Category: law

‘It’s not the law of Amy’: SCOTUS nominee Barrett faces Dem skepticism on Day 2 of hearings

WASHINGTON — Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett batted away Democrats’ skeptical questions Tuesday on abortion, health care and a possible disputed-election fight over transferring presidential power, insisting in a long and lively confirmation hearing she would bring no personal agenda to the court but decide cases “as they come.”

The 48-year-old appellate court judge declared her conservative views with often colloquial language, but refused many specifics. She declined to say whether she would recuse herself from any election-related cases involving President Donald Trump, who nominated her to fill the seat of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and is pressing to have her confirmed before the the Nov. 3 election.

“Judges can’t just wake up one day and say I have an agenda — I like guns, I hate guns, I like abortion, I hate abortion — and walk in like a royal queen and impose their will on the world,” Barrett told the Senate Judiciary Committee during its second day of hearings.

“It’s not the law of Amy,” she said. “It’s the law of the American people.”

Barrett returned to a Capitol Hill mostly locked down with COVID-19 protocols, the mood quickly shifting to a more confrontational tone from opening day. She was grilled by Democrats strongly opposed to Trump’s nominee yet unable to stop her. Excited by the prospect of a judge aligned with the late Antonin Scalia, Trump’s Republican allies are rushing ahead to install a 6-3 conservative court majority for years to come.

The president seemed pleased with her performance. “I think Amy’s doing incredibly well,” he said at the White House departing for a campaign rally.

Trump has said he wants a justice seated for any disputes arising from his heated election with Democrat Joe Biden, but Barret testified she has not spoken to Trump or his team about election cases. Pressed by panel Democrats, she skipped past questions about ensuring the date of the election or preventing voter intimidation, both set in federal law, and the peaceful transfer of presidential power. She declined to commit to recusing herself from any post-election cases without first consulting the other justices.

“I can’t offer an opinion on recusal without short-circuiting that entire process,” she said.

A frustrated Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the panel, all but implored the nominee to be more specific about how she would handle landmark abortion cases, including Roe v. Wade and the follow-up Pennsylvania case Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which confirmed it in large part.

“It’s distressing not to get a good answer,” Feinstein told the judge.

Barrett was unmoved. “I don’t have an agenda to try to overrule Casey,” she said. “I have an agenda to stick to the rule of law and decide cases as they come.”

She later declined to characterize the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion as a “super-precedent” that must not be overturned.

Democrats had no such reticence.

Let’s not make any mistake about it,” said California Sen. Kamala Harris, the Democratic

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Twitter to pay $100,000 for violating Washington campaign disclosure law

Twitter will pay $100,000 for failing to retain required records about political ads from Washington candidates that ran over a seven-year period before the social media platform banned all political advertising.

Twitter agreed to pay the fine, which is about half the amount the company received from Washington candidates’ political advertising from 2012 to 2019, to Washington’s Public Disclosure Transparency Account, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced Tuesday. The fine comes after Ferguson announced his intention over the summer to sue the company over campaign finance violations

Under Washington’s campaign finance law, commercial advertisers must keep certain information, such as candidates’ names, the cost of the ad and who paid for it and on what date, and the name and address of the ad sponsor. According to the attorney general’s office, at least 38 Washington candidates and committees paid $194,550 for advertising on Twitter, and the company didn’t maintain the required information.

In an emailed statement, Twitter said the resolution is “reflective of our commitment to transparency and accountability. The company ended all political advertising on its platform in November 2019, which was a decision “in line with our belief that the reach of political speech should be earned and not bought.”

In the judgment, Twitter agreed to pay the fine but didn’t waive its ability to contend in the future that its exempt from public transparency laws.

The actions from the Attorney General’s office were prompted by research from Tallman Trask, a University of Washington law student and political activist who requested information from Twitter about a dozen local campaigns. After Twitter failed to provide the requested information, he filed a complaint to the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission on Oct. 30, 2019 — the same day Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey announced the platform would stop political advertising.

Trask called the announcement great news for Washington voters.

“It’s particularly good news for fairness in election advertising in our state,” Trask said in an interview. “It’s a question of whether or not companies are following the laws that the people want in place, and that other companies have followed for decades. It’s more about ensuring fairness than ensuring fines.”

The judgment is part of a series of lawsuits filed by the Attorney General’s office against tech companies related to political advertising. Facebook and Google paid more than $450,000 to settle twin lawsuits in 2018, when Ferguson’s office asserted that the tech giants violated campaign transparency laws.

