(TEL AVIV, Israel.) Finally Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit filed an indictment on Thursday against the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, for fraud with aggravated circumstances and breach of public trust in the “Prepared Food Affair” in an explosive development which shook the country #Ace NewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – June.21: Israeli PM Netanyahu’s wife charged with fraud: official statement Reuters World June 21, 2018: Ace Newsroom Live https://ift.tt/2ln3ayY Charges follow collapse of plea bargain. What does it spell for her husband? #AceNewsDesk reports
Sara Netanyahu (photo credit: REUTERS)Sara Netanyahu (photo credit: REUTERS)
When Leah Rabin was about to be indicted in 1977, then prime minister Yitzhak Rabin resigned from office due to his wife’s scandal:
The expectation is that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not considering such a move, but the indictment damages him politically in an atmosphere in which the Jerusalem Post recently reported he is likely to face an indictment announcement in the coming months or in early 2019……………Though the Post had learned around two weeks ago that an indictment would likely be coming down soon, there were continuous efforts to reach a plea deal down to the end, which left things up in the air and created an ongoing drama.

Other media had also reported in recent months that the actual indictment could be filed shortly after the Passover holiday, but then Netanyahu’s defense lawyers approached Mandelblit with a dramatic offer………………..They offered to return some of the funds Netanyahu is accused of obtaining fraudulently and to take public responsibility, as long as she would not be slapped with any kind of criminal record…………………Ultimately, despite media reports that a deal might be near, the Post’s sources proved correct that no deal was reached, leading to Thursday’s indictment in the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court.

The trial is expected to start after the fall Jewish holidays and Netanyahu is not expected to get jail time even if convicted, but it was important to Mandelblit that she be given a criminal record for her actions……………The indictment was also delayed from May until now following Nir Hefetz, a former close adviser to the Netanyahu family, providing new evidence against Sara Netanyahu. Although Hefetz is primarily a state’s witness against the prime minister for Case 4000 the Bezeq-Walla! Affair, he also provided material against Sara…………..A pre-indictment hearing in January where Sara Netanyahu’s lawyers asked Mandelblit to reverse his preliminary decision in September 2017 to indict her, also had failed to sway him, though Mandelblit issued a statement at the time that he “had an open mind” to their arguments:

In the Prepared Food Affair, the attorney-general alleged that from September 2010 until March 2013, Sara Netanyahu acted in coordination with then-Prime Minister’s Office deputy director-general Ezra Seidoff to present the false misrepresentation that the Prime Minister’s Residence did not employ a cook, even though it did during that time……………..According to the indictment, the two made this misrepresentation to circumvent and exploit regulations that stated, “in a case where a cook is not employed in the official residence, it is permitted to order prepared food as needed.” The two hoped to obtain state funding both for the cook at the residence and for prepared food orders. In this way, the two allegedly fraudulently obtained from the state NIS 359,000 in hundreds of prepared food orders.

The indictment states that Netanyahu regularly pressured Seidoff, house managers and others to obtain items for the residence whether they were authorized by law or not. As a result of these pressures, Seidoff sometimes procured items, such as the additional unauthorized prepared food items, despite earlier attempts to explain to her that there was no basis for the state to pay for such items. Also, Netanyahu ordered Seidoff, Naftali and other workers not to reveal the fraud to others……………Further, in 15 instances, invoices to chefs who were brought in from outside were falsified in order to circumvent limits on how much could be paid toward outside-chefs. Seidoff directed the chefs, the house managers and Netanyahus’ secretaries to falsify the invoices in these 15 instances.

Charges against Netanyahu for these 15 instances were previously closed by Mandelblit as there was insufficient evidence to prove that she knew about Seidoff’s and the others’ actions……………The prosecution also indicted Seidoff on Thursday for the same offenses, while adding the offense of falsifying documents and with a total fraud amount of NIS 393,000……………Several other cases against Netanyahu were closed in September 2017, but one of them will also impact the indictment…………….While Mandelbit closed the “Father Homecare Affair” case against Netanyahu due to the small amounts of money involved, evidentiary problems and the difficult emotional circumstances – it will impact the indictment…………….In the affair, Netanyahu employed S and G for six days and five days respectively to care for her sick and now deceased father. While normally, her father had a different homecare arrangement, during those days that he was staying at the prime minister’s residence, his regular arrangement was unavailable.

