Judge, jury, executioner, and president
For someone who touts himself as a law-and-order kind of guy, President Trump does law enforcement officials and prosecutors no favors with his impulsive social media and campaign-style rhetoric.
The terror attack that killed eight people in Manhattan on Tuesday is the latest incident to draw attention from Trump’s ungoverned fingers as he tweeted out he would send the suspect to the military prison in Guantanamo and then declared “DEATH PENALTY!” for the Uzbekistan immigrant who hadn’t even been arraigned yet.
Containing Trump, who rode his and others’ outrage into the White House, has been a lost cause but his penchant for immediately typing or uttering whatever thought crosses his mind puts his lawyers, both criminal and civil, behind the eight-ball.
Experts say Trump has already poisoned the ability for Sayfullo Saipov to receive a fair trial anywhere, let alone in the city where he allegedly committed his murderous rampage with a rented truck. Any defense lawyer worth his salt will jump all over Trump’s declarations in motions to court and tie the case up for years while exacting a deal with prosecutors to keep Saipov alive, albeit jailed for eternity.
While prosecutors argued the statements were made before Trump was elected, he just couldn’t help himself last month when asked if he stood by his labeling of Bergdahl.
“I can’t comment on Bowe Bergdahl,” Trump told reporters. “But I think people have heard my comments in the past.”
And it’s not just his Justice Department and military lawyers who are pulling out their hair. Trump’s civil lawyers have their work cut out for them as well. During the campaign, a number of women came forward to accuse the then-reality-star-turned-candidate of unwanted sexual advances and harassment. Trump denied all the allegations and it probably would have ended there with opponents believing his accusers and supporters dismissing the allegations as politically motivated.
But like everything else with Trump, he needed the last word and that last word was “liars” to describe his accusers. That has opened the door for a defamation suit and, if the New York Supreme Court rules his position as president doesn’t shield him from comments he made as a private citizen, it will open the floodgates for all his other alleged victims to come forward and testify under oath.
Here’s a suggestion, since counseling the president to refrain from using Twitter on his cell phone to give a platform to that voice in his head isn’t working: Stop paying the cell phone bill. No service might be the best service they can perform.
A Herald editorial rips lawmakers, who were on vacation for most of August and September and have now been unable to wrap up on time a spending bill dealing with the already-done 2017 budget year.
Globe columnist Yvonne Abraham, who wrote last week about sexual harassment at the State House, tells the story of more women who have contacted her with stories about the ugly culture there. (Boston Globe) Telegram & Gazette columnist Dianne Williamson brings her brand of outraged snark to the sexual harassment stories dominating national headlines.
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield, who heads a sexual assault working group on Beacon Hill, is tired of all the pictures of “dead white guys” up at the State House. (MassLive)
A Globe editorial applauds the Senate criminal justice reform bill and encourages the House to support it.
A legislative commission says it would make sense for Massachusetts not to move the clocks back each year, but says the state shouldn’t do it unless other states in the northeast go along. (State House News)
Rep. Denise Provost of Somerville said she hopes the spill of 8 million gallons of largely untreated sewage into the Merrimack River on Monday will give some momentum to a bill she filed requiring larger public notification of such spills. Notice of the Merrimack spill went to only a handful of players. (Eagle-Tribune)
A member of the Barnstable County Commissioners who thrives on making controversial statements is dismissing the latest uproar, in which he tweeted the #metoo experiences that women are sharing on social media is “a bunch of nonsense.” (Cape Cod Times)
A Newton man was among the group of 10 graduates of an Argentine high school who gathered for a 30-year anniversary celebration in New York only to have five of them killed in Tuesday’s terror attack. (Boston Globe) Investigators say the plot was timed to inflict the maximum amount of damage. (New York Times) Joan Vennochi rips President Trump for what she says has become his “despicably” characteristic divisive reaction to tragedy after he attacked Sen. Chuck Schumer in the wake of Tuesday’s truck attack on bicyclists in New York City. A Herald editorial agrees. Crisis usually brings out the best in political leaders,” it says. “In this case, not so much.”
Polling in gubernatorial races appears to be diminishing across the country. (Governing)
How much credit can Mayor Marty Walsh take for Boston’s booming economy? Not much, say economists. (Boston Globe)
The under-renovation Emerson Colonial Theatre will reopen in June with the off-Broadway premiere of “Moulin Rouge: The Musical.” (WBUR)
Judge John Agostini seems skeptical of bids to block Berkshire Museum from selling off artwork to stabilize the organization’s finances, prompting Attorney General Maura Healey to file an emergency motion. (Berkshire Eagle)
Post breakup, Greyhound takes a shot at Peter Pan in a billboard ad. (MassLive)
The Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan is awarded a $100,000 prize by the Boston nonprofit EdVestors in recognition of its turnaround success under a little-used provision of the city teachers contract that allows for a joint union-management oversight of schools. (Boston Globe)
Health insurance costs spike for some in the wake of President Trump’s decision to do away with federal subsidies. (Gloucester Times)
The federal Food and Drug Administration is looking to expand the use of “medication-assisted therapy” to treat opioid addiction and lift the stigma from the approach. (Bloomberg) Edward Murphy wrote a piece for the Fall issue of CommonWealth touting the success of the medicine-based approach for overcoming addiction.
A regular commuter rail rider gets arrested at North Station when officials question whether he had a valid October pass because it faded so much over the course of the month. They encouraged him to go to the counter to have it verified; he refused on principle. (Boston Globe)
October 2017 was the warmest on record in Worcester in 117 years and the second-warmest ever. (Telegram & Gazette)
The MBTA is seeking to have a suit dismissed by Sudbury officials trying to kill a lease between the agency and Eversource that would grant the power company an easement to run transmission lines between Sudbury and Hudson. (MetroWest Daily News)
The attorney general’s office says it’s closely tracking the performance of utilities in restoring power to those areas with outages from the storm earlier this week. (Boston Herald)
Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter declared the controversial proposal to build a natural gas-powered plant in an industrial section of the city which he staunchly supported is “dead.” (The Enterprise)
Southbridge takes baby steps toward limiting garbage generation by holding residents to one, 64-gallon barrel a week. (Telegram & Gazette)
Steve Wynn tells business leaders in Boston that Wynn Resorts plans to spend $90 million buying up property around the company’s casino in Everett to help turn the facility into a convention and entertainment destination. Wynn, the finance chairman of the Republican National Committee, also praises Gov. Charlie Baker, with whom he met in Las Vegas recently. (CommonWealth)
A 16-year-old Brighton High School student was shot to death on Halloween night in Jamaica Plain. (Boston Herald)
Federal officials have filed an appeal asking a judge to allow them to seize more fishing vessels and permits from Carlos Rafael, the so-called “Codfather” of New Bedford who was convicted of smuggling money and violating fishing quotas. (Standard-Times)
Five Braintree police officers have been cleared to return to duty after a departmental review determined the fatal shooting of a Dorchester man who opened fire as police tried to serve a warrant while he stayed at a motel was justified. (Patriot Ledger)
Brianna Rae Brochu faces a hate crime charge in connection with bizarre actions taken against her former roommate at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. Brochu allegedly licked her roommate’s dining utensils, smeared body fluids on her backpack, and stuck her toothbrush “where the sun don’t shine.” (Hartford Courant)MEDIA
WBZ and The Sports Hub get new owners. (Boston Globe)