Facebook and Google announced after the 2018 settlement that each company would stop selling political ads, but continued to do so. Ferguson filed another lawsuit in April against Facebook, saying the company has “repeatedly and openly” violated state laws.

In contrast with Facebook,

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Law Offices of Howard G. Smith Announces Investigation of Homology Medicines, Inc. (FIXX) on Behalf of Investors

BENSALEM, Pa.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 13, 2020–

Law Offices of Howard G. Smith announces an investigation on behalf of Homology Medicines, Inc. (“Homology” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: FIXX ) investors concerning the Company’s possible violations of federal securities laws.

In June 2019, the Company launched a dose-escalation Phase 1/2 clinical trial for HMI-102, its lead product candidate for the treatment of phenylketonuria. Homology “reported encouraging safety and efficacy data from the dose-escalation portion of the trial” and claimed that the data showed HMI-102 “produced a sustained reduction in phenylalanine (Phe).”

Then, on July 21, 2020, Mariner Research published a report, alleging that the Company’s comments “conveniently ignor[ed] the implications to efficacy and the business.” Citing data from a mouse study, the Phase 1/2 trial, and a key patient’s Facebook posts, the report concluded that HMI-102 “therapy is showing zero efficacy even for a high dose patient,” signifying that “the HMI-102 program is dead in the water.” Moreover, citing internal emails and analyst reports, Mariner Research claimed Homology had selectively discussed the patient’s Facebook posts with sell side analysts covering Homology and major investors.

On this news, the Company’s stock price fell $1.71 per share, or more than 10%, over three consecutive trading sessions to close at $14.77 per share on July 24, 2020, thereby injuring investors.

If you purchased Homology securities, have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215) 638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to [email protected], or visit our website at www.howardsmithlaw.com.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

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CONTACT: Law Offices of Howard G. Smith

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215-638-4847

888-638-4847

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Amy Coney Barrett dodges abortion, healthcare and election law questions

On the second day of hearings before the Senate judiciary committee, Democrats pressed supreme court nominee Amy Coney Barrett on healthcare, election law and abortion rights – and met with little success.



a person standing in front of a counter: Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA


© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA

Related: ‘Slayer Pete’: Buttigieg emerges as Biden’s unlikely Fox News fighter

Donald Trump’s third nominee for the highest court dodged questions on how she might rule on a challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA); if she would recuse herself from any lawsuit about the presidential election; and whether she would vote to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling Roe v Wade, which made abortion legal.



a man standing in front of a counter: Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.


© Photograph: Demetrius Freeman/EPA
Supreme court nominee Judge Amy Coney Barrett testifies during the Senate judiciary committee hearing on Tuesday.

Barrett argued that she was not a pundit, citing remarks by Justice Elena Kagan and the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in saying that outside of reviewing a specific case, it was not her place to offer a position.

“No hints, no previews, no forecasts,” Barrett quoted Ginsburg as saying, after the California senator Dianne Feinstein questioned her about how she might rule in any case challenging the legality of abortion.

Barrett is a devout Catholic whose previous statements and affiliations have been closely examined by Democrats and the media. Trump has said overturning Roe v Wade would be “possible” with Barrett on the court.

At another point in Tuesday’s hearing, Barrett cited Kagan in saying she would not give “a thumbs up or thumbs down” on any hypothetical ruling.

Most of the questioning from Democrats centered on the ACA, known popularly as Obamacare, and how a ruling by the high court overturning the law would take away healthcare from millions of Americans. A hearing is due a week after election day. Democrats see protecting the ACA as a productive electoral tactic, having focused on it in the 2018 midterms, when they took back the House.

Barrett said she was not hostile to the ACA, or indeed abortion or gay rights, another area worrying progressives as the court seems set to tilt to a 6-3 conservative majority. Barrett said she was simply focused on upholding the law.

“I am not hostile to the ACA,” Barrett said. “I apply the law, I follow the law. You make the policy.”

Video: Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein (CNBC)

Barrett refuses to address whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned, despite prodding from Sen. Feinstein

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Asked about gay rights, Barrett said: “I would not discriminate on the basis of sexual preference.”

Her choice of words conspicuously suggested that to her, sexuality is a choice. Amid scrutiny of Barrett’s past, meanwhile, it has been reported that she was a trustee at a school whose handbook included stated opposition to same-sex marriage

Republican senators also questioned Barrett on healthcare, the Iowa senator Chuck Grassley asking if she had been asked during the nomination process if

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The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz Announces Investigation of Loop Industries, Inc. (LOOP) on Behalf of Investors

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz announces an investigation of Loop Industries, Inc. (“Loop” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: LOOP) on behalf of investors concerning the Company’s possible violations of federal securities laws.