Netanyahu paid S for taking care of her father. However, in addition, S was paid by the state for providing cleaning services. G functioned as a substitute for S when S was unavailable. G was paid by the state for cleaning services. …………….Mandelblit said that since Netanyahu had paid S, was unaware of extra payments to S and that all of the state payments to S and G were small, he would not indict her, but that Netanyahu’s pattern of problematic conduct in that case would serve as evidence in the Prepared Food Affair………………………..While Netanyahu was only indicted in the Prepared Foods Affair, Seidoff was also indicted in the Waiters Affair, in which the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem employed waiters over the weekend based on false misrepresentations, and the Electrician Affair, for employing Avi Fahima for electrician work at the prime minister’s residence despite knowledge that employing him had been declared an illegal conflict of interest.

Responding to the charges, Netanyahu’s lawyer Yossi Cohen told the Post in January that Meni Naftali and other Prime Minister’s Residence managers like him, not Sara Netanyahu, are responsible for the food orders regarding which she is accused…………………..He said Netanyahu’s defenses regarding food orders made in 2010 and 2013, when Naftali was not at the Prime Minister’s Residence, were that those accusations related only to around NIS 134,000……………..Naftali has already admitted to criminal wrongdoing in this area, so it is just a question of whether the court buys his story or Sara’s about her also being or not being involved. The 2011-2012 period in which he was house manager accounts for around NIS 225,000 of the charges……………Cohen further has said that number could be easily reduced to NIS 30,000-NIS 40,000, as many times when prepared food was ordered, the staff cook was sick, traveling or off for Shabbat.

Asked if he could prove this argument, Cohen said it is known that the cook was off work for these reasons, and that all he needs to do is raise doubt and force the state to prove that the cook was in fact working at the time. Since he said the state has no way to prove, for example, that the cook was working when around NIS 15,000 was charged for prepared food in January 2011, it cannot prove Netanyahu or anyone else improperly ordered prepared food…………………Cohen said that if the charges only related to NIS 30,000-NIS 40,000 at most, they could be dropped as relating to an oversight or to a violation too small to be worth prosecuting………………..Sources close to the case told the Post in September that though there was unanimity within the prosecution about indicting Mrs. Netanyahu in the Prepared Food Affair, there were differences of opinion within the prosecution about closing some of the other cases against her.

The Sara Netanyahu cases jumped into the headlines in February 2015 as part of a State Comptroller report and “Bottlegate” and other now closed cases becoming household names. It became a full criminal investigation starting in July 2015:

By YONAH JEREMY BOB – Sara Netanyahu indicted for fraud https://t.co/DlRYaIdnf2— The Jerusalem Post June 21, 2018: Ace Newsroom Live https://ift.tt/2te2e4ghttps://t.me/SterlingPublishingPanel/184588

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(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) LAPD Report they have released body-camera video on Wednesday showing a bizarre two-hour standoff with a man who inhaled automotive fluid, offered officers a flower and then picked up a metal pipe before he was shot with a bean bag shotgun and stun gun and ultimately died in police custody #AceNewDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – June.21: It is the first time the nation’s third-largest police department has voluntarily released body-camera footage to the media: The release followed a change in policy from the department’s civilian oversight board that requires the release of video from “critical incidents” — including fatal shootings, in-custody deaths and the use of police force that results in a death — within 45 days, with limited exceptions #AceNewsDesk reports

Watch Video: https://youtu.be/alZ0_qJqGzI

This May 6, 2018 image from video from a police body camera, provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows officers interacting with Jose Chavez, before he died in custody. (Los Angeles Police Department via AP)This May 6, 2018 image from video from a police body camera, provided by the Los Angeles Police Department shows officers interacting with Jose Chavez, before he died in custody. (Los Angeles Police Department via AP)

The high-production and edited video that was released on Wednesday included a 911 call — with the caller’s voice altered — in which the caller told officers that a man was walking around a South Los Angeles neighborhood with a brick: When two officers arrived, they encountered Jose Chavez, 25, and repeatedly asked him if he needed any help or wanted medical attention, but Chavez ignored them.

The nearly 18-minute video includes an introduction from the department’s chief spokesman and a narration from Commander Alan Hamilton, the officer in charge of the unit that investigates police use of force. It included body-camera footage from one of the more than a dozen officers who responded to the scene.

Several minutes after the officers first encounter Chavez, he begins approaching them and is “agitated,” Hamilton says in the video. He later runs to the porch of a nearby home and is seen on the video inhaling from a bottle of automotive fluid and pouring the fluid on his arms and legs. At one point during the encounter, Chavez picks up a white flower and holds it out toward the officers.

