal cases against a president.
Mr Perry added that pausing the statute of limitations for the full period of a president’s tenure “will ensure that if the president did participate in any of the numerous criminal activities alleged by his former counsel to have occurred, he like every other New York citizen will be held to account for all crimes against the people and state of New York.”
The proposed measure comes as Mr Trump’s business dealings are being investigated by the offices of Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. and New York State Attorney General Letitia James. Mr Vance is also trying to gain access to Mr Trump’s tax returns.
Trump campaign official Ed Cox told the New York Post that if the law is passed, it would likely be struck down as unconstitutional.
“It is aimed at one person — Donald Trump. You can’t do that,” Mr Cox said. “They don’t like Donald Trump and what he stands for. It’s all political. He’s been too good a conservative.”
Still, the bill stands a chance at passing, considering Democrats control a majority in both houses of New York’s state legislature.
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Homes destroyed after winds push California fire into desert
JUNIPER HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Homes were destroyed Friday by an unrelenting wildfire that reached a Mojave Desert community and was still growing on several fronts after burning for nearly two weeks in mountains northeast of Los Angeles.
Officials were investigating the death of a firefighter on the lines of another Southern California wildfire that erupted earlier this month from a smoke-generating pyrotechnic device used by a couple to reveal their baby’s gender.
The death occurred Thursday in San Bernardino National Forest as crews battled the El Dorado Fire about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of LA, the U.S. Forest Service said in a statement.
In northern Los Angeles County, the Bobcat Fire burned semi-rural desert properties when it was pushed by gusts into the community of Juniper Hills after churning all the way across the San Gabriel Mountains.
Crews protected homes and chased spot fires sparked by embers blown across neighborhoods by erratic winds. Surrounding areas were under evacuation orders and residents of ranches scrambled to get horses and other animals out.
“We’ve got a very active firefight on the north end of this fire and we’re bringing in more strike teams. We’ll be in this firefight for some time,” LA County Fire Captain David Dantic said Friday evening. The blaze was also expanding on the eastern and western edges, officials said.
Wyatt Stephenson helped his friend evacuate his home at the top of Juniper Hills.
“We were waiting for the fire to come over the ridge. When it finally came over, we got him out of there,” Stephenson said. “We found out later that his house burned. The fire just burned everything.”
It wasn’t immediately clear how many homes were burned in the area about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of downtown LA. No injuries were reported.
On the south side of the blaze, firefighters continued to protect Mount Wilson, which overlooks greater Los Angeles and has a historic observatory founded more than a century ago and numerous broadcast antennas serving Southern California.
The fire that started Sept. 6, has now churned through more than 112 square miles (290 square kilometers) — doubling in size over the last week. It was 15% contained.
The name of the firefighter killed in the nearby El Dorado Fire was being withheld until family members are notified.
“Our deepest sympathies are with the family, friends and fellow firefighters during this time,” Forest Service spokesperson Zach Behrens said in the statement.
No other information was released about the firefighter, the agency the firefighter worked for, or the circumstances of the death. The body was escorted down the mountain in a procession of first-responder vehicles.
A statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said it was the 26th death involving wildfires besieging the state.
A new blaze sparked by a vehicle that caught fire was growing in wilderness outside Palm Springs.
To the north, a fire burning for nearly a month in Sequoia National Forest roared to life again Friday and prompted evacuation orders for the central California mountain communities of Silver City and Mineral King.
More than 7,900 wildfires have burned more than 5,300 square miles (13,727 square kilometers) in California this year, including many since a mid-August barrage of dry lightning ignited parched vegetation.
The El Dorado Fire has burned more than 33 square miles (85.4 square kilometers) and was 65% contained, with 10 buildings destroyed and six damaged.
Cal Fire said earlier this month that the El Dorado Fire was ignited Sept. 5 when a couple, their young children and someone there to record video staged the baby gender reveal at El Dorado Ranch Park at the foot of the San Bernardino Mountains.
The device was set off in a field and quickly ignited dry grass. The couple frantically tried to use bottled water to extinguish the flames and called 911.
Authorities have not released the identities of the couple, who could face criminal charges and be held liable for the cost of fighting the fire.
Associated Press writer John Antczak in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
James Caan Says There’s No ‘Elf 2’ Because Will Ferrell and Jon Favreau ‘Didn’t Get Along’
James Caan says there wont be a sequel to the hit Christmas fantasy-comedy “Elf” because headliner Will Ferrell and director Jon Favreau “didn’t get along.”
“”We were gonna do it and I thought, ‘Oh my god, I finally got a franchise movie, I could make some money, let my kids do what the hell they want to do.’ And the director and Will didn’t get along very well,” Caan told Cleveland’s 92.3 The Fan’s Bull & Fox show on Friday. “So, Will wanted to do it, he didn’t want the director, and he had it in his contract, it was one of those things.”
The Will Ferrell holiday movie, first released in 2003, centered on Buddy (Ferrell), a human who was adopted and raised by Santa’s elves. Buddy learns about this and heads to New York City to meet his biological father (Cann) while also spreading Christmas cheer in a world of cynics in the process. “Elf” also starred Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen, Daniel Tay, Bob Newhart and Ed Asner.
Related: 5 things you didn’t know about ‘Elf’
Also Read: Jon Favreau Wants ‘The Mandalorian’ Season 2 to Be Like ‘Game of Thrones’
Made on a budget of just $33 million, the film was a box office hit and grossed $220.4 million in world wide box office. “Elf” is considered one of the greatest Christmas movies and in 2017, Fandango users rated “Elf” the best Christmas film of the 21st century.
Representatives for Ferrell did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap. Favreau’s representative didn’t immediately have a comment.
Read original story James Caan Says There’s No ‘Elf 2’ Because Will Ferrell and Jon Favreau ‘Didn’t Get Along’ At TheWrap
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