If you are a shareholder who suffered a loss, click here to participate.

On October 13, 2020, Hindenburg Research published a report alleging, among other things, that “[a] former Loop employee told us that Loop’s scientists, under pressure from CEO Daniel Solomita, were tacitly encouraged to lie about the results of the company’s process internally. We have obtained internal documents and photographs to support their claims.” The report also stated that “Loop’s previous claims of breaking PET down to its base chemicals at a recovery rate of 100% were ‘technically and industrially impossible,’” according to a former employee. Moreover, the report alleged that “Executives from a division of key partner Thyssenkrupp, who Loop entered into a ‘global alliance agreement’ with in December 2018, told us their partnership is on ‘indefinite’ hold and that Loop ‘underestimated’ both costs and complexities of its process.”

On this news, Loop’s stock price fell as much as 33% during intraday trading on October 13, 2020.

Follow us for updates on Twitter: twitter.com/FRC_LAW.

If you purchased Loop securities, have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Frank R. Cruz, of The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz, 1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1100, Los Angeles, California 90067 at 310-914-5007, by email to [email protected], or visit our website at www.frankcruzlaw.com. If you inquire by email please include your mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013006085/en/

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The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz, Los Angeles
Frank R. Cruz, 310-914-5007
[email protected]
www.frankcruzlaw.com

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The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz Announces Investigation of Homology Medicines, Inc. (FIXX) on Behalf of Investors

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz announces an investigation of Homology Medicines, Inc. (“Homology” or the “Company”) (NASDAQ: FIXX) on behalf of investors concerning the Company’s possible violations of federal securities laws.

If you are a shareholder who suffered a loss, click here to participate.

In June 2019, the Company launched a dose-escalation Phase 1/2 clinical trial for HMI-102, its lead product candidate for the treatment of phenylketonuria. Homology “reported encouraging safety and efficacy data from the dose-escalation portion of the trial” and claimed that the data showed HMI-102 “produced a sustained reduction in phenylalanine (Phe).”

Then, on July 21, 2020, Mariner Research published a report, alleging that the Company’s comments “conveniently ignor[ed] the implications to efficacy and the business.” Citing data from a mouse study, the Phase 1/2 trial, and a key patient’s Facebook posts, the report concluded that HMI-102 “therapy is showing zero efficacy even for a high dose patient,” signifying that “the HMI-102 program is dead in the water.” Moreover, citing internal emails and analyst reports, Mariner Research claimed Homology had selectively discussed the patient’s Facebook posts with sell side analysts covering Homology and major investors.

On this news, the Company’s stock price fell $1.71 per share, or more than 10%, over three consecutive trading sessions to close at $14.77 per share on July 24, 2020, thereby injuring investors.

Follow us for updates on Twitter: twitter.com/FRC_LAW.

If you purchased Homology securities, have information or would like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please contact Frank R. Cruz, of The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz, 1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1100, Los Angeles, California 90067 at 310-914-5007, by email to [email protected], or visit our website at www.frankcruzlaw.com. If you inquire by email please include your mailing address, telephone number, and number of shares purchased.

This press release may be considered Attorney Advertising in some jurisdictions under the applicable law and ethical rules.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201013006049/en/

Contacts

The Law Offices of Frank R. Cruz, Los Angeles
Frank R. Cruz, 310-914-5007
[email protected]
www.frankcruzlaw.com

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Biden Son-In-Law Advises Campaign on Pandemic Response while Investing in COVID Startups

Joe Biden’s son-in-law Howard Krein is an informal adviser to the Democratic presidential candidate on the response to the coronavirus pandemic, while simultaneously investing in health-care startups to address the pandemic, Politico reported on Tuesday.

Krein’s venture capital business, StartUp Health, announced in April that it would invest in ten medical startup companies that craft solutions to issues posed by the pandemic. At the same time, Krein was among several individuals speaking with the Biden campaign regarding its health policy.

The initiative by StartUp Health was dubbed the “Pandemic Response Health Moonshot,” language that echoes Biden’s own “Cancer Moonshot” project from his last year in the Obama administration.

Krein’s position raises questions about a possible conflict of interest for the Biden campaign. A campaign official confirmed to Politico that Krein was an informal adviser who has participated in calls with the candidate on pandemic response.