Chavez later picks up a metal pipe from the yard of the home, and officers eventually shoot him several times with a bean bag shotgun and then use a stun gun to try to subdue him.

The encounter lasted about two hours before Chavez was taken into custody. He continued to fight with officers while he was handcuffed and on the ground, Hamilton said in the video.

“When Chavez was handcuffed, officers noticed that his breathing became labored and eventually stopped,” Hamilton said.

Officers called for paramedics, and Chavez was brought to a hospital, where he died.

Chavez’s official cause of death has not yet been determined by the county coroner, but Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck said he didn’t believe that the force used by officers caused Chavez’s death. An internal review of the incident is still ongoing, but from the video, it appears the officers followed protocol, Beck said.

“This particular incident had an awful consequence,” Beck said at a news conference Wednesday to release the video that police referred to as a “community briefing.”

The police department did not make the raw body camera videos available and would not immediately release any additional footage. When the city’s police commission — the civilian oversight board — ultimately rules on whether the officers acted within the policy, additional information and footage may be released, the chief said.

Craig Lally, the president of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, which represents rank-and-file officers, said the videos provide a “limited, but important view into the world that police officers must navigate.” But he cautioned that videos are just one piece of evidence in complex cases.

“I think the release of all the video, particularly at this point, will not tell the whole story,” Beck said. “I think that you have to release it in context, and that’s what we do.”

By Michael Balsamo Associated Press https://ift.tt/2M6vUr8
https://t.me/acenewsgroup/611002

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(RUSSIA) #WorldCup In the footage, which was reportedly taken after #ENG beat Tunisia 2-1 at Volgograd Arena on Monday, the fans are seen performing Nazi salutes while shouting “Sieg Heil”. They also sang songs which glorify the Third Reich and may be facing prosecution as FA working with Russian prosecutor s #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReports – June.21: A video showing a group of England fans giving sickening salutes and singing Nazi songs in the World Cup host city of Volgograd, in which nearly 2 million people died during WWII, has appeared online #AceNewsDesk reports
England fans give Nazi salutes, sing Hitler song in World Cup city invaded during WWII (VIDEO)

They’re on this video. Look for when they return to you.

— BzdyszekDzapadłowski (@BzdDzapadlowski) 9:10 AM – Jun 20, 2018

The bar in the video has been identified as ‘Galereya Pub’ in Volgograd. RT’s Ruptly video agency, which was on site to report on World Cup games, went to the bar to investigate the video.

While the bar’s employees refused to talk on camera, they confirmed that the group of England fans visited the establishment but say that they missed the moment which was shown in the footage as they were in the process of closing the bar.

The video appears to show the fans signing: “Spurs are on their way to Auschwitz, Hitler’s gonna gas them again, you can’t stop them, the Yids from Tottenham, the yids from White Hart Lane,” while laughing and performing Nazi salutes.

While the song is aimed at fans of Tottenham Hotspur – nicknamed ‘Spurs,’ it is all the more abhorrent given it took place in Volgograd, a city scarred by the Battle of Stalingrad in which nearly 2 million people perished in a defeat of Nazi forces in WWII.

Known as Stalingrad during the war, this year marked 75 years since that battle which was the bloodiest of the entire conflict. The fans could now face criminal proceedings for glorifying Nazis in both Russia and their native United Kingdom.

In Russia under the criminal justice system, actions meant to incite hatred based on race or religion can be punished with up to five years in prison. According to reports in UK media, British police are already working with the Football Association to investigate of the video.

#ENG fans may face criminal proceedings after giving Nazi salutes, singing Hitler song in #WorldCup city invaded during WWII (VIDEO) https://t.co/RufE9iYHlj
— RT – June 21, 2018: https://t.me/acenewsgroup/614177

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(PITTSBURGH) The fatal shooting of 17-year-old black teenager Antwon Rose by a rookie police officer has sparked protests in East Pittsburgh: An officer is said to have shot Rose, who was unarmed at the moment, three times to stop him from fleeing as an investigation is underway #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – June.21: Editor says here’s what we know so far: The fatal incident took place on Tuesday evening, when an officer pulled over a vehicle that matched the description of one involved in an earlier shooting, which left one man with gunshot wounds: The 22-year-old victim in that incident was admitted to hospital but was later released: The Allegheny County Police Department said that it “received multiple calls reporting that shots were fired and that a male had been shot in the 800 block of Kirkpatrick Avenue in North Braddock” at around 8:20 pm on Tuesday……………..Shortly afterward, an East Pittsburgh officer, who has not been identified, stopped what he believed was the suspect’s car with three people inside #AceNewsDesk reports
image1.jpeg

