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The Latest: Prosecutors target leaked Puerto Rico chat case

July 23, 2019
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Demonstrators bang on pots and buckets as they march on Las Americas highway demanding the resignation of governor Ricardo Rossello, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, July 22, 2019. Protesters are demanding Rossello step down for his involvement in a private chat in which he used profanities to describe an ex-New York City councilwoman and a federal control board overseeing the island's finance. (AP Photo/Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo)
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Demonstrators bang on pots and buckets as they march on Las Americas highway demanding the resignation of governor Ricardo Rossello, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Monday, July 22, 2019. Protesters are demanding Rossello step down for his involvement in a private chat in which he used profanities to describe an ex-New York City councilwoman and a federal control board overseeing the island's finance. (AP Photo/Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Latest on protests against Puerto Rico’s governor (all times local):

2:40 p.m.

A Puerto Rico judge has issued search warrants for the cellphones of government officials tied to a crude and offensive online chat whose leak has set off a political crisis that could bring down the governor.

It’s not clear what authorities are investigating. But in the online chat, officials talked about government contracts, among other things.

One of the search warrants said that government officials used the chat to transmit official and confidential information to private citizens in potential violation of ethics laws.

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9:35 a.m.

A Puerto Rico judge has issued search warrants for the cellphones of government officials tied to an online chat that has sparked a political crisis in the U.S. territory.

Territorial Justice Department spokesman Kelvin Carrasco told The Associated Press on Tuesday that the warrants were approved overnight and were issued for those who have not yet turned over their phones. He did not name the officials and declined further comment because the investigation is ongoing.

The warrants follow massive protests demanding the ouster of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, who participated in an offensive, obscenity-laden online chat between him and his advisers that was leaked and triggered the crisis. The group also insulted women and mocked constituents, including victims of Hurricane Maria.

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Thousands of Puerto Rican demonstrators arrived from across the island Monday for what many expected to be one of the biggest protests ever seen in the U.S. territory, with irate islanders pledging to drive Gov. Ricardo Rosselló from office. (July 22)

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4 a.m.

The political crisis in Puerto Rico has escalated to a point where many wonder how Gov. Ricardo Rosselló will be able to govern the U.S. territory in the coming days and possibly weeks amid the massive protests to oust him.

Rosselló dug his heels in late Monday after what seems to have been the biggest protest the island has seen in nearly two decades. He told Fox News that he has already apologized and made amends following the leak of an offensive, obscenity-laden online chat between him and his advisers that triggered the crisis.

But many Puerto Ricans remained unsatisfied and vowed to keep protesting until he steps down, no matter how long it takes.

Tuesday marks the 11th consecutive day of protests as government officials around Rosselló keep resigning.

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