While You Were Out: July 24, 2019

No matter how arduous your Wednesday has been, CivMixers, it’s highly likely your day wasn’t nearly as taxing as Robert Mueller’s. For that, at least, you can be thankful.

The former special counsel spent some seven hours testifying before two different House committees today on the findings of his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle grilled Mueller, but extracted little information beyond what he had written in his voluminous report released back in April.

Democrats initially got him to confirm the most damaging elements of his findings for President Trump, denying that the president had been cleared of obstructing justice or completely exonerated as he has so often declared. But he clarified his remarks later in the day.

Mueller also criticized the president’s fondness for Wikileaks, the group that published emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s campaign during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump himself panned Mueller’s appearance before Congress, retweeting critics of the special counsel’s testimony to 62 million followers throughout the three-hour House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Mueller said that Russian interference in US political campaigns continues unabated to this day — and will likely continue through the 2020 election.

The White House praised a federal judge who ruled against blocking the Trump administration’s effort to restrict Central American migrants’ ability to apply for asylum in the U.S.

Trump will reportedly hold a bill-signing ceremony Friday for a new law guaranteeing financial support to 9/11 first responders and other victims of the terrorist attacks.

Notorious Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff has filed a petition with the U.S. Justice Department asking that Trump reduce his 150-year prison sentence — a bid that Madoff’s prosecutor promptly called “the very definition of chutzpah.”

Boris Johnson, the polarizing and showboating politician who led the campaign for Britain to leave the EU in 2016, is now officially in charge of ushering the country through that fraught and difficult divorce.

Rensselaer County Clerk Frank Merola filed a federal lawsuit challenging the new state law that would allow undocumented immigrants to apply for and receive driver’s licenses.

Disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner recently moved into the East Village apartment building where his long-suffering wife, Huma Abedin, lives with the couple’s young son.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation today creating a commission tasked with delivering a report by the end of next year on how the state can utilize and regulate these evolving high-tech areas.

Civil Service Employees Association President Danny Donohue announced to union staff this afternoon at the University Club in Albany that he will not seek re-election. An official statement is expected on tomorrow, according to the union’s spokesman.

You can now check to see if your personal information was compromised in the 2017 Equifax data breach. Attorney General Tish James says it’s part of a new website with information about a $700 million settlement for federal and state lawsuits against the company.

State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, a Brooklyn Democrat, called for hearings to assess the reliability of New York City’s power grid after power outages affect tens of thousands of utility customers.

State Democratic Committee Chairman Jay Jacobs aid he is keeping his mind open on the issue of fusion voting, which could be scrapped or altered by the election law commission he was appointed to this month by Cuomo.

The daughter of former Rep. Maurice Hinchey is getting ready for a potential state Senate run next year. Democrat Michelle Hinchey of Saugerties filed paperwork to form a campaign committee that would enable her to run against GOP Sen. George Amedore.

Cuomo signed a bill to name a portion of the state highway system in Montgomery County for Sergeant Jeremy Vannostrand, who died as the result of injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident outside the State Police Barracks in the Town of Glen where he was stationed.

A man considered a suspect in an alleged Saturday night assault on Phila Street was chased by police but escaped capture today at the Saratoga Race Course, city police said.

A former Schenectady County sheriff’s correction officer will spend the next three years on probation after he admitted to breaking into a neighbor’s home this past fall, according to court documents.

Albany police are investigating a shooting that occurred in the area of Second and Judson streets around 11:45 p.m. last night.

A graduation ceremony was held this morning in Albany for 228 new State Police troopers.

Albany is getting an influx of state dollars for the project down near the Palace Theater, I-787 and Quackenbush Square.

Angry Orchard has issued an apology and fired a manager at its Hudson Valley cidery following allegations of racial bias against black patrons who were celebrating a marriage proposal.

State police say an 8-year-old girl has died after a wall cabinet fell on her in a classroom in the Hudson Valley village of Kiryas Joel.

Residents will have another opportunity tonight to make their voices heard on the possibility of making Troy a “sanctuary city.” It’s the second of three hearings on the issue, and begins at 6:00 p.m. at the Franklin Terrace on Campbell Avenue.

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival, the largest annual fundraiser for the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, will have a smaller, more focused approach for this, its 19th year.

Photo credit: Renee Fahey. (Gleaned from the “Looking Good, Albany!” Facebook page).

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