While he was apprehending the driver, Rose and the other passenger made a daring attempt to flee the scene, the police description of the incident said. The attempt, however, did not go well for Rose, as the officer did not hesitate to open fire, hitting him three times in the back: Rose’s companion was far more lucky, managing to escape. A hunt for the man is still underway, with police urging him to turn himself in “so that he can give a comprehensive description” of how exactly the altercation unraveled.

Antwon Rose is seen in a photo from his Facebook page obtained by CNN.

Antwon Rose is seen in a photo from his Facebook page obtained by CNN.

The incident was filmed by a resident of a nearby house, and the footage since has gone viral. A woman, who can be heard screaming in the video, claimed that the officer did not try to chase the boys on foot or use a taser before resorting to lethal means.

“He just shot that boy for running,” witness Debra Jones told AP. She said that it seemed that the boy was already unresponsive when the officer was putting him in handcuffs. “I think that boy died right there on the side of my house,” she said.

Police reported that Rose was taken to a local hospital where he was subsequently pronounced dead. At a press conference on Wednesday, Coleman McDonough, the superintendent of the Allegheny County Police Department, said that while police had discovered two firearms in the car, Rose was not carrying any during the showdown.

The officer involved was placed on administrative leave until the end of the investigation, he added:

The incident has shaken the Pennsylvania community, with scores of young black activists flocking to the Pittsburgh police station on Wednesday to voice their outrage over what many believe was an abuse of power by law enforcement. Protesters were holding signs that read “End Police Violence Now,” while shouting “say his name.” The visibly agitated crowd of demonstrators then shut down Braddock Avenue and a small group staged an impromptu sit-in protest, disrupting traffic.

The crowd shouts “say his name” as they hold hands in the street during a rally to protest a recent police involved shooting of a 17-year-old boy in East Pittsburgh Wednesday, June 20, 2018. @PGVisuals @PittsburghPG

— Jessie Wardarski (@JKayWardarski) 12:37 AM – Jun 21, 2018

A Police Cruiser attempts to push through the crowd as a rally shuts down Braddock Avenue a day after an East Hills Police Officer shot 17-year-old Antwon Rose, a Woodland Hills High School honors student during a traffic stop. @TribLIVE #AntwonRose

— Andrew Russell (@RussBurgh) 12:58 AM – Jun 21, 2018

Protestors sit in the rain soaked streets as they continue to protest the shooting and death of a 17-year-old boy from East Liberty Wednesday, June 20, 2018. @PittsburghPG @PGVisuals

— Jessie Wardarski (@JKayWardarski) 12:51 AM – Jun 21, 2018

With tensions ramping up in East Pittsburgh and beyond in the wake of the incident, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto found himself in hot water after many denounced his awkward attempt to distance himself from the tragedy. Responding to the reports about the shooting on Twitter, Peduto was quick to point out that he wasn’t in Pittsburg at the time, and, in general, he should not bear any responsibility, as the incident occurred outside the city borders.

“It wasn’t in Pittsburgh. It was in the suburbs of East Pittsburgh. Not part of the city. Not Pittsburgh Police. Not Pittsburgh. Please clarify,” the mayor wrote.

After drawing fierce backlash with his “insensitive” remark, Peduto made a U-turn, tweeting that he was “wrong” and “made a tragic event even worse.” In a follow-up statement, Peduto said that although the incident was not within the city’s official borders, “it impacts all of us in the Pittsburgh region, and particularly those in the African American community.”

Last night I tweeted about the tragedy in East Pittsburgh. I was wrong. In an attempt to clarify, I made a tragic event worse.

To the family & friends of Antwon Rose, I apologize for any additional grief I may have caused. To my constituents, I will work to be better.

— bill peduto (@billpeduto) 5:51 PM – Jun 20, 2018

“In my reactions to the incident I should have acknowledged that these shootings affect all of us, no matter where we live, and for that I am sorry,” the statement read.

While there are few details about the identity of the officer who shot Rose, Peduto later revealed that the policeman was sworn in on the same day the shooting took place. However, it was not his very first day on the job, Peduto clarified, saying that the officer previously served with other departments for seven years.