“I have little doubt that the relationship to Joe Biden, particularly if he becomes president, would attract the interest of some investors,” Avik Roy, founder of investment firm Roy Healthcare Research, told Politico. Roy is a former adviser to Senators Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) and Mitt Romney (R., Utah).

The news follows a series of disclosures detailing that Biden’s son Hunter pursued while his father was serving as vice president. According to a Senate Intelligence Committee report released in September, “Hunter Biden received millions of dollars from foreign sources as a result of business relationships that he built during the period when his father was vice president of the United States and after.”

In particular, Hunter Biden and his business partner Devon Archer engaged in monetary transactions with Ye Jianming, a Chinese businessman with connections in the Communist Party and People’s Liberation Army. Archer was convicted of defrauding a Native American tribe in 2018, and has a sentencing hearing scheduled for this coming January.

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Questions raised about conflicts of interest around Biden son-in-law

Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenMcConnell challenger dodges court packing question ‘Hamilton’ cast to reunite for Biden fundraiser Trump relishes return to large rallies following COVID-19 diagnosis MORE’s son-in-law, Howard Krein, has continued his work at an investment firm overseeing health care solutions to COVID-19 while also advising the Biden campaign on the pandemic, sparking potential conflict-of-interest concerns, according to Politico

In March, StartUp Health, where Krein serves as chief medical officer, announced a new initiative to invest in entrepreneurs with various “solutions for mitigating, managing, or treating coronavirus or future pandemics.”

A month later, StartUp Health announced it would be investing $1 million across 10 different startups with potential public health solutions to the coronavirus. 

This came around the same time that Bloomberg and The New York Times both reported Krein among those taking part in daily Biden campaign briefing calls on health policy. 

As noted by Politico on Tuesday, Krein’s involvement in funding for specific coronavirus-centered projects could present a conflict of interest for Biden should he win the presidency in November. 

Politico hypothesized that the U.S. government could spend billions of dollars on nationwide coronavirus responses in 2021, with tens of billions of dollars already spent on COVID-19 testing and vaccine research. 

Since its founding in 2011, StartUp Health had close ties with the Obama administration, which described Krein at the time as a White House adviser, according to Politico. 

Krein reportedly began dating Biden’s daughter, Ashley, in 2010, with the two officially marrying in 2012. 

When contacted by The Hill, a Biden official said that Krein does not serve as a formal adviser to the campaign, although he has occasionally provides his perspective as a health care official working to combat COVID-19 on the front lines. 

However, Avik Roy, founder of investment firm Roy Healthcare Research and a former adviser to the presidential campaigns of Sens. Mitt RomneyWillard (Mitt) Mitt RomneyThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Barrett hearings take center stage | Trump returns to campaign trail Biden: Faith shouldn’t be a subject in Barrett confirmation fight Nebraska district could prove pivotal for Biden in November MORE (R-Utah) and Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioTrump Jr. returning to campaign trail after quarantining EXCLUSIVE: Intelligence chief briefed lawmakers of foreign influence threats to Congress Trump Jr., UFC star launch anti-socialism bus tour through South Florida MORE (R-Fla.), told Politico that he had “little doubt” that Krein’s close relationship with Biden, “particularly if he becomes president, would attract the interest of some investors.”

Laura Huang, a professor at Harvard Business School who studies investment processes, told Politico that even a public perception of bias could send a certain message to investors. 

“Sometimes, the perception is all you need. Signaling is very important for startups and investors alike, and one signal is high-profile individuals who can help provide access,” she said. 

Krein’s connection with Biden had been reported earlier this year by conservative commentator and Breitbart News contributor Peter Schweizer in his book “Profiles in Corruption: Abuse of

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U.K. Plans New Law to Undo Foreign Deals on Security Grounds

(Bloomberg) — Boris Johnson’s government is drawing up plans for a radical new law that would give ministers power to unravel foreign investments in U.K. companies — potentially casting major doubt on deals that have already been concluded — to stop hostile states gaining control over key assets.



a close up of a light pole: Pedestrians walk as the Tower Bridge stands beyond in London.


© Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg
Pedestrians walk as the Tower Bridge stands beyond in London.

The National Security and Investment Bill is in the final stages of drafting and could be published later this month, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the subject is sensitive.

It aims to cover deals in sectors such as defense and critical infrastructure, and will make provisions to protect sensitive intellectual property.

