The U.S. Senate yesterday voted to acquit President Donald Trump in his impeachment trial. Party leaders from both sides in Pennsylvania, though, are skeptical about how much voters in the state really cared about or paid attention to the proceedings. Locally, a new police commissioner takes over in Philly on Monday. My colleague went to Oakland, Calif., to learn how that city molded Danielle Outlaw into the person she is today. Also, a Bucks County bank robber got his prison sentence yesterday following a spree of robbing 19 banks in nine years; Vice President Mike Pence visited a West Philly school; and the Sixers face the NBA’s best team tonight as they carry a three-game losing streak.
Next week, Danielle Outlaw will take over as Philadelphia’s police commissioner. She’ll be the first black woman to lead the department, which has been rocked by racism and sexual harassment scandals. All the while, the city is trying to combat levels of gun violence not seen in years.
My colleague Chris Palmer spoke to nearly a dozen of Outlaw’s associates and friends in Oakland, where she spent the first two decades of her career. The discussions, he writes, “reveal that in the insular and testosterone-filled culture of policing, Outlaw, 43, has long approached her work with ambition, confidence, and determination.”
The U.S. Senate acquitted President Donald Trump of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress yesterday. The votes ended a historic impeachment trial that split almost exactly along party lines. All but one Republican senator voted “not guilty” on the abuse of power account. Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah was the only Republican to support Trump’s removal from office, making him the first senator ever to vote to remove a president of his or her own party.
When it comes to how the result of Trump’s impeachment trial will impact Pennsylvania, a critical swing state for his reelection, elected officials, party activists, and voters aren’t certain. “On the ground, I just don’t hear people talking about it,” said Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat who lives in Braddock, near Pittsburgh. “I think minds were made up a long time ago.”
Pennsylvania is the ultimate political battleground in the 2020 election. And soon, we’ll launch an email newsletter with everything you need to know. You can sign up to get it here.
Richard Boyle’s nine-year crime spree across the Philadelphia suburbs saw him rob 19 banks between 2007 and 2016. The Bucks County man was nicknamed “the Straw Hat Bandit” because of the disguise he wore — a makeshift sackcloth mask and a distinctive hat. Boyle stole more than a half-million dollars, using them mostly to pay his bills for, among other things, a used car, rent, dental debts, and his daughter’s tuition at Temple. The story goes that when Boyle was deep in his 40s, he read a newspaper article about a bank heist and thought he could do better, his former lawyer said.
The 60-year-old was in court yesterday to receive his sentence. “You are no Jean Valjean, sir,” said U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter, referring to the Les Misérables protagonist who was sentenced to 19 years of hard labor for stealing bread to feed his family. “You had enough skills that you did not have to steal to make money.” Pratter sentenced Boyle to 71 years in prison.
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“His rationale for his vote to acquit is cut from the same self-serving cloth. The senator makes sweeping conclusions about the president’s other possible motives for withholding aid as witnesses with direct knowledge of such facts sit muzzled on the sidelines.” — writes Thomas Harper, a military officer and attorney from the Lehigh Valley, about Sen. Pat Toomey’s impeachment votes.