‘Just shot that boy for running’: 17yo unarmed black teen fleeing police killed by officer https://t.co/4Gn1YBA5KT pic.twitter.com/TSstBBsTBL
— RT June 21, 2018: https://t.me/acenewsgroup/613698

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(WASHINGTON) TSA Report: Reduction in powders carried by passengers on plane to be no more than 12-ounces as new rule to take affect on June.30: After an official told CNN of a foiled plot to blow up a plane in Australia on Wednesday #AceNewsDesk

#AceNewsReport – June.21: If you’re traveling by plane with more than 12 ounces of cosmetics powder, dry spices, protein mix or talcum, you may want to check it: That’s because the Transportation Security Administration has been taking a closer look at containers of powder that fit more than the volume of a standard soda can #AceNewsDesk reports

The TSA’s new scrutiny about powders in carry-on luggage stems from a foiled plot to blow up a passenger plane in Australia, an airline official told CNN Wednesday. The would-be attackers planned to place the improvised explosive device on an Etihad Airways flight last July, but the device didn’t get past the airline’s check-in desk: If packed in a carry-on bag, such containers of powder could be subject to extra screening or banned from the airplane cabin. If TSA officers can’t figure out what the powder is, it may be discarded or put into checked baggage.

To cut the risk of having items thrown out, the TSA encourages passengers to put powder substances of more than 12 ounces into checked bags: The rule about powders goes into effect on June 30 on international flights bound for the United States, said TSA spokesman Michael England.

A TSA official said Wednesday the “Australia plot contributed to the current focus on powders.” But the official said the plot wasn’t the only reason for the scrutiny, saying improvised explosive devises containing powder explosives have always been a concern.

When asked why it took nearly a year before the TSA announced it would mandate the increased scrutiny for international flights bound for the United States, the official said the agency “wanted to assess the threat” and that “testing needed to be done, discussions and coordination were necessary.”

The official added: “We feel like we moved at the right pace.”

England told CNN in an email that most international airlines “have been doing this voluntarily since last year,” referring to scrutinizing powders in carry-on bags………….The powders rule was part of expanded security measures that began last summer,according to England.

In April, the agency said it had completed rolling out stronger regulations for carry-on screening, including the requirement to separate items such as foods and powders that could “clutter bags and obstruct clear images on the X-ray machine.” The agency had warned that “items that cannot be identified and resolved at the checkpoint are prohibited from entering the cabin of the aircraft.”

“TSA is communicating with our international partners to ensure last points of departure airports align with pre-clearance requirements and our domestic procedures as part of our efforts to raise the global aviation security baseline,” he said.

#Breaking144 – TSA Rolling Out New Rule Regarding Amount of Powder Allowed in Carry-On Bags on International Flights: https://acebreakingnews.wordpress.com/2018/06/21/breaking144-tsa-rolling-out-new-rule-regarding-amount-of-powder-allowed-in-carry-on-bags-on-international-flights-acebreakingnews/

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(LOS ANGELES, Calif.) The ACLU of Southern California filed an emergency lawsuit Tuesday, calling for an end to what it describes as the “unconstitutional denial” of attorney access to immigrants being detained at a prison complex in Victorville #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – June.21: According to the complaint, hundreds of immigrants were moved last week from detention facilities to the medium security federal prison in Victorville, which is in the High Desert about 60 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles: The detainees are being held “incommunicado,” according to the ACLU #AceNewsDesk reports

Denial of access to lawyers causes immigrant detainees “serious irreparable harm,” the nonprofit organization says in its complaint, which was filed in federal court in Los Angeles: The complaint also states that restricting legal counsel to those in need violates federal detention standards and the First Amendment, which guarantees detainees and prisoners the right to communicate with “the outside world.”

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include the nonprofit Immigrant Defenders Law Center, which provides free legal counsel to non-citizens.

A news release from the ACLU said that attorneys with the center were denied entry into the Victorville prison, despite following proper entry protocol for clearance.

“All we are seeking is to provide free legal services to detained immigrants at Victorville on the same terms allowed at other immigration detention centers,” said Lindsay Toczylowksi, executive director of the center, which is also called Imm Def. “Legal assistance is essential for people facing our extraordinarily complicated immigration system.”

Toczylowksi was turned away from the Victorville prison on June 12 after attempting to determine the rules for visitation, the lawsuit states. She eventually left the prison feeling “intimidated by all of the security presence and threatened,” according to the complaint.