Among the most potentially controversial parts of the draft law is a proposal to allow the government to intervene retrospectively in circumstances where national security is an issue. That would mean allowing government officials to look back at past takeovers and mergers where concerns have been raised.

While the draft legislation as it stands does not explicitly target any particular country, it comes against a backdrop of heightened political concerns in the U.K. over China’s involvement in critically important infrastructure programs.

Members of Parliament in Johnson’s ruling Conservative Party pressed him to ban Huawei Technologies Co. from the U.K.’s next-generation wireless networks, reversing an earlier decision to allow the company a role.

China Concerns

Longstanding concerns have also been raised over China’s involvement in Britain’s nuclear power program. In 2016, then Prime Minister Theresa May paused the Hinkley Point C nuclear project, which is backed by Chinese investment, before eventually allowing it to proceed.

“The bill will be brought forward when parliamentary time allows and remains a priority for the government’s agenda,” a spokesman for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy said.

The draft law is likely to be presented to Parliament later this month, the people said, though the timetable could slip. The bill is a blueprint to allow Johnson’s government to strengthen its powers of scrutiny and to intervene in takeovers and mergers to protect national security.

Outlining its proposals last December, the government said its aim was to safeguard key assets while providing a transparent system for business.

Unusual Step

At the time, the government said its plan would include powers to mitigate the risks to national security by “adding conditions to a transaction or blocking the transaction as a last resort.” A regime of sanctions for companies that fail to comply with the new regime was also proposed.

But introducing a law that could apply retroactively would be highly unusual in the U.K. and risks undermining investor confidence at a time when the government wants to boost trade and attract foreign partners after Brexit.

The proposed law is close to being finalized, but some parts are still subject to internal debate, the people said.

Under the plans, the bill would include certain elements that are retroactive, enabling ministers to look back

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Cindy McCain Remembers Mother-in-Law Roberta

Win McNamee/Getty Roberta McCain (left) and Cindy McCain in 2008

Hours after the death of her 108-year-old mother-in-law, Roberta McCain, Cindy McCain couldn’t fully fathom that the family matriarch was gone.

“You’re never ready for it,” Cindy tells PEOPLE. “Never.”

“She is going to be missed so much,” says Cindy, 66. “She was a force of nature and someone I loved being around.”

As Cindy prepared to fly east on Monday night to be with brother-in-law Joe McCain, who cared for Roberta for many years at her Washington, D.C., home before she died there Monday, Cindy shared that Roberta’s health had diminished in recent months.

“She was failing,” Cindy said Monday night. “[Joe] called me, maybe two months ago, and he said she’s really starting to decline. And so she just peacefully went to sleep today, that’s really what it was.”

A cause of death has not been disclosed. But there had been other recent health struggles: Earlier this year, Roberta — an adventurous woman into her late 90s, who vigorously campaigned for son John McCain when the Arizona senator ran for president in 2008 — was hospitalized with pneumonia and was slowed by a mild stroke suffered about 10 years ago.

“She was not living her best life,” Cindy says. “She hated the fact that she was unable to move around in the spirited way she was used to prior to getting sick.”

At the end of Roberta’s life “we never talked politics,” Cindy says. “It was grandkids and all those kinds of things.”

Roberta did not get to meet her newest great-grandchild, Meghan McCain’s daughter, Liberty Sage, who was born on Sept. 28. But she lived long enough to learn about the happy news.

“Joe told her that [Meghan] had a little girl and I was going to send him a picture, I have it sitting on my kitchen counter and I was going to FedEx her the baby in a frame,” says Cindy, who calls baby Liberty “adorable” and plans on meeting her this week.

When Roberta and Cindy met some four decades ago, the elder McCain made an immediate impression.

“I was so astounded about how beautiful she was; when I met her, she was in her ’70s — so poised and gracious and immaculately dressed,” Cindy says. “She was something else, and she endeared herself to everybody.”

Ida Mae Astute /Walt Disney Television via Getty From left: Roberta, Cindy and Sen. John McCain in 2008

As a mother-in-law, Cindy recalls a woman who “was always the kindest, nicest person to me.”

“Throughout the 40 years I knew her, she never said an angry word to me, ever,” says Cindy. “She always said words of encouragement. She always told me how nice I looked.”

“She was a sweet, loving person, and she was grateful I was with John,” Cindy continues. “I really hit the jackpot with her as a mother-in-law.”

Roberta’s close friend Greta Van Susteren told PEOPLE that “there wasn’t a place in

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