The ACLU reported that even attorneys who had existing professional relationships with detainees were cut off from their clients.

Imm Def attorney and plaintiff Gabriela Lopez has also allegedly been denied access to her client, Gustavo Rodriguez Castillo, who was forcibly relocated to the prison on June 14.

Castillo, an asylum-seeker from Venezuela, has not been able to speak to his attorney despite being found to have a “credible fear” of torture in his native country. He is also listed as a plaintiff in the complaint.

Lopez has repeatedly called the prison to speak with Castillo, but has been unable to get through.

Among those being sued are Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, acting ICE Director Thomas Homan, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the warden of the Victorville facility, David Shinn.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials intend to incarcerate 1,000 detainees at the Victorville complex, the complaint stated. Last week, employees at the federal prison protested the move, saying the influx of detainees was creating unsafe conditions for workers.

Many of the detainees were subject to the administration’s zero-tolerance policies, which dramatically increased criminal prosecutions of those crossing the border illegally, forcing authorities to separate children from parents awaiting court dates.

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order intended to end the separation policy and keep families together while in detention.

#BREAKING: Hundreds of immigrants who were moved from immigration detention centers to a federal prison in Victorville, CA are being denied access to attorneys by the Trump administration. We’re suing. https://t.co/rN4YaJAEVw

— ACLU SoCal (@ACLU_SoCal) June 20, 2018

Immigrants Detained in Victorville Prison Are Being Illegally Denied Access to Lawyers, ACLU Says in Lawsuit https://t.co/GECZILwcKhpic.twitter.com/jYnMRAnUbC— June 21, 2018: Ace Newsroom Live https://t.me/SterlingPublishingPanel/184371

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(WASHINGTON) Donald Trump on Wednesday ‘ Signs Executive Order ‘ to stop separations of undo cumented immigrant families at the border saying “ We’re signing an executive order, thats abou t keeping families together, while at the same time being sure we have a very powerful, very strong border,” Trump said #AceNewsDesk reports

#AceNewsReport – June.21: Trump’s climbdown came after he faced intense pressure from across the political spectrum and from religious, political and world leaders to halt the separations, which produced days of heartrending news coverage of crying children — some of whom were kept in cage-like detention centres #AceNewsDesk reports

The President claimed, though, that he isn’t backing down:

“The border is just as tough. But we do want to keep families together,” Trump said in the Oval Office. “We are keeping the family together.”

Earlier Wednesday after a frenzied morning in which he huddled with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other key officials, Trump first flagged his reversal saying, “I’ll be doing something that’s somewhat preemptive and ultimately will be matched by legislation I’m sure.”

President Donald Trump signs an executive order to keep families together at the border, but says that the 'zero-tolerance' prosecution policy will continue, during an event in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Standing behind Trump are Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, left, and Vice President Mike Pence. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Just the day before, Trump had claimed his administration’s hands were tied without congressional action.

“Under current law, we have only two policy options to respond to this massive crisis. We can either release all illegal immigrant families and minors who show up at the border from Central America or we can arrest the adults for the federal crime of illegal entry. Those are the only two options, totally open borders or criminal prosecution for law-breaking,” the President had said.

In the executive order he signed on Wednesday, Trump declared it is his administration’s policy to “maintain family unity,” including by detaining entire families together “where appropriate and consistent with law and available resources.”

The order directs other agencies, including the Pentagon, to take steps to find places to house family units.

The order specifies that migrants entering the US with children will not be kept together if there’s a fear for the child’s welfare. Families will also be prioritized in the adjudication process.

Even so, the move is almost certain to face immediate legal action challenging the administration’s authority to keep families detained at length.

The President was not required to sign anything to change the administration’s practice that elicited outrage. He could have reversed the practice of splitting children from their parents with a phone call.

Executive orders typically require input from the Office of the Legal Counsel. The details of the executive order were worked out between the White House, the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security, a source said.

The White House may run into legal difficulties if the executive order requires families to be held intact together indefinitely since a federal consent decree known as the Flores settlement says children must be released after 20 days.

The President continued to use tough immigration rhetoric even on Wednesday though, signaling that he is not softening his desire to change the country’s laws more broadly.

“The dilemma is that if you’re weak, if you’re weak, which some people would like you to be, if you’re really, really pathetically weak, the country’s going to be overrun with millions of people,” Trump said.

“And if you’re strong, then you don’t have any heart. That’s a tough dilemma. Perhaps I would rather be strong, but that’s a tough dilemma,” he said.

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